Category: Teaching our kids

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.


I can only imagine what it is like to be a dedicated, enthusiastic, patient, supportive parent of an Olympic athlete. Only but a few parents get to reach this pinnacle of success with their children. But many millions of parents do exactly what Olympic athletic parents do. We get up early, cheer on our kids, drive to the middle of nowhere , talk to other parents, volunteer , raise money for our kid’s sports, and other activities.

However I know what it is like to be a helpful, dedicated parent who has, (hopefully), always been there for my kids. I volunteered as a Cub Scout leader for three years. I drove my son to numerous work sessions for his Robotic’s group. I drove my daughter to numerous swim practices, and sat in heat so hot, I thought I would melt. But that’s what a parent does. We get up early, stay late, volunteer, get out of work early, eat junk food, as we cheer on our kids.

We are always there, no matter what. I had a stroke and still managed to call my son to wish him good luck when he was 400 miles from home for the big Robotics final match. Thanks to my son’s friends, and their parents, my child made it to the final building sessions, and the upcoming matches.

That’s why I can only imagine the incredible level of determination, strength, love, support, and pride an Olympic athlete’s parents carry. People watching the Olympics are only seeing the end result of many years of hard work, determination, support and raising money for kids to get to the Olympics. We regular people are not seeing all the hard work, sweat, blood and tears the kids as well as the parents put in over many years. Olympic viewers only get  occasional glimpses of parents sitting in the stands cheering on their child. TV cameras catch a shot of a mom shaking, crying or talking out loud to her Olympic athlete as she races for the other side of the pool.

When I saw the ad of the mom driving her three kids to hockey games, I said out loud, “That’s my life–driving all over God’s creation, never getting a thank you, but having a tired child falling asleep on the way home.”

When we parents do our job as strong, loving ,caring, supportive parents even if our kids don’t stand a chance in hell of getting anywhere near the Olympics, then we know in our hearts that we are doing the right thing for our kids, helping them become the best they can be. Then our kids will learn from their experiences growing up to become successful adults. Not every child is meant to become an Olympic athlete, but for the few who do, let’s cheer them on, as well as cheer on our own kids to a succesful, victorious life!! copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns a professional writer wince 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.

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.

Here is the question I am posing to you today: Is it better to volunteer for your kids’ activities or it better to not volunteer?

Many eons ago when I was a kid growing up parents did not volunteer to be timers, coaches, or group leaders. Okay, there were some parents who did this, but I have to say parents were not as involved with kids’ schools, and activities as they are today.Kids are used to seeing their parents as well as other parents volunteering at their schools on many occasions.

Maybe it is a truly great thing that parents are volunteering, helping their kids, because without so many volunteers, many groups, and activities would not be able to function properly, or we parents would be paying more money for our kids to belong to these groups.

So I came up with five cons and five pros for and against parents volunteering:


1. Parents with a lot of kids may never get a moment off.

2. Start feeling like you could do this as your job.

3. Sooner or later you will get the illness the kids have been carrying for weeks now.

4. You don’t get to watch much nighttime TV, (is that such as bad thing?).

5. You may be asked to give more than you have the time or money for.


1. You get to see your kids more often.

2. You will establish relationships with teachers and coaches.

3. You may even become a mentor  to the kids.

4. You will develop a better lifestyle, thus feeling better about yourself.

5. You can use your volunteerism on a resume, making you look good for that promotion.

In the end it’s up to you. While you may spend countless hours volunteering, in the end becoming a parent volunteer will help you build a stronger relationship with your kids, your spouse, and your community. Besides, single parents, this is a great way to meet other single parents.And of course this is a way for new parents to make new friends.

One of the toughest things a parent faces is sending a child off to college. It’s tough to let your baby walk out of the house, possibly living hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles away from your protective, loving arms. While you may cry, feel depressed, and miss seeing your baby every day, it does get better.

How can you allow your child to go off to college, leaving the nest to lead her own life?

1. You have to allow your child the freedom to start a life of her own. You just have to face it. It’s tough, but mom and dad, you have to allow your child to go on this exciting opportunity.

2. Make some rules for your college age child. In other words, set limits, for your child, so that she will still have boundaries, knowing you still love her. But walk the thin line, mom and dad, set realistic limits.

3. Call or text your child at least once a week. During the first year, she may not want to hear from you at all—loving her new freedom. She may also be horribly homesick and whine everyday. Still you may have the college freshman who is homesick, but never tells you there are any problems. Texting is cooler than calling!!

4. Visit your child at school, and make certain she comes home for the holidays. During a non busy weekend plan to visit her. This way your college child will know you love and support her, but that you are not bugging her.

5. Take action to fill the void of your college age child away at school. Even though you tell yourself you will not miss your baby, you will. Sometimes this is tougher on dads who won’t acknowledge these feelings. Take action now by joining groups, going for walks, starting a new hobby.

6.Change that now empty bedroom into a room you will enjoy such as a hobby room, entertainment room, possibly an office. Either that or close the door until your baby comes back home to visit.

7. Ask your college kid to send pictures via technology—- cellphones,Skype, the Internet, which you are probably paying the bills for anyways. Pics of her dorm room, her friends, herself, pics of her school, etc. Now, you get a glimpse into the exciting life your college child is now leading.

8. Be supportive of your college child who is enjoying her new freedom. She may have left the nest, but you can still love her from afar. Call her, Skype her with the entire family present. If other family members are not present, have other siblings call, text her. Ask Grandparents to call her. Be supportive by listening to her problems and do not complain about your own. Send her care packages, filled with new clothing, cookies.

Remember—- have a good sense of humor parents of college bound kids. You might need it, if you suddenly see your child being roused from a college party on the reality TV show, “Campus Cops.”