Internet Safety for tweens

Keeping my kids safe online is something I think about a lot.  With teen/tween boys I am aware of the temptations and predatory dangers lurking online.  We have taken some precautionary measures, such as putting the computer in the family room.  My thirteen (almost fourteen *sigh*) year old has a facebook page but I have the password and all the alerts come to my email.  We keep the computer locked with a password so the kids can't be online when we aren't home.  But, they are still at risk.  Some of the kids on Facebook post some incredibly inappropriate things.  Pictures that make me cringe.  Disrespectful things about their parents.  It is sad. Recently, Mom Central asked if I would like to test drive the Yoursphere program.  I was immediately interested because Yoursphere is a site, … [Read more...]

Raising future men

My boys went on a little adventure last weekend.  They rode their bikes 1.5 miles from home (each way) to a convenience store to buy some candy- without permission!  My husband and I only found out because they ran into a couple from our church at the store (thank God!). My first reaction was UGLY!  I was so angry at them- for breaking rules (riding their bikes on main road, not telling us where they were going- I could go on).  I seriously thought I wasn't going to let them ride their bikes ALL SUMMER.  Overkill?  perhaps but this mama was mad.  Thankfully, the hubby and I made the choice to defer our discipline decision for a few days so we could pray about what to do. And, this is what God reminded us: Last year (as a family) we read the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge.  In this … [Read more...]

Bullying: When Should Parents Intervene

My 12 year old Matt marches to the beat of his own band drummer.  He is sweet, smart and eccentric.  He loves legos, Star Wars and drawing.  He gets good grades, but grades aren't important to him.  He loves Jesus and thinks deep thoughts.  For example- yesterday he asked me if he was a girl and he got raped and became pregnant would I be mad if he got an abortion?- yeah, we have a lot of interesting conversations. Matt has been made fun of at school since he was little.  His personality, combined with his affinity for Spongebob t-shirts and Star Wars bookbags, coupled with his unique sense of style and need for glasses and braces have left him with a target on his back for the mean kids. He has really dealt with it well. He rarely caves under peer pressure, he prays for the kids who are … [Read more...]

Tweens and Discipline

When my boys were little, especially in the days when no one could yet tie their own shoes, wipe their own bottoms, etc.  I would cringe when one of them (they were about 6, 3 and 2) would say " I can do it by myself, mama".  Wanting to do something on their own meant it was going to take me three times as long to get out the door.  Not to mention after they frustrated themselves with their attempt to tie their shoes, I would have to go put them on the correct feet and tie them myself. Now, allowing them the "I can do this by myself" mentality is actually imperative for their development.  This is the time of their life when they need to go ahead and make some decisions and experience the natural consequences while mama and daddy are still here to walk them through it. Problem … [Read more...]

Helicopter Parenting or Parenting Parenting?

My kids often accuse suggest to me that I am overly strict and involved in their lives. While I would probably have to plead "no contest" to such a charge in court, I think, I hope and I pray that I am doing this whole mama thing right.  But am I? For example: an eleven year old girl in our neighborhood is aggressively pursuing my thirteen year old son (about to be fourteen in a month).  Her facebook photo is of her in a bikini (for crying out loud).  I have intervened by informing her that her facebook messages to him are inappropriate (because I monitor all his facebook messages).  I have intervened by bringing my son inside when she is riding her bike past our house obsessively while he is playing basketball (in our driveway).  That (so far) has been the extent of my "psychopathic … [Read more...]

Physical Issues with Teens

I have had both of my boys at the doctor in the last month for physical complaints.  One issue I can't discuss here (some stories are our kids to tell) but I can talk in generalities about the things going on. For instance, Jared (13) has been having lower back pain.  He is a tough kid, athletic and rarely complains.  Turns out that since the basketball season is over he hasn't been stretching before shooting hoops with his friends (which he does daily after school).  His hamstrings are so tight it is affecting his other muscles. The treatment? Rest (aka no basketball for two weeks, ibuprofen and ice).  He is not happy! Anyway, this led me to wonder if some of the other physical changes happening in my boys are "normal".  So I turned to my trusty friend … [Read more...]

Teen/Tween Thursday- Family Time

This week I would like to expand on a post I wrote earlier in the week.  When parenting teens/tweens quality family time can be difficult.  Our kids don't necessarily want to spend time with us. Let's face it: we are not cool (at least to our kids ;)) This week I recognized the importance of focusing on my sons interests in order to engage his attention. So, how can we make sure that we are available to our kids?  What are some things that we can do with them to maintain a bond?  Here are some of my ideas and I would love to hear yours as well! Eat dinner together. This is so important!  Many studies have touted the value of eating as a family. It is a great time for discussion, questions and family time.  I am always amused listening to the things that my … [Read more...]

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