7 Tools That Monitor Your Kids on Facebook

Posted by Phil

As friends of your family that care about what happens to your kids, we here at Ridgecrest Summer Camps want to empower you with tools that help you parent well. If you currently have kids on Facebook, this info may be helpful. And if your kids aren’t on Facebook yet, then chances are they will be one day, or they will be on whatever comes along next. Either way, we want you to be informed about options that are designed and available for parents just like you…

“An ongoing debate continues on how to keep younger Facebookers safe on the site, which already enforces a rule that users be at least 13 years old.

Some parents believe the easiest and most effective handling of the situation is to simply say “no” even to their kids who meet the minimum age requirement for creating accounts on the social network. Others are looking for some safe middle ground that lets them know what their children are up to online.

With that in mind, here are seven reviews of products that help monitor young ones’ activities on Facebook.”

Read more….

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Why “Giving Not Getting” is Best for Kids

Posted by Phil

by Dr. Michele Borab

University of Minnestoa study shows hidden dangers of materialism for kids. Here is parenting advice to help you tone down the gimmes and stress giving.

If you ever had even the slightest bit of guilt about saying “No” to your kids materialistic whims during these next few weeks, you can kiss that guilt away. A University of Minnesota study confirmed what every parent has instinctively known deep down: We’re not doing our kids any favors by giving in to their every whim and spending urge. Profound eh?

Deborah Roedder John and Lan Nguyen Chaplin, the lead authors of the study (published in t Journal of Consumer Reasearch) found that materialistic kids are less happy, more anxious, feel less secure, have lower self-esteem, less able to handle adversity, and are less generous and charitable.

Wow! And if that doesn’t convince you to hide that ATM card, read on:

The study also found that materialistic kids have lower opinions of their parents and argue with them more.

So now all you need is a plan halt the gimmes, and stick to it! Just think of the benefits: You’ll be saving money, be less stressed, save hours not having to shop, and boost your kids’ self-esteem! Sounds almost too good to be true. And what a perfect time to start than during the holidays.

6 Tips to Tone Down the $$$$ and Tune Up the Giving

Now I’m not suggesting you do a complete about face and cut out the presents altogether. Every kid will be out waving white flags come Christmas morning. But here are a few tips to help you put a little less emphasis on the $$$$ (i.e. “getting”) and a little more on “giving” this season and still make things reasonable.

1. Give things that boost “togetherness.” Think of gifts you do “with” one another. Board games, certificates to a movie, skating rink, tickets to a concert, exercise equipment.

2. Set limits. Put a dollar limit on just how much you’re going to spend and stick to it.

3. Require prioritizing. Set a cap on the number of gifts per kid. But warn the kiddies ahead. Tell them to think through what they really, really want and need this year. They must prioritize their wish list into their top three (or whatever number) wants. Young kids can draw their wishes.

4. Get grandparents on board. Pass on your new policy to grandparents. Suggest they give presents that will nurture their relationship with their grandkids such as a trip together, a digital camera to exchange pictures. They could also contribute to the child’s college fund.

5. Nurture a strength or skill. Instead of giving a dozen items that end up in the closet, think of gifts that could nurture your child’s strength or talent like a musical instrument, art materials, or horse-back riding lessons.

6. Be a charitable family. Find a needy family your kids can “adopt” for the season and buy presents for; bake an extra batch of cookies for the lonely neighbor next door; go caroling to a nursing home.

There are dozens of ways to rethink the holidays so our kids can learn that the real spirit of the holidays is about Giving not Receiving.  What are you doing this year to bring back a “giving spirit”?

Dr. Michele Borba, Parenting Expert

For more Practical Parenting Advice follow me on twitter @MicheleBorba or refer to my daily blog, Dr. Michele Borba’ Reality Check. You can also find dozens of research-based and practical tips to raise strong kids from the inside out in my latest book, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions.

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It Starts When You’re Young

Posted by Sharon

When I was growing up, my parents were more concerned with being able to put food on the table, not necessarily feeding my brothers and I the most healthy food.  Throughout college and the first couple years I lived on my own, I ate whatever was easy to make and least expensive because that’s how I was raised.  I am realizing that how I was raised plays a huge role in how I act today.

I am currently taking an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) class to add another level of medical care at camp.  While studying Anatomy, Physiology, and Cardiac problems, I realized how important it is to eat healthy and exercise.  The most important thing I’ve learned about Cardiac problems is that you can’t just start taking care of your heart when you are middle-aged.  You can’t reverse the plaque build up in your arteries.  It starts when you’re young!  That is why it is so important to make sure your kids are eating healthy and exercising when they are young.  They will continue those habits as they grow older because that is how they were raised.  Doesn’t this concept apply to other areas of life?  What about their friendships and relationships with the opposite sex?  How about time management if they are involved in extracurricular activities?

We focus on four areas of growth at camp-spiritual, social, mental, and physical.  We challenge our campers to be active at camp.  Your kids get to run around, go swimming, hiking, make forts, and do activities they typically don’t get to do at home.  We want to show them that exercising is fun especially when you do it in different forms like those just listed.

What activities do you do as a family?  How often are you outside with your kids?  How has your childhood affected who you are today?

Sharon Aylestock

Assistant Director, Camp Crestridge

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The Next 4 Questions About Parenting Teens

Posted by Phil

Welcome back Ridgecrest Summer Camps parents! This is the second part of the interview in a special two-part series.

Dr. Richard Ross, professor of student ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, has always had parent ministry at his heart. He has had numerous contributions to books and resources on student ministry and parent ministry. In a recent issue, Leading Adults sat down with Dr. Ross to discuss his impressions of families with teenagers.

Here are 4 questions that Dr. Ross addresses:

1) How is the teenager-parent relationship different today from in the past?

2) You have a new book out, coauthored with Ken Hemphill, Parenting with Kingdom Purpose. Just what does it mean to “parent with kingdom purpose?”

3) What can adults of older children do to prepare for parenting teenagers?

4) What are three timeless tips you can give to encourage parents of teenagers?

Read Dr. Ross’ answers here…

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Conversations About Our Treasures

Posted by Phil

We probably both agree that talking with you kids is important. As you talk to your kids this month, we at Ridgecrest Summer Camps hope that these questions will provide a few starting places for you as a parent. Below you will find different questions that are geared for specific age groups.

For Preschoolers
What is your favorite toy?
How does it make you feel when you cannot find your favorite toy?

For Children
What do you love most in the whole world?
How is that like a treasure?
How can we treat God like a treasure?

For Students
How can our possessions keep us from loving God?
What are some things you worry about? How can you give that to God?

If you get any responses that are worth sharing, we invite you to do so below…

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