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What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers

What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers
Keeping Children Safe

Saturday, July 20, 2013

An Approach to Help Parents Deal with Children who are Discipline Challenges

I would like to introduce a guest blogger, Julie Katz. She is a Certified Nurtured Heart Parent Coach/Trainer who lives in Las Vegas and coaches parents and teachers, as well as conducting one-on-one sessions via phone or Skype. Her post offers  my readers useful strategies and resources to help parents manage spirited, intense or undisciplined children.
Do you have children in your life who:
·       appear angry or defiant?
·       exhibit temper tantrums?
·       do not respond to traditional discipline techniques?
Do you, as a parent:
·       find yourself yelling all the time?
·       feel like you’re not having any fun with your kids?
·       feel stressed out or anxious?
There is an approach that can help.
The Nurtured Heart Approach™ (NHA) created by Howard Glasser, is more than just a behavior management strategy. It’s a method of parenting children with ADHD and others who are highly intense or difficult, by transforming the focus of their intensity and energy from one of ongoing opposition, negativity and failure, into one of success and achievement. It is about recognizing and reflecting successes in every moment with your child.  
Traditional parenting methods may work for the average child, but are not designed for the intense child and the harder we try with these conventional methods, the worse it gets.
Once we take away the ipad, phone, TV and all other privileges, what are we left with? The truth of the matter is that the child is running the show and he isn’t afraid of us.
That’s why I created I help families with spirited children by having the parents acknowledge and celebrate the child’s positive behaviors and reflect them back to the child, while giving no attention to the negative behaviors.
Particularly intense kids who get all of our delicious, luscious attention when they are misbehaving and breaking rules so they rise to that expectation- why would they give that up?
We as parents, accidentally energize the choices we don’t want our children to make, by giving out $100 bills in the form of our attention, focus, and relationship.
Energetically we hand out big bucks all the time. Children can feel relatively invisible when they are not breaking the rules and perceive the juicy connection when they do because the energy we give is often “upside down”.
By realizing that we are the gift being sought by our children, we can now decide how to give them our attention, energy, and relationship. We can either focus on the negative behaviors- the whining, name calling, temper tantrums and all of the other undesirable behaviors, or we can flip it right side up and energize the children for all of the non-rule breaking behaviors that they do every day. Once the adult begins to celebrate the child’s positive behaviors, the parent creates a “juicier” time-in.  As the child feels “nourished” by the parent, he will use his intensity in more successful ways.
The bottom line of the NHA is that an intense or difficult child is actually an energy-challenged child who is drawn to the strongest possible texture of adult energy- he doesn't care how he gets it- he wants the $1 million check and doesn't see that there's a negative sign in front of it. 
Parents and teachers need to make a child feel valued. This is accomplished by recognizing the child’s positive choices and reflecting them back to the child in these moments so they get a first-hand experience of their success. 
This technique is a remarkable way of showing your child that you notice and care about many aspects of her life...It is not only a way of feeding her emotional reservoir, but of proving that she is not invisible. Indeed, many children feel they are invisible unless they are either going to the trouble of acting out or doing something exceptionally well.
Once you begin to implement this approach and the child feels “seen” - the parent will see the behaviors in their home shift and the child will show up in their greatness.
You can get more information by visiting You can also call 702-461-0749. Email:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Protecting and Reassuring Children in Severe Storms and Natural Disasters


I can remember a frightening dream that I had when my children were small. It was really more of a nightmare. I dreamed that a tornado hit where we lived, and I was unable to find my children after frantically searching through the aftermath of the storm. Those kinds of dreams give one pause. I have always been fearful for the safety of my children and all of my family in the event severe storms or any natural disaster should strike.
When children hear on the news about tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other kinds of natural disasters, they naturally become frightened. Children who have experienced such natural disasters themselves can become traumatized by the event and the destructive aftermath. Such events threaten their sense of security and normalcy.
Parents can better protect their children by knowing what to do and where to go if evacuation is necessary. Have a plan, and keep your children aware of what they need to do in the event of an emergency. Keep in touch with schools, teachers and emergency officials.
Parents can reassure children and help them cope if they have heard news reports of severe storms or any other natural disasters that took homes and lives, or if the children themselves have been traumatized by being in the path of such a natural disasters. Parents can remind children that they have an emergency plan in place that will help to better protect them. During a storm, or in the aftermath of one, remain calm.

Acknowledge and normalize their feelings and fears as being a normal reaction. Encourage them to talk about disaster-related events, and promote positive problem-solving and coping skills. Emphasize to the children their resiliency. That will help to bolster their confidence. It is also important to strengthen children’s friendships and family support network.

Picture credit: Laura Griffith


Sunday, July 14, 2013

What are the Lessons for Parents and Children in Light of the George Zimmerman Acquittal?

Much of America is shocked and outraged at the not guilty verdict for George Zimmeran for killing young Trayvon Martin. What lessons can be learned from this verdict? What can parents, particularly parents of black children, teach them?
It is true that black Americans are freer now, considering the years of subjugation and discrimination. However, the Zimmerman acquittal in the death of a black teenager walking home with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea shows that America has a long way to go in the battle against racism. Despite the end of Jim Crow, it would seem that it is still socially, politically and legally acceptable to presume the guilt of nonwhite bodies. It would seem that Trayvon Martin was the one on trial rather than George Zimmerman.
W. E. B. Du Bois stated in The Souls of Black Folk, “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others. . . . One feels his two-ness - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”
What are the lessons of this verdict for non-white children? We learn that it seems that black children may be destined to live their lives feeling the sense of two-ness and having to look at themselves through the eyes of others, as Du Bois eloquently referenced.We learn that black parents should understand that many white people view their children, whether they are honor students, volunteers, or athletes, as potentially menacing, and that all their activities - driving a car, shopping in a store, or even taking an evening stroll to the corner store for Skittles -should be viewed the same way as those white people with the guns. In other words, it seems that non white children should assume that white people will view them as inherently threatening and suspect. The Zimmerman verdict teaches that white people apparently can approach, incite, and initiate conflict with a black child, and that black child should not respond defensively in any form, because the white man with the gun has the right to stand his ground.

W.E.B. Dubois, have you just rolled over in your grave?