Everyday Prayers and Affirmations

everydayprayersand-affirmatios

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Some days I wake up in an intense amount of pain. It radiates between my lower back, the base of my neck, and results in tightening around my shoulders. It’s been about 3 years since I began my journey with the pain, and yes my friends, I have consulted my doctor about the issue. As a result though, I am an expert in back exercises and stretches, heating pads, make shift ice packs, and I probably own enough Biofreeze to keep my family and yours pain-free.

However, my pain wasn’t stemming from a medical condition. It stemmed from the stress in my life and how I processed that stress. The long answer to my pain lay within meditation, manifestation, and affirmations that addressed my pain and also the issues that were stressing me out. The short answer is that my pain was a form of an anxiety attack.  Continue reading

Technology Knowledge is a Requirement, Not an Option

Learn why we require computer science training.

Coding is the new Spanish.

When I was in high school, the best advice I received from an y adult willing to give me advice was to learn a foreign language, preferably Spanish. I was advised that I would never have a problem finding a job if was bilingual. And for the most part, that advice was correct. In addition to learning to speak another language, I learned to appreciate another culture, and I’ve had several opportunities to meet people from all over the world.

When I started on the parenting journey, I was convinced that my kids would have the same opportunities as I’ve had, as long as they learned to speak Spanish.

So I did what most parents do, and demanded they learn Spanish and enjoy it. But because I was so busy demanding, I didn’t stop to listen to them or look at the world around me.

Code.org reports on their website the following facts:

1. Computer science drives innovation throughout the US economy, but it remains marginalized throughout K-12 education.

2. Only 27 states allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation.

3. There are currently 586,107 open computing jobs nationwide.

4. Last year, only 38,175 computer science students graduated into the workforce.

When I took a minute to take note of these trends, I realized very quickly that while Spanish was nice, my kids really needed to learn how to code. And so they did. And they enjoyed it. So I took it a step further.

They’ve participated in a hack-a-thon, summer pre-engineering program,  STEM camp at a local university, and recently  attended a STEM event sponsored by Microsoft. I’ve made sure that despite their artistic and athletic endeavors, they have a good foundation in computer science.

In this digitally-driven world we are living in, it is imperative that children know and understand computer technology, internet safety and security, and the basics of coding. It even appears that like Spanish was for me in the 80’s and early 90’s, computer science graduates should never have a problem finding a job.

Our children need to have a foundation in computer science in order to be prepared for the future.

As a matter of fact, children as young as five years old can learning coding techniques on the www.code.org website. And this summer when I decided to upgrade my skills in hopes of advancing my career, I learned a lot about information technology — including coding.

And for the first time since 1990, I haven’t used my Spanish skills to advance my career; instead I’m using my computer skills and that training has paid off.

Grab a  copy of our technology contract for families: techcontract

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Click through to see our technology contract for familiesRead about our experiment wearing Converse everyday.Read more about what Starbucks cost me in one visit.

Lessons Learned About Kids and Technology

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I can remember it like it was yesterday. My children were in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades when they received their first electronic devices as Christmas presents. CJ got an iPod Touch, Tyra got a Pandigital eReader, and Jada a Nintendo DSi XL. After their entry into the digital world, they have never turned back and at 7th, 8th, and 9th grades they each have a phone,  tablet, and laptop computer.

Through the years, I’ve learned a lot about monitoring my kids technology usage. It hasn’t always been easy, but each day is an opportunity to learn something new. Let’s start the conversation with some of the things I’ve learned.

  1. 12-year-old children really want a Facebook account. They’ve heard a lot of cool things about Facebook. Once they turn 13 and actually get one, they hate it. They hate it because their parents and their parents friends and their older cousins, and their aunts and uncles are on active on Facebook. A prerequisite for Facebook in my house is a list of about 30 family members and friends that the child needs to friend. I of course, have already sent those friends and family members a message asking them to extend their membership in our village to all things social media.
  2. Technology contracts are very helpful when allowing children access to devices. All three of mine signed contracts four years ago, and the contracts included a clause that said it was still binding if they got other devices. The tech contracts included participating in or witnessing cyber-bullying without telling an adult, hours for tech usage, rules for appropriate photos and content, and passwords — which always have to be kept on file with me.

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3. On any social media platform, we must all friend and follow each other. And we must also agree on how much information we share about our private family matters.

4.If there’s a social media platform that they want, but I’m unfamiliar with, I ask someone younger and smarter before I approve it. Last fall I had heard of SnapChat but I really didn’t understand it. The girls really wanted accounts. I asked my 25-year-old cousin about it and gave him the ability to say yay or nay. He didn’t know much about it, so he opted for nay. Meanwhile, I took the next three months to establish my account, learned how it worked, talked to older teens I know about using it, and by this February, they had the accounts and I knew exactly what to watch out for.

5. Use mistakes as teaching moments. Anytime we are watching the news and there is a story on regarding the dangers of naivety and tech usage, I make sure they understand in plain terms the consequences. If there are no news stories that week, I’ll find an old news story on the internet and we must discuss it. as a family. And even after all of that, they do make mistakes and I use those as teaching moments as well.

Do you want to receive a free copy of our kids’ technology contract? Click here to sign up! Let’s continue this discussion though…what are the tech rules in your house?