Posts tagged ‘Home’

Dads Are Important Too

family Christmas and other dad traditions

family Christmas and other dad traditions

When I think of the holidays, Christmas especially, I think of my dad and my granddad. As I write this post, a myriad of memories crowd into my heart about the men in my family. Today is ‘Dad’s Turn’. My dad would drive our family through different neighborhoods to look at the Christmas decorations. A day or two before Christmas, we would pick out a Christmas tree and decorate it. ..Lots of fun

My dad was usually the parent that my siblings and I could count on to ‘play’ with us and have fun. He would jump out of the closets and scare us, and tell us stories about him and his brothers growing up. He was the male balance of our household – the last word. When he would play with us, we’d forget he wasn’t a kid like us and be disappointed when he became ‘Dad’ again. No fair… We would drive every week to our grandparents to spend Sundays with them and the Ed Sullivan Show. I hated that show, but loved the family time together. I loved watching my dad interact with his dad. They looked just alike, except for the age difference. While Dad was disciplined, Granddad was even more disciplined, yet he let me do things I couldn’t do with my own dad like comb his hair, and push in the buttons on his very cool Dodge dashboard. Granddad also smoked a pipe and had the most delicious smelling tobacco.

As a young girl growing up, Dad was always there. He may have been preoccupied, or asleep on the couch, but I remember the time he spent with us. I knew what he expected of me. I also knew I could trust him. His way was different from Mom’s. They both meant business; however when Mom told us she was going to ‘tell Dad’, we knew it would not be good. As much fun as we had with him, he was a former ‘military’ man and didn’t tolerate nonsense!

Like most families in the sixties, he was a family man. I never understood why he didn’t do housework. Okay yes he cut the grass, painted things when necessary, and barbecued the meat during holidays, but it never made sense that we (the Gist kids) had to wash walls and clean up the kitchen! When I had the nerve to ask why we had to wash walls, he would say “You dirtied them up didn’t you?” Let me just say that after washing the walls, we kept our hands off the walls! While Dad didn’t cook much except BBQ, occasionally he made lunches for us – fried Spam sandwiches and tomato soup. Yummy! He’d cut the sandwiches into shapes and while no one today would dare eat a Spam sandwich, it was another fun time with Dad.

A lot of those traditions changed as our family went through the transition of divorce and separation, I remember the times when I didn’t see my dad much. He would promise to come by for a visit, and never show up. My mom was careful not to talk bad about him to us, so all we had then was disappointment. I didn’t reestablish my relationship with him until the summer before I left for college. I had sassed my mother and wasn’t on speaking terms with her, so I cherished the times I got to spend with dad. We talked about a lot of topics, and I got a chance to know him as a person. I asked him about the times he didn’t show up and how disappointed we were. I remember him saying that he was barely getting by (financially) and didn’t want to show that side of himself (to us).

Perfect, he was not. Necessary to me growing into the woman I am now, very definitely! Today, there are a lot of girls growing into woman without the benefit of their dad. Woman decide what men they will become involved with based on the relationship they have with their father (dad), stepdad, grandpa or other positive male role model. Merry Christmas Dad!

 

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)

December 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I Accept You Just As You Are

Have a teen or adult child with a secret? Not just any secret, their sexuality secret? Did they tell you or you just ‘knew’ that they preferred same sex mates? What did you do with that information? Did you ostracize them or tell them that you accept them for who they are?

The beautiful thing about being parents, is that we not only have the task of raising teens into wonderful adults, we also need to listen with non-judgmental ears when they tell us things about themselves – especially things that may be different from us. If your teen feels that you don’t or won’t accept them for who they are, they begin to lose trust in you and in themselves. If you won’t accept them, what’s the chance that society will accept them? Who do they go to share their “weight of the world” secrets? Many teens who feel that they can’t talk to anyone (their secret is so bad), commit suicide.

genderbread

Here are some words you may share if or when you need them.

“It’s time for you to move forward with your life and stop worrying about whether you will be accepted for who you are. I’ve known (intuitively) that you had a different sexual preference since your high school / college days. It’s okay with me. Don’t worry about your father either. None of us has the right to cast stones. There is no reason to feel ashamed or have any other feelings that make you feel depressed, unworthy, needing to hide. It’s important (to me) that you live an authentic life, full of love. Be who you are and leave those other concerns behind you. You are important to me. You are safe and perfect just as you are. I love you.”

As parents, we have the responsibility for raising our children, and we also have the choice of accepting them for who they are. We may not like decisions that they ultimately make, but God doesn’t always like the decisions that we make. Accepting our kids for who they are helps them build self-acceptance and self-esteem. We also have to be okay that our friends, family and church may not agree with or accept our child’s sexuality. Thinking now about how you want to handle discussions with your family, friends or pastor, would be a great idea.

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)

December 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Ladies: Love Traditional Style!

I love Thanksgiving because I get to spend time with members of my family that I ordinarily don’t get to hang out with.

 I have lots of nieces, nine I think; and my two of my closest nieces are in dysfunctional relationships with men! One of them is working out father abandonment issues, and she finds the most “ugh” guys to get involved with. They are either married to someone else or in love with someone else – WTH? The guy of the hour, can’t hold a job, smokes weed and runs around on her! I love her so much and so as usual, I stuck my head in her business, suggested she make a clean break with him (the father of her second child), and move on. She followed my move on advice, and changed apartments. Whatever..

My other niece, the more cautious one, got involved with a guy that she met over a year ago. They admired each other from a distance and she eventually accepted his request for a date. traditional dating

 Ladies: dating is your opportunity to find out about that guy! It is not time to “jump into bed” with him! You don’t know him! He could be married, crazy, abusive, just NOT your type! Have a couple of months of pure dating without sex (of any kind). Let him talk about what he does and does not like. You do the same thing. Let your mind get to know him before you introduce your body.  In any event, not practicing ‘safe sex’ gave her & her guy friend an early birthday present – a baby! Now she gets to find out that he has baby mama drama and since he’s a “Pampered Prince”, she also has periodic issues with his mother. (The Pampered Princes are those whose mothers don’t believe their sons do any wrong.)

Take your time to get to know him, before you KNOW him…

 

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)

November 29, 2013 at 11:49 pm 1 comment

Love Isn’t Always Easy or Convenient

Love Isn’t Always Easy or Convenient

Both of our parents are elderly. My dad is 81, and my mother-in-law is 79. The good news is that they both live on their own. However, even though they both live alone, one is experiencing temporary memory loss, while the other has been diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer.

While visiting Dad, I found myself treating him like one of my children. It felt very odd to remind him to do things, that I took for granted he did. Yet, like my kids, he needed reminders to do what he normally would do (without my help). Take eating healthy. Dad is a big proponent of juicing, exercising and eating moderate amounts of food, yet he’s consuming more sweets than ever seen before. Looks like lunch has been replaced with coffee and a sweet something or other. Another thing, every couple of weeks he’s having something new repaired on his car. When I ask him why, he says, “I want my car to run well.” It already runs well… I’m concerned that he’s wasting his money, or worse, TV ads are convincing him to spend money unnecessarily.saturn car

You’re probably saying, hey that’s not a big deal! He can still take care of himself! Well what happens when he forgets (again) how to get to the VA Center, which he has driven to for years? Or how do you tell your elderly mother, that you have to take her car keys because she continues to get lost and has to have someone call you because she doesn’t know where she is? Loving your parents means that you care for them, (and make those hard care decisions) when they can no longer care for themselves.  

 

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)

November 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm 9 comments

Patiently Waiting for Dad

As I travel back to my hometown, I think about my annual weekend visit spent with my dad. We talk weekly, but seeing Dad face to face is another story altogether. Over the phone he sounds pretty normal; a little more cantankerous the older he gets, but still my wonderful dad. Up close, I get to see how time has started to slow his walk considerably and determines how many household chores he is able to accomplish at any one time. Seeing him, I understand that it really is difficult to cook dinner and talk to me on the phone at the same time, because he has to focus.

Although he is prescription and disease free, his short-term memory comes and goes, which is really scary. During our weekend together, I didn’t understand his need to stay in the house and decided he was just being a stick-in-the mud. horsebuggyI remembered that “he’s eighty-one years old, and while he looks to be in his early seventies, his body (and mind) probably feel his actual age. Did I mention that he doesn’t have the modern conveniences I think all households have – cable TV and Internet access? So once I got it into my technology driven mind that Dad lived in the horse & buggy era, I collected my thoughts, reminded myself how glad I was to have a dad that loved me and who was alive, and I challenged him to a game of Scrabble. Parenting 101: enjoy your family with the tools that are readily available! Guess What? His mind was alert enough to beat me by nine points! Ahhh.

 

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)

November 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm 1 comment

When Is Close Too Close?

Is there ever a time when is a Parent – Child relationship too close?

me_kids_Mothers Day 2011

What does that mean? If you spend time with your son or daughter or talk on the phone daily, is that too close? Does your close relationship interfere with your ability to parent that child? If the lines are blurred, meaning you such good friends, that you can’t give well-deserved consequences for misbehaving, then YES, you are probably too close.

I believe that teenagers and parents can’t be friends because when you need to discipline them or expect them to follow your rules, because they won’t understand how you’ve switched from friend to parent and may not obey you. On the other hand, if you are an aloof parent – the kind that just administers rules and won’t allow a close relationship to develop between you and your tween or teen, how do they learn that important skill of allowing others to be close to them?

However, what happens when your child becomes an adult and a real friendship develops? How much sharing is too much? Can you go out together and drink socially? Can you share the disappointments that you are experiencing in your own life? How do you maintain those relationships in a friendly way and yet not get hurt, the way adults do when one ‘friend’ feels differently or doesn’t respond in a way that you expect? We recently had a social event, and one of my friends, (she’s 40ish), told me that she asked her mother not to attend, so she could comfortably go and ‘have fun’. I had a completely different experience with my mother. Once I went away to school, we became friends and it was not uncommon to come home during break and be part of one my Mom’s famous parties. We’d have a blast!

So share your experiences with your mother. Email me at: cgwwbooks@yahoo.com

Hope you will follow some of my new #blogger friends:

Phil Rowlands Blog: Kindle Authors http://bit.ly/1ix9A3T (password: childsplay)

Christie Edwards Blog: Living Simplistically http://bit.ly/HwlFui

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach
http://www.clynnwilliams.com

Order My Books on Amazon.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 Communications, 2013)

October 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm 7 comments

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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