Sunday, November 28, 2010

Watch for Book Release

I just word that Wisdom for Parents: Key ideas from parent educator is going to press!

Final submission of the manuscript to the publisher is Dec. 15th. The release date is in early Feb. in time for the conference at UNT, the 17th International Conference On Parent Education!

This book will have will have 57 authors and is the brainchild of Robert E. Keim, Ph.D., CFLE Emeritus, Professor Emeritus, Northern Illinois Univ. I am happy to say that I am one of those authors (unless I get cut for some reason).

I will update news as I receive it.

Until next time,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall is Here

Where does the time go? School and classes for young and old consumes a lot of time. gardeners and farmers in many areas are busy reaping the rewards of their labor (I hope). In some parts of the country there has been snow already. Yes, fall is here.

Many young people going off to classes, especially those leaving home, are running into many temptations with some disastrous results. Many have over-dosed on drugs or alcohol, not always fatal, all of them could have been.

Why is this happening? Partly because some parents have kept too close a reign on their children and have not allowed them to make choices when they were at home. One lady told me she had demanded her 18 year old son be home by 9:00 during the week and 10:00 on the weekends. She said he went to church with her and knew the evils of drinking and doing drugs. She could not understand how he nearly died from a drug overdose in his first week of college.

Parents, we must let our children have some freedom so they will be able to make better choices when they are on their own. There are many parenting web sites, blogs, and articles. Check some of them out and talk to your children at all ages. don't be afraid to say you do not know and then search for the answers together.

Until next time,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Summer Is Over

Summer is over, classes have started, and my how time flies. I already have talked to five parents of high school students who made new friends and ended up drunk. In one case, the parent decided she had been too strict and not given her child enough freedom to make wise choices earlier in life. I believe two other sets of parents may have kept too close reins on children and they went wild when they got the chance. It is going to be an interesting year.

As parents, we need to find ways to allow our children enough freedom to make mistakes and suffer the consequences before those consequences become life issues. Children need choices and accept responsibility for their actions. this lesson can start very early in life.

I have enrolled in two Communication Studies classes and find both to be interesting. One is political and one is interpersonal. We cannot not know too much on communication! Making a living and studying will take much of my time, but I will try to post interesting tidbits.

Until next time,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Funerals and Memorials

This has been a horrible week on two fronts and both concern the death of a parent and kids not following the wishes for their funeral or memorial.

Note: The definition of a funeral is with a body present and a memorial is without the body as having an urn of ashes present, or a picture of person, or just a get together for happy memories. For all of the older people I work with a funeral means sad songs, lots of crying and a "preacher" standing there saying things when he knows nothing about the family. For these people, a memorial or celebration of life is upbeat and fun, and yes, there may be tears also.

In one case, the body was buried when the person wanted to be cremated because that person could not stand tight places. Family and friends all knew this, but someone with certain religious beliefs made the decision. This has caused a serious rift in the family that may never heal. I for one am heart sick about it. The cost of the funeral will hurt the family economically, but the person did not get their wish even in death.

The other case involved a service in a church totally against that person’s belief. That person did not want sad songs. That person wanted an outdoor memorial in a park with grass and trees and a potluck meal. Friends knew what local Big Band the person wanted to play upbeat songs of an earlier time. Some religions are similar enough that perhaps beliefs can be put aside because one family member belongs and the building is free. For some people, it might not be a problem at all. In this case, the person did not think the church would allow it to happen since that was not the person’s faith. Parks are free if money were an issue.

What went wrong? Please read and take away some vital lessons. Kids and parents often do not talk about death and their wishes. In both situations, the kids say, “I didn’t know,” or “I wasn’t told.” The deceased party may have mentioned it, but kids, no matter how old did not listen because that parent was not ever going to die.

In both cases, I begged and pleaded with the deceased to put their wishes in writing so the kids would know. Apparently neither of them did. I knew both of them for many years and no one from the family asked me if I knew anything.

Another thing to be respectful of is the organizations donations should be sent to in their memory. Many living people assume (incorrectly) that wherever the donations go to means that is what was wrong with the deceased person. This means that people will think the person had Alzheimer’s Disease if donations go there. While it may be a fact that they did, they would not want anyone to think so. Tonight, I sit here terribly sad at what has happened. Some say it does not matter and perhaps it doesn’t. Perhaps, for me it is the fact that the two deaths are so close together.

Please, ask your parent what their wishes are when they die. Parents, please make your wishes known in writing for your children. Most family members want to respect and follow your wishes if they can. Help them do that. If you do not know what the wishes are, ask friends and other family members.

On a happier note: Happy Birthday to Kari, my 16-year-old granddaughter.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Diversity in Families

I am taking a summer class on diversity in our society. This includes race, ethnicity, and gender. When families come to me for help in their relationships, I try to find out as much about their background as possible in a few minutes.

How we were raised affects how we act or react to situations. This includes how big the family was, our place in the family, religion, types of work our parents did, how we were disciplined, etc. It is a fact that couples from similar backgrounds and with the same core values stay together longer and has fewer arguments.

Yes, I heard that! I agree that often opposites do attract, but the more alike you are, the better chance you have of staying together. I cannot stress that often enough.

What to do if you have a committed relationship. Take time to talk seriously (without the television on or other distraction). This is not a time to argue it a time to explore. Define the words you use.

Case in point. Last week, a couple talked to me because she said he lied to her. When they talked about having a family, she said she wanted a lot of kids and he said he did too. The problem, she came from a family of 11 kids and he an only child. The three kids they have are not many to her and a lot to him. They did not define what “many” meant to each of them. She finally was convinced he had not lied to her, but she still wants three or four more. He says they cannot afford to raise more than they have.

Until next time,

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kids, Water, and Safety

Kids, Water and Safety

It is summertime and I have already heard about several small children drowning in back yard swimming pools. Please be sure there is adult supervision when children are around a pool even a child’s pool. It takes very little water for a little one to drown. It only takes a few seconds for a child to slip out of sight. Water is like a magnet.

Here is a tip I had never heard. On the last day of swimming lessons, JoAnn’s 2 year-old granddaughter and classmates were told to jump in the pool with their clothes on. Why? When children fall into a pool fully dressed, they panic even when they can swim. The instructor was giving them the chance to see what it felt like to swim in their clothes. Worrying about Mommy being mad because they are getting their clothes wet could cause part of the panic. Makes sense to me.

Watch for kids darting into streets and playing in driveways.

Have a great and safe summer.

Until next time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the "Dads" out there!

Remember Dad today (and every day). That includes biological, adoptive, stepdad, foster dad, and anyone who acts as a dad. Sometimes that is the neighbor, granddad, teacher, or someone else. Sometimes that is the single mother acting as both parents. Just let them know you appreciate them being there for you.

Remember: Love grows as it is spread around. Love is never forgotten.

Until next time,