What is a teachable moment? It's learning through family. That's what Boys Town provides to tens of thousands of children and parents everyday. And that's what we'll focus on here. Stories of those who we've seen succeed, and ideas on how to help bring Teachable Moments to your home and family, too.

Tag Archives: Respect

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By Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director, Boys Town

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Acceptance and Equality Must Be Part of Every Child’s Life Lessons

Father Edward J. Flanagan was far ahead of his time, sometimes dangerously so. When he founded his home for boys (later to become known as Boys Town) 100 years ago in Omaha, Nebraska, he welcomed youngsters of all races, religions and cultural backgrounds, and he provided care for all of them under one roof. This approach was unheard of in the early 1900s, and even though many local citizens supported Father Flanagan’s work, there were those who disapproved and even made threats ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Raising Compassionate Children

Compassion literally means "to suffer together." Emotional researchers describe compassion as the feelings and motivation that arise in us when we are confronted by the suffering of others. Most young children have an innate sense of compassion, but the development of this important feeling must be nurtured if it is to survive into adulthood. This is where parents come in. So, how do you go about raising a compassionate child? The most important way is by allowing your child to routinely experience compassion ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

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4 Tips To Help Your Teens Make Good Clothing Choices This Summer

This article was originally published on momaha.com. Hot weather is here! It’s time to dress for informal events like camp, ballgames and visits to the pool, as well as more formal occasions like weddings. Parents often cringe at what their kids choose to wear — and in the summer, there’s no outerwear to cover up a fashion faux pas. Here are some tips for helping your kids dress so they’re happy and you aren’t scandalized every time they walk out the door. 1. ...

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Father Steven Boes, President and National Executive Director of Boys Town

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Teaching Tolerance, Acceptance and Respect for the Next Generation

2016 was a year when a number of tragic, attention-getting events further illuminated the great need for tolerance, acceptance, awareness, respect and social justice in our country. Month after month, the stories seemed to be endless: A police officer shoots an unarmed African American person while making an arrest or responding to a call. Protesters take to the streets to condemn the officer’s actions and demand justice for the victim. A police officer is shot during a “routine” traffic stop. Citizens express their ...

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Jaime Wyant, Momaha Contributor

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All That Election Anger You’re Spewing on Social Media? Time to Tone It Down

This article was originally featured on Momaha on November 14, 2016. This week was full of election chaos. After one of the most surprising upsets in American political history, Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States of America. Whether you are thrilled or terrified with the results of the election, you cannot avoid all of the social media commentary. What is truly upsetting to me is all of the hate plaguing our lives right now. There are people on both ...

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By Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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At Election Time, Wage Your Own Campaign to Teach Kids Positive Behaviors

I am so tired of seeing attack ads from politicians, both on television and the Internet. Between all the name-calling and unsupported claims, what is being modeled for our kids? That if you tear a person down enough, people will like you more? I don’t think so, and I know most parents don’t think so either. At Boys Town, we have a more positive way to teach youth about citizenship and the electoral process. Each year since 1935, the youth of ...

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Julia Cook, Author & Boys Town Expert

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Raising a Nonjudgmental Child

Children are born without bias. As infants, they don’t care about race, gender, religion (or lack thereof), sexual orientation or cultural identity. As they grow, any prejudice they exhibit regarding others is the result of learning via observation. That means if you wish to raise a nonjudgmental child, you must first take a look in the mirror as well as understand that the key to building relationships and raising a nonjudgmental child is through the development of trust and communication. As ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Boys Town Expert

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7 Ways to Teach Your Teen How to Disagree Appropriately

This article was originally featured on Momaha.com July 14, 2016. Teens love to argue their viewpoints. In fact, if you’re the parent of a teen, you often may feel like you’re living with a pricey underage attorney or a national debate champ! Meaningless arguments are a bummer for everyone, and there are plenty of issues that shouldn’t be up for negotiation. When our kids were growing up and still at home, my husband and I had the final word on anything physically, morally or ...

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Kevin Kush, Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

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A Parent’s Unrealistic Expectation in Youth Sports Can Lead to Disappointment

This article was originally featured on Momaha.com July 28, 2016. One issue that constantly clouds youth sports is the unrealistic expectations many adults have that younger girls and boys will star in high school sports and earn scholarships to play in college. Many parents even believe their child will go on to become a professional athlete. I hate to burst their bubble, but the facts say otherwise. The National Council of Youth Sports has reported that more than 41 million girls and boys currently ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Let the Games (and Valuable Life Lessons) Begin!

The Summer Olympics are one of the greatest spectacles in sports. For two weeks, some of the best athletes in the world – men and women who have trained, practiced and sacrificed for years – come together to compete against each other and push themselves to the limit. There are unforgettable moments of endurance, triumph and failure, and high drama can unfold in even the most obscure events. This is what makes the Olympics such a great teaching tool for parents. ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Setting Rules to Survive Your Stay-at-Home Teen

Your teenager is graduating from high school! What a great accomplishment! As a parent, you’re feeling pride and happiness – and maybe a little bit of apprehension about your teen’s plans for the upcoming summer. If your adolescent child will be living at home until college starts in the fall or until he or she begins a job and moves out, that apprehension level might be somewhere between nervous and panicky. Here’s the rub:  How do you parent a child who is still ...

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Boys Town Contributor, Mother of seven-year-old daughter and five-year-old son

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What Parent Doesn’t Want Their Child to Be Grateful?

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. What parent doesn’t want their child to be grateful? From a very young age, we have taught our children their please and thank you’s, before they could speak they were signing the words. We wanted our kids to have manners and ...

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Kevin Kush, Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

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Win with Class and Lose with Dignity

In sports, there’s nothing more unattractive and unpleasant than poor winners and sore losers. Poor winners brag about their performance and blow their own horn to make themselves look good. They don’t care if they bother or upset their opponents, teammates, or coaches. Sore losers complain, criticize, and make excuses for their performance or the outcome. Instead of taking ownership and responsibility for what happened in a game or match, they blame the weather, officials, coaches, teammates, opponents, or just ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son

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How to Convey What Bullying Is to Young Kids

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. As co-leader of my daughter’s Girl Scout brownie troop I wanted to focus on bullying for our October meeting. As a parent, the idea of my child being bullied terrifies me. I also want to make sure my kids know that ...

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Coach Kevin Kush,
Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

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Respect Officials at Sporting Events

What appeared to be an intentional attack against an official during a high school football game in Texas last month that was captured on video is causing high school sports administrators around the country to remind coaches, players, and parents about the importance of treating officials with respect. Two defensive football players from San Antonio John Jay High School blindsided a back judge, one running into him at full speed from behind and another diving into him while he was on ...

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Kevin Kush, Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

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How to Communicate With a Coach Without Overstepping

If you have a son or daughter participating in youth sports, sooner or later you’re probably going to want to talk to a coach about something – likely an issue on which you and the coach disagree. More often than not, the issue is playing time – as in, “Coach Kush, my son sat on the bench for most of last Friday’s game. He’s much better than the other kid; why don’t you let him play more?” But sometimes you get ...

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Julia Cook, Children’s Book Author

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Civility Wars: Helping Your Child Battle Rudeness and Learn Positive People Skills

Rudeness damages others by creating stress, eroding self-worth, creating relationship problems and making life difficult. When we are treated rudely by others, we often become vulnerable and self-doubting. Teaching children to be polite is not an all-or-nothing proposition, but instead is a continuum that starts at birth and continues throughout life. Teaching a child just one single strategy toward politeness will better that child! The most important skill we can teach our children to help them succeed in life is the ...

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Bryan Smith,

Father, Coach, School Counselor

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Teaching a Balance Between Good Sportsmanship and Winning Is a Win-Win for Kids and Parents

This summer, my family enjoyed watching the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament. As the games went on, my son asked more and more questions. One stood out: “Dad, what’s a yellow card?” I was able to explain to him that a player is given a yellow card when she does something that is not allowed, like pushing or tripping a player from the other team. I told him that breaking those kinds of rules it’s like cheating to help your ...

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Julia Cook, Children’s Book Author

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Sib Wars: Tips for Keeping the Peace in Your Home

“Give it back!” “Stop that!” “He won’t share!” “I had it first!” “She kicked me!” “That’s not fair!” Sound familiar? Oh, when your kids just can’t seem to get along… GRRRRRR! I vividly remember fighting with my older sister over who got to sit in the front seat of the car, who got the last pudding cup and what show we were going to watch on TV. She always felt it was her job to tell me what to do, what to say and, especially, how to ...

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Boys Town Contributor, father of twins

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Newly Independent College Kids Returning Home for Summer Break

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. College is where kids explore their new-found freedom. But when they come back home, the old house rules still apply… This past year, we packed up both our kids for college. It was a major undertaking of both timing and logistics ...

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Cicely Faulkner-Truitt
Mother of 9-year-old son

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A Royalty Complex and Dirty Socks

I can only imagine the work it takes to balance out the life of a baby royal, ensuring that an overwhelming sense of entitlement doesn’t permeate the precarious childhood of the most watched children in Britain. My son thinks it’s my job to pick up his dirty socks, and that little stinker is far from being royalty. Cute? Yes. An heir to the throne, born with his own crew of caretakers in waiting? No. I can’t imagine that Prince William and ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Father of four teenagers: ages 13,15,17 and 18

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My View from the Passenger Seat – Teaching My Teen to Drive

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. Ask any adult about their most vivid memories of being fifteen years old, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear about their first day of high school; their first love (and inevitable first heartbreak)… and the first time they sat in ...

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Bridget Barnes, Director
Common Sense Parenting, Mother of two

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Is It Okay to Discipline Other People’s Kids?

The Breakfast Club.  Not long ago, I was in a situation when I had to ask myself, “Is it okay to discipline other people’s children?” We were on vacation, staying at a hotel that provided a complimentary breakfast. One morning, I went down to take advantage of this free perk. If I’d known what was going to happen, I might have stayed in bed. The restaurant was crowded with people that morning. I decided to order a meal from the ...

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Cicely Faulkner-Truitt
Mother of 9-year-old son

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Getting Kids to Help around the House

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com.  This morning I stumbled upon a strange pile of pajama pants, lotion and deodorant in the middle of my living room floor that my son knows should not be there. He is like most kids, he understands that there are chores that he is required to do around the house. He also knows that if he sits quietly enough, I will likely forget to tell him to do them. However, he has no clue ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

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Helicopter Parenting: How Not to Hover while Letting Your Kids Soar!

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.  I will admit I’ve been called a helicopter parent before. It was in a joking manner, so I’ll assume it was unfounded. But I have read quite a bit on the subject matter and I think there are a few guidelines we can ...

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Boys Town Contributor,

Mother of 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son

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How to Start the Conversation About Bullying

Bullying is every parent’s worst nightmare. As parents, it is natural for us to want to protect our babies from the outside world. You don’t want their feelings to get hurt, you don’t want people to say mean things to them and you certainly don’t want them to say mean things to other people. But the reality is that kids will be kids and bullying is everywhere. We have to prepare our kids and teach them how they should respond ...