Being a Parent with an Alcohol Addiction: Why It’s Crucial to Seek Treatment

By Daniel Factor

Everyone in the household is negatively affected by a parent’s alcohol addiction. The kids no longer feel safe or loved because all the attention is given to patrons and staff members at bars and liquor stores. Sometimes the parent will stay at these venues all times of the night getting drunk with their buddies instead of caring for the responsibilities at home. Moreover, when the parent finally comes home in a drunken state, sometimes they become very belligerent after making crazy demands.

Neglect Can Create A Dangerous Situation For The Child 

Alcohol abuse becomes the main focus in the parent’s life. Children feel neglected, which prompts them to start seeking attention, affection, and positive motivations from outside sources. This type of attention seeking exposes the child to abuse because the parent is unavailable to protect them against predators.

Abuse Is A By-Product Of Alcoholism

One reason children seek security from other people is a result of the mental anguish and emotional torture that produces traumatic feelings and prolonged misery because of the parent’s alcohol-induced antics. Kids might not understand how to deal with a parent’s addicted state and will often devise plans to help them, which falls on deaf ears. When the plans do not work, the child might blame themselves. Their interest in school might start faltering. They might get into nefarious things to feel loved. The parent’s drunken stupor might lead to physical abuse which could bring CPS or DCFS in the picture.

Genetics Could Create Another Generation Of Alcohol Abusers 

It has been scientifically and medically proven that kids living in households with alcoholics have a higher chance of suffering emotional and behavioral problems. Moreover, if the parent builds up a high alcohol tolerance, there is a higher chance of passing that to the next generation. Additionally, if the mother drinks while pregnant, the baby might be born with mental disabilities. If a person is predisposed to alcoholism but chooses not drink, they might get into other pleasures to supplement those desires. This could include overeating, abusing illegal drugs, or becoming a sex addict.

Law Enforcement Will Likely Get Involved 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol is responsible for 1 in 20 deaths worldwide. Up to 3 million people die annually at the hands of alcoholics. Liquor undoubtedly boosts the ego and makes people do things they would not normally do. For instance, many alcoholics will choose to drive under the influence after a night of partying. They feel sober enough to drive home. However, their impaired abilities will show otherwise. Let’s say they get lucky repeatedly and avoid getting caught. They figured they have never seen the police on their route home; therefore, it is safe to drive. However, that one single day when police cruisers are lurking in the shadows could change everything. After a failed sobriety test, their fate seals. Nothing is worse than getting locked down with a bunch of barbarians and aggressive guards who care minimal about safety. Moreover, the legal fight to get out of there could lasts for years. All of this could have been avoided with a simple choice.

Alcohol Abuse Can Lead To Death 

Here are some of the long-term effects of chronic drinking:

  • Liver disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Mental health problems
  • Leaning and memory problems

Why It Is Crucial To Seek Help?The help is out there. Just take the step. Some alcoholics can quit cold turkey, but others need a bit of motivation. Getting the proper help means seeking the advice from qualified professionals who have done this before. They have the expertise to make sure the alcoholic stays clean forever. Getting help save their life and their family’s life.

Addressing Cell Phone and Social Media Issues with Children and Teens

If you are the parent of a cell-phone-toting child or teen then you know first-hand how much of a challenge it can be to limit his or her activity on said phone.

Gone are the days of getting together in the neighborhood to play a game of street hockey or tackle football. No longer are kids interested in getting together for a walk to the park or for a bike ride around the neighborhood.  Kids these days would rather spend time sitting on their phones, either playing games, watching videos, or communicating with friends.

For some parents, allowing their children unlimited cell phone usage is perfectly fine…for the rest of us, however, too much phone time is concerning.

Below are three simple rules/strategies that parents can put in place to limits their child’s phone and/or social media time while at home (or even while away from home).

    1. A rule that I use at home with my own teen daughter is as follows: Phone time is allowed only during the first fifteen minutes of each hour. For instance, she can be on her phone from the top of the hour until a quarter after.  If she is caught using her phone outside of that time-frame then she forfeits her time for the next hour PLUS she owes 10 minutes of chore time (to be determined by me!).
    2. Another idea is to allow phone usage for an hour in the morning, and hour in the afternoon, and then another hour before bedtime. When the phone is not in use then it should be stored in a neutral location that prevents the child from constantly checking their phone. This arrangement works best during weekends and/or in the summer.
    3. And finally, parents can purchase an app that places limits on their child’s phone. There are apps that can restrict just about anything – times, contacts, which apps can be used, etc. A quick internet search will provide several options to choose from.

So, if you’re the parent of a child or teen that just can’t seem to limit his or her phone usage then perhaps one of the above tips/ideas will help.

Q&A: Bickering Children

PROBLEM: Bickering Children!

Hi, I’m Heather.  I have 2 kids, ages 3 1/2 and 6.  My issues with discipline are self-induced. I don’t follow through, and I need some help staying the course.  I don’t want to feel helpless anymore!  My kids have reached a point where almost all they do is fight with each other. Adam is 6 and Katherine is 3 1/2. Katherine is really good at antagonizing her brother, and Adam has a really hard time ignoring her or letting things roll off his back.  I want to nurture their brother/sister bond, but am at a total loss as far as where to start.  Help?

ANSWER:

Hi Heather. Here are some tips for bickering children that you may or may not have already tried:

Find ways to put Adam into a role of “teacher” for Katherine.  Make it fun for him and praise him when he does a good job.  He could teach her age-appropriate topics such as letters, feelings, manners, etc. 

Purchase a toy or activity that they could do together and only allow them to use it when they are playing together nicely.  Supervise them as they play and intervene as necessary.  If problems persist, then take the toy/activity away and try again another day. 

Find ways to get them to work together to accomplish a task.  For instance, you could
have them work together to make cookies then let them each have one if they work well together well. 

Teach positive social skills. Many times, children don’t get along because they don’t know how to or they don’t have the necessary skills to do so.  Practice role-playing various situations and use that activity as a way to reinforce positive social skills. 

Make them feel good about their actions each time they do something nice for the other.  Point it out when possible then give praise.

When both of my daughters antagonize each other or end up bickeringbickering children, I send them both to their rooms and tell them that whoever goes to their room the quickest and the quietest will get out first.  I also tell them that if they both go straight to their rooms and both remain in there quietly, then they both get to come out sooner and at the same time.  This works almost every time.  By the time they get out they forget what they were arguing about in the first place!

I hope that you can use at least a couple of these tips to alleviate the bickering.  Good luck!

The Truly “Mean” Parent: Are You One of Them?

One of the most common themes I hear from parents with unruly children is the fear of being labeled a “mean” parent. Here are few points that these parents don’t seem to understand:

  1. It is okay to set and enforce limits that upset your child.
  2. It is okay for your child to cry… and cry… and cry… and cry… when you set a limit that he or she dislikes.
  3. When your child makes statements such as, “I hate you,” they really mean, “I hate the fact that you have authority over me.”

Too many parents give in to their children because they are worried about being a “mean”P1020049_edited parent. They become anxious and emotional when their children oppose the limits that have been set. As a result, these parents typically do whatever they can to pacify or appease their children. By appeasing their children these parents feel that they can avoid the dreaded label of “mean parent.”

What these parents don’t realize is that the truly “mean” parent is THE ONE WHO GIVES IN. These parents set their children up for future failure. Imagine what it must be like for the child who gets whatever he or she wants just by crying. How successful can these children be when they begin school, work, or a new relationship? These children fail to learn an important and essential trait called self-discipline. Without self-discipline these children will struggle through life. Mean parents are the ones that allow this to happen.

Remember:

If your child is crying because he or she is afraid- be reassuring and understanding.

If your child is crying because he or she is hurt – be nurturing and compassionate.

If your child is crying because his or her feelings are hurt – be comforting and supportive.

If your child is crying because he or she doesn’t like the limits you have set… too bad!

Ways to Avoid Drama in Your Life

dramatic peopleWe all have at least one person in our life that we would consider “high drama.” Regardless of the circumstances, there always seems to be a high degree of misfortune and/or tension that follows this person…like a dark shadow on a sunny day.

What causes all of the drama in this person’s life and how does one go about avoiding such drama?

The following list may not be a comprehensive one, but it lists several ways in which an individual can avoid (or at least minimize) drama in his or her life.

Stay away from toxic people.

Toxic individuals tend to display such behaviors as excessive jealousy or envy, cruelty towards others, general rudeness, inability to manage emotions, manipulating others, “playing the victim,” selfishness, constant blaming of others, and such. These people will suck the life right out of you and leave you drained!

Avoid living a high-risk life.

A high-risk life is full of dangerous and/or reckless behaviors such as using and/or abusing drugs or alcohol, hitchhiking, working a lot, being promiscuous, breaking the law, hanging with a “bad crowd,” driving recklessly, and such.

Live within your means.

Nothing adds more drama to life than constantly having no money or means to pay for life’s necessities.

Be prepared for emergencies.

Have a plan to deal with potential crises such as being on a date with someone that makes you uncomfortable, residential fire, car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, being followed, etc.

Remain calm when things get rough/Avoid over-reacting to minor incidents.

Over-reacting to a situation will rarely (if ever) help. Remain calm and deal with the situation in a calm and collected manner.

Pay attention to “red flags.”

If something or someone makes you uncomfortable then always err on the side of caution. Go with your gut!

Don’t “stir the pot.”

Someone that “stirs the pot” is someone that is essentially trying to cause drama. An individual that does this is simply trying to cause unrest, dissent, and…well, trouble!

So there you have it, a short list of ways to avoid drama in your life!

Q&A: Regarding “Entitled” Adult Son

The following is a question that was asked of Chris Theisen, creator of “The Parent Coach Plan” and co-owner of www.BoomerangKidsHelp.com.  This Q&A first appeared in a forum that appeared on the ParentCoachPlan.com website.

Question:  I saw your article and thought perhaps you might help We have a 30 year old son with crones disease. He works for us in a family business and earns 70K/year. He is always asking for money and I want it to stop. The problem is that his Dad and I have a lot of money. We are in our 60’s and are finally spending money we’ve been saving all our lives as we lived very carefully knowing retirement could be hard. The son has a house, three cars, 5 scooters and is getting married tomorrow. For his wedding he spent nothing, not even for the potographer. His girlfriends mother footed the whole bill, we kicked in for the caterer and are giving them 1000 for an airplane ticket for Hawaii. Earlier on we also paid off his second mortgage so he could afford to stay in his house. We also pay his medical bills as crones is expensive. I just don’t know where this ends. My husband says the next issue will be children. Even if his wife stays home to have kids, he makes 70K a year in a small town. He has expensive hobbies and I guess he doesn’t want to give them up. They also do not need 3 brand new cars. I have paid his property taxes twice in the last two years. I’m so tired of his sob stories that I do not want to see or speak to him. He only calls or comes to see us when he wants something. He is a totally selfish and needy to the max. I realize he has never Entitled Adult Child Living at Homelearned to budget. Giving the tax money was done so he wouldn’t lose his house. The medical money is out of guilt. Is 70K enough to live on? One of his last statement was “her parents are giving us a honeymoon and they aren’t as rich as you. You need to pay for some.” He feels we owe him money because we are wealthy and he is not. Where does it end? Because we have money will I always have to give it to my son. Oh, my oldest son has never asked for a penny. It’s really a strain on our family. Top this off with he works about 25 hours a week instead of 40 and he is paid anyway. (again, the crones and I don’t want him to lose his house) I need a shrink I’m sure, but they don’t have any advice on financial matters. I could sure use help…. I keep saying “not one more penny” then another issue arises and I feel guilty.

Answer: Let me first begin by answering your question…yes, 70K is enough to live on…unless, of course, you have a $100K lifestyle. I’m not sure which is worse…the fact that he is obviously taking advantage of you or the fact that you are allowing it to happen. Lessons are never learned when enablers are in charge. I, too, have parents that are wealthy and I feel guilty when they buy me dinner while I’m out visiting them. Your son should feel the same way. I would highly suggest turning your “hand-outs” into “loans.” Next time he asks for money, tell him that you will loan him a reasonable amount of money to help him through his “situation” but only if he signs a written agreement which states the terms of repayment. Do not loan him any more money until the previous loan is repaid. You could even have him do odd jobs to work off the loan (at a fair wage, of course). I’m sorry to say, but you should not be supporting expensive hobbies just because you feel guilty about his disease. Life will go on for him and he will cope. If you continue to give him hand-outs because you feel guilty then he will never learn to be responsible and he will always depend on you (or others). He certainly feels entitled to your money and that is not okay. Even if it means that he has to move into a smaller home (or condo) and sell one of his cars, then so be it. You are creating a monster by continuously giving him hand-outs. When the money stops, he will be forced to figure things out for himself…whether that means getting a second job, spending less money on hobbies, selling a car, or whatever. Good luck and keep me posted. I’d love to hear about what you choose to do and how it turns out.

When to Seek Professional Help for Your Child

professional help for childDeciding whether or not your child is in need of psychological, or even psychiatric help, is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Too often, parents refuse or reject the notion of seeking professional help for their behaviorally-challenged children. They instead attribute their child’s troubling behavior as “just a phase” or even deny that there is a problem in the first place, despite evidence to the contrary. Ignoring or denying serious behavior problems can be dangerous and could also be a detriment to a child’s well-being.

How to tell if your child needs help

that your child suffers from a psychological disorder that affects his or her ability to function normally (for instance, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, serious mood swings, or even psychosis). Also seek help if your child appears to have problems with anger. If he or she becomes aggressive, destructive, or reckless when angry, then seeking out a qualified child therapist is certainly recommended. Other reasons for seeking out therapy include: problems with the law, substance abuse problems, dangerous or out-of-control behavior, serious and persistent defiance, and/or any behavior that is a detriment to the family.  Suicidal ideation or attempts should be dealt with immediately and may require an emergency call and/or a trip to the hospital.

What to do if your child needs professional help

There are plenty of options when it comes to seeking professional help for your child. Search online for a therapist that specializes in childhood problems and that has experience dealing with the relevant issues. You can also look into some of the more intensive options such as residential treatment, boot camps, or even hospitalization (if the situation is serious enough). Most of these places can be found online or in the phone book. Other options include utilizing your child’s school counselor or psychologist, joining a support group, or even calling a hot line that deals with the issues confronting you (or your child). Contact your local mental health center and ask for advice if needed. Seeking professional help for your child is nothing to be ashamed of. You might find in your search that there are a lot of other parents out there facing the same problems or issues as you. Waiting for your child to “grow out of the stage” is bordering on neglect. Take action before it is too late.

10 “No-Travel” Things To Do With Your Kids During Spring Break

It’s that time of the year!Spring Break Ideas

Spring Break is undoubtedly a time to look forward to when you are a child or teen looking for a break from the monotony of school. Though as a parent, it might be a bit more distressing due to the planning and financial obligations that go along with arranging a fun-filled Spring Break vacation. Keep in mind that despite where you go you should always have car insurance, if you do not visit motor trade insurance online quote.

Well, if the finances aren’t there then there’s no need to fret…there are plenty of options to choose from that won’t break the bank.  You can do a little research and find pretty good options so that the whole family can have a fabulous spring break.

Below is a list of 10 things that parents can do with their child (or teen) during Spring Break without needing to travel or spend a lot of 1933 double eagle money:

    1. Schedule a “Day in the Park.”  Pack a picnic lunch and bring plenty of sports equipment, games, and other fun things to do.  Don’t forget sunscreen and plenty of water.
    2. Spend the day at a local rec center. Rec centers have all kinds of things to do…there’s usually swimming, an open gym, a playground, various “kid-friendly” classes (usually need to sign up in advance), and other activities.
    3. Go for a hike or a “nature walk.”
    4. Go fishing.
    5. Have a garage sale. It isn’t too early to so!  Use the money you make to go shopping or to do an activity later that day.
    6. “Movie Marathon.” This is an especially good idea for when the weather is not cooperating.  Popcorn, candy, warm blankets, etc.
    7. Go on a Tour. Lots of local businesses offer tours of their facilities.  Check online for places in your area that offer such tours.
    8. Have a “Pamper Day” or “Spa Day.” Visit a local spa or simply purchase a few supplies and do your own day of pampering.
    9. Play an organized game or sport. Gather the neighborhood kids (who are also off for Spring Break) and get a game of kickball, soccer, street hockey (or whatever else) going.
    10. Go do a paid activity. It could be mini-golf, laser tag, bowling, a movie, an arcade, or whatever else sounds fun!

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Qualities of a Well-Rounded Child

pride in appearanceHere’s a list of qualities that I feel describes a well-rounded child:

He is able to embrace and appreciate “alone time.”

This is a valuable skill that is possessed by less and less children these days.

He is able to delay gratification.

In other words: He is patient!

He is able to see both sides of an issue.

This is a special “skill” that many adults lack!

He appreciates and has a respect for diversity.

He is not bothered in the least bit by people that are “different” than him.

He is vigilant.

He is aware of his surroundings and is alert to potential safety issues and/or concerns. He is observant.

He knows when to “drop it.”

Sometimes arguments just aren’t worth the time and effort that goes into having them. A well-rounded child knows when to drop the issue and how to bow out gracefully.

He is appreciative.

“Thank you” is not something that goes unsaid. He shows his appreciation when appropriate…and that appreciation appears to be genuine.

He is able and willing to put others first.

This one is self-explanatory…and well-rounded children do this without being asked.

He is optimistic.

Instead of dwelling on the negatives, this child looks “at the bright side” of any given situation. He keeps things positive and refrains from negativity.

He learns from his mistakes.

Enough said.

He takes responsibility for his actions.

Rather than making up silly excuses and/or blaming others, this child takes full responsibility for his actions and accepts any repercussions that might result.

He takes good care of his mind and his body.

He eats healthy while keeping junk food to a minimum. He reads and seems to enjoy learning.  He avoids harmful substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.  He gets regular exercise and possibly even plays a sport.  He might even play an instrument or participate in a school club.

He does things in moderation.

Video games don’t rule his day. An endless barrage of sweets isn’t necessary in order for him to make it through the day.  He spends time doing a variety of activities…with a variety of friends. He is able to put his mobile device away for an hour or two at a time without going spastic!  You get the idea!

Can you think of any other qualities that well-rounded children possess?

Things to Keep in the Car: An Essential List for Parents

kids in carGot kids in the car? If you are a busy parent that is constantly searching for things in your car that AREN’T there, then this list is for you!

Here is my list of essential items to keep in your car (especially if you have kids!):

 

Wet Wipes– These are great for quick hand-washing, cleaning messy faces, and other uses that require a bit more than just a napkin.

Hand Sanitizer– Great for hand-washing (quick fix for sticky hands!) or general sanitizing.

Fingernail Clippers– This multi-purpose tool has many uses.  You never know when you might need one!

Kleenex– This is a no-brainer!

Napkins– Hitting the drive-through?  We know all-to-well that these rarely make it in the bag when we pick up our food.  I always keep a small stack in my glove box.

Paper Cups– These are especially useful if you have more than one child.  I often use these when my daughters want to share a drink after stopping at a convenience store.  They are also useful for a variety of other reasons.  I usually keep only two or three of them in the car at a time.

Lotion– Because dry skin is a drag!

Band Aids – You never know when you might need one…and there’s nothing worse than needing one and not having one!

Sun Screen – It’s always good to have some readily available “just in case!”

Bottle of Water – Just like the Kleenex, this is also a “no-brainer, with this this review article you can also find many pitchers to take with you in the car!”

Small Blanket – Because kids like to take naps sometimes!  A small travel pillow would also be nice!

Pen – These come in handy quite often!

Sticky Notes – Need to write down a number or address?  This would certainly help!

Loose Change– Because vending machines and parking meters are a reality we must deal with at times!

Q-tips – Can be used for more than just cleaning one’s ears!  Handy to have around!

I have a small plastic box in my car that I replenish every-so-often. I can’t begin to tell you how often I resort to this little box during various escapades!

Can you think of any other items that are a must-have for traveling parents?

Positive Parenting: Are You Doing it Right?

“Effective discipline begins with positive parenting,” is one of the many quotes I recently read on one of my many social media pages. It’s a great quote that certainly makes sense, but it would have been nice if the author had expanded on that thought. Since that wasn’t the case, I decided to take my own little “stab at it.”

So, with no further ado…

Positive parenting involves the use of firm but fair discipline. This means that parents need to be assertive when stating expectations (or when giving instructions) without sounding too wishy-washy or timid. It is equally as important for parents to be reasonable and just when dealing with their children. Failure to do so is likely to result in further behavior problems.

Positive parenting involves the ability to communicate with one’s child in a calm, positive, and constructive manner…without resorting to yelling and/or threatening. An “out-of-control” parent is rarely, if ever, effective.

Positive parenting also involves a high level of patience and empathy. Understanding a child’s feelings and motivations will (in most cases) lead to a more positive result with regards to managing that child’s behavior.

It is important for parents to choose effective consequences if improved behavior is the desired result. This includes positive and negative consequences. Ineffective consequences are unlikely to motivate a child to behave better…and a lack of motivation usually means a lack of change.positive parenting

Positive parenting means being involved and being connected to one’s children! Children need to feel as though they are not only loved and cared for, but truly appreciated by their parents. Spending quality time with one’s children is essential to building that child’s self-esteem and developing their self-worth.

So there you have it. The five short paragraphs above are how I would define “positive parenting.”

If you are interested in becoming a more positive or effective parent then The Parent Coach Plan is perhaps something you should look into. It is a simple and effective behavior plan that promotes positive parenting.

Horror Movies and Children: NOT a Good Mix

Halloween is quickly approaching.  Soon, images of zombies, witches, skeletons, and all sorts of scary beings will be commonplace.  Haunted houses, corn mazes, and Halloween parties are certain to be on the list of “things to do” for most adults.  It’s also that time of the year when scary movies inundate every television channel.

What many adults fail to realize is that these scary “horror” movies are often viewed by children that are too young to understand the “Hollywood magic” that goes on behind the scenes.  Though this writer considers it incredibly irresponsible for parents to allow their young children to watch these types of movies, it can often happen during sleepovers, while an older sibling is caring for the child, or simply while the child is “unsupervised.”

According to the summary of a study that looked at the psychological effects of horror movies on children,

Toddlers and young children who watch violent movies, including Halloween horror films, television shows or video games may be more likely to develop anxiety, sleep disorders, and aggressive and self-endangering behaviors. The Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center study, which was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), was presented on Oct. 28 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in San Diego.  (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061031113446.htm#)

Scary-movie-watchingWith that being said, please be aware of the potential trauma you may be causing to your child by allowing him or her to watch these types of movies.  The danger in doing so has nothing to do with your child’s potential to become a serial killer in the future….but to instead have long lasting psychological effects such as anxiety, sleep problems, and other such issues.  The ratings are there for a reason…I suggest abiding by them and making sure your child does as well.

For My Daughters: Is Your “Friend” Actually a “Good Friend?”

friendshipOver the last few years, my two daughters have entered into a handful of new friendships with a number of classmates, neighbors, teammates, and other “associates.”  Some of those friendships have stood the test of time (at least so far) and others have not.

So, what exactly is it that determines whether or not a particular friend should be elevated to the level of “good friend” or even “best friend?”

The answer to this question is probably best answered by asking further questions.  The answers are obvious and should be used to determine whether or not a friend is worth keeping…or if he/she should be kicked to the curb.

With that being said, here is a list of questions one should ask regarding a particular “friend:”

  1. Do you and your friend have anything in common?
  2. Does your friend “give” as much as she “takes?”
  3. Does your friend seem genuinely concerned about your feelings?
  4. Is your friend supportive?
  5. Does your friend encourage you to make good decisions?
  6. Is your friend a good listener?
  7. Can you confide in your friend?
  8. Does your friend “build you up” rather than “tear you down?”
  9. Is your friend honest and trustworthy?
  10. Is your friend tolerant and accepting of those that are “different” from her?
  11. Do you genuinely enjoy being around your friend?
  12. Do you ever get the feeling that your friend has taken advantage of you?
  13. Does your friend gossip about you to others?
  14. Does your friend “make fun” of others in an effort to be funny?
  15. Does your friend give off “positive vibes?”
  16. Does your friend ever pressure you to do things that you know aren’t right?
  17. Is your friend there for you always or is she simply a “fair-weathered” friend?
  18. Is your friend generous?
  19. Is your friend forgiving?
  20. Do you have a genuinely good time when you hang out with your friend?
  21. Does your friend have a positive outlook on life?
  22. Does your friend treat others with respect?
  23. Is your friend loyal? Will he/she stand by you through “thick and thin?”

So, how does your friend look to you now?  Has your opinion changed?  After answering these questions, is your friend worth keeping?

10 Reasons to Try a Behavior Contract with Your Child or Teen

Why try a behavior contract with your child?

  1. Because they promote and encourage positive behavior.
  2. Because they clarify behavioral expectations.
  3. Because they are easy to use.
  4. Because children learn accountability and self-discipline from them.
  5. Because they make privileges and consequences predictable.
  6. Because they create an environment that is consistent and structured.
  7. Because they prevent manipulation.
  8. Because they motivate children.
  9. Because they open the lines of communication between child and parent.
  10. Because they are effective!

If you are looking for a set of prewritten, downloadable behavior contracts then please visit www.ParentCoachPlan.com or www.TeenBehaviorContracts.com.  Both sites offer highly affordable behavior contract packages that cover a variety of behavioral issues and character traits.  Each package also includes additional parenting tools as described on the site.

Better behavior is only a signature away!

Our Children’s Memory Banks

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”  -Charles R. Swindoll

Such a great quote…but have you really sat down and thought about it?

What memories are you leaving your children with?  Are they going to remember you as a kind, fair, hard-working parent?  Are they going to remember how well you treated others or maybe how passionate you were about the things that made you happy?  When they picture your face will you have a smile?  A frown?  A stressed-out look?

Will they remember how safe and secure they felt in your (their) home?  Will they remember you as a good housekeeper or as a complete slob?   Will they remember your good home-cooking or will they remember eating fast-food every day?

How will they recall your relationship with their mother/father…and how much of it will they emulate?  Would that be a good thing?

Will they look back and think to themselves, ”You know, mom/dad always had my back” or “Mom/Dad took really good care of me.”

parenting-quoteWill they have memories of you drunk?  Stoned?  High on prescription pills?  Will they remember multiple boyfriends/girlfriends of yours coming in and out of their lives?

What it boils down to is this:

Children watch their parents…much more than we might know.  It is therefore important that we parents set our own standards high enough that our children will remember their childhood days as having been positive, safe, loving, and nurturing.  Negative memories breed emotional burdens, anxiety, resentment, and bitterness.  Try at all costs to avoid leaving them with these types of memories.

It’s quite scary to think back at all of the things our children might remember about us…but we can start making positive memories from this day forward.  It’s difficult to erase the negative ones but if we fill our children’s memory banks with many more positives then we can at least hope that some of the negative ones will be forgotten.