Archive for the ‘Teenagers’ Category

Our Family is Growing

We have exciting news for the My Job Chart family!  Our new website Zingity has officially launched.  Woo!

Activities for kids and families

Zingity is a community of families, adults, kids, teachers, and experts building character through step-by-step activities in a wide variety of interests and character traits.  We’re so excited to finally share this tool with you and your family!
Many of you have your own activities, DIYs, or recipes just waiting to be shared!  For you we’ve created a great guide that will help you get started publishing your first activity to Zingity here.

diy, activities,and promotion

Your profile shows your activities, bio, and a link to your website!

For those of you who run your own blogs, we are happy to announce that we’ve created profiles that will allow your fans to find your website.  This way they can continue reading all your great content and you can find new readers!

But Zingity is not just for our builders!

 It’s also for those of you looking for great quality activities that are geared specifically towards increasing different character traits or interests!  

View by interest or explore by character traits!

View Zingity by our many different interest categories, or explore by character traits!

Join the rest of the community today, and let us know what you think.  We are very excited about this new chapter and hope you are too.  Let’s see what we can build together.

Key To Teaching Wise Decision Making

It is never too early to begin preparing your kids to become successful adults.  While most parents wait until their kids have reached double digits, it is so much easier if you begin early.  Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Is he/she prepared to make the tough decisions without me bearing down on him/her with consequences?
  2. Has he/she developed the critical thinking skills to make wise decisions absent of my counsel or other adults, especially when they go against the popular thought?

Based upon how I’ve had to answer these questions with my own teenager, here are a few things I wished I had done differently – bits of advice I wish I had known about (or listened to in many cases).

#adulting is hard

  • When they come to you with a question, NEVER respond with the answer despite how easy or obvious it is.  Yes, it is easier (and quite frankly less time consuming) to just give them the answer however this isn’t helping them learn how to make decisions and actually is messaging to them that they aren’t capable of coming to the right conclusion on their own.  Instead of giving them the answer, return with the question, what do you think?  Follow that up with why; this allows them to walk through the critical thinking and come to the resolution on their own (with a little help along the way).
  • If they don’t have an answer or an opinion, send them away to think about it and ask them to return when they have some input.  This forces them to seek out the information from other resources.  This skill will help them immensely when you aren’t there to answer them from hundreds of miles away.

parenting tips and advice

In our busy lives, it is so much easier to give them the answer (I’ve done it more times than I wish to count) but teaches them one thing only – rely on me for all the answers.  If we want to raise successful adults, we must start early and start by teaching them to think for themselves.

Kathryn Prusinski is first and foremost a mom and wife who wants to do her part in building happy and healthy families. When she isn’t spending time with family, Kathryn is working as a consultant in strategy and leadership where she helps executives manage professional and personal success. You can find her every fall cheering on her OU Sooners in football. Kathryn believes it isn’t about abilities but our availabilities — so what are you doing to make yourself available to your family?

The Dangers Hidden On Your Kid’s Phone

 

Our family loves technology.  I love how technology allows us to connect with our daughter living in Germany and how I can at a moment’s notice find something new to fix for dinner when another night of tacos just won’t do!  Technology is a beautiful thing!

Unfortunately, if not managed and monitored properly, it ultimately can downright dangerous – especially for our kids.  As much as we liked our privacy as teenagers, privacy in today’s day and age – especially as it relates to technology, can set your kids up for consequences that can literally change their lives in a moment.   

As a parent, it is critical that you monitor their devices and know what each app REALLY is.  It is critical that you talk to your kids about the dangers and even more critical that you are comfortable hitting the DELETE button when an app appears that just isn’t safe.  Here are a few of the apps that cause me alarm and won’t be on our girls’ phones.  

apps to look for

  1.  Best Secret Folder – It is designed to allow you to hide your most private videos and photos.  I don’t know about you but I’m pretty sure I don’t want this on my teen’s phone.  Even better, it has an alarm that activates to let your kids know if you are trying to look. Apps on your kid's phone
  1. Periscope – This app allows you to capture live streaming videos that open your kids up to cyber bullying, predators and poor choices that can’t be “taken back” (and it has a feature that allows you to publicize your exact location).  You have no idea who is watching on the other end and if they are who they say they are.  This app might be better saved for after their brain is fully developed.
  1. Parenting Tips Paltalk – This app allows you to join public chat rooms where you can video chat with complete strangers.  Do I really need to go any further?

These are just three of the many apps that, in the blink of an eye can change your kid’s life forever.  Do the research.  Filters are great and conversation is beneficial but NOTHING can protect your children like you can by simply being an involved parent and…. well, parenting even when it’s not popular.

Kathryn Prusinski is first and foremost a mom and wife who wants to do her part in building happy and healthy families. When she isn’t spending time with family, Kathryn is working as a consultant in strategy and leadership where she helps executives manage professional and personal success. You can find her every fall cheering on her OU Sooners in football. Kathryn believes it isn’t about abilities but our availabilities — so what are you doing to make yourself available to your family?

Preparing Your Kids For College

College tours are in full swing for many of our families as they help their children prepare for this next phase in life.  More than once I’ve heard the story of the stunned teenager as they realize that mom will no longer be on laundry duty…and so the story begins.

Have you prepared your children to launch into this world of ours?  Have you spent as much time teaching them how to be a successful adult as you have being their friend and confidant?  If so, it is never too late.  Here are a few parenting tips you can implement now to ensure your teen or pre-teen child is prepared to survive their first semester away.

  1. Have them do their own laundry.  If you are a freak like me, this is a hard one.  I promise you that the world won’t end if they shrink something or turn it red.  Start by teaching them the basics and watching them actually do the work, then let them loose to do it on their own.  You will be pleasantly surprised at how good they are at it.Student taking care of laundry
  2. Make them set their own alarms to get up for school and DO NOT do it for them.  Unless you are prepared to drive to their dorm rooms five days a week, they need to be able to get up on their own.  This seems simple but it will be the difference in a good semester and a failed semester.  Oh and when they oversleep (and they will) let them suffer the natural consequences of the unexcused absence.  DO NOT cover for them unless you are prepared to do the same for them in College.  College Waking Up
  3. Have them fix their own breakfast (and lunch for that matter).  Unless you want your child to be sustained on pop tarts, Cheetos, and fast food, they must know how to cook a meal.  The habits they are developing now are the habits they will take with them into adulthood.  Again, start slow.  Help them identify variety and things they might like and show them how to prepare.  As they become more confident, gradually back away.

Prepare you teen for college

In today’s world, it is very easy to do things for our kids out of love but be mindful that your “love” isn’t crippling them or you may have to love, aka take care of them longer than you expected.

Kathryn Prusinski is first and foremost a mom and wife who wants to do her part in building happy and healthy families. When she isn’t spending time with family, Kathryn is working as a consultant in strategy and leadership where she helps executives manage professional and personal success. You can find her every fall cheering on her OU Sooners in football. Kathryn believes it isn’t about abilities but our availabilities — so what are you doing to make yourself available to your family?

Why Is Monitoring Social Media Important as a Parent?

A recent article on app.com eluded to the fact that spying on your child’s online “social” activity breaks down trust and encourages them to hide information from you. As a mom that closely monitors her teen’s activity, I couldn’t agree more. Spying, snooping or otherwise secretly investigating will break down trust. This is why it as never been a secret in our household that social media will be monitored and has always been a prerequisite to having access to social media.

Staying Informed

When I was young and met a new friend, my mom was able to talk to the other soccer moms, PTA parents, or neighborhood friends to ensure my new friend was someone in the right crowd and not the local troublemaker. They met their parents and the kid together the first time they dropped me off to hang out, and said hello when they came back to pick me up. Translation: they met and knew my friends.

But that wasn’t enough. They listened to our conversations as we laughed in the den or family room and picked up on just enough info that they were able to keep the pulse on our lives, relationships and drama. In today’s world, much of the socialization and “hanging out” occurs online. Hanging out at someone’s house has been replaced with group texting and Snapchat – each person in their own homes. The conversations have moved from the living room to the mobile world, and as parents we can’t allow that change to disconnect us from their lives. I believe that monitoring her social media is simply a way to get to know her friends, not unlike what my mother did for me many years ago.

What social networks are your kids on?

Engaging with Purpose

Let me be clear that none of this is done in secret. When I see something that gives me pause, I ask her about it. More often than not, these conversations move beyond the picture or comment and become a discussion about why the choices this person made in their post weren’t in their best interest, and what the potential negative outcomes might be. I use these incidents as pathways to engage with her. Ironically, now she will often say to me (before I even get a chance to ask) something along the lines of, “Hey mom did you see what he/she posted? – Wow.. that wasn’t a good idea.”

Your kids and social media

Understanding the Risks

The second reason I monitor her social media is because the stakes are high, much higher than when I was a teen. No longer are your social messes easy to clean up. In a matter of seconds, one bad decision can go viral, be seen and sent to thousands, and utterly devastate a young person’s life. I don’t feel I really have to defend the relevancy of this statement as we see its evidence in our news more often than we would hope. The kid bullied on social media, the college student with a bright future devastated by a drunk post, or the innocent picture of a young woman at the beach lifted from a public site and used for very different purposes. And once it’s out there, no PR professional or social media expert can ever wipe it away.

To me, this issue is no different than so many others impacting parents today. Success or failure often lies in when and how expectations for our children are set. The later you start and the more ambiguous you are, along with the transparency you show, will very likely impact your success. At the end of the day, however, remember that your job is not only to prepare them for the real world but to keep them safe in the interim. It’s one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs you will ever accept.

Kathryn Prusinski is first and foremost a mom and wife who wants to do her part in building happy and healthy families. When she isn’t spending time with family, Kathryn is working as a consultant in strategy and leadership where she helps executives manage professional and personal success. You can find her every fall cheering on her OU Sooners in football. Kathryn believes it isn’t about abilities but our availabilities — so what are you doing to make yourself available to your family?

Are You Their Friend or Their Parent?

Do you find yourself giving in too often and expecting less of your kids to alleviate conflict in your home?  Maybe your permissiveness is getting in the way of their natural growth.

“Many parents today misunderstand their role,” says parenting expert Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, a family doctor in Chester County, PA.  “They often see their role as protecting their son or daughter from disappointment.  They are providing a safety net in situations where it might be wiser to let the kids experience the consequences.”

For many parents, life can be hectic and the last thing you want to do when you get home is start World War III in your kitchen.  But not following through with discipline or routines can create lazy, spoiled, children without schedules or responsibilities.

Here are a few tips to help you in your parent/friend relationship with your child.

It’s important to co-parent.  Be sure your partner is on board and work together to set appropriate routines and limits and then stick to them.  Stand as united parents so your kids aren’t confused or end up pitting you against each other.

It’s often easier to give in to your child’s demands rather than create more conflict.  Stick to your guns and follow through when a consequence is set.  Minor things can slide, but it’s crucial to your credibility as a parent to follow through on the things that matter.

You may think you are helping your child by doing their chores or letting them out of something.  They may even use schoolwork as an excuse and you may feel that you have to honor that excuse.  But throughout life there will always be excuses, and there will always be good, better, and best choices your child will have to make.  Just because their teacher assigns it doesn’t mean that it trumps what you as a parent have asked.  It just means that your child needs to prioritize their time so that they can accomplish both tasks.

We all want to be liked.  And being a parent is no different.  We want our kids to like us.  However, especially around when puberty hits, you need to be aware that there will be times when being a friend isn’t the best role to take as a parent.

That isn’t to say that you can’t be their friend.  Just the opposite.  At this age it is imperative that your kids know that you love them and are on their side no matter what.  But, they also need to know that you have certain expectations for them when it comes to family rules and responsibilities.

Effective co-parenting, following through with consequence, sticking to your routines and limits, and not letting them get away with excuses, are all beneficial skills when it comes to parenting.

Show your kids that you love them by being their parent when they need one.

 

Read a similar article here:  The Benefits of Being Consistent