Tag - parenting

Overnight summer camps are better for your kids than SAT prep classes

I saw this article on Social media this morning and thought it was too good not to share. My kids have been attending Camp Mini-Yo-We since they were 7 years old). My wife and I both grew up going to camp. Dawn was a camper at Circle Square Ranch and Camp Mishewa and worked at Muskoka Woods for 5 years. I grew up at Pleasant Bay Camp and Camp Widjitiwan. These are just a few of the amazing camps just in my small part of Canada. Please feel free to post the camp you were a camper at or where you worked.

Away from the city, technology and academic pressures, kids can grow in creativity, independence and other qualities of successful people.

Summers provide a much-needed opportunity for my children to unplug, achieve focus and develop those creative thought processes and connections.

Click here for the entire article.

Busy is the New Stupid

Great article. Be present in the moment.

I’ve found that the most productive and successful people I’ve ever met are busy, but you wouldn’t know it.  They find time that others don’t.  And while you may not get much of their time, when you do you get undivided attention. They are fully present and maximize every moment of the interaction. No multi-tasking because that’s as bad as blowing you off all together.

Being busy makes us hurried, creates short-sightedness, expands blind spots, increases careless mistakes and results in missed opportunities that we can’t get back. Busyness creates more woulda, coulda and shoulda than anything else in our life – which ultimately leads to regret.  And regret sucks.

Click here for the entire article.

How will Canadian Marijuana Legalization Affect Teens

Really great article from Ron Powell. We need to have these conversations in our homes, churches and youth groups.


  • 79% of people in Alberta over the age of 15 drink to some extent.
  • 83% of grade 12 Ontario students admit to using alcohol
  • 49% of Ontario grade 12 students admit to binge drinking
  • Among Ontario grade 11 drinkers, 13 years was the average age of first exposure, and 14 years was the average age for first intoxication experience.

Click here for the entire article.

Side Note: This is a great blog to follow for parents and youth workers.


50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead Of Asking “How Was Your Day”

Dinner is a great time for people to engage in conversations. Here are some great questions.

So I asked our writers to share some of their favorite conversation starters with their kids. These are especially great after a long school day when your babies don’t want to chat.

  1. What made you smile today?
  2. Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
  3. Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
  4. Does everyone have a friend at recess?
  5. What was the book about that your teacher read?
  6. What’s the word of the week?
  7. Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
  8. Did anyone cry?
  9. What did you do that was creative?
  10. What is the most popular game at recess?

40 more questions on her website.  Click here for the entire article.

We Can Change the World by Changing the Way We Raise Boys

Saw this online yesterday and loved it. Thought I would share it with you in case you have not seen it. Well worth the read.

Click here for the entire article.

Men do not have to give up their masculine nature. They have to redefine it. They don’t need to be warriors for territory and power over others. They can be warriors for peace, the environment, social justice and equal rights.

Men do not need to become more like women. They need to become more fully human, more in touch with who they are, free to achieve their human potential, including the full range of emotional expression.

Social change happens one person at a time. When we change the way we raise boys, we will change the world.

8 Things Kids Need to do *By Themselves* by the Time They’re Teenagers

As parents we must look forward at how we are launching our kids into being young adults and then adults. I really like this article on things our kids need to learn to do for themselves. I do think there is  balance that needs to be had. The more my kids do for themselves the more I am open to helping them out in a jam. I tell my kids always that “I am for them” I think this article misses a little of the grace we all need some days but I love the idea of kids having to learn and grow themselves.

Anything you think is missing?

Click here for the entire article.

A lawyer rewrote Instagram’s terms of use ‘in plain English’ so kids would know their privacy rights

Great article I read this morning. I think it needs to be explained to not just kids but to people of ALL ages.

Other complex paragraphs were similarly condensed to sentences that were easier to digest:

  • “Don’t bully anyone or post anything horrible about people.”
  • “Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post, but we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that.”
  • “Although you are responsible for the information you put on Instagram, we may keep, use and share your personal information with companies connected with Instagram. This information includes your name, email address, school, where you live, pictures, phone number, your likes and dislikes, where you go, who your friends are, how often you use Instagram, and any other personal information we find such as your birthday or who you are chatting with, including in private messages (DMs).”

To read this entire article please click here.

Music Month Day #9 – Json: Parent Me

Artist: Json featuring J.R.
Song: Parent Me


Verse 1
I know your working and I appreciate your grind/
You get me everything I need but what I really want is time/
I must confess it’s hard to express how I’m feeling/
But I’m growing blocks of bitterness quickly becoming buildings/ Listen
Your never home/
To the point that I don’t notice when your gone/
I’m getting older but I’m growing all alone/ Question
How can you raise me without even knowing me/
See everything I do is just to get you to notice me/
Do u realize your a great influence in my life/
And your absence just might be what’s ruining my life/
I got questions but we don’t talk on a usual/
My friends are having sex and I’m wondering should I do it too/
Were do I go to if you are never there/
And if u never ask will you ever be aware/
You say u care for me/
You don’t get it apparently/
I’m young & just a child I need my parent to parent me/


Look at my life look at my pain look at my tears the tears Ive shed/
I felt so alone with nobody to talk to cause all the days that I spent without you/
Its like your here but your gone/ Yea your here but your gone/
Its like your here but your gone/ yea your yea gone your gone gone away/

Verse 2

I know your hustling I see you on your grind/
U get me everything I need But I really want your time/
I stay in fresh J’s laced in new gear/
But I’d trade it all if Id only have you here/
I smell the dodie you blowing cause it be so potent/
Ohh yea I noticed what you don’t think i’m going to gone & smoke it/
I see your love for the streets & I want that love too/
Taught me to be hard but rarely tell me I love you/
Moms be mad she always be talking bad about you/
But honestly dad I don’t think I’ll become a man without you
And she be gone matter of fact she never home/
She clubbing or working I’m living like I’m already grown/
I got a place to stay & can shine at the mall/
But I’ll honestly say I don’t have no guidance at all/
You say you care for me you don’t know I can barely read/
I’m young & just a child I need my parents to parent me/


Verse 3

I know your at church & I see your love for God/
U get me everything I need but I really need your time/
Your godly life & love for people amazes me/
But tell me should the church take my mom & my dad away from me/
I’ll say this simply/
You know alot spiritually/
Involved in ministry but often you don’t remember me/
U teach the youth group & show them how to model & live/
But at home you’ve never shown me what the gospel is/
I’ve seen you share with those seeming direly hopeless/
Inside I cried cause we’ve never cracked the bible open/
And I’m feeling this pressure I don’t know what to do/
U know what it’s like to be the only Christian in your school/
I bump that 1-1-6 they tell to live unashamed/
But that’s hard when those around you on another thang/
U study thoroughly/
Bur don’t get it apparently/
I’m a babe in the faith I need my parents to parent me/

Into the mind of a 14 year old … (my daughter Zoe)

The other night I was helping my daughter Zoe with something on her iPhone. I have to be honest when she passed me her phone and I looked at her home screen I was floored. It is a little hard to describe so below is a screen shot of her phone (all of this with her permission btw)


First thoughts:

  1. Every folder is categorized not by function but by colour
  2. In the dock there is no Phone
  3. In the dock there is no Email
  4. In the dock there is no Messages
  5. She would rather have 3 rows of available icon space blank then use it for something that does not fit her organizational strategy

What matters to Zoe most is YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and I asked her where her phone app is. “Green” she replied. “Camera?” I asked and without missing a beat she said “Grey”. “Email” … she paused for a sec and then say “Blue”.

I was interested to see if this was common amongst other teenagers (especially teen girls) so I posted on Facebook for people to share their home screens. Now all but 1 who replied were not teenagers. Most people who replied left the icons exactly where Apple put them originally. There were a few people who added small changes to their dock (Adding in a folder for all social media, adding in Spotify or other apps they use often). The majority still still had phone, email and messages in the dock. If you have a tween or a teen and they would be willing to post the front home screen I would love to see it in the comments on this blog or on Facebook.

Some thoughts for us as parents, educators and leaders:

  1. This is a different and unique generation of students. We cannot just assume they will do things like us. Someone commented on my Facebook post that the way she had set up her phone was wrong. This message was deleted by the poster within the hour. Different is not wrong. A student doing things different than how you might do something just makes them someone who is thinking and choosing to do things their own way. I am actually quite proud of how she set up her phone. While at a Leadership Retreat at Muskoka Woods a number of years ago I read a quote on a TV that said:

    “A Leader is someone who looks at the World and says it does not have to be this way … and then does something about it.”

    My daughter decided that her phone did not have to be this way and then did something about it. I hope that this small trait I see in her phone use translates into how she lives her life.  I hope she is willing to risk being different to do her life how she wants to live it and not just follow everything that her culture teaches her to follow. 

  2. I think we as parents and educators need to look at how we are teaching this generation. If this younger generation thinks different than us we must find new ways to engage them that might be different than how we were engaged. This is why in my talk on media I say to parents/educators it is so important to understand this generation and the culture they live in so that we can engage them in a way that they need to be engaged.
  3.  In our church world I think we need to be asking are we engaging these next generations how we wanted to be engaged or how they need to be be engaged? Doing things because “That is the way we always do them” is not a really good solution to properly engaging anyone. If those things we are doing are actually engaging students than keep it up but if they are not we need to look at how WE can change.

Anyway, Love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this.
Talk to you soon