Thursday, July 16, 2015

Talking To Kids About Problems of Racism

Tragic stories rooted in racism have been exploding across the United States. In the past year there have been many stories of unwarranted police brutality against black people. You no longer have to rely on verbal accounts; you can see for yourself in graphic videos documenting these injustices.

The heartbreaking tragedies continue. On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof attended the weekly Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. After participating in the meeting for an hour, Roof, a 21-year-old white man, shot and killed nine black people including the senior pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney.

In the three weeks following that tragedy, seven predominantly black churches have been set on fire by arsonists. These evil acts are fueled by racism. From the black kids who are disproportionately expelled from school and put into juvenile detention to the black men who fill the jails, racism is a major destructive force. While Asians, Native Americans, Latinos and other nonwhites also experience racism, Blacks are targeted the most.

Talking to Your Kids About Racial Differences

Racism grows in silence and secrecy. You can help shine a light on racism by talking to your kids about it. Do not avoid uncomfortable discussions of race by pretending that someone’s race doesn’t matter or pretending you don’t notice race.

You don’t need all the answers. You just need to start the conversation. Not talking to your kids about race only works if your kids are white. If you and your kids are white, you will not have negative experiences due to your skin color.

(read the rest of the article on Priceless Parenting)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Publicly or Privately Shaming Harms Kids

Do you remember being scolded with “Shame on you!” growing up? Perhaps it was followed with “You should know better than that!” How did it make you feel? Probably pretty bad.

For many generations shame has been a primary parenting tool. Brené Brown explains the power of using shame in The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting. "The truth is you can change a child's behavior on a dime with shame. For this simple reason - children experience shame as the threat of being unlovable. And so it's not very difficult to use shame to turn their behaviors around."

So if it’s effective why not use it? Because it damages your children’s feelings of self-worth.

Understanding Shame and Guilt


Before diving deeper into the problems with shaming, it’s helpful to define shame and how it’s different than guilt. Dr. Brené Brown researches shame. By her definition “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”

A fundamental need of all people is to feel a sense of love and belonging. Shame is powerful because it threatens this essential requirement. Using shame pressures your kids to change their behavior – not because they want to behave differently but rather they want to avoid your withdrawal of love.

Guilt is a feeling of remorse or regret for your actions. When you feel guilty, you are comparing something you’ve done or failed to do against your own ideals. Guilt can motivate you to make amends for a mistake or take responsibility for your actions. Guilt is felt more in your gut and shame in your heart.

(read the rest of the article on Priceless Parenting)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Stories + Yoga = Fun!

Could your kids use some exercise? While exercising doesn't sound very fun, when you add acting out an engaging story with yoga poses it passes the fun test!

The Cosmic Kids Yoga videos are getting great reviews from kids. Here's an example of one of their videos:


Monday, May 11, 2015

What influences kids cheating or not?

VitalSmarts created an experiment to test out if they could get more teens to cheat by using certain techniques. They base their manipulations on what science has found are ways to get people to set aside their values:

1) offer moral justification
2) minimize the consequences
3) dehumanize the victims
4) displace responsibility

Watch this video to see how well it worked and which kids were able to resist the temptation to cheat regardless of the pressure:



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Are You Unintentionally Harming Your Kids?

You love your kids and you want the best for them. What if in striving to do what is best for them, you actually stifle them or even harm them?

Not many parents admit to making any mistakes in their parenting. It’s too painful, too personal, and feels too vulnerable. E. Way risks all of this in Coming Out Of Cage: Journey of a Tiger Mom as she courageously explores how her parenting influenced her daughter’s post-traumatic stress disorder.

Seeing Signs of Serious Problems

After working hard to get her daughter into a prestigious college, E. Way was ready to celebrate having both her kids successfully launched. However, the feeling of relief was short-lived.

She writes “Not only was I devastated when I heard from my daughter about the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) problem she developed in her first year of college, I was absolutely shocked to find out it had a lot to do with how she was raised. I could not believe much of the pain, pressure, distress, and insecurity she experienced actually came from her father and me.”

Besides mental health issues like PTSD, what are other signs of serious emotional problems in children?

(finish reading the article on PricelessParenting.com)


Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Are Your Family's Top 5 Values?

What are your deepest held moral values? How are you teaching these values to your children? Are you doing it alone or are you seeking help from religious organizations or other resources?

Teaching your kids moral values is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a parent. In order for your children to act morally, they need to know the good, care about the good and practice doing the good.

The way your kids choose to treat others is critical. There are too many news stories of children committing suicide due in part to the cruel behavior of other kids. There are too many kids posting mean comments on social media. Too many kids avoiding activities due to bullying. How do you guide your kids in treating others?

Knowing the Good

What does it mean to be a good person? What traits does your family most value? Renée Trudeau, author of Nurturing the Soul of Your Family, shared that when her son was entering middle school they created a “Family Purpose Statement”. She described they “highlighted the top five qualities that were most important to us. At the top of our list: kindness and compassion–to self and others.”

What virtues make your family’s top five list? Some to consider include:

(finish reading the article on the Priceless Parenting site)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's causing the extreme increase in kids' food allergies?

Are you concerned about food allergies and why so many kids have them?  The food supply in the United States has been greatly altered since the late 1990's.  Sadly, many of the additives being sold in the United States are illegal in other countries due to the fact they haven't been proven safe for human consumption. 

Robyn O'Brien, former financial and food industry analyst, became very interested in studying the food supply when her daughter had a severe allergic reaction during breakfast one day. Check out this excellent video featuring a TED Talk by Robyn O'Brien and also sign up for the free Food Revolution summit.