Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids, Teen

Mentors are Gold for your Kids

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of work and writing. I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, let’s home it’s not an optical illusion. 😉

Photo credit: Clio CJS on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about being or finding mentors for our kids. I can make suggestions to them until I’m blue in the face and they won’t be motivated to try my suggestion, but if another adult whom they respect makes the same suggestion. Bingo. They’re all for it. I don’t feel bad about this. The reason this happens is because I’m their mom and I love them no matter what, so I’m always going to see the good in them, but another adult who notices a spark… well then it must be true, right?

I stumbled on this concept last year when the tennis coach asked my youngest to join the team. He had never expressed an interest in tennis, but just the fact the coach asked him to join was a huge factor. His father and I had been trying to get him to join a team because he’s very athletic, but every sport we suggested he didn’t want to participate in it. He joined the tennis team and enjoyed it so much that he’s planning on doing it again this year.

 

Photo on VisualHunt.com

 

So, when a friend complained to me about how her son was nominated for the National Honors Society at his school and he didn’t want to do it because he had to do thirty hours of community service, I decided to test my theory. I suggested to her  she have one of his teachers encourage him to join. She did and now her son is taking the steps necessary to join the National Honors Society.

Photo credit: National Library of Australia Commons on VisualHunt.com / No known copyright restrictions

 

Teachers your kids respect are gold. If you can have them help you with your child, do it. The teens years are tumultuous to say the least and I’m not ashamed to say that our teens need all the help they can get. So, don’t underestimate the influence teachers have over your kids. It doesn’t take much. Just a suggestion or a request from one of them is all it takes. Teachers do make a lasting impression on our kids. There’s no doubt about that.

 

Photo credit: blondinrikard on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

However, it doesn’t have to be a teacher, it could be a coach, a scout leader, or a favorite uncle or aunt. It takes a village to raise your kids and finding them a mentor who believes in them is a great place to start.

How about you? Do you have any ideas that will help parents through the teen years? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you! I need all the help I can get! 😉

 

 

Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids

Stay at Home versus a Working Mom

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Sorry, I haven’t blogged in a while. Life sure has been busy. 😊  Next week is back to school for my kiddos and I’m just as bummed about it as they are. Summer was way too short this year. At the end of July, we had a great vacation up north. I love that area and it was awesome to get away and relax, and I got a lot of vacation writing done. I love that!

Photo on VisualHunt

However, enough about that. Today, I’d like to reflect on the difference between being a stay at home mom and a working mom. Both are hard work and stressful, but I believe being a stay at home mom is harder. Why? There are many reasons.

Photo credit: Diamond Farah on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

I’ve found that since I’ve been back to work, I feel better about myself. Delving deeper, I realize I’m getting many more positive affirmations from my co-workers and my boss than I did when I was a stay at home mom, but it’s not only that. It’s nice to have co-workers to chat with. Being a stay at home mom is isolating and it’s rare to get any acknowledgement of the hard work you do. I loved being home with my kids, but there were times when it would’ve been nice to have another adult to talk to.

Another reason being a stay at home mom is harder is because you’re not bringing home a pay check. There’s the guilt of not helping provide for the family, but I feel I made the right choice even if it was sometimes a struggle. I have a great relationship with my kids, and I wanted them to learn the value of relationships and how they’re more important than money or possessions. I hope I accomplished that. That being said, I do enjoy bringing home a paycheck again. I’d forgotten what that little piece of independence felt like and boy is it sweet.

Photo on VisualHunt

Also, I get a break from my job. I get to go home after eight hours and hang with my family. A stay at home mom never gets a vacation. Even when she goes on vacation, she’s usually taking her family with her. She is on twenty-four/seven for at least the first five years of her child’s life.  Once they start school, she gets a little bit of a break and believe me she deserves it.

There are usually no positive affirmations either. No one says thanks Mom for cleaning the kitchen three times a day, or for picking up the toys in the living room three times a day. Stay at home moms tend to forget to take care of themselves. They put their needs last. So, it’s no wonder that sometimes they get a little depressed.

Photo credit: cuantofalta on Visual huntCC BY-NC-ND

I remember those years. I was exhausted the entire time, but oh the memories…it was definitely worth it.  So, when I look back would I do it all again, even though there were days of loneliness and major exhaustion? Absolutely.

I miss my kids every day when I’m at work. I want to hear about their day the moment they get home from school, but I also want to send them to college, so they don’t have debts to pay off when they’re done. A compromise must be made, and this is the time to do it. They’re enjoying their independence and pulling away from Mom. This is to be expected, however, I want them to stay my little boys just a little longer.

They still tell me things and when I’m late coming home, they wonder where I’m at and that’s nice, but I miss those baby hugs and the way my oldest used to play with my hair when I fed him his bottle or read him a story. I miss how my youngest was so rambunctious and quick to learn. I remember that moment when he started reading by himself and how we would sit and read an entire book (chapter book) in one sitting, because he wanted to impress me. I remember how proud he was of himself and how proud of him I was.

Photo credit: srsphoto on Visualhunt /CC BY-NC

I was there for all of it. I’m so excited to see the men they will become. They are such great kids. I know life is going to throw them some curve balls. I hope I’ve taught them to be resilient and strong during those times, and I hope I’ve given them enough good memories so when tough times come, they’ll remember those hardships are temporary and good times will be back once they weather the storm.

In conclusion, staying home is the harder of the two. So, if you are a stay at home mom, it’s important for you to take care of yourself and make sure your spouse understands your needs. He needs to give you some accolades and support when you’re having one of those days. Also, you need to take time away from the kids and get adult time. It’s essential to your mental health, but you probably already know that. 😉

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post, do you agree with me? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, raising kids

Protecting your Kids from Predators with Friendly Faces

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of kids, work, and laundry. I’m waiting for summer to begin. We’ve had cold temperatures and rain through most of May after a horrendous winter, so I’m ready for some hot weather. How about you?

Photo credit: CMy23 on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC

But enough about the weather, today I’d like to talk about a scary statistic. According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, approximately 800,000 children are reported missing each year. That’s 2000 children a day.

 

Photo on Visual hunt

This is upsetting. The world is such a dangerous place right now. My hubby used to give me grief for being over-protective, but how can you not be? When pedophiles become troop leaders, teachers, and coaches, how can we be anything but over-protective?

For example, look at what happened at Seton-Keough High school in Baltimore Maryland. The headmaster of the school, Father Maskell, and his group of priests and police officers were abusing the students. Reports were ignored. This abuse has been documented in other Catholic churches as well. The church chose to move these pedophiles from one parish to the next, protecting the abusers. This abuse had been going on for years. We can’t even trust priests. (For more information about the abuse at Seton-Keough high school, check out the Netflix documentary “The Keepers.” It’s very well done.)

 

So, how do you protect your kids? In my research, I’ve found that these pedophiles are smart and manipulative. They prey on kids whose parents are stressed out and can’t be as involved as they’d like to be. The more involved you are with your kids the more likely the pedophile will leave your child alone. They prey on kids who come from one parent homes or there’s alcoholism or drug abuse in the family. They find the needy kids. The ones who need a role model in their lives.

 

Photo credit: dickdotcom on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA

One sign that your child is being groomed by one of these sick individuals is they’re getting special attention from them. The abuser may be buying them gifts or taking them out to dinner. If this is happening, you need to step in and take control of the situation.  This person is being “nice” for a reason, and it’s not a good one.

It’s sad when you can’t even trust a person for being nice to your child, isn’t it? So, the best thing you can do is to be involved with your kids. The better relationship you have with them, the less likely a pedophile will be able to get their claws into them.

The same goes for abusers who kidnap kids to violate and then discard. These people watch and learn your child’s schedule and when they find them in a vulnerable position, they snatch them up. That’s why I’m with my kids at the bus stop. It’s usually dark because they have to be at school so early in the morning, but it’s also not well lit. I wouldn’t let my kids stand out there by themselves, waiting for the bus on such a lonely road.

Photo credit: Thiophene_Guy on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Let’s change this horrible statistic by protecting our kids the best way we can. Thanks for reading my post, I kind of picked a frightening subject to write about. Sorry about that. I’ll write something a little lighter next week.

Do you have any ideas on what we can do to change this statistic? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Personal, raising kids

Gratitude in the New Year

 

Photo on Foter.com

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. It’s the New Year and I’m excited for what 2019 has in store for me. I have some stories I need to finish and I’m hoping this year is the year for me to do that.

However, I don’t want to talk about that today. I thought today, I would talk about gratitude. There’s a meme floating around Facebook and it states, if you list three things you’re grateful for every day, you’ll become happy.  Let’s face it, we’re all looking for happiness and it’s so elusive. Hidden behind the mundane routine of our everyday lives. It’s hard to find in the morning traffic jam and the bills we have to pay to keep a roof over our heads, but it’s there.

 

Image may contain: text

If you’re smart. You’ll look for it in the simple things, like making your kids their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or getting up at the butt crack of dawn to make sure they make it to the bus stop on time. That’s truly where happiness lies.

I know you’re questioning my logic. After all, crawling out of a warm bed and throwing your coat on over your pajamas to go out in the freezing cold doesn’t sound like much fun. It isn’t, but the fact my kids rely on me to do this every morning makes me happy. We chat for a few minutes as we wait for the bus and they tell me things they don’t mention at the dinner table. I know it doesn’t sound magical, but it is. It is to me. They’re growing up so fast and these moments are becoming fewer and fewer as they develop friendships and become more independent.

Photo credit: RubyT (I come here for cameraderie!) on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

I’m grateful for those moments. I’m also grateful for the moments when we’re together and they give me grief. They enjoy picking on me. I tell them that’s their way of showing me they love me. They deny it, but I know it’s true.

I’m also grateful for those times when we’re up north and night falls. I stand on the dock, taking in the moon and stars, and my family wanders out to take in the night sky with me. I love those moments, especially because my youngest is interested in the stars and our solar system. We chat for a few minutes about them and take in the wonder of the heavens. We connect in a world where most connections are digital, and it’s such an awesome feeling to connect even if it’s only for a few minutes. Sometimes that’s all you need.

Photo on Foter.com

Wow. I’ve listed three things I’m grateful for and you know what? I do feel happier. That meme wasn’t lying.  I’m going to try this for twenty one days and see if it’s permanent. How about you? What are you grateful for? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in community, Documentaries, Family, Parenting, raising kids

You Can Make a Difference

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week at work, plus I’m dealing with back to school stuff with the kiddos so I’m feeling a little ragged this evening. This summer certainly went by fast. I didn’t get everything accomplished that I wanted to, but that’s okay. I had a lot of fun with my kiddos, and we made lots of memories. Making memories is an important goal, too. 🙂

Photo credit: Wade Roush on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

I hope your summer went well and you were able to recharge your batteries. Many memorable things happened this season, and one of them was the grand jury report detailing the sexual abuse of over a thousand victims by three hundred priests in Pennsylvania.

The stories are starting to come out. There was the movie “Spotlight” that told the tale of the priests in Boston who abused children and got away with it. Then there was the documentary “The Keepers.”  This story started out as an investigation of the death of one of the Nuns who taught at  Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough  High School. Sister Cathy was murdered and the crime remains unsolved to this day.

Image result for the keepers

Two of her former students (Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub) decided to investigate the murder, and they uncovered horrible abuse of students by the priests running the school. The school they attended. These women believe she was murdered because she found out about the abuse and threatened to take the information to the authorities.

They still don’t know who committed the crime, and it may never be solved because many of the people who know the truth have died. However, all is not lost.  Gemma and Abbie have started a movement across the country. More and more victims are finding the courage to speak out and the horrendous abuse is being exposed. It has also come to light that the Catholic Church moved these guilty priests to different parishes where they continued their victimization. The church did nothing to protect these innocent children.

Image result for the keepers

It’s upsetting to think about especially since very few of the perpetrators of this abuse have gone to prison. That’s the part that upsets me. These abusers destroy lives and then get away with it because the statute of limitations has run out. That’s a total crock.

When is this country going to understand that we need to be protecting our children above everything else?

Photo on Visual Hunt

I mean the church is supposed to be our moral compass and look what they are? A bunch of pedophiles who use their religion to hunt for prey. And what’s worse? Their superiors covered it up and allowed the perpetrators to go on abusing. This makes me sick.

However, there is a bright light in all of this. Times are changing and the support the victims are receiving from all over the world is amazing. The two women who’re investigating Sister Cathy’s death have formed a Facebook group where survivors and supporters can come together. There are literally thousands of members in this group. People from all over the world can discuss theories, share information, and support each other. It’s nothing short of phenomenal.

Photo credit: Matthew Fang on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

And there’s a snowball effect happening. More and more victims are coming forward and more and more priests are being outed. I know the progress is slow and may not be enough for some people, but some progress is better than none. The efforts of these two women are bringing about reform so this type of victimization will never happen again. It could even topple the Catholic Church. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing. They’ve abused their power. They don’t deserve to have it any longer.

Photo credit: Nebojsa Mladjenovic on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

So at the end of the day, when you’re feeling small and insignificant and you just don’t think what you do makes a difference, think of these two women and how their efforts have snowballed into something great. Then raise you’re weary head, take a deep breath, and strive forward. Carry on sweet warrior. The battle is long and hard, but it is worth the fight.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids, social media, Teen

Social Media and its Effect on Conflict Resolution

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of writing, shuttling my boys to places, and painting. Yes, that’s right. My friends and I got together and had a painting party. It was fun, and I highly recommend it.

 

Photo on Visualhunt

 

Today I’d like to talk about social media and its effect on our ability to resolve conflict. I was thinking about that this morning as I wiped the sleep from my eyes because I’m worried about what the future holds for my kids.

Photo on Visual Hunt

In my opinion, social media is detrimental to teaching our littles the skill of resolving conflict, of compromising to get along. Why? Because they don’t have to come to a resolution, they just have to turn off the computer. However, they still have to deal with those negative emotions that negative comments and confrontational interactions stir up.

Being able to resolve conflict is an important skill for the working world. What are our littles going to do when they have an upset customer? You just can’t turn off the computer then.

Social Media allows people to turn off their filters and say whatever they want under the guise of just “expressing an opinion.” Then when things get too heated they’ll block someone or logout. So what happens when you’re dealing with someone in real life and things start escalating?

Photo on VisualHunt.com

We need to teach our littles to “agree to disagree” with respect. We can still respect someone who has a different opinion than ours. We as parents need to be the role models for this behavior.  Unfortunately, not all parents do this.

Another reason we need to teach and model appropriate behavior is because of the negative emotions that are stirred up when things escalate out of control. On social, media name calling and bullying cannot be tolerated. The effects of this type of behavior are resounding and have far-reaching consequences after the computer is turned off. Our nationwide suicide rate has increase 25% since 1999.

Photo on Visualhunt

Doesn’t that scare anyone? It should. When did social media make its first appearance? 1997. Then blogging became popular in 1999. In the early 2000’s My Space was born and following that, in 2005 YouTube arrived on the scene. Right on YouTube’s heels, Facebook and Twitter.

I hope I’m not the only one seeing a correlation here.

We need to make sure our kids learn how to negotiate and compromise for when they can’t turn off the computer. These skills are vital for them to make their way in the world long after we’re gone, wouldn’t you agree?

Photo credit: Mariana Wagner on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

We also need to teach them coping behaviors so they can deal with cyber bullies effectively. They need to learn how not to internalize negative messages and how to deal with the feelings they inspire. We need our “in real life” friends now more than ever, don’t you think?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. It ended up being much more serious than what I intended, but sometimes that happens, you know?

Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts. 🙂

 

 

 

Posted in Parenting, raising kids, Teen, Writing

Protecting Our Kids

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back after a busy week of revisions and editing. My revisions for my first MS have been sent off to my beta readers, and I’ve started editing my rough draft of my second one.  I’m crossing my fingers. The characters in these books have made me work hard and I’m proud of the results. Let’s hope the Beta readers like them.

Photo on Visual hunt

But enough about that. Last week I wrote a post about finding your passion because I’d done an author visit at one of the schools in the area. I received some emails from some of the students who enjoyed my presentation and I thought I’d share one of them with you.

 

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for coming to our school and talking to us 6th graders about your awesome books! I got the second book from the Super Spies series, and I am so excited to read it! Thank you for answering all of our questions. We learned a lot about being an author and how to write good stories!

Thanks Again!

 

When I get feedback like this, it makes all the hard work and sacrifices worth it. I love inspiring kids to step out of their comfort zones and pursue their dreams. After my presentation last week, some of the kids gathered around me and told me about the stories they were writing. Their enthusiasm was overwhelming and sparked my resolve to keep going with my writing.  It’s funny all it takes is spending some time with kids, and it urges me to keep pushing forward.

Photo credit: Jiuck on Visual Hunt /CC BY-NC-SA

 

Our kids are our most valuable resource. We need to protect them. It seems like our world is getting more and more dangerous and our kids are the ones suffering because of it. We have human traffickers, mass shootings, and child abuse.

 

Photo on Visual hunt

 

How do we protect our kids?

 

To protect our kids from human traffickers and child abuse we parents must be involved in our children’s lives. Most predators target kids who come from low income homes, whose parents are busy trying to make ends meet. They also target kids with low self-esteem. Kids who don’t have a role model to look up to. So in a nutshell, we have to do a better job at parenting.

Photo credit: akahawkeyefan on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

 

As for Mass shootings, better parenting is only half of the answer. We also need to have stronger communities. For those families whose circumstances aren’t ideal, the community should pull together and support them. Make sure the children don’t fall through the cracks and become victims of bullying and other stressors that affect teens. Once we’ve got those support systems in place, then we can move forward from there.

My next question for everyone is this. How do we go from an idealistic kid like the one above to a kid who’ll take a gun into a school and shoot up his classmates? If we can answer that question, we’ll be moving in the right direction.

Let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!