STOP Trying to be the Cool Parent and Just be the Parent.
By Nancy Kislin, LCSW and MFT, Parent Educator
I overheard two women talking today about how exciting it was last night to see all the kids taking pictures before Prom. I smiled to myself remembering how much fun my daughter and I had shopping for her prom dress and getting her hair done. Indeed, it was a special mom-and-daughter-bonding time.
And then I heard one woman say that she bought her daughter a wine bra.
I was abruptly brought back to reality. A what? A wine bra. That’s right. You heard me – it’s called a wine bra or a wine rack. I quickly googled "wine bra" and found out that Amazon sells a product entitled “The Wine Rack.” It costs a mere $29.99, and if you have Amazon Prime you can have it by the next day. It comes in small, medium or large.
The Wine Rack is a removable polyurethane bladder custom-shaped bra. It has a long drinking tube with an easy-to-use on/off valve to control the flow of the wine. This bra is machine washable but you need to hand wash the “bladder” part.
It was not the wine bra contraption that alarmed me as much as the mom’s statement that she "had to find her daughter a Wine Bra for her Prom dress.” Why was it her responsibility to purchase this bra? Why did the mom even know the daughter was going to sneak in alcohol to a school function? It is still illegal to drink if you are underage.
Many teens are not afraid to let their parents know that they are drinking. And many parents often turn a blind eye to the drinking and sometimes even purchase the alcohol for them.
I have many suggestions and comments for these parents but the biggest one is – stop spoiling your child. Stop treating them like a child.
If they want to drink at least let them figure out how to get their alcohol without mommy helping them and paying for it. Better yet, talk to your kids about the dangers of underage drinking, drunk driving, and how alcohol is often a gateway to drugs and the beginning of a lifelong addiction.
You don't do your child any favors by catering to and enabling harmful behavior. Your job is to supply the consequences and the boundaries, not the booze.
The ‘NO’ Revolution: Tough Love Builds Character!
Nancy Kislin, LCSW, MFT
Why is this generation considered the most indulged in the history of the world?
During the past year, I became acutely aware of how privileged and entitled young people have become and how much power we are giving our children. I began a dialogue with friends and colleagues to see if they were noticing the same phenomenon. It seems I am not alone in my observations.
I decided to do something about it! Dear reader, whether you are a parent, grandparent, teacher or young person I challenge you to join me in the “NO” REVOLUTION.
Say “NO” to the culture of raising spoiled, privileged, entitled and simply unlikeable children who fear working hard, are incapable of being self sufficient and often lack self-esteem and a sense of social responsibility.
Think I don’t understand your child?
Or, maybe you feel it is too late to help your kid. It isn’t.
Over 28 years of working with teens and children has shown me that it is possible to change – them and you.
Parents – you have enormous potential and you have the Power! You have the power to say “NO” and to positively influence and shape the kind of person your child will become.
I want you to remember the excitement, and maybe the fear, you felt when you first held your baby. Remember all the dreams and the potential that literally lay in your hands.
Your children, regardless of their current ages, need you to dream and believe in them as much as they need you to set boundaries. Parents need to remember the incredible job they signed on to perform. Parents have a responsibility to provide our children with basic needs; love, guidance, a sense of humor, an ability to laugh at themselves, and many other life survival skills. You only have 18 years to help our children develop a solid foundation. What values are you choosing to communicate to your children and which one’s are you living by? You are their biggest role model!
At a recent dinner with friends, my vision for the “NO” Revolution campaign was reinforced. It became crystal clear that the children are not at fault for the way they are turning out, The parents are!!!
My friends’ husband turned to his elementary school age kids and told them to pick out whatever they wanted from the menu. His daughter stated she wanted plain pasta with butter. There was no discussion about eating a well-balanced meal – just “okay, sweetie.”
I chimed in “my entrée comes with a side of pasta. Your daughter can have my pasta instead of ordering an adult portion.” “No” replied the father.
The father stated it was not fair for his daughter not to get her own meal; she was far too smart and would catch on that she was being cheated.
Only after the father learned that the side dish of pasta came in the same size plate as the entrée and the other adults joined in the discussion, did he agree not to order his daughter another dish.
When did our society adopt a philosophy that children were entitled to “things” and at risk of getting cheated.
The child ended up eating five buttered penne noodles, drank two juice boxes, then whined that she was bored.
Recently at a cocktail party I had attended, I overheard a woman sharing how stressed out she was about helping her child prepare for the college application process. She was annoyed that her kid spent too much time playing video games and did not have enough volunteer experiences. This mom was scared her kid would not succeed so she asked a friend to write a letter of recommendation stating that her son had volunteered for an organization, although it was fictitious.
I overheard her saying that she was asking her husband's partner to write a letter claiming fictitious community service hours.
This raises many questions about the moral character of the community we are building. What are the values and morals that we are instilling in our children? At what cost are we helping our children get ahead?
And where are they rushing to go?
Parents, it is not your fault alone. We live in a world where instant gratification is the norm. But how far are we willing to go before we realize we have lost too much?
Our children are paying too high a price.
“NO” Revolution Tips and Strategies:
Don’t be afraid to listen to your heart, to your sense of right and wrong and don’t get caught up in what your neighbor or friend’s kid is doing.
Be part of the “NO” Revolution. Raise a child that is kind, loving, respectful and one you like hanging out with.
Your Kid is Vaping!
By Nancy Kislin, LCSW and MFT and Parenting Educator
The hottest new trend amongst high school kids is “vaping”. Ask your teen if they have tried an e-cig. Don’t be surprised if they say “Yes, everyone does it. It no big deal – it’s safe. It’s legal.”
Several of my clients just last week told me they started vaping. Their responses when asked why they are vaping include:
What are e-cigs or “vaping”?
Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigs) are battery-operated vaporizers that are designed to mimic the feeling of smoking a tobacco cigarette. They usually use flavoring which may or may not contain nicotine, but they are always without tobacco. Instead of traditional smoking, their inhaling is called vaping. An e-cigarette can be activated by either pressing a power or fire button or by simply taking a puff. Initially, they were designed to look like traditional tobacco cigarettes, but now with nearly 300 brands, they come in all shapes and sizes, and can look like anything such as pens and memory sticks.
What are the dangers of Vaping?
E-cigarettes don't fill the lungs with harmful smoke, but that doesn't make them a safe alternative to regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes still put nicotine — which is absorbed through your lungs — into your system. In addition to being an addictive drug, nicotine is also toxic in high doses.
Nicotine affects your brain, nervous system, and heart. It raises blood pressure and heart rate. The larger the dose of nicotine, the more a person's blood pressure and heart rate go up.
E-cigs or vaping pens also use “fruity” flavorings or marijuana oil.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that teens are still ingesting nicotine at a higher rate than experts expected. The study tracked “the use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes among 5,490 California high school seniors who graduated between 1995 and 2014” and found that because of vaping, teens report inhaling nicotine at rates researchers haven’t seen since the ‘90s.
Parents and educators still need to educate kids about the dangers of nicotine. They need to talk about the risks and the consequences. The lessons of "how bad cigarettes are" is being lost on this generation.
Why you need to know about vaping!
Vaping is a trend that is a growing phenomena with tweens and teens.
Many kids are using pens or a product called Juul. Juul is referred to the “Apple” of vaping. But the design isn’t the only commendable thing about Juul, it’s incredibly easy to use and claims to outperform some of the more expensive competitors.
The cost of these products range from $49.99 to $89.99 for starter kits. Some kids brag at how many they are collecting. Although you can buy cheaper versions at local stores.
Another popular brand is called Halo. Halo is available online and has a wide variety of colors, designs, and flavors that can include nicotine or not. Kits range from $49.99 to over $90.00. Are you interested? They make it very appealing to the tweens and teens.
It is illegal for retailers to sell to anyone under 19 years of age. Sellers can be prosecuted. The result of this is that the younger teens without a "fake identity card" relies on older kids to supply them with their "nicotine pods" and "marijuana dabs." If I have confused you by now - it means we now have local "dealers" selling to our kids at younger ages. This is the Perfect Storm - Vaping is the Gateway to early and more frequent use of marijuana and other drugs.
Some of the Newest Trends
1 in 4 teens who have used e-cigarettes have also tried a potentially dangerous new vaping method called "dripping" — dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of the device to produce thicker, more flavorful smoke — a new study found.
"Dripping” is the slow release of the liquid from a wick onto a hot atomizer, which may expose users to higher levels of nicotine and to harmful non-nicotine toxins, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde — known carcinogens, according to the journal Pediatrics. KIDS ARE VAPING with Marijuana oil which makes it really easy to get high just about anywhere. Yes – your kid may be getting high during class, in the hallways and of course, the bathrooms.Marijuana oil is the same as THC oil and Cannabis oil. The advantages of vaping the oil is that it has no odor, easy to use and you can do it anywhere.
And did you know that Marijuana is still illegal everywhere in this country if you are under 21 years of age. And yes – that means it is illegal for your kid to get high and drive.
Manufacturers are marketing to younger kids with flavors such as bubble gum and gummy bear. They are targeting your kids and in many cases it is working. It is creating a habit of holding a device in their hands, bringing it to their mouths, enjoying the sensation and thus – on the path to addiction.
Vaping is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes.
To learn more go to or google Vaping and e-cigarettes. Knowledge is power and you need to be in the know!
I have witnessed young teens promise me, their parents and most importantly themselves that they will never "binge drink, smoke pot and vape." In record time, our conversation changed drastically in a few weeks. Vaping on any device makes it so easy to become addicted.
- you can do it anywhere - and they are.
- a few inhales creates a powerful buzz from the nicotine and the marijuana
- there is no smell at the time or a smell that lingers
- easy access to buying
- enhances this generation of kids need for immediate gratification
Check back regularly to my blogs. I am researching more on this dreadful situation.
Health Care professionals I have consulted with all agree the trend is growing and we do not know the long term consequences of vaping.
Talk to your kids! Don't be afraid to say NO!