“Selfie Kid” Needs Some Empathy

superbowl selfieYou’re thirteen.  You’re at the Super Bowl.  And then… it happens.  Your life becomes an instant meme.

Monday morning in home room at my school, more students were talking about Ryan McKenna than the Eagles’ victory.  And we are a Philadelphia suburb.

Being the curious type, I went online and started looking up social media’s reactions to this teenager’s brush with JT’s stardom.  I was horrified.

I’m not going to repeat any specific comments I read, but it makes me sick to think some people have no qualms criticizing Ryan’s actions during the halftime show.  He was filming the concert.  What happened was spontaneous.  And it was live.

Why people feel the need to jump onto this bullying bandwagon of some boy is beyond me.  These people need a lesson in empathy.  How would THEY feel if they or their child were scrutinized the way Ryan has been judged?  He didn’t do anything wrong.  Why do they feel entitled to mock him as if he had no feelings?

Right now, he’s most likely still in shock.  But eventually, he and his parent may start to take in all the cruel insinuations and false conclusions about the nature of this boy, and the content of his character.

All over a selfie.

If there’s anything good that can come of this sorry display, it can be a lesson in self esteem and resilience.  This flash-in-the -pan moment of fame could either destroy or define his trajectory. If Ryan McKenna can rise above the taunts and hate, he’ll forever live an abundant life.  And therein lies the blessing.

I have a #153Promise for you.  When you have a moment with your children, talk to them about Ryan and the entire world’s reaction to his selfie.  Then, relate it to your own family.  How will your own kids respond when they are met with the negativity of others?  If they are able to rise above and not give audience to the bullies, your children will remain confident and happy.

And to those who have felt the need to hope on that train of bullying, ask yourself, “what is going on inside my own  heart that I feel the need to put someone else down and ruin their good fortune?”

And to Ryan’s family, I offer my most sincere support and kindness.

-Kisses! XxXx

 

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The Dawn of a New Day: The Blog Returns!

sunrise-1239727__340I had taken off a year from my blog to pursue other projects during a professional sabbatical during the 2016-2017 school calendar.  That experience alone could be its own book.  However, loooong story short, I very much miss my blogging about my 153Promise initiative, so I’m back!

I think I’ll begin catching you up by sharing with you all the articles I wrote for a local educational publication.  They very graciously have given me permission to repost the content on 153Promise.

But before I do that, I feel the need to write something else that’s very current in the news.  Stay tuned…

I’m going to make it MY #153Promise to write at least once a week.

It feels so good to be back!

Kisses! XxXx

Another Mother’s Day Perspective

inspired by a sunriseThis has been on my mind for the past few days with all the Mothers’ Day posts…

It’s great that many get excited over the day, but I just wanted to acknowledge that for some, this day brings up a lot of conflicted emotions…

If you:
-lost a mother
-are estranged from your mother
-have a toxic relationship with your mother
-never had a mother
-have had issues trying to become a mother or are a grieving mother

…or for any other reason, just aren’t feeling very celebratory towards Sunday…

I understand.
It’s okay.

From one woman to another, you never know if some girl in your neighborhood looks up to you and is inspired by you. Or you may mean something to someone else and you have no idea… even if nobody gets you a card, flowers, or takes you out for a meal.

So to all those ladies out there who would rather have this Sunday come and go, I honor you today.

-Kisses XxXx

How to Give Your Child “One Million Kisses” My Debut Book Is Finally Available for Purchase!

One Million KissesIt’s been over ten years since I became a mom and wrote a poem about kissing my daughter.  Over ten months since meeting with a publisher.

Even though I knew this day was coming, I’m still surprised that it’s finally here… I’m a published author with a book out on the market!

For less than ten dollars, you will:

  • have a sweet illustrated poem that teaches about the concept of one million and how families can give and get “One Million Kisses”
  • support a small, independent brick and mortar children’s book publishing company
  • contribute to my “Trauma-Free Parenting” movement
  • help with my vision of reaching out to families that takes a proactive approach to mental health issues.

CLICK HERE to buy the book!

 

Children and PTSD- 5 Common Events That Could Put Them At Risk

trauma PTSD
One of the biggest lies…

PTSD is not just for veterans; it can happen to anybody if they have experienced or witnessed a particularly upsetting event.  Children are at a higher risk of developing PTSD because they lack the sophisticated coping mechanisms to process certain stimuli.

When people think of sustaining a trauma, many conjure up images of combat, but children are constantly struggling to navigate the world even though they may not be on a battlefield.

Here are some “normal” events in a child’s life that may cause some “abnormal” responses in your younger family members:

5. A DEATH– it could be a grandparent or pet.  We are able to accept the reality of death better than a child.  The knowledge that they will never have that loved one in their life anymore could be felt way more intensely than you may realize.

4. A DIVORCE– when you think about it, this is a death, too.  Their family as they know it is flat-lining.

3. A MOVE– again, another loss.  They are losing their school, their friends, their house… Basically, their entire world.

2. An INJURY– While we as parents may be relieved that they “only” broke an arm or that they got better from their hospitalization, they may not feel that way.  Getting an X-ray, getting blood drawn, having strangers look at them… all of these experiences could make them feel violated.  In addition, TBI (traumatic brain injuries), or concussions, can also be traumatic, as the name implies.  If the brain has sustained some impact and the brain is how we process information, it only stands to reason that a developing mind may need some help healing, or that there may be injuries that do not necessarily show up on a standard brain scan at the ER.

1. A DISCIPLINE– It could be a one-time occurrence, or a long-term environment of hostility.  Do you find yourself yelling a lot?  Doling out consequences for minor incidences?  Do you lay your hands on your child?  In short, do you find that your child is frequently crying or protesting as a result of your actions?  This is a sign they are being traumatized.  It’s a different form of PTSD- CPTSD, “C” meaning “Complex.”

Time doe NOT heal all wounds… Sometimes, we need to reach out to professionals to help us.  Adults have a difficult enough time with asking for help; children need us to ask FOR them.

My next post in this series will be the Top Five “Normal” Symptoms that may indicate your child may be suffering from a trauma-induced event.

In the meantime, if you are concerned about your child, remember that you can contact their school’s guidance counselor at any time and they can assist you in getting your child the help they may need.

Make it the #153Promise to think about your child’s life from a child’s mind.

-Kisses! XxXx

 

 

 

Hidden Car Danger Staring You In The Face!

I promised the original Facebook poster that I’d put this on my blog to warn other parents about this potential danger:

Mirror starts fire in car
Keep Those Visors Flipped Up!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took my brain a moment to actually understand what happened in the picture… (It doesn’t take much to get me confused, lol!)   Apparently, someone had left the visor down with the mirror exposed. (Some visors have covers for the mirrors; others don’t.) The mirror must have acted like Piggy’s glasses in Lord of the Flies and started a fire!

Thank goodness it happened while they were in the car!  But can you imagine what could have happened if this had been in a parking lot while they were out shopping or running errands?!?

I mean, who’d think something like this could happen?

So here are a few suggestions:

  • get in the habit of checking that all visors are up
  • make sure no mirrors/lenses or any potential fire starters are left in the car
  • tape all mirrored visors shut and put a little affirmation saying, “You’re beautiful!”

There are some posts on Facebook that I could easily do without… then there are ones like this that could easily avoid tragedies.

I’m so thankful I saw this picture this morning- and also glad that the poster’s family was not hurt.  That image of the scorched upholstery will be burned in my mind for quite a while…

(Yes, I did go there!)  

Make it your 153Promise to keep your family safe at all times!

-Kisses! XxXx

 

Shana Perez Investigation Confirms My Points

paddling school georgia perez
Boy gets paddled while mom films it

More is coming to light regarding the paddling incident in Georgia.

The finer points are:

-Paddling is legal in Georgia

-Perez did NOT sign a form excusing him from such treatment

-At no time did the school say paddle or jail for mom

-The son had hit another student, ran away from teachers, and spit.

-Perez has no medical records to support her claim that her son has extenuating circumstances leading to his absence.

My analysis?  This means that her “excuse” that she had her son paddled to avoid jail (which would have been horrible enough!) is not even true.  Therefore, we WILLINGLY let her son be hit by school officials… and she uploaded the video on her SM platform.

Now, she’s trying to milk her 15 seconds of fame by possibly seeking out a lawsuit.

I’ll keep checking back and update everyone about this parenting train wreck.

I’m trying to see the silver lining in this story… maybe this much-publicized news event will wake people up to the fact that corporal punishment — which includes spanking! — is NOT a good way to teach discipline to your child.

Make it your #153Promise to never hit — or let others hit (including partners) — your child.

-Kisses! XxXx

 

3 Reasons Why the Georgia Paddling is So Messed Up

middle finger mother and child
Mother of Paddled Student in Covington, Georgia

I found this news story on one of my online forms today.  It’s about a mother whose five year old son was paddled for spitting.

If I understand the convoluted logic, the woman had previously been arrested for truancy; the child had 18 unexcused absences and 20 tardiness citations.  Therefore, in lieu of being suspended (resulting in missing more school and further truancy), the child was administered corporal punishment… which was then posted on social media.

The details vary from site to site, but the mother claims that the child has a condition (not specified) and that this was the only way to avoid getting arrested.

There are so many things wrong with this story, my head is spinning.  But I’ll limit myself to my top three:

3.  Corporal punishment is NOT effective.  Even if a child does not repeat the offense, it’s not because they learned why what they did was wrong.  They just learn fear and the lesson that physical violence is a good way to solve problems.  The Jasper County Primary School in Covington, Georgia should know better.

2.  It’s the mother’s fault it came to this.  I realize I may not know the whole story, but if there ARE underlying circumstances why her son didn’t go to school all those times, wouldn’t those be excused absences?  The boy spit.  At five, he should know better.  But a little poking around on Facebook, and the mother has posted several pictures of her and her son flipping the bird.  Charming

1.The mother let her child take a beating on the bottom to save her own @$$.  She claims that she couldn’t do anything to stop it…  Maybe because she was too busy taking a video for her to upload.  Did you see those two women with the boy?  Have you seen the mother?  I think she could take them both on if she had truly cared.  This was NOT a mother in Momma Bear mode; this was a woman with priorities bigger than protecting her son.  Would I go to jail if it meant I was taking one for the team instead of letting my child be traumatized?  You betcha.  In an instant.

It will be interesting to see if the media follows up on this train wreck of a news story.  But most likely, it will be a blip on the screen and be quickly forgotten among all the rest of the dysfunction out there in the world.

Make it your #153Promise to be a parent of fame; not shame.

-Kisses! XxXx

 

 

Dr. Laura of Aha! Parenting- A Kindred Spirit

happy family, mulitcultural

Last night, I attended a parenting seminar organized by our school district.  The focus was on handling sibling conflict.

As soon as I learned about the event, I knew right away that I wanted to be there- not because my children fight (I’m very happy to say my 10 and 3 year old are very loving to each other!), but because I wanted to see if a prominent expert in the field of parenting and I are on the same page.

I was given a handout upon entering the auditorium outlining some of the speaker’s finer points.  Right way, I knew I’d be in for a very affirming evening; THREE of my 4 Verbs of Love were on the sheet!

Psychologist, author, coach and speaker Dr. Laura Markham presented a wealth of information regarding ways to approach your children in a manner that is kind, rather than combative.

I can’t possibly get into all the details on this post, but I must have looked like a bobble head all night because I was nodding my head in agreement almost constantly.

Not only were we on the same page; I took about a page of my own notes — my own Aha! moments, if you will — that I plan to make as future posts, linking back to her site every time.

But for now, I leave you with the way to purchase her two books.

Make it your #153Promise to create a trauma-free parenting (my tagline) environment by picking up a copies of her Peaceful Parenting series today.  You and your children will be happier for it!

Kisses! XxXx

Mad Poets Society Tonight!

pen feather quill poetryA former student and I have a big event tonight!  To say I’m nervous is an understatement!

I signed up for this gig back in October when I attended our local poetry series and jumped at the chance to be the featured poet this month- both the month that my book is SUPPOSED to be out (was hoping it’d be physically here by now!) AND national poetry month!

So… I plan to have a sign up sheet to capture people’s contact information and make it a contest to get a personally autographed copy of “One Million Kisses,” as soon as it gets back from the printers.

That way, I can blast them all when they are available for purchase.

I’m really wondering how many people will show up… My English department head read last time I attended, and there was a room full of students doing it for extra credit…  I invited all my friends and followers on social media, and I know a few former professors of mine plan on attending…  No pressure whatsoever, huh?

I plan to be my own inner parent to get me through this… words of encouragement like, “You got this!  People want to like you!  Trust yourself!”

I’ll be sure to post tomorrow, telling you all how it went.

Make it your #153Promise to be the inner voice to yourself that you want playing in your own children’s head!

-Kisses XxXx!