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Archive for the ‘Understanding Teenagers’ Category

5 Habits you wish your Teen would Develop Sunday, February 20th, 2011

As children age, they develop their own personality and way of doing things. Sometimes they learn habits from their friends or family and sometimes they develop on their own. Teenagers often do not pay enough attention to their diet or health. They may be influenced by friends or society. Dads often wish they could mold their children in to the good people they want them to be, but all they can do is be there with them as they grow. Fathers can influence a child’s habits by being an example and hoping they stick.

A good study routine is the key to a successful academic career. If a teen could get in the habit if coming home after school and completing his homework right away, his efforts will be rewarded. Students who sit down and take time to learn their lessons and complete their homework will perform better than students who rush through their studies so they can go do something else. Instill in your child at an early age the value of a good education.

Health is important. Good health is the only way to live a long and healthy life. Teenagers often spend their lunch hours eating cheese fries and pizza instead of a sandwich and some fruit. They are not as concerned with their health. However, if they knew what adults knew, they might consider picking up the apple instead of the french fry. Teenagers need to get in to the habit of making good food choices, so they can learn and carry that habit with them in to adulthood. An exercise routine will help your teen avoid one of the biggest killers today -obesity.

image 42 5 Habits you wish your Teen would DevelopTeenagers are bombarded with images of celebrity’s and models in magazines and on television. They come to expect those people as the normal standard for looks. Girls are especially affected by this. It is important for teenagers to develop a healthy self-image. A healthy self-esteem will lead to better choices in life and will teach teens that they can get attention in many positive ways. They do not need to show off their body or do things they would not normally do to get attention.

With all the temptations in the world, it is important for a teenager to be able to stand up for himself. There is such easy access to many different illegal substances these days that teens will be faced with many adult decisions before they are old enough to understand many of the consequences. They will be pressure to drink or have sex. If a father can make a child understand that being a leader will garner more respect than following the crowd, his children will be heading down a path to success.

Communication is key not only for teenagers, but for everyone. Often teenagers think they are invincible and can do anything. Being able to ask for help is a very impressive quality, something that some people struggle with. Teenagers should not be afraid to make mistakes. Valuable lessons are learned from mistakes.

If a father can instill all these habits in to his child’s life, then he has done a wonderful job as a father and his child will see much happiness and success.

5 Things that are Better Since you were their Age Thursday, February 17th, 2011

The world has changed a lot since today’s fathers were kids. We have seen many political changes and much technological advancement. Education is more accessible not only for men, but for women and minorities as well. The country is making great strides towards recognizing every citizen’s civil rights. Some things have changed for the worse, but there have been many things that have improved since dad was a teenager.

While it may not seem it sometimes, as a society we are more accepting of people’s differences. We are raising our children to recognize that while they may be a different color, gender, or nationality as someone else, they are still the same because they are all people. This is not to say there are not problems with racism or discrimination. Unfortunately, these evils still exist, but we have made great strides in the past 25 years. The disabled community is seeing a world that is becoming far more accessible, allowing them to persevere through their disability instead of being limited because of it.

The internet has been an amazing development. In recent years, it has become accessible to almost everyone, whether they have a computer at home or utilize the library or school computer labs. The internet opened up the world in terms of a social tool. People can communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Students are able to easier find resources for schoolwork. They can reference articles and information online instead of having to always hunt the information down in the library.

As with the internet, we have made many great technological advancements. This is not only great for communication, but also for work in scientific advancement. Scientists have more tools to perform experiments. Crime labs are able to more accurately identify DNA samples and other information. Students and professors can compare information and very easily identify plagiarism. The medical community is usingimage 41 5 Things that are Better Since you were their Age all the new technology to search to cures for many diseases.

There are far more opportunities now for a good education. In past years, many people graduated from high school and immediately got a job. Some students only completed eighth grade before they had to go work on the farm. That was not the case for everyone, but certainly now it is much easier for any willing person to attend college. Women and minorities are just as free and able to attend college. There are many scholarships available in many different arenas.

Despite all the great technological and social advancements we have made, one of the greatest improvements for a father is that he now has a family. All the years of hard work and commitment paid off. Dad was able to find a woman to love and who loves him back and they started a life together. He now has the joy of watching his children experience life with all the differences from when he was younger. Parents always say they want to give their children a better life than they had. Improvements in today’s society only makes that goal easier.

Should you pay when your child does chores? Sunday, October 31st, 2010

It truly is somewhat of a challenge to be a child in this day and age and have the independence to afford contributing to their own transportation and obtain funds to go out with their friends. While parents may desire to encourage their kids to be more financially responsible, at the same time they have to grasp that a child that is a full time student and a minor cannot bring in an large amount of money working a part time job after school or on the weekends. This poses the common thought of should you pay when your child does chores or not, and the answer to that will of course vary from household to household.image 18 Should you pay when your child does chores?

Paying your children to complete chores or household tasks is an effective method to teach your child how to earn money by working for it. In turn, when your child has to earn their spending money they are more frugal with what they purchase and they also have a better appreciation for the value of a dollar, which is a precious life lesson for every child to learn. Many parents feel that if they request their child to do chores that it is their responsibility to simply complete them without any reward system in place. While that is the parental preference in some households, it still results in your children requesting money every time they walk out the door.

The amount of money you wish to provide for the chores to be completed by your child is up to you as well as what the chores will consist of. Be reasonable and fair when you establish the rates for each chore and have your child review them so they are aware of what is expected of them in order to be rewarded. It is best to draw up a list of the chores the child can select from at random to complete or set a list of chores that are to be finished on a weekly or monthly basis. If you select a weekly basis that seems to be the simplest method for children to adhere to and you can establish a weekly rate for doing so, that way the child knows every week what they will be earning and they can plan accordingly if they need to utilize their funds.

The most important element of paying your child to complete household chores is to see to it that they are doing age-appropriate ones. For example, you may not want your five year old doing the dishes or a load of laundry, but they can certainly put clothes in baskets, stock the fridge, feed pets and wipe off table tops. Many parents create sticker charts to leave on the wall or refrigerator for the little ones to mark off the chores as they complete them and also to show them the progression they have made helping the family. It is a great tool to teach children responsibility, to teach them how earning money works and to teach them the importance of cleaning up after themselves, whether you elect to pay them for the chores or not is entirely up to you.

Your children’s concerns and helping them overcome fear Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Raising children unfortunately doesn’t come with a manual and many times they need you emotionally more than anything else you can provide. Helping them overcome fear can be one of the biggest challenges a parent has to tackle in their child’s life. The manner in which the parent addresses the issue can be the key factor in how quickly your child allows the fear to diminish.

A parent is a person that a child regards as “safe” in their perspective and it is their duty to protect their little ones and teach them what to be afraid of and what not. Communication is the key when helping your child overcome fear and the very first step is to understand what the exact fear is and why the emotions are so attached to it. Consult with your child compassionately and with an open mind when inquiring about their specific fear as it may appear trivial to you, but it obviously is rather serious for them. Be a great listener and allow them to explain it in detail before adding in your two cents, as one of the biggest complaint children have growing up is that their parents don’t listen to them.

image 15 Your childrens concerns and helping them overcome fear
Once you have defined what the fear is, begin to evaluate it with your child. When did they become fearful and why do they think that may be. Ask them open-ended questions to ensure they expose all the roots to their fear and also to encourage participation in the discussion. Any form of fear is psychological, in most cases with little ones or young adults it is outgrown but the more imperative lesson to be learned is that fear can be overcome no matter how big or small it is. For example, if your child is afraid of the dark, then explain to them that nothing changes when the lights are off, simplify their fear so they grasp the many reasons of why not to be afraid. If you permit your child to always feel comfortable being fearful when they are young it will become a difficult habit to break at a later age.

Many adults are fearful of various things and situations and virtually every individual has a fear of something at some point during their lives. Fears that are based on smaller things such as a child being afraid of the dentist or being afraid of scary movies are on the end of the spectrum, but for those children that have larger fears that perhaps even prevent them from engaging in routine activities, then you should consult with your family doctor or a counselor for any additional resources you may need helping them overcome fear. Regardless of what the fear may be, treat your child with respect and do not belittle them or make it appear foolish that they have this fear as it will leave an impact on your child for years to come that you weren’t compassionate with them during a time when they truly needed your help and support.

When They Don’t Want to Go on the Family Holiday Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

angry boy 420x0 300x199 When They Don’t Want to Go on the Family HolidayKids can create an immense amount of frustration on a regular basis. They throw tantrums and outright refuse to do what they are told, even if it’s for their own good. But what do you do when they refuse to buy into the idea of taking part in the family holiday? There are strategies you can use to eliminate or at least dramatically reduce the struggle to get your kids to go. You shouldn’t have to bribe, force, threaten or manipulate them into participating in this opportunity for family bonding. You will see the advantages of using these strategies and will be happy you did.

If we take the time to explain to our kids the benefits of going on a family holiday instead of yelling and forcing them to go, it will make the trip a lot easier for everyone to tolerate. One such benefit is the memories that you all will take away from the experience. You should remind them that it’s not often you all get to spend a lot of time with each other and that this is just one way of doing so. Besides, what happens when they grow older and have their own families? Not only won’t they have the time to spend with Mom and Dad but it would also be great to relive their own stories to their kids and grandkids. A holiday together will also help the family to know each other better and foster a closer family bond.

Taking a family holiday away from the normal hustles and bustles of life will also help them to de-stress and get ready for school and other activities. It can also result in a learning tool. They can learn interesting things from first hand experience. They can learn about different cultures, food, geography, the environment and so much more. Isn’t that better than having to learn about that stuff through homework?

Giving your children the chance to air their views about their hesitations to take a family holiday will provide you with reasoning tools to convince them otherwise. You can organize a family meeting which allows them to state what their fears and concerns giving you the opportunity to address them in an open forum.

Your child/children should be given the chance to help choose the destination of the vacation and if that is non-negotiable, they should be involved in the planning of the activities. This will make them feel involved as opposed to being made to do what they aren’t interested in.

If they still aren’t buying into the idea, then make the holiday at least tolerable for them. Encourage them, if possible, to bring their favorite music, games, books, etc. You can even appoint them as family photographer. This will get them more involved in the activities on the holiday. They can even be the family’s memory keeper. They can keep a journal and look out for cool souvenirs.

When you offer the benefits of a family holiday, make it worth something for them, get them involved, give them the opportunity to help plan the event and a chance to air their views, what kid would still be opposed? Kids need to know that a positive experience can be made out of anything that seems negative and once the positive aspect is found, it will change their perceptions of the event.

The Parenting Manual Sunday, June 27th, 2010

istock 000006638550xsmall 300x199 The Parenting ManualParenting is one of the worlds hardest jobs. For that reason I thought about writing a parenting manual. A basic manual that will show you how to start being a better more productive parent. I hope what took me years to learn will benefit you and your child. May you prosper in your parenting job and may your children prosper and be a success!

A problem that I see with most parents is the loss of control with their children. Now this can happen for various reasons, but the main issue is usually respect. If you don’t respect your child how can you expect them to return it? They can’t return what they don’t receive! Start showing your children respect and never do or say something to them you wouldn’t want them to do to you. Respect must be first given to receive.

Once you have mastered respect and have achieved it with your child it is time to show them independence. While I don’t agree you should just throw them in the pool so to speak, rather you should teach them little by little. Everything should be learned in steps and time.  Their self-reliance will ensure that they have a “go getter” attitude and aren’t lazy. You can’t shelter them forever they will have to eventually leave.

Alright now, we have cover two major parenting “methods”. It is time to dive into actual parenting.

1. Remember to keep the flame between you and your spouse alive and burning. Todays society is riddled with divorces and break-ups, you don’t want to put your child through one of them. It’ll mess up there psyche and can even scar them for life in various ways. Keep your passion alive with your spouse. This will set an example for your child. It shows them that you love your partner and that your partner is a part of your life too.

2. Family time is something you need to arrange on a weekly basis. This can be anything from board games to a movie night. Whatever you believe is suitable for your family do it and don’t be afraid to try new activities. Your children may surprise you with their interests.

3. Keep up with their activities – children will be bouncing around from one activity to the next. Always show interest in whatever they are doing. This is the best way for them to stay connected and close with you. If they feel they can talk about anything to you, then you’re being a good parent. This might not come so easy for some. Keep at it. Not everyone is good at conversation.

4. Always have some alone time. One of the most important things you can do for you and your children is make time for yourself. Let them see you need a breather. A break for the daily life activities. If you have to explain, then do so.

This isn’t the perfect parenting manual, but it is an article to get started. Use them and see the results. Remember to change what you think can be better. Not everyone’s parenting methods work out the same.

Parenting For The New Parent Friday, June 25th, 2010

advice for new parents Parenting For The New Parent

So maybe you have a baby on the way or maybe you just realized you could improve your parenting skills. Whatever your reason for reading this article is probably a good one. You were smart to seek out advice on parenting. Parenting is not always an easy task. Let’s face it, it can be downright daunting, exhausting, but extremely rewarding. I bet you want to feel that reward right? Keep reading and learn how!

Parenting for the new parent:

As a parent you will always make mistakes just like your children will always make mistakes. What you need to do is to forgive. You need forgiveness often. If you forgive, your children will forgive you when you screw something up, and believe me when I say you will screw up at some point. Multiple times too. However all will be better if forgiveness is all around.

Forgiveness is only step one. If you want to avoid actually making screw ups then you need to learn respect! Respect is something you want from your child. Your their caretaker and the one who feeds, clothes, and shelters them, but if you don’t show them respect why would they show it? Respect is a mutual thing between two parties on any given level. Don’t do something you wouldn’t want your child to do to you. This also goes for speaking. Don’t speak negativity or rudeness or worst “putdowns” if you don’t want it.

So you know now that you have to respect and forgive, but you must remember to continually cherish your children.  I mean, hug them and kiss them on a daily basis. This is something that they need. They need to be reminded that you love them. It doesn’t matter what age they are believe me when I tell you children will always come to you for advice and more. If you don’t show them the proper love now what do you think will happen? Always show them that you care both visually and verbally.

Of course your children are important to you and you they mean the world but don’t ever forget about your spouse. Children feel the pain of a divorce just like their parents. They bring negativity and scarring on children. Go on a date and ignite your passion regularly with your spouse. If you keep your flame bright with your spouse, your kids will keep their flame bright with you.

While you’re working on your marriage and kids always make some time for you. If you have to go out get out. Go for a walk, shop at the mall, or just get a cola and sit in the park. Whatever you have to do get some time alone. This will keep you sane. I promise.

Parenting is never easy but it is enjoyable and will result in a lifetime of memories and happiness.

Instilling the Value of Family Teamwork Doing Household Chores Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

kr family doing chores 200x300 Instilling the Value of Family Teamwork Doing Household ChoresIt’s no secret children are not fans of doing household chores, but it is essential to help them realize the importance of working together to achieve the same goal.  This will also spill over into other aspects of their life whether at school, work, or personal endeavors.  Aside from all this, it will ensure your child understands the value of family unity when it comes to running a successful household.

When you are delegating chores to your children, it is vital to keep an open door policy.  Nobody wants to vacuum, do the dishes, or empty the trash, but it all needs to be done.  There might be some chores your children don’t mind doing or have found a way to have fun while doing it.  This is where allowing your children to voice their thoughts is necessary because you can delegate chores as fairly as possible.  If there is something that is not accepted by anyone, then make it a revolving chore that has to be done by one of them for a week and rotate the responsibility.

The first thing to keep in mind is teaching the child how to do the chore correctly.  It will take some coaching to get them to vacuum properly, fold clothes properly or whatever the chore may be, but you can guide them to a better understanding of why it is important to do a good job regardless what the chore is.  Be firm with your delegation and make it known that a half hearted job won’t get it done.

Using teamwork with your children through household chores can give a sense of accomplishment when you all pull together to achieve the same goal – a neat and orderly homestead.  If you find the group effort is not what it should be, then you will have to hold the entire group accountable because that is the essence of teamwork.  This will gently force them to pull together and not let each other down.

You and your spouse are not exempt from this – we’re talking about teamwork, remember?  You need to set an example and have a list of chores that are completed by you two as well.  The reflection of leadership goes a long way with children and it will instill the belief that you would never ask them to do something you wouldn’t do.  This will ensure a positive communication with your children should any negative circumstances arise.  Allowing your children to express opinions is another one of your parts in teaching children family values with teamwork through household chores.

How to Survive Parental Break-up Monday, June 21st, 2010

Separation 251x300 How to Survive Parental Break upA parents’ separation will make you go through life somewhat like a storm. You may find yourself feeling depressed, tired, unable to concentrate, or even explosively angry at times. Or you may just feel numb. All of these are common reactions to an extreme situation.

However, thinking of it like a storm can help you in two ways. First, no storm lasts forever. The emotional turmoil you feel now will subside in time, as all storms do. And second, you can navigate your way through this storm. You don’t have to go under. But just as a ship in a storm must steer clear of the rocks, there are some rocklike dangers that can mean real trouble.

1. Setting your heart on your parents’ reconciliation. Christine remembers: “After they separated, my parents would take us out together sometimes. My sister and I would whisper to each other, ‘Let’s run ahead and leave those two together.’ “But,” she sighs, “I guess it didn’t work. They never did get back together.”

Remember, you cannot control what your parents do. You did not cause their separation, and in all likelihood you cannot step in and patch up their marriage either.

2. Feeling angry toward a parent. Anger and hatred may be the most lethal “rocks” you will face in this storm. Sonny recalls in his feelings at age 12: “I started to feel real anger toward my dad. I don’t like to use the word ‘hatred,’ but I had a terrible grudge. I couldn’t see how he could care about us if he left us. And I think I was saying inside that it’s my turn to let him know how I feel.”

Marital separation is rarely a mutual decision; so naturally, one parent may seem more blameworthy in your eyes. But in any case, how do you deal with the parent who seems more at fault? Should you hate that parent or try to avenge the wronged parent?

Remember first that a separation is almost never as simple as one parent being all “bad” and the other being all “good.” Your parents have probably not told you everything about their marriage or its breakup; they may not even understand it themselves. So avoid judging a situation about which you do not have the whole picture. Fortunately, God is the Judge of all such matters. He appoints you as neither the judge nor the punisher of your parents.

Granted, anger is hard to resist, and it is quite natural for you to feel upset right now. But nursing an angry and vengeful spirit can gradually poison your personality.

“Let your anger alone.” This is not suggesting that you pretend your anger doesn’t exist. If your parents’ actions have hurt you, why not try talking to them about it, respectfully opening their eyes to your point of views?

3. Handling the feeling of being torn between your parents. This can be an especially tricky “rock’ to skirt around. Tommy recalls: “The thing I dreaded most about visiting my dad was that my mom would question me intensely after each visit. And she really slanted things against him. I would say, ‘Come on, Mom! Why do you do this? Leave me alone!’ And she would get mad and force me to answer her questions.”

Sometimes parents use their children to carry angry messages from one to the other or even to spy on each other. It is unfair to you if your parents try to use you as a tool for revenge. But remember that they are going through tremendous emotional turmoil. So be as patient with them as you can. Talk to them. You may want to say, in essence, “Mom and Dad, I love you both. So please don’t use me to hurt each other.” Not that you should be uncooperative, refusing to carry any communication from one to the other. But if your parents get vindictive and vengeful, it is time to get out from between them.

By the same token, it would be hypocritical to play one parent against the other for your own advantage, saying things like: “I want to go live with Mom. She always lets me do what I want.” After separation, parents may feel very guilty about the stress they have caused their children and cling to them desperately. Children who are aware of the power they thus hold over their parents may be tempted to use it. But surely you don’t want to be manipulative.

Encouraging your child’s Musical gifts Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Child on Harp Encouraging your child’s Musical giftsIf your child displays musical prowess, then it is your responsibility as a parent to harness that ability so that their potential is fully realized.  Your support is vital to them as they strive for mastery of their musical gift.  Make the experience come alive by showing them how, by exploring and using their gifts, they will learn lessons of perseverance, dedication and self-fulfillment which, while interlaced with disappointments, will prove to be lasting life lessons.  Let’s look at some practical steps you can take to encourage them along the way.

Find a good teacher to help them with instrument or with voice training.  The right teacher and training will ensure that they learn the correct methods and have a good foundation on which to launch.  If possible, once you are sure that you have found the right teacher, sit in on a couple lessons to see how your child interacts with the teacher.  Make sure the teacher sets goals and charts a path of progress so that your child does not become frustrated.

Ensure that your child practices every day.  Music is one of those gifts for which practice is important.  The rule of thumb is to practice for at least half-an-hour each day.  It is said that consistency creates perfection so rather than practice for 3 hours once a week, encourage your child to set aside some time each day.  Try and make the practice time enjoyable, set up a specific area at home and a particular time of day for practice.

Take part in the process by applauding their efforts but never criticize their play.  Learning an instrument or learning to sing are areas which take a lot of practice and children will experience a fair amount of highs and lows.   They can sometimes become discouraged and frustrated when they fail.  When that happens, remind them of how well they have been progressing and let them understand that anything worth achieving takes time and effort.  When your child has to practice, (especially if they are very young), you can probably sit with them and ask them to perform what they have learned during lessons.

Take them to see live performances of professional or amateur musicians.  This will be a great influence as they observe positive role models that they can look to for motivation.  It is good to expose them to a wide range of music such as jazz, opera, ethnic, pop, country or folk music.

Get the whole family and friends involved in and talking about music.  Make it fun.  If your child has friends that are also musicians encourage them to form a band; this will add another dimension and they will view practice more as play time.  Take them to visit a museum that has a collection of musical instruments; this will arouse their interest and help them to appreciate the history behind the instrument.

Encourage your child to play in the school band or chorus.  This will not only help to develop their gifts but also improve their knowledge of music. In addition, it will aid in the development of their craft and help them to gain confidence when they perform for an audience.

As your child becomes a more proficient musician, it is important to be let them know how well they are doing and how proud you are of them.  Look for signs of setbacks, encourage them when they fail, and ensure that they continue to enjoy the journey of making the most of their musical gifts.

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