Archive for the ‘Social Conscious’ Category

Free speech vs. free thought

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Hate speech and freedom of speech are two different things. – Leslie Jones

Parents are thanking Roseann Barr for her incredulous racist rant. There are so many life lessons for our kids.

  1. Blame anyone/anything on your behavior, even Ambien.
  2. Your free speech is costly. It can cost you your reputation, $100 million in ad revenue, and the jobs of hundreds of people that depend on you.
  3. There are times when you can’t come back from something you say.
  4. A common enemy brings people together. You accomplished that.
  5. It’s bad enough. Know when to stop talking or tweeting.


Some mistakes are very costly. The biggest mistake is thinking this could ever be ok.

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®



Your honor, I used to believe in the judicial system

Sunday, June 12th, 2016

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”  – Marie Curie

I’m presently going through the jury selection process, called “voir dire,” which is Latin for “to speak the truth.” In voir dire, the judge and attorneys for both sides ask potential jurors questions to determine if they are competent and suitable to serve in the case.

I only know that because My Cousin Vinny is one of my favorite movies.

During the selection, you are asked if you believe in the judicial system.  I’m encouraged by the attention paid to this process especially when compared to North Korea sentencing of American student Otto Frederick Warmbier to 15 years of hard labor after accusing him of removing a political banner from a hotel.

I understand justice is not always served, even for promising athletes like Brian Banks.  As you read his story, if not for this unjust situation, he may have been playing for the NFL.

But the reason the Stanford case has me concerned is I don’t understand the sentencing.  I get that it’s not my job as a juror; a juror’s job is to listen to evidence, the law, and render a verdict with the burden of proof on the prosecution.

For the sentencing, Your Honor, I assume there are rules, guidelines, guardrails, call them what you like, but there has to be a way to show your work.

Like millions, I read the letters; from the victim, from the father of the guilty party, from Vice President Joe Biden. I’m heartbroken for the victim and her family and know that the sentence doesn’t change what happened.

There’s no way I would know the appropriate sentence, but I can’t fathom how six months is right.  That is my question.  Could you please show your work so we could all understand.

Without understanding, we just take sides.

With understanding, we can build bridges rather than walls.

And then maybe we won’t react to sound bites, and fill our need to place blame.

Feasibly we can pay more attention to changing things that will make a lasting difference, rather than participating in momentary outrage.

Conceivably there might be one less American tragedy as happened today with the Orlando shooting.

But we allow ourselves to be easily distracted as we always do.

It begins and ends with understanding. I’m listening, so please show your work.


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Sorry I have been out of touch for a while.

The last time I wrote was on Veteran’s Day, November 11th 2010 where I mentioned Operation Gratitude, a program to thank those who serve in the military.

Next came Thanksgiving and the good news that my son would be home from Iraq for Christmas, which gave us the most wonderful reason to be thankful.   With both my children home, Michael from Iraq, and Noelle from college, it was an amazing holiday with a very white post holiday Christmas that hasn’t quite stopped yet.

There is good to everything, even this overwhelming snow.  In picking up where we left off…this week Michelle Obama appeared on Oprah to discuss how we can help military families.  Stay tuned, here is where it all ties together….

With the snow, out came the neighbors who shoveled more than their own front walks, cars, and driveways.  They started talking again, sometimes even meeting for the first time, or burying the hatchet (or shovel so to speak) to help each other.

No level of social networking can ever be as helpful, or real, or needed, as the human touch.

I think the snow is very symbolic as to what can happen.  Think about this, a single snowflake is small, unique and beautiful, but look what happens when snowflakes stick together.

Just imagine what we can do if we all stick together!

For now, let’s take the lead as Michele Obama suggests, and look to meet our neighbors in need, especially the families of those serving in the military.

As Plato suggests “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Have a wonderful week, and there will be more on this topic!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

What are we planting?

Sunday, April 18th, 2010
Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, and then names the streets after them.
-Bill Vaughn

As we prepare to celebrate our 40th Earth Day, a question comes to mind.

What are we planting?

I don’t mean in terms of plants or vegetables, but patterns as in – you reap what you sow.

So….what are we sowing?

Our children will go to school this Thursday, April 22nd wearing green as they learn about saving the planet.  But do they get to enjoy the planet they are trying to save?

The push on society is to no child left behind, but perhaps we need to think in terms of no child left inside.

With the spring season here, think outdoors:

  • Bike ride
  • Blow bubbles
  • Camp out
  • Catch fireflies
  • Clean your car
  • Draw with chalk
  • Fly kites
  • Go fishing
  • Jump rope
  • Make mud pies
  • Plan a block party
  • Plant a garden
  • Play ball, bocci, tennis, basketball, baseball, soccer, tug of war, red light – green light, dodge ball, capture the flag, flashlight tag, mini-golf, volleyball, (you get the idea)
  • Take a walk after dinner
  • Visit a construction site

    Read this to your children and ask them what ideas they can come up with.


    Sunday, January 31st, 2010

    From Dr. Vicki Panaccione

    Kids are being bombarded with disasters on a regular basis. Whether it’s war, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, terrorist bombings and now the earthquake in Haiti, it seems that there is always something horrific happening in the world. And, as you find it difficult to process what’s going on around us, imagine what your kids are experiencing.

    There is exposure everywhere…on TV, radio, newspapers, internet and in the classrooms. So, the question becomes: What do I tell my kids? Kids will react differently and harbor different concerns depending upon their own developmental stage, temperament and personality. Understanding your own kids’ mindset will help you decide how much to say and what to do. Obviously, different age kids will require different depths of information.

    • Toddlers do not understand what’s going on. You may tend to project your feelings onto them and be concerned about their feelings. However, they are oblivious, unless they feel emotional cues from you. If mommy or daddy appears to be frightened, grief-stricken or overly-emotional, toddlers may temporarily appear that way as well, because you are upset.
    • Preschoolers are able to understand the basics of what is occurring, yet don’t really have emotional connections to the events. Again, they tend to pick up your emotional cues. So, avoid displays of fear and grief in front of them, and they won’t feel any effect of the tragedy.
    • School-aged kids do begin to understand and are more likely to be exposed to the events. They may become anxious, experiencing fears of personal safety. These youngsters want to know, “Can this happen here?” “What will happen to me?” Provide lots of reassurance. If you don’t live in an earthquake zone, the possibility can be easily negated. If, however, you do live in an area of earthquake possibility, explanations can be made about the preparedness of the city, the better construction of the buildings, etc. Don’t tell your kids that it can’t happen, if indeed, the possibility exists. Let them know how you are prepared, and discuss plans for evacuation, etc. • Older kids may struggle with the spiritual and humanitarian issues, dealing with the loss of human life and the confusion of their God allowing this to happen. These kids need to be allowed to vent, and listened to…just listen. Allow them to have their feelings, even if it’s anger toward their God. It is fine to share your similar concerns, and discuss ways that you can be of service to the people in distress.

    Here are some ways to help:

    • First of all, remain calm. Remember your reactions will be signals to your kids. Take care of your own needs, so that you can be more available to tend to your kids’ needs. • Keep news exposure to a minimum. While it’s tempting to stay transfixed to the TV, kids do not need to be bombarded with the gory details and horrific photos. This will help prevent emotional overload. However, don’t stick your head in the sand…kids are being exposed to the story almost everywhere.
    • Give your kids current information in language they can understand to alleviate misinterpretations. Do not try to shelter younger kids; they are picking up information and/or sensing parental concerns. However, answer their questions without elaboration. Don’t overload them with information beyond their emotional level to process.
    • Allow your kids to join in discussions and encourage questions and expressions of opinion. If they are watching TV or reading the news, help them process incoming information by discussing and “debriefing.” Ask questions and explore kids’ understanding and perspective.
    • Attend not only to their questions, but also to their behavior. Kids cannot always identify their stressors or relate their behavior to a particular stressor. Be aware of any significant change in behavior or personality, increase in somatic complaints (headaches, stomachaches, etc.), nervous habits, crying, nightmares, excessive clinging, etc.
    • Anticipate some regressive or acting-out behaviors; do not be overly concerned or critical. Recognize them as possible signs of stress. Some kids may display younger behaviors such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, tantrums. Academic performance may suffer; withdrawal from social activities may be noted. Provide reassurance and unconditional love.
    • Allay fears. Be sure kids know they are safe. Use visual aids (i.e.-globe, map) to convey the distance between your kids and the disaster. If there are family members away from home, be sure that their locations are noted, as well. • Allow time for play. Play is one of the most important channels kids have for dealing with stress and mastering their anxieties. Taking the role of an aggressor increases their feelings of control over their world. Younger kids may also find it easier to express their feelings through drawings.
    • Give your kids lots of physical affection. Allow them to be more dependent upon you during this time of stress. Kids need comfort and reassurance even more when stressed.
    • Encourage your kids to get involved. Taking action can alleviate feelings of helplessness and anger. Participation can range from praying, sending care packages, donating money, clothes and toiletries to the Red Cross. Find out what your local religious institution or community is doing to help with the recovery and get involved.
    • Seek professional help. If you see your kids becoming overly anxious, or behaviorally affected, and are at a loss as to how to deal with these issues, call your pediatrician or seek the services of a child psychologist.

    Dr. Vicki is available to answer your personal questions regarding this matter. Contact her through:

    Could politics get any dirtier?

    Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

    The short answer is yes.

    For every parent that ever told their young children, “You can grow up to be President” we have a new reality – they can’t.

    This week the Supreme Court in a 5 – 4 landmark decision called a ban 0n restraint of free speech.

    The ruling by a sharply divided court lifted restrictions on what corporations and labor organizations may invest to sway voters in federal elections, meaning both groups now have the freedom to pour unlimited amounts of money into races for the Senate and the House of Representatives for all 50 states.

    This opens the door to corporate corruption and closes the door to Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

    Hopefully, when asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Johnny will have another career in mind.

    Question – How do you build a community?

    Saturday, January 31st, 2009


    If the question is how do you build a community, the answer is one person at a time.

    When you think of the place where you live, do you get a warm and comfortable feeling? Do you feel connected to the people, and feel as if you’re a part of something? Did you have that growing up? If so, don’t your children deserve it as well?

    What we’re learning is that with all our technology, it is a connection to people that really matters.

    One of Parental Wisdom’s member wrote in recently about saving their school. The outpouring of support is overwhelming. It is so encouraging to see people so interested in defining their community.

    The economic downturn has led a private school in Azusa, Light and Life Christian School to lower tuition cost for the upcoming school year to $3700.00 and the school is offering 45 financial aid packages (scholarships) to qualified families. For more information about Light and Life Christian School, call (626) 969–0182.

    As always, your children are watching. Visit Parental Wisdom (free) Reports to read about Simple Acts of Kindness and Generosity.

    When you don’t know what to get someone

    Monday, December 17th, 2007


    When you don’t know what to get someone, they probably don’t need anything. But there are people that do need things, some very badly.

    Case in point:

    Read All She Wants for Christmas is a New Jaw — and The Braces Cookbook Try to Help

    You can help to make a difference in the life of 19-year-old Jalyn Jones. It will give her something that each of us simply takes for granted.

    Before you buy one more gift to put under the tree, perhaps you and even the recipient of your gift, will feel better about giving to someone else.

    One of the most beautiful compensations of this life is that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Merry Christmas!

    So You Want to Save the World?

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2007


    One of the most beautiful compensations of this life is that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    There’s a story you may have heard about David & Goliath. In case you’re unfamiliar, the story is set in biblical times where a giant one eyed-giant Cyclops named Goliath terrorizes a small town. All the warriors in the town tried to fight him and were quickly defeated. A young boy named David, armed only with a slingshot, volunteered to fight the giant. The townspeople looked at the brave young boy and said, “Look at the size of the giant and look at you, how could you possibly win?” David had a very different point of view. He said, “Yes, look at him. How could I possibly miss?”

    That story is a myth. A myth by definition is an invented story, idea, or concept. But in reality mythical situations happen all the time. A single person can make a significant difference. What a wonderful lesson for our children, and a great time to discuss it.

    Saturday, October 27, 2007 is Make a Difference Day, the largest national day of helping others – a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Everyone can participate in this USA Today sponsored event.

    The good news is that our kids want to help. Toddlers, according to Psychology researcher Felix Warneken proved the capacity for altruism emerges as early as 18 months of age with a simple experiment. 61% of 13- to 25-year-olds feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world suggests a survey of 1,800 young people. It says 81% have volunteered in the past year; 69% consider a company’s social and environmental commitment when deciding where to shop, and 83% will trust a company more if it is socially/environmentally responsible. The online study — by two Boston-based companies, Cone Inc. and AMP Insights — suggests these millennials are “the most socially conscious consumers to date.”

    What great news. Need an idea?

    Here are two:

    The Idea Generator

    The Future of Life Organzation

    Talk about family fun!

    The Sandwich Kid

    Sunday, October 14th, 2007

    I have a sign hanging up at home. It says ‘No Whining’ and has a red circle around it, with a red line through it. I first drew that sign when my kids were little and whining, as young children often do. I remember thinking one day how ineffective a means of communication whining was and that I didn’t want to add any more whiners to an ever growing population.

    That is especially true when it comes to me. Anytime I feel overwhelmed or stressed, I realize that there is always someone that has a more difficult time, and none more than parents and families of children struggling with an illness or a disability.

    I was surprised to learn that over 650 million people in the world suffer from disabilities, from mild to severe. If you think about how many siblings and family members that would affect, the number is staggering.

    Take a look at this brief clip of The Sandwich Kid– a film about special needs families. I guarantee you won’t whine again about the struggles you face. Thanks Judy Winter for sharing this ten minute promo.