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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A Prayer of Love Over My Child

A Prayer of Love Over My Child

Dear Father,
As a parent,
You are the perfect example
Of love and how it gives.
You gave your one and only son
Because you love the world.
The depth of your love cannot be measured.
The largeness of it cannot be sized.
Will you help the one you’ve gifted to me
to know the gift of your love?
Will you help this child of mine
know just how much love he is loved?
May each opportunity to share your love
Be embraced to the fullest possibility.
Amen.

prayer of love over my child

Today I’m writing for the MOB Society during their 21 days of praying for our sons series. I’d love it if you’d pay them a visit to read more on praying love over our children.

21dAYS OF PRAYER

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

Bedtime Prayers and Using A Bedtime Routine Checklist & GIVEAWAY

bedtime prayers

With school beginning next week, honestly I’m a little panicked at the thought of the new routine beginning. Our family’s summer seems to have passed so quickly and with the beginning of school we need not only a solid morning routine, but also a strong bedtime routine.

My husband and I established the habit of bedtime prayers with each of our children as infants and I’m so grateful that we did that. My mom prayed with me as a child each night for many years, probably until I was about 10 years old. Because of her training, I’ve always thought of prayer as the core element to bedtime routine. I may have told you before, but my kids even want Mommy and Daddy to pray over the phone with them at night when we are away.

The Ch@T prayer model is easy for me to remember since I’ve been using it for awhile and lately I’ve been modeling this prayer with my children at bedtime. I don’t ask each question associated with the model, but I do fill in the question with a statement. So it might go something like this:

Dear God, We are so thankful for who you are, the Creator of all the world. We are sorry for (fill in the blank with any issues from the day) and ask for your forgivness. Thank you for (fill in the blank with blessings from the day) Tonight we are asking for (requests for others and personal requests). We praise you for all you are doing in our lives. Thank you for (child’s name) and help (him/her) to know how much I love (him/her) and how much you love (him/her.) Amen.

While we haven’t strayed from our bedtime prayer routine, this summer we have definitely strayed from our bedtime routine otherwise. Honestly, a few times, a day at the pool was considered a bath or shower substitute. (Did I just admit that?)

In this post on bedtime tips, I mention that having a typical order of events gives children the opportunity to know what to expect and feel secure. Our bedtime schedule (before this wild and crazy summer!) has been bath, pajamas, hair, short playtime, snack, teeth, and books. However, with my hubby’s recent  job change, he is getting home later from work. I think our “short playtime” is going to be eliminated from the middle of the order of events. Since my youngest two need to adjust from summer and to the new routine, I decided to make a bedtime routine checklist. I used blank lines on the checklist so you can fill in the order of your family’s bedtime routine.  Click HERE or on the graphic below to open the free .PDF.

bedtime routine checklist

In addition to the bedtime routine checklist, Tommy Nelson has the sweetest book to help you establish a bedtime prayer routine! This little book called A Night Night Prayer features the cutest little snuggly alpaca who is learning how to quiet his voice, whisper good night to the world, and give thanks for all God has provided. The artwork in this book is adorable and I thought you’d like to see a preview:

The bedtime bestselling favorite is sure to help your little ones enjoy getting tucked into bed and I’m excited to be giving away one copy of this sweet book! Just follow the Rafflecopter and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Rachel

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Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.