Sunday, February 26, 2017

Are you the parent of a 10-15 year old? Ready for a Challenge?

Starting March 1, 2017 I invite you to join in the Challenge of Parenting Teens program. It is twelve weeks every Wednesday

Parents raise children and influence teens! Pastor John Moore, 2002

I will post on Facebook each week a post, exercise, and a journal writing. The purpose of this challenge is to help adults get a deeper understanding of teen development and create personal tools which will help you to influence your teens into making good decisions. I hope it will encourage you to know you have seen this stage before. It is the same stage you saw at age two. Children are again learning to become independent pulling away from you in order to create their own brand of adulthood. The key is to work with them not against them. I believe this influence is best achieved by becoming your teen's mentor.

As their parent you must set boundaries and perimeters around your teen much like the playpen you used when they were two. These boundaries are your non-negotiable rules. Those things which you will not compromise on no matter what. Please understand that curfews can be negotiable if you have a child who is trustworthy and responsible not so much if your child likes to push the boundaries. You know your child best pick the things you think are most important in protecting them mainly from themselves. I encourage you to allow some room within the boundaries for them to spread their wings. However, sometimes you will need to curb or extend the amount of room depending on their growth in decision-making skills.

This challenge will go into more details about what these things look like. I hope you will join me on the journey and get prepared to meet the challenge head on!

Believe in Parenting

Friday, February 24, 2017

WeeK 8 Authenticity -Making Deliberate Decisions

Welcome to Week 8 on your Journey to Authenticity

Introspection is something we rarely take time to do in life. However, personal growth demands we take the time to look deeper into our own thoughts and feelings. On my journey to creating a fit and healthy body, I have discovered a fear of getting what I want to be fit! However, with my  very hourglass shape it means I will get much more male attention, it has happened before. Also, I have experienced some loss of female friends when their significant others look at me with impure thoughts evident on their faces. The truth is I am scared to go through that again. However, I have decided to face the fear and press on. As you continue on this journey you will have to face your inner most fears and decide how you want to handle them. Authenticity is a journey. There will be times when you need to take a step back and work on dealing with emotions that are overwhelming.

Sometimes people chose to let the fear become more powerful than the change which in itself is a decision. The authentic thing to do in this case is to take ownership of it. If you decide to not change, at this time but rather to acknowledge the fear and decide it is better to live with it a while longer, that is a valid choice. But only if you make it as a conscious decision. I fully encourage you to face your fears and overcome them! But, authenticity is quite honestly about looking at your life and making the choices you can live with each day. Some changes are much more demanding than others. If you decide to tackle other things first then own the decision.

Being true to yourself does not always mean you have to take on everything all at once. It means you take full responsibility for all your decisions and live life based on your choices. These are some things I want you to consider as you are delving deeper into these questions.

So, here are your next two:

  1. if you could do anything in your personal life (something just for you) what would it be? Are you doing it? Why/Why not?
  2. What is your biggest dream? For yourself?  For your relationship?For your children?
During this week I encourage you to dream. Use your journal to write about all the things which could be. But, also  make some deliberate decisions about what you are going to choose to develop or live with. I want to see you chose the dreams. But, remember the choice is yours and yours alone. Be true to who you are and live your life accordingly! And as always

Believe in Parenting

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Building Blocks for the Teen Years

The first 10-12 years of life are the building blocks for the teen years. If you want to have a more calm and co-operative teen it starts with building a relationship with your younger child. The three things a parent can do in the younger years is to build a strong sense of parental authority, build a good foundation of communication, and create an authentic way of living.

Parental Authority

I have seen over the years a young frustrated child hit a parent and the parent just laugh and ignore the behavior. I then think to myself what is going to happen when the child reaches the age of 12 or 13 and hits out of frustration and anger? It is too late then to enforce an authority which should have existed from the beginning. Parental authority is a boundary set for children's safety and contentment. I will tell you a secret children crave boundaries. In the beginning they will test them, not because they do not like them, but because they want to know how hard and fast the line is. Once they know the line is fixed they relax into it. There are those children who are stronger willed and will push harder at the boundary. However, these children will also relax as long as the line stays fixed.

The issue comes into play when parental authority is not set at a fixed boundary. The child then never relaxes. They have no surety of where the boundaries are and they become scared and stressed. Because they sense no one is in control and the world seems a dangerous place. Therefore, parental authority is paramount to parent child interactions. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Create a set of five rules. State them positively. (Example: Be safe, Be kind, Be neat)
  2. Create a set of consequences. Follow through every time a rule is broken.
  3. Talk through broken rules and consequences when the rule is broken. Help children to understand the decision they made and help them figure out how to make a better decision next time.
  4. Apply the consequences a necessary and follow through to the end.
  5. Re-establish a loving connection after the consequence has been met. Children need to know it was the behavior you did not approve of, but that you love them excessively.
These tools will help you to establish parental authority while also giving children the control of their own behavior. If they follow the rules there will be no consequences. If they break the rule then they are choosing to pay the consequence.

Good Communication

Most people forget children are people. People need us to tune in when they are trying to talk to us. Children seek their parents undivided attention on a regular basis . It is sad to say many children do not ever really get it.One of the saddest things I ever saw was a Mom and her daughter sitting in a restaurant and both of them were on their perspective devices. The Mom was missing a prime time to connect with her daughter face to face. Communication is based on four things three of which are often overlooked when we are interacting with our children. The four are:

  • Facial Expression
  • Body Language
  • Words Spoken
  • Listening
Adults often hear the words children say, but seldom pay attention to the other three. Therefore, miss 95% of what their children have to say! Building relationships take each person giving the other their undivided time and attention. I recommend parents give each child at minimum 15 minutes of face to face undivided attention each day. It could be while you prepare dinner alone in the kitchen, while you play hoops in the backyard, at bedtime. It does not matter when, it just matters that the two of you are alone and talking. No other people, no electronic devices, just the two of you connecting on a personal and interactive level. One other thing on communication: when your child calls your name; take the two minutes they need to look them in the eye and pay attention to all four levels of communication.

Live Authentically

Did you know that 85% of what children learn in childhood is learned through observation? Children are keen observers and spend a lot of time deciphering what they see and hear.In early childhood this is what play is all about. However, this is also how kids begin to see what it really means to be an adult. It is by watching what the adults in their lives do.Because of this most children 97%, live the lives they see their parents live. This means the only way your children get to live a better life is for you to live one first.

Authenticity is the way to a better life. Living authentically means living so that your beliefs, thoughts, words and actions are all aligned in how you live your life. I am not going to expand on this here you can read this blog post to learn more about authenticity. Authentic Parenting

The foundation you set as you parent your children from birth to puberty lies the foundation you will have during the teen years. Take the time to build carefully. This will enable you and your child to build a strong, capable, and authentic adult during the journey into the teen years.

Believe in Parenting

Friday, February 17, 2017

week 7: Authenticity Answering the Deeper Questions

Welcome to Week Seven

Now, you have taken the time to think about your values, personality, and  multiple Intelligence it is time to begin thinking about some of life's more complicated questions. There are ten of them. I am going to take the next for six weeks to ask you to journal about them. I will ask you two questions each week except for number 10. The last question is not difficult just very thought provoking.

I encourage you to take several days to think and journal about each question. this exercise is designed to help you go deeper into what you think and what is important to you. In addition if you are part of a couple use these questions as discussion starters. The answers will help you understand each other much better.

Okay, here are the first two questions.

  1. Which three roles in life are most important to you and why? (Daughter/Son, Sibling, Friend, Spouse, Mother/Father, Cousin, Employee/er, or any other you can think of, choose only 3. 
  2. If you could do anything at all in your work life what would you choose? Are you doing it? If not what would it take to get you there?
In answering question 2 please consider you life now and not roads not taken. If you have always wanted to be a professional dancer, but are 40 and have not taken a lesson in 20 years it may not be realistic. However, there may be other ways you can be involved in the world of professional dance; explore them.

In this journey to discover and be true to yourself these two questions will allow you to explore your current roles both personally and professionally. Take several days on each question. I suggest you even take a day or two to simply sit with them before you begin to journal. I hope you have a great week. As always;

Believe in Parenting

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Parents of 10-14 Aged Kids: Are you up for a Challenge?

The 12 Week Parenting and Mentoring Teens Challenge

I have been in parent development since 1995. Over the years I have seen parents of children this age have a very hard time. I have determined the crux of the matter is being able to make the shift from parenting a child to parenting a teen. Pastor John Moore of St. Louis Family Church put it best.

Parents raise a child and influence a teen.

The parent development group I head has a class called Parenting and Mentoring Teens. I am turning this class into a challenge for parents of 10-14 year old kids. Here are the details. We will start Wednesday March  1. Every Wednesday I will post a blog with an exercise and a journal entry for the week. This will be on a private Facebook Group called The Challenge of Parenting Teens. 

The purpose of both this challenge and the group is to give you a place to begin to take on the challenge of influencing your teen. The goal is to empower them to become an exceptional adult who takes the world by storm! During the course and throughout the weeks we can discuss and develop tools to help you concur the challenge. You can create discussions, ask questions and create a support community of  parents who get it and are there to help.

What will be covered?

  • Teen Physical Development
  • Brain Development
  • Emotional Development
  • Emotional  Intimacy Development
  • Sexual Development
  • What is Adulthood?
  • Teen Dangers and Why they Occur
  • What is Mentoring?
  • How to develop a Mentoring Team
If you would like to join the challenge or the group you can message me on Facebook at: 

I believe it is possible to have a great relationship with your teen. It just takes creating a differing mindset for your parenting. You can do this and crate a great environment for development and growth, for both you and your teen. 

Believe in Parenting

Friday, February 10, 2017

Week Six: Authenticity Understanding what Keeps your Brain Engaged!

Welcome to Week 6

 Did you know there is a form of study which speaks to what helps individuals keep their brains engaged and functioning at higher capacity. It is called multiple intelligence. 

Multiple Intelligence Building Yourself 

Multiple Intelligence: What are they?

Dr. Howard Gardner is the American Psychologist from Harvard University who discovered and named the Multiple Intelligence theory in the early 1980’s. Dr. Gardner believes intelligence is that which humans use to solve problems or to create solutions for many cultures. He refers to intelligence as not learning styles, but the human capacity to learning because the brain engages on a variety of levels. It is this brain engagement which shows intelligence. I call this engagement our intellectual bent. When we as humans do things which fires our brain based on our intellectual bent our brains are then engaged and ready to take on any activity from an alert and focused capacity.
There are nine intellectual bents which Dr. Howard speaks of they are:

  1.  Linguistic – word in reading, writing, speech, or listening
  2.  Logical-Mathematical – problem solving in puzzles, scientific studies, math, or figuring out how thinhgs work
  3. Spatial – visual acquity, pictures, photographs, ability to see it in your mind before creating it
  4. Bodily-Kinesthetic – Sensory learning. A person must be actively involved through hands-on, also athletically engaged and physical touch
  5.  Interpersonal – engaged with others in learning, group projects, group discussions, interactions with people
  6.  Intrapersonal – self-reflection, time to sit and absorb, ability to withdraw and contemplate, journaling
  7.  Music – the use of rhythm, patterns, and sound, soft music playing in the background, singing, humming, whistling
  8. Nature – being able to look out the window, natural sounds playing, ocean, or water running sounds, ability to work outdoors
  9. Existentialist – wants to look at the big picture, ability to see the whole of the project or issue, tends to ask the big questions and seeks the answer
 Understanding Your Intelligence

Each of us has a primary, secondary, and tertiary form of intelligence. Dr. Howard says each of us have all nine. However, we all have some which are stronger. This is important because the more we engage in activities and practices which spark our brains the better we think and are prepared to learn new information.

The following Multiple Intelligence Inventory is designed to help you tap into your top three intellectual bents and begin to use them to help you empower your brain to engage.

Multiple Intelligence Inventory
Inventory Questions

Answer the questions using the following scale. Write your answers on the behind the question.

1-No, that is definitely not me
2-That is not really me at all
3-That is me, but only every now and again
4-That is me much of the time
5-That is me to a ‘T’

1.     I love to see how things work.  _____
2.     If I could do anything I would be outside doing something. _____
3.     I like to read, I often read one book after another. _____
4.     I love to talk with people; I have the best time in a crowd. _____
5.     I would rather be alone. 
6.     I love to take pictures and play with them on the computer.
7.     I love to do sports and physical stuff. _____
8.     I love to listen to music.  I would rather do that then anything.
9.     I wonder why people are on the Earth. _____
10. The thing I do more than anything is to do puzzles.
11. Words are the best I love to play with them. _____
12. Rhymes and patterns are the best. _____
13. Doing things with my hands and making things is fun.
14. Thinking things through really helps me. _____
15. Doing projects with others really helps me. _____
16. Listening to the ocean really calms me. _____
17. Is There a God? _____
18. Listening or reading really keeps me focused. _____
19. Working outdoors helps me to get the concept better. _____
20. Getting a picture of things in my head helps me understand it. _____
21. If I can touch it I can figure out what I need to get it done. _____
22. When things have a logical conclusion I can focus on it. _____
23. If I can get alone and think about things I understand it. _____
24. When I can relate it to an outdoor concept I relate to it. _____
25. I wonder did the Big Bang happen? _____
26. Listening to music helps me understand better what I am doing. _____
27. Talking about things helps me get the concept better. _____
28. When I am in a group and talking I understand what is asked of
              me. _____
29.  When I get alone I can understand better what is asked of me. _____

30. When I get to do something physical I can better understand.
     what I need to do. _____
31.  Drawing a picture helps me to figure out what I need to do. _____
32. Putting ideas to patterns and rhythms helps me understand
understand directions. _____
33. When I can look out the window it helps me to focus better
     on what is happening around me. _____
34.  When I can explain to someone else what to do I can focus
      better on directions. _____
35. I often wonder what we can gain from other cultures. _____
In order to determine your primary, secondary and tertiary forms of intelligence., write the answer you wrote on question line in the inventory on the corresponding question numbers below. (Write the number you scored for question 1 on line 1 under Linguistic)

Linguistic Question Numbers 1____11___18_____28______=_____

Logical Question Numbers 3____10____16_____22______=_____

Spatial Question Numbers 6____20____19_____31______=_____

Bodily Kinesthetic Questions 7___13____21____30______=_____

Interpersonal Questions       4____15____28____34_____=_____

Intrapersonal Questions       5____14____23____29_____=_____

Nature Question Numbers    8____16____19____24_____=_____

Musical Question Numbers   2_____12____26____32_____=_____

Existentialist Questions Numbers: 9_____17_____25_____35_____=_____

Once you have finished adding your questions circle the three highest numbers. It is not unusual to have two or three which are close or even tied. This simply means your brain can be easily sparked by doing these varied kinds of activities. 

How to use your MI

Multiple Intelligence is a tool to help you keep  your brain working at its peak capacity. We all feel tired or sleepy at some time we would rather be more alert. You can use your MI to wake up  your brain and make it work more efficiently. Look at your three highest areas of MI and develop a quick ten or fifteen minute activity you can do to help  put your brain in learning and thinking mode. I call this taking a brain break.

Here is a suggestion for each area.

  •  Linguistic read or listen to an article about your interests.
  •  Existentialist ask yourself a big picture question to think about 
  •  Interpersonal start a conversation
  •  Logical-Mathematical solve a puzzle.
  •  Spatial-draw  a picture or a design.
  •  Bodily-Kinesthetic take a walk.
  • Intrapersonal find a quiet place to sit and reflect. 
  • Nature listen to nature sounds.
  • Musical listen to your favorite artist
Multiple Intelligence is a way to help you think more clearly. As a parent this tool could help you to stop and think about a situation you need to consider. Take a brain break and help yourself and your child by expressing out loud this is what you need to do. It will teach them to use their MI in the same way. Would you like to give this inventory to friend and family? Message me and I will send you a copy. I hope you find this valuable. Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think and as always:

Believe in Parenting

Friday, February 3, 2017

Week Five: Authenticity Reflection

Welcome to Week Five

Over the last month we have looked at your beliefs, and examining them and bringing your thought life to work with your beliefs. Last week you found out your personality and the things you hold most dear in your life. Now, I would like you to take this week and examine how thinking about these things have brought about any changes.

Becoming authentic means being true to yourself. This process means you sometimes just sit with the changes your are making and reflect on how your life is changing and where those changes may be leading you. Take this week to reflect deeply on the new statements you are making. Think extensively about the talk you had with your significant other and just sit with what the last month has brought about in your life.

If you have not taken the time to journal this is the week to start. Whether you write or speak take the time to get your thoughts down. One of the greatest errors we make as adults is not taking the time to think about what we are thinking about. Go back and re-ask yourself the why questions. Be sure you understand your own thoughts and can explain them to yourself. If you need to have another conversation with your significant other. But, most of all take the time to be sure the changes you are making are about you being true to yourself and not some other reason.

Next week we will continue to make more changes. We will move into Multiple Intelligences and using them to engage our brains more fully.

Have a good week and as always,

Believe in Parenting.