Wednesday Wisdom: Awareness Rather Than Fear

January 30, 2008 at 10:10 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, teens, toddlers, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | Leave a comment
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Parents often teach their children to be fearful of dangerous situations.  This is an attempt to protect them from the immediate danger.   Unfortunately when you teach fear about one incident you also teach fear about life.  When you teach fear you are also teaching your child to be a victim.  This is a serious negative cycle you set up when you use fear to try to protect your children from danger!

How can you teach awareness rather than fear?  The first thing you need to do is understand the difference between fear and awareness.  Two weeks ago I saw a little girl skiing.  She fell and somersaulted down a steep pitch for about fifteen feet.  When she came to a stop her mother skied over to her and screamed, “Are you all right? My baby, my baby.  What am I going to do?  Help.  I need help!”  At the same time her aunt came over. She bent down, quietly asked the girl if she was all right.  Could she move?  When the girl wiggled and sat up the aunt gently hugged her.  And the mother was still in her panic, yelling for help.  The girl actually put on her skis and said to her mother, “I am really OK.  Aunty Sarah took care of me.”

This is a profound difference between using fear and awareness.  The mother used fear and the little girl never felt taken care of, while the aunt used awareness and the little girl new she was being taken care of.

When you teach basic areas of danger, the kitchen stove for example, teach your children that the stove is hot let them feel the heat that rises without actually touching anything or being burned.  To teach the dangers of traffic put some apples and oranges in the street- being careful yourself,  of course.  Explain that what happens to oranges and apples is what happens to children as well.  You are not scaring your child.  You are having your child be aware of the danger.

With older children is it not as necessary to be as concrete.  When talking to them about situations that can be dangerous, whether is be the internet, dating, sledding.  Be simple in your explanation of the danger.  Acknowledge its presence, but don’t dwell on it.  Use words that instill confidence and control.  Start with, “You may already know this.  As your parent it is my responsibility to be sure you understand the situation as well.”  This sets the tone to be educational rather than emotional.

One of the best indicators of using fear or awareness is to check and see if you are negatively emotional or sharing information.  If you are negatively emotional then you are instilling fear in your child.  If you are sharing information, teaching then you are using awareness.

Awareness will give your child the ability to think in critical and dangerous situations.  Most people who survive life threatening situations, whether induced by others or by accident, do so by having the ability to be aware of the situation and think of a solution.

Enjoy our Free Motivational Monday Podcast on Family Safety!

Transcendent Tuesday: Family Safety

January 29, 2008 at 12:38 am | Posted in children, dads, Divorce, Families, GEM Parenting Secrets, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, Self Esteem, siblings, teens, toddlers, Transcendent Tuesday, Tweens | 1 Comment
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Is Hiding Our Heads in the Sand Really Working For Us?

By Kelly Rudolph
“Your Personal Safety Trainer™”

Many of us refuse to learn about safety out of fear, opting instead to hide our heads in the sand in denial. It is true that all of us are vulnerable to unscrupulous people just waiting to exploit our weaknesses. Attackers may be 4-year-old bullies in preschool, verbally abusive teens, co-workers or neighbors. They may be purse-snatchers, car jackers, rapists or murderers. When we take our heads out of the sand long enough to realize that they all have one thing in common that is easy to spot, we’ll all be safer…forever!

The attacker mindset is the same no matter who is attacking. In fact, we’ve all been attackers ourselves when we called someone a name or made a joke at someone’s expense. Gossiping and road rage are attacking as well. We tend to think of attacks as physical, don’t we? But domestic violence is always preceded by verbal abuse: name calling, demeaning comments, etc. This breaks down the intended victim’s confidence and self-esteem until they believe, in many cases, they deserve the physical abuse. Attacking can be physical, verbal, mental or emotional.

Understanding the attacker mindset often allows us to see an attack coming a mile away and at the very least avoid taking it personally. Did I say, “Avoid taking it personally?” It is a fact that attacks are not personal even if the attacker knows the victim. The reason someone attacks is simple. They are insecure, have low self-esteem, feel out of control of their own life and choose to control someone else in order to feel powerful again. It’s that simple. The pay-off is feeling powerful and it’s all about the attacker getting that reward. If the attacker chooses to attack someone he or she knows it might be because it’s easier if they already know which buttons to push. Remember attacks are all about the attacker, not about the victim. The victim is just a means to an end. This knowledge is vital to the healing process of survivors.

So hiding our heads in the sand prolongs our vulnerability and prevents us from gaining the necessary confidence that scares off cowardly attackers in the first place. Take control of your personal space, safety and life by holding your head up instead of burying it. 

Kelly Rudolph has taught thousands of men, women and children how to prevent themselves from becoming victims and how to defend themselves when necessary. www.SurviveSD.com

Enjoy our Free Motivational Monday Podcast on Family Safety!

Also, GEM Parenting Secrets will be at 4:00 pm est.  This is a live session where we will discuss strategies to create safety and comfort for your family, how to implement the startegies, and how using the strategies will raise your family’s self-esteem.  Sign up at GEMParenitng.com with our special guest Kelly Rudolph of Survival Self Defense!    Each person that enrolls will receive a Free Personal Safety Secrets Action Guide to help implement your families safety action plan!

Just think…for less than a trip to McDonalds (only $7.99), you can make your family safer!

Motivational Monday: Family Safety

January 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm | Posted in children, Families, moms, Mothers, Motivational Monday, parents, Safety, Self Esteem, teens, toddlers | Leave a comment
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This week we will be talking about family safety.  It is important when creating safety in you family to distinguish between having your children be aware of dangerous and unsafe encounters rather than being fearful of them.  With awareness comes confidence and high self-esteem, with fear comes confusion and low self-esteem.

Enjoy our Free Motivational Monday Podcast on Family Safety!

Tomorrow we will be providing an article related to family safety with tips on how to increase your family’s level of safety with out spending tons of money or time.

Wednesday I will offer an article with tips and skills on how to build your family’s safety factor and increase their self-esteem at the same time. 

Also, GEM Parenting Secrets will be at 4:00 pm est.  This is a live session where we will discuss strategies to create safety and comfort for your family, how to implement the startegies, and how using the strategies will raise your family’s self-esteem.  Sign up at GEMParenitng.com with our special guest Kelly Rudolph of Survival Self Defense!    Each person that enrolls will receive a Free Personal Safety Secrets Action Guide to help implement your families safety action plan!

Just think…for less than a trip to McDonalds (only $7.99), you can make your family safer!

Thursday will be the release of the podcast:
Using Awareness Rather than Fear to Teach Safety and Increase Your Family’s Self-Esteem.

Friday will be Q&A.  I will answer up to three questions concerning family safety.  To send in your question write to grace@gemparenting.com with the subject line as Q&A.  I will need these by Wednesday.

Saturday will be Creative Crayon Club.  We will provide activities related to family safety as well as some other activities that are just plain fun to do.

Hope you can join us as the week unfolds.  And if you have a burning question concerning family safety why not e-mail it in right now at grace@gemparenting.com!

Focused Friday: “I Said No!”

January 25, 2008 at 2:54 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, teens, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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GEM Parenting Question #1:

Whenever I try to say no to my children my husband always gets in the way and lets them do whatever they want.  So how can I be in charge and say a simple no and have them listen to me.

GEM PARENTING ANSWER:

First you need to have a chat with your husband.  Explain to him that you are starting a new phase for yourself and the family.  You want to be sure the children are able to understand that life has choices and limits, and to have respect for each other as a family.

You do not need to talk with him about how he is disrupting your ability to say no.  You need to share with him all the advantages of your children being able to understand, respect, and handle no with ease and comfort.

Then as you begin to say no, clue your husband into this.  Let him know you are going to say no. 

And for goodness sake don’t be the only one to say no.  Choose times to let your husband say no.  Be specific:  Say. “I am going to let your father tell you no this time.”  And be sure to say this when you know your husband wants the answer to be no.

When you say no and he tries to over ride you respond with, “I know your father really loves you to be able to do what ever you want, but unfortunately I have already said no, so we will have to stick with that.”  You will create your own respect this way. 

Use “no” with a calm voice, a gentle tone and relaxed body language.

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GEM Parenting Question #2:

I have one child who will always abide by my rules but the other one just won’t listen!  I have to really scream and yell to get her to understand “no”.

GEM PARENTING ANSWER:

First you may be dealing with a sibling rivalry situation, which will be dealt with during the week of Feb. 25 to March 1.  Hope you will join us.

Second, it is important to have both your children accept that you are in charge.  But when you say “abide by my rules” I am hearing control with power rather than control with respect.  I want you to change your feeling of personal respect.

You can have your children do what you want them to do with giving them respect.  As you give more respect you will be stepping out of the ring of the  power struggle. 

Be firm.  Remember not only figuratively step out of the power struggle.  Do it for real.  Step away.  Take the deep breaths.  And remain calm.

Ready to listen to the best podcast on How to Say No to Children and Mean It?  Only $5.99 for a full hour of podcast to give tips and advice on How to Say No to Children and Mean It

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Wednesday Wisdom: How to Say No and Really Mean It

January 24, 2008 at 10:37 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, teens, toddlers, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | 2 Comments
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As a parent there is often the need to say no for an emergency.  And that comes easily enough.  But what about those regular times when you want to say no and your children just keep bugging you.  Either they just keep pleading and whining.  Or they look at you with such cute faces you feel you just have to give in.  Or they bug you so you feel the only way to say no is to yell and scream.  Only you really don’t want to give in and you don’t want to scream.  What can you do?

The first thing to remember is that you are the parent. Not just physically, but mentally as well.  This means you can expect your children to respect you.  This puts you in the attitude of having your children understand you are in charge.  It is both a simple idea and a profound concept. 

After you have adjusted your attitude to be the person in charge you can follow through with the simple “no.” A simple no is said with conviction.  It is used justly and respectfully of your children.  The idea of gaining respect from your children is as important as giving respect to them.

When your children look at you with those faces that just melt you, stay in charge.  Tell them they are so cute, but unfortunately the cute faces will not change your mind.  When they come to with a barrage of reasons they think you should change your mind respond with, ”I know you don’t understand, but the answer is still no.”  You need to keep your voice calm and even. 

When your children are bugging you to the point of exploding, first step away from them.  Collect yourself.  Take some deep yoga breaths.  When you are a calm enough go back to your kids.  Tell them, “The answer is no.  I have stopped yelling at you.  I realize that you will expect me to yell.  But I am trying my best to stop yelling at you.  I now expect you to respect this change in me and respect that the answer is no.”

With all three of these ideas you will be regaining your own self respect and through living you will teach your children how to expect respect from others and how to have self respect. 

Respect is one of the corner stones for a good foundation of high self-esteem.  When you give and take respect through the use of saying no and meaning it- without yelling at your kids– you establish an ability for your family to understand and accept the natural limitations of life without actually being limited by them.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

KidSites: Internet Safe Activities for Kids

January 19, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Posted in children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Families, Fun Activities, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, teens, toddlers, Tweens | 3 Comments
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As January is the safety month, we at Gem Parenting have looked at internet safety as one part of real family safety.

  • This weekend take time to be sure you have the right controls for your kids use.
  • Learn how to monitor what has been done on the computer.
  • Be sure you are aware of what your kids do on line and
    how much time they spend on line.  One good measure is through the “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” brochure published by the FBI task force on Internet Safety and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

I really want you to take some time to be sure you and your children are fully aware of the dangers of the Internet.  When you know the dangers of things then you can be wary of them.

When I was a kid,  there were conversations about how to monitor TV and all that was available there.  With the web there is much more available, both good and bad.  But there is no need to panic.  Be sensible, realistic, and respectful. 

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As far as finding great things to do on line here is my favorite sites KidSites.com.  There are all kinds of wonderful things to do and none of them are about printing worksheets to do.

You can follow this link to a ton of great things for children to do on the web: 

KidSite.com:  Kid Safe Internet Activities

If you know of great safe sites then PLEASE let me know.  Just send in a comment or, if you prefer, you can always write directly to grace@gemparenting.com.

Dont forget:  Our weekly GEM Parenting podcast for the week, “Keeping your Kids Safe on the Internet” is only $5.99 for a full hour of information, tips, and guidance on the best practices for making sure your kids stay safe online.  Dont wait….order your podcast today!

Focused Friday: Internet Safety for Children

January 18, 2008 at 12:47 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, Self Esteem, teens, Tweens | 2 Comments
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 Welcome to Focused Friday!  This week we are talking about how to keep your kids safe on the internet

Question #1:  

I am online quite a bit.  But I really don’t want my daughter to get on line as much as me.  How can I tell her that she must not be online as much as me?

GEM Answer: 
First you need to ask yourself why you are on line so much?  Is it important or necessary?  Are you learning something?  Or are you filling up time with being online.  If the last is your answer then, as much as I am glad to have you here, you need to curb your own time online.  Instead of being on line take time to be interactive with your daughter.  Ask her to show you some of her school projects.  If you show her how to spend time doing other things than being online she will emulate your new behaviors. 

If, on the other hand, you are the internet for important, necessary, or learning reasons then explain to your daughter that there are times for being online that are different for children than for parents.  Because you are the parent, allow yourself to create and make limits for your daughter.

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Question #2:  

I am very concerned that my 13-year-old daughter is having a relationship online that is inappropriate.  How can I figure it out and stop her?

GEM Answer: 

The first thing for you to do is explain to her that you know of some people who get involved with people on line who they don’t know and it turns out to be a really bad situation.  Ask her if she has ever heard of any one like that.  Have a few conversations about other people, and what happened to them.  But try to keep the conversations to be about how to get out of the problem and how the kids came to parents or even counselors at school to get help. 

At some point, I suggest you let your daughter know about your concern.  Be sure to speak to her with concern rather than judging.  Let her know that you love her too much to let her get mixed up in a situation that would be harmful to her.  And also that it is your both your job and responsibility as a parent to protect her from harm.  Remind her of sometime when she was much younger and you protected her.  You want her to respect you and that means you must respect her.  But it does not mean you must let her do whatever she wants.

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Question #3:  

I am in a real panic and your stuff came out just in time.  I know my son is communicating with someone online who he met in a chat room.  And they are thinking of meeting in person.  What do I do?

GEM Answer:  

You immediately speak to your son about the dangers of such meeting in person.  You simply forbid it to happen.  You explain to your son that the kind of people who want to meet boys from chat rooms usually have bad intensions.  The other alternative is to meet the person with your son, only in a very public place.  But I personally would not allow any of my children to meet someone whom they have met only in a chat room.

You should also inform your local or state law enforcement agency, the FBI, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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It is important to remember that the Internet has opened the world in amazing and wonderful ways.  Being committed, interactive, and responsible for your children in all their endeavors will give you and them the stability and foundation to be able to live peacefully and safely with the Internet.

Dont forget:  Our weekly GEM Parenting podcast for the week, “Keeping your Kids Safe on the Internet” is only $5.99 for a full hour of information, tips, and guidance on the best practices for making sure your kids stay safe online.  Dont wait….order your podcast today!

Just e-mail me at grace@gemparenting.com

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Wednesday Wisdom: Kids and Internet Safety

January 17, 2008 at 9:57 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, Self Esteem, teens, Thoughtful Thursday, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | 1 Comment
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Internet safety is a serious issue.  The problem with Internet safety is there are few ways to actually control what your kids do on line except to eliminate all on line activity.  And as children get older this becomes progressively more difficult.  Increasingly, children from the sixth grade up are being expected to do school research and communicate with teachers via the Internet.  And almost all high school children are definitely assumed to have access and knowledge of how to use the Internet

So where does this leave you as a parent?  Is there anyway to keep tabs on what is going on?  As a parent you have a serious responsibility to your child’s upbringing.  In the case of Internet safety you need to understand that you must instill certain values in your children and respect for your rules and guidelines.  With the ability to go on line anywhere from a phone to a library to a café you really cannot keep tabs on all Internet activity. 

Because of the nature of Internet many parents alienate themselves from what their children do online.  They seem to think that since there is really no way to monitor everything that is happening there is nothing they can do.  I can assure that is not the case.  You do have ways of helping your children use the Internet appropriately and safely.

Following are seven tips for Internet safety for your children:

1.  Never give out identifying information.  Talk with your children about how the information is special to the family and if anyone on line wants some personal information they MUST have you give them the information.  Let them know what personal information means- the regular things-name, address, phone number, age- and the less regular things- school, church, pets names, friends names, hair, eye color, pictures. 

2.  Explain that with Internet communication sometimes people pretend to be who they aren’t.  A person can pretend they are any age or gender.  Some people suggest that you never meet anyone in person who you have met on the Internet except in public places.  But I would go one step further.  Tell your children to communicate with only people they already know.  And be wary of anyone who they meet through a friend on the Internet.  I have my kids only communicate with people who have been seen in person by someone they know.

3.  Here is the most common thing you will ever hear about anything you ever do with your kids.  Get involved.  And you are wondering how to get involved?  You can ask your child to explain how to do things on the computer.  You can be interested in what they are doing.  Ask the same questions you would ask about their activities that are in school, sports, or socially.  If your kids become defensive, explain you are just interested in what they are doing.  And since there was no Internet when you were young you are learning about how to talk about Internet activities.  Make it light and fun. 

4.  Be sure your children understand that offers that seem too good to be true usually are.   And remind them to never give financial information out to anyone.  This is really part of personal information.

5.  As much as possible have your children be on line in a common room of your house-living room, family room, kitchen.  But not in their bedroom or other room where they are alone.

6.  Do check blockers, filters, and ratings.  These are ways to limit what your children can view and open on line. 

7.  Have guidelines for time using electronics that can be Internet connected.  Tell you children this is a trust situation.  But there are ways to check history of computer use, phone use, and game use. 

Beyond all these set ideas, you have the responsibility to impart your personal values and morals to your children.  Be sure your children know that morals and values need to be maintained even with Internet activity.  Let your children understand that if they ever encounter anything they feel is inappropriate, harmful, or just plain bad, you are always there to help them.  And you expect them to come to you when things aren’t right.  For your part be sure to respond with love and respect, even if you are horrified and shocked.  Remember, if you want your kids to come to you let them know how much you appreciate their trust in you.

When you give your children the opportunity to have safety with the Internet, you give them a real stable groundwork to use in all encounters of their lives.

Dont forget:  Our weekly GEM Parenting podcast for the week, “Keeping your Kids Safe on the Internet” is only $5.99 for a full hour of information, tips, and guidance on the best practices for making sure your kids stay safe online.  Dont wait….order your podcast today!

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

How To Keep your Kids Safe on the Internet

January 15, 2008 at 12:06 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, How To, moms, Mothers, parents, teens, Transcendent Tuesday, Tweens | 2 Comments
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Welcome to Transcendent Tuesday! 

As the parental concern grows over how to keep children safe on the internet, I would like to share an article that I recently read called “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” created and distributed by the FBI in coordination with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children

This incredible artilce defines all of the terms used online today, gives parents great tips on protecting their children online, and even tells parents about behaviors to look for offline that indicate online connections.  You can surf over to the article at “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” or download the The Parents Guide to Internet Safety!

Join us this week for this discussion on how to keep your children safe on the internet

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Monday Motivation: Children and Internet Safety

January 15, 2008 at 11:13 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, Motivational Monday, parents, Safety, teens, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to Monday Motivation:

There is not a parent that I know who is comfortable with their children surfing the internet.  In the backs of our minds, we always fear the people lurking in the depths of cyberspace waiting to stalk our children.  Fear of the unknown?  Perhaps, but every parent should be prepared to protect their children from the invisible stalkers and predators that enter your home through your internet connection.

Join us this week for this discussion on how to keep your children safe on the internet

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

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