Posts filed under ‘adolescents’

Who We Are Matters

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

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

My Teen Is Old Enough…

Being a teen is overrated. They are old enough to know what to do, but they don’t have the maturity or experience to consistently make the right decisions.

Teen male on a motorcycle

Being a teen is overrated. They are old enough to know what to do, but they don’t have the maturity or experience to consistently make the right decisions.

I was the oldest child and my mom and dad taught me the difference between right and wrong. I was responsible for “setting a good example” for my brother and sister. While I didn’t want to disappoint them, my parents also had “eyes” in the community and throughout the city; other adults who would report back if they saw me in places where they didn’t think I should be. Even so, I broke the rules… like the time I rode on my boyfriend’s motorcycle. Two broken rules:

  • No boyfriends (at my age)
  • No riding on anyone’s motorcycle

Never mind that we could have an accident and I could be hurt or killed. That never occurred to me (as a teen) because I was fearless and willing to try things. Even if it meant breaking the rules.

Parents often believe that once their child becomes a teenager, they don’t need as much supervision. That’s not true either. You don’t have to worry that your teen will fall down the stairs, like a 2- or 3-year-old. But they could accept a ride from a stranger when they need to get someplace on time. Or they may be tricked into giving out their phone number in an online chat, because the person they’re talking to says they are 15 too, like your child.

Think about the recent rash of carjackings or smash and grab crimes that are being performed by teens. Some of the kids are 12 or 13 years old. I can hear you – “Not My Child”.

How do you know?

You work every day and you’ve taught your child right from wrong. They would never steal a car, hold a person at gunpoint/knifepoint, or snatch their purse/wallet. Right?

You say, “my child is smart, comes from a two-parent family, we are not poor.” Those crimes only occur with/by… You fill-in the rest of this sentence with your thoughts or biases.

As a parent expert who has taught and studied adolescents, teens, and 20-somethings for the past 20 years, I can tell you this:

  • Teens love thrill and excitement
  • They are easily influenced by their peers and the world around them
  • Leaving them on their own for 3-4 hours every day (after school) without supervision is a problem

Join my Zoom Parent Masterclass on Thursday, October 21st where we will discuss teens: their wants, needs and love language. Admission is $25 until October 9th; $45 thereafter.

CLICK HERE to Register.

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.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Masterclass

October 2, 2021 at 12:47 pm Leave a comment

We Can Save Our Boys

It’s hard to advocate for equality and fairness from others, when our sons kill each other. Beefs, challenges, gang wars, whatever… it takes superhuman strength to change the heart and action of young men once the streets have become their parents.

Offer them love, support, structure and discipline while they are young. Continue it through their adolescent and teen years. Teach them to be good people, so they will grow up and be great adults

Be willing to move them out of dangerous communities and away from dangerous people. When I was growing up, an unruly young man was sent to the Army or military school.

If you are a single mom and your son’s dad is not in his life, find a good role model that will provide male support and discipline. Let’s start repeating affirmations of peace, freedom and love over ourselves and our sons. Instead of sending your son out to play, go outside and play with him. I coach parents, and one of my parents said her son has no one to play with outside, because the other kids are afraid of getting shot. That’s a sad commentary on some of our communities now. We can do better.

Our current circumstances do not define who we are, or who our sons are.

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

September 23, 2021 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

Six Tips for Being Better Parents

Avoid harsh discipline

Explain your role and decisions

Be involved in your child’s life

Guide your child through their mistakes and weaknesses

Live in the now 

Be a parent, not pal

Happy birthday to my amazing first-born, **Candace**, who started me on this journey of parenting and being better. The first child is lucky because s/he pulls love and emotions out of you that you never knew existed. They are also your “experiment” child. You try techniques, other people’s thoughts and that firstborn is like a stew of everyone’s ideas of how you should raise your child.

Just remember that this is your child!

Follow your gut!

Have fun!

Make wonderful memories together!

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 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

June 24, 2021 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Tell Me Something Good

Growing up, one of the worst things I could do was challenge my parents. Or more specifically, talk back. Not a good move as a kid.

In my young mind, I wasn’t talking back, just pointing out what they were doing wrong. In other words, I was responding to my parents in ways that I learned from them. I didn’t hear a lot of “good job” or “you’re a patient big sister”. The comments I received were more focused around what I could do better, or “why didn’t you think…”

You give back what you receive.

If you find yourself criticizing (your child) far more often than complimenting them, think about how you would feel, if you had a manager that treated you with negative guidance. Would it feel differently if the manager’s comments were well-intentioned?

Of course not. You would start to feel like crap.

A more effective approach is to catch your kid doing something right. Example: “You made your bed without being asked – that’s terrific!” Or “I was watching you play with your brother, and you were very patient.

These statements will do more to encourage good behavior than repeated scolding and sarcasm. Make a point of finding something to praise every day. Be generous with rewards – your love, hugs and compliments can work wonders and often are reward enough. According to family psychotherapist, Virginia Satir, we need 4 hugs a day to survive, 8 hugs a day to maintain ourselves and 12 hugs a day to grow.[1]

Soon you will find you are “growing” more into the behavior you would like to see.


Interested in improving your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs and workshops 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

[1] https://free-to-live.com/how-many-hugs-do-you-need-a-day/

June 9, 2021 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

Why I Do What I Do

I never really understood what my mother went through with me as a strong-willed daughter until I had my own children. After the childhood I had, I never wanted kids of my own. Kids were worrisome, needy and a pain in the neck! And they were yours forever! No I didn’t want children of my own. However after 3 -4 years into my first marriage, I knew I wanted somebody that looked like me. Sound selfish? Yes I’ll admit it was probably selfish. It didn’t help that my parents and my in-laws were constantly asking – “WHEN ARE YOU HAVING KIDS?”

So my parenting journey began. From the beginning I believed that children were little adults with opinions and thoughts of their own. As idealistic as that sounds, I always wanted to give my kids an opportunity to speak openly and honestly. My parenting ideas were not well-received by my mom and her generation, because children were seen and not heard when she was a child. An out-spoken kid was considered a disrespectful one. As a mom, I was more concerned with raising leaders and critical thinkers, not followers.

While my parenting journey began in the middle ‘80s, my career as an author began a decade later. A painful divorce and family relocation left me with co-parenting responsibilities as well as the challenge of parenting with adults who had entirely different philosophies of what being a parent meant. I was an old school parent with 21st century parenting ideas. Basically, I believed in eating dinners together, kids that obeyed, and bed times with technology turned off. I also encouraged my kids to talk because I wanted to hear what they were thinking and that they had a right to be heard. It’s hard to run a company or manage a city, if you’ve never been taught to think on your own.

This time of COVID-19 quarantine is a challenging time for many reasons. Men and women are working from home and parenting from home. For some parents, that’s a new skill-set that you are building. Normally you spend 5-6 hours per day with your children. With the quarantine in place, you’re spending 24 hours per day with your children AND you’re trying to work coronavirusfrom home. How’s that working? Not so bad, if your child is school age and can work on his or her own. You can put together a family plan that gives your child time to complete school work, family time together and mom/dad work time.

If your child is under five years of age, your parenting skills are getting a great workout. Your day is structured to include lots of interactivity with your child, nap time and consistent meal times. I know work is important, because that’s how you support your family. However, if I had to choose between working or spending time with kids, I’d say make the time with your child first. Build memories that your son or daughter will talk about for the rest of their life. Have as much fun and meaningful time as possible. If your job requires daily online meetings, work around that work meetings and do something physical with your children every day.

So why do I do what I do as a parent? I do what I do, because my children are part of the next generation and I care about their success as humans.
Stay safe and healthy!

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

April 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

Co-Parenting Tips For The Holidays

CoParenting Tips

Great article by Kelly Frawley and Emily Pollock
Having survived divorce and coparenting, I appreciate the pointers that are listed here for parents who are divorced and share custody.

“The most wonderful time of the year” has the potential to become not so wonderful when parents who share custody of their children don’t have a mutually agreeable holiday plan in place. This isn’t the time for arguments over who’s getting which day or who’s buying what gift; a carefully thought-out plan can help you avoid tension and uncertainty so that all of you — most importantly, your kids — can enjoy a drama-free winter break.

When deciding how to schedule time and collaborate during the holidays, co-parents should take a number of factors into account: the children’s ages, family traditions and religious beliefs, how well the parents get along, and the kind of relationships the parents have with each of the children (it’s important to respect the traditions that are important to each of them). You might also want to factor in what happens during other school breaks during the year. For example, if one parent traditionally takes the kids on a vacation during spring break, then perhaps the other should get the bulk of winter break.

Looking at the big picture can help you see the logical plan for your family.

Setting a Sensible Schedule

Co-parents typically choose to manage the holiday season one of two ways:

1. Alternating years. One parent keeps the children for the entire winter break in odd-numbered years; the other parent gets them for the entire break in even-numbered years. This approach enables each parent, in their designated years, to plan a lengthy trip or schedule activities throughout the break period without needing to worry about giving the other parent equal time. It tends to work best when neither parent has a strong affinity for the season. Perhaps their religious traditions are celebrated at other times of year; a family may have already celebrated Hanukkah, for example, which often falls before winter break.

The downside of this type of arrangement is that one parent is deprived of holiday time with the children during the parent’s “off” years. This causes many co-parents, especially those who place a high value on holiday traditions, to take a different approach.

2. Equal time. Often, co-parents divide winter break in half, which typically gives each of them a week to celebrate the holidays or take a trip with their kids. They may alternate years when considering who takes the first week versus the second, since Christmas usually falls in the first. Parents may also choose to split the time by day, particularly when it comes to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. By each taking one of these important days, both parents, as well as the children, get meaningful Christmas time together each year.

In situations where co-parents get along, a third possibility arises: giving the children time with both parents together. For example, children who believe in Santa and cherish Christmas mornings might appreciate having both parents present in those festivities. In fact, children of any age might appreciate a visit by their other parent, as long as the experience remains amicable.

Buying Gifts: Together or Separately?

If your winter break includes a gift-giving occasion, it makes good sense to collaborate with your ex-spouse so you don’t duplicate gifts for your children or inadvertently neglect to buy the gifts they wanted most because you assumed the other parent was buying them. In a Santa situation, discuss who is responsible for that experience. Will it change year to year based on who has the kids on Christmas, or will you work together?

The more collaborative you can be, the better. However, if you absolutely cannot work with your ex-spouse, then it’s important to work through counsel to determine who will be responsible for what so you don’t put your children through undue awkwardness or stress.

You may also want to consider taking your children shopping so they can buy a holiday gift for the other parent. It teaches children not only about giving, but shows that you encourage kindness towards your ex-spouse.

Making the Plan Official (more…)

December 18, 2019 at 10:18 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 1 comment

The Blending Of Blended Families

my blended family

Falling in love with a man or woman is wonderful and exciting. But how will his children feel with you as their stepmom … or better yet how will yours feel?

Click on the link below and watch the rest of my video blog!

Want to learn more about your family’s dynamics? Order a copy of my book: Yours & Mine: A Winning Blended Family Formula

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

April 19, 2019 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

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