Monday, April 11, 2011

KIDS AND CHARACTER

"Character is what you do when you think no one is looking."  Jackson Browne, American singer and songwriter...

"Character is power."  Booker T. Washington

  • Character in children has to be taught and modeled from a very young age. 
  • Children with character feel guilty when they do wrong, even when they don't get caught.
  • Character issues with children are easier to understand once you meet the parents.
  • Character is an exceptional quality... in school, in personal relationships, in life.
  • Children and teens of strong character respect themselves as well as others.
  • Volunteerism is a great character builder.
  • Parents who raise their children with strong moral character have done their job well.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

DO TEENAGERS NEED CURFEWS?

My older daughter had to have a curfew.  And if you gave her an inch, she would take a mile.  She never had a summer where she got to hang out.... She always pushed her luck and stayed grounded all the time.  It was harder on her Dad and Me than it was on her.  We had lots of family time....

She had to have strict guidelines.....and nearly bought herself a ticket to military school.  No kidding.... she was nearly the death of us. 

My other daughter, 8 years younger than her sister, has never had a spanking and has never had a curfew.  I tell her to be in at a reasonable time and to keep in touch.  So far, as a 17-year-old junior in high school, she has conducted herself as well as I could ever expect.  I worry about her out on the highway, but because of other people on the road. 

These two biological sisters were raised in the same household by the same parents.   How could they be so different?  Genetics plays a huge role.  So many times you hear parents say, "My kids are like daylight and dark."  So are mine.....  loveable in such different ways.... 

And, children grow up and mature.  Some faster than others.  I am proud to say that my older daughter graduated from college in 3 1/2 years and is very successful.  We have a great relationship and she apologizes profusely for everything she put us through. 

Do teenagers need curfews?  Yes and No.  It depends on the child.  Give them the freedom they can handle and rein them in when necessary.  Parenting is tough.... but you will know.  Mother's intuition is incredible.  Why don't mothers have to have a license to have children?  Because they have built in radars....eyes in the back of their heads....and gut instinct.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

TEENAGE THOUGHTS ON LOVE AND SEX

  • Girls think having sex makes a guy love them.
  • Guys think having sex just feels good.
  • Girls think guys think of them when "their song" plays on the radio.
  • Guys don't know they even "have a song."
  • Girls think sex cements their relationship
  • Guys still think having sex just feels good.
  • Girls whisper to their best friend about being in love and having sex with their boyfriend.
  • Guys announce in the locker room when they get lucky with their girlfriend.
  • Girls feel an emotional bond when they are in a sexual relationship.
  • Guys still think having sex just feels good.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

BELIEVE IN YOUR CHILDREN.....SET EXPECTATIONS HIGH

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady

I know a young man who was diagnosed with a severe learning disability called dyscalculia.  The pediatrician told his mother that he would probably not be able to attend a 4-year university because of this disability.  In addition, her IQ is in the middle-low range.  Average IQ is 100 / Mental Retardation is 70 / Gifted is 120.  All of these numbers have a range of + or - 10.  This young man's IQ was established as 82.

The mother of this young man left the pediatrician's office with a heavy heart.  The doctor's words "Find some career counseling and look in to trade school." left her defeated and nauseaous.  Her son's dream was to attend Texas A & M University and major in Ag Business.  She was excited for him.  She knew he had some learning difficulties, but she had no idea things were this bad.  His high school grades were A's and B's with C's in math.  But as an educator herself, she knows that "math brains" don't necessarily develop until well into the 17th year.  That night Mom tucked the diagnosis letter outlining everything the pediatrician said into her winter sock drawer.  At that moment, she decided that she would not accept this future for her only son.  She decided then and there that she would set her expectations high; she would let her son know that he might have to work a little harder than the other kids in his class; and that she would be there every step of the way through high school....as tutor, cheerleader, and mentor.  And if all of this hard work didn't get her son in to Texas A & M, then they would find an alternate route that would be just as rewarding.

This young man graduated from high school with an 89.99 grade point average.  He did not wear the National Honor Society collar because the local district upped the gpa requirement from the national 85.0 to a 90.0.  That was okay.  He also graduated with 24 dual-credit hours with a 3.275 gpa and an ACT score of 21.  These grades and scores did not get him into Texas A & M; however, Texas Tech University was proud to accept him into their school with open arms. 

And that diagnosis letter finally came out of the drawer for his high school counselor to see.  When asked to comment about "hardships or disadvantages this student has overcome", the counselor had this letter to guide her response. What bigger hardship is there than a severe learning disability and a moderately low IQ?  And these responses got results.  He was awarded not only admission into TTU, but scholarships as well. You see, this young man still had no idea that he was not smart enough to attend a 4-year university.  Only the people who cared about him and had his best interest in mind were made privy to this. 

Now, let me qualify what I am about to say.  I do not believe for one second that children should be pushed into everything.  I do not want you to raise your children like Tiger Mother.  I do want you to push your children to be the "best that they can be."  The young man in this scenario will probably never be a doctor because of the math requirements.  But help your child find his or her strengths and build on those.  If your child has an outgoing personality, look into Personal Relations.  If your child has artistic talent, the sky is the limit in Graphic Design and CAD.  Never, Ever, Ever tell your child he or she is not smart enough to be a doctor.  But there is nothing wrong with saying, "Son, do you really want to take 6 upper-level math classes?  Because that is what the pre-med degree plan says."  That will take care of that.....

Remember....Hug your children.  Love your children.  Be involved with your children....  They grow up fast and then they are gone.  Gone to tackle life with all the tools you have provided them with.

RULES TO LIVE BY WHEN RAISING CHILDREN

  1. Hug your kids and tell them that you love them.
  2. When they do something wrong, be consistent in your punishment.
  3. Hug your kids and tell them that you love them even when they break rules.
  4. Give them responsibilities. 
  5. Learn to say "No" and mean it when you say it.
  6. Learn to say "Yes" and enjoy the excitement on your child's face.
  7. When you ground your child, be sure you take the electronics away...or it's really not punishment.
  8. Expect your children to be the best that they can be....
  9. Limit computer time.
  10. Know where your children are and know who they are with.
  11. Get to know your kids' friends.
  12. Support your child's teachers.  If they say they are having problems with your child, they ARE.
  13. Understand that kids will lie to cover their hineys......
  14. Love your children unconditionally, every day.
  15. COMMUNICATE.......

Saturday, March 12, 2011

ONLY GROWN-UPS HAVE BABIES

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
~Diane Loomans, from "If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"


The average age a woman has her first child today is 25.  I had my first daughter at 24 and my second daughter at 31.  Which one did I do a better job with?  The latter one.....I smelled the roses more...I screamed less....I didn't spank because I finally realized that spanking was releasing my frustrations and was not making her behave better....I enjoyed motherhood more. 

What would I have done differently while raising my daughters?
  • I would have had Lacy at 28 and Ashby at 31...they would have been closer to each other...just now are they able to build a "best friend" relationship;
  • I would have been a better mother all the way around;
  • I would have stayed home when they were small rather than working to provide more....
I encourage everyone who wants to be a better parent to read the book by Diane Loomans.  I wish I had had it when raising my girls. 

My advice to you....encourage your daughters and sons to enjoy life longer....before rushing into the role of parent.....for their sakes and for their children's sakes.  I have my fingers crossed that my children will do the same.

Friday, March 11, 2011

TEACH YOUR KIDS TO BE RESPECTFUL....THEY WILL THANK YOU

I recently had a confrontation with a teenager because he was disrespectful to his teacher.  When I called him in, he rolled his eyes at me while I was explaining why he was there.  When I finished, he asked "Are you through?"  Had it been my own child, .... well, let's say I had to refrain from doing and saying what I was thinking.....

What makes this situation even more difficult is....there is no talking to these parents..... they justify everything he does.....  What they don't understand is... the minute he walks out of these high school doors for the last time, he will not have that defense.  It's a cruel world out there, and he is going to pay the price with bosses, with professors, and quite possibly with peers. 

Parents must teach respect for self and respect for others.  I have heard my own children say, "But Mom, Mr. So-and-So doesn't respect us!  Why should we respect him?"  My response is...

"You don't have to respect him, but you have to treat him respectfully."  We all know that there are people in this world who fit this description..... but being the better person will most certainly pay off in the long run.

Children are a direct reflection on the people who raise them.  And nothing feels better than someone approaching a parent and saying, "Wow....You've got a great kid there.  So respectful and well-mannered."  I live for those compliments.

Have a blessed day~