Category: Raising pre-teens


I was sickened  after hearing  the story of the 12-year-old New Jersey girl who was murdered by two teenage brothers. I felt I had to take action. Two brothers who are 15 and 17,  murdered a 12-year-old girl in their home. They lured her into their home on the promise of giving her parts for her BMX bike. What I also discovered is that this 12-year-old girl loved her BMX bike so much so that she talked about it on Facebook, and these two freepers read this online , and decided to kill her.

I was so sickened by what these two boys did to this 12-year-old girl, named Autumn Pasquale, that I had to tell you parents how to keep your kids safe:

1. Do not allow your kids to go on Facebook or Twitter until they are 15. No kids younger than 13 should be allowed on Facebook. Kids become obsessed with these social networks, they insult each other , tease, bully. Young children and teens are not equipped with reasoning abilities or the ability to mentally walk away from taunts, threats, and viciousness other kids will do.

2.  Keep your kids safe by monitoring their location all day and night.Check in with your kids periodically. Call your child on her cellphone to find out how she is and where she is. Have your child come home several times a day to have a check in time. Any child under the age of 13 is usually not old enough to know about bad people out there.

3. Tell your kids to NOT go into the homes of strangers. Tell them it is okay to go into a friend’s home. But do not allow them to go into strangers’ homes. Remember stranger danger when you were a kid? Well, teach it to your kids, even if they are older than 13!

4. Have your kids hang out at your house when you are home. Then you will get to meet your kid’s friends. You will discover who they are hanging out with, what your kid’s interests are, and what they do with their friends.

5.  Keep your kids safe by buying them  cellphones, and have them call you every hour if you will be away from home a lot. For working parents, cellphones are a Godsend. I never believed in buying my younger kids cellphones, but cellphones may help save a life, or help the police track where your child is.

6. Tell your kids to always ask you if it is okay to go to someone’s home. Make sure they are always communicating with you. In today’s world of unreality TV, violent video games where people are shot, murdered and the killer keeps going unscathed, it may look cool to kids to do this in real life.

7. Also tell your kids to call you and tell you where they are at all times. I realize you will come off as Big Brother, or a Nutjob parent, but do want your kids to stay alive and safe?

8.Monitor you kids online usage. I know it’s pretty much a joke to monitor your kids online, because there are so many sites, and they outlast you well into the night. But, do try to monitor them. Tell them to go to bed at night. Take away the computer. Set down rules, so they stay safe!

In today’s violent, nasty world, you as a parent must protect your kids. Keep your kids safe, even if it means you become the uncool, pain in the butt parent. You’re better off knowing your kids are safe and okay rather than becoming the next target for some mental patient! Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns, who has been a professional freelance writer since 2004.

Advertisements

My daughter has reached the turbulent, hormone crazed teen years. As I’m sure your child will soon reach, or perhaps you have already been through  this hellish nightmare while going through menopausal mood swings.

When my kids were younger they were a lot easier to deal with. It was fun to play hide ‘n’ seek, go to the zoo numerous times a year, and have a young child ask me to take her to the beach or the pool.

NOT ANYMORE

Those, fun, child-like years, where mom got to have some fun  are gone. My eldest child is busy  studying for college tests,and finding his path in life.  My youngest is a hormonal mess of nightmare proportions, where I find myself lingering too long at stores to avoid going home, facing a tantrum throwing person who used to be my best buddy.

Reality hit home last year when my daughter was 12, and she refused to go to what used to be our favorite place—the pool. My daughter loved to swim, diving all the way to the bottom of nine feet of water, without any qualms, retrieving  plastic swim rings, or jumping in the water with the glee only a young child can have.

Now when I say, “Do you want to go to the pool?” the answer is almost always , “No.” With summer heat-giving its last hurrah of the year, I am doing housework, wistfully thinking of years gone by when my daughter was a small child who brought much delight to us all. She was the one, after all, that made us feel like a family.

She was the one that ran from the car to the water’s edge at the beach, jumping in with all of her clothes on, as I yelled, “We can’t swim here, there’s no lifeguard.”She was the carefree child who ran up and down the beach’s shore kicking water at her older brother until he would yell, “Hey cut it out!” Which of course was followed by the two of them kicking water at each other, and splashing each other until they were both soaked. Usually they would get me soaked in the process, as I tried in vain, to get them out of the water, due to being on an unguarded section of beach.

But now I have been relegated to—-not seen with status. When I asked my 13 YO daughter to go to the beach or our once favorite spot—the pool, she would sullenly explode with, “No, I don’t want to be seen with you, at the pool.”

One time, she nastily said, “Someone from school might see me.”After the initial shock wore off, I  shook it off saying to my daughter, “Do you want to live your life in fear, or enjoy the life you have?” So, I went to the pool alone, enjoying time spent out of the house, where I spend many hours doing housework, researching, and writing.

Recently, when I asked my daughter if she wanted to go shopping for new school clothes she answered, “No, I don’t want to be seen with you.”

So, I figured I saved a lot of money NOT buying my daughter any new clothes for school.

Why does it seem that there are a multitude of parenting blogs for parents of babies and young children? What did I miss something? Do we parents stop being parents once our kids reach the magical age of 10? I am completely serious about this. I have not read, seen, heard of , found or determined that there are many blogs out there for parents of older kids.

It’s getting to the point where we parents of older kids are being prejudiced against. It’s kind of like discrimination in the workplace; only this time it is discrimination on the Internet. Does this mean that every parent  becomes an expert at parenting and doesn’t need to write about parenting anymore?

Many parents feel lost when they become new parents. When a parent becomes a first time parent, their entire world changes, and they must flow with the changes, becoming responsible people. That means all of these new parents are looking for answers. Thus they turn to other parents for help, by reading blogs, magazines, books, seeking expert advice, and other parents’ advice.

But why is it that when a child reaches a certain age, about 10, suddenly parents drop off the writing circuit, and stop writing about their kids? Are they too busy to write anymore? Are they worried their kids will find their blogs, websites, books and read them, becoming upset? Are parents working 80 hours a week unable to get to the nearest computer?

Has anyone else noticed that there are hardly any parents out there on the Internet, on TV, writing magazine articles, or books about pre-teens, teenage children and about young adult children? It has become annoying to realize that there is not an ounce of helpful advice out there for parents, unless that parent has numerous relatives, or has lived in the same place for her entire life keeping the same friends. I realize that new parents need helpful advice, because they are raising babies and are usually going through this for the first time.

I ‘ve got to tell you that parenting is a lifelong process. Kids become more complicated the older they get.
Parents need useful information for their preteen and teenage kids too.Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns, a professional writer since 2004.

I saw a super funny Facebook message the other day where a parent was making a major statement about kids, and how they act.  It said—-“when my kids get older I’m going to move in with them, sleep till noon, never pick up anything, stay in my room 24-7, not help with any housework, expect maid service,  free Wi-Fi, and cable TV.”

Our children live with us parents until they reach that magical age of maturity when they move out. But sometimes we parents build nests that are too comfortable for our baby birds. Many parents are complaining that their kids will not leave home. Mom and Dad want their independence back, but don’t get it due to the current state of the lousy economy. There are millions of different stories with kids going away to college, coming home, not finding a good job.

All I have to say is when my kids get really great jobs, my expectations are not that lofty. I expect to be treated as fairly as I have treated them. So that means–I don’t have to do any housework. If I am told to do housework, I will complain profusely about said housework, and take an entire day to do one thing. I expect to have all of my food prepared for me, and all of my dishes cleaned by my kids. I expect to have my utility bills paid for, including my car, house insurance, and I’m going to need free Wi-Fi, free cable, air conditioning, heat, a heated pool, and free food.

I might get a job to help out, thus only paying my bills, buying my clothes, eating out, paying for my car including gas, repairs, insurance, etc.

I am not threatening my kids with the things our parents said back in our youth of “I hope your kids turn out just like you someday!” Nope, I’m threatening my kids with—” I’m moving in with you someday and I expect to be treated just like I treated you.”

Does that mean my kids will be yelling at me to go bed before the sun rises, and that I need to get up before noon? Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns, a professional writer wince 2004.

When your kids start pushing you as a parent away it hurts. I think it hurts moms more than it does  dads–because for the most part dads are tough he-men kind of guys who don’t show or express their feelings. (stereotype–maybe) When a mom is pushed away from her kids that hurts.

It doesn’t hit the gut either, it hurts right in the heart! Teenagers will do everything they can to push us parents away because they are discovering who they are, what life is about. But when your kids start asserting their independence when they are younger,  that comes as a shock to a mom.

My son started pushing me away when he was in second grade. I was driving him to school, and I stopped walking  him into school realizing he didn’t need his mom to do that anymore. But one day when I pulled up in front of the school, leaned over to hug him, saying “Have a good day.” I was met with a slamming car door.

I drove home feeling rejection spreading through my entire body and especially that area where my heart pumps blood through my body. I physically felt pain in my chest. My head was still reeling with this immense feeling of rejection and  I felt like it was kind of spinning with intensity. My son had slammed the car door on me as I was leaning over to hug him!

I realized he didn’t want his mom hugging or kissing him anymore, especially in a public place. And I realized he did not want any of his friends, classmates seeing this hugging of mom from the tough guys at school. Good God! What was I thinking hugging my child in public, where kids could see this and use it against my son to bully an already tall, skinny child  considered a geek!

So I moved on, as much as a hover mom could, allowing my son to walk to school on his own when he was in fourth grade. I let him have his personal space. I let him walk home alone in fifth grade, and worried about him if he was late. I also complained profusely when my ninth grader had to walk half a mile to get the bus in the dark, snow and cold, down a seriously busy street, mind you, but I did it.

I let him have his personal space and tried my best to let my child have his independence. Now it’s happening again with my second child doing everything she can to push mom away. Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns a professional writer since 2004.

 

Parents teach your kids to think for themselves.

When my husband and I moved from a big city to a medium-sized city I became a stay at home mom, even though we couldn’t afford to do so. What I noticed was kids not thinking for themselves. Kids  are taught in public schools to work in groups, go with the crowd, do as everyone else does, and basically to not think for themselves.

So, I am putting out a call to action parents, that you must teach your kids to think for themselves. Kids are taught from the time they enter pre-school to work with a group, to work with their friends. What I’m seeing in public schools, and with many kids today, is that they are just following each other. It does not help that kids are following each other and big name stars on Twitter, Facebook and other social media.What it comes down to is kids follow each other, and seem to be very much like the character in the Wizard of Oz; The Tin Man who didn’t have a brain.

It is up to you mom and dad, to teach your kids to think for themselves. You must teach your kids to not always follow what everyone says and does. That’s what makes kids able to function in society.Raise a leader, not a follower. Tell your kids that if they don’t like what the other kids are saying or doing to walk away, or to not engage in that activity.

Just because there are numerous social networking sites on the Internet and numerous reality Tv shows enabling our children to become followers of self promotional stunts, drinking excessively, doing drugs does not mean you have to raise a follower.

Teach your kids to think and stand up for themselves. Raise a pack of leaders. Leaders led our great nation of America into what truly makes America a great nation. If it had not been for leaders thinking for themselves over 200 years ago, there would not be an America.

Teach your kids to think for themselves, otherwise they will follow you around the house, watch a lot of TV, and never let you get any work done. If you teach your kids to think for themselves, thus becoming strong, independent people, you are ensuring successful adults with great futures.Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns a professional writer sicne 2004!

The parents of small children are getting away with murder.It’s sick, it’s unjust, and it is happening all over the United States. When Casey Anthony was allowed to walk free because the case of her allegedly killing her daughter Caylee Anthony was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words the prosecution could not place Casey Anthony at the scene murdering her child.

Yes, I know what I am saying sounds horrible, and I am placing blame on a young mother, but obviously something is wrong with the fact that Casey Anthony was allowed to walk out of jail and to live her life in freedom after her daughter died, and she lied about the child’s whereabouts. She lied about who took her child. She went out and partied like it was 1999, and had a great time doing exactly what she wanted without having to take care of her precious little daughter.

Now, almost on a daily basis, we are seeing that more children are suddenly missing from their homes. They are gone, without a trace. And I for one am blaming the widely publicized Casey Anthony case for this rash of missing children. If this case had not been pushed at people by the media on a daily basis, then we would not have known so much about this case. People learned how to murder a small child, and then how to cover up the crime. In a sense I am blaming this oversensationalized case, and the media for publicizing the Casey Anthony case everyday.

Since Casey Anthony walked out of jail and is living a life of freedom, many small children across the United States have become missing. This is happening to little kids, and it is sick. And yes, I am allowing my emotions to get the better of me. But someone has to speak up for the small children who are becoming faces of the missing seen on posters, and on the side of milk cartons.

It’s to the point where I do not want to watch the news anymore at all. I just want to put blinders on, so I can’t see what horrible things parents are doing to their small, helpless, unable to defend themselves children.

My mother warned me that public school systems have been dumbing down our kids for years.

How do I know schools are dumbing down our kids?

I am seeing it happening firsthand. My kids are being taught a less than stellar education. They think I am being mean, or hyper critical when I edit their language arts skills, or lack thereof. My kids think I’m being unreasonable when I tell them to write coherent sentences, using complete sentences, and correct grammar. When my mother attended school many years ago, she told me she had a class size of about 40 students. The teachers were strict. Kids had to learn, or they were not allowed to pass onto the next grade. Today,  kids are passed up to the next grade, even though they can’t complete a simple sentence, and do not have any knowledge of American history.

In today’s public schools, kids are offered a myriad of learning options, that have nothing to do with gaining a basic education, such as learning how to dance, learning about other countries, and they are offered several languages they may never use such as Mandarin. Although, I am upset over public school budget cuts, removing all the “extras” from my daughter’s school system such as computer keyboarding, and other languages kids may need to know such as Spanish.

My mother was taught at a small public school many, many years ago. The kids at this small school were not offered numerous sports, and group activities. But she has perfect penmanship. She gained a wonderful knowledge of the English language. My Mother was taught our country’s history, so that she would have a working knowledge of how our government works, and what previous history America had.

In my Mother’s day in school, kids were also taught more useful business skills, of typing, writing business letters, how to act professionally at work, and how to dress at work.  When I was in high school professional skills were not taught, but typing was offered. Professionalism is not taught at public schools today. Sad to say, public schools are dumbing down not only the system but our kids as well.

I want my kids to have a great life. But I also know how hard it is on kids today with being bullied. I was bullied, and given a hard time when I was in middle school. It wasn’t an experience I would ever want anyone to go through. Because I was shy, skinny and tall I was given garbage by kids until I reached about 16.

It was rough. It is worse for teenagers and young adults today, because kids are ganging up on each other on social networks. They threaten, taunt and terrorize kids at school, in school hallways, anywhere and everywhere where teachers,school officials, and cameras are not present to see what is happening.The problem is many kids will just follow a larger kid, or the captain of the football team because they do not want to be ousted from the group.

My parents always told me to treat other people as I would want to be treated. I decided well into middle age, that I want to treat other people with respect, and friendliness. It’s something you would expect from other people right?

With the growth of social networks, kids think it doesn’t matter what they are saying. Teens think things like, ” Who cares what I say to someone else when I can’t see that person and they can’t see me. I can say whatever I want, and do whatever I want.”

But when one teenager is going through a difficult time, it is time for teenagers to stop and think. It is not normal to not accept other people because they are different from you. That’s what makes the world a great place; having different life experiences to lead a fulfilling, awesome life.

Parents need to start teaching their kids to be leaders, not followers. Parents, teachers and school administrators also need to teach kids to respect themselves and other people, and to accept other people’s differences.

Maybe kids should be faced with living life in another person’s shoes for one day to see what it is like to live the life of someone who is really thin, overweight or not popular. copyright 2011, written by Kate Johns who is a talented professional freelance author, who has been writing  since 2004!