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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Teens Life

Perhaps all of this electronic gadgetry has you concerned and you are wondering just how you can extract your teen and involve them in an outside activity where they can expand their minds and refresh their bodies. Are you out of ideas? Let’s look at some options that may appeal to them and remove the worry from you.

Work on the Car

So, you think that a car isn’t a kid magnet as much as when you first learned how to drive? Think again. Today, kids arepimping their rides and expressing themselves through their cars. Custom paint, decals, blacked out windows, even faux aircraft wings are being attached to the outside of their cars. On the inside, it can be totally surreal: rear view mirrors wrapped with a studded belts, frilly seat cover trim, pushpin art attached to the headliner, decals everywhere, etc. Let them pimp your Camry or Explorer…that’ll keep them off the computer…and getyounoticed too!

Volunteer

Help your teen organize a group of his or her friends to clean up the neighborhood, paint an elderly neighbor’s house, teach younger kids how to ride bikes, or visit folks at the local nursing home. You remember when you were a teen and you heard the comments from your parent’s generation about kids not wanting to do anything or being “no good,” right? With a little direction, young people can do just about anything and are more than willing to help out if you believe in them. Rewards are nice too…be prepared to throw a pizza party after their time of service is over for the day.

Get a Job

Kids who hold a job while going to school learn how to handle their money and budget their time. Limit work hours to fewer than 20 per week to ensure that their grades are not adversely affected. If your student is involved in extracurricular activities too, make sure that this time is included with the hours that they work. Maintaining good grades is essential, no job or outside activity is worth it if it takes away from their schooling.

In all cases, show your teen that you believe in him or her. As you know, parenting is much more than providing for their needs…you want to guide your child from youth toward adulthood by showing them that there is much more to life than all things electronic. So, gently disconnect your teen and get them involved with other pursuits.

How Do Internet Predators Select their Victims?

# Almost by definition, internet predators favor children who have regular (and private) access to a computer. Most victims live in suburban or rural areas while relatively few live in inner cities.

# Internet predators gravitate towards children who are online for lengthy periods of time each day, and usually at the same time of day. Predators seek children whose schedules mesh with their own, children who are online most days during a consistent time frame. Think about it… predators have little chance to groom a child for future exploitation if that child is rarely online or is online at various times of the day. Children who do not have a lot of activities outside of school tend to be online longer and at the same times of day compared to those children who have lots of activities. These children are more often targeted by internet predators.

# Internet predators prefer children who have instant message accounts. Although some predators use email, many prefer communicating with their victims through instant messages. Predators know that while emails are saved automatically and have to be manually deleted, instant messages tend to evaporate into the ether once the instant message window is closed. Parents can keep a permanent record of instant message conversations by installing instant message monitoring software on their children’s computers.

# Internet predators search out children who will speak to them. Again this seems self-evident, but predators are forced to pass over children who refuse to communicate with strangers they have not met offline. Teach your children never to communicate online with someone they have not met offline.

# Internet predators search out children who are vulnerable and lonely, sheltered and naive. Predators seek to develop a relationship with their targets, often posing as children or teenagers themselves, and then use that relationship to initiate sexual discussion and activity or lure the child into an offline meeting.

# Internet predators are all the more emboldened if they find out a child is from a single parent family, having trouble at school or with the law, or has been experimenting with drugs, alcohol or sexual activity.

# Internet predators search out children who post personal profiles on the internet, especially those that provide name, age, photos, gender, physical description, telephone number, address, etc.

# Internet predators favor targets who own webcams or digital cameras. Predators often coerce children into using these devices to send images of themselves to the predator. If a child does not own a camera, predators sometimes send one to their targets for the purpose of photographing themselves.

# To be successful, internet predators require children who will not terminate the relationship at the first suggestion of sexual activity. Even if a vulnerable child with few friends is uncomfortable with sexual talk, they will sometimes put up with the unpleasantness of the conversation for fear of losing their new “friend”.

# Internet predators seem to favor victims between the ages of 12-15. These are the ages where children are discovering their own sexuality and independence, and also the ages where they are most likely to be conned into meeting with a stranger without telling their parents. Younger and older children are also solicited, but as a whole tend to be harder targets.

 

Show Your Kids How Much You Care with These Tips

LISTEN. This is so easy to do, yet so many of us have such a hard time with it. Drop what you are doing, look your child in the eye and really hear what they have to say.

Repeat what they said with a reflective statement such as: “I can tell that this is a big concern to you.” Rephrase what they said back to them, so they know you actually heard what they are saying.

Young children, when upset, need to know they have been heard. Most of the time, this is all it takes and then the crisis is over and they are on to something else.

Keep ROUTINE and STRUCTURE in your child’s day. Even grownups benefit from knowing what comes next, and not living in a chaotic time schedule.

On the same wavelength as routine and structure comes environment. Just having a CLEAN and ORGANIZED HOME is a simple way to show them they are important and you want them to stay safe and healthy.

a) When the housework is starting to wear on your nerves, just say a prayer of thanks that you have those beautiful children to clean up after. Stop and think of the grieving parent who has lost a child who would gladly trade places with you.

Apologize when you make a mistake. It is a great way to teach respect to your child, to be able to acknowledge when you are wrong.

You not only show them that no one has to be perfect all the time, you show them that you care about how they feel. When you make a mistake and tell your child you are sorry, you can teach them the value of forgiving others.

Children are very resilient and will learn forgiveness quickly when it involves their own parent.

Share and CELEBRATE their accomplishments. Make a big deal out of great progress report.

My daughter had problems in 5th grade getting her homework done and turned in. It was an ongoing problem. When she received her first progress report from middle school, she had highlighted the big 0 that was marked in the missing assignment section.

She was so proud that she had improved in that area. The report was to be returned after being signed by me, so I copied it with my scanner and put it up on the wall.

I wanted her to know that she had every right to be proud. It was a simple gesture on my part and it left her beaming.

It’s these little things that go a long way in making a lasting impression in your children’s minds.

Watch what you say and how you say it. Especially be careful of your choice of words when you are angry. It is in times of anger when words spoken can sometimes be hard to take back. Also remember that parental words spoken in anger can leave the biggest bruises on a child’s psyche and self-esteem.

These are just some very simple, completely free ways we can show are children we love them. They don’t cost even a penny, just a little time and thought on our part as parents.

Oh yes, and it goes without saying, hug and touch them often, if it is nothing more than a pat on the back or tousling their hair. Touch is a way you can say “I love you” without speaking a word.