Category Archives for "Tips & Encouragement"

Little by little, we need to introduce our kids to the concepts of goal-setting, time management and self control. What better way to do that than to teach them how to create a realistic weekly schedule? Learn a step-by-step method for how your kids can create their own schedules! This scheduling method is easy and adaptable to fit any child, tween or teen!

How to Teach Kids to Manage Their Own Schedules

Back to school means back to routine. And this school year, my kids are managing their own schedules. 

Sound crazy? Maybe. But I’m learning that my kids are capable of way more than I think they are (I’m guessing your kids are too).

The truth is that everyday our kids get one step closer to adulthood, and that as good parents, we must slowly hand our children the reigns to their life. They’ve got to learn the life skills they need to survive as successful adults.

Don’t you want your kids to experiment with important life skills like self-management while you’re there to guide them through it? I do.

Little by little, we need to introduce our kids to the concepts of goal-setting, time management and self control.

What better way to do that than to teach them how to create a realistic weekly rhythm?

Little by little, we need to introduce our kids to the concepts of goal-setting, time management and self control. What better way to do that than to teach them how to create a realistic weekly schedule? Learn a step-by-step method for how your kids can create their own schedules! This scheduling method is easy and adaptable to fit any child, tween or teen!

Why I Want My Kids to Learn About Scheduling

1) I want my kids to experiment firsthand with the power of saying no to one thing so they can say yes to something else.

2) I want my children to see how much free time they really do have, and how to best use that free time wisely.

3) I want to teach my kids how to build successful habits into their everyday routines, and how those little habits produce big results.

4) I want them to have input to their daily rhythm so they have more respect for it and are more likely to follow it.

5) I want to show them that schedules serve us, not the other way around.

Man, I wish someone had taught me these things when I was kid! I had to figure out much of this on my own as an adult.

Do you want to teach your kids life skills like goal-setting, self-management and the importance of daily habits?

If so, learning to create (and manage) their own weekly routine is an excellent way to teach these skills!

Click “next” to learn practical tips and a step-by-step approach for how to teach your kids to create their own schedules!

It can be easy, and I want to show you how!

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Commitment—it’s such an important character trait for kids to learn! How can we both model commitment and give kids hands-on experience learning about commitment? Be inspired with these great tips and practical tools for all parents!

11 Practical Ways to Teach Kids About Commitment

Character traits like commitment aren’t born in us, but are purposely developed.

How can we help our kids develop this very important life skill?

How can we share with them both the importance of commitment and the practical steps to developing commitment?

In my own experience, I’ve found that kids learn character traits through both strong modeling and active participation.

We must show them what commitment looks like, and we must purposely give them opportunities for this rich treasure to develop in their hearts.

I want to give you 11 simple ways to do that in this post!

Commitment—it’s such an important character trait for kids to learn! How can we both model commitment and give kids hands-on experience learning about commitment? Be inspired with these great tips and practical tools for all parents!

4 Ways to Model Commitment to Kids

1) Maintain a strong marriage.

How do we persevere during the hardest moments of marriage? How do we handle conflict? Marriage can be extremely challenging, but do our kids see us working together to solve issues? Just things to think about.

2) Set big goals and work hard toward them.

Whether it’s a goal to lose 20 pounds or to learn a new hobby, our kids learn so much from us as they see us persevere toward our own goals.

Be real with your kids through the struggle to stay committed to your goals! I believe it’s just as important for them to see us standing strong as it is for us to admit the challenges of commitment.

3) Show them unconditional grace.

How do we respond when a child falls short? While it’s important to correct (and sometimes that correction includes discipline), I believe it’s equally important to shower a child with unconditional love which demonstrates not only our commitment to him as a parent, but God’s commitment to him.

4) Share inspiring real-world stories of others.

Thankfully, our world is filled with amazing stories of folks who chose to persevere through difficult challenges and stay committed to a goal. My kids and I spoke about this at length as we watched the recent Summer Olympics.

Our family also reads books (and watches movies) like these that share these incredible stories of perseverance and loyalty.

8 Hands-On Ways to Teach Kids About Commitment 

Want kids to see first hand what commitment means? Have them set a goal, try something new and start working toward it!

Here are some ideas:

1) Get them involved in daily household chores.

Chores are a great way to tangibly teach kids about the ongoing commitment to keep the family home running. Here’s some ideas on age-appropriate chores and some chore lists.

2) Have them take care of a pet.

Whether it’s caring for farm animals, a family cat or dog, or even a fish, the daily responsibilities of animal ownership certainly teach commitment.

Last year my son raised a pig as a 4-H project and wow, did that grow his character development! There were many times he wanted to quit, but he had to learn the importance of committing to the end since he’d already decided to raise the pig for the fair. He told me at the end that it was hard work, but he’s excited to do it again next year.

3) Work together on a big home project.

What great treasures can be learned from tackling a kitchen remodel as a family or maintaining a garden together!

4) Teach them a sport or an instrument.

Daily practices teach both commitment and the joy of accomplishment.

5) Play difficult board games or put puzzles together.

Even learning to play chess or putting together a 500-piece puzzle teaches commitment. There’s great value in finishing something, especially when it’s difficult!

6) Offer regular challenges.

We parents must master the fine art of encouraging kids just beyond what they think they can do. Perhaps that’s asking them to complete a difficult math problem, asking him to read especially challenging literature, or even taking them on a short-term missions trip.

7) Develop a schedule for your child.

Here’s how my kids manage their own schedules (and yours can too!). This is a great way to teach how commitment works hand-in-hand with planning and self-management!

8) Encourage patience with siblings and/or those who may be different.

Some of my kids have a hard time getting along because their personalities are so different. And yet, by teaching them to get along and love each other (despite the differences), we’re teaching them that commitment is not conditional on behavior.

A verse I find myself quoting a lot around my house is Ephesians 4:2-3: “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”

Commitment is one of those great character traits that grows little by little, layer by layer as we encourage our kids to step out and try new challenges.

What ideas do you have for teaching commitment to your kids? Let’s share them in the comments below!

Other Posts on Teaching Kids Life Skills:

30 Books and Movies That Teach Perseverance

Wow... what a great list to have to encourage kids! 30 Books and Movies that Teach Perseverance Vibrant Homeschooling

Raising World Changers: 38 Bible Verses to Teach Kids About Wisdom

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Simple 5 Step Method to Teach Kids to Study the Bible

How can you teach your kids how to not just READ the Bible during personal Bible study time but to UNDERSTAND IT? Here's an easy, 5-step process called the "5 Rs" that my kids and I use to glean deep spiritual truths. Includes a FREE BOOKMARK PRINTABLE CRAFT!

8 Powerful Ways to Teach Our Kids About Ownership

Ownership: It’s the idea that my life is my own, which entails both freedom and responsibility. How can we introduce this critical concept to our children so that they can be successful, mature adults? Here are 8 ways to introduce ownership from bestselling author and international speaker Tim Elmore.

 

Your Turn:

In your family’s current life situation, what may God be wanting to teach your children (and you) about commitment?

How can you intentionally build opportunities into your children’s life so that they can grow in commitment? 

You hear the fighting. The yelling. The temper tantrums. AGAIN. While anger will never fully go away, kids CAN learn to manage their anger (and so can we!) Learn four simple steps to help kids calm down, understand angry emotions, determine if they have anger habits and assess if they deal with anger guilt. If you’re a mom, you need these to help kids deal with anger, fighting and temper tantrums!

Got an Angry Child? 4 Steps to Help Kids Manage Anger

You hear the fighting. The yelling. The temper tantrums. AGAIN.

Sighing, you walk into your child’s bedroom to find two angry faces (and fingers pointed at each other).

And now, you’re tasked with sorting out all the emotions (while still managing your own mommy anger).

Some days, motherhood feels like being a referee at a hockey match, right?!

But here’s the thing: While anger will never fully go away, kids CAN learn to manage their anger (and so can we!)

You hear the fighting. The yelling. The temper tantrums. AGAIN. While anger will never fully go away, kids CAN learn to manage their anger (and so can we!) Learn four simple steps to help kids calm down, understand angry emotions, determine if they have anger habits and assess if they deal with anger guilt. If you’re a mom, you need these to help kids deal with anger, fighting and temper tantrums!

Hundreds of women all over the world have found freedom from anger through my powerful 7-day anger course for moms.

Learn more about this innovative course here!

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And, friend, many of the principles from this course can help kids manage their anger too.

The four steps I’m sharing below will help a child:

  • calm down when they’re angry
  • get to the root of what they’re feeling
  • figure out what to do with angry emotions
  • determine if they have anger habits
  • assess if they deal with anger guilt

Click “next” to learn these easy steps that will empower your kids!

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Our kids, our family, our life as mom--these things are supposed to bring us joy, right?! But instead they make us SO ANGRY sometimes!! What in the world can we do about that?

That Makes Me MAD! How to Tackle Mommy Anger Triggers

A few years ago I noticed that I was angry. A LOT.

Can you relate?

I felt trapped, stuck and tired of my angry self.

My kids, my family, my life as a homeschool momthese things were supposed to bring me joy, right?!

But instead they just made me SO ANGRY sometimes!! And I had no idea what to do about that.

Our kids, our family, our life as mom--these things are supposed to bring us joy, right?! But instead they make us SO ANGRY sometimes!! What in the world can we do about that?

Through much prayer and trial and error, God has grown me immensely since that time.

And now, I want to share with you what he’s taught me about anger–specifically about dealing with anger triggers.

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3 Steps to Tackling Mommy Anger Triggers

1) Discover what makes you mad.

We need to give ourselves permission to identify and accept what we’re angry about.

We need to understand that what we’re feeling is real, and lay it all out on the table.

When I identified my key anger triggers, my answers weren’t surprising (and I’m guessing you can relate to more than a few of these?!) but, nevertheless, it felt GREAT to have them written down on paper:

  • ungrateful hearts
  • whining and complaining
  • lack of obedience and willful defiance
  • fighting amongst my children

2) Accept these two facts about mommy anger.

I noticed two very important things about my biggest mom triggers (and, friend, you’ve got to notice them too because they are the lynchpin here!). Ready?

  • I wasn’t in control of whether or not the triggers would come; and

  • I wasn’t in control of whether or not they were going to change (and my being angry about them certainly wasn’t helping them to change).

However, my transformation in dealing with mom anger started by accepting this thought:

I can’t control whether or not the triggers come, but I can control my response to the triggers.

When I realized that I was in control of (and responsible for) my responses, I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel–and was ready for help!

3) Get long term help.

Dealing with anger is a process. It requires that we not only learn about anger triggers but other things, such as:

  • how to turn up the calm 
  • how to deal with in-the-moment anger when it strikes
  • what to do when we yell at our kids and mess up 
  • how to turn anger moments into teachable moments

We have to not only learn these strategies, but develop plans that are customized to our personal family issues and our own anger triggers.Can I share with you what’s working for me (and many other moms) and help you through this process?

“It’s Time to Take Control of Mommy Anger” (VIDEO)

It takes time, a plan and an encouraging community to deal with mommy anger.

I want to help you find a way out–more than just tips in a blog post.LARGE-7DLAM-logo-image

You’re personally invited to join us in the “7 Days to a Less Angry Mom” course.

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Learn more about your anger triggers and find REAL FREEDOM from mommy anger.

You can find out more about this life-changing, biblically-based course here.

I understand what you’re going through, and I want to walk this road with you to healing!

Learn more about the “7 Days to a Less Angry Mom” course!

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With hope and excitement for YOU,

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I've heard this over and over from moms everywhere: I never knew I had anger issues until I had children. You understand, right? We're not abusive or violent. But darn it, those kids can trigger anger in us like no one else. Here's my story... and what I'm doing to FINALLY CONTROL MY MOMMY ANGER.

Mommy Anger: My Confession and Why You’re NOT Alone

welcome

I’ve heard this over and over from moms everywhere: 

I never knew I had anger issues until I had children.

You understand, right? We’re not abusive or violent. But darn it, those kids can trigger anger in us like no one else.

I am NOT perfect, but WOW, I have been learning a lot about this lately and have really grown a lot in this area. Even my kids are noticing the difference (more on that in a minute)!

I know that it’s hard to deal with mom anger, and friend, I WANT TO HELP YOU.

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I want to share some anger strategies that work, tell you about an amazing new course to tackle mommy anger I’ve developed and so much more!

 

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But MOST OF ALL…

I want to offer loads of grace if mom anger is something you struggle with too.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Let’s work through this together.

 

I've heard this over and over from moms everywhere: I never knew I had anger issues until I had children. You understand, right? We're not abusive or violent. But darn it, those kids can trigger anger in us like no one else.

 

We’re going to talk about:

  • Three powerful ways to control in-the-moment anger (who doesn’t need that?!); and
  • The critical fact we must remember when dealing with mommy anger!

 

This is just a small part of what we discuss in the “7 Days to a Less Angry Mom” online course!

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But first, I want to give you a FREE teaching on mommy anger (just click “next” below).

It’s time to get real, ladies, and to get REAL solutions! Who’s with me?!

Click next and let’s get going!

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What do you do after you've blown up at your kids? You want to apologize for your anger, but you also want them to know that their behavior was unacceptable, right? As a mom of four kids, I can completely relate! How can we apologize for our angry actions while still communicating our frustration? How can we turn mommy anger into a teachable moment? You’ve got to try this simple, 5-step method!

5 Steps to Turn Mommy Anger Into a Teachable Moment

welcome

 

What do you do after you’ve blown up at your kids?

You want to apologize for your anger, but you also want them to know that their behavior was unacceptable, right?

As a mom of four kids, I can completely relate!

How do we apologize for our angry actions while still communicating our frustration?

How can we turn our anger into a moment of connection with our kids?

What do you do after you've blown up at your kids? You want to apologize for your anger, but you also want them to know that their behavior was unacceptable, right? As a mom of four kids, I can completely relate! How can we apologize for our angry actions while still communicating our frustration? How can we turn mommy anger into a teachable moment? You’ve got to try this simple, 5-step method!

I want to share an incredible 5-step method for transforming your mommy anger into a teachable moment!

You’ll learn how to:

  • Apologize effectively for your actions
  • Help your children see their mistakes (in a grace-filled way)
  • Guide them towards better behavior
  • Offer forgiveness and God’s hope
  • Grow closer than ever to your child!

Since every mom deals with anger, every mom needs this method!

You won’t believe how powerful this can be!

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You yelled at your kids. Again. You didn’t mean to speak so harshly, but the words fell out of your mouth in an angry blaze and there seemed to be no stopping them. It’s happened before. Too many times to count. And the longer the cycle continues, the more out of control you feel, right? I can completely relate! Let me show you a beautiful new perspective and plan for dealing with anger’s aftermath. Go here to get started!

Got Mommy Anger Guilt? Powerful Tips for the Hope and Healing You Need

welcome

You yelled at your kids. Again.

You didn’t mean to speak so harshly, but the words fell out of your mouth in an angry blaze and there seemed to be no stopping them.

Besides, that child really got you MAD! You had a great reason to yell!

And yet… bottom line, you know that your anger flare up wasn’t right.

Now you’re left with this horrible mix of:

  • justification (“They deserved to hear those words!”),
  • guilt (“I’m setting a terrible example for my kids.”),
  • condemnation (“That was a really awful thing to say.”),
  • self-loathing (“I’m horrible for treating my kids that way.”) and
  • hopelessness (“I want to change, but I have no idea how to break this cycle.”).

And the longer the cycle continues, the more out of control you feel, right?You got angry at your kids. Again. You didn’t mean to speak so harshly, but the words fell out of your mouth in an angry blaze and there seemed to be no stopping them. It’s happened before. Too many times to count. And the longer the cycle continues, the more out of control you feel, right? I can completely relate! Let me show you a beautiful new perspective and plan for dealing with anger’s aftermath. Go here to get started!

Oh, I have been there, dear momma!

As a mom to four passionate and feisty little ones, I have responded in anger many, many times when I shouldn’t have. 

And I understand that heavy burden that still remains inside a mom (even after she’s asked for forgiveness and everyone else has moved on).

You want freedom–freedom from the condemning guilt, and freedom from mommy anger itself.

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Totally get it!

Here’s how I want to help:

  1. I want you to see that you’re not alone in this. Every mom struggles here.
  2. I want to explain the difference between conviction and condemnation (critical to getting freedom here!)
  3. I want to give you a FREE Printable that will remind you of 6 important truths to keep you from going down the anger spiral. 

This freebie is an amazingly powerful tool that you can use everyday to reframe your thinking when you’re stuck in the anger spiral.

But first, we need to get something straight…

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Random acts of kindness for kids are really fun! Best of all, they encourage kids to think outside of themselves and begin asking,

67 Awesome Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Kids

welcome

Are you here to get some awesome and inspiring acts of kindness ideas?

Great! Then you’re in the right place because we’ve got over 67 incredible ways that kids can show kindness!

Acts of kindness are a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate love in action to those in our family, our community and our world… and they’re really fun!

Best of all, random acts of kindness for kids encourage kids to think outside of themselves and begin asking, “How can my life change others?” Kindness acts encourage kids to think like world changers!

Here’s everything you need to know to perform your own acts of kindness with your kids–plus 67 amazing ideas!

Random acts of kindness for kids are really fun! Best of all, they encourage kids to think outside of themselves and begin asking, "How can my life change others?" Kindness acts encourage kids to think like world changers! Here's everything you need to know to perform your own acts of kindness with your kids, plus 67 AWESOME KINDNESS IDEAS!

What’s A Random Act of Kindness?

An act of kindness is just that–something unexpected done by one person that blesses someone else. Sometimes these acts of kindness are done anonymously (or not). And sometimes a person personally knows the person receiving the kindness act (and sometimes not)!

No matter what you decide to do, if you’re helping someone else, you’re performing an act of kindness!

How to Plan Your Own Acts of Kindness

Plan your activities around random acts of kindness annual holidays.

February 17–Random Acts of Kindness Day (recognized in the US)

September 1–Random Acts of Kindness Day (internationally recognized)

Your Vibrant Family hosted a 30 Days of Kindness challenge last February with week-by-week challenges! You can still see the Bible verses,
family discussion activities and all kinds of random act of kindness ideas shared in these 5 posts (one per week).

Plan acts of kindness during the Christmas season.

The holidays are a natural time to give to others unconditionally! Penny shared her family’s favorite ways to countdown to Advent with 25 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness; and Renae from Every Star Is Different shares hers here and here.

Make random acts of kindness a regular habit.

Some families challenge themselves to do one act of kindness project a month. Renae shares here how her family planned a year of acts of kindness activities.

 

Now… let’s get to that MASSIVE LIST of random acts of kindness ideas!

Click next to see all inspiring kindness ideas from real-world families!

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We all love random acts of kindness, right? What a blessing when someone does a kind deed for us... and when we're able to put our love in action by sharing a kindness with someone else! And since February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, Your Vibrant Family is hosting a 30 Day Random Acts of Kindness Challenge throughout February! Join YVF each week for a stress free and fun challenge with suggested activities around that week’s theme, along with discussion questions and Bible verses! Do as much or as little as you’d like—customize it and make it work for your family!

30 Day Random Acts of Kindness Challenge

We all love random acts of kindness, right? What a blessing when someone does a kind deed for us… and when we’re able to put our love in action by sharing a kindness with someone else!

About a year and a half ago, we ran a 30 day kindness challenge on the site and it was a hit. I loved hearing your random acts of kindness stories (and seeing my kids step out of their comfort zone in new ways).

And since February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, we’re bringing the 30 Day Random Acts of Kindness challenge back! Join us!

We all love random acts of kindness, right? What a blessing when someone does a kind deed for us... and when we're able to put our love in action by sharing a kindness with someone else! And since February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, Your Vibrant Family is hosting a 30 Day Random Acts of Kindness Challenge throughout February! Join YVF each week for a stress free and fun challenge with suggested activities around that week’s theme, along with discussion questions and Bible verses! Do as much or as little as you’d like—customize it and make it work for your family!

What Is a Random Act of Kindness?

An act of kindness is just that–something unexpected done by one person that blesses someone else. Sometimes these acts of kindness are done anonymously (or not). And sometimes a person personally knows the person receiving the kindness act (and sometimes not)!

No matter what you decide to do, if you’re helping someone else, you’re performing an act of kindness!

Join Us for an Easy and Fun Kindness Challenge

Ladies, we’re all super busy. Totally hear you. I’m want to make this 30 day kindness challenge as simple, fun (and guilt-free) as possible.

We’ll have a theme for our acts of kindness each week, and there will be discussion questions and loads of fun ideas and stories!

Every Saturday a new post will go live with the following week’s theme and activities.

Week 1 (Feb 1-7): Kindness to Our Family 

Week 2: (Feb 8-14): Kindness to Our Community

Week 3: (Feb 15-21): Kindness to Our World

Week 4: (Feb 22-28): Secret Agent Kindness

Week 5: (Feb 29-Mar 6) Celebrating Kindness in Our Life (and Wrap-Up)

What Are We Doing Each Week in the Kindness Challenge?

Each week, we will post:

—The week’s theme (see above)

—Related acts of kindness activities

—Themed writing, discussion and drawing topics

—Suggested Bible verses to discuss and memorize

—Other helpful resources about sharing kindness

I’ll also post what happened when our family did the previous week’s challenge: you know, what worked for us (and what didn’t), plus cool things we witnessed.

We’ll also be hosting a thread each week on the Your Vibrant Family Facebook page where YOU can share about the fun activities your family is doing! 

Also, use the hashtag #YVF30DaysofKindness to share on Twitter and Instagram!

This is a Guilt-Free Kindness Challenge. Really.

Join us for all of it, some of it, or even just one part of it. No problem.

Do the suggested activities, or come up with your own. Seriously, it’s all good.

Or, gather up all the activities and celebrate your favorites just on National Random Act of Kindness Day on February 17. Awesome! Knock yourself out.

I’ve tried to make this challenge realistic for those of us with full and busy lives! No pressure and no worries! 

One more thing? Don’t feel like you have to “muster” up enough kindness to do this. Pray before you begin this challenge, and regularly throughout it. No matter how hard we “try” to be kind, the Bible says that our good works are worthless if they are not motivated and fueled by God’s love. Let’s let God’s love flow through us and give us the strength to selflessly serve others!

Who’s in?

Get Ready for the 30 Days of Kindness Challenge!

1) Look for the post on Saturday, January 30 for Week 1 of the 30 Days of Kindness Challenge!

2) Share your family’s activities on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #YVF30DaysofKindness, and share on the Your Vibrant Family Facebook page weekly pinned post.

Go here to share on the Week 1 pinned Facebook post.

3) After that, look for the new post every Saturday in February here on Your Vibrant Family.

Week 1 Kindness Activities YVF Post

I’m excited to see how our kindness can change the world, one person at a time!

Help! My Teen Needs Healthy Social Media Boundaries

I hear story after story of how teens with a lack of social media self control are suffering in both their in person relationships and in their career path.

We all know that teens love connecting socially. And with social media such a prevalent aspect of teen culture, sharing on Facebook or Instagram is something they’re used to doing throughout the day.

But clearly, a teen’s lack of social media self control not only affects a teen’s ability to build in person relationships but to stay focused on other important tasks such as a job.

How can we help our teens and tweens develop healthy social media self control?

While teaching teens healthy social media habits is an ongoing conversation, here are five social media management skills we can share with our kids in order to help them successfully balance their online and in person lives.

How can we help our teens and tweens develop healthy social media self control? While teaching teens healthy social media boundaries is an ongoing conversation, here are five social media management skills we can share with our kids in order to help them successfully balance their online and in person lives.

Why Social Media Self Control Is Critical for Teens (Melanie’s Story)

I recently met Melanie, a college graduate who after ten months of job searching, still has not found a career “match.”

When I asked her about her job hunt and if she had ever had a full-time job, she shared her story.

Melanie landed her first job the summer following graduation and was excited to utilize her skill set and prove herself in the workplace.

But, unfortunately, Melanie’s lack of social intelligence (and lack of social media habits) trumped her proficiencies. She brought her cell phone to orientation and kept checking incoming text messages during her training, which aggravated her manager. When she was late getting a project done and was criticized, she responded defensively via email. And during the course of any given day, she was checking Facebook to catch up with friends.

When team members began growing distant, her supervisor met with her and asked if she had any idea why. She did not. After three months of similar conversations with her supervisor, she was finally let go.

This story, which we were given permission to share, is similar to many other students’ I meet across the country.

I believe we, as parents, must not only seize the opportunity to help our young students develop social media self control, but encourage them in how to develop healthy in person relationships. These skills are necessary for the workplace and in real life.

5 Ways to Help Teens Develop Healthy Social Media Habits and Build In-Person Relationships

1. Balance tech-time with touch-time. Encourage your kids to spend the same amount of hours with people (face-to-face) as they do in front of a screen. When we made this agreement in our family, the result was the cultivation of interpersonal skills and the ability to read facial and body language.

2. For each Instagram or Facebook group joined, have them throw a party and host it. Reinforce the importance of real conversations and making human connections. This enables students to take initiative with people and learn how to truly serve others. With my kids, I even went as far as to have them host the parties we as parents planned. I had them greet guests, take their coat, offer something to drink, and ask how their day was.

3. For every person “unfriended” on social media, talk about successfully resolving conflicts. We live in a disposable world where it’s easier to avoid problems than face them – easier to make new friends than stick it out through conflicts with existing friends. It’s important to teach kids to never end a close relationship via technology. That’s cowardice.

4. Demonstrate when present with people, it’s important to make them a priority over the ones on your phone. With the exception of replying to an important message, when you check your portable device, you communicate to those around you that there are other people more important than them.

5. Cultivate relationships with different generations. In today’s world, the younger generation mainly interacts with their peers. But to successfully mature, it’s crucial to practice interacting with and forming relationships with those of different generations. For a year, I coordinated meetings with mentors for my two kids, so that other adults could speak wisdom into their life. Another idea – encourage volunteer opportunities at retirement homes and preschools. We must help enlarge their horizons by connecting them with people from older and younger age groups.

Other Character Traits Teens Learn from Healthy Social Media Boundaries

How else can teens benefit when they learn social media self control and developing healthy online boundaries? What other character traits are strengthened in a teen’s life when they choose to put down the cell phone and to develop in-person relationships?

Here are a few:

It is in waiting that I build patience.

It is in face-to-face collaboration that I build interpersonal skills.

It is in attempting risky ventures that I build courage.

It is in struggling that I build perseverance

It is in boredom that I have margins to imagine and think creatively.

It is in challenging labor that I build appreciation for work ethic.

Other Articles on Teens

5 Reasons Parents and Teens Should Tackle a Project Together healthy social media habits teens 5 Things Your Teen Needs from You healthy social media habits teens

Additional Resources on Raising Teens

Your Turn

Does your teen need help in creating healthy social media boundaries or in developing in person relationship skills? What conversations does your family have regarding this issue?

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