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What are-our-options-by-pat-harris-lmft-contributions-by-steve-mc crea


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Pat Harris shares secrets and tips for parents, students and others going through "rough spots." What are our options? Let's keep an open mind.

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  1. 1. WhatAre OurOptions?Letters from the hearts ofa child,a teenager anda parentIf you’re a can make a differenceA Visual Book byPat HarrisFamily TherapistResolveToHeal.comWith Steve McCrea“Mr. Mac”Educator, Video Producer and Small School (954) 646-8246ISBN13: 978-1-879857-35-3ISBN: 1-879857-35-9Copyright 2007 Pat Harris
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  3. 3. DedicationThis book is dedicated to all the people who mean somuch to us, especially Henry and JK.To the people who inspired us and to the people whowill read these words, this book is our gift to you.This book brings you the following phrases: “Now, listen here…” “What are our options in this situation?” “What’s another way to look at that?” “How can we reframe that?” …and it all comes back to reframing, doesn’t it?3
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  5. 5. IntroductionDo you sometimes get angry or scared? And thendoes someone say something that calms you?That’s what this book brings you: Calming words.Letters from the heart. When you wish you couldhear something honest, something soothing,something to help you forget your problems, turn tothe section called “After the Storm.”This book also brings you the latest in researchabout the brain and some creative pieces that I’veused when dealing with anger (with my clients andwith myself). I don’t expect you to monitor fivedifferent TV channels, National Public Radio andthree newspapers. My research staff and I havecompiled what caught our attention over the pastten years.This book started when we mentioned to a parent,“What do you know about the different ways of learning?” The parent’s blank look gave us the insight: This parent is overworked and has no time to watch TV for educational purposes. He’s too busy raising hiskids.What would happen to our schools, families,relationships, communities if 200,000 parents were5
  6. 6. instantly up-to-date with the latest research? Whatways could that information be presented to theseparents? What if these families had access tocalming talks from a family therapist on an audioCD?What is the essence of the messages fromscientists? Can we deliver the ideas quickly, sowe don’t waste the time of these busy parents?That’s the reason behind this book. We want to give you thebasics, with some photos to help get the message across. I come to this work with a focus on options…especially options away from violence. There are many ways to resolve conflict. There are many ways to avoid bullies and “cracking” (negative, “playful”but harmful jokes that kids tell each other)… Can we resolveconflict without yelling, shouting, putdowns or exerting force?The order of the chapters shows progress. We begin withElementary School Students and move to Teenagers.The poem by Tommy Rahill gives us an interlude to Breakthe Cycle. Then we look at Managing Anger, which is atthe heart of most of our problems. In the fifth chapter welook at two types of victims – the targets of bullies and thebullies themselves. Next we hear words to pick us up “afterthe storm.” In the seventh chapter we discuss Ten Ways toExtend Your Child’s Education. Then we look at theresearch that supports much of what appears in this book ina chapter called Five Things that might help a parent(new information about the brain)What Are Our Options? 6
  7. 7. We close with appendices: A Letter From the Heart, alist of styles of distorted thinking, a checklist forimproving your child’s writing and a teacher’s callfor more cooperation with family therapists.To help audio learners, we include an audio CD. I hope youwill tell us what we should include in the next edition. Pleasesuggest new topics… we’ll put them on our web site HarrisClick on “Contact Us” at ResolveToHeal.comFort Lauderdale, FloridaFamily therapist and Life CoachFrequently Asked Questions about this book 1. What is the organization of the book? It might be possible to find an order in these chapters. In fact, they are placed in chronological order as they were transcribed from meetings between Steve and Pat. Pat gave the Anger Management talk in 2004 to the eighth grade at Downtown Academy in Fort Lauderdale and the rest of the items were recorded after Hurricane Wilma (October7
  8. 8. 2005). There is a sense of “let’s look at the storms that we have survived,” then “let’s look at our anger” before we look at systems around us that cry out for reform. The later chapters about schools show Pat’s interest in reaching students through academic situations. This work grows from the foundation of the early chapters where we acknowledge that “we have options.” 2. What motivated you to put together this book? Bookmaking is an obsession with Steve. He looks around for topics that need capturing. This project, which could have been called “We Have Options,” is more than a book: there are DVDs with Pat’s presentation on anger management, and audio CDs to capture the soothing voice of the family therapist. The power of an “audio letter from the heart of a teenager” means there are sometimes pointed reminders and direct “calls to action” in these pages. Since there are many ways of learning, some people may prefer to listen to rather than read the messages. This book is for your reference and it is hoped that you won’t rush through it. Take your time, think about the messages, and remember the adage that many therapists repeat: Work happens between sessions, too. Insights often come after we think about what we said during a “breakthrough” session with a therapist. The time and thought you put into these issues while the book is closed is far more important than what these pages contain.What Are Our Options? 8
  9. 9. 3. Why are there pictures of food throughout the book? Our culture inundates us with images of processed foods. Some of the basic goodness of fruit and vegetables has been lost under glazes and eye-catching packaging. The photos come from web sites that post images that are in the public domain, so we just need to note that the photos in the back part of the book come from David Beard and the images in the front of the book are by Jacci Howard Bear of by JK McCrea9
  10. 10. Table of ContentsIntroduction (5)1 For Elementary School Students (12)2 For Teenagers (16)3 Break the Cycle (26)4 “Does Your Anger Manage You?” (28)5 Bullies – Taking Care of Just You (36)6 “After the Storm” (46) (words to help you get through difficult times)7 Ten Ways to Extend a Child’s Education (60)8 Five Things that might help a parent (76)(Five Useful Things About How Your Child Learns)9 It’s the Size of the School (not the Classroom) (86)10 ADHD – Does It Have to be a Deficit? (91)11 A Letter From the Heart (108)Appendix 1 Check List for Writing a Composition (112)Appendix 2 Styles of Distorted Thinking (114)Appendix 3 A List of Audio Letters (116), LASSIE (118),Prepare for a Good School Year (120), Gratitude (132)Appendix 4 A Note to principals about Family Therapists (135) Appendix 5 Working With Technology (a seminar) (140)What Are Our Options? 10
  11. 11. Calling all parentsAre you feeling like a broken record when it comesto dealing with your child or adolescent?Are you getting the results you want when it comesto raising your child?Is your child making the transition from childhoodto adolescence without too much trauma to the restof the family?Are you and your child able to negotiate withouttears and anger?Do you want to focus on solutions and become aneffective parent?This book is for you.11
  12. 12. 1For Elementary SchoolStudents and Their Parents Summary for Parents Anger doesn’t just “happen.” Young children can learn to talk about their anger. Anger management is for everyone.The following text comes from Pat’s CD for elementarystudents.Track ONEHello, boys and girls.What does the word “anger” mean to you?Do you remember the last time you were angry? Whatdid you do?Can you recall the last time you were angry?We want you to take a few minutes to think about thelast time you were angry and draw a picture.Pick up a pencil and paper. Or get some coloredmarkers. Draw a picture of the last time when youWhat Are Our Options? 12
  13. 13. were angry and be sure to put yourself in your picture.Make a drawing like a picture in a coloring book,include yourself in the picture.Take your time.Be aware of your feelingsAre you having any feelings when you remember thismoment?Are you feeling angry?Are you feeling sad?In the end, are you feeling happy?What type of feelings are you having?Write down those words. There are feelings. Thenlet’s talk about it. I haven’t been the only person getting angry. I think other people get angry. What’s important is that we learn what we do with the anger. That’s it! Let’s look at the pictures! Track TWO How can we handle all this anger? I wish I knew how to deal with anger. I’m going to ask my mommy how she deals with anger. I’m goingto ask my big sister.I might even ask my teacher.What could I do before I hit someone? I might count toten using my favorite animals.I like dogs. One dog, two dogs, three dogs, four dogs,five dogs, six dogs, seven dogs, eight dogs, nine dogs,ten dogs.Sometimes when I get angry at somebody and I count13
  14. 14. the number of dogs, I forget why I was angry. I was sobusy counting the dogs.Yes, I’m going to try it.I might try counting giraffes or hippos or horses. Itdoesn’t have to be animals. Come up with somethingon your own. Any animal you like.We’d love to learn a new way to do this.When I’m told to do something that I don’t want to do,sometimes I get mad. I don’t wanna do it. What can I tell myself to get this work done? “It’s okay, go ahead. Do the homework. It will soon be finished. The more time I put it off, the more time I won’t have to play. You know I love to play.” Can you ask for help? Please ask for help. Someone will be willing to help you. Look at what you did! You asked for help! Just say, “I don’t understand this.” It’s okay to ask forhelp.Do you notice? Your face isn’t frowned up. You aren’tin the corner. You are better in the group. We needyou in the group.Keep up the good work. You can do it. You’re goingto do great.Track THREE for ParentsThis is for the parent of the Elementary school child.Help your child get an understanding of anger.What Are Our Options? 14
  15. 15. Help your child understand what anger means andsolutions and ways of dealing with anger withoutviolence.Listen to your child’s understanding of anger. Alwaysremember we are looking for additional options.Violence does not solve problems.Our intention is to assist you to become a betterteacher.Teaching is a partnership between parents, teachersand studentsRemember, you are the original teacher.This CD is part of a series of Audio CDs prepared byPat Harris as a way to help parents, students andteachers deal with anger. For more information,contact Pat at 954 735 8721ResolveToHeal.com15
  16. 16. 2For Teenagers Summary for Parents “Cracking” or teasing = abuse Teasing and “ragging on” younger or weaker people are not “normal” behaviors. Bullies do these things. Can we resolve conflict without yelling, shouting, putdowns or exerting force?Move over. What do you mean move over?! I dont even want to sit next to you. You smell any way.Look, youre so fat -- Id be ableto sit here if you werent so fat. What!? Ill bust you in the nose.What Are Our Options? 16
  17. 17. Whats happening here? “Cracking.” Some kids thinkit’s clever to say negative things about other people.It’s clever! But cracking leads to fighting.Cracking is a form of fighting. You say somethingabout me, I say something about you. You hit mebelow the belt. You think that Im going to sit backwhile you shame me in front of my peers, theneverybody else is going to want to crack on me. No.Cracking is a form of fighting.Its your fault that I got angry.You should never have saidanything about my mother. If itwasnt for you, I wouldnt havegone off. Yeah, go ahead, blame me. Its my fault because your mommas fat?Look, its your fault that I gotangry. Oh, so Im supposed to take responsibility for how you feel and what you do.Look, it wasn’t my idea to talkabout my family.So whats happening? Were talking aboutbuttons. The buttons that each of us owns.Who owns these buttons? When someoneshouts at me about my mother or shestalking to me about how fat I am, who17
  18. 18. owns those buttons?Im responsible for what I say and what I do. Im theowner of the buttons. They are my buttons. Thinkabout this. At some point I became scared. Mybiggest concern is about how people are going to seeme. What are my peers going to say? Who else is going to pick on me next? How will I become the scapegoat? Will I become the talk of the school?Remember, as a teenager, Im dealing with peerpressure. Im dealing with my own shame about beingembarrassed. Its enough for me to adjust to being ateenager and being isolated. I think people are lookingat me and Im wondering what they are saying aboutme.Its time for some intervention. Heres what my motherdid...I was faced with a situation at school. A kid called mymomma fat. I became angry instantly, and I was angryall day long. It kept going over and over in my brain:He called my momma fat! I dont like that. Ijust dont like that.I felt that I had to stand up for my momma.Until I got home. I said to my mother, "Momma,he called you fat!" My mother stood and said tome, "I am fat."What Are Our Options? 18
  19. 19. Boy, the light went on. That was when I realized thatmy mother was fat. My mother acknowledged the factthat she was fat. That took the power out of the fight.Ino longer had the need to defend my mother. Mymother validated me. As I looked at her, even thoughshe was fat, that didnt stop me from loving her. She ismy mother, regardless of her size. I no longer allowedother children to push my buttons or to tease me.They could say what they liked and it made noimpression on me. I used to act like a yo-yo, up and down, up and down. I used to react to anything the other children would say. But nowI went from reacting toresponding.I knew that I would no longer allow my peers to takecharge of me. I started to take charge of my emotionsand how I dealt with issues at that age.I can take the power out of whatever someone mightsay."Hey, Pat, your momma is sofat." "You are right, she is fat. And it seems like my momma is getting bigger and bigger every day."19
  20. 20. "Uh, no, you’re supposed to becracking with me!"I have taken the power out of it. I am no longer goingto allow you to have me going off, acting like Im crazy,acting like Im losing it. Im no longer losing it. Fat isonly a word. Man, please, can we move on to something else? Im no longer going up and down like a yo-yo, so dont come back to me with that.This student in Curitiba, Brazil, wants to exchange emailmessages with students in the USA. Cultural interaction is part ofthe LASSIE system (see Appendix 3, page 118) for studentsuccess.What Are Our Options? 20
  21. 21. Comment by a teacher:Pat took the power out of the fight. As a teacher, Irespect courage in my students, when they get thatpower, when they find out for themselves that theydont have to react. Pat learned how to respond.The Difference between Reacting andRespondingTheres a big difference. Ninety-nine timesout of a hundred, you are reacting to something in thepast. Something happened and you responded to itthe way you responded to something similar a year ortwo before. Let me give you an excellent exercise:ExerciseThink about a time when you were very angry. Allowyourself to get the same feeling the last time you gotso angry. Get in touch with that feeling.Go to a past event in your life when you had that samefeeling. Get a vision and see what you see. Thatswhere the anger is coming from. The anger today iscoming from the past and some event that happenedback then. that was then, this is now. Allow yourself21
  22. 22. to come into the moment, deal with what you need todeal with and recognize that the past is not done with.if I continue to react to something in the past, then Imnot done with it. By stepping into the moment, it givesme another option. I can choose to respond to thepresent (to the current situation), not to somethingfrom a past event.I often say to myself, "I know where that is comingfrom." It puts me in charge of that, not it in charge ofme.Heres another point: we learn to rely on our innerstrengths. I can do this, says the child.Notice this about your self-talks. We talk to ourselvesmore than we talk to anyone else. Notice this angryself-talk: "I dont know who he is, but he doesnt knowme.He doesnt know what is going on. Im not going toaccept his view of who I am. Im going to show him."Imagine seeing some of your peers at the bus stop. Ican boost myself to become angrier with my negativeWhat Are Our Options? 22
  23. 23. self talk. Ive giving myself a mission to go off. Doyou notice it?Whats behind all of this? My fear. How can I changemy self-talk? What can I say to myself to change myfeelings in the moment?Listen to this positive self-talk: "Phew. This is notthe end of the world. What other options do I have?How can I do this differently? Do I have to shout at thisperson who is saying bad things about me?What do I need to do for myself right now? how do Itake charge of just me? I sure cant take charge of theother individual. hes going to say whatever he wantsto say."If the situation continues to bother me, I can askmyself, "What other resources do I have? how can Iutilize some of my problem-solving skills? What is theproblem? Whose problem is it? What options do Ihave? What could resolve this?"23
  24. 24. If I come up with a solution and it doesnt work, Ill trysomething else. You know what Im going to tellmyself? This too shall come to pass. Im going towork this out. Im going to work it out so I donthave to become violent. Violence does not solveproblems. I will be assertive, not aggressive."I need to be able to get my needs met. Let me get itright in the middle between weak and aggressive. Ineed to be assertive, I need to verbalize my needswithout blaming the other individual.I need to take responsibility for what I say and what Ido. My actions can be congruent with what I say.These are just are few of the interventions that I canuse. It starts with me.These interventions are a beginning.From a teacher:Heres an example of what some of my students havedone.What Are Our Options? 24
  25. 25. Hey, Mr. Mac, remember how you told me I shouldcount to ten before I say anything? It really workedyesterday. Somebody called me a really bad thing andI was about to hit him. I thought, Whats my optionhere? By the time I got through counting to ten, theyhad walked away, nobody knew what they had said,and I didnt have to deal with the situation.Thats an example of an intervention that worked.A short exerciseGet a piece of paper and some colored pens. Think ofa time when you were really angry. Feel what it waslike to be in that moment. Feel what it was like to havesomeone say something to you. Draw that picture.Im not an artist, but I know how to make stick figures.Im going to draw the other person and me, Im goingto show where the incident took place, and Im goingto write down exactly what happened.As you follow those steps, make sure to get in touchwith those feelings that you are having. Look at thoseemotions that surface while you are in the process ofcreating the scene. Make sure that in this scene youinclude everybody that was involved. Include yourself.Get in touch with those emotions that you are having.Take some time out to really get in touch with what isgoing on.Then turn your sheet over and draw a picture of thehappiest moments in your life when you were laughingout of control.25
  26. 26. 3Break the Cycle Summary for Parents A poem can get to the heart of the matter Can we resolve conflict without yelling, shouting, putdowns or exerting force?By Tommy RahillHey, you, break the cycleBreak the cycleWhat am I talking about?Who am I talking to?I’m talking to the men and women out there who’ll knowwhat I’m saying.Your father didn’t treat you well.He wasn’t there for you.He was a little rough on you or maybe worse.It might not have been your father, someone else maybe.Perhaps it was a neighbor, a friend, a relative, a completestranger.What Are Our Options? 26
  27. 27. It might have been your motherOr both parents.Life’s not always fair.How many millions of people heard that!It’s your turn now.What are you going to do ?The same &$%*^%?! thing that happened to you?Break the cycle!Little hurt boy inside,Little hurt girl insideBreak the cycle!Your kids deserve it, your spouse deserves itYou deserve it.Whatever it is, whoever you areBreak the cycle.Mentors outside Downtown Academy27
  28. 28. 4“Do You Manage Your Anger,or Does Your Anger ManageYou?” Summary for Parents Anger is a tool. It’s a signal. Can we use the signal or does the signal “turn us on”? Can we use anger to resolve conflict by looking at options?Perform your understanding: In the spaces below,you will be asked to select a word or phrase to fill inthe blank.Does anger ___________ or do you manageanger? Segment Question 1: Does anger __________? Anger 2 Set a. excite you the ground b. make you feel alive rules c. manage youWhat Are Our Options? 28
  29. 29. 00:31 Im going to always ask for what I need. Areyou with me? Im going to ask for your cooperation.Im here to have a good time. Before I leave heretoday, if you dont know about your own anger andyour anger cues and what triggers you, youre goingto know that. Were going to talk about takingcharge of the person that you can take charge of.And thats ________.I want you all to participate. Im going to do thiswith respect. Everybodys going to be heardbecause everybodys got something important togive. I think Ive set the tone for this time together.Lets get started.segment ends at 1:44 Question 2: Pat wants you to take charge of ______ a. your mother b. your friends c. you7:40 Segment Anger 3 BoostersI want you to go to the last time when you wereangry.Are you with me? We do something, dont we?Before we get angry, we get hurt. Right?We have a self talk, dont we? I start telling myselfsomethingI dont like what she did. She shouldnt have donethat to me. She said this and she knows I dontappreciate that. Ill show her.Do you know anything about boosters?Do you hear how Im boosting myself? What am I29
  30. 30. giving myself permission to do? I give myselfpermission to ___________. Question 3: When I boost myself, I give myself permission to __________ a. eat sardines. b. hide c. let out my anger. I convince myself that I am right and the other people are wrong.Is it positive or negative? Everything is negative.Even though Im mad, what is behind that mask?Behind that mask is fear. When I walk around witha frown, Im saying, "stay away from me, dontcome near me"end 10:25start 10:30 Segment Anger 4 ConsequencesAll of those are negative self talks.Watch the difference in what Im going to do. Imgoing to have a positive self talk with myself.I have no control over what people say. Thisdoesnt mean that this is the end of the world. Whatother solutions are there?Notice what I said. Solutions.Im looking to ___________ problems. Noticethat when you feel that you dont have an out, youstart to feel that your back is up against the wall.What Are Our Options? 30
  31. 31. Question 4: Im looking to ______ problems. a. create b. run away from c. resolve or fix or solveWhat I need to ask is if I fight, whats going tohappen? There are consequences. Can I afford todeal with those consequences? Most of the time, no.Its time to use your problem solving skills. I don’tcare where we go.Remember this: We attack problems, we dontattack people.12:1412:20 Segment Anger 5 Sit Down"Cracking" is setting me up for a fight.As soon as you hit me below the belt, as soon as youpush my buttons, then Im going to react. What didI not doI didnt think. Instead of reacting, what do I needto do?I can compromise, I can have a positive talk with myself.I can thinkwere always looking for _________________31
  32. 32. Question 5: When I have a positive self-talk, I am looking for _______________ a. a fight b. an escape c. options and solutionsI can tell myself to sit down. I need to take chargeof just me.start 20:10 Segment Anger 6 Displaced AngerLets talk about displaced anger. Theres apossibility that I might be angry before I left home.I come to school and I bring it with me. You are soinnocent, you dont know whats happening. "Whatare you doing, looking at me?"If I own it, I can learn from it, I can benefit from it."I do that!"If you own it, you can control it.I need to learn how to control it. Im not letting out over everybody else’s problems. Question 6 If I own it, I can ______ it. a. avoid b. sell Do I want anyone c. learn from exploding on me? I dont want it. It feels like an attack.It does not have to be about you. You do not ownother peoples problems. Doesnt that make sense?If its between two young ladies, I dont have to getWhat Are Our Options? 32
  33. 33. in the middle of it.But how often do we get in the middle?start 23:55 Anger 7 I Know About AngerDo you know why I know so much about anger? Iused to be anger, too!I love managing my anger. Im forever looking forsolutions. Are you with me? What else can we do?Notice this about behavior: Whatever you do atthis school, it goes wherever you go. If you have aproblem, you _______________________ Question 7: If you have a problem, Pat Harris* says that you ______ a. can give it to a friend. b. can let your mother handle it. c. cant walk away from itIm sad when I hear a parent say, "Im taking my kidout of that school, there are too many problems overthere."If you dont try to solve the problem, its going tofollow right behind you.end 25:45start 26:04 Segment Anger 8 The HoleThe story about the holeToday I was walking down 3rd avenue, I saw a bighole in the road. Then I fell in the hole. Its so darkin here. Finally I got out.33
  34. 34. the next day I walked down the same road. I fell inthe hole again. its so dreary in this hole. Istruggled harder to get out.The next day I saw the hole and walked around thehole.The next day, I ____________________t. Question 8: In the story, the next day, the person (I) decided to.... ______ a. dig another hole and fall into it b. fall in the same hole again (because I missed being down there) c. go down a different street and avoid the holeSometimes, when the pain becomes so great and Iget sick of it, Im willing to learn something new.Ask for help. Instead of struggling and recreatingthe same problem. Does everyone understand? Itsokay to ask for help.Cooperation and working together as a team works.Let me leave you with a reminder: Manage youranger.Anger cannot do any harm to anyone else but________. Its what you do with it. Get in touchwith rage and where it’s coming from. Thank you.What Are Our Options? 34
  35. 35. Question 9 Anger cannot do any harm to anyone else except...__________ a. your mother b. your friends c. you (if its my anger, the only permanent harm comes to me. If its your anger, the permanent harm comes to you)For the complete audio recording, contact PatHarris. Pat Harris offers seminars and workshopsfor teachers, professionals, parents and students(during school and after school).To participate in email exchanges with students who are learningEnglish, write to in Curitiba, Brazil.35
  36. 36. 5Bullying: Taking Care of JustYouA bully is someone who imposes his or her will onanother person.Lets begin by examining how it gets started.Lets look at power and control. Summary for Parents Bullying = abuse Teasing and “ragging on” younger or weaker people are not “normal” behaviors. Bullies do these things.What is emotional abuse? Putting someone down,making that person feel bad about him or herself.Calling them names, making her or him think that theyare crazy, playing mind games. Humiliating theindividual or making the person feel guilty. that is allabout emotional abuse.Does a person have to hit me to abuse me? No. Theemotional abuse eats away at the inner core of mybeing.What Are Our Options? 36
  37. 37. Look for "Duluth Model" on the Internet. For an Tom Graves Duluth" Isolation (a personal story)When I was in fifth grade, I was a bully. I didn’t think Iwas a bully. I was doing what everyone else wasdoing. In our class, there was a girl named Abby. Shewore yellow dresses when everyone else wore othercolors. She had little flowers embroidered on thedresses. We thought this was silly. On top of that, weall agreed that she was ugly. She had cooties. Eachone of us, agreed, without discussing it, that were notgoing to play with Abby. We controlled where shecould sit. If she was trying to join us, we made surethat she wasnt part of the game. We limited herinvolvement in our group.I certainly didnt think that I was a bully. I was justdoing what the other kids were doing. Its taken me 35years to realize that I was a bully. It helped tobecome a teacher to become sensitive to theseisolating behaviors.Did you ever use threats? "I will bust your eyes out."Or Ill do something to hurt you. Ill tell you things like,"Do you need this pen? Ill make sure you wont get it."Ill even try to make you do things that I wouldnt do.Sometimes older people use power and control to getyounger people to sell drugs. The younger childrenwont be incarcerated and the older people push young37
  38. 38. children to commit these crimes because "If you dontdo that, I will do this to you."We are looking at items behind the Duluth model, partof a system used in Duluth, Minnesota to deal withphysical violence or abuse against spouses. Some ofthe topics include:Using Intimidation. I call this the "negativemarketing campaign." When theres a marketingcampaign, the new product is introduced with a bigshow. Perhaps there is a one-minute commercial andmillions of people see an apple in the logo.Apple -- Thats a funny name for a computer. After thebig ad campaign, the company can reduce the size oftheir commercials. After many months, the companyjust has to show its logo. A rainbow colored applelogo makes people think, "Oh, thats a friendlycomputer." I know that computer because of the longadvertising campaign.Rock stars use marketing. They have a big show andthen eventually you just see their name in print andyou can imagine their music. A rock star who wearsjust one glove leaves an impression in our minds.Now, anytime we see a single glove, the rock starsimage comes to mind. We know who that is.In the same minimal way, bullies build a marketingcampaign. By using intimidation, the bully can makeyou afraid just by a look or gesture. The bully just hasto hint that hes carrying a weapon. "You know, I havea knife in my bag." Thats all he has to whisper andinstantly we can see the knife at our throat.Theres this image, the marketing is so powerful, andthe hint can get us using our imagination to getintimidated. The typical bully is good at exertingcontrol over victims by continuing a negativemarketing campaign.What Are Our Options? 38
  39. 39. We know that once you start a campaign, you mustcontinue it to maintain the control over the consumer,to continue to attract them. Just because you are well-known today doesnt mean you should stopadvertising. The bully continues to advertise throughsmall looks. "Uh-UH-UH!" his eyebrow says. “Dontmove ahead. I’m first." Or a small flick of his handsays, "Dont even think of having the last apple. Thatsmine."Im going to talk about children who are used astactics.When parents separate or get a divorce, the childbecomes the "in-between" or the "go-between" person.When I go to visit with Daddy, I have to make sure I tellhim something about Mommy or whatever is going onin that house, because I dont want Daddy to get angrywith me. So I’ll tell him whatever is going on at home."then when the child returns home, the mother askswhat the child did at the fathers house. "Then I tellher whatever happened over at Daddys house. Oftenthis begins the process of me feeling threatened. Istart to feel anxiety and I get upset when my mommysays that shes never going to let me go over to myfathers house again."The mother might say, "The only reason he has you goover to his house is to find out What is going on withme." How does the child feel when the mother saysthis? The child starts to feel guilty. The child doesntrealize that shes a pawn between her mommy and herdaddy. Thats how children get caught in the powerand control process.Minimizing, Denying and BlamingHow many people reading these words can admit thatthey have been a bully? Do you minimize what youdid? Do you deny that you were a bully towardsomeone? Do you blame on other students the badthings that were done to your classmate? Itsimportant that we acknowledge our actions.39
  40. 40. Do we minimize? "I hit him only one time.""I hurt him just a little."“It was his fault. Thats why I hit him.”“He got too close. if he hadnt come so close to me, Iwouldnt have hit him."All three forms are a defense of my actions. To deny,minimize and blame are defenses so I dont have totake responsibility. If I dont accept what I said andwhat I did, then I cant grow from the experience.Denying, minimizing and blaming keeps me stuck.They keep me in power and in control. behind thismask is my fear. I need to feel in power and in controland when things dont go right, its your fault.Using economic abuseUsing privilegeI noticed this power when I was part of the group infifth grade. I was in the group, so I had the privilege ofkeeping someone out. I had the option of includingAbby in the group. I chose not to use that powerbecause I might risk being pushed out of the group. Iwould be part of the group that likes Abby, that playswith Abby. So instead of making the choice of notbeing a bully, I chose to use my privilege of beingin the group to treat her like a lower person.I made the decision that Abby cant cut in the line --shes got to go to the end of the line. I cant dosomething nice to help her define her role in the class.Im going to make sure that I define her as someonewho is lower. This was a use of my privilege ofposition.This situation shows how weak a bully is. Thats thesurprise. Theres a weakness in the bully . The bullymaintains his position through a constant marketingcampaign. Part of that campaign is to keep you, thevictim, from getting or keeping a job, from getting apromotion, from getting attention from the teacher.What Are Our Options? 40
  41. 41. "We’re not going to let Abby use the best book, shehas to use the book with torn pages and the worstcover."Youre really working to make Abby feeling "lesserthan." You want to keep her from being included. Thiskeeps her isolated and makes her the target. What isthe pay off? Does it make the bully feel important?Does it make the bully feel included? Does the bullyfeel better? I need to put you down so I can feel better.Thats how abuse tends to happen, when people dontsee each other as equals. When we consciously chooseto see you as "lesser than," thats when the judgmentscome out. "You shouldnt be part of this." I started toexperience of not being a part of the group. I felt thatsomeone else is in charge. Hes better than I am. Istarted to have these feelings and thoughts, makingme sad and isolated. All of this results when powerand control is used….When powerful individuals cometogether.What happens when we remember that we haveoptions and choices? We can continue to be a bully orcontinue to be victimized. It is more important that wehave interventions.There are two enemies of the bully: strong self esteemin the victim and information. The more people whoknow about what the bully is saying, the more the bullyloses control of the situation. if there is a smallgroup that he controls, they can know about histhreats and intimidation and how hes isolating thevictim. however, if too many people hear about histactics, eventually the group of others see themselvesas potential victims and they speak up. "This is notright," and they do something to intervene. Theenemy of the bully is information, whether it is videoor a recording or reporting to a teacher that bullying ishappening and the teacher gets involved. Perhaps theprincipal gets involved and the parents get involvedand eventually the bully loses control. He has lostcontrol over who knows the information that he has41
  42. 42. spread around. The intervention is non-violent. Youhave not reacted with violence to the bullys violence.You have responded by spreading the information.Bullies are weak and they aim to keep you down as avictim. If you suddenly believe that you have the rightto be sitting in that classroom, if you decide that youhave the right to be playing with others, you grabcontrol. If Abby had come over to any one of us andsaid, "I would rally like to sit here because Im part ofthis class." Some of us would have tried to push heraway, but others might have said, Oh, I guess you arepart of the class. Abbys statement would haveweakened our participation as bullies in the group. Itwas imperative that we all remind her that she hadcooties so that she would not develop a stronger self-esteem.Even in the workplace, we do not have to work inhostile environments. We can promote safeenvironments. We always have options. Many yearsago, parents used to say, "Stand up for yourself. If hehits you, hit him back." I have not heard of violencesolving problems. Lets continue to look for otheroptions."You cant show that you are weak. You have to defendyourself." Look where this attitude has taken oursociety. Eventually you have to bring a gun to schoolto stop the gang. is there any wonder in the wakeof Columbine, schools need to reduce bullying atschool. Yet, where does bullying come from?its not learned somewhere else, in the street or athome. Weve seen how to get things done -- we usepower and control. "Im not hitting anyone" -- no, butyou are abusing them emotionally to control theirbehavior. You are isolating.We have to start with us.Lets start with respect and affirm the other person.Lets trust and support. When we come together as aWhat Are Our Options? 42
  43. 43. team, there is a tremendous amount of support. Wewere not created to live alone and separate. When weaccept responsibility for what we say and do, we cancommunicate openly and honestly."When you do x, that hurts my feelings." This promotes understanding through NO: communication. If we “You are an idiot!” acknowledge each of our gifts, we can share NO: these gifts and “Get out of my way!” strengths. Instead of separating and dividing YES: into groups, we can "When you do x, that hurts work together. We can my feelings." talk about equality, fairness and resolutions YES: to conflict. We accept “I feel left out when you change and we are do that.” willing to compromise. It doesnt always have to be my way. We can bein the same room and we can compromise. Steve canget his needs met and I can get my needs met and wecan accomplish something.We want parents to display what we expect from ourchildren. In other words, we need to model what weexpect. this means not saying, "Dont do what I do, doas I say." That statement goes back to power andcontrol. We are looking at equality. Children need tobe respected. Children may have solutions for solvingproblems. We can come together as a family toresolve problems. Were talking about change,moving forward and letting go of the old learnedbehavior. "This is the way my dad did it" is notworking for the family.Were looking at the non-violent opportunities. Wheredoes bullying come from? It comes from learnedbehavior. It starts at home. Lets think of an43
  44. 44. example: Road Rage. When we are frustrated drivers,stuck in traffic and we see someone cut in front ofus, we honk at him. "That makes me so angry!" Whatmessage does this action and these words send to thepeople riding with us? Were saying that that baddriver is a bully and hes pushing himself in frontand Im not going to get away with that! We respond ina violent way by honking or chasing him down to writedown his license tag number. We throw up thefamous middle finger.What does this do in ourselves? We have to think thatthere is an option here. Thats the central message ofthis chapter: taking charge of just you. Take chargeof the only car that you can take charge of. Thats thecar you are driving. this means taking charge of youwherever you go.There are non-violent opportunities. If you seesomeone who is getting away with a smoking tailpipe,his exhaust is going everywhere, dont get mad. Justtake down his tag number and call an office thatmonitors emissions. theres a non-violent way ofresponding. Its called building the case. Collect the same way, we can have a non-violent response tothe bully around us. We don’t have to become betterat judo or learn how to do martial arts or figure outhow to get a knife into school so we can threaten backat the bully and push him away. We can expose thebully and show his weakness.Theres showing respect. These are parts of the non-violent domestic abuse project.Negotiation is a form of non-violent resolution.Imagine if Abby had said to me, "I know that you thinkthat I have cooties. However, I have this snack that Iknow you like and you have apples that I like, somaybe we can share snacks."What Are Our Options? 44
  45. 45. Being willing to compromise in some way, the victimcan take charge of the situation. If you cant run awayfrom the situation, think of some way that is non-threatening to the bully. How about talking and actingin a way to capture what the bully feels and fears?This may be difficult to imagine, walking up to a bullyand talking with the person who is threatening you.however, this is one of the non-violent optionsavailable to you.We have to think of people who tried to change asystem. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., these peopledecided that there was a non-violent way of engagingwith the bullies. Instead of feeling that we are isolated,we can start inside ourselves. It starts by rememberingthat the bully feels inadequate. Thats why there is anegative marketing campaign to make the bully feelbigger. If the bully tries to exclude you, you canreverse the situation by including the bully in yourworld.You can respond to bullying by taking charge of justyou.Search these words on the InternetThe Duluth ModelThe Non-Violent OptionsMore information is available at contact us with your suggestions
  46. 46. 6After the StormThis section comes from Pat’s collection of audio letterson CD.We tend to move toward the things that wedwell upon, so lets think about goodthings. Summary for Parents “The Storm” = any fight we survive The purpose of this letter is to embrace change.The hurricane.It took us away from our main goals. We were stuck ona detour and now its time get back on the highway.And not get back on the highway, doing things that weused to. No, we have an opportunity to start doingthings with excellence. This is what I recall from myschooling. One of my teachers told me:Whatever is truehonorablejustWhat Are Our Options? 46
  47. 47. purelovelyof good reportthink about these thingsIn this time of difficulty, when it is so easy to thinkabout the hurricane. The television is telling us, "Wehave to think about this hurricane," lets think aboutwhat is truehonorablejustpurelovelyand things of good reportYou might want to think about these quotes.Out of all that we think is bad, there is always good,because God is in control. With all that has happened,there has been some good. Just look for the good.Mother nature does not discriminate. Ride up anddown the streets in your community and see it. Thereis no discrimination.Embracing change during and after the hurricane.Its easier to embrace change than to fight and resist.because then you are only fighting against yourself.Life is about adapting and adjusting. Nothing stays thesame. Some things work for a while and later on theydont work any more, so you try something new. Wehave other options.What works? What doesnt work? At some point inour lives we have all had the experience of whatdoesnt work. Sometimes we continue to do the samething over and over.47
  48. 48. Ask yourself this question: What other options do Ihave? How can I do this differently? What do I want toaccomplish? How do I speak to my childs heart? Notto their mind, but to their heart. From my heart totheir heart. I can sure say what doesnt work. A lot ofscreaming and repeating the same thing over and overdoes not work.Losing self-control for me as a parent does not work.Often the childs goal is met because theyve gottenaway and they are not accountable for what they havedone. Nor are you in a position to hold me responsibleor accountable. When Im out of control, there is a lotof drama that is taking place in my household. Inorder for me to stop this, I need to think before Ispeak.When I see children at the schools all the time and theyare cracking, and sometimes we refer to our childrenusing bad names, that doesnt work. The only thingthat name calling does is to lower my self esteem andstart me to believe. I believe you because its comingfrom you mother, or its coming from you, father,because you are a significant other in my life.Now, lets get to the big picture here. What reallyworks is you must realize that your children desire toplease you. I cannot do as a child everything that youwant me to do based on how you want me to do it.Please look at my mistakes as opportunities to learnand to grow. Please.It is imperative that you begin to recognize the gifts inme early on. They are there. My gifts are staring atyou, right in your face. Notice what I do and I do itvery well. Sometimes Ive heard parents say, "Oh, stopso much talking, boy!" But that same boy became anewscaster.Recognizing the strengths from within, focus on thegifts. Reframe the negatives. Who needs those typesof words to remain in the environment? Ask yourselfthe big question: Do I want remember this as aWhat Are Our Options? 48
  49. 49. parent? Is this what I want to give out? I dont. Evenafter I have had my temper tantrum, I dont feel goodabout this. I never felt good when my daughter and Iwere having our temper tantrums. Just think about it.Its like being in the sand and now I have to get up andbrush off all of these little grains of sand off of mybody. It doesnt feel good. when I have gone from theposition of being the parent to being on the same levelas my child and were fighting with each other -- Forgetit! Im not going back there. It doesnt work. Ive beenthere before and I know whats there. This is about learning. This is not about my child. This is about me. Im the mentor, Im the original teacher. This is what really works, when I recognize who I am. From a mother’s perspective, I carried my child in the incubator. I was the incubator, I am the original teacher. now as my child grows older, I am no longer the parent. I have become a parent- consultant. I no longer tell you what to do and how to do it because the answersare within you. And I no longer have the fear of youmaking mistakes. Thats how we learn. Make a choiceand be selective about the choices that you make.Its okay to experience consequences, positive ornegative ones. I remember when I put my hand on thefire, on the stove, on that hot burner. I guarantee you,it worked. I never did it again. Im not going backthere. No more. Thats it, Im done with that. I amforever looking for new choices and options.By the way, dont leave your child outsideof your decision making. "What do you49
  50. 50. think about this? Give me your opinion."Theres one brain and then theres anotherbrain, and another brain, and theres moreoptions and choices. Its like when we multiply. Remember when we first learned to multiply? I was surprised when I go to my five times five table. Oh, wow, theyre getting bigger! Then I moved to 10 times 10. Ten times one is ten, Ten times two is twenty, ten times three is thirty. You are your childs original teacher. The hurricane represents together and unity. It hasbeen an eye opening experience to let us know whatwe have. The hurricane really lets us know that wecan appreciate the small things. Tomorrow is notpromised to you.Listen to this. I took no thoughts about my life, for myfather knows what I need before I ask. All is well.Courage must come from the soul within,The man must furnish the will to win.So figure it out for yourself, my lad,You were born with all the great have hadWith your equipment they all beganGet hold of yourself and say "I can."(a poem by Edgar Guest)Thank you for focusing on positive thoughts.We tend to move toward what we think about, so letsthink about good things.What Are Our Options? 50
  51. 51. -----------------------------------------SourcesThe good, pure, lovely quote comes fromthe letter to PhilippiansThe “I Can” Poem is by Edgar GuestThe "think about good things" comes froma fragment often quoted by Jeraldine Saunders.We include an appendix with examples of recordingsby mentors. We created a web site where we post short videos andaudio messages by mentors. We ask four questions:Suggested QUESTIONS to answer1. What did you learn in school that youstill use today? (This answer showsrelevance.)2. What do you wish you had learned inschool? Additional relevance plus asuggestion to a teacher to includesomething extra in a future lesson.)3. Name one of your teachers. If you canname the teacher, then something wasgiven by that teacher to you. What was it?Honor that teacher by telling us why youremember that teacher. (This shows animportant relationship)51
  52. 52. 4. Tell us about a book. What have youread in the past ten years that you usetoday? (This answer shows continuedlearning -- and we are asking you for aperformance about what you took from thebook, a performance of understanding.)These four elements convey qualities that we findattractive. If you would like to be a mentor, pleasecontact us.Here are some extracts from Mentors On VideoBy Clarence McKeeYour life is this, a blank sheet of paper. You are goingto determine what you write on that paper in your life.Nobody else will. You determine what you will be. Itsvery important. No one else will. Remember Jiminythe Cricket? When you wish upon a star, makes nodifference who you are.... what? Dreams come true.If I can impress anything on you, other than "You arethe most important person in the world," then its"Theres nothing more important than dreaming."What Are Our Options? 52
  53. 53. I dont mean when you go to sleep dreaming. Do youhave a dream about what you want to do? Where youwant to go? Never stop being a dreamer. Anyone whogot somewhere got there because of a dream. ThomasEdison, Tiger Woods. Everybody dreams.You know, you dont have to tell anyone about whatyour dreams are. There will always be people who sitaround you and say, "Nah!" Those are the kind ofpeople you want to stay away from. People who tellyou what you cant do and why you cant do it. Go foryour dreams.If you shoot for the moon, you might get halfwaythere, and thats a long way. Dreams ... anything youwant to do, you can do it. You have time to prepare. Thinking. Think, think, think. Dont be afraid to go off alone and think. read about famous people, read biographies, and think about what you read about. My hero is a guy named Bill Paley, he founded CBS. When you read about famous people not only to find out how they became successful. You want to read aboutfamous people to find out all of the problems theywent through and the disappointments and thetragedies that they had to overcome to keep going. Myfriends, you are going to have times in your life when53
  54. 54. you say to yourself, "To heck with this." You are goingto want to give up and say forget it. You are going tohave some rough times. Thats part of life.Theres a saying: its always darkest before the dawn.The darkest time of the night comes just beforesunrise. You will find in your life, you will look backand when you thought that things were bad andhorrible, the next day, I cannot get through this day,the very next day something happens to change your situation for the better. So dont get depressed when you get depressed. Its natural. Things happen. A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Lets say a few words about teachers. There are three categories of people who you will never forget in your life. Parents, grandparents andteachers. These arepeople who really care about you. I can recite to youthe names of five teachers that I know to this day and Ithank them for the confidence they instilled in me.Miss Spence and Miss Mitchell, Coach Wallace.You might remember some teachers in college, but theteachers in middle school and high school really careabout you and you will never forget their names, onceyou allow them to make an impression and once youreally listen to what they are saying. Go for it.-- Clarence McKeeLawyer, entrepreneurWhat Are Our Options? 54
  55. 55. A Mentor for ReadersI guess the thing I remember most about school is thatit gave me the discipline and I think it gave mestructure. Although I didnt always follow all of therules, I think the most valuable things I found in schoolwas my love of reading. I still read a lot, about a booka week.School also taught me about how to get along withpeople. I served on a lot of committees, I was in a lotof clubs, I was on stage a lot, I played the piano for thechorus. School taught me a lot that was valuable inlater years. I have not used algebra much in my life,despite being in business. The most important thing Ican do is add, subtract, multiply and divide. I can do itfaster than an adding machine, I can do it in my head.I can estimate how much money Im going to makefrom a project or how much it will cost and I can tellwhether or not the project is effective or whether Imgoing to lost or make money. I can calculate howmuch time the project is going to take and concludewhether or not it is going to be practical. Those arethe things that I do well.I have to say that I go full steam ahead because I ampassionate about it. I dont do anything just formoney. I do it because I enjoy it.Ive always loved reading. I remember that our teacherasked our class who had gotten the farthest into thebook and it was me. She asked me to run an errandfor her.55
  56. 56. It was quite a privilege in those days to run an errandfor a teacher, so I did and I came back and I finishedbefore anyone else in the class. I was extremely fast asa reader. I really enjoy business books and TomClancy books. Im a how-to book reader and I createhow-to books. I like to put into action when Im donewith a book three or four things that Ive gotten fromthe book.-- Gayle CarlsonEntrepreneur, author------------------------------------Additional information aboutMentorsonVideo.orgMentors On Video is a program to allow"ordinary humans (non teachers) to visitmiddle and high schools on video. You can goto a "real" school and get videotaped. Or you can askfor someone to video you. My production company,McCrea Educational Archives, sells video trainingfor FCAT preparation, SAT preparation, training forteachers and "how to read better". All of this trainingis placed on DVDs and CDs and there is often an extra100 or 150 Megabytes on the CD or DVD.What Are Our Options? 56
  57. 57. What to do? Put some videos of Mentors on the CD.Free. Your donation of your time will be returned byhaving your voice and/or image shared with dozens ofstudents.Students tend to watch a CD if they are told that it isnot required. "Hey, maybe this is the new Pirates ofthe Caribbean DVD." Sometimes they are bored,sometimes they are hooked. The idea of the mentorisnt to appeal to EVERY students, but rather to hijackat least one student from the reverie induced bysurfing on the Internet or playing with an Xboxgame.Why is it important for you to become amentor?Lets start with a "mystery quotation." Who said this? “Successful schools are built on the new three Rs: Rigor – making sure all students are give a challenging curriculum that prepares them for college or work. Relevance – making sure kids have courses and projects that clearly relate to their lives and their goals. Relationships – making sure kids have a number of adults who know them, look out for them, and push them to achieve.”Small Schools“The three Rs are almost always easier to promote insmaller schools. The smaller size gives teachers andstaff the chance to create an environment wherestudents achieve at a higher level and rarely fallthrough the cracks. Students in smaller schools are57
  58. 58. more motivated, have higher attendance rates, feelsafer, and graduate and attend college in highernumbers.”Who said mentioned these words in a speech to thenations governors in February 2005?Answer: Bill Gates=======================Thomas Friedman points out in his book about "TheWorld Is Flat" that it is difficult to put up walls toprotect jobs. Instead, Friedman recommendsa) INNOVATION,b) BETTER EDUCATIONc) Freedom from dependence on oil bydeveloping alternative fuels (the secondmoon shot)Sure, a moon shot, just like the 1960s. We paid thetaxes and the scientists worked to put twelve peopleon the moon. But its not just scientists during this newmoon shot. Not this time. Innovation takes placethroughout the economy and innovative smartbusiness practices are needed to support the technicalinnovations.What Are Our Options? 58
  59. 59. Instead of the rest of us just looking on and watchingthe Moon Shots, we non-scientists can:1. Get involved as mentors in schools2. Get energized by working as free agents3. Develop our right brains and see thebigger picture4. Work with Bill Gates to get smallerschools where Rigor, Relevance andRelationships are developed morethoroughly than in big schools.5. Continuing education. As mentioned byDan Pink in Free Agent Nation and AWhole New Mind, we will need to continuetraining to get up to speed about what iscoming next.If you wish to participate, please contact me. Makeyour own video using a digital camera or call me andIll arrange for someone to video you.Steve McCrea954 646 8246 954 OH MUCHOSteveEnglishTeacher@hotmail.comMentorsOnVideo.org59
  60. 60. 7Ten Ways to Extend YourChild’s EducationHello, Reader,We have found that many parents take quite an interest in PatHarris’ message about anger management. Obviously she’shitting a chord, ringing a bell and hitting a note with people whenshe asks:“Does anger manage your kids or do your kidsmanage their anger?” Part of her message is on a video that is available on a CD (you can view it on a computer). The questions are helpful for kids. The audio letters on her web sites (www.Pat-, when listened to by parents and child together, helpto gently raise issues that families often avoid.Pat Harris, a family thearpist, has a list of ten points to help extendeducation – and this booklet is your opportunity to “ask the rightquestions” (as Bill Mayer suggests on Share thislist with a child in your life.Are you ready to share responsibility for your child’seducation? We’re talking about more than just theacademic schooling of this future adult who is under yourcare. Let’s take this journey step by step:What Are Our Options? 60
  61. 61. 1. What is your childs learningstyle? There are many ways of taking in informationand many ways to express what we have learned. TheInternet has several surveys to help you and your childfind out the method(s) your child uses to learn.Audio: Does your child prefer to hear new informationrather than read it? Can your child hear you once and“get it” (with your needing to repeat your request)?Musical: Does your child learn facts more quickly withrhythm? Most of us learned the alphabet with thealphabet song.Internal or Introspective: Does your child prefer towork alone? Does your child like to write? Interactive and Social: Does your child learn by talking a subject over with a classmate? Does your child enjoy working with a group? 3-D, Visual and Numerical: Are numbers easy for your child to remember? Does your child remember a phonenumber “because it’s easy to see the pattern”? Can yourchild draw a three-dimensional figure like a pyramid orbox?Active: Does your child learn by doing? “Just let mefigure it out myself” without reading the instructions?61
  62. 62. ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactive “disorder” isreally a variable attention ability (VAA), since manystudents with ADD can stay focused on something thatinterests them. Does your child have variable attention?That’s a gift, too.2. Does your child have alibrary card? Good -- use it. Introduce yourchild to the library. Know where to find the referencesand the sources of information. You need that librarycard number to use the Electronic Library Do you set an example by visiting thelibrary and using your library card?At the Broward Main Library Many people haven’t been in a library since graduating from high school or college. Not having a college degree is not a reason to avoid a library. Peter Jennings, the news anchor for ABC news (who recently died fromcancer), never completed college, yet he read voraciously 3throughout his life. Jennings showed all of us how totake information from a book and apply it to our dailylives. In addition to reading widely, he wrote books“with just a high school diploma.”Here’s how to demonstrate the power of a library to achild:Step 1: I went onto the Internet and looked up PeterJennings to find an example of a book that he hadwritten.What Are Our Options? 62
  63. 63. Step 2: I searched for a review of his book and found thefollowing comments in a web log:“My family is a great fan of his television programWorld News Tonight, and I was honored to receivehis excellent History book (The Century for YoungPeople), which I enjoyed reading greatly. It is filledwith interesting facts and interviews with people whohave experienced the actual events. It is thegreatest book I have read, and if you know of any young people, you should make sure to get the book for them. “ Adora Svitak Step 3: I went to the library and found the book. I didn’t check it out, but I looked at it for 30 minutes. Spending time with a book can be as important as actually readingit.Step 4: I have an “I want to remember this” notebook.I write important notes in my IWTRT notebook.You, too, can interact with a library. Adjust your visit tothe learning style of the child. An active learner can beshown how to look up articles from 50 years ago. Whatdid the newspaper print on December 7, 1941?63
  64. 64. A visual learner needs magazines and things that can bemanipulated and moved. Some libraries have kits formath that students can use to demonstrate geometry tothemselves.If your child is a social learner, then visit the libraryduring a book reading, where other kids are sitting in acircle listening to one of the many workshops given atthe library (which is more than just a place to storebooks).If your child is a quiet or introverted learner, let yourchild select a quiet place to sit with books chosen for anundisturbed session of “just looking.”In short, just showing up at the library is just the firststep. You act as a role model for your child in how toimmerse yourself in the resources available at the library.3. What example do you set foryour child? Do you look at life as a series ofproblems or opportunities? Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Lemons or lemonade? Show your child how to react to a gray day. Do you have a Positive Mental Attitude? (This includes the example you set as anWhat Are Our Options? 64
  65. 65. adult, as an uncle, an aunt, a grandparent or as a neighboror a person in line at the post office.) 1. Do you ask out loud, “How can I learn from my situation?” Does the child hear you turn mountains into anthills? Here’s a suggested “reframing” or self-talk: Is it really a problem? Well, it’s just what it is. It’s a situation. It doesn’t have to consume me. 2. It happened yesterday. All I have is right now, not yesterday or tomorrow. 3. Could I do anything different today? I sure can. The choice is mine. To take charge of my thinking, my situation and my actions. 4. Life is a process. Self-talk: “I am still learning and growing. My children know that I make mistakes and I let them make mistakes.” I use words like “I’m sorry,” and “forgive me.” 5. Excuses are not helpful. Blaming someone else does not help me. Self-talk: “A mistake is an opportunity to learn.” When we blame someone else or give excuses, we miss an opportunity to learn. 6. Give examples of encouragement. When I “help” another person “because he doesn’t know how to get out of the hole he dug for himself,” I am enabling or DISabling the person. Don’t do anything for the children that the children can do for themselves. (Maria Montessori said that.) Dependency doesn’t promote good self- esteem.65
  66. 66. Here are some samples of “words of encouragement”: “Try it again.” “How can you do it differently?” “You’ve got the idea. Keep going.” “What does that word mean to you?” When a child is stuck and says “I don’t know how to explain it,” you can say, “Give me an example.” These words will encourage a child to “perform her understanding.”4. Focus on your childsintentions. Instead of being critical, comment onthe action. If your child surprises you with a toastedsandwich to welcome you home after work, don’t pointout that the bread is burned. Say, “How thoughtful ofyou to prepare something for me. Can you show mehow you did it?” (then you can see what your child didincorrectly). “The next time, check the setting of thetoaster, but I’m so happy that you thought of me.”What Are Our Options? 66
  67. 67. 5. Accept the fact that we areall teachers. Dont blame the school for gaspsthat you see in the education of our youth. When wasthe last time you volunteered to speak to a class ofmiddle school students? We are mentors. We can eachparticipate – and your child will notice that you careabout what happens in the school. Even a patient with aserious disease takes charge of her condition by askingquestions and looking for the right treatment. If herrelationship with her doctor is not positive, she works tofix it or she has the right terminate services and getanother doctor. If your relationship with a school isn’tworking, you can fix it or find a school that meets your child’s needs. For example, do you know what Bill Gates says about schools today? (It’s about the 3 Rs and you as a mentor to bring relevance and relationships intoschools.) You can find out Encourage your child to talkabout his or her frustrations.Validate their feelings. Remember to use the “I”statement. When your child says that a “former” friend isa [negative label], ask the child to reframe and make itpersonal: “I feel [hurt, isolated, lonely, left out] when myfriend [laughed at me, didn’t invite me to the party,etc.].”67
  68. 68. 7. Keep the door open to communication. But dont force your kids to talk to you. If you make time to listen, someday your child will come with a problem. Instead of saying “Can’t this wait?” or “You waited until NOW to tell me this?” you can “reframe” or restate the situation: “Honey, I’m ready to give you my full attention. What’s on your mind?” 8. Take a time out before you have a temper tantrum. What’s your anger cue? What is your method for handling your fear (which is behind the anger)? Be a model to your child about how to handle disappointment.7 9. Expose your children to different cultures. Visit museums and street fairs in different neighborhoods. It helps your child to accept differences. We live in a salad bowl. Show your child that you are continuing to learn new things about other cultures and that your preconceptions are sometimes inaccurate or lacking information. Another culture is less threatening when we know the food and art of that culture. What Are Our Options? 68
  69. 69. Are you depending on schools to do the work ofintroducing children to other cultures? Have you seenthe pressures on teachers and principals to meet newacademic standards? It’s pretty difficult, so the power isin your hands. You’re one of the adults in the child’slife. It’s okay to accept differences. We can learn. Wecan discover that red onions and bell peppers taste greatin my salad, but reed onions alone are a bit strong.When I have them in my salad, they enhance the taste.Drive into different communities. Look for similaritiesand the big question: What do we have in common?Ask the right questions. There is power in asking theright questions.Why do I reject things? Why? Because I haven’t givenmyself permission to try something new or to accept thepossibility that there are other ways to do what I do.There are several roads up to the mountain top, not justmy path. But until I accept that, I don’t’ want to allowmy family to go on any other path – it wouldn’t be safe!Let’s have a new experience at least once a week. If youfeel scared, embrace the fear and honor the experience.69
  70. 70. 10. Allow your children tomake decisions. Anytime you do somethingfor a child that they can do for themselves, you aredisabling your child. This means “allow your child to make mistakes and learn from them.” It would be so much easier for you to do something for your child so your child doesn’t feel the embarrassment and pain of making a mistake. It is oftenmore stressful for you to stand back and watch your childstumble, but your child will learn by doing. Go to for math help Overcome fear at Get a new look at history at Learn a new way of learning at Visit for free audio lettersTeach your child how to ask for help. Resources areavailable. This is how you get your needs met. If there’sa situation, there has to be a solution. (Isn’t that a nice“self talk”?). Teaching problem-solving skills to yourchild…and demonstrate how to approach a problem. Letyour child see you confused, talk about your doubts andthen how you “self-talk” yourself into a positive mentalattitude. What is the problem? Whose problem is it?What options do I have? Allow the child to explore whatworks and find out what doesn’t work.Consequences can be positive or negative.Life is about choices and decisions (not just aboutavoiding risk or struggling to maintain everything “justthe way it was”).What Are Our Options? 70
  71. 71. I read, therefore I get more information, therefore I thinkand know that things change. Almost nothing remainsthe same. It’s important as a parent that I focus on the Big Picture – yes, grades are important, school is important, but life skills are more important. I need to promote growth and development instead of reacting. I am responding to modeling. How can I regulate or take charge of JUST ME? “I am operating in love or fear – it’s a choice. Ichoose love.”71
  72. 72. ConclusionEight of these actions are non-academic, but -- surprise! Yourchilds grades will improve. Following these guidelines will leadyour child to develop a strong emotional foundation. Your childwill feel good and will have positive self esteem (built over yearsof effort).To find a survey of learning styles on the Internet, search“learning styles worksheet” or go and scroll down to LearningStyles.Therapists are often observed to be “giving advice.”A lot of therapy actually comes from asking questionslike “How does that make you feel?” and “What do youwant to change in your thinking?” and “How do youwant to reframe that?” and “How could you do thatdifferently?”This booklet is not new information to you. You know it.That’s why it looks like good advice.What Are Our Options? 72
  73. 73. Anger Management: A set of questions forstudents and parentsUse this list with the Anger Management 8-minute videoWhat are your answers to the questions on the video?1. Does anger manage you or do you manage anger?2. What do we do with anger?3. Do we displace anger?Do we get angry at home and then bring our anger to school?4. What is your anger cue?What do you feel on your body when you get angry?5. What is our “Self Talk”?What do we tell ourselves? What did you tell yourself the last time you got angry? 6. Give an example of a Positive Self Talk. 7. What’s behind the anger? ** 8. What is the source of the fear you are feeling? 9. What does Pat say in the fifth minute? It’s time for ______to t______c________ of _____.10. In minute 6: I b________ it ______ to ____11. What’s the next step? Minute 6:30, we f_____ on a s_____.12. What happened when Pat “tried” to pick up the stapler?**Hint: (There’s fear and we try to hide that fear)In the “More Technology” section, what tips did you discover thatare useful to you? Perform your understanding by calling 954 646824673
  74. 74. When your child says, “I don’t have anyhomework...”When your child says, “I finished myhomework…”Visit these web and click on “100 Museums” EXTRA ACTIVITIES (when you are finished with homework – time for more!) (lots of categories to explore) click on “SCHOOL” in the left hand margin “Homework Help” Lots of activities from the Discovery Channel Big green screen with many categories (to learn about interesting cultures) Get an email account with a disposable servicelike yahoo or hotmail to participateOTHER a general web site for learning A general web site for learning Italian links to othersitesSCIENCES help for Sciencehomework lots of fun andeducation a useful gateway to a variety ofweb sitesSOCIAL STUDIES (of course!) (for social studies) A site created by a Social Studies teacher inPalm Beach County. Boston Public Library’s pagefor Kids (fun) National Council for Social for teachers.What Are Our Options? 74
  75. 75. Did you ever wonder where teachers learned so much? They created a world puzzle.Lifetime Transitions and Anger (audio letters are available for you to downloadand hear)READING Practice reading on these sites. National Councilfor Teachers of English has a book Read about urban legends and find the Over 10,000 books online (FREE) More Homework Help For kids who love books Book lists to give you ideas about what to read next! SEARCH on “reading for middle school” a collection of interesting quizzes more quizzes MATH (for general help with math) (an artistic and visual way of learning about math) Click on “challenging problems” for interesting math exercises. Good pages for (for advanced math training) (the National Council for Teachers of Math) A math exerciseTake the Middle School Math Challenge Your Math Skills (requires Shockwave plug-in) Math Library Counts-Math for Middle School Institute-Open Ended Math Problems for Middle SchoolStudents Dr. Math you have other web sites that you enjoy? Send your suggestions  All of these links are active
  76. 76. 8Five Things that mighthelp a parent(Five Useful Things About How Your ChildLearns – new information about the brain)Five Useful Things about the Brainand How Your Child LearnsThis chapter will be divided into sections that will includesome interesting materials. You are invited to read straightthrough or to visit pages that you find interesting.Go ahead, skip around the chapter and read what catchesyour eye.Five Things1. Right and Left: the brain is divided in two parts. Theconnection between the two sides makes a big difference:do you have a thick or thin connection? Girls and boysreally do learn differently. Shouldn’t they be taughtdifferently?Michael Guerlain and his institute for learning differences…The Brain Game by Dr. Nancy SnydermanDo you want to learn something fascinating?When Lori and Rich Boulware of Kendall Park, N.J., hit the roadrecently, their navigational radars were tuned into differentfrequencies. Rich used a mental map, while Lori used landmarks toget around. As the couple tried to get around a tricky area of town,Rich said, "Turn left on Webster," while Lori said, "You have toturn before the ice cream cone."Dr. Helen Fisher, an expert in gender differences, says theWhat Are Our Options? 76