Introducing: Petra’s Power to See

Introducing: Petra’s Power to See

EEK Releases New Book Teaching Kids How to READ Images and Media


By Dina Alexander, MS

As my kids’ ages have entered double digits, certain messages in media have been brutal on them. Every time they pick up a phone or open a laptop they are confronted with images of men, women, and teens who are filtered and staged–often in physically unattainable ways–and whose lifestyle taunts at something better, something cooler than my kids can get in “real life.” And I haven’t even started talking about the damage of TV or online ads:

I’m only talking about their social media feeds.

As I think about my kids and the inescapable messages all around them, I realize that most of us parents are waiting too long to start talking about media messages in advertising, music, books, magazines, news stories, games, apps, websites, video clips, and elsewhere.

Although I have talked with my kids about these influences many times, I find myself wishing I had started talking about media literacy with them when they were young enough to be influenced by Disney movies or Hot Wheels commercials instead of Instagram or YouTube.

In the last couple of years, my kids and I have started discussing various media and learning together to deconstruct the hidden and overt messages around us in apps, movies, videos and elsewhere. It has not only been a fascinating experience, but it has also empowered us to see through many of the confusing and harmful messages in media.

And now I want to help you teach your kids to be more media savvy! And not just with advertisements, but with their interactions in social media, gaming, and news–real or fake.

What would you give for your kids to be able to read and decipher the real messages in images and media in our culture?  

If you would like to start building these habits within your family then you’ll want to check out Petra’s Power to See: A Media Literacy Adventure . The story centers around a girl named Petra as she ventures through the city to learn about the media messages all around her. She and her dad come face to face with clear and hidden messages in different media such as advertising, social media, movies, and fake news.  

As with all of our books, Petra’s Power to See provides tools for you to create simple discussions that educate your kids about the world around them and truly empower them to be better consumers of media.

By taking a positive, yet realistic view of media, this book helps kids to see that while there are many forms of wonderful, healthy media in our culture, there are also useless and harmful messages out there.

Petra’s Power to See also helps kids to not be fearful of media, but to be critical and deliberate in their consumption and perhaps a little more understanding of why their parents have rules aboutmedia and tech use.

To further assist parents, we have included a helpful chapter on sensitive topics like pornography and violent media. There is also a workbook with discussions and activities and a Media Guideline that families can use to create rules and boundaries together. 

Living in an image-based culture, where we get most of our information from video and photographs (versus our parents who received most of their information in a written form), it is so important for kids, both young and old, to become truly literate: media literate. 

Try this book. It is a great opportunity to have excellent discussions, learn together, and be more media savvy. Together we can do this!

From Petra’s Power to See




Dina Alexander is the founder and CEO of Educate and Empower Kids (, an organization determined to strengthen families by teaching digital citizenship, media literacy, and healthy sexuality education—including education about the dangers of online porn. She is the creator of Noah’s New Phone: A Story About Using Technology for Good, Messages About Me: A Journey to Healthy Body Image, How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography, and the 30 Days of Sex Talks and 30 Days to a Stronger Child programs. She received her master’s degree in recreation therapy from the University of Utah and her bachelors from Brigham Young University. She is an amazing mom and loves spending time with her husband and three kids. Together, they live in Texas.

Preparing Our Kids for Courtship in the Digital Age

Preparing Our Kids for Courtship in the Digital Age


By Caroline Hilton, MS

The dating scene has dramatically changed for millenials and it is likely to continue to digress for Generation Z. We live in a NOW society, with little ability to wait for that planned date, wait to be courted, or wait for sex with the right person. This lack of self-restraint has led to an influx of singles–especially teens– experiencing difficulty in understanding how to progress through the phases of courtship.

According to Dr. Patrick Carnes, in Facing the Shadow (2010), sexual addiction is often based in intimacy and courtship disorders. A healthy relationship will naturally move forward through a series of courtship stages as follows:

  • Noticing  This first stage of courtship is important; it is where we single out the desirable traits in others and weed out the unappealing traits.
  • Attraction  We feel the attraction towards the other person; here, attraction applies in both physical and emotional ways.
  • Flirtation  Flirting allows messages and cues to be sent to our person of choice to let them know we are interested in them and attracted to them.
  • Demonstration Here, we actively begin to demonstrate our traits, abilities, and skills to the other partner hoping for a reciprocal response.
  • Romance  Romance is the “ability to experience, express, and receive passion” (Carnes, 2010). To receive and experience romance, we must have a strong sense of self-worth and know that we are worthy of being loved.  
  • Individuation  An individual must have their own identity in the relationship. The relationship cannot be one’s whole identity. It is the ability to be who you are and not feel like the other person wants you to change–also, giving your partner the same courtesy.
  • Intimacy  According to Carnes, intimacy is: “Being known fully and staying anyway” (Carnes, 2010). Intimacy requires healthy attachment and the risk of being vulnerable.
  • Touching  Touching includes both intimate and erotic touch. Touch has to include boundaries and respect for it to feel safe for both partners.
  • Foreplay  Foreplay allows a couple to express intimacy and passion through touch without intercourse as the goal.
  • Intercourse  “More than the exchange of body fluids, this is the ability to surrender oneself to passion” (Carnes, 2010). Intercourse is about giving up control and being vulnerable.
  • Commitment  In this stage, partners commit to each other; for this to occur, there has to be a high level of trust in the relationship–otherwise, a partner will seek out “trusting attachments” such as alcohol, drugs, or risky sex.
  • Renewal  Courtship in a relationship should never end. Partners should continue to court and flirt with their partner and keep the passion alive.

With so many kids being exposed to pornography and hyper sexualized media at a young age, and with so many turning to pornography to get answers about sex, we should be very concerned and ready to speak up to our kids!

Pornography, in and of itself, demonstrates this lack of courtship and intimacy quite bluntly as it skips or cancels out the majority of these intimate phases altogether. Pornography portrays pleasure and instant gratification and not the emotional bonding and connection that will help a relationship to thrive in the long term.  

Here are some ways we can help our children realize their worth and teach them that they deserve to be courted:

  • Have conversations with children about their self-worth.



  • Discuss the natural progression of a healthy relationship with your children as discussed above.



  • Demonstrate healthy patterns, like continually dating your spouse–or, if you are a single parent, having appropriate dating relationships.


  • When appropriate, let your children see these phases in action. For example, it is good for them to see parents flirting or holding hands.


As we create an awareness about these things in our our own homes and families, we can positively influence our children’s future. The rewards of naturally flowing through the courtship process will be well worth the wait and lead to relationships based on intimacy, trust, and real connection.

For more information on talking to children about healthy relationships,intimacy, and healthy boundaries, check out our books, 30 Days of Sex Talks:Empowering Your Child with a Knowledge of Sexual Intimacy available for 3 age groups: 3-7, 8-11, and 12+. Available on Amazon.

Caroline HIlton received her Bachelor’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development from Brigham Young University in 2011. During that time, she completed an internship at a residential treatment center for teenage girls dealing with a variety of challenges such as addiction, trauma, and eating disorders; this sparked her desire to work in the mental health field. She attained her Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a single mother of two children who keep her very busy!  She enjoys art, cooking, and the outdoors.


Carnes, P. (2015). Facing the shadow: starting sexual and relationship recovery: a gentle path to beginning recovery from sex addiction. United States: Gentle Path Press.

Raising Resilient Kids in a Chaotic World

Raising Resilient Kids in a Chaotic World

By Tina Mattsson

A few nights ago, my 11-year-old daughter shook me awake in the middle of the night. “Mom, are we going to get into a war with ISIS? Is ISIS going to bomb us?” These are confusing questions to be asked while still half asleep. It took me a few seconds to even comprehend what she was asking. And then it took me a few more seconds to figure out why she would even have those questions. We had a very brief discussion about how we are safe and everything is okay, and I sent her back to bed. Because come on, it was 2 a.m.! I’m not usually on my best parenting behavior at that time. The next morning, I realized the first step was to stop having the news on in the background. The next step was to have a longer discussion with my daughter to figure out where these fears were coming from and to help her process her emotions.

We often think of childhood as a carefree time. Everything is puppies and rainbows and playgrounds and friends and happy. But children can face the same emotional fears and uncertainties as adults. Issues can range from making new friends at a new school to divorce, and even to more serious issues such as abuse and neglect. Kids don’t even need to experience these issues first-hand to feel stress from them.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Building resilience—the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress—can help our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, being resilient does not mean that children won’t experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common when we have suffered major trauma or personal loss, or even when we hear of someone else’s loss or trauma” (Resilience Guide for Parents and Teachers, n.d.).

What are some ways we can help our children through difficult times?

Turn off the TV – This is a simple one. And it was the very first thing I did when I realized my daughter was afraid of ISIS after hearing about the attacks in Paris.

Listen to your children – If they need to talk through their worries, listen to them. Practice actively listening. In other words, put down your phone and look at them as they talk. Then repeat back to them what you are hearing to confirm. Example: “I hear you are worried that you may not have anyone to sit with at lunch since you are new to the school.”

Share your feelings – It’s okay for your children to know you are sad or uncertain. Feelings are normal. Showing your kids you have the same feelings as they do can help normalize their feelings.

Don’t minimize fears – Allow children to talk through their issues. It can be tempting to hush our kids and convince them all is well because it’s hard to watch our kids feel fear or uncertainty. But doing that tells them their feelings aren’t valid.

Validate your children – We may realize the junior high drama is meaningless and will be over tomorrow, but to our children, this is the most important issue in their life right now.

Do something fun together – Try to get their mind off their concerns. Go on a walk, read a book, or cook dinner together.

There is no doubt that our kids will face difficult times in childhood. Some will be minor and some can be life-altering. But if we can help them successfully navigate their concerns and uncertainties, we can raise resilient kids. And their skills of resilience will serve them through the rest of their lives.

For more ideas on creating a truly resilient child who can successfully face the challenges your kids will encounter, check out 30 Days to a Stronger Child. Inside, you will find ideas, discussion questions and activities that will strengthen your child emotionally, socially, spiritually, intellectually, and physically! Best of all, the activities and discussions will bring you closer together.

Another great guide is the Resilience Guide for Parents and Teachers from the American Psychological Association. It offers these tips as well:

Stick with your routine. Young children especially crave routine. If you normally read a book together at bedtime, make sure you keep that habit in place. If you have a night set aside as family night, continue to utilize that time together.

When children have questions, answer them honestly but simply. Then add reassurances that leave no room for doubt such as, “I will always take care of you.”

Help your children keep perspective. “When your child is a victim of the shifting social alliances that form in middle school, help him or her understand that other children may be feeling just as lonely and confused, and help her see beyond the current situation—alliances that shift one way may shift back again the next week in middle school.”

Make your home a safe place both physically and emotionally. There are immense social pressures on our kids and teens at school. Home should be a safe haven for them. Our kids should feel comfortable coming to us as parents for any issue, big or small.


Tina Mattsson has a BA in Journalism with a Minor in English. She is a mother, writer, and advocate for children’s safety and education.


Resilience Guide for Parents and Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from


Four Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Child This Year

Four Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Child This Year


By Kami Loyd

It’s a new year, and with that comes a time for new beginnings and new goals. Along with getting more exercise, losing weight, and many other goals forgotten before spring break, a great goal to set is to improve our relationships with our children. But this goal is so important we don’t want to forget it or quit it early in the year.  We can break this quitting cycle, and we can do it together! Here are four ideas that will bring you closer to your children and improve your relationship with them now and in the future.

1.Spend one-on-one time with your children. One of my fondest memories of growing up was going on a daddy-daughter date where my dad took me to the mall, let me pick out a new fish for his fish tank, and bought me an Orange Julius. It was not an overly expensive or logistically challenging “date,” but it’s one I remember many years later. Most of us have busy lives, and carving out more time for our children amid the myriad of tasks and responsibilities we have can seem daunting. But this one-on-one time is so important and can make a huge difference in their lives. These dates should be focused on our children, which means we should make sure we put away our screens and engage with our children directly.  

Carey Casey with the National Center for Fathering has found children especially benefit when their fathers chooses to spend one-on-one time with them. Children start to  recognize they are important to their fathers and open up to them. This can help children continue to connect to their fathers knowing that they can talk to them about any of the issues they are facing.

2.Have family dinners without electronics. In our screen-time dominated society, taking time for our families away from screens is essential. Family dinners can provide the time we need as we leave our phones away from the table and focus on each other. These electronic-free dinners have been an important aspect of my marriage because they give my husband and I time to reconnect with each other as well as with our children at the end of each day.  Family dinners are so important that The Family Dinner Project has found physical, mental, and emotional benefits such as stronger self-esteem, healthier eating habits, and more family connectedness for the whole family. As families take the time to eat together, whether or not the meal is homemade, they will begin to experience the benefits for themselves. Setting a weekly menu at the beginning of the week can give you more time on weeknights to devote to having family dinners instead of deciding what to make. Another suggestion is to have the whole family put their electronics into airplane mode, which would stop annoying telemarketers and other distractions during dinner.

3.Tell them you love themThis idea seems like common sense, but many times as parents we forget to tell our children we love them in words and actions. Children need to know they are loved no matter what they do or say. Much of what children hear from others is how they aren’t good enough. Letting them know they are loved can change their outlook. According to the National Center for Fathering, only 3-4 percent of current dads were told on a constant basis that they were loved by their fathers. So be different! Help your child to know you love them. Find out what their love language is, and “speak” to them in those ways.

Telling your child you love them can be as simple as giving them a hug, writing a note for their lunchbox, or sending a text message to express your affection for them.

4.Have frequent, open conversations with your children. As a child, I knew I could talk to my parents about almost anything going on in my life. This gave me the confidence to talk to them about my struggles in school, bullies, and what I could do to stay away from peer pressures like underage drinking and sex. Open conversations may seem difficult to undertake, but they can benefit parents and children. Asking questions such as “What did you play at recess?” or “What was the neatest thing you learned today and why?” can help you learn more about your kids and help them feel you really care about their answers. For even more amazing conversation starters, check out 30 Days to a Stronger Child available here.

Each of us wants to have mentally, emotionally, and physically strong children, and this time of year is a great time to make new goals to build your relationship with your child. Set these goals today, and see your relationship grow!

Kami Loyd received her bachelors of Marriage and Family from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She and her husband have been married four years, and she is the proud mother of four children. Her interest include reading, board games, and most of all her family. She is passionate about helping her children and others find joy in family life.


Casey, C. (n.d.). 3 Benefits of One-On-One Time. Retrieved September 20, 2017, from

David, H., & Bacharach, B. (1965, April 15). What The World Needs Now Is Love [Folk Rock song performed by Jackie DeShannon].

Moody, L. D. (n.d.). Discover Your Love Language. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from

National Center for Fathering. (2017). The Power of “I Love You” from Dad. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from ac

The Family Dinner Project. (2017). Benefits of Family Dinners. Retrieved September 20, 2017, from


Connecting Families through Daily Rituals

Connecting Families through Daily Rituals


By Jenny Webb, MA

Here’s the thing about parenting: I often want to go big or go home. I want to make grand gestures so big that they will ensure my children know they’re loved and important, not just today, but every day for the rest of their lives. I want to cook a dinner so amazing that no one’s hungry for the rest of the week. I want to earn a bonus at work so huge that I can quit my job tomorrow and take us to Disneyland for a month.

You may have noticed the flaw in my logic.

In most circumstances, parenting doesn’t work that way—you can’t “fill up” your family through a single grand gesture. They’re still going to need your love, encouragement, and support (and food!) tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that.

But life can get busy, and schedules can fill up. It’s easy to fall into the trap of playing parenting “catch-up” by offering a future reward for present postponement: “Oh, wow, guys, we aren’t going to be able to have dinner together all week this week. Tell you what: I’ll take you out to a movie on Saturday to make up for it. Ok? And you can get popcorn! Ok! Now quick, get out of here and go clean your rooms up before school!”


I do this way too much.

So this year, I’m focusing on finding daily “ritual moments”—small moments where I can connect with my kids in a meaningful way by developing a new pattern in my behavior. While bigger events like outings or vacations can provide wonderful opportunities to connect with our families, that connection often occurs because we are stepping out of our daily routine. What I’m after are ways to foster connection in our daily routine because, let’s face it: that’s where we spend an awful lot of our time together.

10 Ideas for Family Rituals

These daily ritual moments don’t have to be big. In fact, they’re more effective if they’re simple, flexible, and reasonably consistent.

1) Best and Worst

At our dinner table (or during our bedtime routine if it’s been one of those days), we take 2–3 minutes to go around and say our “best and worst” moments of the day. It’s simple and short, but it can offer insights into moments we otherwise wouldn’t hear about in each others’ lives.

2) Express Gratitude

At bedtime, especially when our kids are younger, we like to ask them to name three things they were thankful for that day. When they’re snuggled down in their covers and all ready to fall asleep, a positive focus on gratitude helps them to feel safe, secure, and blessed.

3) Family Walks

Weekends have their own rhythm, busy with sporting events and birthday parties, sure, but also (hopefully!) a little more time to do something together, like walk around the block after Sunday dinner.

4) Hello, Goodbye!

How do you greet each other? How do you say goodbye to each other? These moments are so quick and common it’s easy to overlook their potential for connection. But establishing some sort of pattern for your family is an easy way to help kids feel like they’re part of something special and that they belong together.

5) Do a Happy Dance

When dinner is over and no one wants to do the dishes, we’ll often strike a deal: dishes after a family dance party. It’s not as hard as it sounds! For us, a family dance party means turning on a special song (right now, it’s “Uptown Funk”) and then dancing together like lunatics around the kitchen. That’s it. Three minutes, song’s over, we’re laughing, and we move on to our chores.

6) Stretch Your Morning Routine

When my eleven-year-old asked me to wake up with her each morning to do ten minutes of pilates, I was not thrilled. I really like sleep, and I’m not a morning person. But just making that commitment to be there, together, for those ten minutes gives us a good moment together each day.

7) Eat It

We all know that family meals can be an important daily ritual and provide a setting to converse and connect. But other moments involved with our meals can connect us too. Maybe you sprinkle sugar on their morning oatmeal in the shape of a smile. Maybe your family always has pancakes on Saturday … night. Maybe you just trim the crusts off their sandwiches. Whatever it is, help them realize it’s something that makes your family special, together.

8) Write It Down

A written note in their lunchbox on Wednesdays. A text before their big game. A family message board in the kitchen with space for extra “I love you” messages. Give them a nickname or invent a silly sign-off phrase (“love, your Dad, aka, The Awesome”). Just let them know they are loved.

9) Cheer(s)!

How do you recognize success as a family? If someone has big news, invent a silly family cheer to celebrate. (Ours is ridiculous: “Oh yeah, Oh yeah, We’re the Webbs, We’re Awesome, Oh yeah, Go Webbs!” See? Not a great cheer, but the kids love it.) Or, celebrate at dinner by clinking glasses in a celebratory “cheers!” My kids are always begging for that one.

10) I Love You—I Know

Invent small ways to say “I love you” and “I love you too” that work for your family. It can be a silly phrase (we use “I love you more than peanut butter!”), or a simple gesture (my daughter favors making a heart with her hands and loves it when we follow suit). Or just a hand squeeze: three times for “I love you” and four times for “I love you too.”

You’re likely already doing a lot of these things already. Or maybe not; maybe different ideas work better for your family culture and patterns. The point here isn’t so much what we’re doing, but rather recognizing when we’re doing it. Small moments can bring connection by creating a sense of identity and community within your family. Find those daily ritual moments, and mindfully engage with those you love. Sure, there will be grand gestures somewhere along the line, but let’s enjoy our “regular lives” together too!

For more great ideas on connecting with your kids check out 30 Days to a Stronger Child, available on Amazon. The book includes great questions, lessons and challenges to help your kids learn to fill their emotional, intellectual, social, physical and spiritual “accounts.” Some of the topics include: respect, accountability, positive self-talk, empathy, addiction, gratitude, critical thinking, and many more–30 lessons in all.

Jenny Webb is an editor and publications production specialist who has worked in the industry since 2002. She graduated from Brigham Young University with an MA in comparative literature and has worked with a variety of clients ranging from international academic journals to indie science fiction authors. Born and raised in Bellevue, Washington, she currently lives in Seattle with her husband, Nick, and their two children.

Enseñando a los niños acerca el cuerpo sano Imagen: Consejos de los expertos

Enseñando a los niños acerca el cuerpo sano Imagen: Consejos de los expertos

por Tina Mattsson

Como cada adulto sabe, el aumento en el consumo de medios para los niños y adolescentes es increíble. Un estudio demostró que los niños de 8-18 años de edad están viendo los medios aproximadamente 7,5 horas al día. Otro estudio mostró la altura y peso promedio de un modelo es 5’10” y 110 libras, mientras que la mayoria de las mujeres es 5’4” y 145 libras ( “Medios de comunicación y imagen corporal“,2015).Teniendo en cuenta la cantidad de niños de los medios ver, es fácil entender por qué los adolescentes pueden tener estos puntos de vista distorsionados sobre la imagen corporal.

El Dr. Lindsay Kite y el Dr. Lexie Kite son gemelos idénticos que han experimentado de primera mano el impacto negativo de tener una preocupación por el peso y la apariencia. En 2009, comenzaron su sin fines de lucro, belleza redefinida, que se dedica a la promoción de una imagen corporal positiva. Su mantra es “Las mujeres son más que cuerpos. Ve más alla. Ser mas.”

“Necesitamos una imagen corporal positiva de definir en términos de sentirse bien consigo mismo en general, la forma en que funciona su cuerpo, la forma de sentir, y no sólo lo que parece”, dijo Lindsay en una entrevista telefónica reciente. En su investigación, las hermanas de la cometa encontraron alrededor del 30% de las mujeres estudiadas sintió su mayor parte o totalmente positiva sobre sus cuerpos. Eso significa que la gran mayoría, más del 70%, la percepción subjetiva de que no tenían una imagen corporal positiva. Esto refleja otra investigación que muestra la mayoría de las niñas y las mujeres se sienten negativamente sobre sus cuerpos.

Aunque su investigación se centra principalmente en las niñas y las mujeres, que han aprendido tema de la imagen corporal y los problemas alimentarios entre los niños y los hombres están en aumento. Atribuyen a la forma en que se define la aptitud de los medios de comunicación y los ideales culturales.

Algunos de los mayores factores que afectan a la imagen corporal de los adolescentes son los medios de comunicación y influencias culturales. Medios define qué es la belleza de formas muy estrictos y estrechos. Por ejemplo, los personajes femeninos en la televisión y en las películas tendrán pequeñas cinturas diminutas, tacones, y el pelo que fluye largo que sólo podría lograrse con extensiones. “Las niñas aprenden a percibir esto como normal, y por lo que siempre será anormal en comparación”, dijo Lindsay. Los chicos reciben mensajes similares, pero no a ese grado, porque incluso cuando los niños están viendo los personajes masculinos en medios que tienen ideales corporales extravagantes, los caracteres siguen siendo valoradas por las cosas que no sean lo que parecen.

Lindsay dijo que el mejor consejo que se puede dar a los padres es mantener el foco en su casa y todas sus conversaciones fuera de la apariencia. “Necesitamos el hogar y en el entorno familiar a ser un lugar seguro en términos de no hablar y no pensando y se centra en la aparición de los cuerpos.” Por ejemplo, cuando las chicas jóvenes escuchan a sus madres o hermanas, o otros modelos femeninos que hablan sobre la cantidad de grasa que se ven hoy o cómo un cierto par de pantalones de grasa hace que se vean, van a internalizar eso. Las niñas aprenden de estos tipos de comentarios que la grasa es una cosa mala, y si tienen nada de grasa, que son demasiado bruto. Dijo que no es sólo la forma en que hablamos de nosotros mismos tampoco. Es la forma en que hablamos acerca de las celebridades o vecinos u otros niños o personas a la iglesia. “Cuando estamos hablando acerca de la apariencia de cualquier persona, los niños están garantizados para escuchar, y recoger en los juicios todo el tiempo y lo ven como una reflexión sobre sí mismos.”

Animar a los niños a comer de forma saludable sin discutir los alimentos en términos de peso y la apariencia puede ser complicado.Lindsay hace que el punto de que la salud es falsamente definida por cómo la gente mira cuando en realidad la salud se mide por lo que está pasando dentro de su cuerpo. Ella sugiere hablar de lo que hace la comida para usted y qué alimento es apropiado para diferentes situaciones y momentos diferentes. Hablar de cómo la comida es energía y combustible, y la energía es lo que ayuda a nuestros cuerpos hacer las cosas divertidas que queremos hacer, como dar un paseo en bicicleta o participar en una clase de baile. También hay que tener precaucion contra los alimentos  al decir ciertos  alimentos son buenos o ciertos alimentos son malos porque un niño puede sentir vergüenza si comen una “mala” comida.

También, como se sabe, los medios de comunicación social afectan negativamente a la imagen corporal, y es un problema mucho mayor para las niñas que para los niños. Los estudios demuestran las niñas y las mujeres pasan mucho más tiempo en las redes sociales que los niños y los hombres. Los adolescentes comparten imágenes de sí mismos y luego reciben una validación basada en lo que están enviando, y los comentarios están casi siempre relacionados con la apariencia. Los estudios también muestran una correlación entre el uso de las redes sociales y cómo la gente se siente acerca de sí mismos. Lindsay recomienda tener conversaciones muy abiertas y honestas con sus hijos acerca de cómo usted personalmente ha sido afectado negativamente por las redes sociales y cómo ver a la gente que hace cosas sin ti o en busca de cierta manera puede hacer que se sienta cohibido. Lindsay compartió que en su tesis doctoral, se encontró que las mujeres que se sentían mal de sus cuerpos se utilizan mayoritariamente los medios de comunicación social en los números más altos, y las mujeres que se sentían mejor acerca de sus cuerpos no se utilizan medios de comunicación social tanto.

Consejos para la enseñanza de una buena imagen corporal

mantenga el foco en su casa y todas sus conversaciones sin apariencias.

  • animar a los niños a comer de forma saludable sin discutir los alimentos en términos de peso y la apariencia
  • No moralizar la comida diciendo certain alimentos son “buenos” o ciertos alimentos son “malo”
  • tener conversaciones muy abiertas y honestas con sus hijos acerca de cómo usted personalmente ha sido afectado negativamente por los medios de comunicación sociales
  • recordar algunos de los mayores factores que afectan a la imagen corporal de los adolescentes son los medios de comunicación y influencias culturales

Lindsay y Lexie Kite están disponibles para hablar en todo el país. También tienen una blog en su sitio web conh.información elpful  Necesitará una lección sobre cómo hablar con sus hijos acerca de la imagen corporal saludable? Mira aquí.

Tina Mattsson tiene un BA en periodismo con especialización en Inglés. Ella es una madre, escritor y defensor de la seguridad y la educación de los niños.


Medios de Comunicación y la imagen corporal. (2015). Obtenido 12 de julio de 2017, los de


Bringing Digital Citizenship Into Our Homes

Bringing Digital Citizenship Into Our Homes

By Jenny Johnson

This is the first article in a two-part series.

When I was a kid, I remember jumping across the bed to hit the record button on my boom box so I could tape my favorite song from the radio. I had to wait for my film to be developed when I took any pictures with my Kodak camera. If I wanted to talk to a friend, I had to call them (and most likely speak to their parents) and was ecstatic the day my parents gave me my own phone line.  

But it’s different now.

Our kids have access to music and videos through YouTube. They don’t have to talk to their friends because they can text or comment on social media posts. Pictures are taken and shared immediately to a Cloud. And this can all be done at their fingertips through a smartphone.

Our children have been born into a generation of technology. They seem to know every new app, device, and website and can learn to maneuver their way through any computer system. They are two steps ahead, and I can’t seem to keep up with them.

In the past, I have panicked at the thought of them sharing too much, seeing too much, and wasting too much time.

Then I heard about digital citizenship.

“Digital citizenship is the ability to participate safely, intelligently, productively, and responsibly in the digital world (DigCitUtah, 2017).” It is using the internet with purpose to help connect with the world and encourage creativity but doing so in an honest, safe, and secure manner.


Digital citizenship is an integral part of teaching children how to maneuver the internet.  It prepares them for what to do when someone asks for personal information. It teaches them to cite sources to prevent plagiarizing. It reduces risk for cyberbullying and helps promote a positive footprint in a virtual world. Helping them understand digital citizenship also promotes media literacy which enables them to be a wise customer and deliberate message user (DigCitUtah, 2017).  

So How Do We Start Teaching Digital Citizenship in Our Homes? Here are some simple principles to get you started.

Digital Footprints

Once something has been posted to the internet, it is permanent. It can be copied and shared within seconds without knowledge or approval. Children are sharing content that is affecting their future employment and even college acceptance potential. More and more businesses are looking at online profiles and social media and basing a person’s acceptance to a company on their social media footprint. Personal relationships are being affected by status and photo updates. As soon as your kids are old enough to post any information or create any account (as young as kindergarten) you can start teaching this to your child (Internet, n.d.).

Teach your kids to be kind. Discuss with your kids the need to consistently post about themselves and others in a positive way. That way, their profile and their digital footprint trail will portray a more honest persona that reflects their true self.

Teach your kids to self-monitor. While we can find apps to help us monitor our children’s internet and technology usage, it is necessary to teach them how to monitor themselves.


One of the most difficult things for children to understand is that there are real people on the other side of the screen. Pictures are being copied and distributed without consent. Children are becoming victims or even bullies by using media to abuse or harass their peers without understanding the severity or impact of the words they are typing.

Teach your kids what is okay to share and what is not. There are obvious things that should not be shared like a last name, age, and address. But children and teens are eager to share seemingly small or innocent details of their day. Or they may feel the need to vent about a troublesome situation. Kids (and adults) need to understand that they don’t need to share everything online. Not every lovely dessert, party, beach trip, or friend drama needs to be photographed and documented on social media. Oversharing can be embarrassing in the least and dangerous in the most extreme.

Remind them to think before they post. Teach your children to ask themselves questions before posting. Will this post be offensive or hurtful to anyone? Does this portray me or others negatively? Does it share any personal information? Is the picture appropriate? And when all else fails, have them check with you if they need a second opinion.

Continually encourage them to search for ways to inspire and motivate others! Teach kids to share encouraging words, post positive affirmations, and be the good that others look toward. Remember, what is shared online is permanent. Teach them to make it represent their best self.

The internet is an amazing tool for school, work, personal management, and socializing for our youth today. It’s essential to our world and isn’t going away. Teaching responsible digital citizenship is something that needs to be continually reinforced because technology is constantly changing. It’s not a one time conversation.  Every day there are new apps to communicate with, new pictures to post, and new tweets to share.  It is our responsibility to make sure our children are using the internet safely and responsibly while also encouraging creativity and engagement.

Teaching digital citizenship can help children maintain their honesty, integrity, and safety in real and virtual life.

Need help with digital citizenship? Look for our children’s book this coming fall!  You can also check out our book 30 Days to a Stronger Child  for help on how to build an emotionally strong and socially confident child, or download our free lesson Using Technology for Good  to teach your children how to use the internet in a positive way.

Jennifer Johnson is an intern for Educate and Empower Kids and is working towards a degree in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University – Idaho. She is active in her community and has volunteered in her local school district as a noon duty aide, school site safety council representative, and PTO President. Jennifer was born and raised in Southern California where she currently lives with her husband and three sons.


Home. (2017, June 08). Retrieved August 27, 2017, from

Scott, A. (2017, February 04). What Have We Gained-and Lost- through Technology? Retrieved August 20, 2017, from


My child wants THAT video game?! 7 Secrets to Help Answer the Big Question

My child wants THAT video game?!  7 Secrets to Help Answer the Big Question

By Melody Bergman

This is the first article in a three-part series addressing video games and the fan culture that surrounds them. In our fast-paced digital world, parents need all the tools we can get interpreting the gaming world (media literacy) and teaching our young gamers how to participate in in a healthy, responsible way (digital citizenship).

I heard the name of the game whispered on the wind. I knew it was coming, and of course it did. My son finally approached me and asked, “Hey Mom! Can I have THAT game?”

We parents might have different ideas about what “THAT game” is, but these days it’s only a matter of time before it comes a-knockin’ at the front door–or even sneaks in the back. Either way it’s now a force to be reckoned with. Now what?

  1. To ban or not to ban? Every home is different. Family values, game ratings, age of the child—all of these will come into play. In general, though, try to keep an open mind. Don’t knee-jerk. Also, be sure to include your child in the decision-making progress. When kids are involved, you are more likely to have buy-in on the solution.
  2. Take your time. When kids have a particularly difficult question—especially regarding digital media—pause and think. If you don’t want to answer right away, then don’t. Instead, say “I need to think about it,” or “Why don’t we take some time to look into it?” At my house we often have several discussions before making a tough decision.
  3. There are no short-cuts. This is going to take some time, but it’s worth it! Don’t be tempted to scan the cover, accept or reject the game based solely on the rating, hand it to your kid (or not), and walk away. According to the Academy of Pediatrics, the rating system for video games isn’t always reliable (McGrath, 2015). It’s our responsibility as parents to do our homework and make the final decision.
  4. Do your research. Ideally, I like to beat my kids to the punch. But this isn’t always possible and sometimes we get blind-sided. Either way … Stop! Take a research break before jumping to conclusions–good or bad. Pop the name of the game into Google and start reading reviews, blogs, gamer forums—whatever you can find. Explore details about the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating system at here.  Also one of my favorite resources, Common Sense Media has a page dedicated to video game reviews especially for parents..
  5. Ask questions. Even if you’ve done some research, don’t assume you know everything. Other parents and gamers have their opinions, but this is your child. Talk to her. Find out what she knows about it, and ask why she wants to play. Ask what friends are saying. Don’t just talk about the video game itself–also address the emotions and context surrounding the game. This should be a discussion (i.e., two-way communication), not a lecture (one-way communication).
  6. Discover together. When I’m talking to my children about media, I often ask questions even though I think I already know the answer. For instance I might ask, “Is there any profanity in that game?” Even if I know the answer, we still talk about it. Mostly I listen. If they are uninformed, we go online together and “discover” information. This way we are learning together. That’s much more effective than me wagging a finger in their faces.
  7. Be creative. Often, we assume we have to tell our children either “yes” or “no.” But life isn’t always that straightforward. Digital media contains massive gray areas, and the next generation will be much better equipped if we teach our kids to think outside the box.

Let’s go back to the original question: “Mom, can I have that game?”

With the last video game query at our house, the answer was: “Yes, BUT only with supervision.” That turned out to be a win-win. Great compromise. Everybody was happy.

But now we have THAT game in our house. And I’m not gonna lie–my little dude is getting a wee bit obsessed. And that is a topic for another day.

For more discussions to help you strengthen and connect with your kids, check out 30 Days to a Stronger Child, available on here


Melody Harrison Bergman is a mother and step-mom of three awesome boys and creator of the blog MamaCrossroads ( She has a bachelor’s degree in communications and has been writing and editing since 2002. Melody has made it her mission to motivate leaders and community members to educate and protect their children. Her experiences as a survivor of sexual abuse and former spouse of a sex addict bring unique perspective to the fight against pornography and sexual exploitation.


McGrath, Mary. (26 Jan 2015). “Parents’ duty to make call on video games for kids.” American Academy of Pediatrics News. Retrieved from


App Alert: Sarahah and Your Kids

App Alert: Sarahah and Your Kids

By Jenny Webb, MA

What’s easier: giving feedback to someone face to face, or giving feedback anonymously?

In my job as an editor, I’m sometimes asked to review manuscripts and give my honest opinion about them. It’s always easier when I don’t know anything about who wrote it, and when I know they won’t be able to trace the feedback to me personally. The work of critical evaluation is tough enough without having to worry about offending someone I know!

But as a parent, the opposite is true: if I’m helping my child learn about themselves and reach their potential, that process works best when I carefully consider my child’s individual strength’s and weaknesses and tailor my parenting the best I can to meet their needs through encouragement and love.

Anonymous, critical feedback is useful in specific circumstances, but I cannot think of a single instance in which such an environment would be developmentally appropriate for a child or teenager. That is why I consider Sarahah, a recent app, to not only be inappropriate, but potentially dangerous for children and teens.

Understanding Sarahah

Sarahah is a new anonymous messaging app that has quickly become very popular in the US, especially among teens. It is one of the most downloaded free apps in both Apple’s US App Store and the Google Play store. The app began as a website initially meant to be used by employees to provide honest feedback without fear of repercussions. Developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq produced an English version of the app midway through 2017, and it took off

“Sarahah” is an Arabic word that means “frankness” or “honesty,” and it’s clear that within certain contexts honest, anonymous feedback has a place. But Sarahah’s popularity with teens is particularly troublesome due to the app’s potential for anonymous bullying.

Imagine yourself at the age of 14 with a license to say whatever you wanted to someone without them being able to respond (the app does not permit responses) or find out who you are. Yikes. I wasn’t a bully as a teenager, but even so, I don’t think I would have always made the best choices in that scenario, especially if I was upset with someone. Teenage impulsivity + anonymity are a recipe for serious consequences, including intense bullying with the potential to escalate quickly.

Sarahah + Snapchat

In July 2017, Snapchat released the ability to include links  to other websites inside snaps. Teens quickly integrated their Sarahah accounts with their Snapchat social networks, and suddenly their snaps became open invitations for people to send them anonymous messages on Sarahah.

The concerns  about cyberbullying  through Sarahah are real, and the developer is taking steps to potentially address them. But such adjustments take time. The app’s rapid growth in popularity means that, at least right now, it should be on every parent’s radar.

Check in with your child. Know what apps they’re using. And if they include Sarahah, make some time for an honest, face-to-face talk.

Want to know what other apps every parent should be aware of? Check out this article for more helpful information.

Jenny Webb is an editor and publications production specialist living in Woodinville, Washington with her husband, Nick, and their two children.

Is the Media Teaching Your Kids About Sex?

Is the Media Teaching Your Kids About Sex?

By Melody Bergman

Sometimes life is so fast it makes our heads spin, and we just hope and pray that the tools we’re using are actually keeping our kids safe when it comes to media.

But do we really expect filters, age-appropriate ratings, and time limits to ensure our kids won’t encounter sexually explicit material?

What does “age appropriate” mean anyway? As far as I can tell, nowadays all it means is that children of a certain age are expected to be in the audience. Whether we want our children to be in that audience is a different matter altogether.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but some current events have made it clear that “they” (the creators of this stuff: games, videos, ads, and media in general) have a funny way of deciding what is or isn’t taboo anymore. In fact, I’m not sure what is off limits at this point.

Here are some examples of explicit content disguised as “age-appropriate” media:(WARNING: External links may contain content that is offensive or triggering.)

TEEN VOGUE created quite a stir recently by including a graphic tutorial on anal sex in their June 2017 issue. The target audience for the magazine is ages 11-17 (Teen Vogue pushing Anal Sex to young girls, 2017). When confronted by angry parents, the magazine defended their decision to publish the article (Starnes, 2017).

MINECRAFT, rated for ages 8+, is definitely a kids game. But watch out! Players are now adding “sex mods” to their Minecraft games, luring children into virtual sexual encounters (Betters-Midtvedt, 2016; Jenson, 2016).

ANIME is not just an innocent artform, although its cartoon style does ensure passage through internet filters. Beware of Hentai, graphic anime pornography, which gets through filters the same way (Bentley, 2017).

BILL NYE the Science Guy” has a new show on Netflix called Bill Nye Saves the World, and parents should be aware that his content and tone on this “kid-friendly” show have shifted significantly from his old work. Nye just received an Emmy nomination for his “Sexual Spectrum” episode, which is presented in an almost strip-club type format and includes actress Rachel Bloom singing about her vagina, ‘butt stuff,’ ‘sex stew,’ sexual positions, transgenderism, and how sexuality and gender are ‘on a spectrum’ (Prestigiacomo, 2017).

Do these things make us want to throw up? Or huddle in a corner shivering with fear? Or–as I’ve heard more and more parents admit–move in with the Amish? Maybe. But in reality we can make it through this one day at a time. Hang in there!

Here are some tips on combating hypersexuality and unwanted “sex ed” in the media: Follow media coverage on family issues. Frankly, I was horrified to learn I had missed some of the current events listed above until I started researching and really paying attention. Like many parents, I wondered how I can possibly keep up with these things along with the rest of the whirlwind that is life. Lucky for us, there are watchdogs out there already keeping track of these things–we just need to find them and follow them wherever we are on social media. That way notifications will come to us automatically. Here are some options:

Educate and Empower Kids – Us, of course! We’re always watching your back and trying to keep you up to date on these things! (Luckily there is a whole team of us–not just me!)

Common Sense Media – Detailed reviews for parents regarding movies, books, TV, games, apps, and websites.

Protect Young Minds – A blog and website dedicated to protecting children from online pornography (also home of the Good Pictures Bad Pictures book series)

Protect Young Eyes – A faith-based blog dedicated to equipping concerned, but too-busy parents and hyper-connected kids with information about using the internet well.

The Activist Mommy – An ultra-conservative vlogger who educates about current events and topics that are important to families.

Dirty Dozen List – From the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, updated annually.

Be your child’s first source of information. Let’s face it. Unless we tape our kids inside a cardboard box and feed them through a little hole, we’re not going to be able to protect them from exposure to the media. The fact is, if we want to teach our kids about sex before the media does, then we need to start early. This is one job we don’t want to leave to the professionals! Don’t know where to start? We can definitely help with that. We’re always adding new resources on this topic. Here are just a few to start with:

Video: A Tale of Two Sex Talks

Video: When should parents start talking to their children about sex?

Article: “The Talk(s):” Start Off Easy

Article: 5 Basic Tips for Talking to Your Child About Sex

Article: 15 Things I Want My Son To Know About Love And Sex

Article: 15 Things I Want My Daughter To Know About Love and Sex

Book: 30 Days of Sex Talks for Ages 3-7

Book: 30 Days of Sex Talks for Ages 8-11

Book: 30 Days of Sex Talks for Ages 12+

Teach your kids to self-monitor. As we all know, we can’t be with our kids at all times, and unfortunately even the best filters can fail. This is when our kids need to have a backup system in place–one that is built into their own conscience so they can access it wherever or whenever they need to. Teaching our kids to self-monitor requires careful time and preparation on our part. As parents, if we spend time teaching our children about sex, pornography, and other explicit material before they are exposed, that will be more precious to them than any piece of software in their time of need. Watch this video and learn our plan to help kids R.U.N. away from pornography:


For more details on self-monitoring and other great discussions about pornography, check out our book, How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography, available on Amazon: For a sneak peek at what’s inside, you can also read my book review: “The Handbook is HERE: How to talk to kids about porn.”

Sometimes it’s tempting to feel discouraged and overwhelmed in our digitally saturated, sex-obsessed world. But with the right tools, we can take courage! We can empower our kids with the knowledge that sex and love are beautiful and wholesome before the world tells them otherwise. You can do it Mom and Dad! We’re cheering you on!

And while we’re on the topic of media literacy … Check out our new Kids Activity Page! Have your children put their skills to the test decoding advertisements with fun interactive exercises for different age groups. Are they smarter than the media?

Melody Harrison Bergman is a mother and step-mom of three awesome boys and creator of the blog MamaCrossroads ( She has a bachelor’s degree in communications and has been writing and editing since 2002. Melody has made it her mission to motivate leaders and community members to educate and protect their children. Her experiences as a survivor of sexual abuse and former spouse of a sex addict bring unique perspective to the fight against pornography and sexual exploitation.



Bentley, Lacy. (2017, May 4). Five Things Kids Need Parents to Know About Anime. Parents Aware. Retrieved July 24, 2017, from

Betters-Midtvedt, A. (2016, October 21). Everything Changed the Day I Learned Minecraft Has a Sex Mod. Retrieved July 24, 2017, from

Jenson, K. (2016, November 3). Sex Mods??? Is Minecraft Safe for My Kids? Protect Young Minds. Retrieved July 24, 2017, from

Prestigiacomo, A. ‘Butt Stuff’: Bill Nye Gets Emmy Nod For INSANE ‘Sexual Spectrum’ Episode. The Daily Wire. Retrieved July 24, 2017, from

Starnes, T. (2017, July 18). Parents outraged over Teen Vogue anal sex how-to column (but magazine still defends it). Fox News. Retreived July 24, 2017, from

(2017, July 19). Teen Vogue pushing Anal Sex to young girls. National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Retrieved July 24, 2017, from