Thursday, April 26, 2012

Child-Rearing: Back to Basics!

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Parenting seems to be in crisis today. The court case in Mississippi now in the news about an assistant school principal paddling a child who was seriously injured when he fainted afterwards, is bringing into stark focus the question of what kind of discipline today’s children need and from whom. How can parents decide what is the best way for them to raise their children? Especially when as parents they are hard pressed with economic stress, time stress, and widely different advice from all sides?

With my guest this week I am celebrating the first year of Family FirstMy guest this week is Dr. Robert E. Kay, who appeared on Family First as my first guest, talking about problems with our mode of educating our children. Dr. Kay will speak about getting back to the basics of parenting for his second visit. Dr. Kay is a psychiatrist who has worked with families for decades. He urges parents to return to the basics of child-rearing and he will share some powerful ideas which can help parents to make the best decision for their family and to help prevent problems later. Dr. Kay has wide familiarity with the many theories of child-rearing and believes parents can work with their children instead of against them to gain their cooperation and their respect.  

Click on the link above Friday April 27 at 4pm ET/1pm PT/2pm MT/3pm CT, or any time afterwards from your PC on demand or downloadable to hear this episode of Family First. 

Dr. Robert E. Kay graduated from Tufts University Medical School and received his psychiatric training at Walter Reed General Hospital. Following his military service, he served as Medical Director of The Center for Child Guidance and was a board member of The School in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania. Dr. Kay has decades of experience working with children and their families.  

Dr. Kay has published numerous articles on child rearing, interview techniques for youth, primary and secondary education, the American school system, enhancing children’s propensity for learning, and the teaching of reading. In recent years he has been greatly involved with the homeschooling, unschooling, and home education movements and has presented his ideas on teaching and learning on radio and television as well as in court. Father of three children, he is also author of the Foreword to the book, The Seven Secrets of Successful Parents. 

To hear Dr. Kay's insightful views on ways to make child-rearing easier, more effective, and more fun, listen in live this Friday April 27 at 4pm ET/1pm PT, or any time on archive. Just click on the link above. 

Randy Rolfe's Take Home Tips: In my book The Seven Secrets for Successful Parents, Dr. Kay explains in the Foreword how child-rearing has been distorted over time and how individual families can retrieve the core wisdom of the human family by playing close attention to the signals from the child on how to meet their needs from infancy on.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Protecting your kids from cell phone dangers

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Today there are five billion cell phones in use. 80% of Europeans use them and 50% of Americans, more every day. With reports of health risks from cell phone radiation mounting, including a recent WHO report linking their use to cancer, industry giants still deny any problem. Are we damaging our kids by letting them use cell phones at an early age? Are we risking our own health?

 My guest this week on Family First is Shelly Kalnitsky. Kalnitsky compares where we are now with cell phones to where we used to be with cigarettes, believing industry assertions that nicotine was non-addictive and smoking didn’t cause cancer. Do we really want “radiation” and “microwaves” going into our child’s brain? After 10 years studying the data, Kalnitsky says we can’t know the long term effects yet, but there is enough evidence to warrant serious concern. He will describe the studies, the increased risks for children, how industry misinforms, how hand-free is no safer, and ways to minimize harm.

Click on the above link to hear Family First, live this Friday at 1PM PT/2PM MT/3PM CT/4PM ET, or any time afterwards for on demand or download.

Just over ten years ago, Shelly Kalnitsky was watching ABC’s 20/20 show in his home in South Florida when he saw a feature story on the potential risks of cell phone usage. The show included lobbyists and wireless representatives who all denied a problem. Compelled to learn more, he researched the world news regarding cell phones and discovered that information abroad included many studies conducted by prominent scientists who reached very different conclusions from what we were hearing in the U.S.

He established the Cell Phone Radiation News Bureau (, a one-stop information center to inform consumers about the potential health risks from cell and cordless phones and to help prevent future health problems. .He took his knowledge a step further by developing a device which helps reduce phone radiation. He now gets requests from around the world and from news media and marketing groups to find out more about his findings and about his unique, simple-to-use product.  

To hear Kalnitsky's important information, click on the above link for Family First, at 1PM PT/4PM ET this Friday, April 20th or any time after on demand or download.

Randy Rolfe's Take Home Tips: Smart phones seem a great way to stay in touch with your kids in this busy life where every family member is going in a different direction. But phones are no substitute for face to face interaction and time spent just being together. Nor can they substitute for parents learning ahead of time what their children's plans are and encouraging children to stick to their plans. Children need to learn to relate to other people through facial expression, tone, eye contact, handshakes and so on before they move on to electronic communication. Their future relationships depend on the basic skills they learn in their first 7 years. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stimulating a response from your teen

Here is a great question from a reader from a while back - I just discovered it!:

What if your teen doesn't say anything, even though you give them the first chance to talk or what if they consistently say "I don't know"? When teens "opt out" every time there is a conversation, the parent may have to be the only one talking. Then it turns into lecture again instead of a dialogue.
It's like opening a trap door instead of a window.

So many parents are faced with this problem on a daily basis. It becomes a sad routine which neither parent nor child enjoy, but the parent wants to make the effort. Here is my suggestion. First, just forget about having a conversation for a day or two and simply smile, give eye contact, and say a normal greeting, like, "Hi, how's it going?" or "How're you doing?" or "what's up?" Whatever is most normal to you, but one of those greetings for which people usually don't expect a response. And don't expect one this time either. The greeting is meant only as a greeting, to acknowledge the other person and wish them well. Simply smile and go about your business.

Your child will notice that you have not tried to start a conversation. They may anticipate one later. So keep this up for a day or two. Your child may actually be the first one to break the pattern. They may ask, "What's up?" or "Why no questions?" and so on. Just smile and say something like, "I thought I'd give you some space," or "I know you've got lots going on and me too, so I thought I'd lighten up."

If the teen doesn't make the first move, then on the third day say, share something that is going on for you. Like, you had to go back to the store for something you forgot. Or your coworker said something nice to you today. Or you are planning to buy a new cushion for the dog. Something non-controversial and basically about your experience of life.

You'll probably get an "Oh" response, but if you do this for a day or two, chances are very good the child will start to share that kind of thing herself or himself.

Next, you can start asking open ended questions, not like "How was school today," but rather, "I forgot what I came into the room for just now. Did that ever happen to you?" Or, my friend is having a birthday and I want to get her more than just a card. Any suggestions?"

Ask about common human experiences or ask for everyday kind of advice. By doing this, you are acknowledging the humanness and growing maturity of your child. Exactly what she or he needs to begin to trust that you appreciate them as maturing beings with their own good sense and values. This kind of acknowledgment is irresistible to kids - and to all of us - and will lead to a more open and respectful relationship which will keep on growing.

It sounds like quite a process, but if you review it each day and stick with it, you will be surprised and delighted with the results. The big temptation is that when you start to feel the gates are opening you will just rush right in with attempts at deeper probing etc. Resist! Before you know it, your conversations will make you proud.

Randy Rolfe's Take Home Tip: Kids need full recognition throughout their lives and even from a young age for their worthiness and importance. This doesn't mean constant praise or unrealistic expectations. Instead it means honoring their words by listening free of judgment or agenda, responding to their expressed needs in caring ways, asking their opinion in matters that concern them,  and being clear about your interest in advising and protecting them with regard to finding their way in the world.

Hope and Insight from a rare experience of death and recovery

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Each of us has our own relationship with our Creator which we develop from our parents, our church experience, our community and culture, and our own personal experience. One of the issues all humans face is the meaning of life and death and what may happen once our bodies give out. My guest this week is Dean Braxton, who had a serious health crisis which led to his clinical death. Yet he did come back and has a moving story of his experience while his body had stopped working. He says many of the ideas he had adopted during his years of service as a minister were shattered by his experience of the unfailing love God offers.

Dean and his wife Marilyn, married 27 years with six children, now travel the world to share his experience, which has been documented by the hospital medical records. Also serving in human services for over 20 years, Dean Braxton tells their story in his book In Heaven Experiencing the Throne of God. Their mission is to give hope in a unique and transparent way.

Listen to our interview on Family First with Dean Braxton this Friday at 1 PM PT, 2 PM Mt, 3 PM CT, 4 PM ET, or anytime afterwards on your PC or smart phone, or download for MP3, RSS, or apps. Just click on the link above and select Family First and April 13. 

Dean and Marilyn Braxton are licensed ministers, serving through their By His Word Christian Center, in Tacoma, Washington. Dean Braxton served for 35 years as senior and assistant Pastor, board member, youth leader, Life Skill Pastor and more at various churches. He served as a Program Manager for the Juvenile Drug Court/Chemical Dependency Disposition Alternative (CDDA) for King County and was a member of the senior management team for the King County Superior Juvenile Court System.

Dean served for 20 years also for the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a Chemical Dependency, Human Relations and Equal Opportunity Superintendent. He has helped train over 400 parents in parenting skills and given over 1,000 training presentations dealing with subjects addressing human service issues. In addition to working with youth, he has coordinated three prevention treatment family conferences. He helped develop a number of model programs funded by the U.S. government, King County, and private industries.

Click on the link above to hear Dean Braxton's moving story this Friday at 1 PM PT, 2 PM MT, 3 PM CT, and 4 PM ET, or any time afterwards on your PC or smartphone, or download to MP3, RSS, apps, etc.

Randy Rolfe"s Take Home Tips: Children come with a natural spiritual awareness of their connection to the whole of creation. Help them nurture that sense that the world is good and that love is at the core of the human experience. Avoid introducing limiting beliefs and doctrines which.complicate or compromise their innate good sense and wish to please and prosper. Having kids is a great opportunity and I think even a calling to reexamine our own innate awareness of our connectedness to all that is good in the world.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stedman Graham on Youth and Identity

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

The challenges of this century, including the new global economy, continued erosion of American manufacturing, growth of other economies, and profound changes in the very fabric of society, have resulted in unprecedented changes in the basic skills needed just for survival. How can we help our youth develop leadership and a competitive edge, when even basic comfort and security seem ever more elusive?

My guest this weekon Family First is Stedman Graham, who inspires people worldwide to change the way they learn and think. Stedman Graham is CEO of S. Graham and Associates, offering education and training to businesses, nonprofits, and youth to help maximize personal and professional success. His 11 books include two New York Times best sellers, You Can Make It Happen and Teens Can Make It Happen, which reveal his proprietary Nine-Step Process. He will share insights from his latest book, Identity: Your Passport to Success to help youth to transform their perceptions of themselves for true success.  

Click on the link above and select the program for Friday April 6, 1 PM PT, 2 PM MT, 3 PM CT, and 4 PM ET, or any time afterwards on archive, to hear Stedman Graham on youth and leadership and identity for success.

Stedman Graham is chairman and CEO of S. Graham & Associates (SGA), whose clients include Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo,, Harvard and Wharton Business Schools, and the U.S. Depts. of Education and Labor. Graham focuses on maximizing leadership, embracing diversity, and personal and professional branding. Graham has taught his concepts at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, George Washington University’s Forum for Sport and Event Management, and Temple University.

In 1985, Graham founded Athletes Against Drugs Education, Health and Sports. Now with over 500 professional athletes, AAD has served over 15,000 students. He serves on the board of Junior Achievement (JA) and the 7-Eleven Education Is Freedom Foundation. Graham holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Hardin-Simmons University, a master’s degree in Education from Ball State University, and an honorary doctorate in Humanities from Coker College.

Click on the link above to go to the Family First program page. Then go to the show for April 6 at 1 PM PT, 2 PM MT, 3 PM, CT, and 4 PM ET, to hear Steman Graham, or check back on archive afterwards for download, MP3 player, apps, etc.

Randy Rolfe's Take Home Tips: Each child is born with a passion to be her or his best and we parents must work to not limit their energy or ability to create their own unique place and action in the world. With the multiple roles we all play, it is critical to create a stimulating, loving, and protective environment in which your child can explore, grow, and step into the life that fills their dreams.