5 Things No Responsible Parent Will Allow Their Child To Do

No, this isn’t some quirky post where I twist the title around… I really mean that no parent in their right mind should allow the following five activities.  The stakes are just too great.

Game, Video, Gaming, Controller, Hands

  1.  Violent Video Games.  At.  All.  (Applies more to boys.)  The effects of these games are just too great.  They are linked to violence in real life and predict criminal activity in the future.  They actually develop part of the brain that creates aggression and rewards distractibility and risk-taking behavior.  And thanks to this supreme court ruling, kids can buy all video games rated “M” for mature.Iphone, Template, Mockup, Mock-Up
  2. Be On Social Media.  (Applies more to girls.)  Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and whatever newest thing to come along will only cause anxiety in teens.  FOMO (fear of missing out) creates major stress if their post does not get enough “likes.”  They obsess.  They hatch plans, post, and check back.  It’s just not healthy.  If you ban all social media, your teen will NOT be ostracized; they’ll just be known as the, “kid with the weird parent.”  And all other teens will secretly wish their parent cared that much to remove that pressure from their lives.  Think you’ve taken care of that by installing spyware or some other app on their phone?  Think again.  There are sites like this one that kids can look up.  Bed Linen, Awake, Crumpled, Sheets
  3. Take Their Phone To Bed.  I’ve already written about this here, but it bears repeating.  If your child takes their phone to bed, they  will NOT be sleeping; they’ll be responding to texts.  Make them give it to you when they go to bed… at a reasonable time.Supermarket, Cola, Soft Drink, Soda
  4. Eat/Drink Anything With HFCS.  High fructose corn syrup is just plain evil.  It is not recognized by the body as food, spikes blood sugar levels- casing crashes, and leads to health complications like diabetes and obesity.  If kids are drinking soda, eating processed snacks or downing PB&J, they are going to be functioning on a roller-coaster in their body.  Go through your pantry and fridge; read the labels; purge.  Then start putting only healthy items in your cart at the grocery store.Stairs, Shopping Mall, Shop, Shopping
  5. Be Unattended With Kids’ Parents You Don’t Know.  This includes things like sleepovers, parties, and going to the mall.  There’s just no way to monitor what the OTHER kids are doing because you have no idea… like violating all five of the above rules, for example…  One way to still let them have fun is to be the host and carefully screen the list of invites and reach out to parents of those kids.

So how to enforce these rules?  Tell your kids that you love them and want what’s best for them.  Let them get upset- especially if these rules are coming from out of the blue.  They may pitch a fit, whine, cry, “hate you,” roll their eyes, or give you the silent treatment… or a combination.  Don’t cave in.  Ride the storm.  Eventually, they will calm down.

Consider giving them something they’ve been wanting for a long time that’s a healthy alternative to soften the blow- take them to that place they’ve been wanting to go or get them that overpriced clothing item for being such a good sport.

And just remind them that there’s a difference between a “NEED” and a “WANT.”

You’re the parent; only YOU can be their protector.  Make the #153Promise to be the responsible one!!!

Kisses!  XxXx

*Thank you to Dr. Leonard Sax for his talk last Sunday for emphasizing the importance of some of these issues!

 

 

If We Judged Politicians by Their Parenting Skills…

White House, Mansion, President, Home

If the President of the United States is the one in charge of our country, wouldn’t it make sense to see how good of a job they did being in charge of another human being?

What if we paid less attention to all of the back biting at the debate podiums and started paying attention to how their kids turned out?

I’d love to see the KIDS of the candidates be interviewed…  What are they doing now?  Who would refuse to speak?  Do they show signs of coaching?  How do they react to a curve-ball question?

So if this reaches anybody in the media, I pose this challenge: ask the candidates’ kids what their childhood was like and how they think this would translate into what kind of nation we would have if their dad (or mom!) were to become president.

Kids and Stress… Round Peg; Square Hole

Sad, Learning, School, Reading, Challenging

The last hour of the Stress Workshop I attended was supposed to be a Q and A about how to best address stress with you children once it rears its ugly head.  I was looking forward to learning some tips and maybe even some proactive strategies.  It didn’t happen.

Instead, these were some of the questions that parents asked:

  • How can I get my kid to hand in her homework?
  • Why won’t my kid do his homework?
  • How can I get my kids to listen to me?
  • Why won’t my kid do his chores?

You see the pattern?  These weren’t actual open ended questions about how to HELP their kids; these were actually complaints disguised as questions.

Continue reading “Kids and Stress… Round Peg; Square Hole”

Managing Stress: It’s a Continuum

This is the third installment on my series of notes from the Stress Workshop I attended last week hosted by our school district…

Once the speaker, psychologist Lou Bevilacqua, defined stress and who gets it, he gave some basic tips on what to do.

Angry Man, Point, Finger, India, AngryFirst, he said the following strategies do NOT work:

  • yelling
  • threatening
  • shutting down
  • melting down
  • lecturing
  • bribing
  • blackmailing
  • nagging

and finally,

  • ignoring
  • invalidating

Continue reading “Managing Stress: It’s a Continuum”

Defining Stress, Part Two: Finding Clarity

Once the audience’s participation died down, Dr. Bevilacqua brought some clarity to the idea of stress- what it is, what causes it and who is prone to suffer from it.

First, he echoed that yes, there are many things that can trigger a reaction through the day.  But it morphs into “stress” by meeting several criteria:

  1. intensity
  2. duration
  3. affecting our ability to be productive

That means that while some things may cause discomfort at the moment, it may not actually develop into stress.
Panic, Shout, PeopleIs a trip to the dentist stressful, or just not enjoyable?  It becomes “stress” only if the effects of anticipating the visit are over a prolonged period of time and get in the way of other activities.

How about a child’s test?  If they are concerned about the test, study, get a little nervous right before, take it, and then go about the rest of the day, then it’s inaccurate to label it as “stress.”  But if they constantly worry about that class, get ‘sick’ in order to avoid taking the test and can’t go to rehearsal or practice for another activity due to that event, then yes… it’s stress.

Continue reading “Defining Stress, Part Two: Finding Clarity”

Defining Stress

That was the first question Dr. Bevilaqua addressed last Wednesday.

Cry, Zoom, Effect, Stress, Angry, Hustle And Bustle

A volunteer from the audience wrote down the responses that were brainstormed by the audience.  A variety of responses abounded:

  • feeling out of control
  • feeling helpless
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • pressure
  • anxiety/fear
  • too much to do and not enough time to do it
  • high expectations
  • high stakes
  • the “fight or flight” response (he told us “they” also have added “freeze”)
  • fear
  • the body’s response to a perceived threat  (that was mine!)

The list was much longer, but they started to morph into manifestations like:

  • headaches
  • stomach aches
  • school avoidance
  • irritability
  • sleeplessness
  • negative self talk
  • obsession/perseverating
  • catastrophizing
  • projecting

Continue reading “Defining Stress”

Kids and Stress? The Joke’s on You…

Business, Career, Depressed, Employee, ExhaustedI attended a workshop sponsored by our school district last Wednesday.  It was run by a middle school guidance counselor, and the speaker was a local psychiatrist.  You can read about his profile here.

It was meant for parents, but I attended as both a mother AND a teacher in the district.

We are a large, suburban school district in a town that holds the county seat.  We are predominantly White, with a growing population of Asian and Indian, some Black and finally a Latino/ELL population.  We are not without our challenges, but all press and data indicates that we are among the strongest in the state and nation.

The topic was supposed to be about stress of your children and how to help them, but what actually unfolded (from my perspective, anyway) was chilling.  By the end of the week, I’ll have explained what I mean, so be sure to keep coming back every day!

Many times, these events are preaching to the choir: those who attended are the parents who are already doing the right thing because they attend workshops about parenting.  But this time, all the right people were in the seats… but for all the wrong reasons.  And I fear that the message somehow got lost.  This is not to discredit the speaker, however.  I think as the evening progressed, both he and I realized that the focus of the night was shifting and there was not much to be done about it… except to maybe hold another night dedicated to that same topic of stress.

It was only 1.5 hours.  The first half an hour was dedicated to speaker, presenting on:

  • What is Stress?
  • When/Where does it happen?
  • Why does it happen?
  • What can we do about it?

From there, it was to open up as a discussion/Q and A period, where people could write questions on note cards and receive advice to best help their children deal with stressors in their lives… that’s when it got really interesting.

The GC (guidance counselor) did mention that this was intended to be the first in a series of talks, so there is some hope that the same crowd will come back… and when I say “crowd,” I mean about 250 people in a small administration room.  And I don’t even think it was publicized that much; I’m sure if there was another night with more advertising, we could easily move the venue to one of the middle schools and fill at least half of the auditorium.

In fact, that reminds me- I need to write to the GC about that prospect…   (I actually taught in her building for 13 years, so we have a rapport.)

As I said, I had attended as both a parent AND a teacher.  But in all honesty, I also attended as my blogging/writing self since I had planned to write about the night on this #153Promise site.  I had managed to speak with him for a minute or two after the engagement, exchange cards, and even get a promotional picture.  It was important to me to get his permission to write about the workshop, and he was very nice.

So make it the #153Promise to come back every day this week to find out what I learned about stress and your children.  You’ll be surprised to know that the audience taught me a lot more than the psychologist…

 

Too Good to Wait to Share…

Child, Father, The Son Of, Family, BoyI’m not a fan of reblogging, but I DO want to pass this post along.  It warms my heart to have a DAD writing about parenting- and specifically such a sensitive topic.

Thanks, dude!

Next week, I’ll be writing about the highlights of the stress workshop for parents I attended this past week.

-Kisses! XxXx

Journal Update, 2.26.16

Hop over to my Journal to read about developments of “One Million Kisses,” my children’s book that was the inspiration for #153Promise.

In it, I update about my social media, products, the progress with my publisher and my general stress of launching a book.

I have a busy weekend with BOTH of my children being in the winter gymnastics show.  This will be the third on for my daughter (she turns 10.5 on Monday- yes leap day!) and my son’s first (at 3.5, he’s finally old enough to be in the Y program).

In my “spare time,” I’ll be working on posts all for next week.  They will all be outlining the highlights of the “Stress Workshop for Parents” I attended this past Wednesday.  It was very… interesting.  Stay tuned!

And in case you missed my logo when I pushed it out, here it is:

153PRMSINSTTT

Have a Happy Friday!

-Kisses! XxXx

 

What You Kept Hearing as a Kid…

Close-Up, Communication, Deaf, EarPositive or not, what your parents said to you over and over when you were growing up has a lasting effect.

It becomes a mantra –consciously or otherwise — and will manifest in your own parenting if not acknowledged.

A little memory exercise to recall what you heard as a kid might create some awareness in what you say to your own children.

The ones I heard were:

  • Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about
  • Either put it away, or chuck it away
  • JENNIFER!!! (usually from another room, just before the you-know-what hit the fan)
  • If you hate me so much, then just divorce me (said by Mom to Dad after his criticism)
  • Jerk
  • Candy Ass
  • Lazy
  • You’ll never get into college and will wind up homeless

and then, the most confusing:

  • I love you/I’m sorry

I make it my #153Promise ever day to not belittle my children and/or send them mixed messages.  I love them.  I appreciate them.  I value them.  Love should not bring shame, fear or guilt.

Saint, Meditation, Yoga, Meditating

Please make it your #153Promise to examine the messages you send to you children.  Ask them what they hear you say a lot.  Make it during a calm time.  Make them feel safe with their response.

It may just open your eyes… and ears.

-Kisses! XxXx