5 Keys To Success In Parenting-

We live in a different world than it was just 30 years ago, a radically different world than say 50-75 years ago. Parenting strategies need to move forward with the times. I am not saying parents should be more lenient or that parents should give their children any more freedom then they feel comfortable with. I am saying that we all must become a little more ” hip ” if we want to improve communications with our kids today


Here are 5 keys to getting the most of your parenting experience.

1- Keep It Real!. Do not pretend that evil does not exist or that some people are in it for the wrong reasons. You may have to get to the point of clearly explaining exactly why strangers can be dangerous. Tell your children what has happened to other kids in the past – not to scare them but to educate.If they do not learn it from you they will learn it on the streets.

2-  Eliminate Soft Cushy Falls From Your Child’s Every Mistake. We cannot and will not be able to be around for their every mistake in the future. Parents who run around trying to get the soft cushion on the ground before their child feels any pain raise kids who expect to never get consequences when they get older. Some call them spoiled brats.

3-Never Play to their Weaknesses but always to their strengths. In my 20 years of working with children, I have yet to meet one who did not have a few strengths. Focus on those as you help them identify what they are good at. This will help them set realistic expectations as they make decisions about their goals, and teach them to focus on their strengths which will add to their self esteem.

4-Set Boundaries. Contrary to popular belief, statistics show over and over again that children of all ages want and need boundaries. As a matter of fact, we adults do too. Imagine what you might feel if you went on the freeway and a new sign said ” All drivers, just do as you like, no more rules of the road”- you may not like the feeling you have. The only difference between us and them is that they will not admit that they want boundaries, and most adults will.

5-Make your Positive to Negative Comments about 10:1.  Yes, you read correctly, you should find at the end of any given day that you made 10x more positive comments then you did negative. Learn to catch them being good, instead of being bad. The reason is simple; positive reinforcement will actually change long term behavior, while criticism only puts a fire out, usually to flame up again soon.

When you use these guidelines you will see a great improvement in the parent child relationship. You will also see the self esteem and confidence levels of your child skyrocket.


May I Please Give You Money ? Why Customer Service Is So Pathetic.


My grandfather took me to a Wendy’s once when I was about 10. The cashier who waited on us was fairly rude, but basically he just did not pay us attention as much as the girl he was talking to in the back. We waited for our food, and although it was clearly done and on the tray, he continued to laugh with the girl, ignoring us as we drooled over our food which was just out of reach on the counter. My grandfather was very upset, and looked at the boy and asked him if he knew what customer service was.

The boy just smirked and my grandfather with his hard German temper, stormed off with me to the table. We sat down and he looked up at me and said ” Don’t you ever let anyone treat you like that! We will not come here again. I cannot believe we stood there as that boy talked to the girl and our food is right there! No manners, it figures too, since he is a negro.” I grabbed my burger, swung my feet under the chair and pondered what we might do tonight. Gramp often got upset, and this was just another time and he would calm down.

Times have changed in more than one way. Today I feel lucky if I get fair treatment at any store and the word ” negro” is out. I think gramp would throw his reuben sandwich across the counter if he had to deal with today’s arrogant customer service level. It seems as if the expectations for employees have fallen so low that basic social skills, less than 3 felonies, and no drug use on the job will land you a gig. At least it seems that way, and I certainly have not jumped the gun on this. I have been wanting to rant about this for a year, but I always told myself that it must be a fluke, the way customer service was a year ago.

I was wrong. It really does suck. I am hesitant to go certain places just because certain employees irritate me to the point that it stays with me the whole day. I actually find myself looking to see who is working at some places, so I can mentally rehearse my request with the least amount of shame. If I am lucky enough to catch a staff member when they aren’t texting that is, otherwise forget it. There is a woman at the 7-11 near me that makes my nerves twitch. No matter what I do or buy, she always has a smart comment for me.

I bought gas the other day and said ” I am on the far pump in the green truck” since I could not see the number. Her response – ” Hunny do I look like a mind reader? There are 2 green trucks out there. Do you want me to pump the gas for ya too?” Another time the same dame came at me with the old ” Sir, don’t you have anything smaller than this 20?” I replied that all I had was that 20 dollar bill. Of course you would think I handed her 23 shekels and 13 Canadian quarters to deal with the way she carried on.

Finally her response cost to me for daring to bring a 20 in there was to do the 7-11 shuffle…slide across the floor to the safe, put the money in and say ” Well, guess you just have to wait til I get some more bills” I nodded and smiled as to avoid any further talk. But she wasnt done. To the 5 people behind me in line she announced ” Sorry Y’all, I am so sorry to hold Y’all up, but I am waitin on change for this guy, he brought a big bill in.” Big Bill? Twenty dollars are now a big bill? Or could it be that some people just hate their lives so much that they try to make others miserable too?

And what is up with the guilting the customer to the max so the employee does not have to do any extra work? I mean every where I go, if I ask for any help, it is as if I just requested help throwing up in the restroom or something. You would think ” Can you tell me where the batteries are” would cause a short response like ” On aisle 3 sir, right down there”- not  ” (deep breath and sigh) Johnny! We got any more batteries? This guy cant find them, can you look when your done with your smoke? Sir he will be in here in a few to help you. You know batteries are cheaper over at Wal -Mart-

I really believe that just as we lowered our standards for the white house, we also allowed a huge drop in quality in the world of customer service. Maybe the 2 are linked, I don’t know but it sure is frustrating having to ask someone to please take my money and provide that service as best you can…please..sir-heck my mother practically schedules her errands around which people will be working at the stores. She is a senior so she gets it even worse than I do. Then again, she is at the age where a 6% tip for a meal is sufficient, so it could be…that.

At any rate, I believe that we as a nation have simply settled. We do not demand the highest quality of anything. The old school citizens who gave their lives for this place would never have imagined we would have squandered what they fought for. There is a verse in the bible saying if we are not faithful with a little, we will not be given more. If we are given much, much is expected. Fail. We have lowered the bar in almost every area, serving the people who care the least about this country the most and neglecting to tend to those who are the fabric of our framework.

We are afraid to offend anyone so we go overboard and serve the opposition. People are so afraid to mention God but allah and his crew are hired in the white house. Our president donated 3 Billion to the muslim brotherhood recently. They were talking sharia law for a little while. Our own president is so ashamed of this country that he refuses to salute the flag or say the pledge. That is our ” leader” refusing to say the pledge, or salute the flag…of the country he leads..anybody with me here? Our customer service is simply a bi-product of our leadership.

We have become what we have put in charge. A people who have no allegiance, no conviction and who have seared hearts . We have a sense of entitlement and act like the world owes us something. It’s all about us and what we can do for us, not about the community or the common good. We have modeled for us the fine example of someone who has made it to the top without honesty, without integrity and without any fear of God. We chose to make our leader someone who is unfair, dishonest, double minded, deceptive, and whose motives are in question.

So we have this problem with our customer service and we all wonder why things have changed so much. Yet we stand by and watch as our country is literally picked apart, brick by brick, dismantled . Our friends have been made enemies, people have been divided, our economy has failed and our quality of life has dropped. When I see what has happened and with such direct intention, deliberate action to accomplish a purpose and the purpose is to divide, weaken, and disarm, I must question the executor of these things. One divides for a reason, because a house divided against itself cannot stand. One disarms because that house cannot defend itself.

We are in for much more serious problems then the clerk at the store. It is amazing how little respect we have for one another these days. Then again I feel very little respect from government these days. Perhaps we have, like sheep just followed in the path blazed from on top. A path of poverty, weakness, division and destruction. The saying does go ” The apple does not fall far from the tree…”            So whatever place we are in right now, and whatever the cause, we cannot give in or give up. We need to turn this thing around.

One of my favorite singers is Jeremy Camp. He sings a song that is a favorite of mine, called ” I still believe”- it was written about his wife dying of cancer at 22 years old, and how she told him on her death-bed that no matter what happened she still believed. She died, and Jeremy continued in his Christian ministry because of that faith, Today he has a new life, and family and millions of people have been inspired by his music. He never gave up, he saw death but refused to let it take him down.

Today I wonder if our nation can say  ‘ I still believe” and get back on the horse. Can we get back to where we were when we had the favor of God on us? Can we return to the power that gave us breath? Have we had enough of darkness and division and hopelessness? I really hope so, because it is one thing to fall down, but if you get back up it is respectable. However to fall down and lay floundering, is shameful. I wonder if we can rally the troops and go home. I wonder.

Actually, even after all I have seen, I still believe. Do you?