4 Tips for Parenting Teens In A Digital World

 

 

Parenting teens in a digital world***Post includes a giveaway of  Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture

As children grow, their needs change. Every parent realizes this fact early on, but during the teen years, it seems we become acutely aware of the world in which we are raising our children. With all the instant access to friends via social media networks and endless opportunities of online connections, the world can seem more troubling each day. I love digital connections, but teaching our teens to appropriately manage a digital world is extremely important.

About nine years ago, my oldest daughter was allowed to own her first cell phone. At this point in the cell phone economy,calling and texting were about the limit. Since then, social media and gaming sites have significantly broadened the reach of a cell phone user. Today I wanted to provide a few tips on parenting teens in a digital world.

1. Decide on a digital-free time zone as a family.

What works for us may not work for you;but for us, this digital-free time zone is meal times at home. I will say that we have made the exception at restaurants on occasion because waiting times have been longer than usual or the restaurant atmosphere is not conducive to conversation. Maybe your time is the last hour before bed. Decide on a family time together when everyone purposefully looks in one other’s eyes for good, old-fashioned conversation. ;)

2. Address self-image issues with a Biblical foundation.

No matter the age of the user, online comparison is a trap just waiting to happen. You can always find someone who has a better senior photo, more friends, or a stronger sense of fashion. But when I was a teen, we only saw that someone in social settings. Now they come through the phone into your teen’s bedroom via Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat and every other social media network. Teenagers need verbal encouragement from their parents on a consistent basis in order to proactively sculpt the right Christian self-image. Feel free to use this list of Bible verses for when you feel “not good enough” to reinforce how much God loves them just as they are.

3. Set behavioral expectations for cell phone, tablet, and all electronics usage.

Making wise decisions about who you trust with very personal information is extremely important. Remembering that every digital action and reaction leaves a traceable imprint is priority.

4. Emphasize that digital access of any kind is a privilege.

Just like any other privilege, if your teen’s phone or tablet or gaming device is used inappropriately for any reason, then that privilege can be withheld.

Parenting a teen in today’s culture is challenging to say the least. My son is in middle school and he is one of the only kids in his classes who doesn’t own a cell phone. While there are many reasons for making the decision of when and how much online and media access to give to your teen, today my hope was to provide a few thoughts to stimulate proactive parenting in this tough teen area.

Recently I was introduced to a newly-released book, Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture by Candy Gibbs. This book is packed with practical tips for not only the murky waters of technology, but also the deep waters of sex, sexting, abortion, communication, family expectations,and more. Candy is the Executive Director of CareNet Pregnancy Centers in Amarillo, TX. I’m privileged to be giving away 2 copies of this awesome book today; just follow the Rafflecopter to enter.

For more information on this wonderful resource, check it out here:
Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture

Have a marvelous Monday!

Rachel

 

Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

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Bible Reading Plans for Proverbs

Have you ever asked yourself “How does God really work in our lives?” One of the ways I’m confident of his work is when he places an idea in front of me multiple times. I guess I’m a tad (ok, extremely) hard-headed and I need more than once to understand that this thought is from him and I need to act on it. So I’m catching on. Maybe you too?

Sunday afternoon at church, I heard that one of the teachers was encouraging her age group to read the book of Proverbs. She plans to have a great lunch party for the kids who follow through. I love this idea because my kids haven’t read the entire book of Proverbs to my knowledge. And while I offer Bible reading plans for each of the Gospels, I haven’t created any printable Bible reading plans for any books in the Old Testament.

When I was in college, I began reading a chapter of Proverbs each day and 5 Psalms each day. Following this path will take you through both books in one month. But as one of our readers pointed out yesterday, it can be a bit much to really think and process that much reading in a day. This reader is following the plan that I’ve done as well, reading one chapter of Proverbs a day. Honestly, I think even that much can be a little much if you want to study and think on the verses.

So today, for all the reasons above, I’m excited to offer you some Bible reading plans for Proverbs. Here are the ideas recapped:

1. Read 1 chapter in Proverbs and 5 Psalms a day to finish both books in one month.

2. Read 1 chapter in Proverbs daily to read the entire book in one month.

3. Use this brand new Bible reading plan for Proverbs to read the entire book of Proverbs in two months.

Using a printable check-off sheet is a great idea for a few reasons:

1. You get to watch your progress unfold.

2. You can be creative and color or stamp the boxes as you go. You could even create a color coding system and mark your favorite chapters.

3. You can finish more quickly than the time allotted if you find yourself with extra reading time.

You can download the form here or click on the graphic below.

proverbs bible reading

 

Have a terrific Tuesday and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Rachel

Trusting God’s Plan (and a little help from Lysa TerKeurst)

Post includes a 2 book giveaway of the NEW children’s book by Lysa TerKeurst, “It Will Be Okay”

book giveaway it will be okay

Trusting God’s plan isn’t an easy thing for us as humans, is it? We simply want to know the plan. Our questions often include:

  • What is the purpose of this problem or circumstance?
  • How could something good come out of this?
  • How is God going to use this in my life?

I often wonder why we who trust Christ for our eternal salvation struggle so much to trust him with our everyday lives.

Do we forget that the God who saved us will sustain us?

Yikes, I preach to myself.

 

Over the summer, my 1o year old daughter and I were privileged to meet with Lysa TerKeurst for a few minutes at Women of Faith. I really wish I had thought to take a photo, but my mommy brain must have been on overload that day. When Tristina discovered that Lysa had written a new children’s book, she wanted to review it for you.
tristina

Now the interesting part of the story is that when I asked Tristina if she wanted to read the book, it was just a simple request. But God had something so much bigger in store for her! This week was a trying one for her and a certain situation left her tired and struggling against fear. My mama’s heart ached for her, because the truth is- I struggle with this same fear. We had to make a change in plans because the situation just seemed too big.  The problem can’t be avoided and will have to be resolved, so we rescheduled a time to tackle it in the near future.

When Tristina finished reading the book and immediately came to me, I saw her eyes wide open. “I know why you wanted me to read this book, Mom,” her voice full of accusation. I honestly had no idea what she meant, but it quickly became obvious that the message of the book was personal to her. Here is her review:

Hi! I’m Tristina Wojnarowski.  I read the book It Will Be Okay by Lysa TerKeurst, who I met before with my mom. It’s about a seed in a little seed packet and he doesn’t want to be planted.  He likes it up on the shelf in his packet. But then a little fox came into the shed because it was storming.  Throughout the story the little seed and the little fox grew up together and stayed right next to each other and became best friends.  I think that it was a great book to teach kids like me about trusting in themselves and trusting in God as well.  I really like the cute illustrations and the characters.

One of my favorite parts about this book is the awesome list of 10 Scriptures to Memorize with Your Kids. What a wonderful list to give them as practical tools to use in the face of fear!

I figured you would want a sneak preview of this precious book and its beautiful message on trusting God through fear and change! So take a peek below:

I’m pretty pumped to give away two copies of this sweet book this weekend! Just follow the Rafflecopter to enter to win.

For more details or to purchase, go here—–> It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox)

Have a great weekend!!
Rachel

More Resources on Trusting God’s Plan:

15 Bible Verses for Trusting God in Tough Times

A Prayer for when I can’t understand God’s plan

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Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

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