Archive for the ‘How Do You Handle These Issues?’ Category

The Importance of Being Grateful

gratitude_rockIt is becoming more and more apparent to me that too many kids live in a world of want and don’t know how to express gratitude for what they already have. I realize that there are an infinite amount of variables that make up each child’s environment and the quality of the nurturing they receive. I am a big proponent of the concept of BALANCE. Without going all philosophical on you here I see life as a balance between the good and the bad, the want and the need, the beautiful and the less pleasing. For me everything exists for a reason. In order to conclude that something is beautiful, let’s say, you would need to perceive that something is ugly. You need something to compare it to in order to realize that one seems beautiful and the other not so much. I hope you get what I’m trying to explain here.

Today it seems that so many of our kids live in a world they believe should be filled with only the positive aspects of life. They feel entitled to beauty, fame, success, and material wealth and comfort. Why they feel this way is for another post… If you live in a world where you expect only the best it’s easy to forget or even not be aware of your good fortunes and become disgruntled and angry at a state of being that puts you in a less than beautiful, famous, successful, or comfortable place. I actually get where this indignation comes from. If you are never taught to be grateful for what you have you can’t possibly recognize that some instances of want are not life shattering, perpetual, or so burdensome that you will not be able to arrive on the other side of this want without some sort of scar.  Read the rest of this entry »

Making “The Call” – Contacting Child Protective Services

First off it is important to note that services provided by Child Protective Services may differ based on state and locality. For this article I am going to work with information confined to the state of Oregon.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????For any adult or aware individual one of the most heartbreaking scenarios to envision is coming upon a case of child neglect or abuse. You may think you understand how to recognize these situations based on things you have read or seen in the news or unfortunately been touched personally by an event. That being the case I am still betting that if and when the time comes you will have a gut reaction unlike anything you’ve experienced before. In front of your eyes is empirical evidence of neglect and/or abuse. That other-worldly detachment is all to real at that moment. At that instant you realize that you have a combined reaction of disgust, fear, concern, dismay, and either a call to action or an uneasy paralysis of conviction and motivation.

When should you call CPS?
  • Clues > Certain behaviors are indicators of abuse or neglect. If you become aware of these indicators don’t ignore you instincts. A regularly outgoing child becomes withdrawn and sullen. A child who normally interacts with his peers now shies away from the group. Lack of appetite. The sudden onset of discipline problems in school and otherwise doing poorly in school. Granted, these indicators are not proof in and of themselves of anything except your keen observation that something is “different”. You must weigh the information you’ve accumulated and based on what you see and hear decide when the time to make “the call” has arrived. Obvious physical abuse should not be tolerated. Emotional abuse and neglect in other ways may be more difficult to ascertain. If you encounter this child regularly please pay attention to the signs.
Do act
  • Do act if you have concrete evidence
  • Do act if you are a mandatory reporter and you suspect neglect or abuse.
Do not act
  • Do not act if your motivation is out of spite or some feud with the parent or guardian
  • Do not act if you are not sure of what you have observed. Perhaps you have misinterpreted an event. Be confident in your ability to relay proof of suspected neglect or abuse. Even in this case if your gut is telling you that something is wrong, trust your instincts.
  • Don’t let fear of your identity being reported stop you from making “the call”. Most states allow for anonymous reporting to CPS. It is common that your name will not be released to the family involved.
  • Don’t fear the fact that those investigating your report will need to have your contact information as they investigate.
In the face of an obvious emergency call 911
or your local CPS reporting hotline.

Deciding whether it’s time to call or not is a decision only you can make. It is always better to err on the side of protecting a child from harm than worrying about making a “mistake”. Children in abusive situations are rarely able to ask for help. As with most children they are dependent on the adults in their life who are responsible for their care. Your call could be a lifeline to a better life.

If you’d like more information about Child Protective Services and the reporting process, I’ve pulled some articles for you. Here are the links:

By Gret Boyd

Stay Strong When Dealing With Tantrums

temper tantrum_boyI would suspect that any person who has ever been responsible for caring for a child has at one time or another encountered the dreaded tantrum. Tantrums run the gamut. They can crop up when a child is overtired or overstimulated causing them to act out. Perhaps it’s the tad bossy child who wants to control a situation. Sometimes it’s a child determined to do something or possess something. Each scenario is different as is each child’s way of orchestrating their drama fest.

As a parent or caregiver we all come to know our kid’s way of being. We recognize the cues leading up to drama and we eventually learn some tactics to combat an out of control situation. Inevitably there will come the time or two or three or more when your child gives in to the urge to be in total control. At that moment they have no self control. The only force working is the desire to have or to do what they have their sights set on. Don’t think logic or reason will work when in the throws of this type of drama. It’s a whole new ballgame and you have to scope out your opponent and come up with a fresh game plan on the spot. It’s a time to realize that quitters never win.   Read the rest of this entry »

The Adults We Are Creating

helicopterParentRecently I’ve heard stories about the way our kids are getting along in the “real world”. Not my kids, all kids. I’ve heard tales from a college source and tales from the job world. While some kids are doing just great others have not yet mastered what today’s reality is all about. I’m not talking about current events, I’m talking about dealing with day-to-day expectations and basically being self-reliant and able to cope with the “stresses” of daily life.

I’m not here to judge, only pass along some info that might give parents a different perspective on the outcome of some of the ways you are nurturing your kids. Here are a few examples: Read the rest of this entry »

The Hungry Hoard At My Table

As another round of holiday meals is approaching I thought I’d share…

Some of my fondest memories are of large holiday gatherings. When the gathering is happening in my house you can be sure that I’m going all out to make it a special occasion. I plan out my menu. I shop with careful consideration of every part of the meal. I try to be innovative and definitely festive. Being a designer I take special care to decorate and present my creation in a way that I hope will bring delight to my guests the moment they see my handiwork. It is with great pride and anticipation that I put myself through the rigors of preparation and presentation. While this might sound like a lot of self-inflicted angst, it is always a labor of love. The moment I hear the praise of “what a lovely table,” or “something smells good,” I know I’m on the track to success.

There is one element of this process that I have no control over. It is the hungry hoard that pounces on my table before I’ve had a chance to thoroughly secure it. Read the rest of this entry »

Kids. Clothes. Choices. Oh my…

A great way to express one’s individuality is through the clothes you choose to wear. The end result can be interesting and expressive when it’s an adult accomplishment – humorous, playful and sometimes “out there” when it’s a child. I have to say, for me, clothing/fashion, is always a statement. It’s a very personal way to show off how you feel about yourself and your place in this world. It’s a way of expressing emotions. Like any design element, it initiates thought and a conversation. Whether you engage a person based on what they are wearing or spend time with them in your mind, you are giving them some consideration. Who is this person? Wonder what they like/don’t like? What do they do? All sorts of things run through your mind. You may not even be aware of it. As your brain scans what your eyes see it instantly starts to form an opinion, a relationship, and decides how you relate to what you’ve just seen.

As our kids get older they eventually reach the stage where they learn to dress themselves. A huge accomplishment for a child. At this point they are so proud of this new skill that it doesn’t really matter to them which pair of socks they’ve learned to put on. Just the fact that they can get that blue sock on their foot is good enough for them. Time goes by and they begin to recognize that all clothes are not the same. I like the hoodie my brother wears to school. I don’t like the pants my mom bought me to wear to grandma’s birthday party. At this point kids are learning that they can make choices. They are developing their own sense of themselves. Their personalities start to shine. As a parent, the worst thing you can do is forget that each child is unique. At this stage in their development you have to take a step back and let them show you who they want to be.

Aside from all of the benchmarks and benefits associated with the newfound discovery of the ability to chose, there are some interesting family dynamics that accompany this phase in your child’s life. I’ll post some links for you if you’re interested in the child development aspects of all of this. For now, let’s explore some of the fun and contentious moments involving what your kids choose to wear. Read the rest of this entry »

Birthday Parties – Necessity, Obsession, or Treat?

Birthday Parties – Necessity, Obsession, or Treat?

Today on the morning news I saw a story about a man in Florida who has saved his business by offering alligator pool parties for birthdays. The man is experienced with alligators, mind you, and so he feels that it’s a perfectly safe offering. He must know something about the current state of birthday parties because he is doing quite well with this endeavor. Here is the link to the news story if you’re interested in seeing what his alligator pool parties are like.

Anyway, this got me thinking…

  • Do parents feel obligated to have a birthday party EVERY year for their child?
  • If you do have a party, MUST it be a big event in order to be considered successful?
  • Have you ever spent more than you know you could afford on a birthday party?
  • What would happen if you toned down your child’s future birthday parties?

Read the rest of this entry »

Are You A Logical Or Emotional Parent?

Let us begin this conversation with some basic definitions.

Emotional is defined as of or relating to a person’s emotions. Arousing or characterized by intense feeling. A person having feelings that are easily excited and openly displayed.

Logical is defined as of or according to the rules of logic or formal argument. Characterized by or capable of clear, sound reasoning. An action, development or decision that is natural or sensible given the circumstances.

With that out of the way, can you now answer the question: Are you a logical or emotional parent? I would bet that given certain circumstances you would be able to answer yes to both types of parenting. Which one is predominant for you? Which one is habitual? Read the rest of this entry »

The Benefits Of A “Staging Area”

Back to school time is upon us again and I’ve been thinking about how hectic life becomes every fall. Not like it isn’t always hectic, but this time of year seems to double-down on the crazy. If your household is as busy as is common these days I have a helpful approach to alleviate the morning madness that sets in as everyone is trying to get out the door on time and with all the accompanying gear and supplies needed for their day.

I call it the Staging Area.

Read the rest of this entry »

Supporting Your Child’s Talent








As long as there have been parents there have been kids who showed great potential or interest in a sport, a talent, or some other passion. Whether it’s soccer, baseball, or gymnastics – singing, dancing, or painting – the routine response from a parent once they notice a certain bent toward a talent is to explore the many ways in which they can enable their child to develop their passion.

Once it’s been established that your child truly loves an activity (and doesn’t just tolerate it) we, as parents, usually move forward with a plan. If soccer is their choice you find a team to join. If a musical instrument is involved you look for teachers and proceed with lessons. If dance is the winner you spend many many hours sitting in a corner while your daughter (or son) develops their technique and dances to their heart’s delight. If you have an artist in the house you will find yourself running to the store to buy more and more paper, paint, and various other art supplies.

Some children find unusual passions. My son, for example, developed an early interest in anything that pertained to electricity. Instead of running to the mall to look through a toy store we spent many many hours and trips going to Radio Shack to browse through the various diodes, capacitors, wires and such. I have no idea where this interest came from. I do know that he amazed me with his knowledge base at such a young age. Now that he’s an adult he continues to astound me with his understanding of everything electric. If something is not working properly or broken, he’s my go-to guy. If we have an “idea” to make something that doesn’t already exist he is the one who will know immediately how to proceed.

So what is my point of all this? In a nutshell – Kudos to parents everywhere who nurture their child’s passion. Bravo to the parent who doesn’t allow his or her own bias or misunderstanding to get in the way of something that resonates with their child. Standing ovation to the parents who put in the time and money to help their child realize a dream. Most of all, a sincere thank you to every parent who shows their love and support when their child succeeds and sometimes fails at their craft, skill, talent, or interest. It is this kind of support that helps your child grow into a confident human being.

Down the road our children may decide to take a different path. That doesn’t matter. Any passion that is allowed to flourish is a life lesson. Memories of that time in your child’s life will be with you forever.

By Gret Boyd



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