Parenting Tips That Build Character When Your Kids Are Driving You Crazy

Parenting Tips That Build Character When Your Kids Are Driving You Crazy
by: Jean Tracy, MSS

I remember counseling a second grade boy who was a ‘Sammy the Slacker.’ One day his teacher confided, “When I tell my class, ‘Children, please take out your readers,’ Sammy leans back in his chair, his arms hanging over its back, and calls out, ‘I can’t find my book!’ Sure enough, a little girl scrambles over, looks in his messy desk, and finds it for him.”

Sammy irritated his teacher, lost the respect of his classmates, and had no friends. These are not the results most parents want for their children. To help Sammy, I worked with his parents. I found out that his mother and grandmother believed it their duty to be servants to their families. They were to pick up after everyone, do all the housework, and smile too.

Sammy’s mom felt her smiles turn to anger. She understood that she was spoiling Sammy, making him weak, dependent, and distasteful to others. She decided to build character in Sammy by changing the beliefs she inherited from her mother.

3 Parenting Tips That Build Character:

==> Sammy’s mom wrote out age-appropriate chores for Sammy.

==> She created a chart to help build his character.

==> She worked with Sammy to choose a goal for his chart.

The goals Sammy’s mother offered were clear, simple, and positive. At the top of Sammy’s chart Sammy chose this goal:

“My goal is to do my own work and then help others.”

3 Parenting Tips That Motivate:

==> Sammy’s mom offered stickers for his chart.

==> She developed a fun activity list to share with him as a reward.

==> She gave Sammy the choice of which activity to share when he earned a certain number of stickers.

Once the chart was created, Sammy posted it on the refrigerator. Sammy’s mom knew she had to encourage his improvements.

3 Parenting Tips to Encourage Good Behavior:

==> Sammy’s mom rewarded him consistently.

==> She gave the stickers soon after he completed a task.

==> She scheduled his fun activity to do together soon after he earned enough stickers.

Because Sammy’s mom was positive and consistent in rewarding him, he went from being Sammy the Slacker to becoming Sammy the Helper. His teacher sent home reports of improvement and, slowly but surely, Sammy made friends.

Whether you have a Billy the Blamer, a Gretta the Greedy, or a child with some other problem behavior, consider using character building charts. You’ll be teaching your child responsibility, self-discipline, and teamwork. You’ll feel saner and happier. You’ll be building character too.

About The Author

Jean Tracy, MSS, “Granny Jean” publishes a FREE Parenting Newsletter at http://www.KidsDiscuss.com

Subscribe and receive 80 free fun activities to share with your kids.

Treat yourself to the Character Building Charts at http://KidsDiscuss.com too.

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Is MySpace a Good Space?

Is MySpace a Good Space?
by: Brad Franklin

There are more than 100 million people who are members of MySpace. This number continues to grow and the majority of people who have memberships at MySpace are young people.

Teens and young adults post all kinds of information on MySpace. Most of this information is very personal and can be dangerous. Young members of MySpace often do not realize that there are people using MySpace who are not honest about their intentions. There are predators who lure teens and young adults into relationships that are extremely risky and unsafe.

Many young people love being part of MySpace. They feel it is the perfect place to post their photos, profiles and blogs. The younger members of MySpace think it is safe and don’t think anything bad will happen to them.

If you are a parent who has a child who uses the Internet there are some things you can do to keep you kids safer. Even if you don’t know much about the Internet you can still lower the risks for your kids when they are using online services.

Your son or daughter will have online aliases. Find out what these are. Do not be afraid to restrict online use to the times when a parent is home. It is also a good idea to have the computer located in a place where it can be monitored. If the computer is in a higher traffic area you can pop in often and see what’s going on.

Talk to your kids about your concerns and come up with some family rules. Discuss the instances where predators have used the Internet to abduct and assault kids.

MySpace may be a good space if kids know the dangers and have parents who know what to look for.

About The Author

Brad Franklin
http://www.websafekid.com is designed to help parents, kids and teens with internet safety, and learn how to protect their privacy and security online and to teach responsible internet us

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment

by: Anthony Kane, MD

About a year ago I wrote an article on Oppositional Defiant Disorder discussing the condition, symptoms and treatment options. This article is an update describing what is new.


Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a psychiatric behavior disorder that is characterized by aggressiveness and a tendency to purposefully bother and irritate others. These behaviors cause significant difficulties with family and friends and at school or work.


Oppositional defiant children show a consistent pattern of refusing to follow commands or requests by adults. These children repeatedly lose their temper, argue with adults, and refuse to comply with rules and directions. They are easily annoyed and blame others for their mistakes. Children with ODD show a pattern of stubbornness and frequently test limits, even in early childhood.

These children can be manipulative and often induce discord in those around them. Commonly they turn attention away from themselves by inciting parents and other family members to fight with one and other.

-Behavioral Symptoms

Normal children occasionally have episodes of defiant behavior, particularly during ages of transition such as 2 to 3 or the teenage years where the child uses defiance in an attempt to assert himself. Children who are tired, hungry, or upset may be defiant. Oppositional defiant behavior is a matter of degree and frequency. Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder display difficult behavior to the extent that it can interfere with learning, school adjustment, and, sometimes, with the child’s social relationships.

Common behaviors seen in Oppositional Defiant Disorder include:

· Losing one’s temper

· Arguing with adults

· Actively defying requests

· Refusing to follow rules

· Deliberately annoying other people

· Blaming others for one’s own mistakes or misbehavior

· Being touchy, easily annoyed

· Being easily angered, resentful, spiteful, or vindictive

· Speaking harshly, or unkind when upset

· Seeking revenge

· Having frequent temper tantrums

Many parents report that their ODD children were rigid and demanding from an early age.


The diagnosis of ODD is not always straight forward and needs to be made by a psychiatrist or some other qualified mental health professional after a comprehensive evaluation.

If you feel your child may have ODD, there is a quick ODD Screening Test at http://addadhdadvances.com/ODDtest.html


It is not clear what causes Oppositional Defiant Disorder. There are currently two theories.

The developmental theory suggests that ODD is really a result of incomplete development. For some reason, ODD children never complete the developmental tasks that normal children master during the toddler years. They get stuck in the 2-3 year old defiant stage and never really grow out of it.

The learning theory suggests that Oppositional Defiant Disorder comes as a response to negative interactions. The techniques used by parents and authority figures on these children bring about the oppositional defiant behavior.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder usually does not occur alone. 50-65% of ODD children also have ADD ADHD; 35% of these children develop some form of affective disorder; 20% have some form of mood disorder, such as Bipolar Disorder or anxiety; 15% develop some form of personality disorder. Many of these children have learning disorders also.

Any child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder must be evaluated for other disorders as well. If your child has ODD it is imperative to find out what are the co-existing problems. This is the key to treating the condition, as we shall soon discuss.


So what happens to these children? There are four possible paths.

Some will grow out of it. Half of the preschoolers that are labeled ODD are normal by the age of 8. However, in older ODD children, 75% will still fulfill the diagnostic criteria later in life.

The ODD may turn into something else. 5-10% of preschoolers with ODD have their diagnosis changed from ODD to ADHD. In some children, the defiant behavior gets worse and these children eventually are diagnosed with Conduct Disorder at http://addadhdadvances.com/CDtest.html. This progression usually happens fairly early. If a child has ODD for 3-4 years and he hasn’t developed Conduct Disorder, then he won’t ever develop it.

The child may continue to have ODD without any thing else. This is unusual. By the time preschoolers with ODD are 8 years old, only 5% have ODD and nothing else. The child develops other disorders in addition to ODD. This is very common.

-Treatment: Medical Intervention

There have been some recent studies that have examined the effects of certain medications on Oppositional Defiant Disorder. All the research is preliminary and just suggests that certain treatments may help.

One study examined the use of Ritalin to treat children with both ADHD and ODD. This study found that 90% of the children treated with Ritalin no longer had the ODD by the end of the study. The researchers skewed the results a bit because a number of children were dropped from the study because they wouldn’t comply with the treatment regimen. Still if these children are included as treatment failures the study still showed a 75% success rate.

There have been two studies examining the effect of Strattera on children with both ADHD and ODD. One study showed that Strattera helped with ODD, one study showed it did not help.

There was a large Canadian study that showed that Risperdal helped with aggressive behavior in children with below normal intelligence. It did not matter if the child had ADHD or not.

There was study showing that 80% of children with explosive behavior improved when given the mood stabilizer, divalproex.

There was another pilot study examining the use of Omega-3 oils and vitamin E in ODD children. Both helped the ODD behavior to some degree.

-Treatment: Psychological Intervention

Parent management training is still viewed as the main treatment for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Our program, How to Improve Your Child’s Behavior, located at http://addadhdadvances.com/betterbehavior.html which is available online, or some other parent training program is still considered essential if you want to help your child. Also, the younger your child is when you enroll in such a program, the better the results.

-Conclusion: Advice to Parents

Currently, there is still far too little research on this very common disorder.

Medically, the most important consideration is to treat other disorders that come along with ODD. Considering that Ritalin may help alleviate the problem in 75-90% of ODD children who have ADHD, and considering that most children with ODD also have some degree of ADHD, I feel that it is very worth your while to try your ODD child on Ritalin unless you know for sure that he does not have ADHD. The other treatments may also be worth a try depending upon the nature of your child.

I feel that using Omega-3 supplements and a vitamin E supplement should be tried in all children. This is because most children are deficient in these nutrients. Even if it does not help with the ODD, it should make your child healthier.

Parent training is still the most effective means of dealing with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The two main drawbacks of most of these programs are the expense and the availability.

Some practitioners charge $100 or more per visit and considering the program will take several months costs add up. Insurance usually will not pay for such programs. Many parents complain to me that they cannot afford the program that their child so desperately needs.

In addition, these programs are not available everywhere. Over the years, numerous parents have told me that where they live there are no programs for Oppositional Defiant Children.

I created How to Improve Your Child’s Behavior to address these two problems. It allows parents to help their children regardless of where they live and at a cost that is less than one office visit. Even though it was an experiment to try to administer such a program online and to date no one else is doing this, over the past two years How to Improve Your Child’s Behavior has proven time and again to help parents gain control of their defiant children.

Get more information on Oppositional Defiant Disorder- ODD Help at http://addadhdadvances.com/betterbehavior.html

It is tough to live with children who have ODD. However, if you make sure that your child has his other problems addressed and you improve your parenting skills by enrolling in a parent training program, you can do a great deal to improve your child’s condition and his future.

About The Author– Anthony Kane, MD is a physician and international lecturer. Get help for your ADD/ADHD child, including child behavior advice, information on the latest ADHD treatment, and help with Oppositional Defiant Disorder at http://addadhdadvances.com.

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

What is ADHD and How do You Manage it?

What is ADHD and How do You Manage it? By: Dr. Noel Swanson

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) show the following symptoms:

1) Poor concentration and attention span

2) Poor memory

3) Impulsiveness - the trait of doing things without thinking first

4) Easily frustrated - because of poor concentration and memory when they cannot remember things, they get frustrated. This causes behavioral patterns like temper tantrums and outbursts

The above traits are even shown by people who are not suffering from ADHD. Because of ADHD children suffer in various fields and activities in and out of school. They have to face defeat and failure in various areas like:

a) Participating in activities at school such as getting work done, paying attention, maintaining focus, being attentive in class etc.

b) Participating in healthy activities at home such as getting chores finished, maintaining cordial relations with siblings, maintaining a modicum of efficiency and getting things done on time.

c) socially (unable to take turns or wait in line, bossy and overbearing, easily frustrated leading to temper outbursts and aggression, impulsive, so often in trouble for doing antisocial actions e.g. unwise \”practical jokes\”).

ADHD is not a disease or illness in the sense that it is caused by germs, by injury, or by a clearly defined physical malfunction (such as asthma or diabetes). It is simply the result of parts of the brain not working at full efficiency.

Studies have proved that ADHD is partially genetic, gets transferred from parents to children and in a way runs in the family. What has also been established that the symptoms and the problems associated with ADHD are almost life long. They cannot be cured over night are with you for a long time. In most cases, these symptoms and problems continue well into the teens and often into adulthood too.

How do you manage ADHD?

The big concern for children with ADHD is the danger of developing long term complications. For example:

a) Their fear of failure at school owing to poor concentration, leading to school drop out

b) they may be constantly in trouble because of their impulsivity and so be excluded from school and end up with the police,

c) they may be so discouraged by their failures that they turn to drink, drugs, crime, or become depressed and anxious.

All of these, in turn, can lead to long term complications that affect functioning in adulthood.

Effective management of ADHD starts at home. Parents have to be very patient and give their best to their child. The treatment of ADHD is very long, but it has to be given to the child so that he is a better adjusted adult. The goal is to prevent those long term compliations. Since you as the parent know your child the best, it is you who will have to take an active part in the management of his ADHD. An effective ADHD management program should include the following components:

COMMITTED PARENTS who will work for the best for their child. There is much information, including books and videos, on ADHD and how to help your child - borrow them, buy them, read them, and become informed. But remember there is also much mis-information (especially on the internet and in newspapers and magazines), so discuss what you read with your local support group and professionals. Be especially suspicious of groups who claim to have the \”magic cure\” for your child.

GOOD COMMUNICATION. Communication between the school and the home is very important for effective management. This enables you to discuss solutions and implement them for an effective output.

ADJUSTMENTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT. Children with ADHD do best in a quiet, calm, structured, low-stimulation environment (e.g. one to one) and poorly in chaotic situations (e.g. busy classrooms, noisy, busy homes). As a family you may want to find ways to reorganise life so that it is less stressful for all of you. At school the teachers will be doing the same, and it is best if the two can be co-ordinated.

CLEAR STRATEGY FOR BEHAVIORAL MANAGEMENT. Children afflicted with ADHD are great responders to award and punishment scenarios. They come out best when they are informed of the awards they shall receive when they behave in a particular manner. Obviously, the awards have to be far more frequent than the punishment. Are not clear on what is involved need to consult a professional.

SUPPORT FOR THE PARENTS. Looking after children with ADHD can be very stressful for the parents. Bringing up these children can be very taxing. At times it may lead to depression and marital breakdown in parents. To help the parents to cope with the stress of bringing up a ADHD child, the parents should also consult the parent support groups and parents training groups, marital counseling, and family therapy etc.

MEDICATION for ADHD should be such that reduces the symptoms and lets the child the opportunity to learn academic, social, and other life skills. The aim here should be to get the correct medicine in the right dosage. child the opportunity to learn academic, social, and other life skills.

Most common type of medicines used for children with ADHD are the stimulants. One medicine that is available in the market to reduce the symptoms of ADHD is atomoxetine. This medicine has very less side effects.

Health professional can only help the parents solve particular problems of your child, but they can not bring up your child for you. They will also help you clear your doubts on how to handle certain situations.

The person who has to cope with this is you and your family. Therefore, this is best addressed by you and the first step towards this is to learn as much as you can. Learning all you can results in better management and better results.

Information about the Author: For more articles about child behavior and for his excellent book, why not visit Dr. Noel Swanson’s website www.good-child-guide.com ? He also does a free newsletter which is well worth reading.

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Girls and Women with ADHD: The Silent and Ignored Disorder in Females

By: Delmarie Alvarez

Traditionally, when we learn or speak of research on ADD ADHD it is mostly focused on males. Males were believed to make up 80% of all individuals with ADD ADHD and according to the DSM IV, the ratio of boys with ADHD to girls was 4:1. Information and understanding of ADD ADHD in girls and women is very recent and as a result, girls and woman with ADHD are often overlooked and do not get diagnosed as readily as males. So why are females overlooked? To begin with, females with ADD ADHD exhibit a variety of issues that are different from those in males with ADD ADHD, and girls deal with very different challenges as well. Boys with ADD ADHD will tend to participate in more disruptive behaviors at school and home.

They are more defiant and aggressive. Girls, though they can be physically hyperactive, will engage in a quieter act of disorganization and inattention and are often timid and compliant. Because of the absence of disruptive behavior, the girl calls little attention to herself or her issues leading to a late, if at all, diagnosis. Research shows girls do not get diagnosed until they are women in their mid 30’s. This is due to the fact that they did not know there was a name to their inattention and often chaotic life until their own children were found to exhibit the same characteristics and were eventually diagnosed.

A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 966-975, shows girls with ADHD were 16 times more likely to have repeated a grade in school, and almost ten times more likely to have been placed in special education than those in the non-ADHD group. They also found girls were less likely to be diagnosed with a co-morbid disorder, such as conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder, than boys.

Other research shows girls and woman with ADHD (more so if undiagnosed) are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, and unplanned pregnancies. The above results stress the importance of treating ADD ADHD in females as successfully and comprehensively as it is treated in males.

ADD ADHD in females can manifest as a timid, introverted, withdrawn, daydreamer who was often disorganized, confused and overwhelmed. It can also come across as a hyperactive and overly talkative individual that is overly social, moody and impulsive. Whatever the symptoms, ADD ADHD is affected even greater when mixed with the hormonal rollercoaster of a young woman or adult with premenstrual syndrome. Emotional instability, irritability and mood swings are some of the challenges these girls and women will also have to endure.

The difficult societal issues most females have to deal with on a daily basis also become harder to comprehend and manage. For example, a married woman who is expected to be the caretaker and nurturer of her home may feel inadequate in fulfilling her role. She may not have a support network or someone she could talk to and has continued being the supporter of everyone else. Handling a full time job and the full time responsibilities at home add more pressure and stress to an already overwhelmed individual. The above issues exacerbate the problems ADD ADHD may already bring to their lives, impacting their self esteem and causing depression and anxiety.

The positive news is more attention and research has been given to girls and woman and ADD ADHD. The goal is to promote more awareness and implement effective treatment strategies before the young girl becomes a woman so that she will not have to overcome the hardships and struggles that could have been avoided if diagnosed early.

About The Author:

Delmarie Alvarez is a seasoned evaluator for some of the most respected evaluation centers in the New York area. She is the author of Passage to Freedom: The Key To Unlocking The Gifts Behind ADD/ADHD, and publishes a free bi-weekly eTips newsletter to help individuals with ADD ADHD take the first step toward achieving success in their life or that of a loved one with out the need for mind-altering medications. To subscribe to this free bi-weekly eTips newsletter or find out more about the Passage to Freedom eBook go to http://www.hope-for-adhd.com/

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

What Is Asperger’s and Where Does it Come From?

by Steven Paglierani

Did Einstein have Asperger’s? Recently, I found myself miffed at yet another conference on Autism. In this case, it was a day long seminar lead by an M.D. from the child study center of a major Connecticut medical university. What upset me was that he implied that only M.D.’s can correctly diagnose Asperger’s; moreover, that diagnosing anyone in less than four days was simply people out to scam money out of the poor families.

That this man was narrow minded is clear. What stayed with me, though, was a comment he made about people like Einstein and Bill Gates not having Asperger’s. Why not? Because, he said, they do not need medical assistance.

What is important to see here is why they did not need this medical assistance. Why didn’t they? Because their “special interest” generalized to an interest in which the general population is also interested. According to Dr. Iknowbest, though, people who achieve public success cannot possibly suffer from Asperger’s.

Here again, we see a case wherein symptoms, rather than personal suffering, drives the diagnosis. However, before I address this misnomer further, I need to first make a disclaimer. I want you to know that I, in no way, mean to imply that all medically minded folks are asses. In truth, I relish reading medical studies such as those Harvard recently did, wherein they used brain imaging to explore the physical identity of Asperger’s.

In truth then, I am only against people who use these kinds of studies to depersonalize human suffering. Moreover, saying Einstein did not suffer socially ignores everything we know about him as a person. To me, this is profoundly sad, and ignorant, especially in light of that his social ineptitude is a matter of record. As is that of people like Thomas Jefferson, Socrates, Lincoln and Newton, and so many others just like them.

That these men had a hard time socially connecting to others is simply fact. Newton, for instance, spent most of his life shut away in his apartment. Doing what? Thinking and writing about his “special interest”; physics. In a way, then, it’s a miracle we even know of his work, given his aversion toward social shallowness and people in general.

Whatever the case, we do know him. Asperger’s and all.

What is Asperger’s? So how do I define, Asperger’s? Let me first define the spectrum to which it belongs; autism. I define autism as, “a social impairment wherein a person suffers from a pervasive category of socially disconnecting distractions.” Moreover, what I mean by “socially disconnecting distractions” is that the person has the very tendency to which I have been referring; a personality sized “special interest.”

What, then, is the principle symptom of this suffering?

The profound inability to connect to socially normal people. Especially to social peers.

The principle behavior which drives this behavior?

Compulsively focusing on things other than personal relationships at the expense of personal relationships. Here again, the tendency to have “special interests.”

So where does Asperger’s fit into this spectrum? Asperger’s is an autism. Thus Asperger’s is “a personality sized, minority life focus wherein the person suffers from a significant inability to connect with socially normal peers. This is autism. And it certainly applies to people with Asperger’s.

What qualifies someone as having Asperger’s then? The focus of the person’s “special interests.” Here, I would describe this tendency; the person’s special focus, as stemming almost entirely from the personal tendency to make information more important than people.

This means the principle thing which distracts people with Asperger’s is information and learning. Especially in and around their special interests. Moreover, without ever realizing it, they do this at the expense of their social relationships.

Okay. So I admit it. This way of defining Asperger’s is a lot to digest. And requires a lot of letting go of old ways of thinking. Beginning with the idea that my focus here is not on some medical way in which to measure personal non conformity. Rather, my way of defining Asperger’s focuses on how the person suffers personally. As a human being, and not as a lab rat.

Here then is step one in the journey toward treating people with Asperger’s as human beings. Focus on their suffering. Not on their medical symptoms.

Where Does Asperger’s Come From? So where does Asperger’s comes from? Before I tell you, allow me to describe a quality which underlies the whole of Emergence Personality Theory. This quality? Blamelessness; the idea that no one consciously causes their pain. This includes the parents of kids with Asperger’s. Not one of them ever causes their child to get Asperger’s.

So where does it come from then? Remember, I’m a personality theorist. Thus, I would never see logic alone as the proof my point of view is true. Logic is simply too cold and impersonal. To me then, either the ideas feel true to both my head and heart or they’re not a condition of human personality.

So how do we find ideas that feel true to both the head and heart? Simple. Whatever condition we seek to describe must have once been normal. For instance, it was once normal for all of us to focus on sensation at the expense of our social relationships. When? In the first six months of life. Unfortunately, some babies never expand beyond this focus. Thus, they incur the condition we call, Kanner’s Autism.

In the second six months of life, we all have another norm. We focus on learning how to use the ability we mastered in our first six months; sensation itself, to sense the things in our environment. Here again, some few babies unfortunately never focus beyond this point. In their case, we call what they have, OCPD; Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. The compulsion to sense the things in their environment at the expense of connecting to people.

And Asperger’s then? Asperger’s comes into being sometime during a baby’s second year of life. How? Well consider what is normal for babies to focus on during this stage in their lives. They focus on learning to understand the things they’ve learned to sense in the prior stage of their development. Thus, if babies do not move past this focus, they remain intensely interested in learning for learning’s sake, even to the point wherein the never learn to connect to people.

Is there a fourth norm then? Absolutely. From age two to age four, kids normally rebel against any pressure put on them to simple parrot other folks learning. The “terrible two’s,” remember? So what does this turn out to be if the baby never loses this focus? ADD. Attention Deficit Disorder. And yes, I know medically minded folks now call this condition, ADHD. However, it seems incredibly silly to diagnose a kid as having ADHD without HD. Which happens to be the most common kind.

What Could We Be Focusing On To Help These Folks? So what could we be doing to better help these folks? Well, in the case of Asperger’s, we could be focusing our efforts on getting these folks to make “connecting” more important than “information.”

Notice, I haven’t simply said, teach them better social skills. In truth, teaching mouth readers to read eyes is a lot easier that you might imagine. In fact, given they believe you have something valid to say, folks with Asperger’s are among the best folks of all to teach.

What else could we be doing? We could also stop telling them they have a disease. They do not. They have a style of relating to the world which was once normal for all of us but no longer is. Even for Dr. Iknowbest was once like this.

During this time, learning the meaning of everything was our special interest. Moreover, in babies aged one to two, this focus is absolutely normal.

In people with Asperger’s, however, this tendency toward special interests impairs their very ability to see the beauty in people. and renders them unable to do much more than parrot real connections. Something which simply wrecks their confidence and something which most folks with Asperger’s just hate doing.

What else could we be doing to help? For one thing, we could pay more attention to the way “focusing on information more than people” plays out in the very nature of peoples’ language skills. In my work, I call this natural tendency, being “fussy” rather than “fuzzy.”

For example, in one case, I taught the mom of a man with Asperger’s why asking him to clean his room put him into a full blown panic attack. I explained to her that to her son, her requests for him to clean his room required he fully grasp the nature of cleaning rooms. Not just his room. All rooms. Moreover, that without this comprehensive level of understanding, he simply didn’t know where to begin. Thus, his panic and resistance.

As I told this mother these things, I saw this man vigorously nodding his head in agreement. At which point, I turned to him and explained that when his mother said these things, she was merely asking him to “do something to make your room look a little better. Anything.”

“Fuzzy” and “fussy.” Two very different qualities. Especially when applied to language. The ability to help here would come from teaching both those with Asperger’s, and those who do not have, it to speak to each other in the other’s language. In effect, they both become bilingual, in that they both learn to speak “fussy” and they both learn to speak “fussy.”

Learning this alone has changed my whole outlook on life. As well as allowing me to socially connect to others for the first time in my life.

Lastly, one more thing we could be doing is we could stop reminding people with Asperger’s that some few folks with Asperger’s became world changers. Why stop saying this? Because this only makes them, and me, feel even more inept. And more like failures.

People with Asperger’s are not failures. They are simply in the minority, both language wise and interest wise. Moreover, to see this as true, simply imagine our world were it not for people like them. Easier in some ways. Yes. Certainly. But without the special interests of those few who have changed the world? I doubt I’d even be writing on this computer, let alone have ever had a chance to become a somewhat normal human being.

Finally, to the Dr. Iknowbest’s of the world, I sincerely pray you’ll reconsider. I know that underneath it all, you too want to help these folks and make the world better. Please know, however, that no good can never come from treating warm human beings like they are cold scientific data. And while this approach works fairly well on things like rocks and clouds, it downright stinks at helping people. We humans are just too complex. And too spiritually minded.

I write this with high hopes and warm regards,


P. S. For those who would like to read a more in depth explanation for this way of defining Asperger’s, as well as it’s etiology, see The Four Autism’s. From there, you’ll find a number of links to further explore this approach. As well as how Emergence Personality Theory explains the rest of what we think, feel, say, and do. Blamelessly, of course.

About the author: Steven Paglierani is a writer, teacher, personality theorist, and therapist whose work on learning and human consciousness is read weekly by thousands all over the world. He is the author of Emergence Personality Theory, and his mission is to make the world better for children by restoring and deepening their love of learning.

He can be read or reached at his site, http://theEmergenceSite.com

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Homework Tips for Kids and Teens

Homework Tips For Kids & Teens
by: Kadence Buchanan

Homework has been a perennial headache for kids and teens as well as for their parents. Following are some tips to make homework time more effective and enjoyable for all concerned.

1. No TV. As a general rule, kids should not watch TV while doing their homework. It might be a good policy to have the television turned off any time it’s time to do homework, depending, of course, where the television is located.

2. The radio is OK. Contrary to what many so-called experts recommend, actual studies have shown that having the radio on a child’s or teenager’s favorite music station can actually help him learn better.

3. Set fixed hours. There should be a set schedule for homework. This way, the youngsters can arrange their schedules and make sure they get their homework done every day. It’s also a great way for answering those comments. “I’ll do it later, after I’ve finished whatever,” which is a standard line among kids when asked if they’ve finished their homework. You may want to set a standard time for supper and family discussions, followed by study time. If the student doesn’t have other commitments and gets home reasonably early from school, some homework can be done before supper.

4. Set telephone rules. As a general rule, kids should not be allowed to use the telephone during those hours when they are supposed to be doing their homework. However, sometimes it becomes necessary to use the phone, say, for confirming homework and the like. In these cases, the parents should set a fixed number of minutes for discussing school-related matters so the kids can get back to their homework right away.

5. Create a good study area. First, designate an area where it would be ideal for your children to do their homework, usually in their rooms. Set up this area to make it conducive for studying by putting proper lighting, an area for studying supplies such as pencils, pens, paper, books, and other essentials and make the area free from distractions. It might be a good idea to set up a bulletin board there as well.

About The Author — Kadence Buchanan writes articles for http://1stcosmeticsurgery.com/ - In addition, Kadence also writes articles for http://learntobecloser.com/ and http://computerinformationsource.com/

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Can Moms Afford Not to Work?

by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

I generally stay out of the whole stay-at-home mom vs. working-mom debate. I believe nearly every mother gets up in the morning and tries to do the best she can for her family with whatever working arrangement she has. Motherhood is hard enough without attacking those, or fending off attacks from those, who make different choices.

However, the April 8, 2007 issue of “Parade” Magazine raised an issue that is definitely worth responding to. In the article, “Can Moms Afford Not to Work?” Lyric Wallwork Winik refers to a new book “The Feminine Mistake” by Leslie Bennetts which maintains that becoming a stay-at-home mom is “an economic choice with potentially dire consequences”, arguing that “even taking three years off will cause a 37% cut in earnings compared to women who remain.” She asks, “Are you a better mother if you stayed at home but suddenly can’t provide for your family?” in the event of a divorce.

I will concede this is a valid concern and an unfortunate statement on where motherhood ranks on the list of “valued professions” in our capitalistic economy. If there isn’t a dollar value associated to what you are doing, then what you are doing doesn’t matter. According to a study released in May 2006, a full-time, stay-at-home mother would earn $134,121 a year if paid for all her work, but the reality is that most people look down on stay-at-home moms, thinking that their talents could be better utilized doing something else.

I recently read “The 7 Myths of Working Mothers” by Suzanne Venker. I didn’t enjoy the book, primarily because it just adds fuel to the whole “mommy war” scenario I referred to above. However, Venker makes some interesting points. The reality is that you either raise your children yourselves, or you pay someone to do it for you. The children may turn out fine either way and there still may be a very strong mother-child bond. However, isn’t it ironic that people value child care if you are caring for someone else’s children? No one would tell a day care worker or nanny that what she (or he) is doing isn’t work, but care for your own children and you have been relegated to the unimportant. Venker also makes note of the fact that many moms work part-time (this is what the vast majority of my own circle of stay-at-home moms do, myself included), and that the distinction between a stay-at-home mom and a “working mom” is that stay-at-home moms plan their work around their children while working moms try to fit in parenting around their work schedule.

There is also the economic impact of working. Having both spouses working can actually result in greater expenses than having one spouse stay home. Once day care, transportation, clothing allowances, and other work-related expenses are taken into account, it can often cost more to work. There is also an emotional toll on a marriage when both partners have stressful jobs. Once again, this is an issue that each family needs to make their best decisions about in light of their own particular circumstances. It is also a decision that many women don’t have the luxury of making if they are single mothers.

Yet Bennetts is correct that stay-at-home moms do face economic consequences. Our retirement accounts don’t get contributed to and our social security benefits depend on our husbands. Wouldn’t it be better if the government actually supported the work mothers do by awarding mothers social security based on some agreed upon value, say $30,000 a year (I’m not saying that is all stay-at-home mothers are worth but it would be a start) or if there was a tax deduction for being a stay-at-home mom? There is a child-care credit? Why shouldn’t there be a credit for actually caring for your own children?

The answer to whether moms can afford not to work should not be to push women into the workforce when they would rather take on the challenging and rewarding (albeit exhausting!) work of raising their children. It should be to revise our social system so that women aren’t economically penalized for being mothers.

About the author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is editor of “Spiritual Woman” (www.spiritualwoman.net). Visit her blog at http://spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Don’t Stress It

by: Carl Hampton

Did you know that stress can make you sick? I mean physically sick, not mentally sick. Most of the time when we are stressed, we say things like “I’m sick and tired” and that could be a lot truer than we think.

When the body undergoes stress, your immune system begins to drop and the body becomes more open to germs leading to unwanted illnesses. Have you ever wondered why so many high school and college students often have a cold or the flu around midterm and finals time? Maybe you have noticed that many of your co-workers will get sick when there is a really big deadline that needs to be met.

Not to worry, and I mean that literally. There are a number of ways that you can avoid stress. As much as we dread or dislike doing this you have to exercise. Working out is one of the most effective stress-management techniques there is. The exercise doesn’t have to be an intense cardio workout. In fact, taking a 30-minute walk will suffice. Your local park will usually have a walking or bike path. Just try it out. As long as you can clear your head of all the things that you think about during the day, you’re good to go.

After we leave school, we tend to forget to do something really basic, something that is intrinsic to our educational learning. Believe it or not, writing can relieve large amounts of stress. Expressing yourself in the written form can reduce your stress level. You don’t have to be a writer, just try it anyway. Everyday for a week, just write about anything and everything that comes to mind. Don’t want your hand to cramp up from holding the pen so hard? Then type it out on your computer. You can keep it to yourself or you can post online, there are many blog websites out there. If you read other peoples blogs, you’ll realize you are not alone. Still not convinced that writing does the trick? If you are creative in anyway, do what expresses you and your feelings. If you were a musician before, then try playing; a painter, then get some canvases; a singer, then find some music you like and sing along. There are endless ways a creative mind can relieve itself from stress.

We should never be afraid to express ourselves. I was once told that it is okay to have a healthy crying session every now and then. If you feel like talking instead, call up that best friend or that sibling and speak your mind. Are you feeling angry? It is okay to feel angry, it really is. Emotions are a necessary part of being human, so do not deny yourself that because if you do, you will stress out.

Relax your body-center. I know that may sound a little bit crazy, but body-centered relaxation is a lot more common than you think. Yoga, massage therapy, aromatherapy, and breathing exercises are different forms of body-centered relaxation. I bet that sounds better than exercise right now, doesn’t it?

Finally, try to distract your mind from the stress by different activities. There are many ways to relax your mind, meditation and self-hypnosis are a couple. If that’s not your cup of tea, you could try listening to relaxing music. Those are just some of the very simple ways to relieve your stress.

Now let’s move on to what we can do to minimize stress in our lives. Time management is something you start to get a better grasp of as you grow older. However, the majority of the adult world often has no concept of time management, which can lead to high levels of stress especially in the work place. We really should put some effort into prioritizing our schedule so that we have an agenda and we are not just scrambling around like a lost soul in the dark, stressing about what you think you have to do next.

This next one is a tough one. You should try to find an effective way of dealing with stress. By that I mean that you should figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you in reducing your stress levels. I mentioned this before, and here it is again. You have to be healthy. That means you have to eat right, sleep well, and limit your alcoholic and smoking intake. That might sound like a sacrifice but it works. Try to make strong relationships with your family and friends. Studies have shown that those that have a strong personal network or support system can deal with stress a lot better than those who don’t. Finally, minimize or stop all together those thoughts that cause stress. Work on your problem solving and you could feel so much better.

In terms of evaluating stress levels, there are a variety of causes. Your stress level could be based on your family genetics, how much family support you have, your own attitude, or your ability to bounce back. Ultimately, your level of stress depends on how you perceive it and how long you let it last. There are a few ways to evaluate your stress level. You can go the professional route and talk to a counselor about it. Or you can check online, there are many stress level calculators on the Internet.

As mentioned before, stress can affect your physical self. The more stress you have, the more likely you are to get sick because stress affects your heart and blood vessels, nervous system and immune system. The most common stress related issues are coronary artery disease, asthma and diabetes. Stress can also take it’s toll on your emotions. You can become depressed, and as a result moody, anxious, and difficult to deal with.

When we are stressed, our body releases hormones that increase your heart rate and respiratory system. The body then begins to prepare itself for danger and this is referred to as the “fight-for-flight” stress response. It can go unnoticed or it can be extreme. The more stress we have, the less likely it is we will feel good, physically and mentally. So try to eliminate that problem by not stressing out of problems most of us have no control over.

About The Author

“Your” Money Matters By Carl Hampton
From the Author of “From Credit Despair To Credit Millionaire”

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Parental Kidnapping

by: Sheri Gray

Have you ever heard day-to-day kidnapping news revolving around events like a mother kidnapping her own son from her businessman husband who abused their child? Or maybe you have heard cases like this: about a stepfather who kidnaps his step daughter then takes her out of the country to force his wife to pay him a fortune in order to get her back?

These types of cases of kidnapping are known as Parental Kidnapping, to be precise. While some people do it to free their children from abusive and tyrant spouses others do it deliberately for financial gain. Other reasons for parental kidnapping include neglecting the spouse’s needs, abuse of the children by the spouse, endangerment of the child and injustice.

Some parents feel that they have been ill-treated during the legal battle for the custody of their child. As a result they kidnap the child to satisfy their ego or they cannot do without their children.

A survey by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has revealed that over 300,000 children are abducted every year. This huge number reflects how laws are needed, and they must be made very stringent in order to convict the offenders and instill fear in people who are planning similar acts.

In addition, one of the worst parts of kidnapping attempts is the effect on the children due to all this. It can cause serious harm for his future development including emotional development, bad behavior in school, malnutrition and violent tendencies.

Help and Resources–

There is hope and help. Via the Internet, you can access the NCMEC site and speak to a Call Center Specialist if you have speakers and a microphone with your computer. You can also insert the NCMEC RSS feed into your feed reader to keep abreast of missing children. Stay in tune with Amber alerts, too, either via wireless or other channels. And you can also register to volunteer in your area should a child ever turn up missing; handling out posters, handling phone calls, etc.

Learn more and reach out by writing to: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Charles B. Wang International Children’s Building, 699 Prince Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3175 USA. Call them at: (703) 274-3900; or fax: (703) 274-2200; or visit them online at: http://www.missingkids.com. Report any information about kidnapping attempts and parental kidnapping to their 24-hour Hotline by dialing: (800) THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

Having a child abducted is the biggest fear a parent can face, and no parent wants to even imagine this situation presenting itself. To assist the authorities with locating a missing child, the use of a child identification kit can speed up the return of a loved one. The first 48 hours are the most critical when it comes to locating and saving a missing child. A preferred Child Identification Kit usually contains the following vital information for your child, recent photos, fingerprints, dental records, hair samples and other pertinent information about your child in one secure and convenient location. This could save the life of a child!

About The Author: Sheri Gray is writer and webmaster for J & S Enterprises an online force in the Personal Self-Defense Products market. Serving the industry since 2004 J & S Enterprises offers the Security Plus Child Protection Kit for the safety of your child. For more information on the products offered by J & S Enterprises and a link to check for Sex Offenders located near you go to: https://www.safeselfdefense.com“.

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Getting Children To Help Without Paying Them A Cent

By Michael Grose

Children generally belong to their families in two ways– either through positive contribution or through self-centredness, which often shows itself through misbehaviour or helplessness.

Effective parents provide real opportunities for children to contribute to their family’s and their own well-being so they feel valued for what they bring to the family, rather than what they can take. We often call this contribution ‘jobs’ or ‘chores’, but it is better to call it ‘help’. It is just a little rebranding, but the term ‘help’ better reflects what it is about.

“What does my child do around the house that other people rely upon?” is a question we need to ask ourselves constantly.

Training for contribution and independence starts from a young age and continues into adolescence. Developmentally, children are ready around two years of age to learn the skills of independence so it makes sense to begin these habits early.

Encouraging a positive contribution is one the best ways to promote self-confidence. Parents who teach children to do jobs for themselves and provide opportunities for input into family decisions related to age, issue and interest send a powerful message that they believe that their children are capable. Actions speak louder than words.

Children are capable of doing complex tasks if we show them how. It is useful to break complex jobs into simple tasks. For instance, a young child can begin making a bed by arranging teddies and pillows, progressing to smoothing out a doona and so on.

Children will often make mistakes when they assume greater responsibility so expectations need to be in line with children’s capabilities. Parents need to accept their genuine efforts and also be supportive when they make mistakes.

It is difficult sometimes to know when to allow children to assume more responsibility for their own well-being. Parents need to continuously assess our children’s capabilities and consider letting go when they appear ready. “What am I doing now that my child can do for themselves?” is a challenging question for many parents.

To give children the opportunity to contribute at home:

1. Establish a weekly HELP roster. Lists have the advantage of placing responsibility on to children to perform the helping task – without you reminding them. Involve your children in establishing the roster.

2. Think about what you are doing for children regularly that they can do for themselves. Identify one thing and give that responsibility to your children.

3. Ask children to take prepare or help you make at least one evening or main meal a week.

4. Identify a helping task (e.g emptying the dishwasher, taking out the garbage) where your children can take turns being The BOSS for a week. They can make up the rules for that week about how the task is organised.

The most effective way to promote responsibility in children is to give them responsibility. When we give them more responsibility we are making ourselves redundant, which is the main aim of parenting!

About the Author— Michael Grose is a popular parenting expert and media commentator. He is the director of Parentingideas, the author of seven books for parents and a popular expert who speaks to audiences in Australia, Singapore and the USA. Get your free chores guide for kids when you sign up for Michael’s free email newsletter for parents and professionals when you visit http://www.parentingideas.com.au

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

My ODD Child

All children are oppositional from time to time, particularly when tired, hungry, stressed or upset. They may argue, talk back, disobey, and defy parents, teachers, and other adults. Oppositional behavior is often a
normal part of development for two to three year olds and early adolescents. However, openly uncooperative and hostile behavior becomes a serious concern when it is so frequent and consistent that it stands out when compared with other children of the same age and developmental level and when it affects the child’s social, family, and academic life.

In children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), there is an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that seriously interferes with the youngster’s day to day functioning.

Symptoms of ODD may include:

  • frequent temper tantrums
  • excessive arguing with adults
  • active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and
  • deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
  • blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
  • often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
  • frequent anger and resentment
  • mean and hateful talking when upset
  • seeking revenge

The symptoms are usually seen in multiple settings, but may be more noticeable at home or at school. Five to fifteen percent of all schoolage children have ODD. The causes of ODD are unknown, but many parents
report that their child with ODD was more rigid and demanding than the child’s siblings from an early age. Biological and environmental factors may have a role.

A child presenting with ODD symptoms should have a comprehensive evaluation. It is important to look for other disorders which may be present; such as, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), learning
disabilities, mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders. It may be difficult to improve the symptoms of ODD without treating the coexisting disorder. Some children with ODD may go on to
develop conduct disorder.

Treatment of ODD may include:

  • Parent Training Programs to help manage the child’s
  • Individual Psychotherapy to develop more effective anger
  • Family Psychotherapy to improve communication
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to assist problem solving and
    decrease negativity
  • Social Skills Training to increase flexibility and improve
    frustration tolerance with peers

A child with ODD can be very difficult for parents. These parents need support and understanding. Parents can help their child with ODD in the following ways:

  • Always build on the positives, give the child praise and
    positive reinforcement when he shows flexibility or
  • Take a time-out or break if you are about to make the conflict
    with your child worse, not better. This is good modeling for
    your child. Support your child if he decides to take a time-
    out to prevent overreacting.
  • Pick your battles. Since the child with ODD has trouble
    avoiding power struggles, prioritize the things you want your
    child to do. If you give your child a time-out in his room for
    misbehavior, don’t add time for arguing. Say “your time will
    start when you go to your room.”
  • Set up reasonable, age appropriate limits with consequences
    that can be enforced consistently.
  • Maintain interests other than your child with ODD, so that
    managing your child doesn’t take all your time and energy.
    Try to work with and obtain support from the other adults
    (teachers, coaches, and spouse) dealing with your child.
  • Manage your own stress with exercise and relaxation. Use
    respite care as needed.
  • Many children with ODD will respond to the positive
    parenting techniques. Parents may ask their pediatrician or
    family physician to refer them to a child and adolescent
    psychiatrist, who can diagnose and treat ODD and any
    coexisting psychiatric condition.

Children with ODD need to learn to take responsibility for their behavior and not use their diagnosis or disability as an excuse for inappropriate behavior. They need help learning how to:

  • Set limits
  • Curb sibling fighting
  • Stop defiance, back-talking, lying and cursing
  • Defuse explosive outbursts and uncontrolled anger
  • Stay on task
  • Do homework and chores
  • Effective problem solving techniques

If their “acting out” has carried on for a long period of time and goes against what is socially acceptable, then your teen probably has a behavioral disorder. If your teen is self-destructive and adversely affects your family, then his or her behavior is clearly a problem.

The causes of ODD are unknown, but many parents report that their ODD child was more rigid and demanding than the child’s siblings from an early age. The symptoms are usually seen in
multiple settings, but may be more noticeable at home or at school. Five to fifteen percent of all schoolage children have ODD. Biological and environmental factors may have a role.

Oppositional defiant disorder appears to be more common in families where at least one parent has a history of a mood disorder, conduct disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder,
antisocial personality disorder, or a substance-related disorder.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder does not occur alone:

  • 50-65% of ODD children also have ADD/ADHD
  • 35% of these children develop some form of affective disorder
  • 20% have some form of mood disorder, such as Bipolar
    Disorder or anxiety
  • 15% develop some form of personality disorder
  • Many of these children have learning disorders

Teens with ODD plus ADHD are much more difficult to live with. Their destructive and disagreeable behavior are purposeful. They like to push their parents anger-buttons. Every request ends up as a power struggle. Lying becomes a daily habit. Getting a reaction
out of others is amusing to them. They are rarely sorry for the hurtful things they say and do. And they believe nothing is their fault.

Parenting strategies often include a home rules contract (i.e., a written set of expectations that parents have of their teens and preteens). The contract includes basic rules, consequences and

The primary purpose of a home rules contract is for teens to be held accountable for their behavior while allowing parents to maintain a reasonable amount of control (i.e., teaching teens that there are consequences for breaking rules, the knowledge of which hopefully will transfer in the teen’s mind to school rules as well as the legal system).

Mark Hutten, M.A., author of My Out-of-Control Child

How to Successfully Modify Behavior

by Larry Lloyd

Behavior Modification like behavior management & Anger Management is a misnomer. People naturally resist getting modified or managed. People work like springs: the harder you push the harder they resist. The greatest method would be Self Modification as a form in a Manualized Cognitive Restructuring Workbook. Cognitive Restructuring if performed properly has the capacity to dig deep and alter imperfect thinking errors and self-degrading behaviors. The following is one example of a cognitive restructuring text.

Amy constantly feared Cord. She couldn’t do right when he was around. He had powerful muscles and if he lost his temper in seething anger, his fist became a deadly weapon that might kill her with a single hit. Her 128lb body was little defense.

Amy kept him from his sexual fantasies and craving for different females. Consequently he would incite in her the exact conduct that he himself disliked so that he could justify his belligerent actions towards her. He was deeply self-deceived and believed she was the problem. He was always concentrating on her weaknesses while in all actuality she was a loyal, smart, knowledgeable woman and nurturing mom.

Amy joined numerous other women and men caught up in the murkiness of abuse, horrible existence of fright, anxiety and confusion. Different from attack by an unfamiliar person, strong cords of attachment and subconscious programming keep the abused soundly fastened to the abuser in an never-ending tradition of abuse.

Domestic violence is a systemic disease (i.e., it is embedded in ones life). It creates scores of symptoms but, unless the disease itself is exterminated, the symptoms will persist.

1. Can you name a few of the symptoms or outward signs of domestic abuse? _____________________________

2. How come domestic violence is more emotionally harmful than abuse by a stranger? ___________________________

3. How did Amy get rid of her disease?_____________________

4. What happens when her and people similar to her don’t stop the abuse through total separation but stop attached to their abuser? ___________________________________________________________

5. Severing relationships can be very frightening and it can hurt a lot. Why should we avoid judging those who continue on in abusive relationships? __________________________________

Those who are abused really need encouragement, not derision. T or F?

6. How can you successfully sever the emotional ties of an abusive marriage? ________________________________________


To comprehend the abyss of domestic violence, an individual must comprehend the high that one gets through interdependency, where the man and the woman get their hierarchy of emotional and physical needs satisfied. Fulfilling a persons Hierarchy of Physical needs which are: oxygen, water, food, clothing, shelter isn’t tricky, but satisfying ones emotional needs is another question. Take this test:

On a scale from 1-5, rate your marriage for the last two years:

* Need to be loved - My partner deeply loved me; I was not alone.

* Need to be validated - I was encouraged and praised by my partner. He/She made me feel like a good person.

* Need to be affirmed - My partner made me feel important; I was making a difference.

* Need to be understood - My partner listened to me; What I said was understood.

* Need to be appreciated - My partner really appreciated what I did for him/her.

* Need to be secure - I had a home; I felt safe and secure in my environment.


Excellent: 30-24

Problem: 23-17

Harmful: 16-6

7. What did you score? ____

Which bracket (excellent/problem/harmful) did you fall into?

What does it mean?

Does anything need to change?

About the author: Decades ago, Larry Lloyd founded the American Community Corrections Institute. ACCI sponsors a blog on the topic of criminal behavior and related topics.

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

How To Survive Parenting A Teenager

Aaah, Teenagers! What comedian Jeff Allen describes as God’s revenge for humanity: “Let’s see how you like it when something you created tells you you don’t know anything!” As a counselor, I think the most trying phases of parenting that I have seen are the toddler years and the teen years. So similar in issues - only with bigger bodies. The control of potty training has been replaced by curfew. Instead of sharing their toys, they have to share the family car. Instead of talking kindly to others, they need to talk kindly to you! Here are some tips to keep in mind so you won’t lose yours:

1. You are not alone

Scores of parents of generations past have survived adolescence, and so will you. Perhaps you were the one that gave your parents their mass of gray hair, and shattered nerves. You can see they survived. Strike up a conversation with other parents of teens, and I am sure you will find a lot of common ground.

2. You are not crazy

The one thing that brings the most relief to the parents of teens is when I tell them they are not crazy for their feelings. The inconsistency of teenagers’ decisions, irrational behavior, and sometimes deception can make a parent feel crazy. “Adolescence” is when teens are trying to make “sense” of being an “adult.” The trial and error of it can be confusing for all involved.

3. It is a phase

Parents of teens can often feel like their lives will be, or have been, in chaos forever. This is not true. Just as the toddler years did not last forever, neither will the adolescent years. Even though it may not feel like it now, there have been times that you have already created positive memories your teen will cherish later as an adult. Keep up the good work!

4. Every day can be a do over

Having a challenging day with your teen today? Not quite communicating? Feeling the tug of war with power struggles? The great thing about this season of life is there are new opportunities to start again each day. Or you don’t have to wait until tomorrow; you can start again right now! It is amazing what the power of an apology can do!

5. Maintain a sense of humor

Above everything, maintain a sense of humor. Henry Ward Beecher said it best: A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs – jolted by every pebble in the road. Parenting teens can not only come with pebbles, but with boulders. A humorous perspective can mean the difference between sanity and senility.

6. Do everything to maintain your marital relationship

You love your children, but the first priority is your marriage. Find time to safeguard your relationship to maintain closeness with your spouse. The parenting years will soon be over, but your marriage will last a lifetime. As a counselor, I have seen many couples that feel like they do not know one another anymore because they have allowed parenting to invade upon their marital intimacy.

Whether you are a newbie or an experienced veteran, parenting teens can be challenging. Perspective can provide a sense of relief during the troubled times and perhaps prevent them from becoming overwhelming.

Are you looking for more common sense advice, practical solutions and even humor for parenting your teen? I invite you to check out http://www.parentingyourteenager.com where you will find tips for parenting teens, school, curfew, and more!

Terre Grable is a Christian licensed professional counselor. She enjoys helping parents and teens become better friends when they feel like enemies.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Terre_Grable

Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Are you parenting a teenager?

Are you parenting a teenager? Would it help to know what he (or she) is thinking?

Recently I sat down with a 17 year old young woman, Amy (not her real name), and asked her this question.

(Colleen) “Amy, what frustrations do teenagers have with their parents? What do teenagers wish they could tell their parents, but often don’t?”

(Amy) “Well, let me think a minute. Okay, here’s a thought. Parents are all the time complaining we (teenagers) don’t do as we’re told. I’m talking about things like chores and such. But parents need to remember that most teenagers have really full schedules.

“Honestly, we often just forget to do what we’re asked and then we get in trouble and the whole situation escalates.

“What I have found works for me is for my mom to give me a list of what she wants done and also when she wants it done. Then I’m able to fit the jobs into all my other activities and if I forget, it really is my fault. I keep up much better with my chores this way, plus I like managing my own schedule.”

(Colleen) “That’s good information, Amy. Any other thoughts?”

(Amy) “Yes. Another thing parents might consider is if they have a particular rule and they say there’s an exception to that rule, define the exception up front. Don’t make us figure it out by trial and error and then getting in trouble. We can’t read your mind.”

(Colleen) “Parents get frustrated by that one, too. Anything else?”

(Amy) “I also think that pushing all the time about joining family activities just makes teenagers tune out. For me, I enjoy spending time with my family, but not every minute of every day. I want to spend time with my friends, too.

“If I know when it’s important to be at family stuff, then I make sure I’m there and I can plan with my friends, too. More of a balanced plan.”

(Colleen) “Thank you, Amy, for sharing with us. Your comments are very insightful.” (End of interview.)

Good food for thought, isn’t it? (If you would enjoy more tips on parenting teens, please see the author’s resource box below.) Do Amy’s frustrations sound familiar? You might want to sit down with your own teen and ask these same questions of them. But be prepared to listen and not lecture, if you want the real answers!

Parenting a teenager can be hard work. Good parenting means listening and guiding. Giving a measure of freedom within clear boundaries and often walking a fine line of balance.

And lots of hugs are a good idea, too!

Colleen Langenfeld has been parenting for over 25 years and helps other moms enjoy mothering more at http://www.paintedgold.com . Visit her website and grab more parenting teenager strategies today.

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Contributing Author for www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com