Saturday, January 23, 2016


Photo source:  Getty Images/Vetta 

Yesterday I read a very disturbing account of a 10 year old boy who was caught throwing rocks at cars driving by.  The police were called and while trying to get information, the boy kept walking away and refusing to cooperate.  It wasn't long before he got really fed up and started mouthing off at the police woman.  She put handcuffs on him.  That really set him off.  "Why are you putting cuffs on me, you ###@@@##ing pig?"  "Because you are throwing rocks at cars!" 

The cussing with many F-bombs was continuous.  All the while this was going on the boy's mother was videoing the whole event.  Instead of stepping in to stop her son being so incredibly rude and out of control, all the mother did was say that this video was going up on Facebook to show what the police were doing to her precious, [disgustingly-behaved] son. I am not sure if she realized that the evidence would show those who saw it what a bad job she had done raising her son.  All in all it was a shocking display of bad manners by the mother and son. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!


a) I have heard parents say some terrible things to their kids and I am sure you have also.  The 
    children feel hurt and often just copy their parents in hurting others.  They feel it's OK.
b) When parents show disrespect towards authority, kids will do the same.  
c) When there is a sense of entitlement, it causes a lack of respect, and frustration when people 
    cannot get what they want.  They often lash out, steal or destroy.  
d) When there are no boundaries, kids fail to learn what respect for others means.

It is not up to the school system to teach children what being respectful means.  Sure, there are consequences in place at school when disrespect is demonstrated, but it is not appropriate for kids to only learn the hard way, especially when there is a lack of role modelling at home.


Yesterday I watched my 4 and 5 year old grandsons at Tae Kwon Do.  The master sure taught them respect.  He stood no nonsense at all and as soon as they put a foot wrong he corrected them straight away by issuing a consequence.  I didn't know that such little children could sit still and not move at all for 3 minutes and yet they all did it.  When ever he spoke to them, they had to call loudly, "Yes, Sir!"  There was certainly order in the class.

We need to respect one another.  That means we speak kindly, think of others before ourselves and look for ways to make others' lives more enjoyable.  We need to teach our kids the importance of giving and let them experience the feeling of joy in seeing others feeling valued.


a)  Respect in return
b)  Good friends
c)  Others' trust
d)  Job security
e)  Respectful, happy kids and a peaceful home

Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families


If there’s one thing that causes parents of young children consternation, it’s bed wetting. I must have got my parents ticked a lot because they had to deal with my lapses for years! Did I wet the bed on purpose? NO. I wasn’t conscious enough in the middle of the night to have a meeting with myself and make an executive decision that it was time now to upset my Mom and Dad.

Getting angry with a child because they wet the bed only causes the child more anxiety and the problem could get even worse. It certainly doesn’t solve the problem.  I read of an instance where a young boy's parents were so angry at his bed wetting that they would try to shame him by hanging his sheets out the window where everyone could see.  He actually became one of the world's fastest runners because he would bolt out of school every afternoon and get home to remove the sheets before anyone from school saw them.

I found some research written by Dr. Howard J. Bennett, author of the book, Waking Up Dry: A Guide to help Children Overcome Bed Wetting.  Dr. Bennett states that scolding kids can lead to lower self-esteem, make school a less-successful environment (potential embarrassment and/or fear of wetting pants at school) and cause the child to have difficulties making and keeping friends. He says. “Parents punish because they’re exasperated or they think the child does it on purpose or isn’t trying hard enough.”

Here’s what Dr. Bennett suggests as a script next time this happens with your child:

Instead of, “You’re too old to have accidents.”
Say, “It looks like you peed. Let’s get you out of those pajamas and put new sheets on your bed.”

Rather than fueling your kid’s frustration or sense of failure, you’re showing her that cleanup is a team effort – and so is finding a way to stay dry at night. (Make sure you have a waterproof cover on the mattress)

Instead of, “If you wet the bed again, we’re taking away video games and TV privileges.”
Say, “If you are able to stay dry tonight, we can add a sticker to your chart.”

Docking privileges for peeing at night is akin to chastising a kid for sneezing. Rewards for staying dry, though, can help build confidence, especially for younger kids.

Instead of saying to your other children, Your brother wet the bed again!”

Say, “Nothing’s wrong, sweetie. I’m just helping your brother make up his bed.”

Playing down the incident can quell sibling taunting – and won’t exacerbate your child’s embarrassment or shame. I remember the shame I felt. After much discussion with the Doctor he deduced that my parents were forcing me to eat everything on my plate and maybe my action was a sub-conscious rebellion.  I don't remember. When my parents ceased that the bed-wetting stopped!

What might be causing your child’s anxiety level to be so heightened?

Written by Brian Burgess, Forefront Families



There are three types of bullying.  Physical bullying refers to harming another person’s body or property.  Emotional bullying refers to harming another person’s self worth such as name calling, verbal put downs, being stood over or verbally harassed. Social bullying refers to harming one’s group acceptance, being publicly humiliated or ostracized  Anyone, any age can be a bully.  Bullying is deadly serious and a very  common problem amongst groups of people.  Bullying is not one single incident, but repeated intimidation.


There are various reasons why people bully others.  If a child bullies they may be modeling the behavior of a bullying parent, or an action hero.  They may feel insecure and feel the need to establish superiority over others.  They may have an inflated ego, considering others to be beneath them, therefore boosting their pride.  Sadly, some bullies get a buzz out of the fearful reaction of the victim.  Bullies thrive on dominance and power.

Bullies target those who will not challenge them.  They usually surround themselves with friends they can call on to protect them in case the bullying backfires on them.  (This indicates that they are really cowards underneath).  They pick on kids who are smaller or weaker than them, kids with poor social skills, kids who display physical difficulties and kids who won’t retaliate.


  • Tell your children what bullying means - what it looks like and why people do it.
  • Teach your children about respecting others - what it means and what it looks like.
  • Watch out for bullying tendencies within your own family and deal with it quickly.  
  • Get professional advice if necessary.
  • Watch out for 'stand over' tactics with one child over another in your family. 
  • Schools should have a ‘no bullying’ program and students and parents need to be aware of the process of reporting bullying.  
  • Work places should make it known to workers that they are free to discuss such concerns with the HR department without incrimination or retaliation. Whistle blowers should be protected.
  • Watch out for changes in your child’s behavior e.g. reticence to go to school or play with particular children.
  • Encourage your children to talk to you if they feel afraid of ANYONE.
  • DO NOT take matters into your own hands by marching to a bully’s home.  You might be standing right in front of a bully parent.  Hostility does not solve situations.
  • Do not put up with work intimidation. Report repeated bullying to the HR Department.
Written by Sally and Brian Burgess, Forefront Families


As parents, we sometimes go too far trying to help and protect our kids from life's harsh realities and disappointments. We don't want our kids to struggle like we did.  Therefore, we are tempted to hover and coddle in a wave of over-protection.

But Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Dan Kindlon says that over-protected children are more likely to struggle in relationships and with challenges.
  We're sending our kids the message that they're not capable of helping themselves.

To quote clinical psychologist Dr. Wendy Mogel:
"It is our job to prepare our children for the road, not prepare the road for our children."

They need to know how to deal with failure.  EVERYONE fails.  It is a fact of life.  We can't protect our kids from it.  For one thing we will not always be there to catch them.  We cannot afford to allow them to think their negative situation is always the fault of someone else.  We need to teach them to accept responsibility for unwise decisions they make in life.  Therefore, we need to teach them about failure and how we can turn failure into success.  There are plenty of examples in history to bring to their attention.

The Bible tells us that "The rain falls on the just and the unjust."  In other words, 'stuff happens'.  We need to deal with it and move on.  Making the best of the situation teaches our kids optimism instead of pessimism.

Ann Landers is quite right when she says, "It is our responsibility to teach our children to become mature, reliable, responsible adults who will, in turn, become role models for their own children."

Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families.