Posts filed under ‘stepfathers’

The Secret Lives of Teens on Social Media: Here’s What You Need to Know

Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Parents use it, just like their children. However, on average, teenagers are the ones who spend the most time on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok and similar platforms.

This leaves many parents worried. Some are afraid that this habit will grow into an addiction, while others are concerned about cyberbullying, over-sharing, and an “all-about-attention” attitude.

Author Donna Lynn Hope asks an important question: “How different would people act if they couldn’t show off on social media? Would they still do it?”

If our children were to be born in more innocent times, without social media, would they be any different?

Consider these questions:

  • How do we know what our children are doing online?

  • Is there a way to control our child’s behavior on social media, without invading their privacy and breaking their trust?

  • How do we recognize if social media is negatively affecting our children?

This topic is complicated, and there are no simple answers. However, if you ask your child about the time they spend on social media, you might be surprised at how willing they are to talk about it.

When you speak with them about their emotions and challenges, and address potential issues in self-esteem, you may find that social media won’t pose such a threat to them.

Even so, you may still be wondering how you can safely explore your child’s secret life on social media.

These solutions will help:

  1. Dignify their devices. If you want to limit your child’s social media usage, avoid taking away their device. They will find another one. Help them find effective ways to self-regulate, instead.

    • Fear of missing out often motivates the time spent on social media.

    • However, teens are aware of the consequences this habit creates. Encourage them to reflect on these consequences and focus on the impact social media overload has on their personal, academic, and other goals.

  2. Ask about the apps. Ask your child which apps they spend the most time on. Is it Instagram, Facebook, or perhaps Snapchat? Once you find out, install those apps on your phone, too, and figure out how they work.

    • Some apps have geolocation which can pose a real danger. Try to manage your child’s social media activity by informing them of the danger rather than imposing your opinion.

    • Don’t be a manager, be a mentor.

  3. Help them to protect their privacy. Talk about privacy settings on different social media accounts. Some teens are not aware of this option.

    • Agree with them to accept only the followers and friends that they know personally. This is not an easy task for a teen because the number of followers is often the barometer of popularity.

    • However, if they understand the necessity for well-managed online presence, this shouldn’t be a problem.

  4. Talk about sexting. Parents find the infamous conversation about “The Birds and the Bees” just as awkward as children do. However, now you have another level to deal with – sexting.

    • Teens can often confuse sending explicit messages and photos for intimacy that might not exist.

    • Talk about what it means to have a healthy relationship and how to develop and maintain one.

  5. Overcome social media prejudice. Many parents believe that social media is completely, or almost completely, bad. However, it is neither good nor bad per se. It’s a new form of communication.

    • When parents talk to their children about social media from this standpoint, the child is likely to withhold and hide information.

    • Genuine curiosity and an open mind about your child’s interest in social media can make a significant difference.

  6. Care about their emotions. Teenagers want their opinions to be heard. This especially goes for the things they’re passionate or angry about. Social media offers instant feedback to their posts, which makes kids feel listened to, validated, and acknowledged.

    • However, if you offer empathy for challenges your child is facing, you can provide listening and validation inside of your family, too. This will give you an insight into what your teen posts on social media and an opportunity to help them self-filter.

When your child asks you for the first time if they can open a social media account, avoid judging them or jumping to conclusions. Accept their need to engage in such community-based way of communication, talk about it, and help them build a safe profile.

Teach them how to protect themselves and what to expect.

You’ll never have all the information about their activity, but if you’re interested and understanding, you might get just the right amount.

I help parents build the kind of communication and trust that allows parent-child relationships to grow and feel better through coaching and parent classes. Email me for more information: info@clynnwilliams.com 😘 

Thanks for reading my blog and following me on Instagram and Twitter @MsParentguru.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

November 5, 2021 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Give Them Something To Believe In

Life is funny, you leave one crisis, and move into a second or third one. 

This week I’m thinking about boys… yes, our sons. And the challenges some of them face growing up.

For the last several years, we have experienced a number of young men losing their life to gun violence. Violence of being shot by rivals and violence due to police shootings. Last year (2020), not only did we experience over 600,000 people who died from COVID-19, we also watched as the number of black boys and men who were shot and killed by police, increased.

Toward the end of 2020, many cities noticed a rash of crimes where people were being carjacked and robbed or killed. Many of these crimes were committed by young men, some as young as 11 or 12. It makes you wonder what kind of direction or guidance they are receiving at home?

I had firsthand knowledge of guidance for a young boy.

My little brother…

I think back to my brother and how he responded to my mom and dad’s divorce. He was young, about 11 years old and missed having Dad at home. He was angry and felt alone.

He started getting into trouble.

A lot. Getting into trouble in those days, meant being disrespectful, destroying somebody’s property, or stealing. Our dad wasn’t coming by for regular visits, but if my mother called about my brother, Dad would come and discipline him. 

My brother was so unhappy that he began trying to take his life. (Thank God he was unsuccessful.) He also began hanging out with the “bad boys” in the neighborhood.

My mother sold our house and moved to a different neighborhood.

Who can say what kind of stress these boys are undergoing at home?

  • It could be due to financial issues.
  • Maybe the stress is verbal or physical.
  • Your son could be dealing with depression.
  • Perhaps he is reacting to deaths of people he knows due to COVID-19, domestic or gun violence. If his family has gang affiliation and the violence is orchestrated by gang leaders, imagine how stressful that could be.

How do you help your son if he is facing any of these (or other issues)? What do you do if he’s going through male teen angst? Maybe he’s exhibiting disrespectful, aggressive, violent behavior or mood swings.

What happens if you can’t change neighborhoods?

Try these five things before giving up or seeking professional help:

  • Schedule Time With Your Son – talk frequently and spend regularly scheduled time with him and keep his schedule jam-packed with school, sports, clubs, time with friends, and after-school jobs.
  • Set a Sleep Routine it’s easier being a teen if he’s getting enough sleep.
  • Get Moving – the last thing a moody teen wants to do is get up and move, but it’s one of the best ways he can feel better.
  • Listen Without Lecturingresist the urge to lecture your son. Listen with an open mind.
  • Keep Your Cool take a deep breath, keep your cool and find a way to communicate without lashing out.

Find an honorable, trustworthy male mentor that he can talk to, when he can’t talk to you. Remember to model healthy ways to handle stress. Take good care yourself.

I help parents build the kind of communication and trust that allows parent-child relationships to grow and feel better through coaching and parent classes. Email me for more information: info@clynnwilliams.com 😘 

Thanks for reading my blog. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @MsParentguru.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

July 20, 2021 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

What Do You LOVE About Dad

What do you love most about your father?

  • His ability to make you laugh?
  • His strength?
  • His ability to make you feel safe?
  • His wise advice?
  • How he takes care of you?

Whether your dad is with you. you never knew him, or is now a memory as mine is, let’s celebrate Dads this weekend and thank God for them! Enjoy (and share) my Father’s Day prayer.

Prayer for Fathers


“Dear God, We thank you for the gift of Dads in this life. We thank you that you are the greatest Dad ever, Abba Father, and we know that you cover us in your great love.


We pray specifically for fathers and fatherhood across our land. Your Word clearly instructs fathers to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). 


We pray for the single fathers out there; whether they are raising their children alone or even if they are doing the best they can with the time they have. We pray for strength, protection, wisdom, and discernment to help them through whatever trials they may be facing.


We pray for the dads out there who are being alienated from their children right now. We pray, that You would shield and shelter them from the pain and possibly the anger that may be rising up in them, for You to strike down the barriers that are hindering these dads from seeing their children.


Lord, we lift up the dads right now that are not stepping up to the plate as fathers, for whatever reason. we pray for their children and the moms who are parenting alone because of these men’s decisions. We pray You would step in as a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows in these situations, that their story would be another testimony that nothing is too hard for You.”


AMEN

Happy Fathers’ Day!

Interested in improving your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs and workshops for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

June 17, 2021 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

The Blending Of Blended Families

my blended family

Falling in love with a man or woman is wonderful and exciting. But how will his children feel with you as their stepmom … or better yet how will yours feel?

Click on the link below and watch the rest of my video blog!

Want to learn more about your family’s dynamics? Order a copy of my book: Yours & Mine: A Winning Blended Family Formula

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

April 19, 2019 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

3 Habits for Healthy Families

happy-thanksgiving

During this Thanksgiving holiday, we will share many things with our families: holiday traditions, good-night hugs and good times. I truly love family customs and traditions, hugs (not just at night) and the good times we share as our family gathers together.

In addition to these things, check your ‘list’ to see if you are including these healthy habits as well. I’m including three of my favorite ones here:

  • Make mealtime family time – This matters because shared meals help families catch up and connect. Studies show that kids who regularly eat with their families have healthier eating habits than those who don’t.
  • Volunteer together – This is important because helping others lifts our spirits and improves our overall sense of well-being. It also teaches our children that they can make a difference, which can help boost their self-confidence and make them feel good about themselves.
  • Handle anger in a healthy way – When we lash out it strains relationships within and outside our family. “Kids tend to express anger by lashing out at parents and teachers, and their anger may isolate them from their peers.”[1] In adults, angry outbursts can raise the risks of heart attack and stroke.

           Thank you Rush University Medical Center for these healthy tips for our families!

As you welcome your college students back home and see family members you haven’t seen in a while, take time to relax and enjoy them. Even Aunt Josephine who manages to say something completely crazy to everyone she sees, still needs a hug. 

Time Saving Tip: Sparkl Now – The Car Wash Service That Comes to You!

Are you tired of riding around in a dirty, cheerio-ridden car?

I was just like you!  As a mom of busy and messy boys, I found myself living most of my day in the car—shuttling to/from school, practices and play dates.  My kids often had to eat meals in the car in order to get to where we needed to be on time.

This is what inspired me to launch Sparkl – an eco-friendly, waterless car wash that comes to YOU.  All you have to do is download our app, register, and schedule a date and time.  We do the rest.   Our products are bio-degradable and our waterless solution is safe enough to use on any car.  All of our washers are background checked and trained to provide a quality car wash anytime anywhere.  We will come to your home, office, parking garage, or just the street.  It’s that simple…and convenient.  No more dirty car… and no more waiting in line at the car wash!  Now your car can get cleaned without wasting your precious time…or our environment’s precious resources. To learn more about Sparkl, please check out our website:  www.sparklnow.com.

C. Lynn Williams’ Upcoming Events:

Dating With The Right Tools webinar Dec 6thPart 2 of Romance Series
Kick the Chaos workshop Dec 9thkickthechaos.eventbrite.com

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons or Fathers and Daughters.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Coach & Author
www.clynnwilliams.com

[1] Adrienne Adams, MD, MS – Rush University Medical Center

November 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

#You’re Still My Little Boy

The Pampered Prince

Have you ever felt guilty for saying ‘NO’ to your son when he’s asked for something that he did not need or you couldn’t afford?

I remember the story my husband tells where his ex-wife bought a car for their (teenage) son against his wishes. Son crashed the car by the third week of owning it. What do you say? Mothers say “I’m glad he’s unharmed. What a blessing.” Fathers say “That boy didn’t need a car. He’s too young for the responsibility and he won’t take care of it.” Fathers remember when they were teen boys and are speaking from their experience.  Mothers just want their sons to be happy. Who’s right? Does it matter? Yes it matters a lot because there are quite a few boys today who are being shown a lifestyle (by their mothers) that they haven’t earned and it sets them up for failure as men. It teaches them to rely on women instead of themselves.

I know I made mistakes when raising my son. The way I know this is because he’s emotionally crippled today. Had I had the courage to ignore his wants and stick to the adage that I grew up with – “Go to school or Go to work”, maybe he would be well on his way with college and graduate school behind him. Instead I felt guilty and believed that I needed to be more accommodating because of my divorce from his father. I also felt that he might take the easy way out and take drastic measures like my brother did.

If you want to understand more of what makes your son tick, invest in a copy of my book, ‘The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son’. http://amzn.to/1l6PUcv If you would like to ask questions or dialogue with me about how tough adult issues affect our sons, reach out to me on Twitter @cgwwbook or on my Facebook fan page www.Facebook.com/CGWWBooks. Use hashtag #You’reStillMyLittleBoy

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach
www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)

July 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm 3 comments

Keep Your Hands (and Other Body Parts) to Yourself

SexualAbuse2At the risk of sounding insensitive, I admit that I have gotten desensitized to news about priests and coaches molesting boys and girls. It happens so often, it seems like daily news. I don’t like it, and it seems to take forever for the truth to come out (the kids are usually adults). Of course, nobody believes that a man of the cloth or a favorite coach is touching our kids inappropriately. Wake up America! Did it ever occur that the ‘acting out’ that our kids are doing, may be related to a secret they are ashamed to tell you?

What I still can’t stomach, is when our teen girls tell us (mothers) that they are being sexually molested by their fathers, stepfathers, uncles (family members) and we don’t listen. What is that about? As I mentor teen girls and young women, I want to say that I’m shocked that mothers prefer to believe their (in some cases) pedophile boyfriend to their own daughter. The sex can’t be that good. To make matters worse, you kick your daughter out, because you can’t possibly believe her. Now what is she supposed to do?

Remember the movie Precious? Precious’ mother knew her husband (Precious’ biological dad) was having sex with his daughter and had fathered Precious’ two children. Yuck! But it happens, probably more often than we care to admit, and it’s a dirty little family secret – especially if a child is born. If there was ever a reason for castration, sexually molesting your kid, niece, nephew or granddaughter is number one as far as this mother is concerned! What are your thoughts?

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

February 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment


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