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Tales of the Parenting Experience

  “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kvell” Tuesday, January, 26 @ 7:00 PM   A fundraiser for the The Jewish Community Center, Sonoma County’s teen education program, Chaverim A one man show of humorous and heartfelt situations, stories and anecdotes about parenting, grandparenting and general dealing with kids of all ages (even the ones that never grew up).             Rick states: “As a parent, grandparent, teen educator, social worker, camp director and parenting coach and one who loves children of all ages, I have many heartwarming and humorous stories to tell which embrace parenting issues that come up on a daily basis.” Does it ever feel like an ongoing battle between “us” and “them”(the kids) Do you say things to your kids that you regret later? Has that sweet, precocious, adorable child morphed into an irritating, challenging, negative human being? Do you find … Read entire article »

Filed under: Jewish Community Events, parenting advice, Parenting Classes, parenting help, parenting teens

Bad Behavior Thrives on Results

Your 6 year old is demanding a cookie before dinner.  It starts with a request and escalates to a demand and all the way to a temper tantrum and a fit, screaming, yelling, threatening, holding the entire family hostage to the tirade.  Everyone is angry and upset because this situation disturbed dinner,  A situation like this often leads to going to bed without resolution.  The whole house is turned upside down. It has worked before many times! And it will work again! The child has gotten his way. Your 10 year-old makes everyone late for school or work every day.  He dawdles, reads, plays on his computer, teases his older sister and the dog intermittently or goes back to bed instead of getting ready.   When asked, told, ordered or threatened, he acts … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, Parenting Classes, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips

Boundaries vs. Barriers

Boundaries mark the healthy space we put in between ourselves and other people in normal daily social interaction.   We share an understanding of our boundaries with other people we encounter by giving them verbal, nonverbal and visual cues.  Shared and communicated boundaries enable us all to feel comfortable within the definitions of our particular relationships. People who do not learn to set, share and express boundaries often have problems with other people overstepping, taking advantage and literally walking all over them.   People who are reluctant or reticent to set their own boundaries often invite into their lives just the kinds of people who can be invasive, inappropriate and even abusive.  It is good to be a door-opener, but not a door mat! Some people are challenged by being unable to detect social … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, Featured, gratitude, parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips, Relationships, self confidence

Trust is Something you Give

A clean and sober alcoholic reaches out to save a homeless alcoholic who later breaks into his house, attempts to rob him, and ends up stabbing him to death… A long time trusted  church bookkeeper is found to be stealing hundreds of thousands from the church that trusted her…. A “benevolent” man approaches a homeless mom and her children begging for money outside of a department store.  The man befriends the family, takes them inside the store, buys them all kinds of things they need, and wins their trust. During shopping spree he offers to run out for some burgers for the whole family. The naïve and innocent daughter offers to go with him and the desperate mom has a moment of ill-fated trust.  The child is later found dead, the registered … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips, Relationships, self confidence

Dear Mom

Dear Mom, I am so grateful you are my mom, and that you are still on the planet with us. I love you. I appreciate your wisdom, and respect your deep intuition and care. Thanks for giving me life, caring for me, walking me through the stages, getting me a toy after each of the many shots the doctor gave me. Thanks for helping me to be an individual by dressing me in cute and awkward clothes. Thanks for rescuing me from my bad dreams and night terrors. Thanks for unconditionally accepting me. Thanks for all the thousands of chats on the phone, and for still being able to give me a pep talk in a moment of adversity. Thanks for all of my birthday parties. Thanks for grandma and grandpa and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, Common Ground, Featured, gratitude, parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips, Relationships, self confidence

Parenting to Grandparenting

As my kids grew up, I remember lamenting the passage of each age, and the loss of the trappings that grace each phase; baby powder, car seats, booster seats, toys everywhere… then school winter concerts, fanciful birthday parties, school dances, the angst of adolescence and of course, my children’s perception that I was all powerful and all knowing. I said a wistful goodbye at each juncture… Well here I am…..again… toy box in living room, booster seat in car… telling goodnight stories to my granddaughter, her head on my shoulder… and moving again through the amazing, dramatic and unfolding lives of my dear teen-age stepchildren. My life with children is like the movie “Groundhog Day”. I cherish all these moments I thought I would never experience again, side by side with my lovely Heather, love of my … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips

“Parenting Martial Arts”

What the heck is that?  Parenting is an art to practice, refine and reinvent when not working. Martial arts is a perfect container for parenting skills, techniques and strategies. When we study or practice martial arts, most people are not learning it to harm or hurt others.  We are learning the particular discipline for the following reasons: 1-To improve our focus, to center ourselves and be in control of our actions 2-To become more effective in meeting all challenges, obstacles, threats and emergencies 3-To help us feel comfortable, protected and safe in the world as well as in our homes 4-To disarm adversaries, ideally without harming them or being harmed our selves 5-To avoid unpleasant encounters and to moderate our reactions by not acting out of impulse, anger, vindictiveness, vengeance, antipathy, jealousy and on and on 6-To prepare … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips

Tip for Parenting your Teen When They are Having a Bad Day

Share this with your kids if they have had a bad day, or even a good day! You are among friends.  No problem is insurmountable, or permanent. Wisdom and growth come from hardship, from what is experienced as pain.  Pain and strong emotions are pointers for focusing our attention on those areas that we need to pay attention to, to see a new way, guide us to making an uncomfortable change or be vulnerable in a way that feels scary. Here is a message for you at this moment.  This helps to ground me so I can find the way through this complicated life: That you have a life is a gift, a blessing, a miracle. You are meant to be.    Your life is a gift.  You are here for a reason. The moment you were conceived … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips

Parenting Your Teens; 10 is the new 30

While so many of our young adults are coming back home from college, jobless, penniless and in debt (”. and totally dependent on us, many of us continue to treat our children like “little adults”.  Thus  “30 is the New 10” and “10 is the New 30. What does this all mean? Back in “the day “(40’s- 60’s) “authoritarian parenting” was common.  This essentially featured such strategies and admonitions as “you will do what I say when I say it”,  “In my house we you will do it our way.”, “Do as I say, not as I do” and “Children should be seen and not heard.”  Violations often were met with strict punishments, ridicule, humiliation, verbal and physical abuse.  Thank goodness we are not “back in that day” anymore! That approach and … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips

What if your adorable 10 year old wrote you this letter on his/her 11th birthday?

Dear Mom and Dad or Dad and Dad or Mom and Mom Dad or Mom, (choose 1 or more) I am 11 today, and still rather innocent.  I know all of the words to the edgiest songs and I sing along, but I don’t know yet what they mean.  I dance with sexy moves and know the latest slang, and lots of people think it is cute. I am just noticing my “pre-teen” body and suddenly care what I look like, a lot!  I am noticing that you are not as perfect as I thought you were when I was younger, and you are noticing that I am not as willing to please you. Suddenly, I would rather be with my friends than you, be texting rather than socializing at a family event … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips