Wednesday, September 28, 2011

School Bullying/Violence Prevention Conference coming to Florence, AZ



Conference Description
Introducing the latest international research on school (k-12) bullying and violence, this powerful 3-hour research-based conference is designed to empower and equip school administrators, educators, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other professionals who work with children with skills and tools designed to recognize, minimize or eradicate school bullying and violence. The strategies, techniques, and interventions cited in this conference equally spans elementary thru high school students. Participants will learn:

  • The latest international research on child bullying and school violence
  • The causes of youth aggression and misbehavior
  • The characteristics of bullies and their victims
  • The psychology of bullying
  • Potential outcomes of bullying
  • Warning signs of youth emotional problems, suicide, and homicide
  • How to empower victims of bullying
  • Bullying and school violence prevention strategies
  • Non-physical de-escalation techniques, and
  • Self-defense techniques
Where
Holiday Inn Express, 240 W. HWY #287, Florence, AZ 85132


When
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 from 9:00am to 12:00pm(Mountain Standard Time)

RSVP

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Gifts For Attending
As our gift for attending, participants will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' Game.  This educational and noncompetitive game, designed to teach school-age children anti-bullying skills, can be played in classrooms, homes, and therapy settings.

Participants will also receive a free copy of our Power of Thoughts E-book (several printable worksheets for k-12 students empowering them to change their behavior by changing the way they think).

And that's not all - Participants will be able to stay up to date with all the latest international research on school bullying and violence as they will receive links to the research articles cited in the presentation along with a copy of the slide presentation which are both updated regularly.  Additionally, they can sign up to receive emails from us alerting them to all the latest research as it happens.

***For a limited time, each educator and student of those schools or districts that pre-register 15 or more participants to the conference will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' game along with free unlimited game updates and upgrades.  In addition, these schools or districts will receive a $5.00 discount per participant.

About The Presenter
The presenter is Mark Lakewood, CEO and founder of Building Strong Families National Seminars, a distinguished bullying prevention expert, researcher, author, and speaker with over 20 years of clinical experience as a mental health therapist. Prior to beginning his own private practice, Mr. Lakewood provided counseling services at a variety of medical clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, and a family preservation agency.  He has an extensive history providing therapy services to children, adolescents, and adults. Mr. Lakewood also provided clinical and consultation services to numerous school administrators, educators, students, and families on issues of bullying and behavior management. To view Mr. Lakewood's biography, please click here.

Conference Fees
The cost to attend this 3-hour conference is $35.00 per participant. All major credit/debit cards and personal/business checks are accepted.  School purchase orders are also accepted.
Seating is limited so please pre-register by 
Thursday, October 27th, 2011!!



Please pre-register by visiting StandingUpToBullyingConference.com today!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bullying/Violence Prevention Conference coming to Mesa in Oct/2011



Conference Description
Introducing the latest international research on school (k-12) bullying and violence, this powerful 3-hour research-based conference is designed to empower and equip school administrators, educators, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other professionals who work with children with skills and tools designed to recognize, minimize or eradicate school bullying and violence. The strategies, techniques, and interventions cited in this conference equally spans elementary thru high school students. Participants will learn:

  • The latest international research on child bullying and school violence
  • The causes of youth aggression and misbehavior
  • The characteristics of bullies and their victims
  • The psychology of bullying
  • Potential outcomes of bullying
  • Warning signs of youth emotional problems, suicide, and homicide
  • How to empower victims of bullying
  • Bullying and school violence prevention strategies
  • Non-physical de-escalation techniques, and
  • Self-defense techniques
Where
Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, 6650 East Superstition Springs Boulevard, Mesa AZ 85206


When
Thursday, October 27th, 2011 from 9:00am to 12:00pm(Mountain Standard Time)

RSVP

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Gifts For Attending
As our gift for attending, participants will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' Game.  This educational and noncompetitive game, designed to teach school-age children anti-bullying skills, can be played in classrooms, homes, and therapy settings.

Participants will also receive a free copy of our Power of Thoughts E-book (several printable worksheets for k-12 students empowering them to change their behavior by changing the way they think).

And that's not all - Participants will be able to stay up to date with all the latest international research on school bullying and violence as they will receive links to the research articles cited in the presentation along with a copy of the slide presentation which are both updated regularly.  Additionally, they can sign up to receive emails from us alerting them to all the latest research as it happens.

***For a limited time, each educator and student of those schools or districts that pre-register 15 or more participants to the conference will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' game along with free unlimited game updates and upgrades.  In addition, these schools or districts will receive a $5.00 discount per participant.

About The Presenter
The presenter is Mark Lakewood, CEO and founder of Building Strong Families National Seminars, a distinguished bullying prevention expert, researcher, author, and speaker with over 20 years of clinical experience as a mental health therapist. Prior to beginning his own private practice, Mr. Lakewood provided counseling services at a variety of medical clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, and a family preservation agency.  He has an extensive history providing therapy services to children, adolescents, and adults. Mr. Lakewood also provided clinical and consultation services to numerous school administrators, educators, students, and families on issues of bullying and behavior management. To view Mr. Lakewood's biography, please click here.

Conference Fees
The cost to attend this 3-hour conference is $35.00 per participant. All major credit/debit cards and personal/business checks are accepted.  School purchase orders are also accepted.
Seating is limited so please pre-register by 
Thursday, October 20th, 2011!!

Please pre-register by visiting StandingUpToBullyingConference.com today!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Conference Press Release - Bullying/Violence Prevention Conference coming to Scottsdale, AZ

Conference Description
Introducing the latest international research on school (k-12) bullying and violence, this powerful 3-hour research-based conference is designed to empower and equip school administrators, educators, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other professionals who work with children with skills and tools designed to recognize, minimize or eradicate school bullying and violence. The strategies, techniques, and interventions cited in this conference equally spans elementary thru high school students. Participants will learn:

  • The latest international research on child bullying and school violence
  • The causes of youth aggression and misbehavior
  • The characteristics of bullies and their victims
  • The psychology of bullying
  • Potential outcomes of bullying
  • Warning signs of youth emotional problems, suicide, and homicide
  • How to empower victims of bullying
  • Bullying and school violence prevention strategies
  • Non-physical de-escalation techniques, and
  • Self-defense techniques
Where
Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort & Suites, 6160 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, Arizona 85253


WhenThursday, October 6th, 2011 from 9:00am to 12:00pm (Mountain Standard Time)

RSVP
Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Gifts For Attending
As our gift for attending, participants will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' Game.  This educational and noncompetitive game, designed to teach school-age children anti-bullying skills, can be played in classrooms, homes, and therapy settings.

Participants will also receive a free copy of our Power of Thoughts E-book (several printable worksheets for k-12 students empowering them to change their behavior by changing the way they think).

And that's not all - Participants will be able to stay up to date with all the latest international research on school bullying and violence as they will receive links to the research articles cited in the presentation along with a copy of the slide presentation which are both updated regularly.  Additionally, they can sign up to receive emails from us alerting them to all the latest research as it happens.

***For a limited time, each educator and student of those schools or districts that pre-register 15 or more participants to the conference will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' game along with free unlimited game updates and upgrades.  In addition, these schools or districts will receive a $5.00 discount per participant.

About The Presenter
The presenter is Mark Lakewood, CEO and founder of Building Strong Families National Seminars, a distinguished bullying prevention expert, researcher, author, and speaker with over 20 years of clinical experience as a mental health therapist. Prior to beginning his own private practice, Mr. Lakewood provided counseling services at a variety of medical clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, and a family preservation agency.  He has an extensive history providing therapy services to children, adolescents, and adults. Mr. Lakewood also provided clinical and consultation services to numerous school administrators, educators, students, and families on issues of bullying and behavior management. To view Mr. Lakewood's biography, please click here.

Conference Fees
The cost to attend this 3-hour conference is $35.00 per participant. All major credit/debit cards and personal/business checks are accepted.  School purchase orders are also accepted.
Seating is limited so please pre-register by Tuesday, September 20th, 2011!!

Please pre-register by visiting StandingUpToBullyingConference.com today!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Conference Press Release - Bullying/Violence Prevention Conference coming to Glendale, AZ

We are kicking off the new school year with our school bullying and violence prevention conference in Glendale, AZ entitled the 'Standing Up To Bullying' Conference. This conference is scheduled at Residence Inn by Marriott, 7350 N Zanjero Blvd., Glendale, AZ 85305 on Thursday, September 15th, 2011 from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

Introducing the latest international research on student (k-12) bullying and school violence, this powerful 3-hour research-based conference is designed to empower and equip school administrators, educators, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other professionals who work with children with skills and tools designed to recognize, minimize or eradicate child bullying and school violence. The strategies, techniques, and interventions cited in this conference equally spans elementary thru high school students. Participants will learn:

  • The latest international research on child bullying and school violence
  • The causes of youth aggression and misbehavior
  • The characteristics of bullies and their victims
  • The psychology of bullying
  • Potential outcomes of bullying
  • Warning signs of youth emotional problems, suicide, and homicide
  • How to empower victims of bullying
  • Bullying and school violence prevention strategies
  • Non-physical de-escalation techniques, and
  • Self-defense techniques
As our gift for attending, participants will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' Game.  This game, designed to teach school-age children anti-bullying skills, can be played in classrooms, homes, and therapy settings.

Participants will also receive a free copy of our Power of Thoughts E-book (several printable worksheets for k-12 students empowering them to change their behavior by changing the way they think).
And that's not all - Participants will be able to stay up to date with all the latest international research on school bullying and violence as they will receive links to the research articles cited in the presentation along with a copy of the slide presentation which are both updated regularly.  Additionally, they can sign up to receive emails from us alerting them to all the latest research as it happens.

***For a limited time, each educator and student of those schools or districts that pre-register 15 or more participants to the conference will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' game along with free unlimited game updates and upgrades.  In addition, these schools or districts will receive a $5.00 discount per participant.

The presenter is Mark Lakewood, CEO of Building Strong Families National Seminars, a distinguished bullying prevention expert, researcher, author, and speaker with over 20 years of clinical experience as a mental health therapist. Prior to beginning his own private practice, Mr. Lakewood provided counseling services at a variety of medical clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, and a family preservation agency.  He has an extensive history providing therapy services to children, adolescents, and adults. Mr. Lakewood also provided clinical and consultation services to numerous school administrators, educators, students, and families on issues of bullying and behavior management.

The cost to attend this 3-hour conference is $35.00 per participant. All major credit/debit cards and personal/business checks are accepted.  School purchase orders are also accepted.
***For a limited time, school districts who pre-register 15 or more participants will receive a $5.00 discount per participant.

Seating is limited so please pre-register by Thursday, September 8th, 2011!!

Please pre-register by visiting StandingUpToBullyingConference.com today!

School Bullying/Violence Prevention Conference coming to Mesa, AZ

Conference Description
Introducing the latest international research on school (k-12) bullying and violence, this powerful 3-hour research-based conference is designed to empower and equip school administrators, educators, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other professionals who work with children with skills and tools designed to recognize, minimize or eradicate school bullying and violence. The strategies, techniques, and interventions cited in this conference equally spans elementary thru high school students. Participants will learn:

  • The latest international research on child bullying and school violence
  • The causes of youth aggression and misbehavior
  • The characteristics of bullies and their victims
  • The psychology of bullying
  • Potential outcomes of bullying
  • Warning signs of youth emotional problems, suicide, and homicide
  • How to empower victims of bullying
  • Bullying and school violence prevention strategies
  • Non-physical de-escalation techniques, and
  • Self-defense techniques
Where
Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, 6650 East Superstition Springs Boulevard, Mesa, AZ 85206

When
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 from 9:00am to 12:00pm (Mountain Standard Time)

RSVP
Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Gifts For Attending
As our gift for attending, participants will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' Game.  This educational and noncompetitive game, designed to teach school-age children anti-bullying skills, can be played in classrooms, homes, and therapy settings.

Participants will also receive a free copy of our Power of Thoughts E-book (several printable worksheets for k-12 students empowering them to change their behavior by changing the way they think).

And that's not all - Participants will be able to stay up to date with all the latest international research on school bullying and violence as they will receive links to the research articles cited in the presentation along with a copy of the slide presentation which are both updated regularly.  Additionally, they can sign up to receive emails from us alerting them to all the latest research as it happens.

***For a limited time, each educator and student of those schools or districts that pre-register 15 or more participants to the conference will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' game along with free unlimited game updates and upgrades.  In addition, these schools or districts will receive a $5.00 discount per participant.

About The Presenter
The presenter is Mark Lakewood, CEO and founder of Building Strong Families National Seminars, a distinguished bullying prevention expert, researcher, author, and speaker with over 20 years of clinical experience as a mental health therapist. Prior to beginning his own private practice, Mr. Lakewood provided counseling services at a variety of medical clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, and a family preservation agency.  He has an extensive history providing therapy services to children, adolescents, and adults. Mr. Lakewood also provided clinical and consultation services to numerous school administrators, educators, students, and families on issues of bullying and behavior management. To view Mr. Lakewood's biography, please click here.

Conference Fees
The cost to attend this 3-hour conference is $35.00 per participant. All major credit/debit cards and personal/business checks are accepted.  School purchase orders are also accepted.
Seating is limited so please pre-register by Tuesday, September 20th, 2011!!

Please pre-register by visiting StandingUpToBullyingConference.com today!

School Bullying/Violence Prevention Conference coming to WA

In response to the rise of youth bullying and school violence, Building Strong Families National Seminars is presenting in your area a powerful 3-hour research-based school bullying and violence prevention webinar entitled the ‘Standing Up To Bullying’ Conference.

This webinar will be held on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 from 9:00am to 12:00pm (Pacific Daylight Time).

Introducing the latest international research on student (k-12) bullying and school violence, this powerful 3-hour research-based webinar is designed to empower and equip school administrators, educators, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other professionals who work with children with skills and tools designed to recognize, minimize or eradicate youth bullying and school violence. The strategies, techniques, and interventions cited in this webinar equally spans elementary thru high school students. Participants will learn:

  • The latest international research on child bullying and school violence
  • The causes of youth aggression and misbehavior
  • The characteristics of bullies and their victims
  • The psychology of bullying
  • Potential outcomes of bullying
  • Warning signs of youth emotional problems, suicide, and homicide
  • How to empower victims of bullying
  • Bullying and school violence prevention strategies
  • Non-physical de-escalation techniques, and
  • Self-defense techniques
As our gift for attending, participants will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' Game. This educational and noncompetitive game, designed to teach school-age children anti-bullying skills, can be played in classrooms, homes, or therapy settings.

Participants will also receive a free copy of our Power of Thoughts E-book consisting of several printable worksheets for k-12 students empowering them to change their behavior by changing the way they think.
And that's not all - Participants will be able to stay up to date with all the latest international research on school bullying and violence as they will receive links to the research articles cited in the presentation along with a copy of the slide presentation which are both updated regularly. Additionally, they can sign up to receive emails from us alerting them to all the latest research as it happens.

***For a limited time, each educator and student of those schools or districts that pre-registers 15 or more participants to the webinar will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' game along with free unlimited game updates and upgrades. In addition, these schools or districts will receive a $5.00 discount per participant.

The presenter is Mark Lakewood, CEO and founder of Building Strong Families National Seminars, a distinguished bullying prevention expert, researcher, author, and speaker with over 20 years of clinical experience as a mental health therapist. Prior to beginning his own private practice, Mr. Lakewood provided counseling services at a variety of medical clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, and a family preservation agency. He has an extensive history providing therapy services to children, adolescents, and adults. Mr. Lakewood also provided clinical and consultation services to numerous school administrators, educators, students, and families on issues of bullying and behavior management.

The cost to attend this webinar is $25.00 per participant. All major credit/debit cards and personal/business checks are accepted. School purchase orders are also accepted.

Space is limited so those interested are asked to pre-register by Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 by visiting http://www.StandingUpToBullyingConference.com.

Conference Press Release - Bullying/Violence Prevention Conference coming to Glendale, AZ

We are kicking off the new school year with our school bullying and violence prevention conference in Glendale, AZ entitled the 'Standing Up To Bullying' Conference. This conference is scheduled at Residence Inn by Marriott, 7350 N Zanjero Blvd., Glendale, AZ 85305 on Thursday, September 15th, 2011 from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

Introducing the latest international research on student (k-12) bullying and school violence, this powerful 3-hour research-based conference is designed to empower and equip school administrators, educators, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other professionals who work with children with skills and tools designed to recognize, minimize or eradicate child bullying and school violence. The strategies, techniques, and interventions cited in this conference equally spans elementary thru high school students. Participants will learn:

  • The latest international research on child bullying and school violence
  • The causes of youth aggression and misbehavior
  • The characteristics of bullies and their victims
  • The psychology of bullying
  • Potential outcomes of bullying
  • Warning signs of youth emotional problems, suicide, and homicide
  • How to empower victims of bullying
  • Bullying and school violence prevention strategies
  • Non-physical de-escalation techniques, and
  • Self-defense techniques
As our gift for attending, participants will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' Game.  This game, designed to teach school-age children anti-bullying skills, can be played in classrooms, homes, and therapy settings.

Participants will also receive a free copy of our Power of Thoughts E-book (several printable worksheets for k-12 students empowering them to change their behavior by changing the way they think).
And that's not all - Participants will be able to stay up to date with all the latest international research on school bullying and violence as they will receive links to the research articles cited in the presentation along with a copy of the slide presentation which are both updated regularly.  Additionally, they can sign up to receive emails from us alerting them to all the latest research as it happens.

***For a limited time, each educator and student of those schools or districts that pre-register 15 or more participants to the conference will receive a free copy of our 'Standing Up To Bullying' game along with free unlimited game updates and upgrades.  In addition, these schools or districts will receive a $5.00 discount per participant.

The presenter is Mark Lakewood, CEO of Building Strong Families National Seminars, a distinguished bullying prevention expert, researcher, author, and speaker with over 20 years of clinical experience as a mental health therapist. Prior to beginning his own private practice, Mr. Lakewood provided counseling services at a variety of medical clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities, and a family preservation agency.  He has an extensive history providing therapy services to children, adolescents, and adults. Mr. Lakewood also provided clinical and consultation services to numerous school administrators, educators, students, and families on issues of bullying and behavior management.

The cost to attend this 3-hour conference is $35.00 per participant. All major credit/debit cards and personal/business checks are accepted.  School purchase orders are also accepted.
***For a limited time, school districts who pre-register 15 or more participants will receive a $5.00 discount per participant.

Seating is limited so please pre-register by Thursday, September 8th, 2011!!

Please pre-register by visiting StandingUpToBullyingConference.com today!

Three Effective Ways to Reduce Anxiety and Depressed Mood During the Holidays By Mark Lakewood, CEO

The holiday season is quickly approaching and many of us are preparing for this joyous time of the year. Some may embrace the holidays with cheer, hope, and thanksgiving while others may embrace the season with burden, anxiety, and personal failure. This article addresses three ways you can overcome anxiety and depressed mood during the holidays.


The first and most effective way to avoid anxiety and depressed mood is to recognize unachievable and unrealistic expectations (unhealthy thoughts) that you may subscribe to. Our thoughts have a direct bearing over our emotional disposition and the consequences that occur in the aftermath. We often cannot change circumstances (situations, events, and the behavior of others) that occur in our lives but we do have the power to alter the way we feel and react to them by simply changing the way we think. If we would like to avoid experiencing anxiety and depressed mood during the holidays, we must take ownership and control over our own thoughts by identifying unhealthy thoughts that we may subscribe to that might be contributing to a negative emotional disposition and replace them with healthier ones.


Some may fear social rejection and judgment from others. Though others may choose to judge negatively, pondering on this thought can ultimately rob you of experiencing joy and happiness. The following are six common unachievable and unrealistic expectations(unhealthy thoughts) that are often pondered on during the holidays:

1. "I need to spend a lot of money on gifts otherwise I might be perceived negatively by others" - It is a shame that so much worry is attributed from the issue of money especially during the holidays. We should not feel or be made to feel that the holidays are all about external/physical gifts. The most precious gift that we can give to one another is our fellowship and love (internal gifts) . No external/physical gift can replace this. Internal gifts have a longer shelf life and increase our self-esteem more than external/physical gifts. We must keep this issue in the proper perspective otherwise we can inadvertently teach others that external/physical gifts are more precious and desirable than our fellowship and love.

2. "For gatherings, my home must always be clean and tidy otherwise I might be perceived negatively by others" - It is never okay to invite guests to a filthy home. But expecting your home to be constantly tidy might be an unrealistic expectation, especially when children are present. Expecting such would only cause you anxiety and depressed mood. Do not worry about the cleanliness of your home but rather focus on fellowship as this is much more important and significant.

3. "I must prepare a flawless meal for my gathering otherwise I might be perceived negatively by others" - The quality of meals should not be the main focus of the holidays. If food preparation is an issue, there is nothing wrong with purchasing meals from a restaurant. To go one step further, having a potluck might be a better and less expensive idea as your guests would be directly involved with the food preparation by offering a variety of foods at your gathering freeing up time for fellowship.

4. "My physical appearance must be acceptable and appropriate otherwise I might be perceived negatively by others" - Aside from daily hygiene, do not worry about your physical appearance. The fellowship that you can give to one another is much more important than your physical appearance. More times than not, our own anxiety over our physical appearance has more to do with how we feel about ourselves rather than how others may perceive us.

5. "I need to bring a mate to the gathering otherwise I might be perceived negatively by others" - If you are single, sometimes attending a gathering by yourself where couples are present might make you feel uncomfortable as you might feel that you do not fit in. Keep in mind that you are not alone as there are many people that are divorced, separated, or single. If having a mate was a prerequisite for gatherings, I guarantee you that there would be a lot less gatherings! In addition, avoiding gatherings would only rob you of the experience of possibly meeting a potential mate.

6. "I need to pretend that I am happy during gatherings otherwise I might be perceived negatively by others" - Experiencing happiness is not a prerequisite for attending gatherings. Oftentimes, life events and experiences that have nothing to do with the holidays may play a direct role in your emotional disposition. The wonderful thing about gatherings is that there are plenty of people that you can talk with. If someone asks you how you are doing or feeling, be honest with them and let them know. Do not tell them that everything is fine when it is not. Oftentimes, having someone to discuss your problems with might actually help you resolve them as well as make you feel better. Take advantage of this opportunity.

If there are any other unhealthy thoughts that you might be dealing with that are not discussed in this article, I encourage you to write those thoughts down on a piece of paper writing a healthier thought (one that you would like to subscribe to) next to it. It would also be a good idea for you to review these thoughts daily so that it becomes easier to recognize and replace unhealthy thoughts.

The second way to avoid anxiety and depressed mood is to establish personal and professional goals for yourself. There is a lot to be said for New Year's resolutions. Establishing short and long-term goals is a healthy idea because they can provide you with structure by giving you something to look forward to. Goals oftentimes give meaning to our lives. Those who do not have goals often feel hopeless and helpless. Just make sure that the goals that you establish are significant and achievable otherwise they will not be effective or worth your while to achieve.

And finally, the third way to avoid anxiety and depressed mood is to work at giving to others. Sometimes we are fooled into believing that happiness is achieved through the gifts that we receive or the items that we purchase. Just the opposite is true. You can achieve true happiness by helping others in need, volunteering your services, holding the hand of one in despair, or just simply being there when one experiences a low moment in his/her life. Oftentimes, it is not the words that we say that lifts one's spirit or gives one hope. But rather, it is just being there that makes all the difference in the world. At times, we feel uncomfortable because we do not know the right words to say to those who are hurting. Words are not always important. The fellowship and the love that you can provide is what the holidays are all about. Let's not lose this perspective and let's not give unhealthy thoughts, with all the anxiety and depressed mood that goes along with them, the ability to rob us from experiencing the joy and the happiness that we all deserve to experience during the holidays. Happy holidays to all! 

Does Discipline Really Change The Behavior Of Children? by Mark Lakewood, CEO


Do you sometimes get frustrated disciplining your child because the discipline appears to be ineffective?  Do you sometimes change your discipline in search of the most effective one to use on your child?  Have you come to the conclusion that no discipline is effective on your child?  If you are experiencing any of these thoughts or feelings today, I would like for you to consider the following: 

Have you ever wondered why so many people commit murder when they know the consequence is the death penalty or a lifetime in prison?   Never rely or count on discipline to affect the behavior of your child.  Discipline was never intended to have an effect on your child.  The only thing that discipline provides is a consequence to misbehavior, something that should occur automatically after your child misbehaves.  Whether or not the discipline has any positive impact on your child relies specifically on your child and what he/she thinks as a result of the discipline.   If your child wants to change his/her behavior, he/she can only do so by his/her own free will.

The discipline your child receives can only act as a deterrent to misbehavior but may not have any overall effect on your child’s thoughts.  

Your child, like everyone else, needs to take ownership and responsibility of his/her own thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  These thoughts and feelings have nothing to do with external events but rather on our interpretation of those events.

Therefore for some children, it takes only one time disciplined to change behavior while other children require more frequent discipline.   Believing that discipline changes the behavior of children negatively effects discipline efficacy and parental authority.  Oftentimes parents change the discipline to meet the needs of a specific child.

A parent with more than one child might render a variety of disciplines to their children (a unique discipline per child) for the same misbehavior making discipline rather difficult, overbearing, and frustrating.  Oftentimes children manipulate by making their parents believe that no discipline is effective by simply misbehaving either during or directly after the discipline ends.  This usually occurs with children whose parents have a history of giving up on discipline after coming to the conclusion that no discipline is effective. 

In conclusion, it is my recommendation that you enforce whatever discipline you feel appropriate for your child given a specific misbehavior provided that the discipline is an appropriate consequence to the specific misbehavior.  Continue to enforce that discipline to your child regardless of how many times he/she engages in the same misbehavior.  Just keep in mind that the decision to change behavior is strictly up to your child and not based on the discipline that you choose to impose.  When your child begins to realize that you are consistent with discipline by refusing to be manipulated by continued misbehavior, he/she will eventually end his/her misbehavior.  

Defeating the Homework Blues by Mark Lakewood, CEO

Having worked as a mental health therapist for over 20 years, I noticed that many families share specific common unhealthy beliefs and values centered on the issue of homework. This article identifies these unhealthy beliefs and values that impede the homework process.

1st Unhealthy Belief: “I need to assist my child with homework because he or she doe not understand the homework.”

Many parents feel that their children require assistance when completing homework. School teachers give children homework to practice specific skills taught that day in school. Your child, unless he or she was inattentive in class, should have a general idea of how to complete his or her homework. Sometimes, kids pretend that they do not know how to complete homework in hopes that their parent would do it for them. A parent who routinely helps their child complete homework because of class inattentiveness is reinforcing the inattentiveness. Why would your child choose to pay attention in class if he or she knows that you are going to help them with their homework anyway?

Failing to pay attention in class is not an academic issue. It is a behavioral issue that requires a behavioral intervention. Your child needs to take responsibility for failing to pay attention in class. One way to do this is to have your child attend school the next day with his or her homework uncompleted. It is not your fault that your child failed to complete his or her homework. I have worked with several parents who blamed themselves for and assumed responsibility of their child’s homework that they began experiencing signs of burnout. Give that responsibility over to your child. Your child will ultimately experience school consequences for his or her failure to complete homework. By giving your child the ownership and responsibility of his or her homework promotes accountability, organization, and self-confidence.

Parents should never fear having their children experience negative consequences. Consequences are learning experiences that teach children right from wrong. If parents always protect their children from experiencing consequences, their children may never learn right from wrong. Instead, they will always expect their parents to pick up the pieces when they make a mistake.

Think of it this way – when you do not know how to complete a specific task at your place of employment, what do you do? Do you ask your significant other or your employer how to complete the task? Obviously, you would get your instruction from your employer. Therefore, your child needs to learn from his or her school teacher. I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t help your child every once in awhile. However, if assisting your child with homework becomes routine, there is a problem.

An easy indicator as to whether your child truly requires assistance with homework is to ask his or her school teacher how much assistance your child requires with school work. If your child’s school teacher says that your child works independently and requires minimal assistance, then there is a strong possibility that your child is manipulating by making you believe that he or she requires significant assistance.

If your child’s school teacher reports that your child frequently day dreams, fails to pay attention, and requires significant assistance when completing school work, you should probably consult with your child’s physician to rule out medical and/or psychological factors that might be contributing to these behaviors.

2nd Unhealthy Belief: “My child will only complete his or her homework in my presence.”

This is a common misconception that parents share. The problem with having your child complete homework in your presence is that there are usually too many distractions or stimulation making it difficult for him or her to focus and concentrate on homework. Asking for your assist is also too convenient. Dinner preparation, people walking through the room, conversations, and telephone calls are all common distractions to a child who is attempting to complete homework. This is especially counterproductive for a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

The best place for a child to complete homework is in his or her bedroom or some other secluded room of the home. Completing homework in a secluded room would limit distractions/stimulation and make it less convenient to ask you for assistance.

3rd Unhealthy Belief: “Toys and games in my child’s bedroom prevent him or her from completing homework.”

Think in terms of your child completing homework in his or her bedroom as a form of grounding. Your child is not really grounded. However, your child should not be allowed to exit his or her bedroom, for the exception of bathroom breaks, until the homework is completed and checked by you. Since your child will receive limited attention from you, completing homework in the bedroom will only act as an incentive for your child to complete homework timely. This technique will also help your child learn to focus, become more organized and structured, and become accountable for his or her actions.

If by chance your child fails to complete his or her homework by their bedtime, your child should attend school the following day with his or her homework uncompleted. As mentioned earlier, your child will experience consequences at school for his or her failure to complete homework.

4th Unhealthy Belief: “My child loves being in his or her bedroom and will never submit to completing homework in there.”

Even though plenty of parents tried to convince me that their children would rather spend days and nights in their bedroom rather than playing outside or in the living room, this is manipulation at its best. The child who knows that he or she is grounded to their bedroom until submitting to a specific behavior will likely make it their duty to convince their parent that they really enjoy the consequence. By getting parents to believe this may subsequently entice the parent to choose a different consequence or eliminate the consequence altogether. In reality, your child would rather play outside or in public areas of your home instead spending days and nights in his or her bedroom.

If your child engages in activities in his or her bedroom such as watching television or playing video games instead of completing homework, you should remove these activities from your child’s bedroom because he or her is compromising your parental authority. These items can be restored once your child follows your rules.

5th Unhealthy Belief: “I believe that my child should serve a mandatory daily study hour regardless of his or her academic ability.”

Typically, a mandatory daily study hour consists of children completing homework and engaging in other academic activities such as reading to complete the hour. I would only recommend a child serve a daily study hour if his or her report card grades fall below a specific grade expectation. For instance, if you and your child previously agreed that a daily study hour would be enforced if his or her grades fall below a C in any given subject, your child should be required to serve a daily study hour for the next school term until his or her grades improve to a C or better.

If your child maintains grades consistent with your expectations as noted on his or her report card, he or she should only complete their daily homework and should not be required to serve a daily study hour. Play time is very important to a child. Therefore, it is necessary for children to have equal play and study time. A child should only have a mandatory study hour as a consequence to poor school grades as noted on his or her report card.

6th Unhealthy Belief: “I believe that my child should begin completing homework after dinner each day.”

The best time for children to complete homework is right after they get home from school. Once at home, children should have a snack consisting of an edible and a beverage before completing homework. The snack time should be limited from 15 minutes to a half an hour. It is important for children to have a snack, especially a beverage, before completing their homework because this helps re-energize their brain muscles. Since there is some daylight after school, this presents as an incentive for children. The quicker your child successfully completes his or her homework, the quicker he or she can engage in outside privileges. In addition, there would be plenty of time for children to complete their homework before bedtime. Children who complete homework after dinner have less time to complete homework.

It is very important for you to tell your child when he or she needs to begin completing homework rather than telling him or her the time that homework should be completed. For instance, if you tell your child that homework must be completed by 6:00pm, your child might feel like a failure if his or her homework extends beyond the designated time. In addition, your child might rush to complete his or her homework making many homework errors.

Children typically find it very difficult completing homework after dinner primarily because of fatigue. Fatigue usually follows a heavy meal. Parents often extend their children’s daily bedtime in order for them to complete their homework. Parents should never extend their children’s bedtime because children need their sleep and rest in order to grow and to function properly the next day.

7th Unhealthy Belief: “My child refuses or forgets to bring homework home and there is nothing that I can do to change his or her behavior.”

First of all, you need to develop a rule at home that states that homework must be brought home and completed daily. In addition, this rule must have its own unique consequence in the event that your child fails to bring homework home. Which ever consequence you choose to enforce, it is important that its duration lasts for one day, from the time your child arrives home from school till the time he or she goes to bed. It is equally important that the duration of the consequence last no more than one day per occurrence. If you consequent your child for more than one day per occurrence, your child will develop learned helplessness and will not be motivated to bring home or complete homework for the duration of the consequence making the consequence ineffective.

In order for you to learn whether or not your child has homework each day, you should require him or her to bring a note pad to and from school detailing daily homework assignments. Each day, your child should be responsible for logging homework assignments as well as having the school teacher verify and sign the note pad. You should discuss the logistics of this technique with your child’s school teacher prior to its implementation.

If your child claims that he or she forgets to bring home homework and/or the note pad, your child needs to be consequented at home. Consequenting your child will encourage him or her to remember to bring homework and/or the note pad home the next time. Please keep in mind that consequences always follow forgetfulness. Therefore, we should never fail to give children consequences when they forget specific tasks. If forgetfulness is a routine problem for your child that extends beyond homework, you should consider having him or her evaluated by a physician to rule out medical or psychological issues that might be contributing to forgetfulness. Sometimes, depression and stress contribute to forgetfulness. However, if your child routinely remembers other things except for his or her homework, your child might be attempting to manipulate you.

It is my hope that the tips and techniques discussed in this article reduce the homework blues at your home. If you would like additional parenting tips and suggestions or would like to attend an online educational seminar, please feel free to log onto the Building Strong Families National Seminar’s website at http://www.StrongFamilies.us.

Creative Ways to Manage Your Children's Behavior in Public by Mark Lakewood, CEO


Does your children's behavior embarrass you while shopping? Do your children appear to be oblivious to rules and consequences while in public places? Do you intentionally avoid bringing your children with you to public places in fear of developing extreme frustration and anger? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please consider the following:
Managing your children's behavior in public is perhaps easier than most might think. Parents simply need to follow some simple and basic rules before allowing their children to enter public places.
First before exiting your vehicle, it is very important that you ask your children to recite rules for appropriate public behavior. It is important for your children to recite these rules appropriately without your assistance. If you help or put words in your children's mouth regarding rules, this first step will be ineffective.
Once your children appropriately recite rules for appropriate public behavior, it is encouraged that you consider offering a reward for appropriate public behavior. Rewards can consist of a later bedtime, a special treat or privilege at home, or an inexpensive purchase at the store. It must be made clear however that if your children break any rules they previously recited, they will no longer be eligible for the reward. It is important that you make no exception to this rule.
After this foundation has been established, feel free to exit your vehicle with your children to enter the store. As you shop, simply monitor your children's behavior. You should find virtually instant improved conduct as your children will be very aware of their own behavior.
While in the store, it is strongly advised that you avoid yelling, arguing, or engaging in physical discipline of any type for this may be considered or interpreted as abusive behavior which can subsequently be reported to the police. If your children do misbehave, it is imperative that not only do they lose their reward but they also receive a specific consequence to be served at home.
Most children who lose their reward privileges will attempt to persuade their parent for a second chance. It is imperative that you resist this temptation because if you give your children a second chance, this will manifest a conditioned response where your children will always expect the opportunity for second chance. Therefore if you truly want appropriate public behavior from your children, it is important for you not to give your children a second chance.
Regarding rewards, some people think that rewarding children for appropriate behavior is inappropriate as this is a form of bribery. However, rewarding children for appropriate behavior is not a form of bribery because bribery can only affect those who have a clear understanding of right and wrong. By default, children do not as of yet have this understanding perfected. If they did, they would not be required to reside under adult supervision and they would be granted all the rights awarded to adults who by default should already know right from wrong. Please keep in mind that rewarding children for appropriate behavior in essence is called 'shaping behavior'. As parents, our job is to train, shape, and mold the behavior and minds of our children.
Please be aware that these techniques to manage public behavior might be difficult if your children's behaviors are out of control at home. If your children have difficulty engaging in appropriate behavior at home, it would be strongly advised that you first consider developing a behavior management program with your children therefore making the above strategy more effective in managing your children's behavior in public places.
Mark Lakewood, CEO, a distinguished author, speaker, and parenting expert with over 20 years of clinical experience as a mental health therapist, graduated with a Masters degree in Social Work. He was employed at medical/psychiatric hospitals and clinics, and a family preservation agency. Afterwards, he opened his own private practice providing mental health therapy services to children, adolescences, and adults. Mr. Lakewood developed the Sudden Compliance Program, http://www.SuddenCompliance.com. Presently, Mr. Lakewood develops and facilitates seminars that focus on family and school-related issues.