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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Technology Tuesday: App Alert - House Party

Welcome to a house party in a whole new way!  It’s the new app teenagers have been talking about in my counseling office.  Basically, it’s an app where you can video chat with up to 8 friends at once.  As a side note, while video chatting 8 friends, you can text one (or several) friends in particular.  It’s enough to make your over-30 year-old head spin…but not theirs!

House Party can be an innocent way to connect with multiple friends at once.  But, as always, we want to be educated, as adults, and help the kids we love be informed.  The primary concerns about the House Party app...

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Technology Tuesday: Should my middle schooler have access to Social Media?

This is a question we're asked weekly in our counseling offices. We always recommend having development serve as a backdrop in making the best decisions for the kids and adolescents we love.

This medical professional (and mom of four) wisely coaches us through what's happening with the brain in this stage of development as we make this important decision. Take a look.

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AMKOT - Girls and Resourcefulness Part Two

Building Blocks for Girls and Resourcefulness

I’ve been doing some research lately on my non-resourceful, happily stuck, and perfectionistically paralyzed girls. There are just too many of them, and I want to help. I want to help but don’t want to help more than they want help. What can I do? What can you do with your daughter to build her resourcefulness? Let’s start where resourcefulness typically starts: motivation...

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What Technology Meant for Bad…

I love to hear stories of kids who are using technology for good…to grow their gifts and impact the world in ways God has uniquely gifted them.  I have one high school friend who is doing just that.  Her Instagram account is @thenashvillekid.  Her tagline is “Just a kid showing off Nashville’s best.”  She’s a photographer, an artist, and talented in so many ways that you can see as you scroll through her photos on her Instagram and her website...   

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AMKOT - Girls and Resourcefulness Part One

I believe girls are inherently resourceful.  They’re adventurous and insightful and capable and strong…often much more than we give them credit for.  But, as a counselor for over two decades, I believe that the resourcefulness of girls today is a disappearing commodity.  What’s happening? What’s changing?  And why?  Again, as in many of these milestones, some of it has to do with them…and much of it has to do with those of us who love them... 

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"Are My Kids on Track?" FALL Update

Pat yourself on the back.   Treat yourself to a fancy cup of coffee.  You did it!  

You made it past the first few weeks of school, and that’s not an easy feat.   For all the years we’ve been working with kids and families, we’ve consistently seen how difficult that transition can be for so many kids and parents.  A new teacher, new friends, new routine, new expectations...

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Technology Tuesday: App Alert - Sarahah

Here we go again…a new social media app that is taking the teenage technology world by storm.  And, according to the kids (and parents) who have been talking about it in my office, it’s a pretty sad and hurtful storm.

It’s called Sarahah, which means “honesty” in Arabic.  It was released in June of 2017, and it purports to help you “discover your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner...

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HOPETOWN HIGHLIGHTS #6: BEING A “GREATER” 7TH-8TH GRADER PART TWO

“Do you know how you mess up?  

How do you ask for forgiveness...?

Why do we ask for forgiveness, if He’s forgiven us already?

As one of the 7th-8th graders said, ‘We ask for forgiveness so we acknowledge what we’ve done wrong.’

Or, as Paul said in his letter to the Romans, ‘I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…

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Technology Tuesday: 10 Tech Tips for a Great, Safe School Year

Congratulations!  You’ve officially made the transition from summer to the school year.  Well, you’ve had the first day of school anyway.  We know from our work with kids that transitioning into a new school year takes longer for some kids than others.  We are rooting you on, wherever you may be in the settling into a new school year. 

For many kids and families this also means transitioning to new technology needs based on your child’s school and outside assignments...

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Hopetown Highlights #6: Being a “Greater” 7th-8th Grader Part One

On the first night of 7-8 grade camp, we watched the movie, Greater, on the back of a barn.  It’s one we’d highly recommend watching with your 7-8 graders, or high school kids.  We wouldn’t just recommend it because it’s a movie based on a really amazing guy who happened to be a Razorback (cough, cough, Sissy’s favorite team).  We’d really recommend it because there’s so much to talk about…and so much to glean from this extraordinary man, Brandon Burlsworth, and the way he lived his life.

Brandon was a walk-on for the Razorbacks in the late 90’s.  He worked so hard to not just play, but to persevere, that he was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.  Tragically, he lost his life...

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Technology Tuesday: The Companion App

An App for College Kids…or anyone who might need someone to walk them home...

Over the past month, I’ve seen countless photos on social media of friends dropping their college freshmen off—in cities faraway surrounded by people they hardly know.  I am sure every parent drives off those campuses filled to the brim with lots of hope, and more than a little fear...

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Hopetown Highlights #5: 5th-6th Graders - Superheroes, Super-Conquerors, and Armor-Bearers

What helps you believe you’re incredible?

“Someone listening to me.”

“Someone letting me know how I’m different and special.”

“That God made us just how he wants us.”

“Getting a hug.”

“Praying.”

“Someone smiling at me.”

“Forgiveness.”

“Being thankful.”

“When someone says, ‘I love what you’ve done so far.’”

“When someone knows I’m trying as hard as I can.”

These are the answers the 5-6 graders gave to this question last week at camp.  And, let us say at the outset…these were some pretty incredible kids...

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