Hope you enjoy this interview with Tom Roten of The Tom Roten Morning Show on WVHU! Tom’s a good man and I appreciate him helping me to spread the word!
Get ready for “Saving Our Sons for Dads-A Fathers Guide to Raising Good Men.” We’re working hard to get it wrapped up and in your hands early 2018!
If you followed my series of “steps” to take when dealing with an adolescent son who is in trouble you learned step by step what to do. What is sometimes missed is that The Quest Project® isn’t just for troubled or at-risk boys.
Helping Build Character With Every Boy
The Quest Project is designed to help ALL ADOLESCENT BOYS! The program teaches every boy how to become a healthy young man by providing direction. It also teaches character building; here are some examples: (more…)
Happy to be featured in a recent Thriveworks article!
1) Educate yourself on stages of adolescent development.
“Early adolescents (ages 12-14), middle adolescents (ages 15-17), and late adolescents (ages 18-20) all have different needs from their caregivers based on where they are at developmentally,” explains Sandi Lindgren, clinical social worker, therapist, and professional life coach. “Developmental differences include: physical, social/emotional, cognitive/thinking/learning, and morals/values. However, there are some common needs: a safe place to live, plenty of sleep, and parents or guardians who love them regardless of their behavior.” Lindgren goes on to offer a few additional tips for managing rebellious teens: “limit screen time for younger teens; show interest in them, their ideas, opinions, dreams; engage teens in conversations about choices, relationships, and future plans; and provide opportunities for them to explore their own point of view through conversation without judgment.”
2) Know that ‘one size does not fit all.’
Teen therapist Jaynay Johnson says that it’s important to remember one size does not fit all when it comes to disciplining teens. “Since every family and teen is different, different interventions can be applied for optimal results. For some teens, they need structure to thrive. Other teens may need more freedom to exercise their ability to show responsibility.” Additionally, she says that the following three tips are helpful in raising your teens: “1. Consider what your parents did that you liked or didn’t like when raising you and adjust accordingly; 2. Ask your teenager what they need from you. Again, all teens are not made equally, not even equal to you. Just because that method may be helpful to you, it may not be for your teen; and 3. Get positive reinforcement. In the event that you are struggling with your teen, try connecting them with a mentoring program, teen group, or therapist. This will also teach them the benefit of seeking outside support when it is needed.”
3) Employ natural consequences.
According to Dr. Clayton Lessor, Licensed Professional Counselor, “the best way to deal with teenage rebellion is (employing) natural consequences. If natural consequences are established, it eliminates the parent or guardian from having to ‘step in’ or ‘crack down,’ Employing natural consequences puts the choice in the teen’s hands!” Dr. Clayton explains the notion of natural consequences in greater detail: “Natural consequences are when something automatically happens because of something else happening (like a sunburn when you choose not to wear sunscreen). Start by sitting down with your teen and lay down the rules of the house. Tell them, ‘these are the rules. If you follow these rules, you get to do what you want, within reason.’ This puts them in control of outcomes. They’ll reach a point where they’re tempted to step the wrong way and suddenly remember, ‘oops, I should have made a right instead of a left, now I have consequences for that.’”
4) Understand that teens make mistakes.
Former teacher and school counselor and current ADHD coach, Brendan Mahan, says that it’s important you remember that kids are bound to make mistakes. Instead of holding them to unrealistic expectations, you should focus on helping them make better decisions: “Teens are supposed to push for more independence. That’s where they’re headed, after all. The tighter you hold the leash, the less comfortable and capable they’ll be when they’re inevitably on their own. In teenage years, you want to steer them toward healthy choices and away from unhealthy ones. But understand that they’re going to make a bad call every now and then. When they do, manage it with trust, empathy, and problem-solving so that they have the skills needed to make a better choice next time.”
What’s better than “Saving Our Sons-A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys for Success?” It’s writing my second book “Saving Our Sons for Dads-A Fathers Guide to Raising Good Men!”
It was exactly 2 years ago I was finalizing the first SOS. I knew back then that it was extremely important that I get to work on the second SOS. Now here it is almost 2018 and I am happy to say we are on track to launch “Saving Our Sons for Dads” early next year. (more…)
You’ve heard the proverb by Benjamin Franklin, “honesty is the best policy” many times I’m sure. This is a reminder, that means to be honest with your kids too!
Better Off Not Knowing
I think parents convince themselves (at times) that not being completely honest with their children is a way to protect them. In some cases, I can understand but overall being honest is “the best policy,” and always age appropriate.
Obviously when you’re dealing with your kids it’s important the truth is delivered in an age appropriate style and manor. When parents make the decision to withhold a truth because they “think” its best, it can and does (most of the time) come back to haunt them. (more…)
Over the past 3 weeks I’ve laid out the steps to take if you suspect trouble with your adolescent son. Unfortunately, when the first three steps (boundaries & limits, counseling and intensive outpatient) have failed it’s time to move to the final step.
The Final Step=Intensive Inpatient
If you’ve reached this step with your adolescent son it’s now a matter of safety for you, your family and your son. This is the most drastic yet necessary step if behavior is out of control.
Intensive inpatient programs are designed to stabilize, regulate and bring out-of-control situations under control. Here are some examples. (more…)
Last week in Step #2 I gave some examples of when to seek counseling if you suspect your adolescent son is in trouble. You have tried setting boundaries & limits with him from Step #1, and you’ve enlisted the help of a licensed professional counselor; it didn’t work either.
Now it’s time for Step #3.
Step #3=Intensive Outpatient
If you find yourself at wit’s end, nothing has worked, it’s time to get your son in an intensive outpatient program. It isn’t as scary as it sounds, and more importantly if you want to save your son from continuing down the wrong path, this step is crucial. (more…)
Last week in Step #1 we covered the importance of setting healthy boundaries & limits in conjunction with natural consequences. Many times, parents can avoid trouble with their adolescent son by starting there.
When that doesn’t work, move to Step #2:
Step #2=Seek Counseling
Many boys don’t know how to deal with the pain that comes with adolescence; they don’t think it’s a big deal to party or rebel against the rules. If you suspect your adolescent son is experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol for relief, it’s time to seek counseling. A counselor can assess if a more extensive treatment program is necessary. (more…)
I’ve blogged about “signs your adolescent son could be in trouble.” Over the next few weeks I’ll dig into the steps and stages of escalation with a goal of you, the parent, nipping it in the bud!
Step #1=Boundaries & Limits
This is the first step that must be implemented in your adolescent son’s life. His most important need other than food, water, clothing and shelter falls in this first step.
As a parent we tend to want to make it comfortable and easy for our children. We “want them to have it better than we did!” The reality is all those boundaries and limits our parents put on us were a good thing.
Let’s look at some examples: (more…)
Every year in October there is a focus on domestic violence. I listen to stories of survival, most of the time women with children, and their horrific experiences. I wonder why we only hear about these stories in October?
Frightened Little Boy
I grew up in the “South City,” if you’re from St. Louis you know exactly where that is. If you’re not from St. Louis, the South City is a suburban neighborhood near the famous Anheuser Bush Brewery, everybody knows that name! Other than the brewery there wasn’t anything special about my neighborhood, in fact, most of my memories are of a frightened little boy who grew up working hard to forgive my parents for the abuse that was in my home year-round. (more…)