62 Results

6 ways of

Search

 

Now I’m not one to try to compete with a fictional character. Except when I am…

In actual fact, some may argue that Mummy Pig isn’t only a better mother than I am; she’s also a better wife, a better woman, nay, all round human being.

Except… that she’s not.

A human being that is.

All those other things she most definitely is.

I know, I know…say it isn’t sow! But [naturally], I have irrefutable proof in the form of ridiculous examples I’ve come up with while I lie awake at night trying to distract my brain from convincing me I have a disease that I need to Google.

Aaaaaand here they are.

1. Mummy Pig is chill AF

Unless there are some missing tapes somewhere [#piggate], there is no record of Mummy Pig silently mouthing “fuck youuuuuuu” behind Peppa’s back [even though Peppa is without shadow of a doubt an obnoxious little gobshite].

Mummy Pig doesn’t flip her lid about repetitive singing of the bloody bing bong song in the same manner as I have been known to have emotional breakdowns over “Let it Go”.

She never gets salty with Daddy Pig and his lazy bastard ways; not even one time have I heard her turn around and say to Daddy Pig, as he lounges on his recliner in front of the TV eating his feelings away “FFS are you shitting me??”

Mummy Pig never has muddy puddle laundry related overreactions. The type of overreactions that may well be my life legacy. Although I would hazard a guess Mummy Pig is using name brand laundry liquid [not powder] and probably sprays and soaks before a wash cycle. It just makes sense, because Mummy Pig sure as shit doesn’t take the lazy way out. [Stage whisper: like I do]

Mummy Pig doesn’t over analyse or obsess over George’s inability to say anything but “grr dinosaur”. Should George be going to a speech therapist? Does George have sensory processing issues? Is George gluten intolerant? Is George taking the piss? We’ll never know! Because Mummy Pig DGAF; she breezily disregards George’s glaringly obvious delays and doesn’t freak the fuck out that he’s only been saying two words FOR. LIKE. YEARS. More power to you Mummy Pig . You are so chill you practically require a microwave defrost.

2. Mummy Pig doesn’t have vices

I mean for all we know. Maybe there is a bit of netflix and swill happening of an evening…

But do you ever see Mummy Pig refusing to acknowledge anyone until she’s had her morning coffee?

No.

Do you ever see Mummy Pig sitting down binge watching episodes of I’m charcuterie get me out of here, or The Baa-chelor or Oink is the new Black?

No.

And Mummy Pig is never too busy looking at her instagr-ham to respond when a small person says her name forty six times in a row or repetitively asks her the same question [only louder] that she’s already answered five times in the space of twenty four seconds.

Although, pretty sure if Mummy Pig did have instagr-ham she’d be posting insufferable daily photos of Peppa and George’s bento playgroup lunch boxes. Because; obviously.

3. Mummy Pig does it all

Mummy Pig isn’t “just a mum”my pig, she also brings home the bacon… so to speak. [chortle chortle]

Whilst we aren’t privy to what she actually does in her work from home capacity, given the amount of time she spends on her computer, I’d like to wager that she’s a mummy blogger. One with more followers than me, loads of lucrative sponsorship deals [probably Lorna Jane who STILL have not been in contact to initiate discussions about my as yet unconfirmed entirely hypothetical brand ambassador role that I made up for myself ] and a shit ton of social media shares. And yet still she somehow manages to stay as cool as the proverbial cucumber when Peppa breaks her computer!?? [See also: Mummy Pig is chill AF].

When George has cold, Mummy Pig doesn’t just ship him off to playgroup anyway with a conspiratorial pat on the back, a bit of Panadol and a nose-blowing-away of the evidence like the rest of us. She calls an at home doctor and nurses George back to health with watchful rest and cool flannels and.. I dunno, Happy Mrs Chicken [noodle] soup or some other shit I wouldn’t do if my kid had a cold because he threw his rain hat off outside after I specifically told him not to.

4. Mummy Pig is supportive

Mummy Pig agreed to buy a house on a hill FFS. Clearly this was Daddy’s idea.

Speaking of which; Mummy Pig also isn’t having an affair with manly, capable, always seems to show up everywhere they go Mr Bull. [To be fair, nor am I having an affair, but my husband isn’t as inept as Daddy Pig. Mummy Pig married down].

Mummy Pig is also totally supportive of Peppa’s codependent relationship with Suzy “the snake” Sheep, despite the fact that Suzy is the worst best friend who ever best friended.

5. Mummy Pig is confident

Mummy pig feels confident in a bikini on the beach. You never see Mummy Pig inching towards the waters edge with her towel around her waist until she can throw herself into the freezing water in a torturous half a second desperate modesty plunge so no one on the beach sees her.  I suppose why wouldn’t she be confident when she’s somehow managing to shove fourteen boobs into one itsy bitsy teeny weeny bandeau bikini top. #madskills #whenyougotitflauntit

Nor is Mummy Pig intimated by her multi talented mummy friends; not even helicopter flying, bus driving, dental nursing, recycle centre operating, train driving, [probable tax evading] librarian Miss Rabbit. Mummy Pig doesn’t have to be all things to all people. Mummy Pig is enough. 

So there you have it. I mean, I’ve presented the [extensive] evidence. Take it in people. The proof is laid out in front of you. And when all is said and done, quite frankly Mummy Pig commands more attention than I do in my own home. When my kids hear Mummy Pig, they come running. The same cannot be said for when I’m hoarse and blue faced with silent rage that I’ve called them for dinner eighty nine times and they still haven’t shown up.

But I mean, whatever. It’s no big deal. Mummy Pig shmummy pig. I’ll take it all with a pinch of salt. And thyme. For five hours in a moderate oven…

Catherine Plano gives 7 steps to change the way you think. Following these will surely lead to a happier you!

 

A lot of people think that happiness is ‘elusive’ – a fleeting feeling that comes from what’s happening around us, in our lives. And that’s true. But like everything else we perceive and experience, happiness is processed in the brain. By learning to use your brain to re-boot happiness when you’re feeling ‘low’ you can make a big difference to your contentedness.

The important thing to remember is that the brain is like a muscle – it’s adaptive and responsive to training, like any other muscle in our body. Its chemical makeup is important to its optimal function too. By understanding these seven basic brain functions and how to activate and re-charge them, you can re-wire your brain for greater happiness and success!

 

1) Dose up the Dopamine  

Dopamine allows us to feel bliss, pleasure, euphoria and motivation.

Dopamine is a chemical (neurotransmitter) that is used by the nerves to send messages. Basically, when dopamine levels are depleted in our brain, our message can’t be transmitted properly. This, in turn, can have an impact on our behaviour, mood, cognition, attention, learning, movement and sleep. When we procrastinate, have feelings of self-doubt or we lack enthusiasm, these are strong clues from the brain that we are low on dopamine.

It’s super easy to increase dopamine levels: Aim for 8 hours sleep per day and regular exercise to keep dopamine balanced. Plus – the brain releases a little bit of dopamine when you achieve or succeed. One way to get a ‘hit’ of dopamine regularly is set yourself small, achievable goals. As you achieve them, you’ll feel good about making progress.

Of course, you should always celebrate all those ‘little’ wins. They’re helping you, step by step, to achieve the bigger goal. Any accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem, are definitely worth recognition.

 

2) Exercise for Endorphins

Endorphins are released into your bloodstream once you have exercised, leaving you feeling more energised and in a better mood for the rest of your day. Endorphins are the counter balance to stress, so the more endorphins you release, the less stress and anxiety you will experience.

Along with regular exercise, laughter is one of the easiest ways to induce endorphin release. Feeling low? Watch some comedy, or catch up with a friend who makes you laugh.There are some studies that attest that dark chocolate and spicy foods can help to release endorphins. Keep a stash of dark chocolate and treat yourself to a curry every now and then for a quick endorphin boost.

 

3) Give someone a hug 

Oxytocin – the love hormone – creates intimacy, trust and builds strong, healthy relationships.

Often referred to as the cuddle hormone, oxytocin is essential for creating powerful bonds and improving social interactions. As the name suggests, one very simple way to keep oxytocin flowing is to give someone a hug, not a handshake. There is research now to explain that a hug for up to 20 seconds a day releases oxytocin, which is a natural antidepressant and antianxiety agent.

Oxytocin is the hormone that allows us to feel love and connection. In fact, when we experience an increase of oxytocin, it makes us more intuitive to others’ needs. Even when someone receives a gift, his or her oxytocin levels can rise. You can strengthen work and personal relationships through a simple gift or a massive hug.

4) Be appreciative

Serotonin flows when you feel satisfied, accomplished and important. However, a lack of serotonin can make you feel lonely, bleak and unhappy. Unhealthy attention-seeking behaviour can also be a cry for serotonin.

Our brain can’t tell the difference between what’s real and imagined, so it produces serotonin in both cases. This is why ‘gratitude’ practices are popular; they remind us that we are valued and have much to value in life. If you need a serotonin boost during a stressful day, take a few moments to reflect on past achievements and victories. Alternatively, engage in a random act of kindness, or write a text or email telling one of your friends or partner how much you appreciate and value them. You can also spend a minute or two ‘reliving’ a moment in your head that you cherish.

These are simple mood boosters, just because they increase serotonin. We also know that vitamin D (from the sun) helps to expand our brain’s serotonin production.

 

5) Change ‘fear’ into ‘flow’

The amygdala, is one of the ‘primal’ functions of our brain, designed to keep us safe. This ‘fright, freeze and flight centre’, manages connections and is directly involved with emotional wellbeing.

The amygdala processes positive and negative feedback depending on how we perceive an outcome. As a result, it makes us feel strong emotional responses that often lead to impulsive reactions.

When the amygdala signals go backwards, it generates a fear response – we get defensive and this can lead to lashing out, arguing. But – it’s here in the amygdala where we store our old ‘programmes’ too – those tired old tales of lack and unworthiness… And, just as we put those ‘old stories’ in there, we can re-programme – update them – with new ones. This takes time, but the brain is highly adaptive and with daily commitment to a practice of positive programming, it will become your default setting instead, and the negative responses will be fewer and weaker.

6) Hippocampus: The Seahorse

The hippocampus is viewed as an associative memory system supporting the formation, storage, and retrieval of memories. So, when you are feeling low, think happy memories – in your head go back to a pleasant, exciting, loving moment in time and re-live the movie in your head! Create a ‘happiness’ album with your smartphone -friends, family, beautiful places – whatever makes you smile, and when you’re feeling low look through the pictures. and look through pictures until your mood starts to shift.

 

7) Will Power at the Prefrontal Cortex

Your pre-fontal cortex is that part of the brain that is right behind your forehead; its function is decision-making and regulating our behaviour, self-control and willpower. Looking after this section of our brain involves exercising will power.

And, the more we exercise our self-control, the stronger and more stable it becomes. If you want to lose weight, begin saving money, start exercising – it’s all actioned here in this part of the brain. But remember, if you choose your new action, you need to do it repeatedly for 21 days. If you miss a day, then you need to start again. Record your progress; you’ll see a remarkable difference from start to finish. And don’t forget that the more successful you are, day, by day, your dopamine levels will kick in with pride as you accomplish what you set out to achieve. There’s a win/win here for happiness.

 

Happiness is not a ‘mystery’

In an effort to pursue the great mystery of ‘happiness’ we simply need to understand these tools. We’re all prone to moods – and there can be many reasons why some moods stay with us longer than others, but these tools can help us to work with our minds, instead of against them, when we are stressed, anxious, sad or angry.

The brain needs stimulation – tired old routines can deliver the same tired old results in our lives, so stay curious. When you experience something ‘new’, it actually stimulates and transforms your brain. Explore, experiment and try something new to maximise how you use your brainpower.

Catherine Plano is the author of ” Getting to the Heart of the Matter” – a warm, engaging practical book for connecting the power of the mind, with the power of the heart for personal transformation.

How to cure a headache during pregnancy? 

We’ve compiled a list of the best natural, at-home remedies to relieve your headache as quickly as possible!

by Henna Clark

Headaches are common in the initial months of the pregnancy. It varies from mild to severe, depending upon your health and lifestyle. It is very important that you take foods rich in fibers, antioxidants, vitamin C, CoQ10, and magnesium. You need adequate sleep as well as need to be properly hydrated to counteract its initial development.

Causes

Your body undergoes various changes during the initial months of the pregnancy, such as:

  • Change in hormone levels and volume of blood during the initial months
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • High blood pressure

Apart from these some of the other causes involve:

  • Stress
  • Eyestrain
  • Caffeine withdrawal symptoms for regular coffee drinkers
  • Dehydration due to frequent vomits in initial periods of your pregnancy
  • Migraines
  • Sometimes sinus infections are developed due to common cold, which is common during initial months of pregnancy

 

 

How to cure a headache during pregnancy? This is the question the majority of women ask, and they start taking various medications to get rid of it, which must be avoided. 

Always take the advice of your doctor before taking any medication to treat it, as doctors advice to avoid them. The reason being the unborn baby might get affected by certain medications that might harm their growth.

Aspirin is one of the medications which must be avoided, as it carries the risk of miscarriage and cardiovascular complications on the unborn child. Ergotamines are used for treating migraine pains. However, doctors advise not to use it. It causes birth defects if taken during the initial months of pregnancy.

There are various natural cures for headaches during your pregnancy. Which provides quick relief with no harm to you and your unborn child. The various natural remedies are as follows:

Relieving migraine pains

For migraine-associated headaches, you must avoid noisy surroundings and turn off your lights. Migraine suffering women are sensitive to them. Apart from these, having a sound sleep is also effective in relieving the pain. Sometimes sleep deprivation, less food, and water intake also causes migraines. Make sure you sleep well, regularly drink water, and have adequate food.

Processed and junk foods trigger migraine pains, completely avoid intake of this food to prevent migraines.

Cold compress

Apply an ice pack or towel dipped in cold water in your head while you take a nap. The Cold environment narrows the blood vessels in your head, which helps in providing relief to your headaches.

Warm compress

Apply warm compress on your eyes as well as on your nose for sinus-related headaches.

Consume water

As per the study, drinking enough water and consuming foods rich in water relieves headaches and is a preventive measure for stress and migraine-related headaches. Dehydration alleviates the symptoms of your headache and is the primary cause of migraines and stress-induced headaches.

Magnesium-rich foods

Magnesium controls the blood sugar and improves the blood circulation of the body. It helps in curbing the occurrence of headaches. Consume less magnesium at the beginning as too much intake leads to digestive issues. Some magnesium-rich foods are avocados, dark chocolate, nuts, legumes, tofu, whole grains, etc.

No alcohol

Alcohol dehydrates your body and causes headaches if consumed in excess. Its a strict no for pregnant women.

Adequate sleep

As per the study, people sleeping less than six hours suffered frequent headaches ranging from mild to severe.

Sleeping for seven to nine hours is a must for better health. Lack of sleep not only causes headaches but also has severe health complications. Having an adequate sleep is a natural way to cure headaches.

Essential oils

Essential oils such as peppermint and lavender oil are proven to be effective for headache relief. Apply these oils in your forehead or on your temples for better results. Lavender oil is also better known for relieving migraine headaches.

CoQ10 supplements

CoQ10 or coenzyme 10 is a mitochondrial nutrient that is present in all our cells. It releases energy and provides antioxidant support to the body. As we age, its proportions get reduced, which results in numerous health complications headache being one of them. Taking C0Q10 supplements helps in regaining the lost energy of your body and gets relief in your headache.

Acupressure

Acupressure points in our body are the natural healing points that give us quick relief from headaches. In your feet, locate a gall bladder 41 point between the 4th and 5th finger of your toe. This point is very effective for headaches. Take a deep breath and gently push that point for two minutes. If you find it difficult, then your partner can assist in doing that. For headaches caused due to stress and anxiety, there is another point in your foot called liver three to kidney one. You can locate it in between the thumb and first finger of your foot.

Apart from all these remedies, you need to avoid strong odors and fragrances as it triggers a headache.

The Bottom line is that these remedies have no side effects, and these are safe and efficient ways to treat your headache.

Author Bio:

Henna is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, Ayurvedic, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies

Sources:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0072975210970127

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15985108

The novel virus known as COVID-19 started as a collection of similar cases emerging from Wuhan, China-  a city with a population of over 11 million.  

Australia was in the process of healing from a devastating fire season when the Coronavirus (soon to be titled COVID-19) became national news, with the World Health Organization (WHO) having heard the first reports of COVID-19 on the 31st of December 2019.

In the months that have followed the pandemic has spread across the globe, encompassing Australia and leaving millions without work, or at the very least financially affected by the virus and the subsequent lockdowns it has caused.

These are uncertain times, and as many of us wait for news of government aid, job opportunities or when our old lives will get back to normal, many are left without an income.

Below are some practical ways to lessen the financial stress during the disaster movie scenario we have found ourselves in.

Monitor what comes in and out of your bank- and eliminate the non-essential items

For many of us, we have multiple cards and multiple entertainment platforms, programs and everyday expenses that are direct debited.

This is convenient usually, but if you are now left with no income, that outcome needs to be cut down. Have a look on your outgoings on your banking app and make a list of what you pay every month- do you really need to be spending $25 a month on a live sport platform when all sport is postponed? Or could you be using that $25 on food and utilities? Unfortunately, the time for luxuries is not right now, so cut your expenses accordingly.

Call and ask for extensions/account freezes/pause in payments

Do not be ashamed to ask for help, we are all in this together. Many corporations and businesses are being very understanding in this time and providing extensions and pauses for payments.

Afterpay for example can give extensions/pauses in payments if you contact them and discuss your situation, the same could go for various other payments you may have coming up, so don’t be scared to ask! The following link discusses electricity companies that will be providing extra help for their customers during this crisis. https://www.finder.com.au/financial-hardship-programs-utilities

Live that vegetarian lifestyle

Meat is expensive and perishable, and with supermarkets losing the battle against panic buying shoppers, meat and other basics are hard to find. Do not panic or bulk buy– it is unfair on everyone, especially the most vulnerable.

Buy beans, lentils, grains- these are cheap, filling and last a long time- check out this lentil dahl recipe that is perfect for meal prepping and super tasty! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4pDLh11nmA

Keep up to date with the government’s response to the pandemic and if you are eligible for Centrelink payments

There is a lot of information regarding the COVID-19 in the media that is constantly updated, and the same goes for details of government assistance and how to access Centrelink payments if you now find yourself out of work. The below article by ABC shows a step by step guide to applying for Centrelink if you’ve never used the system before and is updated regularly as the situation progresses. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-24/coronavirus-how-to-apply-for-centrelink-jobseeker-newstart/12083948

Think of others and act accordingly – stay inside! 

Stay inside and practise social distancing, this won’t last forever, but it is important we all do the right thing and act with everyone in mind. We will all get through this by acting as a community, spreading kindness and thinking of our most vulnerable.

If you’re searching for your Soulmate, the law of attraction is your key to success! By effectively using this universal law, you’ll have the power to attract a lifelong partner. 

1. Be Clear About What You Want in a Mate

Each “failed” relationship has given you clues about what you desire in an ideal partner, but be careful not to focus on the negative. For example, if you say that you don’t want another partner who “puts work before love,” you’re focusing on the negative, and this tells the Universe to send you more of what you don’t want. However, if you know what you don’t want, you also know what you do want. In this case, it would be a partner who puts your relationship before work.

Let go of the past, and refocus on the positive. You can tell if your thoughts are positive or negative by the way they make you feel. If thoughts make you feel good, they’re positive. If thoughts make you feel bad, they’re negative. It’s that simple! So, if you find yourself thinking negatively, simply turn it around and focus on positive desires. Once you do, you’ll immediately feel better, and you will be in alignment with love.

2. Continue to Dream!

The power of imagination can transform your love life. So, if you are ready for love, one of the best things you can do is day dream about your perfect mate. Through imagination you can create, and improve, a desired relationship until it meets your highest ideal. As you imagine your ideal partner, you’re sending positive images to the Universe, and the Universe receives these images as a command to create. Once you have an ideal image in your mind, replay it over and over until it actually 

manifests. 

3. Be Your Real Self

By hiding your Real Self and wearing a façade, you attract people who reflect or complement the false image you present to the world, and this makes it difficult for your soulmate to find you. No doubt, your soulmate is a perfect match for the Real You, and since you never know where, or how, your paths might cross, it’s important to always be your Real Self! Since the law of attractions loves authenticity, Shine Your Light!

4. Fall in Love with Yourself!

Since it feels great to be around people who authentically love themselves, it’s no wonder that self-love attracts potential mates. Therefore, if you want someone to fall in love with you, you must fall in love with your Real Self. Moreover, since self-judgement resonates a negative energy that repels potential mates, it’s important to clean up self-critical thinking.

5.  Get Your Beliefs in Order

Life is a feedback system that reflects your beliefs, whatever you believe, you’ll

experience. Therefore, if a belief doesn’t support what you really want, it’s time to drop it and develop beliefs that do. This means that it’s important to examine all your beliefs about love, and, then, clean up any negative beliefs that don’t support an ideal relationship.

6. Say “No” to Jealousy

It’s natural to feel jealous when we see someone experiencing the love we desire, and don’t yet have, but jealousy is a negative emotion that repels love. Therefore, when you see someone living your dream, rather than reacting with jealousy, celebrate their love. Indeed, when you bless loving relationships, it tells the Universe you’re ready for love too!

7. Don’t Give Up!

When it comes to love, people get disappointed when potential mates don’t meet their expectations, or they don’t see evidence that true love is coming, and, then, out of disappointment, or fear of disappointment, they give up. However, “giving up” is the number one reason the law of attraction doesn’t (appear to) work. Giving up is like ordering a delicious meal and walking out of the restaurant just before your order arrives. Therefore, once you are clear about a specific desire, commit to it for as long as it takes, and this also means don’t give in to doubt!

 8. Create the Space 

The law of attraction loves the energy of anticipation, and, therefore, do your best to anticipate your ideal relationship by creating space for your partner. Therefore, consider all the ways in which you can prepare for your soulmate, such as cleaning out a closet, emptying a draw, or replacing worn-out wallpaper.

 9. Live Your Best Life Now!

Don’t wait for a partner before you live your best life. Live it right now! Therefore, do not focus on “what’s missing” in single life, but, instead, create a full life where nothing is missing! Since you attract “what you are,” if you are a couch potato, you will

attract a coach potato. So, if you desire an active mate who skis and likes to read, you better get on the slopes and hang out in bookstores. If you start living your best life now, you will be super attractive for that special person to spot you in a crowd.

 10. Follow Inspiration

When it comes to attracting a soulmate, your job is to clearly define what you most desire, and, then, get in alignment as described above, but it’s not your job to control manifestation. So, if you want the Universe to perform its magic on your behalf, you must release control and get out of the way. However, this does not mean that you should sit home and do nothing, and, in fact, it’s important to take inspired action.

Since the Universe communicates to you through intuition, inspiration, and gut feelings, always take action accordingly, and this means that if you get the sudden urge to go to a new coffee shop across town or call an old friend you haven’t seen in ten years, just do it! The more you follow inner guidance, the more the Universe can guide you to true love!

There is nothing you cannot be, do or have when you know how to activate and use the unlimited power that lies within you! So, have fun using the law of attraction to find (and keep) the love of your life!
By being who you really are, and doing what you love to do, you’ll be a perfect match for your perfect mate!

Nanice Bio:
As a Conscious Creation Coach since 1997, Nanice teaches mastery level manifestation. Using quantum principals, human dynamics, consciousness techniques, and real life experiences, her powerful coaching style is often referred to as the “Nanice Effect.”  Nanice is the author of several inspirational books including, “Is There a White Elephant in Your Way? – a comprehensive guidebook to awakening and self-empowerment.” Sign up for Nanice’s Free 7 Part Awakening Series at www.Nanice.com/Awaken. To find out more, please visit www.Nanice.com

The Radical Parents Guide to Raising Teens

 

Mainstream propaganda teaches parents to handle sensitive issues like sex and drugs, with a superficial “just say no” approach but if this black and white strategy worked, wouldn’t there be fewer kids doing drugs, drinking and having sex?  Since statistics don’t lie, it’s plain to see that teens participate in mature behaviors whether parents like it or not.

As an New York crisis counselor, I worked with adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19. Over the course of seven years, hundreds of teens told me things they were too afraid to tell their parents, and, as a result, I learned about adolescence in ways that traditional education could never provide. I later used this knowledge to successfully raise three sons, and now I’m about to share what I learned (and practiced) with you!

The Age of Exploration

Although most of the world treats adolescence like a disease needing to be cured, adolescence is meant to be a bridge between childhood and adulthood where teens learn how to make age-appropriate choices, navigate responsibilities, and develop independence. Ideally, with this in mind, adolescence should provide the space for self-exploration and self-discovery. Unfortunately, the traditional “just say no” approach to parenting often sabotages these important aspects of adolescence, and, instead of encouraging self-empowerment and independence, many well-meaning parents attempt to restrain teen expression by tracking and controlling behavior.

 

Adolescence should provide the space for self-exploration and self-discovery.

In most cases, this parenting strategy backfires – trying to squash independence often encourages deceitful behavior where teens lie and sneak around, and when parents forbid mature behaviours and leverage punishment as a means of control, most teens rebel. Although rebellious behaviour is sometimes blatant, oftentimes, covert behaviour allows clever teens to bypass parental radar, and many teens learn how to manipulate rules with misdirection, while parents are never the wiser. Even when parents diligently monitor phone calls, texts, and emails, and enforce early curfews, teens still find ways to do the things they want to do.

 

Don’t Say “No” to Communication

Worst of all, when parents deal with sensitive or mature issues with the “just say no” approach, they often cut off any chance of meaningful communication, and, consequently, they miss pivotal opportunities to provide guidance when kids need it most. It’s pretty clear that teens don’t talk to parents about sensitive subjects when they fear judgment, punishment, or other repercussions and, unfortunately, without proper guidance and advice, teens often make important (and sometimes life changing) choices based on peer pressure, curiosity or hormones.

Many well-intentioned parents don’t realize that the “just say no” approach to parenting can be just as detrimental as ignoring important issues and hoping for the best. In fact, teens raised by strict or closed-minded parents are more likely to make poor choices and participate in dangerous activities. And, because these teens are afraid to confide in their parents when they experience negative consequences, they are more susceptible to depression and suicidal ideation.

If teens are afraid to confide in their parents, they are more susceptible to depression.

Space for Questioning

Most parents naturally want their children to follow family traditions, cultural beliefs and specific values that include good morals and a clear sense of right and wrong. However, once kids reach adolescence, healthy natural development motivates teens to challenge ideals and question everything.

Growing up requires trials and tribulations where teens test morals, ethics and beliefs, and, therefore, they need space to find their own truth. Like it or not, this translates into personal experiences where they can explore life and discover who they really are, and this could mean rejecting parental beliefs and making choices that go against everything they’ve been taught.

Surely, it can be difficult to watch our children question, or even reject, all we hold dear, but not allowing them to find their own answers is a recipe for parent-teen alienation.

THE AMISH WAY

Although the Amish are one of the strictest cultures in the world (even electricity is taboo), some Amish communities support a rather radical rites of passage known as “Rumspringa” (meaning running around). During “Rumspringa,” teens as young as 14 years old have the opportunity to explore modern life outside the Amish community; often living independently in the city and experimenting with alcohol, drugs and sexual behavior.

Surprisingly, after this period of adolescent exploration, almost 90% of Amish teens rejoin the Amish church, and because they make this choice consciously, they are fully committed for life. Clearly, the point is that, when given a choice, most teens eventually return to their roots.

Whether parents approve or disapprove, virtually all teens experiment with mature matters. As a parent, you can either help your kids make conscious and responsible choices or, by default, they will make their most important choices without you – and without the benefit of your wisdom and guidance. The answer to this dilemma is a Radical Parenting Approach where you think outside the box and aren’t afraid to toss antiquated parenting strategies to the curb!

Almost 90% Amish teens rejoin the Amish church after their phase of adolescent exploration.

The Radical Parents Guide to Raising Teens

 

Although teens are faced with adult choices on a regular basis, there’s no reason to allow peer pressure, hormones or fear to be deciding factors, nor is there any reason to miss pivotal parenting opportunities. As Radical Parents, we have the ability to raise teens who are confidently self-sufficient and emotionally well-adjusted. Knowing when (and how much) to let go, Radical Parents encourage age-appropriate independence while allowing teens to grow into their own space at their own pace. Ultimately, becoming self-empowered adults who own their worth and have mastered authentic self-expression.

In the following guide, the 3 Steps of Radical Parenting will show you how to build and sustain effective strategies for raising conscious and empowered teens.

STEP 1 – Radical Communication

The #1 tool for a Radical Parent is communication, and, in fact, without good, open communication, there’s no way to parent effectively. It’s fair to say that the ability to guide and influence adolescents is relative to the level of communication, and as communication improves, parental influence improves accordingly. In comparison to traditional parenting that depends on rule setting, discipline, and consequence-based parenting strategies, conscious communication creates a whole new paradigm for parenting. When it comes to parent-teen communication, here are the most pivotal concepts:

  • Refrain from Judgement

Believe it or not, most teens really want to speak openly with their parents, but, in many cases, well-intentioned parents inadvertently block communication by being judgmental. Although most parents don’t mean to judge their kids,when a parent focuses on misbehavior, faults or inadequacies, children of all ages experience judgment. Because parental judgment makes kids feel unworthy of parental love, it causes insecurity and makes them shut down (most teens only open up when they feel safe and loved). Even an isolated judgmental comment can cause teens to shut down and shut parents out.

If this isn’t a good reason to avoid criticism and judgment, also consider that parental judgment can damage a teen’s self-worth and become a source of disempowerment. It can also create the kind of guilt and shame that inhibits growth and development (impeding the type of learning that comes from mistakes). Of course, when teens make mistakes, refraining from judgment can be difficult, but this is exactly what a Radical Parent must do!

Here’s good news; if you don’t judge, get defensive or launch into lectures or explanations, teens often share the details of their lives and even ask advice. Hence, if you play your cards right, the best parenting opportunities lie ahead.

As communication improves, parental influence improves accordingly.

  • Avoid Power Games

Not only do teens need to feel unconditionally safe and loved, they also need to feel like they have some degree of power. When it comes to communication, there’s no way teens will talk to critical or condescending parents who make them feel powerless. So, when parents say things like, “I’m the parent and you have to do what I say” or “This is my house and as long as you live here, you’ll obey my rules,” there is no chance teens will open up and listen to parental advice.

In fact, when parents play these power games, teens often try to diminish parental power by demonstrating their own. For example, when teens feel powerless, they might intentionally break the rules, talk back, or rebel in some other manner, and if they feel powerless over an extended period of time, they might even run awayor threaten self-harm (regardless of precipitating factors, all threats should be taken seriously).

No one ever wins a power game because every move has a counter-move, and the more controlling you are as a parent, the more rebellious your teen will be. Even if you somehow win, if you alienate your teen and block communication, you’ll both lose!

Keeping in mind that rules and consequences established without teen participation encourage power struggles, a key element to Radical Parenting is negotiation. By discussing and negotiating rules and consequences and formulating agreements with your kids, they’ll feel like they have a say in their own lives, and, when it comes to communication, this can make all the difference in the world.

The more controlling you are as a parent, the more rebellious your teen will be. Even if you somehow win, if you alienate your teen and block communication, you’ll both lose.

  • Don’t Make Teens Lie

Parents hate it when kids lie, but they lie for the same reason adults lie; to avoid negative consequences, and this means that parental judgment or punishment can set the stage for lying and deception. In other words, if your child honestly tells you the truth about his thoughts, actions or behavior, and you respond with judgement or punishment, you’re teaching them to lie. Rather than risk parental wrath, most teens will choose to conceal the truth. So, if you want honesty, don’t punish your teen when you get it!

  • Beware the Test

Before communicating about more difficult subjects, teens sometimes test their parent’s reaction by introducing the subject matter as a third party story (maybe about a friend or something they heard on TV) and, if they sense any degree of parental judgment or closed-mindedness, they’ll drop the topic and never mention it again. This means that you’ll miss an opportunity to discuss a meaningful matter that affects your child.

  • Don’t Underestimate

Parents often avoid difficult discussions when they believe a teen is too young for mature subject matters. However, even if teens are immature for their age, or you think they are too young to make certain choices, if their friends or peers are engaging in mature behaviour, it’s inevitable that they will be faced with the same opportunities. Do you want peer pressure to guide your teen’s choices or might you be a wiser guide?

Here’s more good news; with open communication parental influence well-outweighs peer pressure.

If teens have friends or peers engaging in mature behaviour, it’s inevitable that they will be faced with the same opportunities.

  • Be Available, Pay Attention, and Listen

As Radical Parents,we must learn to be excellent listeners! Although you may find your teen’s interests boring to discuss, there are three good reasons to attentively listen when kids share the everyday, ordinary stuff.

Be Available: Often times, before teens bring up the real subject they want to discuss, they test parental interest by talking about something nonsensical and depending on a parent’s level of attention, they decide whether or not to engage communication. So, if you’re annoyed at the interruption, distracted or more interested in something else, the conversation is done before it begins.

Pay Attention: Before approaching adult-like conversations, many teens attempt to connect with their parents by talking about meaningless stuff. In fact, this is a common way for teens to gauge their parent’s current mood and predict reactions, and if kids anticipate judgment, punishment or condemnation, they’ll silently choose to conceal the real reason for discussion.

Listen: If you don’t listen when your children speak about ordinary things, they’ll think you won’t listen when they have something serious to say.

You just never know when your teen has something important to share, so it’s best not to risk missing potential parenting opportunities. Although most teens don’t outwardly initiate a conversation with their parents, whenever teens try to get a parent’s attention, it usually indicates they want to talk. Other indicators include dropping subtle hints or silently following a parent around without any noticeable intention. Therefore, if there is any sign your teen wants to talk, drop everything and pay attention; turn off your phone, computer, and TV. However, don’t expect your teen to do the same. Eventually, you can make this an agreed rule, but first,you must set and establish a precedent where you give your full undivided attention.

You just never know when your teen has something important to share, so it’s best not to risk missing potential parenting opportunities.

How to Communicate with Teens

  • Timing is Everything

When it comes to parent-teen communication, timing is everything. If you try to push, manipulate or pressure teens into meaningful conversations before they’re open, it’s probably not going to fly. When my boys were adolescents, I learned to patiently wait for opportunities when they would be receptive to guidance. Sometimes, this meant waiting many months, but, hands down, it was always worth the wait! So, be chill and keep the door open; just let your teen know you are available to listen whenever he or she wants to talk. But, also, stay conscious, so when opportunity knocks, you’re ready to offer guidance and support.

  • Opportunity Knocks

The opportunity for communication often knocks when adolescents are faced with difficult issues or experiencing the natural consequences of poor decisions (this is when they are most receptive to support and guidance). However, although times of confusion or crisis offer priceless opportunities to connect and mentor, there’s a delicate balance; if you intervene too much, become controlling, or invasive, your teen might close down, and, consequently, your ability to mentor and guide will be equally diminished. By avoiding judgment, lectures, and control tactics, and showing unconditional love and support, Radical Parents hold the space for communication and exploration.

  • Allow Silence and Awkwardness

Since teens are just learning how to put words to their thoughts and feelings, it’s important to allow time and space for silence and awkwardness. In fact, it’s common for teens to speak slowly with a lot of space between thoughts. So, if you jump in with solutions or interrupt their process of communication for any reason, they may close down and stop talking altogether, and you’ll never know what’s really going on (or how to help). If you dominate the conversation, you will likely miss what they really want to say, so, as a good rule, allow your teen to talk (at least) twice as much as you.

  • Talk Feelings

You may want to protect your teen from emotional pain, but it’s just not possible, and even if you could, you might actually cause more harm than good. Yes, challenging situations sometimes result in painful emotions, but these experiences are precious opportunities for growth and learning. So, instead of suppressing or avoiding uncomfortable feelings, Radical Parents teach their teens how to feel and process emotions. Remember, if you want kids to share their feelings, you must create a safe (judgement-free) space for expression. 

 

  • Be a Source of Empowerment

In addition to actively listening without judgment or commentary, a Radical Parent is a source of empowerment and upliftment. Instead of focusing on negativity and mistakes, show your sons and daughters what they do “right,” and teach them how to learn from their mistakes without self-judgment (because it damages self-worth and causes disempowerment). By the end of a meaningful conversation (even if the problem is not yet resolved), your teen should feel more capable and confident in his/her actions. As an added benefit, when children feel supported by their parents, they are more inclined to share challenging subject matters.

  • Confidentiality is Crucial

If you desire open communication, you must respect your teen’s confidentiality. So, whatever your teen confides in you stays with you (unless it involves a potentially harmful situation like suicidal ideation, for example). Or, if you believe the other parent needs to be informed, don’t go behind your teen’s back. Instead, ask your teen to communicate directly, or let him or her know you plan to communicate and explain why.

  • Improve Communication Skills

If you’re uncertain about healthy and empowering communication, don’t allow lack of knowledge or experience to get in the way. Instead, do whatever it takes to improve your communication skills; take classes, read books or hire a coach.

 

STEP 2 – Teach by Example

Children of all ages learn by example and naturally copy their parents, so, by the time, they reach adolescence, most are hyper-sensitive to parental indiscretions, and this makes them notice any discrepancies between the rules and expectations set for them and the ones their parents follow.

Since you can’t expect a teen to do what you say, if you’re not doing it yourself, make sure to clean up “sloppy behavior.” Often times, this includes negative self-talk, disempowering language, unhealthy habits,and unconscious reactions, and, needless to say, make it a point to model desirable behaviors and do what you want your kids to do.

Furthermore, if your teen “calls you out” on your behavior, don’t defend yourself, make excuses, or belittle your teen by acting superior (above the rules because you’re the parent). Instead, make it an opportunity for meaningful communication. Even if your son or daughter is trying to use your behavior against you in order to manipulate the rules on their behalf, don’t react or take offense. Rather, listen carefully and have the courage to recognize the wisdom in their words, and without burdening your kids with adult issues or excuses, be open and honest while engaging a real discussion about the subject. And, if appropriate, course correct your behavior accordingly, so that you can be the person you want your son or daughter to be!

 

Make it a point to model desirable behaviors and do what you want your kids to do.

  • Parent Heal Thyself

Few can argue that adolescent self-discovery can be weird and messy (green hair, odd piercings, unusual friends, etc…), plus, driven by hormones and curiosity, this period of exploration can push a parent’s comfort zone. Sooner or later, most teens unknowingly trigger their parent’s emotional wounds, and, consequently, a parent’s unhealed issues can negatively impact parenting, and may even be passed down from parent to child.

No doubt, we cannot raise confident and emotionally healthy children unless we are confident and emotionally healthy parents, and, therefore, we must courageously do the inner and outer work to become the people we want our children to be. In helping our kids build self-worth and become empowered adults, we must break free of our own limitations and disempowering beliefs, and this requires healing unresolved issues and emotional wounds. In other words, Parent Heal Thyself!

  • Mutual Respect

As a Radical Parent, mutual respect is key; no teen will respect a parent more than they feel respected by the parent. Therefore, it’s vital to treat your teen with the high level of respect in which you want to be treated; for instance, if you want your teens to call when they’re late, you must also do the same.

Most of all, never speak to your kids in a way you wouldn’t want them to speak to you, and this means no yelling, blaming, or disrespectful communication of any nature. If you want respect, you must first give it, so, if you don’t want your teen to judge or curse, you better refrain. However, if you slip, either in words or affectation, take responsibility and apologize without excuses or justification.

Also, although you should never accept disrespectful behaviour, do not take it personally.

It’s vital to treat your teen with the high level of respect in which you want to be treated; for instance, if you want your teens to call when they’re late, you must also do the same.

  • Honour Privacy

Unless there’s a reason to believe your teen’s life is in danger, it’s best to respect privacy and not invade private space. “Parental invasion” motivates teens to protect their privacy, and, therefore, eavesdropping and snooping leads to secretive behavior. Moreover, not only won’t your kids trust you, you’ll also make them feel untrustworthy, and, as a result, they’ll act accordingly.

What about friends who are bad influences?
Well, if you’re judgmental of your teen’s friends or forbid certain friendships, there’s a good chance your teen will rebel by holding onto these relationships. Where parental judgment and ultimatums don’t work, time and space often do the trick, and given the opportunity to choose, most teens decide to ditch unhealthy relationships on their own.

 

STEP 3 – Guide Empowered Choices

Consider, if you are not consciously encouraging independence and empowerment, there’s a good chance you are unconsciously encouraging dependency and powerlessness. Here’s what you need to know in order toempower teens and help them make empowered choices in all areas of life:

  • The Foundation – Self-Worth

When teens believe they must meet certain conditions in order to be worthy, their ability to make good choices is diminished accordingly. Choices that are based on proving or improving worth are almost always disempowering in one sense or another; especially when those choices require the suppression of authentic expression in order to be liked or accepted.

Teens who know their unconditional worth make better choices because they are not afraid to say no or set boundaries that could result in judgment or rejection, and they don’t compromise self-respect or self-expression in exchange for approval or acceptance – nor to fit in or be popular. Therefore, it’s not an understatement to say that the primary job of a Radical Parent is teaching self-worth.

So how do you do it?

Firstly, take a stand for your teen’s self-worth – let them know that their worth is not dependent on anything or anyone, and this means that Radical Parents don’t judge their kids for less than perfect grades, nor do they focus on failure or inadequacy. Whether verbal or non-verbal, every time you express judgment, disappointment or criticism, your teen gets the message that worth depends on demonstration and meeting conditions. Rather than motivating kids to do better, this debilitating message causes disempowerment, and, all too often, results in the kind of self-doubt and insecurity that can last a lifetime.

Since Radical Parents must practice what they preach, don’t forget to embrace your own unconditional worth! So, if you don’t yet have it, do whatever you need to do, to get it!

Take a stand for your teen’s self-worth – let them know that their worth is not dependent on anything or anyone.

  • Boundaries Set the Stage

To make good, healthy choices, teens must identify their personal boundaries and have enough confidence to enforce those boundaries, even if it results in peer judgment or rejection. Teach your teens that they always have the power to choose (even when it appears otherwise), and they can say ‘no” when everyone else is saying yes. Teach them to stay empowered through clear communication, and encourage them to leave situations where boundaries might be crossed or compromised.

Also, teach your kids to recognize and avoid emotional manipulation; let them know that they are not responsible for another person’s behavior or emotional reaction, and they should never compromise themselves toprotect someone’s feelings. You might say something like, “You are responsible for you, and your job is to take care of yourself because no one else can do it for you.”

  • Own Responsibility

Since empowered choices require a high level of self-responsibility, teach your teens to take responsibility for their choices and consequences, and not give their power away by shifting responsibility or blaming someone else. As a Radical Parent, you must demonstrate self-responsibility by being responsible for all your choices and consequences, including actions, reactions, language,and moods. Therefore, you must forego excuses, such as rationalizing negative behavior or using an end-result to justify the means.

  • Practice Positive Thinking

Most teens spend a great deal of time worried about all sorts of things; from getting invited to that special party to being accepted in to the right college. However, worrying is a waste of time and energy because it means focusing on the least desirable outcomes. Instead, teach your teen that thoughts create reality, and, therefore, it is essential to focus on positive outcomes.

Teach your teen that thoughts create reality, and it’s essential to focus on positive outcomes.

  • Don’t Project

Don’t project your experiences or beliefs on your teen; what was/is right for you is not necessarily right for your growing child. Instead, support each child to become his or her best self.

  • Encourage Self-Trust

If we want our children to think for themselves and make good age-appropriate choices, they must believe in themselves, and this requires self-trust. However, to help teens develop self-trust, you must trust them, because if you don’t, they won’t know how to trust themselves. 

“Parental invasion,” such as spying and eavesdropping, not only teaches teens to be defensive, paranoid and sneaky, it also demonstrates your lack of trust. Moreover, if you use your teen’s mistakes to justify distrust, it will make him feel untrustworthy, and that’s what he’ll tend to be. Conversely, the more you trust your kids, the more trustworthy they will become, and the more they will know how to trust themselves.

  • Follow Inner Guidance

Even more than knowledge and logical thinking, learning to listen to inner guidance is the key to making good choices. Since emotions can be powerful, intuitive guides, teach your kids to listen to their feelings, and when making choices, ask them to imagine each potential outcome and notice how it feels. Most of all, help teens identify their true voice and follow inner guidance.

To help teens develop self-trust, you must trust them, because if you don’t, they won’t know how to trust themselves.

  • Ask Empowering Questions

When parental advice is heard as lecturing or an attempt to control, teens tend to shut down and block communication. Even if you know what’s best, spewing advice often alienates teens from the get-go. Therefore, instead of lecturing about consequences, why not use thought-provoking questions to explore options; for example, “What do you think might happen if …?”

Good open-ended questions invite teens to discover answers for themselves, and not only does this demonstrate your trust, it also teaches them to trust themselves; thereby building a bridge of confidence that can take them anywhere in life!

One of the greatest gifts you can give is a “question” that elicits greater awareness and inspires new ways of thinking, or enlightens potential consequences. Empowering questions open the space for increased consciousness by inviting the mind to imagine possibilities without constraints or limitations. Questions that begin with, “What if…?” are usually gems in disguise.  For example, “What if you could express yourself, without fear of judgement, what would you say or do?”

Although our teens might come to the same conclusion (as we would advise) when they think for themselves, answers are more meaningful, and, in the process, they develop significant life skills, such as discernment, inner guidance, and self-trust.

One of the greatest gifts you can give is a “question” that elicits greater awareness and inspires new ways of thinking.

  • Adult Education

When it comes to adult subject matters, to help your teen make good choices, it’s important to get educated and open the space for conscious discussion. For instance, if your son or daughter is curious about any mature behavior, instead of just regurgitating propaganda meant to control the masses, educate yourself and encourage him or her to get educated. Then, together, discuss the benefits, dangers, effects and what to expect. Remember to explore the difference between conscious exploration and recreational thrills, and make sure to discuss the importance of a safe environment. Also, let your kids know that they can call you any time to pick them up anywhere – no questions asked!

The Contract

Although it’s not always possible, do your best to create a verbal contract, so that your teen agrees to speak to you before engaging in drugs, sex or other adult behaviors. Ideally, the contract should include a post-experience discussion as well. The post-discussion is of utmost importance because teens sometimes have new experiences that leave them feeling confused, alone or afraid.

During the post-discussion, allow teens to express their thoughts and feelings without giving them a lecture or sharing your personal commentary. Once they are done sharing, your job is to help them make sense of their experiences so that they can learn about themselves, and use this knowledge for future choices. Remember, no matter the experience or outcome, avoid judgment. Even if they express regret, don’t say, “I told you so” or any version of it, because it will only make them shut-down and not trust you again. 

Since contracts can only be made voluntarily, don’t force your kids to agree; even if you get them to commit, forced agreements have a tendency to backfire.

Create a verbal contract, so your teen agrees to speak to you before engaging in drugs, sex or other adult behaviors.

Say “No” to Best Buddies

Although you may be your teen’s support system, guide, and confidant, don’t try to be a best buddy and don’t expect them to be yours. Therefore, don’t burden teens with adult concerns, don’t share personal issues, and don’t depend on them for emotional support. In fact, do your best not to behave in any way that could make your kids feel responsible for you or any adult stresses. It’s not their job to be your caregiver. Furthermore, if your teen perceives you weak or needy, you’ll lose trust, and if they feel they have to take care of you, they won’t ask for guidance. Therefore, resolve any emotional issues and other problems with an adult friend, coach or therapist.

Radical Results

As guides who support the journey from birth to adulthood, immense power has been invested in every parent, and, therefore, this power must be consciously used to raise children who become independent and empowered adults. As such, we must remember that we don’t own our children, but, rather, those entrusted to our care are simply wise beings in new bodies, and it’s our job to help them remember who they really are.

Indeed, it’s not always easy to parent an empowered teen, but it might help to remember that the behaviours commonly discouraged in adolescence often become desired attributes in adulthood, such as questioning the rules, thinking for oneself and standing for truth. Therefore, keep in mind that positive adult behaviors are best learned and cultivated during adolescence, and with the help of a Radical Parent, many empowering attributes become the foundational building blocks for life.

Finally, although we may point the way and encourage authentic self-expression, we must ultimately allow our grown children to find their ownpath and walk their owntalk. Therefore, without projecting prejudice, we must also encourage the exploration of new ideas and unique ways of living so that one day our children can fulfill their greatest dreams, and, consequently, pass on the gifts we have graciously bestowed.

Even if you forget everything else, just remember one thing; be the person you want your child to be…

 

In love, grace, and attitude,

Nanice

Book Promo: Is There a White Elephant in Your Way

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTz7z1lxEpA&feature=youtu.be

It’s important to teach your children the importance of being alert and knowing the dangers that can come with interacting with strangers. While you can’t be by your child’s side the entire the day, there are safety precautions you can take that can help ease your mind.

1. Remind your children that it’s not just strange men they should be wary of. Women can be just as dangerous, and it’s important to teach children to be cautious of all people they don’t know well.

2. Create a code word for your child that’s easy to remember. If a stranger asks them to come along with them, tell your child to ask the stranger for the code word.

3. Mobile phones can be the cause of distractions, but having you child carry one with them can benefit them in emergency situations. Child friendly phones are readily available.

4. Make sure they know that there are safe “strangers” they can trust. If you’re worried one day you’ll be late to pick them up from school, tell them if they can wait with a friend’s parents you trust until you can make it.

5. Do little quizzes every now and then to keep them up to date with their stranger danger knowledge. You can ask them questions like “Will a stranger be nice to you?” or “Is a stranger a woman?” to see if they know who to avoid and what to do.