Who We Are Matters

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When I was growing up, my mom would tell me that my actions were a direct reflection of my home training by her and my dad. While I hated hearing that, I taught the same thing to my children as well.

Who we are matters.

I have been trying to write today’s blog since the January 6 insurrection at the White House. As I watched the people storm through the barriers, break glass, pump their fists, and FaceTime their audiences; all I could think of was “What would your mom (or dad) think of you?” Also, how could I explain (to my children) why these people are allowed to deface the nation’s capitol without being dragged to jail. Most of the people who participated in the insurrection were white males and females.

The other major event that has my attention, is a rash of carjackings/robberies that have been taking place in different communities in the Chicagoland area. Many of the young people who are carjacking people, are young black teenagers. I thought how I would feel if one of those young men was my son.

In each case, I’m angry and think what kind of training did the insurrectionists and carjackers receive at home while growing up? Were they raised to respect others? Were they respected by the people they lived with?

Here’s something that I want parents to remember: how your child shows up is a reflection of how you interacted with them. Children aren’t born to fight and attack. They learn that behavior. When you grow up in an angry environment, that’s what you do when you respond to situations whether you understand what’s going on or not.

There are many young people who are raising themselves; who are not participating in online school learning, (parents may or may not be home with them) and who are trying to survive. Survival tells them that they must steal from other people in order to survive. They believe If they don’t steal, they won’t eat or they will be unsheltered.

The insurrectionists have been told that the rights and privileges that they are used to experiencing, are going away. Having to play nice with people that don’t look like them, is a scary idea!

In both cases, people are afraid. They feel that they don’t matter. And when people feel that they don’t matter, they do extraordinarily dumb things to help those around them know that they do matter.

So what does that mean to everybody else?

  • God made us a little lower than the angels, which means we are powerful.
  • We are each other’s keepers.
  • No one can achieve what they are trying to achieve by themselves.
  • Our differences and cultures are okay – we don’t have act like anybody else to succeed.

Raising your children to “be somebody” as my grandmother used to say, is still noble and honorable. Love and respect yourself and know that what you do to others and for others – Matters. ✌🏽

What are your thoughts?

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my parenting coaching programs that help guide you through Aging Parents, Mother and Daughter drama, Mothers and their Sons challenges, Fathers and Daughters as well as Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

Reprinted from January 28, 2021

January 13, 2022 at 8:15 am Leave a comment

How to Build Accountability In Your Child

Happy New Year and no… this is not a list of resolutions for better parenting!

Having talked to quite a few parents during the Holidays who wanted their child to do what they were asked; I’m reminded of two things:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Hold your child accountable

As you tell your child for the 5th time to pick up his/her toys, clothes, etc. you might wonder what it will take for that delightful child of yours to become more accountable.

According to Century Dictionary, accountability is the state of being accountable or answerable; responsibility for the fulfilment of obligations; liability to account for conduct, meet or suffer consequences, etc.

The thing is, we want our kids to grow into accountable adults, which means that we want accountable teens, youths, toddlers.

So how do you get started?

Start now…ideally when your child is very young and impressionable. My daughter has been “guiding” our 2½ year old grandson with picking up his toys, since he could walk. He understands what picking up toys means, how to do it and the consequences of leaving them all over the floor.

Is she 100% successful? Nope, but she and her husband have a great start provided they stay consistent with their work with him. It gets more challenging, if you are starting to with children who are older and aren’t used to having to pick up after themselves.

Not impossible, but your work is cut out for you because your child won’t understand why all of a sudden, you are asking them to do something they’ve never had to do before.

3 tips for helping your child be more accountable:

  • Model behavior (that you want to see repeated)
  • Be as consistent as possible in holding your child responsible for what you’ve asked them to do
  • Help your child see things from another person’s viewpoint

Modeling the behavior, you want to see, is one of the skills that a leader uses. It’s much easier to get your child to pick up their toys, clean their room, clean the bathroom, if they see you do the same.

Teaching your child to see things from another’s perspective builds empathy and compassion. If occasionally you have your daughter help her brother or sister clean their room, fold clothes or clean the kitchen, they may be less inclined to fight, argue and compete with each other.

Just a couple of thoughts as we enter 2022.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

January 6, 2022 at 9:38 pm Leave a comment

Relinquishing Control Releases Stress

It’s the wee hours of the morning, as I lay here trying to go back to sleep, a car sits outside beeping it’s horn for whomever is supposed to come out. I want to yell at that person to stop 🛑 waking up everyone while he tries to get his passenger. 🤬

The question at the moment is, can I do anything about the beeping horn? Am I going to lose more sleep 😴 or can I refocus on something else?

2021 taught me three things:

• There are things I can’t change like: when COVID ends, how to make an adult act differently, etc.

• Remember who I am and be true to myself

• Focus on what is working instead of what isn’t

The common denominator here was that I focused a lot on controlling events, relationships and my feelings. When I chose to live through each experience, I discovered the best parts of it and moved on, I was happier.

I learned in 2021 that when it comes to peace of mind, control is overrated‼️

Are you thinking about those Aha” moments you experienced?

Or maybe like me, you’ve had enough experiences occur that have left you worn out‼️ As my friends at Unity School of Christianity say – “Give life the light touch

How are you ending 2021? 🤔💬

Wishing you and your family lots of love and a happy and prosperous new year. 😘 🌚🎉🧧

Thanks for reading my blog, and following me on Instagram, Twitter & TikTok @MsParentguru.

C. Lynn Williams

clynnwilliams.com

December 30, 2021 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Merry Christmas – Twas the Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas from C. Lynn Williams

As a child, one of our Christmas customs was to crack walnuts with our grandfather, put our pajamas on, and listen to him read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” story.

It was a tradition that my sister, brother and I looked forward to for quite a while.

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

I found a copy of the story online and gather your kiddos close and share this story with them:

By Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!

December 25, 2021 at 2:06 am Leave a comment

Pandemic-Friendly Tips to Help Parents Throughout the School Year

Guest blogger, Jenna Sherman

The last couple years have been unprecedented, and both schools and families have had to make a lot of changes to accommodate the pandemic. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about everything, here are some tips and resources.

Classroom Conundrums

Schools and parents need to continue working together during the pandemic. Let’s look at the responsibilities on both sides:

  • To allow for social distancing, bus routes will be modified in most areas.
  • Schools are revamping classroom layouts, cleaning policies, schedules and teaching methods.
  • Schools continue to require masks.
  • Consider adding sanitizing wipes to your child’s school supplies for cleaning surfaces.
  • If anyone has sensitivities, consider using non-toxic cleaning supplies.

Homeschooling

Out of health concerns, some families are choosing to homeschool, even after schools reopened. However, this gets complicated if you’re a remote worker—even more so if you can’t stay home. Happily, there are ways to work this out:

  • First, verify that you are meeting your state’s requirements for homeschooling.
  • If you aren’t a remote worker, consider talking to your supervisor about a schedule shift.
  • Try to find balance in your work and homeschooling routine with these time-management tips from Zenbusiness.
  • There are many online resources available for your child’s education.
  • Create a workspace for your child that fosters productivity.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment for your child.
  • If you hit a hiccup, consider virtual tutoring.

Finding a Happy Medium?

Thinking outside the box is the key to adapting to the pandemic! These additional points help cover gaps in education, work, family, and sanity this year:

  • Many schools continue to use hybrid teaching models.
  • Some schools are offering learning pods for routine in-person education.
  • Regardless of your learning arrangements, aim to partner with your school.
  • Healthy coping strategies should continue to be part of your family’s lifestyle.

Moms, dads, kids and teachers continue to face many challenges. Think through your options and how to navigate them, and your family will do just fine.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting coaching programs that help you through Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters and Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

December 16, 2021 at 12:25 am Leave a comment

The Secret Lives of Teens on Social Media: Here’s What You Need to Know

Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Parents use it, just like their children. However, on average, teenagers are the ones who spend the most time on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok and similar platforms.

This leaves many parents worried. Some are afraid that this habit will grow into an addiction, while others are concerned about cyberbullying, over-sharing, and an “all-about-attention” attitude.

Author Donna Lynn Hope asks an important question: “How different would people act if they couldn’t show off on social media? Would they still do it?”

If our children were to be born in more innocent times, without social media, would they be any different?

Consider these questions:

  • How do we know what our children are doing online?

  • Is there a way to control our child’s behavior on social media, without invading their privacy and breaking their trust?

  • How do we recognize if social media is negatively affecting our children?

This topic is complicated, and there are no simple answers. However, if you ask your child about the time they spend on social media, you might be surprised at how willing they are to talk about it.

When you speak with them about their emotions and challenges, and address potential issues in self-esteem, you may find that social media won’t pose such a threat to them.

Even so, you may still be wondering how you can safely explore your child’s secret life on social media.

These solutions will help:

  1. Dignify their devices. If you want to limit your child’s social media usage, avoid taking away their device. They will find another one. Help them find effective ways to self-regulate, instead.

    • Fear of missing out often motivates the time spent on social media.

    • However, teens are aware of the consequences this habit creates. Encourage them to reflect on these consequences and focus on the impact social media overload has on their personal, academic, and other goals.

  2. Ask about the apps. Ask your child which apps they spend the most time on. Is it Instagram, Facebook, or perhaps Snapchat? Once you find out, install those apps on your phone, too, and figure out how they work.

    • Some apps have geolocation which can pose a real danger. Try to manage your child’s social media activity by informing them of the danger rather than imposing your opinion.

    • Don’t be a manager, be a mentor.

  3. Help them to protect their privacy. Talk about privacy settings on different social media accounts. Some teens are not aware of this option.

    • Agree with them to accept only the followers and friends that they know personally. This is not an easy task for a teen because the number of followers is often the barometer of popularity.

    • However, if they understand the necessity for well-managed online presence, this shouldn’t be a problem.

  4. Talk about sexting. Parents find the infamous conversation about “The Birds and the Bees” just as awkward as children do. However, now you have another level to deal with – sexting.

    • Teens can often confuse sending explicit messages and photos for intimacy that might not exist.

    • Talk about what it means to have a healthy relationship and how to develop and maintain one.

  5. Overcome social media prejudice. Many parents believe that social media is completely, or almost completely, bad. However, it is neither good nor bad per se. It’s a new form of communication.

    • When parents talk to their children about social media from this standpoint, the child is likely to withhold and hide information.

    • Genuine curiosity and an open mind about your child’s interest in social media can make a significant difference.

  6. Care about their emotions. Teenagers want their opinions to be heard. This especially goes for the things they’re passionate or angry about. Social media offers instant feedback to their posts, which makes kids feel listened to, validated, and acknowledged.

    • However, if you offer empathy for challenges your child is facing, you can provide listening and validation inside of your family, too. This will give you an insight into what your teen posts on social media and an opportunity to help them self-filter.

When your child asks you for the first time if they can open a social media account, avoid judging them or jumping to conclusions. Accept their need to engage in such community-based way of communication, talk about it, and help them build a safe profile.

Teach them how to protect themselves and what to expect.

You’ll never have all the information about their activity, but if you’re interested and understanding, you might get just the right amount.

I help parents build the kind of communication and trust that allows parent-child relationships to grow and feel better through coaching and parent classes. Email me for more information: info@clynnwilliams.com 😘 

Thanks for reading my blog and following me on Instagram and Twitter @MsParentguru.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

November 5, 2021 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

If Peer Pressure Is Your Child’s Only Worry

This is an interesting time of change that we’re living in:

⁃ social justice

⁃ police injustice

⁃ gender biases

⁃ sexual identity

⁃ violence

⁃ global pandemic

While they are unrelated issues, they are connected because many of these issues are happening all at the same time. 😫

Many inequities like crimes against minorities, which are not new, are now shown publicly as a result of the power of videos and social media. Since they are happening all over the world, new attention is being called to them.

As a result of seeing how crimes are evaluated differently by the courts and society, based on a person’s ethnicity or economic status, some people are no longer observing basic laws that keep us safe as a society. People run red lights, smash & grab (what what they want), or disrespect each other.

This week I posted my thoughts on teen peer pressure and how parents can reinforce their family values and mores with their children to help circumvent this issue. That’s not the real issue here. Is it?

When I think about atrocities like:

⁃ Bombing a city to keep a group of people from being successful (Tulsa Massacre)

⁃ Stepping on the neck of a man until he no longer breathed (George Floyd)

⁃ Storming and destroying the White House because the leader disagreed (with election results) with the Constitution and doesn’t follow the rules (Storm the Capitol 2021)

⁃ Allowing people from Afghanistan into the country’s borders while pushing others out (Haitian & Mexican people)

⁃ Disallowing interaction with family members who express different political, religious or sexual viewpoints

These are just some of the issues facing people today. Imagine trying to explain any of these issues with your child, who may have an entirely different view from you?

And, remember that we are living in a socially distanced world because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of our children are growing up isolated from their friends and activities that would normally shape and fill out their lives. This is a time for individual reflection, honest realizations and deep conversations with our children and family members.

So maybe peer pressure isn’t the highest concern of parents today. Perhaps it’s the other concern: don’t do as I say… do what’s right. Especially if I (your parent) am not the best role model for you.

Well, I started thinking about all of the other shit that has been taking place over the last two – three years and I realized that in the whole scheme of things, peer pressure isn’t really the issue. It’s the messages that we are sending each other and as a result our children to seeing them.

Building character happens daily.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

www.clynnwilliams.com

October 28, 2021 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

What Did You REALLY Want?

Love is the common denominator in relationships. Knowing how to best express your love takes practice. When it comes to your children, the effort is definitely worth it.

Continue Reading October 22, 2021 at 7:30 am Leave a comment

The Voices Heard Before Suicide

Suicide is a profound tragedy…

My daughter was a young girl when my brother committed suicide. I was devastated. He had been suffering with a chronic illness and told us he was praying to die, while we prayed for him to live.

He had talked about dying years before that because he was so unhappy. Suicide is seldom unplanned, and victims leave clues.

It is up to us to pay attention to those clues and intervene. That’s easy to say, and harder to do. There are lots of external influences that will make it challenging to notice the clues.

These days children are dealing with life issues that they don’t want to talk about. Bullying. Sexual abuse. Peer pressure. Parental expectations. Excelling in school. These issues are further exacerbated by the separatism that technology provides. Many of these issues young people face without appropriate coping skills. When an unpleasant event occurs they feel that life can’t go on and so they attempt suicide or they are successful. 🤯

I recently heard the story of a good kid who received detention at school and then was reprimanded by his s parents at home. Concerned that he had jeopardized his chances to get into a Ivy League school for college; he committed suicide. Did he leave any clues that he was fragile?

What about the girl who can no longer face school or online bullies and decides that suicide is a better alternative to living. What behaviors did her parents notice before she took her life?

How do we stop this madness?

Suicide is beyond devastating! It’s really bad when it happens to a child that you think is safe; has a good life; and looks normal.

Are there warning signs? They’re probably aren’t many if any unless you are watching intently and you are in tune with your child; even then there’s no guarantee that you will be aware of what’s going on.

Here is what I can tell you:

  • Watch for changes of behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Quiet and withdrawn in an otherwise outgoing joyous kid.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll catch the clues then, but it least if you start a conversation beyond ‘how was your day’; if you talk about how to build resilience; if you let your child know that there is nothing worth taking their life over…

Have those hard conversations now when everything is good. Let your child know that correcting their behavior is your job, but that you are always proud of them and love them. reprinted from November 23, 2019

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

October 14, 2021 at 7:04 am Leave a comment

3 Thoughts on The Overuse of Resilience

We keep telling ourselves that “kids are resilient”. By that we mean:

⁃ Teens handle change well (not always true)

⁃ Teens embrace technology (some tech; not all)

⁃ Teens are able to move past personal & professional trauma (untrue without professional mental health support)

Teens handle change well when parents and the related adults in their life, help them build coping skills like acknowledging that bad things happen and you can survive. When we teach our children that they must have the highest grades or top success as student athletes, it builds stress and anxiety which they hold inside. Depending on how fragile they are to change, can be an indication of how they internalize pressure (and fix it by harming themselves).

Many teens and tweens love the technology that gives them ways to communicate with each other, and watch movies and videos. Their natural curiosity allows them to understand (intuitively) how to use new tech, games and apps. Being technologically savvy does not mean they will write papers faster or complete homework on time unless you have instilled that skill into their daily routine early in their educational career.

We assume that our teens are able to move past trauma easily because they are flexible, young and tell us everything is okay. These thoughts are far from the truth when you look at the number of teens who perform self-injury or attempt suicide.

This period of isolation (caused by the COVID-19 pandemic) has also contributed to our teens anxiety and depression.

Things to remember that will help your teen be more resilient:

• Stay connected by communicating & listening 👂 🗣

• If your instincts say something wrong… It is… 😰 If your teen won’t talk, reach out to the school counselor, social worker or ask your pediatrician for a referral to a child psychologist 👩‍⚕️

• Stay connected to school staff as they can be resources for support 🎗✂️✏️🖇

Your teen will tell you that you are overreacting. It’s not overreacting if they need help and you are able to provide it.

Parents who have lost their children to death by suicide, would love a 2nd opportunity to follow their 1st mind.

Besides reaching out to your child’s school support staff or pediatrician, here are a couple of additional resources:

Suicide Prevention:

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Self-injury Awareness:

https://www.destinationsforteens.com/destinations-blog/march-is-self-injury-awareness-month/

Thanks for reading my blog, and following me on Instagram, Twitter & TikTok @MsParentguru.

C. Lynn Williams

clynnwilliams.com

October 7, 2021 at 11:33 pm Leave a comment

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