Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lesson from my son

My sons have always been my greatest teachers...another amazing lesson from one of my sons.
My Son's Blog - Patience

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Irony of Life

I give parenting classes to help parents keep their kids out of the justice system.  A lot of the parents in my parenting classes are parents of juvenile delinquents.  One of the things I've told them is to not worry about the mistakes their teenagers make because it's better that they make mistakes earlier in life rather than later.  I could never have imagined how true those words were.

In April 2015, my middle son, made a huge mistake at the age of 23 is now serving a 5 year prison sentence.  Watching this unfold has been surreal, but nonetheless, has been very real.  My son has always been awesome and continues to be awesome where he is now.  I have received several letters from fellow inmates and today, I thought I'd share one.

Hello, My name is XXXXXX and I am a friend of your son.  The reason for this letter is to give you my thanks and let you know I am lucky to know your son.  He has such a big heart and soul.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with how he was raised. :) It meant a lot to me when he was over here with me and I know the others over here miss him. :)  I also want to give my thanks for the board games you have gotten for us.  :)  I will not take too much of your time.  Take care and have a wonderful week.


Read my son's blog on An Unlikely Prisoner

Saturday, December 5, 2015



My favorite analogy for reminding parents that their children are all different from them and from each other is a garden. Every flower is different, and every flower is beautiful!
A child who feels accepted is a child with a full LoveCup.

Friday, August 21, 2015

To Believe in Your Children Believe in Yourself

I've been conducting parenting classes for the past 8 years.  Right now I have a class of about 25 parents, who all have teenagers who have gotten in serious trouble.  In the classes, we talk about how to talk so they listen, how to use consequences to stop being the enemy, how to motivate your kids to do their best, etc., etc.  And all that is good, but a couple of years ago, I started noticing that parents had lost hope.  They talked like it was hopeless, like their kids would never change.  I started asking parents if they really believed that.  And how they would feel if someone believed that about them. 

The new topic was Believe in Kids, but.....then I realized we had to go back one step further and help the parents believe in themselves.   Here are the affirmations I share with parents.  Start telling your brain you are an amazing parent; your brain will believe it.  Oh, don't forget to tell your kids they are amazing...they'll believe it too and more importantly, will start acting like it.

Affirmations for Parents

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Movies To Watch: Underwater Dreams and Spare Parts

One of our jobs as parents is to believe in our kids.  In my classes, I cover the typical things like Parenting Styles, Communication, Conflict Resolution, etc.  But what I have found is that parents need to reflect on what they believe about their kids.  If they have gotten in trouble with the law, or if their grades are not great, you may be questioning your kids' capabilities and even their intelligence.  Do not fall in that trap.  I repeat do not fall in the trap.  You know how amazing your kids are.  Do not judge them according to their current circumstance.  These two movies which are about the same story, except that one is the documentary and the other is the movie, are about inspiring kids to believe in themselves.  Just remember, they can't do that if you don't believe in them.

Underwater Dreams

It's the stuff of movies - four undocumented Mexican-American high school students enter a NASA-sponsored robotics contest and beat MIT and other prestigious universities. Yet the unlikely victory did not lead to a successful or lucrative future in the tech and science world for these students, mainly because they were constrained by their immigration status. Their fascinating story is the subject of a new documentary, “Underwater Dreams,” airing Sunday on MSNBC and Telemundo, as well as an upcoming Hollywood film.  Source:  article in Wire Magazine

Spare Parts
Four Hispanic high school students form a robotics club. With no experience, 800 bucks, used car parts and a dream, this rag tag team goes up against the country's reigning robotics champion, MIT.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Love Denzel Washingon's Advice: Put God First. Say Thank you. Aspire to Make a Difference

 Watch it Here

“Put God First…Put God first in everything you do….everything that I have is by the grace of God.  It’s a gift….40 years ago, I was flunking out of college…I have kept God in my life.  I didn’t always stick with him, but he always stuck with me… Stick with God.”

“Fail BIG..that’s right.  Fail Big…take chances…don’t be afraid to take chances. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box.  Don’t be afraid to dream big.  But remember dreams without goals are just dreams…they ultimately fuel disappointment.  Have dreams, but have goals..Yearly, Monthly, Weekly, Daily.  Simple goals, but have goals.  To achieve these goals, you must apply discipline and consistency.  You have to plan every day.”   

“You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.  I don’t care how much money you make, you can’t take it with you.  It’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with what you someone else.  That’s where the joy is…in helping others.”

“I hope you put your slippers way under the bed at night, so in the morning, you have to get down on your knees to get them and while you’re down there…say thank you.  Thank you for grace.  Thank you for mercy, thank you for understanding, thank you for wisdom, thank you for your parents, thank you for love, thank you for kindness, thank you for humility, thank you for peace, thank you for prosperity.  Say thank you in advance for what is already yours….True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you sent beforehand that it’s already yours….When you get it, reach back and pull someone else up.”

“Don’t aspire to make a living.  Aspire to make a difference.”

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

we feel loved when we feel respected

Fill your teenager's LoveCup with respect...we feel loved when we feel respected.  Here is a conversation from a family coaching session.  The teen is a 17 year old male.  The parents are monolingual Spanish speaking.
Teen: I think they should let me wear what I want to wear.
Mom:  I don't like him wearing red.
Teen:  This isn't gang related. 
Me:  In your opinion, what would be considered gang-related?
Teen:  like a red rosary...or like red tennis shoes...
Me:  Hmmm...well, yes, parents need to give kids more autonomy in what they wear, but this is different.  So, let me just talk to you as if you were my son.  If you were my son and you wanted to wear red (and we lived in the zipcode where you live), I would say:  Son, I don't want you wearing red because I'm afraid you'll be confused with gang members and end up getting shot.
Teen:  But this isn't gang stuff.
Mom:  In juvenile hall, they put him with the gang group.
Me:  Well, I don't know anything about gangs, but since we're talking about life and death, I can't just take your word for it.  We need to ask someone.  Would you be ok with you and your mom asking someone like the principal or the police officers at your school if what you are wearing is gang stuff?  And....would you be ok with not wearing it if they say it is?
Teen:  yeah...that'd be fine...and ok....yeah.
Me:  Ok, so tomorrow, you, mom, need to go to school and find the principal or the police officers with your son and ask them if what you are wearing is considered gang-related or not?
Teen:  Ok.

One week later.....
Me:  So, how did it go?  Was it gang related or not?  (he wasn't wearing red)
Teen:  We didn't go.
Me:  Why not?
Teen:  Just cuz.....
Me: you don't want to go ask? 
Teen: No...
Me:  Does that mean you are ok with not wearing red?  Are you sure?
Teen:  Yeah. 
Me: OK, so you are choosing to not wear what your mom considers dangerous.
Teen:  Yep.
I'm not even sure why I think this is showing respect, but I think it is. 

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