Category Archives: Teen
Guest post by Alex Summers
It is a common thing among parents to discuss when their kids were young. Statements such as; it was so much easier when they were little, they used to like me, or I miss when they used to share things with me. Well maybe it’s you. No, I am not suggesting that you are not doing the best you can, but your kids are growing and becoming individuals.
They are no longer going to share everything with you, and often they are going to be annoyed by you. It’s part of growing up. You understand this process. They don’t. As in most things in life we don’t get things until after they have come and gone. Hence, the phrase hindsight is 20/20.
It is possible, however, to get your kids to share with you. Just set realistic expectations and know that they aren’t going to tell you every time they have to go potty anymore. You aren’t going to be current on who they like and who they don’t.
Chances are your teen can not spend 5 minutes without looking at their phone or playing on their iPod, iPad or whatever cool things they have that quite frankly you probably don’t understand nearly as well as they do. Odds are even better that this drives you crazy. All you want is to have a conversation with your child, you want to be let into their world, and their damn phone is always interrupting. Well, maybe it’s time to join them since obviously you can’t beat them!
Now that you are ready to get on their level, take that first step and join the world of technology, if you haven’t already. Purchase your very own iphone, ipad or other device they may be addicted too. Not available for an upgrade or don’t have an extra few hundred dollars laying around? Then I guess it’s time to figure out a way. There is no price tag on time with your kids, if you are really needing a way to bridge the gap, then you will figure out a way. Luckily for you, the internet is full of resources to make nearly anything possible.
Since your teen is already addicted to the online world, this is the perfect way to start. They probably know secrets to finding exactly what you are looking for as quickly as possibly. They probably have already stumbled across Sonic Electronix promo codes while looking for the latest trends in technology. More than that, they are sure to know exactly how to use those codes when completing a purchase, even though they themselves have no income to do such things.
Once your new gadget arrives, let them help you to navigate. They probably won’t be showing you things that really interest you, but that is not what this is all about. It’s about bonding with that child you used to know. You can find your own apps later. All of these miniature computers come with the availability to download interactive games, add the ones they are currently into. In the moments they have locked themselves in their room in an attempt to not be bothered by anyone, challenge them to a game. So what if they aren’t sitting right next to you having a heart felt conversation, at least you are getting a little piece of their time.
By being smart and utilizing resources such as NerdWallet to make purchases you may not be able to afford otherwise, you will be able to find a new bond with your teen that fits where they are in life, not where you want them to be. They are not going to stay young forever, and these years too will pass quickly.
By Alex Summers
Oh those dreaded teenage years. As a dad you may experience anxious feelings about the coming years when your children will grow up to be young teens. Those temper storms, stubborn behavior, changes in ways of thinking and so many new and difficult situations to deal with. And above all, you know deep within there will come a day when your daughter will start going out with a boy.
Chances are you will struggle with your kid starting to date (especially with a daughter) … but if you freak you will probably make it a lot worse and that’s when crazy stuff can happen. So panic not. Remember your own past years as a teenager and youth.
Your daughter needs to learn from experience, and it is through dating that she will build up skills on negotiation, sharing and receiving. She will experience hurt, joy and shock, which are all necessary for her to grow up as a mature woman and will be useful in making decisions when it comes to finding a suitable life partner. But we are not telling you to be silent and let your daughter do as she wishes. Prepare her for the rocky road of dating. Make your daughter a smart dater.
Maybe your daughter told you about her boyfriend, or you found out from an out side source. Whichever it is, don’t panic! The only thing that would result in you loosing your temper is that you would not be able to maintain a good relationship with your daughter and learn more about the situation. Also understand that your daughter won’t stop her relationship easily, just because you tell her to. Acknowledge the fact that though she is your daughter it doesn’t necessarily mean she is or has to be like you. Just because you didn’t have a boyfriend till you went to college, it doesn’t mean your daughter will too.
Be flexible. Don’t set out rules too strictly as it is only you who will get hurt by getting angry and sad that she betrayed your trust. Give your honest opinion about the guy, but don’t force your daughter to take your side. Express your picture of an ideal guy, his qualities, activities and behaviors. Let her express her views. Leave her to make a decision.
Be tech savvy to find out more details about the guy. Remember that anyone out there, especially teens may have a face book, hi5, or some online community profile. You can find out lot of details about his activities, interests and background and protect your daughter from potential dangers.
Talk about sex. Sex education is not meant to encourage sex, but knowledge is better than leaving your daughter in the dark, which is very dangerous as she can blindly fall in trouble and end up in an irreversible situation such as an unwanted pregnancy or even worse, with a STD.
The more closer you are to your daughter, the more open they will be with you! So face your daughters growing up process with an open mind, and ensure a better relationship with your teenage child.
(Image credit: NY Post)
With its Broadway plays, world-renowned restaurants, green acres of Central Park, and bright lights of Time Square, it’s no wonder New York City is where millions of people call home. For the majority of them, however, their “homes” can be as large as a teenager’s closet. Expecting to fit clothes to accommodate four seasons, room to entertain, and create a bedroom relaxing enough to unwind after a long day in the office may seem impossible when there’s only 200 sq. ft. to utilize. When you’ve discarded and donated as much as you can emotionally bear to part with and your apartment still looks like a candidate for the show “Hoarders,” it’s time for a change. But, the question is – do you move, or do you store? Before you call your local movers, run some numbers. It very well could be that self storage is more affordable than expensive rent.
Average cost of a NYC apartment
In constant demand, it’s as if we are the whims of New York City landlords who determine how much they can charge for their quarters (no matter how small they may be). Depending on the neighborhood the average costs for an apartment in New York City ranges as follows: (Retrieved from NY Habitat)
If those numbers aren’t terrifying enough, don’t forget to account for hidden fees such as a security deposit, broker’s charge (which costs on average 15 percent of the annual rent or 1.8 times the monthly rent) and, in some cases, first and last month’s rent upfront. Even with these astronomical numbers, the market is so competitive that landlords only entertain applications from tenants that bring in at least 40 times the monthly rent. For those looking to upgrade to a $2,200 one-bedroom apartment, they’ll have to be prepared to have an annual salary of at least $88,000 a year and hand over $8,360 (not including a security deposit) just to be able to move in.
The storage solution
Should these numbers be out of your budget, storage may be your best option in order to free up some space and hold onto your treasured items. Self storage facilities come in a wide range of sizes which can accommodate your individual needs and budgetary confinements. Commitment agreements range from one facility to another; those looking for short-term solutions should inquire upfront about each company’s policies.
Those leaning towards the option of storage should list their “must-haves” for a storage unit. From security of the building’s facilities to monthly charges and its cleanliness, your valuables should be of your storage company’s utmost importance. Finally, similar to apartment hunting, visit several locations until you find a facility you believe meets your requirements. Be sure to widen your search to include locations outside the city as they may be more affordable.
By Alex Summers
We have received the following casting call from Left/Right Inc.
NOW CASTING SINGLE DADS WHO ARE DEFYING THE ODDS & RAISING DAUGHTERS ALONE!
ARE YOU A DYNAMIC, SINGLE FATHER OF A TEENAGE DAUGHTER? ARE YOU “MR. MOM” TO YOUR KIDS? DO YOU TAKE YOUR GIRLS SHOPPING
& TALK TO THEM ABOUT DATING?
ARE YOU BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS, BUT STILL COMMITTED TO BEING THE BEST FATHER YOU CAN BE?
IF SO, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
The award-winning TV production company “Left/Right Inc” based in NYC is currently working on a new and exciting real-life series that will showcase the day-to-day lives of single fathers raising tween or teenage daughters on their own. Left/Right is specifically searching for dynamic single fathers of all races who are active in their children’s lives and willing to share (on-camera) the challenges of raising kids alone. Also, their daughters should live primarily in their home.
For more information please email email@example.com with the following details:
- Full name, occupation & city/state of residence
- Names and ages of your child/children & what grade they’re in
- Best contact phone numbers & emails
- Brief bio, including a description of your parenting style
- A few recent photos of you and your kids
Thank you for your time, and we look forward to hearing your story!
39 West 19th St., 9th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Ever wondered what fathering in the fast lane would be like? Meet a daredevil dad who does this every day – Kevin Harvick: diaper shopper, digital native and NASCAR race driver. Kevin is currently competing in his 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and DIYFather.com has been given the opportunity to follow Kevin for the last 5 races of the season. On July 8 this year something wonderful happened – Kevin became a dad to son Keelan. With that added support and “dad mojo” we have no doubt that he’s got the edge to beat all the other drivers on the circuit. So get behind this campaign and check back over the next 5 weeks to follow and support Kevin on his epic journey to make Keelan the youngest son of a NASCAR Champion!
About Kevin Harvick
- Born and raised in Bakersfield, California
- Received a go-kart for kindergarten graduation that led to the start of his racing career
- Moved to NASCAR competition in 1996
- Has won 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races
- Captured two NASCAR Nationwide Series championship – NASCAR’s junior division – in 2001 and 2006
- Kevin and wife DeLana owned their own race team that fielded two fulltime NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams and two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams for 10 years (2001-2011) before closing the doors at the end of the 2011 season to start a family
- Named 2009 Driver of the Decade
- Won NASCAR’s biggest race of the year – the Daytona 500 – in 2007
- Established the Kevin Harvick Foundation in 2010 to support programs that positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States
- Engages with fans on his personal Twitter page (@kevinharvick) and has over 249,000 followers
About the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is the championship system used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that awards the top 12 drivers in the regular season with a chance of winning the coveted championship trophy. Their points are reset for the final 10 races of the season and the close points battle throughout this period ends at Homestead-Miami Speedway where the champion is determined.
10/21 – Kansas Speedway
10/28 – Martinsville Speedway (Va.)
11/4 – Texas Motor Speedway (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
11/11 – Phoenix International Raceway
11/18 – Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway
The phrase “easier said than done” applies with particular force to certain activities, things like bungee jumping, sky diving, or Formula-1 racing. Spending time at home with kids, it turns out, falls into the same category, and not all men are fully aware of this. Those who think it’s a piece of cake are simply ignorant; unless you have first-hand experience, it’s hard to know just how “challenging” this job can be.
The following, therefore, is an account of one cold January afternoon I spent with my four-year-old daughter Shilly-Shally (not, I promise, her real name). It represents a more or less typical day–well, actually about two hours. (I considered recording a whole day but then realized that might be too frightening). You may think I’ve selected for high drama, but I swear I haven’t exaggerated, cross my heart and hope to survive.
So remember, comrade: Whatever you may feel when reading this, I’m really giving you only a thin slice of the pie. To get a true taste, multiply these two hours by the ten years or so it takes to turn a kid from a restless, curious, whining, monkey-like, self-centered little consumption-machine into something approximating human character. Then come the teenage years.
1:00 p.m.– Feeling restless after a morning of housecleaning and the thrills of making lunch, I attempt to convince Shilly-Shally that we should put on our snow clothes and play in the backyard. She’s always loved to do this; in the past it’s given her hours of delight. But at the moment she’s utterly forgotten her former pleasure. I attempt to remind her. I fail.
1:05 p.m.– After refusing to go outside, Shilly-Shally lies under the dining-room table playing with the “squirrels” she made out of strips of cardboard and paper. As I continue my attempts to convince her, she states categorically that she hates to go out in the snow and will never agree to do so.
1:10 p.m.– I mention that the little boy next door may go out too. Her eyes brighten. She loves to go out and play in the snow! Will I please get her dressed in her snowsuit?
1:15 p.m.– First we argue in the kitchen about why she can’t wear a dress under snowpants. Then I go up to her room and get her some clothes. Once I convince her to stand still–which takes some doing–I dress her in her socks, her boot socks, her long underwear, her shirt and jeans, her snowpants, her boots, her coat, her mittens, her hat, and her scarf. Then she has to go to the bathroom. I take off her scarf, her hat, her mittens, her coat, her boots, her snowpants, and her jeans.
1:20 p.m.– I put back on her jeans, her snowpants, her boots, her coat, her mittens, her hat, and her scarf. Then I dress myself hurriedly to repeated choruses of “Come on, Dad! I’m hot!”
1:25 p.m.– We go outside. The little boy next door isn’t there. We discuss this. The discussion ends with one of us crying in a loud and blubbery fashion. I return to the house for kleenex.
1:30 p.m.– The little boy next door comes out. The tears dry on Shilly-Shally’s suddenly joyous cheeks. Then the little boy next door says stubbornly that he doesn’t want to play with Shilly-Shally. I go back in for more kleenex.
1:35 p.m.– Shilly-Shally and the little boy next door start to play (his memory, it seems, is a lot like hers). I’m shoveling snow to make a sled ramp for them. Shilly-Shally pretends to be the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, roaring and saying mean things to everyone. The little boy next door asks me if he can be the guy from the video game Mortal Kombat. I agree.
1:40 p.m.– They’re still playing. The little boy next door asks me four times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. I agree each time. I happen to cut my hand on the snow shovel. Shilly-Shally always cries piteously when she gets little scrapes and cuts; thinking this a perfect teaching opportunity, I show her mine. “See?” I say, “It’s bleeding, but it doesn’t hurt much. Just a little cut. No big deal.” “That’s right,” she says. “Just a little cut.” “Yes!” I echo, surprised and pleased at her maturity. “Nothing to worry about.” “That’s right,” she agrees. “I’m not hurt. So nothing to worry about.”
1:45 p.m.– Shilly-Shally and the little boy next door have a fight. He’s upset because the Grinch keeps screaming in his ears. I ask the Grinch to crank it down a notch, but she refuses. I insist–which results in my having to go back into the house for more kleenex. I return to start mopping-up operations on the Grinch’s face. As I do so, the little boy next door asks
me three times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. I agree each time.
1:50 p.m.– The fight is not only over, but they’ve forgotten it ever occurred. That’s because there’s a new fight now–over who gets to swing on the swing. (Even with two feet of snow on the ground this is still the Holy of Holies). I talk to them about sharing and taking turns, going so far as to sing the appropriate song from Barney. Shilly-Shally actually refrains from crying; I consider this a victory and a small step toward maturation. (Of course I made sure she got the first turn; I don’t have to fetch kleenex for the little boy next door).
1:55 p.m.– While he’s waiting to swing, the little boy next door asks me five times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. I agree each time.
2:00 p.m.– I continue to shovel snow. Shilly-Shally and the little boy next door begin to play separately. For the little boy next door, that means coming over to me and asking four times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. “YES!” I roar, then add, “Why do you keep asking me that?” His answer? He looks away for a moment and then says, “Hey, Tim–can I be the guy from Mortal Kombat?” I quietly agree.
2:05 p.m.– Shilly-Shally wants me to find her plastic football. It’s buried somewhere in the ocean-like depths of snow that cover our sizeable backyard. “Are you sure you have to have that plastic football?” I ask her. “It’s going to be really hard to find.” She looks stricken. “Dad! It’s my puppy!” This is true; she’s lavished hours of attention on her plastic football
(though the “puppy” has been pretty much on its own in the snowy wild since last summer). I let out a long sigh, which she accurately translates as “Okay–I’ll do it.” When the little boy next door begins to ask if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat, I shout “YES!” before he finishes the sentence. He looks at me for a moment. Then he laughs. I realize I’ve made a serious error; he likes this new game.
2:10 p.m.– After much snow-shoveling and a lucky guess, I fish Shilly-Shally’s plastic football up out of a snowdrift and hand it to her. Then I go back to building the sled ramp. For all of thirty seconds, Shilly-Shally pours motherly and canine affection over the plastic football. Then she drops it and says her feet are cold. I’m not stupid; I know the signs of apocalypse when I see them. So I stop shoveling and start pulling Shilly-Shally and the little boy next door around on the sled. I figure this will keep them happy and maybe even warm them up a little. Huffing like a plow horse, I drag them back and forth, swinging wide on the turns to make them giggle. They enjoy this immensely. But no passion, as Yeats said, can burn forever in so frail a lamp as man. In three minutes they’re tired of it. As Shilly-Shally loudly reminds me about her cold feet, I hear that ominous note of serious displeasure in her voice. Again, with the pride of the professional, I attempt to forestall the inevitable. I show them how to sled on the half-finished sled ramp.
2:15 p.m.– The little boy next door remembers to ask if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. Realizing now that a shout will only make him laugh, I quietly agree. He interprets this as permission to ask four more times. Then Shilly-Shally falls off the sled and does a face-plant in the snow. I go back into the house for kleenex. (In my male stupidity, it never occurs to me that I could just put a wad of kleenex in my pocket and so avoid these increasingly annoying trips back into the house). With enormous effort and a cheerful energy worthy of Richard Simmons, I manage to calm her down. But a major hissy fit may be only moments away.
2:20 p.m.– Disaster strikes. After asking me five more times if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat, the little boy next door manages to twist his foot on our three-foot-high sled ramp. He starts to cry. By the time I come back out with more kleenex (all right, I admit it—I caved), he wants to go home. This throws the already frozen-faced and icy-footed Shilly-Shally for a complete loop. She desperately wants the little boy to stay out so they can play; she also desperately wants to go in and get warm. This emotional dilemma, like the pressure of magma deep inside a volcano, must be vented somewhere.
2:25 p.m.– The little boy next door says goodbye, but not before asking if, when we play tomorrow, he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. When she realizes he really is going in, Shilly-Shally lets out a howl of anguish that practically melts the snow. “THEN I’M GOING IN TOO!” she half-shriekingly declares, and stomps up the porch steps as if mortally offended.
2:30 p.m.– Once we’re inside, I brush all the snow off her and help her take off her hat, her mittens, her coat, her boots, her snowpants, her shirt, her jeans, her long underwear, and her boot socks. She’s still upset, but at least now the kleenex is handy. Because she’s recently stopped napping and is very tired at this time of day–and because she always has a hard time when the little boy next door goes in–and because she did a face-plant in the snow–and because she generally has strong feelings about things–and for whatever other reasons–she’s feeling bad. Very bad. Her pretend-Grinch scowl has become the real McCoy. (I’d describe her as “fit to be tied” but that would reveal some of the inappropriate strategies flitting through
my mind at the moment). Even putting on a new dress (the third of five that day) fails to provide her with its usual boost. A series of demands and complaints and a deeply furrowed little forehead indicate that things are turning ugly. I note the storm warnings; I’ve seen before just how quickly a tropical low can turn into a hurricane.
2:35 p.m.– Full-blown flip-out occurs. She’s screaming, weeping, refusing to do anything I ask, shouting terrible things like “I DON’T LOVE YOU!! I’M NEVER PLAYING IN THE SNOW AGAIN!! YOU’RE NOT A VERY GOOD FATHER!! I HATE BARNEY!!” (a child’s equivalent of taking the Lord’s name in vain). I offer to play blocks with her, read her a picture book, color, whatever she wants. “I HATE ALL THOSE THINGS!” she bellows. After many attempts to pacify her, I find myself thinking about Hitler and Neville Chamberlain. So I tell her firmly that if she can’t stop screaming and crying, she’ll have to go to her room. She continues; I say “Go to your room.” She finally complies, at approximately 50 mph and 90 decibels, but only after I approach her with the intent of picking her up and carrying her there. The slam of her bedroom door echoes through the house like a sonic boom. In the suddenly quiet kitchen I wonder: Is the little boy next door even now asking his mom if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat?
2:40 p.m.– I start feeling bad for Shilly-Shally. After all, she’s had a rough twenty minutes–and she hasn’t eaten for over an hour! Deciding to be Super-Parent, I make “tea” to take up to her room. A PB & J cut into squares becomes petit-fours; I fill her pink plastic tea kettle with apple juice. (A truly loving father, of course, would have gone out and bought her
one of those kid-sized, actually-motorized Malibu Barbie Fun Jeeps). Then I carry the whole thing upstairs on a tea tray, with napkins, pink plastic cutlery, apple slices, the works. She’s going to love this! I’ve also made myself a cup of hot chocolate and suddenly realize, rather wistfully, that it’s the first thing I’ve done for myself since I brushed my teeth in the early a.m.
2:45 p.m.– Shilly-Shally’s delighted. As we picnic on the floor of her room, her passionate sorrow melts into ecstasy. She wants to play the Three Little Pigs. She’ll be Penny, the oldest, smartest pig. I’m Paulie, one of her less intelligent younger brothers come to live in the wolf-proof house she built. This, of course, makes her “the boss.” “Can I really be the boss, Dad?” she asks, wanting to be very clear about this. The question has a dangerous ring to it. I hesitate, knowing what such a political precedent can mean. But we’re still too close to the recent crying fit to risk a re-engagement over what’s really only a negative possibility. “Yes,” I say, “You can be boss–if I can be the guy from Mortal Kombat.” She laughs.
2:50 p.m.– For the next five minutes we know sheer, undiluted happiness. For five minutes we live just like the parents and kids on TV commercials. I savor it like an elixir.
2:55 p.m.– The phone rings. Before I go downstairs to answer it, I caution Shilly-Shally not to carry her little teacup full of apple juice anywhere. With a parent’s eternal vigilance against messy spills, I’ve noticed she’s a little shaky handling the cup, so I insist she stay seated if she’s going to drink from it. I answer the phone. Luckily, it’s only one of those annoying
telemarketers–not someone asking if he can be the guy from Mortal Kombat. But my relief is shattered when I hear a cry from upstairs.
3:00 p.m.–On reaching Shilly-Shally’s room I learn that she’s not only “moved” her little teacup, she’s spilled it–and the entire plastic tea kettle full of apple juice. Simian restlessness of youth! Tears well up–but I suppress them. Of course Shilly-Shally’s crying too. When I gently remind her that she did exactly what I asked her not to, the floodgates of the deep are opened. I look around; naturally, the kleenex box in her room is empty. But that’s no problem; I’m on my way downstairs to
get rags and carpet cleaner anyway. The spills shouldn’t be all that tough to deal with, since she’s only soaked about 50% of the carpet surface. Besides, my housemaid’s knee has been pretty calm lately. I’ll have all this cleaned up in, say, twenty minutes or so. But first I’ve got an impromptu lesson about “not crying over spilt milk” to give, and a troubled angel to soothe–whose happiness is, after all, one of the main reasons for my existence on this planet.
By Timothy Myers
Tim J. Myers, an excerpt from his new ebook “Glad to Be Dad: A Call to Fatherhood” (Familius)
By Cyanide and Happiness
It seems that modern parents are fighting a constant battle to keep their children reveling in their innocence; so much of our culture is aimed at forcing them to grow up before their time. Protecting the youth and innocence of our little ones can be a difficult task to try to undertake, but it’s one that most parents feel is a worthwhile challenge. These ten tips can help parents prolong the childhood of the youngest members in the family for as long as possible.
- Television Parental Controls – Taking advantage of every parental control feature that your television service provider offers is one of the more effective ways of preventing your children from accessing adult-themed programming. Options and features differ, depending on the type of service and provider you have, and contacting your provider can help you find out what your specific options are.
- Internet Content Filter – Many popular search engines and web browsers have built-in content filters that can be adjusted to suit the age and needs of your various children. In addition to these filters, internet service providers typically offer their own filtering options.
- Listen to Any Music Your Child Purchases – Instituting a preview policy for any music your children download is a great way to stay informed about what they’re listening to, and also to limit their exposure to explicit lyrics or other questionable content.
- Limit Screen Time – The associated health risks of a sedentary lifestyle aside, limiting the amount of time that your children spend playing video games, watching television and surfing the web can also help to protect them from encountering themes that are too mature for them.
- Look at Video Game Ratings – The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) applies content ratings to PC and console video games, similar to the MPAA ratings of film. This information is easily spotted, and can help parents get an idea of what each game contains before purchasing it or allowing children to play.
- Install Monitoring Software – There are dozens of programs available to monitor the usage, browsing history, email content and social networking use of a specific computer. For parents of tweens and teens, the focus shifts from protecting kids from accidental exposure to preventing willful breaking of the rules. Letting your children know that the software is in place and will be checked regularly can be a preventative measure, as well as a means of detection after the fact.
- Explain Rules and Their Reasons – When kids become tweens and later, teens, questioning their parents’ methods and rules are par for the course. Explaining why your household has certain rules and keeping an open dialogue is one of the best ways to stave off more extreme rebellion.
- Know Your Kids’ Friends – Though knowing your child’s friends is certainly not a foolproof way of keeping them from trouble, it can be helpful. Being able to accurately determine the amount of influence a friend has or the likelihood of them being able to aid your child in deceiving you depends on your familiarity with them.
- Change Your Radio Presets – While the days of traditional radio may be waning, there are still plenty of parents with “old-fashioned” presets in the car. Before the smaller members of the family start speaking, it’s typically not a concern for parents; however, as soon as those miniature master imitators learn to repeat what they’re hearing, it might be a good idea to stick with family-friendly stations.
- Lead By Example – Children learn through mimicry; emulating their parents is one of the ways that kids start to develop their own personalities. Even well into the adolescent years, kids are still watching their parents. Because of this, it’s very important to set a solid example for your children to follow. Keeping your own language clean is much more effective than taking a “do as I say, not as I do” approach, which will almost always backfire as kids get older.
As always, there is no magic formula to accomplishing this task. It takes some effort and discipline on the part of the parents to set the standards they want for their children and their household and to keep them respected and enforced. Each family needs to determine their own set of values and develop means for instilling them in their children.
By Debbie Denard
My partner and I had my son when we were just teenagers. My son is 5 years old now. The assuming responsibilities of a young dad are like no other. At the time I was incredibly nervous and skeptical about making the transition to fatherhood. I would worry about whether I was ready for it and doubted whether I was emotionally mature to bring another human being into the world.
If the truth be known, failure is not an option and never will be. An expectant father must be ready for the arrival of his child. Alas, as soon as my son was born I knew that I was ready. Every second since has been tough, but well worth it. Being a father is arguably one of the toughest jobs in the world, but one of the greatest pleasures. Being a teen makes it an even harder proposition to endure.
Teens generally hear this kind of advice: wait, bide your time and go and have some fun before settling down and starting a family. I would agree with this, but you can’t turn back the hands of time and sometimes stuff just happens. When it does you basically have to ‘pull up your socks’, get on with the job of being dad and survive with what you’ve got no matter what life throws at you.
Realize that you’re not the only one feeling shocked, overwhelmed, panicked, scared, or alone.
As time goes on and your role as father cements itself as ‘normal’, challenges change. Expectations differ. For example at parents evenings the age divide becomes very apparent. I personally get mistaken for an older sibling, which could well serve as a complement to many. I generally feel that I get less respect automatically because of this. Especially from the older parents. I never once thought this would be an issue.
If I can pass on one piece of advice, I’d recommend meeting as many other young dads as possible. Meeting other guys going through the same experience who might be dealing with similar feelings is of huge benefit. Don’t feel embarrassed or hesitant about asking for help as there are lots of people out there feeling just like you. You are not alone and shouldn’t feel like you are.
This article was sourced by Cells4life
There’s no doubt that I’m really wading into it with the title of this column. I was reflecting on the end of this season of Glee and the only other television series that I watch regularly, Modern Family. I enjoy both show but do wonder if they have an agenda as to the message they want to put across.
Let me be clear on my stance on homosexuality to eliminate any pre-conceived prejudices you may assume I have or may project on me that are not true. I lost a VERY DEAR friend to Aids back in the day when it first appeared. I worked in showbiz for a quarter-century and loved and interacted with people of all stripes, with equal passion, respect, and collaboration. If they were talented and good people, I loved them. If they were not, I didn’t. Simple.
Further, as far as rights, I believe we are all created in God’s image and deserve equal protections under the law, and equal choices in our personal lives. To be explicitly clear, if either of my boys were gay, I’d love them the same. If they were bad people, my love might diminish but I don’t give a hoot about their sexuality.
Nonetheless, what message are these two shows choosing to portray? I believe that Modern Family portrays a gay relationship with all the dimension, humor, pathos, and love of any relationship and I love the show and all the characters. I believe Glee is much more agenda-driven and looks to put gay characters in the forefront to a very large and unrealistically disproportionate degree.
There will constantly be arguments about what percentage of the population is indeed gay just as there will be even more heated disagreements about the cause – IF there is a cause – for that life choice. I believe – again to be clear – that there are several possible causes for one’s sexuality. I believe in the majority of cases, it is simply the cards you were dealt and you have little or no choice as to whom you love. In other cases, a serious trauma such as physical or sexual abuse can be the seeds of sexual orientation.
And finally, how society chooses to treat lifestyles often encourage behavior in one direction or the other for those “on the fence.” This was quite evident in ancient Greece where it was commonplace for aristocratic men to have sexual boy-slaves. Had that society not condoned and encouraged such behavior, it is less likely it would have been so prevalent.
The same argument can easily be made for promiscuity, in any community. When we lived in more let’s say prudish times, sexual experimentation was reserved and often delayed until and only upon marriage. The sixties changed that dramatically and, in this man’s opinion, it’s gotten a bit out-of-hand on Madison Avenue and in Hollywood! The prevalence of teen promiscuity is well documented and, again in this dad’s opinion, largely unhealthy for our kid’s healthy adult sexual growth and maturity.
I watch Glee because I enjoy and truly appreciate the music and talents of the performers. I don’t watch it for the story lines and have particular distaste for the portrayal of sexuality among high-school age students. Whether it’s Puck trying to seduce his (female) teacher to get a good grade or the portrayal of two same-sex relationships with Kurt/Blaine and Brittany/Santana, it all feels like an effort to make all sexual conduct appear ubiquitous and just fine among these 15-18 year-old kids.
And, I emphasize the word, “kids.” They are kids, though most are portrayed by young men and women a decade or older than the characters they’re playing. What messages are the producers of Glee attempting to sell? I believe they want the audience to believe that open homosexuality in high school is cool — that any sexuality is just fine, and that the realities of acting out on your sexual feelings at that stage of life are not near as harsh as they really are.
I believe Glee is portraying a fantasy world with minimal consequences for the experimentation and sexual promiscuity these young people indulge in. Even the heterosexual relationships feel out-of-touch to me with the lead characters of Rachel and Finn planning on getting married while still in high school. Hello?
Let’s look at the relationships in Modern Family, in contrast with Glee. I see in the three primary families portrayed, diverse, funny, and interesting lives. The gay couple is loving, argumentative, and funny in every bit the same ways as the two heterosexual couples portrayed. All the parenting shown is realistic, again very funny, and there’s abundant humor, never stereotypical other than making fun of Jay being married to the much younger Gloria.
The bottom line, to use a much over-used expressions from show biz, is that for me these are two entertaining shows. Glee overtly presents its political messages while Modern Family avoids hitting us over the head with any message and, instead, lets the writing and characters make us care. What do you think?
By Bruce Sallan
Bruce’s first book, A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation is available at Amazon, iTunes, BN.com, and the store at BruceSallan.com. “The Bruce Sallan Show – A Dad’s Point-of-View,” Bruce’s one-hour radio show, is available anytime, via live stream, or to download for free on BruceSallan.com. Find Bruce on Facebook by joining his “A Dad’s Point-of-View” page. You can also follow Bruce on Twitter. Bruce hosts a TweetChat called #DadChat each Thursday from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., PST.