Tag Archive | parenting

Parent to Friend

Balance, that is the main goal here.  Some of us grew up in the generation of the authoritarian or permissive parents.  I believe the best type of parenting is authoritative.  We need to teach our children to respect us and to know we are in charge, always.  Teaching starts very young; by 6 months old you should start telling them no, while still showing them security and love.  Always stay strong when disciplining, even with those sweet eyes looking at you.  Sometime we lose our cool and threaten to throw things in the garbage or other extreme measures;  we can change it by saying “I was frustrated and I am changing the punishment to _____”.  Typically the toys and things our kids have, we bought with our money, so take things away, don’t waste your money.  

So how do we go from parent to friend? What is the right age to do this?  Now is when you start.  When our kids are little, we play with them; this teaches friendship.  When they get older we talk to them about issues in their lives and help and teach them how to deal with conflict. Stop here! {By the time they are in junior high, they want to share with you and don’t always want to you “fix” or advise them on what to do.  They want you to listen and know you are there for them if they want help}.  You still need to ask questions and ask if they want your advice on certain situations.  If it is something big,  please step in and help your child!  We always need to be an active part of our kids lives no matter their age.  By the time our kids are going into high school the groundwork should be laid to start moving from parent to friend.  What I mean by this is your child should have the tools to make their own decisions and know their basic beliefs.  This is not a time to go hands off, you need to be an active part of their life.  You don’t go hands off till they are out of your house; we know there is always room for growth and maturity.  Continue to ask them about their day, their friends, how they are handling and feel about everything.  {This should start when they start school}.  Continue to guide them on religion, drugs, sex, life choices.  It is important at all ages for our children to know actions produce consequences.  So back to friendship; our children need to show respect for our authority and as they mature a natural friendship can occur.  We have to let them make mistakes and suffer the consequences, whether it is from us, a teacher, or another adult in their life.  Better to start disciplining when they are little, than to have the cops do it when they are teenagers.  By setting the foundation while they are young; you will be able to have a lifelong friendship with mutual respect.

*Trust is earned. Love is given.* 

Dealing with the Death of a Grandparent

400682_467210426689596_1441140039_nSo my mom passed away suddenly in February of 2015.  She was a very healthy woman with lots of energy.  She got pneumonia that turned septic and was gone in a day.  I have 5 children, ages 8-21 years old.  I know everyone handles grief differently.  I just want to share a few things I have learned, and give a few tips that may be helpful.

*I was in shock and mourning the loss of my mom; I wanted my kids with me 24/7.  So I kept them out of school until after the funeral.

My 2 oldest girls cried and shared what they were feeling.  They continue to talk, cry and laugh with me and each other.  We talk about memories, what we would miss in the future, and how to handle what people say to you during this time.  We rejoice knowing she is in Heaven.  My 8 year old will start crying and feel sad at all different times.  She is homeschooled, so some of her memories were with Grammie helping her with school work; which meant school work was an automatic reminder that her Grammie was gone. She is very open to talk and share what she is thinking and feeling.  I always acknowledge that this is a hard situation but we have to keep going; this is what Grammie would want and she wouldn’t want us to stop living or be sad all the time.

After the initial shock hit my boys, they cried, then they closed down.  They tried not to cry, acted like they didn’t care and then later came some other issues.

I started by letting my kids teachers know what had happened.  I believe in informing teachers  what is going on at home so they can help while they have my child for 6 hours a day.  If teachers are informed they can have a much better understanding of your child’s behavior.  For instance, my 10 year old started sucking his thumb again, something he hadn’t done since he was 4.  His teacher informed me he was doing at school and was able to help him while he was there. I reminded him to keep his hands out of his mouth while he was at school; although I allowed him to suck his thumb while he was at home.  This was the way he was comforting himself while he was  grieving.  I have to say there are still times he sucks his thumb and I know it helps him to feel better.  He also started having a hard time going to sleep at night.  I started using essential oils nightly on his pillow along with some Bach music playing until he falls asleep.  My 15 year old suddenly had a short fuse and no patience at school stating, “They shouldn’t mess with me, especially right now”.  He just expected everyone to know what he was going through.  He had so many different feelings and wasn’t sure what to say or share.  He is a strong, masculine boy who believed men need to be strong and hold it together no matter what.  Seeing his dad, uncle and Grampa cry helped him to see that crying was ok.  He believed there were tiers in grief and that he was on the bottom.  I let him know we all lost the same person, yes our relationships were different but he had a right to all his grief and sadness.  We have had a lot of short and long talks about feelings of grief. He is sharing a lot more with me, but this has been a long process and by no means do I believe all is well just yet.  My goal is to keep him sharing and healing.

I continue to talk to my kids and try to pull memories from them and ask how they are truly feeling at that moment.  I specifically ask “How are you feeling about Grammie’s death?”  This helps me teach the kids about emotional health and that their feelings are right for them to feel.  Sometimes my kids feel like they don’t have many memories with Grammie; I just talk about a few things to remind them and bring their memories back.

We will all have to deal with death at some point.  Remember  as long as someone has accepted Christ, they go to Heaven and we will see them again.

*Keep looking up to God and keep the faith.

Technology, the Big Debate

Tech for kids

So what is the right age for a tablet, computer, phone, maybe email, or social media? Well I believe this varies by parents. Once you introduce your kids to something new you need to be on top of it and in full communication with them about that item. Think about T.V. You don’t give your child a channel changer and leave them alone for hours to “explore”. I know all the things I listed above can be scary; being a parent is scary. You choose what your child gets and when. As well as how much time they get with each device. Remember all of these are privileges, not necessities. Always remember; you know what your child is ready for at what age. We have rules in our family of no cell phones till the end of 6th grade, and no social media accounts until Jr. High. They can only have family as friends/followers to start with until High School. Now let me share how we do social media. First of all, we know all user names and passwords. Second, we must pre approve friends before friend/follower request are sent or accepted. This continues until they graduate high school. You may ask “Well what about secret accounts?” Easy. We go on our kid’s phones, computers, social media pages- from their computers of course. They know if anything is questionable, their computer, phone, etc. is ours to take. Even if they received it as a gift. They live in our home, therefore, our rules. Let me tell you, it takes work to have all these electronics. We have 5 kids and that means we can’t be relaxed about it. We are constantly checking phones, computers, tablets, social media, etc. With everything we allow them to have, we have to check up on those things. We have well behaved children, but I make sure they are on the right track every day. So a few tips on all these electronics.

1. Make sure you have an open, honest relationship before giving them any of these gadgets.

2. Never allow computers/ tablets/phones in the bedroom especially with a closed door.

3. We plug in all phones in our family room area every night, no phones in the bedroom.

4. No phones at the dinner table.

5. Make sure to limit all electronics to your contentment.

6. Remember you are the parent; it is your job to teach your sweet babies about responsibility.

7. I use the line from Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

1 Timothy 3:4

He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.