Posts filed under ‘parents making mistakes’

Gun Violence Begins at Home

acceptance

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, all I wanted was to be accepted for who I was – glasses and all, and look like my best girlfriend Susan. What I later learned is that it wouldn’t have mattered what I looked like, because most kids wanted to look like or be someone else.

While most of my friends had strict parents, I didn’t have any close friends (that I knew of) whose parents were verbally (or physically) cruel. I say that because as a kid we had parental permission to visit our close friends and I often watched how my friends’ moms and dads interacted with them. Yes I’ve been fascinated with family dynamics since I was a kid. I know what it’s like to grow up in a house where you’re constantly criticized or made to feel bad for who you are. I’ve seen it firsthand. As a child, it feels awful to be constantly criticized.Not Communicating

I also feel sorry for parents who expect to have (what they consider to be) normal kids, who aren’t. Maybe the child is sick, disabled/handicapped or have a different sexual orientation. It’s understandable to expect your child to grow up and be awesome! All parents want that. But when your child grows up and chooses a career or life that you did not expect or don’t value as acceptable, what do you do?

I believe you internalize your disappointment and think you’ve failed as a parent. Depending on your upbringing, you become critical of that young man or woman and say hurtful things that create division and separation. But let me tell you what can happen to that young man or woman; they feel rejected and hurt. You may never hear those feelings because it’s not safe for them to share them with you. If the dynamics in your household is violence and anger, they internalize that too.

Think about it! The gun violence over the last 6 years has often been random and impersonal. As a kid, if you haven’t been hugged, kissed or told how much you are loved (by your parents); if your only validation was to be told ‘How stupid you are’, ‘You’ll never amount to anything’, ‘I wish you were never born’ or ‘Shut up’; you’re ignored or beaten, it is easy to see how you would internalize those feelings and become bitter.

Anytime I read or hear about a mass or random shooting, I wonder what kind of environment that person grew up in. Were they loved, nurtured and well-cared for? Or were they allowed to do their own thing and somewhat ignored because their parents worked (a lot), didn’t know how to reach out to them, didn’t care. Gun violence photo

I am truly sorry for the mass shootings in Orlando, as well as the daily shootings in Chicago. Folks wake up! It’s not too late to reestablish a loving relationship with your child – no matter how old they are. ♥♥

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 or Mothers and Sons. Email me at: info@clynnwilliams.com

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Coach & Author

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)
Yours & Mine: The Winning Blended Family Formula (220 Publishing, 2015)

 

June 15, 2016 at 11:21 am 4 comments

2 Tips to Help You Prevent Gun Accidents With Your Kids

greys anatomy shooterI was watching Grey’s Anatomy last night, and their subject was about two 8 year old boys who had been playing with a gun and one of them got shot. Since I don’t watch the show regularly, I’m not familiar with each doctor, but as a mom and parent coach, the story line had my full attention!

I  also wondered how the boys had gotten a hold of a gun. When the mothers arrived at the hospital, the mother of the boy who had been shot admitted that it was her gun and that it was locked in a box. So how did they get in the locked box? During surgery, the female doctor asked that question as well – how did the boys get the gun if it was locked up, and where was the babysitter.

That was my question too, and I thought about growing up, when my sister and I would look through everything in my parents’ bedroom when they weren’t home. You would have thought we were pirates looking for hidden treasures. The fact is, we were inquisitive, just like those two boys.
My question about Where was the babysitter was answered by one of the young doctors who asked the babysitter:9_year_old_Vista_boy_killed_in_gun_accid_2973600000_18614212
Where were you?”
“Why weren’t you watching them?”
“How long were you away from them that they had time to unlock the gun box and take it out AND play with it.”
The young babysitter got immediately defensive and said two things that as a parent I HATE hearing – “This was NOT my fault” (whose fault was it ma’am?) and “They are 8 years old; they’re not babies that need watching every minute!” (No they are inquisitive boys who if not monitored, get into anything & everything.) Duh!

To find out what happened to the gunshot victim, you’ll have to tune in to last night’s Grey’s Anatomy, but my point here is 1) What you think is put away or locked away, given enough time, can be found or opened. Trust me. 2) If something terrible happens to your child, whether they are busy or quiet types is something you will regret for the rest of your life. Something simple like your daughter trying to shave her legs like you, or your son drinking nail polish remover (true stories) doesn’t matter – all you’ll remember is what you were doing that they were able to get into something they shouldn’t have.

Tip 1: The older your kids get (yes teens are included), the more you want to keep tabs on them. They are often in unbelievable situations and need us to be there for them unconditionally.
Tip 2: No matter what your belief is in the 1st Amendment – (the right to bear arms), keep your guns out of your home where your young kid can find them or your teen who is depressed/suicidal, or trying to prove something to his peers, tries it just for the hell of it – the outcome is usually deadly. Great message #ShondaRimes

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring Finding Superwoman program for Working Moms, parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters or Mothers and Sons. Email me at: info@clynnwilliams.com

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author, Family Coach, Speaker
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)
NEWEST→ Yours & Mine: The Winning Blended Family Formula (220 Publishing, 2015)

April 23, 2016 at 4:12 am Leave a comment

The Peculiar Language Between Mothers & Their Sons (reprinted)

Periodically I write articles for Moms Magazine. It’s a great resource for mothers. I encourage you to check them outmomsmagazine.com This is my article reprinted from Moms Magazine 2/16/2016

When my biological son was in his late teens, he stopped communicating with me. It was an odd time because he had started college and I didn’t see him often, so talking with him was very important to me. What I didn’t know was that he was having difficulty managing his time and assignments. I knew something was wrong, (a mother’s instinct) just didn’t know what. So my husband (his stepdad) and I took a road trip down to his campus and made a surprise visit. The conversation wasn’t easy and he continued to give us one word answers and stony looks, but we eventually understood the entire story.
I continued to use the practices and tips that I talk about in my book – The Pampered Prince: Mom Create a GREAT Relationship With Your Son and made sure that whemother-kissing-sonn I felt he was distant or needed to talk, I reached out and didn’t tell myself I was wrong. Once he knew I wasn’t just trying to “get in his business” or “wreck his life”, he talked to me.

I thought about our relationship as I watched the ABC 20/20 show where the mother of one of the Columbine shooters talked about how she didn’t acknowledge the distance she felt with her son, and how she had no idea he was planning the shooting or was so easily influenced by another boy, also a shooter. She also did what many of us do when our sons show us some attention – she thought things were much better. It was just a smokescreen to get her out of his Kool-Aid. My point here is that some of the messages we receive are a mother’s intuition and while it may not make sense, if we don’t act on it, we’re screwed.

columbine mom
It may be awkward if you are not used to conversing with your son. They are very good at ignoring us or making us feel like we are wasting their time. Push through that feeling and make some space for a conversation to begin. Inviting my son to dinner or out for ice cream worked 90% of the time. He loves both and once we start eating, the words seem to tumble out. This idea works for sons from teen to mid-twenties. Try it and let me know what happened. I would love to hear from you.

Want to learn more about how to communicate with your son? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my life-changing parenting programs for blended families, aging parents, mothers and daughters or mothers and sons. Email me at: info@clynnwilliams.com

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author ~ Coach ~ Family Dynamics 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)
NEW – Yours & Mine: The Winning Blended Family Formula (220 Publishing, 2015)

February 17, 2016 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

What’s the Benefit of Parenting Classes?

Parenting wаѕ а process that one took up naturally without any trace of self-doubt; thоѕе good past parentingold days are virtually passé. Aѕ humans, we are blessed with а lifelong sense of nurturing, and it іѕ thіѕ trait that sets uѕ араrt frоm thе оthеr species thаt constitute thе animal kingdom. Thе progress іn time brought аbоut а definitive change іn оur lifestyle, whісh аlѕо called fоr а change іn оur outlook towards parenting.

Previously, parenting wаѕ always thought оf аѕ instinct thаt уоu wеrе born wіth, аnd уоu simply hаd tо hone іt. Thе adage thаt ‘parents know best‘ wаѕ ѕоmеthіng wе always took fоr granted. Preparing fоr parenthood wаѕ а completely alien concept, bесаuѕе wе totally lеt nature decide thе course оf оur behavior аѕ parents-tо-bе. Nоt thаt іt wаѕ wrong іn аnу way, but thе advent оf prenatal classes changed аll thаt. Mom Talking to Daughter 2

Originally aimed аt young оr single mothers, prenatal classes spearheaded thе change іn thе mindsets оf many traditionalists whо frowned оn thе concept оf training а mother tо bе а mother. Fоr young parents, hоwеvеr, prenatal classes wеrе а godsend. Parenting classes today аrе no longer limited tо new parents. Yоu have classes thаt help уоu deal wіth а wide spectrum оf parental issues like anger management, looking after children wіth special needs, dealing wіth bullying оr abuse; thеrе аrе sessions thаt deal specifically wіth raising teens, аnd frankly, thеrе іѕn’t а parent whо wоuld refuse help whеn іt comes tо interacting wіth teenagers.

What do Parenting Classes Teach?

Thе benefits оf parenting classes аrе many, but thе best thing аbоut taking one іѕ thе amount оf confidence іt instills іn уоu. Yоu аrе better equipped tо deal wіth different challenges thаt parenthood throws аt уоu.

Thеrе іѕ а fine line bеtwееn being authoritative аnd autocratic. Aѕ parents, іt often appears blurred. Thіѕ іѕ one оf thе main reasons thаt cause differences. Professional advice іn ѕuсh cases often proves helpful.

“Am I а Bad Parent?”

Cеrtаіnlу nоt. On thе contrary, good parents аrе thоѕе whо accept thеіr mistakes, аnd reach оut fоr help whеn thеу find thеmѕеlvеѕ falling short. Thеу аrе аlѕо іn touch wіth reality, having dispelled аll illusions оf being thе ‘perfect parent’.

To be continued next week…

Interested in learning more about parent mentoring? Contact Ms. Parent Guru by email to receive information on her upcoming parent mentoring program for Mothers and Daughters. Email her at: info@clynnwilliams.com

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Generational Development Strategist

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)

January 24, 2015 at 8:21 pm 2 comments

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

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


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