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Keeping up with The Cantelmo's: A guest post

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A guest post


Hi my blog friends and family.

I want to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Valerie.
I have known Valerie for over 2 years now.
She interviewed and hired me while I was pregnant with Olivia. She was an amazing boss and I have learned so much from her.
Not only is she an amazing person to work with,
she is also an amazing friend.
I’m excited for you to get to know Valerie and
to check out her two blogs that she writes.
Today she is guest posting on parenting.
Check it out and don’t forget to pop on over to her blog and give her some love!


Hi. I’m Valerie, a single mom of 2 teenage boys, a children’s therapist, and a master at stretching a dollar. I have written a single parenting book that is in the hands of publisher now and should be released soon. I love writing. I have 2 blogs, one for parents, one for teens. I usually end up writing about things I’ve seen through my work (no identifying information given!) and how we can use those experiences to be amazing, awe-inspiring parents ourselves. If you like my post, please visit one of my blogs. Thanks, Melanie, for inviting me to post on your blog today!

Cheer tryouts

I know a girl being raised by her grandmother. She gets into trouble a lot.

Of course we all, as parents, have rules for our kids, and, in their quest for independence, our kids are going to break some of those rules. These are the usual reasons:

1.       They’re angry and don’t care about no dang rules
2.       They don’t know about the rule, because it’s never been made clear
3.       They’re stuck between doing good and doing right
My teenage friend, Rosie, finds herself struggling with reasons #2 and #3 and getting into trouble quite often.

Here is an example of Reason #3: Rosie’s friend was kicked out of her house late one night and didn’t have a place to go. Rosie felt bad for her friend and invited her to spend the night without talking to grandma. When grandma found out, Rosie was in trouble because she didn’t get permission. Grandma felt like Rosie was completely disregarding the rules and disrespecting grandma (Reason #1) although Rosie was focused on helping a friend in need (Reason #3.)

An example of Reason #2: An adolescent boy who masturbates in his bedroom gets in trouble. His parents have religious beliefs that forbid masturbation all together. He is in trouble although his parents have never spoken to him about sex and their beliefs (Reason #2.) His parents feel he is intentionally and willfully disregarding their spiritual beliefs (Reason #1.)

Do you see a pattern here? The parents get angry because they assume Reason #1 while the kids may be struggling with Reason #2 or #3.

This is why we need to be our kids’ cheerleaders. No, no, no…I’m not suggesting we cheer when they break the rules. I’m suggesting we assume the best of them; we allow ourselves to believe they may have broken a rule due to Reason #2 or #3 and not necessarily Reason #1. When we do that, we are not so quick to become angry. We are able to calmly gather more information and deal with the situation.

After gathering more info, we can deal with the broken rule in the most appropriate way. If it’s Reason #1 or #3, a consequence may be in order, but we can hand it out calmly. If it turns out to be Reason #2, we have the opportunity to make the rule clear. Then, next time it happens, a consequence would be appropriate.

Imagine a full-time job where your boss and co-workers assume you are a screw up all the time. It would beat you down emotionally. It’s the same for our kids when we assume Reason #1 most of the time.

When we assume the best of our kids and take the time to gather more information when things go awry, we are building their self-esteem AND strengthening a relationship with them.

And with relationship comes influence…


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