How are you doing with the school season starting up again?
You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about kids’ behaviors because they’re definitely different than when you and I were growing up. I mean…they don’t do much outside!
That’s so weird to me. I actually kicked my two teens out of the house for an hour hoping they would take a walk or come up with some type of activity to spend the hour.
Do you know what they did?
THEY SAT AT THE FRONT DOOR. THE. ENTIRE. HOUR!
Can you believe that?!
And, YES! I took their devices.
You see, studies show that being outside for at least 15 minutes around nature helps increase high energy and reduces depression, anxiety, and many other negative mental health effects.
Kids are spending too much time indoors, particularly in their bedrooms. Without having exposure to natural vitamin D (sunlight) and mixing that with always being in front of a screen, kids are more prone to developing...
Kids are more in tune with world affairs than you might realize. As a matter of fact, there has been a rise in minors using Twitter to keep up with the news.
While it’s great that they’re interested in staying up to date, kids can get more and more anxious and fearful.
So, although they might seem ok or unphased about what’s going on, start asking questions. The first thing you want to know is how much they know.
Before you start this conversation with them, consider a game plan. You might be surprised about what they could tell you.
First of all, ask open-ended questions. Example: What have your friends been sharing about the conflict in Ukraine? How do you and your friends feel about the school shootings in the U.S.?
Validate their feelings. Kids have a right to feel what they feel because their emotions are real to them.
Answer their questions with the truth. When you do this, adjust your language...
When my kids were around 10 years old, they started asking for a smartphone. Specifically, for an iPhone.
They did what all kids do. They were consistent with asking.
My older daughter even wrote me a letter stating all of the reasons why she NEEDED to have one.
She made promises and tried to convince me that she would be the happiest child in the world if she had a phone.
I said NO.
My intent was to keep them off social media and overall off the internet as much and as long as possible. But, their schools kept gearing them to use online tools for them to do their homework and projects.
That frustrated me and it didn’t help me.
But I persisted and continued to educate myself in case I was being unreasonable.
As they got older they earned the privilege to use it. But, it was not without a lot of discussions and even a contract. That contract included an agreement about how to use it, what to report, and that they would...
If you have been carrying pain caused by someone that you just can't get yourself to forgive, keep reading.
I have been reading about forgiveness in Jen Sincero’s book, “You Are a Badass”, which prompted me to think about my own hardship trying to forgive people who have deeply hurt me.
I don’t think there is a single person in the world that can say they’ve never been hurt by someone at an emotional level. The impacts of the pain we feel vary and some are so painful that it alters the way we navigate the world and how we behave with others.
For example, I’ve been hurt by being betrayed by some of the people I thought would never do that to me. So, for years, I didn’t allow myself to trust people. I would go as far as 80, maybe 90 percent, but no more.
It was a way of protecting myself and to be honest, it was out of fear. I’d always heard that forgiving was for ourselves, not for the other person.
The thing is...
What were your beliefs about a bully when you were in school? I’ll be honest. Until I began doing research on bullying, I thought that kids who were bullies didn’t weren’t being parented well.
I know! Judgy!
I thought that they were just acting like either their parents or perhaps an older sibling or family member. A lot of people still think of bullies this way and you know, society overall tends to be very judgy about parents and kids.
I thought that bullies were just bad kids who loved making people like me miserable.
But, no one ever had a conversation with me about bullying or bullies at all.
The truth is that kids who bully are just kids who have not been taught how to deal with their emotions. Now, I’m not going to tell you that all kids who bully decide to target people for the same reason.
There are many motivators for bullies to do what they do. But right now, I want to talk about what you should do if your child is a...
How much do you know about cyberbullying?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “cyberbullying” was first used in 1998 and is defined as “the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person. In other words, cyberbullying is the act of bullying anywhere online. Our use of the web leaves digital footprints that can be tracked by people who know how to follow a footprint.
That’s why you might have heard of some celebrities getting canceled for having posted terrible things during the early age of the internet.
With time and the advancement of technology, cyberbullying has increased, but the protection laws for cyberbullying (as well as other forms of bullying) have not caught up with it.
Cyberbullying is bullying online. The acts are repeated and aimed at shaming, slurring, angering, humiliating, or causing any negative distress to another person. Like bullying, cyberbullying has not been federally defined in...
The practice of eliminating repetitive “sorry” statements might not seem so harmful, or important, but hear me out.
Research finds that women have a lower offense threshold, meaning that they tend to apologize significantly more than men.
This matters a lot because when women don’t say sorry at all or as much, they are perceived as too cold, not nice, b*!chy, or bossy.
Always saying sorry is also used as a way to deflect tension and awkwardness and it is also used as a way to show uncertainty or self-doubt.
Most importantly, when people overuse the word “sorry”, really apologies come off as insincere or meaningless.
Eliminating this habit will help you become more assertive, develop a strong voice and increase your confidence. On a bigger scale, you will help change society’s view of what assertive women are like, and believe it or not, this helps us get closer to being treated equally.
So, here are some examples of how...
It’s been a heavy week, hasn’t it?
There were several shootings this week, but the one that’s been highlighted the most is the one in Uvalde, Texas.
I have to be honest. I have been avoiding reading or listening to a lot of it because my emotional bandwidth just can’t take it right now. That doesn’t mean I don’t care. I certainly do. But, I have to limit my consumption of things that I am aware will be too much to handle at the time.
One thing I've had to do regardless of how I feel is to check in with my kids to find out how they're doing. I know that the answers might not be ideal. I don’t expect them to feel like the world is an amazing place and that they will feel 100 percent safe and secure.
But, I want to make sure that they know I am there for them and that they can ask me any questions.
That’s the job of a parent, right? No matter what is going on, we never stop being there for our kids.
So, I want...
I try to be as involved as possible in my children’s lives. I do not accept short answers when I ask them how their day has gone. I try to have conversations with them to know what’s really been going on in their lives, but it's not always so easy.
They are in their teens and sometimes, sharing about their lives is NOT something they're interested in doing.
Try A Different Approach
Since kids can be really stubborn about opening up, I've had to learn when to leave them alone and when to get them to engage without them realizing that they're doing it.
It has to be subtle and all about them!
For example, this morning, my younger child was very cranky and didn't want to talk. As I drove her to school, I asked her if she knew what was making her feel cranky. Of course, she gave me the usual teen answer, "I dunno".
Since I didn't want her to go off to school feeling down, I started telling her that I imagine that if her favorite stuffed animal...
Most kids NEVER tell an adult that they're being bullied because they try to handle the situation alone or they fear that telling an adult might make matters worse.
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