11 Bizarre Rules That Will Help You Be Kind And Lead People

11 Bizarre Rules That Will Help You Be Kind And Lead People

If you are new here, then welcome. I'm so glad you're here and I'm so happy to tell you that reading this list will let you know without a shadow of a doubt whether or not this is the space for you. 

I teach parents and educators how to keep up with their kids' online use.

And at first blush you might be thinking, "I'm in!"

But wait.

I need you to know two things first.

First, what I teach here is different than anything else you're going to find out there.

It is all based on my personal, unique position of having a masters degree in conversations that teach + a decade of classroom teaching experience and working online and in social media for 8+ years and having been shamed online and seeing firsthand what it takes to come out on the other side.

And second, everything that I teach comes back to this center:

We have to move from taking care of ourselves and our own children to taking care of each other and each other's children.

This topic is too important.

This topic is too important to me to let you start digging in here, and further down the line realize that we're mismatched, and have you dismiss the need to teach your kids about the online world because of that.

So I'm laying it all out here.

So I'm laying it all out here so that you can decide if you want to learn about this topic from me.

I am a good fit for those of you who:

  • Want to keep up with your kids' online use (even as they start to know more about the online world than you do)
  • And for those of you who know in your heart-of-hearts that you can, should, and WANT to raise a leader, a change-maker, a kindness warrior
  • *At the same time

Is that you?

If so, then keep reading.

URGENT: Not Teaching Your Kids These 4 Things Is Harmful

URGENT: Not Teaching Your Kids These 4 Things Is Harmful

Keeping up with our kids' online use can feel daunting.

There are so many things on our parenting to do lists

And every time we sit down to try and make a decision about what to do about this specific topic, thoughts like these start competing for our attention:

How do you monitor?
Should you monitor?
Are our kids playing outside enough?
Will they know how to assess the credibility of sites?
Are they transparent about their online activities?

And so much more.

Sometimes this leaves us stunned into inaction

We keep circling around these same questions without really digging into any one of them. And, more importantly, without teaching our kids about any one of these things!

And the reality is that this is harmful to our kids because they need our help and our guidance.

And there's a chance that we are over-complicating things.

What we need to teach our kids about the online world all comes down to four prongs

While this topic is absolutely layered and nuanced, my research has shown that what we need to teach our kids about the online world all comes down to four prongs. This is exactly what we're going to dig into in this article

45 Women Authors Who Stand Up For Kindness

45 Women Authors Who Stand Up For Kindness

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, making it a perfect time to really dig into what to do about bullying.

This article flips the conversation from focusing on those who bully, to those who take action to stomp out bullying by spreading kindness.

Today, I am going to tell you what happened when I reached out to dozens and dozens of authors and asked them one simple question:

Would you be willing to give away one copy of your book for no other reason than to stand up for kindness?

The resounding answer was, as you may have guessed from this blog post title, "yes."

In this article, I'm going to tell you:

  • Why I'm creating this list
  • Why I titled it what I did
  • What you can do with it
  • And what it has to do with anti bullying, pro kindness, and you

Let's dig in.

My 6 Favorite Tools For Positive Parenting In A Modern World

My 6 Favorite Tools For Positive Parenting In A Modern World

Before we get started today, I want to make sure that you don't miss this giveaway!

In this article I'm going to tell you all about this giveaway—why I picked this specific prize package and why I'm giving it away right now! Let's dig in.

About those organization systems

Last week I shared with you the 5 organization systems that I had to put in place for my family so that my children could be organized at school. That word "had" is 100% purposeful because by not being organized at home, I was hurting my kids' abilities to be organized at school. That is a really humbling thing to write, but it is absolutely true!

But there's more to it than that.

More than anything else, I want to make sure that I'm not missing anything when it comes to my kids.

I wonder if you can relate? There is just so much to manage and life is so busy, I often get this nagging feeling that I might be missing something important. I know that when I was young, I didn't tell my parents everything, or even most things, because I just didn't think to do so.

I wish that I could hand you a magic wand—or a magic app!—that could do all of the heavy lifting for both you and me when it comes to staying on top of our kids' modern lives. But the truth is that this doesn't exist. There is no substitute for purposeful parenting.

That's why No. 5 in that organization list is the ways that our family stays connected even as life gets busier and busier. You might have been surprised to see that topic on that list!

But if there is a magic secret to keeping our kids safe and happy in this modern world of ours, staying connected is it.

So today I'm going to share with you 6 tools proven to support positive parenting in a modern world. And not only that? But I'm also giving away a bundle of all of them to one of you!

Why? Because of all of the organization systems that we can have in place, staying connected with our kids and being their soft landing for all the things they're juggling—I daresay that it's more than we ever had to—is, by far, the most important.

And if anytime is good for a fresh start and a chance to get things right, then anytime is also good for getting this right.

How To Get Organized At Home So That Your Kids Can Get Organized At School Once And For All

How To Get Organized At Home So That Your Kids Can Get Organized At School Once And For All

No matter what time of year you are reading this article, I want to wish you a Happy New Year! Why? Because truly any time can be a chance to grasp at a fresh, new start and an opportunity to get things right; to have your family running like you want it to.

For me, having my busy family run smoothly is all about two things:

  • Finding ways to stay grounded with my children as life gets busy
  • And creating ways to stay organized at home and at school so that life doesn't feel any crazier than it absolutely needs to

Struggles with organization are not for the faint of heart

I know that when my own children struggle with organization at school, it is tempting to ask, "Where did they get that from?" It can be so frustrating and discouraging to see them struggle to keep up with assignments and deadlines, not because they can't complete them, but because they weren't organized enough to keep track of them. Maybe you can relate!

In the past our family really struggled with this, especially once homework, school, and activity schedules ramped up all at the same time. We did find a solution to this very real problem last year and I want to share it with you today.

The Effects Of Screen Time On Brain And Eye Development

The Effects Of Screen Time On Brain And Eye Development

A few weeks ago, I gave a workshop about balancing screen time time activities with off line activities. And while everyone embraced the concept, and honestly felt a sense of relief hearing about it, several moms just like you had a nagging feeling in the back of their minds that there could be another issue here, a physical one. 

What about the effects of the screen on brain development? 

I also wondered about the effects of the screen on brain and eye development. I have read and heard mixed information.

That "mixed information" part is so very important and relatable; there is a lot of information out there and it can be hard to wade through and decide what we need to hold onto and actually do something about!

Most of us just don't want to miss anything important and we want to make sure that we are doing the absolute best that we can for our kids as we muddle through this new terrain. The truth is that a lot of the information out there has validity to it and we shouldn't ignore it.

In this article I'm going to share with you exactly how I wade through the information, how I decide what to do with it, and for this specific topic of the physical effects of screen time, what I actually do with the information when it comes to my own kids.

The Ultimate List Of Activities For Kids Online And Off

The Ultimate List Of Activities For Kids Online And Off

Does this title surprise you? That's okay, I think it surprises most people who read it! But here's why I wrote it—and also why I'm keeping it—this way!

Every once in awhile I get inundated with, as my husband would say, a disturbance in the force.

Oftentimes it happens during summer break, when long uninterrupted days leave many parents at a loss for how to fill the time.

Sometimes it happens when friends and peers are heading off for vacations, long flights and seemingly never-ending car rides bringing on a sense of anxiety about keeping kids entertained and, if we’re honest, maintaining a semblance of peace and calm—for all of us.

And sometimes it just happens on a regular day when I’m out with a friend or hosting a play date or even minding my own business at the store.

Do you know where I’m going with this yet?

It’s the worries, stress and anxiety about our kids spending too much time on devices. 

How much access should they have? 
Is it really constant use? Because it sure seems like it!
The constant allure of the online world is … intoxicating. And for most of us, this is scary!

There is also the layered in guilt factor associated with giving our kids screen time in lieu of something else that we’ve imagined and decided that they should be doing.

Go outside! Our mothering hearts yell.
But just one more peek at Facebook, our own scrolling fingers decide.

You should know that this article is not about keeping our kids off line. 

How Young Is Too Young For A Cell Phone? The Definitive Answer.

How Young Is Too Young For A Cell Phone? The Definitive Answer.

One of the questions that I'm asked the most often is how young is too young to get a cell phone for kids.

Just this week, I got these emails:

My daughter is in fourth grade and she seems so young, but all of her friends already have phones. Should I get her one?

I know that it's much too soon for me to discuss this with my son, but he's already asking about a phone!

I can tell that we're almost ready to "go there" with my twins, but I'm not ready yet!

Every single one of these parents is on the exact right track, because they're really listening to what their kids are telling them and keeping a strong pulse on what their comfort level is with each ask. These are both so important!

There are a lot of misconceptions about the right age to not just let our kids have cell phones, but also how to discuss all things cell phone, app, and social media related with our kids before they even have phones. Yes, really!

Today, we're going to clear some of this up.

Internet Safety Cheat Sheet: All The Things You'll Check When Your Kid Gets A Phone

Internet Safety Cheat Sheet: All The Things You'll Check When Your Kid Gets A Phone

It's not a secret that there are about a 1000 moving parts to think about when you get your kids a phone or let them try a new app online. 

  • There's the tech stuff—the things that are actually on their phones, checking how they're using their apps, who they're texting, not to mention what they're texting, the photos they're taking, where they're storing them, and who with and where they're sharing them.
  • There are the people who they are interacting with—who are they following on each app and who is following them, what kinds of things are they saying to each other and, most importantly, how is your kid handling her or himself, feeling about it all, and making others feel online.
  • And then there's their savviness—are they deleting their online activities, texts, and search histories and where and how and why do you check for that?

And probably about 300 more things that I'm forgetting at this moment.

(Which is why I have an entire Ongoing Dialogue template and process which is included for you to use and replicate in Raise Your Digital Kid™.)

But the thing I'm going to be focusing on today is what I call my, "Safety Cheat Sheet," and it's all the things that I have to think about when I first let my kids have phones AND when I first let them use a new app.

This is my essential checklist—things like the apps, the interactions, the times of use, and more.

The 8 Apps You Need To Know About To Keep Your Kids Safe Online

The 8 Apps You Need To Know About To Keep Your Kids Safe Online

Whenever we start talking about raising safe and wise digital kids, the question inevitably comes up:

But aren’t there too many apps to keep up with? Can you still teach your kids if they already seem to know more than you do?”

Here are my thoughts: If you're here right now reading this on the Internet, then you are tech savvy enough to keep up with the apps your kids use and to keep your kids safe online. You do not need to keep up with every bit of minutia about every single app to be able to do this.

But if you're going to let your kids be online, then today I'm going to dig into the eight apps you need to know the basics of in order to raise a safe and wise digital kid.

First of all, I need to just put this out there: I have had my fair share of learning curves with apps. I have winged more than a few Mini Lessons about apps and I have missed quite a few important points when it comes to keeping my kids safe online with specific apps. And I've had to backtrack, retrace my steps, and cobble together what I wanted my kids and students to learn and even UNteach what I taught them in order to better REteach them what they really need to know.

This has happened to me.

But I don't want it to happen to you.

Relationship-Focused Parenting And Teaching: What It Is, What It Isn't, How To Do It, And The Systems You Need To Have In Place To Make It Work

Relationship-Focused Parenting And Teaching: What It Is, What It Isn't, How To Do It, And The Systems You Need To Have In Place To Make It Work

A few weeks ago I did a talk about staying close to your kids as they get older.

And I realized that this is a topic that gets a bad rap—and has a lot of baggage associated with it. So I want to go into a lot of details about staying close with kids as they get older and more independent and what that really means and how I have made it work for me.

I firmly believe in keeping our relationships with our kids at the forefront of our parenting and our teaching. I've been building mine up with my students as well as my own kids for (so many) years now and the most important thing that I try to remember is to keep this goal at the forefront of all of my interactions with them.

This isn't permissive parenting or not doing anything when our kids make mistakes—it's being intentional about how we set up our relationships and our conversations.

So today we're going to talk about what keeping our relationship with our kid at the forefront of parenting and teaching is, what it ISN'T, and which parts of our parenting and teaching we can refocus to be about relationship building and solidifying and why this is so effective. We're also going to take a detailed look at my own relationship-focused parenting and teaching, or what we call parenting and teaching firmly within the human development research-based parameters of high love and high control. I will explain what I mean by this in detail below. This is especially important when focusing on keeping kids safe online, which can also be called raising digital kids.

This Is The Real Truth About Being Cyber Bullied

This Is The Real Truth About Being Cyber Bullied

It is so important to understand real cyber bullying facts. There is a lot of information out there that is untrue and not helpful. This is a straight to the heart of things article about what really happens to people when they are bullied, what bullying feels like, and how to help someone who has been bullied—coming from someone who has actually been there and come out on the other side. Bonus: There is a free download of how to talk to kids about social media in this post!

In the last year, I wrote a best selling book, gave a TEDx Talk, started an international online kindness movement, and spoke to groups so small and so intimate that we could sit around a coffee table, knees touching, and to groups so big that my heart is seriously beating so much right now thinking about them. I taught each of these kinds of groups the same things: how to teach our kids and our students to be safe, wise, and kind online, and I've taught parents and teachers all around the world to do the exact same things via online courses. 

This movement wasn't an accident—it was designed to be.