Should My High Schooler Get a Job?

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There are a lot of good reasons for a high school student to get a part time job, but there are also some drawbacks. You need to start off by having a serious conversation with your teen about working while going to school.

If your student comes to you and wants to get a job, find out why. Is it something they really want to do, or are they just looking for spending money? Is money tight in the household, or do they have something specific they want to save up for?

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How To Communicate With Your Teens Via Text

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Oh how teens love to text! Communication with our teens is critical during this stage in their lives and if we can get through to them even slightly, I think we can claim success. Albeit challenging at times (ok, most of the time), sometimes we need to get on THEIR level in order to communicate with those little sweetie pies especially when they are out with friends. You just don’t know what they could be up to and that is why checking in on them isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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Questioning Parenting Skills: Do I Suck As A Parent?

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As a parent, I often question whether I am doing the right thing. Every situation is different and how we handle it can make a huge difference in the way our child perceives us and the way they handle situations themselves.

Is my child going to end up a screaming lunatic if I yell at them for not cleaning up their room? Will they end up the kid in my basement playing video games at the age of 40 if I don’t give them enough responsibilities?

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How to Keep Your Kids Positive When Playing Sports

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Sports are a great activity for kids. Sports improve not only physical coordination, but also mental concentration and focus. We want our kids to do well and have fun, too. Sometimes negativity creeps in. Maybe the team doesn’t win many games, or maybe there are kids that get too competitive. There are many ways that you can help keep your child positive.

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Unspoiling Your Child

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As parents, we want our children to be happy and healthy. We want our kids to have a good life and maybe a better one than we did. Unfortunately, even with good intentions we can sometimes end up spoiling our child. If that happens, as long as you recognize it, there are ways you can “unspoil” your child.

First you want to identify any patterns. Do you give in when your child whines for a new toy? Or maybe you give a treat to keep them quiet or behaving. Make some rules, or if you have rules, you must stick to them. If you whine for dessert during dinner? Guess what, no dessert all week!

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Be Better Than You Were Yesterday

Mariah Carey. Muhammad Ali. Michael Jordan. They all have something in common. They are the best at what they do and arguably so.

One of the hardest lessons there is to learn in life as a kid growing up (and even as an adult) is there will always be somebody better than you at something. Always. The chances that you are THE best at something are like 1 out of a trillion and I challenge you to prove me wrong.

If by that slim chance you are the best at something, kudos to you. Yeah I’m talking to you Michael Jordan. Mariah Carey. Muhammed Ali. These people are THE best at what they do and arguably so. I get it, there HAS to be someone who is the best at something, someone at the top. Never in my life did I think I was going to be a better runner than Jackie Joyner-Kersee. I was a good runner, but I soon realized I didn’t even run the events that Jackie Joyner ran but I digress.

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Life Skills All Kids Need to Learn Before They Head to College

Life Skills All Kids Need to Learn Before They Head to College

Going off to college may seem like it is far away, but it will be here before you know it. Having your child prepared academically is probably on your radar, but what about practical skills? You can start by teaching your son or daughter these valuable skills now.

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Cooking
While your child might eat cafeteria food the first year, at some point they will be cooking for themselves. Cooking, at least on a basic level, is a skill that everyone should have.

Grocery Shopping
Being a smart grocery shopper is also something that has to be learned. Teach them to buy wisely and how to spot a good deal. Teach them what to stock up on, and which items they should be fresh.

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How to Talk to Your Child about the Death of a Family Pet

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We recently lost a neighborhood dog, but it wasn’t just any ole neighborhood dog. This dog was my little Lola’s favorite. We knew he was suffering and had lived a good, long life (I think he was 15 years old?!), so it wasn’t such a bad thing for him to go. The big question was, how are we going to explain to Lola that her best furry bud is gone?

It is hard on the whole family when you lose a precious pet, but how do you talk to your children about this loss? Knowing what to say and how to make sure the kids understand is crucial in moving forward. You want to know your children are okay and help them get through the grief of losing your pet.

Keep in mind that most of the time your child will look at your reactions and do what you do. It is natural to be sad and upset, and you need to let the children know that it is ok and normal to feel this way. Make sure to discuss this right away since the longer you wait the more questions and doubts your child may have.

If you have younger children, say 3-5 years old, their concept of death is that it is a temporary thing. Be honest with them that your pet is not coming back, and try to share some good memories you have together.

For kids ages 6-8, they understand the concept of death, but maybe find it hard to believe that your pet is truly gone. Children this age may feel like they could have done something to prevent your pet dying, so make sure to let them know it had nothing to do with them.

Older kids might want to know more information or ask more direct questions, so be prepared for this.
Every child may grieve differently, so just make yourself available to them if they need you.

One thing you don’t want to do is give them vague answers about what happened to your family pet. Kids’ imaginations can go wild and they need you to be direct and honest with them. You can be brief, but give them accurate information so they do understand. You don’t have to go into details that will disturb them, but let them know the truth.

The most important thing your child needs during this sad time is comfort. Grieve as a family but always hold those precious memories of your pet close to your heart.

Common Core Frustrations: I’ve Got Them

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The implementation of Common Core into our education system has been disruptive for many kids (and parents!) Parents are frustrated and sometimes confused by these standards and the new methods of teaching. If you feel this way, you are in the majority. Here are some of the frustrations that parents experience.

Math? Well, you would think Math would be pretty straightforward. Numbers just make sense, right? The curriculum coming out of the Common Core testing make doing math problems complicated. Teachers have to be an expert in these methods to give your child a good education. Doing Math homework takes twice as long for the kids, and most parents don’t understand enough to be able to offer guidance to their kids. Um, yeah…that would be me! And by the way, that upper image of homework is, indeed, my 9 year old’s math homework.

Keeping America Competitive
The biggest reason we hear about why Common Core testing is used is that America has fallen behind the rest of the world. That may be true in some instances, but we are being forced to use methods that are not necessarily proven to be effective. Jumping into these changes without more research and preparation has just mucked up the education system and our kids will be the ones suffering, not succeeding.

Teaching to Testing
Teachers are now put in the position to have to teach to the tests. Students have to pass these standardized tests and the curriculum caters only to this end. I am not sure our kids are learning, they are just being taught to pass a test.

Questionable Reading
The Common Core recommends many books that parents don’t agree with. Some of these books for older kids have many questionable themes and language. I understand that kids will expand their minds during their older school years, but why throw out classic literature that is in good taste?

Common Core standards are supposed to make our kids better and ready for college and employment. In reality, by teaching to the test, we are limiting our kids’ education and not really teaching them to think for themselves. As parents, we will do everything we can to make sure our kids are happy and successful, but Common Core does not seem to be the answer.

And, it really makes me feel like an idiot trying to help my kid with math. Just saying.