Parenting With Dignity Website

 

Monthly Newsletter

Nov. 2003

Effective Parenting Skills


 

   
 

 

Get the book . . . . Parenting With Dignity - click here.

 

Dear Parents and Supporters:

Where did the PWD newsletter go?  We heard from quite a few people last month asking that very question.  To be honest, we delayed our newsletter because of the huge virus attacks in September and October.  We apologize for the interruption, but we didn't want to find ourselves in people's "junk folders" unwittingly because they were receiving so much spam and virus email.  Anyway, we're back in service an would like to welcome you to the November edition of the Parenting With Dignity newsletter. We have some great news this month.  To view this issue on the web, click here.

Don't miss NBC's Today Show - Tomorrow

Tune in to NBC's Today Show on Tuesday, Nov. 11 from 7-9 a.m. to see Barbara and Mac, reunite with a former student.  Brian Bennett contacted classmates.com and told them how much of an impact his former teachers had on his life and the Today Show will reunite student and teachers on Tuesday. This will be an inspiring segment and a genuine tribute to the lessons and ideals that Mac and Barbara have incorporated into their PWD program. Don't miss it!

DVDs to ship this month!!!

PWD on DVD!  Finally. We can't begin to tell you what a considerable ordeal this has been. We had hoped to have the DVD version of PWD available by August, but we didn't appreciate the time and resources involved to make this happen.  The Spanish translation track is done, the cover art and the DVDs have been approved, and we're in final production now.  The only remaining issue is completing our ordering process for online and toll-free orders. To learn more about PWD on DVD, follow this link.

We hope you enjoy this issue and we wish all of our U.S. subscribers a happy and safe Thanksgiving Holiday.

 

 

Thank you, and stay safe,

The Editor

PS:  Remember to "Refer A Parent" and make PWD available to every parent in America. Forward this newsletter to every parent in your address book.

 

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Ask Mac

A regular feature of our newsletter. Mac responds to your concerns. Send questions to: Ask Mac

 

 

Ask Mac?

Dear Mac,

Hi, I have your Parenting with Dignity videos but I have a problem that isn't covered in detail.  My son's father molested him and although my son and I are in counseling are there any other suggestions you might have on ways to deal with such things as anger, comforting, feeling safe and issues of that nature.

Thank you,

Mom in Florida

Dear Mom:

I would strongly suggest that you continue to seek counseling and that you make sure that the counselor is trained in this kind of trauma.

I do not feel particularly qualified to offer advice on this issue directly but I would encourage you to keep our "Ten Ways of Communicating Love" (http://www.parentingwithdignity.com/PWD/video_series/5-6-Love.htm) close at hand and use them daily. I would suggest that you lay out a plan of communicating your love to your son on a daily basis. He needs that!

While he has had a traumatic incident with his father he is not doomed to let that be the dominant experience in his life. You must provide him with lots of experiences of the right kind to overcome this frightening event. To me, the problem with some counseling is that it forces the person to relive and relive and relive the negative experience rather than focusing on building a lifetime of wonderful relationships and wonderful positive experiences. Remember! The ideas in his head will rule his world. If all he is ever helped to think about is the one negative experience - it will rule his world. The flip-side of that is true also... if all he thinks about is the wonderful experiences he is having daily then those new experiences and ideas will rule his world instead!

Good luck and keep letting him know that you love him in every way that you can think of.

Sincerely,

Mac Bledsoe
Mac and Barbara Bledsoe

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Mac & Barbara Bledsoe

Heroes

By Mac and Barbara Bledsoe

 

 

Author comment... Over the past few months, a number of people have asked me to reprint an article we published a few years ago talking about heroes and role models. This is it.

In today's society like in the past, kids have heroes. This is a good thing. However, in modern society it seems the process of selecting heroes has become rather muddled or confused. Fame should not necessarily make a person a hero. We have experienced this from both sides: first as parents of two sons who chose heroes while growing up, and now with two sons who have distinguished themselves as outstanding athletes who are often the object of hero worship.

Please hang in here with us on this one so there is no misinterpretation of what we are attempting to say with this article. We do believe that both our sons are worthy heroes. Both are moral and admirable people with a strong sense of family. It is just alarming to see how so many people have selected them. Many children have been taught to or at least allowed to select their heroes/role models based upon nothing more than skill at a game. Few of these kids know much about their heroes beyond this particular skill. If children had been taught some criteria or standards for selecting role models, it would be different.

Allow us to illustrate with a personal example. Barbara's Father, Dick Matthews, died suddenly last week. His five grandchildren delivered the eulogy at the funeral. It was obvious to all in attendance that "Grandpa Dick" was a hero to all five. As they spoke of him through their tears, they all mentioned his hero status in their eyes and used words like loyal, dedicated to his wife, hard-working, honest, a man whose word was his bond, as well as describing a fun Grandpa who always had a smile a mile wide.

Dick Matthews was quite a fellow. Nobody could outwork him outside his home. He built houses for a living but he also ran a 120-acre farm and did odd jobs on the side as was needed for extra money. If necessary, I'm certain he would have taken a night job to provide for his family and he did all of his work cheerfully, and with a bounce of purpose in his step. Inside their home it was a different story. In his house, Dick was the king and Maxine, his loving wife of 56 years, waited upon him hand an foot. It was not a "modern" romance but rather one from a previous generation and it worked beautifully for them. Dick earned a living and Maxine kept up the home.

Then, ten years ago, tragedy struck that loving couple and Maxine was stricken by a severe stroke. Overnight she became in need of around-the-clock care rather than being the caregiver. Without the slightest blink, Dick became that 24-hour, 7 days a week caregiver and on top of it he began to do all of the housework! He did all of the laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping and everything else Maxine had done for all the years of their partnership of love.

A year ago, while out to breakfast alone with Dick, I was struck by the enormity of the change he had made on behalf of his loving wife and I asked him how he made such an amazing change so suddenly and so cheerfully. His answer really affected me that day and it will always be in my memory. He looked back at me, got tears in his eyes, and then quietly said, "One day 56 years ago, I said 'I do'..."

At his funeral each of his grandkids said that one thing they had learned from Grandpa Dick was to honor commitments! They each got the message.
We as adults need to hold people like Dick Matthews up as heroes to our children! We all know people in our families and in our neighborhoods that are so worthy of being heroes to our kids. We must not be so careless as to think that kids will seek out these remarkable but often quiet people; we need to teach them what a real hero is and point out some in their immediate surroundings. Sure an athlete makes a flashy hero and many are worthy of the status, but let's be careful to teach our kids what makes a person worthy of hero or role model status.

Make tomorrow "Hero Day" in your family and talk about what makes a real hero!

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Time out . . .

Mom's and Dads



THE MOMMY TEST

I was out walking with my 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I asked her not to that.

"Why?"

"Because its been laying outside and is dirty and probably has germs."

At this point, she looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Wow! How do
you know this stuff?"

"Uh," (I was thinking quickly, everyone knows this stuff) "Um, it's on the Mommy Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mommy. We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information.

"OH, I get it!" she beamed. "Then if you flunk, you have to be the Daddy!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE DAD'S JOB DESCRIPTION

POSITION: DAD
Long-term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in faraway cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Must provide on-site training in basic life skills, such as nose blowing.
  • Must have strong skills in negotiating, conflict resolution and crisis management. Ability to suture flesh wounds a plus.
  • Must be able to think out of the box but not lose track of the box, because you most likely will need it for a school project.
  • Must reconcile petty cash disbursements and be proficient in managing budgets and resources fairly, unless you want to hear, "He got more than me!" for the rest of your life.
  • Must be able to drive motor vehicles safely under loud and adverse conditions while simultaneously practicing above mentioned skills in conflict resolution.
  • Must be able to choose your battles wisely and then stick to your guns.
  • Must be able to withstand criticism, such as "You don't know anything."
  • Must be willing to be hated at least temporarily, until someone needs $5 to go skating.
  • Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
  • Must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat, in case this time the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
  • Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
  • Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery-operated devices.
  • Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
  • Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
  • Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
    Must have a diverse knowledge base, so as to answer questions on the fly such as "What makes the wind move?" or "Why can't we just stop all wars?"
  • Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION
Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE
None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION
You pay them, offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, the job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life, if you play your cards right.

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  Parents, learn the "Warning Signs" of Drugs, Alcohol, Gangs and Computer Addiction.
 

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2003