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Happy Birthday to Me!

June 1, 2017

HAPPY B’DAY TO ME!

Yep, it’s official.  Today, I am a “Woman of a Certain Age!”  Some of you have a rich & personal understanding of what that means. 🙂  If so perhaps you too no longer feel the need to “Speak of Age” in chronological terms.  Perhaps like me … you now REVEL in whatever Age you are – Unapologetically & Unabashedly! 

By the above, I simply mean I’m Alive and Well and Grateful to feel the “Purpose Vibe” still percolating in my Spirit.  That’s what’s really important to me now!  I find all other commentary to be Self-indulgent, Gratuitous and without Merit!  Who needs to hear more of that?!!

What I will share with you … since you took the time to stop by on my B’DAY … is my Declaration for the next 70+ years.  Oops, did I let the Cat out of the Bag?  No problem!  She was chomping at the bit to GET OUT anyway.  🙂 

“I Declare and Decree”

(You’re right, I am NOT the originator of that phrase.)

1.  I will put as much “Skin in the Game” as I have left … to finally shake off the emotions and behaviors that have NOT served me well:  Procrastination, Fear, debilitating Perfectionism, Vanity, Pride, unwarranted Self-Indulgence and all the other Bugaboos that have clogged or corrupted my Lifeline to Purpose and Productivity!  read more …

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A Universal Message to Parents!

April 4, 2017

A Universal Message to Parents!

Parents!  Although this article involves Sophia, a nearly three-year-old toddler, there is a powerful message here that I believe is critically important for all our sons and daughters to learn.  Brandi Brenner, Sophia’s mother, has done an excellent job demonstrating that we Parents can change the world by teaching and modeling “Love and Acceptance” in front of our children … and behind their backs!

The article below sends a great message to all Parents.  The truth is this:

“Research suggests that kids ARE NOT BORN with biases about race and gender.” 

That quote speaks volumes about the responsibility of Parents in shaping the world we live in.  All read more …

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“Mom and Dad Don’t Have a Clue!”

March 30, 2017

“The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

“Mom and Dad Don’t Have a Clue!”

There comes a time in the life of many teenagers when they reach the conclusion that Mom and Dad don’t have a clue about much of anythingespecially them! Many teenagers start suspecting this around the age of 13, but it’s not until they are closer to 16 that the realization gets embedded in their consciousness. After that, every interaction with their parents confirms it: “Mom and Dad Don’t Have a Clue!”

The Mantle of “Independence!”

At Parenting Your Teen for Life, we see this all the time. We take it very seriously, but we recognize it as simply a phase that virtually all teenagers go through. Think of it as a Rite of Passage – your read more …

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Is Your Teen Getting “High” After School?

February 21, 2017

“The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

Is Your Teen Getting “High” After School?

Teenagers are notoriously curious. All teenagers! Curiosity can be a good thing, but if parents DO NOT guide and feed the curiosity of their sons and daughters, someone or something else will. No parent wants to believe their son or daughter is involved with Drugs. But the reality is this.

Teenagers are Getting High After School!

Parents … Know This!

No matter how excellent your parenting skills are and no matter how vigilant you are, your teenager will be exposed to ideas, attitudes, language and behaviors that you oppose.

Most teenagers have some knowledge of Drugs. This includes the Drugs they and their friends wouldn’t be caught dead using … and the Drugs either they or someone in their group believes are harmless enough to:  “Just try once!” read more …

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Day Two of The Trump Reality Show!

November 10, 2016

Day Two:  “The Trump Reality Show!”

It’s a “Done Deal!”  But some still can’t believe it.  Welcome to “The Trump Reality Show … Extraordinaire!”  It is Day Two after the Political Firestorm or the Ravenous Electoral Tsunami … whichever describes the hell you think the country is now in because President-elect Donald Trump is our Reality.

No matter what your feelings … be they embedded in negative emotions or steeped in cold hard logic … Donald Trump did what virtually no other Presidential candidate has done.  He alienated just about everybody … while at the same time reeling many into his unique brand of “Let It ALL Hang Out” rants.

Let’s imagine for a moment.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if “What you see is what you get” DOES NOT apply to Donald Trump?  Allow that notion to wash over you.  That one thought could assuage a multitude of despairing thoughts running rampant throughout this country.

My point here is this.  You must not give into the appearance of gloom and doom that presently looms large in your Mind’s Eye.  The truth is we don’t know with certainty what lies ahead.  And as finite beings, we never will.

Think about it … we’ve never really known the Heart of any President we’ve elected.  We made our decision to elect based on what we thought we knew.  That fact alone won’t buy you a candy bar anywhere other than the Dollar Store!

In virtually every case study of the American Presidents we thought we knew … we were disappointed, blindsided or mortified at some of the things they said and did.  Donald Trump will be no different.

Still, it would not be wise to overlook some of the reprehensible things Donald Trump SAID or FAILED TO SAY that shocked, petrified and polarized us.  And Yes … his alienating remarks did expand the Divide between us as human beings living on the soil of this Nation.

But again, we must not surrender to the despondent negative drumbeat that haunted us on the campaign trail.  Rather, let us be vigilant and guarded in ways we’ve never felt compelled to be at the election of a new President.

Clearly, we NOW have reason to be.

Have you watched and listened to Donald Trump’s Acceptance Speech?  No, seriously … have you really watched and listened!  Who was that Man?  He had the face and body of Donald Trump, but nobody can really tell who that guy is.  More unsettling … nobody knows if that guy will stick around for the next four years.

During his Acceptance Speech, President-elect Trump extended an Olive Branch to the Nation.

Taking his speech on face value … I urge each of us to rally around President-elect Donald Trump’s cry for help in moving America forward in a positive way.

I urge each of us who knows the value and efficacy of prayer to call on Almighty GOD to hold America in the palm of HIS hand and bring about the “Highest Good” of this Nation.

I urge each of us to pray that we as a Nation will orchestrate “Good” in the world … for ourselves and others.

Amen!  Shalom!

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Teenagers Need More ZZZ’s!

August 30, 2016

“The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

Teenagers Need More ZZZ’s!

“Sleep is Non-Negotiable!”  So says Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor of The Huffington Post.  Her new book (“The Sleep Revolution”) is a wake-up call on how dangerous sleep deprivation is to our health and success in life.  The book is aimed at adults, but the message is essentially true for teenagers whose Sleep deprivation numbers have reached epidemic proportions … according to sleep experts across the country.

The most recent Sleep Recommendations for children and teen-children were released by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and published in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.  The medical findings of the Academy are unequivocal … Teenagers Need More ZZZ’s!  I have no doubt that parents of teenagers everywhere agree.  There is also broad agreement among sleep experts and government agencies that monitor Sleep in every demographic, including teenagers.

How Much Sleep do Teenagers Need?

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the recommended Sleep Requirement for teenagers ages 13-18 years … is 8-10 hours, with the Sweet Spot being 9 hours.  The experts want parents to know that read more …

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Teenage Sleep Deprivation!

August 14, 2016

“The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

Teenage Sleep Deprivation!

Have you noticed that Summer Break is winding down?  Of course you have!  The 2016 Fall Semester is no longer on the horizon … it’s racing toward Parents at full throttle!  Some school districts have already sounded the Death Knell on “Goofing Off” and are gearing up for the next Crop of Kids.  If this school year is anything like last year’s … you’re going to have to deal with Teenage Sleep Deprivation!  We don’t need a Crystal Ball for that one!

If there’s a teenager in your house, you’re probably making New “School Year” Resolutions … like a house on fire!  I’ll bet one of them is to have NO more battles with your teenager about his or her poor Sleep Habits.  

Your teenager will be Going to bed at a Reasonable Hour!

Your teen will be Getting out of bed each morning without your Intervention!

I’ll bet your “Resolutions” sound something like these …

“Sleep is going to be a Priority in our house!”

“Everybody’s going to get 8 hours!”

“I’m NOT going to drag my teenager out of bed every morning like last year!”

“It’s Lights Out at 9:30 every Night!”

I’ll also bet that even while you’re saying these words out loud with Conviction … there’s a sarcastic little voice in the back of your head saying, “Yeah … Right!”

Obvious Answers to Teen Sleep Habit Questions!

I always like to lay out Questions that point to Answersthat are irrefutable!  That way I can quantify and qualify what is more than apparently True.  Here goes … read more …

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Chubby Bunny: Dangerous Game!

July 28, 2016

“The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

Chubby Bunny:  Dangerous Game!

For the past several weeks, I’ve pointed out some of the Dangerous Games our teens and tweens participate in during Summer Break and at other times when they have less supervision and more free time to goof off.  Chubby Bunny:  Dangerous Game! is my last blog post about the popular but life-threatening “Games” our sons and daughters can get involved with during the summer when they are …

  • Looking for thrills … in all the wrong places
  • Suckered into … “I Dare You!” challenges
  • Curious about … how something “Feels”
  • Just plain BORED!

In any one of these four states of mind, a number of tweens and teens have turned to Chubby Bunny, a “Game” with a cute name … but like so many others – IS Dangerous!

Here’s the Chubby Bunny definition offered by IceBreakerIdeas.com, a website that provides “everything you ever wanted to know about icebreaker games and activities”:

“Chubby Bunny is a popular, fun game, frequently played by campers around a campfire. Players put an increasing number of marshmallows in their mouths and attempt to clearly and audibly say the phrase “Chubby Bunny”.  The winner is the person who is able to say the phrase with the most marshmallows in his or her mouth.”

Chubby Bunny is Dangerous and Dumb!

If you watch The Doctors, America’s Medical Dream Team, you know they dispense life-saving educational information that their audience can rely on.  The show is hosted by ER physician Dr. Travis Stork and co-hosted by read more …

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Summer Break … The Choking Game!

July 20, 2016

 “The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

Summer Break … The Choking Game!

In many ways, parents of teenagers are all in the same boat.  If you doubt me, keep reading.

We are approaching the mid-point of Summer Break.  Some of you parents are feeling kinda “Blah!” about what your teenager has experienced so far.  Most likely that’s because you’ve not taken Action on my earlier blog posts titled “Summer Break – Make It Count!” (Parts 1&2).  Here’s a nudge in that direction:

http://www.parentingyourteenforlife.com/summer-break-make-count-part-1/

http://www.parentingyourteenforlife.com/summer-break-make-count-part-2/

Summer Break:  Fads, Trends and Risky Behaviors

A little over a week ago, I promised to give you a list of some of the dangerous activities that teenagers are reportedly getting involved with during Summer Break.  Even though many of these activities can result in life-threatening consequences … they are tagged “Games” to make them sound less threatening.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  These “Games” can be Deadly!  

It’s important to keep in mind that many of these “Risky Behaviors” hide in plain sight and are made to look like the playful antics of fun-loving teenagers.  It is for this reason that so many parents don’t have a clue about “the dark details surrounding the Choking Game!”  

One such “dark detail” is that the Game is lauded as the “Good Kids’ High!”  That tag alone paves the way for good kids to cozy up to the Choking Game.  Make no mistake about it, Pushers of the Game are targeting Good Kids — those who pride themselves in doing well in school, staying “clean” from drugs, alcohol and prescription medicine abuse, have Goals they’re determined to achieve and who are excited about their future.

The Choking Game

The Choking Game is NOT a Game.  It is a potentially deadly “practice” or “technique” that allows tweens and read more …

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Happy July 4th – Let’s Celebrate!

July 4, 2016

 “The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

Happy July 4th – Let’s Celebrate!

This morning around 6:12 a.m., I read the Declaration of Independence. Although this was not my first reading of this portion of the U.S. Constitution … I had not read it in a great while.
 
Like so many Americans, I confess to taking the Declaration of Independence for granted. After all … it is Centuries old! And it’s got hundreds of years of people breathing on it, debating it … and even desecrating it in terms of how they think and adhere to the Spirit & Letter of the Declaration.
 
It saddens me to admit it, but I’ve never had what I now believe is an “appropriate regard” for the Declaration of Independence. Frankly, I’ve taken it for granted … confident that the Declaration and its lovely perceptions of what We the People want and deserve will continue ad infinitum (forever and for all time).  Sadly, as the world continues to morph into gradations of Intolerance, Bigotry and an inability to feel Empathy … this MAY NOT ALWAYS be the case.
 
Let me be clear. Like most everyone else, I learned about the Declaration of Independence in elementary school. I even know some of the passages from memory. But this morning, I read the whole Document and found the words mind blowing!
 
The Declaration of Independence is replete with riveting truth and the Founders’ natural inclination to stand in awe of their Sovereign GOD … even though some of their personal actions and choices failed to align with the Truth embedded in the Declaration. Still, they created an incredibly beautiful Document filled with the aspirations of all human beings, regardless of their status in Society.
 
The Founders forged a magnificent Manifesto that beckons the American People to embrace the transcendent truth and power behind every word they penned. Historically, It took generations of hard fought battles of the Mind, Body and Spirit before the “All Men” tag applied equally to everyone in this land.
 
Now that’s “my take” on the Declaration of Independence. You may not “get” where I’m coming from, but I hope you can relate to where, I believe, our uniquely American Declaration wishes to take us. Essentially, I believe the Declaration of Independence is a Statement of Faith! 

What is Faith?

The Scriptural definition of “Faith” is:

“The Substance of things hoped for … the Evidence of things not seen.”

I believe the characterization of “Faith” is deeply rooted in the Declaration of Independence.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered the word “Faith” does not appear in the DeclarationYet “Faith” is an abiding theme in the Declaration of Independence.  The words below, extracted from the Declaration of Independence, embody this great theme of “Faith”.

We hold these truths to be “Self-Evident”

All men are created Equal

Our Unalienable Rights are those given to us by GOD

These Rights include Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

These Rights Cannot be Denied or Taken Away

If Any Form of Government would destroy These Rights

It is the Right and Duty of The People to Alter or Abolish that Government

… and Establish a New Government

But this May Not Be Done for Frivolous reasons.

The Document penned by leaders from the 13 United States on July 4, 1776 … is a Brilliant, Resplendent, Breathing Document whose truths are “Self-Evident!”  Reading the Declaration of Independence this morning, gave me a new appreciation for and pride in the forward-thinking of our Founders.  I can say with absolute conviction that …

The Life-Blood of the United States Constitution is …

The Declaration of Independence!

Happy 4th of July!

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You can connect with Sheila at the following sites:

amazon.com/author/sheilalyonhall

www.ParentingYourTeenforLife.com
www.facebook.com/parentingyourteenforlife

www.facebook.com/sheila.lyonhall

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