Thursday, January 26, 2012


Help is on the way.  Mom's, do you ask these questions about your teen or young adult?

  • How come my son doesn't want to talk?
  • Could my daughter be depressed?  Suicidal?  What are the signs?
  • Even if their over 18, don't they have to follow MY rules in my house?
  • I want my child to finish school.  Get a job.  How do I help?
  • How much privacy should I give my daughter?  
  • Should I limit their internet time?  What about Facebook?
  • How do I get my son to be more motivated?  Improve my daughter's self-esteem?
  • Do I have to agree with their dad?  What if Dad's not around? 
  • How can I tell if my teen is using drugs?
          We will be starting a Women's Parenting and Support Group next month.  A lot of parent's have asked about getting more help and support while raising their teen or young adult. Parenting a teen is a very difficult job.  This group experience will help you learn everything from managing crises, to helping your child develop career goals and a life plan, to requiring respectful and responsible behavior from them.

          This is an opportunity to overcome some of the obstacles that exist between you and your child.  Two groups (1 for mothers of 12 to 17 year-olds, the other for mothers of 18 to 25 year-olds) will begin in February.  Call or e-mail me soon to sign up. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Teenagers, ... What Can I Say?

Teenagers are an interesting species. Sometimes they even seem like they're from another planet. Don't they? What's funny is that we were all teenagers once (or are now, or will be soon), for several years. Remember that? So then why is it so hard to relate to them sometimes? I have a few ideas about that. I'm sure you figured that.

We get used to our children for 10+ years as little (sometimes cute) kids. They do what we tell them (mostly). We always know where they are. They do a lot of stuff with us, and seem to enjoy it. Also, with young children we get to be the type of parents we always expected to be. Totally in charge of their lives. They are totally dependent on us. But relatively quickly things change. Actually the kids start to change dramatically. Us, usually, not so much. Not only that, but the world has changed significantly since we were teens. For example, whereas our parents may have been forward thinking enough to limit our television viewing, we have to be aware of not only tv (with 500 channels), but the Internet, video games, and cell phones. And even though we may be creative enough to figure out where they are most of the time, we can't always know what outside forces they're being exposed to in person or via telecommunications. Remember, your parents didn't always know what you were doing. Now multiply that by a hundred. Yes, it is scary. But we survived, and so will they. How can we help most?

Well, as you know Parenting is an Art (see my blog of 3/23/07), and you have to work at it. You have to grow as a parent as your child grows into adolescence. Prepare for your child's adolescent growth spurt. You have at least 10 years. You can be ready by the time your child gets there. At least as ready as any parent can be. The most important thing you can do is to prepare your child for you to be a big part of their life when they get to be teens. Then they won't fight you as much, it will be a part of your regular routine. You're not looking to be their best friend, and in fact you want to be able to give them as much space as you feel safe with. They have to get out in the world, make choices, make mistakes, while you are still involved enough for them to come to you for help and support. If they don't feel you close enough emotionally they will go elsewhere for what they need. When you're the one who should be in the best position to give it to them. This means that from the very beginning you develop good communication (learning to listen when they're young REALLY pays off here), trust, expression of unconditional love, modeling good decision-making and conflict resolution, setting realistic goals and expectations, mutual respect, teaching personal responsibility, and modeling the family values that are important to you. Do this stuff, and your child's teenage years will be a blessing. Well, at least you won't go completely crazy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I want your 2012 to be happy, yes.  But I also want it to be healthy, prosperous, fun, and everything good.  I'm not talking about "resolutions" this year.  I'm revisiting last years'. I've written about resolutions in some of my previous posts ('Twas The Night After Christmas, Part 1 - 12/2/07, Part 2 - 12/12/07; A New Year's Jingle - 12/22/08; No Resolutions For 2010 - 1/1/10; 2011 - 12/12/10).  

I want this to be a Mindful 2012 for me, and I recommend it for you.  To be more aware of things that I sometimes do automatically, including my emotional reactions. I'm going to  I found this poem in the book The 4-Hour Workweek (by Timothy Ferris), written by a psychologist David Weatherford.  It describes my goal for this year.


Have you ever watched kids
on a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
on the fly?

When you ask: How are you?
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,
do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child
We'll do it tomorrow?

And in your haste 
Not see his sorrow.

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die

Cause you never had time
To call and say, "Hi"?

You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower.

Hear the music
Before the song's over.