- Top Tips For Parents
Issue #2 August 16, 2005
'Always Another Chance!' is published by Frank McGinty for opt-in subscribers only.
In This Edition
1. Editorial: Rockin' Moms
2. Feature Article: Teaching Respect And Values In Today's Society
3. Laugh It Off!
4. Think About It!
5. General & Unsubscribe Info
Welcome to the second issue of 'Always Another Chance!'
This morning on the news and in the papers I heard about a
craze that's sweeping America - Mom Rock.
Have you heard of it?
It was started by a group of mothers who felt the endless
routine of the school run, washing dirty socks and burning
the dinner was just a little bit stressful. :-)
So they took up their guitars and drumsticks and are making
their way into the heady world of rock.
Groups such as 'Rockin' Moms' and 'Frump' are churning out
songs like 'Eat Your Damn Spaghetti' and 'Dishwashing Blues'
One of the leading lights, Joy Rose, said: 'Our message is
down to earth: we all have a hard time, we work hard and
have issues to deal with, but music is our Prozac. It is
Well, anything that's good fun and keeps people off Prozac
gets my vote!
But what about Dad Rock? We're lagging behind, as usual.
Maybe I'll write a couple of Dad songs. How about, 'Ain't
No Cure For The Credit Card Blues' (a la Eddie Cochran) or
'Take My Debt Away' (a la Top Gun)?
Just a thought!
* * * * * * * *
This week I've written a special Feature Article for you on
teaching our kids values and respect.
Before you read it though, let me tell you a bit more about
why I feel qualified to write such an article.
I'm trained in psychology, and for over twenty years I've
been a Guidance Counsellor in a city high school. There
aren't many family problems I haven't come across!
Also, my wife, Grace, is a trained Social Worker, who
specialized for many years in Family and Child Care. We make
a good team!
Add to that the fact that we've three kids of our own. We
hope, then, you can learn from our successes AND our
Hope you enjoy the article, , and find it helpful. If you'd
like to get in touch, here's how:
Until next time!
2. Feature Article
Teaching Respect And Values In Today's Society
(c) Frank McGinty - All Rights Reserved
The girl's jaw dropped in horror as the police officer spoke
"Don't go there. Have you any idea how many kids have been
stabbed in the past year? They'll kill you as soon as look
at you. They have no respect for life."
The mother breathed a sigh of relief. She had come in to
school to seek my help, as I was her daughter's Guidance
Counsellor. We needed to convince the girl that the places
she was frequenting were putting her very life in danger.
Fortunately a police officer was in school that day to speak
to a Social Education class - and I got him to sit in on
So where was the young girl going that put her life in such
peril? What underground haunts were enticing her?
None other than an area of the city where two school friends
lived. But as you may guess, it was an area rife with drug
abuse and its attendant crimes. Many people there had lost
respect both for themselves and for life in general.
So how do we teach respect and values in a society that's
rapidly becoming valueless?
Believe it or not, it's relatively easy!
All we have to do is go back to basics. Remember what
Grandma used to say? - "Do unto others as you would have
them do unto you".
This might sound a bit 'corny' or 'naff' in today's world,
but if ever a saying deserved to be revitalised and repeated
again and again, this is it!
Today our kids need to learn RESPECT: - for themselves; for
other people; for other people's rights, customs and valid
beliefs; for property; for materials; and for the earth
The more people who do this, the more we will have a
counter-balance to the uncaring and disrespectful trends we
see all around.
Yes, that's all very well, but HOW do we do it?
In two ways - and as I said, it's easy!
First and foremost MODEL the values and respect you wish
your children to develop.
That's it. SHOW them by your own lifestyle. You don't even
need to articulate these values - but as we'll see later,
discussing them and commenting on them can make an even
Many successful parents are neither educated nor articulate,
and they say very little. They let their actions speak
louder than words.
There's nothing new in this. To use an old-fashioned phrase,
these parents give a good example. (Some of today's
psychologists think they've come up with a new approach when
they talk about 'modelling appropriate behaviour patterns'.
Ye-s . . !)
To be fair, many parents I talk to are unaware of the
potential they have to influence their kids. It comes as a
surprise to learn that THEY are the most influential
teachers their kids will ever have.
Our children are like sponges. They soak up our attitudes,
our habits, our speech patterns - our way of seeing the
So if YOU show respect for yourself, for others, for
property and for the earth, you won't go wrong.
But you can enhance or reinforce this process by instructing
Without lecturing or 'sermonising' we can give guidelines
for everyday activities. For example:
* leave the bathroom as you'd like to find it
* use resources like water carefully
* consider others by playing music softly or by using headphones
* give a helping hand in the classroom, in the playground, at home
* treat others with kindness, gentleness, care and sympathy
* look after yourself in the same way.
When bad or undesirable behaviour is modelled on TV or
elsewhere, comment on it and discuss why we wouldn't do
In a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society, let's help our
kids to tolerate, appreciate and even celebrate differences.
Help them realise we all have different customs and habits,
and there are pros as well as cons in these differences.
Help your child to be assertive. There's no need to be
aggressive or offensive when defending our values. We should
assert them proudly and courageously, and we should avoid a
passive denial when others are mocking.
Lastly, there's self-control. If you give a good example -
sorry, if you 'model appropriate behaviour'! - AND teach
your kids why it is important, then you and your family can
face the future with confidence.
3. Laugh It Off!
A TEENAGER IS...
- A person who can't remember to walk the dog but never
forgets a phone number.
- A weight watcher who goes on a diet by giving up candy
bars before breakfast.
- A youngster who receives her allowance on Monday, spends
it on Tuesday, and borrows it from her best friend on
- Someone who can hear his favorite singer 3 blocks away but
not his mother calling from the next room.
- A whiz who can operate the latest computer without a
lesson but can't make a bed.
4. Think About It!
"No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much
dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
--- Booker T Washington 1856
5. General & Unsubscribe Info
Always Another Chance! - Top Tips For Parents
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