Technology Tuesday: Spring Break Technology Sabbath

Whenever we speak about technology to parents, we stress the importance of taking Technology Sabbaths...  If we’re going to teach the kids we love to unplug, we need to do so, as well.  We have families at Daystar who are taking technology-free spring breaks…or even a day or two technology-free on their spring breaks.  We also have parents who purposely go on trips where WiFi isn’t available or doesn’t work so well…might just be a thought for future family trips!

I was with a group of high school girls this week talking about their spring breaks, and the subject of social media came up.  They quickly started talking about how hard it can be, seeing all the photos of friends in glamorous locations, often together, and looking perfectly...

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Courage and Kids

How do I help my kids be more courageous?

“And though she be but little, she is fierce.”        

                        William Shakespeare

This quote immediately makes me think of Lucy from Narnia.  And, when I (Sissy) think of Lucy, the first picture I have of her in my mind is of her standing on the bridge in the film Prince Caspian, facing an entire army of foes, holding only a simple dagger.  And, of course, Aslan is by her side.

Just previous to this scene, however, there’s a scene that takes place where Lucy and Aslan are talking...  

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Reciprocity, Part 2

Building Block #1: Listening

Girls and listening can be a tricky combination . . . at every age. Last summer, I was sitting by a pool when I heard two young girls talking loudly next to me. “I have an idea,” one yelled excitedly. “Let’s pretend like we’re dolphins and swim all of the way across the pool!” The other one quickly shouted back, “I have an idea! Let’s act like we’re fish and swim to the other side!” Both girls basically had the same idea. But bossiness, aka competition, won the day, and neither girl listened to the other. Bossiness makes reciprocity particularly challenging for elementary school aged girls. But they are capable. They are in middle and high school, as well . . .

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Reciprocity, Part 1

Let’s talk about tennis. I (Sissy) am not sure if you’ve ever played. I have quite a bit. Not well, but quite a bit. I spent lots of hours and lots of my parents’ well-earned money growing up in tennis lessons. Somehow, my ball always seemed to end up in the next court over rather than my own. But I played enough to learn the basics. And the basics of tennis are the primary analogy I use in my office to teach girls about reciprocity.

If you’ve never played, let me fill you in. I (try to) serve the ball to you. You see my ball and hit it back to me. I see the ball and (hopefully) hit it back to you. And so on and so forth. That’s what tennis lessons will get you. It’s...

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Technology Tuesday: Mommin' Ain't Easy Podcast - Episode #22

Sissy and David had a BLAST recording an episode of the awesome podcast Mommin' Ain't Easy with their new friends, Jennifer and Courtney! On it, we talk about everything from the emotional and social milestones kids need to reach to our numbers on the enneagram and more! Check out their podcast...we know you’ll enjoy them as much as we do! 

You can find them on Instagram or Facebook.  And, if you haven't grabbed a copy of "Are My Kids on Track?" you can get yours here.

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How Can I Help My Kids Stop Lying?

“Honey, why are you sitting under the dining room table eating an entire cake?” a mom told me she had to ask her five year-old daughter in the middle of the night.  “Satan woke me up and told me to come eat it, Mommy!”

All children experiment at some point with lying.  Don’t worry, when yours does. She needs firm, consistent boundaries, no matter how cute she is or entertaining her lies are, like the girl in the previous story.  She needs consequences every time... 

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How to Help Kids in Light of the News Today

A CBS News article today said there have been at least 11 school shootings in the U.S. since January 1.  And the one that happened yesterday was very close to our community here at Daystar, with our camp being an hour or so away, and Melissa having her first youth director job at Calvert City, Kentucky.  With at least 11 this month only, the likelihood is that one has been close to your community, as well.

What do we do?  How do we love and protect the kids we love so dearly?  What do we say, in light of such tragedy, especially tragedy that was perpetrated by someone close to their age...

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Technology Tuesday: #waituntil8th

We get asked at every parenting seminar, in every school and church where we speak.  “When is the right age to give kids a cell phone...?”  

We recently heard about a new trend that is sweeping the country, and will undoubtedly be a part of our answer from here on out.  It’s called #waituntil8th and is for parents who feel concerned about the effects of smartphones on the kids they love.  One such mom in Austin, TX started the movement...

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Tracking Through the Ages

We recently spoke in Mobile, AL, for our third time at the yearly Parent Summit held at Spring Hill Baptist Church.  Over the years, we’ve developed some sweet friendships with the church staff and members.  Our friend, Erica Holloway, the children’s minister, wrote these words to introduce the Are My Kids On Track conference.  They made us laugh and tear up as we thought about all of you.  We wanted to share them with you to remind you that we get it.  There is SO much on a daily basis...  

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Technology Tuesday: To Siri With Love

Last month, we were teaching our class called Taming the Technology Monster.  As always, by the time I finished talking, the parents in the room looked stricken.  It’s probably the most alarming issue for parents of all ages in this technology-saturated world.  One woman raised her hand and said, “I’m a mom of littles and you’ve sufficiently terrified me.  Can you tell me one thing that technology has done for good in the lives of our kids?”

There are a lot of things.  We are big fans of Common Sense Media and the Empathy and Social Skills building apps you can find there for kids... 

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Technology Tuesday: Should I Help My Teenager Have Social Media?

Our 13-year old son just got his first phone, and he does not have any social media accounts. He’s not interested in opening any - but lots of his friends have them.

Last week, 1500 miles north of us in a different state, a 17 year-old friend of ours (who also does not have social media) discovered that some girls had created a fake Snapchat account under her name, and started posting very distasteful, false photos of a girl they claimed was her...

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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…

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Technology Tuesday: Do Not Disturb While Driving

Have you updated your iPhone to iOS11?  If so, you might have noticed that your screen goes dark and displays a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” message.  It’s one of the features of Apple’s newest operating system, and one that can be REALLY helpful in the lives of the kids we love.  

When this feature is turned on, your iPhones stays silent if you receive a text.  The sender, however, will receive an automatic reply that lets them know you’re driving... 

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Instilling Gratitude in Kids

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Raising Boys and Girls!! Today, in honor of Thanksgiving, we wanted to share an excerpt on gratitude, from one of our books, Modern Parents, Vintage Values..., written by Melissa & Sissy.

What It Looks Like

In Mark 10:13-16, Jesus calls a child up to him from the crowd.  He calls and the child comes.  In other words, the child responds.  But, first, he must have seen and heard Jesus...  

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Technology Tuesday: Juul-the New E-cig Disguised as a Flash Drive

“I saw a guy drop his Juul the other day.  The teacher picked it up and handed it back to him, thinking it was a flash drive.”

One of the high school students in a group counseling session told us this story just last week.  And then every one of them went on to talk about the kids in their classes who were bringing their Juuls to school and using them in class...  

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Technology Tuesday: Decoding the Teenage Code Language

Are you doing your best to keep up with your kids’ texts, but only able to understand a word or two inserted in between cryptic emojis?  Welcome to the world of teenagers today.  They use Acronyms and Emojis to communicate more than words these days.  And, as typically happens, we’re often behind the 🎱 

So, I sat with some teenage girls recently to decode their codes.  I asked them about the slang words they’re using lately, the acronyms, and the emojis.  Buckle up for their answers…

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Planting Pansies

I love pansies.  Several years ago, I had an encounter with a few pansies that changed my perspective.  

It was a fall day a lot like today, and I was out for a walk with a dear friend.  As we were walking, of course, we were talking.  I think we were talking about something painful in one of our lives…and how hard it is to understand sometimes, and how to keep moving in the midst.  And then I saw the pansies...

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