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Sexting- Talk About IT With Your Kids!

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I don’t fully understand why parents get so weird about talking to their child about sex. It is something of this world and they should know about it! I was a teenage parent, and I let my children and stepchildren know how hard it was and how I got there! I tell them that I hope that they don’t take the same path that I did. But, since I was a teenager, there is a popular thing that has surfaced between tweens (yes 11 and 12 year olds too) and teenagers…..SEXTING!
Most parents can put two and two together and figure out what sexting is. Most of it starts out as harmless texting, then comes pictures and then comes sexting! A lot of kids these days are pressured into this. Nothing has changed since you and I were teenagers. They still pull the, “If you love me you will send me a picture..” “You don’t even have to have your face in the picture…” “I will delete it once you send it..” “Nobody will see it but me..” Can you see where I’m going?
So, why is it important to talk to your tweens/teens about sexting and why it is inappropriate, disrespectful, and not classy? Teenagers should know limits. I can’t say this enough. Have limits for your children, especially on the phones! If your child has a phone and has any interest in the opposite sex, it’s time to have the up-to-date birds and bees talk.
How to be an active parent:
Talk to your son/daughter- I can not say it enough about how important it is to have a close relationship with your children! Talk to them about respecting the opposite sex! If you have a daughter, teach her to value her body and demand respect when it comes to her body. Teach her the meaning of having value and respect for her body. If you have a son, teach him how to respect himself. Often boys grow up thinking their privates are the greatest thing ever! Make sure your son doesn’t grow up with this mentality! If you don’t have serious conversations about this particular topic, your son might have this mentality!! It’s good to talk to your children about the dangers or sexting and how it can ruin their reputation!
Dads need to be involved- Having a male figure in your child’s life that is actively involved is crucial! Especially during the times that they are teenagers! Girls need a male role model to be in their lives to show them how men should treat women. Boy should have a male role model so they will know how to treat women. Girl’s should never be downgraded by being asked for a nude or very private picture. Men can be good at teaching both guys and girls this!
Monitor your children- I know some people might disagree with me, but children need limits! Check up on your child! If you ever suspect your child is going through anything different in their lives, or if your child has a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is always good to monitor their social media accounts and text messages!
Lord, we ask you to teach us how to parent during this rough time in our child’s life. It seems like daily they are faced with “the new thing.” Help us and guide us on how to be the best parents that we can be. Lord, we ask you to guide our children and the decisions that they make. Help them and give them strength and wisdom during their times where they feel peer pressure.
Until next time…be encouraged!!!

Cyber Bullying-Parent’s Guide

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I wanted to touch on this subject for parents because whether we realize it or not, cyber bullying is happening all around us. Research shows that many parents don’t even realize that their child is being bullied or is being a bully until it is too late.

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I had a friend recently share with my about her daughter being cyber bullied for months and she had absolutely no clue about it. She found out because her daughter had left her phone in the car and her mom heard it continuously vibrating. She picked up her daughter’s phone only to see so many texts and Facebook notifications that were saying awful things about her daughter. Some of the Facebook messages were so harsh, that she felt that she needed to call in to work and go get her daughter immediately. After getting the other girl’s parents involved, to my friend’s surprise, they knew nothing about it either. One of the girl’s was even a teacher’s daughter and her mother taught at the high school and she still had no clue her daughter was being a bully right under her nose!

I think that bullying is awful. I was somewhat bullied in school and this was before social media and text messaging! In my post from yesterday, I talked apps that your child may have on their phone and some listed are used for cyber bullying as well.
So, how can parents know if their child is being cyber bullied or being a cyber bully? How can we ensure that our child will not be a bully?
Have a relationship with your child- So many parents these days have no clue what their children are doing because they are letting technology be the babysitter! You may say, “Well, my child doesn’t want to hang out with me!” Or, “I don’t have money to spend on my child to take them to do anything!” Find a way to gain a steady relationship with your children. Make time to have conversations with them DAILY. Know what is going on in their lives. As they get older, yes, they will go through phases, but be there for them!
Monitor your child’s technology devices- Some parents may not agree with this and think that that is “their private stuff.” Children do need privacy, I agree with that. That is why our bathroom and their bedroom’s have doors. When it comes to a world in the palm of their hands, then it becomes my business! I do check my children’s phones. I am not saying that I am a stalker and check it daily, but I do check it. As a matter of fact, I have settings on their phones to let me know what apps they are downloading from the app store. I don’t sit there and read their texts word for word, but I glance through it. Know what your child is doing on these technology devices!!
Have limits for your child- This goes back to letting your child’s babysitter be the technology devices and television. I am not saying all phones and televisions are bad, but they can be. If we just allow our children to come home, get on their phones or in the television and have very little or no communication with the rest of the family, then we are giving our children too much freedom! Set time limits for your children. Consider a “technology free” day and do something outside! I am not saying that you should take away the deviced, but have time limits. It’s not healthy allowing your children to stay on their phones and in the television 90% of the time they are home.
Talk to you children about bullying- It is always a good idea to teach your children young about bullying. I’d say when they start stealing all the toys and not sharing when they are 2 years old is a good time. But, really, it’s never too early to start teaching your children about being a bully. Let them know how it can really hurt someone. If you are talking to your teenager about bullying, let them know that sometimes people even commit suicide because they are bullied so much. We also encourage our children to stick up for those that are being bullied, and if they don’t feel like they can stick up for the child, then they need to tell someone. Encourage your child.
Teach your child to serve- I will be doing a blog post at a later date on teaching children how to serve and be there for others. It is good to teach your child to hold the door for someone with their hands full. It is good to teach your child to be polite and respect others around them. It is important to teach your child about other children with disabilities and how hard it is for them. Teach your child to be polite!
These are just some of the things that I suggest. If you see any changes in your child, investigate it and question them about it. They may or may not be being bullied. But that goes back to you having a good, steady relationship with your child. Don’t be scared to ask them questions. And don’t be scared to upset your child! You are the parent and the authority and they need to know what authority is for when we get to the real world!
Lord, we know it’s difficult being a parent, but it’s not impossible. Help us and show us how to be a better parents as we go! Help those that are being bullied. And whatever is being done behind our backs, may it be brought to light so that we may be aware of it. Help us to teach our children how to be kind, courteous children to others. Help us to teach them what it means to serve others.
Until next time…be encouraged!

Teaching Your Children to Pray

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Yesterday, I was talking about how important it is to pray for our children. Today, I am encouraging parents to teach their children HOW to pray! As a child, I was taught little, cutesy prayers like “Now I lay me down to sleep….” and “God is great, God is good….” I am not saying that those prayers aren’t cute, but I think it comes a time in a child’s life where they must move on from those childish prayers.

Like I mentioned, I wasn’t taught as a child really how to pray and my prayers be really meaningful. It wasn’t until I was an adult when I really began to really learn to pray and how important it was pray. I was determined that I was going to teach my children early on how to pray, because it’s important!

I began teaching my children the little prayers to say before bedtime and before we eat. I begin to really pray how I could really teach my children to pray. We attend a church that is really big on praying and teaching us–as well as our children how important it was to start praying and constantly praying about everything and everyone!

I try to pray with my children every morning. We get to a certain point on our route to school and I say, “Okay, it’s time to start praying!” I begin praying over their day, over their protection, over their friends. I have just started really praying with them constantly this past year. They have started asking God to give them wisdom I will ask them if they have anything to pray over..sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

Encourage your children to pray and teach them how to pray.

Lord, give us guidance on how to teach our children how to build relationships with you. If we don’t know how to pray I pray that we can learn with one another. I pray that we all can grow in faith with one another. Help us to each our children in the way they should go because your word says in Proverbs that if we teach our children in the way they should go, when they are older they will not depart from it! Thank you Lord for your word and our children!

Until next time…be encouraged!

Praying For Your Children

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Remember how I was talking about how I was talking about how important it was to pray for your spouse? Well, it is just as important to pray for your children. The other day on the radio station, parents were sharing how they liked to pray for your children.

One parent admitted that her and her husband prayed and prayed for a child. Finally after they had their child, they quit praying for their child. Often times, we forget to pray for our children. But it’s important to pray for your children, pray over their day and over their lives!

I’m challenging parents who are reading this blog post to begin praying for your children! Several things to pray over:

A hedge of protection over their day- If you turn the news on, you will hear of the violence and cruel world we are living in. It’s important to pray over our children’s day and over their protection while they aren’t in our care. Pray over protection over their school and everyone that they pass along the halls. Pray for their health! begin thanking God that they are healthy!

For Decisions They May Make– The older our children become, the more decisions they will be faced with–as well as peer pressure that they will have to face! Begin to pray over your children and the decisions that they will make. Pray that if they ever face any peer-pressure that they will know and be brave enough to stand up against it.

That Their Lights Will Shine– Every day, I pray that my children will let their lights shine for the Lord. I have taught my children who God is and only pray that they will let their lights shine. I realize that not all of their friends will have the same beliefs as they will, but I pray that they will be smart with choosing their friends. And that if they have any friends with different beliefs, that they will rub off on their friends instead of their friends rubbing off on them.

For The People In Their Lives– I think this is important. I pray that my children will make good decisions with their friends. Call me crazy, I even pray for my children’s future spouses. I pray that they will be smart with the people that they allow into their lives. I pray for the teachers that are teaching my children.

It’s an important thing to to pray for your children. I hope that this encourages you to pray for your children!

Lord, I pray that as we pray for our children, we will become closer to our children. On the days we don’t know what to pray for our children, I pray that you show us how to pray for our children and what to pray for our children. I pray that you will hear and honor our prayers as it fits your will!

Until next time…be encouraged!!!

The Importance of Spending Time With Your Kids

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As kids get older, they really don’t want to “hang out.” But, we have something in our house called “parent dates” and “family dates.” I mentioned in the marriage section how important it was to date our spouse and spend time with our spouses, but it is also so important to gain relationships and become close to our children as well!
I have really liked the idea of the Daddy/Daughter Mom/Son dates, but we just do something like taking the kids out to eat. On the weekend, we will rent movies. And I will go ahead and admit, we have good intentions on spending more time with our children and buy board games, ect, but sometimes lives get busy. Our children, the older they get, they attend extracurricular activities, church events, friends, ect. But, we try to have talks with our children. We were good with eating at the table and spending at least 30 minutes without television, laptops, and cell phones, but weeknights are crazy so we try to eat at the table at least once on the weekend and if it’s possible, during the week. We have back yard time, where we go outside and enjoy our backyard and talk with the kids. I thought that the oldest would be the worse with this time, but to our surprise, he loves backyard time!
With all the busy going on, schedule if you must, to make time with your whole family! Make time for your kids. Take them on family dates, and by the way, you don’t always have to spend money on dates! Go to the park, to the lake, go grab and ice cream, or look for freebie things to do!
This week, I challenge you to spend time with your children doing something! No griping, no arguing, but really connecting with them.
Lord, spending time with each other is so important for the important relationships in our lives. Lord, please help us to make special time to spend with our kids. Help us to connect with our kids and build lifelong relationships! On our dates, help us to make special memories that we will never forget!

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Until next time…be encouraged!!!!

Watch Me Whip! Watch Me NaeNae! Yes I DID!-

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Okay, so my older children have came home doing “the whip” and “the naenae.” I had no clue what the heck they were talking about! I try to listen to not only the Christian music, but music that my children like too! But, I had never heard of no naenae on the radio!

All evening, my kids, even the youngest is now singing, “whipping and naenae.” We were standing in line at the grocery store and my oldest kids were acting out for the cashier and making her laugh when one of them starting whipping and naenae in the checkout line! By this time, the teenage cashier was laughing and saying, “I can’t believe you know that song!” I immediately asked her if that was a bad song! She then told me that she didn’t think it was!
We got into the car, and I immediately started looking up the lyrics! Fortunately, the lyrics weren’t bad, but incredibly stupid. Ha! I might have made a “deal” with my kids that if they weren’t bad, I would learn to whip and naenae. I still haven’t got it down! HAHA!

My point for this post is not only to show how incredibly crazy our life is too, but to let parents know it’s okay to check lyrics of a song. If that song would have been bad (like they have been before!) I would have asked them questions like, if if they knew it was bad, if that’s the kind of music they think they should be listening to, and why they like the song. It’s okay to check up on your children. There are so many awful songs in this world that contain cussing, drugs, sex and violence and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children being influenced by vulgar music. I know that I can’t help what my kids listen to all the time, but hopefully, I would want to believe that my children would stand up for what is right if they knew the song was that bad.

Lord, parenting is crazy sometimes, but thank you for making me a parent! Thank you for my children and thank you for helping me to parent my children! While I’m not with my children, help them make smart decisions about their lives. Thank you for guiding us while parenting. And, if you could, Lord, please help me with my dance skills! I used to think I was something else, now I just look crazy! :)))

Until next time…..be encouraged!!!!!

It Doesn’t Require THAT Reaction

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Sometimes, kids can be pushy and they can be demanding and they can be irritating. I can recall a time with my children, the other children were running through the store trying to play chase, the younger ones were arguing each other, I was trying to get the 10 things on my grocery list without pulling my hair! We managed to get out of the store and I was furious at these kids and let them have it as soon as we got to the car!
Now, I might have yelled or grounded the kids too long, and even questioned myself, “Should I really have went that far?” There was one time, one of my children was carrying their cereal and didn’t drink their milk (when I had already told them they needed to) and spilled the milk all over my freshly mopped kitchen floor! “I told you you needed to drink your milk!” “Why were you up if you weren’t done!?” “I JUST mopped and you’ve messed up the house and put more work on me!”  “I wish you would just get away for the rest of the day so this house could just stay cleaned for more than 5 seconds!!!” It might not sound as bad, but it sure hurt my child’s feelings.
I was reading an article the other day that said, “It takes 5 minutes to clean up the spilled milk but it takes forever for them to get the hurtful words out of their minds.” It really struck me then…and this has been years sine the spilled milk in the kitchen had happened. But this got me thinking, how many times have me or my husband reacted and it’s cut our children deep, but the problem could have been solved in a couple of minutes. Yes, kids will make messes. Yes, kids will make mistakes. I am not trying to say kids shouldn’t be corrected or disciplined, but sometimes we let the weight of the world come out on our children.

Yesterday, I was talking about how parents react poorly over their children not doing “best” in sports events. We tend to do the same during grades. Yes, we want our children to do their best and make good grades, but if they aren’t, then why aren’t they?

My point is, we don’t need to belittle our or to make them feel like a moron in order to get our point across. Yes, we are the adults, and sometimes we overstep our boundaries just a tad bit when we are the authority.

Lord, I pray over relationships with parents and their children. I pray that you will show parents the correct way to get to their children and that their children will understand. I pray for the children that have had parents that have been too rough while parenting, I pray that they can heal from the past and the things their parents have told them. I have been guilty of being “too hard” on my children, may they forgive me for that. I pray for guidance while parenting.
Until next time….be encouraged!!!