Why We Accept Unhealthy Relationships

 

friendshiphand

Some news stories grip you right in the gut with an immediate reaction of condemnation for those who have committed unspeakable acts.  The reaction is multifold when those involved are children, teenagers, or the disabled.

The article that follows this author’s preface reveals details of a high-functioning, autistic teenager who was abused by two teenage girls.  The startling fact is his insistence on maintaining a friendship with his abusers.

It may be easy for us to assume his autism is the cause for the way he feels.  Then again, there are many teens–adults, too–who struggle with the concept of a healthy friendship or a romantic relationship.  This could be distorted by the primary relationship with parents, the modeling of a relationship, the warped perspective of friendships on television, and even the natural immaturity of young people.

I believe this teenage boy is representative of many, in the sense that we all want for attention and want to feel like we belong.  The emptiness of being ignored or passed by can be more difficult to endure than the slights of a so-called-friend or sporadic verbal or physical abuse that might accompany a relationship.

The identification of a true friend and the qualities of a healthy friendship is not simple.  This process requires a skill set that includes critical thinking and questioning.  Would a friend call me names? Would a friend laugh at me when I am seriously hurt?  Would a friend lie to me?

To be clear, real, solid friendships go through their ups and downs.  If you have a high level of respect and care for each other, then, most likely, you are in possession of a priceless gift–a true friend.

Understanding the imperative relationship to have is the one with self, to accept a high level of self-respect, appreciate one’s quirks and to embrace being alone.  We spend more time with ourselves than anyone else, best to develop that friendship.

“You can never be happy as someone’s other half unless you can be happy as a whole all on your own.” –Anonymous

Follow link for original story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/autistic-md-boy-says-he-wants-to-resume-relationship-with-girls-accused-of-abusing-him/2014/04/20/21551f20-c266-11e3-bcec-b71ee10e9bc3_story.html

For more information about our programs for parents and educators please follow http://www.turningstonechoice.com

Sammy@TURNING STONEchoice

 

 

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Get Your Head in the Clouds

cumulus-clouds

Ever been worn down to the nub, feeling your metaphorical pencil is no longer sharp, your point is really nonexistent, yet, somehow, you keep on functioning, not very effectively, in a state of pointlessness? I think it’s difficult to remain fresh and sharp, constantly in the zone. People of all walks of life get burned out from living life–be it school, work, or worthy causes. Even family and friends can wear you down. It’s hard to keep it all together, isn’t it? We all need a break or a charge to keep us moving forward with the daily responsibilities set before us.

Some of us are completely unaware of the need to take it easy or recharge our spirits, because getting burned out sneaks up on us slowly, if we don’t learn to recognize the signs we may end up with a joyless life. There are many forms of burnout: physical, mental, emotional; and all of them can wreak havoc on our person. The good news is most of what is taking us to the depths can be changed through simple choices–choices that brighten the person we are on the inside. For some, that could be spending time dancing in the kitchen to loud music, having lunch with a friend, or reading a book in one sitting. I believe we, as a society, get so hung up on productivity and accomplishments that, in the name of productivity, we ignore and turn our backs on the things that bring us joy.

Interestingly, the one complaint I hear most from adults is that they, myself included, are so tired. If we make a conscious effort to engage daily in the things that bring us joy, I wonder if we would feel as beat as we do.

Children, too, are not immune to fatigue and burnout. The rigors of school, homework, packed after-school schedules, and back to school again, can take a toll on a little life that might just need to take a breath and make a paper airplane, spill Legos all over the floor, or pick blades of grass and look at cloud animals in the sky.

Do you remember the last time you gazed into the sky seeking a rabbit? Don’t have time for that? Maybe taking the time to choose a joy builder will give you the extra jump to accomplish the next mundane task you have. Making joy a priority in our lives is an empowering choice toward living a worthwhile life.

I could list the signs of burn-out and list the ways to bring joy into life but I believe most of us are living burned out lives and what brings joy to one person isn’t exactly the spirit lifter for another. I will simply ask, do you feel tired, fatigued, hitting the wall, beat, exhausted? Then perhaps it is time to embrace some simple joys and get our heads back in the clouds.

Enjoy spring break!

For more information about our programs for parents and educators please follow http://www.turningstonechoice.com

Sammy@TURNING STONEchoice

 

Parent Teacher Partnership

parent teacher crossword Although there are only a few months left in the school year, it is never too late to foster a partnership between parents and teachers. Parent-teacher partnership refers to parents and teachers working collaboratively together to enhance student achievement and to ensure student success. One of the most frustrating trends in schools is how the level of parental involvement decreases as a child’s age increases.  It is an extremely discouraging fact because children of all ages would benefit if their parents would stay involved.  Parent-teacher partnerships and relationships are essential, no matter how old the student. The relationship between parents and teachers remains as important for high school students as it is for middle and elementary school students. There are many benefits to a parent-teacher partnership:

  • When parents and teachers work together it sends a clear, consistent, and positive message to students that school is important, that learning is important and that achievement is expected.
  • Parent involvement can free teachers to focus more on the task of teaching children. By having more contact with parents, teachers learn more about students’ needs and home environment.  Teacher morale is also improved by having parents who are involved.
  • Research proves that parent involvement benefits students by raising their academic achievement, increases motivation for learning, improves behavior, and promotes a positive attitude towards school in general.

An important aspect of building this relationship includes a teacher’s understanding of a parent’s perspective. Having a better understanding of the families’ work demands, needs of other children and individual beliefs and goals for educational success help educators determine the best way to engage and communicate with parents.

Family and school represent the primary environments in which young children grow and develop, and good schools value parental involvement. The foundation for good parent-teacher relationships is frequent and open communication, mutual respect and a clear understanding of what is best for each individual child.

Share your thoughts on how to enhance the parent-teacher relationship in the comment box below.

For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and our programs please follow www.turningstonechoice.com.

Getting Personal with Author, Chris Avery

chris_averyAuthor, Chris Avery shares some insight on the creative process behind his latest young adult novel, Angst.  ANGST chronicles the complicated lives of three best friends attempting to navigate the perils of freshman year in high school while dealing with the realities of teen life.

Describe your book in one sentence!
Angst is an inspiring youth novel, detailing the exploits of three teens navigating and overcoming the travails of high school.

Angst

What inspired you to write about teenagers?
When TURNING STONEchoice (TSC) approached me to write a book for young adults, I  immediately recognized  the need for an honest attempt to write something that would help young people become self- empowered. Few of today’s novels have positive role models or a message of hope for readers. As a father of three teens, I am constantly amazed by the stories shared and challenges they and their friends encounter. Today’s youth are bombarded with divorce, drugs, pressures to grow up too quickly, and many more issues that seem to be more vigilant now than previous generations. I hope Angst provides a roadmap for a possible path to navigate their landscape. And, although not perfect, Angst is a possible solution for students facing similar problems.

Parental loss in many forms seemed to be a weaving theme throughout the book.   Can you talk about those variations and significance?
Throughout the book, I attempt to paint a picture that would be relatable to today’s teens. The definition of ‘family’ continues to evolve. Consequently, I wanted to have numerous types of families in the book and help students recognize the normalcy of difference . All families are different. However, core values and respect are key to keep families close to each other. When loss of a parent occurs, whether through death or divorce, children often have trouble truly coping. While more resilient than most adults recognize, children need guidance from adults and peers to serve as support networks. Angst delivers that message by demonstrating numerous children dealing with this issue of loss and family disruption, and details how they cope. While it is never easy, it is important to see how they survive and work to thrive through it all.

What did you enjoy most about writing Angst?
I enjoyed talking to young people. The TSC approach to engage young people through conversation and allowing them to voice their view of the world and how they fit in it was at the core of my approach. I interviewed a lot of teens and parents before and while writing the book. I asked about what makes their families special and what do they wish they could tell their parents or children, respectively. These conversations really shaped the layout of the book and helped inform me about the sincerity of families to love and respect each other, but how life too often gets in the way. The book allowed me to get closer to my own children and my wife, as we spoke openly about our parenting philosophy and how we communicate with our children .

Any future book projects on your literary plate?
Angst inspired me to begin writing a parenting handbook. From interviews preparing me for the Angst project, I recognized reoccurring themes that would help parents better show their love and dreams for their children. The project has allowed me to collaborate with other parent authors and talk about relationships with our children and how to impart our knowledge without dominating our children’s lives. TSC’s emphasis on helping families has been an inspiring opportunity for me to be a part and I have been thrilled to write on these projects.

“. . . remember that the only thing standing between you and your greatness is yourself.  Take control of your life, and enjoy every second.”  Angst

To enjoy your personal copy of Angst follow click here or at Amazon.

For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and our programs please visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com.