Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Teens and Cussing: Let's Keep it Clean!

Generations ago many remember the threat or even use of a bar of soap if you back talked or used profanity.  Today whether it is verbal or in keystrokes, teens and kids are cussing like sailors and not thinking twice about it.  Why?  Is it our culture?  Is it peer pressure?  Do they think they are cool?

Cuss Control Academy has many answers for you.  They offer Ten Tips for Taming Your Tongue.

Teens will use their potty mouths and filthy language usually among their peers, maybe to be cool, maybe because they are hearing it at home.  Many have it on their social networking pages or even texting profanity.  Again, they need to be reminded of who may be reviewing their social networking pages.  Whether it is college admissions or potential employers, they need to learn to keep it clean!

Here is some good advice for parents:
  • Experts agree that if offensive language is part of a pattern of aggressive behavior, there’s a problem. But in most cases, it’s just the way teens salt their language in a perceived desire to sound older.
  • Perhaps swearing is part of growing up. Yet another part of growing up knowing how to speak with adults and in formal situations. As most parents come to recognize, teaching good judgment is not a one-time event; it’s a process.
  • Parents who want their teens to stop cursing must clean up their own language as well. It sends a mixed message if parents use profanity or seem to enjoy movies with foul language. Make a clear rule that certain words will not be allowed in the house. Set consequences in advance.
  • Talk with your children about what cursing says about them to the outside world (college admissions officers and possible employers, for example. Ask children how they believe others will view them if they use profanity. Explain that cursing can reflect a bad attitude. It can signify a person who lacks maturity, intelligence, manners or emotional control.
Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Teen Secrets Online: What Are Your Kids Doing Digitally?

Kids and especially teens are notorious for keeping secrets from their parents, and in today’s world of technology they have a whole new world of ways to keep secrets.

Since kids are also incredibly adept at learning and using modern technology and the following list may help you keep better track of what your child may be hiding.
  1. Surfing the Internet: Today, kids have almost unlimited access to computers, and now computers are small enough to carry, enabling access to the internet literally anywhere. This gives kids easy access to sites parents may disapprove of, not to mention “adult only” sites that only ask the user to click a link stating they are over 18 years of age. That’s an easy button to click if you want to keep secrets from parents. Close monitoring of your child’s computer history, password protection and parental blocks can keep your child away from inappropriate sites.
  2. Downloads: Kids love to download- anything they can: pictures, jokes, videos, etc. These downloads may be putting your computer at risk for viruses that could cause permanent damage. Parents need to know the source of any download and that it is safe, as well as keeping up-to-date antivirus protection on all computers.
  3. Music Downloads: What kind of music are your kids downloading and listening to? Even if the site is safe, the music might not be. Listen to the music downloads. If you are not able to understand the lyrics of the songs, you may want to check them out. You can find an internet music site that has song lyrics available to read. Be careful, though, if you do not allow your child to download certain titles, he/she will probably change the file name of the prohibited song to something allowable.
  4. Uploads: Kids are not very discerning when it comes to what others should or should not know about themselves, and their families. Find out what sorts of pictures, text and other files your child might be sharing on social networking sites or shared folders.
  5. Games: What games are your kids playing? Playstation, X-box, computer games, both individual and interactive-online are filled with violence and “adult” themes. Monitor the games your child buys or rents; most are labeled with age guidelines and parental notices. Also, monitor your child’s history with online games. Install a computer block that allows access to only approved sites.
  6. Friends: Kids have many friends. Some of them, they don’t even know. Facebook and other online social networking sites make it easy for children to fall prey to predatory abusers disguised as “friends.” If your child has a Facebook or other social networking accounts, make sure that you know their username and password, and check in on their activity once in awhile.
  7. Cell phone use: How much time your kids spend on the phone, when they are calling and who they are calling are important to know. Read the itemized portion of your bill each month to double check, and if there is a number you don’t recognize or don’t want your child accessing, have it blocked through your service carrier.
  8. Texting: With unlimited texting capabilities on cell phone plans, your kids can text anyone at any time, day or night. Parents need to know who they are texting and the language they are both reading and using while they are texting.
  9. Abbreviations: LOL, and CUL maybe be familiar “social” abbreviations, and ROLOFLMHO may be used by your kids without any qualms, but ROLOFLMAO might be offensive to some parents. Do you know the difference? Also, new abbreviations are added to the lexicon of technical communication on a daily basis. As a parent you need to be familiar with abbreviations so as to know what your kids are saying. You can check the internet for sites that list abbreviations and meanings.
  10. Plagiarism and cheating: That kids are able to access information which expedites learning in ways never before thought of, is a wonderful outcome of technology today. That kids can also use this information to cheat in ways never before thought of, isn’t.
Kids will be kids, and they will try to “get away” with anything they can; this will never change. But the world of technology changes every day, and if parents remain technologically savvy, kids will have to work very hard to continue keeping those secrets.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

School Preparation: What To Ask Your Child's Teacher At the Start of the Year

Every year on the first day of school or in the days immediately leading up to classes resuming, you’ll be given the opportunity to meet your child’s new teacher so you can address any questions or concerns you have and get to know her a bit before classes begin. In the hustle and bustle of preparing for a new school year, however, it’s easy to lose track of important questions that you forget to ask when the opportunity arises. These are ten of the questions that you should always ask your child’s new teacher at the beginning of the school year.
  • What Skills and Subjects Will Be Covered Under Your Curriculum? – While the state or local school board will determine the bulk of your child’s curriculum for the year, the teacher will still know what’s going to be covered and will be able to give you a running start in preparing for the subjects ahead.
  • How Much Time Do You Expect Students to Spend on Homework? – Some teachers take a strict stance on homework, expecting kids to complete a relatively high amount each night. Others are more lenient and progressive, eschewing large assignments in favor of more intensive classroom work. Asking this question at the beginning of the year will allow you to determine which camp your child’s new teacher falls into so that you can prepare accordingly.
  • What Standardized Tests Will My Child Be Expected to Take This Year? – Standardized tests are almost always mandated at the state level, and your child’s teacher will have little to no control over them. Still, she is your liaison between you and the school board, and as such is your most valuable source of information regarding testing schedules.
  • How Can I Supplement My Child’s Education at Home? – No matter how gifted and enthusiastic your child’s new teacher is, she will still need your help to foster a love of learning and to get your child excited about school. Asking her how you can supplement the lessons she’s teaching will equip you to do just that.
  • What Does Your Student Evaluation Process Entail? – How much of your child’s grade will be determined by test results, how much by homework and how much will be dependent on in-class work? Knowing this system will help you put more emphasis on crucial areas.
  • What Programs are Available For Students That Are Struggling? – While no parent wants to think about their child struggling to keep up, it is an unfortunate fact for many students. The important thing to know is what programs are available to help get him back on track, as well as what you can do to get him enrolled in them if necessary.
  • How Do You Prefer to Communicate With Parents? – Some teachers will communicate with their students’ parents through email or text message, while some send written letters home with students or prefer phone calls. You’ll need to know what the new teacher’s preferences are, as you will have to communicate throughout the school year.
  • Do You Have a Teacher’s Wish List? – Many teachers have lists of optional items for the use of the whole class, like hand sanitizer, tissues and extra supplies. These items certainly aren’t compulsory, but they can relieve her of the financial burden of covering supplies the school system won’t.
  • What is Your Volunteering Policy? – Some teachers, especially those overseeing younger children, have a very welcoming policy when it comes to parent volunteers. Others are less eager, and you’ll need to know which your new teacher is to ensure that you’re on the right side of that fence.
  • Do You Expect Any Field Trips This Year? – Field trips are exciting and educational experiences for kids, but they can be a bit expensive for the parents forced to fund them. Knowing about any planned trips in advance will allow you to start saving money early, so that the trip isn’t a source of financial hardship later.
Remember that this list is only a basic outline, and that you should feel free to ask any specific questions you have. A committed and enthusiastic teacher will not make you feel rushed or foolish for asking questions; after all, you’re a team with a shared goal of ensuring that your child thrives to the best of his ability during the school year.

Source:  Live In Nanny