Tag: consequences

Are You Using Consequences or Punishment?


One of the first questions I ask parents who come to me with teens who are experiencing behavioral issues is, “Are you using consequences or punishments?” You would be surprised at the number of parents that have never really thought about the difference between the two. (more…)

Quick Post: More Listening, Less Lecturing


lecturingDo you do more lecturing, or more listening? Recent studies have shown that teens retain about 5% of the information that is “forced” upon them, compared to the 55% they retain from open dialog and communication. (more…)

5 Warning Signs of Teen Dating Violence

teen dating violence

teen dating violenceWith the recent increase in domestic violence #Trending I think that now is a good time to talk a little bit about TeenDV, or teen dating violence. (more…)

How To Stop the Cycle of Abuse

Cycle of Abuse
Cycle of Abuse

The Cycle of Abuse

What is the cycle of abuse? “The cycle of abuse is a socialĀ  theory developed in that tries to explain the patterns of behavior that tend to occur in an abusive relationship. Every relationship and situation is different of course, but usually the cycle of abuse remains at least somewhat consistent. (more…)

Depression and Suicide in Teens: Some Warning Signs

depression and suicide

depression and suicideDepression and suicide are certainly buzz words this month. Recent celebrity deaths and social media have been hitting the depression topics pretty hard. I want to specifically talk about depression & suicide when it comes to teens and kids. (more…)

7 Helpful Back To School Tips

7TipsSchoolAs the new school year starts here in Arizona I want to share a few tips that I’ve picked up over the years. Some of the tips are safety related, some school & education, and others just general tips. Each one has proven successful more times than not and will help make the transition from Summer Days to School Days a whole lot more bearable. (more…)

The Most Valuable Lessons – Admitting Mistakes

admitting mistakesRecently one of our readers, Jenny, asked me what the single most valuable lesson we could teach our teens was. Now, I don’t know if I can break it down into one or even two specific lessons, but instead I’m going to create a new section of posts titled, “The Most Valuable Lessons” and share them with you. (more…)

Teens: Surviving The Summer

surviving the summerReader Sandy asked if I could touch on summertime and keeping teens out of trouble. I don’t believe that any specific situations cause teens to misbehave or get into trouble. Surviving the summer for teens can be brutal. It’s usually hot, potentially boring, at times unsupervised, and a possibly a recipe for trouble. I’m going to outline a few ways tell make sure that your teen is not just surviving the summer, but excelling every step of the way! (more…)

3 Reasons Why School Becomes Undesirable

school becomes undesirableWhen school becomes undesirable it can lead to many different kinds of challenges. Teens tend to act out and become defeatedĀ  when school becomes a struggle and the idea of quitting on your own terms seems better than failing at something altogether. (more…)

Warning – Sexual Abuse – The Problem with Shame

When I think about Sexual Abuse the first thing that comes to my mind is shame & abuse. For 2 years I worked with juvenile sex offenders in Arizona and almost every time the levels of shame or guilt were off the charts.

Real quick: I want to make sure everyone is on the same page here. Exposing youth to sexual situations or material is in fact sexually abusive, even if touching is not involved.

I know that we see nightly news feeds that terrorize us parents with all kind of threats to our children, but statistically this type of abuse is often perpetrated by relatives, friends & family. Sexual abuse is not limited to girls either. Studies suggest that sexual abuse among young men & boys often goes unchecked due to shame.

Shame and guilt in child sexual abuse.

Shame is a dark place that you don’t want your kids to go down. Feelings of shame & guilt can be very complex and will manifest themselves in different ways. Sexually abused children often grow up with their own sexual issues, as well as deep lasting emotional ones. Because the abused kids internalize so much of their abuse, the shame can make it difficult for any child to come forward.

A Few Reasons Why Kids Will Not Come Forward.
1. Worry that someone wont believe them.
2. Fear of retaliation from the abuser.
3. Fear that their family will be angry with them or their family will break up because they came forward.

Because of this, it’s a lot more uncommon that false accusations are made. Of course they do still happen, so I personally think that EVERY instance of suspected or reported abuse be taken seriously.

What are some warning signs of Sexual Abuse?
1. The child has difficulty walking or sitting.
2. The child has an advanced knowledge of sex and sexual acts that are not appropriate to their age.
3. The child makes a STRONG effort to avoid specific people and situations.
4. The child resists changing clothing or doing certain physical activities in front of other people.
5. The child is in crisis at home. (Running away, STD’s and pregnancy under the age of 14, physical or sexual abuse to others.)
6. The child demonstrates “grooming behavior”.

(Grooming = Gaining trust, breaking down defenses and then manipulating someone into a desired result.)

I think it’s important to talk about sexual abuse in an age appropriate manner with your kids. The doors of communication must be open and if your child knows they can talk to you and communicate effectively they are more likely to speak with you in times of personal crisis.

If you’d like to read a first hand account of some of the effects abuse can have on children, my book Child Abuse: The Ripple Effect goes into detail about what happens when the abuse ends and life comes crashing down around you.


child abuse, sexual abuse

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