Marriage- Tell Her You Love Her- Then Love Her!

As a parent and a person living in this crazy busy world with crazy schedules it is so easy to get too busy to tell the people you love that you in fact do love them. Even more important is to show them that you love them. I have been a parent for many years and a foster parent for years and lived with over 40 teenagers and worked with hundreds and hundreds of kids in a family model setting such as Father Flanagan’s Boys and Girls Town. I have learned the value of telling your kids they are special and making sure they know they are loved. I have learned how to hug and hold and make them feel like they are special. I really think dad’s want their kid’s to feel loved and although they may have a hard time expressing their love in effective ways I think deep down inside the desire is there.

The thing that has seemed to be more difficult today is for men to learn the love language that they need to know in order to make their wives feel loved. To make the woman who works so very hard to keep that family together in so many ways feel special and loved. I myself have really missed the mark on this many times and thought it would be good for me to encourage all men in particular to commit with me to do this for our women. I am urging all men to make it as much a priority for our wives to be loved as it is for the television and jobs to be loved. I am calling on all men to man up with me and make that woman in your life the number one priority in your life as far as human relationships go. 

The woman is the one who holds things together for the family. She does those things that the man does not or cannot and does it without complaining. The woman in our lives has a direct affect on our relationship to our children. She nurtures and heals, calms and kisses and takes care of so many things we men take for granted. It is critical that they get their cup refilled once in awhile in order to carry on. They get weary and tired. They lose hope and enjoyment when their man is not loving them by protecting them and lifting them up, by not caring for their needs and listening when they need us to listen. We men often are quick to dismiss the cries of the woman who is lonely and hurting-the wife who is screaming for her husband to be the man that she was dreaming of when you asked her to marry you. 

I am not talking about just telling her you love her, but showing her you love her. Put her first before other things. Make her know she is the queen of your heart and nobody and nothing could ever change that. Put her needs in front of yours and do the right thing by sacrificing as much time or effort is needed to make her know without a doubt that she is loved. Men, lets be an example for our children and show them what a real man does and how a real man acts towards his wife. They treat their wives with dignity and respect and safeguard them from the hurtful things in this world. They are slow to anger and quick to forgive. They lead by tender example and don’t abuse their leadership role in the house. They will lay down their lives in a second for their woman and make her feel as if she is the only woman in the entire world, period.

If you have ever been less than a solid man for your wife this is a time to step up and commit to making the rest of your life the best of your life. It will make your wife feel special and your kids feel safe. It will put a smile on a beautiful face that hasn’t been able to crack one in months or years. It may just give her the hope she needs to carry on the wonderful job she does with your children. Without mom it is hard to have fulfilled children. They need mom, and so do we.

I am not one to start something if I wont do it too. So today, I want to ask my beautiful wife Jamie to forgive me for being anything less then your knight in shining armor. Forgive me for putting my needs before yours while you have held our crew together during some very rough times. I want you to know Jamie that you mean the whole world to me and I am saying it in front of the world to see so you know I mean it. Please let me make you feel like the queen you are, the mother you are and the wife you have been. I don’t have enough space on this blog to list the times you were there for me, and the times you emptied your cup for me. I have a full cup ready to fill yours baby and I hope you are ready for some real love because I am making you the first priority in my life now and wanted you to know that you are my everything. I wish I could sing -I would sing the song called Hard To Love- by Lee Brice to you honey. For now just play it and listen to the words.

I hereby proclaim my love for you and our family on this day 07/30/2014.

Love

Me

To all the men out there, maybe you want to make this day the day you start showing your wife your love, not just saying it. I am, so why not? Lets all do it. 

To the ladies out there, maybe you can show your man this post and inspire them. I would love to hear any stories of success from this day of commitment that I am proclaiming over my family. 

God Bless you all-

tj

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Addiction Series- Hate The Addiction-Love The Addict

When it comes to addiction, we as a society get a solid F for handling the problem. The way addicts are treated is much like the way the homeless are dealt with, just  give them some directives to get it together, offer little help, and wait for them to resurface only to repeat the same directives. I guess we just are dull when it comes to actually being proactive in helping these people. First off, agencies and professionals could recognize addicts as humans with a disease, not simply people who make bad choices. They could also put in place some tools that will actually help the addict escape  the nightmare they want so badly out of.

So far we jail the addict for having drugs, we watch them do a whole lot of nothing in jail and we arrest them again when they get out and start the cycle over. That is hardly cutting edge treatment, I think we treat the actual criminal better than that with many rehab programs and re-entry programs they can enroll in to prepare for their life outside of jail. However with the addict, we continue to be non-committal and do very little to advance them into another phase of their life. It seems we still have not decided how to treat them, like criminals or like people with a disease. Either way the addict is many times stuck out in the cold to defend themselves when their own family, friends and society has labeled them as hopeless or useless.

I think in order for there to be any real change in the system we are going to have to push for an appropriate label to be given to the addict. The label should be born out of a medical mindset since we know that a disease is a disease, as much as we like to try and make it into a matter of the will. Just for a second we should think about the millions of people who pour into AA and NA meetings each day, only to enjoy a 5% success rate. Yes 5%. How about the many rich and famous people who can buy anything they want but continue to be arrested over and over due to some substance they cannot shake. Do we really think that these people prefer being humiliated in the spotlight, losing their children, money and maybe careers simply to have the pleasure of the substance? I think we all understand there must be more to it than that, so now we must live it out in the system and how we help the addict. Lets begin to love the addict and hate the addiction. 

Sid Vicious, Anna Nicole Smith, Whitney Houston, Judy Garland, John Belushi, Michael Jackson, Lenny Bruce, Kurt Cobain, Chris Farley. Is it possible that one or more of these people may be alive today had they been aware that they actually had a medical disease and were treated accordingly? Not to mention the millions of suicides that have occurred as a result of drugs. People who died of cancer surely are remembered in a much more sympathetic light than those who died of an overdose. Should this be?

tj

Parenting Series-Never Talk Bad About Your Ex To Your Child; You End Up Looking Bad Not Them.

When I was little my father used to see my brother and I every once in a while on the weekends, whenever he didn’t have a date I guess. My mom, although hesitant to let us go with him for very long due to his lifestyle, did her best to make it so we could still have a relationship with him. She made the smart decision to let us hear all of his garbage and trusted that as we grew older we would sift through it all and be able to identify what was true and what was not. When I say garbage I mean his stories about why he didn’t pay child support. For some reason he felt the need to explain to two little boys why he could not or would not pay support to our mom. 

At the time, I had no idea that he was just using his kids to ease his own mind and make himself feel justified about what he was not doing for us. He would say things like ” You boys know the reason I cant give your mom any money is because you would never see any of it. Your mom would be buying fur coats and expensive jewelry.” We heard things like this all throughout our childhood when he was not in jail. It was always something my mom did that prevented him from paying her support, according to him. Looking back I guess I see it would have been hard for him to pay support anyhow, since he did not want to work! 

If there ever was a person who took full advantage of his children’s age and vulnerability it was my dad. He really slept well after seemingly convincing us that he was the victim in all this and my mom ( who worked 3 jobs to keep a roof over our head) was somehow taking advantage of him. It really is quite pathetic now that I think on it again. He actually had us believing it for a short period between ages 10-12 or so. I remember barging into my mom’s room after a visit with my dad and accusing her of spending all of my dad’s money. She just looked at us and didnt really respond, although she had every right to get us back into reality and tell us what a liar my father was. She opted for the high road, and in the end my brother and I caught on to what really as going on and we addressed the lies with my father later in life. Of course, not having changed a bit, he just proceeded to move away from my brother and I to avoid these type of inquiries.

Talking bad about my mom may have got us off track for a few short years but in the big picture, we saw right through the attempt to discredit our mother and totally lost respect for him. My brother and I were not a rare case, either. This type of immature behavior goes on in homes today all over the world. Parents get mad at there spouses, ex-spouses and actually start telling their little children about how bad their other parent is. How sad it is that they are putting the child in such an uncomfortable position, and an unfair position. Whats more, is the parent who runs their mouth is usually doing it out of resentment for the spouse and the child has no place in it. The selfish idea that I can get back at my spouse by using my child as a pawn and an instrument to hurt them is  horrendous, but it happens everyday. Its happened to me and may have happened to you. 

The message for today is simple but critical. Please parents, keep the immature and childish vitriol away from the innocent children. If for no other reason than the fact that you will always come out the loser in the end, always. Your children may buy into your games now, for a short while, but believe me they will lose all respect for you when they figure out what you did and how you used them and their vulnerability to try and hurt their other parent. It isn’t worth it. After all what good does it do anyone to start spreading dirty laundry?  Has anything good ever come out of it, ever? Keep the negative talk about your ex, or your current spouse to yourself, and leave your children out of it, better yet leave everyone else out of it, Its between you and them and the only motive for spreading it all out is a selfish one because nothing good ever comes from gossip. Until we have it all together in our own lives , how about we leave our nose out of others’ business all together. Agreed?

The skill for the skill bank today to teach Is Problem Solving –

Since we talked about making good decisions with our children today, lets teach them how to arrive at good solutions as they make decisions. Here is a great formula to use and easy to teach and remember. Its called the S.O.D.A.S method. 

Situation- Identify problem

Options- list a few options

Disadvantages- list a few disadvantages for each of your options

Advantages- list a few advantages for each of your options

Solution- Review the above and come up with your best solution.

So, when your child has trouble figuring out whether to skip homework and play video games, they can always do a quick SODAS on a piece of paper to determine if the consequences would be worth the behavior. I use SODAS many times on the run in my head for daily choices I need to make, its very helpful! 

Happy parenting and as always, your money back if not satisfied- so give it a shot!

tj

Addiction Series- Please Keep It Zipped Unless You Have Walked A Mile-

I must unload today on the so called ” experts ” who are always waiting on the sidelines to give tips to addicts on how they should act. You know the ones, they are easy to spot. They have the greatest advice to give even though the greatest minds in science have not been able to nail down any solid solutions. They have no problem walking by suffering addicts who are praying and begging for freedom from addiction and spewing a few words about how the addicts need to get it together.

Better yet they will throw in a few statements about how the addict should get it together ” if for no other reason, for your children”. How pathetic it is to hear the ignorant cast judgement on the addicted when we all know that the secret they are hiding may be something far more shameful  then an addiction to substances. As a matter of fact most of the time, the judges are guilty of some hideous act that doesn’t stand out like addiction to substances,

Perhaps the judge who is checking out porn under his desk in court. The cop who is chatting up the 15 year old girl or the teacher with thousands of images of babies on their computer in a sickening way. Do you folks really want to start pointing fingers? I can tell you from personal experience that my kids would much rather have a dad who struggled with addiction to substances, for whatever reason whether it be depression, chemical imbalance or whatever, than have to deal with a parent who is a molester, an abuser, or someone who is willfully hurting others without regard for their feelings. The addict feels more remorse than any of the other people and with less reason to. Most of the time they have fought and fought to beat the addiction but needed help to do it in the end. At least they have the guts to bring it forward and deal with it, unlike the abusers who hide until caught. Lets keep it real and support the addicts who are trying to break free of the chains that many times have kept them depressed when they would much rather have it another way. I am tj and I am a recovering addict. Please save your vitriol for a deserving group and do what you can to support the struggling addicts to live clean lives and be the husbands and fathers that they so want to be. If you must finger point, check yourself first, as there is usually plenty to work on right there in the mirror. 

tj ( recovering addict)

Parenting Series- The Teaching Interaction- You Teach All Day- Make It Good

Whether we like it or not we are teaching our kids every time we interact with them. We teach them something whether it be good or bad, helpful or hurtful we are teachers. This post is going to give you a simple way of making sure your teaching interactions are doing some good for you and your child, that the interaction is going to bear good fruit. The average interaction with our kids begins with a neutral or a negative statement and  ends in the same way. Now we will introduce a few steps that we can follow each time we interact with our children that will insure that we make at least a few positive statements no matter what the crux of the matter is. Here are some steps;

1-Praise/Empathy

2-Description of appropriate behavior ( that you are addressing)

3-Description of inappropriate behavior

4-consequence (positive or negative)

5-Practice 

6-Feedback 

7-Praise

Don’t be discouraged !This 7 step interaction goes very quickly but is just divided up into steps to make sure we include all the steps. Now we will practice an interaction in which a child has not demonstrated the desired behavior, and the behavior is accepting no for an answer. The child got a no answer and said ” that sucks” instead of the desired ” Ok” response. Follow along.

“Larry, I need to talk to you for a minute”-

Larry: What Now?

You; Well, I wanted to tell you that i am so proud of you for getting a C or better in all but 2 of your classes. You really worked hard on those.You did a good job following instructions on those assignments. The 2 other classes though you didn’t follow instructions to turn in enough extra credit to get a C in those classes. You did earn a consequence of no outside privileges after school until you bring those grades up though. Lets just practice following instructions ok? I will give you an instruction and you should look at me , say ok, do the task, and check back. ( do role play)

You: Ok you did a really good job of following instructions! So I know you can get those grades up you are so smart and I cant wait to see your progress report!

 

That is a 7 step teaching interaction and it goes by very quickly once you know the steps to incorporate. Use this format when you need to either issue a positive consequence or a negative one. 

Skill for today Appropriately Disagree-

1- Wait 15 minutes after you get a decision you do not agree with

2- Ask the person (parent/teacher) if you can appropriately disagree

3- Explain your feelings without raising your voice or eye rolling

4-Accept the outcome by saying ok

tj

Seamstress To The Stars- Advocate To The Kids-Psycho Seamstress-

 She can tell you what Joan Rivers is like to talk to and even what it feels like to get a bouquet of flowers form Paul McCartney – If you want to know what it is like to fix a wardrobe malfunction for Manson or Pink, she can fill you in. Gina aka Psycho Seamstress is living her dream as an A List seamstress to the stars! Its something she has always wanted to do, combine her love for sewing which her beloved grandma taught her, with her huge love of music and all that goes with the production of a show. 

Psycho Seamstress may be living her dream now, but it didn’t come without a price.Years of depression, hurdles that were always in front of her tempting her to give in or give up, but she managed to take those hurdles that life threw her and turn them into steps, and climbed her way to where she is now.  Gina has not forgotten those days, and as a mother and a huge advocate for children with disabilities she is always in the lookout for ways to promote events for children. 

Visit  http://www.psychoseamstress.wordpress.com  and after you do a little star gazing, check out upcoming event like the Rock N Roll for kids on August 3rd. Read her story, and see how mental health issues, and other struggles don’t have to keep us down, as a matter of fact they can be powerful tools to help others once we overcome. You can contact Gina, even if you aren’t a rock and roll star looking for a studded jacket! She welcomes your comments and invites you to follow her blog, her adventures in the music world and her passion for children and all that they mean to her. I have know Gina for a few decades and although I dont always like what she tells me, I have to admit she has some pretty good insight into life and how we should live it. She is blessed to be a blessing. Don’t miss out -follow her site!

Remember http://www.psychoseamstress.wordpress.com or google psycho seamstress!

tj