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Parents Help Page

Welcome to the parent's help page. This monthly section is designed to help give you the parent information and resources to help you deal with the challenges that you face in developing a strong family unit in today's ever changing society. Each month we will feature new articles that deal with real issues, and provide real solutions to help you walk through the obstacles you and your family may face. If you ever have any questions, or you have information that has helped you in the past and you would like it to be included in one of our monthly articles, please feel free to contact us by e-mail at: ocj1@juno.comLearning to respond & not react!

Have you ever noticed how bad news always seems to appear out of nowhere? Sometimes it occurs when things are going good, other times is happens at the worst possible moment. No matter when the bad news occurs, if we learn how to respond to things in our lives instead of reacting, the faster we can bring resolution to them. This became very clear to me last week. I had a spare moment in my crazy schedule, so I decided I would check my phone messages. About half way through, I heard the voice of one of my childrens teacher explain how something happened at school and one of the parents needed to call the teacher back as soon as possible. In following up with the teacher, I was informed that my normally calm student confronted the teacher, made a disturbance in the class, and drew a picture expressing his anger toward the teacher. The question now became, how would I deal with this situation? Do I react to what he did, or respond to why he did what he did?

My first mental reaction was to get really angry. Young man, you are soooo grounded!! This was quickly diminished by the thought, What has happened to my sweet, innocent little boy? I arrived at the house, after having rehearsing what I was going to sayeven including how he would respond. I knew if I reacted to this situation in the spur of the moment, it would follow the familiar pattern, I confront, he becomes defensive out of self protection, and a huge argument occurs with either me, him, or both walking away in anger slamming the door as we retreat to our room. or in my case, out the front door.

I began to wonder, how can I change this scenario? The solution I came up with was one of prevention, not reaction. I needed to learn as a parent to respond to situations in my life rather than reacting to them.

If I Respond I could address situations with the goal of finding a solution before it turns into a crisis. How would it work?

#1. Responding would help me address the problem only after taking time to

think it through.

#2 . Responding would allow my emotions to get under control before dealt I

with other parties that may be involved.

#3. Responding would help me identify the real problem and attack it rather

than the person.

#4. Responding would create more options to choose from before I made a

possible life impacting decision.

If I React I would only make a situation worse by reacting to the situation strictly with my emotions, ignoring the issue that created the crisis. What does reacting look like?

#1. Reacting causes me to respond too quickly without enough information.

#2. Reacting usually involves anger & frustration

#3. Reacting forces you to form a conclusion and deafens you to any other


#4. Reacting causes you to over react, then later perform damage control

to correct something said or done.

As for me, I chose to respond. I realized there was a much deeper issue at stake than some silly drawing, or an outburst in class. Responding to my sons heart issue brought about understanding, and created a strategy to solve the problem. After this, I hope I never react to a problem again.


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We believe young people need an off campus safe environment to identify with, to call their very own. A "target zone" centered within their own neighborhood to address their specific needs.

We believe young people need mentors in their lives, equipping them with skills to overcome life's trials and hardships while making life impacting decisions, providing them "tools to succeed" in life.

We believe in partnering with other agencies to match young people and parents with existing services to meet their individual needs and provide a helping hand.

We also believe, that parents and teens need resources to improve the quality of their lives and strengthen the family unit.