Book dates for 2019-20 school year now
Student days, parent sessions, and P.D. Days.
Blended Families / Step Parents
Over a number of years I have come in contact with many adults whom have remarried, where both adults bring children together or where only one adult had children before the marriage. On a few occasions I am aware of the marriages not surviving this enormous transition and change.
Step-parents: When I went through my divorce my lawyer provided me with the following information. As a step-parent you have the same rights as a teacher. To provide a safe and secure environment for the children and assist where you can but that by law, you are not supposed to be involved in deciding what the discipline should be when the child makes a poor decision. I don’t agree with this as my wife is a step-parent to my three sons. When something happened that required disciplinary action I would state, to my wife alone, that these three consequences are what I was going to impose upon the boys. She would disagree and state that was too much and would suggest the two that she felt was most appropriate out of the three I had mentioned. So in many cases she would save my three sons. I would then let the boys know what the consequences were for their actions.
Where most families fail is that the step-parent administers the consequences. In several of these stories that have come to my attention it is the father in many of these cases who is like Disneyland Dad. Everything is play and fun with little or no consequences for the child’s actions. The spouse with no children, who married into this family, knows that this is not good for the children as they see them growing up and becoming in many cases and uncontrollable terror within the family tree with little or no respect for others, including the biological parent. Unfortunately, in several cases, these marriages have ended in divorce.
Please remember it is the biological parent’s responsibility to administer the consequences. If the step-parent is always playing the role of the bad cop then you are setting that relationship up for failure.
I understand some of the reasoning behind the biological parent not wanting to be the bad cop. Many are afraid that if they are always administering the consequences that their child or children will leave them and go to the ex-spouse. This obviously has implications around custody, child support, etc.. However, you signed up to be a parent, you need to step up and be that parent.
When both spouses are bringing children into the marriage, the issues I have seen is adults take sides with their biological child and blame the child of the other spouse. This is like going back to elementary or middle school. If this occurs my suggestion would be to focus on the situation, the issue, or the behaviour but not the person. In most cases this allows the situation to be dealt with effectively without any one person feeling attacked. This includes the children and the spouse.
Resolution: Both adults need to be on the same page and agree what the consequences should be before they are administered. If you are not constantly united and in agreement with each other, the children will see which parent is the softer or the easier one and gravitate to that parent which can create further issues within the family. There is nothing saying that the consequences have to occur right after the incident occurs. Take time to think about the situation, issue or behaviour before both of you decide what the appropriate consequence should be.
Once the children realize that both adults are on the same page then they will start to find their new normal and what adjustments they need to make to create the best environment for all involved knowing they can’t play one parent against the other.
New Initiative for Thumb Switch Charity:
A new video describing “Thumb Switch” has been added to the website for anyone who has not attended a parent session or may have had to leave early.
A new initiative was launched in March called 24/7 – 365. This relates to what many people reference as 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. The challenge is to raise money for scholarships and assist qualified schools funding for qualified youth programs.
24/7 – 24 corporations, businesses, foundations, families offer support for $7,000.00 to $700.00. When this is achieved it would allow scholarships for deserving students to go from $1,680.00 to $16,800.00 and would allow qualified schools access to $250.00 – $750.00 per day for youth programs.
365 – $300.00 from 65 businesses, foundations, families or individuals. This would create an additional $1,950.00 for scholarships and qualified schools access to $250.00 per day for youth programs.
I hope you will spread the word and align yourself or company in this very worthwhile cause.
Source – Family Zone
FORTNITE: It’s been called Hunger Games meets Call of Duty. So it’s little wonder that, upon its recent release as a free download, Fortnite: Battle Royale has blown away its competitors to become one of the most popular games on earth – praised and criticised in equal measure for its addictive qualities by both kids and adults.
But is it right for your child?
The Guardian describes Battle Royale this way:
It’s a mass online brawl where 100 players leap out of a plane on to a small island and then fight each other until only one is left. Hidden around the island are weapons and items, including crossbows, rifles and grenade launchers, and players must arm themselves while exploring the landscape and buildings. It’s also possible to collect resources that allow you to build structures where you can hide or defend yourself. As the match progresses, the playable area of land is continually reduced, so participants are forced closer and closer together. The last survivor is the winner.
Users can play by themselves or in a group of up to three other users. Live chat with teammates is a central part of the game on certain platforms (see below). Winners are rewarded with ‘V-coins’ that can be used to update weapon skins and other cosmetics. Users can also purchase the coins using real money.
Free and unverified
To create an account, all kids need is an email address. Because Battle Royale is a free game within the larger, pay-wall-protected Fortnite ‘world’, no payment is required – but players are prodded to make in-game purchases for extensions, bonuses and weapons.
Although there is no age-verification procedure, Fortnite: Battle Royale has been variously rated 12+ or 13+ (depending on the rating agency and country) on the basis of “mild violence.” And the simulated killing is indeed relatively lo-fi: no blood, no gore, and no screams of agony. When characters are blown away by gun violence, they simply disappear.
What about chat?
Online chat on Battle Royale means your child can be exposed to chatter from strangers of all ages. The mobile version wasn’t designed for chat but if your child has an XBox app, he will be able to access that risky function. There is a chat feature for the Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Mac versions, which make the game more problematic on those platforms.
Fortnite: Battle Royale has spawned a substantial online pornography presence, and has recently claimed the dubious rank of the number-one most-searched game on Pornhub.
To be clear, Fortnite porn is not embedded within the game itself, and in fact violates the game’s code of conduct, but has been created and is being shared widely by players on sites like Pornhub and Twitch.
This process of pornification is not unique to Fortnite. Characters from many popular games – and even shapes from Minecraft, if you can believe it – have been co-opted by pornographers, both of the DIY and the professional variety.
Will your child encounter porn if he or she stays within the confines of the game? No. But then again, staying within the confines of the game is not what gamers necessarily do in today’s infinitely tentacled online world.
On the plus side
Fortnite: Battle Royale is not without redeeming features. Playing the game well requires strategic thinking and creativity, as Minecraft-like functionality invites players to design and build fortifications (hence the “fort” in Fortnite).
But is it true, as some parents have maintained, that Battle Royale is the 2018 version of Minecraft – i.e., really just a digital version of playing Lego?
Experts agree that would be a stretch.
The game certainly shares Minecraft’s addictive qualities. And that means it’s super-fun to play. But that very quality can also spell trouble.
“This game is keeping some teens up all night,” notes one frustrated high school teacher. “Make sure you have time restraints and kids who can put it down. There are kids turning the corner towards an unhealthy addiction for Fortnite.”
So what do the experts recommend?
“Fortnite is an unequivocal NO for primary-school-aged children and should be played with care and a good dose of parental supervision for older teens,” advises Family Zone Cyber Expert Susan McLean.
“Any game with a chat function is a worry and has the potential to link your child with random strangers. The potential for abuse and exploitation – not to mention exposure to offensive language – cannot be overstated.”
In the words of another reviewer, “The game might be clean, but the gamers might not.”
If you’re unsure whether to allow your child to play Fortnite: Battle Royale, why not start with a conversation – and ask for a demonstration? Family Zone cyber experts agree: The very best way to protect your child is to be involved in his or her online world.
“Parenting with Eyes Wide Open” was finished and printed in July, 2018. The response has been overwhelming and humbling. At the request of parents a Study Guidebook is being developed to further assist parents. This will provide a platform for parents to come together and discuss what seems to work and what doesn’t within their communities.
I was recently in a Northern Alberta community where 48 parents attended and 45 books were sold. Thank you! The book is available on Kindle, through the website www.lifesynergy4youth.com, and at Indigo located on 130th Ave S.E. Calgary. The best deal is at the parent session which is $20.00 per book, GST included.
Testimonials of the month:
I just wanna thank you for everything you and your program did for me. Back when I was in junior high and struggling with the new transition into Jr. High, the things you brought up really changed my views. I’d always been outgoing and expressive but also got teased a lot. After you came to our school and we did those little group sessions I realized that what others thought didn’t matter. I am who I am and there’s nothing to be ashamed of for it. I carried these thoughts onward and developed then over the years to a point today where I don’t let the bullies get to me anymore and I’m the man who will stand up for the weak.
I had a really toxic relationship with a girl a few months back and it took me a long time to escape her grasp but then to also get myself out of the mindset that I needed her. That’s when I messaged you because I thought if the things you taught us way back when and I realized that I needed to make a change. I needed to do a “thumb switch” as you called it (fwi I literally did the whole thumb switching thing with my hands xD). Afterwards I felt a lot better about myself and I really felt a burden lifted. I was able to really appreciate those I had and I even got a new girlfriend who loves me greatly and sincerely
In case you’re curious about how I turned out, I graduated high school last year as a valedictorian candidate who won a bowling scholarship and the max grant from Alexander Rutherford. I’m currently attending Mount Royal University taking a computer science undergrad. My main goal though is going to the military to become an officer in the armoured division. I realized that I wanted to help those who needed me, stand up against the bullies and that over the years since you came I’ve built up a natural leadership role and stronger character to where I’m willing to make the decisions nobody else will because they’re hard.
Do I know where I would be without the Life Synergy for Youth program, no. One thing I do know is that it really inspired me and changed me way down to my core and I have you mostly to thank for that. If you ever wanna go grab a coffee or something and share stories I would be happy to hear from you and talk face to face to the man that changed me. Thanks for everything Dwayne, take care.
University Student – male