Dr John Mayer

27

January

2015

0

Dr John Mayer

Essential Info Needed When a Student Returns From A Hospitalization

Here are specific recommendations for information I believe a school should have before accepting a student back from a hospitalization (physical or mental) treatment program, or other such absence from school.

 

An age-old concern of mine is that a student is absent from school, receives some type of services and then, voila, all of a sudden they are sitting in their seat as if nothing happened. Is the student safe? Are the other students safe? Is there anything we (school) need to know? Attend to?

 

By a treatment facility’s accreditation they are obligated to formulate a “Discharge Summary” or similar document, but in my experience this is seldom done or if so it is done poorly and certainly it is not shared with schools. Please don’t accept such poor care.

 

Not having these 7 questions answered before a student returns to school is a potentially dangerous situation for that student, all your students and your entire school.

 

Final Note: What I also often see is that a school contacts a treatment facility or provider and asks for information and then never receives the requested data.

Tip: Place the responsibility for submitting the information on the parents—it will get done. Advise them that they are the customers of this facility and by law this information must exist.

 

REQUIRED INFORMATION FOR A STUDENT’S RETURN TO THIS SCHOOL AFTER A HOSPITALIZATION OR OTHER ABSENCE AT A PROGRAM, FACILITY OR TREATMENT CENTER.

Note: An executed Release of Information Form is on file at our school.

 

1-    Please provide this school a copy of both your initial intake form and your discharge summary. (Note: To adopt this form for use as is, leave generous spaces between numbered items.)

2-    If this student received academic assistance at your program/facility, please detail your current academic status of this student. Please attach transcripts, but also detail here the specific subjects, proficiency level, and areas covered while in your program. Please inform this school of any deficits you have seen in this student.

3-    Please detail what services your facility will continue to provide to this student. List days and times of continuing contacts.

4-    If your facility’s assistance to this student has ended, what follow-up is or should be taking place elsewhere? Did you set-up this follow-up with the student? Please provide the time and place of the first appointment.

5-    What are your specific and detailed recommendations for this school to assist this student moving forward? (Please have the person who delivered service to the student fill this section out.)

6-    If this student is on medications, please list those here and outline any side effects or other concerns this school should be aware of throughout the student’s school day.

7-    When will your assistance to this student end? If it has already terminated, please provide that date.

Initial Report___________             Update___________

Signed_______________________________________Date____________

 

Printed Name_________________________________

 

Agency/Hospital/Program________________________________________

 

 

7

January

2015

0

Dr John Mayer

When your teen or child seems angry: 7 to look for and 7 to do.

When your teen or child seems Angry

7 things to look for and 7 things to do

Dr. John E. Mayer

 

LOOK FOR:

1-  look for a cause of the anger. Did an event, a trauma, a conflict with peers, a change in the family cause your child to be angry.

2-  Did a specific cause make your child angry or is this a long standing part of their personality?

3-  Could something physical they are experiencing be a cause? Pain? Illness?

4-  For teens-could their anger be a result of some growth changes? Hormonal changes? Have an exam from your pediatrician.

5-  Does everyone see/experience the anger in your child? Friends? School? Relatives? Coaches? Etc?

6-  Have there been any life changes in their life in the last few years, months? Death in family? Economic conditions in family? Losses?

7-  Be honest-is anger modeled in the home? Is a parent or family member angry?

 

More troubled teens and children’s anger is long term and not tied to a specific event. It is displayed throughout their life, not just at home. Further, physical pain and hormonal/growth changes in your child should always be considered as a possible cause.

DO:

 1-  Observe your teen/child in other settings to see if their anger is present then.

2-  Provide outlets for your child/teens emotions. Clubs, hobbies, sports, arts, etc.

3-  Structure their behavior-give consequences for displaying aggressive behaviors or inappropriate behaviors.

4-  Model happiness, love, affection, caring, empathy, kindness and positivity in your home.

5-  Don’t fight fire with fire. Getting angry with an angry child just builds a bonfire.

6-  Don’t panic—use all these techniques to get to the root of the problem(s).

7-  Get help. Get an assessment from a professional that is an expert with this age group and with anger issues. Even if it is a one time evaluation session.

 

For an in-depth look at angry/violent teens read An Anger at Birth by J.E. Mayer. More at: www.jemayerbooks.com and www.DrJohnMayer.com

23

November

2014

0

Dr John Mayer

A Parents’ & Therapist’s Nightmare

Parents’ and Therapist’s Nightmare

 

HERE IS THE TRANSCRIPT OF AN EMAIL I RECEIVED TODAY AND MY RESPONSE:

Dear Dr. Mayer, several years ago you greatly helped our son with therapy. I am writing to you because I am concerned about the therapy he is now receiving in XXXXXXXXX from a therapist as well as from a psychiatrist who has prescribed him Adderol and Clonazepam medicines which I believe to be harming him. Since he has been on these medicines he has not been able to sleep, has lost a lot of weight and his behaviors are not right. He fought with his younger brother and almost bit his ear and when confronted with this behavior he stated that he was snorting the adderol given to him because he felt so broken now inside since being on meds and was not able to sleep for days. Another incident involved a posting on his xxxxxxxxxxx page which was worrisome to say the least. I know that since he is an adult legally I have no right to confront the doctors down in xxxxxxx but I believe they are doing him a great disservice with the medicines they are giving him. It’s like these pills have changed him and he still uses alcohol while on them which I know is making these symptoms worse. Any information as to what action I could take to inform the doctors of what I perceive to be a scary situation would help tremendously. If you cannot answer my concerns, I will understand. Your counseling helped xxxxxxx very much as a teenager, but now he is getting worse and I believe it to be the medicine that he is being given. Very Truly, xxxxxxxxxx

 

Dear Mrs. XXXXXXX

I remember xxxxxx fondly. He was a very bright, intellectual young man with a tremendous future. I recall he went to xxxxxxx for college and he was excited about his studies.

Here’s what often occurs in cases such as xxxxxxxxx. He may be seeing a therapist who doesn’t understand young people and xxxxxxxx can be intense in his intellectual fervor and passion for causes and ideas. When I was treating him he was very passionate about making a positive change in society and he aspired to a career in politics-all done the “right” socially appropriate way. That’s why he went to Xxxxxxxx University and majored in xxxxxxxx. That zeal and his great abilities both intellectually and persuasively can make him seem scary to a novice therapist. What happens is that the therapist gets uncomfortable with the intensity of the young person’s emotions and automatically refers the patient to a physician/psychiatrist to get medications to calm the intensity. But, both providers seem to be incapable of understanding and coping with the intensity of xxxxxxx expression of emotion. What happens is that the medications place controls on xxxxxxxx’s emotions and therefore his thoughts and actions, so the young person’s spirit is broken, those qualities that so made xxxxxxx who he is are now inaccessible-his intellect, his zeal, his passion to help others.

I realize that because he is legally an adult and you feel helpless, but there are things you can do. Try and contact the psychiatrist and the therapist and give them the data, the facts on how xxxxxxxx is acting on the meds. I would both email this and send it in a certified letter to emphasize the seriousness of what the family is witnessing. I would also look for other mental health providers in that area who may be more expert on the care of an intellectual, passionate young adult. I can help you search for them. If there is any other way I can help, I would be glad to do so. I can also offer a phone consult with you and dad and xxxxxx and/or with xxxxxxx privately.

Dr. John Mayer

10

November

2014

0

Dr John Mayer

Immaturity: Unintentional Coping Mechanism

  Immaturity: Unintentional Coping Mechanism

I’ve called attention to what I call the ‘Epidemic of Immaturity’ in the past few years. In doing so I stressed how I believe that our young people are more talented and informed than ever. In spite of their talent and knowledge many forces determine that immaturity continues to pervade the current generation of young people and generations to come. Certainly, there are exceptions as we see our young people accomplish amazing things with their talent.

Since I have been speaking about immaturity I’ve been asked why? What’s to blame? Who’s to blame? Parents? Schools? Society? The Internet? Media? Technology?

Well, the answer is multi-determined and multifaceted. All of these forces and more create this veil of immaturity that covers our young people in this current generation and will do so for generations in the foreseeable future.

In other Memos (Vol.26 No.’s 2 + 3) I have discussed the nature of this epidemic and what schools and parents can do to help young people. In this Memo my goal here is to point out the understanding that immaturity often unintentionally acts as a coping mechanism in young people. Think about this. If I (teen-child) act, think, emote immaturely, then I will not have to take on the stresses and pressures of adult life. I keep the adult world away from demanding that I become adult-like. I can postpone this for now and stay within the safe, comfortable cocoon of childhood.

How does this help us? Well, like many coping mechanisms in life, to help an individual we don’t jump right in and try to erase this coping mechanism because if we do there can be disastrous effects. Coping mechanisms are in place to protect us from anxiety, fear, stress, and emotional turmoil. Remove them without other tools in place and the person can be broken. If we continually approach immaturity as always negative in a young person’s life then we will not be successful at the goal of leading the youth into maturity. Break this coping mechanism prematurely and you increase the chances for this youth to act-out with poor school performance, alienation, psychological disturbance violence, drug abuse or gang activity.

So, five huge takeaways from this Memo: 1-Understand that immature behavior in young people is commonplace today. 2- Immaturity is not our enemy-it helps young people cope with the stresses of today’s world. 3- We build MATURITY in young people by replacing immature behaviors, thoughts, and emotions with alternatives that work for them. 4- This process from immaturity to maturity can be slow and takes patience from the adult world. 5- Stop addressing immaturity as an insult, a negative and start understanding immaturity as a coping mechanism of the not quite fully developed human being.

 

 

 

More here at: www.DrJohnMayer.comFollow me on Twitter @DrJohnMayer for daily tips for schools and parents on teens, tweens and kings and queens!

Check out my new Author web site for my fiction at: www.jemayerbooks.com and my tweets at: @jemayerbooks. Check out my two new fiction books: Immortal: The First Tango a new, scientific twist to explain the vampire legend and An Anger at Birth the story of a raging teen time-bomb and how we fail to help teens at-risk.

6

October

2014

0

Dr John Mayer

The 3 A’s for Effective Change in Families & Schools.

THE 3A’S

     IN HOME & SCHOOL

 

In the last Memo my mention of the 3A’s– Attitude, Approach, Atmosphere– resonated with readers and social media. I have long advocated that these three simple changes can have powerful benefits both in our homes and our schools. I’ve talked about these important tools for years when discussing helping young people but never really gave them a separate explanation and focus. So here goes, here’s how to apply the 3A’s to your home or school:

Attitude: Consider how you feel, what are your values and beliefs, then frequently EXPRESS your attitudes toward how you believe others should behave toward others and care for themselves. Don’t assume everyone ‘gets it’ by your actions. It is important to give voice your attitudes about how to live life. Your kids are listening.

Approach: This ‘A’ is all about modeling, the most powerful tool adults can use to influence young people. Put-downs, insults, sarcasms don’t build rapport, don’t motivate or enliven young people and will only generate such behavior toward you and others in return. Such humor or motivation has been consistently shown to not work and it gives kids permission to spread negative, mean spirited approaches. Simply put-stop it!

Atmosphere: It is one thing for YOU to change your attitude and approach and this will make a huge difference, but you can become even a more powerful results by standing up and making sure young people are surrounded by a healthy, positive lifestyle. You accomplish this by not having materials, products, messages or even people in your home or school that support negative or destructive behavior. Here’s how:

 

  • Schools: Join my career-long campaign to end sarcasm, student insults, etc. as allowable classroom techniques. Frequently send out reminders in staff emails, newsletters, even paychecks, that these practices are not tolerated at this school. Make this a part of staff evaluations.
  • Home: It should be zero tolerance at home when a family member is negative. This includes spouses, relatives, and visitors in your home. Example: Uncle Charley getting drunk at Thanksgiving dinner is not funny. Outside your home model this as well. Your children will be watching you with eyes wide open as you encounter others in the world. Your response/reaction will be powerful both on them and others. Your reaction doesn’t have to be a big confrontation, rather a non-tolerance of that person or situation by ending a transaction, walking away from an event, or otherwise not participating in someone or something that promotes destructive/negative behavior.
  • School and Home: I call this step-Stripping the Beds! Take an inventory of items in your home that promote negative/destructive behaviors and get rid of them. You may be surprised at what you find. Books, magazines, video games, CD’s, movies, decorations, unhealthy foods, clothing, etc. Schools: Posters and decorations in language labs, school mascots, names of clubs/organizations, etc. Schools: Ok, faculty may be on board with this attitude and approach, but is everyone in your building? Support staff? Seemingly unlikely sources-even vendors and/or maintenance staff can spread powerful modeling of unacceptable lifestyle and values. Take the inventory!

Follow me on Twitter @DrJohnMayer for daily tips on teens, tweens and kings and queens!

Check out my new Author web site for my fiction at: www.jemayerbooks.com and my tweets at: @jemayerbooks.

23

September

2014

0

Dr John Mayer

Mayer’s Memo — Racism Part II

Dr. Mayer’s Memo

Oct. 2014        Making a Difference–Racism 

 

In the last issue I posted my interview with a journalist who asked me to comment on How to Talk to Your Children/Students on Racism. In this Memo I would like to provide schools and families with some effective, powerful, yet easily implemented changes that will make a huge difference on racism.

 

If you have been reading these Memos for some time you know I am strong proponent of Attitude, Approach, and Atmosphere in how we change young people. Let’s start to call these the 3A’s. Powerful change happens when you change the 3A’s in you school or home.

 

Here’s how to apply the 3A’s to the issue of Racism:

Attitude: Evaluate how you feel and EXPRESS your attitudes toward issues of race. (Note: When using the word, race, in this Memo I am also talking about ethnicity, culture, sexism and religion. I also feel my advice here applies to physical differences and difference in general.) Practice always an attitude of equality and fairness.

Approach: Never use race, ethnicity, religion, or physical difference as quips, motivational tools, rapport builders, social commentary, or for any other purpose in your classrooms or homes. Such humor or motivation has been consistently shown to not work with young people and it gives kids permission to spread racism.

Atmosphere: It is one thing for YOU to change your attitude and approach and this will make a huge difference, but you can become even a more powerful change agent by standing up and making sure the atmosphere in your school or home is also not tolerant of racism. You accomplish this by not tolerating others in your school or home of having a racist attitude or approach.

Þ    Schools: Join my career-long campaign to end sarcasm, student insults, etc. as allowable classroom techniques. Frequently send out reminders in staff emails, newsletters, even paychecks, that these practices are not tolerated at this school. Make this a part of staff evaluations.

Þ    Home: It should be zero tolerance at home when a family member makes a mean spirited racial remark whether in jest or otherwise. This includes spouses, relatives, and visitors in your home. Outside your home model zero tolerance of racism as well. Your children will be watching you with eyes wide open as you encounter racism in the world. Your response/reaction will be powerful both on them and others. Your reaction doesn’t have to be a big confrontation, rather a non-tolerance of that person or situation by ending a transaction, walking away from an event, or otherwise not participating in someone or something that promotes racism.

Þ    School and Home: Take an inventory of items in your home that promote racism and you may be surprised. (Reminder-of all I’m using this word to embody, see above.) Books, magazines, video games, CD’s, movies, clothing, etc. Schools: Posters and decorations in language labs, school mascots, names of clubs/organizations, etc. Schools: Ok, faculty may be on board with this attitude and approach, but is everyone in your building? Support staff? Seemingly unlikely sources-even vendors can spread powerful modeling of racist attitudes and approaches. Take the inventory!

 

 

 Follow me on Twitter @DrJohnMayer for daily tips on teens, tweens and kings and queens!

Check out my new Author web site for my fiction at: www.jemayerbooks.com and my tweets at: @jemayerbooks.

 

4

September

2014

0

Dr John Mayer

How to Discuss Race Issues with Kids

Dr. Mayer’s Memo
Sept. 2014                                                Talking to Students about Race

Given our tumultuous summer I was about to kick off this year’s Mayer’s Memos discussing the issue of RACE. As I was preparing I had interview for an upcoming national publication. I thought it might be useful to share my answers with all of you. Please feel free to pass this along to your parents. My responses apply to students through high school-more to say next issue on this subject for all ages.

1. If you are an African American parent, at what age should you speak to your child about race or the fact that there are different races? Does the same timeline apply to children of other races? And what about white children? I would suggest you begin mentioning differences around the third grade for two reasons.1-Social. Before grade three kids are not as social. Their relationships are ‘me’ centered and the feelings and needs of others are not primary. 2- Cognitive (Their thinking abilities.) Prior to third grade are also ‘me’ centered so trying to get them to think and empathize about the plight of others is wasted effort-noble, but wasted. And, yes these same principles apply to children of all races.

2. When an issue like Ferguson comes up, is it best to shield young children from it? Or are we running the risk they get misinformation from other children? You (mom&dad) need to always establish yourselves as the holders of the facts they may hear about in the media and at school. I have discussed this previously in my school and parent newsletter, Mayer’s Memo, (see DrJohnMayer.com/mayers-memos) when national tragedies have occurred. Do this up until their teenage years and even then make sure you discuss news items in your home. Children will look to you until their teens as the ultimate authority on all such matters. (I could explain why, but out of the scope of this article-unless you ask me.)
3. How do you talk about racial violence without scaring a child?
Talk factually-it’s important. It is developmentally important for children to understand that the world contains danger, bad people, yes it is scary but coping with that fear is important emotionally for them. This is also why YOU (parents) need to stand out to them as authorities because it helps make them feel safe in the world.

4. My son is 6 and has just started highlighting the “differences” between him and his peers (he goes to a predominantly white school). For example, during a party he noted we were the only ones with “black” eyes. What is the best response to something like this?
This is a great time and a great example to exercise what I was saying in #’s 1-3. I would respond, Yes, we look different, but also look at the other boys; did you notice that everyone looks different? One has glasses, one has curly hair, one has blue eyes, and one has blond hair. We are all different and that’s so great, everyone is unique. When I talk to school kids in anti-Bullying assemblies I start out pointing up these differences-the students ‘get it.’ So, you are laying the foundation for good anti-Bullying prevention.
5. During playdate, a child asked my son, “You are supposed to have pink skin. Why don’t you have pink skin like me?” This seems like a teachable moment for both children. I told them that everyone has different skin and that is the way it’s supposed to be. Not sure I handled properly. What was the best thing to say? Should I have told his parents? First, you handled it perfectly, see #4 above. Second, yes, mention it to parents in what I call my “aw sucks” way. Not as if a problem, but they will want to know and follow up with their child because that child will need confirmation from their parents in order to accept and incorporate the message. See my answer to #2 above.
6. What should a parent do if their child is called a racial slur?
That’s a bullying statement and I would handle it in the same way that I have shown is the proven ways to intervene into bullying: Teach them to 1-ignore 2-don’t react 3-let you and any other adult in charge at the time of the slur know about the incident and then you, and/or that other adult (teacher, coach, tutor, etc) should reprimand the other child and also let the other child’s parents know about the incident. See my book on this subject: A Parents’ Manual on Bullying and Teasing, yep available at: DrJohnMayer.com/buystuff.
7. What should a parent do if they learn their child has used racial slurs? You need to place such incidents into your home consequence system and give a strong consequence for this behavior as well as explain to the child how inappropriate this behavior is. When the child is older you can point out how this makes the other child feel, remember at the youngest ages, prior to approximately the tweens, they don’t have the cognitive ability to really empathize with others feelings-see my answer on this above and, yep, I have a book on Discipline for Parents on my web site as well, see DrJohnMayer.com/buystuff.

More at: www.DrJohnMayer.com Follow me on Twitter @DrJohnMayer for daily tips on teens, tweens and kings and queens!

13

May

2014

0

Dr John Mayer

POWER TOOLS FOR FAMILY DISCIPLINE

POWER TOOLS FOR FAMILY DISCIPLINE

Parents who become panicked when it comes to disciplining their tweens or teens may turn to expert advice, only to find a lack of useful information. Some of the best articles are well intentioned, but only offer basic concepts and not specific techniques. Social media is resplendent with shoulds/coulds/musts. All of which I call slogans. I never offer slogans,I am passionate about SOLUTIONS.

Here are my “Power Tools” for establishing effective discipline in your family.

Impose Discipline. Your approach is key. Impose discipline in a businesslike manner, without getting worked up. Your tweens/teens are children and will fail. Remember cleaning up their poop? You didn’t get mad at them – you just did your parenting job. Well, it’s the same at this age, except now their poop is different. As a parent, clean up the mess they make, businesslike, and move on.

No yelling. Once you yell, you immediately lose. The least effective thing you can do in disciplining your child.

It has to hurt. Consequences should hurt. Parents often mete out consequences that have too little effect on their kids. The best practice is to take away something that they will really miss: cellphones, boyfriend/girlfriend, going out, computer, video games. And don’t let them hoodwink you with, “I need my computer for school.” There are ways around that.

Be a powerful parent. Don’t change the punishment once you have set it. Earn respect, be firm, and make sure they listen. You may realize you made a mistake and gave too harsh a punishment. I recommend that you still see the punishment through and apologize. You can both learn from this.

Be in your teen’s face. Don’t give consequences from afar (across the house, yelling from another room, etc.). Go right up to them. If you’ve asked several times for them to turn the TV off, go stand in front of it. Be firm and right there. But, keep up your ‘teaching’ attitude, not the punisher or mean attitude.

Don’t fight. Discipline is not a negotiation. Fewer words work best when disciplining. If it turns into a negotiation, they will win every time because this is their only focus, whereas you have various other adult life things on our mind.

Be a united front (with your partner, spouse, co-parent). If you disagree with each other’s decisions, have this out behind closed doors, not in front of your tween/teen, or on the fly.

Be timely. Impose the consequence as close to the offense as possible; YET don’t rush into a decision. Take your time – a reasonable amount of time.

Choose carefully. Choose your battles wisely. Decide those things upon which you are going to stand your ground. Some things are not worth stressing about.

End any discussion that is disrespectful. Simply walk away. Remember—they want something from you. Ending the conversation takes the rug right out from under them.

Set household rules. Set rules, but be reasonable. Your tween/teen needs to know what to expect or how to behave the way you want them to.

Be consistent. Give the same consequences for the same actions. Only ramp up consequences, don’t ramp down.

Communicate. Make sure you are clear and understood.

Be Patient. A teen may shrug it off and act as if the intended consequences don’t affect them. They are just trying to throw you off. Steady the course.

Lower your expectations. You’re not going to see an epiphany each time. Kids are a work in progress and they will not perform like adults, so don’t expect that out of them.

It’s ultimately all about LEARNING. Be sure to pair up the discipline with a lesson on how to do things better. Tie the consequence into the specific action the tween/teen did. Remember the previous point: their brain will not comprehend a consequence that tries to address the entirety of their behavior. And in disciplining your tween/teen, make sure you teach them how they could have done things differently.

Final Note: Of course these are brief comments and there is so much more to say about this important issue. See my manual for parents on this web site under the tab: Get Stuff/Buy Stuff.

 

29

April

2014

0

Dr John Mayer

CONFIRMATION! (No, not THAT confirmation. Ha!)

Confirmation!
(No, not THAT Confirmation)

My entire career I have been jumping up an down about the importance to students’ academic success of such behavioral and psychological issues as parental attitude, the best home environment to foster school success, parents’ actions toward schooling (Like attending parent/teacher meetings-special presentations, etc.) and the way parents’ talk about school in the home. I didn’t conduct research to arrive at these conclusions nor did I conduct a meta-analysis to arrive at these admonitions. They came out of my experience, psychological training and observations as a school consultant. Some time ago I put my findings in my parents’ manual: Getting Great Grades. (You can get a copy on my web site-see below.)

Now, I have come across a forthcoming book, based on the research of two sociologists that confirm what I have been saying for 30 years. The book’s title is: The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement with Children’s Education by Keith Robinson of the Univ. of Texas and Angel L. Harris of Duke Univ. Their findings based on extensive research of families and education was startling. The research showed that parents who directly helped with homework was ineffective in improving tests scores and grades. This result was shown across social class, racial or ethnic background or student’s grade level. Wow! The authors argue against ‘hovering parents’ and for the need of students to do the work on their own even if they struggle and fail. So direct help by parents on homework, special projects, reports, etc. had no benefit on positive academic performance.

Does that mean that parents are not at all important for children’s academic success? NO! And here’s where my confirmation is had. Parents are critical for how well a child performs in school, but not in the conventional ways like doing homework etc. They found that success was most strongly correlated with parents’ attitudes, communications, and actions toward school. Just as I have been advocating for years and with all the tips that I have in my book Getting Great Grades.

To read more about this upcoming book and the authors’ findings take a look at the article written about their work in the New York Times: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/12/parental-involvement-is-overrated/

News!!! I just consolidated the Web Sites TeensTheFix.com and Parenting-TheFix.com and put all that material on my main Web Site here at: www.DrJohnMayer.com check it out 46 FREE PODCASTS and many, many resources for parents and schools. Most is free and the rest has nominal charges to comply with copyrights, etc. You’ll find Downloads of my books—Parenting Resources—Teacher & School Resources. For example, hailed as the most effective school-wide anti-Bullying program is there for $25.00! Schools and parents can even arrange for a personal, live tele-consult with me. No matter where you are in the U.S.

Prom & Dance Guidelines for Parents & Students

Prom Guidelines For Parents

Two undisputable facts should guide parents’ actions toward Proms:

Fact #1: Young people do not know how to “do” a prom unless they are shown. So many parents don’t help with this event, they simply allow the teen’s to handle everything on their own—this is not being a good or cool parent—kids have never done this before even if they went to someone else’s prom last year.

Fact #2: It is WRONG—DANGEROUS—ILLEGAL to allow your underage children and other’s underage children to behave illegally and immorally either in your home or with your knowledge outside of your home. You will be held legally accountable! Proms, senior dances, graduations are PRACTICE at being ADULTS, not PERMISSION to be an adult.

HOT Tips:

Help with plans. Know the schedule of events-this isn’t just any date! At least talk with the date’s parents-ideally meet with them. If the kids are using a Limo, introduce yourself to the Limo driver, so they know you are involved.
Cell phones are now your best friend. You can contact your teen throughout the night-let them know you will be calling—it’s okay to do this tonight—might even set up a special ring-tone. Call rather than text so you can hear what they sound like~let the date know you are going to be doing this so it’s expected.

What to do for your teen:

• Don’t just take pictures. Help with the event. Eagerly help with flowers, tux, and restaurant reservations. This has the great side-effect of including you in on what’s happening.
• Talk to your teen before the event. Tell positive stories about your time. It’s never too late for this! Your stories should be real and not meant to impress them. Your aim is to teach and share.
• Don’t try and be a COOL PARENT. By this time you either are one or not. Being cool is not obtained by letting your child and their friends drink or act sexual. (How sad is your life if you have to strain to get this acclaim from your teen and their friends–Grow Up.)
• Talk with the other parents involved. And certainly with the date’s parents. Even if it is to say hello and let them know you exist. Share your plans and these tips.
• Help with the planning. Sure that’s time out of your life and work, but again, if you’re involved then you know what’s going on and you’re more in control. Help arrange ‘after Prom’ events.
• HAVE CONTROL OVER THE EVENT. After all, you are probably paying for it, so you have a right to say how your money is spent.
• SET RULES—IF APPROPRIATE. If your teen has been a “knucklehead” all year (or since 12) then all of the sudden they are not waking up boy/girl scouts on Prom day. If you can’t trust them—then don’t— and set a curfew and other rules. Give only a set amount of money or don’t give out credit cards to those teens that haven’t deserved it. Conversely, be generous if they have earned it! This is a great time to reward them for good behavior.
• Do not support negative behaviors: Hotels, drinking/drugs, sexual acting out. Remember parents are now being held legally (criminally) responsible.
• WATCH YOUR MOUTH! Talk positively—don’t tease or be sarcastic (Dads!)—no put downs of the date, the event, the school, etc. This should be a fun, memorable event, not a stage for you to look good or be a comedian. It’s your child’s event.

This should be a fun, memorable event for parents as much as for teens!

Presented by: Dr. John E. Mayer. “National acclaim for helping teens and families” more at: www.DrJohnMayer.com

Prom Guidelines for Teens

This should be a FUN, MEMORABLE, ONCE-IN-A-LFETIME EVENT !

You have one chance at this—don’t blow it!

Drinking and drugs blur and may erase the memories you will have from this great event.

How sad is it if you feel like you have to GET HIGH to have fun at THIS event. You’re all dressed up, spent a ton of money, looking awesome, have a great date, this is all you should need to feel good. If not, you’re in trouble in life or, as your friends may say, you’re a loser!

Let your parents have fun too!

Sorry, this night is exciting and memories for them too. Put yourself in their shoes. They are proud of you and want to show you off. Relax, let them fuss a bit and act silly. It’s no reflection on you.

Establish Parent Rules by talking to them beforehand. They won’t know something is embarrassing to you unless you tell them. Example: “Dad, only 50 pictures, pleeee…ase!”

You will have fewer hassles from your parents if you: “Let them into the planning” and let them know what’s going on. My golden rule: Keep your parents off your back. You do this by including them. They will also be more generous.

Be in Control!

Don’t let others ruin YOUR and your date’s night.
Young ladies: You don’t OWE your date physical favors because he has spent a lot of money, showed you a lot of attention, blah, blah, blah…
Young Men: A real man makes no such demands on a woman. This is not the goal of the night.
Don’t be pushed into anything. (Even by your date!) This is your night. It is not your responsibility to entertain your friends with illegal or immoral behavior. This is your night!

Be Smart!

You know what is right and wrong—don’t make a decision that can ruin your life.

Remember this is a school event, even if off school grounds, your actions could spoil graduation and/or lead to other consequences from school. Not to mention from the law and/or physical harm. Arrests, car accidents, STD’s, broken bones and broken minds don’t disappear the next morning.

Historically, the Prom was a celebration that you have become an adult. Act like it. My golden rule #2:
Act like an adult-get treated like an adult.
Act like a child-get treated like a child.
OH, A NOTE ABOUT CELL PHONES~~NOTHING IS MORE RUDE TO YOUR DATE THAN TEXTING, TWITTERING, OR EMAILING SOMEONE ELSE WHILE YOU ARE WITH THEM. KEEP THE CELLPHONE IN YOUR POCKET OR PURSE. Of course, parents are the exception here.
Have the most wonderful time of your life!

www.DrJohnMayer.com

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