Internet Safety For Kids is a Myth – Is Social Media Part of the Problem?

It’s impossible to stress internet safety for kids too much. The internet is just a window into the most interesting places, stories, images and news ever invented. I’m sure the engineers who constructed it decades ago for the military are amazed at the civilian applications…like social media.

Sadly, the internet has also become an important tool for child predators who target children and pornography producers who don’t care who they hurt. It’s way past time to stop them in their tracks.

The Rochester Institute of Technology reported in 2008 that 48% of kids in kindergarten and first grade interact with with people on web sites. Again 48% of those kids reported viewing online content that made them feel uncomfortable, but only 72% reported it to a grownup.

So, what happened to the other roughly one in four children who did not report it? Maybe that was the start of the downhill slide into the world of porn and victimization?

Of course, social sites like Facebook and MySpace encourage sharing and interaction. Are the social sites the problem? Before you get too worried, try to remember that adult content and predators seeking victims have been around a lot longer than any social media site.

My first encounter with a sexual predator was 50 years ago in my local movie theater. A guy sat right behind me in an almost empty theater, leaned forward and started breathing on my neck and talking to me. I moved seats three times and so did he as he continued his unwanted advances toward me.

Finally, I excused myself to go get popcorn and ran out the front door as if the devil himself was chasing me. Which, in hindsight, maybe he was.

The movie theater was a physical social site then. The corner candy store, the drug store and the playground were also social sites in the past.

The factors that kept me on the right path then are the same that would do it today. I was properly boxed in by a healthy, wholesome family life, the teachings of the church (right and wrong) and a group of neighbors and relatives who relentlessly watched out for bad things in the neighborhood. It certainly didn’t hurt that the local beat cops knew the residents and most of the kids by name!

So, social sites may be part of the problem, but they have simply replaced the movie theater or the playground as hunting grounds for predators. The hard part today is putting the positive forces in place like a real neighborhood and friendly, knowledgeable police officers on foot who could call a kid by name!

Of course the other difference is that, with the internet, the bad guys can get right into your home – without you even knowing it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Healthy Smoothies For Kids – What’s Healthy About Them?

I am pretty sure as a child we all remember our parents telling us to eat our fruit and vegetables, and now we want to pass that onto our kids, as living a healthy lifestyle becomes more and more important.

You know they should be eating well for the sake of their health, but as far as most kids go, they couldn’t give a fig..it’s just not important to them. The good news is you can get your kids to eat a healthier variety of fruit and vegetables by making a healthy smoothie for kids that not only tastes great, but looks great too. All you need to do is spend a few minutes each day coming up with some fruit smoothie recipes for kids to enjoy, and they will never know.

What is a Smoothie Anyway?

Essentially a smoothie is a blend of any fruit or vegetable, mixed with yogurt (I find Greek yogurt the best as, it gives a thicker creamier texture) and milk, plus either ice cream or ice. If you want this to work, then I suggest you use fruit to make a nice healthy smoothie for kids. The added extra of using fruit is that it already has natural sweeteners, and a taste we all love. My favourite tends to be strawberries or raspberries, but pretty much anything will work. You can even use frozen fruit to make your healthy smoothies for kids, as long as they are getting their 5 a day, right!

This will usually result in an attractive looking meal with a variety of bright colours (depending on the fruit that you choose). Do not be afraid to experiment with different ingredients, and let your kids help, they are more likely to eat something that they made themselves.

What do you need to make fruit smoothie recipes for kids?

To make a smoothie you will need the following:

A good quality smoothie maker or blender (the cheaper ones tend not to liquidize your fruit very well, this can leave unpleasant lumps or slices in the smoothie, making it more of a lumpy.

Fruit juice, orange usually works well, but you can use just about anything. I particularly enjoy using pineapple juice when inventing new fruit smoothie recipes for kids, as they like the sweetness of it.

Greek yogurt, I say Greek because it is thicker and creamier, but feel free to use any regular type you may have in the fridge also.

Either a few cubes of ice, or a large spoonful of ice cream if you are feeling a bit naughty.

Now, just chuck it all in the smoothie maker and blitz until smooth and creamy, and there you have it, some lovely healthy smoothies for kids and grownups alike.

So, go nuts and try a few fruit smoothie recipes for kids and see what they like. How cool is that, your kids will literally drink themselves healthy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Top 5 Classroom Rules for Kids Bible Lessons

Simple Discipline for Kids Bible Lessons

If you want to enjoy teaching the kids bible lessons you’re going to have to have a clear set of classroom rules that are:

Easy to remember
Easy to follow

For this reason the rules had better be pretty simple and basic.

Whenever you take over a new class or have new kids come through it’s a great idea to review the classroom rules.

I like to sit the kids down and ask them what they think the rules ought to be.

Most of the time if they’re at school age they will have a good understanding of what standard of behaviour is expected. If you can allow them to suggest the rules whilst you guide them you will really get them on board a whole lot quicker. Don’t just write them up on the board before class begins!

You should end up with a list of easy to understand and easy to follow guidelines that look a bit like this:

1 – Only one person talks at a time

Listen – God gave us two ears and one mouth! Easily one of the best rules you could possibly have.

2 – Put your hand up to speak

Don’t call out. I love to ask questions in class and then I get to call on the child who has been the best behaved and is sitting patiently with their hand up high.

3- Participate

Everyone needs to get involved. Some kids love to keep their heads down. They may well know the answers but are shy. In this case they need to be called upon even if their hands are not up, especially if you think they do know the answer. Other times a newer child or one not confident will need to be encouraged and built up. In this case it can help to simply ask them for ‘good news’ or ask a non threatening question to prompt them to talk.

4 – Respect others

This all-encompassing rule can refer to many things including:

Respect when others are speaking – ie listen don’t speak!
Respect others space.
Keep your hands to yourself.

5 – Have Fun

Bring a smile. The goal is to enjoy yourself. As the teacher you must lead in this area.

It’s a great idea to review the rules at the start of each teaching term. This is the time to lead the children towards picking these goals for themselves. It’s also good to review the rules every few weeks to make sure all the kids know what is expected of them.

The ideas I’ve listed are not the only ones you might want to have. It’s up to you. And remember the last rule. Kids Bible lessons are meant to be fun!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Creative Piano Lessons are Challenging and Fun for Kids

Private lessons for children are the traditional teaching model for piano lessons. There are draw backs to one-on-one instruction that parents need to be aware of. First, private lessons create a dependence on the teacher that is hard for children to overcome, and second, they don’t encourage children to develop independent learning skills necessary to learn piano. Although it is true that private lessons have been the norm for centuries, how many people do you know who took piano lessons as children, but as adults don’t really know how to play the instrument.

Unfortunately a lot of excuses have been made by the profession for this failure including a tendency toward elitism, where only a few students are thought to have enough talent to learn this instrument. But think about it. Is there any other educational area where students are taught only in a one-on-one situation? In every other educational area children learn best in small groups. Here each student receives thorough instruction, but then is expected to work independently within the group to master their lessons. The tutorial model of private piano lessons leads students to believe that their piano teacher’s knowledge and effort is more important than the student’s. In the past, piano teachers have even tended to glorify themselves and their enviable musical ability. They knew the truth – that learning to play the piano takes consistent study through years of experience. They knew too that they would have many piano students, but only a handful of them would actually learn to play well.

I have to argue with this premise. I don’t believe it is necessarily true. I know from personal experience that many more children learn to play well in group lessons where they learn how to go about taking responsibility for their success in a supportive, family styled and creative learning environment. The energy kids in group lessons share and the fun they have playing for each other also breaks down their worries and fears about performing that help kids go on to achieve their musical goals. Plus they are able to see that other children face the same challenges in learning to play the piano as they do.

The best time to give your children one-on-one instruction is at home when they are young. Just as parents can teach their children to read, parents can also give their young children a solid foundation of musical language skills at home. Together with the benefits of group piano lessons using keyboards afforded by modern technology, many, many more children are successful in piano lessons today than ever before. This is good news for kids because of the overall educational benefits piano lessons have for children. So don’t wait to prepare your young children with home music study programs for piano, and when they are old enough, enroll them in group piano lessons.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Good News For Kids in South Carolina

Every state in the United States has different laws about what age is legal to get a tattoo. However, most states simply apply by the 18 years of age law. South Carolina on the other hand is one of those states that has the legal age of getting a tattoo set at 21 years of age. Although their law states that a person under the age of 21 can still get some ink, if they have parental consent from their parents. Well there is some good news for citizens of South Carolina the legal age of getting a tattoo is very likely to drop to 18. A Senate panel is going to discuss this matter this week and more than likely overturn the law from 21 to 18 to legally get a tattoo.

The president of the senate in South Carolina states that it is unconstitutional to treat 18-year-olds differently than other adults, but there is one exception to the rule, when it comes to the legal age of drinking. Another politician that thinks the law of getting a tattoo is a bit too old says that if teens are old enough to join the military and defend their country, they’re old enough to get a tattoo.

So if you are a 18 year old living in South Carolina be prepared for the legal age of getting a tattoo the changed very soon. But please keep in mind the reason the law was more than likely set at 21 is because teens don’t always make the best decisions. So think your tattoo design out thoroughly and make sure it is something you can live with for the rest of your life. And for heaven sake don’t get a girlfriend and a boyfriends name tattooed on you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off