Protecting Families from the Dangers of the Online World: INTRODUCING KIDSSAFE

My Dad has always been the family-oriented kind of guy. He is also very business minded and level headed. I love that he has chosen to channel his gifts to an area where there is such need. The internet surrounds us and for many of us, our lives are centred around internet use. This is only going to continue and therefore learning to orient ourselves (and our families) now and in the future safely on the net is essential. Here’s a little about Kidssafe and what my Dad has been up to. Watch out for him near your hometown soon! Or visit the website for more info here

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Family friendly: Mike Mccaughan of KidsSafe is on a mission to help families keep their children safe on line.

Mike McCaughan is on a mission – arming parents with the right tools to keep their children safe in cyberspace.

He has stepped away from the daily involvement in his very successful IT and ISP business to run KidsSafe Community Trust.

“My wife and I have raised 3 children from the very beginning of the social media revolution through to adulthood,” he said.

He has set up KidsSafe Community Trust to help parents “put safe boundaries around their children online”.

We do 1 hour practical presentations for parents and students on being safe online. How to protect children on mobile devices ie phones/tablets. We speak about downloading and using Apps safely, and our “Stop it before it starts” cyber bullying campaign!!

Tablet and mobile phone security is huge issue, especially with an alarming increase of reported cybercrime using fake apps and malware. We know of incidents where within 1 minute of an app being downloaded, a child’s tablet was hijacked and private information was taken.

Sadly in NZ, there is an ever increasing number of teenagers either attempting suicide or committing suicide because of online bullying. Often parents feel “ill equipped” to deal with the emerging internet technologies, and many just want to understand how to keep their children safe online!!

This is why KidsSafe have provided New Zealand’s first managed router service for families – effectively a guard at the gate – giving families the same level of internet control and monitoring as many businesses. Mike has taken the idea from his other successful IT & ISP Business   “NZ Technology Group”, one of NZ’s leading protection providers to business.

“I’ve spent years helping businesses protect their assets and staff, now I am helping families protect their biggest assets – their children,” he said.

Many parents are unable to monitor the technology in their own homes, but this puts their children at risk from pornography,   cyber bullying and children being tracked by online predators.

Mike is passionate about giving parents advice and confidence – to help their children develop a positive online identity, and to be in charge of it.

He encourages positive parenting where parents have regular talks with their children and not allow the youngsters to have a secret world apart from their family.

He encouraged parents to have all devices switched off and put on Mum or Dad’s dresser at bedtime.

“A lot of bad stuff happens at night – a lot of people are horrified to learn their son or daughter has gone out the window for a sexual liaison after getting a text in the middle of the night while the parents are sleeping.”

One parent discovered that a 16-year-old boy was sending messages to her nine-year-old daughter, grooming her for sex.

Other parent s had contacted him for help after receiving credit card bills for hundreds of dollars’ worth of purchases by their youngsters during online gaming.

He set up KidsSafe Community Trust last year and has been visiting different regions around the country to promote “Positive parenting your children online”.

Visit the website by clicking here or email mike@kidssafe.co.nz for direct contact kidssafe

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Why Forgiveness is Vital to Life

I would like to begin by saying that I understand that this may be a sensitive subject and my intent is to approach it with love and compassion. My desire is that I may offer some sort of encouragement to finding freedom from hurt and pain which we all experience in some capacity. 
We all have our hurts, pain and for some of us devastation from our past, recently or from many years ago. It can be so easy to hold on to feelings of pain; try to understand why such things have come our way, or mull over how that person could possibly have done those things to us. In the process of holding on and trying to understand, we build up bitterness and resentment toward others in the process

Bitterness and resentment act like a poison that slowly releases inside of us. When we allow it to take residence in our hearts, our minds become toxic too which in turn poisons our thoughts and emotions. When our thoughts and emotions are not healthy, we cannot live fully. We close ourselves off and often end up hurting others in the process. 

But somehow, it’s easier to live in this place. It becomes comfortable, safe. It becomes home. 

Sound familiar?
What’s more difficult, is to allow ourselves to forgive and move forward. 

 

Why should we do this? Not because it will make things right or we will get justice for what has happened in our lives. We need to let go because it sets us free. 

Wherever you are right now in life, I believe there is always a greater freedom to find and a more fulfilling life to live. Don’t you want to live fully? I know I do! 

It is a constant daily battle for me to look inside and forgive those who have hurt me. To CHOOSE to let go before the sun goes down instead of allowing hurt to settle in my heart. Here’s the thing, it’s a choice. And a difficult one at that. 

So how do you know when you have let go?

When you look back on the things that have hurt you and remember them, without feeling the pain that was once associated with those experiences and/or people, you can be sure you have let go.
What’s more, is that when you use your past as a place of reference, you will become a source of light and hope for others who may be experiencing pain and hurt in their current situations. You can help them find freedom too.

I want to say again that I understand this may be a sensitive subject for some of you, and please know I do not pretend to have experienced the same pain as you. But what I do know is that there is freedom for all of us when we choose to let go.

If you are struggling to let go of pain in your life, you are OK. Some things take longer than others to heal from. But I encourage you, that even small steps toward your healing are important. Seek out someone you trust to walk alongside you and encourage you to forgive, let go and experience freedom for your life. 

If you would like some more tools to letting go of hurt in your heart, check out my post, Trace, Face and Replace here

Moving Forward from a Hurtful Breakup: Four Tips for Finding Healing

Break ups are not an uncommon thing. Sometimes it feels like there are seasons where many people are breaking up in our community. My husband and I have seen this happen, and walked with some of these people on their journeys through healing. Not only this, but we’ve had some hurtful break ups ourselves. We’re no experts, but we can offer some things we’ve learnt over the years from various circumstances that might help you moving forward too.

 

Let’s be real. These feelings suck (for lack of a better phrase). Whatever your situation or circumstances may be, whichever end of the break up you are on. It causes pain, confusion and lack of clarity on what the future holds for you as a person.

 

Unfortunately there is no one way fix, or easy answer. But here are some things that we suggest if you, or someone else are in a position of heartache from a relationship break up.

For more posts specifically on relationships, check out the blog on this website 

 

  1. Allow yourself to feel

Like I already mentioned, breaking up is painful. There is no denying this. However some people can be quick to bury these feelings, or hide them behind anger, bitterness, resentment or numbness. While these other alternatives may seem like a survival measure at the time, I can assure you that allowing yourself to feel, hurt and grieve is the only way to truly move forward. Hiding from the hurt may seem to relieve the pain temporarily, but it will only hold you back from experiencing the true healing you need in order to live freely.

 

  1. Speak to someone you trust

Allowing ourselves to feel can release a lot of the emotional burden, but in order to make sense of the many feelings going on as a result of a break up, it is so important to speak to someone. Process your feelings with someone who you know is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart; preferably someone who you can continue to journey with in the long run. Talking to others may not necessarily heal us right away, but it sure does make the process a lot easier than keeping everything locked up inside our tender hearts

 

  1. Reflect on the things in life you are passionate about

Often when we experience a break up, our world feels like it has been turned upside down. It is so common for people to give so much of themselves to another person in an intimate relationship (emotionally and physically) that when they are no longer connected to the other person, they feel like they have lost so much of themselves too. If this is you, I deeply acknowledge and recognise this pain. But I also know there is hope for your future.

 

While you may still be grieving, start spending time getting to know yourself, your passions and desires, and as you find these things chase after them with all of your heart. Growing as a person in your passions, skills and interests brings great fulfillment and prepares you for a time where you may be ready to give yourself (your full self) to another person again.

  1. Tell yourself the truth

Part of processing with someone else is having someone acknowledge great things about you that you may not see, and helping you to uplift yourself when you don’t feel able to do so. Some people make promises to themselves as a result of their hurtful break up that only end up hurting them more in the future. An example is “my trust has been abused so I will never trust again”, or “he couldn’t love me for the way I was, how could anyone else?”.

 

If there are some of these thoughts floating around in your mind (we all have them from time to time), I urge you to process them with your trustworthy person and get them to help you speak truth into those worries. While the hurt may feel strong now, no person can decide your future for you. And just because it hasn’t worked out well this time, does not mean you are incapable of healing, finding yourself and learning to love again.

 

Learning to uplift yourself will do great things for your emotional, mental and physical health. Choose to accept what has happened, feel the pain, acknowledge your feelings and then actively move forward.

For more on Telling yourself the Truth, check out a bigger explanation here

You are a valued individual, regardless of your circumstance and you have a wonderful future ahead, if you will allow yourself to be compassionate and find the positivity to heal and move forward.

Why Sacrifice is Essential for Personal Growth- My Journey of transition from youth work

The last two years I have had the absolute privilege of serving as Senior Girl Youth Worker at Whangaparaoa College. Today I farewelled my team as I move on to a new season in life, having learnt many lessons along the way. I would like to share a little of my journey with you, as this has been a definite time of learning, sacrifice and opening myself to future opportunities. 



As I was growing up, I never took my responsibilities lightly. Wanting to follow through everything I took on to the best of my ability even surpassing what might have been expected. I said yes to many things. Letting others down caused feelings that were hardly bareable and completing anything with less than my best effort would leave me feeling disappointed and low. I can safely admit I put high expectations on myself. 

While I do not think that having a strong sense of responsibility is a bad thing, I did learn it can be dangerous if it is not managed. We are only human, and pleasing everyone (including my own high expectations) is not always possible. 

As an ex student at Whanga College and having served as head girl in 2010. I felt an incredible sense of pride and loyalty to the school. Having already begun unfolding my passion for supporting and uplifting young people, I took on the role of youth worker with great anticipation (and expectation).

As life continued, I tried to maintain the commitments I took on with great integrity. Alongside youth work at Whanga College, I was working through my conjoint degree at AUT University in Sport and Recreation and Business, working as a swimming instructor at Northern Arena, growing my passion of writing for this blog as well as for Relationships&Love (www.innarelationship.com) and more recently starting my own family as I married my best friend in August 2014. 

This post is not at all intended to show the public all the things I might be responsible for, but how I have learnt to make difficult sacrifices to enhance my own well being as someone who has a natural tendency for responsibility (I thrive off having responsibilities just as others may thrive from having strong relational connections, for example).

At the end of last year I begun to realise that I was no longer able to offer my best in all these capacities. I had to reevaluate priorities entering into a new season of marriage where I needed to make another person my first priority in life! I realised in this time of putting someone else first, that over the years I had become great at taking on responsibilities but not so good at managing my own well being (thanks to some amazing people who spoke truth into my life with much love and respect). If I wasn’t to make change, taking on responsibilities just became something I would continue to do at the cost of allowing space for myself to grow and learn in new capacities. Not to mention risking complete burnout! 

How would I allow myself to continue chasing dreams, opening myself to new opportunities if I never let go of any of the things I was already responsible for? 

In realising these things, I felt challenged to let go of one of the things I felt MOST loyal to, my role as a youth worker.



I strongly believe that we can grow into ourselves and become the best we can be, if we allow ourselves to do so. Learning to let go was a sacrifice I needed to make in order for this to be true in my life. 

So with this all being said, I move on from this role with little idea of what the next opportunity may be, but knowing my heart is to uplift and enhance the lives of others through my passions in health and wellbeing (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual). I trust that moving forward from this season will allow me to learn how to do that more effectively, so I can be ready for when the next opportunity may present itself.

I hold so much value in my time as a your worker. It has grown me in ways I cannot begin to explain. I look forward to continuing the journey, knowing a journey involves growth and change, AND sacrifice. But it WILL BE worth it. 

Thank you for taking the time to share my story (if you’ve made it this far). I would be happy to answer any queries you may have regarding my journey, responsibilities, growth of any other burning questions that may arise!

– Anna Megan, x

Supporting our men to reclaim their health

We know our men want to do things for themselves, and we want to encourage them to make great decisions for their own health. Here’s an inspiring piece on how to do just that!

Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition

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Getting our husbands into healthy eating is no mean feat……I know this first hand. My husband was raised eating good wholesome healthy food but somewhere along the way he (and I) went off the rails a bit.  Scotty has always been super fit and skinny, never had to worry about what he ate….KFC, McD’s you name it never really phased him.  Then the 30’s came along and after a good 10 or so years of drinking and eating pretty crappy food things start to catch up on him!

For Scotty it all came to head when we renovated our old 1940’s Torbay cottage… we were bursting at the seams with three little boys and desperately needed more room.   He is a builder so he undertook a huge 6 month renovation at our house as well as working full time building. We had moved into my mum’s for the duration of…

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Trace, Face and Replace- a Tool for Overcoming Lies in Your Life!

Trace face and replace

I have had the pleasure of working with young people in my life and especially over the last two years with #247youthwork. On this journey I have learnt many tools that have been so valuable in shaping my own character.

I would love to share this particular tool I have learnt, because I believe it is something that EVERYBODY can use. No matter what age or stage, gender or space of life you are in. The reality is, we all have things that we carry with us. We all have “sore” spots. Unfortunately these things are often represented in a negative way. We respond to certain situations with anger, or resentment, frustration or we hide from things, because of what they represent.

Using this simple tool, “trace, face and replace” allows us to look at these bruises in our lives and to move forward. I am not saying that healing comes quickly by using this tool. But I AM saying it is a great start to recognise where things have come from, to accept them, and to replace misbeliefs in our lives with TRUTH, that will lead to greater positive living and the lifting of burdens in our lives.

So HOW do we “trace, face and REPLACE?”

STEP 1. TRACE: this simply means, trace the belief you are holding back to when it happened. An example of some beliefs we may be carrying with us that are UNTRUE include: “I’m never going to live up to anybody’s expectations, so why bother trying”; “I have been so hurt, so I will be hurt again”; “They won’t accept/love me for who I really am”.

Now have a think, was there a specific thing that was said to you that made you believe this? Have you encountered a painful experience and believed a lie as a result? Or did you start believing something at a specific time in your life? Take a few moments to really figure out where this belief came from…

STEP 2. Once you have traced it, FACE IT. Accept that it happened and that you cannot change that, feel the pain that comes with that too! Sometimes the best way we can allow ourselves to move forward from a painful experience is to allow ourselves to feel the pain. We often hide from these things and sweep them under the mat in our lives to avoid the uncomfort of having to deal with them. The problem with this is, THE LIE IS STILL THERE and we are living with it daily whether we realise it or not. FACING where this belief came from is an incredibly important part of allowing yourself to heal. The people in your life will appreciate you taking this step too!

STEP 3. And lastly, REPLACE it! If this thing you have been holding onto has been holding you back, what is something truthful you can replace this with that will help you move forward? For example, if the lie you have been believing is that “you are never going to live up to other people’s expectations” (something I have personally struggled with- so I’ll use it as an example), then something truthful you need to tell yourself could be, “I am more than adequate with who I am and what I bring, regardless of other people’s expectations of me”.

It can be helpful to get someone else to help with this process, as seeing it from an outside perspective can help bring clarity!

I completely respect that this isn’t an easy process. And I, by no means take this lightly. If you would like to clarify anything I have written in this post, please feel free to get in contact with me. I would be happy to support you through this process or answer any questions you may have.

Finally, the beauty of journeying with others is that we get to do this together. So, if you feel comfortable. Please share your experiences and how “trace, face and replace” HAS HELPED YOU to move forward in your journey!

If every daughter could hear these words: the letter from Jared Noel to his beloved daughter

I am incredibly touched by the story of Jared Noel. But what amazes me is the legacy he is leaving upon his death. What I love is that this letter will not only be read by his daughter when she is old enough, but millions of women, young and old will read it too, and be touched.

“Leave a legacy”, he says. What an encouragement this is to all of us. I believe these words need to be heard by more girls out there, hence why I am reblogging it here…

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