Posts filed under ‘teens’

Who We Are Matters

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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

The Secret Lives of Teens on Social Media: Here’s What You Need to Know

Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Parents use it, just like their children. However, on average, teenagers are the ones who spend the most time on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok and similar platforms.

This leaves many parents worried. Some are afraid that this habit will grow into an addiction, while others are concerned about cyberbullying, over-sharing, and an “all-about-attention” attitude.

Author Donna Lynn Hope asks an important question: “How different would people act if they couldn’t show off on social media? Would they still do it?”

If our children were to be born in more innocent times, without social media, would they be any different?

Consider these questions:

  • How do we know what our children are doing online?

  • Is there a way to control our child’s behavior on social media, without invading their privacy and breaking their trust?

  • How do we recognize if social media is negatively affecting our children?

This topic is complicated, and there are no simple answers. However, if you ask your child about the time they spend on social media, you might be surprised at how willing they are to talk about it.

When you speak with them about their emotions and challenges, and address potential issues in self-esteem, you may find that social media won’t pose such a threat to them.

Even so, you may still be wondering how you can safely explore your child’s secret life on social media.

These solutions will help:

  1. Dignify their devices. If you want to limit your child’s social media usage, avoid taking away their device. They will find another one. Help them find effective ways to self-regulate, instead.

    • Fear of missing out often motivates the time spent on social media.

    • However, teens are aware of the consequences this habit creates. Encourage them to reflect on these consequences and focus on the impact social media overload has on their personal, academic, and other goals.

  2. Ask about the apps. Ask your child which apps they spend the most time on. Is it Instagram, Facebook, or perhaps Snapchat? Once you find out, install those apps on your phone, too, and figure out how they work.

    • Some apps have geolocation which can pose a real danger. Try to manage your child’s social media activity by informing them of the danger rather than imposing your opinion.

    • Don’t be a manager, be a mentor.

  3. Help them to protect their privacy. Talk about privacy settings on different social media accounts. Some teens are not aware of this option.

    • Agree with them to accept only the followers and friends that they know personally. This is not an easy task for a teen because the number of followers is often the barometer of popularity.

    • However, if they understand the necessity for well-managed online presence, this shouldn’t be a problem.

  4. Talk about sexting. Parents find the infamous conversation about “The Birds and the Bees” just as awkward as children do. However, now you have another level to deal with – sexting.

    • Teens can often confuse sending explicit messages and photos for intimacy that might not exist.

    • Talk about what it means to have a healthy relationship and how to develop and maintain one.

  5. Overcome social media prejudice. Many parents believe that social media is completely, or almost completely, bad. However, it is neither good nor bad per se. It’s a new form of communication.

    • When parents talk to their children about social media from this standpoint, the child is likely to withhold and hide information.

    • Genuine curiosity and an open mind about your child’s interest in social media can make a significant difference.

  6. Care about their emotions. Teenagers want their opinions to be heard. This especially goes for the things they’re passionate or angry about. Social media offers instant feedback to their posts, which makes kids feel listened to, validated, and acknowledged.

    • However, if you offer empathy for challenges your child is facing, you can provide listening and validation inside of your family, too. This will give you an insight into what your teen posts on social media and an opportunity to help them self-filter.

When your child asks you for the first time if they can open a social media account, avoid judging them or jumping to conclusions. Accept their need to engage in such community-based way of communication, talk about it, and help them build a safe profile.

Teach them how to protect themselves and what to expect.

You’ll never have all the information about their activity, but if you’re interested and understanding, you might get just the right amount.

I help parents build the kind of communication and trust that allows parent-child relationships to grow and feel better through coaching and parent classes. Email me for more information: info@clynnwilliams.com 😘 

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

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

November 5, 2021 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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. reprinted from November 23, 2019

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

October 14, 2021 at 7:04 am 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

Which One Are You Today?

It’s funny when your kids are small, you don’t ever want them to grow up. They are so innocent and precious and they listen to our every word. Then the day comes when they start saying things like “I’m grown, I can make my own decisions.” And you realize they are growing up and maybe you should let them (make their decisions). 

Then they change back into a non-adult! They say things like:

  • Can you pay for my phone?
  • Will you complete my FAFSA?
  • Do you have money for me to get my nails done?
  • Can you pay my car insurance?
  • Will you pay my rent?

Wait a minute!

  • I thought you were an adult?
  • Isn’t that what you told me you were?
  • What happened to “I can do this? Please stop telling me what to do!?”

This is the brain of our teenage or twenty-something kid. The problem is that they really don’t want a lessons learned talk, they kinda want to figure it out, but don’t mind asking for your money and support.

My feeling is that when your kid says, “I can do it”, it’s important to let him or her do it. I believe today’s parents don’t want their children to make the mistakes that they made. It sounds good, but isn’t realistic. Growing up means you make mistakes. I made them? You did too. It’s okay. 

Young people today don’t mind making mistakes. They don’t want to be nagged or guilt tripped, but they also want to be rescued when they’ve made a mistake. It’s doesn’t work both ways! Some lessons can only be learned through experience. A daughter who has a child without the security of marriage (against the advice of her parents), takes a risk that she will raise her child alone. A son who wants to play pro ball and decides not to go to college, takes a risk of having an injury (that keeps him from playing) and working the rest of his life as a laborer.

It’s hard watching our children make mistakes especially ones that can follow them for life. It’s harder when they tell you to butt out – let them live their life. Those are hard lessons for us as parents. However, just like our parents had to let us go and grow… we have to do the same thing. A little lesson learning never hurt anybody! Happy 2019!

Are you saying Yes when you really mean No? Click here to Join my FREE Facebook Group – Balanced Moms Club to join with other moms to receive tips about time management, organization and basic meal planning.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

January 4, 2019 at 10:14 pm 5 comments

Jerks and Pretty Boys

When my daughter was a teen, she was attracted to ‘pretty boys’ and ‘bad boys’. I had to admit they were good to look at, but I constantly drilled (to her) the importance of men having a reputable character. It was great that they were good looking, but were they jerks or nice men? When I was growing up, a jerk was a guy who seemed to understand EVERYTHING a girl was going through and was wonderful to be with until he broke up with you and talked badly about you. Definitely the kind of guy to stay away fromjerks

According to the Urban Dictionary, a jerk is the kind of guy most girls ACTUALLY want when they say they want a Nice Guy.  Jerks are selfish, manipulative men who see women as little more than sexual conquests to brag about to their buddies or mere objects that are there for their personal pleasure.[1]

On the other hand, pretty boys while vain, are still nice guys. A good looking teenage boy (or 20-something man), not necessarily well-built. A pretty boy usually has a naturally clean-cut appearance, dresses well (mainly prep gear), and is very aware of his hair, skin, etc. He constantly looks in the mirror to ensure that he looks perfect from head to toe. You can usually tell who are the pretty boys (school, malls, bars, etc.). 

What concerns me is how easily we are attracted to jerks and pretty boys? I am not as concerned with the pretty boys as I am with the jerks. The problem with jerks is that they come off as the kind of man who is in your corner and cares about you, until you fall for him (or have sex with him or both). They are looking for the next challenge and are not concerned with how you feel. IT’S ALL ABOUT THEM.  Too many of us are involved with jerks – men who are selfish and manipulative. For some reason, we rationalize why their behavior is okay and why we should subject ourselves to their bull#*~^.

The other problem with your daughter dating or marrying a jerk, is that you can’t tell her what a jerk the guy is. She will defend him until he has thoroughly demoralized her, destroyed her self-esteem, and she begins to doubt every GOOD thing about herself. Only then might she be open to the wisdom that you can share with her.  (She will have to ask you for advice – please don’t offer it.)

Here are 9 ways to spot a jerk, (usually) on your first date:

  • He calls you “babe” right from the get-go
  • He walks in front of you
  • He brags about himself
  • He doesn’t open the door for you (my husband’s pet peeve)
  • He hogs the conversation and doesn’t let you get a word in
  • He gives you low-grade insults guaranteed to undermine your self-confidence (called negging)
  • He gives attention to another girl in the room (seriously)
  • He calls women bitches (my pet peeve)
  • He disrespects his mother

I dated a guy once, who my mother thought was the cat’s meow! But he was disrespectful to his mother, and I wondered how could he treat me with respect, if he didn’t respect his mother. It is NEVER okay to accept negative compliments, especially from a guy that wants to date or marry you. By the way here is an example of a negative compliment: That shirt looks good on you, but I don’t think pink is your color.

Any or some combination of the nine traits listed are bad enough to make you leave your date and take an Uber home. Unfortunately, when those traits are combined with a male irresistible-ness, it makes a woman doubt what she saw and have another date just to confirm that what she saw (in him) the first time was true.

Ladies, there is no reason for a second or third date with Mr. Jerk! He is true to his title and will ultimately make you feel bad about the badass that you are. Your Mr. Right is close by, so don’t sell yourself short and take home (have a child with or marry) Mr. Jerk. He will leave you with a lifetime of demoralizing feelings that only time, prayer and a good therapist can diminish. Leave the jerks and pretty boys alone. You deserve so much better.

[1] https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Jerk

Interested in learning more about communicating with that daughter of yours? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my coaching programs.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

December 6, 2018 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

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

Have You Established A School Routine?

When I was in elementary and high school, my mother started preparing my siblings and me for our 1st day of school several weeks in advance. She changed our bedtimes and reduced our outside playing time to prepare us for the new school year. It didn’t make sense at the time, but the transition to school was smoother and we weren’t sleepy in the mornings. 

Once I had children of my own, having a routine, made a lot of sense. And as a former high school teacher, I could tell which students had routines at home and those who didn’t. Email me back if you want to know how I knew….

If you are dreading the first week of school and wondering how you are going to prepare for a new routine where everyone is on time to where they are going – l CAN HELP!

As a Back to School gift to all parents who are getting children of all ages back into the groove of school, I am offering you a gift of peace instead of chaotic mornings and bedtimes. To receive this gem of information, join my parent community. I promise that your contact information will be safe and is not for sale by me or anyone on my staff.

Below is a link to preschool, elementary and high school routines that I created to help you help your child get into the groove of school as easily as possible. 

CLICK HERE

If your current routines aren’t working to your satisfaction, build a new set of routines this year. The routines will teach your children how to manage themselves and their time for better success in school. Have a great school year!

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.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 29, 2018 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment


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