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Parents Are You Properly Pushing Your Kid?

Parents we need to be properly pushing our kids.

Your son doesn’t want to do it, so he doesn’t have to do it.

Whatever he wants.

Your daughter doesn’t feel like doing something, so she doesn’t have to.

Whatever she wants.

Heaven forbid our children ever feel disappointed, afraid, unhappy or uncomfortable. We wouldn’t want that now, would we? Or are we doing our kids a disservice by allowing only what makes them feel safe, happy and comfortable?

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4 Books To Help Parent Your Tech Addicted Kids

Parents are scrambling for advice on how to handle digital devices in their homes.

We are losing our kids to technology, but what can we as Mom and Dad do about it?

We must acquire wisdom from knowledgeable sources and implement boundaries and rules based on what we learn. When we know better, we do better.

The following four books were given to me to review and are each beneficial in the i-parenting journey. With five kids on screens, I’m open to any positive advice I can get right now on how to best handle technology in our family.

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1. Disconnected- How to Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids is a call to action because we (adults and children) do not have control over electronic devices and screens; they instead have control over us.

The author Thomas Kersting is a rock star parent because he has no intention of getting his 14 year old son and subsequent daughter cell phones. I’m sure what he witnesses as a public school counselor by day and private practice therapist at night helps him in that decision. Kersting consistently sees firsthand the problems that kids are facing due to technology overuse.

I love that this book is a quick, informative read with less than 100 pages and is broken into three parts- the impact of electronic devices on kids’ brains; technology’s effect on social, emotional and family growth and what parents can do- tips, techniques and solutions.

Kersting lists warning signs and how to tell when your child is spending too much time using any form of electronic media, including television, video games, handheld devices and computers/tablets. He states ways to help your children (and yourself) cut down on electronic media consumption and he also states when is the right age to get your child a smartphone. I wish I would’ve read this one line alone before handing over phones to my kids.

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2. Unplug- Raising Kids in a Technology Addicted World is another self published short read by psychologists Dr. Lisa Strohman and Dr. Melissa Westendorf.

The book dives into the difference between technology addiction  and overuse as well as states guidelines that can be established around using technology. The authors’ candid approach helps parents sort through the pros and cons of technology use and helps parents better understand the effects it can have on children.

Unplug helps you determine how to better manage raising children with technology and to provide insight and practical tools for the challenges and choices our children are facing. I really enjoyed the call to action To Do lists at the end of every chapter and the idea of designing a Technology Use Log.

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3. A Parent’s Guide to iPhone and iPad is a must have read for any parent of kids who own an i-device. My kids have had iPhones for nearly two years and I had no idea many of the tips and tricks that I learned in this book. I wish At&t would’ve given me this book when we purchased the kids phones.

This book reminds me of a smaller, updated version of something from the “for Dummies” series. There are easy to follow instructions and visual photos to help guide you through the process.

The Andrew duo crafted this book for the parent, not the tech wizard. Think of it like a cookbook for your device with detailed step-by-step recipes on everything you can do and control on the iPhone and iPad. The tutorials are detailed and simple to follow. Your child’s future will be increasingly connected online, and you owe it to them to understand the tools they will use and how to protect them.

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4. I was part of the launch team back in 2014 for the book Growing Up Social- Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World. My kids didn’t even own cell phones at that time so it was a great book to read to help us proactively create boundaries and limits on screen time before they actually owned the devices. You can read my original review here.

Parents, don’t be afraid to be in the know and set boundaries according to your family values and beliefs. Our kids are depending on us to lead them well.

FYI- I will receive a few pennies if you purchase any of the books with the Amazon links provided in this post. 

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8 Parent Tech Tips I learned from a Police Detective

It’s always taken a village to raise a child well, but it’s even more important to link arms today as we battle our children’s growing dependency on technology.

As a parent of five kids on i-devices, I seek out wise mentors to help me in this arena. Balancing technology usage is the biggest battle I face raising my kids today.

Consider me part of your village as I pass on what I learn along the way. I recently gained this knowledge at a talk by Scottsdale Police Detective Tanya Corder and Dr. Lisa Strohman, Founder/CEO of the Technology Wellness Center, who witness the effects of technology on kids daily.

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7 Things Your Daughter Should Not Post on Instagram

223 likes.

527 followers.

We know that Instagram numbers matter to our daughters.

You are so perfect.

Love you so much.

The feedback our girls receive on their Instagram posts matters even more.

But does your daughter know what matters to you when it comes to her presence online?

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4 Technology Battles Parents Must Fight

Kids will battle boundaries placed on their technology. It’s their job to fight you on your dumb rules Mom and Dad.

It’s your job as a parent to stay in the ring and fight the good fight. The last thing you want to do is give your child an iPhone and then stick your head in the sand.

Parents, we must engage in the battles that come along with allowing our kids the privilege of today’s technology.

What battles are you willing to fight when it comes to your data draining screenager?

We’ve allowed our children to own smartphones and other technology, now it’s our job to teach them how to properly balance their digital temptations. If you’re the one paying for the devices, wifi or data plans, you’re the one in charge of setting the rules and sticking to them.

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Dear Overwhelmed Momma,

All too often we parents feel overwhelmed while raising our kids.

Our overwhelm paralyzes our parenting and we don’t accomplish all that we hope for our families. We’ve got a lot of ideas and things we want to do, but somehow another day passes without us actually implementing any of them.

Here’s a recent email that I received.

Dear Amy,

I have a young family with 4 children- daughter (7) twin sons (4) and daughter (2.5).  I feel so overwhelmed that my intentions get paralyzed and I don’t take the actions I want for our family.  I want to create traditions, I want to travel, I want more one on one time with my kids. I want to have family meetings and lessons but I’m too paralyzed and I’m not taking action.  I’m afraid that I can’t have the family of my dreams that I want to have. If you have any advice at all, I’m all ears.

Signed, Overwhelmed

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5 Things Parents Must Tell Their Children

We parents today are fantastic at telling our babies how wonderful they are at everything they do.

We slap stickers of their sports team logos and the schools they attend on the backs of the cars that we shuttle them around in.

We happily tout their sports victories and weekend wins on social media for all to see.

We parents are proud of our kids.

Perhaps what our kids need from us more than constant pats on the back is a healthier dose of reality. Along with telling Johnny what a gift to the world he is, we need to also make sure he understands these things…

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How to Stop Reacting to your Child’s Pleading Texts!

Forgotten homework. Instrument. Water bottle. PE Uniform. Lunch. Cell phone. And the list goes on.

You name it and our kids will forget it. And then they’ll want us to deliver it.

How do we respond, instead of react, to their pleas for help?

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4 Tips to Being an Intentional Tooth Fairy

I’ve been thrown into early retirement. Pushed out before my time.

My kids tiny, wiggly teeth have been replaced with mouths full of metal braces.

It’s hard to believe that my role as the Tooth Fairy is over.

Before I pack away my wings, I want to pass along some wisdom to you on National Tooth Fairy Day.

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Parents, this post is your warning…

As parents our days can be long. Dreadfully long when the kids are young.

It’s not until we catch a glimpse of our teens, as toddlers in an old photo, that the passing of time stops us in our tracks.

In that moment we’re reminded that our children really are racing toward childhood’s finish line and they will soon cross over into adulthood.

Why are we speeding through life so fast that it takes a Facebook reminder from years past to bring us to the realization that our kids really are growing up right before our eyes?

As parents our days can be long, but the years are definitely short.

We wanted babies. We wanted a fun and connected family. But ever since our bundles of joy arrived, we’ve struggled to keep up with their daily demands. We race through life without even putting much thought into what we’re doing or why we’re even doing it in the first place.

We must slow down.

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In Arizona, photo radar cameras wait to catch speeding offenders in my neighborhood. There is a sign to warn us that the camera is ahead, but sometimes our distracted selves only pay attention after the flash goes off in our face and we’ve been caught racing through life again.

It’s only when we get caught that we realize we missed the warning sign and speeding toward our destination will now cost us.

Pretend that this blog post is that yellow warning sign for you. It’s a friendly reminder to slow the heck down because just ahead your child will be turning 18. He will soon head out the door into the real world and parenting as you know it will be over.

And just like I don’t want to see you get that speeding ticket in the mail, I don’t want you to get to your firstborn’s high school graduation and wonder how it all went so fast.

Everyday distractions keep us from focusing on what’s really important in our families. None of us want to get to the end of this full time parenting gig and say, I should’ve been more present. Or I should’ve made better choices and decisions to create moments with my child while I had the chance.

We only get one opportunity to cultivate a childhood, so we must slow down and make the most of the time we have left. Decide today to plan out what you want for your family this year and then the next and then the one after that. Don’t speed through life without an intentional destination or it may just cost you.

Parents our days are long, but they aren’t long enough.

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