Back-to-School Anti-Bullying Strategies

Back-to-School Anti-Bullying Strategies

 

By Courtney Cagle

Going back to school is an exciting (and nervous!) time for both kids and parents. We worry about whether kids will do well in their classes, if they will get along with others, and if they will be friends with “good” kids. And of course, we often worry about bullying–not just face-to-face, but online as well. A recent study showed that more than 20.8% of students say they’re bullied, and even more kids don’t even report the incident (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016).

Here are four steps you can take to help prevent bullying:

  1. Talk to your children about bullying and help them to understand what it really is. Unfortunately, many children don’t know what bullying is because we’ve gotten used to calling every rude behavior “bullying.” How can a child report they are being bullied if they don’t know what bullying is?

Kids need to have a clear understanding of what it means to be bullied and how to stand up to it. The next section provides question to help you discuss the difference between rude or annoying behavior and actual bullying with your kids.

Bullying can be emotional, verbal, physical, or digital. Explain to your children examples of bullying such as persistent name-calling, spreading rumors, teasing, hitting, writing cruel comments, especially anonymously on social media, or anything that is meant to harm or humiliate others  (‘How to Prevent Bullying,’ 2017). (For more guidance on this topic, check out this article: How to Raise a Bully.)

Help your kids understand that they can speak to trusted adults when they are bullied or if they witness others being bullied.

  1. Have meaningful discussions often (daily if possible). Children will often look to their parents or other trusted adults for advice. It’s important for children to know that they can turn to their parents in times of need and that the line of communication is open. This can be done by having basic conversations with your children about how their day went. It’s all about showing concern and love. It’s also important to talk about bullying with your kids, even if they aren’t being bullied. Here are some sample questions to help get the conversation started:
  • What does bullying mean to you?
  • What can you do if you see someone being bullied?
  • Have you ever encountered a bully?
  • What is the difference between someone who is being annoying and rude and someone who is really bullying?
  • Have you ever said anything mean to someone and hurt their feelings? What happened? Did anything positive result?
  • Have you ever seen something hurtful posted on social media about another person?

It’s important to show that you care and listen to whatever your kids have to say. Plan to sit down with your kids after school, at dinner time, at bedtime, or whenever works best for your family (Lehman).  

  1. Inspire your kids to do what they love. Helping children to participate in various activities, hobbies, or creative interests will help them meet friends. Participating in these meaningful activities will also help them gain skills and confidence which protect them from bullying and often give them the backbone to stand up to bullies. When kids see have a strong group of friends, see their skills improve, and/or have a chance to let their creativity flow, they feel more self-assured and comfortable in their own skin (Lehman).   

Remember, although team sports are great, especially in helping our kids to be               physically active, there are many other outlets kids should be encouraged to explore such as: dance, music, reading, drawing, pottery, jewelry making, community service,   STEM classes, hiking, biking, writing, scouting, etc.

  1. Be an example by showing them how to treat others with kindness and respect. Children learn far more from your interactions with others than from your words. They are always watching you to see how you handle different situations. If you treat others with kindness and respect, your children will learn how to treat others with kindness and respect. We can teach our kids so much by serving those around us, listening to others, cooking them a meal, or making them a card. Showing our children that we can be kind and respectful to everyone no matter their situation is key  (‘How to Prevent Bullying,’ 2017).

We have a responsibility to teach our children how to be kind online as well. When we use the internet, we must show our kids how we are being kind, deliberate digital citizens. When you post something helpful and informative, or text someone a thoughtful note, show your kids! Finally, take time to learn how you and your kids can use technology to be a force for good.

Practicing these steps will help our kids go back to school with confidence and empower them with knowledge. Sometimes, even if you do all that you can as a parent, it still doesn’t prevent the problem, and bullying still happens (‘How to Prevent Bullying,’ 2017). Check out this article, Giving a Voice to Bullying Victims, to better understand types of bullying and how to give your child a voice.

Check out 30 Days to a Stronger Child, to find more ways to prepare your kids for school and for their future. With great lessons about respect, assertiveness, empathy, self-confidence, and more, it’s a great resource for parents teach kids vital life lessons, while also opening the lines of communication. For a free, helpful, family time or classroom lesson on Kindness, Online and Everywhere, go here.

Available in Kindle or Paperback!

 

Courtney Cagle is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho graduating in Marriage and Family Studies. She loves kids and wants to help create a safe environment for all children to learn and grow.

There are affiliate links in the blog post. When you use them to make purchases, we thank you for supporting Educate and Empower Kids!

Citations:

Lehman, J. (n.d.). What To Do if Your Child Is Being Bullied. Retrieved April 26, 2018, from https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/is-your-child-being-bullied-9-steps-you-can-take-as-a-parent/

How to Prevent Bullying. (2017, September 08). Retrieved April 26, 2018, from https://www.stopbullying.gov/prevention/index.html

Lessne, D., & Yanez, C. (2016, December 20). Student Reports of Bullying: Results From the 2015 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. Retrieved April 26, 2018, from https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2017015

 

Lesson: Learning Positive Self-Talk

Lesson: Learning Positive Self-Talk

 

In our image-obsessed culture, it is imperative that children learn how to talk kindly to themselves. Children must learn their self-worth should be based on who they are intrinsically, instead of their ability to fit into popular culture. Teaching this lesson will help you discuss your children’s current forms of self-talk and help you and them create goals for positive self-talk.

Alfred A. Montapert said, “The environment you fashion out of your thoughts, your beliefs, your ideals, your philosophy is the only climate you will ever live in.” Think good thoughts about yourself and others and you’ll find an inner peace that brings true happiness to you and your family.

It’s critical that we teach our children that we’re all imperfect creatures who need to recognize that our mistakes do not define us. When we slip up, we need to gently remind ourselves that our behavior was out of character, and we need to resolve not to repeat it. Our self-talk should not be “You’re an idiot!”, but rather, “Next time I’ll do that differently. Everyone makes mistakes.”

Objectives:

  • Discuss how others’ ideas about worth can be flawed

  • Define self-talk (see glossary)

  • Discuss how self-talk contributes to feelings of self-worth

  • Explain how to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk

  • Point out positive characteristics in your child

Download the Lesson Here!

Looking for a fun, meaningful lessons that will bring your family closer together? Check out 30 Days to a Stronger Child. Filled with discussion questions and activities, you create wonderful connections with your kids and help them build resiliency!

Take time to strengthen your child! Available in Kindle or Paperback.

Teach Your Kids: What You Post, Tweet, and Pin are Set in Virtual Stone

Teach Your Kids: What You Post, Tweet, and Pin are Set in Virtual Stone

 

By Haley Hawks

Coming from the generation that was on the cusp of the internet sensation I had very little opportunity to make friends online. This is not the case with today’s children. For them,  connections in the virtual world are second nature.

This is a wonderful situation. Did I say wonderful? Yes! Many parents might think that the internet is scary and hurtful. It can be, but “our online identity is merging with our offline identity. Therefore the idea is to help kids create a better world through technology,” (Alexander, 2017.) We talk often about keeping our kids safe on the internet, and we need do to teach them how to protect themselves. But just as important is teaching our children how to have good manners online.

We can teach our kids to think of the internet as a big slab of stone. Whatever we post, comment, tweet, etc., becomes carved onto that stone…forever!

The things we post online don’t disappear. They are as real and permanent as writing on stone.

So teach your children this simple rule of thumb: if they wouldn’t write it, sign it and stand by it, they shouldn’t say it–even if you are saying it virtually.

Here are 3 rules to teach children regarding appropriate online behavior:

 

  • Keep “being you,” especially online  

 

It’s tempting to be extreme or unreal online. But being the real you is the most likeable you. “Being genuine and honest is essential to being likeable. No one likes a fake. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them,” (Bradberry, 2015). Even online this is a rule to live by. Let us show our children how to be authentic online by posting thoughts and feelings without embellishment.

 

  • Keep it appropriate  

 

What you post doesn’t have an expiration date. It can be part of the internet world forever. Make sure that whatever is being put out for others to see, is what you would want to see in twenty years. Don’t post things that are negative about yourself, but especially don’t post negatively about others.

 

  • Keep it positive

 

You’ve heard that positivity makes life better right? Well it does! “Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile,” (Clear, 2013). So why not spread this joy to other people with your posts? Not only will it seem like the “real you,” but it will also cause others to be influenced positively!

Need some help teaching your child the in’s and out’s of technology today? Learn 10 Ways Kids Can Use Technology For Good. Also check out our read-aloud children’s book, Noah’s New Phone, which teaches kids how to fill their “social” side in a healthy way!

Available in paperback or Kindle!

Haley Hawks has a Bachelors of Science in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. . She is passionate about learning, especially when it comes to relationships and family life. She hopes to one day be able to educate on a world-wide setting in regards to promoting goodness in the family, and destroying ideals that hurt society.

 

There are affiliate links in the blog post. When you use them to make purchases, we thank you for supporting Educate and Empower Kids!

Citations:

Alexander , D., & Silverman, R. (2017, August). Re: How To Talk To Kids About Sex Featuring Dina Alexander [Web log comment]. Retrieved August 08, 2017, from http://drrobynsilverman.com/2017/08/01/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-sex-featuring-dina-alexander/?utm_content=buffer4b316&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Bradberry, T. (2015, February 26). 13 Habits of Exceptionally Likeable People. Retrieved September 10, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2015/01/27/13-habits-of-exceptionally-likeable-people/#307dc8691b14

Clear, J. (2013, July 10). The Science of Positive Thinking: How Positive Thoughts Build Your Skills, Boost Your Health, and Improve Your Work. Retrieved September 10, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/positive-thinking_b_3512202.html

Teaching Self Confidence in a Selfie Culture

Teaching Self Confidence in a Selfie Culture

 

By Haley Hawks

 

As a teenager, thoughts such as  “I wish I were skinnier,” “I wish I had a better tan,” or “I wish I were more fit” were so pervasive that it was hard for me to even observe what my body looked like. I didn’t want to see the way my skin rolled when it moved, nor did I enjoy the extra fat that clung to my legs, stomach, and arms.

However, those self-degrading thoughts were countered by three vital skills my parents instilled in my heart to kept me confident despite living in a culture that loves to look flawless.

 

  • You will never win the comparison game, so don’t play.

 

When we look at others, there will inevitably be something about their body we wish we had. Instead,let’s take a look at our own bodies to find the special characteristics we like about ourselves.

Teach children to do this by simply asking them, “What do you like about your body?” or “What makes you feel confident?”

When we start loving ourselves, “We experience shifts-positive shifts. Life begins to move forward with more ease and things begin to magically fall into place. Relationships improve. Health improves. And life beings to feel good-really good-ridiculously good,” (Fremon, 2017).

We want our children to feel really good all by themselves.We want them to be able to love their body and life no matter the circumstance.

An easy way my parents taught me how to love myself was the Best Friend Trick. Ask your child, “Do you love your best friend?” and “Do you treat your best friend nicely and politely?” and “Would you talk negatively to your best friend?” Help them to see that they are even more important than their best friend is. Therefore, talking to themselves kindly and compassionately is completely necessary and will help them feel great.    

 

  • Stay authentic to yourself, even under pressure.

 

Self confidence comes in part by knowing who you are, accepting that person, and being happy with all the imperfections. There are times when we are pressured to be something other than the incredible person we are. However, “Learning how to express the diverse aspects of who you are as a person can be one of the greatest joys in life, and an essential part of your emotional well being,” (Vilhauer, 2016).

Teach your children that who they are is enough. They are incredible, worthwhile, and uniquely beautiful. Standards, especially the world’s standards, do not define who they are. As the wisest wizard in the fictional Harry Potter series, Albus Dumbledore, has said, “It is our choices . . . that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Or in this case, far more than our outward appearance. Teach the power to be true to yourself in a world that only shows the shallowness of a selfie.  

 

  • Be grateful.

 

When your child looks in the mirror, teach your child to see what they have to be grateful for. A child does not need to prove their worth. Gratitude can help with feelings of worthlessness or shame. Gratitude “Can decrease stress and has other important emotional health benefits. A person who is grateful tends to spend less time comparing him or herself with others and feeling envious,” (Stewart, 2017).  To teach this you can ask “What was good about your day today?” or “What part of your physical body did you appreciate most today and why?”  

Our children need to understand social media does not define them. Likes, tweets, and DMs do not show worth. Let us try to teach children how priceless they are by helping them to create inward love of self instead of outward obsession with perfection.

For more great ideas on how to create a courageous child with self confidence, check out 30 Days to a Stronger Child, available here. Also, for additional help teaching kids to use media responsibly, stay tuned for our two body image books coming out this fall!

Available in Kindle or Paperback!

 

Haley Hawks has a Bachelors of Science in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She is passionate about learning, especially when it comes to relationships and family life. She hopes to one day be able to educate on a world-wide setting in regards to promoting goodness in the family and destroying ideals that hurt society.

 

There are affiliate links in the blog post. When you use them to make purchases, we thank you for supporting Educate and Empower Kids!

 

Citations:

Fremon, R. (2017, February 21). The Magic of Loving Yourself First. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from https://wanderlust.com/journal/the-magic-of-loving-yourself-first/

Stewart, K. (2017). Teaching Kids the Importance of Gratitude. [online] EverydayHealth.com. Available at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/saying-thanks/teaching-kids-the-importance-of-gratitude.aspx [Accessed 25 Aug. 2017].

Vilhauer, J. (2016, June 18). How to Stay Authentic, No Matter What. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-forward/201606/how-stay-authentic-no-matter-what

 

The Danger With Using Screens As a Digital Pacifier

The Danger With Using Screens As a Digital Pacifier

By Ariane Robinson

Last week as I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, the little toddler in front of me started throwing a tantrum over a piece of candy he wanted.  Even before the first tear had rolled down his cheek, his mother pulled out her phone and handed it to the little boy. Just like magic, the little boy instantly stopped crying and began playing on his mom’s phone.  I was amazed that the mother never said anything to the little boy, and that he was instantly soothed by the sight of her phone. I wish I could say that I have never seen this happen before, or that I have never tried it myself, but that would be a lie.

All too often, I see parents using technology to handle their children’s emotions.  This is something parents must be cautious about because learning how to self-regulate and deal with our emotions are very important life skills that help to create strong kids and adults.  If our children don’t develop these skills when they are young then it could lead to unhealthy coping strategies, which can lead to addiction. It is important for us to remember as parents that children must experience emotions first-hand to learn how to respond in socially appropriate ways. (Goodwin, 2015)

Here are 5 ways parents can help kids self-regulate without electronics:

  1. Model healthy emotional self-management by resisting our own little “tantrums” such as yelling. Children can learn a lot about managing their emotions just from watching their parents. If you feel yourself getting angry you may need to take a break, or if you cannot leave your child, practice breathing slowly.  It is ok to admit to your child that you are upset. It sets a good example for children by showing them that everyone has difficult feelings at times and that they are manageable. Parents also must model healthy screen habits.  If you find yourself trying to escape emotions by turning to a screen, then your child may be picking up on this habit as well.

  2. Prioritize a deep nurturing connection. It is important that parents are warm and affectionate to their children. Even older children need to feel connected to us or they can’t regulate themselves emotionally. If you notice your child getting dysregulated, the most important thing that we can do is try to reconnect. Parents do not need to plan some big outing to connect with their child.  It can be as simple as taking a walk together, or playing a game that they enjoy. Face-to-face connection and human interaction are important.

  3. Accept your child’s feelings, even when they’re inconvenient (as feelings often are). (Example: “Oh, Sweetie, I know that’s disappointing….I’m so sorry things didn’t work out the way you wanted.) When empathy becomes our “go to” response, our child learns that emotions may not feel good, but they’re not dangerous. This helps them to process them as they come up.  When a parent acts with empathy towards a child it also helps them feel as though someone understands, and makes them feel better, and they are more likely to cooperate.

  4. Guide behavior rather than spanking or shaming. When a child is shamed for crying, or spanked for being angry then the message they receive is that the emotions that drove them to “misbehave” are bad. When a child receives those emotions they may try to repress them. Then when they bubble up again your child may lash out because those emotions feel scary to them.

  5. Help our child feel safe enough to feel his emotions, while limiting his actions. (Example: “You can be as mad as you want, but I won’t let you hit.”) If you can stay compassionate, your child will feel safe enough to express the tears and fears that might be behind their acting out. If you can help them cry, those feelings will evaporate and the anger and acting out will improve, too (Markham, 2013).

In the digital age where we are surrounded by screens it is important that parents take a step back and ask themselves if we’re using these screens as an emotional crutch for our children. And if so, what life-long habits are we encouraging our children to develop if we’re teaching them to revert to screens to avoid unpleasant feelings (Goodwin, 2015)?  If we want our children to grow up to be strong healthy adults, as parents we need to allow them to feel their emotions and practice managing them without suppressing them online until they feel numb.

If you are interested in learning more about how to develop a strong healthy child, check out our book 30 Days to a Stronger Child. Also, if you have older children and you want to teach them about how to use the technology they have for good, check out our new book Noah’s New Phone.

Available in paperback or Kindle!

Ariane Robinson is the mother of five children.  She is a Marriage and Family Studies Major and a certified facilitator with PREPARE/ENRICH. A program designed to help couples develop skills to improve their relationships. She enjoys working with families and helping to strengthen their relationships.

There are affiliate links in the blog post. When you use them to make purchases, we thank you for supporting Educate and Empower Kids!

Citations:

Goodwin, K. (2015, June 01). Screaming or Screening: Children’s Self-regulation in an Age of Screens. Retrieved from https://drkristygoodwin.com/2015/06/01/screaming-or-screening-childrens-self-regulation-in-an-age-of-screens/

Markham, L. (2013, July 5). 5 Steps To Help Kids Learn To Control Their Emotions. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/peaceful-parents-happy-kids/201307/5-steps-help-kids-learn-control-their-emotions

 

Safe and Savvy: The Best Internet and Phone Filters of 2018

Safe and Savvy: The Best Internet and Phone Filters of 2018

 

By Courtney Cagle

The internet is a wonderful and useful tool, but it can also be dangerous. As parents, it’s important to teach your children about the wonders available on the internet AND the dangers. Filters help to protect our kids in a world where the porn industry, social media, and google are watching our kids and targeting them based on their browsing habits. However, these filters can’t replace conversations about pornography, online safety, social media, and media literacy. Both are important to protect and educate children.

Recently, I was doing a project for one of my classes where I had to find pictures of women who were of various ethnicities. I googled “Asian women” and to my surprise, porn came up–front and center. I was just trying to do a school project and I innocently searched for a picture of Asian women. I called my husband in and told him to put as many filters on my computer as possible because I definitely don’t want porn showing up on my computer. We soon realized there are many great filters out there that parents can use to make sure their children don’t accidentally stumble upon porn or straight up search for it. Filtering software and routers do more than just block pornography and this varies with each system.

Free Filtering Software:

K9 Web Protection – K9 is a great filtering software that is available for free. It is small and easy to install. It blocks websites in more than 70 categories and offers a SafeSearch feature. You can also set time restrictions, customize what is allowed and blocked, generate reports, and categorize new adult content and sites in real time. K9 offers the best parental controls and filters for a free software. It is available for PC and Mac (K9 Web Protection Features).

Qustodio – This is a browser-based filtering software that is great for filtering pornography, blocking websites, preventing cyberbullying, monitoring social media, and tracking smartphones. Help and tech support are not wonderful, but if you don’t think you’ll be needing much tech support, you should be fine. It is available for PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices. The basic version is available free, but you can also upgrade to a more advanced version for a fee (Johnston, 2018), (Marshall & Ellis, 2018).  

KidLogger – This software tracks what your children type, the website they have visited, programs they use, and screenshots they take. You choose what to monitor and can change it depending on the age of your child. This software only works on one device  (Marshall & Ellis, 2018).

Filtering Softwares Available For Purchase:

Net Nanny – This filtering system was rated #1 on TopTenReviews. It filters pornography, questionable chat rooms, and hate sites. You can also create a custom whitelist and blacklist that override the automated filter. Net Nanny is easy to use and walks you through installation step-by-step. It is cloud-based and activity logs can be pulled up from any device. If you have any problems, they have extensive help and support networks available. Social media monitoring is not included in the basic service, but is available with the purchase of Net Nanny Social. Overall, Net Nanny has the most comprehensive and effective internet safety tools. It is available for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS devices (Johnston, 2018).

McAfee – Many know this as an anti-virus software, but they also have filtering services. McAfee offers a website blocker, pornography filter, cyberbullying protector, and social media monitor, complete with near-comprehensive support options and user-friendly software . If you prefer to monitor your child’s chat and messaging activity rather than block sites, you can read conversations or save them for later. This software will send you text messages if there are questionable websites accessed. It is available for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS devices (Johnston, 2018).

Witigo – A filtering software that allows parents to block content in 27 categories, including pornography and violence. It blocks chat and messenger programs including social media and gaming network chats. It is a tricky program to install, but once installed, it’s easy to use. It has a cloud-based and local filtering system. You can download it to monitor one PC or you can choose the online version to filter and monitor several devices, like phones. There is a whitelist that enables you to allow a website it may have filtered out. It is also has a blacklist where you can add websites you want to be blocked if they are deemed appropriate and you think otherwise. Witigo redirects kids to a kid-friendly sites rather than sending an alert that a site has been blocked,  which causes them less frustration and creates a more enjoyable experience (Johnston, 2018).

Norton Family – This is a great filtering software for pornography, website blocking, and monitoring social media activity. However, it doesn’t monitor online chat conversations or webcam sessions, like some others do. Norton uses a browser-based platform and enables parents to check their child’s activity from any computer. Installation has to be performed on the device itself and is user-friendly. This software supports Windows and Android devices, but is not available for iOS mobile devices or Mac computers (Johnston, 2018).

Surfie by PureSight – Surfie offers social media monitoring, website filtering, chat room filtering, time control, and file sharing controls. You can put in specific keywords that you want to monitor in chat rooms and once they are used, it will send you a notification. You can also block contacts from messaging your children, which can help prevent cyberbullying. Surfie is easy-to-use and simple to set up. You can also opt in to email alerts and receive comprehensive reports of all activity online. It is available for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS devices (Johnston, 2018).

Covenant Eyes – This is a great software that gives every user an individual username to tailor it to their needs. A report is available for each device that the software is installed on making sure that everyone has internet accountability. Covenant Eyes offers customizable filtering to fit the needs of every family member. It also allows for the internet to be inaccessible at certain times of the day (Family Protection).

Free Filter at a Router Level:

OpenDNS Family Shield –  This service has automatic parental control tools that block domains under headings that you chose. OpenDNS works on PCs, mobile devices, and your network router. If you filter at the router level, all devices on the network will benefit (Marshall & Ellis, 2018).

Filtering at a Router Level For Purchase:

Circle With Disney – (EEK’s favorite choice–no we do not receive any payment for saying so.) This device connects to your network and has parental controls to filter the whole network. After you purchase the hardware, you download an app and follow the simple set-up instructions. The filter is controlled through this app once it is all set up. With Circle, you control which devices have access to the internet and at what time. The internet can be paused on a certain device or on the whole network. Filters can be customized based on the age of each family member. Circle is a great device for filtering the whole network (Best Parental Control Router, 2018).  

KoalaSafe – This is an easy-to-use device that connects to your existing network. It comes with an app that allows you to access the filter and parental controls. KoalaSafe offers time limits and internet restrictions. You can also monitor apps and websites that have been viewed or accessed. This is a great option for those who have a router and want to connect to the existing network (Best Parental Control Router, 2018).

These filtering systems will help to keep your children safe, but only as a first defense. Nothing can replace the power of conversation with your kids about the dangers of the internet and about pornography. For tips on how to start the conversation, check out our book, How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography.

It’s important to help your children understand that technology can be useful and good as well. To teach your kids how to use technology for good, check out Noah’s New Phone: A Story About Using Technology for Good.

Available in paperback or Kindle!

 

Courtney is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho graduating in Marriage and Family Studies. She loves kids and wants to help create a safe environment for all children to learn and grow.

 

There are affiliate links in the blog post. When you use them to make purchases, we thank you for supporting Educate and Empower Kids!

 

Citations:

(2018, January 03). Best Parental Control Router 2018 – Top Rated. Reviewed And Compared. Retrieved May 31, 2018, from http://bestwirelessroutersnow.com/best-parental-control-router/

Family Protection | Internet Safety Software. (n.d.). Retrieved June 8, 2018, from http://www.covenanteyes.com/family/

Johnston, N. (2018, February 04). The Best Internet Filter Software of 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018, from http://www.toptenreviews.com/software/security/best-internet-filter-software/

Marshall, C., & Ellis, C. (2018, May 22). The best free parental control software 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018, from https://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-free-parental-control-software

Symantec Corporation. (2010). K9 Web Protection. Retrieved May 31, 2018, from http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

 

Conectando Familias a través de Prácticas Diarias

Conectando Familias a través de Prácticas Diarias

 

Por Jenny Webb, MA

Esto es lo que pasa con la crianza de los hijos: a menudo quiero ir a lo grande o irme a casa. Quiero hacer grandes gestos tan grandes que aseguren que mis hijos sepan que son amados e importantes, no solo hoy, sino todos los días por el resto de sus vidas. Quiero cocinar una cena tan increíble que nadie tenga hambre por el resto de la semana. Quiero ganar un bono en el trabajo tan grande que pueda dejar mi trabajo mañana y llevarnos a Disneyland por un mes.

Usted pudo haber notado el error en mi lógica.

En la mayoría de las circunstancias, la crianza de los hijos no funciona de esa manera; no se puede “llenar” a su familia a través de un solo gran gesto. Todavía necesitarán su amor, aliento y apoyo (¡y comida!) Mañana. Y el día siguiente después de eso. Y el día siguiente después de eso.

Pero la vida puede estar ocupada y los horarios pueden llenarse. Es fácil caer en la trampa de jugar al “ponerse al día” de los padres ofreciendo una recompensa futura por la postergación actual: “Oh, chicos, no vamos a poder cenar juntos toda esta semana. qué: Les invitaré a ver una película los sábados para compensarlo. ¡De acuerdo! ¡Y pueden tomar palomitas de maíz! ¡Bien! ¡Ahora rápido, salgan de aquí y limpien sus habitaciones antes de la escuela! “

Hmm.

Hago esto demasiado.

Así que este año, me estoy enfocando en encontrar “momentos de prácticas” diarias, pequeños momentos en los que puedo conectarme con mis hijos de una manera significativa desarrollando un nuevo patrón en mi comportamiento. Si bien eventos más grandes como excursiones o vacaciones pueden brindar oportunidades maravillosas para conectarse con nuestras familias, esa conexión a menudo ocurre porque estamos saliendo de nuestra rutina diaria. Lo que busco son maneras de fomentar la conexión en nuestra rutina diaria porque, seamos sinceros: ahí es donde pasamos una gran cantidad de nuestro tiempo juntos.

10 ideas para prácticas familiares
Estos momentos de prácticas diarias no tienen que ser grandes. De hecho, son más efectivos si son simples, flexibles y razonablemente consistentes.

1) Mejor y peor
En nuestra cena (o durante nuestra rutina de irse a la cama si ha sido uno de esos días), tomamos 2-3 minutos para dar la vuelta y decir nuestros “mejores y peores” momentos del día. Es simple y breve, pero puede ofrecer ideas sobre momentos que de otra forma no escucharíamos en las vidas de los demás.

2) Expresar gratitud
A la hora de dormir, especialmente cuando nuestros niños son más pequeños, nos gusta pedirles que nombren tres cosas que agradecieron ese día. Cuando están acurrucados en sus mantas y listos para quedarse dormidos, un enfoque positivo en la gratitud los ayuda a sentirse seguros y bendecidos.

3) Paseos familiares
Los fines de semana tienen su propio ritmo, ocupado con eventos deportivos y fiestas de cumpleaños, seguro, pero también (¡con suerte!) Un poco más de tiempo para hacer algo juntos, como caminar alrededor de la cuadra después de la cena del domingo.

4) Hola, ¡adiós!
¿Cómo se saludan? ¿Cómo se dicen adiós el uno al otro? Estos momentos son tan rápidos y comunes que es fácil pasar por alto su potencial de conexión. Pero establecer algún tipo de patrón para su familia es una manera fácil de ayudar a los niños a sentir que son parte de algo especial y que pertenecen juntos.

5) hacer una danza feliz
Cuando termina la cena y nadie quiere lavar los platos, a menudo hacemos un trato: platos después de una fiesta de baile familiar. ¡No es tan difícil como suena! Para nosotros, una fiesta de baile familiar significa encender una canción especial (en este momento, es “Uptown Funk”) y luego bailar juntos como lunáticos en la cocina. Eso es. Tres minutos, termina la canción, nos reímos y pasamos a nuestras tareas.

6) Estira tu rutina matutina
Cuando mi hija de once años me pidió que me despertara con ella todas las mañanas para hacer diez minutos de pilates, no me emocionó. Realmente me gusta dormir, y no soy una persona madrugadora. Pero solo hacer ese compromiso de estar allí, juntos, durante esos diez minutos nos da un buen momento juntas cada día.

7) Cómelo
Todos sabemos que las comidas familiares pueden ser un momento diario importante y proporcionan un entorno para conversar y conectarse. Pero otros momentos relacionados con nuestras comidas también pueden conectarnos. Tal vez espolvorea azúcar en la avena de la mañana con la forma de una sonrisa. Tal vez su familia siempre tiene panqueques el sábado … la noche. Tal vez solo cortas las cortezas de sus sándwiches. Sea lo que sea, ayúdelos a darse cuenta de que es algo que hace que su familia sea especial, juntos.

8) Escribirlo
Una nota escrita en su lonchera los miércoles. Un texto antes de su gran juego. Un tablero de mensajes familiar en la cocina con espacio para mensajes adicionales de “Te amo”. Déles un apodo o inventen una frase de aprobación tonta (“amor, tu papá, también conocido como The Awesome”). Solo hágales saber que son amados.

9) ¡Salud!
¿Cómo reconoces el éxito como una familia? Si alguien tiene una gran noticia, invente una porra simple de la familia para celebrar. (La nuestra es ridícula: “Oh, sí, oh sí, somos los Webb, somos increíbles, ¡oh sí, vamos Webbs!” ¿Ven? No es una gran ovación, pero a los niños les encanta). O, celebran en la cena de vidrios tintineantes en una celebración “¡salud!” Mis hijos siempre piden por hacer eso.

10) Te amo, lo sé
Inventa pequeñas formas de decir “Te amo” y “Te amo a ti también” que funcionan para tu familia. Puede ser una frase cursi (usamos “Te amo más que la mantequilla de maní”), o un simple gesto (mi hija prefiere hacer un corazón con sus manos y lo ama cuando hacemos lo mismo). O simplemente un apretón de manos: tres veces para “te amo” y cuatro veces para “te amo también”.

Probablemente ya estés haciendo muchas de estas cosas. O tal vez no; tal vez diferentes ideas funcionen mejor para su cultura y patrones familiares. El punto aquí no es tanto lo que estamos haciendo, sino más bien reconocer cuando lo estamos haciendo. Pequeños momentos pueden brindarle conexión al crear un sentido de identidad y comunidad dentro de su familia. Encuentre esos momentos de prácticas diarios y comprométase conscientemente con las personas que ama. Claro, habrá grandes gestos en algún lugar a lo largo de la línea, ¡pero disfrutemos también de nuestras “vidas regulares” juntas!

Para obtener más ideas geniales sobre cómo conectarse con sus hijos, consulte 30 Days to a Stronger Child, disponible en Amazon. El libro incluye grandes preguntas, lecciones y desafíos para ayudar a sus hijos a aprender a llenar sus “cuentas” emocionales, intelectuales, sociales, físicas y espirituales. Algunos de los temas incluyen: respeto, responsabilidad, autoconversación positiva, empatía, adicción, gratitud , pensamiento crítico y muchos más: 30 lecciones en total.

 


Jenny Webb es una editora y especialista en producción de publicaciones que ha trabajado en la industria desde 2002. Se graduó de la Universidad Brigham Young con una maestría en literatura comparada y ha trabajado con una variedad de clientes que van desde revistas académicas internacionales hasta autores independientes de ciencia ficción. Nacida y criada en Bellevue, Washington, actualmente vive en Huntsville, Alabama, con su esposo, Nick, y sus dos hijos.

 

20 maneras de felicitar a un niño, que no tienen nada que ver con la apariencia

20 maneras de felicitar a un niño, que no tienen nada que ver con la apariencia

 

Por Amanda Grossman-Scott

¿Alguna vez te encuentras mirando a un niño con tanta adoración y todo lo que puedes pensar es decir: “¡Eres tan lindo!”? Es importante que los niños en tu vida sepan que los ves y los valoras por algo más que la apariencia; después de todo, la apariencia no es un logro. El punto es “reconocer que la autoestima realmente, realmente es el resultado del logro: en el aula, en el campo, en el hogar …” (Drexler, 2012).

Puede ser difícil, pero no imposible, notar formas más meritorias de felicitar a un niño y ayudar a aumentar la confianza en sí mismo.

Aquí hay 20 maneras de felicitar a un niño, ¡que no tienen nada que ver con la apariencia!

Dile lo creativa que es cuando inventa una historia.
Dile cuán amable es cuando muestra cómo se preocupa por los demás.
Dile cuán responsable ella es cuando cuida de sí misma, de los demás o de los juguetes.
Dile que es muy artístico cuando te muestra un dibujo.
Cuéntale lo feliz que te hace pasar tiempo con ella.
Dile que es un buen amigo / hijo / hermano.
Dile que es aventurera cuando describe su día.
Dile que es valiente cuando hace algo que teme intentar.
Dile cuán trabajadora es cuando logra un objetivo.
Dile que le da los mejores abrazos cuando lo saludas.
Dile que es inteligente cuando se da cuenta de algo.
Dile que es inteligente cuando resuelve un enigma.
Dile que tiene una risa maravillosa.
Dile que es un tesoro cuando hablas de cosas invaluables.
Dile que es valiente cuando defiende a los demás.
Dile lo talentoso que es cuando te canta una canción.
Dile que ella es una gran líder cuando toma la iniciativa.
Dile que es confiable cuando cumple una promesa.
Dile que es amable cuando usa sus modales.
Dile que es un héroe cuando se enfrenta a un matón.


Es fácil decirle a una niña que es bonita o a un niño que es fuerte. Ver los éxitos reales de su hijo es un punto de referencia de la crianza atenta. Ser un padre más creativo requiere práctica y perseverancia. Esté atento a su esfuerzo por mantener a flote la confianza de su hijo y su ingenio beneficiará a su hijo a largo plazo.


Citaciones:

Drexler, P. (2012, 17 de agosto). La clave para criar niños seguros? Deja de felicitarlos! Consultado el 18 de agosto de 2014, en http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-gender-ourself/201208/the-key-raising-confident-kids-stop-complimenting-them

Is Your Teenager a Fake? Four Steps to Creating Authenticity On and Off Social Media

Is Your Teenager a Fake?   Four Steps to Creating Authenticity On and Off Social Media

By Haley Hawks

 

When I was twelve years old I spent much of my time reading. I loved it, and I loved to share it with others. But the kids my age didn’t read the same books I was reading so I searched out individuals to speak with on the internet. I was engrossed in these online relationships. The people that I spoke with shared my thoughts, liked hearing what I was thinking and I thought they were my true friends. The problem with this was that I had never met most of these people, and to this day still haven’t.

It is a common pitfall to crave validation online, but we should try to avoid letting our children learn how to crave this fake communication. Getting a lot of ‘likes,’ or ‘comments,’ doesn’t truly make a person more likeable, nor does it make anyone more authentic. What we must teach our children is that beauty is personal, and must be found within our true selves which enables us to show our own authenticity with interactions on and off social media.

How should we approach this topic of authenticity on the internet as well as with our face-to-face interactions?

Step One: Be Driven By An Inner Conscious

Becoming authentic is an individual mission, since each person has their own way of being human, and consequently what is authentic will be different for each individual,” (Klosowski, 2015). Finding what drives YOUR desires is what matters. People often post exaggerations or even lies about their lives on social media, showing a perfectly filtered life, pretending that everything is always fun and beautiful in their lives, or proclaiming beliefs that they only mildly subscribe to. Teach your child that this is the time and the place to show who you really are, instead of displaying a fake version of yourself.

The best way to show true thoughts is to understand them yourself. Every post, tweet, or photo should promote who you are and what you believe. If you love to play that piano, craft a post showing that love. Be thoughtful and deliberate. Everything that is shared can make an impact that you would never expect.  

Step Two: Love Unique Characteristics

Have you ever met a person that was exactly like you, in every way? Of course not. Although outside influences can change our behavior, what we think on the inside is what makes us who we individually are. We all have those friends that post long political posts, or religiously oriented posts that can seem a little bit in your face. But the point of social media is not to belittle or condemn or annoy. It is there to promote more social closeness, to keep you in the loop with friends, to share ideas and to learn from one another. It can show amazing spiritual or physical accomplishments. Be part of the journey that promotes the goodness of the world by inspiring others with the story of your adventure.  

You could post:

  • The last time you overcame a personal battle
  • A beautiful image and how it makes you feel
  • A picture of you and a close friend with a caption that shows the world someone else’s goodness

Step Three: Take Responsibility for Your Actions

Social media accounts are not like a journal. They are not there to rant, to mock or to complain. Or at least they shouldn’t be. Every interaction on social media is real. A person with a heartbeat sits somewhere reading and reacting to what is being posted. That it why it is so important for each child to take personal responsibility for their own social media relationships. From childhood on, we teach children that words have power. Well-written words have power too. A powerful way to explain this is by giving your child a heartfelt note.

Ask them to read it, and think about the words inside.

  • Do they make them feel good?
  • Do they make them feel loved?

It is the same with social media. The words that we post make people feel, and we want to make people feel good.

Step Four: Don’t Suppress Creativity

“One of the most common diseases of humanity is a tendency to generalize and standardize,” (P, 1960). Suppressing a child’s desire to paint, to run, to read, whatever it may be, creates a lack of genuineness in their everyday interactions. It tells them that their desires are wrong. When you suppress creativity you are encouraging your child to follow the expectations that society dictates. However, when you encourage someone to be true to themselves in all places, they are more likely to find worth in themselves because they create self mastery, and find fulfillment in their personal lives.This goes right along with your child’s online presence. If you help them find genuine interests, and encourage those interests, it will be easier to be more authentic online because they will be more authentic offline too.

One of the best ways to foster creativity is to help your child find a passion with the arts.

  • Do they like to read? If so, why do they like it?
  • What do the words mean to them?
  • Why should they mean anything at all, if they are simply ink scribbled on a page?

Or maybe your child likes to paint. This is a wonderful outlet. Not only does it enable a child to do something they like; it also allows them to express their feelings. Plus it is an awesome thing to share on social media!

In short, teach authenticity in everyday interactions and those will translate into healthy social media relationships. Need more tips on helping your child be an authentic digital citizen? Check out some of our helpful lessons to work through this together.

Also check out our new children’s book on using tech for good, Noah’s New Phone. Join Noah as he learns how his actions with technology can cause a ripple effect for everyone around him–for good or for bad. We have the power to choose!

Available in paperback or Kindle!

Haley Hawks has a Bachelors of Science in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. . She is passionate about learning, especially when it comes to relationships and family life. She hopes to one day be able to educate on a world-wide setting in regards to promoting goodness in the family, and destroying ideals that hurt society.

 

There are affiliate links in the blog post. When you use them to make purchases, we thank you for supporting Educate and Empower Kids!

Citations:

Klosowski, T. (2015, April 16). How to Discover Your “Authentic” Self and Live the Life You Really Want. Retrieved October 12, 2017, from https://lifehacker.com/how-to-discover-your-authentic-self-and-live-the-life-1698115144 

P. (1960, June 24). Suppression of Positive and Creative Tendencies-Thought Processes. Retrieved October 14, 2017, from https://pathwork.org/lectures/supprssion-of-positive-and-creative-tendencies-thought-processes/

4 Easy Steps to Creating Healthy Communication About Sexual Intimacy

4 Easy Steps to Creating Healthy Communication About Sexual Intimacy

By Haley Hawks

I remember my very first day of preschool. My mother walked me into this huge building, gently settled me into a group of kids my age, and when I was looking away tried to slip quietly out. When I looked around for her a moment later I was scared to see that she was almost out the door. Panicked, I ran after her.

She did not turn me away and force me to go back. Instead she pulled me into her arms and returned with me. She set me down, reminded me that she was only leaving for a little while, and that this was school and how excited I was to be there.

Looking back on that experience now, I am grateful that my mother took the time to come back and explain again to me what was happening so I could better understand the situation I was in.

I know that many parents have experiences like this every day. But how do we begin to talk to our children about more serious things like pornography and sex? How do we create relationships with our children that allow them to come to us, instead of going to a friend? Here are some easy steps.

Talking to kids about healthy sexual intimacy:

Step one: Start Young

You want your children to be comfortable with you from an early age. It may be awkward to talk about topics like sex and pornography. But if you start young, then you will be comfortable talking about these things throughout their lives. In turn, they will feel better about sharing information with you. To make this process easier:

  • Teach anatomically correct names

  • Don’t be embarrassed by words like “penis” or “vagina.”

  • Relax! This should be an everyday conversation, not a big event.

  • Check out 30 Days of Sex Talks for ages 3-7, 8-11, or 12+ for simple, helpful conversation starters and practical information.

If you haven’t started young, that’s okay too. Just start wherever you are and build from there. A strong child-parent relationship can begin at any age.

 

Step two: Be The Source

Many children nowadays are turning to the internet or their friends to teach them about sex. Let your children know that you are the safest and most reliable source of information out there. Warn them that internet searches about sex can lead to pornography, and help them know what to do if that happens. Teach them to R-U-N away! “According to one study, 42% of children had been exposed to pornography in the past year and of those, 67% were exposed to it accidentally” (Enhancing child safety and online technologies, 2011).

The Internet is full of wonderful and terrible information.  Explain to your child that there is a right way to do research to find helpful sources of information, and then show them the sources that you trust. We want them to understand that we have their best interest in mind. To be the source you must:

  • Be willing to explain difficult or uncomfortable topics

  • Avoid judgmental statements

  • Build upon their knowledge

Remember children are naturally curious about their bodies. Their motive is not to make you feel uncomfortable. They simply want to learn.

 

Step three: Answer Their Questions

If you are going to be the source, you have to answer the questions. Your child might ask or say something that you makes you feel uncomfortable, but don’t freak out. It is important to answer questions so your child continues to see you as their trusted confidant. To help with this process:

  • Be calm

  • Be confident

  • Answer questions about yourself if your children ask!

 

Step four: Be Willing to Be Open

We are parenting in a different time than our parents did, and we need to understand that sex and intimacy our changing rapidly. With the prevalence of internet porn, sexting, and social media dating and sex are evolving quickly and parents need to be willing to address more than past generations–possibly at a younger age.

If your child comes to you with shocking questions that you feel are not “age appropriate,” don’t panic or turn them away. Wrap your arms around them, like my mother did on the first day of preschool. Talk to them! Try not to feel guilty about spoiling their innocence. Actually, the opposite is true. As we educate our children, we are protecting them.

When we make it clear to our children that we will talk to them about anything–no boundaries–we encourage them to come to us, rather than plunging down the wormhole of the internet and possibly encountering even more violent or pornographic material in an effort to answer a singular question.

If you want to learn more about improving communication with your child, please visit Educate Empower Kids or check out our book 30 Days to a Stronger Child for activities and wonderful discussion questions that will help improve communication and connection.

For amazing discussions about healthy sexuality, curiosity, sexual identification, anatomy, and more, check out our most popular resource, 30 Days of Sex Talks, available on Amazon.

Great lessons, quick and simple discussions.

 

Haley Hawks has a Bachelors of Science in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She is passionate about learning, especially when it comes to relationships and family life. She hopes to one day be able to educate on a world-wide setting in regards to promoting goodness in the family, and the ideals that are destroying society.

There are affiliate links in the blog post. When you use them to make purchases, we thank you for supporting Educate and Empower Kids!

Citations:

30 Days of Sex Talks: Empowering Your Child with Knowledge of Sexual Intimacy. (2015). Lexington, KY: Rising Parent Media.

Enhancing child safety and online technologies; final report of the internet safety technical task force to the multi-state working group on social networking of state attorneys general of the united states (2011). Portland: Ringgold, Inc.