“Class” (Zig Ziglar)

BTLifesMomentsThe late Zig Ziglar touched the lives of countless individuals; their testimonials would fill volumes. Although my face-to-face time with him was very limited, his philosophy of life strongly influenced mine. I one asked him what message he would have for young people. He said, “I would tell them to play it straight.” To him that meant honesty, integrity, sincerity and humility in all aspects of one’s life, as well as the ability and desire to encourage others. He certainly lived those values. Here’s a great piece he wrote on the quality we call “class.” There’s no better lesson we could teach our children. –JDS


zigFrom time to time someone gives another individual the ultimate compliment when he or she says, “You are a ‘class act,'” or they simply describe a specific behavior and say, “That’s class.”  From time to time a master of ceremonies will introduce an individual by saying, “If you go to the dictionary and look up the word ‘class,’ you will see a picture of your speaker this evening.”

A person with class is an individual of integrity, someone you would love to have as a parent or child, a friend or a neighbor, a mentor or an advisor.  In short, class identifies a person who is “top drawer,” one who goes the extra mile by being gracious to everyone who courteously serves them.

I love the description given in comments made by Bill Daniels who said that “class is something you choose for yourself.  It’s competing honestly, confronting problems head-on, taking accolades with grace and humility and not knocking your competitors.  If you have class you’re loyal to both yourself and to those around you.  Class is born out of self-respect and a healthy respect for others.  Everything in this world is not always attainable.  Fortunately, class is.”

Class is the coach who gives every child on the team his turn “at bat” without regard to the youngster’s ability or the won-lost record of the team.

I encourage you to identify someone who is a class act and use that person as a role model.  The individual might not be rich and famous or even brilliant, but a person of class is one we can all aspire to be.  Take the class approach and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP! ###

Zig Ziglar is known as America’s Motivator. He authored 33 books and produced numerous training programs. He will be remembered as a man who lived out his faith daily.


Impact of DSM-5 Changes Regarding Diagnosis and Treatment of Juvenile Offenders (Tyler Clark)

BTSpReportThe American Psychiatric Association’s top diagnostic and classification tool used to help treat patients is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Currently in the 5th edition (2013), this comprehensive guide is commonly referred to as the DSM-5.

DSM-5Among the recent changes to the DSM-5 is the categorization and treatment approach to personality disorders as they would apply to teenagers and children. Before the recent updates, personality disorders and adolescents were not as well understood, nor were they an option as a diagnosis. Now that the guide allows professionals to explore personality disorders in juveniles in greater depth, there will be a clearer path to the diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders in youth populations on a case-by-case basis. While not all juvenile offenders have personality disorders, the new diagnosis can have a big impact on our understanding of juvenile offenders and how to best help them.

What is Personality Disorder?
To better understand how personality disorder changes in the new DSM-5 affect the industry’s understanding of juvenile offenders, it’s helpful to understand more about personality disorders in general.

This group of mental disorders is identified by maladaptive behaviors that deviate from acceptable cultural norms. Until recently, many believed individuals diagnosed with personality disorders were unable to benefit from therapy. The good news is that, with advances in therapeutic approaches, early intervention and continued study and research, those diagnosed with personality disorders are getting the help they need with impressive and effective results. This certainly includes children and teens.

Linked to high distress, disability and trauma, personality disorders can cause people to have difficulty cultivating healthy relationships and cause isolation and bad behavior. Youths with personality disorders can be violent, aggressive, lacking in empathy, self-centered and emotionally stunted. Overall, those diagnosed with personality disorders have a much more difficult time making social connections and sustaining relationships in a healthy way.

The DSM-5 currently lists 10 personality disorders. (Prior to the DSM-5 disorders like these could not have been officially diagnosed in someone under the age of 18.) The ten categories are:

1. Paranoid
2. Schizoid
3. Schizotypal
4. Antisocial
5. Borderline
6. Histrionic
7. Narcissistic
8. Avoidant
9. Dependent
10. Obsessive-compulsive

Personality Disorders and Juvenile Offenders
Until recently, juvenile offenders were not necessarily evaluated for mental health issues. Their bad behavior was attributed to broken homes, typical teen rebellion, poverty and any number of causes. Now, with everything experts have learned about personality disorders in the past few decades, a different and clearer picture is emerging in the evaluation of mental health issues and juvenile offenders.


A recent study assessed hundreds of juvenile offenders that were incarcerated for personality disorders; they found extremely high rates of mental illness. These at-risk youths were more likely to experience typical personality disorder symptoms, like irritability, aggression, delinquency and more. This study, and others like it, show that, because the presence of mental illness and personality disorders is so much higher than in the average adolescent population, experts must take aggressive steps and approach early intervention, treatment, and even incarceration, with more effective methods.

The odds of repeated crimes with juvenile offenders with personality disorders was found to be high, leading experts to believe that intensive therapy and treatment for the personality disorders might reduce recidivism. In short, providing treatment for troubled teenagers’ specific mental illnesses could have more positive and long lasting effects than simply punishing them for their criminal offenses alone.

Impact of Diagnosis and Therapy for Juvenile Offenders
Now that teens can be diagnosed with personality disorders, the structure and scope of therapy can be better tailored for more effective impact. Therapy for personality disorders includes group and individual therapy, developing control over impulses, boosting social skills, examining emotions and much more.

Research has shown that some of the most effective therapy for those with personality disorders involves the strengthening of social connections and teaching troubled teens and juvenile offenders how to maintain healthy relationships, better connect with others, and integrate more fully into society as a contributing member. These behavioral therapy steps are often combined with some medication therapy for long-term positive effects.

As experts learn even more about personality disorders and juvenile offenders, the more effective treatments will help keep troubled teens from repeating offenses and reduce the possibility of them developing into adults with personality disorders. ###

Liahona-logo-transparentTyler Clark is a researcher & writer focusing on parenting troubled teens with experience as the content and outreach coordinator for Liahona Academy, a residential treatment center for troubled teen boys. His areas of focus include parenting, education, addiction, and issues facing troubled teen now.


Quick Tip #5: How to Get Calm and Centered Using the Five Senses (Michelle Cohen)

BTQuickTipQuick Tips are short, to-the-point audio tips, interventions and strategies intended to help the listener effectively teach a skill or manage an issue with a child or adolescent.


MCohenPhotoThroughout the day, so many tasks and thoughts and responsibilities can sneak in that it is almost impossible to keep it together let alone relax. Did you know that our five senses are actually available to us at any time to help bring any family member (including yourself) who is freaking out back into the present moment?

In this Quick Tip, author Michelle Cohen shares a mindfulness technique her clients have enjoyed so much they use it over and over again. It is an easy, fluid way to regain composure in any situation.

MCohenITCbookAuthor Michelle Cohen and her projects have been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, MTV, NPR’s “All Things Considered”, and in People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and the Washington Post. Michelle has given thousands of private intuitive guidance sessions, exponentially changing the way her clients perceive themselves in positive and permanent ways. This tip is from her book, The Intuition Tool Kit, available through Michelle’s website  [link].


TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


In the Spotlight: Peggy Caruso on Teaching and Encouraging Success

BTSpotlightThe Changing Behavior Network visited with Peggy Caruso, author of Revolutionize Your Child’s Life, regarding her ongoing work in teaching success principles to children and teens.


peggyPeggy, you deal with many negatives in today’s society. Why would it be important to teach success principles to children and teens?

Discovering the true talents and abilities within our children will prepare them for this unpredictable world by teaching them how to adapt to any situation. Instilling entrepreneurial ideas helps them become successful adults. They need to learn how to manage their own strengths and weaknesses. Many children are afraid to fail because they feel as though they are letting the parents down. Failure is good – encourage it. It is just feedback letting you know how to modify your plan. It is stepping-stones to success. In teaching children entrepreneurial skills they learn effective ways to communicate. In today’s society technology has limited our children in verbal communication.

So, with communication being lost, what are some effective ways to help them communicate?

A very effective tool is placing them in a mastermind team. Masterminding is a group of 5-6 children who brainstorm to overcome obstacles. This assists them with problem solving techniques and holding one another accountable. It reinforces communication and interpersonal relations. Masterminding also enhances friendships and helps them balance the highs and lows. It assists with creativity and establishes motivation and persistence. It also teaches them how to set and reach goals, which is imperative in promoting entrepreneurism within children.

PCarusocoverMasterminding sounds like a good idea, Peggy, but how would a parent go about setting up a group? What have you experienced that works best?

It’s relatively easy to set up a group. Begin by talking to other parents and explaining how it works. I am personally in several mastermind groups and they are extremely beneficial. It is important to keep it to one hour. You can meet weekly or bi-weekly; whatever works best for everyone. Let each child take a minute to tell their ‘positive experience’ of the week and then you move on to have each one present their challenge or obstacle. The remainder of the group then provides feedback and solutions to help. I also found choosing children from different schools is most beneficial. You don’t want to choose a group that is already mae up of close friends. Mix it up.

When you talk about motivation and persistence, does that help them eliminate procrastination?

One of the main reasons children procrastinate goes back to what I previously discussed – fear of failing. Failure is only failure when you don’t get back up. For every failure, the child accepts the fact that they will be okay. They keep moving, and that is what creates persistence and motivation. Persistent action comes from persistent vision. When you define your goal and your vision remains exact, you will be more consistent in your actions. That consistent action will produce consistent results.

Are there any other negatives that come from loss of communication?

Yes – cutting and depression. Some children and teens do not release their emotions; therefore, they internalize on them. When they are faced with obstacles and challenges, they take their emotions of anger and sadness out on their bodies. Children and teens who are bullied also tend to cut their bodies, especially if it is something that has impacted their self-esteem. Many teens have lost their coping mechanisms; therefore, when they experience peer pressure and difficulties in friendships, they are unaware of how to deal with their emotions. This is why implementing success principles is part of the answer.

Are folks surprised when you talk about promoting entrepreneurism with children?

Yes. At first they don’t understand why you would implement success principles to children. Many parents have asked why you would instill those skills in someone who has no desire to own a business. Well, it’s not just about owning a business, but learning corporate culture. From childhood your child will develop skills that will be transferred as an adult. Emotional skills such as self esteem, sociability, integrity and empathy, integrated with the educational skills of reading, writing, mathematics, speaking, creativity and decision making, will prepare them for adaptability within the corporate world. Many studies have supported the fact that the faster children develop skills, the better they do with testing.

Once you discover what their true talents and passions are, it is easy to get them started on building a business. There are many businesses suitable for children. Educating children and teens about employment or entrepreneurship has astounding affects. It teaches them time management, assists them in learning how to follow directions, and provides team and leadership skills. Studies show discouraged teens often grow up to become discouraged adults. This affects their confidence level.

You talk about teaching youngsters good corporate behavior. Wouldn’t mastermind groups help with that?

Absolutely. An important tie between the two is that masterminding assists them with goals. Teaching them how to set and reach goals is imperative in promoting entrepreneurism within children. It aids in creativity and establishes motivation and persistence. Teaching them to be persistent requires they be definite in their decisions, and that requires courage. Becoming a ‘kid-preneur’ will also help them learn their true talents, abilities and passions. They will develop solid friendships and learn to enhance gratitude.

So helping kids understand and apply success principles is pretty important, isn’t it?

It is very important. When we talk of success, most people think of adults. But if you begin applying the success principles when your children are young and impressionable, you teach them how to handle failure. Remember to teach your children the difference between the person who fails and the one who succeeds is the perception they have. It is seizing an opportunity and acting upon it, unlike the person who allows fear to dominate his abilities. ###

Peggy Caruso can be reached at pcaruso@lifecoaching.comcastbiz.net for more information. www.lifecoachingandbeyond.com



Surviving Your Adolescents (Guest: Dr. Tom Phelan)

BTRadioIntHere is a great interview from our archives. It’s with Dr. Tom Phelan. Enjoy! –JDS


Somewhere during adolescence, youngsters regress to speaking again (to their parents) in one or two-syllable sentences:

“How was your day?”


“What did you do in Social Studies today?”


Our guest today, Dr. Tom Phelan, calls this teen behavior “The Snub.” It’s part of a stage of normal adolescent behavior and development. Dr. Phelan explains how to redirect “The Snub,” not with a “Re-Snub” (which can lead to a whole menu of trouble), but by changing the questions. It takes a little work, but it’s not difficult.

There are, of course, deeper and more serious issues that affect our teens today, and they are a substantial part of that often uncomfortable (and painfully slow, from their perspective) journey from child to adult.  This program looks at the four most prominent areas of challenge and difficulty that lead to risky and unsafe behavior in adolescents: driving, drugs and alcohol, sex and romance, and technology. Dr. Phelan will explain how critical it is for parents to avoid emotional reactions to adolescent behavior, the Four Cardinal Sins, that only create more distance and conflict in the relationship.

A clincial psychologist, Dr. Phelan is an internationally renowned expert, author and lecturer on child discipline and Attention Deficit Disorder. He’s the author of Surviving Your Adolescents: How to Manage and Let Go of Your 13-18 Year Olds. His landmark book, a million seller plus, is 1-2-3 Magic!


TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


Quick Tip #4: Using a Family Council Meeting to Help a Child Avoid Bullying (Christy Monson)

BTQuickTipQuick Tips are short, to-the-point audio tips, interventions and strategies intended to help the listener effectively teach a skill or manage an issue with a child or adolescent.


CMonsonphotoMost every child will encounter bulling at one time or another during their grade school experience. Even children who are fairly assertive will have negativity thrown their way when they are in a new situation.

In this Quick Tip, Christy Monson shares an example of a family council meeting using role playing to give a child ideas, skills and practice to handle a tough situation. (3.35)


Family Talk BookFamily therapist Christy Monson, LMFT, had a large counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada. This tip, from her latest book (revised), Family Talk, is available for purchase. For more information, CLICK HERE.

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


Children of Divorce: Let Them Love Their Other Parent Without Guilt (Rosalind Sedacca)

BTAboutThemWe’ve all heard again and again warnings for parents to not badmouth their former spouse to the children following the divorce. Clearly, while it’s tempting to put Mom or Dad down for the way they’ve hurt you in the marriage, venting to the kids puts them in a very uncomfortable position. They love both of their parents and don’t want to hear about the ways your Ex misbehaved or initiated your divorce.

RSedaccaPhotoBut there’s another factor that doesn’t get as much attention worth bringing up in this same conversation. And that’s forbidding or discouraging your children from expressing love or talking about their other parent around you. Kids naturally want to talk about their lives including things they might have done with their other parent, especially the fun times. If they’re made to feel guilty when bringing up the subject of an adventure with Dad, a shopping spree with Mom, new place they visited or a fun movie they’ve watched together with their other parent, they feel repressed. Consequently, they stop sharing, don’t open up about their feelings as readily, and close up around you. That’s not the path to healthy parent-child communication. Once that door is closed, it can take years of therapy to pry it open again, if ever.

How Do I Tell the KidsPhotoAll parents need to be aware that when a child expresses love, admiration or respect for their other parent, it doesn’t diminish their love for you. Competition for affection between parents, divorced or otherwise, is a no-win road to alienating your children. Parents who are supportive of their children’s relationship with their other parent, even when that parent forms a new romantic relationship with another partner, enable their children to express themselves freely. When children don’t have to guard themselves from “saying the wrong thing” in front of Mom or Dad their relationship with you is more flowing, natural and trusting. And they’ll come to respect and acknowledge you more for your maturity as they themselves age.

And when children do express disapproval of their other parent, don’t chime in with your own negative agenda. They may want to vent, but they’re not looking to handle your emotional baggage. Judgments creating guilt, shame or blame can back-fire on you and close the door to trusting communication. Be a caring listener, supportive in helping them find solutions for their challenges. Divorced or not, that’s what parents are for.

*** *** ***

Rosalind Sedacca is a Divorce & Parenting Coach, Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! To learn more about the ebook, go to www.howdoitellthekids.com. For her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting, free ezine, coaching services and other valuable resources for parents, visit: www.childcentereddivorce.com.

Teaching Kids Happiness and Innovation (Guest: Mike Ferry)

BTRadioIntSome define happiness as a positive by-product of success. In other words, if you are successful enough, you’ll be happy.

Mike Ferry photo 3But that definition doesn’t square with the fact that there are plenty of folks who have the appearance of success, yet they are NOT happy. Evidence and research at this point indicate precisely the opposite position: Happy people tend to be successful people, and they conduct their lives and relationships in a manner that is sustainable and consistent with their closest-held values.

Author and teacher, Mike Ferry, defines happiness as an optimistic, communal and disciplined perspective on life. Every part of that definition makes sense; it’s worth sharing with our children as a major lesson in life.

THAIBookCoverIn this valuable and informative program, Mike discusses authentic happiness and how it can be combined with innovation and a growth mindset to give our children a strong base, a platform for managing life in a world containing more than its share of challenges. Mike’s here also to suggest how we can encourage our kids to develop and demonstrate other valuable attributes like gratitude, perseverance, mindfulness, purpose, tolerance, collaboration, faith and creativity. All of these will contribute to their happiness and a life well-lived.

Mike’s in-depth research and his years as a middle school teacher and father of four all come together in a book that’s the focus of this program. It’s entitled, Teaching Happiness and Innovation. (28:50)

(To listen to Mike’s phone presentation, “Teaching Happiness to Your Children This Summer,” follow these instructions: Dial 641-715-3589; enter Access Code 328425#; Reference Number 4#. Normal long-distance rates apply.)

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


Quick Tip #3: How to Create a Powerful Trigger to Help When A Child is Scared (Michelle Cohen)

BTQuickTipQuick Tips are short, to-the-point audio tips, interventions and strategies intended to help the listener effectively teach a skill or manage an issue with a child or adolescent.


MCohenPhotoWhen a child is gripped with fear, it is sometimes hard for them to remember the words they could say to make themselves feel better. What if instead, they have practiced a very visceral (and FUN) physical pose that whenever they enact it, they are flooded with positive and empowering feelings that automatically trigger relief from their fear?

In this Quick Tip, author Michelle Cohen shares a forceful technique her clients have used with great success. She calls it the “Power Stance” and it is designed to automatically cause positive emotions to flood through the body, relieving the scary thoughts and helping alleviate anxiety. (3:25)

MCohenbookAuthor Michelle Cohen and her projects have been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, MTV, NPR’s “All Things Considered”, and in People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and the Washington Post. Michelle has given thousands of private intuitive guidance sessions, exponentially changing the way her clients perceive themselves in positive and permanent ways. This tip is from her book, Actually, There is Something Under the Bed: A Parent’s Guide to Empowering Their Child in the Dark, available on Amazon. For more information, go to Michelle’s website  [link].


TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK



Quick Tip #2: How Do You Teach Success Principles to Children and Teens, and What is the Benefit? (Peggy Caruso)

BTQuickTipQuick Tips are short, to-the-point audio tips, interventions and strategies intended to help the listener effectively teach a skill or manage an issue with a child or adolescent.


peggySome people question the importance of implementing success principles in children and teens. It is extremely beneficial. Instilling entrepreneurial skills in children helps them become successful adults and teaches great corporate behavior.
In this audio clip, Peggy Caruso provides a list of the steps to implement those principles. (3:28)


PCarusocoverPeggy Caruso is a certified executive and personal development coach with 22 years of experience. She is the founder of Life Coaching a Beyond, LLC. This tip is from her latest book, Revolutionize Your Child’s Life, available through her website [link] or many on-line bookstores.


TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK