Category: Parenting

Here’s What You Can Do to Help Your Child Plan for a Career

How to Help Your Child Plan for a Career

You’re now at a different stage of parenthood. Gone are the days of your baby wanting to be a superhero when they grow up. Now, they’re about to enter the world of adults. So the most you can do is help them plan their career. While having a career provides your kid with direction and purpose, it gives you a sense of relief, joy, and a bunch of other emotions in the mix.

Nonetheless, there’s no such thing as the perfect career option. As a parent, you’re their guidance and main support system. Still, you can’t make this life-changing decision for them. The best and only way to help your child is to open their eyes to the possible results of making reckless decisions.

Why help your child with career planning?

Career planning is one of the most deciding moments of your child’s life. With so many career paths to choose from, it can be stressful to pick the right one.

About 30% of first-time college students change majors at least once within three years of their initial enrollment. This can prolong their graduation or, worse, not graduate at all. So, it’s vital to ask them about their career choices every now and then.

Your child is already facing never-ending questions as to what they want to pursue. Some kids may already know what they want. Others make up answers because they’re unsure what to do. Get them to talk to you about jobs they see themselves in and assist them with realizing their strengths and weaknesses. Doing so can give them a sense of direction and certainty.

6 Ways to help your child plan for a career

Some parents have high expectations for their kids, while others put their career frustrations on their children. However, this constant pressure can take a toll on their mental health, affecting their career development. So here are (6) ways to help your child plan for a career:

Let them experience internships or volunteer work

Both volunteer programs and on-the-job training are helpful ways for your child to decide on a career path. Not only will this real-world experience assist them with job offers, but it’ll also aid in building their grit and character.

Ask your child what avenues of life experience they want to explore that can benefit their careers down the road. Then, try to match their skill and passions to programs they want to go through.

Talk about their goals and aspirations

Discussing future plans can be a tricky topic for young adults. Even if they’re aware of their uniqueness, they may not have a deep knowledge of their interests. But having a deep conversation about their dreams can boost their confidence and strengthen your relationship.

Have them sit down and allow your child to pour their heart out to you. Better yet, let them ramble. Then see the light in their eyes when they start talking about their career goals.

Once you know what your kid’s dreams are, try aligning them with the type of career they can pursue to achieve them.

Have patience and be encouraging

The most important thing you can do during this transition phase in your child’s life is to have patience and offer encouragement. You’re their source of motivation so remind them about the future benefits of their hard work. Let them understand that the journey of doing the work they love is a long process of self-discovery and career exploration.

Your child may change degrees as they experience new fields and meet new people. So inspire them to keep learning to grow into the person they want to be.

Conduct career research together

Researching career options and degrees together is an excellent way to explore your child’s choices. If they took the initiative to do this by themselves already, you could help them narrow down their selections.

Another way to help your kid plan their career is to explain your and your spouse’s occupation. But keep it simple. Focus on how your knowledge and transferable skills relate to your job. Then, if possible, bring them to work with you. The earlier your kid sees the exciting things about the working environment, the easier it is for them to decide on a career path.

Help them realize their abilities

Every child has their own unique capabilities that help them stand out from others. These knacks can be anything from technology, science, and art. So as parents, your role is to help them realize their core skills.

You may either visit your children’s school career counselor or take online aptitude tests. This exercise aims to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and hidden talents. However, these are only quizzes, and their scores don’t dictate what they’ll become in the future.

Attend career fairs

Because of the internet, students don’t see any advantages in joining college career fairs. While searching online for job opportunities can be productive, it doesn’t offer the same value as attending career events.

Some of its benefits may include:

  • Networking
  • Access to free seminars
  • Getting their resumes reviewed
  • Learning about opportunities in their field of interest.

You can always conduct a quick Google search for career fairs near your location or talk to the school’s job placement center.

Common challenges in career planning with your child and how to overcome them

The whole career planning process can pose a challenge to the child’s ability to decide on a college degree or the university they’ll attend. In this profound moment of your child’s life, they may be going through insecurities that you may not know. So understanding what they’re going through is vital to make them feel reassured.

Lack of guidance

Every student needs someone to guide them in choosing the right path. But not all of them can get the proper counseling and career guidance they need to get ahead in life. Without it, they may feel discouraged to make a career plan.

Parents have a significant influence on their kids’ career development. While some try to shield their children from making mistakes, it doesn’t allow them to learn from them.

Encourage them to have a mature and sensible mindset to make informed decisions independently. Remind them that failure is a friend and a mentor that can guide them to success.

Copycat decisions

Since many children don’t have career guidance, it’s common for them to make irrational decisions. In the process, they may take a degree simply because their peers are pursuing it. Others, however, copy their parent’s career choices as they see their success.

To help your child make their own decisions, build their self-confidence. Make them feel certain that this new chapter of their lives will bring about new relationships and can strengthen connections with their old friends.

Understand that your child is their own person who is capable of making important decisions. So try to resist the urge to tell them to pick a particular direction just because you prefer it.

Financial constraints

Financial limitations are the most common challenge families face when planning their children’s careers. Since the average tuition cost increased in the 2022-2023 academic year, not everyone can afford to attend college.

Fortunately, there’s hope. Here are the following options your child can apply for if you have financial constraints:

  • College scholarships
  • Apply for student aid
  • Apply for private loans
  • Find an affordable school

Let your kids understand your economic standing, but you can alleviate the tension by offering some support. For example, you may buy their books, let them live with you until they graduate, or help them build a college fund. These are the reasons why early career planning is essential to help your child attain their dream job.

You can bring your child’s dream within arm’s reach

Career planning is not so your children can have money to pay the bills; it is to give them a sense of fulfillment. So perhaps the best assistance you can offer your child is preparing for it.

How Families Can Prioritize Mental Health During Back-to-School

How Families Can Prioritize Mental Health During Back-to-School

If you have a kid heading back to school, you have a lot on your plate. There are many things to think about as the new school year begins, including your child’s mental health. You can’t be at school with them, but you can prepare them to face any challenge. Prioritize your child’s mental health this year with these tips.

Bullying

Bullying can have serious, long-lasting effects on your child’s mental health. It can lower their self-esteem and cause feelings of rejection and isolation.

Kids that struggle with bullying can suffer from anxiety and depression, which can escalate to acute stress or post-traumatic stress disorder without proper intervention. Bullying also increases the risk of your child engaging in risky behaviors, including violence and substance abuse.

Talk to the school about a bullying situation, but also explain to your child that this happens to many kids and assure them that they’re perfect just the way they are.

You can help your child by creating a list of responses for them to give when someone says something hurtful to them. This could be a calm “Leave me alone” or “Back off.” Another good response is to dismiss the bully’s words with an “OK” or “Whatever” or laugh at the comment to reduce its value. Responding with more insults will only escalate the situation.

You can practice those responses with them in role-play scenarios so they feel more prepared when they encounter them at school. You can also help build their confidence by putting them in activities and social situations where they thrive.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can lead to adverse mental health effects, make kids do things they know are wrong, or encourage unhealthy thinking and habits. Negative peer pressure can lead to anxiety, depression and isolation. The stress from wanting to fit in and the temptation to do the wrong that comes from it can be overwhelming for your child.

You can help your child cope with pressure in a few ways. First, create open communication with them about any actions or concerns without scolding or judging them.

Also, be sure to teach your child to assert their boundaries and help them come up with creative solutions to get out of situations where they’re uncomfortable. Teach them that real friends won’t try to force them into a harmful activity and will respect their boundaries and wishes.

Don’t be afraid to share your experiences with peer pressure and what you’ve learned from them. Make an effort to get to know your child’s friends and their families so you better understand their environment. Encourage your child to seek positive relationships and friendships.

Organization

At first, it may not seem like being organized is in the same category as the other issues mentioned, but having an unclean environment can be a sign and trigger of poor mental health.

Taking time to declutter and organize your home helps your child start the school year off on the right foot by giving them a stress-free environment to begin and end their day. Teach them how to maintain their spaces so clutter doesn’t overstimulate their minds throughout the year.

Things scattered about your home can be overwhelming to everyone’s senses. The more items your eyes take in, the more overwhelmed your brain becomes. This increases anxiety.

Your home doesn’t have to be spotless, but having designated places for your items can help things seem more orderly and help your child’s senses relax.

Physical Health

Keeping your children healthy has always been a priority during back-to-school season, especially in recent years. Good physical health is closely tied to mental health  in many ways.

Missing school due to a cold or flu can be stressful for children. In addition to teaching them about good hand hygiene, you can also protect them from germs through a healthy diet. Prioritize making meals full of vitamins and nutrients that will boost their immune system.

Along with focusing on healthy food, you can also make an effort to encourage physical activity for the whole family. Going on family walks after school is a great way to boost everyone’s moods and bond together.

Social Media

Even when you closely monitor your child’s online activity, social media can still have a negative impact on their mental health.

Your child can easily fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others or setting unrealistic expectations for their life. This can lead to internalizing negative experiences and developing anxiety and depression over what they have and have not achieved.

To combat these risks, encourage your family to take technology breaks during the week. Whether you choose to do this every day or once a week, find ways for your family to spend time together without using your phones.

Parents, be sure to practice what you preach here. If you set a rule for your children not to check social media before bed, you should try to follow it, too. Not only will this set a positive example, but it will give you some relief, as well.

Prioritizing Mental Health

Prioritizing your child’s mental health helps them feel more confident and secure. You also show that you’re always there for them, no matter what the school year brings.

Help them combat peer pressure by utilizing these tips to ensure your child avoids being bullied.

Cora Gold Author Bio - Social MediaAuthor bio:
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She strives to live a happy and healthy life with her family by her side.

Follow Cora on Facebook and LinkedIn.

7 Thoughtful Ways to Reduce Your Child’s Screen Time This School Year

Ways to Reduce Your Child's Screen Time This School Year

Electronic devices are beneficial for many things, but one thing they don’t benefit is your child’s development. Unfortunately, many parents use electronics as virtual babysitters, so we need to shed more light on the problem. Phones, tablets and computers have proven to be dangerous devices for the growing mind of a child.

Let’s discuss the dangers of too much screen exposure and some tips for reducing your child’s screen time this upcoming school year.

How Does Screen Time Affect Kids?

According to the CDC, kids between the ages of 8 and 18 spend over seven hours a day staring at screens. Those seven-plus hours primarily consist of watching videos, playing games and scrolling through social media, with little verbal interaction.

Medical professionals have linked excessive screen time to many troubling issues:

  • Lower quality of sleep
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Shortened attention spans
  • Decreased cognitive function
  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Social and emotional impairment
  • Obesity from a sedentary lifestyle

No parent wants their children to suffer from these ailments. Here are seven thoughtful ways to reduce your child’s screen time and keep them safe.

Tips to Reduce Your Child’s Screen Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends minimal to no screen time in children under 24 months. Between ages 2 and 5, screen time should be no more than an hour a day. You get the idea: parents need to minimize their children’s screen time as much as possible to ensure proper mental and physical development.

1.  Explain Your Reasoning

Your child might not understand or appreciate your reasons for limiting screen time, but you should explain them anyway. Break down the negative effects of electronics and how the no-screen rule will help them. This discussion should be a dual effort if both parents are in the picture. Getting another close relative involved might also help your child be more receptive.

After a few days of minimal screen time, take note of any behavioral changes. Are they more talkative or playful? Has their academic performance improved? Have they changed their attitudes about the no-screen rule? Keep the discussion going.

2.  Don’t Give Them Personal Devices

The worst thing you can do is buy your child a personal phone or tablet. They will grow attached to the device overnight. Every screen in the house should belong to the parents. Keep the passwords secret so they can’t access the devices without permission. This simple strategy prevents your child from sneaking extra screen time.

You also shouldn’t let your child make any personal accounts. Social media use has been linked to many youth mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and strained peer relationships. Besides, there are far better things your child could be doing than scrolling through TikTok and Instagram.

3.  Take Them Outside

Kids ought to be outside getting into trouble, not inside getting sucked into their phones. If your child starts complaining about the no-screen rule, take them to a playground or on a nature walk. They’ll forget about the electronics in a few minutes and find something else to do.

Children have vivid imaginations. They always come up with ideas to keep themselves entertained. Phones and tablets are too overstimulating in large doses. They give kids dopamine hit after dopamine hit, making them effectively addicted to screens and indifferent to the world outside.

4.  Put Your Electronics in Shared Spaces

You can’t trust your children to make the right decisions by themselves in any other environment, so why leave them alone with unrestricted internet access? During your child’s allotted screen time, make sure the devices remain in the living room and other shared spaces.

Don’t let your kids browse the web without adult supervision. They might make a social media account or stumble upon age-inappropriate content without your knowledge. Once they find something they’re not supposed to see, their curiosity will become harder to contain.

5. Help them Find a Hobby

Hobbies give kids a creative diversion from the use of their phones and tablets.  Many hobbies can become a life long pastimes, including photography, magic, cooking, sculpting, pottery, chess, astronomy, and building rockets with a parent. When they do go back online they can use social media to learn and connect with others who are passionate about similar activities.

6.  Start and End the Day Right

This advice goes for everyone in the house: don’t use any electronics 30 minutes after waking up or 30 minutes before bed. Let your brain power up and shut down instead of triggering a stress response by scrolling through news articles and social media feeds. Your sleep quality and overall mood will both see noticeable improvements.

7.  Coordinate With Parents and Teachers

Your child will be surrounded by screens when they go to school – not the school computers, but other students’ personal phones and tablets. 53% of American kids have their own phones by the age of 11, and that number is only getting higher. You need to coordinate with parents and teachers to make sure your child doesn’t have too much screen time at school.

Ditch the Screens, Enjoy the Real World

Our devices might be entertaining and convenient, but they can be destructive forces on the minds of impressionable children. Ditch the screens this school year and allow your kids to enjoy the real world in all of its beauty. Let their imaginations and personalities shine through instead of getting dulled by screens. Positive change starts today!

About the Author
Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you’ll find her in a yoga class, advocating for her children or whipping up something delicious in the kitchen!

How to Use Common Sense Media to Find and Vet Movies and Shows for Your Kids

How to Use Common Sense Media to Find and Vet Movies and Shows

Your child wants to watch a particular movie or TV show, but you don’t know whether or not it’s appropriate. Or, your child wants to watch something but doesn’t know what. As a parent, you know the media your children enjoy has a significant impact on their physical, emotional and social development. Therefore, you need some way of discovering age-appropriate streaming content.

Recommendations from teachers and other parents can be useful starting points, but you don’t know how other parents raise their kids; you want to make sure the content your child watches conforms to your values and your parenting methods.

Plus, even in the case of good and useful recommendations, teachers and other parents can only recommend so much. You need some way to empower yourself to find the content you and your child can agree on without relying on word-of-mouth or generic reviews. This is where Common Sense Media Steps in.

Common Sense Media’s promise is to provide: “Reviews for what your kids are into (before they get into it.)” Many modern rating tools may contain errors or omit certain scenes you could take offense to. With Common Sense Media’s extensive features, you can find all the information that could interest and concern you as a parent specifically seeking entertainment for your child.

What Is Common Sense Media?

Common Sense Media is a non-profit organization that, since 2003, has been a primary source of guidance for parents on tech and media for kids. They possess the biggest library of age-based, independent reviews and ratings on all material children may watch as well as read, play or learn.

They’ve crafted every review using best practices in child development to isolate the most appropriate viewing (and other) material for every child and every stage of growth and development.

How It Works

All Common Sense reviews are completely unbiased. They never accepts payment or any other considerations in trade for making any decisions about the scores they assign or reviews they write.

Their reviews are all designed based on child developmental criteria determined by some of the country’s top authorities.

Common Sense Plans

When you join their site, you can choose between a free basic account and a paid premium service with additional features.

Common Sense Basic

With the free Basic plan you can explore the essential features of the service without committing to pay for it yet. These include:

  • Three reviews each month
  • Curated lists and relevant articles
  • Ability to post, save and comment on reviews

Common Sense Plus

The paid version of the service, called Common Sense Media Plus, provides several additional enticing features for parents.

Content Preferences

Set content preferences for your child and receive recommendations based on your child’s age, topics of interest and streaming services, among other useful criteria.

Tens-of-Thousands of Reviews

Explore over 30,000 unbiased, detailed and age-based reviews. The summaries tell you what the content contains, including information on:

  • Education value
  • Positive role models
  • Violence and scariness
  • Language
  • Drinking, drugs and smoking
  • Positive messages
  • Diverse representation
  • Sex, romance and nudity
  • Products and purchases

Convenient snapshots of each review provide:

  • Cover art – You’ll be able to view the movie’s poster
  • Age-appropriateness – The youngest age for which the content appropriate
  • Rating system – A five-star system giving you a quick glimpse of the content’s assessed quality (1 star – “Don’t bother”; 2 stars – “Disappointing”; 3 stars – “Just fine, solid”; 4 stars – “Really good”; 5 stars – “The best!”)
  • Basic stats – Rating, year, length
  • Brief description – Focusing both on what parents need to know about the film or shows characteristics (eg. humor, adventure) and on the gist of the story or plot
  • Selections – A ribbon of accolade for particularly outstanding content with the potential to inspire family discussions, entertain all types of families and provide a lasting, positive social impact
  • Interactive features – Save movies and shows of interest to easily access later when you’re looking for something to watch.
  • Rate movies – Give your own two cents about any movie or show you and/or your child have already watched.

You can see a detailed breakdown of Common Sense’s movie reviews, along with examples and explanations on HotDog.com.

Entertainment Guides

Select factors like the character strengths of the protagonist and choose from a wide range of topic filters to receive suggestions of movies and shows meeting those criteria.

Common Sense Media also publishes online articles and useful tips on using various streaming tech and media.

Streaming Services

The website lets you explore movies and shows playing only on the streaming services you own. The catalog includes content from the gamut of services, including:

  • Disney+
  • HBO Max
  • Vudu
  • YouTube
  • Amazon Video
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Redbox
  • DIRECTV STREAM
  • IMDb TV
  • hoopla
  • Kanop
  • Tubi
  • Crackle

You can even use this feature to help decide if there are new streaming services you’d like to subscribe to because of all of the interesting and appropriate content you discover they offer.

In summary, Common Sense Media Plus offers you:

  • Unlimited reviews
  • Personalized entertainment guides
  • Parental settings – Like favorite topics and content restrictions
  • Simple search – Start your search by simply entering in any keyword or phrase that interest you, from title or creator to genre to subject matter to similar content
  • Filters – Like by platform or streaming service
  • Newsletter- A full (and useful) entertainment guide delivered regularly to your email inbox

Recap

The mission of Common Sense Media is to provide parents with a way to find the content that kids and parents will love, each for their own reasons.

Kids will enjoy movies and shows tailored to their interests, while parents will enjoy the ability to monitor and filter what their children watch in order to match with their children’s age group and their own values and parenting styles. Numerous interactive features help make you an expert in what your child can watch.

In addition to movies and TV shows, their site also rates books, games, podcasts and apps. The organization also runs many related socially conscientious programs in areas like education, advocacy, citizenship and ethnicity.

Common Sense Media tailors its tools not only to parents but to teachers and librarians as well, helping make the increasingly overwhelming barrage of new movies, shows and other content out there accessible–and appropriate–for children and families.

Safe Search

What does it take to provide a safe web experience for kids? It takes a combination of tools and resources working together in unison: internet filtering, safe and secure browsing, parental control apps, and education regarding a variety of topics. Safer search is our mission at Safe Search Kids as we work to deliver these four cornerstones of online safety to parents, teachers, and students.



Or choose from 14 language courses on Rocket Language Search!