Teens and Screens: Why Won’t My Teen Get Off the Screen?

February 07, 2019

Dopamine-Seeking Reward Loops. That’s why! Of course, it isn’t that simple—we can’t give the entire rap to Dopamine Seeking Reward Loops. There are plenty of other factors why teens get hooked: fulfilling emotional needs, boredom, lack of self-restraint, connection with friends, to name a few. Here we’re going to explore how dopamine affects teens and their developing brains. For the sake of ease, we’re going to shorten to the culprit to Dopamine Loops.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Why It's Critical to Understand Your Child's Temperament

December 29, 2018

Temperament is one of the most underestimated influences in a child’s life. Many times, a difficult temperament trait in a child can be the primary driving force of misbehavior in children. Much of the challenges in child raising often lead back to temperament qualities, such as low adaption or high emotional intensity.

Temperament is a lot like looking into a kaleidoscope. Children's temperament traits come in a multitude of colors and designs along with countless hues and intensities. Turn the dial of a kaleidoscope slightly and everything dramatically changes. So it is with temperament. [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Quickly Avoid Power Struggles with Children Using Empathy

December 06, 2018

Sometimes I get wildly angry at screens—whether an Xbox or TV—and my children’s inability to end their session the second I ask them. If I wasn't so frugally and environmentally driven, I might be tempted to throw screens out of moving vehicles and second story windows.

But then, my empathy kicks in; sometimes faster than other times. I remember what it’s like to be deeply immersed in something and suddenly asked to stop. If I’m engrossed in reading a book, texting a friend, writing a letter, or brushing my teeth, it’s unlikely that I’ll stop doing the activity at the exact moment I am [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Teens and Screens: Does Your Child Have Screen Addiction?

November 12, 2018

Internet Addiction, Texting Addiction, Screen Addiction, and Gaming Addiction are all phrases we hear in modern times but are they really a thing? Well, yes they are and no they are not. What?! Keep on reading to see why this is not a clear-cut answer.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Why Selfie Care Is Vital for Parents

October 30, 2018

Why have selfies become a trend? And do we take a selfie only when we look our best? Probably not during a fight with your spouse or after a day of power struggles with your toddler or teen. 

Could the preoccupation with Facebook along with snapping selfies and posting pictures on Snapchat be a sign of how invisible we feel to ourselves? Maybe, maybe not. But there is a form of invisibility to ourselves that often goes unnoticed—a lack of self-care.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Social Media Is Social Currency for Teens

October 04, 2018

The term "social media" did not even exist in mainstream culture when I had my first son in 2004. My mother and I still wrote snail-mail and email letters back and forth and talked on the phone. That is how I kept in contact with all my out-of-town loved ones, and as for my in-town peeps, it was face-to-face get-togethers and phone calls with occasional emails to coordinate plans that involved more than a few of us.Going back a bit further, the social currency for young people in my era was notes written during class and passed in the halls, phone calls, and chat gatherings in the corners [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Teens and Screens—Why Do Teens Love Screens So Much?

October 01, 2018

There is endless content online (ironic isn’t it!?!) about screens, internet use, gaming, safety, addiction, sleep deprivation, and how to set limits. So much content that a person (ME!) can spend hours on a screen just learning about how to deal with screens, so why write more?

At Heartmanity, we want to approach screens, tech, safety, limits, and the like through the understanding of emotional needs, relationships, empathy, compassion, brain science, and love, which are not common approaches used in most available content. So, that being said, let’s look at why teens love screens so much.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Why Helicopter Parents Stunt a Child's Self-Reliance

August 04, 2018

Parenting is an elaborate and complex job that changes with each age as a child develops. Since our primary responsibility is to keep our children safe while providing a stable home, it’s understandable how involved—even overprotective—parents can become. However, the older a child gets, the less control we have as parents. (Every parent that has given their teenager the keys to the family car knows what I mean!) Therefore, the need for children and teens to make wise decisions is a great reason to help them build strong self-reliance and emotional intelligence.

Most parents have good [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Parents, Do You Have an Illusion of Control?

July 19, 2018

Let's face it; life can tire a person out! When you add up the jobs, romance (or lack of romance), friendship, parenting, being someone’s adult child yourself, self-care, sleeping, eating, exercising, being “tired out” can just grow and grow.

For many of us, the more we take on, the more stressed and tired we become. To compensate for the overwhelming feelings of being more and more out of control, we try to do even more. This tactic is a futile attempt to give ourselves and others the illusion that we “have it all together.” However, maybe we should release that illusion of control.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Parenting with the End in Mind—Theirs Not Yours!

July 05, 2018

This is going to be quick and sweet. When we parent, in the toughest moments of discomfort, challenge, and testing, we need to remember that we are parenting not only the 3-year-old child in front of us but also the 13-year-old teen in front of us, the 23-year-old young adult in front of us, and the 33-year-old adult in front of us … you get the point.

A vital path of successful parenting is to parent with the end in mind. Visionary parenting is another way of describing this mindset. Discipline, love, structure, boundaries, empathy, and redirecting children’s behavior all contribute to [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting