Category Archives: Parenting

Turn Off the Internet

Are your kids browsing the internet when they should be going to sleep?
Are they struggling to get their chores done because of the distractions of electronics?
In 2014, most everyone, including kids have their own personal device that can access the internet through Wi-Fi.
It could be a phone, iPod touch, tablet, laptop, desktop PC, XBox, and now even TVs.
This easy internet access makes it increasingly more difficult to control how much time the kids spend on it.
Television is no longer our only concern.

The solution that we have come up with for our home is very simple; we just turn the internet off.
How do you turn the internet off?
Simply pull out the cord that powers the Internet modem and wallah…no internet!
Every week night, at about 9:30, we pull the plug on the internet, say a prayer together and get to bed.

We’ll even pull the plug in the morning or in the middle of the day, if necessary.
If we find the kids staring at a screen instead of doing their homework or chores you can get their attention real fast by simply pulling the plug on the internet.
If they want it back… they will get done whatever it is that they need to do.
Try it one day! It’s kind of a rush to know that you have power over the mighty Internet! (At least, in your home)

Now, there still may be times when simply pulling the plug may not be enough, especially if your kids have their own internet enabled phone. In this case, you can have them turn their phone in to you.

You can limit the use of the internet with anti-virus software as well, but we still find it to be easier to just pull the plug.

If you have other ideas for controlling the internet in your home I would love to hear from you.
Let me know how it goes, if you try pulling the plug.

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How To Wake Your Kids Up In The Morning

As parents, we set the tone for the whole day, good or bad, starting with how we wake our kids up.
It is never easy getting kids up in the mornings, especially on school days, if you hope to do it without making them grumpy in the process.
At the end of this article I share a method for waking my kids up that Becky and I have found to be most effective, but first I want to share with you what I have learned NOT to do.

Do not SING
This one was doomed to work from the start because I am a horrible singer.
And to make things worse, my choice of songs were not always the best, like…

“Get up, Get up, get busy, busy…Get up and move that body! Get up, get up get busy, now the night is over”
“Rise and shine, and give God the glory , glory”, clapping my hands loudly as I sing of course.
“It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, its Monday morrrrrrrrrrrrrning”. I think I made this one up myself.

For some reason, when I sang, they just pulled the covers over their heads and screamed “STOP!”
Stay away from singing.

Do not YELL
Yelling is typically not intentional, but on occasion it has been what I thought was the only way to get their attention.
Normally, it’s because we’re running behind, got up late or we thought the kids were up, only to find out 10 minutes before it’s time to go that they never got up in the first place. Now everyone is in a frantic rush and it’s next to impossible to have a good start to the day with this scenario.
Yelling doesn’t put anyone in a good mood.

Do not TURN ON THE LIGHTS
I’ve tried this a few times and although it does wake them up, they instantly pull the covers over their head and just scream.
This doesn’t seem to get them in the best of moods either for some reason. Let them turn their own lights on.

Do not BLARE MUSIC in their ears
Somehow, I really thought that this method would be fun. Who doesn’t like music right?
I even went as far as to download a song on my phone just for the purpose of waking them up.
You know the song from the movie Madagascar….”I like to move it move it”?
Who doesn’t like that song? It was the perfect song to get up to, so I thought.
WRONG! For some reason hearing this song blaring in your ear first thing in the morning is not how my kids like to be woke up.
I have to admit, that I thought it was kind of fun at first, but it didn’t last long once I realized that they were not enjoying it as much as I did.
Maybe a softer, more gentle, song choice would have been wiser.

After all this experimenting, there is one method that we have settled on and determined to work the best.

How to wake them up in a good mood…

  1. First, wake yourself up 15 to 30 minutes earlier than normal. You want to be up and ready ahead of the kids so that you can put your full focus into them. If you get up late yourself then you almost have to revert to the “Yelling” or “Turn the Lights On” method and that is never, ever fun.
  2. About 15 minutes prior to the time that you really need the kids to get up, turn a light on that is near their room, but not the one in their room. The hallway, bathroom or closet light should work. Go into their rooms, gently touch them on the shoulder and, with the softest voice that you have, simply say, “Good Morning”. They should at least shuffle under the covers a little or turn over.
  3. Now just walk away. They will not get up yet, but that’s ok. This is Stage 1 and the point is just to get them stirring.
  4. Now, go spend some time packing their lunches or getting breakfast going.
  5. Stage 2: Come back to them after about 15 minutes. This time speak to them in a normal voice, letting them know that it is time to get up. Stick around until you see them actually get out of the bed. Don’t say anything else, just stand there for a minute. Most of the time they will sense that you are there and know you mean business. Don’t let them drag things out; give them a minute at the most. If you walk away without seeing them out of bed and moving, you could come back later only to find that they have fallen back to sleep. Then you have to revert to yelling and the whole day gets off track.

This method may not work to perfection at first, but if you do it every day they will eventually get used to the routine.  You may even be pleasantly surprised on occasion and find them already up before you make it back for the second wake up call.

Think about how you woke your kids up when they were a newborn and simply continue to treat them the same as they get older.

Determine in your minds today that every day will be a good day and it all starts with me.
Make it your purpose to start the day off right, by waking the kids up gently and in a good mood.

I would love to hear from you.
How has your experience been in waking your kids up? Good or bad?
Do you have another method that seems to work well?


How to Deal with an Argumentative Teen

The next time you’re teen wants to get argumentative with you, ask them this question before proceeding to have a conversation with them.
“Am I dealing with a 34-year-old or a 4-year-old?”. Then treat them accordingly.
@DaveRamsey


It’s OK To Say “No”

Don’t be afraid to tell your teen No.
Although they may not outwardly express it, there may be times when they actually want you to say “No”, so that they can in turn use you as an excuse to then tell their friends, “No”.


Family Time

When is the last time you sat down at the dinner table and played a board game with your family?
Try entertaining each other instead of being entertained by Hollywood.


Teens and Freedom

Teens like freedom, but freedom must be earned by showing responsibility.


Parenting in 2014

This year I plan to focus my writing for this blog on parenting.

God has blessed Becky and I with 3 boys. At this moment 2 of them are teenagers and one of them will be there soon.
Collin is 15, Connor is 13, (soon to be 14) and Colton is 10.
Our kids are not prefect and Becky and I are no where near perfect parents, but to this point we believe that we have done as good of a job as we knew how at raising great kids.
Now, as they are getting older, our focus is not going to be so much on raising great kids, but raising kids to be great adults.

In the next post I hope to provide some credibility by sharing with you our story in raising our kids to this point.
Going forward I’ll be sharing both our successes and failures in parenting, with the goal of providing some value that you can take and use or learn from.

Parenting can be very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging as well, especially with teenagers.
We have been given an enormous responsibility. Our kids are the future and they will make an impact on society as adults, positively or negatively. We have the power to make this world a better place to live and it all starts with how good of a job that we do as parents.

My kids are waking up right now or need to be woke up and I need to turn my attention to them for a while, but I can’t wait to start by writing our story to share it with you.
If you have kids or even grandkids please enter your email address in the “Follow Me” link to the right.
Doing so will ensure that any future articles that I write will be delivered directly to you.
I want to learn from you as well and the best way to do that is to make this interactive in the comments section of each post.
Together we can help each other in the challenging role of parenting.

Have a very Happy New Year!


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