Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · How to save our kids
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How to save our kids

Daniel Oberski - February 15th, 2010
How to Save Our Kids
By Danial Oberski
I wish I knew a formula to saving/reclaiming our kids. I suspect the
recipe is located somewhere between the swamps surrounding the
Fountain of Youth and the red mesas hiding El Dorado, the legendary
city of gold. Nonetheless, I’ll try my best to cobble together a few
scattered strategies.
Listen! I know this bit of advice is as old as the stars
themselves; however, it is the single most important thing an adult
can do for any child. When I say listen, I mean listen. Turn off the
TV, the car radio the cell phone and pay attention. This is especially
true when dealing with a teenager, as teenagers speak volumes in their
silence. If your child is talking about their friend’s problem, there
is a real possibility that these problems are affecting your child as
well. Furthermore, the “friend” is likely to be your own child.
Withhold judgment!  Whereas, you should actively listen, I should
mention the equally passive position of listening without judging!
Speaking truthfully and candidly is inherently difficult for a teen.
They tend to withhold pertinent and important information if they feel
they’ll be admonished or castigated for it. I often meet kids silently
suffering and spiraling away because they fear their parent’s punitive
punishments and reprisals.
Do as I do, and they’ll do it too! In graduate school, I trained in
the art of public speaking, which is essential when one is presenting
research at a conference. I was told that 7% of communication is
literal (words), 38% was tone and voice, and the remaining 55% was
reserved for body language. The same can be said of dealing with
If I tell a student what to do, I can expect at best a 10% return
on my investment. If I ask quietly and calmly, maybe a 40% return. But
what if I demonstrate the behavior I want? What if I ask Billy not to
swear and at the same time—not swear? Modeling desired behavior is a
supremely effective tool at achieving this aim. Above all, avoid
hypocrisy! Kids are acutely aware of hypocrisy. A hypocrite can
rapidly erode respect and endearment lending to disillusionment.
I was older then, I’m younger now! Remember what it was like to be a
kid? We tend to think kids are getting worse with each generation.
This isn’t true!  Kids smoke, drank and rattled cages in the 60s, 70s
and 80s. Kids were having sex too! The difference is how society has
shifted its expectations of acceptable behaviors. Today’s teens are
thrust into adulthood as early as 12 years old. Freshmen are
encouraged to plan out career goals! Subsequently, behaviors that were
once loosely tabbed as “boys being boys” are now identified as crimes
and subject to correction.
There’s no success like failure, and failure is no success at all.
I’ve made mistakes, a lot of them in fact. Teens need to know that
despite an early stumble they can still finish the race in first! I
don’t get upset when a kid makes a mistake. I’m disappointed, but I’m
not mad.  Science is a cumulative process of self-correction. So is
life.  Taking a risk and failing is succeeding so long as you
recognizes the weakness.
It’s the differences that divide us! I play video games and love
music. I share my interest with the kids. We talk about favorite
movies, books, stories, music, and cartoons. The more things we have
in common, the more sincere the respect. Respect is key!
Be like water! Be willing to acquiesce. Compromising and bartering is
a sign of strength—not signs of weakness. We all make deals with
friends, family, bosses and God! Trading favor for favor can be an
effective methodology to correcting disruptive behaviors.
Be consistent. I’ll say the same thing in the morning! Be consistent.
Be consistent. Be consistent.
Send me a postcard. Kids may not immediately understand or appreciate
the reasons for your actions or your favorite phrases.  I’m only now
beginning to fully appreciate my mother. So believe in your actions,
believe in your wisdom, even if your teen “doth protest too much.”

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