Remember the sacrifices you made early on, really early on in order to have a healthy baby? The nights you walked the floor with a fevered teething baby? The hours of homework? Washing the soccer uniform at the last second because you forgot? How about those "surprise" cupcakes? The list goes on and on...
It doesn't stop when they graduate from high school or college. It doesn't stop.
And, if you're "trying" to have a little bundle of joy of your own, Dad, be mindful of stress. Just 2 months of stress is enough to reduce your fertility. You'll have a 47% greater risk of having motility problems ("weak swimmers"). And, of course, me telling you this kind of information is likely to increase your stress...
Same story with Chris Harper-Mercer who killed 10 and wounded at least 8 others at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon. His mother, as well as Adam Lanza's mother (Sandy Hook Elementary School), were gun enthusiasts and owned weapons. Their sons had access to these weapons.
Is it the case that these mothers felt sorry for their sons because they were socially isolated? Were they trying to be their friend instead of a parent? We'll never know for sure.
You can be very aware of your kids' friends, but you can't protect them from those kids whose parents refuse to be parents. There's only so much you can do. If you know of a kid in this kind of trouble, do your best to bring it to the attention of authorities, but don't be surprised if they "can't intervene yet". Parents are the first line of defense against mass casualty shootings. We can't legislate healthy parenting.
I talked about a follow-up issue of the elderly and gun violence. The elderly, defined as 65+ years, have the highest rate of suicide. It's critical to keep weapons out of their hands. Recently, in Arizona, a 92-year old woman shot and killed her 72-year old son. He wanted her to go to an assisted living facility and she didn't want to go. When police arrived, she had two pistols in her bathrobe.
Yes, I hear you saying, "Eeewww, creepy", but it's what happens.
There have been those teens and even young adults who have sued their parents over sharing their pictures, especially ones that are "sensitive". You work that out with your kids. If it gets to the courts because you won't respect them, that's on you. This is not my major concern.
My concern is safety. Send your photos to family and friends through email or text. Make sure your privacy settings are the most restrictive possible.
Now, Alexa will no longer tolerate rudeness. The system has been updated to respond to your kids' requests only when they say, "Please". There are a number of other, positive features that the Alexa system offers. You need to know about. Here they are!
My recommendations for MaryJo were:
1. Write your brother and SIL a brief note, preferably bullet-pointed, outlining her intentions to stay neutral.
2. The second message is about her devotion to the kids.
3. MaryJo needs to make specific, "neutral" statements such as "I will not make negative comments about either one of you". It's best to explain how questions, concerns and comments made by the kids will be addressed. MaryJo can only "reflect" their feelings and if warranted, share the kids' concerns with parents.
It's important that parents be subtle when approaching the kids because lines of communication need to stay open between MaryJo and the kids.
4. Don't offer any advice, ever. It will always be wrong and it constitutes getting involved and not being neutral.
5. You'll be baited, manipulated and threatened. Don't respond. Stay out of it.
6. This conflict will end eventually. Consider how you want to be thought of at the end of it. Hopefully, your goal is to be a mature mentor.
Your kid going to college this fall? If their social skills aren't strong, they're likely to text more often when they're stressed and they'll benefit more when you text them than if you pick up the phone. If your kid has stronger social skills and they're stressed, they'll call you.
Now, mind you, none of them want you to solve their problems for them, so a supportive ear and statements of confidence are likely the best approach.
Let them reach out to you.
Your kid chokes on some water in the pool, the ocean, the bathtub and moments later, seems OK. Hours or maybe a day later, she starts running a fever. You think it's a "bug". She develops rapid, shallow breathing and her nostrils flare when takes a breath and you think that's unusual. That's because it it.
Chest pain, vomiting, and extreme fatigue set in. She has blue lips, pale skin, is combative, argumentative and is "not herself".
The little bit of water that ended up in her lungs is now causing widespread inflammation and she's fighting for her life.
If your kid chokes and coughs during water play, take her to the emergency room or an urgent care. Find a doctor to listen to her lungs. Don't just stand there, do something. Once this crisis reaches the "tipping point", she'll begin to have organ failures.
Don't give any thought to those who criticize your "hysteria". You can't live with the consequences.
This has been a two-year process and one of the many things I learned was that when I think I know what I’m doing, I’m probably wrong.
What am I missing?
- First, non-public schools do not remediate. They don’t fix the learning problems. They don’t corrective strategies.
- They create an environment where your daughter can benefit from the educational activities that go on.
- One of the major issues in the conflicts that parents have with school districts is “accessing the curriculum” meaning that your child isn’t ready or able to learn in their current setting and that’s a big NO-NO.
- Being unable to access the curriculum usually results in low grades and low standardized test scores, but grades and standardized test scores only give a glimpse of the real problems. Usually much deeper than that.
- I consistently recommended to parents to pursue, legally, the additional services indicated by the private psychologist’s assessment.
- Services such as individual (not small group) speech and language therapy, Orton-Gillingham, Slingerland or Lindamood-Bell treatments for dyslexia as well as individualized educational therapy.
- These services can take place on campus during school time since the educational plan is supposed to be individualized.
- No matter how much respect I have for a non-public school, I cannot trust anybody with the future of my clients—my kids’ lives.
- I recommend that, in May of next school year, you return to the private psychologist who conducted the initial assessment and have her repeat selected reading math or writing tests or subtests that give you the most information about your daughter’s functional skills.
- What are functional skills? They are not the basic skills, but the applications of those skills. For example, I would not re-administered the activities whereby kids had to read lists of words, I had them read outloud such as the Gray Oral Reading Test and they would have them read silently from the Gray Silent Reading Test.
- I’d have them solve word problems from the WJTA-4th Edition or the Key Math.
- I’d also repeat the story writing subtest from the Test of Written Language-4th Edition covers many of the composition skills.
- Collect data from teachers regarding ADHD behaviors, executive functioning skills and overall behavioral presentation.
- Depending on the areas that need additional attention, pursue the district for remediation services that will address those areas.
- My policy, always, was to have a comprehensive language evaluation every single year.
- Here’s what I know…once a language processing disorder, always a language processing disorder.
- The situation I encountered consistently went like this…a student was identified as having a language disorder. The child underwent school-based therapy, met his goals and was dismissed only to start having problems a year or so later.
- What happens is that the language demands of the curriculum outpace the child’s natural language development.
- I’ve seen way too many times that my kids go to nonpublic schools, graduate and return to me for testing for college accommodations only to learn that they are severely lacking in the essential skills that will allow them to be successful in that setting.
- It’s a disaster and causes very serious stress.
- Families feel violated again and it’s very easy for my kids to give up.
- Be vigilant. The entire time they’re in school, be vigilant.
Yes, I know it's a lot of material and these show notes don't even cover all of the topics we talked about, so listen to the podcasts!
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