Like other parents, I’ve been concerned about the future of today’s generation. As I specifically work with teens struggling with anxiety, ADHD, delinquency, depression, and other issues, it can be easy to become stressed about my children’s future.

Yet, as I have guided and watched my children grow into their self-identity, I’ve been consistently amazed by strengths which many news pundits discount when discussing today’s younger generations.

Younger Generations Embrace Technological Change

One of the hallmarks of younger generations is their enthusiastic embrace of changing technology. While Gen Xer’s around my age began to experiment with technology in our teen years, I still vividly remember the sound my dial-up modem made, the inability to make phone calls while online, and how intimidating creating an AOL account was for me. This is not the digital world my children have grown up experiencing.

Posted in Personal Growth
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October is Bullying Prevention Month and it is the perfect time to teach your children a lesson about dealing with bullies.

The Stop Bullying campaign has some alarming statistics about the problem. According to their survey, 48% of students 6 – 12 have dealt with bullying at some point in their lives. Another 30% admit to being the ones who were doing it to others. Those figures only account for the children who fess up to either; the actual numbers could be much higher.

The Dangers Of Bullying
It isn’t just a matter of someone getting their feelings hurt, or having trouble in social situations. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people and there have been cases of children as young as ten taking their lives.

Experts have found that there is a potential connection between long-term bullying and suicide. That shows us just how serious this issue is.

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We all want our kids to grow up happy and healthy, and of course, that is the number one priority. However, number two for many parents is that they will be smart, get lots of qualifications, and be successful. In this article, we will outline 7 parenting tips on how to raise a smart child.

1. Give them experiences, not possessions

Many of use worry that we are raising kids that are too materialistic. There is a growing trend of minimalism, and appreciating the value of owning less and doing more. Likewise, studies have shown that there is a direct link between the number of possessions that somebody has and their levels of anxiety. Thus, if you want to foster personal growth in your child, how them the value of experiences (watching the sunset, visiting a museum, eating a dish from another country) rather than material possessions.

Posted in Learning
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There are certain things that help children to develop quicker; the right environment, a healthy diet and plenty of resources, to name just a few. In a space of learning, getting the right balance of everything your child needs to flourish is crucial to a good education.

One such crucial need is creativity. Even in subjects like math and science, which seem to be the furthest thing from anything like art and self-expression, bringing in a creative aspect can really help push your child forward in their development.

Creativity can be merged with education in a number of ways. From using play toys for little children to encourage their development to creating songs that help your child to remember key facts – there’s a wide array of options when it comes to creative learning.

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I remember a few years ago I was watching a news program and it offered a list to teach parents about decoding texting slang they claimed teens were using. Among some of the more colorful gems were:

– LHS – Let’s have sex

– IGTD – I got the drugs

– PIRDTAS – Parents in rooms don’t talk about stuff

– SMH – Satan makes me happy

These were so ludicrous that I have never forgotten them. Have you ever seen those used anywhere? Can you imagine your teen doing it? Of course not, it was so out of touch that I was sure it must have been a joke (spoiler: it wasn’t).

Slang is a normal part of communication, especially for young people as they assert their independence. Each generation has their own and in the digital era it is a little different than the “boss” and “sick”’s of our own decades.

Posted in Living & Lifestyle
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No one learns without failing or making mistakes. Yet, we as parents often forget this universal truth as we raise our children. Instead of pushing them to take risks, experiment and uncover their true potential, we refuse to let them learn from their failures.

However, shielding our children from risks only cripples their ability to learn new skills and prevents them from discovering their innate abilities. It also hinders them from learning how to overcome failure and adapt to change- key attributes required for personal growth.

Posted in Learning, Personal Growth
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Social media is ubiquitous today. Almost every adolescent is on at least one platform. But many of them fail to realize how oversharing personal information on social media can put them at risk. Cybersecurity experts have found that posting personal information can give hackers the tools they need to answer security questions and gain access to a victim’s profile.

Part of the “oversharing dilemma” stems from the parents. If a child has never been taught the risks of oversharing, they will come to view it as normal. Especially if all of their friends are constantly Tweeting their location and posting info about their families on Facebook, an adolescent will be likely to behave in the same manner.

Posted in Living & Lifestyle
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As parents of teenagers, you can think of many things that cause you worry and anguish. Likely near the top of such a list are their interactions with bad teen friends. Years of effective parenting can unravel with a few bad choices made via the influence of negative peers.

Luckily, you have many practical steps you can take to help guide your teenagers through this time when peer influence is at its strongest.

Posted in Personal Growth, Relationships
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Building teen trust can be hard at times. Your teenagers are experiencing a transitional stage of life, enjoying more freedom than they had during childhood, and the taste of freedom can be addictive. As the parent, you place a certain amount of trust in your teen, hoping they will not abuse their freedom. But sometimes poor choices are made and that trust is broken.

I understand dealing with the shifting dynamics of trust between parents and teens can be difficult. As I have advised many parents of troubled teens, I have compiled some advice for you parents out there who are struggling with trusting your own teens.

Posted in Living & Lifestyle, Personal Growth
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Being a parent is not easy and this is especially true in the age of social media, smart phones and the Internet. More than ever, parents need to monitor their children and what they are looking at online. Plus, there is the added challenge of talking to kids of all ages about gender roles and discipline in the home.

Eric Gati, the founder of CynicalParent.com, has published the results of a new study that touches on the above subjects. Gati says he “learned a lot in this study, like the fact that there are more than a handful of very common fears that parents have about their kids using smartphones and social media, either from too young of an age or for too many hours per day. We also learned that 98% of parents find it important to monitor this, we were amazed at how conscious parents are of the inherent risks of social media”.

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