Archives For Parenting

Twitter can be your friend and ally in the parenting journey. If you missed yesterday’s post on Two Ways Twitter Can Help You Be a Better Parent, check it out now.

Today’s post will help you receive your student’s tweets via text message. You have two options: (1) sign up for a twitter account and engage twitter as a full-fledged user OR (2) receive a text every time your student tweets without signing up for twitter.

Parenting How To Automate Texts from Twitter

FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS IF YOU DON’T WANT A TWITTER ACCOUNT (EASIEST OPTION)

1. Find your student’s twitter name

If you don’t already know it, you can google their name and include the word “twitter.” There may be multiple people with the same name.

2. Text “follow @[their username]” to 40404

You will automatically be subscribed to receive their updates as long as their account is not set to private. If their account is set to private, you will have to follow the instructions below to get a twitter account and follow them.

FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS IF YOU WANT A TWITTER ACCOUNT

1. Sign up for Twitter

Go here and follow instructions to get an account. Make sure you enter your cell phone number under MOBILE settings.

2. Follow your student

Click on Discover>Find Friends> and type in your students name. If you can’t find them by typing their name, there are several other ways to find them, including email address and phone number. Once you find them, click the FOLLOW icon.

3. Turn on mobile notifications

Once you click follow, the button should now say FOLLOWING. Beside the FOLLOWING button, click the drop down menu. At the bottom of the menu, click TURN ON MOBILE NOTIFICATIONS.

If you have problems with these instructions, go here for Twitter support on mobile notifications.If these instructions still don’t make sense, go here to watch a video

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If you’re not on twitter, you should consider it, especially if your teenager is there. It will help you be a better parent, and it won’t even cost you any time (I’ll show you how in tomorrows post).

Two Ways Twitter Can Help Parents

Engaging on Twitter will do two things for you as a parent:

1. It will help you understand your student and their friends

Students interact with Twitter very differently than they did with Facebook. When Facebook was new, you’d find students posting questionable stuff, maybe a pic that shouldn’t have been posted or a comment that should have been kept to themselves. Facebook seemed to be more of a visual diary of sorts, while thoughts may have been implied or hidden.

Twitter seems to have brought out an entirely new level of frankness. Maybe because parents aren’t on Twitter or because they can hide their timeline. Whatever the reason, students (even the church kids) are going public with thoughts that parents need to read. I’ve read tweets about sexual thoughts towards a teacher, threats towards school officials, foul language, sexual advances towards other students, and of course bullying. Some of those I’ve even seen from church kids.Twitter has drawn from the well of their hearts and they’re not afraid to expose it.

If you’re having trouble with your student opening up about their world, Twitter will give you much of the insight you need. Don’t be naive. Understanding your teen is much of the battle.

2. It will help you open lines of communication

It’s hard to address what you don’t know is happening. Once you have an understanding, an open dialogue about their thoughts and their peers becomes easier. Tact and timing is crucial though. I’ve seen more than one student (again, church kids) get defensive when inappropriate tweets are brought up.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll help you set up your twitter account to get automatic updates from your student and their friends sent to you by text.

 

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Received an email this week from a mom with three sons. Attached to the email was a 3-page thought on modesty. I can’t repost everything in the letter but there were some great thoughts. This one stood out the most…

Fourth, Moms how would you feel if your husband’s secretary dressed like your daughter when she was at work?  What do you think he would think when she bent over his desk or to pick up a piece of trash?  How would you feel if his co-worker came to an office party or picnic in the same outfit you allow your daughter to wear?  Well, that’s how I feel when your daughter wears what she wears to Sunday School, Wednesday night gatherings and/or Church camp.

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Ladies…if you’re in the Woodstock, GA area, I would encourage you to attend this girls bible study during the month of July

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Our staff met with parenting expert, Dr. John Rosemond , this week about a parent seminar we’re going to offer this coming spring. My wife has read Parenting By the Book by Rosemond and loves it. He has 3 books that I’d recommend for all parents that you can purchase here:

  • Teen Proofing
  • The Well Behaved Child
  • Parenting By the Book

If you’re in the Atlanta area, be sure to check out the three sessions offered from Sunday afternoon, March 11th at First Baptist Woodstock.

EQUIPPING RESOURCES FOR PARENTS ARE POSTED MONTHLY AT REVOLUTION SPEAKS. SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG TO THE RIGHT →

Got a recommendation today from a parent who’s using the following book as a conversation guide with her sons. I’m ordering a copy tomorrow. I think this is a must have for dads.

5 CONVERSATIONS YOU MUST HAVE WITH YOUR SON by Vicki Courtney

By the way moms, this book was written by a woman. If there’s no dad in the house or he’s not ready to #manup, I recommend you buying this and navigating this journey yourself.

Vicki also wrote 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter

Read Vicki’s blog for valuable parenting info

 

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I talk with parents consistently about their sons life struggles that range from apathy, drugs, relationship challenges, and sex/porn use. Typically, sex and porn are the last to be mentioned more than likely because as parents we want to believe that our sons haven’t gone “that far.” Here’s the reality though…the best we can tell is that 7 out of every 10 guys who walk through our doors weekly are struggling at least every month with porn use/addiction. I’m convinced it is at the root of all other problems they are experiencing. Parents, even if you don’t think they are seeing and being gratified by porn, the overwhelming likelihood is that they in fact are…and they’re doing it consistently.

When parents ask what can they do to address it, here is my response in order of immediate action…

1st – There needs to be a stop gap.

Whether that’s removing internet from the phone, taking the computer out of the room, ending a relationship, or some other means, there needs to be a wall that separates them from their use/addiction. This is a biblical parenting response to protect both the heart and the physical well being of our sons and daughters.

2nd – The heart needs to be confronted

It truly is a matter of the heart and when the heart changes, everything else will. I ALWAYS recommend the following free resource to deal with the heart. We have seen fantastic success when it is followed DAILY during the 60 days.

WAY OF PURITY COURSE

The Way of Purity in an online guide through the scriptures and the heart that requires students to answer questions that are then emailed to 3 “accountability partners” every day. One will be someone the student doesn’t know that the program automatically assigns. The student then chooses 2 others to receive the email. I strongly encourage parents to go so far as to mandate that their son who has acknowledged their porn use go through this 60 day course. It will require him to get online each day and work through this study (probably 30 minutes a day). If the student and his dad have a good relationship, I would encourage him to be one of the two who receives the email daily. If not, I would have the student choose 2 older men whom you as a parent know and trust to receive the daily emails.

IF YOU’VE WORKED THROUGH THIS COURSE OR DECIDE TO DO SO, PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR FEEDBACK HERE. 

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I FOUND THIS APP THIS WEEK AND ASKED RICK HANGLITER, CREATOR OF THE APP, TO SEND ME SOME INFO TO POST ON THE BLOG. I HOPE IT’S HELPFUL TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

I have to tell you about a must-have iPhone/iPod/iPad app for families.  It’s called Convershakn and it helps parents communicate better with their kids (especially teens) about the things that really matter in life….faith, family, character, goals, and other topics. 

The best place to use Convershakn is in the car, but other great places include the dinner table, in a restaurant, on a hike, or a walk, or even while fishing.  You will notice a difference in the quality of your discussions, and you will learn things about your teen that you never knew.  One feature that I really like is that you can establish profiles for each child and Convershakn records the history of when you discussed each topic last with your teen.

Reviews of this app on iTunes validate my recommendation to download. You can check out Convershakn as well on the website at www.convershakn.org, where you can see a video demo and screenshots of a few questions. If you are a parent who desires improved communication with your teen, go download Convershakn today from the iTunes app store.

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NOTES FROM RICK YOUNGS TOGETHER SERIES MESSAGE ON FEBRUARY 2.

1.  Communicate with your parents

2.  Demonstrate love towards your parents

3.  Accept your parents as they are

4.  Honor and respect your parents         

5.  Be honest with your parents

6.  Be a team with your parents

7.  Spend time with your parents

8.  Focus on how you can change instead of trying to change your parents

9.  Give your parents some grace

10.  Obey your parents

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Turning Hearts by Dr. Richard Ross & Dr. Gus Reyes
30 Days: Turning the Hearts of Parents and Teenagers Toward Each Other
Website: www.josiahpress.com

 

 

 

Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna
Research uncovering the common denominators to parenting success. Softcover book
Website: www.barna.org/store

 

 

Family Worship Guides by Loyal Heart Ministries
Simple to follow family devotion guides
Website: www.loyalheartministries.com – Click “Devotions”

Reclaiming Your Rebellious Teen
Powerful resource from a parent who literally staged the kidnapping of his daughter to save her and their experience can help your family. Highly recommended.
Website: http://www.livingthenewlife.org

 

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The responses below were taken from an anonymous survey of First Baptist Woodstock High School Students on 1/26/11.

Students were asked to respond to the question, “I Wish My Parents Knew This About Me or About Teenagers…”

The following represents a sampling of the most common answers 

  • Sometimes I don’t want them to tell me how to solve my problems. Sometimes I just want someone to listen.
  • Ask your student what’s going on in their life. If they don’t act like they want you involved, inside, know that they do.
  • Texting is our way of communication, it is extremely important.
  • Listen to our venting, then give us advice
  • Friends are everything to me so why does it matter if I want to hang out with them all the time?
  • Times have changed
  • To realize that sometimes I just need a little room to grow on my own.
  • In high school, we rely on our friends so they become family.
  • That I would love it if they lived their lives for God.
  • I wish my parents knew how much I’d forgive them for anything.
  • I want you to pour into my life
  • We make mistakes more than once
  • I’m still learning about life
  • I may not act like I need you but I do! I love you!
  • I am nervous about the future, I need your help to prepare me to survive on my own.
  • I want your support for the decisions I make/need
  • My generation has potential and we need your help to reach it.
  • I feel the only way to get you to hear me is to raise my voice.
  • Your opinions mean the world to me.
  • I want my parents to know that I love the Lord and I want help breaking my fear of sharing with peers.
  • That I hate seeing them disappointed in me.
  • I try to be perfect and when I can’t I feel like I have failed
  • How much I love them.
  • I’m old enough to make decisions
  • Wanting to be independent does not mean I’m disrespecting you
  • I wish my parents knew they were the most important thing in my life.
  • I want trust
  • It hurts when you judge my friends.
  • I still cut myself
  • After watching your life and the bad decisions you’ve made over and over again, I have a hard time asking for or even valuing your advice.
  • I’m scared to tell you stuff for fear of your judgment.
  • Help and encourage us to reach the world
  • I want my mom to know that I really love her
  • Not all teenagers are into sex, drugs and drinking
  • When parents realized they are wrong, saying “I’m sorry” is appreciated
  • If they didn’t freak out so much I would tell them more things.
  • We can handle more than they think we can.
  • Teenagers aren’t always up to no good.
  • I WANT to be close to my parents
  • I want my parents to know about what really happens at school
  • How much they mean to me
  • That I don’t know what I would do without them
  • What scares me
  • What I want to be in life
  • No matter how much I yell, I love you
  • I wish you did more to support me as a kid
  • I want them to ask me about my relationship with God
  • that we don’t always need to talk we just need to be left alone
  • they mean a lot to me and I would love to spend more time with me
  • Teenagers need to be whipped :)
  • That most people in my school do not know God
  • I want your approval
  • I’m having sex
  • We have our own dreams, that we want you to support no matter what
  • I want my family to be completely gospel centered
  • How hard I try to please them
  • I’m trying but it’s not that easy
  • That at our age, the most difficult thing to do is “fit in”
  • Sometimes all we want is for them to listen
  • That advice doesn’t always have to be harsh
  • That we really are appreciative even when we don’t act like it
  • I can deal with things on my own
  • I can’t be the same as you were at my age
  • I’m scared of you sometimes
  • I want you to trust me
  • I actually like and want to spend more time with my mom
  • I want my mom to say “I love you” more to me
  • I actually appreciate being acknowledged
  • I will never be perfect
  • I’m ok with knowing what’s going on but only talking about money issues scares me
  • I like freedom but I miss being a kid and hanging out with you
  • I wish we prayed together. I don’t know what you’re afraid of.
  • I know you love me but I wish you showed it more
  • As we get older, don’t baby us. We will grow up
  • If they listened more instead of just talking to me about how I need to be better they might get to know a daughter that loves them and cares for them
  • I choose to be not of this world
  • I wish you led me…instead of the other way around
  • Whether you love God or not, you have done more than you know when it comes to teaching me
  • I’m stressed out
  • I really will miss them when I move
  • I wish we had more time together
  • I need my daddy to love me
  • If you gave me more freedom I could choose for myself and show you that I am responsible
  • The world is a very dark place to us
  • There is little true joy in our lives
  • How their relationship affects me
  • I wish you knew that you inspire me to do great things and I want to make you proud
  • I wish you knew that fights with you are the worst. I love you so much
  • I wish you knew that I am so grateful for you.
  • My family is everything to me even when I don’t show it
  • It hurts when my mom doesn’t forgive others or go to church
  • That I try my best to impress you
  • You have raised me in a Godly home and need to trust that I will make the right decisions
  • I wish my parents knew how much they hurt me
  • All I have ever wanted was to be loved and to have a good friend
  • I cut myself nearly everyday
  • I have seriously considered suicide
  • My mom doesn’t know that when I smile…it’s all a lie
  • I have no self-esteem or self-confidence
  • I don’t know how much longer I can take this…

 What is your reaction to these honest and candid responses from students?

 

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