If I were a song writer, I wonder if I could write a song as beautiful as this one from Andrew Peterson. As a parent of teenagers, Be Kind to Yourself is something I want to say to each one of my kids.
We all know the challenges that come with the teenage years. Sure, we as parents fret and complain about our teenagers, but let's remember what your teen is going through. There's a battle raging within as they find their place among their peers. The culture is constantly bombarding them with images and stereotypes, and the message that there's always something better if they would just _____________ (Fill in the blank.)
It's not easy. And we too often forget all that they are dealing with; the pressures, the changes, the mistakes. But our kids are gifts. They come from God to remind us of just how much he loves us. And it's our job to remind them of who they are.
I love this song by Andrew Peterson. Be Kind to Yourself, from his album, The Burning Edge of Dawn, release on October 9th, 2015, is one of those songs that when you hear it, the emotions stir up and bring you to a sweet place of pause. Pause as your remember that that you are a parent, charged with the task of loving our children unconditionally. And to encourage them to see themselves, not through the lens of a distorted culture, but through the love and grace of a Creator that see a work of art.
Take a minute to watch this video.
Now, go and hug your kids!
- the higham family
Do you have kids?
Do your kids have smartphones?
One more question.
Do you think your kids might be a little obsessed with their smartphones?
Welcome to the club! I think if we're honest, most parents might say that they are a little worried, even frustrated with the amount of time their kids spend on their smartphones. From the very beginning, we have tried to monitor the time and usage of our kids with their smartphones. And with all the right intentions we placed perimeters and guidelines on our kids, and how and when they used their phones. We thought we would be parents who would totally master the personal device issue. WRONG!!!
I share that because as a parent, I know how important their smartphones are to them. And while I would love to be able to control how my kids use their device, all I can do is look for ways to find a balance. That's where this book comes in.
Jonathan McKee is a long-time youth worker and parent who has invested years into understanding how culture trends impact teenagers first as a full-time youth pastor then as full-time resource provide, author, and speaker. His latest book, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid, is one that has become a quick favorite of mine! Jonathan talks about the book in this interview. Watch the clip.
If the video does not appear, click on the link to watch it on YouTube.
52 Ways to Connect with your Smartphone Obsessed Kid
As a parent who has 3 teenagers, each with iPhones and tablets, and 2 more kids to follow, again with devices, this book is a great resource to move us as a family past the disconnect. Simple and easy to read, you'll find 52 Ways to Connect with your Smartphone Obsessed Teenagers a helpful resource with great ideas. The point is to get your teenagers talking.
Available in printed paperback and ebook, we want to recommend 52 Ways to Connect with your Smartphone Obsessed Teenagers, to you for your parenting tool box. Use the links below to order through our affiliate partner, Amazon. To learn more about Jonathan McKee, and ministry to youth workers, students and teenagers, visit his website. There is a link below.
Hope you find this resource helpful!
- the higham family
Do your kids have a smartphone? I'm guessing they do.
In March of 2013, the Pew Internet & American Life Project, said that "78 percent of young people, ages 12 to 17, now have cellphones. Nearly half of those are smartphones, a share that's increasing steadily..." as reported by the Huff Post, Tech page, in the March 12 post titled, "Teenagers Increasingly Use Smartphones To Access The Web: Report"
As I work with students, the one thing I find is that most of them have a smartphone. But my question is, how often are your as a parent checking what your kids are doing with their phone?
The capabilities of the smartphone are almost endless as manufacturers discover new advancements in technology. With every release of a new phone, another huge step forward is taken. Like wise, mobile apps exist for just about everything. And if it doesn't exist now, it will tomorrow.
The smartphone is a great tool, when used wisely. But left to the natural devices of the teenage mind, the smartphone can be just a dangerous as an unmonitored computer. With powerful browsing capabilities and the internet access at their figure tips, you can search and view just about anything and everything on the web.
As parents, you should know what is on your child's phone. From the contacts in their address book, to the apps they downloaded, to the sites they visit, you should be aware of everything and everywhere the phone goes. And just as you would check the browsing history on you desktop, you should be checking the browsing history on your child's smartphone.
Not too long ago I was asked by a friend of mine who is a parent. She was concerned with how our child was using his phone, and was looking for suggestions. I shared with her these 4 thoughts.
1. Be the law. As the parent, you have full freedom to inspect, confiscate, and control iPods and iPhones and their usage. Randomly take an iPod and inspect the history, cache, and memory of the device.
2. Connect All devices to one cloud account. In our home, all mobile devices are connected to my cloud. It's one account that I control. This way, all devices are connected and I can keep tabs on everything that is downloaded.
3. Download with Approval. Nothing gets downloaded without parental permission. To help monitor that, you can set up to iPhone and iPad so that whatever is download from the App store downloads right to my devices. I always know when something is being downloaded. Beyond that, my kids, know that they have to ask permission before downloading anything.
4. Set the restrictions. In the settings menu there is a restrictions tab. You will find it under the general button. Here you can set the parameters for the device. It is password protected so you can set it up and your kids can't change it. You can disable the wifi, the safari browser, installing and deleting of apps, adjust content ratings, active location services, and manage the FaceTime and camera setting. If you haven't started using the restrictions feature, you need to.
Be a proactive parent. Know what your kids are doing when they are on their mobile devices. Police where they've been and where the go. There's nothing wrong with checking up and knowing what their doing online. Because, whether you realize it or not, someone else probably is.
What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Share what you do and how you handle the issue of smartphones and internet usage with your kids. Got a couple of good ideas, post them for others to read and use. And as always, thanks for reading!
- the higham family
Amy and I are always on the look out for tools and resources that will help our teens develop a passion for God and His Word. As a youth pastor, I am often asked by parents, what resources I would recommend for their teenagers. So when a tool comes along that I like and use, it makes good sense to me to share it with parents.
So on today's blog post, I want to share a resource that I really like, and have given to my own teens to use in their spiritual journey. The resources is the, One Minute Bible for Students, from Doug Fields and John R. Kohlenberger iii.
Each of our two teenage boys have received the One Minute Bible for Students and a journal. And in full disclosure, they never really took to the journal. However, they have used the One Minute Bible for Students. Likewise, the One Minute Bible for Students is still a resource that I often pass along to parents of students in our ministry.
So if you are looking for a way to encourage your teenagers to read God's Word, have a quiet time, and begin developing a life of prayer, Let me recommend to you, the One Minute Bible for Students, and a simple prayer journal.
We have provided links to the One Minute Bible for Students and a couple journal options here for you through our Amazon.com affiliation. You should know that when you click on these link and order the One Minute Bible for Students or the journals offered, we receive a percentage of the sale as payment for recommending these items here on the blog. That small percentage is then used as income which allows us to continue to operate TheHighamFamily.com blog. So thank you for helping us provide quality resources to families! To learn more, please see our disclaimer by CLICKING HERE.
- the higham family
Hi we're Jay & Amy, and we've been married for 19 years and are super blessed to be busy raising our 5 kids; 4 boys and 1 girl. AND are now expecting number 6 in June of 2016!! We juggle the adventures of life and ministry and share what we are learning as it relates to marriage, family, raising kids, serving in the church, and chasing after Jesus. Raising a family is hard work, especially in today's culture. But our hope is to encourage you and your family, as we live for the glory of God.
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.