How Do You Protect Your Gang Connected Kid?

I would talk to her, take her phone and try to keep her away from it, but it was hard,” said Brown, who believed her daughter was trying to protect herself from people who had targeted her. “You got to put up a tough front. I knew she was scared. She was scared all the time.” 

My heart goes out to this mom as she explains what she did to protect her daughter from gang members, yet in the end, her daughter was still targeted and killed.

I’m reading this article in the Chicago Tribune and thinking about the influence that social media plays in the lives of our kids. Cell phones were important when my children were tweens and teens, but I would confiscate my older child’s phone at night or let her minutes run out. If the minutes ran out before the month was over, her phone didn’t work. Unfortunately there are many cell phone packages and providers, so paying for minutes is no longer an issue.

Kids now take to their social media pages to rant and emote (about pretty much everything). There is no difference between kids who are in or connected to gang members and social media and those who aren’t except for the retaliative violence that they tell their followers they are planning. If I lose a friend or family member to gun violence, I go on Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat and talk about what I plan to do. It’s a form of empowerment that gives our children a feeling of control and power.

The question is, as a parent, how do you manage this type of child? How do you keep them safe and help them feel empowered to make a positive difference? Maybe you send them to live with your family members in other cities where they can go to school and grow into adults.

That could work if you have family members living somewhere else and your displaced kids stay off of social media. These are two big questions and I don’t have the answers. Let’s start a online dialogue and figure out how to save our children.

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

April 12, 2018 at 9:46 am 4 comments

Why Staying Relevant With Our Adult Children Keeps Us Young

What kind of conversations do you have with your adult children? Are they meaningful? Do you feel good after talking with them?

SSBlog_BondingWithYourChildren_1400x1050-1024x768

Last week my oldest son turned 35 years old and I wanted to wish him happy birthday when it was my turn to talk. He’s my oldest child, and was 20 years old when his dad and I married, so I’m always amazed at the depth of our conversations, wondering what I can say to stay relevant when we talk. I should probably tell you that my son and I don’t talk often, like I do with my oldest daughter. That’s just the nature of mother & son relationships. Boys don’t talk nearly as much as girls, unless they (boys) are trying to work out a situation. #thepamperedprincebook

So while I waited to talk with him, thinking that our conversation would be short and sweet,  what I got was a very extensive conversation.  we probably talked about 45 minutes about things that were important to him and our relationship and it was just a wonderful conversation overall.

Portrait of a loving mother and her young adult/late teen son.

My point in staying relevant as a parent is that it keeps the lines of communications open between you and your child. It also keeps you young. I remember some of the challenges I faced when I was in my 20’s. Most of the time, I kept those challenges to myself for fear of what my mother would think of me. Once I reached out to her and realized that she wasn’t judging me, we had great talks. That was a lesson that I promised I would remember once I had kids of my own. I never wanted my children to feel stupid or that they couldn’t talk to me. I also hoped they would confide in me before talking to their friends. When they did talk to me, it made me feel young. I felt like I was part of a younger generation (because I was, compliments of them).

As a parent coach and parent of adult children, here are three (3) tips for maintaining relevancy in your relationship with your children:

  • Don’t Judge – You may think the decisions they’ve made are just dumb. But think back on some of the hair-brained decisions you made as a teen or young adult. They may not have been the best decisions, but they were yours.
  • Listen – As parents we always feel like we have to have the answers to our kids’ problems. That’s not always true or possible. Actually one of the lessons I learned most recently, is that my kids usually want me to listen and not comment. It’s not easy, but staying relevant sometimes means that we are their sounding boards and silence is golden.
  • There’s No Room For Drama – Sometimes the conversations that our adult children need or want to have with us are hair-raising and you may be inclined to say “What in the hell made you do that?“. Resist the urge to say anything negative and follow my advice in the tip #2 – Listen!

I’m looking forward to sharing this Easter birthday weekend with most of my blended family, with the exception of my middle daughter, who wasn’t able to join us. I plan on taking my own advice and listening, enjoying my sons and daughter and having a lot of fun. I wish you and your family a wonderful Easter or Passover holiday. 

Want to learn 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

 

March 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

Father and Daughter Relationships

There is NOTHING like a great father & daughter relationship. When I say great, I mean the father is active in his daughter’s life. They spend time together, and talk about most topics (some are still Mom-only topics like menstrual periods and bra sizes) and they listen to each other. But most importantly, dads are a girl’s first male relationship. How he responds or doesn’t respond to her can color her relationships with men forever. 

I had a great dad. He was the go-to person when my mother felt she needed the other parent to step in. He was also the fun parent. He would play with us (until he had had enough), as a teen, I could talk to him, when there was no one else to talk to. He was a sane voice I needed to hear, when I went through divorce. Yet he was flawed at the strangest times. #newbook

As part of my research for my new father-daughter book, I have an online survey for fathers and one for daughters. I would appreciate it if you completed it. I will also conduct a focus group, so email me if you would like to be a part of it.

Daughter Survey

Father Survey

Thank you in advance for your support!

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

March 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

What International Womens’ Day Means to Me

As more and more women join #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, I think of what International Women’s’ Day Means to Me.

By supporting mothers and their daughters through my books, workshops, webinars and blogs, I truly believe that I stand with my sisters locally and globally in solidarity for our rights, safety, health and families. I also believe it’s important to tell our stories to encourage our daughters and the women we mentor to dream and fulfill those dreams.

As I think of the various global women’s movements that have occurred over the past year like women’s rights, equality and justice, I realize how relevant the 2018 theme is for International Women’s Day: #TimeIsNow: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.

“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.” Women’s March mission statement

As International Women’s Day comes and goes for 2018, how are you propelling the women’s movement forward? Change starts with a single positive thought, followed by a positive action. Be the change you want to see in our world.

Interested in joining a movement and making a difference? Join my Finding Superwoman movement and learn how to have it all. Click Here

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

March 8, 2018 at 8:39 am Leave a comment

Relationship Between Bullying and Mass Shooters

Could it be the Bullying

Each time I hear about a shooting especially a school shooting, I have two thoughts. First I wonder if the shooter was bullied while he was growing up. Second, I wonder what kind of home environment the shooter grew up in. No I’m not a psychologist, psychiatrist or FBI profiler, just a parenting expert who has studied lots of family units where children are raised. Sometimes the home environments are safe and nurturing. Other times, the environments are toxic and kids are not supported or cared for.

Bullying has no socioeconomic confines. Kids from all walks of life are bullied. I was bullied and I remember my mother trying lots of things to help me stand up for myself, including spanking me. Crazy right? When I taught at a boys high school, many teachers and coaches felt (like my mom) that the ‘bullied kid needed to learn how to fight, stand up for himself, grow up and be a man, man up and other nonsensical things that build

hate, embarrassment, and the need for retribution. In our gun-crazed society, if you can’t protect yourself, go buy a gun and annihilate your enemies. Have you noticed – all of the shooters have been male. Could that be because boys are taught to be competitive and aggressive?

But none of this is cool! There have been 18 school shootings in 2018, and this is only February. We have to develop more humane ways to teach our children how to ‘stand up for themselves’, handle bullies and be resilient when things don’t go their way.

 

Bullying is a learned behavior. Perhaps as parents, we need to find more humane ways to handle our anger and disappointments and set an example that our children can follow. They are always watching us.

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

February 21, 2018 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

How to Successfully Communicate With Adult Children

When my children were little, we discussed lots of different topics with them and encouraged them to talk (to us) about anything. Things that were going on in their school, with their classmates, in our family and current events were all fair game. It didn’t matter whether we liked or agreed with their thoughts or not, we encouraged them to talk about whatever was going on in their lives. 

I believed if we listened to their small issues, they would be comfortable talking with us about their bigger (scarier or life threatening) issues. While I’m sure we didn’t hear everything that occurred in their lives, listening taught me three amazing lessons!

  • Like what my kids liked
  • Be open-minded
  • Ask questions of interest

These three tips allowed me to stay relevant with my children as they became adults. As I approached adulthood, I had secrets that I never shared with my mom or dad. I didn’t want to be judged or reminded, so I didn’t share many things that were going on in my life. As much as I loved my parents, I didn’t want to hear them say, “OMG why’d you do that?” No adult really wants to hear that.

However, I wanted a more open relationship with my children, especially as they became adults. I wanted to stay relevant in their lives. As an example, I liked rock music growing up. When my son realized that I was OPEN to listening to grunge and alternative music, he would invite me to listen to new songs that he liked. “Hey Mom, listen to this.” Keeping that doorway open into his adulthood, allowed to me ask him, “So what’s new?” He could choose to either tell me about some new music he liked, or share a more personal thought or concern.

The same was true with my daughters. I wasn’t afraid to share some of my ‘young woman’ mistakes with them, hoping they wouldn’t make those same mistakes. In turn, they were comfortable sharing their life with me. On the way to learning more about them, I continue to learn more about myself. Isn’t life grand?

It’s never too late to start a conversation with your children. If it’s a new experience, start small, but be consistent. The rewards will change your relationship in a positive way.

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

February 11, 2018 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

How to Best Support Your (Child) Athlete Before They Are Sexually Abused

I have a young great-niece named Alyssa who is amazing. She taught herself how to do backflips watching YouTube videos. She was such a natural athlete, that she’s starting on one of the leading gymnastics teams in Illinois.

But That’s not why I’m telling you about Alyssa. As I listen to the most recent stories about adult gymnasts who were sexually abused and violated as children by Larry Nassar, I think about our sons and daughters who are young athletes. I hope sexual abuse will never happen to them.

According to childwelfare.gov, your daughter has a 1 in 4 chance and your son has a 1 in 6 chance of being molested. That’s pretty scary!

If a coach or doctor touched your child inappropriately would she or he be able to tell you what was happening? Don’t worry about the authorities, believing that a violation had taken place. How would you handle the situation?

According to Everyday Feminism, many kids are afraid to tell their parents that they’ve been sexually abused, because they are afraid that they will be in trouble. Let’s be proactive instead.

Here are 5 ways to talk to your kids about sexuality and abuse:

1. Have calm, casual conversations about appropriate & inappropriate touch – often.

2. Begin talking to them as young as 2 years old. Make the conversations age appropriate.

3. Teach them the actual names of their private parts.

4. Share the only instances when their private parts can be seen and touched.

5. Let them know what appropriate and inappropriate touching is.

It’s important that your child know they have the right to control their bodies. Help them feel comfortable to talk about their body to you (as their parent) and to tell you immediately if someone touches them inappropriately. Most important – please believe them if they tell you someone has touched them (inappropriately), no matter who it is.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment in the Reply section below.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

 

January 22, 2018 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

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