Posts tagged ‘mothers’

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

My Teen Is Old Enough…

Being a teen is overrated. They are old enough to know what to do, but they don’t have the maturity or experience to consistently make the right decisions.

Teen male on a motorcycle

Being a teen is overrated. They are old enough to know what to do, but they don’t have the maturity or experience to consistently make the right decisions.

I was the oldest child and my mom and dad taught me the difference between right and wrong. I was responsible for “setting a good example” for my brother and sister. While I didn’t want to disappoint them, my parents also had “eyes” in the community and throughout the city; other adults who would report back if they saw me in places where they didn’t think I should be. Even so, I broke the rules… like the time I rode on my boyfriend’s motorcycle. Two broken rules:

  • No boyfriends (at my age)
  • No riding on anyone’s motorcycle

Never mind that we could have an accident and I could be hurt or killed. That never occurred to me (as a teen) because I was fearless and willing to try things. Even if it meant breaking the rules.

Parents often believe that once their child becomes a teenager, they don’t need as much supervision. That’s not true either. You don’t have to worry that your teen will fall down the stairs, like a 2- or 3-year-old. But they could accept a ride from a stranger when they need to get someplace on time. Or they may be tricked into giving out their phone number in an online chat, because the person they’re talking to says they are 15 too, like your child.

Think about the recent rash of carjackings or smash and grab crimes that are being performed by teens. Some of the kids are 12 or 13 years old. I can hear you – “Not My Child”.

How do you know?

You work every day and you’ve taught your child right from wrong. They would never steal a car, hold a person at gunpoint/knifepoint, or snatch their purse/wallet. Right?

You say, “my child is smart, comes from a two-parent family, we are not poor.” Those crimes only occur with/by… You fill-in the rest of this sentence with your thoughts or biases.

As a parent expert who has taught and studied adolescents, teens, and 20-somethings for the past 20 years, I can tell you this:

  • Teens love thrill and excitement
  • They are easily influenced by their peers and the world around them
  • Leaving them on their own for 3-4 hours every day (after school) without supervision is a problem

Join my Zoom Parent Masterclass on Thursday, October 21st where we will discuss teens: their wants, needs and love language. Admission is $25 until October 9th; $45 thereafter.

CLICK HERE to Register.

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

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Masterclass

October 2, 2021 at 12:47 pm Leave a comment

We Can Save Our Boys

It’s hard to advocate for equality and fairness from others, when our sons kill each other. Beefs, challenges, gang wars, whatever… it takes superhuman strength to change the heart and action of young men once the streets have become their parents.

Offer them love, support, structure and discipline while they are young. Continue it through their adolescent and teen years. Teach them to be good people, so they will grow up and be great adults

Be willing to move them out of dangerous communities and away from dangerous people. When I was growing up, an unruly young man was sent to the Army or military school.

If you are a single mom and your son’s dad is not in his life, find a good role model that will provide male support and discipline. Let’s start repeating affirmations of peace, freedom and love over ourselves and our sons. Instead of sending your son out to play, go outside and play with him. I coach parents, and one of my parents said her son has no one to play with outside, because the other kids are afraid of getting shot. That’s a sad commentary on some of our communities now. We can do better.

Our current circumstances do not define who we are, or who our sons are.

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

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams @MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

September 23, 2021 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

How to Develop Our Children Into Critical Thinkers

This summer we have seen two top female athletes stop competing and take time off to practice self-care and work on mental health concerns. Earlier this month, professional tennis player Naomi Osaka told us it was okay not to be O.K. and walked away from the U.S. Open. She said she needed some time away to deal with issues of exhaustion and depression.

Last week, gymnastics superstar Simone Biles, withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics to focus on mental health.

Also impressive is by how singer Britney Spears is taking control of her life, her career and her fortune.

Those are not easy decisions to make.

What these young women are showing us is that they are:

⁃ Taking control of their life

⁃ Saying no when it comes to protecting their physical & mental health

⁃ Prepared to accept criticism from people who don’t understand their why

When we raise critical thinking children, we are teaching them to think, speak and act in ways that are beneficial to them and the people or organizations they believe in.

It can be challenging when they use those same critically thinking minds to disagree with us.

It happens, but simply means the process is working.

In order to build those positive, well-adjusted adults, follow these Do’s & Don’ts:

  • Do: Spend “child-centered time” with your kid every day.
  • Don’t: Stop your kid from making his/her own mistakes — and learning from them. It may be one of the hardest tasks as a parent.
  • Do: Praise personal effort instead of personal qualities, such as intelligence, otherwise you can make your kids self-conscious, which may lead to unwanted complexes like shame when they do t accomplish their tasks.
  • Don’t: Shine the light on your child’s misbehavior as it can often backfire.
  • Do: Practice gratitude with your munchkin on a daily basis. Ask questions like: who is someone you love or who is someone who helps you?
  • Don’t: Positive stories are good, but negative ones are just as — if not more — effective, because they illustrate perseverance.
  • Do: Happy kids have friends, so help your child develop his friendships. You can start by not neglecting your own friends.

C. Lynn Williams, @MsParentguru

http://clynnwilliams.com

August 1, 2021 at 2:21 pm 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

7 Ways to Be Less Critical…

Photo by Ebuka Onyewuchi on Pexels.com

Do you find yourself criticizing the people around you more often than complimenting them? Perhaps you’re harsh on yourself as well…

One of the ways to stop being critical of others is to learn to define your own self-worth intrinsically, which means that you learn to see the beautiful qualities of who you are – caring, compassionate, empathetic, kind, and generous.

Today we will focus on ways to be less critical of our children.

7 Ways to Be Less Critical of Your Child 👶🏽 🧒🏽 

  1. Describe the Situation Instead of Fixing Blame.
  2. Say Nothing.
  3. Express Your Feelings.
  4. Put Things in Perspective and Let Things Slide.
  5. Make the Praise Descriptive Instead of Generic.
  6. Focus on the Effort Instead of the Outcome.
  7. Focus on Encouragement instead of Judgement.

We all make mistakes. 

We often criticize ourselves more severely than our loved ones or peers, interfering with our sense of harmony in our mental and emotional capabilities, strength, and spiritual beliefs. 

Maturity occurs as we practice forgiving ourselves, our children and each other.  

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parent coaching programs that help you through 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

www.clynnwilliams.com

June 30, 2021 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

Care Enough To Join Me

We had an event in my community yesterday and it had been a culmination of twice weekly activities over a six week period, that included young people from elementary through high school as well as adults.

We had a pretty decent turnout, with most parents attending with their child. The odd thing was that the parents of one of our teens did not attend. She said they were home cleaning house 🧼 🧽. I was really bummed out, for her. She had had some rough times during our weekly meetings with family issues but during the entire time, we never met her parents. 👁👁

It took me back to the days when my children were younger. We tried to attend everything they were involved in. Of course that wasn’t possible, but we tried. And maybe this was true for my teen’s parents. Maybe they attend every other event and just couldn’t with this one. Watching her during our project meetings I got a different impression. To me she felt lonely and alone.

So this is what I want to say to her parents: It is important to show up in your kid’s life as often as you can. Doesn’t matter if they are 5, 15 or 25 years old. Our kids love our support! Yes it’s easy to show up for the large events like graduations and milestone birthdays. But sometimes we have to be parents no matter how busy our days are and be available! That means we play games with our kids, we go for walks (yea put down the headphones, game controllers and phones) 😁

As the parental unit (one of my daughter’s favorite phrases), our kids won’t remember that we were trying to make a living and had to put food on the table that’s not the first thing that they will remember about us. What they may remember is that we sat on the stairs and talked with them about what the 2020 election means; they’ll remember that we drove to the lakefront and watched the sunset; that we talked into the night about good and bad decisions, that we watch their favorite Disney movie 10 times… in a row. They will remember playing Monopoly with you and how many properties you bought!

Your child will remember the times you spent doing stuff together!

I feel bad because my teen friend looks and feels lonely. It doesn’t feel like she has a good support system and I hope she has a stronger one in the future.

Oh and parents… try to be more mindful of the time your child really needs with you.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

October 10, 2020 at 6:51 pm Leave a comment

I Heard Family…

family

Last week I watched the Democratic National Convention and Vice-President candidate Kamala Harris (D) spoke about how much she admired her mother and grandmother. She talked about kids going back to school whether in person or remotely and how important going to school was. She also talked about how challenging it is for parents and teachers during this time. There are so many questions to answer like what happens if I send my child to school and she gets the virus? Or what happens when I begin teaching my face-2-face classes and I catch the virus? As we head into the fall 2020 school year, these are questions that parents and teachers have. 

Everytime Senator Harris spoke I heard family. The importance of family! Mothers! Fathers! Grandmothers! In many households, parents have chosen to homeschool. In other households, the parents have to leave home and their children are either going to school, or sitting in front of a computer screen and learning virtually. No matter which story is ours, we are concerned with keeping our children (and ourselves) safe from coronavirus.

When Senator Harris spoke of her mother, it reminded me of how much my mother supported me throughout my high school, college, grad school career.

Her support meant everything to me, even though (at times) I felt that she was overbearing and too

my mom

strict. When I didn’t understand a school topic, if she couldn’t explain it, she found someone that could. With her guidance, my dad’s, aunts, uncles and grandparents, I am here today able to talk with you about the importance of family support.

As Senator Harris said, getting ready this school year is challenging whether you are the parent or the teacher. But what I know is that our children are counting on us to learn and thrive. We can give them that whether we are college grads or high school dropouts. We may not have all (or even some) of the answers, but let’s start with the three points listed below.

Commit to these things:

  • Your commitment to helping your child get online daily
  • Asking your child questions to help him think critically
  • Taking time to have fun. Play with your child and learn from him/her
  • Be a good listener
  • Be willing to learn new things

Know that this is an usual time, so have lots of teachable moments, fun, and learning something new times! Be patient with yourself, your situation and your children. Make memories that your children will talk about when they grow up. 

 

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, 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

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 28, 2020 at 6:08 pm Leave a comment

Now That I have Time to Think

One of the benefits of COVID-19 is the time that I am taking to motivate myself.
#selfcare #morningroutine

Continue Reading May 13, 2020 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Which One Are You Today?

It’s funny when your kids are small, you don’t ever want them to grow up. They are so innocent and precious and they listen to our every word. Then the day comes when they start saying things like “I’m grown, I can make my own decisions.” And you realize they are growing up and maybe you should let them (make their decisions). 

Then they change back into a non-adult! They say things like:

  • Can you pay for my phone?
  • Will you complete my FAFSA?
  • Do you have money for me to get my nails done?
  • Can you pay my car insurance?
  • Will you pay my rent?

Wait a minute!

  • I thought you were an adult?
  • Isn’t that what you told me you were?
  • What happened to “I can do this? Please stop telling me what to do!?”

This is the brain of our teenage or twenty-something kid. The problem is that they really don’t want a lessons learned talk, they kinda want to figure it out, but don’t mind asking for your money and support.

My feeling is that when your kid says, “I can do it”, it’s important to let him or her do it. I believe today’s parents don’t want their children to make the mistakes that they made. It sounds good, but isn’t realistic. Growing up means you make mistakes. I made them? You did too. It’s okay. 

Young people today don’t mind making mistakes. They don’t want to be nagged or guilt tripped, but they also want to be rescued when they’ve made a mistake. It’s doesn’t work both ways! Some lessons can only be learned through experience. A daughter who has a child without the security of marriage (against the advice of her parents), takes a risk that she will raise her child alone. A son who wants to play pro ball and decides not to go to college, takes a risk of having an injury (that keeps him from playing) and working the rest of his life as a laborer.

It’s hard watching our children make mistakes especially ones that can follow them for life. It’s harder when they tell you to butt out – let them live their life. Those are hard lessons for us as parents. However, just like our parents had to let us go and grow… we have to do the same thing. A little lesson learning never hurt anybody! Happy 2019!

Are you saying Yes when you really mean No? Click here to Join my FREE Facebook Group – Balanced Moms Club to join with other moms to receive tips about time management, organization and basic meal planning.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

January 4, 2019 at 10:14 pm 5 comments

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