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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Parenting on The Kovacs Perspective

After a two-day break from blogging, I'm back to announce the details of tonight's episode on The Kovacs Perspective with host +Steve Kovacs. The theme for our broadcast is Parenting, and both of the issues we'll be covering with our guests tonight are of paramount importance. If you have kids, I can pretty much guarantee that you're going to be vitally interested in at least one of the segments, and probably both. Be sure to watch the live broadcast, on tonight at 9 PM eastern time. The get to the show itself, click here. That link will take you directly to the broadcast as it comes from WTOE.

Our first guest is Craig Wiener, who has an educational doctorate and is a licensed psychologist, and is the author of the book, "Parenting Your Child with ADHD: A No-nonsense Guide for Nurturing Self-reliance and Cooperation." He's going to be talking about dealing with an all-too-common issue facing parents of young children today. ADHD is something that has had a personal impact on me, as well as on my daughter, so I'm very interested to hear what he has to say on the subject.

One of the topics our guest will be addressing, is how to treat ADHD without resorting to the use of medication. For myself, being attention deficit was something I had to learn to live with as a child, and this was long before there was even an available diagnosis. Hyperactivity was the closest they came to any knowledge of it, and Ritalin wasn't something that was commonly used until the 1990s. I have to say I'm grateful for that. If I'd been put on medication I'd never have learned how to exist without it.

When my daughter was diagnosed ADHD, I refused medication. As far as I was concerned, it wasn't safe. There weren't enough long-term studies done on the effects of the drug, and for all I knew she could have ended up having children with six legs, or cancer of the hippocampus. It wasn't something I was willing to risk when it came to the person that meant more to me than life itself. Instead I chose to teach her how to process information differently. I knew from personal experience that we had to try alternate ways of thinking.

When I saw the guest request for Craig Wiener, I was thrilled with the idea that someone - a professional no less - had chosen a different route. He's a psychologist who isn't just handing off the problem to a medical doctor for a prescription. So, if you're the kind of parent that I was as my daughter was growing up, you're going to be very interested in everything this man has to say.

Our second guest, Jennifer Hancock, is the author of a book on a very timely subject called, "The Bully Vaccine," and she's going to be on to discuss the skills parents need to teach their children so that they can deal effectively with the bullies in their lives. She's got a great program going called The Bully Vaccine Project, that teaches these skills. I know what it was like to be picked on in school, and I'm sure many of my readers do, too. It's such a common problem, and it always has been.

The big issue about bullying these days, however, is that it seems the problem is getting so much more serious. Young children are killing themselves as a result of being bullied. Particularly in cases of LGBT youth. Suicide should never even be in the realm of thought for children, yet the pain from bullying is so intense that they consider death a viable option. They go to school, terrified of what the day will bring, and they come home physically beat-up and emotionally scarred. At night, when they're tucked in bed, supposedly trying to sleep, they cry as silently as possible so their parents don't know how bad things really are.

This is not the way a child should be living. Bullying has to be dealt with, and it has to be dealt with effectively. Even if you don't think your children are being bullied, you could be wrong. They could be hiding it from you. Maybe they don't want you to think they're weak for 'letting themselves' get beat up. Maybe they think you have enough to worry about, without their problems adding to the list. Or, maybe, just maybe, you happen to be the parent of a child who is doing the bullying. If you are, how would you know?

If your child is a bully, do you really want that for them? They will often carry that guilt through the rest of their lives. They bully to regain power they feel they don't have for some reason, so if your child is a bully it's probably not because they're a bad kid. They could be going through something else you know nothing about, and it'll be something serious that you really need to deal with to prevent further damage.

As I said, this is going to be a powerful show, and if you're a parent you really shouldn't miss it. With Ritalin prescriptions and bullying on the rise, something needs to be done, and that something - as always - starts at home with the parents. We can complain all we want about the way society is these days, and how education funding cuts are affecting our children, but if you don't take the time to be a parent, all the educational help in the world isn't going to make any difference.