Feedback Friday: My Kid Screwed Up in School – What Do I Do?

May 16, 2008 at 5:46 am | Posted in attitudes, dads, Divorce, Families, Family Time, GEM Parenting Secrets, moms, Mothers, parents, peer pressure, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, teenagers, teens, Welcome | Leave a comment
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My daughter is 13 and starting to care more about what her friends think is cool than what she has always cared about, like sports and science. How can I let her know that she can still be accepted even if she continues to follow her old passions?

My 15 year old son goes out skateboarding every day and he seems really into it, but his grades are slipping a bit. I don’t know if it’s just because of his change in friends and new love to skateboard or if drugs are involved. I can’t figure out how to talk to him about it without coming across as presumptuous and distrustful. Do you have any ideas?

My daughter is just finishing her first year of high school, which was a pretty big change from the 150 kids she had in her grade in middle school to the 1200 kids in her grade now. She has become very shy and withdrawn over the year, and I am worried she is closing up and losing many of her interests. What can I do to get through to her and help her open up about what’s going on?

Today, I answer these question and more at my FREE live radio show.  Call in live at (646) 478-4032 or chat in the chatroom at 12:30 p.m. EST / 11:30 a.m. CST / 9:30 a.m. PST – www.blogtalkradio.com/gemparenting

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Thoughtful Thursday: My Kid Screwed Up in School – Teleclass

May 15, 2008 at 10:54 am | Posted in children, dads, Divorce, Families, Family Time, GEM Parenting Secrets, How To, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, spirituality, teens, Thoughtful Thursday, Tweens, Welcome | Leave a comment
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What you missed…

GEM PARENTING SECRETS PRESENTS:

My teen screwed up in school! What do I do?

Featuring Grace Mauzy, M.A., & Guest Expert, Linda Silbert, Ph.D.

Podcast Ready
For Download!
Only $6.00

We discuss the mistakes and problems your teen has made from different perspectives. Learn different ways to use positive intervention to help your teen develop and mature away from self-demoralizing and self-demeaning behaviors. Let’s get your teen moving toward behaviors that will instill a wonderful sense of well being that is independent of all the demands on teens these days.

For only $6.00 you can listen to this teleclass and receive all the materials that go with it.

Join GEM Parenting Teleseminar

This podcast includes a downloadable 1:30:52 min. audio, GEM Action Guide, Expert Article, and Grace’s Personal Article.

Tomorrow, Friday, May 16 at 12:30 p.m. EST, please join me for my FREE 30-minute live radio show at www.blogtalkradio.com/gemparenting for Feedback Friday on this week’s topic. You can call me live at (646) 478-4032, chat in the chatroom with other parents or myself.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Transcendent Tuesday: Family Safety

January 29, 2008 at 12:38 am | Posted in children, dads, Divorce, Families, GEM Parenting Secrets, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, Self Esteem, siblings, teens, toddlers, Transcendent Tuesday, Tweens | 1 Comment
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Is Hiding Our Heads in the Sand Really Working For Us?

By Kelly Rudolph
“Your Personal Safety Trainer™”

Many of us refuse to learn about safety out of fear, opting instead to hide our heads in the sand in denial. It is true that all of us are vulnerable to unscrupulous people just waiting to exploit our weaknesses. Attackers may be 4-year-old bullies in preschool, verbally abusive teens, co-workers or neighbors. They may be purse-snatchers, car jackers, rapists or murderers. When we take our heads out of the sand long enough to realize that they all have one thing in common that is easy to spot, we’ll all be safer…forever!

The attacker mindset is the same no matter who is attacking. In fact, we’ve all been attackers ourselves when we called someone a name or made a joke at someone’s expense. Gossiping and road rage are attacking as well. We tend to think of attacks as physical, don’t we? But domestic violence is always preceded by verbal abuse: name calling, demeaning comments, etc. This breaks down the intended victim’s confidence and self-esteem until they believe, in many cases, they deserve the physical abuse. Attacking can be physical, verbal, mental or emotional.

Understanding the attacker mindset often allows us to see an attack coming a mile away and at the very least avoid taking it personally. Did I say, “Avoid taking it personally?” It is a fact that attacks are not personal even if the attacker knows the victim. The reason someone attacks is simple. They are insecure, have low self-esteem, feel out of control of their own life and choose to control someone else in order to feel powerful again. It’s that simple. The pay-off is feeling powerful and it’s all about the attacker getting that reward. If the attacker chooses to attack someone he or she knows it might be because it’s easier if they already know which buttons to push. Remember attacks are all about the attacker, not about the victim. The victim is just a means to an end. This knowledge is vital to the healing process of survivors.

So hiding our heads in the sand prolongs our vulnerability and prevents us from gaining the necessary confidence that scares off cowardly attackers in the first place. Take control of your personal space, safety and life by holding your head up instead of burying it. 

Kelly Rudolph has taught thousands of men, women and children how to prevent themselves from becoming victims and how to defend themselves when necessary. www.SurviveSD.com

Enjoy our Free Motivational Monday Podcast on Family Safety!

Also, GEM Parenting Secrets will be at 4:00 pm est.  This is a live session where we will discuss strategies to create safety and comfort for your family, how to implement the startegies, and how using the strategies will raise your family’s self-esteem.  Sign up at GEMParenitng.com with our special guest Kelly Rudolph of Survival Self Defense!    Each person that enrolls will receive a Free Personal Safety Secrets Action Guide to help implement your families safety action plan!

Just think…for less than a trip to McDonalds (only $7.99), you can make your family safer!

Activities For Divorced Families

December 15, 2007 at 11:29 am | Posted in children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Divorce, Families, Holidays, marriage, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, spirituality, toddlers, Tweens | 2 Comments
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Welcome to the Creative Crayon Club with a special emphasis on Divorced Families!

Ginger Bread House

What you need:

  • Either make a ginger bread house from scratch or buy a pre-made one from the store
  • Small baggies-one per person
  • Scissors
  • Powder sugar
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Spoons
  • A variety of Christmas Candy
  • Paper towels

What you do:
If using premade house use their supplies directions

If making the house from scratch follow directions from cook book. You need to make the ginger bread two days in advance of assembly

  1. Cut a very small corner off the baggies
  2. Put the powder sugar in the bowl
  3. Add just enough cold water to have the sugar become a paste
  4. If you are coloring the paste separate into bowls and add a few drops of food color
  5. Spoon some sugar paste into the baggies.
  6. Use this paste to put together house.
  7. House has to stand for at least one day before next step.
  8. Put all unused baggies of paste in a bigger sealed baggie. Keep in fridge.
  9. Add the candies in any pattern you can think of.

This is a nice activity for divorced families because you can tell the children that this wonderful house is your special part of the holiday. The fact that it takes days to do do and can sit around for weeks before eating will give the kids a sense of continuity and stability.

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Look at Christmas Lights

This is super simple and often not thought of as an actual activity.

  • Make a thermos of hot chocolate
  • Some PB&J sandwiches cut out with Christmas cookie cutters.
  • Have a Christmas song book or tape
  • Have warm clothes and head out.

Enjoy the Christmas lights!

Get your copy of “How Divorced Families Share the Holidays today and enjoy the joy of the Christmas season again!

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Focused Fridays: Q&A for Divorced Parents

December 14, 2007 at 11:56 am | Posted in children, dads, Divorce, Families, Focused Fridays, Holidays, marriage, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, spirituality, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Focused Friday Question:

I am so stressed and my heart is truly breaking.  I have to send my children to their father.  He lives about three hours away.  And they have to stay with him for a week.  I get to have them on Christmas day.  But after that, they are gone.  How can I possibly stand Christmas knowing they will be gone the next day and how can I ever manage to spend that week with out them?

GEM Parenting Answer: 

I can feel your pain.  I know it is hard to send your kids away.  What you are feeling is the pain of mourning.  The dream you had of a family has been demolished.  Now it is time to use some very strong energy on your part to bring yourself to harmony with your knew situation.  Each and every time you have a thought of loss remind yourself of three things you are grateful for.  This may take up a few hours of time.  Just keep at it.  And be gentle with yourself.  This loss can be slow to heal.  But you will heal if you give yourself permission to do so. 

The other thing to realize is that even though your life now may revolve around your kids, you did do things before you had them, and you will do things without them as they grow older.  The timing may not be perfect, but do some things when they are gone that is complicated or difficult to do when they are with you.  And forget about feeling guilty about doing something fun.  The situation is a fact.  The kids will be gone and you have the time.  Use it to benefit yourself.  This way when your kids get back you will be refreshed and eager to see them, not anxious and worried. 

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Focused Friday Question:

This is my first year being divorced.  We have a structure of time.  How can I actually make any changes with my ex-husband when we both hate each other?

GEM Parenting Answer:  

You may not be able to change the structure this year.  But you can approach your ex-husband with respect rather than hatred.  Explain that you are working on trying to develop a respectful way of interacting with each other.  You would like to know what is important for him during the holidays and you would like to share what is important for you.  You can say that in the court process you were unable to deal with these kinds of things.  But as time goes forward you would like to see if things can be set up with respect for each other as well the needs of the kids.  Hopefully, this will open the door for discussion. 

If it does not, then you need to organize your time with your kids to include what is special for you.  Only you do not have to do everything, nor should you even try to. 

And one more thing.  Remember this is the beginning.  It will not stay this way forever.  And you will be developing new customs and celebrations.  Look at this new situation as wonderful new opportunity. 

**************************************************
Focused Friday Question:

I really want to give my daughter a gift that her mother, my ex wife, does not want her to have.  But now that we are divorced why shouldn’t I get my daughter whatever I want? 

GEM Parenting Answer:  

There is no law that says you can’t.  But think about this.  There are about a million things you can give your daughter for Christmas.  Why do you have to get hooked on the one thing that her mother doesn’t want her to have?  It seems to me that with all the possibilities out there you can find something that would not be offensive to your ex-wife

When you change to this route, your daughter will not have to get caught in a trap between you parents.  You will not be changing the gift for your ex-wife, but for the harmony and peace of your daughter.

Get your copy of “How Divorced Families Share the Holidays today and enjoy the joy of the Christmas season again!

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

How Divorced Parents can Share the Holidays

December 13, 2007 at 3:13 pm | Posted in children, dads, Divorce, Families, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, Thoughtful Thursday, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday!

Todays Thoughtful Thursday podcast “How Divorced Families Share the Holidays can help divorced parents understand why holidays have more stress and learn strategies to reduce or eliminate the most common causes.

Get your copy of “How Divorced Families Share the Holidays today and enjoy the joy of the Christmas season again!

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Wednesday Wisdom: 8 Common Mistakes Divorced Parents Make at Christmas

December 12, 2007 at 7:15 am | Posted in children, dads, Divorce, Families, Holidays, marriage, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, spirituality, toddlers | Leave a comment
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Welcome to Wednesday Wisdom! 

The Holidays bring some of the hardest times for divorced parents.   Why?  And how can you avoid being sucked into the trap of holidays being one huge series of stress events? 

There is so much stress around the holidays in the first place it is easy to have things escalate in divorced families.  In this article you will learn about eight of the most common problems that occur with holidays and parents who are divorced.  And best of all you will learn some tactics to help you stay away from these negative stress-inducing patterns.

These eight situations are not in an order.  Each one alone can be as bad as any other and in combination they can stack up to cause the holidays to be simply awful for your children

  • Counting the hours that the children stay in each house may seem to be an equitable way of sharing the holidays.  But then there is no respect for what is happening in either house, what is important to the children, and what is important to you as the parent.  Rather than have exact hours set up, try to establish what events, traditions are important and then work around those.  If your ex will not share with you what is important, still share what is important to you.   And share these things with your children.
  • In our materialistic culture it is pretty common for people to try and out do each other and divorced parents are no exception.  When you are purchasing gifts or thinking of special activities to do ABSOLUTELY only think about what would be fun, age appropriate, and of value to your children.  There is no need to try and have a “better” or “more” holiday.  Remember the old sayings, “Less is sometimes more.” And “Great things come in small packages.”
  • Along this line is the desire to undermine each other.  Stay away from this.  No matter how much you think your ex is doing this to you remember the golden rule.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  When you let yourself get sucked into the undermining game you will without fail be the looser.  And there will be no winner if both of you undermine each other.  Beyond that your children will loose respect for you.  So just stay out of the undermining game.
  • You may be so depressed with the loss of the family that you just mope through everything.  Well let me tell you, there is nothing worse than being around a mope on the holidays.  I know it is really hard to let them go.  And your heart just aches at the thought. But please remember that you do have your children for some time and relish the time they are with you.  Reserve your moping for when they are gone if you just can’t get away from the pain in your heart.
  • When the children are with you remember that the other parent may be as miserable as you are happy and content.  Allow and encourage them to call their other parent, your children will want to share the special things that are going on.  You do not have to let them call all the time. But you want to have them feel that both parents are a part of their lives.  I know this is hard.  But it in the end your children will have the opportunity to be whole rather than feeling they have to split themselves up. This is not just with you, but also in all their relationships.
  • I know that when you buy a gift for your children you want to see them play with it.  Adults often have some vicarious pleasure form seeing children enjoy their gifts.  When a child has two homes you can say there are a few gifts you think are special to this house, but the others can go back and forth.  This way the gifts are really for the child and not for you.  I know you want to see your child play with the gift.  But the best thing is to have the child love the gift, wherever they are.
  • Holidays are about meals.  And children do love to eat these great meals.  But you need to allow your child to eat at one house and if you are the second house assume your child was not mature enough to save room for anything yummy with you.  You can have some special meal of leftovers the next day. 
  • When you are developing your new patterns for holidays remember you had to create whatever pattern your family had before the divorce.  So you can create something new.  It will not be the same.  It will not be worse.  It will be different.  And it can be more enjoyable.
  • You can create completely new traditions; you can decide to have the holiday on different days.  People have made up all holidays in the first place.  So make the holidays right for you.  You can add a celebration.  For instance we celebrate Little Christmas, The Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, all names for January 6.  This way whatever anyone is doing on Dec 25 there is always the opportunity to have the family gathered, have a special meal, open presents, and sing songs.  You can be creative and have some special times that you ex doesn’t care about.

With an understanding of these eight most common mistakes divorced parents make you will have an advantage to give your children the gift of loving and cherished holidays.

Check out our FREE Motivational Monday audio on how divorced parents can make Christmas perfect for their children

All this week, GEM Parenting will focus on the subject of divorce and Christmas!  Feel free to join us and add comments on your ways to make Christmas easier!

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Transcendent Tuesday: Christmas for Children of Divorce

December 11, 2007 at 1:15 pm | Posted in children, dads, Divorce, Families, Holidays, marriage, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, Transcendent Tuesday, Tweens | Leave a comment
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As you may have guessed, GEM Parenting is dealing with the topic divorce this week.  It is so important that families have that special time at Christmas.  For many parents and children, this is one of the few times they get to spend together interacting with close family, building memories that will last a lifetime, and growing traditions passed from one generation to the next. 

For children of divorce as well as divorced parents, this is often the most stressful and painful part of the year.  It does not have to be though…and GEM Parenting is here to help you make it through the Christmas season with strong happy children and families.

As our feature article this week, GEM Parenting welcomes back the insightful wisdom of Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen with her newest article “Christmas and Divorce For Kids:  Practical Ways to Enjoy a Divorced Family Christmas.”  In this incredible article, Laurie outlines the way you can address Christmas Traditions for Divorced Children as:

  • Ask your kids what Christmas traditions they want to keep. They may be attached to old family rituals – or the traditions may be too painful for your kids.
  • Consider creating new Christmas family traditions. Listen to your kids; they may know how to make a divorced family Christmas joyful and harmonious.
  • Consider spending Christmas somewhere else. If you have always spent it at your parents’ place but think it may be too painful this year, consider going to a close friends’ for Christmas. Diverting attention away from the divorced family Christmas idea may ease children’s anxieties.
  • Find inexpensive ways to enjoy the holidays. Money could be tight after a divorce. Enjoy simple pleasures, such as hot chocolate after a snowball fight or watching classic Christmas movies together. Don’t make up for your feelings of guilt or sadness with expensive gifts. Christmas and divorce for kids isn’t about buying lots of stuff.

Don’t miss the rest of Laurie’s article “Christmas and Divorce for Kids:  Practical Ways to Enjoy a Divorced Family Christmas” with practical ways to build new family traditions for children of divorce and a guide to buying Christmas gifts for divorced children!

BTW….click on our schedule tab at the top to see what topics are coming up in the weeks ahead!  Want to suggest a topic?  Leave us a comment! 

Check out our FREE Motivational Monday audio on how divorced parents can make Christmas perfect for their children

All this week, GEM Parenting will focus on the subject of divorce and Christmas!  Feel free to join us and add comments on your ways to make Christmas easier!

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Motivational Monday: Divorced Parents Can Make Christmas Perfect for Children

December 10, 2007 at 8:33 am | Posted in children, dads, Divorce, Families, Holidays, marriage, moms, Mothers, Motivational Monday, parents, siblings, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to todays Motivational Monday!

 At GEM Parenting, we realize that Christmas can be the hardest time of the year for children of divorced parents as well as the extended families trying to merge into one strong family group. Hence, GEM Parenting wanted to take a minute to focus on the children of divorce and how parents can make this the best, least stressful holiday for them.  

Check out our FREE Motivational Monday audio on how divorced parents can make Christmas perfect for their children

All this week, GEM Parenting will focus on the subject of divorce and Christmas!  Feel free to join us and add comments on your ways to make Christmas easier!

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

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