« February 2011 | Main | April 2011 »

Parenting Interview ~ Helping Cinderella Daughters Choose Brains Over Bimbos

Does your daughter put excessive value on her looks? Is she depressed because she's not gorgeous? How can you build character in your daughter with better values? Read how my friend and colleague, Claire Hatch, a Marriage Counseling Expert, helps her step-daughter choose brains over bimbos.

Jean: Claire, I've been reading Peggy Orenstein's book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter. In it she expresses concern about girls putting too much value on their looks. Your 15-year-old teenager  has a 3.7 GPA and, although she takes care of her looks, she's not excessive. How did you get her to value brains over bimbos?

Claire: Her father, mother, and I have planted seeds about school and career.

Jean: Do you have some examples for our readers?

Claire: Sure. We make sure she understands:

1. College graduates usually make more money and have more choices about how to live their lives than high school graduates.

2. Kids that drop out of high school tend to be poor.

3. We tell her, "You have such expensive tastes. You'll need a really good job to pay for them."           

4. We also do use a lot of "carrots" and they're not all about money. We have told her, "You'll learn about things in the world that might interest you that you would never have heard of without college. You'll have a more interesting life. You'll meet interesting people, maybe even lifelong friends."

 Jean: Sounds like you're giving her a choice between a negative and positive vision.

Claire: Exactly! We also try to model helping others. When she was little she didn't understand my job as a counselor, so I told her, "I help people."

Jean: Have you seen any results?

Claire: Yes. She is very kind to her friends. She also volunteered to assist a kindergarten teacher near her high school.

Jean: What other ideas would you like to tell parents?

Claire: Find out what motivates your kids. I asked my step- daughter why she likes to get good grades.

Jean: What did she say?

Claire: "Rewards!"

Jean: What did she mean?

Claire: Good grades give her rewards like when her teachers tell other kids to go to my her for help when they don't understand a concept. I think you'd say her reward is prestige. She's also very competitive and won't let herself fall behind in class.

Jean: Is there any other advice you'd like to share with parents?

Claire: Yes. Take your child's ideas seriously. Be sincere and be a good role model too.

I left Claire thinking how simple and effectively she, her husband, and her step-daughter 's mother are teaching values that last. They're building character too.

You can read Claire's expert articles at her website http://www.clairehatch.com/  Sign up for Claire's Rock Solid eNewsletter too.

What do you think?

Here's a link to how little girls look in beauty pagents. http://bit.ly/e9fGwM

 Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email so I can separately email you 10 Beautifully Crafted Love Notes for Your Kids.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Two More Things:

Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com  and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

Pick up my new Kindle e-book, Is Your Child Disrespectful – How Successful Parents Encourage Respect at: http://amzn.to/hdG7UQ


6 Parenting Behaviors that Make a Difference When Raising Girls

Girls need guidance to get through the Media Princess Hype. Peggy Orenstein's book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter researches the problems and the solutions.

When I asked Kathe Skinner, a Marriage and Family Therapist, what she does to make a difference in raising girls, she gave 6 valuable answers.

"Lots of girls have a "media princess" inside; it's when the part that's about "reality" isn't developed that girls can get lost. As a Marriage & Family Therapist, I teach: 

Parental Behaviors that Make a Difference:

1. Make eating dinner together as a family an everyday occurrence.

2. Talk about your day; kids are interested and besides, they need to know it isn't "all about them".

3. Get out the family album; talking about, and showing, family gives a girl a broader identity.

4. Connect your child with her community. One of the most touching things I ever saw was a 10-year old girl ringing a bell for the Salvation Army's kettle, Social responsibility isn't just about raising money by selling cookies.

5. Be available, in person; don't rely on cell phones to be present in your girl's life.

6. Slow down and mostly just listen; being heard is important to a kid. Let her talk.

Chances are that by the age of puberty your girl's got all the preparation you can give: honesty, ethics, morality, a sense of self and self-esteem. Be sure you let her go off to practice being herself." For more information about Kathe Skinner go to http://beingheardnow.com/

Jean's Response:

Kathe hit the nail on the head for me when she said, "Lots of girls have a "media princess" inside; it's when the part that's about "reality" isn't developed that girls can get lost. Her 6 parenting behaviors are great ways to keep girls grounded and real. 

What Do You Think?

To see what the princess hype is about, here's a link to how little girls look in beauty pageants. http://bit.ly/e9fGwM

 Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email so I can separately email you 10 Beautifully Crafted Love Notes for Your Kids.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Two More Things:

Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com  and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

Pick up my new Kindle e-book, Is Your Child Disrespectful – How Successful Parents Encourage Respect at: http://amzn.to/hdG7UQ



Interview with 12 -Year-Old Girl ~ Opinions about Little Princess Pageants

Many parents put their little girls in beauty pageants. How about you? Would you put your daughter in these contests?

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein opened my eyes as she discussed little girl beauty pageants. The huge cost for parents and for their daughters disturbed me.

I interviewed 12-year-old Daniella to find out her opinion of parents who spend thousands in the hopes their daughters become winners in princess pageants.

 Girl Pageant finger        This is a picture of a 7-year-old beauty.

Here are Daniela's 5 answers to this stem: If I were a mom I would: 

  1. I would not put my daughter in beauty contests because it puts too much pressure on little girls. It's abuse because most of them don't want to do it. They'd rather play.

 2. I would let my little girls do fun things without pressure like gymnastics, ice skating, art work, fun library reading, play outside games like tag and hide `n seek, play board games. I wouldn't have them focus on their looks.

3. I wouldn't stress them about looking and acting "perfect" for beauty pageants. It's not good for anybody and especially little girls.

4. I wouldn't want to teach little girls that the most important thing in life is being beautiful. That is so shallow.

5. I wouldn't want little girls to think that to please their parents they must win beauty contests. It's such a bad message. Besides all of them will lose except one little girl. That means most of them could think they're losers.

Response from Jean:

I left the interview thanking Daniella for being my guest blogger. She's only 12 yet she hit on 5 great thoughts for moms who are thinking about putting their daughters in princess pageants.

I'm also thankful to Peggy Orenstein for her valuable book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter. You can pick it up at Amazon.

What Do You Think?

 Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email so I can separately email you 10 Beautifully Crafted Love Notes for Your Kids.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Two More Things:

Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com  and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

Here's a link to how little girls look in beauty pageants. http://bit.ly/e9fGwM



Parenting Interview ~ Turning a Bald Little Princess into a Strong Brave Girl

If your 4-year-old girl was bald from chemotherapy, how would you help her? If she wanted to be a beautiful princess but  had no hair, what would you do? Find out how my friend and colleague, Kathy Slattengren from www.PricelessParenting.com  helped Lisa.

I've been reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein and decided to ask experts what they thought about the "Princess Phenomenon." Little did I know that my friend, Kathy, had some first-hand experience.

Jean:     How did you come to know 4-year-old Lisa, Kathy?

Kathy:     Her parents had already taken parenting classes from me. I became involved with Lisa, when her mother called for some help. I went over to see what I could do.

Jean:     How did Lisa look?

Kathy:    She was out of it, so listless. I found it difficult to connect with her. The TV was on and grandparents were watching over her. Lisa was on the brink of death and she was bald.

Jean:     You told me that Lisa she wanted something and you helped her. What did she want?

Kathy:    Lisa wanted to be a princess. She said, "I can't be a princess without my hair." She was so sad. It got me thinking. I went home and wrote a princess story about her.

Jean:     Why?

Kathy:    Because  young children  can often confuse reality with fantasy. Not being able to be a princess was real to her.

Jean:    How did the story help?

Kathy:    The story mirrored Lisa's reality of being sick, losing her hair. I added real pictures of Lisa in my story too. Here are some statements from the villagers in the story:

1. "We see that your hair is gone but that is not what makes you a princess."

2. "It is your courage. You have been so courageous to go through all those treatments."

3. "It is your patience. Not many people would be patient enough to go through 9 treatments at the hospital.

4. "You are a princess because of the beauty you have inside you. Even when you aren't feeling well, I've seen your smile light up the room."

Jean:     What was your goal for writing this story?

Kathy:    To help Lisa see that her sickness not only made her a princess but a very strong brave princess. She felt special too.

Jean:    How is Lisa today?

Kathy:    She's in remission. It's been a year. One more thing, when she turned 5, she had a princess birthday party. 18 little girls attended and a "real princess" came to the party. She did magic tricks and painted faces. Lisa was thrilled.

Jean:    You're such a creative person, Kathy! I hope everyone checks out your website,

http://www.PricelessParenting.com 

and spends some time reading your parenting articles and checking out your online parenting classes and products.

I left Kathy feeling pleased that she used the "Princess Phenomenon" so effectively. I knew that Kathy is an outdoor person and raised her daughter to stand on her own two feet. Both she and her husband wanted their daughter to be strong and independent. She competes as a gymnast, skis, camps, and is now in college. Although Kathy's daughter wasn't raised to be a princess, Kathy was able  to help out a sick bald child who badly wanted to be one.

What do you think?

Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email so I can separately send you 10 Beautifully Crafted Love Notes for Your Kids in a separate email.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS


Two More Things:

Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com  and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

Pick up my new Kindle e-book, Is Your Child Disrespectful – How Successful Parents Encourage Respect at: http://amzn.to/hdG7UQ 


Parenting ~ How an Art Therapist Combats the Princess Hype

Parenting girls can be difficult as we try to steer them in the best direction. In her book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein says, "According to the American Psychological Association, the girlie-girl culture's emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness can increase girls' vulnerability to the pitfalls that most concern parents:

Depression

Eating Disorders

Distorted Body Image

Risky Sexual Behaviors" (page 6)

I asked my colleague and art therapist, Nazarena Cordero,  what she does to counteract the girlie-girl culture. Here's her response:

 As a Child Art therapist in New York, I work with many young girls from many different backgrounds.

I use a way to counteract the media influence by reading coming of age folktale stories from around the world.

Then I ask the youth to draw a reaction picture of the message they learned. Then we talk about how they are the same and different from the story.

We also talk with parents about their unique cultural tradition for women. We make a inter-generational photo collage from grandmas, moms, and self. 

And finally we discuss whats unique and special about the young girl that is orginally hers? like curls or a birthmark.  For more information go to Nazarena Cordero's website  http://www.nazcordero.com/

Response from Jean Tracy, MSS:

Using art therapy to discuss folktales and draw reactions to the messages sounds helpful, insightful, and fun. Getting youth and adults to appreciate the best of cultural traditions and create inter generational photo collages is such an interesting way to combat the "princess hype."

What Do You Think?

To see what the princess hype is about, here's a link to how little girls look in beauty pageants. http://bit.ly/e9fGwM

 Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email so I can separately email you 10 Beautifully Crafted Love Notes for Your Kids.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Two More Things:

Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com  and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

Pick up my new Kindle e-book, Is Your Child Disrespectful – How Successful Parents Encourage Respect at: http://amzn.to/hdG7UQ



Parenting ~ Why This Mom Teaches Values Instead of Cinderella

Parenting can be difficult when the media stresses buying princess dresses, shoes, and dollhouse items. How do you raise girls to value being strong, independent, and to stand on their own 2 feet?

Since I'm sharing some ideas from Peggy Orenstein's book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, I asked expert, Kristina Andaya, "What values are you teaching your daughter?"

Here is her response:"

How interesting! I happen to be raising a daughter and in today's day and age, and environment. We believe in teaching humility, good will towards others, diversity, and tolerance."

"I don't have the time or the money to raise a child in any other fashion. I grew up with a father who valued hard work, family, and manners.

I believe in the back to basics approach where we go back to our roots, explore who we were as children, and how this helped form us into parents." ~ Kristina Andaya Administrative Professional to Therapists and Coaches  http://therapyadminpartners.com

It sounded like Kristina is avoiding the. "Someday my prince will come" idea found in the "Princess Hype" for little girls. I appreciate Kristina's approach to raising her daughter. She teaches values instead  of treating her daughter like a "delicate princess."

I believe it's difficult to avoid the "Princess Hype," because little girls love playing dress-up. Most little girls see TV ads that tell them they must have princess toys. Even their friends have princess parties.

 What do you think?

Does it even matter whether little girls want to be princesses?

Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email. I will send you 10 Beautifully Crafted Love Notes for Your Kids in a separate email.

 With warm wishes

Jean Tracy, MSS

Two More Things:

 Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com  and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

 Pick up my new Kindle e-book, Is Your Child Disrespectful – How Successful Parents Encourage Respect at: http://amzn.to/hdG7UQ


How Successful Parents Teach Babies Respect

Parenting expert, Deborah McNelis, teaches respect by beginning in infancy. No, she doesn't talk to babies telling them to be respectful. In fact, Deborah makes a lot of sense. Read on to find out her advice.

It is critically important for parents to realize that to raise a respectful child, it must begin in infancy.

The child needs to have a consistent nurturing relationship to develop a secure attachment. Through this the baby learns the give and take of relationships and begins the process of self-regulation. This early loving interaction is the start to healthy social/emotional development and impacts relationships throughout life.

Here are 5 Ways to Create the Secure Attachment Babies Need:

1. Talk to your baby a lot. He needs to hear your words for brain development.

2. Use a loving tone of voice.

3. Sing lullabys, play pat-a-cake, read fun poems.

4. With your baby in your arms, read sturdy colorful baby books.

5. Find time to hold your baby tenderly in your arms while he sleeps.

Why? It's you whom your baby wants to feel secure and close to.

What Do You Think?

Please comment in the comment link below. When you do, I'll send you a gift with 7 Parenting Tips for Encouraging Respectful Behavior.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS


Two More Things:

Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

Pick up my new Kindle e-book, Is Your Child Disrespectful – How Successful Parents Encourage Respect at: http://amzn.to/hdG7UQ


Building Respect Means Listening and Encouraging Kids

Parenting expert, Betty Davis, offers  what she does with students to promote respect. She has some advise for parents too.

"I would promote respect for every child by listening to them and showing that you care. Ask them questions about themselves and encourage them to be the best they can be.

I have worked with children for over 10 years and the students that I teach love the confidence and encouragement I give them. Listening and showing that you care is the way you show respect for them.

Many parents show disrespect for children because they don't let children do an activity that is a great learning tool and something that will benefit them."

Creator, of Fun with Phonics Program, Author, Literacy Advocate for Children and Families http://www.funwithphonicstutoring.net/

What do you think?

Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email so I can separately email you 10 Beautifully Crafted Love Notes for Your Kids.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Two More Things:

Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com  and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

Pick up my new Kindle e-book, Is Your Child Disrespectful – How Successful Parents Encourage Respect at: http://amzn.to/hdG7UQ


How Camp Counselors Can Extend Respect Building in Kids

 How can a summer camp director extend respect building in kids. Listen to Julie Hartley who directs a summer camp in Ontario.

"Respect for others begins with an appreciation of what it is they do to make our lives better."

"I am the director of a sleep-over arts camp in Ontario  and we teach our campers that respect is both positive and FUN, by encouraging them to celebrate the efforts of those around them.

For example - we noticed a few years ago that campers would take meals in the kitchen without making eye contact with the chefs or saying 'Thank-you'. We asked counselors to set an example - smile, chat with the chefs, treat them as part of the camp!

Without saying a word to our campers, everything changed - which proves that kids learn positive behaviors in a more pleasant and meaningful way when we set examples, rather than 'telling' them what to do.

Now, if a dorm group really enjoys a meal, they are likely to make up a song together to honor the chefs. This extends to everyone across camp. Last summer, one of our maintenance men repaired a younger camper's suitcase for her, and she responded by making a friendship bracelet for him.

In our view, any good summer camp is an extension of the work parents must do. However, camp counselors are young. By setting an example and teaching them the meaning of respect, they pass this message on to their campers. 'Respect' sounds boring to a child, but it's basically a celebration of others. That should be a joyful thing - not a chore! Check us out at www.centauriartscamp.com

What do you think?

Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email so I can separately email you 10 Beautifully Crafted Love Notes for Your Kids.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Two More Things:

Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com  and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

Pick up my new Kindle e-book, Is Your Child Disrespectful – How Successful Parents Encourage Respect at: http://amzn.to/hdG7UQ


Interview ~ 12 Expert Ways to Love and Respect Your Toddler

Read how this parenting expert shares how she loves and respects her toddler.  from Shawna Garcia 

1.   I respect myself - I take care of my body with healthy foods.
2.   I respect my daughter; I recognize her limitations as a 2-year old eg. She walks slower than I do.
3.   She's learning to talk (I never make fun or even comment on "Oh how cute, she just said..."
4.   I am always honest with her.
5.   I provide her with clear direction and at the same time I am conscious to observe her often rather than  directing her play. That is up to her to do for herself.
6.   I always keep her safe.
7.   I am not always teaching or telling her what to do or not to do. Instead I am leading by example.
8.   I show her and others compassion so she learns to show herself and others love and compassion,
9.   I show her and others patience so she learns to do the same.
10. I am authentic when I have emotions come up
11. I love to spend lots and lots of time with her.
12. I love her unconditionally, without expectations. I just love her, period!

Shawna Garcia
http://www.joinshawnagarcia.com 

Shawna's daughter is a fortunate child. I could follow her steps with her child.  Observing her child, promoting her growth, and loving her unconditionally came through like a beautiful melody. 
 
What Do You Think?

Please comment in the comment link below. When you do, I'll send you a gift with 7 Parenting Tips for Encouraging Respectful Behavior.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS


Two More Things:

Sign up for this Parenting Skills Blog at http://www.ParentingSkillsBlog.com and receive this FREE Gift - 33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids

Pick up my new Kindle e-book, Is Your Child Disrespectful – How Successful Parents Encourage Respect at: http://amzn.to/hdG7UQ