Kathyism #95 – “Long To Connect…”

Dr. Kathy’s newest book, “Screens and Teens” is now available. The subtitle is “Connecting with our Kids in a Wireless World.” In this video she reminds us that teens long to connect even if their behaviors make conversations hard. We must not give up. We can ask the right questions, make the right statements, and listen.

Welcome Focus On The Family Listeners!


At Celebrate Kids, we focus on children and we want you to, too. If you’re here for the first time because you heard me on Focus on the Family Radio, welcome!

We encourage and support parents because you are your children’s first and most important teachers. The ways you love them, mentor them, and teach them matter!

We inspire teachers to rise above any discouragement and face challenges head on because children deserve the best. We greatly value educators!

We equip church-based teachers, leaders, and volunteers to love, lead, and teach well during these days when Truth isn’t respected like it used to be, but it’s just as important as it’s always been.

We share with children of all ages in all types of schools, churches, and camps to convince them of truths like these:

  • I can be smart with my smarts.
  • I am created on purpose with purpose.
  • I have present value, not just future potential.
  • I am who I am supposed to be.
  • I am a human being, not a human doing.
  • I am a unique, one-of-a-kind, created-in-the-image-of-God miracle.
  • I will control my technology. It will not control me.

Radio is an efficient way to influence people and we’re grateful to Focus on the Family for the opportunity to be a guest on their show. Speaking at events sponsored by Christian schools, public schools, homeschool groups, churches, camps, corporations, and conventions is the most common way we meet needs. Providing hope and direction is a privilege! You can learn more here.

We can also serve you in these ways:

  • This blog. Check a list of recent and popular posts in the right sidebar. Clicking on “multiple intelligences” at the top will direct you to the posts about our smarts. You can subscribe so you don’t miss any posts near the bottom of the sidebar.
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Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope that through it, the radio broadcast, and our other resources, you’ll find solutions for today and hope for tomorrow. It’s why we do what we do!

Focus On The Family To Feature Dr. Kathy’s New Book “Screens and Teens”

Fotf_pic_on_the_blogDr. Kathy will be interviewed on two brand new Focus On The Family radio shows inspired by her book Screens and Teens: Connecting With Our Kids in a Wireless World. They will air this week! Here are the details:

  • On March 4th & 5th – “Managing Technology’s Impact on Your Kids (Parts 1 & 2)” Dr. Kathy Koch offers parents helpful insights and advice from her new book, Screens and Teens: Connecting With Our Kids in a Wireless World.
  • On the scheduled airdate, the streaming audio of these broadcast will appear on the Focus on the Family broadcast page – www.focusonthefamily.com/radio – along with a brief description. Focus will also post links to their Facebook and Twitter pages that will link to the broadcast website on the airdate.
  • To find a station where these shows will be aired, go to the Focus broadcast page and look for the Focus “Station Finder.” There you will find stations that carry the program in your area. In addition, a downloadable podcast will be available on iTunes (just search for Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast).

We are excited for the millions of families who will be positively impacted/helped by the ongoing discussion around Screens and Teens. So, mark your calendars and listen to the programs for a healthy discussion on teens and technology.

Dr. Kathy never dreamed of being an author when she was young. But, now she is one. Do you know what your children are dreaming of for their future and are you helping them understand that they may not have thought of everything that’s possible? Are you helping them dream and become who God intended them to be?

The Culture Of Easy

mom son study homework

Do you know children and/or young adults who want to be happy all the time? You probably do, even if they’ve never said that’s what they want.

Is complaining common? Criticizing normal? Do they make decisions and choices related to personal happiness rather than values you thought they prioritized?

The lie, “I deserve to be happy all the time” is one of five I unpack in my new book, Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World. I propose there are nine cultures contributing to their belief that happiness is essential and possible.

It’s not their fault they over-value happiness. Technology has wired their brains for it. I’d be like them if I was their age. So would you.

The culture of easy concerns me. It’s not that I want things to be hard constantly, but when they are, our young people don’t know what to do. Many quit. Some over-depend on others. Some whine. They depend too much on everything being easy.

Needing things to be easy can mean our teens don’t learn how to persevere. They may plateau and not grow because new things scare them. Without learning how to persevere, they may not develop character or hope.

To increase the likelihood that our kids will persevere when something isn’t instantly easy, we can:

  • make sure to evaluate our attitude toward difficulties,
  • not rescue them from all hard experiences,
  • teach them, don’t tell them, how to be successful,
  • encourage them through the process rather than waiting to acknowledge them only when they’re finished,
  • talk about, model, and teach what it means at a very practical level to depend on God for strength and wisdom, and
  • help them understand the rewards of hard work.

Did anything here cause you to think of a time in your life when you didn’t handle it well when something was challenging? Share that with your children. Invite them to share a time in their lives when they didn’t react well to a challenge. Commit together to improve attitudes and actions.

“Ten Minutes” And The Insta-Everything Generation

time tea dr kathy 012315

When someone says something will take a long time, how long do you expect to wait? An hour? Two? Thirty minutes? Do you think the definition of “a long time” has changed through the years?

While writing my latest book, Screens and Teens, I discovered tea advertised to help the throat. Since my voice frequently gets tired and my throat can get sore from all the talking I do at conventions, especially, I decided to try it.

I was skeptical but trusted my friends’ recommendations. After purchasing my first box, I looked for the directions. I don’t drink a lot of tea so I wondered if a recommended length for steeping it would be mentioned. It was.

I read “ten minutes,” did a double take, and exclaimed to myself, You’re kidding! Ten whole minutes? Then I think I laughed.

If I think ten minutes is a long time, imagine how the “I want it now” generation might feel. Have you heard or participated in conversations like these?

“Dinner will be ready in ten minutes.”

“Why so long?”

(Does this sometimes trigger an argument, delaying dinner further?)

“We had to wait at the doctor’s office forever!”

“He was only running 15 minutes late.”

“Like I said. FOREVER.”

Waiting is hard for our “instant everything” generation. It’s also challenging because they’re not used to quiet and having to be in touch with their own thoughts.

In this video, Dr. Kathy will help you think carefully about two words that have great power. We need to strategically and wisely use “I want …” and “I need …” with our children. This can result in greater cooperation and they may even experience more joy and contentment. Listen and see if you agree.

May The Music We Make Glorify Him

kid piano
Today I’m posting a blog from a longtime friend, Shirley Wilson. She’s very music smart – very! – and, therefore, able to “see” the analogy she writes about. Because I’m also music smart, I enjoyed her blog immensely. Will you? It might depend upon how music smart you are. If it’s not in your top four, you might not have been able to think of what she did. This is also why you might actually enjoy it quite a bit. Where I enjoyed it because it made total sense, you might enjoy it because it challenges your thinking. Check it out. (This was originally posted on her blog on February 2, 2015.) – Kathy

A Choice Instrument by Shirley Wilson

“So whoever cleanses himself [from what
is ignoble and unclean, who separates
himself from contact with contaminating
and corrupting influences] will [then
himself] be a vessel set apart and useful
for honorable and noble purposes,
consecrated and profitable to the
Master, fit and ready for any good work.”
2 Timothy 2:21 Amplified Bible

Since I began playing piano at age six, I have had opportunity to play on hundreds of instruments. I have played on pianos with sticking keys, with wildly out-of-tune strings, and even some pianos that leaned to one side like a sinking ship. Often, someone at the venue housing the piano will remark, “Well, it’s better than nothing!” Though I understand that person’s somewhat apologetic sentiment, frankly I’m not too certain that’s true.

Other pianos I’ve played do the job quite well in a utilitarian kind of way. They may sound in-tune, be fairly regulated (a piano technician’s term for how evenly the hammers produce sound), and play loud and clear enough for accompanying.

But, less frequently I have had the opportunity to play on an unusually fine instrument: built well, maintained well, placed well in a good acoustical environment, even beautiful to look at. What a difference for a trained musician who listens for nuance of dynamics, beauty and warmth of tone, crisp response time, and reliability for every style of playing.

I can remember when I turned from a fairly good technical player into a musician. My college professor had given me a key to her studio and allowed me to practice frequently on her Steinway grand piano. All the technical exercises, the hard listening and careful pedaling paid off. That piano allowed me to fully express all that I possessed of work and talent to play the music on the page.

What Will Be Your Child’s Moment Of Inspiration?

school kids outside

Time flies, but I can remember some things clearly from when I was a third grader. We packed a suitcase for our trip to Hawaii and took it to school one day. My peers and I knew our trip was pretend, of course, but Miss Schwai did a marvelous job of making our day very real.

We took over the library for an entire day. In one section, we scattered our beach towels on the floor and pretended to sun bathe in Hawaii. But, that was after we watched a film strip about flying and discussed what we had learned about Hawaii and what we were looking forward to experiencing.

For a while we sat at tables and colored large index cards into pretend postcards. We wrote our parents a note on the other side, telling them about the things we saw in Hawaii that day. When we got home, we put the postcards out for our parents to find and pretended they had received them in the mail.

Our math lessons were related to how many miles we would travel, how much fuel the airplane would use, how deep the water would be at the beach, and the size of whales, dolphins, and sharks.

Dr. Kathy begins this video with some thoughts regarding how our kids know we love them. It’s not by saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!” once a year, but by taking child-centered action regularly. Listen and see if you agree. She also cautions us to avoid the easy comparisons social media sites like Facebook allow. They diminish the expressions of love.