Life, Parenting And Relationships

Taking Control

Taking Control

Working in a Justice System has been a true revaluation for me, of the importance of good Parenting. The other day I was sitting in the parking Lot, directly across the Street was a sprawling Building. This Building was the Juvenile Detention Center. While sitting there looking at the tiny Windows, I wondered to myself how old was its youngest Resident. I also wondered if by the time he made it back home would he have been rehabilitated or at least seen the Light or the evil of his way. It was then that it occurred to me the importance of good Parenting. The importance of bending the Twig before it grows into a thorny Tree is of Tantamount Effect. Junior was only eighteen Months old when he decided to test his will and witts against mine.

Sitting in his Highchair throwing a Fit, he tossed his spoon on the Floor several times. Unwittingly I picked it up each time, washed it and put it in the Bowl. After several times of repeating this game I removed him from his Highchair and placed him on the Floor next to the discarded Spoon. This was his first lesson that he wasn’t going to have things his way all the time. By you picking up that Spoon for the twentieth time, controlling and manipulation is now one of his Trait that could lead him to the Detention Center. They come here from every socio economic structure imaginable. I remember when I started Blogging one of my Boss asked me what I Blogged about. I told him among many things, problematic Teens were one of my main interest. He visited my Website and browse some of the Articles. The next day he saw me he congratulated me on my insights. He told me that he had a Teenager at home that was heading down the wrong Road. This guy was the Director of Marketing for a Company that made over one Hundred Million that year. I am quite certain that he was properly compensated. His kid had no reason to be a Rebel without a Clue, yet he was. Two years later I am now working in the County Justice System and here was my ex Boss making an appearance with his Kid.

As I mentioned earlier, they come from all walks of Life many times it starts with dropping the Spoon, by you not laying early ground rules, setting Boundaries and limitations. You are not preparing them for Society. Society is a Tangled weave of Laws, you can get arrested for spitting on the Ground, so what of the other thousand of infractions. If they can’t or won’t abide by your Rules what makes you think that they will abide by the Laws of our Legal System. My Mother was a hard working Christian Woman, yet at fourteen I Dreamed of being a Thug. I was only fourteen when she found an ounce of high grade Marijuana in my Pocket while doing the Laundry.

She gave me the option of a Cot in a Juvenile Detention Center or changing the Road I was Traveling. That tough Love navigated the rest of my Life. With one Arrest and conviction I could not be Working in the Justice System. When my Mother was laying down the Laws, how was I supposed to know that she was looking out for my future. As a Parent by you not laying down laws and rules while you are still in control you are paving the way for future court appearances, and Jail time. Your Kid may be the smartest and most talented kid in the World, If you don’t teach them Humility and let them know that there are Boundaries and consequences in Life. Society will chew them up and spit them out in the Justice Systems. Look at O.J, look at Arron Hernandez, he made it to the top of his Game along the way his Parents never told him that he could not get away with Murder. A wise Man once wrote ” it is better to build Boys than to mend  Men”

Here are excerpts from the Book Parenting Teens with Love and Logic.

Who’s in Charge Here?

For years, Ryan had appeared headed for a life of irresponsibility. He lived like a slob and had increasingly resisted his Parent’s badgering about his sloppy appearance, grungy clothes, messy room and that”infernal music” thudding through the walls. At thirteen Ryan simply”forgot” to do his chores. The older he grew, the more defiant he became. At seventeen, he started drinking even on school nights and experimenting with drugs, both of which were murder on his grades. He went out with girls running with the wrong Crowd, such as Desiree, telling his Dad, “she comes from a broken home and needs me as a counselor”, prompting his Dad to counter sarcastically, ” Just what kind of counseling techniques are you using”.

Ryan had long since blown off the hallowed family tradition of kissing his parents good-night. Now they were lucky if he just yelled through their master bedroom door, “I’am home. Allan responded to Ryan’s moral slide by losing his temper and yelling. Or “you have the social traits of a bum!” Sandy would mutter aloud, “I know this is a Kid I wouldn’t take off the shelf myself”. Ryan, of course, just sneered. He had his Parents emotionally eating out of his hand, and he knew it. They knew it too. But they felt helpless to reassert control. Then Alan and Sandy attended a seminar that introduced them to the Love and Logic parenting approach. They learned that parents should take care of themselves first, let their children own their own problems, and allow them to live with the consequences of their decisions.

P.S.  It is better to take control as early as possible than waiting till they are heading for the Detention Center.

Life, Parenting And Relationships

Bullying

 

Rough Edges

Bullies are People with shortcomings and inadequacies, to be more precise they are People with Rough Edges. Usually they are unhappy and filled with envy.

There are many signs of rough edges, to say the least, the lack of Politeness, Humility and Grace shows the Granite in you. When a simple Debate brings out the Weapons, be they Words, Swords, Daggers or Pistols, you have crossed the line. Now we are dealing with Jagged Edges. The old adage Sticks and Stones is Fabricated. A thirteen years old Poet wrote, ” the mighty Arrow delivers a piercing blow, the Sword delivers a sharp blow but Words delivers the most Devastating of blows.

I can swear to that statement, I come from  mixed Genes, my Grandmother was a Mulatto Woman, My Grandfather was Pure African. The Complexions of their children were staggered. At six years old I felt the devastation of piercing Words. One of my Aunts who was fair skinned chose to embed in my impressionable mind that I was the Inferiority of the Family Tree. She tagged me with the name Blackie. That was my first encounter with Bullying, until today I still can’t understand why a grown adult would torment a Child. However it happens everyday in Families. Inadequate Parents use harsh words to chastise their Children, piercing Words that diminish the Child’s self-esteem. How crude and inhumane when you get it from your own Family. Kids in School were a reflection of their Parents rough edges. By the time I turned fourteen as a result of harsh Words and Bullying I was an Accomplished Street Fighter with a Reputation. I had all the qualifications of being a Bully, I was bigger than most Kids my age and knew how to fight. Instead I chose to beat down Bullies.

When it came to our upkeep my Mother was near fanatic, our appearances were immaculate. At eleven years old we moved in a Neighborhood where the closest School was Parochial. Dressing for School each Day we looked like Military Men on Parade. The white shirts were pristine, the Khaki pants were creased and the shoes polished to sparkle. In that Neighborhood were three Brothers, the Higgings Boys. Those Boys older than we were made it their jobs to send us home dirty tattered and bruised each Day. Up to that point my Brother and I knew nothing about fighting, we had no choice but to learn. Three against two, we learned fast and excell quickly. To some degree I think that we asked for the confrontations by taking the shortcut through an open field each Day. That made us sitting Ducks for daily Ambushes. Anyway these three Bullies got the worst of it. We got tired of going home tattered and dirty so we decided to send them home battered and bruised instead. We developed fighting techniques Bruce Lee would be proud of. My all-time favorite was putting my Books in my Brother’s Backpack and loading mine with Rocks. The first of the Aggressors would go down hard when introduced to my Backpack and the other Cowards would run and leave their Brother whimpering.

Three years later I was now in Junior High, one Day the biggest Bully in the Shool and the entire Neighborhood picked on me for no other reasons than to humiliate and humble me. I was seconds from crying Uncle, he was two years older than I and more skilled. At the moment of begging for Mercy, a huge Stick presented itself, the color of Mercy had changed. Every Limb that had brutalized me were introduced to the Stick. The fight started in the back of the School, I escorted him off the School Property, beating him with the Stick the entire hundred yards to the front Gate. For all the Bullying that goes on these Days, I feel compelled to tell you that the Kids in that School will tell their Grandchildren of that Day. They all gathered behind me Cheering the entire way to the Front Gate. It appears that there were no Teachers or the Dean in School that Day, no one tried to break up the fight.  By the time I got to High School my past had vanished, as if I shed my skin. No one knew of my fighting skills. I went to Taft High School in the Bronx, not the toughest Neighborhood in the Bronx. Nonetheless it had it’s Reputation, for this is where the Bronx Tale had Manifested. There were Fights everyday after School, Blacks against Whites, Gay Bashings and just plain Bullying. The first School Shooting occurred in the Basement of Taft.

When your Kids show signs of Bullying those are signs of rough edges, it is your Job to address it before they meet someone who will teach them Manners. It appears that my Tormentor came from a long line of Bullies his two older Brothers seventeen and eighteen were Executed by a Gang Firing Squad within a week of looking for me. Today Bullying is out of control, one Day my seven years old Niece and her next Door Neighbor made me blush with the words they called each other, in a war of Words. Bullying starts that early and goes all the way to Columbine. Nikalus Cruz was a Bully who got into many altercations and fights, ultimately his rough edges turned to jagged edges. To me it appears that the Boy could not handle his Parents miserably separation.

Nicolas Cruz
Killed 17 fellow Students

Most sensible People can tell when a Brushfire threatens to burn out of control. His Parents did not see, the Community did not see, his Classmates did not see and neither did the School. One Day the Brushfire became a Forest Fire, on that Day he went to School and Killed seventeen of his Classmates, then went to McDonald’s and bought himself a Meal. Did I mention Jagged Edges, today the World is consumed with Jagged Edges. In my old Hometown of Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania a Child Molester exposed, decided to kill his Victim and half the Block. Today he lives comfortably in a Prison for the Criminally Insane, his Drugs provided with my Tax Dollars make me Insane. Let me be redundant, Jagged Edges is the byproduct of Rough Edges.

Twenty miles from Wilkes Barre in a Road Rage incident a young Woman going to College cuts off another Driver to make her exit is shot in the Head by a seemingly intelligent young Man with Jagged Edges, and easy accessibility to Guns. Rough Edges is the Norm in today’s Society, you have Parents with rough edges, Teachers, Lawyers, Doctors, Priests and worse of all Politicians with Nuclear accessibility. As I have said over and again Parenting is the hardest job in the World. If you weren’t raised up properly how are you going to smooth out your Children’s Rough Edges. That’s why I believe that as soon as you find out that you are going to become a Parent, you should run out and buy a copy of Parenting With Love and Logic. I am not commissioned to promote this Book but many of my Blogs about Parenting is inspired by it. I could write Volume on the Subject of Rough Edges, at this point of this Blog I believe that I have made my point. Tolstoy I will never be, I believe that a Blog should have the same effect of a Book on one single Page. In conclusion, Rough Edges should be smoothed out before they become Jagged Edges.

P.S. Thank God my Mother Smoothed out my Rough Edges before they became Jagged.

 

 

 

 

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Life, Parenting And Relationships

Dogs

For thirty seven years every time a sex scandal breaks, all I ever heard from my Wife is Men are dogs. Even though I know she wasn’t referring to me. One thing she always said to me is that I was going to Hell for holding a grudge. Many a Days when she made me mad, I would crawl in bed, turn my Back to her and snored like a Bear, even if she was in her Birthday Suit and smelling like a Flower. That is what a real Man do, he does not put his Pride in his back Pocket, he does not abandon his conviction,  compromise his Ideals, sell his Soul, throw away everything, lose his Mind or his Career for a little Piece. And there you have it, the motivation for this Blog.

My first experience to Men who would throw it all away for a moment pleasure came when I was fourteen. Someone of great trust a pillar of the Community, a Teacher, tried to Rape me across the Street from a Police Precinct. If I had screamed the Cops would heard me loud and clear hollering Rape. The poor Dumb Rapist did not do his Homework, otherwise he would have known that I had a reputation of kicking Asses of people much older than I was. All for a piece of Ass he carried my souvenir for the rest of his Life, a Glass Eye. I Nailed him so hard in his Eye it almost fell out of the Socket and hit the Floor. I am pretty sure the Cops heard him screaming like a little Girl. That’s what you get when you stretch your Loins instead of your Mind.

Not long after that I kept hearing Rumors of Altar Boys being Molested and Raped by Priests I was still fourteen. I thought to myself maybe I needed to get a Gun to protect myself from the People who were supposed to Protect me. Three months away from fifteen I became friends with a twelve years old Catholic School Attendee, that Boy had access to more Marijuana than many Dealers, his Brother was one. Many days after School when we should be Home doing our Homework, we sat in the Schoolyard smoking some of the most Potent Strains , exchanging Stories of Molestation that went all the way up to the Bishop. No wonder that at twelve and fourteen our Heads were all screwed up smoking Marijuana trying to make sense of the Madness.

We were both deep into Music Jethro Thul’s Aqualong was one of our favorite, our favorite verse, eyeing little Girls in baggy Pants. Need I say more, we were being corrupted by Our Society. A few years later two Brothers the Timmins Brothers both sixteen years old were Arrested for a string of Rapes, probably twelve. All perpetrated on Seniors, Women old enough to be their Great Grandmothers. The World that we were coming into was unraveling in front of our Eyes. Sex was now more important than Morality and everything else. Sodom and Gomorrah had resurged. And still have not gone away. Over the years stories of Infants, Adolescents, Teenagers and grown Women being Molested an Raped has made it to Epidemic status.

Which takes me back thirty seven years when I first heard my Wife saying that men are Dogs. At this point in my Life I beg to disagree, they are Primates- Cro-magnon, still wearing Loincloth hunched over. When your primitive Sex drive outweighs all, including your freedom, your Career and your Dignity calling you a Dog is an insult to Man’s Best Friend. Which makes me ask the question is Testosterone the Driving force of Life? It has been speculated that Cain killed his Brother over a Woman, Countries gone to War, Kings Abdicating their Thrones, Rich Men giving up Fortunes, over a Woman. My English Literature Teacher’s words resonates in my Head ” what is the Author not saying” it’s not a Woman it’s the Itch.

Failure to control the Itch has made Monkeys out of many Great Men. Judges, Doctors, Presidents, Bishops, Clergymen, CEOs, Teachers, Actors, Comedians, Television Personalities, Fathers and young Boys. Many are sitting in Prisons because they acted like Dogs in Heat. They lost their freedom and everything all because they never heard of a cold Shower, now they are showering with big Burly Men who take what they want, even if you are only eighteen and a Virgin. Two years ago in Tampa, a young man of seventeen was Arrested and Convicted of two Rapes. He raped his first victim when he was sixteen, the victim was sixty. Barely seventeen he attacked his second victim, she was seventeen and College Bound with great aspirations.

He gave her such a severe beating she is now in a Vegetative state unable to speak or eat. May God help us all for what we’ve become, Chimpanzees in Heat. My Wife is an Avid Reader, she finds Stories that doesn’t make Mainstream Media. The other day she informed me that one of my favorite Personalities was Raped by her Dad a Minister. She was in her early Teens when her own Father Impregnated her. Again we are back in the Caves, your Granddaughter is your Daughter, Deliverance all over again. Since we are nothing but Barbarians at least one Custom should still be in our Penal Code, Castration.

Although I have written in many Blogs that you can’t always blame Society and the Parents for all your mal-adjustments. At this late stage in Life I am developing inward conflicts of those Beliefs. The Media sells Sex as if it was more important than Food, Kids barely sixteen becoming Parents, not mature enough to guide themselves, what can you expect from their Offsprings. For instance when I was thirteen a fifteen years old Nymphomaniac lined up four other Boys and myself and introduced us to Sex. I am beginning to convince myself that it is a Parenting issue. Although The Media doesn’t help being Manipulative and Suggestive. When I was younger I used to think that the Moral Majority was Intrusive and Overbearing, all that has changed with the aforementioned. Without Morality we are back in the Caves Naked and without a Candle.

Parenting And Relationships

Ownership Of the Problem

 

When I started my first Website which I lost due to improper Domain Registration, that Site was strictly Dedicated to Parenting. Doing Research on the Subject I came across a Book Titled Parenting with Love and Logic. I was so impressed that I contacted the Publisher and asked for Permission to Print Excerpts from the Book on my Website. Permission was granted with the Stipulation that the Excerpts didn’t exceed my own Blog Posts. I felt Privileged and Honored to receive their permission. The following Excerpts caught my attention, so here is the first of many to come.

 

 

Love and Logic Principle:

Let Teens Own Their Problems and Their Solutions

Love and Logic consultant parents help teens through life by offering choices and sharing control in the process, all the while building on their teens healthy self- concept. They let teens own their problems as well as solutions. Building a strong self- concept is the first of three things we can do with teens so when they reach the age of temptation, we’ve got a chance that they are not going to abuse drugs and alcohol or engage in other risky behaviors. The second thing we can do is to help teens learn how to make decisions. We do this in part by letting them own the responsibility, including the good feelings as well as the disappointments of those decisions, planting in their consiousness this idea: ” The quality of my Life depends on the decisions I make.” Third, we can make it clear who owns the responsibility for a particular problem.

 

 

 

If Parents don’t draw clear lines of demarcation when they are called for, they and their teenagers are in for a lot of grief. Let the teens own their own problems, their own feelings, their own disappointments, their own rewards. One of the worst things we do is give teens the message that they shouldn’t do something because the logical consequence of their action is to make adults mad. First that encourages them to shape their actions according to the voices outside their heads. And second it can reinforce an immature rebellion in some teens who will go out of their way to make adults mad.

 

 

 

Either way they don’t own the situation. For example, let’s say your daughter is Driving the family Car and she’s tempted to show off for her friends. Should she be thinking, Boy if crash this car, my dad’s really going to be mad is that how a mature teen would react? If she is a sensible young woman on her way to healthy independence, that’s not what she’ll be thinking. Instead she will say to herself, gee if I crash this car, I am going to splatter us all over the highway. Guess I better be careful. It’s the teens responsibility to own the problem and find a solution. But that’s not as easy as it sounds, because we are tempted to rush in like Helicopters to protect our son or daughter from the real world.

 

 

 

Or we march in like a drill Sergeant, bark a few orders, and expect the teenage troops to fall into line unquestioningly. Those temptations must be resisted. As a person in the helping profession of Education,  I always felt tempted to solve my students problems. So I had to train myself to do something different by using a keyword: Bummer. Whenever I used that word, it reminded me to be careful. Don’t solve the problem for him. Don’t give him a solution. Don’t give him advice,and don’t be defensive. Let him do the thinking. And when the student hears bummer it sounds emphatic. Gee too bad Bummer. I bet that feels lousy. If we show that we understand how they feel, we hand their feelings back to them-  for their control, not ours.

 

 

 

Ownership of problems also flounders when we confuse praise with encouragement. Twenty years ago Public Schools began using something called positive reinforcement. That philosophy says That if we spend a lot of time telling teens how well they are doing, they will do better. This approach works well with teens who sees themselves as a 10 because they don’t have to search for proof to backup their self-image. But how many teens in our classrooms or homes really consider themselves 10s? We encourage teens best by talking to them as adults.

 

 

 

We do not build self- concept by telling them they’re good. Teens with a poor self-image will simply discount it, and they will probably end up worse off than if we said nothing. One day teens are down; the next day they’re up. It goes with the territory. We can help by criticizing them as little as possible and by refraining from telling them what should be discovering for themselves. We want them to think for themselves, so we should be asking them questions instead of ordering them around. When they say they are going to do something stupid, we can respond, “Well, that’s an opinion. You can do that. Have you ever thought of this”this and this? We wish you well, and we will still love you no matter what happens. By talking to teens as if they were Adults, we convey the strong message that we expect them to act like adults and take charge of things in their lives. But we certainly don’t do this by Lectures or Threats.

Excepts from Parenting Teens with Love and Logic

Life, Parenting And Relationships

Fell Asleep At The Wheel

 

Nikolas Cruz
Killed 17 fellow Students

 

 

Fell Asleep At The Wheel

Several Months ago I wrote a Blog about Inept People in the workplace that Blog is still pending. Over the past couple of Months I have been following the Story about Nikolas Cruz, he is a young Man with a Troubled past who had sent his Guardians, his friends, his School and the world messages, even on Facebook that he was a stick of Dynamite waiting to Blow. No one read the Signals, one Day the Powder keg Blew. On February 14 2018 Cruz went to School carrying what was visibly a Rifle Bag, I am just about certain that the School Monitor told Authorities that he saw the Bag and identified it as a Rifle Bag. The Monitor’s failure to approach Cruz and ask him to open the Bag was just one Fatal piece of the series of ineptness of all involved, that allowed Cruz to carry out an Act of Terrorism on his fellow Classmates and Faculty members.

 

The Troubled Youth went inside Majory Stoneman Douglas High School and Killed seventeen of his fellow Students and Staff Members, he also injured seventeen others. While the Massacres unfolded there was an Armed Sheriff Deputy on the Campus Grounds that made no attempt to enter the Building to minimize the Carnage. Did I mention Ineptness and Cowardness, at twelve years old I was a Man of action. One Day while playing in the Schoolyard one of my Classmates fell on a broken Bottle severing his Wrist 90%. My fellow Classmates gathered panick strickened and watched his Life flowing away from his Body, I immediately jumped into action taking off my Belt making a Tourniquet, applying it to his Forearm tightening and Loosening it until the Ambulance came.

 

 

The Medics told me that I saved his Life. That’s who I have been all my Life, someone who could spot Danger and wasn’t afraid to jump right into a Dangerous situation to save Lives. All the People involved in the Majory Stoneman Massacre kept a Hands off Stance. His close friends knew he had access to Dangerous Weapons while Harboring  bad Temperaments towards his fellow Classmates, the only Parity to be drawn is ” Friends don’t let Friends Drive Drunk” no one lift a Finger to Alert Authorities of the Ticking Time Bomb. The School also fell asleep at the Wheel, there were numerous Documents of Antisocial Behaviour and of fighting and Threatening, even on Facebook.

 

 

 

The Warning Signals were Louder than 100 Kids in the Hallways, yet no one heard, did I mention Ineptness, if you have a Child that enjoys Torturing and Killing Lizards and small Animals “Ding Dong” is there someone at the Door, na just my imagination. Cruz have been acting out for a Long time, his Guardian slept the entire Trip, so did his Friends The School, the School Monitor and the Deputy on Duty. In many of my Blogs I have stated that there are many People  who are Parents and Guardians that should  not be allowed to care for Dogs and Cats. In one of my earlier Blogs Titled Fatherless Homes it is Documented that 90% of Social upheavals comes from these Homes I have said it over and again, putting a Roof over their Heads and food on the Table is not all there is to Parenting.

 

 

I’m somewhat of an Authority on Problematic Teens, at fourteen I smoked Weed and drank Beer regularly. Many Nights my Mother worked overtime and she got Home before I did, stumbling in after a hard Day of Partying, one morning I came stumbling in five A.M. peeping out of three Eyes. I took years off that poor woman’s life, can you imagine working all Day, coming Home and not seeing your sixteen years old child for almost twenty four Hours. My Mother was a Caring Loving Person she never once abused any of her Children, that Day I had pushed her to her Limits. She stayed up all Night to Exercise the little Minion called Me, if I ever returned.

 

 

She Lay waited me behind the Door with a Broomstick and dropped me to my Knees, that was the last time I tried to Undermine her, that Assault Taught me that Laws weren’t made to be broken by some dumb Kid on a Runaway Train. If the Courts had gotten whiff of her trying to Crippled me, she would have been in Jail and I would have been free to Run Amok on Society. I gave that Woman Insomnia, she never once fell asleep at the Wheel. Today fifty years later I am still thankful for her taking control and being the Responsible Party. Every Day I awake I give God thanks for giving me a Vigilant Parent who refused to sleep. The People that I was Partying with were Devious People, all the while me thinking they were cool Adults allowing a Kid to hang with them.

 

 

They had ulterior Motives, they were Grooming me to sell their products. Mother didn’t fall asleep at the Wheel, she didn’t know the who, what, where and why but she knew something was wrong. Today I am here to tell Parents of Problematic Teens don’t go to sleep. Mother told me a Story fifty years ago, up to Today I still think that she was pulling my Leg. She said there once was a young Man awaiting Execution, his Mother came to say goodbye, he called her close to the Bars as if to whisper in her Ear. To the Mother’s surprise he Bit her Ear off telling her” that’s for not telling me that I couldn’t get away with Murder” true or false I got the Message.