4 Steps to Creating an Effective Internet Safety Contract with your Family

4 Steps to Creating an Effective Internet Safety Contract with your Family

An Internet Safety Contract is a huge resource which I believe is often overlooked by many families. For starters, it is a fantastically simple way to start a discussion with children about a number of online dangers, not the least of which is pornography. The start of a new school year is an excellent time to establish and review these safety guidelines. In fact, your children have probably brought home a letter for you to sign with them, acknowledging that you both know what it means to use the technology at school appropriately. We certainly did. It was sent home the first day of class along with a dozen other papers to sign. In our area the letter is titled: ACCEPTABLE AND SAFE USE PROCEDURE for computing and information technology facilities and resources. (If that isn’t a mouthful for the average first grader —never mind the parents!) READ TO THE END TO DISCOVER THE FOUR STEPS TO AN EFFECTIVE CONTRACT! The letter is really a...
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5 Questions Every Parent Should Be Able to Answer About Pornography

5 Questions Every Parent Should Be Able to Answer About Pornography

It’s been said that we are the first generation that must talk to our children about pornography. Like many, you may not feel ready to have that conversation. You may even wonder how relevant this issue is to your own kids. Explore the answers to these five important questions and we promise you will be ready to start talking today! #1 —Are my children really at risk of being exposed to pornography? The answer is YES. Research demonstrates it is not a question of IF… but WHEN children will be exposed to pornography. 11-years-old is the average age when kids are first exposed to pornography. Nine out of ten youth between 8 and 16-years-old have been exposed to pornography. 80% of unintentional exposure to pornography occurs at home. There are more than 3200 deviant forms of porn available online. Research shows that minors do encounter materials online which depict: anal sex, group sex, physical and verbal abuse of women and children. The...
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How Talking about the News Can Protect Kids from Pornography

How Talking about the News Can Protect Kids from Pornography

Is the news getting you down lately? Here’s clever a trick! Use today’s bad news to bring about positive results in your family relationships. At your next sit down meal mention something that’s causing you concern from current news/events and ask your kids if they know anything about it. Let them respond in their own words, then see where the discussion leads. You may be surprised how many topics you will cover with one news story. The fact is, any time you can have an honest and frank discussion with your kids, regardless of the topic, you are building bonds and strengthening your relationship with them. These are the bonds that will make tackling any tough subject down the road easier to manage, including sexual intimacy and pornography. Note: Not all news is bad. Be sure to scroll to the end of this post for a couple of victories in the fight against pornography. Interestingly, when I became a parent, my first instinct was...
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Sticks and Stones —Teaching kids to follow their own path at Camp

Sticks and Stones —Teaching kids to follow their own path at Camp

The camping gear is in a haphazard pile by the front door when my husband starts into his routine. He points repeatedly at his own nearly bald head and says to our son, “You do know where most of these scars have come from? —That’s right! — Scout Camp!” …he continues, “For some reason, when you put a group of 11 to 13 year-old boys next to rocks and sticks they all start acting Neanderthal. Eventually one of you ends up in the hospital getting stitches.” After a dramatic pause for effect, “So, what are you going to do when your friends start throwing rocks?” Our son answers sheepishly, “Not throw rocks.” “That’s right! And walk away”. “Now what are you going to do when your friends start swinging sticks?” The answer comes, “Not swing sticks Dad.” “That’s right, son. Now go to camp and have a great time!” I smile to myself, knowing how many times my husband has given...
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Gardening and the Adolescent Brain

Gardening and the Adolescent Brain

“Adolescence is not a stage to simply get over, it’s a stage of life to cultivate well” Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. I’m curious to know how many days of perfect weather we are entitled to each year. Regardless the answer, I know today is one of them. Gorgeous warm sunshine tamed by a cool breeze. Plus, I am home— during perfect gardening conditions! Like many, I love the idea of gardening. It’s a way to cultivate beauty in my patch of real-estate. It also makes me feel I am in some small way living off the land. However, I have come to realize that I am no farmer—SHOCK! Rather, I am the average suburban mom who is looking for low maintenance everything in a losing battle to maintain my sanity. So, each year my garden and I agree on some adaptations to simplify life while holding fast to our mission of creating a small oasis of our very own. Having recently acquired Dan...
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