Thursday, November 23, 2017

Managing Children's Smartphone Useage

FTC disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

It feels like the holidays have been in full swing for a while now.  I've already finished my Christmas shopping, and now I just need to find the time to wrap the gifts.  While I don't have children, one gift that I know is popular each year is giving a child a cell phone -- or upgrading your device and giving them your old one.

In 2016, U.S. Cellular did a survey about mobile phone usage.

Did you know that on average parents began letting children use their smartphones or tablets at age eight? 

Participants in this survey said the appropriate age for a child to receive their first cellphone is 13, which is down from 14 years old just five years ago.  Even so, more than half of the parents surveyed said their child had a cell phone, and the average age of the child when receiving it was eleven.

Safety is the top reason parents purchase a cell phone for their child.  It's a crazy world we live in today!  Being able to check in with your child and have her check in with you can give everyone great peace of mind.  In fact, 59% of parents said safety was the number one reason they decided to gift their tween a mobile device.

Three out of four parents also monitor their child's cell phone usage on a frequent basis.  Having talks about how they use their iPhone or Samsung device can give everyone -- including the child relief as to knowing what is expected.  You might think this is just for them, but if you require them to tell you about any bullying or other inappropriate behavior, it gives them peace of mind to know you are open to discussing difficult situations online with your child.   

It's not always easy to come up with guidelines to discuss with your child, and U.S. Cellular would like to help out.  Just visit the site   This is a FREE resource for everyone!  One of my favorite things about this contract between you and your child is the parent can promise to use their iPhone 8 safely -- for instance you can promise to never text and drive -- so it isn't just your child who has guidelines.  Children learn by example, and this is a great way to model responsible cell phone use! 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

10 Children's Christmas books that Should Be in Your Home Library

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Are you looking for some new, fun Christmas stories?  Looking for some books to use to make Christmas
memories?  Here are some of my favorites and why I like them.  Most are under $10, one is under $2.50, so you won't break the bank to add one or more of these to a stocking this year!  While I'm sure you have heard of some of these, I expect a few will be new ones to you, and hopefully they will turn into beloved favorites like they have here!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Total Christmas Makeover by Melissa Spoelstra

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Total Christmas Makeover By Melissa Spoelstra.

Normally I don't care for devotionals.  I went to a Christian college, so I have quite extensive Bible knowledge.  Also, I have been through a lot in life, and it seems often devotionals that are so fluffy it is like they are reminding women that God loves them even on a bad hair day.  If I can find one that is just right for me, then the picking up the book, reading one devotional, bookmarking it, setting it back down, and then having to find it the next day often seems a little too much trouble.  (Thankfully this is now remedied with e-books.)

But Christmas.  I have always loved Christmas.  I don't have kids, plus very little family.  The last few years I have just spent Christmas Day by myself, taking a nap, reading a book, or even working.  My husband gets time and a half on Christmas and we live too far from any family to be able to visit, so the last few years, Christmas has been like any other day to us.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Descriptions and Prescriptions by Michael R Emlet

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book to review.  This post may contain affiliate links.

I studied psychology in college.  I didn't expect this book to be anything new to me, but I wanted to read it to see how the concept was presented to pastors and other church leaders in helping those who are mentally ill.  Mental illness is a real -- it's not something we can say to them everything would be fine if they just pray more -- in fact instead of helping, that can be harmful in discouraging the truly sick to avoid going to a psychiatrist.  My grandmother landed in the hospital multiple times over her life because her pastor encouraged her to go off her medication -- without consulting her doctors or being weaned off of it.  Then there are times that someone knows there is a sin issue causing them problems and a pastor just says to go to Christian counseling.  Can there be a good balance between faith and trust in God and medicines that help improve functioning?  I believe so.  And I am happy to say that the author of Descriptions and Prescriptions thinks so as well.