Posts filed under ‘preteen’

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• Quiet and withdrawn in an otherwise outgoing joyous kid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

Why Dads Have to Add Their Two Cents

When I think back to my childhood, I don’t remember my father voicing his opinions often. So when he did, it was crystal clear and quite memorable. As I got older, I realized how important his opinions were in relationship to my career decisions and the men that I dated or married. One thing about many dads is that they are quiet when it comes to the day-to-day workings of household activities and child-rearing. It may not be that way in your household, and many of the millennial fathers are very present in their opinions and in the raising of their children. I prefer that style of parenting because the energy that fathers offer is very different from the energy of mothers. Dads don’t freak out as easily as we moms do. This is quite helpful for your emotional child (tween or teen) who has daily fits of hysteria. 

The other things about fathers is that they use less words to get their point across. Less words gives your brain a chance to hear and process what was said. They also don’t repeat what they’ve said, so you have to listen and get it the first time (most dads anyway). I like that technique and share it in my Pampered Prince book to help mothers who are raising sons, communicate more effectively.

Yesterday I saw an article about a group of dads – Dads4Justice, who were pretty pissed off with how Kellogg’s was marketing their Coco Pops cereal. They considered the slogan sexist and protested to Kellogg’s. The slogan has since been changed. Click here to read the entire article. 

If you haven’t spoken to your dad in a while, give him a call. You may be surprised at what he might tell you.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact meMs. 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

September 6, 2018 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Parents: Need Help With Your ROUTINES?

When I was growing up, getting ready for my new school year was a BIG deal! We didn’t have school uniforms to worry about, but getting first day outfits and our routines in place was top on my mother’s list of To-dos. My mom was the queen of organization and routines,! Everything was a well-organized process. 

As a kid, her routines were a pain in the neck. But what I didn’t know was that each routine she established for us, made it easier to run the household and manage my brother, sister and I. She rarely got rattled, unless of course we didn’t follow the routine. And it wasn’t good when we didn’t follow Mom’s routines. Her processes and routines were like growing up in a well-run manufacturing plant. Everything had a place (organization) and there was a routine for mornings (before school), afternoons (after school) and evenings.

As I got older, my mother explained her rationale behind her fanatical routines and why it was so important to get us involved at an early age. For example, she had a rule that we couldn’t take our afternoon naps until we had put away our toys. This is important for those of you with young children who hate to take naps (like I did). She had me convinced that I couldn’t go to sleep UNTIL my toys were put in the toy box. I didn’t think to say – “Hey Mom, I don’t want to take a nap at all!” All I knew what that I couldn’t put my toys away fast enough to take my nap. The key here is that you start teaching your children at two & three years old to pick up their toys. It’s much easier to get their cooperation at this age, rather than wait until they are five & six to teach this concept.

As much as I joke about my mother and her routines, they worked well for me when I became a mom. I have an entire list of practical tips to help you establish routines whether your children are in preschool, elementary or high school. For today’s blog however, I will share 5 tips with you.

  • Tip 1: Give yourself 45-60 minutes before you wake up your child(ren).
    This time without little people talking to you is golden. Pray/meditate/exercise and take your shower. If you are leaving the house for work, put on your make-up. This is important especially to do before your preschool aged children (who are not used to doing tasks without your help and may not be morning people) get up.
  • Tip 2: Wake up your child (ren) an hour before they have to leave home.
    This tip goes hand in hand with Tip 1, if you have children who don’t like getting up in the mornings. It’s nothing like rushing a cranky kid out of the house. An hour may not be enough time (you be the judge), but it gives your son or daughter time to get acclimated to being awake, talking with you and their siblings and getting ready for school
  • Tip 3: Establish a bedtime for ALL school aged children (even high schoolers) preferably by 8:30 pm.
    I know I know! The teen can’t believe you’re making him or her go to bed at a specific time (without their phone and iPad). Surely the world is going to end! I had an 8:30 pm bedtime throughout my high schools years and I hated it. I also hated getting up at 5 am to make it to my 8 am classes way across town. As an educator, if my students got sleepy in class, we would talk about their bedtime and often they were allowed to talk on their cell phones throughout the night. AMAZING! How do you function with raging hormones, lots of class work, extracurricular and no sleep?
  • Tip 4: Look in their backpack (daily).
    When our children start pre-school, it’s a given that you will check their backpacks daily. It’s important because you may be putting in a change of clothes daily and who wants to leave soiled clothes in a backpack overnight? Yuck! But once your child starts elementary school, a daily backpack check is just as important to keep up with notes and homework assignments that are being sent home by their teacher. It not only keeps you up to speed on what’s going on in class, it helps your child with organization.
  • Tip 5: Connect with your middle & high schoolers every day.
    This is near and dear to my heart for two reasons. One: bullying is rampant in middle school and high school. I ran home from school every day in fifth grade because of a school bully and it was a nightmare. My mom helped me get to the point where I wasn’t afraid of the school bully, but it was a process. Since I share a room with my sister, there was no retreating to my room and closing the door. My folks wouldn’t hear of it. Fast forward to today with social media and instant communications, I would have probably tried to hide what was going on by retreating to my room and silently burying my shame. Two: Middle and high schoolers have LOTS of secrets. Taking time to have a real conversation daily is important. You never know what they will tell you. BTW – ask open ended questions like “tell me about your day”.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me to receive information about my inspirational & practical parenting programs. Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker
www.clynnwilliams.com

 

August 13, 2017 at 3:24 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

Good Grief Dad…It’s Only Money

I’m on a flight back to Chicago and I overhear the following conversation between a dad and his teenage daughter. She must have asked him for something, and this is how he responded. “… Didn’t I give you $173?” Smile from the daughter (I think she was a teen). “How much did you spend? You spent all of it??? That was $173 that I put on your card!!!” His teen daughter just smiled, although this time the smile looked a little sheepish. “You spent it all at Victoria Secret?” “I can’t believe you spent all of it!”

“You and your sister got your ears pierced? Who gave you permission to get your ears pierced?” This time his younger daughter spoke up and said “Mom told us it was okay with her if it was okay with you.” The father didn’t push the conversation any further, and the next thing I knew he was joking with the non-verbal daughter.

I felt sorry for dear old dad because from that brief conversation it was obvious that his daughters had him wrapped around their fingers; he was divorced from his wife, and they had not established rules on important things like piercings. Am I ancient or what? Reply and let me know if you agree that both Mom and Dad should agree on their kids’ having piercings or tattoos before they occur. Mark it hashtag dadparenting (#dadparenting)

C. Lynn Williams
#MsParentguru
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July 12, 2014 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

Can Your Daughter’s Friends Influence Her Eating Habits?

Is your daughter fixated on her weight? Does she consider herself fat? Does she feel that she gains weight no matter how little she eats? Right now I have a couple of students who worry about eating or drinking anything for fear of gaining weight.

As graduation approached for my daughter, I remember the photographer telling her that she needed to stop eating “all those cookies” and lose weight, so that she would look good in her prom dress. My daughter and I laughed at the time, but little did I know, that she took those words to heart, and began watching what she was eating. By the time prom occurred, she was tiny! So were her girlfriends.

According to Journal of Youth and Adolescence, a girl’s peers exert more influence on her dissatisfaction with her body, more so than TV actresses or social media. Dangerous weight control such as excessive dieting or bulimic tendencies often begins during the tween years. For some reason, excessive weight control does not affect girl “jocks”. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130143628.htm
The words “You’re fat” can easily send a t(w)een girl into an eating disorder spiral.

This theory isn’t new to parents. Can’t you tell what peers your daughter is involved with based on how she acts? I certainly could. Are you concerned with your daughter’s obsession with weight? If so, ask your health care provider or school personnel to suggest a prevention or intervention program that will help her better control any obsessive eating tendencies.

C. Lynn Williams – #MsParentguru
Author & Parenting 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)

March 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm Leave a comment

Monitoring What Your Kids Watch; Listen To…

Is it Old Fashioned to Monitor What Your Kids watch on TV, listen to on the radio or watch at the movies?

I know the beats are cool and everybody is listening to the latest song or watching the latest video by Mr. or Ms. Sexy Rapper, but is that alright with you? We talk daily about how quickly our kids are growing up, what they are wearing and how many t(w)eens are sexually active. How do you think they got this way? It’s up to us to LIMIT what they are exposed to. One song comes to my mind by Li’l Wayne. I loved the beat, but the words were quite vulgar and even listening to the clean version meant you missed most of the words. Not a song that I wanted my kids to listen to, or to hear me listening to. When I had to hear it, I listened to it when no one was around.

According to an article I read the following statistics are true:

– Quick Facts Listening to degrading sexual lyrics has been shown to speed sexual activity (Pediatrics, 2006).
– Girls with a heavy sexual media diet engage in sexual activity younger than their peers (Harris Interactive, 2007).
– 68 percent of TV shows have explicit sexual content, but only 15% of that 68% discuss risk and responsibility (Harris Interactive, 2007).
– More than 40 percent of teens and preteens said they’d recently come across nudity and pornography on the internet (ForbesLife, 2007).

http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20130205/csm.media.sex/?cid=hero_media

Listen to the songs, watch TV and the music videos with your kids. Discuss them. Are they too explicit? Are they too violent? Is there too much profanity in the lyrics? If so, you have my permission to turn it off and make it a teachable moment.  Your kids will surprise you later when they tell their friends that they shouldn’t listen to “that” song and explain why. Happy Parenting!

#Msparentguru

February 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

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