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Parenting for Resilience: A Story of Strength and Determination

 

Boys Wheelchair bigstock-27202703
Helping Your Child Become Resilient

Does your parenting style teach resilience to your children? Do your kids have the strength and determination to bounce back after setbacks? If not, listen to our parenting expert and author of The Resilience Formula, Dr. Donna Volpitta, as she shares the story of Chris.

 

Why Resilience?

The Story of Chris and Mental Toughness ~

Chris Waddell was a promising your skier back in 1988 when he was a freshman at Middlebury College. Good looking and popular, he had everything going for him. But on the first day of Christmas vacation that year, Chris went skiing, and his ski popped off. The ensuing accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.

How did Chris handle this tough and totally unexpected challenge, something that might overwhelm most people?

With determination and resolve! Chris was determined to get back on the slopes, and it was only about a year later that he began skiing on a mono-ski. A little more than two years later, Chris was named to the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.

Chris went on to become the most decorated male skier in the history of the Paralympic Games, winning twelve medals over four games and spending a total of eleven years on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.

To top it off, Chris became the first paraplegic to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, an event that was documented in an award-winning film, One Revolution. What is Chris doing today? He is touring and lecturing with the film and Nametags, his student outreach educational program about resilience.

Chris' Motto?

"It's not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you."

How was Chris able to do all that he did? Why did he not quit when he had a traumatic accident that might sink many people?

Parenting for Resilience

Chris attributes his resilience to his parents' parenting style. He says that when he was young, his parents let him experience failure, but also supported him through it. He loves to tell the story of his experiences skiing on a ski team: for a year and a half, he never finished a race. Many times he came home wanting to quit, but his parents helped him get back out there and try again. So when he had the accident that left him a paraplegic, quitting was not an option.

Can All Parents Teach Resilience?

Is this the kind of resilience something that all of us parents can teach to our kids? The answer is, "Yes!" In fact, resilience is something that parents can teach everyday through the way that they interact with their children in the face of any type of challenge.

This excerpt is from pages 17-18.

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Raising resilient children strengthens them to become successful people. Dr. Donna Volpitta's book shows you how to encourage your kids to bounce back from setbacks and become all they can be.

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Pick up The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive Not Reactive Parenting

Cover Donna
Available at Amazon.com

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Let's give Dr. Donna the PRAISE she deserves for her work on Resilience and for bringing it to parents everywhere.

Dr. Donna Volpitta
     Dr. Donna Volpitta

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How Parents Raise a Genius with a Sense of Self!

 IStock_000000962078XGirl with Star

Parents, You Can Give Your Child a Sense of Self

 If you're a parent and want to nourish the genius in your child, listen to our parenting expert and author of The Genius in Every Child, Rick Ackerly. You'll find out how to encourage genius with that special sense of self. Let's listen to his advice.

Self Do It

When my mother was seventy-five, she found herself alone. Even though she was a home manager with more than fifty years of experience and had spent the previous five years caring for my eighty-nine-year-old stepfather, she was strangely lost.

What she faced the day he died was not so much being alone, but anxiety based on a vague sense that she couldn't manage. Being on her own was scary. Seeing her distress on the first day of my visit to her new home, I told her the story of how her granddaughter Katie had acquired the nickname "Self."

The Story of Katie

When Katie was between the ages of one and two, whenever people tried to help her do things like put on her coat, peel a banana, eat, or get into her car seat, she would resist quite firmly, saying, "Self do it."

She did this so often that one day, a close friend of the family who happened to be visiting renamed Katie "Self."

My mom loved the story, and for the last ten years of her life, whenever she got anxious about her own capabilities, she would say to herself, "Self do it."

Our Parenting Focus

This is the focus we need in raising children. We want them to feel capable of "Self do it" long before they reach the age of seventy-five. They will do so naturally if we support them properly.

Humans, including the youngest ones, have a natural inclination to be decision makers, to be Selves, and we adults play an important role as children experience their interdependence with the world in ever-widening circles of complexity.

We have to do two things at once:

(1) Push back when Self is not doing what the environment requires Self to do and

(2) Love each Self unconditionally as we are making our demands and saying no.

But the engine that drives all of this is genius. Each young Self needs to trust his or her own genius. It surely helps a child gain this self-trust if we believe there is such a genius.

This excerpt was from pages 53-54.

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As a child and family counselor, I often advised parents to avoid doing for their children, what their children could do by themselves. The goal was to give their child a sense of self and confidence. Naturally, I loved this excerpt from Rick Ackerly's important book:

The Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity, and Creativity in Children.

Cover The Genius in Every Child
Available on Amazon.com

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Let's give THANKS to Rick Ackerly, a nationally recognized educator and speaker, for sharing this precious nugget that you can use immediately.

Blog Potential Rick Ackerly educator

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Parents in Love: How to Discover Your Needs with the Right Questions!

Couple_d
Couples Can Get Their Needs Met!

 

If you're a parent and want to get your needs met in your relationship, our marriage and couple author and expert, Dr. Jackie Black ,will show you how. Now you can keep your commitment and be happier too. Let's listen to her advice with an excerpt from her book, Love Like a Black Belt: Cracking the Code to Being a Happy Couple.

Parents, Discover Your Needs with Answers to These Questions:

Here are a few things to think about that might help you understand the concept of personal needs and values from another viewpoint. You might find it helpful to take a sheet of paper and pencil out and jot down your responses to the questions in this section. 

Do you have a need for intimacy? For achievement? For results? For companionship?

Reflect on your own needs-do you know what they are? Remember, this is something you are doing for yourself, so be honest! When a need gets met you may feel soothed, relieved, excited, accepted, loved, understood, valued or energized. When a need is not met you may feel upset, angry, disappointed, frustrated, alienated or rejected.

. Can you think of a need (or two) that is being met right now or that has been met in the past?

. How do you feel when a need of yours gets met? Can you recall how you felt when one of your needs was not met?

. Did you notice that your needs are requirements of something or someone to change or be different, to be better or be more?

. Did you notice any concerns or beliefs that there isn't anyone in your life who is able or willing to meet your needs? Think about what you noticed and how it made you feel.

If you have trouble identifying your needs, it is an indication you may not be fully aware of your needs.

You may not believe that it is okay for you to have needs. You may be ashamed of having needs and sometimes even not allow yourself to have needs. Or you may have denied that you have needs for so long that a part of you isn't letting you know.

Whatever your "good" reason, don't worry, I can assure you that identifying your needs, become aware of how your needs can be met, and having them met, is a very do-able process! (from pages 8-9)

To discover your values go to page 9-13. Jackie's information is priceless!

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I admire Dr. Jackie for providing the right questions to help us get our needs met in our relationships. If you purchase her book, you'll learn how to become a happier person in a better relationship.

Pick up Love Like a Black Belt: Cracking the Code to Being a Happy Couple

Cover Love Is Like a Black Belt

Available on Amazon.com

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Let's THANK Dr. Jackie for helping us discover our needs with the right questions.

Author Dr. Jackie

Dr. Jackie Black

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Parenting with Baby Brain Insights: What Your Newborn Really Wants

 Baby touching nose

"My Baby Brain Craves Your Loving Touch!"

Developing your baby's brain is easy with Deborah McNelis' fun activity cards, Love Your Baby: Making Connections in the First Year. Deborah, the creator/owner and author of braininsights, is a presenter and a brain development specialist. Let's look at the advice from Deborah, our parenting expert for today.

"Did you know that a large part of your baby's brain development will happen after birth? And were you aware that much of the development will happen based on the experiences that child has in the early years?"

What Your Baby Would Ask for If He Could Talk:

"My brain wasn't fully developed when I was born. Loving interaction is what I need most to help it grow best."

CARING CONNECTIONS ~ Instructions from Your Newborn - 0-3 Months:

"Gently feel, rub, and caress my hand while feeding me. Give my hand soft kisses. Always hold me during feedings. Look lovingly into my eyes."

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Deborah McNelis as an early brain development specialist, has just shared an activity you may be doing out of love for your baby but did you know it helps with brain development too? What a bonus for you and your baby!

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Make Caring Connections a Habit!

Whenever you feed your baby caress her hands and kiss them. Hold her and look lovingly into her eyes. This means putting yourself in a relaxed state and taking the time your baby wants and needs.

Deborah created 40 beautiful cards with loving activities and advice like the ideas above.  Pick up her Brain Insights Cards entitled Love Your Baby: Making Connections in the First Year

Cover BrainInsights

Let's APPRECIATE Deborah McNelis for her excellent work in brain development and for sharing the ideas we need to give our babies what they really want. 

Author, Deborah McNelis
     Deborah McNelis

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Back Talk Problems: How Can I Get My Kids to Speak with Respect?

 

Boy angry
Turn Back Talk into Respectful Talk! Here's How ~

Many kids try back talk to see if you'll accept disrespect. Our parenting expert and author, Dr. Michele Borba, shares an excerpt from her book, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. She starts with an example from a mother who handled back talk successfully.

 

Then Dr. Michele tells us what to expect from pre-schoolers, school age children, and tweens. You'll hear her wise solutions for getting your kids to talk with respect. Let's listen to her parenting advice.

One Parent's Answer ~ A Mom from Cleveland Shares:

I figured my kid would try out a sassy tone sooner or later. I just didn't want him to know he could get away with it. So when I asked him to do his chores and he responded with a sassy remark, I called him on it. Later when he asked for a ride to go skateboarding with his friend, I told him he'd need to find another driver. I was hurt the way he'd talked to me earlier and really played it up. The look on his face was priceless? It was the last time he used back talk.

What to Expect by Stages and Ages

Preschooler:

Young children are little copiers and will try out new words and intonations for attention. If your child does use a sassy tone, your best response is to simply say, "We don't talk like that in our house." This is also the age when kids behave because "parents know best," and rules that you've set are likely to be followed.

School Age:

This is the stage of experimenting and limit testing, so expect your school-age kid to try back talk, but don't allow her to treat you disrespectfully. If you hold your ground now, your child will be far less likely to use a sassier tone as a tween or teen, which can destroy not only your relationship but also your family harmony. Also, don't overreact. Kids at this age will use you as their example for how to handle tense situations.

Tween:

These are prime years for back talk as tweens try to gain independence and want to see how you'll respond if they exert control. This is also the age when kids want to "fit in" and appear "cool," so they may copy their peers' behavior. If things start to get too heated, call a time-out and tell your tween you'll talk to her later so that you both have time to cool off.

Getting into an argument only takes the focus off the issue that should be addressed (such as the bad grade, disobeying the curfew, abusing the cell phone privilege) and gets the kid off the hook. (This excerpt is from pages 58-59.)

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Did you like how Dr. Michele started with the good advice of mother from Cleveland? She then helped us know what to expect during the 3 stages and how to handle each one. Dr. Michele is a true parenting expert.

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Pick up her book, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

 Cover The Big Book of Parenting Solutions

 Available at: Amazon.com

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Let's APPLAUD Dr. Michele Borba for her sharing her Back Talk excerpt with us. Her wisdom is easy to understand and simple to use.

 

Dr. Michele Borba
Dr. Michele Borba

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Character: Here's How a Lawyer Got Kids to Think about Moral Reasoning

Girl Thinking International
Getting Kids to Think about Character

Most kids need character training to elevate their moral reasoning. Our parenting expert, author, and lawyer, Michael Sabbeth, discussed moral reasoning with classroom kids. Here's an excerpt from his book, The Good, The Bad, and the Difference, where he's discussing 'standing up for your convictions' with students.

 

Take the Con' Out of Convictions 

Jason said that character meant standing up for your convictions. An alarm bell rang in my mind. Is it always a virtue to stand up for your convictions?

Ask your child that question and see how long it takes to slash through this cliche-driven thinking. Probably not long. I've had many such discussions. Without fail, they began with the students extolling the virtue of standing up for one's convictions.

"Why," I asked? I share the remarks of typical class.

"It's important to stand up for what you believe in!" the students roared.

"I disagree," I said with a challenging tone. They looked at me with narrowed eyes, like the torch-bearing villagers going after the beast in Beauty and the Beast.

"You're wrong," Samantha retorted. Her words sliced the air like a saber. "You always tell us to stand up for ourselves. You don't even listen to yourself!"

That was the unkindest cut of all!

Softly, as if on the verge of total defeat, I asked "Is it a virtue to stand up for your convictions if you believe people of a certain color should be slaves?"

Silence.

Less softly, is it good to stand up for your convictions if you believed that people should be imprisoned or executed without a trial or without evidence against them? If your convictions demand that you fly jets into office buildings or shove people into gas chambers? Are those examples of character?

"Well, what we meant, obviously," Julie harrumphed as if it didn't need to be stated, "was that you should stand up for your convictions if your convictions are good ones. That's what we meant."

Well, good versus bad, that's a rather important distinction, don't you think? The students agreed. Distinguishing between good and bad should be stated again and again. Yet, by George, I think they got it!

They  learned not to leap to a conclusion based on emotion but to reach conclusions based on reason and facts. This is how we can elevate the moral reasoning of our children.

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein (This excerpt is from pages 186-187.)

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I love how Michael gets kids to think as he stretches their ideas to a higher level. It would have been fun to be a student in these lively discussions. I'm sure Michael loved his part too.

Pick up his book, The Good The Bad and the Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values

Cover The Good, The Bad,

 Available at Amazon.com 

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Let's APPLAUD Michael Sabbeth for his book filled with stories on how to talk about values with kids.

 

Michael Sabbeth best
Michael Sabbeth


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The Power of Imagination: How to Ease Your Child's Stress

 Boy feeling fear jpg

Now You Can Teach Your Child How to Use His Imagination Well

Your child's imagination is a powerful place to reduce his stress. Our expert parenting author, Dr. Charlotte Reznick, is sharing how to help your child find his own special place where joy and success exist. This excerpt is from her book, The Power of Your Child's Imagination. Read this exercise to your child each night. Then notice the difference. Let's find out how it works.

Tool 2. Discovering Your Special Place

There are private places within your child's inner world where he can work out problems or take mini-vacations from the stresses of life, where he can relax, regroup, or just hang out in a healthy way.

Use the following script to guide your child toward whatever Special Place he would like to create. He might find himself in a garden, a castle, a cave, or outer space.

One child discovered "a room that can turn into anything;" another made frequent visits to the "Land of Far." It doesn't matter where yours goes or what he creates, as long as he feels protected. Once he finds safety inside, he is more likely to feel it outside, and he'll be more adaptable to challenges and change.

To introduce this Tool, say, "Let's take some time to find a place to relax." Or "Let's take a little vacation." Or simply present it as a game. Start with the Balloon Breath, then use this script to invite your child into a gentle inner journey. Combining the Balloon Breath and a Special Place is an excellent start for most situations.

Discovering Your Special Place

"Imagine yourself walking on a beautiful path. You might hear the sweet song of birds in the distance, feel soft grass under your feet, or brush past fragrant flowers along the way.

"In front of you is a carved wooden door with all your favorite colors. It has your name on it. Open it and step through. Good.

"Notice if you're indoors or out. You might be in a cozy room, a large, open meadow with trees and flowers, or somewhere else wonderful. You decide.

"This is your Special Place, where you can feel good about yourself. You deserve a peaceful place of your own. Here you are safe. You can play, study, rest, talk with whomever you wish, or do absolutely nothing.

"Surround yourself with everything and everyone that brings you joy. Invite people or animals you'd like to be with you. Whenever anyone walks through the door, they love and accept you just the way you are.

"If you've decided to be on your own, you can enjoy that, too. Let your imagination have a grand time. All this is for you. Remember who you really are: unique and important to this planet."

(Note: Close this imagery here or continue onto another Tool. To end now, say: "When you're ready, come back here feeling refreshed and open your eyes."

To end at bedtime, say: "Now breathe deeply and allow yourself to fall asleep naturally.") (This excerpt is from pages 25-26.)

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Children have wonderful imaginations. According to Dr. Reznick, they often go to "Flights of Fancy." She is teaching parents how to develop this gift in ways to help your children reduce stress and anxiety. Pick up her excellent book full of useful tools, The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success.

Cover The Power of Your Child's Imagination
                Available at Amazon.com

Let's HONOR Dr. Charlotte Reznick for writing a book that helps us, who are parents, teach our children find joy and success through the power of their imaginations.

 Author  Dr. charlotte_reznick

Dr. Charlotte Reznick

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Character Building: Cartoon Guide to Good Manners

 Bossy Brandon bigstock--32333759.jpg vector

Bossy Brandon

If your kids like cartoons and could use some manners, they’ll love these discussion stories in my new Kindle book. 

I'll show you how to get it even if you don't have a Kindle.

Character Building for Kids: Cartoon Guide to Good Manners with Family Discussions

 
Here Are Some Characters You and Your Kids Will Meet:

When his dad, teacher, and grandpa asked for help, Grumbling Grant wouldn’t lift a finger. "Don't go berserk. I just hate work," he mumbled. Grant's story offers you ways for  getting your children to cooperate.

Cartoon Grant bigstock-11494631
Grumbling Grant
Can’t Eat Clara took one look at the brown rice on her dinner plate and squawked, “I can’t eat these. They taste like fleas.” Her behavior will help you discuss the importance of being polite when your fussy whines about the dinner you prepared.

Cartoon Clara bigstock34624532
Can't Eat Clara

The Car Fighting Kids poked each other as they whined, “Don’t touch me Tad, or I’ll tell Dad,” and “Don’t hit me Dawn or I’ll tell Mom.” You'll be able to post your family poem on the fridge and reward them with praise when they behave in the car. Your family poem could say something like this:

I'll behave when parents drive,

That's the way to stay alive.

CB Car Fighting Kids--EPS-32288027
The Car Fighting Kids
   

In your family discussions introduce them to Can’t Wait Willy, the boy who butts in, interrupts, and demands to be heard. Right now!

 Use the fun exercises to help your child wait his turn.Cartoon Willy bigstock11494025

Can't Wait Willy


 


 

 

You’ll find 25 cartoon characters for your kids to discuss, act out,  and draw. Your family will have fun creating positive rhymes for the misbehaving cartoon kids too. These methods will help them look at their own behaviors and learn.

Your children will easily create their own treasured cartoon book displaying the good manners you want them to practice.

Whether your kids won’t do their chores, complain about the meal you prepared, fight in the car, interrupt your conversations, and much more, you’ll have this cartoon guide to help you instill good manners.

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Pick up Character Building for Kids: Cartoon Guide to Good Manners with Family Discussions  

Cover CB Vol 2

Available at Amazon.com

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Don’t have a kindle?

Don’t worry. Amazon gives you these alternatives:

You can easily get my Kindle Book (readable on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android phones/tablets, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, or your Web browser with the Free Kindle Reader app).

I hope you’ll take advantage of this gift from me.

With warm wishes,

 Jean Tracy, MSS

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Teen Suicide Risk: How Parents Can Assess Their Grieving Children

 Boy crying

Assessing Grief

If your child or teenager is overcome by grief, how serious is it? Our parenting experts and authors, Drs. Heidi and Gloria Horsley, have important ways to assess the signs. Here is an excerpt from their excellent book, Teen Grief Relief.

Let's look at a few questions that could help you sort out a person's real risk for ending his or her life.

Assess their risk levels - and yours  -  by honestly answering the following questions:

1. Have I thought about or mentioned suicide?

(There are references to teens' stories from previous pages.)

Admad's response of wishing he'd been with his father doesn't necessarily put him at high risk for suicide. It's not unusual for people who have suffered losses to say that they wish it had been them or that they don't want to live.

However, wishing you had gone with your loved one and having thoughts of killing yourself, like Jay, are very different thoughts.

2. Do I have a plan?

Jay has a loose plan. He could drive his car off a cliff or into a tree. If your answer is "yes," you need to tall someone now.

Tell a parent, a teacher, a therapist, a minister or a friend, or pick up the phone and ask information to give you the suicide-prevention hot line. You may even be put through to one especially for teens.

3. Do I have what I need to carry out the plan?

Jay has access to a car, so he does have the means to carry out the plan. If you do, get rid of it.

Flush the pills, toss the rope, turn in the gun, give up the car keys. Don't do anything spontaneously right now. Call someone whom you know can help you, or call the suicide hot line.

WARNING SIGNS

Feeling

. Hopeless

. Helpless

. Worthless

Thinking or Saying Things Like

. I wish I was never born.

. I wish I was dead.

. Nobody cares if I'm alive or dead.

. Everyone (or certain people) will be better off if I'm dead.

. If I kill myself, nobody will have to worry about me anymore.

Doing Things Like

. Skipping school and getting poor grades.

. Giving away your clothes, jewelry, sports equipment, books, CDs and other personal things.

. Eating and /or sleeping a lot more or a lot less than you used to eat or sleep.

. No longer caring about personal hygiene.

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To find out more risky behaviors and how to create a safety net go to page 40 of Teen Grief Relief: Parenting with Understanding, Support and Guidance.

Cover Teen Grief Relief
             Available at Amazon.com

This is such a serious subject and parents need to know how to assess their teens' suicide risk. Let's give Drs. Heidi and Gloria Horsley our DEEPEST THANKS for their help.

 Drs. Heidi and Gloria Horsley

Drs. Heidi and Gloria Horsley

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 Please support today's authors and share your opinions about this blog post. Just click on the tiny comment link below. It will open up for you. We want to hear from you.

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Family Bonding: How to Encourage Father-Son Relationships

 

Boy and dad bigstock in-baseball-uni-34068929
Encouraging the Father-Son Relationship
 

Fathers everywhere want close relationships with their sons. Our parenting expert and author, Jamie Bohnett shows you how in his book, Letters to My Son. He shares his journey of faith and teaches us through real life stories and heroes. Let's find out how Jamie uses the sports story of Randy Johnson, Jack and J.T. Snow to share an important moral.

Dear Son,

Let me share another father-son baseball story that I read about a few years ago. This is the story of J.T. Snow, who the Red Sox acquired in the trade from the San Francisco Giants. J.T. is the son of Jack Snow, the former All-Pro wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams from 1965 to 1975. I can tell you, son, as a former L.A. Rams fan those three words "complete to Snow" were music to my ears.

Sadly , but with pride I'm sure, before Jack Snow passed away this January at sixty-two, J.T. told his dad that he would be wearing Jack's old number with the Rams, #84, when he plays for the Red Sox.

The father-son relationship had not been an easy one for J.T. and his siblings. Jack was a stern disciplinarian to J.T. and his sisters while they grew up, and he was often hyper critical and overbearing. J.T., though athletically gifted as his dad, inherited more of his mom's sensitive nature. There came a time just a few years ago when J.T. was playing baseball for the California Angels that he had not talked to his parents for two and a half years. Even when he learned that his mother had cancer, the silence continued.

But the story doesn't end there. Of course you remember ol' Randy Johnson. He would never be accused of being a "touchy feely" kind of guy. Well, in a spring training game in 1997, a 100-mph Johnson fastball hit J.T.'s wrist and ricocheted to hit the orbital bone around his left eye. It was then that J.T. called his parents and they took the call.

As he recovered from the accident, the relationship with his parents went through a healing as well. His mother died that following year of breast cancer. J.T. and his wife named their son, who was born eight months after her death, "Shane" to honor her, as Shane was her maiden name.

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I like how Jamie talks to his son about sports topics and teaches a lesson. Can you guess the moral of this story? To find out more about how the relationship between Jack and J.T. turned out go to page 49 of Letters to My Son.

  Cover Letters to my son
Available at Amazon.com

Let's THANK Jamie Bohnett for sharing this powerful book that Dads can use to discuss with and create an even stronger bond with their sons. 

  Jamie Bohnett
 Jamie Bohnett

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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