“Can’t Wait Willow” and “Must Have Marvin”

by Christy Ziglar

These books by the niece of Zig Ziglar are fantastic! They have so many elements children love, including adorable illustrations. In both of these stories, the main characters Willow and Marvin are following their child desires for immediate gratification only to fall disappointed in the end because they didn’t hold out for what they really wanted. They teach a great lesson to children and make them think about the impulses the characters are making with a star that can be found on every page showing an emotion based on the character’s decisions. All families should add these books to their libraries!

Christy’s Four Steps to Help Stop Medicine Abuse

By Christy Crandell

 

medicineTen years ago, one of Christy Crandell’s sons was arrested for armed robbery while high on over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine. Now Christy is an author and one of the Five Moms working to educate other parents about dangerous teen behaviors such as medicine abuse to keep families safe and healthy.

 

One in 20 teens have admitted to using dextromethorphan (DMX), an ingredient found in more than 100 OTC cough medicines, to get high. Yet many parents still believe that it will not happen to their teen. I encourage you to take these four steps to prevent this abuse.

 

Educate yourself on medicine abuse

The first step in helping to stop OTC cough medicine abuse is to educate yourself on the issue and learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms. Start by learning teen’s slang terms for DXM like robo-tripping, skittles, and dex. Additionally, learn about the different side effects and warning signs such as nausea, confusion, and slurred speech. By knowing what to look for, you can help prevent your teens, their friends, and other teens in the community from abusing OTC cough medicine.

 

Talk to your teen

Many parents often find it hard to start conversations about drugs, alcohol, and online behavior with their children. However, as parents, we know that these conversations need to happen. It is a matter of finding the right time, the right place, and the right words. If you are having trouble finding the right words, try using one of these conversation starters to help ease into the conversation.

 

During these types of conversations, I encourage you to talk about how to say no to peer pressure. Explain to your teen that you understand it can be difficult to say no, then practice running through different scenarios with them and provide an exit plan. Agree on a code word that can be used when your teen needs help getting out of a situation with their peers when drugs or alcohol are present. Even if your teen does not seem like they are listening or engaging in the conversation – keep talking. Remember 50 percent of teens who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are less likely to use them.

 

Monitor your medicine cabinet

Protect your teen from the temptation of medicine abuse by safeguarding the medicines in your home. Monitor and track all the medicines in your cabinet and know how much is left so you’ll notice if anything goes missing.

 

Educate other parents in your community

I believe that the harder the conversation is to start, the more important it is. Many parents do not know where to begin when talking to other parents and community members about medicine abuse. I have found that one of the best ways to start the conversation with other parents is to naturally weave over-the-counter medicine abuse into a conversation about other drugs and alcohol. If you do not usually talk about the topic of drugs or alcohol with parents in your community, another way to start the conversation is to share a personal connection to the issue. Please, do not be embarrassed to share your story, because by sharing your story and starting the conversation about medicine abuse, you could ultimately save the lives of others. If you do not have a personal story to share, I welcome you to use mine or one of the other Five Moms’ stories to help you start the conversation.

 

Encourage parents you know to check out stopmedicineabuse.org to learn about the problem.

10 Steps to Guarantee a Teenager Drops Out of High School

By Ida Byrd-Hill – Urban Economist, Human Relations Expert, President of Uplift, Inc., and Author of “Corporate Gangster – Tapping the entrepreneurial talent of street hustler”

unhappy teenTeenagers dropping out of school, urban or suburban does not happen by accident.

If any of these 10 items occur in your life, your teenager is guaranteed to drop out from high school. The question is,When? If they are moving in that direction, you have the power to change their direction. K.I.S.S. (Kids in Successful Schools) Begins at Home.

10. Withholding Love
Humans have an intense craving to be accepted by others, to be comforted by others, to belong. This craving is the impetus to be loved.

What is love?  American Heritage Dictionary defines love as a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.

“Love is a sanctuary for our spirits, a bath of empathy for our emotions, a tranquil meadow in which to nurture our fond hopes and dreams.” When love is present, the soul is at peace. Chaos and negativity fade away. Kindness and giving become commonplace. Joy and happiness, beyond current circumstances, radiates due to love. Everything becomes better when love touches. It can be a hug or kind word.

9. No Regular Family Time – Meals, Activities
A meal of family activity provides good nutrition and bonding time. It also sets the stage for regular family discussions and the foundation for transmitting family values. People including teenagers tend to talk more over food providing clues to the dilemmas in their lives. Teenagers need attention to shape their thinking process.

8. Living a Life Outside of Your Teenager
Parents have the responsibility to nurture their children from 0 to 18 years of age. Unfortunately when a teenager gets an adult like body at age 12-14 parents leave them to themselves as if they are adults. They may have adult bodies but child-like brains. They need more guidance after the age 12 as they believe they are invincible and do not understand consequences. Away from home 15 hours a day is disastrous if no one is available to supervise teenagers, even if it is to work a second job. Teenagers need some one-to-one quality time.

Parents are to model the behavior they desire for their children to replicate. If parents never spend time with their teenagers, teens are left to model their behavior after someone. That someone can be anybody usually someone who is cool, hip and not law abiding.

7. Embracing Anti-intellectualism
“Minority adolescents ridicule their minority peers for engaging in behaviors perceived to be characteristic of whites such as speaking standard English and enrolling in an Advanced Placement or honors class to wearing clothes from the Gap or Abercrombie & Fitch (instead of Tommy Hilfiger or FUBU) and wearing shorts in winter” according psychologist Angela Neal-Barnett in 1999.  In many ethnic neighborhoods, education is seen as assimilation – losing one’s culture to become white. Education should not been seen as a negative but a positive. If education is not valued, then it will not be completed.

6. Refuse to Oversee or Review Student Homework and Class Work
Teenagers are children, whose mantra in life is folly and play. Without parent intervention and  a road map, they wander from class to class, school to school, playing and trying to find themselves. Their wandering, often, translates into behavior issues, truancy, failed classes, and then low graduation rates. When they finally land at high school graduation, they are 23 years old and forced to get a GED.

Many teenagers drop out of high school due to sheer boredom. Homework provides insight to the content of a class. The class is often boring with no hands-on activities leaving the student disengaged. This problem  can be rectified quickly before student drops out.

5. No Career or Education Goals For Teen
School is like traveling. One must choose a destination and map out a route to get to the destination; otherwise one will end up nowhere frustrated and angry. Urban students are becoming high school dropouts as they lack an ending destination, whether it is high school graduation, college or career” states Ida Byrd-Hill, President of Uplift, Inc.

Ida Byrd-Hill is former Dean of  Hustle & TECHknow Preparatory High School, an alternative high school in Detroit that catered to high school dropouts and adjudicated youth, generated an eighty (80%) graduation rate amongst its high school dropout population by inspiring their entire building to become college prep minded. High school graduation is a must to college admissions.

4. No Dreams or Family Goals/Plans
Chaos is evidence of no planning toward a goal or dream.  Where chaos abounds trouble comes.  Trouble creates stress, depression and a sense of failure.  If your life is full of trouble, take the time to write down your plans and goals for your life. Communicate your goals and dreams to your teenager. Teenagers like to know the direction of their family and how they can participate in its forward movement. Furthermore you provide a behavior of success they can replicate.

3. Set No Boundaries or Discipline
Many of the troubles young people face would be eliminated with the establishment and execution of rules. Rules loudly scream care and concern. Rules provide stability and tradition.

2. Speak Ill To or About a Teen 
The tongue is capable of giving an individual life or death.  Words are powerful. Many teenagers have repeatedly heard negative sayings “you can’t do anything right!” “You are ugly,” “You are stupid” “You will never amount to anything.”  No matter how intelligent they are, every time they are faced with a decision, great or small, their subconscious mind replays those sayings, causing them to  procrastinate in making the decision, hence fulfilling the prophecy a well-meaning adult spoke.

1. Pretending Everything Is Okay
We are in the worse economic recession since the great Depression. Everyone’s life has changed. Our cash accumulation or good credit is gone or leaving quickly. We are all struggling. Some of us are dependent upon unemployment,  food stamps, and food banks. For those lucky few, the affluent lifestyle has been reduced. We, adults, are walking around angry internally. We smile to people outside our house, but at home we are depressed and irritable.

We pretend we are not in a lifestyle funk to everyone but our children.  They are crazy. Their behavior leaves a lot to be desired. They should be mild mannered well behaved young people on track to out perform you educationally, but they are not. Children – teenagers – imitate your behavior. If they are crazy then they are probably reacting to your craziness. Stop pretending and deal with it.

If any of these 10 items occur in your life,  your  teenager is guaranteed to drop out from high school. The question is when? If they are moving in that direction,  you have the power to change their direction. Begin with reading K.I.S.S. (Kids in Successful Schools) Begins at Home.

Put A Stop to Bullying

Don’t Let Your Child Be a Victim of Bullying

Bullying VictimSchool will be here again before we know it, and unfortunately kids these days have to worry about more than just getting good grades and fitting in.  They have to be aware of bullying.  Dr. Janell Dietz, author of the new book Motivation to Sensation, is also a school counselor, and has witnessed firsthand the devastating impact that bullying can have on kids.

Dr. Dietz says that at least one-third of teens are experiencing some form of bullying right now, including: name calling, manipulation, physical abuse, gossip and rumors, mocking, and cyber bullying.

She offers these tips on what to do if your kids are the victim of bullying:

  • Bullies pick out victims they see as weaker than themselves.  When confronted, ignore the bully, walk away and show no facial reaction.  The bully is looking for the entertainment of seeing your face turn red, angry expressions, and yelling in protest.  Do not give the bully the satisfaction of knowing he or she got to you.
  • Report the bully to your school counselor, religious leader or basically anyone in an authority role.
  • If you are being cyber bullied, show the emails to your parents or guardian.  Do not respond to the emails and block the person from having contact with you on all social media sites.  The cyber bully is trying to provoke you and if you keep going back and forth with more anger each time, you will lose the battle.
  • You never want to show a bully that he or she did in fact stir you up, but relieving that anger is important for your emotional health.  Go to the gym, use a punching bag, talk to a friend, pray about it, do something to boost your self-esteem, or whatever works for you.
  • Start a club or school organization and make it known your school and community has a no bullying policy.  Bullies are going to find it harder to target kids who make it known they won’t allow themselves to become a victim.

Dietz says bullying is a crime and has led to many deaths and suicides, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly even at the smallest sign it is going on.