The Joys and Challenges of Foster Parenting (Guest: Dr. John DeGarmo)

JDeGarmophotoIt would be difficult for us to ever fully realize and understand the value of foster parents. Their contributions are ongoing reminders of the resilience of the human spirit and the impact of love, support and assurance when it is needed most. Indeed, there are many successful men and women who were raised in foster families.

It’s a serious thing to remove a child or teen from their biological home, yet circumstances can dictate just that. Through no fault of their own, youngsters’ lives can be changed dramatically as they are placed with a foster family, for not to move them could expose them to serious, even life-threatening, physical and emotional risk.

Although folks who have “been there” will tell you the blessings of being a foster parent outweigh the troubles, it’s understandable how a  child or teen going into foster placement might not be happy about it. Patience, insight, understanding, and sometimes a pretty thick skin are needed to help these kids find their footing on a better road. So, according to our guest on this program, foster parent and foster parenting expert, Dr. John DeGarmo, being a foster parent takes a substantial amount of grit in addition to love and compassion.

Fostering LoveIn this program, Dr. John explains the nature and process of foster parenting, and he freely shares some of the ups and downs he and his wife, Kelly, have experienced in their 12 years as foster parents. He also discusses some of the behaviors and characteristics of youngsters coming into foster placement (especially for the first time), and how they are best addressed. (These could include hoarding of food, boundary issues, poor school performance, difficulty with conflict, problems in exercising trust and fear of rejection.) Dr. John also shows how we all can best assist foster children and their foster families.

Dr. John travels extensively, speaking and training on foster care. He also hosts a weekly radio show, Foster Talk with Dr. John, and he’s the author of a number of books on foster care. In this program, we’re featuring one that has been especially well-received, Fostering Love: One Foster Parent’s Journey. This book is an absolute must-read for anyone thinking of becoming a foster parent. (28:50)

http://drjohndegarmofostercare.weebly.com

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Solving Problems Collaboratively (Guest: Dr. Ross Greene)

RossGreeneThere’s an old saying that goes, “What’s in the well comes up in the bucket.” Although this bit of country wisdom might explain a lot of things in this world, our guest today, Dr. Ross Greene, strongly believes it does NOT explain the behavior of challenging children and teens. In other words, inappropriate behavior DOESN’T come from youngsters because they are deciding to be difficult or manipulative, or that they are unmotivated or “bad.” He suggests poor behavior happens because a youngster is lagging in the skills to fix the behavior himself.

Dr. Greene will share how the past 30-40 years of research supports a position he states constantly: “Kids will do well if they CAN.” Not only will he make this perspective more clear in this program, Dr. Greene will explain what this means in terms of behavioral intervention, and he will direct us to a gold mine of resources and support as we collaborate toward success.

ExplosiveChildbookDr. Ross Greene is the originator of the Collaborative Problem Solving approach and the author of The Explosive Child and Lost at School. He is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and he holds teaching and lecturing positions with Cambridge Hospital, Virginia Tech and Tufts University. Dr. Green is the founder of Lives in the Balance, a non-profit entity that disseminates his model through no-cost, web-based programming. He consults extensively with families, schools, inpatient psychiatry units and residential and juvenile detention facilities, and he lectues world-wide. (26:27)

http://livesinthebalance.org

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Tackling the Terror: Empowering a Child to Overcome Fear (Guest: Michelle Cohen)

MCohenPhotoFear has been described as a guide to wisdom. That sounds a bit strange, but fear can, and does, help keep us alive sometimes. Fear, for instance, is what keeps us from wanting to make friends with rattlesnakes. A little fear, in the right places, is a healthy thing.

But too much fear can be crippling, a major handicap that limits the quality of one’s life. It eventually can make people sick as it steals the joy from their lives. It’s important, therefore, for one to learn to address and manage fear effectively.

Children are certainly not immune to experiences that frighten them. Real or imagined, their fears, especially fear of the dark, can trouble them greatly. Youngsters expect us, the adults, to “fix” what frightens them.

But do we, really? Is it possible for parents, grandparents and teachers to dismiss a child’s fear by saying something like, “There’s NOTHING to be afraid of.” Well-intending statements like this don’t work very well, and they can often compound the problem.

MCohenbookOur guest on this program, author Michelle Cohen, will urge us not to dismiss a child’s fear, but rather empower them to manage it effectively themselves. Michelle is with us on this program to share her insights and multiple ways to give kids the strength and skills to conquer once powerful fear of the dark, and other fears. Michelle will also offer possible explanations for what children are seeing, hearing and sensing in their moments of fear and distress.

Not only do these interventions work (Michelle calls them protocols), guidance counselors, therapists, psychologists and families have been using them successfully for years.

Michelle Cohen is a creative, multi-faceted, multi-talented producer and author. Her work has been featured nationally in television, radio, stage, film and print. Michelle’s production work includes the off-Broadway mega-hit, “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” and she’s the author of Actually, there IS Something Under the Bed: A Parent’s Guide to Empowering Their Child in the Dark. (28:15)

http://www.michellecohenprojects.com

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Building Character Using Analogies from Nature (Guest: Barbara A. Lewis)

Sometimes the best lessons in life are best NOT taught directly. Telling Tommy how he needs to be more helpful like his sister might only create resentment toward her with no change in his willingness to help others. So how do we effectively encourage desired behaviors and habits in youngsters like Tommy?

Our guest on this program, Barbara A. Lewis, will show us a better way to emphasize and teach positive character traits by using analogies, true stories from the behaviors of animals (and even plants). Since children are naturally drawn to stories and to animals, they not only attend to these analogies, they are stimulated to exercise higher-level thinking skills and, best of all, apply the message. Result: Moral development is enhanced, and youngsters are motivated to create positive changes in a natural and comfortable way.

Barbara has earned national acclaim and many honors and awards for her work as a teacher and as an author. She encourages youngsters to apply their skills in solving real problems. In fact, while Barbara was a teacher at Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City, her students were deeply involved in numerous civic and environmental projects, garnering ten national awards, including two presentations of the President’s Environmental Youth Award.

Prominent print and broadcast media, including Newsweek, Family Circle, “CBS World News” and CNN, have featured Barbara and her work. Her current book, written for parents and educators, is Building Character with True Stories from Nature. The book is published by Free Sprit Publishing. (25:56)

www.BarbaraALewis.com

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Our Children & Healthy Eating: Bringing the Two Together (Guest: Dr. Dina Rose)

DRosePhotoGetting their children to eat healthy and right is an ongoing hassle for many parents. In many ways the struggle itself can empower youngsters against the parents. That’s hardly a way to build family harmony. Yet, if they DON’T take a stand on what their children should eat and why, moms and dads could feel guilty and ineffective as parents. What’s the answer?

To start with, our guest on this program, sociologist, parent educator and feeding expert, Dr. Dina Rose, suggests that talking about nutrition is the WRONG conversation. As she will share in this program, good, healthy eating for our children (and ourselves, also) is much more about creating positive habits regarding eating. In short, it’s about a change of focus, and it works!

DRoseBookListen in as Dr. Rose discusses the three healthy eating habits of Proportion, Variety and Moderation. She will share how teaching these habits to our children will make any mealtime a more pleasant event, and it will give our kids a “how-to” model for a whole lifestyle of eating right.

Dr. Rose is the author of It’s Not About the Broccoli: Three Habits to Teach Your Kids for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating. Her work has been featured nationally on television and radio, and in print and online news sources. In addition to writing her blog, It’s Not About Nutrition, Dr. Rose writes for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. (27:41)

http://www.itsnotaboutnutrition.com/

 

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Child-Centered Divorce: Getting It Right, Part Two (Guest: Rosalind Sedacca)

RSedaccaPhotoCouples don’t marry so they can divorce. But, as we all know, divorce is a reality of society and of life. Regardless of the circumstances, divorce brings changes.

How does divorce affect the children involved? Are there signs that signal they are having difficulty? How do we explain and prepare them for a divorce, and how does a parent communicate with their former spouse regarding the activities and welfare of their children?

These are critical and challenging questions; children and teens depend on us to answere them well. Our guest on this program, Rosalind Sedacca, the Voice of Child-Centered Divorce, is an experienced expert on this topic. We are fortunate to feature her in this extended two-part interview.

How Do I Tell the KidsPhotoNot only will Rosalind point out the challenges and pitfalls divorced parents need to address, she will share about a proven, story-based method for explaining divorce and it’s resulting changes to the children. Her approach makes sense, and young people clearly benefit from it.

Rosalind is not only the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, she is a contributing expert, author and popular guest blogger on this critically important topic. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell The Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children–With Love. (23:22)

http://www.childcentereddivorce.com

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Child-Centered Divorce: Getting it Right, Part One (Guest: Rosalind Sedacca)

RSedaccaPhotoCouples don’t marry so they can divorce. But, as we all know, divorce is a reality of society and of life. Regardless of the circumstances, divorce brings changes.

How does divorce affect the children involved? Are there signs that signal they are having difficulty? How do we explain and prepare them for a divorce, and how does a parent communicate with their former spouse regarding the activities and welfare of their children?

These are critical and challenging questions; children and teens depend on us to answere them well. Our guest on this program, Rosalind Sedacca, the Voice of Child-Centered Divorce, is an experienced expert on this topic. We are fortunate to feature her in this extended two-part interview.

How Do I Tell the KidsPhotoNot only will Rosalind point out the challenges and pitfalls divorced parents need to address, she will share about a proven, story-based method for explaining divorce and it’s resulting changes to the children. Her approach makes sense, and young people clearly benefit from it.

Rosalind is not only the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, she is a contributing expert, author and popular guest blogger on this critically important topic. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell The Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children–With Love. (23:22)

http://www.childcentereddivorce.com

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Thou Shalt Not Whine: The Eleventh Commandment (Guest: January Jones)

JJonesphotoIf it’s true that misery loves company, then it seems that whiners ought to like other whiners. But, as we all know, it doesn’t work that way. Whiners are near the top of everyone’s “Avoid this person at all costs” list.

Well, if avoiding youngsters or adults that whine was a successful intervention, then why do we have more whiners now than ever? In fact, our guest on this show, January Jones, considers whining to be epidemic and costly to us all. In the long run, whining takes a toll from the quality of life … EVERYONE’S quality of life.

According to January, whining bosses, whining employees, whining spouses, whining children and whining parents often complain about issues and circumstances they could resolve IF they were aware enough and felt empowered enough to create positive change. That’s the good news addressed in this program.

JJonesbookListen in as January shares the research that resulted in her popular book, Thou Shalt Not Whine: The Eleventh Commandment. Listen as she shares her “formula” for whining, and as she explains a four-star rating scale that measures whining from “annoying” to “abusive.” Indeed, January lives up to her reputation as the “Whine Tester.”

Yes, the most common whines of children, teens, parents and grandparents are discussed in this interview, as well as how those whines can be resolved. Listen, also, as January shares a “universal” response to whining, one that often works quickly. As always, a great sense of humor helps, and January is a great role model for that.

January Jones is an established author and the host of her own internet radio show, Sharing Success Stories. As noted, we are featuring her popular book, Thou Shalt Not Whine: The Eleventh Commandment. (28:32)

http://www.januaryjones.com

 

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Traumatic Incident Reduction with Children (Guest: Marian K. Volkman)

MVolkmanphotoTraumatic experiences can seriously affect a person and his or her ability to function and adapt in just about all aspects of life. Traumatized children often struggle a great deal because of their difficulty in communicating what troubles them.

Fortunately, there are ways of helping a traumatized child reach a state of emotional healing, realized to the degree and point that the effects of tramatizing circumstances and events no longer trouble them. It is gratifying to observe this sort of change in a child, change that can be both empowering and permanent.

cover_1162Marian K. Volkman, our guest on this program, brings her experience and expertise to share with us how positive outcomes with a traumatized child can be accomplished. Marian, a Certified Trauma Specialist, has been using Applied Metapsychology and a therapeutic approach called Trauma Incident Reduction (TIR) since the 80s. In fact, she has taught TIR techniques all over the world. She is the editor of a collection of best practices of TIR with children, a book entitled, Children and Traumatic Incident Reduction: Creative and Cognitive Approaches. (26:20)

http://www.MarianVolkman.com

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Stepfamilies: Blessing the Blending (Guest: Valerie J. Lewis Coleman)

Valerie J Lewis Coleman BP BlackAnyone, parent, child or teen, who has ever been part of a blended family knows there often are difficulties and obstacles to making a stepfamily work as as it should. Discouragement mingled with frustration shouldn’t be the name of the game, but often  it is. The job of drawing together a family across multiple households is a challenge not suited to the weak of heart or spirit.

But it CAN be done, according to our guest on this program, Valerie J. Lewis Coleman. She has, as they say, “Been there!” Faced with the struggle to parent five children from three different households, Valerie was often overwhelmed, almost to the point of giving up.

Blended Families An Anthology CoverLooking back on those struggles, Valerie shares how her experiences of heartaches, frustrations and sleepless nights were but the labor pangs required to birth her passion to help others stop what she calls the “Stepfamily Maddness.” From her own journey, plus the experiences and contributions of others going through similar circumstances, Valerie compiled and edited a book, Blended Families: An Anthology. This work, and the wisdom gleaned from its pages, well-represent this topic of blended families.

With over 20 years of experience in families and relationships, Valerie has given advice on varying stepfamily issues, including Baby-Mamma Drama, defiant children and a really tough one: disapproving in-laws. Also, as an established author in her own right, Valerie encourages and trains new authors through her publishing company, Pen of the Writer. (25:26)

www.PenoftheWriter.net

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