EmPOWERed Teens "Skate To Educate"
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Initiative
Skate 2 Educate is an event that will provide today's youth the opportunity to socialize with peers and be provided with resources and tools that encourage and promote healthy relationships. Skate 2 Educate will also provide opportunities for teens to receive information on teen financial literacy, college preparation, and MUCH MORE!!!! Teens will also be able to take part of the making of a public service announcement entitled,"The Relationship of A Lifetime". Each teen will be provided a tote bag with teen dating violence resources and trinkets. Entertainment will be provided along with FREE FOOD and door prizes!!!!!
The first 70 teens registered, will receive FREE skate rental and admission. Register below for your opportunity.
Date: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Time: 6p.m. until 9 p.m.
Place: 300 Bizzell Midwest City, Oklahoma Century Skateland
Parenting With A PurposeColumnist: Kelly Ramsey, MS
One of the greatest challenges facing families today is parenting children in a chaotic world. This section will share with you research on parenting and raising children in the 21st century. From cradle to college, parents will learn valuable lessons from the children in their homes and community. Come join us in the journey, as we unfold the skillful art of parenting with purpose.
Stages of Parenthood Part I
Often when we look at a child, we can see them growing, from an infant to a toddler, slowly taking grasp of the world around them. Children are learning the rules of society, how do set and understand boundaries and how to relate with others from watching the adults in their lives. Have you ever identified with a parent when their child has a tantrum in the middle of the store aisle? Of course, you have. We understand the struggle that the parent is experiencing. The child is growing up, and changing, and his needs are changing as well. As the parent watches this metamorphosis of the sweet infant to the screaming toddler, they are experiencing changes as well. This is where the stages of parenthood become evident, and clarity of the developmental stages of children are best understood.
Parenting is a process by which parents and children grow and develop, each influencing the other throughout their lives. Parents move through a series of six stages from pregnancy, when they prepare for parenthood and the birth of their child, to the time when their child leaves home to enter the adult world (Galinsky, 1981). Parents evaluate their progress as the child moves through each of these stages.
Expectations for their child's behavior and development are measured against the child's actual behavior and development; a parent's self-image may shift as he or she moves through the different stages of parenthood. This information is based on Galinsky's interviews with over 200 couples (Galinsky, 1981). For better or for worse, being a parent changes an individual forever.
Galinsky identifies six parental stages as :
· Image-making stage: Pregnancy
· Nurturing stage: Birth to 18-24 Months or Autonomy
· Authoritative stage: Two to four or five years
· Interpretive Stage: Preschool Years through Adolescence
· Interdependent Stage: During adolescence
· Departure Stage Join us next month for continued discussion of the Stages of Parenthood. We will describe in depth each stage and how developmental stages of children affect our parenting.
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TEACHING TOO YOUNG?
It’s getting hard to know how much to teach your children. I have been deeply troubled the last few weeks between the massacre in Norway, shootings in the United States and general atrocities that are too many to mention. I practice with my son homemade drills of saying no to drugs, alcohol and smoking. We’ve gone over the differences between talking with a stranger to be polite. Saying thank you, excuse me, etc. is different than telling your home address or telephone number. Talking with a stranger when you’re with your adult is different than talking to a stranger by yourself.
So when and how do I teach him to run and hide. I’ve been contemplating for days how to even bring that up in a conversation without infringing on their sense of safety. If you answered you can’t, then you are correct. What you can do is introduce a game to your children. Practice impromptu run and hide games just for the fun of it. Your children will think you are just playing a game with them but you’ll be practicing with them.
The early childhood practice of today is to tell your children why you are having them do something. Look both ways before you cross the street so a car won’t hit you and you become injured or dead. That’s all well in good unless your child is running full speed ahead toward the street. You don’t have time to explain what’s going on you just need them to listen immediately. A true emergency situation demands that they listen immediately for their safety.
There are truly things that I never thought about having to teach my child at six. It seems our children need know more and more at a younger age. I know our children are learning things much more at younger ages then we ever did. You can argue all you want about kids today, just like every other generation. I want my son to be safe but I also want him to feel safe. That safety and security is vital to his learning process. A child that isn’t secure in their environment is worried about saying safe. When their brain is focused on their safety the brain can’t concentrate on learning. So we go back to what’s the answer. Playing games incognito is a choice. Who can go through the house the most quiet? When do you know it’s an actual emergency. What do you do if something happens. Regardless of home invasions, there is fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc that you need to plan for. Outside of Acts of God there’s always just general health issues. My mom picks up my son everyday from school and she often has him alone. My husband and I are closer to fifty then forty. Heart attack, stroke and other general ailments are possible. Our son has been trained on how and when to call 911. We pray he will never need this knowledge but want to prepare him for the worse but we pray for the best. Precaution is the medicine for prevention.
SPOTLIGHT ON COMMUNITY ACTIVISM
ServicesFree Support GroupsGrief Support Groups (after a death)
- In 1999, Calm Waters became an independent nonprofit organization and is listed with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations to Calm Waters are tax deductible.
- In 2000 , Calm Waters added a school-based grief support group program to its repertoire of free services offered to the community.
- Historically, Calm Waters served 200 students per year in these school-based support groups.
- By 2007-2008, more than 800 metro-area students (K-12) benefited from this outreach program. In 2008-2009, more than 1,750 children participated in the 6-week school-based groups. And in 2009-2010, 2,006 children and youth (pre-k – grade 12) participated in this program.
Divorce Support Groups
School-Based Grief Support Groups
Young Adult Group
SeminarsParenting Through Divorce Seminars (court-approved)
Training OpportunitiesSchool Counselor/Educator Grief Training Workshop
Volunteer Facilitator Training
Intern / Practicum Students
SPOTLIGHT ON COMMUNITY ACTIVISM
HOPE PREGNANCY CENTERS & IT'S PROGRAMS
Lisa Baldwin Editor-in-Chief sits down with Gwendown Poteat, Lifewize Coordinator. One of the many program offerings Hope Pregnancy offers. The Lifewize program provides classes in healthy decision making, goal setting, and life skills in areas of abstinence, prenatal and baby care, and teen parenting to High School and Middle School students. At this time the program is servicing three schools: Oklahoma Centennial, Capitol Hill, and PC Academy. All programs are focused on providing :
For volunteer opportunities with this program, please contact Gwendolyn Poteat at (405)414-4673
HOPE PREGNANCY CENTERS provide FREE pregnancy tests and information on fetal development, abortion education, post-abortion syndrome, medical referrals, adoption referrals, community resources, parenting, abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases screenings, Christian growth, FREE maternity clothing and infant clothing.
Parents can also accumulate crib cash to purchase needed items for baby.
Two locations to serve you: 10327 N. May (405) 755-5433
1624 S.W. 82 (405) 688-7800
The hope of Hope Ministries is that as each individual comes into a Hope Pregnancy Center,
he or she would find Christ’s love.
The summer is full of challenges for most families. There are additional costs that can really eat away at your budget. If you have children that need to attend child care you have the full rate cost you must pay instead of the school year cost. If you have younger children the cost remains the same. However, there are additional activity costs during the summer. It seems like every time you turn around its snow cones, swimming pools, petting zoos, amusement parks or off campus activities. Goodness, it can add ten to twenty dollars to your child care bill each week. If your child stays at home with a parent or grandparent then there are additional costs to keep them active during the summer. In the Oklahoma City area we have the Metro Family Magazine. There website is http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/
, a Google search will find something in your area. The Metro Family is a great resource. One of the things I particularly like is it informs you about happenings in OKC. They take all the information from different resources and put it in one source. As a parent I’m able to go to the guide and know what’s happening around me. They list the cost or if it’s free. I requested email alerts so now I’m able to read the different events and plan for them before they happen. Prior to the notifications I read about most of the events after they had happened. It takes a little research but it is well worth the effort. As a parent you are your child’s most important teacher. You aren’t able to teach your child everything but you can help them experience life by taking them on different outings. We all know they get expensive over time so using the guide to help you know when free items are offered is a great resource. Many of the museums, historical buildings, etc. have free or reduced prices during the year. If you visit during these times it’s busier but I find it worth the savings! Another great resource is http://www.facebook.com/thefrugalgirls or www.frugalgirls.com
. The site has listed items you can obtain for free. Yes, that’s right FREE. The free items are from food to e-books that you can download. They update the area weekly if not daily. I suggest liking their page on Facebook to save the continuous emails. They also offer summer ideas. You might be full of thoughts in the beginning of the summer but by the end of the summer your idea meter might start to run low. I’m sure there are many other sites I haven’t mentioned. Check with friends and family and see if they have found a great site. Often times we learn something great from one of our friends or family members because they were at the right place at the right time. Summer ideas can come to us from all sorts of places now having the time to do all of it … that’s another story!
3 Ways to Minimize Stress
It is the time of year where graduations are happening all around us. Children graduate from Pre-K and Kindergarten. Teenagers are graduating from High School. Young adults are graduating from college. Graduations are always a mixture of emotion. Celebration for completing something you have worked hard for. Fear for what is coming next. Regardless of the age change is always difficult. Good changes, bad changes. You feel stress when a change is made in your life. Young children are no different. They show their stress in different ways but they still feel it. You may notice they have started carrying around their blanket again, or wanting their pacifier or have toileting accidents. After my father died my son didn’t understand my tears. He wanted me to stop crying. My tears were a change for him and they scared him. My son was five at the time. He made me a pillow with one of his shirts on it and told me to hug the pillow anytime I missed my daddy. In turn, my son started carrying around his puppy again. He had gotten away from taking her everywhere when he was three but now she goes to school with him in his backpack. It comforts him. Sometimes the stress comes out in subtle questions. My dad died when he was 68 just shy of his 69th birthday. A few months after my dad had passed I noticed that my son kept asking his remaining grandparents how old they were. He seemed obsessed with it, how many days until your birthday? How old will you be? He asked several times each time he talked to them. In his mind he thought all his grandparents would die before they were 69. I did not know when he first started asking that he was concerned about his grandparents having an expiration date. We had many conversations that revolved around the fact that people do not have an expiration date. I had to approach it in such a way that he wasn’t continually scared about death and dying. As parents we know how fragile life really is. It is a balancing act between letting them know about death and dwelling on how things can change so quickly. Children all have stressors because adults have stressors. Children pick up on our stress. Some people think they hide it well while others let their children know everything that is going on. Personally I like to stay in the middle. Sometime I must explain to my child that as he gets older my explanation will become clearer. He doesn’t always like the answer and that causes him stress. One thing I know for sure, as an early childhood professional for the past twenty years, if I do not answer a child’s question he, or she will ask someone else. When that happens you can’t guide your child's answer. Which will usually end up causing you stress, which stresses out your child, … oh my … talk about a vicious cycle, but let me make a few suggestion to you!
- Think before speaking to your child about any situation. (Once words have been spoken, you cannot take them back.)
- Sit down, and exhale, before you speak and inhale your child's stress.
- Always find relaxation strategies to soothe and calm you and your child's level of anxiety ie. reading a great book, assembling a puzzle, listening to classical / nature themed music, or play a sport.
A Few Lessons Learned
As a parent I feel it is my responsibility to teach my child as much as I can in the short amount of time he will actually listen. My child is a high energy six year old. He likes to be busy and engage his active energy level. He has lessons to be learned seven days a week. Not because I want him too but because he wants too. Personally, I’d prefer a few nights to just to relax. When he wants to take a night off we take a night off. As a family we split up his lessons. His father takes him to some, I take him to others and his grandmother takes him as well. What can a six year old possibly be so busy learning? Two to three days a week he goes to Tae Kwon Do in his effort to obtain his first degree black belt by the time he’s eight.
This is a dream he’s had since he was two and saw his first Bruce Lee movie. Two days a week he has swimming. His grandmother has been adamant that he learn to be an expert swimmer. My cousin died when he was just five from drowning. It is a loss that is still felt deeply even though it occurred decades ago. One day a week he takes guitar lessons. His father and he share a love of music and so do he. His most important lessons are of faith. As a parent I cannot be everywhere my son is. Even though I attempt to teach him to make positive choices, be aware of his surroundings and make the right decisions.
The bottom line is between school, friends and family he makes many of his decisions when he is not with me. How many children have ruined their futures by making one wrong decision that leads to other wrong decisions that lead to life altering consequences? The only preparation I can give my child is to empower his choices. How can I do this? I can do this by making sure that he has the necessary tools to make appropriate choices. In our family we talk about what Jesus would have done and the expectations of God the Father. Although, I can’t be with my son 24/7. God is.
Even at six my son knows to listen to the Father. He knows that I bow to what God says. If there is ever a time that he feels that what God has told him is different then what he has learned from me or his dad then he should do what God tells him, without conflict. It would not anger me or sadden me. I will be very proud of his choice and support him. If there is any conflict, it would be mine and his dad’s. As a teacher and as a parent I must empower my son for all things, even his choices.
Too Much Screen Time?
You really can’t get away from it. Screen time! Chances are your reading on a screen right now. Between computers, televisions, phones, etc. there are screens all around us. DVD players, satellite TV, I-phone, I-pad, dozens of screens to entertain our children all around us. It certainly makes traveling in rush hour easier, or enjoying a meal more pleasant when the children are entertained with something. Considering all the different apps available you can find just about anything you want or need for your child. Personally I found an amazing app for sight words from Pumpkin for Android phones. We use it anytime we are waiting in line or if we are in the car. I hand him my phone and he goes to the sight word app and practices. After ten minutes or so he’s allowed to go to the light saber app that he really enjoys. His sight word ability has certainly increased since we are using the app. Last week I heard a news story about a teacher who started using her I-Pad with children that were struggling with learning their alphabet. She noticed that once they started using her I-Pad the children started learning their alphabet and retaining it at a higher rate. She then took her discovery to Administration and the School Board. They are in the process of purchasing I-Pads as a teaching tool for their students. An I-Pad for Kindergarten? I can just imagine what my grandparents would think about that. Personal computers weren’t around when 3 of my grandparents passed away. The fourth saw the beginning of the industry take hold. There are mixed messages all around us. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO SCREEN TIME for children under TWO. (http://www.aap.org/sections/media/toddlerstv.htm ) Watching screens at this young age affects the way their eyes transport information to the brain. Yet, we see the curriculum Your Baby Can Read throughout the day on television. I know parents who have purchased this and use it with their children. The effects are pretty amazing. I’m very curious to see research done on the long term affects of teaching children to read at such a young age.Here’s the thing that I see about screen time. . . it’s not going away. If anything it will continue to grow. There are schools now that have done away with text books, homework, etc. in printed form. There are many schools that require their students to purchase flash drives for their classes. As parents we need to figure out what works for children and help them monitor their screen time. Many of us enjoy playing games on the computer just as our children enjoy their games. It can be very relaxing for us after a long day but no one should do it for hours on end. Know what works for you and your family. Empower your children to know when enough is enough. Yes, the computer can teach music lessons but is that the best fit for all children.
A THIN LINE
Raising children in today’s society can be trying at best. I can’t turn on the television or look at the computer without hearing about another instance of bullying in school. I was speaking to a co –teacher just this last Friday about a school age child that feels she is being bullied by someone in her class. Investigation of the incident determined it was just a misunderstanding. That however does not change the one child’s perception nor does it change the hurt feelings. There is a fine line between standing up for oneself without trampling on another.
I have my own six year old that his father and I are trying to parent. I can’t imagine trying to do so without the direction of God in our lives. So often in today’s times children are faced with things in their lives that we as parents have not told them about. To be honest we try to teach our son right from wrong, good from bad, etc. The problem is – that seems to change and sometimes we just didn’t know it even changed. A friendly relative who begins a battle with an addiction, a family you trust that is going through financial hardship, etc. All these things create stress in the lives of people around you and your family and STRESS changes people.
I’ve heard it before. There’s a very fine line between … love and hate/good and evil/right and wrong. It’s a fine line for an adult for a child trying to figure everything out it’s even worse. Teaching my child that he is a child of God and is destined for greatness but grounding him in everyday reality is a fine line. Showering him with love and adoration so that he knows he was wanted and is our gift from God while teaching him he is fallible and it is okay to make mistakes is also a fine line.
You have probably heard – if not said yourself – children today are different. Yes, I believe they are. Children throwing a horrible fit because they were told no. See, that’s the fine line again. When we do say no children don’t always know how to handle it – all that emotion: anger, stress. It comes out through a fit.
I believe the answer is on that fine line. We have to empower our children. They need to have enough self-esteem to say no when a no is warranted. They need to have a backbone to stand up for someone who is being bullied. No matter whom the bully may be. They need to have enough self-worth to know their place in society, in our family, in their school, in their church. Empowerment is not just a simple lesson you can teach. It’s a way of life.