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Family First » blogging http://familyfirst.com Servings Families Online since 1998 Fri, 02 Oct 2015 20:25:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 How Blogs Can Be Beneficial To Your Kidshttp://familyfirst.com/how-blogs-can-be-beneficial-to-your-kids.html http://familyfirst.com/how-blogs-can-be-beneficial-to-your-kids.html#comments Sat, 28 Sep 2013 01:13:26 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=13515 post thumbnail

There are many parents who don’t allow their kids to maintain their blogs. They think that they need to be of legal age to become owners of blogs. More the age requirement, experts say that how parents monitor the kids is also important. After all, there are still many advantages of allowing them to maintain their own blogs.

First, blogs can serve as their virtual diary. They can express in the blog their frustrations in life, their happiness and their excitement for a future trip. They can even put their opinion about a particular issue or current event that they hear in the news. Blogs can also serve as their connection to their friends and upcoming friends. They can interact with their friends and classmates that also have their own blog. They can recommend a blog if they think that It contains valuable information. They can leave comments, post pictures and so many more.

Last but not the least blogs can valuable sources of information. For example, they find a solution to a common problem. They can post the solution in their own blog. Other people who come across the same problem can then use their solution to solve the issue. They can also find blogs that have various sources of information in them. They can use it for their school or for any problems that they come across with. Parents should see the other side also of blogging. If your kids want to maintain a blog, you need to consider the reasons mention above.

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How Blogs Help Your Childrenhttp://familyfirst.com/how-blogs-help-your-children.html http://familyfirst.com/how-blogs-help-your-children.html#comments Tue, 16 Jul 2013 23:26:20 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=13320 post thumbnail

Blogs are usually created for different reasons. There are blogs that are used to document a trip where the entries include day to day trips. There are also blogs that are created to promote or to sell different products. Your children can maintain blogs too because they can help them in many ways. If they want to maintain a blog you can encourage them to do so.

Blogs can serve as your children’s diary. They can post the things that they have learned for the day, their assignments and their frustrations. Of course, they have to be guided on how to be responsible on the things that they post on the blogs. They can put anything there as long as they don’t put other people in an awkward position.

Blogs can serve as a connection with their classmates and friends. They can have a blog roll that contains the blogs of all their friends. Even if they don’t see their friends often they can continue to communicate by liking their posts and leaving comments on their blogs. More than the posts that they will make, it’s the connection between friends that matter.

They can learn to become responsible. They have the freedom to post anything in blogs but they must make sure that it must not destroy other people’s reputation. They can apply this in real life too. They must respect other people by not badmouthing them. The lessons that they learn in blogging can therefore be applied in real life.

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8 Tips for Flawless Family Communications From Expert Jenn Kayehttp://familyfirst.com/8-tips-for-flawless-family-communications-from-expert-jenn-kaye.html http://familyfirst.com/8-tips-for-flawless-family-communications-from-expert-jenn-kaye.html#comments Sat, 25 Sep 2010 13:47:04 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=5026 post thumbnail

“Time for dinner!” Mom yells up the stairs…that’s how the family used to communicate, says Jenn Kaye, Communication and Relationship Expert. Now, in this sophisticated day of gadgets and computers, we have twitter, Facebook, blogs, texting, YouTube…the list goes on and on for ways families can communicate.

How families stay connected is easy with all these different tools but making sure the family stays CONNECTED as a family unit is a much bigger challenge. She has several tips for families that can help make life easier in this age of perpetual connection and virtual expression.

Parents lead the way – kids don’t know how to be marketed to and will ask for everything they are exposed to. Parents need to take the lead and guide their children toward healthy communication methods such as which cellphone is appropriate for their needs and if they are ready to be online with Facebook or MySpace.

Set healthy parameters – it is up to parents to teach their kids how to use the communication device they are given. Make sure you communicate with them about family ground rules. If you only want them to use the phone for emergencies and for calling you when they need a ride home, set that ground rule early. Let them know what the consequences are if they disrespect that rule, such as they lose the phone for a month.

Respectful time use – while Kaye says a nightly dinner together may be next to impossible, she does recommend trying to carve out one night a week where everyone is home for dinner. Shop, cook and set the table for the meal together. Make sure you impress upon your children that this time is for the family, and no other. Kaye suggests a basket be kept in the other room where everyone (this means you too, Mom and Dad) puts their cellphones in before arriving at the table.  Some of the questions she suggests to stimulate good conversations:

  • “What’s one thing you did you are proud of today or this week?” – you’ll hear what’s important to your child from his/her answer.
  • “What’s a challenge you are having right now?” – you might find out about something your child is struggling with such as math and may need a tutor.
  • “What’s something you learned this week?” – could be something you may not realize they didn’t yet know.

These questions make your child feel important. They understand you are listening. This also helps them learn both interpersonal skills by talking to adults, and critical thinking skills about why things are important to them or why things are challenging them.

Set boundaries about being online – it’s appropriate to have a conversation with your child about what is appropriate and not appropriate when they are online and how long they may be on the computer at a sitting. Kaye says “Be curious, not critical” about what your child is posting. You can tell your child you are there to help make their experience positive and safe. Kaye says you are “teaching them versus telling them.” Keeping them safe is a priority but you also need to teach them, for example, what cyberbulling is and how they can avoid doing that to others.

Positively reinforce the behavior you want – Kaye says two-year-olds are told “no” 422 times versus being told “yes” 32 times per day, according to research. Typical parent to child ratios are 12 negatives to 1 positive comment. Teachers are actually higher at 18 negatives to 1 positive. Make sure you are very clear about what your child does right – “be inclusive, not exclusive.” 

Many times parents want to be friends with their kids and kids are simply “feeling their way through life,” says Kaye. If we are trying so hard to be friends and not allowing them to feel the consequences of their actions and decisions, we are not arming them for real life. Kaye says parents should remember your mantra: “My job is to be your parent.” Do remember, however, if your child feels threatened by opening up to you about their life, they will seek that elsewhere, maybe even online.

Be strategic and thoughful about difficult conversations – If you must have a serious conversation, Kay recommends thinking through these steps to make the conversation go smoother:

  • Separate fact from emotion
  • Think about the outcome you are looking for
  • Understand why the issues is important to you
  • What are you willing to risk to be authentic?
  • Communicate what you want and take action

Lead by example –in your method of communications with your family. So, for example, if you absolutely must have your phone during dinner, make sure if your child is talking, especially if they are answering a question you asked, you must apologize profusely or decide if you can put your phone on mute. This sets a very appropriate example for your impressionable child. You would want them to do the same to you, right?

One final tip for all parents to give their kids – make it ok to make you the scapegoat. If your child is in a situation they are not comfortable, you should give them permission to say “my mom will kill me – I can’t do that.” Or “I have to get home right now to help my dad.”

Kaye even suggests giving a codeword that will not come up in normal conversation but it tells parents when your child needs to be “rescued” and you must say “come home now” or ask if they need a ride.

Very important – they must know that no matter what’s going on, you are going to help them even if you won’t like what you find. She says it is incredibly important for your child to understand they may still get grounded for getting drunk but they will never be in trouble for asking you for help.

About Jenn Kaye

Jenn Kaye is an internationally-recognized relationship and communications expert who helps people around the world have less drama and more fun in their relationships and their lives. Jenn is also an accomplished Speaker, Facilitator, Coach and Consultant. With over 20 years of experience as a communications strategist and relationship expert, she specializes in creating simple, easy to implement strategies for deeper connections, better communication and optimum quality of life. She also speaks 7 languages – talk about communicating! Learn more at www.lifeheadon.com.

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Social Media – Good or Bad for Families? You Decidehttp://familyfirst.com/social-media-%e2%80%93-good-or-bad-for-families-you-decide.html http://familyfirst.com/social-media-%e2%80%93-good-or-bad-for-families-you-decide.html#comments Sat, 18 Sep 2010 13:20:54 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=4996 post thumbnail

So many people take part in some sort of social media these days – Facebook, Twitter, a family blog, Four Square. There are so many out there, it’s impossible to list all of them. The question is – is this phenomenon good for families by helping them stay in touch and communicating or is it bad for families because they rely on impersonal means to communicate or because they air too much “dirty laundry” other members may not appreciate?

Family First asks the question and here are some of the many responses we received back:

 “Because of social media I think my family is so much closer. I’m always working but my parents and sister are able to see what I’m up to at all times through Twitter, Facebook, my blog etc. It also goes the other way too where I’m able to connect with them and see what they are doing. In addition, my parents during the winter spend their time in the Caribbean so social media is also a great way for all of us to know what’s going on with each other, without actually being face to face.” – Derek Johnson, CEO of www.tatango.com

 “Before Facebook, I had lost touch with my boys – my birth son as well as my former step-sons.  I was resigned to not being in touch with them, being cut out of their lives by neglect, not conflict. Facebook reconnected us.  In particular, the significant others of the boys are Facebook mavens.  They post pictures of the grandchildren and chat with each other…and most importantly, with me. 

We live far apart and when we did see each other, it was awkward. Our lives are so different. What do we talk about?  Now, we are involved in each other’s lives.  When I was in Florida recently, I stopped in to see one of the boys and all of a sudden it was an impromptu family reunion.  I had planned a short hour of visiting and we laughed and talked and told stories for hours. It was the best time.” – J. Kim Wright

“Three years ago, my husband and I moved 1,400 miles away from our hometown with our two children.  We left behind both of our parents, grandparents, and siblings. Social media – including blogging, twitter, and Facebook, has kept us in touch with our families in a way that weekly phone calls cannot.  My parents don’t just get the highlights, but are able to keep up with the everyday minutiae of our lives.  They know that I tried to make guacamole and failed the first three times.  They know that my daughter left her stuffed animal home on her first day of kindergarten.  And, they know about the things we never talked about.

They know when my husband and I are fighting or I’m feeling insecure as a parent.  They know about my secret dreams of becoming a writer and traveling more.  My parents and grandparents know me better now than they did when I lived 15 minutes away, thanks to social media.”  –Britt Reints

“I have three younger sisters. I currently live in San Diego. Two of my sisters are in Texas and the rest of my family is in Japan. My father is in the military. Social media is a BIG reason why we can all stay so close, especially Facebook. Plus, I also work in the field so I’m very social media savvy, which helps when Mom can’t figure out how to upload pictures to Facebook or tag a person.

There have been a few downsides like finding important information on Facebook instead of getting a phone call first. For example: I found out my uncle had throat cancer on Facebook and had to call everyone to find out what was going on.  Also, my youngest sister posted her phone number on her wall for everyone to see. She’s only 15 but I still gave her hell. It’s hard not being a part of my sisters lives and Facebook gives me a piece of that back. “ – Stefanie Frederick

“Social media has been a blessing for me and my family. In 2008, I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast, leaving my family in Boston. But because of Facebook, I have been able to keep in touch with them all, including my brother who recently moved to Florida. Without Facebook, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to watch my niece grow up, and to ‘chat’ with her. So, while Facebook actually started out as a necessary evil for me as a writer, it has ended up paying off in ways I never imagined. (Twitter has helped as well.)” – K. S. “Kat” Brooks

“Social media has played an integral part in keeping our family in touch. We have a large extended family that we stay in touch with, primarily on Facebook. My dad’s side of the family has a large annual reunion, and through Facebook, we have been able to keep track of everyone, make and change plans, and share photos taken afterwards. It’s such a great way to keep in touch passively!” – Wendi Riggens-Miller

“I think that Social Media can be a great way to stay in touch with family in ways you could not before. For instance, with my parents, they are far more aware of what goes on in my life than before they joined Facebook. That is not because of bad communication or anything but sometimes we just have busy lives.

I also think it is a great way for parents to keep tabs on the kids and see who they are talking to online. I see many parents that are able to use Social Media well with their kids and comment on what is going on. I think as long as you purposely use it to enhance communication, it can be successful. 

You can’t let that be an excuse for not eating together or talking with your kids. Social Media can be an additional tool but should not be a replacement.”  – JR Griggs

“I am from London but relocated to Costa Rica with my husband and two small children. My sisters are my best friends and I hate that we don’t see each other at least twice a week to chat about everything and my son is missing his cousin like crazy but Facebook and Skype ensure that they never feel far away. We get to know what they are feeling, see what they are up to and I have been able to see both of my sisters’ pregnancies as they have been growing.” – Dahlia Nahome

“Most of my family is on Facebook. While a nucleus of four families live in Maryland, the rest of us are scattered in other parts of the country. With Facebook, I have been able to celebrate birthdays, watch a video of my niece in a musical comedy, congratulate a cousin on getting into the college of her choice, see pics of my son’s new house, and even help a teenage cousin with his French homework. The big advantage is that it is in real time and we are part of the fabric of each other’s lives…we talk with both family and their friends, sometimes while events are occurring .

Facebook helps in other ways. A friend has a 20-something daughter I have known since before she was born. Recently, the daughter interviewed a comedianne. The day before she posted an update on Facebook and asked for help in deciding what questions to ask the star. I, along with several others, made suggestions. She used our ideas and had a great interview.

Notice I am talking about REAL exchanges, not Farmville or any other cyber-reality substitutes. I love Facebook for this reason. I hope everyone stays on it for a loooong time.

I recommend in my seminars that professionals treat Facebook differently, with privacy settings as high as possible. As long as you do that and as long as you understand that you still have to remain respectful and not say or show anything regrettable, it can be a powerful tool for make you feel connected to people most important to you.”  – Marcia Finberg

“I have a VERY LARGE family of 13 adult children + spouses and 25 Grandchildren. And I my wife has a LARGE family with 7 Adult Children + Spouses and 9 Grandchildren. Between us we have 35 second generation kids who have difficulty understanding all the connections. Some are spread across the country and rarely find themselves in the family circle.

I have noticed that Social Media tends to bring me closer to the people who are spread further from the family center and have found it difficult to connect with those that they do not know very well. That is especially difficult in such a large family that has a very intimidating social interaction. I have been able to maintain and strengthen those long-distance relationships and we have enjoyed our electronic communication on a regular basis.

On the other hand – I have also noticed that social media tends to intimidate and estrange those family members who are closer to the family center who see each other on a more regular basis. I believe that people do not really understand how social media works and tend to fear that “public chat” between family members can quickly become bones of contention. There is a real fear – but one that can be managed through responsible friendly conversation. Still, the conversation does come up regularly in face to face meetings and “social media” is usually is looked at as negative. But most realize that it is a mass media to be reckoned with.”  – Thomas Knapp

“We are very passionate in this topic and created a website designed to enrich the family communication online: Yoocasa.

We want families to be able to spend quality time online thanks to the best technologies on the Internet. So we made a very simple social network which includes a web meeting features to be able to do things together even when living far from each other. For example, it’s possible to color a drawing together and see each other’s pen while coloring, as if you were playing together on the same computer. Here is a coverage we got on BBC World about our website” – Axel Cateland, CEO, Yoocasa

For more information about Yoocasa, check out this recent Family First article.   

“ I love Facebook for keeping track of my college student daughter and my nieces and nephews, who range in age from 25 to 38. They are now all in California or Arizona, at least during the academic year, and it’s a great way to get a glimpse of what the nieces and nephews are doing because we never corresponded with them, and of course their mothers don’t report—or know—everything. My daughter said she’d do a blog when she went to college last year, but that became more work than Facebook, and she seems to post something most days. Given that she seldom phones or e-mails, it’s reassuring to see she’s still alive and about!” – Linda Carlson

“ My brother and I did not like how we were able to interact on most social media sites (especially the privacy issues) and we actually created our own web site (www.kidjot.com) to give us what we wanted.” – Chris Fawcett

To learn more about how you can use Kidjot for your own family, check out our recent article about it.

“From a therapist’s perspective, (also a mom of 3 tweens/teens), social media provides a tremendous capacity for us to connect, relate and keep in touch. As a proponent of social media for business and for fun, I think we also need to be aware that it can be divisive.

Such is the case where a mom is in one room, using social media to talk to a teen who might be upstairs, on another computer. This seems silly and contrived, and yet it happens every day in America. As human beings, we will always need direct, face-to-face relationships with our fellow humans.

Therefore, social media can be a mixed bag. When used appropriately, it has the power to enhance our lives and relationships. When used to excess, or to the exclusion of human interaction, it can become a very negative force.” – Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD, Child and Family Therapist, Founder, Kidlutions(tm):Solutions for Kids and The Kidlutions Preferred Product Awards , Kidlutions Preferred Product Award Kids’ Choice Award (Coming Soon!)

“Dialing up their teenaged daughter’s Facebook page can be the new spy tool for moms who wonder what their teen is thinking, or even what she really likes; what she’s distressed about–and won’t tell mom–and what else is going on in her world. But, of course, this can be a very real source of conflict between daughter and mom. Often “friending” mom isn’t high on the list of a teenage girl’s desires.

Social media can be a great tool for promoting good relationships between parents and kids, but it shouldn’t be the only avenue. Don’t forget to foster good relationships through picking up the phone and giving a call, and even writing those personal notes that were the mainstay of mom’s social media when she was growing up. They are still very important.” – Sandra Lamb, www.SandraLamb.com, is a lifestyle and etiquette expert, and the author of How to Write It, Personal Notes, and Write the Right Words.

So, used properly, social media can be a very effective communication tool for families and help them reconnect or stay connected. Used inappropriately, it can cause more harm than good. From these perspectives above, use caution and keep in touch!

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Geeky Baldismshttp://familyfirst.com/geeky-baldisms.html http://familyfirst.com/geeky-baldisms.html#comments Mon, 31 Dec 2007 00:25:10 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=3705 Well, I’ve been talking about if for years, i have FINALLY redesigned my aging layers-based Baldguyweb website.
Baldguyweb.com was the first domain that I ever acquired, way back in 1998. It cost about a hundred bucks to get a domain back then, so it was a big step for me.
That site, advertising my website design/hosting business, has made me a lot of money over the years.
My focus is now more on blogging that web design. But I still take on new clients.

In keeping with that new focus, today’s FamilyFirst pick is my new blog hosted at baldguyweb.com: Geeky Baldisms.
The blog will have a technical slant, talk of PHP and Linux. But it will also have rants.
For example, are you as enraged over the rampant steroid use in baseball confirmed by the Mitchell Report as I am? Then spend a little time reading my treatise Why I hate Baseball.
Stop in, and sign up for new article notifications if you like what you see.

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WorldVillage Blog Networkhttp://familyfirst.com/worldvillage-blog-network.html http://familyfirst.com/worldvillage-blog-network.html#comments Tue, 04 Oct 2005 07:28:00 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=2965 wvblogs.gifToday�s FamilyFirst site celebrates the blog.
Blogging has become one of the fastest-growing ways of getting info on the web. One of the early promises about the web was that it would be a way for ANYONE to present and publish their thoughts. Well, practically speaking, this was true if you (a) had a connection to the internet and (b) knew HTML.
Well, times have changed. Access to the net has gone from expensive dial-up to free broadband in many locations. And HTML? Who needs it when you have blogging software?

Today�s FamilyFirst site, WorldVillage Blog Network, not only offers YOU a place to put a blog, but even allows you to make money off of it!
How does it work?
Easy. You pick and categorize a subject on which you are an expert. The sky is the limit, as long as it�s family-friendly. Write at least an article per week. Your article is indexed and made available via the site directory, as well as the site search.
People read your article. While there, they will likely click on Google ads. When they do, you get revenue!
Believe me, Google ads work. I maintain several websites, and Google ads provide a VERY nice side income for my clients and myself.
So, to sum up, YOU can make BUCKS for doing something you love to do, writing about your favorite subject!
Now, on to the site itself.
At press time, front page entries include articles on making and designing cloth dolls, how to invest wisely in the stock market, where to find cheap LCD monitors, putting your kids� needs before your own, and an account of a person�s first motorcycle ride.
In other words, people write about EVERYTHING.
Stop in and see what I�m talking about. And maybe start a little side income of your own!

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