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Today’s guest post is from Angela Prickette, a recent college graduate. She currently works independently as a freelance writer and photographer. She enjoys snow skiing, hiking, and rock climbing.

In the protect your child against depressionpast few decades there has been a significant increase in the amount of teenagers and adults diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Often the development of these disorders can be traced back to childhood. When raising a child, parents should be mindful of the ways they can protect their child from developing depression, anxiety or related illnesses.

One of the biggest benefits parents can provide their children with is the chance to play independently with peers. Unstructured play time not only fosters creativity, but also helps children develop the coping skills needed to face various challenges that they will encounter. Parents who shelter their children by over-controlling their play, though often well-intentioned, are actually doing their children a disservice in the long run

“Social interaction with peers is also a crucial part of developing resiliency and life skills as a child,” according to author Michael Myles. Playing with peers helps children see their is life outside of themselves and learn to care and respond to the needs of others. Establishing this mindset early on can help children learn to adjust to being in groups and it actively fights the anxiety that some people struggle with when being in groups or with new people.

For parents who struggled themselves with any form of depression or anxiety, it is very important to model shared decision making for children. What is shared decision making?

It is simply approaching medical decisions as a team, with communication from patients and care professionals. Using this approach and being intentional about doing so, helps children see that it is okay to seek help, but also important to have input. Children who see their parents using shared decision making for their own health care will understand how to be proactive in getting help while avoiding learned helplessness or taking the standpoint that people are just victims of depression or anxiety.

Another important thing to model for kids that may help prevent depression or anxiety is coping with stress in healthy ways. Seeing parents use techniques like exercise or lists, rather than stress-eating or over indulgence can help kids learn to focus on healthy habits for themselves. Also, when parents are upfront about stressful life situations and able to talk them through (when age-appropriate) it can be a powerful example for children. Children take so many cues from adults, including how to deal with stress, make decisions and show resilience.

Guest Post by Liam Garcia, a staff writer for TipsonHowToSaveMoney.com

I recently read Gary’s post about cutting down on social media for the sake of his children. He likened his social media usage to his parents’ smoking addiction. He pointed out that they quit their bad habit after they read a startling statistic: smokers tend to raise smokers. This statistic wasn’t even available until decades after smoking became a social activity.

So, if ramifications from our social activities don’t become public knowledge until after it is already commonplace, could social media become the new tobacco?

Will social media junkies raise social media junkies?

It inspired me to take a look at how I use my own social media accounts, and how it may affect my daughter. Our children mirror our behavior, whether they’re aware of it or not. If we allow social media to consume our lives, chances are it will consume our kids’ lives as well.

That’s why it’s important to set rules for your family when it comes to using the Internet. Kids now have mobile phones, tablets, and ultrabooks at their disposal. The Internet is a part of their social lives, it’s even a part of their learning. By making rules and setting limits, our kids will learn healthy practices while they are becoming active members of the world wide web.

Here are some basic rules, directed at kids and pre-teens, for safe internet usage. If you can’t eliminate Internet usage altogether, you can use these rules to craft your own family Internet agreement.

Don’t:Kids on the iPad

  • Share Personal Information
  • Share Passwords
  • Steal Copyrighted Information
  • Download Without Permission
  • Meet Someone You Met Online

Do:

  • Tell a Parent When You Feel Uncomfortable
  • Use Good “Netiquette”
  • Visit Age-Appropriate Sites
  • Use the Internet for School Research
  • Respect Your Parent’s Rules for Internet Usage
  • Discuss What You Read and See Online with Your Parents

Have Fun!

Here is a guest post from my favorite Brother, Roger Walter.

Godly TomatoesI just finished reading a book called, “Raising Godly Tomatoes” by L. Elizabeth Krueger. It’s a great book on child-raising, filled with practical advice and most of all, it seems, Godly advice. I suppose I wished I would have had this when my oldest children were young.

This woman has raised, is raising 10 children ages 7-27! Wow…that’s even better than my wife and us! But one of the things that struck me towards the end of the book is when she said (paraphrase) It’s understandable that secular people go to secular humanism to find out answers to raising their children. But why do Christian parents do that. Sadly, most parents don’t even know all the evidence towards raising children that is found in the Bible.

I bought the book – even though you can basically get it for free by reading the website. I find books easier to read than websites. I recommend it highly and found very little I didn’t agree with. You should read it if your kids are anywhere between the ages of 0-20. I wish I would have had the last couple of chapters years ago – the note to raising the parents….hmmmm….

Parenting is full of joy. But it can also be frustrating. The goal isn’t to raise kids to be mannerly and responsible – although we should strive for that too, but the goal really ought to be to raise our kids into Godly Adults.

My wife’s and my personal mission statement is this: “As we grow in holiness we are called to raise responsible leaders who are shot out as flaming arrows to ignite the world for Christ.”

Get the book – it’s worth the read (even if you are a grandparent).

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