Victoria Peace Green

Children's Author * Freelance Writer * Speaker

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WHAT ROLE MODELS DO YOUR KIDS HAVE?

Children imitate behavior.It’s that easy. Most of us can remember the few adults in our lives which had great influence. Remember the not-so- good ones? Some of those role models many of us are still trying to forget! But healthy role models challenged us and encouraged us like no one else. We wanted to be like them. They helped us come to places of great decision- the ones that affected the outcome of our lives.

Of course the most obvious first role models for any child are us parents and then grandparents, aunts, uncles, older cousins and of course teachers! What is healthy in modeling behavior? If we smoke, drink, swear, gossip, or just sit around and watch TV- it’s very likely our kids will do the same. We can preach all about not doing those things but if we do them- well, I remember my mother would advise me but if I saw her do what was the opposite or be a hypocrite- then all was lost! Continue reading

Power-Words To Feed Our Kid’s Hearts and Minds- 24/7

I was at the grocery store the other day. I don’t like grocery stores. Just too chaos and too many choices to make…. so I enjoy studying any kids and their parents that are also engaged in each other and  in the experience of shopping. I decided after cleaning my cart with those wipe things to make a study on what I heard between kids and adults.

Moms and some dads were hustling around with kids in tow or in the carts. I listened as if I had no eyes. In fact in places where it was safe to do so, I closed my eyes as I heard ‘conversation’ between adults and children. I wanted to cry. Why? The parents talked at their kids not with their kids, the kids nagging, nagging for whatever reason, then the big shouting match telling the kids “NO” only to be followed with more nagging. I have to say the bazar habit of parents talking or texting on their phones, while they are supposed to be choosing groceries and being attentive to their children, has got to be the most unrecognized neglectful adult behavior. What are they teaching their kids while they do this? Uhhhh…..for starters, how about its OK to ignore those you are with. And they learn to do the same thing with their own friends and family !

 IMAGINE OUR KIDS AS GROWN UP KIDS 

 I asked myself, if all these kids were grown up and walking beside their parent how the conversations would be different? We ought to try walking at the store or anywhere with our kids and imagining they are adult kids. Or we might pretend that sweet 3 foot tall child is our own friend we enjoyed a bite to eat with at the lunch hour today.

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ONE MINUTE ALL IS CALM AND THE NEXT- ‘I HATE YOU!’

 You know that the sweetness of her smile and the kindness of her 11 year old voice won’t last very long because you have experienced being a tween parent now for 3 years. Without skipping a beat she is suddenly screaming and ranting and freaking out about something you are oblivious to and shouting – I hate you!  It’s then that you remember you’re a parent of a tween

-She says she screams because you scream

How can we talk to our tween’s? They tell us we scream or the teachers yell- but many times and most of the time- they are just pulling some random remembrance out of a long time ago moment. You may not even remember. They feel misunderstood because their bodies, minds, and friends all seem to be changing so much of the time! Tween’s live in a state of ‘above the clouds’ or ‘disconnect’. Ask a question or make a comment- you may hear an answer or a garbled ‘uhhh-uhhh’. Living in expectation of them to answer right now will close a conversation attempt before it begins.  You may hear in a week or a month the answer but no one- not even them many times, knows what’s inside their minds.

 As soon as your face becomes inpatient looking or angry looking- a tween has labeled you as ‘mean’ or ‘not nice’. I try to avoid those looks that will spread across my blown mind, so instead I conditioned myself. My tone needs to be matter-of-fact as I try to establish some form of communication with tween’s. Paying attention to me is my goal so if I blow it with a face look or a tone then it’s a no-go!

 What to do what to do-

 To get our tween’s to stay connected  or open up to us, we need to be open and honest with our own experiences, respond in positive tones when they come around and share what they are concerned with or fearful of, and emphasize how we enjoy his/her sharing.  The biggie is sympathizing with his/her feelings by listening and listening again. It’s tough because so often they go on and on about stuff that doesn’t make sense to us. But belittling and brushing-off their feelings is seen as rejection which can have lasting effects. Validating is what we want even with our own spouses so why would it be less with our tweens? To validate doesn’t mean we are in agreement but we are giving them the right to share and own those feelings and emotions. Continue reading

SHAUN WHITE- A WINNER IN HIS CONVICTIONS

Who is your Olympic all-time hero? Can you remember when you were a kid following an Olympian or a sports figure?  Today as I write this, Shawn White took center stage literally on TV. He was the favorite this year to take home to the USA gold in not one but two sports, the slopestyle and the halfpipe. His announcement to withdraw from the very popular slopestyle was a shock to most of the world. But then as the news settled, Shaun’s decision worked for him in a big way. He won. He won in the minds and hearts of many parents that have kids who looked up to him …and still do.

 I am so grateful for the world of tweens and just kids in particular to see a valuable lesson.

 Shaun said amongst other sound words, “….the potential for risk of injury is a bit too much for me to gamble my other Olympic goals.” This spoken by the most decorated athlete to ever compete in the snowboarding events.
I see a clear message from Shaun: it’s OK to work hard and give your all to your sport or work, but then make a decision (not based on what you think others might want to hear), but on your own personal convictions. He sized up the way the Russians set up the event and after much agonizing deliberations inside his own mind and heart, he realized that he might get hurt; really hurt. Though he knew it was going be a tough one he followed through because he wanted to concentrate on the other goal without compromising himself; losing out on both or hurting his wrist even more than it was hurt.
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THE LEAFLESS TREE: IT ISN’T DEAD BUT SEEMS TO BE LANGUISHING

            Outside my office window is a giant but very cold-bare crape myrtle. The birds peer into my window as they huddle almost as one life-form on its branches. That tree which was once their hiding place, security from predators, and shelter from the rain, has become unable to do its job any more. The birds don’t wonder like I use to as a kid; is that tree ever going to have leaves again or is it dead?

            Even now as an adult and though I know better, the tree appears as though it is lifeless, just not thriving, or for a better word, languishing. Once it had such vibrancy and purpose as it housed the birds and was admired constantly last spring, summer, and a tad of autumn from my office. I can’t help but see a parallel between that languishing tree and tweens; those kids I love so much. Tween’s find it hard many times to share what hurts, so they often hide or try to under their pretend smiles. Nature has so often, the answers to most of life’s questions. I love how Jesus built the lessons he wanted people to grasp about life and the state of our souls, all around nature. How many of those parables do just that? They make us to wonder about ourselves and seek out those answers. Continue reading

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WHAT IN THE WORLD IS MY TWEEN ASKING ME?

           The other day I was in a huge hurry so I thought I’d save time in one of those 15 or less check outs at the grocery store. But my impatience suddenly calmed down when I heard two moms in front of me sharing. One mom said her 12 year old wanted to know what she (her mom) would do if she got pregnant! The friend wasn’t shocked; she just came back with her own experience last week. She laughed and then got real serious- looking, then told her friend that her 11 year old daughter was sick and tired of us (her mom and dad) making her do her homework before she was allowed  to talk to her friends on her cell phone.

Not sure about you, but cell phones in an 11 year olds hands – might be a recipe for a “disconnect” between daughter and mom (?) These days tweens are not what they were in “those days”- the mom’s days. If we can just remember “those days” when we were tween’s and what came out of our wild and crazy minds and mouths!  But these days, tween’s know all about sex, drugs, pornography, alcohol, and all the rest because of the media of TV and all the techie stuff parents allow their kids to own which connects them to the internet! These two moms are about to lose control of parenting their sons and daughters unless they stay savvy and connected with them on a daily basis. Continue reading

OUR KIDS/GRANDS AND THEIR DECISIONS- THEY NEED HELP YET MORE RESPONSIBILITY AS THEY MATURE

OUR KIDS AND THEIR DECISIONS – THEY NEED HELP AND YET RESPONSIBILITY

Without thinking we make many a day, an hour, and minute by the minute. I was thinking this morning when I made the decision to get up and plant my feet on the floor, how many decisions I would make today that might be observed.

Our kids, our grand’s, our nieces and nephews, our students, neighbor kids, and perfect little strangers in the grocery isle will be watching us grown-ups as we speak and act! Wow- that is something to think about or at least it is for me.  I’m not talking about huge decisions (in this particular blog) that are planned like where to put our money; 401K or savings elsewhere.  It’s those everyday little ones that make a long range difference in the lives of those little eyes and ears watching me. The question I ask myself is how can I be a good model today?

Honestly I make it my priority daily (though I fail time and time again) to ask the Lord to help me make those wise and productive decisions in my own daily life at home first. My priority’s, the types of books, entertainment, hobbies, and even the way I move and act and be in my relationships  need to be overshadowed with the Lord’s direction and perspective each of my days or I am a mess!  I made it simple a few years back; when I choose to follow what God likes then I can’t go wrong in the eyes of my grand kids or any little eyes around my neighborhood that might meet up with me. My accountability partner I like to think is ………God. Continue reading

Mom! What Are You Doing Washing My Shirt?!!

What our tweens wear to school tops their MOST IMPORTANT list of “how not be embarrassed”.  Have you ever experienced the old “toilet-paper-getting –stuck-to-your- heel just after using the restroom in a board meeting?  Or how about the time you gave your power-point presentation with your fly open or your blouse buttons popped off?

It all comes down to what is important at the time or the season or phase of life. Our preteen or tween has immense insecurities about fitting in or being a part of the pack. They would rather die than wear something that NO BODY ever wears to school!  

Could the more pertinent issue be: how much do we spend on this tug-of-war with our tween’s or does it even need to be a war? Giving too much attention to what they can and can’t wear may bring less attention from what really matters in middle school- good grades. So the question haunts our brains as we stare at our daughter’s choice of skirts and too much skin showing or our son’s strange way to wear his pants: 

At what point does a new law need to be written on their foreheads about their   choice of clothes? Continue reading

IS YOUR TWEEN READY FOR ‘HOME ALONE’?

“I don’t want to go back to the grocery store! I can do it, mom – I can stay home by myself!” How many times has your 11-12 year old pleaded with you to give him the OK to stay home? You know you have been wanting to give them more responsibility but how do you know if your child is ready?

                Being sure of their readiness is what you want for your peace of mind. The only way to find out is to get serious about establishing rules while determining their maturity level of having them stay home alone.

1.       Does your state have a minimum age? Call social services for your state. Some states do not have any age requirements while others do have a specific age requirement for leaving a child unsupervised.

2.       Rules and Expectations need to be specific and written. Sitting down with (with already written list) your tween’s undivided attention is important. Continue reading

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