Posts filed under ‘parenting teens’

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

Being Friends With Our Kids

I remember one of my mother’s favorite phrases when I was growing up – “I am not here to be friends with you.”

I never wanted to be friends with her, I just wanted her to stop being so mean… 

And then I had my own children…

What I found, was as my children became tweens and teens, I wanted to be friends with them. I wanted to laugh and enjoy them because they were growing into people that I loved and respected

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

What I found out that was, being friends with my kids compromised me being their boundary setter, the consequence handler, the Mom that they could count on when they needed somebody to talk with them honestly; when they need the adult-in-charge to take over!

I found it difficult to be both friend and adult parent. So I too repeated my mom’s words: “I’m not here to be your friend, but you can count on me anytime and all the time.” 

What I learned from my kids, is that when I gave them boundaries they felt safe, and I often heard them repeating the house rules to their friends. I liked that! Being the adult in charge is important because your kids don’t have to worry about who you are today. They know you are the person they can rely on when life is crashing and burning  around them. 🔥 They won’t have to worry if you allow them to drink or smoke illegal substances (because you’re their friend) one day and other days it’s not tolerated. The lines are not blurred.

The friendship between the two of you will definitely come, probably when you’re both adults and they are making their own decisions. By then, sharing an alcoholic beverage is both legal and tolerated

I help parents build the kind of communication and trust that allows relationships to grow and feel better. Call me to schedule a complimentary chat session or to book a seat in my coaching program.😘 

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

C. Lynn Williams

clynnwilliams.com

May 12, 2021 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

How to be a Committed 2015 Parent

As 2014 draws to a close, thank you for supporting me and reading my Staying Sane blog. 2014 was a tough year for parents. The news constantly reported assaults (or murders) on our kids whether from strangers, peers or adults. It’s enough to make you want to move to an uninhabited island until your child becomes an adult. However, we know that’s not going to happen! The best we can do is enjoy the time we have with our young people, and be awesome role models. As a parent, my goal in 2015 is to be a better listener and example setter. What are your parent goals for 2015?

Love between dads & daughters

Love between dads & daughters

It’s easy to be the type of parent that says “Do What I Say” instead of being the type of role model that you want your son or daughter to follow. God holds us accountable to be the best parents we can be. Fatherless or motherless kids are forced to raise themselves and we have seen the devastation that a kid trying to raise himself/herself brings.

Are you committed to being the best parent you can possibly be? Our kids spell L-O-V-E with T-I-M-E. Make 2015 special with the time, love and commitment that you share with your son or daughter. Dads talk to that pre-teen daughter about a pledge to wait before having sex. Moms help your son become the best man he can become by holding him accountable to complete tasks and responsibilities when you assign them.

Is parenting easy? Not at all, however you can do this. And I can help! Become a part of my new parent membership program called Parent Sense. Click here to give me your contact information so that I can notify you with more details.

Happy New Parenting Year!

C. Lynn Williams, Ms. Parent Guru

January 2, 2015 at 9:43 pm 3 comments

3 Things You Want to Know…

(Reblogged from The Parenting Skill Daily)

 Parenting Tips: My Teen Lost His Phone, What Do I Do? 

Teen-lost-phone

By Olfa Turki

Looking for parenting tips on how to handle it when your teen loses his phone? Read my story to see how I handled it! My teen is in high school and commutes for one hour a day. To keep my sanity, my husband and I provided him with a cellphone for emergency calls. It was a long debate at our home, whether we can trust a 12 year old with a cellphone. But since I am a helicopter mom and since he is commuting for a long time, I wanted to feel safe and be able to reach him during his commute. I wanted him to be able to reach me in case something happens: a bus missed, a metro not working.

 

Substance Abuse – Does It Run In Families

By Eric Metcalf, MPHSubstance-Abuse-Does-It-Run-In-Families-AddictionTreatmentMagazine
@EricMetcalfMPH

Want to know if you’re likely to develop a health problem? Looking at your family history can often help you measure your level of risk.

For example, if a close family member has had type 2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer, or heart disease, you may also have a greater chance of developing the condition, too. The same is true for alcoholism and drug addiction. If a close family member has had a substance abuse problem, your risk is also higher.

Some of the extra risk that runs in families comes from the genes that one generation passes down to another. But other elements within your family can influence if you develop a problem with drugs or alcohol. For example, drinking too much or using drugs may have seemed normal to you from an early age because you saw family members do it.

What Kids Need to Know About EBOLA (Video)

Shared by Ann Morgan James

If you want to read more #parenting tips, follow My Blog and sign up for my Parenting Newsletter. Want to ask questions or dialogue with me about how tough adult issues affect our families; reach out to me on Twitter @cgwwbook or Like my Facebook fan page www.Facebook.com/CGWWBooks.     #ParentTips

 

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Generational Development Specialist
www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)

P.S. Hey… I have a new book coming out soon about #BlendedFamilies. Get in touch w/me if you want to be one of the first to read a short excerpt…

 

October 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

Having Babies is For Grown Women©

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Planned Parenthood

I am so mad! “Who are you mad at” I ask myself. I am mad at them AND us! I am mad at all of the young girls who fell for the okeydoke that boys in heat tell them to satisfy their sexual curiosities. I’m mad when the girl’s best friend or mother suggests that they get an abortion and they say “No I plan to take care of this baby by myself.” But they have no idea how. I’m mad at the mothers who don’t talk to their daughters honestly and far enough in advance (age 8) about how our bodies will betray us by thoroughly enjoying that one time of thoroughly enjoyable sex and becoming pregnant. Tell your girls it only takes one time and the next thing you know you have another human being that you are responsible for. For mothers who had babies as teens, and refuse to talk openly with their daughters so that they don’t repeat that cycle of babies having babies, shame on you! Please tell them that taking birth control prevents pregnancy, but if they are promiscuous, they can catch genital herpes, pubic lice or syphilis just to name a few STIs. Tell them that girls are hard-wired differently than boys, and when we have sex, we fall in love. Doesn’t mean you like that boy, but you love him, you stop focusing on things that are important to you, and lose your mind over ‘that boy’.

I’m mad at those girls who are headstrong and expect their mothers and grandmothers to take care of their babies so they can grow up! You need a support system that goes beyond your mother & grandmother. It’s not easy raising kids. So babysit for your girlfriends and ask them to watch your kids too. If you have sisters, ask her to watch your child. If you want to attend college, take your baby with you and place it in the school’s day care center while you attend classes. That’s what grown women do. Will you miss the Friday and Saturday night parties? Probably so…

When I was a pre-teen, my mom & I had the ‘talk’. The gist of the talk was that I was to be respectable and not sleep around. If I couldn’t wait until marriage to have sex, I was to protect myself with birth control. Under no circumstances was I to bring home a baby and not be married to the baby’s father. Then she sent me to Teen Scene, a program initiated by the Chicago area Planned Parenthood to offer sex information and education to teens. They also handed out birth control pills, which makes people mad. Why? Because parents are the ones who are supposed to tell their daughters about sex & birth control right? Okay self- righteous people. Then I’m mad you and at church folk who refuse to remember when they were mistake-making teens and won’t share their experiences with the teens in their church.

I’m mad at men who don’t tell their sons the truth about what it means to be a father at 14 or 15; that being a father is not how many girls you’ve gotten pregnant, but how many children you are able to take care of and watch grow up. Please stop telling your son, “It’s probably not yours”. I realize that some girls have multiple sexual partners, but a word to the wise, if he slept with her, it’s a possibility it’s his! There is nothing wrong with testing for paternity, but also have him get a part-time job, so he can help his girl take care of their baby.

Sex is great, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. No, let me rephrase that – sex with a person you love and enjoy is great! The first time it’s probably terrible, especially if your first time is in a boys’ bathroom, in an alley, the back of a car, as a result of rape, or when you are not ready.

The stakes are high. For girls and women who had children while a teen and finished school, raised great kids, this conversation is NOT FOR YOU!

Hey Young Girls who are saving your virginity until you marry; this conversation is NOT FOR YOU! Grown folks, the mistakes of our children, are our mistakes too! Talk to those you mentor with honesty & love.

 

If you liked what you read, follow my blog for more articles, info and camaraderie with other people just like you & me. Reach out to me on Twitter (@cgwwbook) or Facebook (CGWWBooks)

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach
www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)

August 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm 2 comments

Common Sense Ain’t So Common

I was at my favorite salon today, and a teenaged girl came in to get her hair done. Not a big deal since it was a hair salon. But the BIG deal was that she announced that she had strep throat. It was already cold as I don’t know what outside, so who in their right mind would be out with the very contagious Strep Throat bacteria? That’s the same strep throat that comes with a fever, chills and sometimes a sick stomach. Yep! Anyway, while she was having her hair shampooed, she wore a face mask.

I guess I missed the announcement that she had strep, so the first time I noticed Miss Teenager was when she sat under the hair dryer with her face mask on. Once I realized why she was wearing the face mask, I tried figuring out how to exit the salon as quickly as possible – (even though my services weren’t done)! What was so hard to watch, was that she was sitting there crying (probably because her throat hurt so badly) while getting her hair done. Who does that?

As an educator, I know how quickly an epidemic of strep throat can clear out a classroom. You ready for this? The reason Miss Teenager came to the salon with strep throat was because she was graduating and wanted to look nice for her school pictures. Mom didn’t object. Seriously!

I guess what my dad says is true…common sense ain’t so common. Hey, stop sneezing on me!  amazed-cartoon-face

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

 

February 28, 2014 at 3:09 am Leave a comment

Is Your Teen a Sex Fiend?

As I sit here thinking back on the things I was most curious about as an adolescent girl; sex was probably one of them. Being curious was one thing; acting on this curiosity was altogether different. My parents were really clear. Sex was a no-no and I knew why. As much as my mother explained about being a ‘good girl’, it took my gossipy guy friends in the old neighborhood to help me stay a ‘good girl’. They talked about all the girls who were giving up their virginity and how easy they were. Who wanted to be considered easy?

Nowadays doesn’t help that sex topics are openly portrayed on TV, the radio, in music videos – EVERYWHERE! A few suggestive lyrics, raging hormones and a free afternoon for your tween or teen child is all they need to get it (as the kids say) “on and popping”. In other words, they will have had sex and become pregnant before you realize that they are attracted to ‘the next door neighbor’. Don’t always assume that they are going where they say they are going. Offer them a ride, and sometimes call the house of their girl or guy friend to make sure they are actually there instead of in the back seat of someone else’s car. Also explain that oral sex is still considered sex. Many young girls have told me that ‘servicing’ a boy is not considered sex and its okay.

So what do you do? One: Have open and honest conversations with them & their friends. I remember asking my daughter to promise to tell me before she wanted to have sex. Well of course she said ‘Mom, I’m not doing that’. Two: Get them involved in after school activities and make sure they get to those activities. If your daughter loves basketball, help her try-out and get on the team. Maybe music is their muse. If so, have them join the Band Club; try out for the fall or spring play; join the Chess Club or Debate team. Having them have something to do after school besides homework keeps them from having time to explore their fantasies; helps them with time management and gives them a good night’s sleep because they will be tired.

The teen years are a time of exploration. Help them channel that sexual energy into something positive and postpone grandparent years if you can. Happy Parenting~

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

January 24, 2014 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

When Parents Make Mistakes

ImageParents are invincibleinfallibleHuman!

My husband and I saw Black Nativity last night and I am glad we did! Being a person of color, we usually support movies with African-American actors, directors, film writers during the first weekend the movie airs to support it financially. While I love, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, I’m not crazy about musicals, so I almost missed a golden opportunity. If Black Nativity is still playing in your area, go see it! Anyway I digress… There was a line in the movie that absolutely spoke to me about PARENTING! Rev. Cobbs (Forest Whitaker), the estranged father of Naima (Jennifer Hudson) said “Parents make mistakes…I am so sorry that I meddled in your life.”

Have you ever felt that way about something that occurred between you and your teen or adult child? Were you able to admit it and have an honest conversation with your son or daughter? Or did pride keep you from opening the doors of communication with that person that you love with all of your heart and soul? The movie had another theme that has been really messing up my parenting theory about our teen (or twenty-something) daughters getting pregnant and having children without being married. When my daughter was a teen, we had the ‘SEX’ talk a few times. I wanted to make sure that she understood the consequences to getting pregnant. I felt (and told her) that she would have to move out if she got pregnant before getting married. I felt that way because she, her dad and I talked candidly about waiting until marriage to have sex; if she couldn’t wait then use birth control. I know you’re thinking OMG – it’s okay for her to have sex??? She did not get pregnant, but what if she had? Would I have made her leave home for this mistake? Would we have been estranged? What about her future? Would she have gone to college, grad school, or become the professional woman she is today?

Well, no I didn’t want her to have sex, but let’s be honest here;  part of the teen experience is that LOVELY puberty that starts to occur to our kids when they turn 12 or 13. The boys you couldn’t stand in fifth and sixth grade, now start to look a little less like wimps and more like hotties! A kiss on the lips, turns into raging hormones! Right?!? If your daughter loses control (and has sex) she’s screwed (no pun intended) unless she is taking birth control. Again I digress. So for mothers like me who take that hard line, what are our daughters supposed to do if they find themselves pregnant? That was the dilemma of Mary (Grace Gibson), the very pregnant and homeless teen in Black Nativity. She said, “I made a mistake and was kicked out. I have nowhere to go, so here I am pregnant and homeless.”

The other theme that caught my interest was the relationship between the mom (Naima) and her teenaged son (Langston). God, she really loved him (and he loved her too), but as a single mom trying to make a living for the two of them, she was unequipped to offer him the masculine discipline & love that he needed to grow into a man. Well I won’t tell the entire story, but I’d like to end with this: if you, and your son or daughter have not spoken to each other because of miscommunications or disappointments, reach out and call them and begin to mend the fences. There is nothing worse that not having an opportunity to say “I’m sorry” and having regrets for the rest of your life.

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

January 14, 2014 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

Staying Sane While Parenting Teens

Diverse Group of Teenagers - IsolatedRadio Show with Lon Woodbury (September 30, 2013)

With the lack of communication between parents and their teens in homes today, today’s guest on Parent Choices for Struggling Teens, C. Lynn Williams shared some “time tested tips” and strategies for parents to “stay sane” while raising their tweens and teens with host Lon Woodbury. In order for parents to stay sane, to keep their cool and not lose their temper, the first thing parents need to do is take care of themselves! With the life changes parents are also going through, it is important to take care of yourself, get out and get some exercise and get more sleep (rather than getting by on less.) In addition, having healthy meals together as a family is a must. There are great discussions and conversations that can come up, plus you get a visual on how your teen is doing- both physically and emotionally.

Some general tips that C Lynn recommends include: consistency. Especially on this brink of adulthood, parents need to have a wall of structure and consistent follow through. “No idle threats…if you say it, then you mean it” shared Lon. Another tip: you have to remain and remember that you are the parent. You are not their friend and as a parent there are standards you have to uphold. Lastly, you need to build individual relationships with each child. Spend time exclusively with each child and get to know them because each one is different. When they need to talk, they can then come to you to talk, from building the relationship and trust together. “Find out what their ‘love language’ is, ways your child receives and accepts love, whether it is attention, gifts or words of affirmation. Yet be appropriate in praising your teen, don’t praise them unless they have truly earned it…be honest with your teen.

For those with tweens, remember they are at the age where their hormones are in full force. “They still want to please you and then the next second, they don’t like you.” During this puberty stage there are lots of influences in your child’s life. The girls want to belong and the boys are centered on sports. This is a good time to get your child involved in extracurricular activities. They need to be kept busy and they need to be in a structured setting. And the good thing that comes out of this is the friendships they make, they want to please their coach, they are not sitting on the couch becoming a couch potato and they get a chance to explore their different interests.

When it comes to a parent needing to seek help for their out of control teen, “you should do so when you notice a drastic change in their behavior, their temperament, if they are quite and morose, depressed or you notice weight gain or weight loss” says C Lynn. And the first step to take is to contact the school and make an appointment with the school psychologist. “Just talk to your kid and if they won’t talk, seek help.”
“Parents need support, like in the old days; everyone on the block would look out for each other’s kids. We need to get back to that again. Involve the teachers, involve the neighbors, give them your phone number and have them call you if they see something not right with your child.

To listen to the full interview, go to Staying Sane While Parenting Teens on LATalkRadio

Contact:
Lon Woodbury, MA, CEP, IECA
208-267-5550
lonwoodbury@gmail.com
http://www.strugglingteens.com

Featuring:
C. Lynn Williams
Parenting Coach, Author, Speaker
224-357-6315
cgwwbooks@yahoo.com
www.clynnwilliams.com

October 14, 2013 at 11:03 am 14 comments

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