Hello Everyone! I hope this Newsletter finds you a little closer to BETTER this month!

This Month’s Issue:

  • For Parents and Caregivers: Say “No” to No: Building Respectful, Responsible and Resilient Youth
  • Getting to Better Kindness Partners and Friends
  • MYRIAD Update – Amazing Training Opportunities


Say “No” to No: Building Respectful, Responsible and Resilient Youth

This particular newsletter was written to help parents/caregivers lower conflict in relationships with their youth, and promote respect while developing both responsibility and resilience simultaneously! Yes. You can do all of that in one single moment.

First, you must be sure that your goal as a caregiver is to promote and develop one or all of the following skills; Respect, Responsibility, Resilience.

Ok! Let’s get started. However, if you would rather listen to Steve discuss this topic in much less detail, feel free to check out this clip here, taken during one of his many parenting seminars.

One of the many areas where conflict and stress in caregiver-youth relationships is greatest is in moments when youth are met with one of two responses to an important request to have or do something. Those common adult responses are, “No!” or “You’ll have to wait!”  Now, some people would argue and on many days I may agree that, today’s kids don’t hear the word No enough! However, this debate is not the focus of this newsletter. Regardless of whether kids hear “No” too often or do not hear it enough, the approach offered here is helpful for all children and teens.

Parents and caregivers have had to say “No” since their babies began to grab at and reach for things. And when they started becoming mobile and getting around all over the place, it was on!  “No” was a gentle, supportive requirement for setting boundaries, limits and above all, maintaining safety.

As babies and their brains grew into infants their need to explore and learn about the world increased dramatically as did the need for caregivers to continue setting and maintaining boundaries for safety and overall child well being. The infants and their brains grew into children who questioned “no” with the ever-popular “why” question. Sometimes it was asked about everything, over and over and over and over!  I’m not sure what happened first, whether caregivers’ generations ago discovered that most children couldn’t understand the rationale behind the explanations with “no” or, whether parents everywhere just got so darn tired of answering the incessant barrage of why’s with hours of logical explanations that would never be fully realized. Whatever the reason, common parental responses took the shape of a variety of similar statements like, “Just because, that’s why”;  “because I said so, that’s why”; because that’s the way it has always been”; because I had to do it, so you have to”.  Fortunately for everyone, these responses bought most of us time.  Others may have had to be more creative.

These types of logic-less or pointless responses become ineffectual during the preteen and teen years. Most youth brains are biologically programmed to know not just “why” but more importantly “why not?”  That becomes the most popular follow up question when their request to have something or go somewhere is met with a “No” response.  They are wired and determined to know what’s the point?

For most of us parents, our “No!” to our youth is still accompanied (or followed) by a pretty good reason; whether it is about safety, boundaries, limits, role modeling etc. However, admittedly sometimes we really don’t have a clear reason, other than we’re busy; maybe we don’t have time to think it through or, it is inconvenient for us (and them eventually) to say anything other than NO. Sometimes “No” is intended to end the discussion.  Unfortunately, in many cases, especially if the request by the youth is very important to them the conversation is not over – if it does not result in an immediate and/or ongoing argument, it may be the beginning of all sorts of relationship problems. This will not be good for anyone involved.

Say “No” to No: Building Respectful, Resilient and Responsible Youth

Teens and their brains still require nurturing relationships, support and limits at a time that they are wired to learn, explore and figure things out for themselves. Parents and caregivers want their children to be respectful, responsible and resilient.

So, when your preteen or teen makes a request to have something, or go somewhere, ask them to convince you why you should say yes. Ask them for their help in demonstrating to you that this is a good idea and that the plan has details that you as a caregiver can feel good about. This is a great way to strengthen the relationship while developing the skills of respect, responsibility and resilience with the children in your life. It is also an great way to lower potential stress and conflict.

If your youth asks to go to a friend’s house for a sleep over, before you say no, ask them to develop a plan with the details around, time, drop off, pick-up, who will be there, contact person, contact numbers and a plan for time limit.  You can also talk about your concerns and considerations within the development of the plan. Have them work it out until you can feel good about it. Sometimes, our kids can come up with plans that we would not have even thought about! If it is important to them, they will take the time to do it. Remember, the more detailed the plan, the increased likelihood that it will work out for everyone.

How does this build Relationship?  It provides an opportunity for youth and caregivers to work together on something important to both of them. It also shows that caregivers are not just controlling and uncaring jerks. It provides an opportunity for youth to be trusted, empowered and self-determining; which is what they need. Finally, it provides youth with a needed sense of control in which they can work to figure things out for themselves with the support of the caregivers in their lives.

How does this build Respect? I have never heard a story about a youth getting upset with this opportunity. Most kids are quite respectful and say thank you; their energy is in grabbing some paper, a pen and going to their room to work on the plan. They are also very careful that they don’t “blow” or “screw up” this opportunity, so they are often on their best and most respectful behavior. They are practicing respect.

How does this build Responsibility? This is a task in which youth take full responsibility for developing a plan. Thinking this through, considering all involved and considering benefits and consequences is what taking responsibility is all about. Also, if they follow through with the plan, they will be  carrying out the initial responsibility even further.

How does this build Resilience? When youth engage in and are supported with caring relationships, they do better. Youth who have the capacity to demonstrate respect and behave respectfully are much more likely to be successful in other tasks and relationships. Youth who demonstrate the ability to be responsible and take responsibility are much more likely to successfully navigate a variety of life opportunities and challenges. All of these things contribute to a youth’s capacity to be resilient!


Getting to Better  – Kindness Partners and Friends

Life Vest Inside

Do you ever wish for a KINDER world? Do you ever wish you could do something that would change the world and make it even BETTER? Well Orly Wahba and Life Vest Inside  would like to give you that opportunity!

They are making it easy! By agreeing to do a small handful of 1-2 minute actions from the comfort of your chair, you can join the close to 1000 (and growing) Kindness Ambassadors to help make the world a better place!

Seriously, you are going to want to get in on this! I can’t give away all of the secrets for how LVI is poised to take the world by storm. It’s going to start real soon!

You can be part of what is going to be a KINDNESS Revolution! Check it out HERE!

See Beautiful

Lydia Criss Mays , CEO and Founder of See Beautiful  continues to promote the great work of non-profit and small projects that are determined to make the lives of others BETTER.

Did you know that See Beautiful has a great product line to raise money and support so many world enhancing causes? In addition to this, See beautiful also has some great Freebies also. Yes FREE! Check out the Great Product Line Here! You can see the wonderful freebies that also help us all See Beautiful  HERE!

Dr. Jean Clinton and Dr. Michael Ungar – Young Minds and Stress

Usually I have separate headings and information regarding my friends and colleagues Jean and Michael. However, this month I would like to feature a piece of work that the three of us were involved in together.

Here is a link to an expose that was featured on Global – Young Minds and Stress. Jean, Michael and I offer important messages for all caregivers of children.


MYRIAD Update – Amazing Training Opportunities

Steve and the MYRIAD Team are looking forward to making Great Training Available to more great People.

Keep your eyes open for the Following:

Save this Date! November 14, 2013 -Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada

Engaging Kids Involved in Systems: The Brain, The Environment, The Whole Child with Dr. Jean Clinton and Stephen de Groot

The curriculum is still under revision, but you can check out the original outline here.

October 2013 – Winnipeg Manitoba TBA

Responsive Leadership: Relational and Strengths Based Strategies for Supervisors and Managers

This training was sold out in Winnipeg and Recommended by 100% of all participants – Check out the Overview Here!

October 2013Calgary Alberta TBA

Responsive Leadership: Relational and Strengths Based Strategies for Supervisors and Managers

This training was sold out in Winnipeg and Recommended once again by 100% of all participants – Check out the Overview Here!

November 2013 – NSW Australia TBA Soon!