Technology Tuesday: Headspace

A big part of the work we do at Daystar is coaching kids on how to calm their brains and bodies.  If a child is struggling with anxiety or anger, ADHD or depression, social struggles or strong emotions, learning to regulate is a foundational skill. We teach kids how to get from their “Dinosaur Brain” back to their thinking brain - the part of the brain that allows us all to manage emotions and think rationally.

Learning this allows kids to navigate test anxiety, homework hurdles, sibling rivalry, friendship struggles, game day jitters…

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Talking with Teenagers: Big Decisions & Big Questions

As I’m writing this, I’ve talked to multiple kids in the last few weeks who have had to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives:  where they’ll go to college.  But, ultimately, there are big decisions for the adolescents we love to make often.  Will she take AP or regular classes?  Will he apply for Governor’s School?  What clubs will she join?  Which friends will he choose?  And then, of course, there are the big decisions we hope that will involve a lot of “No’s” to the culture around them, and a lot of “Yes’s” to God.

How can we help?  The first thing, maybe the most important thing to remember…

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How do I Help My Daughter/Son Develop Healthy Friendships?

Just like girls develop physically and mentally, they also develop socially. (Boys do, too…although their social development looks a little different than girls. We’ll let David tackle that one!)

As they develop, I believe there are a few important truths to instill in them across the ages. But, keep in mind, it is normal for their focus to shift from you…to having a best friend…

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Talking with Teenagers about Relationships

Relationships are foundational for teenagers.  They can bring your adolescent son or daughter more happiness—and more sorrow—than almost anything in their lives in these years.  They have profound power.  We want the teenagers we love to have friends who encourage them, speak truth into their lives, and help them be the best versions of themselves.  If they date at some point while they still live under our roofs, we want those relationships to bring the same…

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Technology Tuesday: Bendy and the Ink Machine

The primary reason we have Technology Tuesday’s is to keep you educated. The kids keep us educated, when it comes to technology. We’re often behind the 8 ball…much to our dismay, and sadly, at times, to the detriment of the kids we love. Just this week, we received an email from a dear friend who is a counselor at a school, to tell us of the latest game she’s been hearing kids talk about at her school.

The name of the game is Bendy and the Ink Machine. It looks harmless enough…as so many of them do. It’s available as a game for almost every platform out there—from iOS to Android to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and, basically, wherever your child…

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Kids & Consequences

Nothing seems to work as far as consequences for my kids.  Help!

Consequences with girls are tricky.  First of all, girls are manipulative.  Second, they’re smart.  And third, they’re manipulative.  They’ll find any way to beat the system, if they can…especially girls that are later in the birth order.  When it comes to consequences, I believe the three most important ideas are...

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Technology Tuesday: The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast - Healthy Parenting

David recently had the privilege of being a guest on The Open Door Sisterhood podcast with “longtime friends and authors” Krista Gilbert and Alexandra Kuykendall. Here’s what they had to say about the episode.

“Is parenting in this day and age difficult? Well, let’s start with the statistic that, currently, in the U.S. we have the highest numbers of anxiety in kids than any other time in history. Anxiety, along with depression are at a peak point. According to the CDC, the suicide rate is triple what it was in 2000. Substance abuse? Loneliness? All on the rise...

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Family Experiment: Cell Phones

Those of you who follow us know we enjoy a good “family experiment” -something you can do together with your kids, that supports connection, generates conversation and develops critical thinking. 

Here’s a short video to watch with your kids who have a cell phone.  Have some conversation after you watch the video, and be sure to listen for what your kids have to say before you share your opinion or observations.   

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Technology Tuesday: A Boy and his Video Games

We love introducing you to our amazing staff at Daystar.  We happen to believe we work with the most talented, invested, passionate group of folks, who have such a heart for kids and families. They are a huge part of why we love the work we do so much.  Getting to work alongside such amazing people (and dogs!) makes the meaningful work we do even more extraordinary. Today we’re excited to introduce you to Alex Hopkins.  Alex does amazing work with boys of all ages. One of his many talents includes integrating play therapy into the work he does with children and families.  He sees boys on an individual basis, and leads some wonderful groups with elementary aged boys all the way through high school.  

Today he shares some needed thoughts on navigating the world of video games, and some insight on what gaming accomplishes for boys…

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Talking With Teenagers: Inspiring Social Justice in the Adolescent You Love

It is in a teenager’s bones to want to take risks.  The more we help them find their way to appropriate risk-taking behavior, the less likely they are to… engage in unhealthy risk-taking behavior.  Social justice is one way that many teenagers I know take healthy—and even hopeful kinds of risks.  I see teenage boys who coach sports for underprivileged children.  I know adolescent girls who go on mission trips every spring and summer, to countries and children they’ve taken to heart.  I have one teenage girl I counsel who is committed to spending her senior year doing all she can to change the culture of her school by…

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Technology Tuesday: Using Technology to Jumpstart Gratitude

As much as technology feels like a beast we’re trying to tame, we’re wanting to identify ways we can make it work for us.  And ways our kids can use it for good.

 
One of those ways can be to create a Gratitude Album.  I challenge many of the adolescents I work with to create this on their phone.  I encourage younger kids to build this on an ipad of their own, or…

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How Can I Help My Son or Daughter Find Balance?

How do I help my daughter find balance?

Psychologist Leonard Sax says, “More and more boys are developing an epicurean ability to enjoy themselves—to enjoy video games, pornography, food and sleep—but they often don’t have the drive and motivation to succeed in the real world… outside their bedroom. More and more of their sisters have that drive and motivation in abundance—but they don’t know how to relax, have fun and enjoy life.”1

Girls feel a tremendous amount of pressure. They feel pressure to make good grades, to make good friends, to appear kind, and fun and strong and independent and responsible and brave, and pretty…all at the same time. And, what I hear in my office…

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Technology Tuesday: Are Teens Who Spend Less Time In Front of Screens Happier?

We’ve long suspected there to be a correlation between screen use and happiness.  We now have our hands on even more data to confirm an adolescent’s psychological well-being decreases the more hours they spend on screens.   The newest findings align with previous studies linking frequent screen use to teenage anxiety and depression.  

We’d strongly recommend you spend a few minutes reading about the findings from this recent study.  Take a close look at…

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Talking With Teenagers

With parents of teenagers, I have two words I repeat over and over in my counseling office:  empathy and questions.  Basically, we talk at teenagers way too much.  We lecture more than have conversations.  And conversations are honestly what they need most.  Conversations help them connect the dots, rather than us connecting the dots for them.  And our dots won’t lead them into adulthood or carry them into college.  They need to learn…

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Technology Tuesday: Parent Cue Live Podcast #87

We love any chance we have to partner with the folks at Parent Cue and Orange! On this week’s Technology Tuesday, Sissy is featured on their Parent Cue Live Podcast, talking about “What to do when kids are mean.” On it, she talks about bullying online and in real life, as well as the magic formula of strength and kindness. She also gives us practical ideas on how to help our kids recognize and strengthen the real friendships in their lives. You can listen here.

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Are My Kids On Track: Helping Kids Discover a Spiritual Foundation

We are good parents, loving parents, parents of the highest intention and unyielding commitment. Our conversations tend to focus on how we can prepare our children to be successful in school or on the team, or about their academic or other accomplishments. We care about their social lives, from playdates to prom dates, and we coach them day to day with hopes that they’ll make good friends, get along with their peers, and step up to do the right thing when the moment calls for leadership. We want them to be emotionally hardy and resilient, to know happiness and…

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Are My Kids On Track: Helping Kids Discover Meaning

Teenagers are always up for an adventure. In fact, being a teenager is all about adventure . . . risk-taking, thrill-seeking, pushing the edges of the envelope. At least it is, in their minds . . . and maybe even literally in the wiring of their brains. But, we’ll come back to idea that a little later.

It’s the adventure first . . . or it’s what they think of as adventure. One teenager told me that she struggled with her life because it wasn’t what high school was “supposed” to look like. According to today’s media, teenagers are “supposed” to be sitting in hotel bars, drinking underage, trying to find out which friend murdered another and deciding which zombie or vampire is…

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