Monday, December 17, 2007

Domestic Violence

I recently sat at a booth in the middle of Main Street in a far flung suburb in Oregon. The event was a Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil. Why would StandUp Parenting set up shop here?
It’s true that probably about a third of the parents in our local support group were either abused as a child by a parent, or as an adult, by a partner. For most, it was in the hazy past with a parent or partner who no longer figures in their lives. The effects may live on, though.
Some are still living in or affected by abusive relationships with either partner or parent. This, of course, affects the parent’s relationships with their teen or young adult.
The majority of our local parents have suffered verbal abuse by the tongues of their children, young or old. A large portion of these have suffered physical intimidation, threats or abuse at the hands of their kids.
Often caseworkers, therapists, teachers and law enforcement officers just don’t understand our predicament. Most cities and states have quite clear laws about partner violence, or the violence of a parent toward a child. There are few such laws protecting parents from abusive children.
The great thing about our StandUp Parenting groups is the hope and help they can give folks in this very situation. Does the idea of support in your situation give you hope? Join us! Click the StandUp Parenting link at the right to find a group near you.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Home School Dilemma

Our StandUp Parents come from many different backgrounds and traditions. It has not been uncommon to have homes school families join our group with out of control teens. They can no longer pull off teaching and keeping a lid on the constant anger at home. We’ve brainstormed and come up with many different directions a parent can try: Home school co-op, sending a kid to public or private school part or full time. If they’re old enough, letting them go directly to the local community college to attend high school completion or GED classes. Some teens go directly to work.
A new trend we’ve observed on the West Coast runs in the opposite direction. High school students, doing well academically and okay socially
become frustrated with teachers or a particular social situation. Rather than refusing to go to school and subsequently dropping out, these kids are demanding to be home schooled.
Parents who have never even considered home schooling are hit hard by their student’s announcement. What to do? Brainstorming with your group to see what others have done is your best bet. Also consider that this isn’t the end of the world! Your kid still wants an education. Home schooling is so prevalent around the country that most schools have a contingency plan for these kids. There are lots of curricula available. Online schools, home school support groups and resource centers abound.
As you come up with a plan with your StandUp group, recall the advice given by Love and Logic’s Cline and Fay – who is holding the units of concern in this situation? Your kid wants to be home schooled? Let him/her do the legwork. Let them find the programs available, the prices, what fits in your family budget. Let them contact school personnel about the change in their plans, get the forms, filled them out as much as they can.
The more your teen does, the more they will own the process. Will they follow through? Perhaps. Will they fail? Perhaps. Will they succeed? Perhaps. No hard and fast answers here, folks – just food for thought.
If you’re new to this kind of teen difficulty, check out our link to the StandUp Parenting web site and look for a group in your area to get the support you need. We’ll be looking for you!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Prepare for the Holidays

Granted, we’ve just gotten our kids back to school, but the holidays are sneaking up on us. And life with Acting Out Kids, no matter the age, gets even more complicated during those family events. Now is the time to start laying a plan.
Think about the holidays your family might normally celebrate.
*New Year
*Add Your Own
It is well known that when our children are young, the change in schedule that holidays bring causes our children to test their boundaries. It is as though they have forgotten all the rules or just decide to challenge them.
As our kids grow older, expectations shift – but the Acting Out Kid gets harder to live with, rather than maturing into the family dynamic. Time to decide on your boundaries and make a plan.
-What are your typical problems? What has happened with your challenging child in the past that makes you dread this holiday?
-Why do you celebrate? Is this holiday one you love? Can you avoid it? Can you celebrate it with others? (At other’s home, school, church, the mall?)
- What is your budget? Set one and stick to it! Start the adult habit of giving modest tokens of your affection. Encourage your kids to do the same. Resolve to spend X amount on food/gift/travel.
- What is the ‘feeling’ you are going for? Remember, we are unlikely to get ‘warm and fuzzy’ from our disgruntled kids.
One Mom suggested her out of control son (no longer living at home) meet the family at church on Christmas, and then they would exchange gifts while enjoying a meal at a local restaurant. We celebrated Thanksgiving at church since many in our group had Acting Out Kids. We had a lovely time, without the stress and drama that we would have had at home. You could also try the Lura’s Holiday Captain Method. Let each family member decide which holiday they love the most. That person then chairs the committee for making that holiday ‘happen’ (parents still control the budget and boundaries). The disgruntled, perfectionistic kid may become much less so when he/she is in charge.
So, get your gray cells working on the holidays. And get yourself to your local StandUp Parenting support group where you can get more ideas and help to make your plan happen.

Monday, September 10, 2007


If you've ever flown on a commercial airline, the flight protocol and emergency proceedures are surely stuck in your brain. Seatbelts on. Tray in the upright position. Lightstrips running the floor of the cabin. Your seat can be used as a flotation device. And those oxygen masks: they'll drop down automatically, you place yours over you nose and mouth and secure the elastic, then you help your neighbor or child secure their mask's.
Take care of yourself first!
You can't help someone else if you are struggling for air - you'll both end up passing out. If we are exhausted and our resources drained, we are in no position to be effective helpers for our friends or family.
Parents who are newly arrived in our StandUp Parenting support groups are often exhausted shadows of their original selves. They have been in crisis mode for days, weeks and, sometimes, years.
Is this you?
Have you worked hard to get your kids good nutrition, counseling and education? Have you struggled to make sure they have their health needs met, are up to date on their inocculations and get enough sleep?
Can you say the same for yourself?
You've been through a harrowing time - have you gotten counseling, just for you? When was the last time you saw a doctor? Are you up to date on your routine screenings - mammogram or prostate? Are you getting exercise? Balanced and regular meals?
Remember - when you take care of yourself you are modeling good self-care to your children. You are also telling them that you value yourself.
Do these things seem hard to do? You are exhausted, after all. Consider joining a StandUp parent support group. Not only will you get ideas to deal with your family problems, you will also find ideas and support to take care of yourself. You're worth it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Making Changes

You're ready to make changes in your life and family - how do you go about this? How do you get success - this time?
Support is the answer. As usual, I'll recommend a StandUp Parenting support group - it has sure worked for me over the years. But also, identify those people in your life that will back up the considered choices you are making. A relative, friend, teacher, or grocery checker. At church, the gym or your coffee shop - it doesn't matter. Be on the lookout for those who share your heartache and frustrations and will build you up - not tear you down.
Then compile your phone list. If you're part of a parent support group, you'll be given one. And call. When you've just blown your goal, call a like minded friend. When you don't know what to do next call again. Drop by the gym, coffee shop or store and look up your support folks. Listen to them and give back, as well.
The flip side of support, though, are the nay-sayers. Those who think you're making bad decisions, you're being mean or can't/shouldn't change. Learn to disengage with these folks over your parenting issues. Change the subject, when possible. Listen, but stay neutral. If they insist on verbally pounding you, consider how you might minimize contact. Not always possible, but do what you can to protect yourself.
Get support for change and growth. You can do it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Let the Wind Blow

Please check out our new Books We Love section on the sidebar - we'll add our favorites as we go. Parenting Teens With Love and Logic is a hands down winner. It falls under the category of 'modern wisdom'. At our StandUp Parenting parent support groups we make use of a wide array of information. Some of it is cutting edge, but some is ancient. The amazing thing is how it all dovetails and blends together.
Today's quote is a bit of older, though not ancient, wisdom:
"Talk low, talk slow and don't say too much."
John Wayne
Those who have acting out kids of any age are aware of their ability to get us engaged - in arguments, in attempts to help/solve/suggest/advise them in their daily trauma dramas. As the book of Job says, 'The speech of a despairing man is wind." (Job 6:26) It's mostly the hot air of venting. And, it will blow over. That is, if we shut our own mouths.
Enter Parenting Teens With Love and Logic - there you will find great recommendations for keeping your speach to a minimum. Better yet, log on to the StandUp Parenting website (use the link to the right), find a parent support group in your area, and get some help putting 'low and slow' into practice!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Home Alone

How old does a mom have to be before she gets to be 'home alone'? To what lengths will she go to be home alone?
Well, one mom in Sicily wanted to find out. She hauled her 61 year old son to the police station after taking away his house keys and refusing to hand over his allowance. His crime? Out past curfew! See Yahoo news story. How many of us are in similar situations, though? Our kids may be 17, 23 or 35, but somehow they manage to just stay. We have plenty of reasons why they need to be with us - can't get a job, keep a job, had a rough childhood, learning disabilities - and the list goes on.
The longer our kids live with us, though, the weaker and more dependent they become. We're doing our offspring no favors by giving them extended shelter - beyond the occasional emergency.
Ask yourself, can my kid make it on his/her own? Do they currently contribute to the household in a meaningful way? Have they gotten more helpful over time?
Interested in moving your son or daughter into independence in a healthy way? Would you like help? Check the sidebar and click on the StandUp Parenting link to find a parent support group near you - StandUp for yourself and let other parents StandUp for you!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Purpose of Posting

This site can be a place where StandUp Parents can discuss issues with getting support, can express feelings and frustrations and joys of parenting adolescents, teens, and adult children.

Have you been in situations where you feel the family is out of control? You thought you knew how your family behaved, but were thrown for a loop? How do you recover from a call from the police? A report from the school counselor that your child has been suspended? Your child not coming home from school... for the night?

This has been my reality. I sought support and I found it. I found it in a weekly meeting of other StandUp Parents. We care about our kids. We want to have a healthy relationship with them, and we want to raise them to be responsible adults. We also want to survive the rearing of our kids!

Welcome to the StandUp world!