Letters

Letters 09-29-2014

Benishek Doesn’t Understand

Congressman Benishek claims to understand the needs of families, yet he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would cause about 10 million people to lose their health insurance. He must think as long as families can hold fundraisers they don’t need insurance...

(Un)Truth In Advertising

Constant political candidate ads on TV are getting to be too much to bear 45 days before the election...

Rare Tuttle Rebuttal

Finally, I disagree with Stephen Tuttle. His “Cherry Bomb” column in the 8/4/14 issue totally dismayed me. I always love his wit and the slamming of the 1 percent. His use of fact and hyperbole highlights the truth; until “Cherry Bomb.” Oh man, Stephen...

Say No To Fluoride

Do you or your child’s teeth have white, yellow, orange, brown, stains, spots, streaks, cloudy splotches or pitting? If so, you may be among millions of Americans who now have a condition called dental fluorosis...

Questions Of Freedom

The administration’s “Affordable Health Care Act” has ordered religious orders to provide contraception and chemical abortions against the church’s God given beliefs and teachings … an interesting order, considering the First Amendment’s clear prohibitions...

Stop The Insults & Talk

I found it interesting that Ms. Minervini used the Northern Express to push the Safe Harbor agenda for a 90-bed homeless shelter in Traverse City with a tactic that is also being utilized by members of the city commission. Those of us who oppose the project are being labeled as uncompassionate citizens...

Roads and Republicans

Each time you hit a road crater while driving, thank the “nerd” and the Tea Party controlled Republican legislature.

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

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
kids/teens.
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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