Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids

Teaching Children They Deserve Respect

 

Write. Share. Give.

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back with another Slice of Life Post and today I want to touch on something that all kids need to learn. They need to learn they deserve respect.

 

Photo via Visualhunt.com

This is one of the things I worry about while I’m in the process of raising two boys. We’re very good at telling them they need to respect adults, their friends, and family members, but I think as parents we forget our kids are also entitled to receive respect.

 

This is one of the reasons I believe bullying is such a problem.

Photo credit: Nellie0224 via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

 Teaching our children they have value even if they don’t have a lot of life experience,  is one of the keys to building self-esteem. How do we do this? That is a very good question and I’m so glad you asked.

Photo credit: cameraburps via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

We do this by asking their opinions. By asking them to help make family decisions. Recently, my husband and I were car shopping, and we brought the boys along. When we test drove a car, we asked them how they felt about it. We really listened to their input. This is one of the key ways to teach them how to not only articulate their opinions, but also how to negotiate for what they want. Important life skills, don’t you agree?

Photo via Visualhunt.com

Another way we can teach our kids they deserve respect is for us, parents, to respect them when they reach out to us. Don’t brush off their concerns or worries because we’ve got bigger problems to contend with. We have to be patient and realize whatever our child is dealing with, it’s probably a brand new experience and he needs help on how to handle it.

All kids grow at their own pace, we as parents need to respect that pace. Whether it’s fast enough for us or not. Because at this point, it is all about them, isn’t it?

We need to teach our kids to recognize disrespect for what it is and not react to it, to not let it damage their self-esteem. A fast recovery from these slights is important for our kids to have a more fulfilling life, wouldn’t you agree?

So how do you teach your child to handle disrespect? I struggled with this one because I have a hard time with this myself. I always think of a great come back five hours later. I shouldn’t even be thinking about the incident five hours later! But I digress.

It depends on the situation, but I’ve found that the best way to deal with this is to use “I” messages.

“I feel disrespected when you talk to me in that tone of voice.”

No one disrepects a lion, right?

Photo via Visual Hunt

The reason I think “I” messages are important is because it doesn’t put the bully on the defensive. Your child isn’t saying anything about him. He’s communicating his feelings. Whereas if his response were:

“You’re being mean to me.”

Then the bully will argue. You’re child and the antagonizer will get into a debate on whether or not he is being mean, and then there won’t be a satisfactory conclusion to the confrontation.

In the first scenario, it opens up an opportunity for your child and the bully to come to an understanding and maybe even become closer. That’s what we’re trying to do, isn’t it? Become closer? To have a better understanding of our peers and have mutual respect for each other?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. If you have any ideas, I’d love to read them. Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

 

Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for creating The Slice of Life! If you’d like to read other Slice of Life Posts click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building our Self-Worth

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve been sitting here spinning my wheels trying to come up with a topic for today’s blog. After four attempts, I’ve found one that works for me. Yay!

I just read an article by one of my fellow twitter pals and it got me thinking. You can read the article by clicking this link. http://www.allthingscrimeblog.com/2014/02/03/run-bambi-run-amanda-knox-is-not-far-behind/

According to the above article, there’s an underlying trend in our society where attractive women are railroaded. I know what you’re thinking; they’re smart, attractive, and capable. How can they be railroaded?

It’s kind of a mob mentality. I’ve seen this happen in places where I’ve worked and I’ve seen it happen to women who aren’t goddesses by any means, but they all seem to have one thing in common. They have high self-esteem.

When women get into the corporate environment, they bring their issues with them. It’s unfortunate, but true. And one of the underlying issues for women seems to be low self-esteem, or she has more self-esteem than me. This underlying competitiveness among women is why men say, “women can’t work together.”

Let me explain how this works. Let us say poker chips represent our self-worth. So, the more self-esteem you have the bigger your pile of poker chips. If you have a big pile, you’re carefree, relaxed, and even willing to give one or two chips away. You’re generous with your self-esteem and don’t have a problem offering a compliment or a pat on the back.

 

Photo credit: Tiago Daniel on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

However, let us say your self-esteem is low. Let us say your pile of chips is small. If this is the case, then you’re not going to give any of your chips away. You’re going to horde them and may even try to steal someone else’s chips. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. You’re going to try to steal someone’s self-esteem by belittling their efforts, maximizing their mistakes, and minimizing their contributions. In addition, if you’re in an environment with other women who have low self-esteem, those other women are going to join the cause too. Everyone wants a bigger pile of chips and if you’re the one with the biggest pile, well…you’re pile is the target.

 

Photo credit: alisdare1 on VisualHuntCC BY-SA

I’ve seen this happen more than once. So how do we turn this trend around? Well, if you recognize that you may be someone with low self-esteem, all you have to do is increase your pile of chips. 🙂 I know, easier said than done.

Here’s a few ideas.

First, you have to accept yourself. That’s right all of the positive things about you and the negative ones too. Once you’ve accepted yourself you’re on the right path.

Second, you have to become internally oriented. What I mean by this is you have to decide for yourself what moral code you want to follow and then follow it. I feel by doing this, you’ll stop comparing yourself to those around you, because you’re living up to your own expectations and not anyone else’s. Therefore, you’re less likely to feel anxiety when a co-worker belittles your accomplishment because you won’t be looking for her approval, you’ll be looking for your own.

Third, recognize when someone has a small pile of chips and help her out by giving her a compliment. By performing random acts of kindness, you’re not only helping someone else’s self-worth, you’re helping your own. Please keep in mind this also applies to yourself. It’s okay to perform these acts of kindness for yourself, especially when you feel your self-esteem slipping a little. When you perform these for yourself, it may take the form of a bubble bath or maybe going for a walk, anything that makes you feel good about yourself.

Photo provided by Shell Belle link to license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en

Fourth, take care of yourself by eating right, getting enough sleep, and getting enough exercise. When you’re physically healthy, it really does help on those days when you’re feeling down.

Photo on VisualHunt

Fifth, set a goal for yourself and accomplish it. It can be a goal about anything, finding a job, asking for a raise, deciding to have a better relationship with your son or daughter, or choosing to exercise more. Once you make the decision, take action to accomplish the goal. And remember every setback is a learning experience that will point you in the right direction and bring you closer to your goal. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a setback. Learn from it.

So, there you have it, my ideas on how to improve your feelings of self-worth. Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? If you do, leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Teaching our Kids to be Self Focused

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m a huge fan of Zig Ziglar, so when I saw this post on my Facebook page, it inspired this blog post. 🙂

I don’t know about you, but when I was younger (many moons ago. ;)) if a friend, co-worker, or boss didn’t see my value, I would make it my mission to prove them wrong. I would spend time agonizing over their opinion and become frustrated when they couldn’t see how incorrect they were.

Of course, I’m older and wiser now and I know better, but what would’ve happened if I had figured this out earlier? I probably would have used all that energy to focus on accomplishing something, or maybe just enjoying my life a bit more.

This is an important lesson for our young people to learn early, and that is to be internally oriented and self-focused. Being self-focused is different from being selfish. I think I need to make this distinction. Being self-focused in the context in which I’m writing about anyway, means that a person focuses on his or her own set of internal values and desires. So when they encounter a negative or toxic person that person won’t have a huge impact on them, because they’re busy working on their own goals and aspirations.

As a parent, I worry about this. I don’t want my kids growing up with this kind of insecurity. So how am I going to raise them to be internally oriented? That’s a good question. I thought about it for a while and I’ve decided that this is the best way for me to do it.

The best way to do this is by being an involved parent. I have to remember that my kids are experiencing many things for the first time. What that means is even though I may think what they’re going through isn’t a big deal. It is to them. They don’t have the life experience that I do, and because of that experience, I’m supposed to be a guiding force in their lives. I shouldn’t use that experience to belittle the event they’re dealing with. I should use it to help them through it and give them some guidance on how to deal with it.

Often times, we adults forget this and try to brush off our child’s feelings because we’re trying to put food on the table, are worried about our jobs, or one of the other million things that parents worry about besides our kids.

If we focus on our kids, that also gives them permission to focus on themselves. It teaches them that we value them. This is important because then they learn to value themselves and they won’t fall prey to the toxic people that they’ll inevitably encounter in their lives.

Thanks for reading my post today. I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts, so leave a comment!

Posted in Health, Teen

Teens and Body Image Issues

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m working on a Coming of Age Novel, I’m excited about this one, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. The story delves into the complexity of relationships whether it’s a friendship, mother/daughter relationship, or mentor/trainee relationship.

As I was writing this story, I started thinking about teens and all the issues they face during the teen years. As parents, we have to remember teens are experiencing many of their feelings for the first time and they haven’t learned how to deal with them yet. Some of these feelings can be very powerful and overwhelming.

An area that seems to cause so much trouble, especially for young girls, is the area of body image. During the teen years, a girl’s body goes through many changes. These changes can trigger feelings of insecurity.

The unfortunate thing about these feelings is that teens don’t know how to cope with them, and many get into the habit of comparing their body with the bodies of their peers. In my opinion, this leads them down the destructive path of comparison and competition.

This is unhealthy because it can lead to eating disorders and other unhealthy behaviors. I remember my own experiences as a teen. I ran cross-country in high school and so I was relatively skinny. Quite a few of my peers would tell me I was too skinny. I was sensitive so I took these comments to heart and started to have negative feelings about my thinness. Until one day, I was at lunch with my friends and the conversation turned to dieting and diet pills. I noticed the girls who were telling me I was too skinny were taking diet pills to squash their appetite. I didn’t voice this to anyone, but I remember thinking, if I’m too skinny why are you taking diet pills? As you can see it’s not just the overweight girls who struggle, the thin ones do too.

Many people blame the media for causing this body image issue because they promote airbrushed bodies and faces. However, studies show it’s not these images that cause the issues; it’s the comparison and competition among peers that cause it. See this article for further info:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/body-image-issues-for-you_n_2590719.html

As teen relationships move to the internet arena, studies have found that young girls who use social media sites are more prone to negative body image, anorexia, and bulimia.

Many young girls will post images of themselves and according to this article from Huffington Post; forty-one percent of women from the ages of 18-24 retouch their photos before posting them to social media sites. To read the article, click on this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/body-image-issues-for-you_n_2590719.html

In my opinion, we as parents need to help our girls develop an appreciation for their bodies before they start changing. We need to compliment them on how strong and capable they are. We need to direct their focus on how important it is to be healthy and not on how they look.

For example, when I focused on how good I felt after a run, I didn’t worry about whether I was too skinny or not. I just felt good. I was healthy and I ate what sounded good at the time. If that was a double cheeseburger and fries, so be it. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. If you have any memories or tips you’d like to share about promoting a healthy body image please do! I’d love to read them.

For related articles please click the links below:

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/is-your-teen-bulimic-find-out-the-warning-signs-and-treatment/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/anorexia-nervosa/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/hello-everyone/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/please-welcome-back-laura-yochelson-anorexia-nervosa-survivor/

Posted in reviews, Teen

Book Review of “Paper Towns” by John Green

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you.  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I know I am! The summer season goes by waaaayy to fast for me, so I try to fit as much fun as I can in during those three short months.

We were on vacation a couple of weeks ago and I actually had some down time. J So, I spent time lounging in the sun and reading! Yes, reading. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and just enjoyed a book! I’ve been so busy with my own writing and promoting that I’ve put reading on the back burner.

Well, needless to say, I read a book while sitting in the sun and enjoying the breeze that cooled my skin.  The book I read is titled “Paper Towns” by John Green.

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

 

 

I must say that I really enjoyed the book. I loved the character Margo. Such a brave girl and to see her through the eyes of Quentin who has had a crush on her forever was unique. I haven’t read that many books that gives the boys perspective on the “high school crush” theme.

I enjoyed the bond that Quentin developed with his two closest friends, Ben and Radar. It reminded me of my high school days and the bonds of friendship that I had developed with my friends.  I also enjoyed the secret crush that Quentin had on Margo and how she became a mystery that he needed to figure out.

That is the theme of this story, figuring out Margo Roth Spieglman. In the beginning, I said that she was brave and she was. I loved her character, her ability to find fun in any situation and her ability to stand up to her parents.

In the story, she chooses to disappear and Quentin is bent on finding her. He gets his friends involved and they travel cross country following clues that she has left behind for Quentin.

This story kept me turning the pages I wanted to solve the mystery of Margo Roth Spieglman just as much as Quentin did. The ending was a little sad. I’m a big believer in a happy ending so when Margo is found and they find out that she didn’t really want to be…well a few sparks fly.

It was also bittersweet to find out that while Quentin had been harboring a crush on Margo, she had been harboring a crush on him.  It reminded me of high school in so many ways and the secret crushes we all harbor and never get a chance to act upon.  So there you have it, my review of “Paper Towns” by John Green. It’s well worth the read! I’ll be getting another one of his books for my next trip up north!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to read my review. If you’d like to give me a suggestion for my next book, please do! Leave me a comment. I’m always looking for good reads!

Posted in Teen

Let’s raise Internally Oriented Kids! Another tool to help beat Peer Pressure

Hello Everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today talking about teen issues. The issue I’d like to talk about is “External Orientation”. Now, you’re probably wondering what the heck is “External Orientation.”

Well…what I mean by this is when someone looks outside themselves for validation. They are “Externally Oriented”. Why is this a problem? I mean we all need a pat on the back once in a while, right?

I agree a pat on the back is awesome and everyone needs one. However, the problem arises when a teen becomes dependent on others for validation. And I see this more and more in our youth today.

They look to their peers for approval instead of looking inside themselves and asking does this behavior agree with my own belief system? It’s my humble opinion that when a teen acts in a way that is at odds with their belief system the result is lowered self-esteem. And we all know that low self-esteem is at the root of many of the problems in our society today.

We as parents need to teach our children to be more internally oriented. Teens need to work in conjunction with their own belief system and stand up for their own beliefs when they’re challenged by their peers.

So, how do we do this as parents? That is a good question and I have some answers. 🙂 Again, parental involvement is a major factor and it starts years before children reach their teens.

First of all, parents need to help their child develop a realistic belief system and this starts from day one all the way up to adulthood.  I’m talking about moral development not religious beliefs.

I know what you’re saying…yeah…we know that…but how do we do this?

We do this by helping them develop good habits in their childhood. For example, I don’t want my children to abuse alcohol and drugs when they’re older. So, I teach them healthy habits for their body now. I tell them … they shouldn’t do things that are bad for their body, like smoking and drinking. I tell them the negative effects of these vices. I know what you’re thinking…they’re too young…but they’re not. Now is when they’re listening to their parents and if parents can embed this into their sponge-like brains…they will develop the belief that drinking is bad for our bodies therefore, I’m not going to drink.

Is it really this simple? The answer is yes and no. 🙂 It is this simple if parents act in conjunction with what they’re teaching their children.  But problems arise when parents instruct their children one way and then behave in the opposite manner. This confuses the child and when they become teens…if they don’t have a strong belief system in place they’re more likely to look to others for validation. The more they look to others for validation the more likely they will fall prey to outside influences.

Children need to get validation from their parents. If they don’t get it from their parents they will look for it outside the home. It’s that simple. So please give your child praise when they do something right.

Whenever, I catch my kids eating something that’s good for their body. I give them lots of hugs and make a big deal about it. They’ll remember this and when a friend offers them that beer when they’re underage…they’re more likely to turn it down.  Because I’ve taught them that it’s not good for your body.

Being “internally oriented” is a great way to combat the many self-esteem issues that plague our young people today. Of course, this is just my opinion. 🙂 I’d love to hear yours, please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

On a side note, I’d just like to let you know that my books are now available as Audiobooks! So, if you’re interested in listening to them here are the links! 🙂

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http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00BGBSLCG&qid=1362406805&sr=1-1

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http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_2?asin=B00BIRIEDO&qid=1362406906&sr=1-2

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Posted in promotion

I’m going to be on Nicole O’Dell’s Radio show!

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m so excited that I’m going to be on Nicole O’Dell’s radio show this Friday, February 1st at 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time!

Here’s her website http://nicoleodell.com/

I’ll be talking about my books and how they can encourage parent/teen interaction!

I’d love it if you’d tune in and chat with us!

Here are the book covers and blurbs that we’ll be discussing! 🙂

 

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer 500x750This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…

 

TheSuperSpiesandtheHighSchoolBomber 500x750This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll tune in and chat with us!