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• Quiet and withdrawn in an otherwise outgoing joyous kid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.

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

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 30, 2019 at 3:37 pm 2 comments

Do You Know the Difference Between Nurturing and Spoiling?

spoiled child or spoiled brat is a derogatory term aimed at children who exhibit behavioral problems from being overindulged by their parents.

Do You Know the Difference Between Nurturing and Spoiling?

Let’s test your parental emotional quotient (EQ):

  1. What’s your response when your child falls (after you just told him to stop running) and he skins his knees?
  2. You hug him and remind him that if he’s not careful, he can fall and hurt himself.
  3. You scold him for running and tell him it was his fault that he fell.

How you answer that question has everything to do with how you were raised and what sense of security you are instilling in your child.
To have a happy, outgoing child, requires that you treat him (her) with patience, openness, love and kindness. You will not spoil your child by giving them hugs and kisses. You will cultivate a child that understands what love feels like and how to be kind.
Behavior correction (Discipline) is needed too, as long as it’s done:

  • In moderation
  • Age appropriately
  • With clarity so that the child understands why

Often we may respond harshly or sarcastically to our child when what we really feel is our own fears (taking over) and feeling uncertain about how best to respond.

Depending on how we were treated as a child, nurturing was considered spoiling a child. There are many adults who are nurture-deficient and are looking for ways to feel better about who they are.

Spoiling a child is giving in to her (his) whims over and over. Nurturing a child is comforting them (mistakes made or not), listening without judgement, and caring how they feel.

I grew up in a generation where a child’s feelings were seldom taken into account unless he or she was sick. She was considered clingy if she needed hugs and kisses. Most likely she was told to “grow up” or “stop being a baby”.

I wanted well-adjusted, emotionally stable children, so I hugged a lot , and loved them as much as possible. As I matured, I learned to listen more.
My best advice is to follow your heart when it comes to your children. If it feels right to sit and hold them…

Give lots of hugs and kisses. Listen… alot.
If your parents or in-laws harass you about “spoiling” your kids, tell them like I told my father-in-law: “you can’t give too much love to your kids.”

Have daddy-daughter issues? My newest book, Daddy & Daughter Thoughts, addresses the complex and ever-evolving relationship between fathers and their daughters. Download your copy here: https://amzn.to/2JhPD8y

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author

August 10, 2019 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

What Babies Mean When They Cry

We were flying to Charleston, SC and there were lots of families on the flight with babies or young children. Two toddlers got my complete attention because of how intense and long their cries were. Both were toddler boys and the one on the airplane cried for about 30-45 minutes – probably because his ears were popping as we descended. I felt so sorry for him and his mom. 

The other little boy was strapped in a stroller (at the airport) and none of his “kin” would take him out and soothe him. He was miserable!

I ❤️ watching children and their parents interact just because… Kids make parents earn their parent wings everyday because they are so unpredictable. Yet if you are in tune with your baby or very young child, you will be able to interpret what their crying means. 

Since babies and often young children can’t communicate in words we understand, their crying means different things at different times. A baby may cry if she’s too hot or cold, if she’s lonely, if she needs a change of scenery and wants to move around, or if she just needs to “let it all out.”

I suspect if the child in the airplane had been allowed to walk up and down the aisle, he would have settled down.

Here are several reasons that babies cry:

I’m hungry

Listen for: A low-pitched, rhythmic, repetitive cry, combined with other signals such as rooting for the breast, a sucking motion with her tongue, lip-smacking, or putting her fingers into her mouth.

My grandson does this and my daughter says to him “Oh you’re hungry huh?” They understand each other perfectly.

I’m tired or uncomfortable

Listen for: A whiny, nasal, continuous cry that builds in intensity is usually baby’s signal that she’s had enough (as in, “Nap, please!” — usually accompanied by yawns, eye-rubs or ear-tugs) or is otherwise uncomfortable (“I need a clean diaper” or “I can’t get comfortable in this car seat”). 

You will notice this in malls where Mom has been shopping and forgotten that her baby is on a schedule. The baby starts with a mild cry that builds in intensity. “Hurry up and take care of me Mom!

I’ve had enough

Listen for: Get ready for a fussy, whiny cry. She may try to turn her head or body away from over stimulating sights or sounds. 

This is a good time to change sceneries. If you are in a noisy place, move to a quieter area and rock the baby until he settles down.

This also happens when your baby or toddler is beyond tired. They are fighting sleep. You will have to settle them down, so that they can fall asleep.

Rub their back, say soothing things, or play relaxing music. There is a wonderful app by Calm that plays all kinds of music to help babies through adults relax.

I’m bored

Listen for: This cry starts out as coos (as baby tries to get a good interaction going), then turns into fussing (when the attention she’s craving isn’t coming), then builds to bursts of indignant crying (“Why are you ignoring me?”), alternating with whimpers (“C’mon, what’s a baby got to do to get a cuddle around here?”).

This is easy. Pick your child up; engage them; laugh and talk to them. It makes me crazy when people say “You spoil your child when you pick them up.” I guess at some point, you can spoil your child, but pick them up, talk and play with them, so that they are emotionally secure.

The power of touch and engagement is really important to a child’s emotional growth, self esteem and sense of security.

Go have fun with your child!

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

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

 

July 6, 2019 at 12:47 pm Leave a comment

How to Motivate Our Kids

Did you ever take music lessons or practice a sport to become the best? It’s called deliberate practice and there are important life skills that children learn when they practice becoming better at something. One lesson that comes up for me is resilience. My daughter wanted to take dance lessons, and once she started attending the class, she decided she didn’t like it and wanted to quit. That happens often with children. They will like something because their friends like it. The challenge is getting them to stick it out until a natural ending like a concert or the season ends. Requiring them to finish at a natural ending point, teaches tolerance.

You see it a lot in some cultures where practice is relentless, but the outcomes are amazing. I think about the Olympics and Russians gymnasts. I thought they excelled because of their over-the-top work ethic. I also think about Chinese students and music. Practice makes their performances better!

This deliberate practice requires us (as parents) to perform our show and tell. It’s one thing to tell your child to go and practice their clarinet. It’s quite a different feeling when you share with them that on your job or in your business, you have goals to attain and the better that you are at setting those goals, the better you are at mastering them and achieving them or smashing them!

Parents, we have an opportunity here to build excellence no matter what your economic or social standing. When your kids are with you, get them to do more of what they like and practice it until it is amazing. You notice I’m not saying perfect because perfect means there’s no room to grow and be better and there’s always room to grow and be better. I’m also suggesting that you allow them to do something that they like, as opposed to what you like for them. It’s less of a struggle

By the way, this is not just a skill for musically and sports inclined children. For the kids who love academics; who love reading; who love writing; who love tech; help them find tune that skill and motivate them to become outliers.

An outlier is a person that stands out from all other members of a particular group or set. They stand out! That’s a positive thing. Our children are born with gifts that require motivation, nurturing and fine-tuning to stand out. As parents, this is what we can offer our children:

  • A safe home environment
  • Food to eat
  • Love
  • Encouragement
  • Structure

Sometimes the gifts that live inside of our child, are quite different from ours or anyone within our family. It doesn’t make the gift wrong or strange… just different.

So practice motivating your child and that gift of theirs, while they are on summer break. If you haven’t already seen their brilliance peek out, keep watching.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

June 26, 2019 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

Chocolat and Dad

One of my favorite movies is Chocolat, and I like it is because of the title. The other reason is that Johnny Depp is in it. ♥

In the past, I was drawn to this movie because, I like how the star of the movie and her daughter move into a very tight-knit (closed) community, and change the hearts of the townspeople. (No spoiler alert here!)

Anyway, I watched Chocolat the other night, and saw something that I hadn’t noticed before…

I never noticed the relationship between the dad and his daughter. As carefree as he was, he was super protective of his daughter, and enjoyed spending time with her. But he wasn’t the huggy, kissy type. That reminded me of my relationship with my father.

In my dad’s later years, that was what he shared with me – his feelings for my siblings and me. It wasn’t something that I noticed growing up. As a matter of fact, I remember my dad being nonchalant and aloof. That’s how man were taught to feel in his generation.

In honor of the hundreds of millions of misunderstood dads, I’ve written a book called – Daddy and Daughter Thoughts, which will be released this summer. Look for another email to pre-order your copies.

To those of you with a great relationship with your daughter (father), enjoy your time with each other! If you haven’t spoken to your daughter (father) in years, and you have a way to contact her (him), reach out and make a connection. It may feel awkward at first, but keep trying.

If your daughter (father) has passed, pull out those memories of the fun times and remember your relationship with love.

Happy Fathers’ Day!

June 14, 2019 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

The Skinny on Social Etiquette

When I was a little girl, we were taught manners. How we acted (or misbehaved) reflected on our parents. We were taught to say please and thank you. People had manners and even if they were giving you “bad news”, it was said nicely… Manners was another way to say “good home training”.

Nowadays, manners are called “social etiquette” and as parents, we can begin teaching “manners” when our kids are newborns.

Click here to watch my vlog: https://youtu.be/QppSsO8e0k8

Leave a comment below on whether manners influenced you as a child, and how it influences your child’s life.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

May 30, 2019 at 7:20 am Leave a comment

Hey Parents What Are You Wearing?

When I was growing up, there were certain things that I could wear while playing outside (like shorts) that I couldn’t wear off the block. My mom and dad were really particular about how we looked and the impressions we would make on other people.

Not only was my mother specific about what we wore or didn’t wear, she and dad had a specific way they dressed as well. One of the family rules was no rollers out of the house. which simply meant that your hair was combed and you had on appropriate clothes and shoes. My father was formal (old school) and wore a shirt, usually a tie and pants. Depending on where he was going, he had on a brim. The only time he had on house slippers was in the house.

Image result for older black man with brim

There was no way my mother would’ve come out of the house with her house slippers or anything that looked like pajamas either. As she put it, she would never want to embarrass her family’s name or ours.

Fast forward to today’s times where some parents show up to their child’s school dressed really bad! So I wasn’t surprised to read the article yesterday where the Houston principal, Carlotta Brown gave her parents a dress code when coming to school. She was tired of them showing up inappropriately dressed and setting bad examples for her students.

To all of the haters who disagreed with the principal’s rules, saying that it was discrimination against those parents who had low income. I disagree! Have one dress or shirt (blouse) and pair of pants that looks respectable. And wear that – even if you wear the same outfit every time you attend a school event.

It’s really about the kids and the role that you play in your child’s life. It is completely inappropriate to wear see-through clothing around adolescents – your child’s or someone else‘s. Talk about early sex education! “Hey John, I could see through your Mom’s blouse! She’s hot!” How embarrassing is that? Also leave the hair bonnets at home too. They are just to protect the hair while you sleep.

I know you believe that as an adult you can do whatever you want. 

You can! 

Just remember that everything you do reflects back on your children and sets an example (for the rest of their lives) whether you like it or not.

Just my two cents worth.

Learn 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 be a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

May 2, 2019 at 3:03 pm 4 comments

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