Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Brushing Up On Kids' Manners

Could your kids use a little brushing up on their manners? Now is the ideal time to help your kids get their manners in shape before all the holiday gatherings. Do I Have to Say Hello? Aunt Delia's Manners Quiz for Kids and Their Grownups provides a fun way to review manners.

The quizzes have some clearly incorrect answers that will have your kids laughing! The art plus the writing makes for an enjoyable experience learning about good manners.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Talking to Kids About Porn Problems

Kids are likely to be exposed to porn on the internet before they are 12-years-old. It's important for you to talk to your kids about porn. Discuss your feelings about porn along with your concerns like addiction to viewing porn, objectifying women, portraying violence towards women and the link to trafficking girls for sex.

The book Good Pictures Bad Pictures is a book you can read together with your 6 to 13-year-olds. Sexploitation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World will help you talk to your teens.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Protecting Your Kids From Sexual Abuse

Kids who experience sexual abuse are traumatized in ways that can take years or even decades to overcome. This is why you want to do everything you possibly can to prevent this tragedy.

Understanding Likely Perpetrators

Before you can effectively protect your kids, it’s helpful to know some facts. How likely are they to be sexually abused? Who is most likely to be a perpetrator? What makes children more likely to become victims?

According to research presented on Darkness to Light,

  • 10% of children in the U.S. are sexually abused by the time they are 18.
  • Over 90% of the time the perpetrator is someone known by the child or family.
  • Nearly 40% are abused by older or larger children.

While it might feel better to think that only a stranger would sexually abuse your child, nine times out of ten it’s someone you know. The vast majority of abuse occurs when the perpetrator and the child are alone together. Keeping this in mind can help you make wise choices about who is left alone with your children.

If you are a mom who does not live with your kids’ father, you need to be especially careful about any boyfriends you bring home. Men who are not related to the children are far more likely to sexually abuse them.
warning sign of sexual abuse

Older Kids Abusing Younger Kids

How about the fact that 40% of sexual abuse is caused by older or larger children? It’s important to realize that the abuser is not always an adult. This puts a different twist on keeping your kids safe.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Developing Responsibility Through Chores

Do your kids have daily chores to help out your household? At around 4-years-old is the perfect time to introduce chores to your kids. While they may not be all that helpful at that age, they are typically very eager to help.

By starting young, you are building in the concept that chores are a normal part of being in your family. Everyone pitches in to keep the household running smoothly. Eventually they will very competent and be able to complete their chores independently.

Chores are a wonderful way to teach kids responsibility along with the skills they will need to successfully launch after high school. If you want ideas for chores to give your kids or would like a blank weekly chore chart, you can find those on this free charts for kids' page.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Keys to Raising Compassionate Kids Who Are a Force For Good

How can you encourage kids to act with more compassion? Before your children can act compassionately, they need to be able to feel empathy for others.

Without empathy there is no compassion. Children must first notice that someone is suffering before they can act in a helpful way.

Dr. Theresa Wiseman identified four attributes of empathy:
  • to be able to see the world as others see it
  • without judgment
  • recognize their emotions
  • communicate your understanding of what they are feeling
When your children feel empathy, they can imagine what it must be like for that other person. Children often want to do something to help. Compassion requires acting on empathic feelings and doing something to lessen the other person’s suffering.

Feeling empathy without taking action to help can lead to feelings of distress. In Daniel Goleman’s book, A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World, he explains, “When we simply empathize, tuning in to someone else’s suffering – for example, seeing vivid photos of burn victims and other people in grave distress – the brain fires the circuitry for feeling pain and anguish. Such empathic resonance can flood us with emotional upset – ‘empathy distress’, as science calls it. Professionals like nursing are too often plagued by such chronic anxiety, which can build to emotional exhaustion, a precursor to burnout.” 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Should you let your child go on this outdoor adventure? What are the real risks?

After losing their son Tyler on an outdoor adventure in Hawaii, the Madoff's are raising awareness so others can avoid this type of tragedy.  Sue, a friend of the family, wrote the following:

"Tyler Madoff, 15, was on a Bold Earth Teen Adventure tour in Hawaii in July of 2012 when he was swept out to sea and never recovered. The tragedy was deemed a freak accident, but it was anything but. Tyler and his group were resting in the tide pools near the Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii when a wave crashed on them, carrying him and another teen out to sea. The other boy was rescued; Tyler was never found.

The tour guides in charge of Tyler’s group were not only warned about the surf, but they were unprepared for any kind of emergency. The guides were not properly trained, nor did they have the proper safety equipment or a way to call for help. Bold Earth boasts professional guardianship of small groups and an American Camp Association accreditation, so how could something like this happen?

There is danger that can be associated with any kind of adventure travel, and parents are warned of these risk when booking these kind of trips for their children. Even if a company has accreditation or certification, there are some questions that we suggest asking before booking these trips that may prevent tragedies like Tyler Madoff’s from happening.
  • Before booking a travel tour, ask what isn’t included in tuition. Is there travel insurance, or should you purchase that on your own?
  • What kind of risk management policies are in place? How are emergencies communicated to the travelers, as well as guardians?
  • What is the hiring process in regards to tour guides/counselors? Are background checks performed?
  • What are the qualifications of the tour guides? When your child is out of your care, you want the best possible care, and it’s important to know how qualified their tour guides are. Have they been to this location (or one like it) before? Are they certified in CPR, Ocean Rescue, etc.? What is their level of experience?
  • What is the ratio of tour guides/counselors to travelers? The lower the ratio, the better. If two tour guides will be managing a group of 20, it’s virtually impossible for them to have eyes on each person on an excursion.
  • If any excursions will be outsourced, ask questions about the companies. What are their qualifications? Are they credible?
And a tip: check out the company’s social media pages and rating/review sites (Yelp, Camp Ratingz, Go Overseas) and see what people who have gone on a trip are saying."

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Warning Signs of Too Much Screen Time for Kids

I recently read an article asking if screen time is causing kids' brains to turn to mush. Fortunately, most kids are not running around like zombies from their brains being turned to mush by technology!

However, if your kids are getting too much screen time, there are effects which may be less obvious. It won't likely show up as academic problems but rather social-emotional problems. This one page flyer has warning signs that your kids are getting too much screen time.