Friday, January 18, 2008

Meanest Mom?

'Meanest mom on planet' sells son's car
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the "meanest mom on the planet."
After finding alcohol in her son's car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old's misdeed with everyone -- by placing an ad in the local newspaper.
Read the rest of this great interview here:
'Meanest mom on the planet' places ad explaining son's goof /
This news release gave us plenty to talk about this week in just about every place that I’ve spent time – church, gym and StandUp Parenting Support Group. Everyone – and I mean everyone thought the woman should be given a medal.
The second comment was, hey girl, we thought you were the meanest mom on the planet. Well, just for the record, I merely called myself a mean mom. Mind you, I did claim, when my kids were in elementary school, that I had attended Mean Mom College and graduated at the top of my class.
It all started when we had a couple of challenging foster boys who began to accuse me of being a Mean Mom. Cut me to the heart. For awhile. Then I began to take a new tack – ‘Oh, thank you!’ I’d exclaim, wiping an imaginary tear from my eye. 'I worked so hard in Mean Mom College. It’s working!’
That response brought the accusations to an immediate standstill. After all, how do you respond to agreement from Mom?
Back to Jane Hambleton – I notice that she stated two simple rules about the car for her son. I also noticed that when her son broke one of those rules she didn’t accuse him, argue with him or warn him. She took action. Wow! I'm impressed. Easier said than done.
Could I do that? Should I? When? How?
Come on down to your local StandUp Parent group (or request a six week class), and get the support you need to take the action you want to take this week.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New Years Progress Through Journaling

Are you going through a particularly rough patch in your life? Not just because of your Acting Out Kid – perhaps health issues, relationships or job stress is impinging on your ability to cope with daily life. In addition to the ideas and support I found in my StandUp Parenting support group, I started journaling.
Scientific research has proven the health benefits of journaling. When you journal you:
- decrease the symptoms of many health conditions including asthma and arthritis.
- Improve cognitive functioning
- Strengthen your immune system
- Work against the stress in your life.
How did I start journaling? I got myself a notebook (big or little – anything that I like and will use works for me now). With an ornery teen and young adult in my life, I made sure it was something I could squirrel away from prying eyes - I had a locking file cabinet that I could use as well. A friend uses his computer to set up a journaling file and I sometimes email myself my thoughts each day (I make sure my files are password protected).
I wrote. At least a sentence. At least once a day. My feelings, my fears, my hopes and dreams. I wrote about my past – childhood, marriage, education, job. I wrote prayers. I love to include inspirational bits I pick up here and there. At times I'd just list the things I'm thankful for. Thinking about the positives in my life can brings balance to my perception of my experiences.
When I combine my journaling with Group Educational Activities such as the Fantasy Family and Who Is In Charge?, I've found that I have a powerful method for change in my life.
So begin the New Year with baby steps towards health and healing - get back to your StandUp meetings and find ideas that will work for you.