A letter to my daughters

Teen Coach Dear Little Lady,

I caught you looking at yourself in the mirror this morning (I was peeking around the bathroom door, being all quiet).  You were looking longingly into your reflection, tilting your head left then right and shifting your weight lightly from one foot to the other. I wondered what was going through your mind (I am nosy like that you know). Perhaps you were pondering last night’s twitter conversations (why do you get along so much more with your twitter friends than your real ones?), maybe you were wondering when you are going to get a boyfriend, or just trawling through your mind at the “totally boring” lessons that lie in front of you. Then I remembered, as you tucked your hair behind your ear, that you were wondering why you couldn’t look like the amazing picture of Brooke Shields  I showed you a few days ago. (Those 80’s icons were the best you know).  Then I giggled at myself, remembering a moment from my youth that I dare not repeat to such tender ears.

Do you know what I see when I look at you?

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Teaching responsibility

Teaching Responsibility – Don’t rescue you child!Teaching responsibility

I was on the tube the other day listening to a parent having a conversation over her phone with her child – yes. I was ear-wigging! The conversation went on for a while but the gist of it appeared to be that the child had not done a project that they had known about for a while. They had a karate class that evening and didn’t want to go so that they could finish the school project.  The parent went from telling them off to trying to find a solution to eventually giving in and telling the child they could miss karate just this once.   I really had to hold my tongue, I tell you. What was this parent teaching this child but allowing them to renege on one responsibility to meet another that they should have planned for? My guess is that this child will make this mistake again and again.  There is no way I would ever let my child off this easily! Yes, I know it is easy to give in, I know it earns you brownie points and rescues your child sufficiently.  However, what does it teach them? It certainly wasn’t teaching responsibility that was for sure !
Teaching responsibility – What this parent could have said was…

“I understand that you need to complete your project, however karate is non-negotiable. You committed to going when we signed you up, so you need to honour your commitment. How can you ensure both of these things get done?

I know that the child would argue, maybe even calling a few names out and using whatever tactics were available to them, but as the parent you must stick to your guns and just keep asking the question, what you are going to do to work this out.  Sure, you may be able to ease the stress for them by driving them to karate for example, but what you must not do is step in to save them. If you do that when they are younger it will get worse and worse in the teen years and your child will learn nothing about responsibilities and commitment.

 How do you make sure your children keep to their commitments? How do you go about teaching responsibility? 

Safeguards for Kids’ Social Media Accounts

Preventive Measures: Safeguards for Kids’ Social Media Accounts

teen girl with smartphone doing homeworkToday kids are accessing the Internet through computers, tablets and smartphones. Recent statistics estimate that 93 percent of kids ages 12-17 are online for school or personal use in the United States. Of that percentage, more than half have profiles on popular social networking accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Since it is unlikely that pre-teens or teens will refrain from browsing the Internet, here are five practical safeguards parents can institute before allowing their kids to establish social media accounts.

Establish Ground Rules

Having a discussion with your kids about Internet usage is not only necessary, but an effective way to let them know what the rules are for browsing the web and social media accounts. Create a written or verbal agreement between you and your kids mandating that they ask a parent’s permission before signing up for a social media account. This practice will keep you informed about the networking sites that they frequent. Advise your kids that under no circumstances should they accept a friend request from a stranger. If the stranger is persistent in sending messages or threats, your kids should immediately inform you. Emphasize that it is imperative for them to avoid posting personal information online, including but not limited to, Social Security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, school information, certain pictures or videos and family vacations plans.

Have a Common-Area Computer

Keep the computers and tablets in a common room available to everyone. Putting the computer in an open room will ensure that your kids think twice before visiting a site or conversing with a stranger on a social media account. It allows parents to walk in unannounced to keep better tabs on their kids’ activities.

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Youth Success – what about failure?

Ep 61 -YSS – Failure, Grit and determination.

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In this show Sarah and Annie discuss why failure is a good thing, how to instil grit and how to make sure your child is determined.

Join Sarah Newton and Annie Fox and guests as they answer the fundamental question, what makes youth successful? What empowers them? What makes them want to change? Why do they behave the way they do and most importantly, how can we positively impact and influence them? Together, Sarah and Annie have over 40+ years experience in the youth field. Sarah, an ex-police officer in London, started her consulting business 14 years ago and is well known worldwide for her TV and radio work. Annie is a parenting expert who has been answering teen email questions since 1997. Join them on The Youth Success Show as these two seasoned experts  share their ideas, thoughts, perspectives and tools to help youth thrive.

Check Out Youth Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Youth Success Show on BlogTalkRadio

Miley Cyrus, procrastination and yelling

EP 60-Youth Success Show

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In this show we discuss yelling and shouting at your teenagers and why it isn’t a great idea, procrastination around school work and what is the real issue with Miley taking her clothes off !

Join Sarah Newton and Annie Fox and guests as they answer the fundamental question, what makes youth successful? What empowers them? What makes them want to change? Why do they behave the way they do and most importantly, how can we positively impact and influence them? Together, Sarah and Annie have over 40+ years experience in the youth field. Sarah, an ex-police officer in London, started her consulting business 14 years ago and is well known worldwide for her TV and radio work. Annie is a parenting expert who has been answering teen email questions since 1997. Join them on The Youth Success Show as these two seasoned experts  share their ideas, thoughts, perspectives and tools to help youth thrive.

Check Out Youth Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Youth Success Show on BlogTalkRadio