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One Thing You Should Not Pay Someone To Do For Your Child

Teach your kids how to sort, separate and put their dirty clothes in the wash now.

Show your children how to treat stains, measure detergent and explain the importance of removing lint from the dryer vent after every cycle.

Don’t turn your son’s sports socks right side out, since you aren’t the one who took them off like that.

Parents should teach their kids how to do their own laundry instead of paying someone to handle the task for them.

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How to Strengthen Your Kid and Your Entire Family

There’s nothing I love more than the week after my kids get home from sleep away summer camp. Our kids hang around home reminiscing about their few weeks away in the Missouri humidity while we tend to their bug bites, bumps, and bruises.

One is nursing a painful ingrown toenail; one is peeling profusely from his sunburn while healing a sprained ankle; another has strained and cut up knees from who knows what and one has no idea how he got the open wounds all up his arm.

Proof of time away at summer camp.

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How to Turn Your Home in to a Living Legacy – Vacation Memory Bottles

If the house goes up in flames, I want my people, my scrapbooks and my sand bottles. Forget the jewelry, just grab the sand.

My sand bottle collection represents memories I’ve gathered over the past decade of my life. The 46 unique bottles grace our master bedroom fireplace mantel and represent travels I’ve made near and far with my family, husband, girlfriends or by myself. Each and every bottle is full of earthly treasure attached to stories of travel and exploration.

Our homes are a haven where our family story is told through what graces our walls, shelves and mantels. Everything we choose to display in our house is a reminder of what we deem important.  Our homes are a tangible way to tell the story of who we are and where we’ve been. Look around. This is us.

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One Sure Way To Strengthen Your Child This Summer

In a few days our kids will shut down their technology. All Snapchat streaks must come to an end.

They will bid farewell to their normally scheduled academic and athletic programming and head to the woods.

Our four teenagers will go live amongst strangers and bugs and humidity and uncomfortable beds. I’m going to assume they brush their teeth, put on deodorant and apply sunscreen on some of the days.

What I know for sure is that these few weeks at summer camp will be some of the most important days spent in their childhood.

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Save Your Sanity with a Summer Screen Time Strategy!

If witnessing your kids laying around on devices after school and on weekends is making you crazy now, how are you going to feel this summer when the time off beckons constant screen usage?

Become your child’s media mentor and make a plan to intentionally decrease screen use in your family this summer.

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Look Beyond your Monday Mess and Find Meaning today!

What if we really looked around our homes and saw the precious moments and memories inside of the clutter.

What if we really looked for blessings disguised as chaos.

What if we really looked beyond the mess and saw meaning instead.

I walked around decluttering on a quiet school day and This caught my eye and I am grateful.

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Could your family adopt from foster care?

You are raising your kids and you think your family is complete. But, there are many children living in foster care who need you.

These kids have no stable place to lay their heads at night and are living in the midst of uncertainty.

There are many older children waiting and wondering if they will ever have a loving family to call their own before they age out of the system at 18 years old.

May is National Foster Care Month and over 400,000 kids are in foster care here in the United States at no fault of their own. No child should have to grow up without a family to care for them.

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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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