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IconI have 1 boy and 4 girls and I wanted to tell you about our family's experience when my daughters started dating. More >>

Tags: BehaviorDatinghumorMen's Point of ViewMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingRead On-AirRelationshipsrespect
IconIt IS My Kid's Fault! By Mary Simmons, M.A. Author of Discipline Me Right, with Bert Simmons, M. Ed. www.disciplinemeright.com A few Teen Commandments from Discipline Me Right: "Discipline your child and show responsibility." "Thou shall give us consequences for our negligent or irresponsible behavior." "Hold me responsible for my actions." We live in an enabling age.  That is not a good thing. Many parents make it easy for kids to side-step their responsibilities, but, surprisingly, that is not what kids want. It feels good to take responsibility for one's actions, good or bad. Something inherent in human nature wants what is good and right. As I note in my book,  kids want to be good , which means taking responsibility for their failures and negative actions.  A mother allows her teenaged son to turn off his snooze alarm several times until he has only 15 minutes until the first bell at school.  She finally cajoles him into a quick shower, and as she is driving him to school she phones the attendance office to say it is her fault her son will be late, and he will need a pass when he arrives. He walks into 1st period with no consequences and believes it is all right to inconvenience his mother and the school staff, and to disrupt 1st period, all because he wants to sleep in. Enabling parenting: What does it look like?  Enabling parents make excuses for their children's academic failure and bad behavior. They accept marginal and failing grades without penalty. They ignore sloppy work, tardiness, and cheating. Sometimes they condone or encourage cheating. (Some even do their children's homework for them!) Enabling parents say their child failed, or cheated, or punched another kid in the hallway because he was having "family problems." They take the blame for their kid. The result is kids who can't see past their personal circumstances, blame others for their problems, and avoid challenges because they aren't familiar with the satisfaction of succeeding on their merits. Parents are enablers for a few reasons. They feel guilty.  Stop feeling guilty.  Parents feel guilty for being hostile and angry, for divorce, for drinking too much -- any number of things. Parents often try to make up for something painful that happened earlier in their child's life. You cannot make your child's life perfect. You have to forgive yourself for not being perfect.  Your child is here on earth to learn; don't hinder that process . Clean up your act, tell the truth, hold your child accountable, and encourage him or her to do better. Show your child you believe he or she can accomplish something. They don't respect themselves.  Respect yourself and don't allow disrespect . Enabling parents show appalling signs of disrespect toward themselves. They allow themselves to be manipulated by their children and political correctness ("everybody's equal and never at fault"), and they allow themselves to be deluded about what is true and false when it comes to their children's deeds. As a parent you must respect yourself. That means you  do not allow any disrespect toward yourself . It does not mean that you are arrogant, conceited, or concerned about always being right with your child. It does means that you know you are basically a good person and deserve to be treated well. They're afraid.  Stop being afraid . Your child isn't going to stop loving you. Loving you is hard-wired into their system. In fact, they will love and respect you more if you are a person of integrity and hold them accountable for their actions. That means dishing out consequences for destructive and disrespectful behavior. It means taking away privileges if their grades are low. If you're afraid of conflict, then you'll need to think ahead and formulate a plan, anticipate the conflict and know what you'll do if the argument escalates.  Not being afraid means taking charge and doing what you said you will do if your child misbehaves . Assertive, in-charge, self-respecting parents live by these words: I cannot allow you to do anything that is not in your best interest - or mine.  Mary Simmons  is a teacher, parent, and author. Her father,  Bert Simmons , is an educational consultant in the area of school discipline. Together, with the insights of Mary's teenaged students, they have put together a powerful, comprehensive guide to instilling and reinforcing positive, respectful behavior in children.  Discipline Me Right  is available through Amazon.com and your local bookstore. For more parenting tips and information about the book, visit  www.disciplinemeright.com . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

Tags: 10 Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their LivesAdult Child-ParentBehaviorFamily/Relationships - Adult Child/ParentFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRelationshipsRelativesTen Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives
IconHave you ever had the experience of trying not to think of something?' Like when you're trying to go to sleep and something upsetting keeps coming to mind?' You may attempt to squeeze it out of your mind, but it seems to come back with a vengeance.'What you learn about your mind is that when you try to shove something into a dark closet, your mind feels compelled to peek into that closet again and again to see if it's still there.'Everybody has memories from the past they'd rather not remember.Everybody has annoying, upsetting, or threatening events going on in their everyday lives.Everybody is bothered by thoughts they'd rather not have.Instead of pushing them away, invite them in and deal with them.Some callers have told me that after a year or two of marriage, they think about an old high school flame, and they wonder if this is an "omen" that they've married the wrong person.' No, of course not."Courting" is fun; marriage has obligations, responsibilities and challenges.' Even the things we love can feel overwhelming.' Fantasies and thoughts and dreams about someone else are brain "vacations," taking you to a time when you had no worries.' Invite those thoughts in and examine them:' "Let's see...if I married John instead of my husband Steve, hmmm...gee, I'd miss Steve's smile and hugs, his manly chest, his tenderness with the kids, and eventually John would have probably ticked me off too in some silly ways."Once you've done that, it is no longer an obsession.' The vacation is over, and a greater appreciation of what you do have takes its place.Don't fight the thoughts.' Invite them in and talk to them.' Take control, and they will leave on their own. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceEat Less-Move MoreexerciseGratitudeMarriagePersonal ResponsibilityValues
Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotivationValues
IconIf you're a frequent listener to my radio program, you've probably heard me say to someone seemingly immersed in a petty annoyance:' "You must have a charmed and uncomplicated life to have the time and energy to be upset about something that's ultimately so minuscule."'Yeah, I know that sounds snarky, but the point is made.' If your life is filled with the awe of the sky when the sun first comes up, scurrying to do some projects for charity, coming up with ideas to support a friend in emotional need, treating your spouse as though you adored every breath they take, having daily physical activity that makes you sweat and feel great afterwards, taking on a new challenge in a hobby or education at the local community college or adult extension, having a day a week you get together with buddies to play poker, make a quilt or whatever....when your life is filled in such expansive ways, then the quirky disappointments of family and friends will be shrugged off with a small smile and a lack of real concern.'Try activity instead of pouting or letting your anger simmer. More >>

Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceGratitudeHealthPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
IconWhy don't I like so-called "reality" or "actuality" TV shows?'' Because they're mean.'They are intended to be mean, because "mean" is entertaining to some segments of the audience, and that scares me.''Throwing Christians to the lions and watching gladiators fight to the death used to be considered wonderful entertainment in ancient times.' And while I'm not comparing actually killing someone with humiliating and demeaning them, there is a continuum here.''Christians and slaves didn't volunteer to become fodder for death to those eating popcorn in the stands.' The people on TV do volunteer to put themselves in situations which contribute to the demise of public taste, humane behavior, compassion and sensitivity.' They humiliate themselves for attention and profit.' That they volunteer for it doesn't make doing it to them right.' It just makes them terribly pathetic.'When people go on an " American Idol "-like program in the hopes of being discovered for their talents, a simple "winning" or "losing" seems sufficient to me.' However, having judges who become popular by hurling horrendously insulting comments seems to be the real motivation for these programs.' Hurting people in front of others is an egregious act.' Televising it, or making money off of sponsors who support it, so that people at home can feel superior and powerful (because they're not the ones being attacked) is purely disgusting.'These shows bring out the worst in people.' Martians watching our entertainment media would probably choose not to come to our planet, or else just wipe us off the face of the galaxy, because of how humanity displays itself on television (much less the Internet and the United Nations).''No one is ashamed anymore.' They pass it off as giving the audience what it wants.' "It's only TV," or "it's only a way to make a living," they say.''Sad. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCivilityInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesReality TVTelevisionValues
Tags: BehaviorgratitudeMental HealthResponse To A CommentSocial IssuesValues
IconLately, I've been asked quite often by callers if it is "okay" to apologize to someone for a wrongdoing even years after the offense.' I can understand why that question might be asked.' It can feel a bit embarrassing to have to face someone and face up to what you've done.' It is worrisome that they might not be gracious about your apology.'' It is possible that they might "lay into you."' It may be that they say "You caused me so much grief and pain that I can't forgive you."' They might not even be willing to talk to you.' Or, they might say, with tears, "Thank you.' That means a lot to me."It IS a big risk to take.' But the most valued things in life do come with a big risk attached.' That's part of what gives them value.You must remember, however, that whatever their response might be, you are doing the apology not to wipe the slate clean (damage is damage, and some never goes away), but because true repentance requires that you do what it takes to repair the damage.' That includes the sincere... sincere ...apology.' None of that "if you were hurt, then I'm sorry" nonsense.' That is pure annoyance!'So, if you truly have remorse (and are not just trying to manipulate someone into a situation which benefits you ), then apologize... anytime ...and tolerate their first and maybe second unpleasant reaction.''Seeds take time to germinate, and coping with an apology means the whole thing is brought up again in their minds.' Be patient and understanding.' While they may never forgive you, know that you still did the right thing. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourtesyForgivenessMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityResponse To A CallValues
IconA number of people have expressed to me that they feel somewhat guilty that their lives are so blessed and/or peaceful right now while people are being blown up in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places - and by their own countrymen!' Or that people are suffering and dying by the tens of thousands in Haiti in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake."How [they ask] can I dare to have a good day when all of this is happening?"I think that's a good question asked by decent people.'The answer is simple:' what choice do you have?Shall you undermine yourself and those who count on you by crumbling under the awareness of this cruelty of people and nature?' Does that add to the miserly of the world?' YES.' Does that minimize the misery of the world?' NO.Your job is to do and be your best and to bring light into darkness in your own mind and home, and among family, friends, and community.' Where you have the wherewithal and the expertise to extend that to deserving people and places, do so because all humanity benefits by your action of caring - if not aided directly , then at the very least inspired by your example.Where you can't extend yourself to some place around the world, be cognizant that compassion and love in a circle around you has a ripple effect to help perfect the world for whatever moments of bliss might exist.' They add up.'Whether close at hand or off to a distant land, when you extend mercy, you do an act which magnificently defines humanity. More >>

Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityCivilityHealthHopePersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
IconLet's talk about having conversations.' You read that right - I didn't goof and actually mean confrontation , which typically is what I hear most about on my radio program.' It is not a good plan to think of trying to communicate something delicate or important to someone by approaching them through the lenses of battle, which is what confrontation implies.There are ways to deal with another person on difficult issues that don't necessarily feel like the throwing down of a gauntlet (an attack against which they have to be defensive).' The moment you get someone's defenses up, the quicker the whole situation degenerates into a "lose/lose" predicament, usually making things even worse than they were.If the information is to a loved one, start out with a "Sweetie" or "Honey" or something that sets the tone as one of friendship, love or caring.' Continue with the explanation that it is to improve the situation that you're coming to them (because you don't want the relationship hurt by misunderstandings or errors in judgment or word choice).'' Then they know that you are not attacking them, but you are trying to preserve the relationship and they will be more open to hearing your point of view.It's also important to start out with some verbal "gift," i.e., that you compliment them with sincerity by suggesting that you understand what their position might be, but that you're confused, hurt, upset or worried that ________ [fill in the blank].' Remind them what you've meant to each other and how you want that to continue, and that this is a glitch which can be remedied with mutual consideration and understanding.If you're up against a reasonable, caring individual, things will go well.'If you're up against an un reasonable, self-centered human being, things will go well if you walk away.Rule number "PRE-one:"' Don't wait for emotions to fester.' Handle things as they happen before you work yourself up to the point that you can't be reasonable. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourtesyFriendshipsMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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