Archive for the ‘Self Esteem’ Category

Teenagers – Like Rodney Dangerfield, They Just Need Some Respect

Friday, January 18th, 2008


An article in The Patriot-News reminded me of a situation from a few years ago. We went to a movie theatre and just before the movie started, the door opened. The manager looked in, scanned the crowd and found a small group of adolescent kids who were eating popcorn and sipping soda, just like everyone else. The manager glared at them and yelled, “If you do anything, I’ll throw you out!”

They weren’t doing anything. I don’t know if some other incident happened earlier or another time, but at that moment, they were well-behaved.

I thought the manager was disrespectful and wondering how kids learn respect if they’re treated that way. Don’t get me wrong, there are adolescents and teens that behave badly, but stereotyping is wrong and unfair.

Let’s teach by example.

Let’s Educate Not Legislate

Saturday, December 8th, 2007


The work will teach you how to do it. -Estonian Proverb

Imagine if we taught our children to be good people the same way we are taught to be good parents. If done the same way, we would wait until they did something wrong, criticize, possibly incarcerate and then instruct.

Somewhat counterproductive, right?

That is what I think about the recent attempt to ban spanking in Massachusetts.

When we first become parents, our hope is that parents raise good people. On the surface that seems relatively simple; almost too simple. In reality, it is simple for a very short time; when our children are completely in our care, before the outside world has an influence. The bottom line is that parents are never taught how to be parents, and many of parent the way we were parented. If our parents spanked, we learned to spank and fear it will become out of control because we’re not the parents who go anywhere near abuse.

By doing a little homework on the topic of spanking we would learn that it is harmful. Children that hit are children that hit others; the lesson is that it is ok for the bigger person to hit. Furthermore, if we are spanking, we have probably lost our temper, which teaches our children it is ok to lose our temper, and does put us in the danger zone to become abusive. But still creating laws against spanking is simply wrong.

Consider education before legislation.

Trust Me – You’re Doing a Great Job at Parenting

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007


There are days when you go to sleep at night questioning some of the decisions you made as a parent. You hope that the bad decisions won’t have a long term affect on your children.

The good news is since you care enough to worry about it; you’re probably on the right track, recently I found this page, this parenting blog is a great resource for new tips on the journey of being a better parent.

Compare that to Michele Cossey, 46, was arrested last Friday on charges of illegally buying her home-schooled son, Dillon, a .22-caliber handgun, a .22-caliber rifle and a 9 mm semiautomatic rifle with a laser scope. Michele’s son Dillon was being bullied, and planning an attack at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School [PA]. Buying him the weapons was her way to help.

Dillon tried to recruit Lewis Bennett III, who went right to his parents who went to the police who searched the boy’s bedroom and found the 9 mm rifle, about 30 air-powered guns modeled to look like higher-powered weapons, swords, knives, a bomb-making book, videos of the 1999 Columbine attack in Colorado and violence-filled notebooks, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor said.

Good police work, but great parenting. Naturally I mean the Bennett’s not the Cossey’s.

Rest assured when you have one of those days when you are questioning your parenting skills, you are probably doing just fine.

How you face adversity

Sunday, August 19th, 2007


A young woman was complaining to her father about how difficult her life had become. He said nothing, but took her to the kitchen and set three pans of water to boiling. To the first pan he added carrots, to the second, eggs; and to the third, ground coffee. After all three had cooked he put their contents into separate bowls and asked his daughter to cut the eggs and carrots and smell the coffee. “What does all this mean?” she asked impatiently.

“Each food,” he said, “teaches us something about facing adversity, as represented by the boiling water. The carrot went in hard but came out soft and weak. The eggs went in fragile, but came out hardened. The coffee, however, changed the water to something better.

“Which will you be like as you face life?” he asked. Will you give up, become hard, or transform adversity into trimumph? As the ‘chef’ of your own life, what will you bring to the table?

Auntie Mame and the Family Reunion

Sunday, July 15th, 2007


She often told her nephew, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” – Auntie Mame

We all have a strong need to belong, and extended family shows us the interesting mix of personalities, ages, and stages that makes up this wonderful gift we call family. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins all with different personalities and temperaments are part of who we are, and what we belong to. And we all need to belong to something. It’s all about connections – connections underlie everything. That is why in the movie, Castaway, Tom Hanks’ character creates a friend out of a volleyball he calls Wilson.

Most extended families don’t live in the same city anymore, let alone the same block. While there are benefits to distance, isn’t it sad that your kids may not know your relatives as well as they could or should?

For many families, the return of the family reunion gives everybody exactly what they need – a sense of belonging to a group larger than an immediate family.

“The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people – no mere mother or father – as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born.” – Pearl Buck

Did you know that African American families account for half of all family reunions held in the United Sates? About 70% of summer non-business related travel by African Americans is reunion related. Source

Ironically, the same ease of travel and technology that allows us to move further apart can bring families together. The younger members comfortable with technology can easily design websites, upload photos, and create email distribution lists, making it all child’s play.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Plan ahead – July is family reunion month, so get started now for next year. Don’t expect this to be smooth sailing; even the closest families will have problems agreeing on everything.

Calendars – begin by getting conflicting dates out of the way, like weddings, graduations, and studying abroad. Pick two or three dates that make sense and email everyone. For the family members that do not have email, here is a free conference telephone bridge that might work.

Involve everyone – build teams by utilizing everyone’s talents. Have the finance person in the family oversee the budget, while the party planner organizes games and activities. Make sure the finance person is cost conscious but avoid having a family member host the event at their home which tends to create a less than evenly distributed event.

Visit the Family Reunion Institute of Temple University – the only organization of its kind in the United States. The mission of the Institute is to serve as a resource to families having reunions. Here is a link explaining How to Organize a Family Reunion.

Do you want your child to be a plumber or philosopher?

Monday, May 28th, 2007


With the carefree days of summer approaching, we have a great opportunity to help our children figure out what they might want to be when they grow up. It doesn’t matter how young they are, exploring possibilities is always a good idea.

There are a number of reasons it makes sense to investigate careers early:

Children that see a potentially bright future are less likely to follow bad influences because they realize mistakes could jeopardize their future.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
Explore…Dream…Discover. – Mark Twain

It gives parents a way to build relationships with children, which puts both in a “learning mode” since neither may be an expert in a
new field.

I am still learning. -Michelangelo’s motto

Discovery is as much about figuring out what you don’t want to do. How frustrating it must be to get accepted to medical school only to learn that you faint at the sight of blood.

It’s not your blue blood, your pedigree or your college degree. It’s what you do with your life that counts. -Millard Fuller

We can’t live vicariously through our children. It is their career, not ours. All the great commencement speeches talk about doing something you are passionate about. Help your children to find out what that means to them.

The trusted plumbers in Louisville, KY are infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society, which scorns excellence in
plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will
have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor theories will hold water. -John Gardner

For more inspiration, visit Parental Wisdom Free Reports and print a copy of Project Imagine!

Or read the chapter on Project Imagine in Because Kids Don’t Come With Manuals.

For daily inspiration, call the Parental Wisdom Daily Inspirational Call line
(641) 985-5999 ext. 24290#

It’s like a vitamin for parents

The Right Person

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007


It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.
Deng Xiaoping

62 million people voted in the 2004 presidential election. As you might suspect the number of people that voted for American Idol was larger; it was 74 million.

Just imagine for a moment what life would be like if it wasn’t a popularity contest. Imagine that you could count on the right person being in the right job.

Think about it – you visit a store and the clerk is knowledgeable about the product he is selling.
You visit a doctor, and the diagnosis and treatment are exactly what they should be.
Your mechanic can quickly identify the troubling sound of your car.
Your local politician would put the interest of his constituents above his own.
Life would be good.

Well guess what parents. You can make that happen. How? By not insisting that your child is the right person when he is not, like being placed in honors classes if he doesn’t belong there. By not demanding that your daughter gets the lead in the play. By not bullying your way to the dugout so your little leaguer gets more playing time.

Where do you think it starts? Isn’t it time to stop it?

From Ignored to Adored – Today’s Narcissistic Kids

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007


In the 1980’s parents became concerned about self esteem. Low self-esteem would mean your child wouldn’t amount to anything and parents would be blamed. The pendulum swung far to the left of children should be seen and not heard and children became the center of our universe.

Is it possible to have too much self-esteem? The same question can be raised about having too much good health. The answer is probably not. At the first sign of any problem, the experts point to low self-esteem under the premise there wasn’t enough self-esteem. Perhaps it isn’t more self-esteem that is needed, but rather the right self-esteem.

William James, the first American psychologist, created a formula in 1890:

Self-esteem = Abilities ÷ Pretensions

Loosely translated, self-esteem equals your abilities (what you can do) divided by your pretensions (your goals, or basically what you want to do). The better you are at things you want to do, the better your self-esteem. If you want your child to have greater self-esteem, figure out ways your child can do better at the things she loves to do. Self-esteem can be defined as being comfortable in our own skin and knowing that we are loved, as they used to say, “warts and all!”

As a result of our attempts to make sure our children had enough self esteem today’s college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.

We can’t all be above average

The researchers describe their study as the largest ever of its type and say students’ NPI scores have risen steadily since the current test was introduced in 1982. By 2006, they said, two-thirds of the students had above-average scores, 30 percent more than in 1982.

The role technology plays

Walk on a college campus and you’ll find students listening to their iPods, talking on cellphones and IMing other students rather than engaged in personal interaction; a disconnect doesn’t offset the benefits technology offers. The authors of the study suggest that the names we associate to popular websites such as YouTube and MySpace further fuels the narcissism.

Let Them Be

From the time our children are very little, we put superlative labels on their activities. If they pick up a baseball bat, we envision them in the major leagues. A little girl attends her first dance class, and she is labeled a prima ballerina.

We need to just let them be. We are putting our emphasis on things that honestly don’t matter to our children; half the time they don’t even know the names of the superstars we are comparing them to.

A superlative is the best, brightest, prettiest, smartest, fastest, which is how you are judged by others. I don’t even know how you could possibly measure who is the best at anything. Lasting self-esteem has nothing to do with what other people think of you because it’s something you can’t control.

Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant.
– Conceits and Caprices