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Monthly Archives: April 2015

iPhone Hangups

Does your child have a phone? Are there rules? Time limits? Text spot checks?

I once wrote about how different it is today than twenty or thirty years ago when there was ONE family phone in the hallway. If someone called you, first and foremost you never knew who was going to answer it. Could be a sibling, mom or worst of all, DAD. It was tethered to the wall so any thought of privacy was completely out of the realm of reality. And you typically had a time limit of anything under thirty minutes.

Flash forward to 2015. Kids have their own phone. In their room. With the door closed. Are texting friends all day long. Can access God knows what on-line. And are completely unmonitored. digitaladdict

Are you OK with that? Is your mind set that of “It’s just a different generation.”

Well. It’s not about a different generation. It’s about respecting technology. It’s about respecting rules. It’s about mom and dad defining structure and limits. It’s about your impressionable, naive, child not having carte blanche when it comes to access to the world. It’s about parents monitoring their child’s behavior and looking for teaching moments. It’s about establishing healthy habits and remembering that the phone is a privilege not a right.

If you do a quick spot check of your kid’s texts you’ll likely be shocked at their approach to relationships, people, current events, music, and their use of language. It will demonstrate to you how much they have to learn and why it’s important that you are guiding them rather than leaving them to figure it out for themselves. It’s not about “eves dropping, being big brother or invading privacy.” This is about teaching, mentoring and guiding.

My ex-wife and I are instituting an “all phones on the counter” at 7:30 pm with hourly limits on weekends. In my house, this includes me, although I do have a little more access since I use my phone for business. In the first two days it’s already made a difference and I anticipate more. What I’ve initially seen of youth is that they’re obsessive. Phones can be remarkably useful, helpful and a great means of staying connected. They can also addictive and a lousy baby sitter. I personally believe that at some point there need to be rules and regulations established by those in charge of the house. Hopefully, that’s you.

Do you have rules for phone use in your house? Would love to hear what you’re doing.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Divorce, Talking To Kids

 

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Bad Things Happen

There’s nothing like a minor fender bender to remind us that in an instant, bad things can happen. We’re going about our merry way, and then at the most inconvenient times, we’re forced to stop our lives and deal with something completely unexpected. In some cases it can be life altering.

My family has experienced several of these events of late, some of which have caused their fare share of stress. My mother, who’s 87, took a bad spill and injured her neck. The event will alter the very existence of both my parents as both she and my father (92) will have to face the reality that they are unable to fully and properly take care of themselves without risk of further injury.caution

Each of these events are stark reminders that our lives are not immune from negatives. Some greater than others. Some of these events force us to adjust our daily lives often without our consent. We are reminded time and time again how little control we actually have at times and when faced with these issues it can be a remarkably difficult pill to swallow.

Watching my father have his very existence altered to the point of losing control of just about every aspect of his daily life is difficult to watch. He was an entrepreneur, accustomed to being the man in charge. The past several years, bit by bit, he’s come face to face with mother nature who has taken a little more of his control away each year. As difficult as that’s been to witness, watching how he handles it at times can be even more difficult. Watching him fight it tooth and nail, has at times only made it more stressful. It’s understandable, but the more we fight change, quite often we deprive ourselves of potential happiness, dwelling on the negatives we’ve been faced with.

Which brings me to the point of this particular post: acceptance. We can fight these events and live in denial. We can do everything in our power to ignore them or attempt to erase them. But as difficult as it is, sometimes the best thing we can do is accept them and do our best to adjust accordingly.

Divorce very likely caught you by surprise. In the instant that the word divorced came to define your future, everything changed. You most likely fought it and may very well still be fighting it. We can allow our anger to dictate how we move forward. As with my fender bender, I was pretty shaken. It took a while for me to get my whits about me again. And even then, reflecting on it is difficult at times as I attempt to go back in my head and change to course of those few seconds. But I can’t change them. They are now a part of my history as is my divorce. Unlike my Jeep, I can’t replace the dinged up parts of my marriage. I simply have to lick my wounds and let them heal as best they can. Basically, I can either accept this reality and make the best of it or I can attempt to prove something by fighting it.

But honestly, if I’ve learned anything these past few years, it’s that there is an art to moving forward. And frankly, standing your ground leaves you doing just that. Standing without making any forward progress.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Divorce

 

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