Your First Homework Assignment
You learn a lot when you go to B.I.L.Y. Meetings. One of your first homework assignments (yes, you get homework) is to write out a list of rules for your home. Setting rules, so simple and yet at the same time, so difficult! It is important because even though we think we are clear when talking to our children, they usually do not hear what we think we are saying. So, you need clear rules, in writing.
However, as parents, we learn early on to pick our battles and so there cannot be an overwhelming number of rules – just what is most essential in your home. And, they must be rules you are willing to enforce. This is probably of greatest importance, for if you are not willing to enforce a rule it is meaningless!
Post Your Rules
So, now you have your rules written down. It is time to post them. (Better make several copies in case your child just rips the list up.) However, once again, if you say it, you have to mean it. So, are you willing to give consequences for broken rules?
If your answer is yes, post your rules! Go over them with your child and then tape them to the refrigerator, to the bathroom mirror, to the pantry door – wherever works for you and so your child will see them.
If your answer is no, do not post them. Think about the situation in your home. You cannot control the behavior of someone else, you can only control your own. So, when you are ready to act differently to achieve different results, to affect positive change in your home . . . to commit to change – post your rules.
Broken Rules Lead to Negative Consequences
Once you have your rules set, it is time to think about consequences, both positive and negative. For following the rules, do not forget to reward you child. Depending on their age, it can be as simple as extra television time or, for an older child, a curfew extension on their next outing. However, your child will quickly learn that the rules are meaningless unless you are serious about enforcing them, which means giving negative consequences. And, as I have learned from attending meetings, Because I Love is very good with creative consequences!
For example, my teenage son was constantly dropping his clothes all over the house and no amount of nagging or yelling made a difference. So, after a few BILY meetings, thinking about how much he loved reading Science Fiction/Fantasy, I said to him there were three approved places to leave his clothes (hamper, closet or drawers) and if they were not in one of these places a giant troll was going to eat them. He rolled his eyes. A few days later his favorite blue sweater was on the couch . . . “munch, munch”. And, sure enough, a few days after that, he asked me if I had seen his blue sweater. When I asked if it was in one of the three approved places, he said “No”. Well then, I replied, the giant troll ate it! His first reaction – he laughed. Point made with no yelling!
So think about your child, what they like, what is important to them and, come up with some creative consequences of your own. Keep it simple, keep it short-term.
And, in case you are wondering, after my son raked up all the leaves, the giant troll spit out his sweater!
20-Year-Old Pregnant Bully
What do you do with a 20-year-old pregnant bully that lives to terrorize you everyday? Jk Bradford
Hello Jk: There are rules that need to be set up in your home. Are there any? It starts there. It starts with setting the rules and limitations. There are also significant consequences that need to follow if the rules are broken. For my adult child it was being asked to leave our home if the rules were broken. Begin with setting up a list of rules in your house and discussing it with your adult child. Your adult child being pregnant definitely complicates matters. But this does not mean that you should be terrorized in your own home. There are homeless shelters for pregnant women if it needs to come to this. You may decide to allow your adult child to live there temporarily until the birth of the baby as long as the rules are followed in your home. This is just my opinion however. You can come to our meeting in Granada Hills on Tuesdays at 7pm to receive a lot more support and ideas. I wish you well. Reply from: OhLucy
Hi Jk: Thank you for reaching out. I always suggest start by looking for a support group in your area. Second, look for our Because I Love You support book here in our B.I.L.Y. Store. It will give you amazing information and great suggestions on how to become number 1, and help yourself to help your kids. If we as parents do not make a change, our children will not follow there lead. As parents, it is very hard to deal with teenagers. We are responsible by law until 18. After 18, we are responsible because of the unconditional love in our hearts. I may suggest, if she is bullying, that if the situation occurs severe enough, you call the police. The police will always do what is possible to help the situation. Never let yourself be in harms way. You may also contact your County Mental Health office, as they have numerous resources on classes, programs, and placements, to help with out of control teens, drinking, drugs, domestic violence, rebellions, and unwed mothers.
Always remember, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE; PAIN IS INEVITABLE BUT IT IS THE SUFFERING THAT IS OPTIONAL!!! Keep positive in the direction you want to change, and read our book. Wishing you and your family, success, strength, love and happiness in your road ahead. It is never easy, but definitely obtainable. Reply from: Chychyheart
1. I WILL BE NUMBER ONE
I will regain my credibility as a parent. I will feel good about myself and the home I live in…my child and I are not equal.
2. I WILL NO LONGER FEEL GUILTY
I know that I have done the best I can and that I am not the sole cause of my child’s behavior. I will not buy into the “Why didn’t I’s” or “Maybe if I had done this.” I am not the only influence in my child’s life.
3. I WILL NOT SHARE IN MY CHILD’S CRISIS
I will put the crisis where it belongs. If my child chooses to put him/herself into crisis, I will no longer pad those corners or become a rescuer.
4. I WILL LEARN TO LET GO
My child needs to become more independent so that he/she can gain self-confidence. I must allow my child the space.
5. I WILL MAKE THE RULES
I pay the bills, I make the rules. These rules will be what I am comfortable with.
6. I WILL FOLLOW THROUG
I will learn to act instead of react. Each crisis must have a consequence that I am prepared to follow through with. I will change my pattern of behavior and always be prepared by staying a step ahead.
7. I WILL KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN
I will allow time for open discussion and remind my child that I am doing this “Because I Love You.”
8. I WILL ALWAYS AVAIL MY FAMILY OF RESOURCES AND MATERIALS
I will obtain any and all literature pertaining to the problems of my child. I will direct them to the proper channels be it education, drug problems, or a teen support group.
9. I WILL WORK TOWARDS A MORE REALISTIC FAMILY LIFE
We are not now, nor will we ever be “The Brady Bunch.” I will look for cooperation in the home, with everyone doing his or her part.
10. I WILL BECOME ACTIVE IN A PARENT SUPPORT GROUP
I will get involved with parents who are having or have had similar problems, I will make a commitment to attend six meetings, and then hopefully I will be out of crisis enough that I will want to give back to the group.
These Steps, or guidelines, help parents build a stronger role within the family, and as a result, help the children in the family understand the responsibility they must take for their actions within the family unit. By using these steps, parents are encouraged to “be strong” and take a firm stance with their ideas and behavior enforcement. In doing this, they will learn that these guidelines really do work as they have for thousands of other parents since 1982.
Although B.I.L.Y. does not guarantee results, it does help parents communicate better within their family structure and open their hearts and minds to the situation as well.
B.I.L.Y. holds meetings weekly (see our location list). In the two-and-a-half hour sessions, the first two hours are committed to the parents’ small group, which is a group of up to eight people who focus on the individual’s problems. Solutions are offered by members of the group, usually including some who have experienced the same problem at one time or another. Next, the entire parent support group meets to discuss success stories and testimonials. This is an important part of the meeting, because positive reinforcement is vital to the group’s morale. Sometimes, success buttons are given as a token of achievement on the parent’s part.
In addition to these weekly meetings, B.I.L.Y. offers both Communication Camps (weekends) and Family Workshops (one-day) for families to get to know each other better through a series of workshops, discussions, and exercises. This has been very successful in past years as a communication tool.
Through participation in the group and with the combination of support, compassion, and flexibility, parents are guided every step of the way in an effort to help achieve their individual goals.
B.I.L.Y. has helped more than 100,000 people regain control of their lives and improve the quality of communication within their families. With this kind of accomplishment under its belt, it is obvious that B.I.L.Y. is successful at helping parents and children alike when it comes to communication problems.
Drugs tests can use hair samples, blood samples, or urine. The length of time a drug can be detected after it is ingested is dependent on both the drug and the type of test used. The table below shows how long commonly abused drugs can be detected by a urine based drug test, detection times for other tests vary.
|Amphetamines||1 or 2 Days|
|Cocaine||1 or 4 Days|
|Marijuana||1 Day to 5 Weeks|
|LSD (Acid)||8 Hours|
|Opiates||1 or 2 Days|
Parents, are you drug testing your teen or do you fall into the “Oh no, not my kid” syndrome? I cannot count the amount of parents that I encounter who respond with statements such as; “I would know if my kid was using”, “He told me that he is not and I trust him” or “She cannot stand being around anyone who is smoking”. And, when you find some pot, a pipe or any other drug paraphernalia in their room or back pack, do you hear “It’s not mine”, “I don’t know how it got there” or “I am just holding it for a friend”?
Are you aware that drug overdose deaths are the second highest cause of death among our youth today, second only to motor vehicle accidents? The most common types of overdose occur with Heroin, Cocaine and prescription pain medications known as Opioids, such as Oxycontin. These, as well as many other illegal drugs, are readily available to our youth in the most open and seemingly safe places – school yards, malls, mini marts, recreational centers, parties and even in your own medicine cabinet.
Do not wait until your child becomes a statistic. Test them now because you love them. It is not a matter of trust but rather a matter of responsibility and that lies with you, the parent. Today drug tests are available in most pharmacies, as well as, many local parent support groups, such as ours.
If you decide to drug test your youth, and I hope that you do, never tell them ahead of time about an upcoming test. Also, be sure the test is supervised to eliminate their use of any ingredient that could alter the results. If the test shows a negative result, reward them but also remind them you will be doing random tests while they are living in your home. This can also work as a deterrent when the opportunity to use presents itself to them within their social life, a reason to say no.
A positive result is just the first step to a solution. Seek immediate support for you and your youth. Relying on them to stop by themselves only continues to keep you as part of the problem.
The Heroine Epidemic
Heroine is a problem of epidemic proportions in many communities. Don’t assume that it will not affect your kids or family. Martha, from our St. Louis B.I.L.Y. group, sent us http://www.not-even-once.com, a link which I implore you to PLEASE review. It will inform you and your kids about all you need to know about Heroin.
Please parents, don’t ignore this!