Your adolescent son shouldn’t feel shame. Sadly he most likely does. How does this happen and why would he feel shame?
In a recent interview I was asked this question “why are boys in trouble?” One of many reasons is they carry shame. The interviewer was shocked and went on to ask, “How can a young boy feel shame about something that wasn’t/isn’t his fault?” It was a profound moment for him (the interviewer) which leads me to believe that you may not realize your son is, or could be, feeling shame.
First, so that I’m clear, he shouldn’t ever have to feel shame over things he has no control over. He does have control over his bad behavior so that’s an exception! (more…)
Do you get excuses from your son on why his homework and/or his chores didn’t get done? I have some suggestions that may help.
“Just a Minute!”
My guess is you hear “I will, just a minute” a lot! Based on my experience with the boys I see, homework and chores are not his priority, video games and texting with friends are. Parent’s repeatedly say, “I’ve tried everything” and are at their wits end. We know doing homework is not an option; and having chores teaches responsibility so here’s my suggestions.
Natural consequences! Yes, I’m saying it again, establish natural consequences!
If he doesn’t follow the rules you have established, then his choice leads to a natural consequence you have determined in advance. It also means you have talked about it and been very clear “if you don’t do this, you’re choosing not to get what you want.” Remember, you’re encouraging good behavior and discouraging bad behavior. This method can be, and should be, used for any challenging behavior you are trying to change. (more…)
It was an honor to be a guest on The McGraw Show! I want to share the interview with all of you.
KTRS “The Big 550”
McGraw Millhaven and Kelly Jackson, both Emmy nominated journalists, are some of St. Louis finest radio personalities. I was honored to be invited to talk about “Saving Our Sons-A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys for Success” and The Quest Project®! I hope you enjoy!
I appreciate your support as I continue to spread this very important message. Our boys are in trouble and need our help, now!
Don’t ignore the warning signs, you may think your son is just going through a phase, but that’s not always the case. Your son could be in trouble. It may be typical angst; here’s the difference.
Over the past 20 years I have helped countless troubled teens make the transition from boyhood to adult life with my program, The Quest Project.
The Warning Signs
Boys are having a hard time growing up these days. Adolescent boys are in crisis and are falling far behind their female counterparts in school and in life. They are failing to learn the lessons they need to survive and thrive in the adult world. (more…)
I facilitated my first The Quest Project® back in 2000. I never imagined back then that today I’d be facilitating that same program (modified for adults) to a group of men.
I have discovered The Quest Project is as meaningful to men as it is to the adolescent boys. As an example, imagine a group of six men ages 19 yrs.-64 yrs. of age coming together over a 10-week period to work through issues they feel have prevented them from being the men they want to be!
The Quest Project®-For Men
What better way for an adult male just starting out, father, brother, husband, son or uncle to understand and work on being a responsible healthy man. In some cases, I have Dad in the men’s group and son in the boy’s group-that’s compelling! (more…)
Do you know what it means to be your “authentic self?” Do you know your son’s unique “gift?”
Many times, I see young men that are depressed, insecure, and frankly unsure of “who” they really are. They feel no matter what they do it isn’t good enough. They are constantly trying to live up to a parent(s) expectations by being what their parent(s) wants them to be. Ask yourself, are you that parent?
One process we work through in The Quest Project® is identifying the “gift.” It’s what makes us special and unique. I’ve witnessed many young men work hard and make great progress in their search to identify their “authentic self,” which begins by knowing our gift! (more…)
The stories are disturbing; teens addicted to and dying from heroin. It’s happening right under our nose, in our own backyard, rich and poor communities. It is pervasive, from schools to homes to the streets and parks.
The numbers are staggering. But they don’t show the complete picture.
“My Son Wouldn’t Do Drugs”
That’s the most common response I hear! Parents assume their teenager is or could be experimenting with alcohol or pot. They never imagine, in fact, it’s HEROIN or now the latest killer FENTANYL which is even stronger. Just like them I never imagined the time would come when we would say at least it’s “only alcohol or pot.”
I am an advocate for children so this message is straightforward. (more…)
The Journey of a Thousand Miles
Please allow me to share my excitement and experience. I just walked for my PhD! An accomplishment that I’ve been working toward my entire life. Obstacles were abundant, but when you set a goal you just keep going until you achieve it. I did it and it feels amazing! I am officially a doctor; more specifically a Doctor of Philosophy in Education!
What I mean by “the journey of a thousand miles;” it’s researching, gathering data and writing a dissertation. My dissertation is titled “The Difference of a Ten Week Counselor Facilitated Adolescent Boys Group on Behavior.” Its theory comes from the work I do with boys in The Quest Project®, a mission I’ve devoted my life to.
This advanced research will be presented to the academic world with the reasons boys are struggling during adolescence and support what boys need.
I’ll be honest, there were moments when I wished a University had awarded me an “honorary doctorate” because I could have added years to my life! But that’s not who I am. (more…)
I admit I like to share a good story! This is one that warmed my heart.
For most of us going to the grocery store is a necessity We’re out of milk or need something for dinner! In other words, we don’t do it for fun! This week I witnessed something truly awesome while standing in line to check out.
A Blessing Right Before My Eyes
The “bagger,” I’ll call him “Joe,” is a middle aged man and Joe was bagging groceries for the customer in front of me. It was a Mom and son and I’m guessing the boy was 11 or 12 years old. I listened in as Joe began making conversation with the boy.
Joe asked him if he’d started school yet. The boy replied, “no but his first day is tomorrow.” Joe said, “I bet you’re excited to get back to school, and I bet you’re good in school!” The boy nodded yes with a smile. Joe kept it going and asked, “Do you play sports, you look like a sports guy.” Again with a smile, the boy said yes that he liked lots of sports. Joe responds “I bet you’re great at sports, you stay with it maybe you’ll get a scholarship someday!” Imagine the big smile this boy had!
As they walked away Joe said this “you do good, my man, you’re a fine young man!” (more…)
Discipline or Punishment?
What’s the difference you ask! There’s a big difference between discipline and punishment.
So your son has broken the rules; he’s been caught drinking or smoking, maybe a bad report card? You have to do “something,” he’ll have to be punished. The way to stop a child from misbehaving is to cause some kind of pain right? This usually means “grounding” a boy or taking away privileges like cell phones, video games, and other toys.
And guess what? That doesn’t work!
Punishment doesn’t work because it isn’t about your boy. It’s about instant gratification for you. You feel bad and want to convey your disappointment. You make him feel bad; you feel your job is done. He doesn’t learn anything from this experience. What he learns is fear he can get caught, and that’s not a lesson. It can actually make the behavior worse, pushing it underground and teaching him to become a better liar, sneaker, or just better at finding ways to not get caught.
So, if punishment doesn’t work and you’re not supposed to ignore bad behavior, what option is left? (more…)