A Great (and Protective) Resource for Parents of Young Children: God Made All of Me

In our book, Modern Parents, Vintage Values, we talk about the issue of “stranger danger.”  It comes up regularly during the Q&A portion of parenting seminars.  Suffice it to say stranger danger doesn’t help.  What does help is empowering kids.  It helps to, with great warmth and strength, help them know what to do when they’re afraid or uncomfortable…and exactly how to do it.

God Made All of Me does a beautiful job empowering kids to do just that.  It, in a very approachable and age-appropriate way explains sexual abuse to kids.  It gives them words and actions to use any time they’re confronted with something or someone that makes them feel uncomfortable...  

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Part 2 of Friendships 101

I believe that you, as a parent, can employ some principles that can provide a ballast for your child—and yourself to navigate these turbulent waters of friendships.

  • Remember that you’ve already made it through your school-age years.  When your child is in pain, it will often trigger the very same pain you experienced when you were the same age.  Being left out or rejected can take us back so quickly that it can be hard to know if the pain we feel is really about our children—or about us.  Be aware of what’s stirring inside you, as Melissa Trevathan talks about so beautifully in our DVD Curriculum, Raising Boys and Girls.   You can be empathetic and compassion to their feelings, but remember they are most importantly that—their feelings.
  • Remember that children are learning what being a friend means.  They won’t immediately know what a kind response looks like, how to be inclusive, or what it means to forgive...
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Friendship 101: Helping Our Kids Navigate the Ups and Downs of Childhood Companionship

She wore hi-top converse tennis shoes that were green on one side and red and white striped on the other.  And not just at Christmas time.  As a matter of fact, this 2nd grader named Bailey wore the same pair of tennis shoes every week for our counseling sessions.  Her mom brought her in to see me because Bailey was showing some signs of anxiety.  She was often teary at bedtime.  She had frequent stomachaches.  She would pepper her mom with questions every time she left the house, “Where are you going?  When will you be home?  Who are you going with?  What will you be doing?  WHEN will you be home?”  Her mom had rightfully become worried and wanted help.

As Bailey and I talked, I started to understand the root of her anxiety.  You may have guessed it:  friends.  Bailey didn’t feel like she fit in.  She described herself as “different”, and even “weird.”  The girls Bailey wanted to be friends with didn’t seem to want to be friends with her.  And Bailey was struggling...

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Technology Tuesday: How Much Screen Time Is Too Much?

We’ve long known the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation of how children two and under shouldn’t have exposure to screens.   The AAP has tinkered with its recommendations, gathering a panel of experts and issuing new guidelines for parenting in the age of Technology.  We’d recommend reviewing the following guidelines as you are setting healthy parameters for your kids...  

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Technology Tuesday: Best Apps for Toddlers

Our most common questions at parenting seminars today revolve around one thing:  technology.  It doesn’t matter if the child is 2 or 12, we’re often at a loss as to how to best use tech to our advantage and NOT let it play to the disadvantages of our child.  Thankfully, a host of other folks are in the same business—from common sense media to parenting.com.  

The bottom line is that we want to start early.  We want to have boundaries around our kids’ screen time and use it to equip kids to learn to live responsibly in what will increasingly become an even more technology-driven world... 

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New School Year. New Priorities.

A new school year gives us a new chance to re-evaluate our priorities.  

What do you want your time to look like as a family this year?

What do you want your goals to be together?  

In Intentional Parenting, David has a fantastic section on family mission statements in Chapter 1 I would wholeheartedly recommend.

How much technology do you want to include in your family mission statement for the year?  How much screen time versus how much outside time?  How much time do you want them stretching their brains and muscles in ways they can’t find with an ac adaptor?  Research says...

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Raising Kids for Adulthood

At a parenting workshop I attended many years ago, the leader asked us to write down our goals and hopes for our children as they grow up. What would we like to see for them at age 21?

It was a heartwarming experience to imagine our children on the verge of being launched, all full of glowing potential without the messy inconvenience of reality mucking up the fantasy.  My list was filled with lofty goals—that they would understand our strengths and limitations, that they would have a spirit of service toward others, and so forth.  (Later, I asked Robert what he would wish for our children- what success would look like at age 21. Without hesitation, he said...

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Why are American Kids So Spoiled?

An interesting article from The New Yorker discusses the reasons behind why our children might be acting out in their narsassistic ways...  Do any of these scenes sound familiar? 

"A father asked his eight-year-old son five times to please go take a bath or a shower. After the fifth plea went unheeded, the father picked the boy up and carried him into the bathroom. A few minutes later, the kid, still unwashed, wandered into another room to play a video game. 

In another representative encounter, an eight-year-old girl sat down at the dining table. Finding that no silverware had been laid out for her, she demanded, “How am I supposed to eat?” Although the girl clearly knew where the silverware was kept, her father got up to get it for her...

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Technology Tuesday: Social Media Age Restrictions

One of the most frequent questions we get from parents is, “When should I let my child start using social media?”  The very apps that children are asking for have answers in their age restrictions.  They came up with those ages for a reason.  But, because of peer pressure—“everyone else is already doing it”—kind of pressure, they and we give in. 

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Technology Tuesday: Kids and Pornography

Any parent who has read any of our content on development or heard us speak know that we believe in the importance of talking with kids early and often about their bodies and sexuality.  Read further for another quick reminder of this and a great script we can offer our kids.

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Technology Tuesday: Happy (and Safe) Apps for Kids

After a recent Technology Tuesday called, “Is Your Teen Sexting?”, we heard from our favorite parent who we regularly make panic.  One of us also happens to counsel her daughter.  She said, “Oh, no.  Another Technology Tuesday.  I can’t even look.  I’ll just ask you.  Is my teen sexting?”

We know…these Technology Tuesdays can cause even the strongest-hearted parent (like our friend) to become a little weak in the knees.  So, we want to keep Technology Tuesdays a happy place, too.... Continue Reading

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Technology Tuesday: Common Sense Media PSA

You know we love the folks over at Common Sense Media.  They are making all things technology easier for all of us.  Here’s a fun reminder they put together of why it’s important to know what our kids are seeing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYGsmDtVlJY&list=PL1YCGfBa9BUZwHbpq8nsPLuJo5Ub8pmFQ 

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Parenting the Wholehearted Child

We have a new friend.  Her name is Jeannie Cunnion.  I actually inadvertently invited myself to her home outside of New York.  Long story short, but my grandmother would be humiliated.  A mutual friend mentioned a trip where we could all get together in person, after just introducing us and jokingly said New York.  I jumped on board talking about how much I’ve been wanting to see the musical, Motown—with no idea that Jeannie lived in the area.  When she graciously offered her home, I was humiliated.  But, a new friendship was born. 

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Technology Tuesday: Kringl....A 'Won't Believe It 'til You See It' App This Christmas!

Okay…we’ll admit it.  Many of our Technology Tuesday’s are a little scary.  They’re filled with app alerts and statistics on all that your children are being exposed to.  They’re enough to make even Santa’s cheeks turn red.

But this one is different!  It’s one of our favorite Technology Tuesday’s to date!  We recently heard about an app called Kringl.  It’s free on the app store.  And it is one where you film your living room and this magical app sets Santa right in the middle of your video…

 

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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, anything where they get to experience, not just hear the true meaning of Christmas. Continue Reading

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Gratitude

Research supports the benefits of gratitude.  We know it affects our happiness and our health.   Studies continue to link gratitude with life satisfaction.  How can we move our kids away from entitlement and more toward gratitude.  Here are three reminders to keep you moving in that direction.

1.     Model and Teach Gratitude.  Have a set aside time (dinner or bed-time) where family members share something from the day that they are grateful took place or are thankful to have.

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