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kidonphone

Parental Controls For Parents’ Screen Time

 

In Lisa’s Home School, learn more about what most families are experiencing – a disconnect from each other and an obsession with wifi connection.  As one mom puts it, “As my children enter this wireless world of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat, it’s painfully clear that we need a meaningful plan for finding a balance for all of us. I don’t want my children imitating my rude habit of checking my phone mid-sentence, staying online rather than reading a book, or worse, learning to drive without the discipline to leave their phones out of reach.”  How can we gain some balance?  Check out more with the link above.

 

EmbarassedDaughter

How To Cope With an Embarrassing Incident

Dear Dr. Bill,

Our 9-year-old, who had always been very independent, became sick while eating out at a restaurant three months ago. Since that time, she has been extremely resistant to things that never bothered her before. She doesn’t want to eat out, she asks for notes to get out of gym class, and she doesn’t want to venture from home.  What do you suggest?

–Terry

Dear Terry,

From your description, it sounds like the “restaurant incident” was quite traumatic for your daughter.  If she already leans toward self-consciousness, she now may be fearful of suffering another embarrassing moment in public.  It’s likely she’s trying avoid any situation where she could possibly be scrutinized or subject to embarrassment.

Right now needs an extra measure of your patience, love and encouragement.  Spend some time processing what actually happened in the restaurant.  Encourage your daughter to talk about the emotions she felt.  Was she scared, embarrassed, or feel out-of-control?

Be careful not to “correct” or minimize her emotions by telling her “you shouldn’t feel that way.”  Instead, empathize with her feelings of fear or embarrassment.  This may help her to better understand and emotionally process the experience.

Also, don’t reinforce her avoidant behavior by giving in to her requests to stay away from all social situations.  If you continually allow her to “escape” you will only compound the problem.

Be caring but firm, and insist that she return to her previous schedule and the activities that you know she enjoys.  If she needs a little “hand holding” at first, that’s okay, but eventually insist that she demonstrate the independence she displayed before she became ill in the restaurant.

If the behavior persists, consult with a child psychologist or family therapist.

Thanks for writing, Terry.  I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

kideats

Winning Mealtime Battles

Dear Dr. Bill,

Do you have any suggestions for encouraging a 5 year old boy to eat without it becoming a huge issue?

–Kim 

Dear Kim,

Judging from your question, it sounds like mealtime for your 5 year old has already become an issue.

Many parents give in to their child’s finicky eating patterns when they are toddlers.  They let their child dictate what they will eat, how much they will eat, and when they will eat it.  Now that your son is 5, he’s had his way for several years and he’s pretty much running the show.

It’s time for you to regain your role as parent, and show your little guy who’s boss.  Your job is to provide him with a variety of healthy foods at predictable meal times, and his job is to eat them.

If he decides he doesn’t like what the rest of the family is eating and insists on something different, don’t give in to him.  Simply inform him that this is what the family is eating for dinner tonight, and there are no other options.

If your son decides he wants to go on a hunger strike, let him.  Wrap up his dinner, put it in the fridge, and let him know that when he gets hungry you’ll heat it up for him.  Then you need to stick to your guns, no matter how much he whines and complains.

Whatever you do, DON’T allow him to snack on anything else.  Your son won’t starve, trust me.  The amazing thing about the stomach…eventually it contracts and sends strong signals to the brain that can’t be ignored. At that point, even cold mashed potatoes look good.

Thanks for writing, Kim.  I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

kidsdiet

Kids & Dieting

You’ve heard a lot about childhood obesity, but what do you do if one of your kids is overweight? The actions you take can have a lifelong impact—for better or worse.

Research shows the way we communicate to our kids makes all the difference. Talking to children about dieting, telling them they’re too fat, or nagging them to lose weight actually increases the risk of eating disorders, unhealthy dieting, or binge eating. Plus it devastates their emotional health.

So what should you do? Talk to your kids often about the importance of healthy nutrition, exercise and sleep. Help them make good choices—without adding weight or size to the conversation.

But, more than your words, your kids need you to take the lead. Your actions always speak louder than your words, and will feed them a good example.

Stronger Families. Stronger Communities. I’m Dr. Walt Larimore for Shine dot FM.

You can read additional blogs by Dr. Larimore on this topic here. Just scroll down the home page to find and click on the article in which you’re interested. In addition, you can see Dr. Walt’s twice-daily devotional, Morning Glory, Evening Grace, here. Last, but not least, limited numbers of autographed copies of Dr. Walt’s books are available here.

Listen to today’s audio here.

arguing

Breaking Destructive Family Patterns

Dear Dr. Bill,

I grew up in a home where I received a lot of verbal abuse from my parents.  I’m now a mother of a three-year-old, and lately I’ve caught myself saying things to her that I’m not proud of.  Can you tell me what I can do to change?

–Karen

Dear Karen,

The words we use when speaking to our children are extremely powerful. If we constantly belittle and criticize them, we set the stage for low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and shame, even problems with anxiety and depression later in life.

We should be our children’s biggest cheerleaders…affirming them when they succeed and encouraging them when they fail.

The bible commands not to “exasperate our children” (Ephesians 6:4) and to let our “gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5).

Based on your e-mail, it sounds like you may be repeating some of the negative behavior patterns you experienced growing up.  The best way to break out of those negative patterns is to do the work necessary to understand how your past has affected you.

If you grew up in a home where you were constantly criticized, put down, or verbally abused, it’s important to grieve that fact honestly and understand how it has affected you.

Then you need to repent of any sinful behavior on your part, ask the Lord’s forgiveness, and make the changes necessary to break patterns of generational sin.

Joining a support group or seeing a Christian therapist would be a helpful first step.

By the way, an excellent book on this topic is “Verbal Abuse,” by Dr. Grace Ketterman. Thanks for writing, Karen.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

TeenMobile

The Impact of Mobile Technology on Teens and Young Adults

What impact is mobile technology having on teens and young adults?

According to a new study from Kent State University, the more time college students spend talking, texting, Facebooking or surfing the Internet on their smartphones, the more likely they are to be anxious, unhappy and get lower grades.

Plugged In.com reports on the research, in which students kept a record of their mobile phone use.  They also took psychological tests designed to measure anxiety and life satisfaction.

Andrew Lepp, the co-author of the study says “The lower frequency users use their phone to keep in touch, check the Web and update Facebook but they can put it away and get on with other tasks.”

“But the higher users are not able to control it and are glued to the cellphone. They need to unplug and find some personal time where they can disconnect from the network.”

Dr. Lepp says we all need time to be alone with our thought and recover from the daily stresses of life in a way that doesn’t involve electronic media.

Meanwhile, some teenagers are sleeping with their cellphones—and sending texts during the night without any memory of it the next morning.

Dr. Gerald Rosen, who leads the pediatric sleep disorders program at Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota, believes teens are being conditioned to respond to their phones almost like a mother responds to her baby.

He says “If you’re a mother, you awaken to the sound of your child crying.  Even if it’s not a loud noise, it will trigger an awakening. That’s essentially what’s happening with lots of kids with their phones.”

Dr. Rosen also believes there are deeper problems to explore when anyone is so attached to a piece of technology that they have to sleep with it.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

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