Tim and I led a family weekend retreat recently at the Ananda Community in Portland, Oregon. (I also taught a healing class, as well.) It was wonderful to see the level of spiritual support and cooperation between the families. This also helps to create a sense of positive peer influence between the kids. Nonetheless, as some children are now entering middle school, they will face situations and temptations that they did not encounter while attending the wonderful Living Wisdom School, a private school that stresses character development along with an excellent, well rounded education.
Tim told some great stories around the campfire on Friday night, including one about a walking fish, which was a great hit, as you can imagine. He also told a beautiful story at Sunday service. Something that tickled us was that at the end of his story, one little girl, age 6, whispered something to Tim before leaving with all of the other kids for Sunday school. Tim had just finished his inspiring story about a man feeling God’s profound answer to his prayer… and she got him to lean over, and then whispered to him, “I liked the story about the fish…”
That made us laugh. Oh well – you never know what will sink in… (but a walking fish is a pretty good bet.)
Teens and tweens
As we parents look at our sweet children approaching the teen years – it is sometimes hard to fathom the temptations they may face at school, or on the school bus. Sometimes this leads to a fair amount of wool that can be pulled over the parents eyes! Tim and I are on teen #3, and are thus somewhat prepared, but we can’t let that lull us to go on “auto-pilot.” We need to stay aware. Each child is individual and brings fresh concerns, so the most important rule of thumb is to stay involved.
However, that being said, there are some specifics that will help any family. One is to monitor computer access appropriate to the age level of your child. There are several items available to help you with this. One is called K-9 Web Protection and it is free. You can adjust it to fit your concerns. We’ve been happy with it so far, and I find it easy to customize it. And, as an added bonus, it probably saved my computer the other day. My son wanted to download some music – but it was blocked by K-9 because the site had spy-ware on it. I did a search for a review and the complaints listed said that some people had to have their computers rebuilt… I’ve since told him to get his music from reputable websites!
There is no way you can keep track of what your kids are doing online just by glancing over their shoulders now and then. K-9 also has a log of internet activity that cannot be erased without the password. (Hint: if you look at history on your computer and it is blank=bad sign. That means some one is covering his or her tracks.) K-9 would also be a big help in any families troubled by online porn. (Unfortunately – good families can be sorely tested by this. Give the wife/mother the password and block porn: very effective. I read of one man who asked for this because he was so sick of wasting his time with porn – but he couldn’t break the habit on his own. So – I see K-9 as something to help keep Light in families on many levels. And as I said -you can customize your settings for your family’s needs.
Another very good resource is Parents: The Anti-Drug. Long story short is that they know best what teens are facing right now in this department. So, it is best to be informed. And know that your love , clear guidance, and concern is an enormous influence on your child and teen. Read through the website a little bit each day…
And then – build positive energy in your family. Apply the positive things that you are already inclined to do, and possibly add in some ideas from my free e-book, Finding God in Your Family. And – pray for your kids…they’ll feel your love and care. Every bit of love and light helps them immensely.
Take care and God bless…and please feel free to leave helpful comments, or questions…