Are My Kids on Track: Boys & Empathy

Responding with empathy is more naturally instinctive for some individuals than others.  Just as one child might be stronger in math and another in spelling, we all bend in certain directions.   Some of us are more extroverted, some of us more introverted.   Some more analytical, some more creative.   We could circle around the nature vs. nurture argument for days, months or years. Bottom line - both are contributing factors.  

Some individuals more naturally think of others, and some more naturally think of themselves.   During adolescence, we all spend more time thinking about ourselves.   Sadly, some adults never move beyond that tendency...

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Technology Tuesday: Going Live!

“I walked out of my bathroom yesterday, wrapped in a towel, only to hear my ten year-old yell, ‘I’m going live!’”.

“Going live” is now evidently the thing.  This ten year-old was “going live” on Musical.ly, only to show her latest “slime” to her five followers, including grandparents and an aunt.  “Going live” basically means live-streaming a video of you—doing whatever you want to do.  People who follow you can click to watch and comment, unless you turn off the commenting feature.  (And slime, by the way, is exactly what it sounds like).  Facebook has a live component, as well as Instagram.  In fact, TeenVogue recently did an article called “6 Tips for Instagram Live.”  The article went on to say...

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Are My Kids on Track: Boys and Perspective Part Two

It’s vital for boys to understand males often experience emotions with physicality attached to them.   It’s why boys are prone to screaming, hitting, punching, balling up their fists or gritting their teeth.  I’ve worked with boys who even growl like an animal when the emotion erupts inside of them.   When a boy can channel the physicality of the emotion into something useful, he can offset the possibility of hurting others (or himself).   We will explore more of this in chapter four with the milestone of Resourcefulness.

In a non-problematic time, I have boys make a list of five things they could do outside and inside involving movement of some kind.  It’s not that listening to music, reading or playing on the iPad isn’t useful...

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Happy Countdown to Mother's Day

Happy Countdown to Mother’s Day!  We’re about to start our own Mom’s brand of March Madness at Raising Boys and Girls!  It’s been so fun hearing from those of you who are reading our new book, Are My Kids On Track?!  So, in honor of Mother’s Day, we’re about to start 12 weeks of Giveaways featuring YOU!!!  Each week, we’ll highlight a different milestone from the book.  (If you’re late to the Are My Kids on Track party, it includes 12 milestones we believe are crucial for kids to reach and are happening less and less these days.  There are 4 emotional, 4 social, and 4 spiritual).  So, here’s the plan...

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Technology Tuesday: The Story on Finstas

Have you heard your child use the word “Finsta?” (I think regularly, if our grandparents were to sit in on a conversation with teenagers, they would be as confused as if someone were speaking a foreign language.  Finsta…tweets…snaps…what are we talking about, anyway?).

So, here’s the story on finstas.  A finsta is what it sounds like—or what it sounds like if you’re 15 and thinking this way—a fake Instagram account.  (Get it…fake Insta?)  I hear about them weekly now in my counseling office.  Middle school girls tell me they have finstas with their very closest friends.  “You know, there are pictures you only want your best friends to see—like things you think are funny...

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Are My Kids on Track: Boys and Perspective Part One

Boys are primarily visual, spatial and experiential learners.   Did you notice auditory is nowhere in that list? Despite knowing this, we fall into the trap of talking at and talking to boys way too much, forgetting they learn best by going through the motions.  Think about the Compassion story I shared.  You’d be correct in assuming though I’d spent a lifetime understanding the concepts of poverty and hunger in third world countries, it didn’t become real to me until I traveled to South America, visited those sites, interacted with children and families, and heard their stories.   The experience expanded and deepened my perspective.   

I challenge parents to avoid lecturing about hungry children across the world, when their own kids don’t clean their plates and waste food.  Rather than lecturing, take them to a local Soup Kitchen and serve as a family.   They will develop perspective differently...

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Social Media Shame

I wrote this last year around vacation time…and, since it’s vacation season again, I thought it bore repeating.  Happy Spring Break, everyone!  And may we continue to be committed to encouraging and extending grace to each other…in real life and on social media. 

If you and I are friends/followers on social media, by the time you read this, you’ll probably hate me...

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Perspective Part Two

Building Block #1: A Scale aka Drama-mometer

On my fortieth birthday, I had a kidney stone. Forty was not the new thirty for me. It was miserable . . . blew my “stubbed toe might be the most significant pain” theory right out of the water. Since then, I’ve heard from many women that one teeny kidney stone causes more pain than natural childbirth. I now have a new understanding of those little scales they hang up in the ER. You’ve seen them. They’re numbered 1–10 and have a little happy face on the left side at 1 . . . and a miserable face at 10 on the right. I wish every home had a similar pain assessment tool for girls...

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Perspective Part One

We are only 5 days away from the release of "Are My Kids on Track?" Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? We are so excited to share this new parenting resource with each of you! Nashville, we would love to see you, on Tuesday night, February 14, at the book release party! It will be from 6-9pm, at K. McCarthy, in Green Hills.  There will be book signing, festive treats, holiday shopping, and give-aways!

Today, we hear from Sissy, in the book on Girls and Perspective.  This will be a two-part series so tune in next week for the second half...

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Are My Kids on Track: Boys & Emotions

For the next several weeks, we are excited to share some ideas from our upcoming book, Are My Kids on Track?   We'll be looking at some important emotional, social and spiritual milestones we want to help our kids progress toward.  We'll start today with a conversation about boys and emotions.   

It feels important to first dispel a myth about boys and emotions. The myth is girls have more emotions than boys. That couldn’t be farther from the truth... 

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Technology Tuesday: New Year, New Media Plans for Your Family

The New Year has started and we’re gearing up for lots of things at Raising Boys and Girls.  We’ll be continuing our blog, with Technology Tuesdays and parenting tips.  We’re coming out on the road to hopefully get to meet YOU at one of our parenting events! We’re having lots of fun and giveaways on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.  We are most excited about the launch of our new book coming out NEXT WEEK...

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Technology Tuesday: App Alert - Monogram Lite

It’s amazing how easily our kids can find their way to content we don’t want them to see.  We can’t say enough how important it is that we check out what they’re wanting to install on their phones and gadgets…and not just glance at, but really explore.

A mom came up to me at a recent conference warning me about an app called Monogram Lite.  She said her daughter downloaded it and it appeared harmless.  Basically, it’s an app that lets you put your monogram on different designs and images…

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Girls, Boys & Empathy

How can I help my kids learn to be more empathetic?

Girls can be, by nature, very empathetic.  They are highly intuitive and relational creatures.  When we were writing Raising Girls, we heard story after story of girls who were in tune and responsive to the needs of others around them.  You’ve seen it yourself.  Your daughter is running toward the soccer goal kicking the ball.  Her friend falls down behind her.  What does she do?  She forgets the ball and goes back to help her friend.  However, the closer they get toward adolescence, the more these girls also evolve into narcissistic creatures.

What can you do?  How can you help instill empathy now and maintain it through the turbulent teen years...

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Technology Tuesday: Asterisks and Affection

“I wasn’t sure how I could help, but what I really wanted to do was hug him.”

But not just hug—it was more like *hug*.  

“What does the asterisk mean?”

“It’s when the role play starts.  I wanted to hug him, so when I typed asterisks, it was like I virtually hugged him.  And then things took a bad turn from there..."

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How Does Your Child Feel About Shots?

In the past, we’ve talked about anxiety and kids on several different occasions.  Kids can have anxiety around all manner of issues, from going to school to spending the night out to shots.  In fact, shots are one we see many kids (and adults) struggle with consistently.  If your child has trouble with shots and those dreaded vaccinations are looming on the horizon, check out this article...

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Technology Tuesday: Disney Circle

When we’re teaching on Taming the Technology Monster, one of the most common questions is…so what do we do? Thankfully, there are many great programs out now to help safeguard our kids’ hearts and minds when it comes to Technology.  We try to write about them regularly on Technology Tuesday’s!  

The issue with filters and monitoring services is wanting something that can take the hassle out of it for you.  It’s just hard to find time to be on top of technology, while the kids around us seem to find all of the time in the world.  So, we do our best to take the guesswork out of it at raisingboysandgirls.com and help you find your way to helpful, safe, user-friendly platforms to protect your home and family...

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Facilitating Christmas

I am surprised every year as I talk to children of all ages around the holidays about how they do and don’t experience Christmas.  I’m surprised about the entitlement that has swept through the culture of children today.  But I’m not surprised about how the two correlate.

First of all, we believe it is very important for your family to be about giving this season.  We think it is a fantastic opportunity for kids to be a part of what Christmas looks like walked out…at soup kitchens, sponsoring and buying gifts for a family...

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