Single Mothers With Difficult Teenagers

Do you feel like the father is to blame?

Do you feel like you're losing touch with your teen? Is it too late to reestablish a relationship?

Has your teenager ever told you that you just don't understand?

Have you had trouble communicating with your teen where they either talked back to you or became completely unresponsive?

Perhaps your teenager became dramatically rebellious or maybe even threatened you with going to live with his/her father?

Be sure you are not the first mother who has experienced this.

Teen years are for the most part emotionally tough years (for the teenagers AND their parents). For one, there is confusion with no real a cutoff date for when an adolescent becomes a full-fledged adult. Now you might argue with me referring to the 18 year old legal status. However, not all 18 year olds are prepared to take on the role as independent, self-sufficient adults. Others have become "parents" and "spouses" in their very early teens. It's an "age" as opposed to experience, knowledge, capability and acceptance of responsibility.

Secondly, children mature at different rates making it difficult to know when they are "ready" for adulthood.

Maybe growth is different because of their attitudes.

Some might look forward to what they can do as an adult.

Others may have a desire to escape what they feel they have to put up with as a child, or possibly they don't want to leave the comfort of their childhood.

Maybe they are afraid of responsibilities as an adult.

Still others are forced into adult roles at a very young age.

You have got to admit, clear-cut guidelines for teenagers to follow are absent. They might still want to "play" as a child, yet they also want to be treated and talked to like an adult. They may want to drive, date, and do things without their parents or even "asking" their parents. They want more "private" time. Teenage boys particularly seem to "pull away" from their mothers more at this time in their lives (at least in the presence of their peers). Most mothers have a desire to cling a little tighter when they feel that tug.

What do you do? Some of us handle teenagers with much better results than others. In my case, I had more undesirable consequences, or I should say they were difficult for me to live with at the time. One instance took place when my son was fourteen. He had a moped and I will admit he was responsible when he rode it. We lived in a rural area and he grew up operating farm machinery, riding snowmobiles and dirt bikes, and he even drove trucks in the fields to pull wagons. At this particular time, I was a single mom and my son was working for his father. He wanted to spend time with his dad and was needed to help on the farm.

All was well and fine in the summer time because my kids could stay with their dad if they were working late and come home when the work slowed down or the weather forced them out of the fields. As a farmer's wife for more than a decade, I understood the work, the hours and weather all too well. The problem arose when school started toward the end of the summer and farm work was more labor-intensive. It became a big pain for my former husband to stop what he was doing to pick up my son after school, and to stop work again to bring him home early enough to get some sleep before school the next morning.

In his genius, he mentioned to my son that it would be great if he could ride his bike the twelve miles to work after school so he wouldn't have to make the back and forth trip twice daily. He approached me with their plan when he brought our son home.

I reacted spontaneously and explosively. I was already angry with him because I felt he was taking advantage of our son to get free labor (a mindset that I had as his wife). And to top it off he was suggesting that his son was to ride his motorcycle to his house without a permit. After a long and heated argument, he left. It appeared that I won that battle. But did I really?

My son thought I was completely unreasonable and totally insane. It didn't occur to me to discuss it with my son. This was between his father and me. I was "protecting" my son. His father was "talking" to him. His father was rational and sensible. I was impractical and unconcerned about the farm. What did I create? Distance between my son and me. And there was more to follow.

The lesson for me that followed was a harsh one.

What I learned was that teenagers need to be included in the decisions that pertain to them. Have you ever moved your child to another room, chair, home, or school district without discussing it with your children first only to find them distraught and angry about the move?

It's not easy for adults to make some decisions, especially when it comes to things like jobs, relationships and homes when we have offspring to consider. Can you imagine what it must be like for your kids to have it "done to them" without their input?

When they are teenagers, they are learning to become adults and need the opportunity to be part of these important discussions in order to learn the process decision-making. When I didn't allow my son to say anything, he felt he wasn't heard and why would he want to hear what I have to say if I am not going to listen to him? At least his dad listened.

Do you listen to your child? Do you open yourself to conversation when your teen speaks? Sometimes it's difficult for a teen to begin more mature conversation. They may "test the water" a few times before they decide to really talk.

You can help the matter by elaborating on the importance and how it will affect your child and how important it is to you to hear their opinion before you make a decision. We expect them to respect our decisions even when they don't understand them. What would it be like if we respected them enough to hear what they have to say? Just maybe we would have a deeper more meaningful relationship with our teenagers. Just maybe they would have more to say to us if we listened more opening the lines of communication.

Could I have handled that situation differently? Would it have made a difference? One of the things I learned was about inclusivity. If you want to make a difference in your relationship with someone, include them, particularly your children.

If you want them to listen to you, you must teach by listening to them. If you don't open the lines of communication, your chances of establishing a close relationship are greatly reduced. For me this lesson fell on me like a brick to the head. How do I know that? Well for one, I ended up losing custody of my children by "their" choice. Secondly, I was fortunate enough to learn that lesson a short time later and ultimately establish a very close relationship with my children. And I am certain that it was possible because of losing them that I saw how much I was taking our relationship and my responsibilities as a mother for granted.

Why am I bringing this up in this blog? I am hoping that if you are relating to my story and possibly feel you are having difficulty "getting through" to your teenager, that you might reconsider your focus on being right. Instead of expecting or forcing communication with your teen, try "allowing" it.

Make every effort to really listen to what your young adult has their opinions and alternative ideas. I can only hope you are blessed with a wakeup call that turns things around for you so you can avoid the trauma of losing your children, whether physical custody or in communication. "Tune in" for the next report.

Mary's 20 years of experience in dealing with trauma dedicated her to become one of the leading experts in transforming pain to pleasure in women's lives. Mary is a loving mom and after the loss of custody of her own children, has created a company that stands as the voice for mothers who have lost custody of their children. Grab a copy of her free eBook, "8 Critical Steps to Transforming Your Life after Losing Custody!" at

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Single Parenting Tips On Dealing With Parenthood

Over the last 25 years or so being a single parent has become more usual and acceptable to society. It is no longer frowned upon, in fact now days it is quite the opposite. Many people are inspired by how they are able to look after their children alone. Over this period of time more support structures have been put in place that have help the single parent to raise their family.

Often the results of being a single parent are due to 3 main factors which are death of a spouse, divorce or a teenage pregnancy

When a child is born out of wedlock it does not in anyway affect the parental status as proven by the statistics.

Over the past 20 years surveys have shown the number of single parent family households has nearly doubled. A census in America shown that 59% of children are at one stage live with a single parent. These stats are only an estimate. Recent figures shown that there are close to 12 million single parents who are raising their family alone in the US. Adding to that figure is that children under the age of 18 will live with either their mom or dad. Just over 80% of children who live with a single mother.

The families that are headed by a single women are more vulnerable, this is because of a number of reasons. The main one being that the women's social position in society is still weaker than that of the men. Not only do single mothers have to deal with the gender based limitations of gaining employment but also have to cope with a demanding family. This can cause a lot of pressure if she is provided with no support from external sources.

There had been policy proposals that were put in place for single parents to receive social benefits but these have been controversial. According to liberal individualist, if people choose to have children, they are responsible to look after them.

The collectivist position which dominates continental Europe holds that children are other people's business as well. This position also believes that the interest of the children is far greater than any concerns about the morality of the parents.

With people always looking for ways to cut money they often forget about the child's needs. And I'm not talking about the parent here. Being a single parent more financial support should be provided. Making sure a child grows up with the most care should always come first.

Aside from these economic realities, single parents also have to face the reality that children who live with single parents or even with a parent and step-parent, experience disadvantages in terms of psychological functioning, behavioral problems, education, and health.

Children with single parents are one and a half times likely to drop out of school and work in their early teens and twenties than children who grew up with two parents. Children with single parents are also twice as likely to have a child before the age of 20 as those raised in two-parent family.

Many psychologists and child development workers argue however that these studies are oversimplified and outdated. Many factors are involved in the psychological development of a child raised in a single parent home. Cooperation between divorced parents and quality of attention given to the child are examples.

No child in a single parent family is by default doomed for a maladjusted life. Single parents must model self-respect and self-nurturing to the children and establish a support system for the family.

Single parent surveys seem to suggest that children who live with a single parent will tend to not perform as will in their academic studies and will also receive less mental stimulation than those who live in two parent households. Personally I think the survey is false.

The best single parent advice on dealing with bringing your kids up alone would be not to be scared of asking for help from family and friends. Whether it be for babysitting or a hand in grocery shopping. I can understand that some single parents may not have this but do not let the pressure of parenthood get to you to much. There are lots of people and information out there that will help in providing advice on what you need. Single parents deserve our respect for being able to raise their child without a partner and should receive help in any form that they need.

If you are a single parent who would like to get more involved in the dating again then visit single parent personals []. Another good resource we recommend for single parent dating is single parent dating services [].

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The Fruitless Argument

I believe countless times you have found yourself in one argument or the other. It is indisputable fact today that we all get stuck in various conditions where we have to argue ceaselessly about a particular thing. Even in the society today, most especially in various homes, children argue with their parents. The observable fact is that most of these arguments are fruitless! Studies have shown that majority of arguments are about 75% sterile! Which means you may not make any meaning from such and it is most disturbing, serious time waster.

One thing I have observed is that teenagers are mostly prone to arguments more than individuals in higher age bracket. This I guess is because teenagers are less mature and may be idle in most circumstances. Apart from being idle, another thing that can make the teenagers prone to arguments is because of their body system. The physiology of a teenager is that of raging hormones and Adrenalin fluctuations. High level of Adrenalin most especially results in increased aggression in teenagers and adolescents in general particularly the females. Teenagers in most instances are found of engaging their parents in baseless argument. This in st conditions can even be on a trivial ground which would not have deserved such waste of efforts if properly considered in the first place.

However, we cannot dispute the place of arguments in certain conditions as it can help in rectifying an erring situation. This can be very potent in restoring normalcy simply because of individual differences. Some folks require that you forcefully drive your point home in order to convince them. Despite all these, I still insist that argument can be a serious bug that stealthily erodes the virtues in someone that does it. An argument, especially on baseless ground is fruitless and needless. The baseless ground I mean can be viewed in several perspectives that vary from the nature of your partner in argument, to the subject of argument. It is a sheer waste of time for a teenager to argue with his parents. This is because you cannot claim to know more than them. Arguing with someone that seems to know more than you do can be likened to running on a treadmill. You expend so much energy without getting anywhere. It is possible that you will eventually get hurt in the long run. Argument is totally fruitless, when the subject does not worth it! So many people today especially college students are the culprits here. You see, they spend quality time, discussing trivial issues, when they are supposed to discuss profitable ideas that are result oriented. I see you need improvements here.

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This is Your Brain on Technology - The Effect of Technology on Social Interaction

What did people do with their time 20 years ago? How did we ever manage without personal computers, the Internet, cell phones, iPods and 24 hour cable news? The technological landscape is vastly different these days and scientist are wondering just what that means for our brains.

According to research done last year by UCLA scientist Dr. Gary Small, daily doses of technology may be altering the way the brain functions, particularly in social skills. He suggests that all that screen time may weaken the brain circuits involved in face-to-face interactions. He is concerned that fundamental social skills like reading facial expressions during a conversation are being compromised.

Small is particularly concerned about what he calls the digital native, those in their twenties and younger who have been "digitally hard-wired since toddlerhood." As he explained in an Associated Press article, the digital native runs the risk of being socially awkward and isolated by their inability to interpret non-verbal messages from people. He is afraid this may be particularly true in the classroom that still relies on traditional verbal instruction along with interaction with the teacher and other students.

Small argues his case in his book "iBrain: Surviving the Technological Altercation of the Modern Mind." He admits that his research about whether or not all this technology is changing brain circuitry is new and ongoing.

Other studies, in fact, have taken the opposite tact by seeing positive outcomes for technology users. A MacArthur Foundation study found that teens feel very connected to each other through online social networking. The study allayed some parents' fears that teenagers are vulnerable to online predators the more time they spend socially on the Internet. "The study found that most teenagers steer clear of dangerous sites and use the Web only for research or to communicate with established friends," according to an article in the Austin-American Statesman.

Parents who are too protective and prohibit computer use for their teens may be keeping their kids out of the broader social loop. The study found that teenagers move between the online social world and the face-to-face interactions with relative ease, one building on the other.

Dr. Maryanne Wolf of Tufts University thinks technology may even affect how people learn to read. Technology requires users to gather information quickly, rather than the more methodical and sophisticated methods of comprehending regular reading material. She is studying if this rapid information gathering could be changing the normal brain pathways formed when reading. She is particularly curious about the affect on young children as technology becomes a more integral component of modern classrooms.

As with any new information technology, like 50 years ago with the inclusion of television to the average American home, there will be curiosity and controversy. It is certainly hard to imagine how our brains waited for the morning paper or the evening news to hear what was going on in the world around us. It seems like each generation has a quicker learning curve when it comes to the latest technology. That could just be human nature, or it could be the circuitry of the brain changing and adapting to the technologically saturated world in which we live.

Jill works with Inside San Antonio. Their site is devoted to the San Antonio Texas real estate market. Their site also has information on San Antonio schools along with a blog covering San Antonio real estate market statistics

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The Strong-Willed-Out-Of-Control Kid Is 100 Percent Successful At Getting Your Attention

He enjoys energy and attention. He seeks energy and attention from you too (e.g., your being animated, arguing, lecturing, getting angry, threatening him, etc.). Unfortunately, he has discovered that you are much more energetic, attentive and interesting when he misbehaves.

Attention-seeking children are not out to get you as a parent -- they are out to get your energy, intensity and attention. They want you to be exciting to them. Unfortunately, you are much more exciting when things are going wrong.

So, whenever you use a "traditional" parenting strategy (like arguing, lecturing, getting angry, threatening), it is actually a reward to your kid -- he gets what he wants -- your energy and attention! He is able to push your energy-producing buttons... AND THIS IS EXCITING TO HIM !

Therefore, try very hard not to show any emotion when reacting to the behaviors of your intense, attention-seeking kid (put on your best "poker face"). The worst thing to do with this kid is to react strongly and emotionally. This will just make her push you that same way again. You do not want the kid to figure out what really bugs you. You want to try to remain as cool as possible while she is trying to drive you over the edge. This is not easy. Once you know what you are going to ignore and what will be addressed, it should be far easier not to let your feelings get the best of you.

Points to consider:

· Destructiveness and disagreeableness are purposeful in the intense, out-of-control teenager.

· They like to see you get mad.

· Every request can end up as a power struggle.

· Lying becomes a way of life.

· Getting a reaction out of others is the chief hobby.

· They are rarely sorry for the hurtful things they say and do.

· They often believe nothing is their fault.

· They try to make outsiders believe that the entire fault lies with the parents.

· They try to make parents believe that teachers are mistreating them.

Thus, provide a lot of intensity when things are going right, but provide little to no intensity when things are going wrong. This will greatly diminish the "negative-attention-seeking" behavior of your strong-willed child.

Mark Huttenlocker, M.A. is a family therapist who works with parents of strong-willed, out-of-control teens and preteens. If your child is out-of-control and you're at your wits end, then feel free to use Mark as your own personal parent-coach. Get permanent solutions to your child's behavior problems within 15 seconds from now by visiting his website:

A Message from Mark-

"Dear Parents: For many years now I've been running a very successful "off-line" parent program, but I wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to reach out to parents worldwide and help them discover that there really is light at the end of the tunnel. That's when I came up with "Online" Parent Support (OPS). Since its launch in 2004, OPS has overwhelmed users and success rates have been phenomenal."

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Temper, Temper - Keeping Your Cool When Kids Push Your Buttons

Kids grow up watching you for a living, and let's face it, they learn pretty quickly how to push your buttons. It might be back talk, or constant complaining or eye-rolling, but whatever the behavior, nearly every parent will occasionally lose their temper with their kids.

Many parents control their emotions most of the time. However, many don't manage their emotions well, either occasionally or chronically. This article is for parents who struggle with keeping their emotions in check.

In this discussion, "losing your temper" is generally defined as: yelling at kids, calling them names, slamming things on the counter, giving bigger consequences than are needed, and refusing to meet basic needs, such as by saying, "No supper tonight." Power struggles can occur between parents and children over almost anything including, for younger children, bedtime, getting dressed, eating or not eating food, being verbally disrespectful, not responding to rules and limits, doing high-risk behavior such as playing with lighters and matches, or not staying on the sidewalk. With older children, the issues become much more focused on socializing, performing outside of the house, doing chores and assignments, and being dishonest and lying. I want to be clear that when I say "losing your temper," I don't mean physical violence. If parents find themselves engaging in aggressive physical behavior when their kids act out, they need help. Let me say this: that help is available. And there's nothing to be ashamed of in seeking it out. Parents have to take responsibility when they find themselves crossing the line into physical abuse.

Two Reasons Why Parents Get Hot Under the Collar

Power Struggles: Parents often become enmeshed in power struggles with children. No matter what the child's age, once you're enmeshed in that power struggle, the more complex your emotions become, and the harder it is to get out.

Generally, in the case of a power struggle, parents feel that their power is being tested and challenged by the child. As that happens, parents often try to exert more power to get the child to comply or agree. Of course, the more the parent tries to exert power, the easier it is for the child to win simply by saying "no" or throwing out some excuse. This further frustrates parents until they reach their boiling point-let's call this their "temper point." Once parents reach their temper point in these situations, they often lose sight of the original reason why they tried to establish a limit, and they become overly engrossed in "Who's in charge." Believe me, many parents out there have found themselves in that situation.

Physical Risk: The other situation where parents reach their temper point is when they're dealing with adolescents and pre-adolescents who are doing things outside of the home which their parents perceive as being too risky or dangerous. This can be physical risk, such as going to bad parts of town, or moral risk, as in engaging in manners of dress, music, and recreation which are against the parent's values and beliefs. In these cases, parents try to set limits on children who are becoming more and more autonomous. Fears that they will get involved with the wrong crowd, use drugs and alcohol, or put themselves in physical danger can trigger some very heated situations where the child is fighting for what he perceives as his or her rights and freedoms. When kids say "Everybody's doing it," what they're really saying is "I have a right to do it, and you have no right to stop me." Remember, there is a very simple formula for understanding why teenagers break the rules. That formula goes like this: "That rule is unfair, and if it's unfair then I don't have to follow it." Sadly, you will hear this formula stated in many different ways with teens and pre-teens nowadays.

Why Losing Your Temper with Your Kids Doesn't Work

Look at it this way:If losing your temper was effective, being a parent would be really easy. We'd simply have to wait until our child was annoying us too much, then we'd yell at him, and he'd go out and change his behavior. I've often told parents in my office, "If yelling worked, I would just simply call the kids into my office and yell at them and they'd go home and have a good week." In fact, if yelling worked, they never would have been in my office in the first place. But losing your temper doesn't work. Losing your temper is ineffective because the original problem is often forgotten in the heat of the argument, and goes unsolved after all is said and done. Instead of the child learning problem-solving skills from the parent to manage the particular issue at hand, those problem-solving skills get supplanted with the parent's power thrusts toward the kids. This is not to say that using power is bad or immoral. It's simply ineffective if the child doesn't learn problem-solving skills.

Simply put, if parents have problems with their child's behavior and all they have in their parental tool kit are bigger hammers, the kids are going to develop bigger nails. The day will come when that parent will not be able to manage their child by losing their temper. It must be understood that learning how to solve problems and manage emotions is the primary task of childhood. And if the parent isn't teaching that, it's hard for someone outside of the home, whether it be a therapist, counselor or teacher, to pick up those pieces effectively.

If you have a "hot temper," get help. If you have a consistently hard time controlling your temper, or you find that anger manifests itself frequently, you can use the points in this article as a guideline for how to deal with your kids, but you have to take responsibility very quickly on getting the help you need. The word "hot temper" is code we use for people who are intolerant and can't handle any kind of challenge or anxiety. This often is caused by issues other than child-raising, whether it's stress from work, finances, relationship difficulties, or a parent's own childhood experiences. Parents are responsible to get the outside help they need so that they can manage their kids appropriately.

Don't Take Your Child's Behavior Personally

Taking things personally means viewing that child's behavior as a total reflection of your character, skills and worthiness as a parent. You often see this when kids act out in grocery stores or at the mall, and parents feel embarrassed and judged by others. There are two fallacies here: one is the belief that the other parents are judging you critically instead of feeling empathy for you because of their own experiences with their children. The other fallacy is to believe that their judgment matters, because it doesn't. What matters is that you deal with your child effectively when he acts out in public. And if you don't have the skills to do that, you make it your responsibility to get them. So the effective parent is not the one who never loses their temper; he or she is the one who finds a way to do something about it. Parents who experienced a lot of criticism and frustration in their own childhoods are more likely to see condemnation and disapproval in the eyes of others and react in an ineffective way. In those situations, where parents do not manage emotions effectively, the problems can escalate into a power struggle, which is something we really want to avoid with kids, especially in public.

Parents who take things personally often have a mindset that it's not right or it's not fair that their child should want to buy a toy or get distracted or not follow directions. That thinking just adds fuel to the fire of personalization. Know this with younger children: Whatever it is they're doing, they're usually not doing it to you. The more able you are not to project sinister motives into your child, the more objective you will be able to remain. The fact that you feel embarrassed by your child's behavior does not mean in any way, shape, or form that your child is trying to embarrass you. Your child is either over-stimulated or distracted by something that's not on your agenda. Sometimes children become locked in a power struggle that they don't know how to resolve and don't know how to stop. Remember, the time to teach them how to avoid power struggles is when you're not in one. When a parent gets locked in a power struggle with a child of any age, the parent is the one that needs to have sufficient skills to avoid and manage it.

Decide What You'll Do Ahead of Time.

There are two things that I think parents can do that will help them a lot when it comes to managing their emotions. The first is to plan ahead, and the second is to have a bail-out plan. Parents needs to plan for situations where they think their buttons are going to be pushed. Those situations are pretty easy to figure out if you just sit down and write yourself a list. First, write down situations and places outside of the home that are problematic. Examples might be going food shopping, going to the mall, or going to restaurants. You probably know ahead of time that you might have problems managing your emotions in reaction to your child's behavior during those trips. Let's face it, it's easier to figure out what you'll do when you're calm and sitting in your kitchen than when you're in aisle 3 of the local supermarket.

If your child does something in particular that aggravates you, plan on what your response will be. This is easy because you don't have that many options to begin with. You could inform your child that you'll give him one warning and then you'll both be leaving the store if he misbehaves. You can plan on going to your car until your child calms down and you think they're ready to try again. While you're in your car, you can talk to your child about what they can do differently when they don't get their way again after you go back into the store. If your child doesn't calm down in the car, or if calming down in the car has not worked in the past, then you have to go home. After you go home, you can try it again later that day or the next day. In many cases, your child will learn how to handle these situations, but they won't do it while they're in the store. When children are in stores, malls or at playgrounds, it's easy for them to become over-stimulated. Once that happens, it's almost impossible for them to respond to outside direction unless it is very clear and powerful.

For kids ages 3 and up, a discussion about what's going to happen before they go into the store or the playground while you're still sitting in your car can be very helpful. With young children especially, writing down three rules on an index card to read before you leave the car can be significant in helping them learn self-management skills. There is something powerful to children about having something in writing. So you keep these rules in your glove compartment and before you go somewhere, review them with the child. The card could say: "No asking for extra things, we're here to pick up specific items today. If you ask for extra things, you're going to be told 'no.' If you or act out you will be removed from the store or the playground."

Have a bail-out plan: Plan how to bail out of conflicts when your buttons are pushed, so that you don't lose your temper. For instance, if you're going to talk to your child about something anxiety-provoking or emotional, be prepared for when that child doesn't react the way you want them to. Already know in your mind what you're going to say or do. There are two ways to go about this: one is to calmly say to your child, "I have to talk to you about something important, I'll be up to your room in about 15 minutes and I don't want to argue or fight." This gives your child time to prepare for the discussion. Also, during that time, you can decide what you're going to do if your child starts to argue. The most obvious thing is to tell the child, "I don't want to be talked to this way. I don't like it," and then leave the room. You can also say, "We can try to talk about this at 6 o'clock, until then, no cell phone, video game or TV." Parents who are mentally prepared for how they're going to act when children react have a much greater chance of not losing their temper.

If You Lose Your Temper

Acknowledge to your child that you've lost your temper, but not in overly emotional terms. Just as we want to teach children to own their behavior without a lot of justifications and excuses, so should we model that behavior for them. I think the best thing to do is admit you were wrong and explain to your child what you'll do differently next time they act that way instead of losing your temper. But work out with yourself what you'll do differently the next time you're at the point of losing your temper. Also, I believe parents should have a support group they can talk to if they find themselves losing control of their temper often. I say "group" but it may only be one or two people with whom you can share about how you've lost your temper with your kids. It is very helpful to have somebody outside of your family, preferably with children of their own, to talk to about the day-to-day parental situations which occur.

How to Calm Down When Your Anger has Reached the Boiling Point

When we're talking about parents calming down, we're talking about them "self-soothing." In other words, they soothe themselves by managing their own thoughts, not by controlling the environment around them. So when your child is challenging your authority, what you are thinking will be critical to how you will respond. If you're thinking, "This behavior isn't fair, everybody thinks I'm a failed parent, other parents don't go through this," or are repeating some other self-defeating self-talk, things are sure to escalate. But when you're thinking, "I can handle this, this is a child misbehaving, not a reflection of my parenting skills, other parents go through this, what can I do safely about this now," there's a much better chance that there won't be a conflict. Remember, advice such as "Count to ten" only works if you try to think positively while you're counting to ten. So if you're counting to ten saying, "Don't overreact, this is just childish behavior, how can I best handle this, what does the child need from me now," there's a good chance counting to ten will work. Similarly, if you have a conflict with your child at home and you go into another room and take ten deep breaths-that's a seven second inhale, seven second hold your breath, seven second exhale-and you think positively while you're doing that, like "How can I best handle that situation, how important is this to me, how can I make this work without fighting," you'll have a much better chance of resolving this situation effectively.

Whatever's going on, whatever your child is doing, losing your temper won't help. It may feel good in the short term, because you feel powerful, but in the long run the child has learned an ineffective lesson about managing anxiety or conflict.

For three decades, behavioral therapist James Lehman, MSW, has worked with troubled teens and children with behavior problems. He has developed a practical, real-life approach to managing children and adolescents that teaches them how to solve social problems without hiding behind a facade of defiant, disrespectful, or obnoxious behavior. He has taught his approach to parents, teachers, state agencies and treatment centers in private practice and now through The Total Transformation® Program.

The Total Transformation Program® is a comprehensive step-by-step, multi-media, child behavior modification program for child behavior problems like oppositional defiant disorder and children anger issues.

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Understanding Teenage Curfew Violations

Florida, like many states, allows individual counties and cities to enact their own teenage curfew regulations. Teenage curfew regulations are designed to decrease the victimization of minors, prevent criminal behavior by minors, and promote safety of those under the age of 16. Florida curfew violations may be unintentional and misconstrued, requiring a Florida criminal defense lawyer to rectify.

Florida's Model Teenage Curfew Law

The Florida statutes suggest a model curfew law for counties and cities that do not enact their own definitions of Florida curfew violations. The model law states a minor may not be in a public place from Sunday - Thursday between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. or between 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday. This does not include legal holidays.

The teenage curfew applies also to students expelled or suspended from school. A minor in this situation may not be in a public place or within 1,000 feet of a school between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. during any school day.

Florida curfew violations may also be assessed when the minor violates specific laws set forth by the local government. Each city and county within the state has the right to enact their own laws regarding Florida curfew disobedience, which may be more or less strict than the state model.

Because there may be varying charges for Florida curfew violations it is important to have a Florida criminal defense lawyer who understands local teenage curfew laws in your area.

Penalties for Florida Curfew Violations

The penalties you or your child may be facing for Florida curfew violations will vary depending on where the violation took place. If a child is detained near a city or county border, your Florida criminal defense lawyer may be able to argue the charges.

Typically, Florida curfew violations will result in a written warning for the first violation. If a minor is accused of a second violation they will be charged with a civil infraction and fined $50. In some cases, the minor will be taken into custody for violation of teenage curfew laws.

If a minor is taken into custody they will either be transported to a police station or a civic organization that conducts a curfew program in cooperation with the local authorities. The law enforcement agent will attempt to contact the minor's parents and request they take custody of their child. If the agency is unable to contact parent or guardian within 2 hours or the parent refuses to take custody, the minor will be taken to their residence.

Challenging Florida Curfew Violations

Your Florida criminal defense lawyer can review the details of your child's teenage curfew infringement and determine the best defense for fighting the charges. Florida curfew violations do go on your juvenile record and can be a detriment to fighting any future criminal charges.

If your child is charged with this offense, it is important to have good legal representation from an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer. For the best opportunity to have the charges removed or reduced, you will need experienced help in pleading your case. A Miami criminal defense lawyer with case history in teenage curfew violations is an excellent source of assistance in this matter.

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What is an Appropriate Age For Your Daughter to Select Her Girls Clothes?

Do you believe that parents should have a say in what their teenagers wear? There are a lot of mixed emotions when it comes to talking about girls clothes and if parents should have a say in the clothes that they allow their daughters to wear.

Some parents declare that parents should have total control on girl's clothes, until their daughters reach adulthood. However, there are other parents on the other hand that believe that their daughters should be able to wear what they desire, because clothing is a clear reflection of their daughters personality.

Most teenagers will argue that their parents should not have a say in what they wear. However, this whole statement changes when their parents are the ones that are purchasing the clothing that they adorn for them. The truth is, girls clothes are a touchy subject.

As fashion continues to change, we are all beginning to see shorter skirts, tighter pants and low cut shirts becoming more and more prevalent amongst younger girls. A lot of parents argue that by allowing their daughters to dress in these mature clothes, that they are giving their daughters the authority to set forth the wrong types of messages about themselves.

However, what age do you believe that your daughter should be able to choose the girls clothes that she feels comfortable wearing? Most parents declare that as long as their daughters are living under their roofs that they will abide by their rules. However, for parents that are extremely strict on their children, their strict ways are not doing anything for their child.

The reason being is because children, especially girls are going to wear what they want. If their parent tells them that they cannot wear a certain thing, they will simply venture over to their friends house and change there before they head off. So, what the real question here is, would you rather let your daughter wear the clothes she wants to wear in front of you or behind your back?

As parents we understand that it is difficult to let your little girl go off and do her own thing. However, if you do not let your little girl express herself on your watch she is going to do it either with or without you.

The subject of girl's clothes will probably continue to be a touchy subject for parents to have to consider. However, remember that if you do not let your daughter wear what she wants she is going to do it behind your back. You need to realize that, before telling your daughter what you believe that she can wear or not wear.

You need to have an open mind when it comes to girl's clothes and help your daughter pick out something that both you and she can agree upon. By creating a middle ground when it comes to fashion you can help assure that your daughter is pleased with her wardrobe and will not engage in wearing inappropriate things when you are not around.

More tips at La Fille Unique Blog

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Why Do Teenagers Take Risks?

Every parent must wonder at one time or another why their teen is such a risk taker. Teenagers indulge in more high-risk behavior than most adults. Understanding why teens take big risks is a key to good parenting. As a parent, your job isn't over when they are seventeen, no matter how much they say they are adults. Good parenting sometimes is a matter of life or death with adolescents.

Every day we hear of middle-of-the-night automobile accidents due to speed, alcohol and fatigue with young drivers. Sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds account for markedly more fatal automobile accidents than do adults. Almost by definition young drivers have less experience driving than older drivers, but that does not make them bad drivers.

On the contrary, many of our young drivers are very competent. They have gone through recent driver education. They have deliberately practiced and honed their driving skills. They stop at stop signs. They show courtesy to other drivers. They signal to turn or change lanes. They have not yet slipped into the sloppy driving habits of many of their elders.

High-risk behavior among teens is not a question of education. We do a good job of making sure our young people are equipped with knowledge, not just about driving safety, but about many high-risk activities. They are educated on:

~the risks of using various types of drugs

~the effects of alcohol on judgment

~hypothermia and heat exhaustion

~how exposure to loud sounds can lead to impaired hearing

~the risks of unprotected sex

~the dangers of hitchhiking

Since they are so educated, the question occurs, why do teenagers continue to take such risks?

An article in the April issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science provides us with some clues. The clues come from brain research. Over the past decade a great deal of research has been done on brain development.

An adolescent brain is far from fully developed. Full brain development is reached somewhere beyond the age of 18, at least as far as the issue of high-risk behavior is concerned. (Some researchers have suggested that brain development continues until the late 20s.)

Research with brain imaging technology shows that before the age of eighteen or nineteen the area of the brain that regulates impulse and emotions is not yet fully developed. The brain system that regulates logic and reasoning develops much earlier. What this means is that teenagers may have a full intellectual understanding of risk and they may have every intention of avoiding a particular high-risk activity, but they don't have the full capacity to control themselves.

Teens are highly susceptible to peer pressure. Some research has shown that even "the mere physical presence of peers increases the likelihood of teens taking risks."

Up until the advent of brain imaging technology, we as a society have put a great deal of emphasis on dealing with teenage high-risk behavior through education. Now we are beginning to realize that no matter how much education we provide, we must do more. If teens cannot control themselves and avoid risky behavior because their brains are not mature enough, some of the controlling must be handled by the adults.

One researcher, psychologist Laurence Steinberg of Temple University says, "We need to rethink our whole approach to preventing teen risk." He advocates curbing risky behavior by, among other things, raising the minimum driving age and strongly enforcing underage drinking laws. Teenagers will acquire the necessary "neurological brakes" only as their brains continue to mature.

Steinberg goes on to argue that our teens really need more parental supervision and control to guide them through that very high-risk time of life.

As I write this I cannot help but wonder how alcohol and marijuana use affects the development of the brain. Does the presence of alcohol and/or THC in the sixteen-year-old brain retard the development of the neurological brakes beyond the age of 18 or 19? Future research may give us some answers.

Dr. Neill Neill, psychologist, author and columnist, maintains an active practice and works with addicted men in a rehab center. He writes practical self-help articles to move his reader towards a happier and more fulfilling life. Receive his free ebook Personal Change Manifesto by subscribing to his monthly letter, Practical Psychology for Capable People.

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Would You 'Spy' On Your Child's Online Life?

Technology has vastly improved over the ages. People are constantly inventing new and improved technology, that some of us can't even dream to know how to use. Our children on the other hand, are already experts on everything to do with technology. Growing up in this era has made them extremely tech savvy, and they have a grater understanding of the topic then we ourselves do. That's why it makes no sense that the South Australian Attorney-General John Rauare and other members of government are meeting to discuss the possibility that parents should have complete access into their children's Facebook accounts. They are arguing that "[If] the world all of us live in day-to-day requires rules to stop people doing things which are hurtful or dangerous to other people then it stands to reason that the virtual world needs some form of policing," he said. "People need to understand that in some particular circumstances this (online publication) can actually jeopardise a police investigation or perhaps equally harmfully can place the family of a victim or a victim themselves in an extremely embarrassing or dangerous situation."

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Mr John Rauare has a point, but like most of us does not fully understand this technology and how much our kids understand of it either. Kids now days are aware of the risks when signing up for social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and twitter. They already have the knowledge needed to understand that once you post something it can never be removed. We need to stop worrying about what our children and teens get up to on these social networking sites, and actually check them out for ourselves. Parents have this obsession in their minds that their children are going to be attacked by 'pedophiles' or are going to be brutally cyber bullied but this is not the case. If you actually took the time to speak to children, more than half hadn't experienced either of these incidents. Children are aware and mature enough not to get caught in these dilemmas and do not need a parent to watch over their online activity. Even if we did give our parents access to their child's account it doesn't necessarily mean they would actually follow through. Research has showed that while 64% of parents are concerned about their child's safety online 65% don't use parental controls and 62% allow their kids to use the internet unsupervised.1 So if given the chance to monitor their children's cyber safety do you think parents would actually do it?
Another flaw with this argument is the issue of privacy. I conducted a survey of 28 teens aged 12-15 and found that 15 of them would be extremely upset if their parents had access to their accounts.2 It robs them of their privacy online if their parents can see all their messages to friends, view all their photos, see who they're friends with and view everything that goes on in their online lives. Why should we have to go so far as to 'spy' on our children, just because we may be concerned about their safety? Why haven't we thought to just ask our children if we can view their Facebook page instead of going into their personal business? No child especially in their teenage years wants their parents to see all their private conversations. If your child was talking to their friend you would go up to them afterwards and ask them to tell you exactly what they were talking about! It's the same with their Facebook's pages. It's their way of keeping in touch just like teens in the 70's and 80's used to talk for hours on the phone with their friends. When you put the facts out like this it seems quite astonishing that parents would want to know this much about their children's lives.
Parents that are concerned about their children's safety should educate their children on how to deal with these situations, and encourage them to talk to their parents and teachers about any problems they have. You should be able to talk openly with your child about anything, but if you go along and invade their business, it has the same effect of just reading a personal diary or listening in on phone call. Children will feel the need to hide things from their parents which is not a healthy relationship to have. So a message to all parents is, talk to your children, understand and educate them about the dangers but respect their privacy. Maybe then the government won't have to go to these extreme, unfair and ultimately wrong measures.
1. Research done by Microsoft Australia "For Safety's Sake" (PDF)
2. Survey conducted using survey monkey

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Your Oppositional Defiant Disorder Child - Last Thing To Do Before Giving Up

Is your child constantly defying you and making you ashamed and failing as a parent? Have you live with a day without a single peaceful moment because your child is simply not listening, arguing, talking back, fighting, throwing tantrums, blaming and the list goes on? Is your marriage turning sour because of constant arguments with your spouse over your defiant child?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Child Robbing Your Life

You should know better than anyone else about your situation at home. Having a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder or commonly known as ODD, is simply no joke and stressful. His teacher wants to talk to you about his behavior, your neighbors shut their doors and shy away from your child and the school bus driver refuses to pick him anymore.

Being a great parent, you had tried your very best to speak to your defiant child to improve his behavior. All the time. Day in day out,weeks and months pass by. It seems that all advise had fallen into deaf ears. Both ears! You don't seem to able to grasp the right parenting method. You get tired and wished to get out of the house to get some fresh air. You had lost your patience. Relatives are passing hurtful remarks. The matter is taking away you from your daily work and chores and you find it harder to concentrate due to poor quality sleep. The adorable baby which you cradle in your arms few years ago had grown into a defiant monster!

Unacceptable Resolutions

You had considered sending your child to psychologist for treatment but accumulated clinic hours are going to be very costly. Some ODD child may have even completed the treatment but shows no improvement. Time, effort and money wasted.

How about resorting to medication which controls behavior? Would usage of medicine cause dangerous side effects? You are not willing to accept.

You felt like GIVING UP your oppositional defiant disorder child! Simply let him outgrow it! Question: Possible? Answer: Highly unlikely. A defiant child is likely to grow into a defiant teenager!

How To Improve Your Child's Behavior?


That's exactly the name of a program you can opt for! Program designed by Anthony Kane, it consist of 14 weeks step-by-step video program to train parents on How to Improve Your Child's Behavior. It isn't complicated to parent. You just need to learn how. At least, it is the last resort you can opt for your ODD child. This program promises you unconditional 110% satisfaction money back guarantee! Find out more about How to Improve Your Child's Behavior. Looks like you have nothing to lose but to look forward to a well-behaved and respectful child soon.

Take crucial action and get How to Improve Your Child's Behavior program children without having to resort to costly clinical therapy or dangerous medications. Effective and long lasting results when you can manage your ODD child all on your own.

Justina Wang is the founder of which offers articles on Parenting Kids and kids related topics along with her wide range of ebooks from getting pregnant to babies, kids and parenting.

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7 Critical Mistakes Parents Make With Children And How You Can Avoid Them

Critical Mistake # 1 Trying To Be Your Child's Best Friend

Although it is an admiral thing to want to be your child's best friend, they do not need that kind of relationship with their parents or carers. What your child needs is an authority figure to be the boss.

This doesn't mean that you have the right to be bossy. However, there needs to be a distinction so that your child realises that you are the final authority. I have seen many a single mum with one child, trying to be a "buddy" to them, perhaps as a guilt thing to make up for the fact that there may be no father in sight.

Don't get me wrong; I am not knocking the single mum as I am one of them. And as a single mum I need to be especially careful to let my children know that I am still the boss and that they are accountable to me. This gives the child a sense of security, knowing that someone is in charge.

Critical Mistake # 2 Yelling At Your Child

I know that all of us have yelled at our children at some stage; some of us regularly, others just occasionally. What we need to realise is that it does our child no good to have us raise our voices at them. It actually breeds disrespect for you.

If we can learn to conquer the art of being non-reactive when our kids misbehave, we have learned a valuable skill to help our parenting. Once we master this skill, we will realise that our children will react to us becoming more non-reactive and will calm down also. Our example actually helps to breed harmony in the household.

Meditating each morning for a few minutes is a really good way to start the day when you are raising children. If you can put your mind at ease before you start the day, you will be more likely to feel relaxed when the inevitable happens.

Critical Mistake # 3 Not Being Consistent

Believe me, I know that this one can be really tough. I am mother to four children and at times they seem to hound me all at once. It can be so easy for me to give in their every request. However, we need to remember that not everything our child wants is beneficial for them. And often, children don't understand the ramifications of everything that they do. That's why we are the parents.

I often have to say to my teenagers, "It's just not my job to be liked. It's my job to be consistent with you". It's important that we are not afraid to say this to our child. We are not trying to make life difficult for our children. All the same, left to their own devices, they can make some pretty silly decisions.

Critical Mistake # 4 Not Providing Good Boundaries

I could write a whole book on this topic (hmmm, that's not a bad idea at all).... All children, no matter what their age, need boundaries. When kids are given healthy boundaries, they can function well at home, school and in society in general.

The real world works with boundaries. If you break the law, you end up going to jail. That's a boundary that the government puts in place to stop people from committing crimes.

I provide boundaries for my children's friends who come to play. Do I have the right to give boundaries to someone else's child? Absolutely, if they are in my house. And we have had remarkable results from children who don't always behave elsewhere.

When these kids come to my house I explain to them what my rules are. Once a child understands clearly what is expected of them, then, and only then, can you expect them to comply. Children need things spelled out really clearly for them.

Critical Mistake # 5 Entering Into Power Struggles

NO! NO! NO! NO! Don't do it. For those of you who don't know, a power struggle is when you enter into a conversation with your child that never seems to end. There can be no winner because your child refuses to give up. Even if they are wrong, they won't give up.

When a child is in this mood it is best not to continue a conversation with them. Often, when a child is angry, they cannot see or think properly. This happened with one of my sons last night. He was very angry because the computer game didn't let him win a level. He became verbally abusive and refused to calm down.

Two minutes later he told me that he was ready to talk about the incident. I sensed that he was still angry, therefore wasn't prepared to talk and made him wait for about half an hour before I sensed that he had calmed down enough to hear me and have a conversation with him.

Teenagers, especially, have no logic when they want to argue about many things. They can know that they are wrong, yet still argue very persuasively that they are right. This is quite normal development for a teenager. I am not saying that it is acceptable. But if you have encountered this with your teenager at least you know that it is completely normal.

Our job is to choose not to engage them in the argument. We need to find a way to quickly move into another room or change the subject.

Critical Mistake # 6 Giving A Child Too Many Choices

I shall explain myself. Firstly, it is a good idea to give your children choices within limits. But too many choices can become a problem.

Take for instance, the four year old that is asked what she wants for breakfast: cocoa pops, cornflakes, weet-bix, nutri-grain, rice bubbles, porridge or fruit loops. The problem is that a young child isn't capable of making decisions that involve many choices. A good choice for a child would be offering them corn flakes or rice bubbles.

What we are trying to achieve is an amount of success with our children. If we give a child two choices and they pick one, they have experienced success to some degree. Then we can build upon that later by adding more choices. However, when we start with many choices we are simply confusing our children. We are not doing them a favour.

I use this technique very well with my strong willed daughter. Instead of telling her to have a bath each night, I say to her, "Becky, would you like to have a bath before dinner or after dinner?" This gives her a chance to express a bit of individuality and freedom to make a choice. But I have control over the choices and am still happy with both outcomes that I offer her.

Not only does this method work really well with my daughter, it also gives her a feeling of power and kids love to feel in control. There's nothing wrong with letting your kids feel like they can be the decision makers sometimes. It can greatly enhance self esteem.

Critical Mistake # 7 Lack Of Quality Time With Your Child

For many children, love is spelled T - I - M - E. As parents, we must understand that nothing else cuts it. Not gifts, not food, not anything else.

I remember last week, my fifteen year old said to me, "Mum, would you please get off that computer. You love that computer more than you love me". He really made me think about the amount of time I spend working when the kids are at home. David even said to me, "Mum, I would much rather have you spend time with me than have a million dollars in the bank. I don't care about your stupid web site. I want to spend time with you."

At the time that he said that, he had just finished an hour on the computer and was peeved off that I had removed him from it. But I still took the opportunity to think long and hard. Parenting is one big learning curve and I never want to be so proud that I am not willing to learn something. I took my son's words to heart that night.

I hope you have learned a few new things today from this report. These are just seven things that came to mind as I was thinking today. My prayer is that you will act upon some of these things and improve your capacity to be a happy and consistent parent.

Have confidence in all that you do and you can only do your best. Parenting is a journey and it is meant to be fun. If you are not having fun parenting, drop what you are doing right now, go and give your kids a big hug and tell them how glad you are that they are a part of your family.

Article written by Kim Patrick

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7 Ways to Gain Respect From Your Teen

One of the most challenging phases of parenting can be when your child becomes a teenager. Some parents breeze through, but most of us encounter some degree of difficulty. Here is a list of 7 ways you can minimize the disrespect and start to re-connect with your teenage son or daughter.

1. Do not let yourself be swayed by the "but everyone else is doing it" line. You know what is best for your son or daughter and the hostility they feel towards you for putting your foot down will soon pass and they will thank you later.

2. Make yourself emotionally and physically available despite your teen wanting distance from you. They're on the fence. Part of them is leaving the nest and the other part of them needs the safety and security of home.

3. Respect their personal space. It is not your right as a parent to randomly snoop through your teen's room. They do not become more trustworthy by hearing we don't trust them. If you have no reason to snoop don't do it.

4. Do not allow rude and disrespectful behaviour. If you respond to their putdowns and backtalk, you're allowing it. Learn to walk away or say things like: "If you continue to talk to me that way, you'll be grounded (or lose your cell phone privileges)."

5. Show an interest in the things that interest them. Grab any chance you get, just to chat. That can often happen in the car when you're chauffeuring them places. They still need to know their life is important to us.

6. If there are clothes or electronic items they want that exceed your budget, make them pay a portion of the cost. They will appreciate what they have much more and will less likely grow up with a sense of entitlement.

7. Make sure you set clear and consistent boundaries. Kids of all ages do well when the guidelines are clear. Even if they argue with your rules, stick to them anyway. Part of the role of teenagers is to oppose their parents.

Barbara Desmarais is a parenting and life coach and has been working with parents for over 20 years. To get more tips and insights on parenting visit her website at Claim your fr*ee copy of her popular e-book "Raise Your Children But Not Your Voice" when you sign up for her monthly parenting ezine.

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A Parent's Guide to Your Children's Tattoos

Like any concerned parent's worst nightmare, my teenage son wanted to get a tattoo for his birthday. I thought he lost his mind and nearly got into a huge argument with him. Why couldn't he be just like all the other kids and ask for a video gaming console instead?

After a heated exchange of words, followed by a cool-down period with lots of contemplation, I slowly saw the error of my ways. All my son wanted was a tiny tattoo for a birthday present. It does not equal to the end of the world just yet.

In Canada, there is no age regulation for getting a tattoo, although most parlours require parental consent for anybody under the age of eighteen. I was thankful that my son respected me enough to ask for permission first. I'd much rather argue with him over getting a tattoo, rather than him going to an untrustworthy tattoo parlour behind my back. If my son wanted to get a tattoo, then it is my responsibility as a parent to fully support him however I can.

My first concern is the quality of the tattoo supplies. I have heard many horror stories about skin infection through unsterilized needles and equipment. To avoid this, I did hours of research online until I came up with a very reputable tattoo parlour with great reviews and references.

Another concern is the design and visibility of the tattoo. My son is still young and a bit naive, so he wanted the tattoo to be placed on a body part with as much exposure as possible. He did not take into consideration that very few employers would appreciate hiring somebody with a bright vibrant tattoo on the side of his neck. I definitely vetoed that suggestion, although I did recommend that he place it on the back of his shoulder - a common place for tattoos.

Since the tattoo gun came into origin during the late 1800s, getting body art has been made a much easier process. Previously, the traditional method was to literally hammer the ink into the human skin, which is not only painful but also prone to sloppiness and errors. The new tattoo machines can avoid these problems. There will still be some pain to getting a tattoo, but the amount is definitely more tolerable.

The tattoo machine operates with two needles. The first one involves tracing the outline of the tattoo. This is typically drawn in black or any other colour as the user desires. The second needle is used for the actual colouring process, as in filling out the colours within the outlines. The needles are designed so that the bottom base is wider.

It took a lot of effort and hard work to give my son the tattoo that he wanted, but I also learned a lot from the tattooing experience. And believe it or not, I believe getting the tattoo was a great bonding experience between parent and child. I would definitely feel prepared now if my daughter wants a tattoo as well...

This health blog not only contains informative advice and useful resources for all health and fitness related topics, but it also provides refreshing social commentary from a unique perspective. Follow the voice that stands out among all the health blogs on the Internet.

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Choosing Your Children

Wouldn't it be great to be able to go to a store and examine all the possible offspring and take one with you? Like within the grocery aisle, you could scan the array, searching for the brightest, ripest, juiciest, or sweetest of them all. Then you could wrap it up and head for the exit. Once at home, you beam with pride over your smart choice and begin to enjoy all that they have to offer.

If this appears to be more of an adoption tale than anything else, then not so fast. I'm not discussing adoption. I'm talking about raising our own natural-born children. And we do it everyday, without even realizing it. Sure, we have little control over the genetic characteristics that are inbred, but after the birth, all the environmental factors kick in. From the earliest stages, we actually make all the decisions for the child and, therefore, create the various aspects of their future personality. If that's not choosing your child, than what is?

If the father of a boy is prone to play sports or go hunting, he unconsciously begins teaching his son about tossing a ball or playing with guns. Would the child have asked for these things if the dad hadn't done so for him? Or what about mom buying her daughter that baking oven or craft set? See how we influence them? During the first few years, we have a captive audience within the toddler. They listen to our music, see our taste in colors, furnishings, and our lifestyle. If we travel, they travel. If we camp, they camp. But they also get to see the seamy side, as well.

If you argue or yell at your spouse, do you always conduct these fights away from the children? Are you constantly aware of how they react to your emotional outbursts? While it's perfectly normal to have disputes and differences of opinion, you are always "on-stage" before your audience of offspring. Regardless of your intent, you are molding them into a clone of your behavior, including likes and dislikes.

For instance, do you keep lots of junk food in the house, or are you opting for more health alternatives? They eat what you eat. Do you attend church? Do you watch a lot of television? If so, what are your favorites; dramas, comedies or reality shows? Your kids see the world through your eyes. Are you an organized neat-nick or a disorganized slob? How do they keep their rooms? Is it a reflection of your home?

As they grow, they understand more and more about your lifestyle. Do you smoke or do drugs in the house? How about alcohol? Are you obese or addicted to gambling or sex? They tend to mimic your behavior; so don't be surprised as they begin looking and acting more like you every day. When you chose to have them, you also chose to choose for them. These are lessons that they will carry with them into adulthood. If you could do things differently, now that they're older, would you still have designed their life the way you did, or would you have gone a different direction? This is especially true, knowing what you know now. For those couple planning a family, consider this. You do get to choose your children's lives, and that's almost the same as first squeezing the cantaloupe or sampling the red grapes. Only with far great consequences once you get them home.

Jeffrey Hauser was a sales consultant for the Bell System Yellow Pages for nearly 25 years. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Advertising and has a Master's Degree in teaching. He had his own advertising agency in Scottsdale, Arizona and ran a consulting and design firm, ABC Advertising. He has authored 6 books and a novel, "Pursuit of the Phoenix." His latest book is, "Inside the Yellow Pages" which can be seen at his website, Currently, he is the Marketing Director for, a Health Information and Doctor Referral site.

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How to Accept Your Child Without Accepting Negative Behavior

If you're a parent, you will experience it: the screaming child; the insolent teenager; the temper tantrum; the silent treatment, the "look". That cute little girl has just thrown her orange drink across the back seat of your car; that adorable little boy has grown up and insists on slamming the door and cranking up the music when it's time for homework. What do you do? Experts will tell you to look at them and love them anyhow. But face it, in these moments all you want to do is get through it without losing your mind or your temper. It is precisely during these trying tests that the practice of meditation will come to your aid.

One of the benefits of meditation is that you allow time to see things just as they are. During meditation you keep your mind quiet but often images or thoughts will pop up. When that happens, you simply see the image, think the thought, and then let it go. You learn to see it without placing any judgment; see it without trying to resolve it; see it without responding. Once you let it go, you return to your meditation and clear your mind.

How does this help? Ideally, you will practice meditation consistently so that you can increase your brain muscle. Athletes practice daily so that their response to a certain circumstance will be automatic. That free throw or that ballet routine will be executed without thinking. This same concept transfers to meditation and training your brain.

When that highly intense situation surfaces, you will be better equipped to see what is really happening with your child. You learn to be more mindful of your child's moods and triggers. You allow yourself to empathize or sympathize with what they are going through. How you see things will affect what action you decide to take.

That little girl that threw the drink may simply be over-tired; that teenager with the loud music may just need a few minutes after school to blow off some steam before diving into homework.

When you see the situation for what it really is, rather than reacting and creating a more explosive situation, a few things can result. The situation can be contained more quickly because the child doesn't have to defend or argue. Plus, by handling the situation with a bit of perspective rather than reacting in anger, you build trust with your child. They come to know that even when they are behaving badly you will still love them. Also, you are allowing your child to respond to whatever is bothering them.

This doesn't mean that you let your child's moods run your life. Quite the opposite. You can allow your child to express their anger and frustration, just as you would allow them to express their joy and happiness; however, you preserve the relationship and trust so you can teach them what is and is not acceptable behavior.

When my daughter was little, she had what I called "meltdowns". One moment she was laughing and the next she was screaming and crying. It was confusing and frustrating for both of us. After a while, I noticed that she needed to eat something at least every three hours - some carrots, a glass of milk, just something small. Once I figured this out, I kept some sort of snack in my purse. However, this was not enough. It would not have been fair to her if I was the only one aware of this trigger to her mood change. I had to empower her with knowledge so that she could understand what was going on. Also, I let her know that even though it was okay for her to feel the way that she was feeling, it was not okay for her to express those confusing feelings with negative behavior.

The transformation didn't happen overnight, but the breakthrough was incredible to witness. She was having a meltdown. I got down on my knees and looked into her face as she sobbed and told me what was wrong which went something like this: "My shoes are blue and I want them to be black and my pony tail is crooked and the sun isn't shining and..." Then it happened as she continued, "and I'm just hungry and need to eat!"

Breakthrough! From that point forward she was able to recognize that a certain feeling meant that she needed to get something to eat.

I won't kid you, all negative behavior didn't stop - after all she was only about 4 years old; but, there was no more negative behavior that was caused by some sort of low blood sugar.

With the power of meditation, you can train your brain to look closely at what is really happening with your child. Often there is an unrelated reason for negative behavior. You can better connect with your child and then more easily help them with whatever they really need at the moment. Learn more about how you can get your brain in shape, keep your sanity and focus by going to:

Dawn Damico has been called the Research Diva in her professional writing career. She is also the mother of two grown children who continue to amaze her each day!

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Strategies to treat adolescent drug use parental

The prevalence of drugs in our society can make very difficult parenting. Parents must set clear guidelines on alcohol and drugs for their children and apply them consistently. However, despite the efforts of parents, children will be often form their own opinions about drug use. Simply talk to your children and explaining your point of view are not enough seriously affect their decisions - good timing, tone and choice of words are crucial to guide the choice of your youth. Most of the children will always be their own opinion, but the good parental advice will help them to make healthy decisions educated about drugs and alcohol.

Parenting more common approaches to teenage drug use are:

1. No tolerance

Zero tolerance is one of the most popular drugs policies in the schools of the United States, the law enforcement and policy. Not surprisingly, parents in America also frequently promote this approach. However, these strict rules cause many adolescents to rebel. This is particularly true in cases where parents are claims exaggerated the dangers of drug use attempts to frighten their children away never try their.

These policies were not successful in preventing the consumption of drugs and drug addiction in the streets and in schools; You can even expect difficulties and reaction if you use on your teenagers. According to the Vice-President of the Cambridge School Board, the threat of sanctions is particularly ineffective to change or prevent adolescent behaviour. However, there is a fine line between tolerance zero and firm boundaries, in good health. Varus this line is crucial for parents raising children who are making decisions informed, rational drug.

2. The moderation and tolerance

Some parents - mostly those who have used drugs with abandon when they were young - tolerate the use of drugs and alcohol to their children up to a point. They often feel that allowing their children to acquire experience first-hand with these substances is a way more healthy to learn more about them to avoid simply total. However, many experts in addiction and other health professionals argue that "light" drugs tobacco and marijuana can lead to the use of substances such as cocaine and heroin "difficult".

These parents may also want to avoid the rebellion of the adolescents whose limits are too tight. They are reasoning that authorized moderate use is best possible drug and rebel abuses. In some cases, parents who tolerate the use of drugs may simply try to keep calm things at home by appeasing their desires children.

3 Guidance and understanding

As many parents trying to control the behaviour of their children, most of the teenagers will make their own opinion on the use of drugs. Parents can only positively influence their children - or negative - not control. In fact, attempts to control or strictly regulate the behaviour of adolescents typically the effect inverse and aggravate the.

In most families, the best way to deal with the disturbing prevalence of drugs in society is honesty. Parents should not exaggerate the dangers or try to scare their children away never try drugs. Despite rebel stereotypes, adolescents tend to make such honesty and transparency; the truth to your children can make a huge impact. They can always try drugs at some point, but they are less likely to become normal or drug-dependent users when they have the right information.

However, if you or your teen is struggling with drug addiction, use the links below for a free consultation. Learn how you can get some of the best treatment of drug dependence in the country. Your application is confidential and free of obligation. Drug addiction is a serious disease, to not wait - today get help.

For more information on obtaining the help right now, click here for Florida drug treatment centres that can help you no matter where you live.

Click here for a powerful program of recovery from alcohol dependence .

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The symptoms of ADHD in adolescents - How To Deal with a young person who has the disorder

The symptoms of ADHD in adolescents result in a number of complications. Consider for a moment the various questions and problems that most adolescents are confronted to of such as:

* Their identity.

* Fitting in with their peers.

* Stress and anxiety about examinations, etc.

* Their physical development and changes

Conflicts with their parents and other figures by authorities

Now take into account the fact that the young person with add/ADHD to experience of these at the same time they try to cope with the disorder. Children with add/ADHD do not react how children without the disorder could these types of questions. For example, they may react more acute. This is because they very often have lower levels of tolerance which means they feel these issues so that they can cause to feel overwhelmed.

In addition, children with add/ADHD also tend to experience more problems when it comes to self-esteem and self image. According to the research and studies for add/ADHD adolescents, there is a higher instance of conflict between them and their parents. Interestingly, the highest rate of conflicts between adolescent ADHD tends to involve their mothers more often than their fathers.

If you have an adolescent ADHD and you have problems, first of all, breathe deeply, and realize that power struggles are not the answer to this problem. Although the symptoms of ADHD in adolescents result in struggles such as these there are better ways to deal with them. For example, if your teenager does not want to take their medication ADHD, it is preferable that you do not argue with them, try to dominate them, force them to take, etc. Instead, ask your teen why they do not want to take their medication. It may be that they simply keep forgetting to do so. If this is the case, you can discuss ways to resolve this issue with them. Invite their comments in the resolution of the issue, instead of directing them to not remember. Teens are very socially and you will find perhaps your ADO is simply ill at ease on their medication. They may not want their friends to know. If this is the case, why not discuss the issue with your baby's doctor. There are formulations extended release available today that will ensure that your child does not have to worry about their medication, while they are at school.

To combat the symptoms of ADHD in adolescents, keep in mind that what works for smaller or more young children may not work so well for the young person. For example, using techniques of behaviour as maps stellar management or reward systems simply do not resonate with them longer. They reached a level of maturity that should be considered. Teens learn to find their way in life, to exercise their authority. Rather than deal with a list of chores that they need to do, or a list of rules which are not negotiable, try being more flexible. Chances are that your ADHD adolescent is more likely to listen to and to hold in your rules if you invite their comments and remain open to negotiation.

If you are confronted with problematic behaviour there are ways to cope. Try to refrain from focus on the negatives. Take account of what they do well and be generous with your praise. Don't be not too serious. A good sense of humour can do miracles provided that the child does not become the butt of the joke. Let your teen to understand that their behavior has consequences but do combat is not with them in each small problem. This is when you should be able to pick your battles. These questions are not really important can be ignored. Forget step that they grow up and everything that will make them feel more as an adult will probably produce positive results. Therefore, you should consider offering them specific choices.

Should also consider the manner in which treat you ADHD in your adolescent. For example, your expectations are too high? Do you tend to make assumptions and conclusions? Discuss the problems that arise in a calm manner and suggest possible solutions to the problems that will work for you and your teen. Be sure to participate in this process. It is essential that you keep the lines of communication open.

You want to learn more about how the manifest symptoms of ADHD in adolescents ? Would you be interested in learning an exciting natural homeopathic remedy that can help you to treat ADHD in your ADO? If so, please take a moment to visit my website at:, where I will tell you more safe and effective remedy. By V K Rajagopalan, proudly and actively healthy natural life supporting.

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Power Struggles Part I - Are You at War With a Defiant Child?

Do you ever feel as if your relationship with your child has become one long, drawn-out (and exhausting) power struggle? If you're in this situation, it probably seems like you simply progress from  nagging your child over dirty laundry on the floor in the morning to arguing over bedtime at night. As they get older, power struggles get more entrenched as your child pushes against the rules: they start asking for things like the keys to the car and permission to go to all-night parties, "because all their friends' parents said 'yes.'"

Power is one of the strategies people use to get their needs and wants met. As children grow, you will see them trying to gain power in order to get more autonomy and control over their lives. When your child was an infant, you had almost all the power. He communicated that he was hungry or uncomfortable by crying; that was the only power he had. As your child grew older, he took on more responsibility-and with more responsibility came more power. He learned to pick up after himself, and he also learned that refusing to do chores gave him some power. He learned to do his homework-and refusing to do it also gave him power. Remember, there is no such thing as positive or negative power: it's simply power with positive or negative ends.

There are many things in life that are empowering. Certainly information, knowledge and communication skills are empowering in a constructive way. And also sadly, violence, abuse, and threats can be empowering in a destructive way. If kids learn the latter lesson at any point in their development, they can become entrenched in a way of behaving where they use acting out, threats and verbal abuse to get what they want. I personally believe this is a dangerous path for kids to start heading down, and encourage parents to take this behavior very seriously when it first develops.

You vs. Your Child: Perception is Everything

Know that when kids engage in power struggles with you, although it may feel like they're trying to control you, generally they don't think of it this way. They just feel like whatever is going on isn't fair-or that it's not their fault. In fact, they probably aren't even aware they're testing your power. They see it as, "I don't want to clean my room now. I just want to watch T.V." Or "You're old fashioned, you just don't understand."

And that's their actual perception-most of the time they're really seeing it that way. Most children and teens don't perceive life the same way their adult parents do. As adults, we often mistakenly think kids see the same picture we do, so we might wonder "What's the problem?" when they start arguing with us. But most kids don't have the adult ability to perceive the totality of what's going on. And not only are they developmentally immature, but there are certain obstacles that can block them from developing that awareness in an age-appropriate manner. There may be diagnosed (or undiagnosed) learning disabilities, which cause distortions in their thinking. The end result is that they become willing to fight everyone and everything in order to get their way.

Teenagers especially see the world very differently than parents. While parents are concerned about safety and want their kids to avoid doing high risk things, teens may feel as if they're being held back from doing things that appear reasonable and legitimate to them. This becomes even more complex when kids discover that some of their peers are allowed to do the things they are not.

So teens can develop a way of looking at some of their parents' decisions as unfair. That perception fuels their willingness to fight, argue, and engage in defiant power struggles with you. For example, you decide you don't want your teen to go to a party if there's no adult supervision. Your teenager just wants to go to the same party her friends are attending-she doesn't have any thoughts at all about adult supervision or risk. When you bring it up, she thinks you're old fashioned or out of touch-and the conflict starts there.

For the most part, this is healthy. It may be annoying (in fact, you'll probably feel you're saying the same things over and over) but kids need to find ways to challenge adult authority appropriately. And by appropriately I mean not cursing, verbally abusing or personally attacking you. By the way, if the challenge is appropriate, parents need to learn how to respond with an open mind.

Not What You Might Think: The Goal is not to Take Power Struggles Away

It surprises many parents when I say that we don't want to take all power struggles away. Rather, we want to take the defiance out of the power struggle. This is because as kids go through their developmental stages, they need to challenge their parents appropriately in order to get more autonomy. And parents, in turn, need to teach their kids that with autonomy comes responsibility and accountability. Children are looking to be more independent and make more decisions, but they should not be allowed to argue in an abusive, hurtful or obnoxious way. Here's the bottom line: kids have to learn how to have power struggles with their parents in a way that is not a personal attack.

Look at it this way: when a police officer pulls you over, if you don't agree that you've made a mistake in traffic, you might find yourself in a power struggle with him. If you get out of your car and start screaming, that won't get you anywhere. Instead, you try the tactic of calmly and respectfully explain your position. Whether or not he still gives you a ticket, you've been able to present your viewpoint in a way that doesn't get you into more trouble, and might in fact solve your problem. In the same way, ultimately we want kids to learn how to advocate for themselves by engaging in actions and conversations which increase their autonomy-without getting them into more trouble.

So know that it's normal for kids, and especially teens, to get into power struggles. That testing, pushing and challenging of your authority, no matter how difficult to deal with at times, is your child's job. As he matures, his goal is to separate and individuate from you-to form his own opinions and feelings about things. Part of that process includes the desire for more power and control over his life; your goal is to make sure he tests those boundaries without being abusive or threatening.

Often, parents don't want to expand a child's circle of control over his own life as fast as the child would like. At the same time, kids want more control. So parents are constantly pushing against that wall to hold it steady, while the child is pushing back from the other side. Certainly, by the time kids are 13, 14, 15 or 16, they're questioning the rules you've set for them. They're pounding on that wall with a sledgehammer, asking, "Why can't I go to the concert? Why can't I wear make-up? Why can't I borrow the car tonight?" Their confrontation of your limits becomes stronger and stronger as they get older. So defiant power struggles can increase in frequency and intensity unless parents know how to manage them.

Why It's a Mistake to Give in to Defiant Power Struggles

Almost all kids become increasingly resistant to parental authority as they grow older. For many kids, that resistance is acted out in socially acceptable ways. But some kids really get entrenched in power struggles. They become defiant, not just resistant. Their most common answer is "No, I'm not going to do it." When you tell them there will be consequences, they'll tell you they don't care.

For those kids who learn that defiance helps them get their way, you'll see their urge to become defiant grow stronger and stronger. A typical trap many parents fall into is developing a pattern of giving in as the child wears them down. After that, any time the parents resist, the kid thinks, "Well, if I push a little more, then they'll give in." And so the child can escalate forever. In effect, the child is confronting the boundaries you've created, and will keep confronting them until they no longer exist...

The truth is, you really can't win with somebody who's got nothing to lose-you'll just end up losing more and more of your own power. For parents in the situation where things have gotten to a point where the child is abusive and aggressive, I recommend that they seek some professional help. Because that pattern can be stopped and it can be changed. You don't have to be stuck in that forever, you just need to learn how to deal with it. In my opinion, what these kids really need to learn is that defiance doesn't solve their problem; defiance doesn't get them what they want in the first place. And if parents don't teach them this lesson when they're young, these kids will certainly find out later when they're dealing with the school system, their employer, the police or their spouse.

Let me be clear: both the child who is mildly resistant to authority and the defiant, acting out child need to be empowered with problem solving skills to learn how to communicate effectively in the many situations life presents. I think that this particular training for adult life should start very early. Believe me, you can't walk into your boss's office and say, "This stinks, I'm not going to do it, you're a jerk," and expect to have your needs met. Kids need to learn how to negotiate and advocate for themselves in order to gain power, and they need to do it in an appropriate way-a way which doesn't get them into trouble and doesn't make the problem worse.

For three decades, behavioral therapist James Lehman, MSW, has worked with troubled teens and children with behavior problems. He has developed a practical, real-life approach to managing children and adolescents that teaches them how to solve social problems without hiding behind a facade of defiant, disrespectful, or obnoxious behavior. He has taught his approach to parents, teachers, state agencies and treatment centers in private practice and now through The Total Transformation® Program.

The Total Transformation Program® is a comprehensive step-by-step, multi-media, child behavior modification program for child behavior problems like oppositional defiant disorder and children anger issues.

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