Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Teens and social media addiction: What parents need to know

As a young mom I watch my 14-month-old play with my phone.  She looks at it picks it up high in the air.  She is pretending to take a selfie!  She is confused when I am talking to someone on speaker phone and cannot see their face because we are not using FaceTime.  And let’s be honest I am a proud mommy, so she takes up most of my Facebook feed now a days. 
I then look at my students. My teenagers spend all their free time on their phones. This past year I was given an opportunity to try Yonder bags.  These are bags that students lock their phones in but can still carry with them for safe keeping while in the classroom.  I had hoped this would make things easier in my classroom monitoring cell phone usage but there are still some I have students trying to keep them unlocked and feed their headphones into the small pouch.  However overall it has been a positive one.  I do not confiscate as many phones and I feel more students are engaged in what is going on in the classroom. 
I share these personal experiences to express my overall concern.  While I too use social media, specifically Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I must admit I have an addiction.  And so do many of my fellow Americans. 3.1 billion people on our planet use social media (Mediakix, 2018). There are 7 billion people on the planet.  But probably the scariest statistic I have read as a teacher and as a parent is that teens who spend up to 5 hours a day on their phones are 2x more likely to suffer from depression and 10% of teens check their phones up to 10 times per night (Mediakix, 2018).  What does this mean for teen’s health?  It means my students are doing something they think can make them happy and really its not. It means my students are not getting enough sleep and are then tired for class and activities.  It also means a decline in the social skills that many of us once gained in our teen years such as making phone calls, speaking in a conversation and having polite conversation.  With the protection of screen names and fake identities it is easy to be unkind, make inappropriate comments and bully others.  How many of us have said things to someone in a group on Facebook that we would never say to a person’s face? 
So what can a parent do?  Parents can limit screen time.  We are not our child’s friend.  Even if they pay their own phone bill they live in the parent’s house.  Have a technology shut down time.  Turn off the wifi, dock phones in a centralized location and no phones during meal times.  Monitor their internet usage. Apps such as Phone Sheriff allow parents to monitor their child’s cellphone usage.   Do not allow devices in bedrooms and other non-public places of the homes. For younger children have a screen time limit.  Allow them to earn more time limit.  When they are on punishment take away these items.  If a child needs a screen for homework monitor that use and then take it away.
Fellow parents I know this is extra work but this is the age we live in. We can either conform to it or rise above it.  Social media is a great thing. We can get information about anything.  My mom Facebook groups have gotten me through some rough times as a new mom.  I have made friends and reconnected with old ones.  I have family on social media I would not get a chance to see or communicate without social media.  I create lessons on from Pinterest.  But everything is in moderation.  And our children are looking to us to teach them how to do this in moderation.  It starts at home.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

10 Things I have learned from being a new mom

I have been a new mom for 8 months now.  I don't know it all, maybe I never will but I sure have learned a lot!  Here are my top 10!

1. Baby spit up and baby puke are totally different!
2. Starting habits from day one (tummy time, brushing teeth, and bedtime routines) makes life a lot easier
3. Always pack your bags the night before.
4. You do NOT have to take your child into the bathroom with you.
5. You do NOT have to keep the baby in the bassinet in your room.
6. Baby led weaning is so fun!
7. Breastfeeding is one of the most empowering and life-giving experiences.  Pumping breast milk is not.
8. Her style is way cooler than mine. Why don't they make these clothes in my size?!
9. Video monitors are the best
10. You can still live your life with your interests and hobbies.  Just be on the same page with your partner!

This little peanut has taught me so much!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Something new!

So it has been a while since I have been here. I have been a little busy meaning we had a baby!!! And now she is 8 months old and she is just the cutest thing ever! And no we did not adopt her.  God decided He did not care about what my NFP chart said I was having a baby! So here we are with a little girl Stefania Joy born July 15 2017 via Csection. 6lbs 13 oz.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Air BnB baby!

I don't know if I will ever want to stay in a hotel ever again after the amazing experience we had using an Air Bnb.  Before I show off my awesome house fine let me back up and share the whole week of greatness.

This summer I had a great desire to have a fun summer especially if it is our last alone before a baby comes in our adoption.  So I used Facebook events to learn about a ton of fun things to do.  We decided with the desire to save on some funds to do half stay-cation and half vacation.  We started with seeing Star Wars The Force Awakens at a local park. We packed snacks and wine (and no wine opener).
Matt got the bottle open with a little Google search and his keys!

Movie time!
The next day we spent the day relaxing and packing for our upcoming week.  We then had a Night at the Museum!  We checked our the Museum of Science and Industry's Brick by Brick.  It was an adult only event where we got in for the same cost of the museum however we got dinner, drinks and to go into the extra exhibit of Brick by Brick.  We also got to hear a live podcast interview of the master builder.  

Of course my favorite!
Sundays for us have always been a traditional day of relaxing, preparing for the week, attending Mass and making a very yummy Italian dinner.  Since we were going to be going out of town we instead celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Caramel by attending a local Italian fest, I do wear her scapular so it was a great day to celebrate my devotion to her.  

Monday finally arrived and we were off!  Of course right after Matt discovered a flat tire on his car and didn't want to leave it till we returned. We took the short hour and ten minute drive to our beautiful cabin which was located in this beautiful little forest neighborhood right off of Lake Michigan.  

The living room and dining room.  To the right is the kitchen were I made us breakfast and packed us lunches.

Matt's favorite spot the screened in porch.

The private beach!
We enjoyed our 4 days in our little cottage. We went to the beach, went on a wine tasting tour (which was half the price cause we did a week day instead of the weekend) and ate out for dinner.  We went for walks, saw deer and read books in the quiet of nature.  We grocery shopped upon arrival and so we had breakfast at home and I packed us lunches for the beach.  This all saved us so much money because we could have been having all our meals out and would have both over eaten and over spent.  Check out my Facebook page for all our pictures of our adventures. I highly encourage this way of vacation to not only save money but just to enjoy the relaxation of it all.  Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book Review: The Joy of the Gospel

I was so excited to get the chance to review the book The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis.  I find our Pope to be so in touch with his flock and in tuned with what we need in the 21st century.  Boy was I disappointed!  I was so bored.  It was such a scholarly paper and way over my head.  I am so sad.  I could not even finish the book.  I don't have much to say about.  Everything I read was over my head and hard to understand.  I know he talked a bit about how we should share the Gospel and that brings joy and I know he talked a bit about violence and the economic crisis of our time.  But that is it.  Otherwise I was so lost!  Sorry I cannot give more information.  Maybe someday I will pick it up and try again but for now its being placed on the shelf.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Local Pilgrimage

I have been lucky to have had some amazing spiritual pilgrimages during my short time in this world. In 2005 I went to Assisi and Rome and followed the life of St. Francis of Assisi. We got to see some amazing sites such as St. Francis's home, monastery and grave site. We got to crawl up the Santa Scave, visit tons of basilicas and the Vatican. We even go tot see St. Peter's bones under the Vatican.  I have also had the opportunity to travel to St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal Canada.

But now those opportunists are far and few in between. We are busy adults with commitments at work and family etc. But still a pilgrimage can be very spiritually fulfilling.  A few weeks ago I made the effort to go on a local private pilgrimage to St. John, IN to the Shrine of Christ's Passion. This place is perfect for a few hour pilgrimage.  If you have never been it basically is life size statues of the passion and resurrection of Jesus. There also is a memorial for children lost to abortion and the statue of Our Lady of the New Millennium.  Everyone is welcome at this place.  Kids will love it.  There are buttons to press and then a small description of that station is said out loud through the speaker.  Also it is wheel chair accessible.  But even if you are not in a wheel chair but have trouble walking there are free golf carts that you can ride in.  You can check out their website here: http://shrineofchristspassion.org. I am just going to share some of my favorite pictures and hope that you will make the effort:
The Last Supper, guests are invited to sit with Jesus.

Jesus is condemned to death. 

Jesus carries the cross.

Jesus meets the women.

Jesus on the cross

Jesus is taken from the cross. 

The empty tomb.

Abortion memorial

Our Lady of the New Millennium 
 I would highly encourage that families make an effort to be on Pilgrimage this week.  Holy Thursday is a great night after Mass to do this.  Go with members from your church to different churches and pray with Jesus.  Go to Stations on Good Friday at a new parish or your diocese's cathedral.  Pilgrimages don't have to be over night.  They just are a chance to journey away from the norm and try something new.  God Bless you this Holy Week!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

My Miracle Morning

Oh boy have I been away!  I do apologize.  You can also find me with my husband at our adoption blog http://bringhomebabymitrovich.blogspot.com/.

One of the biggest changes I had this school year was teaching a 1st period for the first time in my career.  So in order to become a "morning person" I started to do some research.  I found the book The Miracle Morning.  This book begins with the author's life story about how he was in a car accident and actually was dead for six minutes.  He then went through a long recovery and along the way he created the Miracle Morning.  He calls them the LIFE SAVERS.

Silence- time for meditation and/or prayer
Visualization- visualize your goals
Scribble- be creative

So how did I adapt this to my life? Well just like Hal suggests it start's with my night before.  Getting everything ready for the next day.  Actually on Sunday I start with picking up my clothing for the whole week and hanging on the back of my bathroom door.  I also  fill in my planner for the week and confirm my weekly plans.  I do this with my Erin Condren Planner. I pack my lunch the night before and make sure my bags are packed.  I take a shower and set my alarm for the next day.  I then self talk as Hal suggests to do about how I will wake up refreshed. There is more to my evening routine but that is another post for another time.

So its morning and the alarm is going off at 5AM!!  I start by waking up and going into the bathroom, washing up and brushing my teeth.  I then change into something to wear to do yoga.  I then settle myself in front of our family prayer alter and spend my S in silence with prayer. Usually I use the Magnificat. I then write in my planner my prayer intentions for that day and visualize my day. I now have my S and V done!

From there I head downstairs and pour myself water.  I then do a 20 minute stretch yoga making my E complete.  I then move on to the other S and A.  I use The Five Minute Journal and within it I complete my time for gratitude and affirmations.  Sometimes I color in an adult coloring book too. Lastly I complete my R with reading until it is 6AM and my hubby is done getting ready and I can get ready.  Then he usually prepares breakfast for us and then we eat together before leaving for our days.

I am way more energetic thanks to the Miracle Morning.  I encourage you to pick up and try it!