Thursday, December 27, 2012

Parenting Resolutions for 2013!

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Parenting is perhaps the most important activity in all of human existence. And it can be incredibly difficult, worrisome, and exhausting, as well as exhilarating, fulfilling, and joyful. Are there simple steps which can make it easier on a day to day basis without jeopardizing long term success?

As we approach the new year and round out the hectic family holiday season, I have decided to offer my own thoughts on “Family First.” based on my more than thirty years as a family therapist and educator as well as on my own experience as a parent and on the wonderful feedback I receive from my readers who have honored me by reading my books on parenting. I want to share with you some key steps which are entirely within your control as a parent and which can dramatically ease the burden of parenting while actually gaining more respect and cooperation from your children. I will be sharing the seven secrets from my book The Seven Secrets of Successful Parents, all seven! Please call in!

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or this link:, Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Randy Rolfe’s mission is to increase people’s awareness of how small choices they make every day have huge effects on their relationships, health, and happiness. Her passion to help create healthy, happy families began when her travels with her family in over 29 countries before age 20 convinced her that all peoples share common goals for their families and that a better world could be created by helping all families to thrive.

After a successful law career, Randy Rolfe founded the Institute for Creative Solutions to pursue her passion. She wrote her first book “You Can Postpone Anything But Love” in 1985 and soon became a sought after media guest expert. In addition to her law degree, Randy holds a Masters in Theology and Certification in Clinical Nutrition. She is author of eight acclaimed books on family, health, and relationships, most recently “Mothers Losing Mothers,” and “The True Secret to Weight Loss Is Energy.” She and her husband have a son and daughter, now grown.

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or this link:, Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: Successful parenting starts in the parent's mind. Make parenting easier and more fun as well as more successful by using your thoughts effectively. I call it "prepared parenting!"

The Tragedy in Newtown CN

Our hearts go out to the families of the dear children and their educators who were so brutally killed at the elementary school near Newtown CN last Friday. We can hardly imagine the pain they must deal with. Also our sympathies go to the first responders, who were traumatized by the events.
It is human to try to make sense of the event, to look for causes or messages or lessons. Ending the lives of first graders holds no meaning whatsoever. It is yet one step more vicious than a number of vicious mass murders which have occurred in recent decades.
Like our President, we want to look harder now for ways to prevent these events. And a number of ways have been mentioned. I would like to discuss the most prominent.
First, is the recurring and contentious theme of gun violence and gun control. Why, in what we consider the most advanced nation in the world and in a time of peace, do we lead the world in killings with guns, so many more than in other advanced countries and even more than less advanced countries? I hope there will be a serious reconsideration of appropriate gun control policy at the city, state, and federal levels to help keep mass-killing weapons out of the hands of those likely to misuse them. It has been noted however that these events have increased even during a time when gun controls have increased.
And this takes us to the second discussion, about how to help those who have mental problems serious enough to drive them to suicide or homicide or both. We as a nation are very poor at finding out who might be in such a mental state. We could point to a lack of professionals and accurate diagnosticians who might be able to help a family dealing with a young person who is showing signs of being unable to deal with people in safe, consistent ways.
But even more important I think is the breakdown of community and the breakdown of the core family group. It is the adults immediately surrounding a child who are the models and stimulus to a young child.  And too many parents are more absent than on the scene. Likewise, our schools are generally too understaffed and over-burdened to recognize and help those children who avoid or resist the norms of behavior.
The fact is that more and more parents lack the time, money, knowledge, and support to meet the real needs of their children. There just is not enough parenting going on. It is not only parenting quality that is at stake but "parenting quantity." That is, time spent with the child, from day one to year twenty-one.
Research is showing that many youngsters today, in ever increasing numbers, are just not getting the necessary sequence of interpersonal and other stimulants and environmental factors to get normal brain development. But of course most of such children never turn to extreme violence.
This leads to a third discussion which rarely gets mentioned but may be at the heart of these extreme violent acts, Most of the perpetrators in these horrific incidents are on some kind of psychotropic drug. The stupendous growth in the use of these drugs over the last several decades coincides with the growth in the frequency of these incomprehensible acts of violence. 
Even the ads on TV list suicidal or violent tendencies as possible side effects for many of these mind and mood altering medications. They wouldn't have to mention these dangerous effects unless the drug researchers had seen them in their studies. Yet people continue to ask for these drugs and physicians seldom monitor people's thought patterns once they are taking the prescriptions.
Experts have noted that many of these drugs work by stimulating patients to become more active, which looks like they are becoming more functional, but on the down side, by stimulating them into action, the drugs also make it easier for them to carry out their more desperate feelings. For example, a patient who might otherwise be troubled by suicidal thoughts may be more prone to take action on them. After many if not most of these horrible shootings we learn that the shooter was on some kind of psychotropic medication. We seldom learn which one without major sleuthing.
The last area I want to look at is the media. Our 24/7 live coverage of these incidents obviously has the potential to give people who are already feeling the kinds of feelings that lead to violence against self or others new ideas about how and why to commit these crimes. Gun specialists have predicted a rise in sales of the rifle the shooter used in Newtown, ostensibly for self-protection against someone else who already has one or in order to get it before it is outlawed in reaction to the Newtown massacre. For these reasons, some have suggested that law enforcement try not to give so many details about these tragic events. But it seems unlikely that such information can be kept secret.
Another influence of the media which I think we need to look at is the constant barrage of advertisements which imply that if you are feeling bad for any reason, a pill will fix it. Depressed? Anxious? Grieving? Feeling disconnected? Shy? Nervous? Anti-social? Disoriented? They have a pill for you. But few studies have been done to find out if these medications really work for any length of time or in what proportion of patients their mental effects are detrimental.  .
Meanwhile, these drugs cover up symptoms which otherwise might lead a person to get real help, from someone professional, religious, or simply supportive, to help them through a difficult junction in their life, a period of mourning, a time of confusion, anger, or despair, and so on.
A number of doctors have come forward to complain that it is wrong to cover up relatively normal reactions to life by overmedicating. It is no wonder then that some people's troubles reach fever pitch and drive them to do horrific things.
In a nation of over 300 million people, we are bound to have some very deranged people. But they are a tiny minority. Yet it is said that over 100 million Americans are currently taking a medication which alters their mind or moods. It is likely that when a troubled person, a drug reaction, and a gun come together we have a problem. It is probably a case of the perfect storm.
What we see in so many cases is this perfect storm: A person who has not had their developmental or emotional needs met and who has not been able to get appropriate help gets on a medication which changes their anger and depression into actionable rage and gets access to a weapon of massive destructive power. 
All these factors need to be addressed in a civil society which cares about the safety and quality of life of its citizens and about the future of its children..

Friday, December 21, 2012

Preventing Colds and Flu

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

What happens around holiday time when so many people have cold or flue symptoms? How can you avoid them or limit their effects? Cold and flu are the most common infections that affect Americans. Children typically get 9 to 12 infections each year, and adults have about seven per year. Aside from making you feel miserable, these infections are the leading cause of lost work and school days. Also of not enjoying the holidays! Having the right strategies in place can cut your risk of getting sick this season. My guest this week is Jonny Bowden, known as "The Rogue Nutritionist." He is a well-known authority on ways to get and stay healthy naturally. He will tell us his top nutritional picks for cutting down the frequency and duration of colds and flu, and will explain how to protect the respiratory system, which is our first line of defense from air-born infection. A few good habits can make all the difference. So have your family listen in about keeping the holiday season healthy.

 To hear the program, simply click on this link:, Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is a board-certified nutritionist with a master’s degree in psychology. He is the best-selling author of twelve books including “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth”, “Living Low Carb”, and “The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth”. He has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS and Dr. Oz’s XM Radio show as an expert on nutrition and weight loss, and has written or contributed to articles for dozens of print and online publications including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Us Weekly, “O” The Oprah Magazine, The Daily Beast, Vanity Fair Online, Time, Oxygen, Marie Claire, and Diabetes. Men’s Health, Prevention, Natural Health, and more. Dr. Jonny is a consultant to the Natural Products Industry and serves on the advisory boards of several companies, including Barlean’s Organic Oils, Resverage and EuroPharma. His latest book, “The Great Cholesterol Myth”-- co-authored with renowned cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD-- came out this fall.

To hear the program, simply click on this link:, Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: It is our responsibility as parents to see to it that our home environment is a safe and nurturing place for our children's health. Clean air, clutter under control, qiuet times, and comfortable temperatures are just as important as good nourishing food. And setting a good example for healthy habits out and about is important too. Like washing hands before eating and wearing appropriate clothing in winter. Remember: Kids do as you do, not as you say! Have a very happy holiday!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ending the Special Ed Stigma

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

How can a parent or teacher communicate to a child who has been identified as having learning differences or needing special education that they are still okay and have a great future ahead of them? What can they do about bullying or other behaviors of peers which make the child feel bad? Actually every child has her or his own learning needs and in an effort to address these needs, various programs have generated a lot of misunderstanding. My guest on Family First this week is an experienced teacher who has dedicated herself to removing the stigma attached to special education. Laura Reiff has created a book which parents can read with their special education child to help both of them deal with the many challenges ahead. Reiff’s book is “The Adventures of Naomi Noodles, The Wonderful, Amazing, Splendiforous Me.” The first of a series, it helps children and their caregivers overcome any stigma about learning differences and helps both end frustration, misunderstanding, and hurt.

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Laura Reiff is a special education teacher from Chicago, IL and has been teaching children in special education for over 10 years. Her expertise inspired her to write children’s books, with a passionate mission to lift the negative stigma of special education by planting the seeds of understanding and compassion through self-esteem. Her first book about Naomi Noodles is an inspirational story about a young girl coping with dyslexia. Naomi faces the confusion of being told she is dyslexic and finds out how dyslexia can affect one’s life inside and outside of the learning environment. With a little help from a very special friend, Naomi learns how to triumph over the problems and discovers just how wonderful she truly is. Laura Reiff is also the creator of, a website dedicated to supporting the needs of parents of children with learning disabilities. Laura offers valuable resources on her blog and also offers a coaching program for parents.

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: Parents are always the best advocates for their children because they know them best. The aware parent can detect problems before anyone else and inform themselves and make intelligent choices about what is best for the child. Never give up getting the educational set-up which matches best your child's needs, ranging widely, from regular classroom, to special school, to homeschooling. Secrets Number 1 and 2 in my book The Seven Secretsof Successful Parents are "I would never give up on my child" and "I pay attention first to my child's basic needs." There are great examples and strategies in the book, now available in Kindle and Nook as well as softcover.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Drug-Free Help for ADHD

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Drug-Free Help for ADHD

More and more kids are being identified as having attention deficits. Often it is assumed that ADHD is a biological imbalance which requires medication to control. But drugs don’t solve the core problem. And the kids end up with habits and labels that may have unwanted consequences for their future. My guest this week on Family First is psychologist Dr. Craig B. Wiener, who specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, and families. He has become well-known for questioning the growing tendency to make behavioral problems into medical disabilities. His groundbreaking work with ADHD shows that the behaviors included in the ADHD diagnosis can become frequent due to reinforcement, and in his new book, “Parenting Your Child with ADHD: A No-Nonsense Guide for Nurturing Self-reliance and Cooperation,” he gives parents a powerful new drug-free way to eliminate ADHD behavior by stopping those reinforcements and instead developing their child’s self-reliance and cooperation.

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Dr. Craig B. Wiener is a licensed psychologist based in Worcester, Massachusetts. He obtained his Doctorate from the Clark University and has taught in the Psychology Graduate Department at Clark University and in the Undergraduate Psychology Departments at Worcester State University and Anna Maria College. He is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Clinical Director of Mental Health Services at Family Health Center of Worcester, where he supervises Clinicians, Post-doctoral Fellows, and Pre-doctoral Psychology and Social Work Interns. He is the author of two books on ADHD for professionals: “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as a Learned Behavioral Pattern: A Return to Psychology” and “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as a Learned Behavioral Pattern: A Less Medicinal More Self-reliant Collaborative Intervention.” He is a frequent presenter on ADHD at national conferences

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.
Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: No matter what label or diagnosis an educational or medical expert puts on a child, the caring parent knows the child best and needs to explore environmental, nutritional, and habitual patterns to see if there are ways to imrpove the situation by working with the child rather than by manipulating her or his chemistry. "I never lose faith in my child" is the first of The Seven Secrets of Successful Parents, my book available as ebook or soft cover everywhere.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dealing with Parental Anger

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

When parents are angry and frustrated, and feel they can’t take any more from their kids, they usually either blow their stack and then regret it later, or try to control themselves by holding it all in. There's another option, to learn healthy, constructive ways to release all that anger and get it out of your body, safely, quickly, and efficiently. My guest this week on Family First is award-winning author and therapist Jude Bijou who says that parents should take a page from their kids' playbook.

Psychotherapist Jude Bijou has found that most kids know instinctively the healthy ways to release anger, sadness, and fear and then feel instant relief. She shows parents how to do this in an appropriate way that won't traumatize their kids' fragile psyches. Her groundbreaking discoveries appear in her book Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life and she will be sharing on Family First the simple principles which have helped countless clients and students.

To hear the program, simply click on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

 Jude Bijou, MA, MFT, is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction® evolved over during her more than 30 years working with clients as a licensed marriage and family therapist. Her theory is described in her award-winning book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life. The daughter of pioneering behavioral child psychologist Sydney W. Bijou, Jude launched her private psychotherapy practice in 1982 and also began teaching communication courses through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education. Word spread about the success of Attitude Reconstruction, and Jude soon became a sought-after workshop and seminar leader. Jude is also a longtime student of Eastern philosophy, having immersed herself in the world of meditation and Vedic philosophy when she found something missing in the Western psychology approach. The result is an integrated, holistic approach to viewing ourselves and our relationships.

To hear the program, simply click on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: Always know that you are the parent and your child wants to please you, even though all the feedback you are getting seems to indicate otherwise. With this in mind, you can always take the time you need to get your feelings and thoughts straightened out. You will actually be setting a good example for your child, of patience, and of thinking and getting in touch with feelings, before "acting out" and then regretting it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recovering from Emotional Neglect - Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

As a society we are concerned about the trauma of childhood abuse or spousal abuse witnessed by children, about bullying, and about parental neglect, when kids are left on their own with little direction or attention to basic needs. All of these adverse experiences impact our kids into adulthood. They require conscious effort for recovery and public awareness to reduce their occurrence. But what about when none of these things has occurred and yet a person still feels not good enough, or strangely alone and unconnected?

My guest this week on Family First is Dr. Jonice Webb, who has identified and investigated this more subtle kind of abuse, which can go completely unidentified and still have profound effects. She felt compelled to draw awareness to the problem and has as her goal to bring this unseen force from childhood out of the darkness and into the light. She seeks to make people aware of it and its effects and to give them the words to talk about it and the tools to fix it.

To hear the program, simply click on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Jonice Webb has been a licensed psychologist since 1991. Dr. Webb has worked in a variety of different settings over the course of her career, including a psychiatric emergency service and substance abuse programs. She has been the Director of several large outpatient clinics. For the past eight years, she has been running her private practice in Lexington, MA. Dr. Webb specializes in the treatment of couples and families.

During two decades of practicing psychology, Dr. Webb discovered a factor from childhood which weighs upon people as adults. This factor is extremely subtle. In fact, it’s so difficult to see that it goes virtually unnoticed while it quietly saps a person’s joy in life, causing him or her to struggle with self-discipline, or to feel disconnected and unfulfilled. Dr. Webb gave a name to this invisible factor from childhood. She calls it Emotional Neglect.™ Dr. Webb’s book, “Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect,” was just released in October.

To hear the program, simply click on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.
Randy's Take Home Tips: When professionals identify problems in adults which stem from their childhood, it's a good idea to see if you are doing all you can to spare your child from those burdens. There is no substitute for sensitivity to the feelings of a child and to your own, and working them through in a caring compassionate comversation. "You Can Postpone Anything But Love" TM says a lot. It is the title of my first book, still available on and, and it is my enduring trademark. When in doubt or quandry in a relationship, think of this idea and you will soon find your solution.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Radical Unschooling?

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

We hear a lot about how our educational systems are flawed and are both failing our kids and stressing our economy at the local, state, and federal levels. It may be that we have demanded far too much of our schools. They were designed to teach kids the basic skills they need to function in the modern world. But now as a society we have come to expect them to sit for our children before and after academic hours and to be primarily responsible for teaching basic health, sportsmanship, moral values, compassion for others, and more.
But it’s not working. These functions have been the responsibility of parents throughout history until only a few decades ago. Some parents are taking back that responsibility and my guest this week on “Family First” is a leader in this “unschooling” movement. Dayna Martin is Founder, Creator, and Conference Diva of Life Rocks! an annual conference in New Hampshire where families come together to learn, have fun, and share their experiences.
To hear the program, simply click on the link above or on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.
Dayna is a pioneer who has been inspiring others in the conscious parenting and unschooling movement for the past decade. Author of "Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun", and her newest book, "Sexy Birth." She has been featured on The Dr. Phil Show, CNN, Nightline, and Fox News. Dayna is a childbirth educator, Doula and attachment parenting advocate who helps families worldwide as, "The UnNanny."
Dayna is a regular contributor to Home Education Magazine. She also recently took over the “Rethinking Everything” Conference in Dallas, Texas. Dayna promotes shifting from control to connection with children and inspires parents to respect their children through partnership parenting. Dayna lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, U.S.A., and has four truly free children and husband who she spends her days with in love, freedom and peace. Dayna will share about her belief that Radical Unschooling and attachment parenting can make a more peaceful world.
To hear the program, simply click on  the link above or on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.
Randy Rolfe's Take Home Tips: There is a reason kids have parents. Societies have experimented from time to time with doing away with parenting by raising kids in groups with groups of adults watching over them. These experments all fail. All mammals have a period of time where they are dependant on and are taught by their parents to survive and thrive. Our pattern of child-rearing is far older than our species because it works. We have complex social relationships and provisioning skills (now usually devolved to jobs and shopping) which must be learned. The parent-child relationship is meant to work but it only works if you work it. Be proud of your role as a parent and don't try to trim down the time or effort you spend on it or to delegate too much of it to others.Your kids were born to expect good parenting and they depend on you!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Easy, New, Natural, Proven Ways to Reduce Cardio Problems

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Today people are still dying of cardiovascular problems after almost a century of research. Predictors include elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides, so pharmaceutical companies have developed chemicals to lower these numbers, but we are learning more and more about unwanted side effects to these drugs, most recently impaired memory in some patients who are taking statins to lower cholesterol. Plus the long term studies leave some doubt whether artificially lowering cholesterol actually is as preventative as had been hoped. But there are natural ways to reduce these predictors and these have only good side effects.

My guest this week on Family First knows a great deal about these natural strategies. Dr. Joseph Keenan will discuss preventative cardiac research relating to nutrition and food and ways that we can improve our family’s health with some simple dietary and lifestyle changes.

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Dr. Joseph Keenan, M.D., is a Researcher in Preventative Cardiology, formerly a Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota School of Food Science and Nutrition. His research interest is preventive cardiology with a special interest in the use of nutrition and nutritional supplements in the reduction of cardiovascular disease risk.

Dr. Keenan has been awarded over $5 million in research grants and has published more than 50 scientific articles dealing with his research. He was awarded the Outstanding Service Award by the American Geriatrics Society in 1995. He has presided over 150 scientific papers and national and international scientific meetings. Dr. Keenan is considered one of the leading national experts in the field of nutritional supplement research and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Keenan has been studying how natural substances in plants help the body to handle cholesterol in a healthier, safer way.

To hear Dr. Keenan's great information, simply click on the link above or on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.
Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: I have found over my decades of counseling families that parents are among the most eager to take a second look at their lifestyles. they want to see how they can improve their health and set a good example for their children, while also controlling their children's  environment as much as possible to help build healthy habits around food and lifestyle. Between birth and about ten you have the most influence on how your children live and eat. Make the best of that time and they will be off to a great start!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How to help a child struggling in school

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

When a child struggles to learn, it can snowball into a much bigger problem. Parents worry about behavior in school, social skills, math, reading, and writing problems, organizational challenges, how to interact with teachers, whether to consider medications, and more. Especially in a competitive job market, parents feel pressure even in the early childhood years to see that their children succeed at school. My guest Dr. Richard Selznick has many years experience helping families to resolve these problems. He is the author of the new book School Struggles: A Guide to Your Shut-Down Learner's Success, which builds on the well received information in his previous book The Shut-Down Learner: Helping Your Academically Discouraged Child. He offers practical, straightforward advice which has helped educators, school psychologists, and parents. Dr. Selznick shows parents and teachers how to address the problems felt by struggling students and how to help them learn to their full ability.

To hear the program, simply click on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Dr. Richard Selznick is a psychologist, nationally certified school psychologist, graduate school professor, and university professor of pediatrics. As the Director of the Cooper Learning Center, he oversees a program that assesses and treats a broad range of learning and school-based behavioral problems in children. The Cooper Learning Center is a Division of the Department of Pediatrics of Cooper University Hospital. A down-to-earth presenter who discusses difficult topics in non-jargon terms, he has presented to educators in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as across the United States. He focuses on helping teachers and parents to choose the best options for each individual child. .Dr. Selznick’s books have been chosen by school districts for professional training. He was recently the keynote speaker on help for special needs kids and was featured in Calgary Child's Magazine. A native of New York, Dr. Selznick lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey. His website is

To hear the program, simply click on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.
Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: Parents are the most able to discover early if their child is struggling with learning. If you suspect that your child isn't catching on to recognizing letters or short common words or knowing the sounds associated with letters, don't assume she or he will have a problem all through school but also don't assume these early signs will go away by themselves. Spending time with your child, reading together, singing together, and playing with words and rhymes will help build their confidence and success.   

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stress - The Missing Link

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

If you ask someone if they have any stress, they either roll their eyes saying, “Doesn’t everybody?” or they laugh saying, “Who me?” We all have stressors in our lives, at home, at work, even on our dinner plate. Many assume it’s just that way and if we feel worn out there is nothing to do but fill up on energy drinks or medications. But online radio host Randy Rolfe’s guest this week on Family First says this is a formula for ruin. Peter M. McCarthy is author of the new book Adrenaline Nation, in which he describes how the chronic stress of modern life is not only making us sick but is also bankrupting our economy. He will share the changes that we can make to turn this process around and regain our ability to protect our health from stress. He holds a Doctorate in Traditional Naturopathy from Trinity College of Natural Health and is President of the Texas Complementary and Alternative Medicine Association and Chair of the Texas Health Freedom Coalition, the largest state level grass roots natural health advocacy network.
To hear the program, simply click on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.
Peter M. McCarthy, TN, is a board certified traditional naturopath and a sought after professional in the field of complementary and alternative medicine, CAM. He is CEO of AHI Productions, a media company which is creator of NHN-TV, the planet’s first TV network devoted to natural health and green living news, education, and entertainment. He is a past member of the Advisory Committee of the American Naturopathic Certification Board. He graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1972 with a BS in Engineering Mechanics and an Air Force commission as a second lieutenant. A 20 year military veteran, he earned his MA in Management and Supervision from Central Michigan University while on active duty. He then became a Captain/First Officer for Southwest Airlines and later retired in 2009. His interest in naturopathy developed in the 80s and 90s as he saw the impact of stressors on the health of those around him. He and his wife Nancy live in Austin TX and have three grown children.

To hear the program, simply click on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.
Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: A recent study showed that kids who got an extra hour sleep than they usually do were a whole lot more agreeable! We should hardly need a study to prove this to be true. But at least such reports come as a useful reminder! We all benefit from getting enough sleep. A good night's sleep is a powerful tool to help us renew our healthy stress response! Listen in to find out more. And assert your parental authority to get your kids to bed and to sleep (lights and screens off) on time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Incorrigible to Incredible: Some Dog Lessons

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Some relationships are more difficult than others. Sometimes a friend or even a child can be difficult to handle. They can try your patience and seem incorrigible. Can we learn some tricks from our four-footed friends? My guest this week on Family First says absolutely! Charmaine Hammond is an international transformational speaker, author, and radio host, helping people live inspired, resilient lives, and she is a leading trainer in corporate North America, helping transform workplaces.

Charmaine Hammond is the award winning and bestselling author of On Toby’s Terms and Toby The Pet Therapy Dog – and his hospital friends, and also Bounce Forward. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul - What I learned from the dog. She is now coauthoring a new book GPS Your Best Life. Her book On Toby’s Terms is currently in development to become a major motion picture! Get your whole family to listen in. Charmaine will be sharing Toby’s lessons!

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Charmaine Hammond, MA, BA, is an expert in Conflict Analysis and Management and opened Hammond International Inc. in 1997, a mediation and training company. For the past 8 years she has been speaking and consulting with business and community organizations. Prior to owning her own business Charmaine worked as a Contract Specialist for Government, was the Executive Director of several not for profit organizations, worked with municipal government in their contract management, and served as a Correctional Officer, Child & Youth Care Worker.

Charmaine’s passion for speaking led her to be the host of three radio shows: “Corporate Conversations with Charmaine,”  “PAWsitive Radio,” and “Your Book as a Business.” She has been featured on CBC, CTV, Global TV, 820 CHAM, Alberta Prime Time News, in many major newspapers including Metro News National Canada, US and New York, and in various magazines. She also supports many pet and children related charities and events as a result of her work with Toby.

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.
Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: Our pets have personalities, stresses, and emotions just as we do. By watching our animal friends and paying attention to how to respond to their needs, we can learn to be more responsive to each other's! Having a pet is a great way for children to learn empathy for others when they have your good example to follow. So see that when you interact with your pets, you are modeling compassion and attention to their needs, not just for shelter and food, but also for attention, companionship, appreciation, and respect. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Energize and Focus for the Fall Season!

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Energizing Your Family’s Fall Season!   

Does the end of summer have you feeling drained? Many parents look forward to the summer to do things with the children and be free of school and sports schedules. But then by the end of summer they are looking forward to the discipline of the school day and week, only to find the readjustment stressful and even overwhelming.

This week health author, fitness expert, and award-winning pharmacist Sherry Torkos returns to Family First as our guest to share great practical tips for making that readjustment with greater ease and with confidence that you are protecting your family’s health and well-being. Sherry Torkos has researched a number of critical health issues and is gifted at making the scientific information accessible to the general public through her many books on various aspects of health. As a mother herself, she has explored many child health issues. She now will share some quick energy dos and don'ts that will get you and your children feeling energized for fall.

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or go to this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara region of Ontario. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, she has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and to the public.

Sherry Torkos is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad on health matters. Sherry has authored 16 books and booklets, including The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, The Glycemic Index Made Simple, and most recently, Saving Women’s Hearts. 

To hear the program, simply click on this link: Friday at 1 pm PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm CT, 4 pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: There is such a thing as too busy! Be clear about your true priorities and when things get too hectic, cut back on the less important things. When we are feeling stressed, we are often tempted to skimp on self-care, like sitting down to eat, taking a walk, taking a leisurely shower or bath, choosing a healthy snack. But when things get wild, these activities become even more important because they allow your body to take a break and refuel, relax, regenerate. Forcing yourself to go, go, go when you are getting signals of overload mean that you will be forced to stop, probably when you can't afford to. What will stop you? Pain, accident, exhaustion, or a cold or flu. Chronic stress results in immune depression and you are more vulnerable than usual. So take extra care of yourself and urge family members to do so when the days get hectic!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Special Appeal! 4 Days Left!

This is a special appeal for your support for my weekly online radio show Family First, now reaching 47,000 families every month and still growing! I invite you to become a Friend of Family First and to help me reach more people who would like to support the program.
Please hurry! There are just 4 days left until the close of my Campaign! Capign closes October 5 at 12:59pm PT.
Please click on this link where you can see a video about the show and about my campaign to raise funds to continue the program well into its second year. If you own a business, please contact me to find out about how to become an advertiser or a sponsor for Family First within a budget which fits your marketing needs. If you know someone who might like to advertise or to sponsor the show, please also let me know.
Meanwhile, please go to  and see all the great thank you perks available for any contribution, from $6 on up. Thank you for any help you can give.
Each weekly program costs several thousand dollars to produce and I have already invested over $25,000 of personal funds towards making the program the success it has become. The Voice America Network too has given great professional and financial support for my program.
Many shows today ask that guests contribute to the costs of production. So far I have avoided doing so because I want to feel free to feature any expert I believe deserves the attention of my audience, even if they are just getting started in their marketing and do not have a lot to invest. Instead, I am seeking sponsors and advertisers large and small.
Currently I am running a fun campaign to enroll "Friends of Family First" through the popular crowd-sourcing website Indiegogo has proven to be an effective way to attract support from a large crowd of people, who each can give a little toward a great cause that appeals to them. In effect I am seeking hundreds of sponsors, who each contribute what they can and receive fun and valuable thank you gifts in return.
Family First reaches over 47,000 families every month, after just 16 months on the air, and the audience is still growing each month! As a way to get information out to families which they don't hear on conventional media, Family First is unsurpassed. I am proud of the superb guests it has attracted and of the thousands of families who have discovered its value and told their friends to tune in.
Here are some ways you can help me to continue to bring families around the world experts who have unique, highly qualified, and powerful insights to help families survive and thrive today and in turn do their part in making this a happier, healthier world. I am most grateful for any support you can offer.
(1)   You can become a "Friend of Family First" by going to It just takes a moment to choose which perk level you want and your thank you gifts will be on their way with my deep appreciation! Levels start at $6 and go up to $1,000, so every one can help! The Campaign close date is October 5 so please hurry!
(2)   You can recommend to your contacts that they can become a "Friend of Family First." Urge them to go to, where they can show their support for an important service for families and in return receive some wonderful thank you gifts! No contribution is too small, or too large! The Campaign close date is October 5 so please hurry!
(3)   You can become a sponsor or advertiser on Family First! Please contact Senior Executive Producer Nathan Jett of the Voice America Network at 480-553-5768, or give me a call. Nathan will customize a package big or small for you, to fit your marketing goals and your marketing budget.
(4)   You can refer me to an organization you believe in which might be interested in becoming a sponsor or advertiser on Family First. Please call or email me with their information and I will connect them with my Senior Executive Producer.
(5)   You can tune in and also urge your contacts to tune in Friday afternoons or any time on demand to Family First, at, to hear an engaging, informative conversation about a different topic each week on how to help their families to become happier and healthier right now.

Please hurry! There are just 4 days left for the Campaign at Indiegogo for you or your contacts to become a Friend of Family First! Go to
Please contact me with your questions or comments, at I appreciate any support for Family First which you can give and look forward to reaching more families with the message that prepared, holistic, responsive, and spiritual parenting can change the world!

Randy Rolfe's Take Home Tips: Prepared, holistic, responsive, and spiritual parenting can change the world! Think before you speak, give extra hugs and smiles, and relax in confidence knowing your child wants to have your attention and approval and will respond positively to them (sooner or later!).


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Can Separation or Divorce Be a Less Costly, Healthier Process?

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Making Divorce a Healthier Process

At least half of our nation’s families have been touched by divorce. The high costs and stress on family members of completing the divorce process is legendary, especially if the process involves litigation. Is there another way? My guest this week on Family First is Crispino M. Pastore, Esq., whose mission is to help his clients avoid costly and destructive litigation.
Pastore founded the Main Line Family Law Center in 2011, together with his wife Sharon Pastore, after his years of conventional family law practice left him feeling that his hands were constantly tied as he witnessed the destructive nature of the litigation process. He now employs a uniquely integrated approach to assisting clients in resolving their separation and divorce matters. Using expert divorce and parenting mediators, life coaches, therapists, and financial planners, he can assure his clients that their settlements will be fair and reasonable while ensuring that all of their rights and interests are protected.

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or go to this link: Friday at 1pm PT, 2pm MT, 3pm CT, 4pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Cris Pastore brings to his practice over 18 years of legal experience and perspective. A graduate of Villanova Law School, he has previously represented private family law clients in all phases of domestic law litigation, from child and spousal support to alimony, custody matters, equitable distribution, protection from abuse, and adoption matters.

When Mr. Pastore discovered a better way to help his separating and divorcing clients, he dedicated his career exclusively to mediation. He served as managing attorney for a prominent regional divorce mediation firm where he personally handled hundreds of mediation cases while being responsible for hiring, training, managing, and inspiring a team of attorney-mediators. Now as Main Line Family Law Center’s attorney-mediator, the goal of his practice is not only to assist his clients with these same principles in mind, but to revolutionize this area of practice by generating widespread community awareness of the great value of mediation.

To hear the program, simply click on the link above or go to this link: Friday at 1pm PT, 2pm MT, 3pm CT, 4pm ET, or any time afterwards online, or on podcast or apps.

Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: As a former practicing litigation attorney as well as a family therapist, I know there are ways to ease the transition from married to separated and divorced.  Always choose an attorney who puts the total welfare of the family and children ahead of mere dollar amounts. My work is focused on preventing family trauma, but if separation is inevitable, there are still many ways to prevent additional pain and stress around the process. Counseling, mediation, and other ancillary services are well worth the investment.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What Peace Day Means for Family

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Our children are exposed daily to news of violence, war, fleeing refugees, children orphaned by conflict. How do we help empower them to believe they can be part of making the world a safer, fairer, more peaceful place? This is one of the goals of the September 21 celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace, a day of ceasefire and non-violence celebrated world wide. My guest on Family First this week is Lisa Parker, who helped to found Peace Day Philly in 2011, believing that Peace Day holds a great opportunity for cities across the world, including Philadelphia. She serves as coordinator of the initiative for 2012, and is Co-Chair of the CITIES Peace Team, an international sub-committee of the International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the United Nations. The CITIES Peace Team shares models, practices, and resources related to Peace Day observances and helps increase connectivity of cities across the world that promote and/or organize observances for Peace Day.

To hear the program , simply click on the link above or go to: this Friday at 1 PM PT, 2 PM MT, 3 PM CT, 4 PM ET, or any time afterwards on podcast or apps.

Lisa Parker is a Philadelphia native and a social worker by training. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1986 and a Masters Degree in social service program planning and development in 1993. Lisa has worked in various social services, educational, mental health, and public health programs in Philadelphia and especially with children, youth, and families, and with refugee populations. Lisa also has experience in the areas of non-profit consulting and anti-bullying activities in schools, as well as with visual and expressive arts. .In addition to her work with the Peace Day Initiative, Lisa is also a Representative for Global Education Motivators (GEM) to the United Nations Department of Pubic Information (DPI). GEM is a Philadelphia based non-profit that uses video conferencing to encourage a greater global perspective, especially among high school and college youth, through a wide range of intercultural dialogues and exposure to the work of the United Nations.  

To hear the program , simply click on the link above or go to: this Friday at 1 PM PT, 2 PM MT, 3 PM CT, 4 PM ET, or any time afterwards on podcast or apps.
Randy Rolfe Take Home Tips: Our children learn primarily by imitation. How do we resolve conflicts within our own home? It's a good idea to think about your patterns of interaction because these are the models our children take with them when they go to school, to work, create a home, or operate in the larger arenas of public and global affairs. Do we take time to hear the points of view on all sides? Do we avoid passing judgment or demeaning the party we disagree with? Do we stay patient until a mutually agreeable solution appears? Do we have cooling off periods if the emotions are running rampant? Do we use respectful language and tones? Our example goes a long way to creating a more peaceful home and world.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Happens When a Loved One Is Very Sick?

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Most of us know someone who is hospitalized with medical treatment for a serious condition. Each patient and each family has their own unique needs for comfort and care. My guest this week on Family First has 30 years experience giving personalized nursing care. Listen to her stories this Friday at 4 PM ET, 3 PM CT, 2 PM Mt, 1 PM PT, or any time afterwards by going to this link! 

Episode Title:  What Can The Dying Teach Us About Living?

As our population ages, an ever bigger proportion of our population will be dealing with end of life issues. What can we learn from the experience of those dying? What can they teach us about life as well as about death, and how can we help to make their transition more peaceful and love-filled? My guest this week on “Family First” is Becki Hawkins, author of the new book TRANSITIONS: A Nurse’s Education About Life and Death.
Becki Hawkins is a natural storyteller and a great listener and she brought those gifts with her as she sat by the bedside of seriously ill or terminally ill patients for more than 30 years, as an oncology and hospice nurse. It is her compassion and warmth that encouraged so many of her charges to share their heartfelt thoughts and experiences with her. On “Family First” she will share what she has learned from her experiences and also reveal a kind of blueprint for how to help our loved ones to go through their end of life transition in peace, grace, and love.

To hear the program, simply click on this link:: Friday at 1 PM PT, 2 PM MT, 3 PM CT, 4 PM ET, or any time afterwards on podcast or apps.

Becki Hawkins became a nurse’s aide at age 19, which inspired her to earn her degree in nursing. Unusual for someone so young, she chose to start her career in the Oncology Unit in a large city hospital. She progressed to Outpatient Oncology, Hospice, and eventually became a Hospice Chaplain. Upon retirement in the 1990s, she began to volunteer her services for hospice patients.
Becki was also instrumental in the care of various family members. She loved the opportunity to work with the patients and their families, but she didn’t quite know how to face the reality of not being able to “save” every patient. After seeing the stress it left upon her and hearing the stories, her husband suggested she begin journaling. She began to write about what she was hearing, witnessing, and feeling. By 1986, she started penning a column in a local newspaper called “Beyond Statistics,” which became syndicated and led to the creation of her book, Transitions: A Nurse’s Education About Life and Death.

To hear the program, simply click on this link:: Friday at 1 PM PT, 2 PM MT, 3 PM CT, 4 PM ET, or any time afterwards on podcast or apps.

Randy Rolfe's Take Home Tips: Authenticity is most important when dealing with a sick loved one. Those who are hospitalized know that something serious is happening. Be gentle and loving and authentic. In discussing the situation with younger family members, keep the language and ideas age-appropriate. Take time to choose your words carefully. Avoid frightening them or dumping your more complext feelings on them. Think your answers through before you get questions. Or if you already have a child asking a question, ask them to let you get back to them about it and then follow up within an hour or two. Children know when you are sad or preoccupied so be sure to let them know what it is about and that it is not about them.