Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today on Tennessee Mornings: What do you say to your kids when their role models take a fall?

If you're visiting my site today because you saw my segment on Tennessee Mornings, welcome!

When celebrities that our kids are well-acquainted with, like Lindsay Lohan of the great family features like "The Parent Trap," "Freaky Friday," and "Herbie," take a moral fall, we can use the opportunity to talk to our kids about some valuable life lessons. Before you start talking, however, be sure that you are ready to be a good listener who respects your child's thoughts and opinions. You're not going after a time of lecture; you are aiming for a dialogue and an opportunity to have a conversation with your child that takes your relationship deeper.

Ask, What happened to Lindsay? Open up the dialogue by finding out what your child knows or doesn’t know about what’s happened. Summarize the issue briefly: Lindsay abused drugs and alcohol. She got in trouble and was given a certain punishment or set of boundaries by which she had to abide. She continued to make bad choices by ignoring what a judge told her to do and dismissing her punishment. So now, she is going to jail. Remember: It’s critical that you give your child time to talk. Give her room to process the information. Let her talk without thinking about what you’re going to say next, because if you do that, you miss everything she's saying. (And I’ve been so guilty of doing that as a parent—that’s something that I really have to watch about myself.)

How do we turn these current events into a platform for sharing life lessons with our kids when we begin talking? Use this simple acronym: ROLE.

R—Real-Life Choices

O—Owning Your Behavior

L—Living with Consequences

E—Emulating Good Mentors


Have you got a child in middle school? Check out my book, Season of Change: Parenting Your Child with Passion and Purpose. Order today and get free shipping!

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