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Russian Roulette; Parenting Your Teens and Risky Behaviors Part 2

If you equate “the random bullet” in Russian Roulette with the chance that substances have for impacting your life negatively, one can see the analogy.   In many cases it appears that (viewing statistics) 93%-97% of those who use or experiment with substances will not seem to have noticeable adverse effects.  Five to seven percent will have serious problems. In many cases, children and teens empirically observe adults and peers “using” in front of them, with no apparent adverse consequences.   This can encourage them to believe that they can also use and “get away” without the likelihood of addiction or other related problems. At least with Russian Roulette, the outcome is clear, and you are well aware you are playing with chance, luck or fate.  In substance use, factors such as amount consumed … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting help

Russian Roulette and Risky Activity Part 1

There is no better analogy for risky activity, such as drugs, alcohol, unsafe driving, raging, sexual promiscuity, than that of Russian Roulette. Russian Roulette is a self-destructive game originating in Russia, in which a group of people gather with a pistol with one random round in it, spinning the barrel.  Each takes a turn pointing the pistol at their head and shooting, hoping and betting that they will not get the single round.  Five out of six people end up surviving, and one dies. According to, approximately 15 million Americans are “dependent” on alcohol.  A reported 500,000 of them are children between the ages of 9 and 12.  In 2009, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 6.7 percent of the American population used “illicit drugs”. How is drinking and … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips

The Difference Between Success and Achievement Part 2

Now, back to “achievement” and “success” and why it is so important to distinguish the two. Success is about learning something, managing a difficult task, accepting feedback and constructively using it.  Success involves doing what you do well and are passionate about in a way that benefits your class, community, or world. Success is delivering your oral report when you are terrified of public speaking.  Success is picking up the pieces of a bad “yesterday”, getting up and going and making today a fresh new beginning.  Success is born of confidence and confidence is born of success. (see success article) It fulfills us by its very nature and needs not award or prize.  Success is the living of all of the ups and downs of a day, and retiring to bed … Read entire article »

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The Difference Between Success and Achievement Part 1

It starts during infancy.  We have goals, dreams and expectations for our children in their long journey to adulthood. We acknowledge their achievements, celebrate their successes and cheer them on. We are surprised and disappointed when they fall short of our expectations.  We root them on when they meet or exceed them. We are even sometimes competitive with other parents in comparing and heralding our children’s accomplishments and amazing feats. Some of us even chide and yell at coaches and umpires when we feel they have mistreated or misjudged our young one. Done in moderation, our approval, encouragement and pride motivate, inspire and take our children to new and exciting levels.  Done in extreme, these things create stress, anxiety, and angst. In informally polling my own students I have found the following things to be … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting help