Friday, July 18, 2014

Talking to Your Kids about Porn

Do you really need to talk to your kids about porn? Yes. Why? Because it is so prevalent online. Researchers report the average age of a child's first exposure to pornography is 11 years old.

Certainly you should take measures to lock down your digital devices so that your young children don’t accidentally stumble into porn. However, as they go to friends’ homes and ride on school buses, they are at risk for being exposed to porn.

By bringing up the topic with your kids, you have a chance to discuss your family values and how porn fits into those values. You can let your kids know that if they are ever frightened or concerned about what they see online, they should let you know.

You can also share what researchers have learned about viewing porn. According to an article by Psychologist John Sommers-Flanagan,
“Viewing more porn is associated with:
  • Engaging in sexually aggressive acts (including rape or sexual assault)
  • Becoming depressed, anxious, and stressed
  • Functioning more poorly in real social interactions (and ironically, becoming impotent)
Research also reveals that young boys who view lots of porn are more likely to be sex offenders. And here’s the most disturbing thing I’ve discovered. Over 80% of pornography includes violence towards women.”

You can help your children think through the consequences of porn by discussing these facts and how porn and violence against women are connected. By talking through the issues associated with porn, you help your kids develop their own internal moral code.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What do you do when kids are too noisy in the car?

Kids can get pretty wound up in the car. Before you know it, there's plenty of volume in the car. How do you handle it without turning to screaming and adding to the chaos?

When things got too noisy in the car for me, I would declare we were now in “The Code of Silence”. This meant that nobody could talk, not even me. What is surprising is that the kids actually took it seriously and stopped talking! Nobody wanted to be the one who broke “The Code of Silence”!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Building Kids' Skills Through Increasing Responsibility

What new responsibilities are your children ready to handle? It’s easy to get into the habit of doing many things for your kids that they really could be doing for themselves. While your kids may be happy to let you do these tasks, they won’t learn how to clean their rooms by watching you do it!

One mom told the story of how she had always done her daughter’s laundry. When her daughter was preparing to move to a college dorm in the next town, her plan was to come home every couple weeks so her mom could do her wash. She wanted to buy enough underwear to last between trips instead of learning to wash it herself!

Noticing When They Are Ready to Learn

Most of the time your children will not be begging you for more responsibility. So it’s up to you to notice when they are to take on something new.

For example, when my son was about 6-years-old I asked him what he wanted for breakfast. He wasn’t sure so I gave him some choices. Would you like cereal? No. Yogurt with fruit? No. Toast with jam? No. Oatmeal? No.

As he rejected each suggestion, I felt increasingly frustrated. He also didn’t appear overly appreciative of my efforts to help him get breakfast. This was when I realized I could turn this responsibility over to him.

(finish reading this article on

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tell Them What You Want Instead of What You Don't Want

It's far easier for children to know how to act when you tell them what you would like them to do. For example, "Please walk in the house." versus "Stop running!"

If your children are jumping on the couch, avoid saying "Don't jump on the couch!". Instead explain "I see you have a lot of energy. You can jump as much as you want on the floor." Take your children by the hand and lead them off the couch and onto the floor. Join them in a little jumping if you feel like it!

This idea works for kids and adults alike. Recently I was at a community college where I ran into a number of signs hung up on stairways and railings declaring "This is NOT a bike rack!" Clearly people with bikes had parked them there and were now being warned not to do that. However, there was no sign of a bike rack anywhere! It would have been far friendlier to have a sign indicating where the bike racks were located and asking people to please park their bikes there.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ask "Is there an unlocked gun in your house?"

In America, one out of three homes with children has a gun, many kept unlocked or loaded. Every year thousands of kids are killed and injured as a result.

Parents ask all sorts of questions before their children visit other homes. The Asking Saves Kids (ASK) Campaign encourages parents to add one more question to this conversation: “Is there an unlocked gun in your house?” It’s a simple question, but it has the power to save a child’s life. The ASK Campaign was created in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Across the country, it has successfully inspired an estimated 19 million households to ask if there are guns where their children play.

June 21st is National ASK Day. Held annually on the first day of summer, a season when children spend more time in other homes, ASK Day reminds parents about the importance of ASKing if there is an unlocked gun where their children play. This ASK Day, pledge to ASK at You can also learn about more ways to get involved, and how you can spread the ASK message, both on ASK Day and year-round.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Teens Standing Against Bullying with Their Music

When a child is bullied and feels like he doesn't have any friends, life is bleak. When Colin Cunningham was turning 11 his mom asked him if he'd like a party. He felt like it was pointless because he didn't have any friends to invite. That's when his mom created a Colin’s Friends Facebook page where people could send him encouraging words ... a wildly successful idea.

The indie band, Galvanized Souls, decided to take a stand against bullying by writing the song "Carry On". The touching video for their song features Colin Cunningham. Teens like these give us all hope.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Developing Relationship Skills Needed to Succeed

Are your kids developing the relationship skills they need to succeed? Building and maintaining relationships is essential for your kids’ success and happiness. Kids who lack enough positive relationships in their lives are in relationship poverty – a place no child wants to be.

Are relationship skills easy to learn? No! They take a lot of practice with many different people and situations.

How important are relationship skills? They are vital to your child’s success. When you consider the 50% divorce rate or the fact that most people who fail at a job do so due to a lack of soft skills not technical skills, it is clear strong interpersonal skills are both crucial and challenging.

Helping Your Child Develop a Strong Foundation

Your relationship with your child is the foundation on which they will build all other relationships. No matter what your children’s age, you can strengthen your relationship by spending more time with them.

(finish reading Developing Relationship Skills Needed to Succeed article on the Priceless Parenting site)