Archives for September 2017

Education for Parents with Troubled Teens

Parenting troubled teens isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes strength, confidence, and knowledge to get through it. The following are just some of the ways you can find the education needed to be the best parent to your struggling teen.

Local Community

Most communities have support groups and workshops for parents. These meetings discuss the issues parents have during adolescence. It’s a great way to learn from guest speakers who may be psychologists, physicians, and specialists. Since there will be other parents there, you will be able to meet others who understand what you’re going through and be able to help you.

Therapy

Many parents set up therapy appointments for their troubled teens, but they don’t set them up for themselves. It’s a wise idea to do this because a therapist can provide a wealth of information on how to approach situations. Not only will it be a good way to vent all the thoughts and feelings you’re having, but you’ll also be able to walk away with the knowledge of what to do when crises occur again.

Books

Many child and adolescent specialists have written books on how to care for at-risk youth. Visit your local library or search online for books related your experiences. For example, if you believe your teen may be using drugs or alcohol, search for books on that topic. You’ll learn how to approach the subject with your teenager, and what to do if you’ve already said something and it’s made the situation worse.

Online Resources

The Internet provides extraordinary amounts of information you can use to parent your teen.

PBS has articles, resources, and videos on how to deal with some of the most common behaviors of troubled adolescents.

HelpGuide.org has detailed information on what to do when you’re faced with a teen who is engaging in risky behaviors. It also provides insight into why your teenager may be misbehaving.

ParentingTeens.com has articles on just about every issue a teen can struggle with in high school. You can find information on mental illness, substance abuse, bullying, violence, peer pressure, and more.

HelpYourTeenNow.com hosts hundreds of articles for parents struggling with their child’s behaviors. You’ll gain knowledge to tackle every situation with strength and confidence.

Troubled Teen Boarding Schools

Boarding schools, such as Liahona Academy, offer many benefits to parents. Not only is it a place where troubled teenagers can live to get away from peer pressure, learn better coping strategies, and understand why their actions are dangerous, but it’s also a place for parents to learn how to reconnect with their child. Workshops, therapy sessions, and discussions with specialists can help you take control of the situation you’re currently in, so you can guide your teenager back on a path that will make him successful in life.

If you’re struggling emotionally, mentally, and physically because of your teenager’s behaviors, contact Liahona Academy for help today. We can help you understand what has happened, and know what needs to happen to help your teen become a responsible, caring, and confident adult.

Co-Parenting Life Hacks After Divorce

Divorce is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking processes a person can go through. After years of trouble in a marriage it can seem like a relief when the decision to end things has been made, but there is still the difficulties associated with splitting your lives apart and starting over separately.

Coparenting is one of the more difficult challenges associated with divorce. Trying to raise children in two different homes without ripping one another’s heads off can be hard for even the more harmonious of broken couples.

Whether you get along with your ex-spouse or want to tie them to train tracks, here are some life hacks you can use to at least co-parent effectively. Even if you drive one another nuts.

  1. Use An App To Enforce Agreements - You spent all that time in mediation figuring out the financial and custody arrangements. Why leave the enforcement of them to your own potentially bungled planning? You need to keep track of everything, from purchases to days spent with each parent to child support. There are apps out there that help you to do that, creating calendars, keeping track of financial information and more. Make sure you both have it, if possible.
  2. Plan Shared Family Events - This probably sounds very counter intuitive. Why would you want to spend time with your ex? You divorced them so you didn’t have to! Well, they are still the other half of the parenting dynamic and while you would probably rather avoid getting too close to your ex, your children almost certainly miss doing things as a family. Every few months try and organize a small family outing where you and your spouse are both present.
  3. Discuss Small Home Details and Try and Merge Them - With small children especially it can be hard having one set of rules one place and another at a different place. Add that to rules they have to follow at school and other places they regularly attend and it is asking for trouble. Consider creating a single set of rules followed at both parent’s home.
  4. Don’t Give Children Twice The Stuff - So many parents overcompensate in a divorce by giving their children twice as much as they used to. There is no reason to do this. Some items, such as furniture and some clothes are good to have at both. But with electronics becoming all the more portable and so much homework done online, try pulling together to buy big ticket items they can take from place to place.
  5. Never Talk Bad About The Other Parent, Period - This is a no-brainer. Kids don’t just pick up on words, they pick up on actions. If your ex is bad mouthing you but you don’t do the same it is going to send a clear message, while teaching your child a valuable lesson about respect and dignity.

Find out more at Liahona Academy.

5 Activities Which Encourage Personal Growth

This is not going to be an astonishing list. When I started writing it I wanted to be totally honest and provide the five activities that I really, truly believed would spark personal growth. Those five activities turned out to be so cliche and standard that I wondered if I should even bother to write them down.

But then I thought, “Are they really cliche, though? Or are they just universally true?” Thinking to each item on this list I will admit that I sometimes need a reminder to take part in them myself. Which leads me to believe that at the very least there are others like me that need a kick in the pants.

With that said, these are five honest (if obvious) activities that will really help you to grow as a person. No self-help gimmicks, no tricks, not even therapy, just simple tasks anyone can do.

  1. Open a Book - Our world can be a cold and unfeeling one. We are so busy thinking of ourselves that others, especially those who are behind a screen, don’t factor into our day to day. But a study back in 2013 found that reading literary fiction can actually increase empathy. In other words, cracking open a book on a regular basis - already an enjoyable activity - can make you a better person.
  2. Get Out Into Nature - You don’t have to go on a two month trek across the Appalachian Trail, don’t worry. But getting out into the fresh air and connecting to the world around you is a fantastic way to gain a bit of perspective. A nice walk out somewhere isolated will leave you alone with your thoughts, without constant distractions. You may find yourself much more relaxed and at ease with your life.
  3. Spend Time With The “Other Guy” - A recent initiative was sparked by some local imams around the country. They started opening up their mosques to non-Muslims for community nights where they provided dinner and a chance to meet others from nearby neighborhoods. Many people attended and learned more about a culture that they didn’t know about before, allowing them to grow past the fear and hatred that has been building for the past decade and a half.
  4. Learn Something Practical - You should never stop learning. But if what you are learning has no real application in your life you may be robbing yourself of an opportunity to grow with a new skill. Have you wanted to take up sewing? Cooking? DIY furniture building? Gardening? Learning something practical is amazing for giving a boost to your life.
  5. Do Something New - We all have a tendency to settle into our comfort zones and not want to get out of them. But stretching and challenging ourselves is how we improve and it is important to do so regularly. Try something new, even if it is scary. You will be glad you did.

Find out more at Liahona Academy.

How to Help Your Son Become a Leader

Every parent wants to see their child become a leader. Leaders are confident, self-assured, helpful, ambitious, and determined, which are all qualities that a parent wants their son to possess. Here are four ways that you can help your son become a leader.

Be a Leader Yourself

One of the best teaching methods is to lead by example. Your son will be much more likely to take on leadership responsibilities when he sees that his parents do as well. This means getting involved in your neighborhood, children's schools, church, etc. When he notices that you are involved with various organizations or activities, he will learn from your example and have more confidence taking on leadership roles of his own.

Instill Leadership Values

From a young age, work on instilling leadership values in your son. These opportunities will come often but may be hard to recognize. While there are many different leadership values, here are some of the most important and scenarios where you can instill teachable moments.

  • Compassion- Your son sees a friend or sibling fall and get hurt, encourage them to offer comfort and ask if they need help.
  • Integrity- Your son gets an answer right on a test, even though he knows it is wrong, urge him to tell his teacher of the mistake.
  • Cooperation- No child wants to share, from a young age teach your son the importance of sharing, and cooperating well with others.
  • Focus- Help him accomplish something difficult, such as studying for and taking a big test.
  • Courage- Encourage him to try new things, like trying out for a team, auditioning for the school play, or asking a girl on a date.

Teamwork

You can't be a good leader without appreciating the importance of teamwork. From a young age have your child try different sports until he finds something that he really loves. As he tries various sports he will come to appreciate the value of teamwork and then be able to apply that principle of camaraderie into every aspect of his life.

The Importance of Humility

Possessing humility is a definite mark of a great leader. This is not simply admitting when you're wrong, though this is an important quality. A humble leader's overall goal is for his team to succeed. Often this means forgetting himself and listening to the suggestions and ideas of others until together they are able to come up with a worthwhile solution. Humility isn't the easiest of attributes for teenage boys to come by, but you can help teach him within your own home. As the leader of your household, organize a trip or activity and then have your son help you plan it. He may plan things you never would have yourself, but he will always remember the feeling of accomplishment and pride from seeing his plans set into action. When he is in a leadership role himself, he will be more likely to replicate your humble example.

By practicing these four tips throughout your son's life, he will undoubtedly learn from your direction and grow to be the leader you always knew he was capable of becoming.

Creating Teachable Moments

Every parent wants their child to be smarter, happier, stronger, and more successful than themselves. Raising this amazing human being can be hard, and finding opportunities to teach them all that you want them to know can also be difficult. Here are four authentic ways that you can incorporate teachable moments into your household.

Ask the Right Questions

As with any relationship, the best way to get closer to your child is through communication. When they come home from school instead of asking the mundane question, "how was your day?" instead ask thought provoking questions like, "who did you help today?", or "when were you happiest today?" When you ask the right questions, you will get worthwhile answers back. Your child's responses can lead to open discussions where you'll be able to learn more about each other. These dialogues are a perfect opportunity for you to teach your child because they won't feel forced which means they will be more likely to listen to your counsel.

Learn From Your Mistakes

A lot of times parents are hesitant to share their past with their children. They don't want to "give them any ideas" or think less of them for their past mistakes. Know that whatever crazy thing you did in your youth, it's been done a million times over and won't be news to your kid. Open up to your teen and tell them about your past mistakes, let them know why you regret what you did, how difficult it was for you to overcome, and how you want better for them. Your teenager will appreciate your honesty and most likely strive to learn from your mistakes.

Encourage Opportunities

Some of the best teachable moments come through experiences. For example, only by playing on a team can you fully appreciate the value of teamwork. Sometimes the only way you can discover that you're truly great at something is by stepping out of your comfort zone and auditioning. These opportunities will surround your child throughout their life. From a young age, encourage them to take part in different activities and then watch as each experience shapes them into someone better.

Be Understanding

Sometimes your child isn't going to make the team, or get the part that they auditioned for. Sometimes they are going to come home with a bad grade, or a detention slip. In these moments be patient and understanding. Your child has a right to make some mistakes of their own, it is your job as their parent to guide them back to the person you know they're capable of becoming.

Creating teachable moments in your household doesn't need to be some grand pre-orchestrated event. Utilize these four tips for creating authentic teaching opportunities in your home and you'll find yourself closer to your child and notice them learning from your advice.