Posts Tagged ‘Mind+Body+Soul’

Mean Teens and the Magic Wand

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

I wasn't born to be mean!

Recently it seems that there are so many stories in the news about teens being blatantly disrespectful and cruel. Today I see that 3 teen boys bullied a woman on a school bus to tears and no one stepped in to help or to correct them. Now I read on facebook that 3 other teen boys threatened a man and his Service Dog on a golf course with a rifle and a knife…

Why is it that kids are so angry, rude and untrustworthy?

I have been working with teens and parents for quite some time now and I have to say that it is we that are at fault. YES, not the kids here. Kids are not born mean. Some parents just don’t take parenting seriously anymore. There is little or no accountability for these kids. Parents themselves must understand that kids do and act as they are taught. They mimic what they see. Now I am not saying the parents of these kids taught or told them to act this way, but what have these kids been surrounded with. Who are their peers? What are their parents like? What do they watch on TV? What are they seeing on the computer? What the hell are the parents watching. This reality TV has become our worst nightmare. It is JUNK! Nothing inspiring just plain foul!

I hear people complaining constantly about how terrible kids are today…WELL do something about it. Stop complaining. Make a difference. Whether you are a parent or not you live on this planet. You are a functioning adult. Step up. Be a mentor to a young person. Teach them respect by being respectful. Teach them gratitude by being grateful. Teach them love by being loving. They will learn these traits from the very moment they are born. Let’s stop complaining about life. If our kids know nothing of violence, hate, anger, mistrust and foul play…they will not behave the way these boys have.

CRAP in = CRAP out. Not too difficult to understand. Children develop a conscience by the time they are 7 years old. What have they seen, heard and lived through by this time?  Trying to change it after 7 years old is difficult but not impossible. But it is so much easier to be a kind and loving adult who is responsible for your own actions. Live your life being grateful…If each one of us makes a choice to do this each and every day the kids around us may just follow suit.

Turn off the news. Turn off the negative programs. They are programming our kids as well as you! Be aware of who your kids are spending time with. What are they seeing on the computer…Who is it they follow? Break the spell.

Dream about possibilities. Allow your children to dream big. Give them an option to tell you each day about a wish they have.   Applaud them. Give them hope. Happiness is a choice. It is your choice. Show them that happiness and respect is a magic wand and they have the power to use it.

Trophy Kids – by Susan Dench our Guest Blogger

Monday, March 19th, 2012

When the kids were younger, you could hardly place a book on a shelf with the number of trophies they had. Wow, that must mean they were incredible athletes that played on a lot of championship teams, right?

Uh, no, but they did show up.

The kids showed up for games in which scores weren’t kept (although they could tell you exactly what it was) so the message was, “Hey, it doesn’t matter if you practiced more, worked your butt off, are more skilled or had a more winning attitude on the field – this isn’t a meritocracy, we want to play down to the lowest common denominator and treat everyone equally. You’re special, just like everyone else. In fact, we are huge proponents of and encourage mediocrity. Otherwise, we might hurt some feelings and damage kids’ self esteem.”

Good grief.

At the end of every season, during the obligatory pizza party, shiny engraved golden globes were handed to each child, along with a healthy heaping of praise about how incredibly awesome they were and how much they contributed to the team. Um, well, that’s not quite true. In fact, each of them will tell you that soccer/basketball/softball/lacrosse (depending on the kid) wasn’t really their best sport. Kids are smart – they know a scam when they see one.

When we were growing up, your trophy was a cast on your broken leg, received blocking a ferocious shot and thereby saving the game. When asked, you could proudly tell the tale if how you actually earned your scars.

If the kids continue to play at the high school level, our experience is that they can be put on varsity teams even though they are only JV material – perhaps because they are a senior and it wouldn’t be “fair” to have them play down, or because their parents swooped in to threaten the Athletic Director and the coach found himself caught between a rock and a hard place. (I’m sure we don’t live in the only town where this happens. Don’t even get me started about the coach who caught three of his best players smoking pot but let it slide because he didn’t want them kicked off the team. But I digress – that is an upcoming post.)

So how does this play out as the kids reach adulthood? Well, Lands’ End and Bank of America have “praise teams” to make sure their younger employees enjoy high self-esteem and feel good about themselves by having praise doled out in consistent dosages. Our friends have noticed their younger employees can be quite needy, wanting constant reassurance about what a great job they are doing – even if they aren’t. Younger employees actually have the temerity to ask for entitlement raises – not for merit, but for simply showing up. (Hmmm, there seem to be some patterns here.) I haven’t heard of anyone asking for a medal for attending a conference, trade show or meeting, but could that really be far behind?

Now, who has to take responsibility for this disturbing turn of events? A vast conspiracy by the trophy industry? A master plan concocted by plastic and metal producers? I actually wish it was. But it is parents who are guilty of this ridiculous praise cycle. Parents who volunteer as coaches and hand out the trophies, parents who serve on the local sports boards that create such stupid, inane rules as “no scoring”, parents who have words with the volunteer coaches about the amount of playing time their kid gets, parents who praise the kid even when they, frankly, stink. Parents who actually condone and encourage this behavior. And we’ve created some monsters – in both the kids and the parents.

Our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter will be getting into sports soon (her grandfather already has her out on the ice and a miniature hockey stick is waiting for her in the hall closet). I really hope that she only gets a trophy if she truly earns one.

Susan Dench is a seasoned marketer who has been cited by marketing guru, Seth Godin, for her outside-the-box business thinking. Her background includes stints at large, mid-sized, venture funded and shoestring-budget entities, working internationally in brand management, marketing communications, partnerships and product and market development. Her company, Muddy Dog Media, offers guidance and resources to businesses seeking enhanced relationships with their clients. Only too happy to express her opinions, whether asked for or not (as energetically corroborated by her children), she is the author of several books including, “The Responsibility Rules: Living a Self-Disciplined Life in a Self-Entitled World.” Susan lives in Falmouth, Maine with her darling husband and admittedly spoiled pets in a charming 1920’s house, which is in a perpetual state of renovation.”She can be found at susandench.com or reached at susan@themuddydog.com

Will I be Pretty?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

A question many of us ask ourselves and so many of our daughter’s have asked us the same question. What will you tell her?