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You’ll Be Glad You Did! – Top Posts of 2016

My hope with this blog has always been to help you do something today that you’d be glad you did.  Not to have all your ducks in a row or be the perfect parent or to be a really successful parent or…

The goal has always been to help you show up.  Engage.  Take a step towards something good.

Life is happening today and you have the ability to do something.  So go do it!

“The best way to be where you want to be a year from now or ten years from now is to do something today that you’ll be glad you did.”

— Seth Godin

Here’s a list of the most read posts of last year.  My hope is that you find something you’ll be glad you did as you reread some of these.

Be the Parent You Want to Be – Today!

“The Talk” Isn’t Enough

Is My Child Addicted to Technology?

It’s Good to Be Known

How to Ignore the Noise and Focus On What Really Matters

Speak Life. They need it.


Is My Child Addicted to Technology?


“The last thing they need from us is to be shamed for trying to stay afloat on the only waters they’ve sailed.”

In a recent post, Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Call Your Teenager a Tech Addict…and 5 things you can do instead, Brad Griffin points out that addiction language can be damaging and desensitizing if we are not careful.  He writes:

“Young people are growing up in a world where digitally-connected media forms are all around them. This is the only world they’ve ever known. They are trying to figure out how to navigate that world, and they also happen to be drawn like sponges to most of what the digital world offers. The last thing they need from us is to be shamed for trying to stay afloat on the only waters they’ve sailed.”

Like or not, the reality is this is the world they know and live in.  It’s how they connect, communicate, explore, learn, relate, organize, etc.  If we are not careful about how we approach this subject, we will shame our way out of  this area of our kid’s lives.  If this is an area we want to have influence and restriction around, then we need to be strategic about how we approach talking about something that is so much of the fabric of their lives it drives us crazy!

Think about the last couple of times you’ve talked to your teen about their technology usage.  What type of language did you use?  What was the tone of the conversation?  How did they respond?

If you were your son or daughter, based on the last few conversations, would you want to talk more about the topic with you?

As much as it may pain you, if you will set aside your frustrations and take some time to come alongside your son or daughter to learn how they use it, what ways it brings joy into their life, what ways it can hurt them, and actually seek to understand — you will find yourself in a much greater position to influence and engage the topic in future conversations.

Not only that, but when’s the last time you looked in the mirror?  In the post, A Quick Look in the Mirror, I wrote about the story of my daughter racing to bring me my phone as if I couldn’t survive without it.  In that moment, I realized I was modeling the opposite of anything I hoped to be saying about technology in the future.  My ship was sunk before we even started the battle.

Brad points this out by sharing,

For starters, parents can turn the mirror toward themselves and ask questions about what their own behaviors model for their kids.

According to the Common Sense report, nearly 80 percent of teenagers report checking their devices at least once hourly, but so do nearly 70 percent of parents. Kids agree something is amiss here. Nearly half agree that their parents are regularly distracted by devices when teenagers are trying to talk to them. Half of them also see their parents checking mobile devices while driving, and while two thirds say there is a “no device rule” at the dinner table, about a third say their parents are likely to break that rule during dinner. Finally, a third of kids ages 8-13 say they feel unimportant when their parents are distracted by their phones.

It looks like we might all need some help on this issue.

I highly encourage you to check out the rest of Fuller Seminary’s post here:  Three Reasons why you shouldn’t call your teen a tech addict and five things you can do instead.  With each of the 5 “instead’s”, they offer links to helpful resources.

We’ve also written on how to navigate this issue here – Get Off Your Phone! A Few Tips for Restricting the Use of Technology and here – Raising Kids in the Digital Age

Parenting Technology: Why Fairness Doesn’t Matter

As a parent of young kids, I realize that I will be part of a new frontier of parenting – mainly, from the moment my kids can go online they will begin to build a digital footprint specific to them.  I need to help them understand this from a very young age.  This next generation and the current one need to be incredibly thoughtful about how they help their kids navigate this ever-changing and ever-challenging world of technology.

If you haven’t thought about your child’s usage of technology or how to put helpful parameters up to protect and created strategies to help grow them to maturity around this issue, I highly encourage you to stop now and consider it.  (If you need some help, you can go here:  Raising Kids in the Digital Age and Get Off Your Phone! A Few Tips for Restricting the Use of Technology)

I ran across a great post by Kara Powell, “Why Technology is the One Area of Our Family that’s Not Fair.”  She shares this about her family’s practice –

We try to keep things “fair” among our kids. At least sort of.

Nathan started making his own lunch in second grade. When Krista and Jessica entered second grade, we expected the same of them.

Krista got her ears pierced when she was ten. When Jessica turns ten, she will have that same opportunity.

We’re not always perfect. Far from it. But we don’t want our kids to think we play favorites.

But we’ve told all our kids that technology won’t be fair.

Just because Nathan was allowed to set up a Facebook account when he turned 13 doesn’t mean the girls will get the same social media access.

Even though Nathan got a smart phone when he turned 14 (he was one of the last kids in his grade to get one), Krista shouldn’t assume one will head her way when she hits that age. Nor should Jessica.

When it comes to technology, we’ve told our kids that they need to show us they are responsible.

There are two types of responsibility.

The first is taking care of your devices.
And for our child who left their “dumb phone” (as they call it) in their shorts and it went through our washing machine, you lost some responsibility points that day. (And yes, that child had to spend their own money to replace that phone, which luckily for them, wasn’t all that expensive).

But that’s the easier type of responsibility. It’s pretty clear-cut for everyone.

The second type of responsibility—showing us you make good choices in how you use technology and digital media—is much tougher. For our kids. And for us.

Some of the questions we’re discerning as we assess their progress in that type of responsibility are:

  • Do you obey the guidelines that our family has agreed upon in terms of when, how, and where you can use your devices?
  • Do you have a history of making good decisions when new temptations or opportunities arise that we don’t have rules about?
  • Is your technology helping or hindering your relationships with our family? I love it when my two older kids text me. I hate it when I’m trying to talk to my kids and I can tell they are distracted by the presence of their devices (even if they aren’t on their devices, if those devices are nearby, they still have a strong gravitational pull).
  • Is the way you use technology affecting your homework or chores? One of our children had been skyping with friends while doing homework. Social life benefitted, but grades suffered. So the rule with that child is now “no skyping until homework is done.” We haven’t set up that rule with the other two. They haven’t seemed to need it. So far.

Parents, be fair in other areas. But you do not need to be fair with your child’s exposure to technology and digital media. The stakes are too high. Know each child and create the best support and boundaries for them individually.

What else do you do to try to assess if your kid’s ready for the social media portal or device they are begging for?

– See more at:

I’m curious, how have you handled this in your family?  Do you agree that when it comes to technology -“one size doesn’t fit all”?  What parameters have you set in place for your child to protect them and to grow them in regards to technology?

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