Monday, May 22, 2017

20 Questions to Assess Your Child's Emotional Quotient


Do you have a child or young adult who vomits his feelings? After spewing his emotions he feels better but you are still in the stench of that emotional expulsion.

How can we train our kids express their feelings without doing an affect purge?

We do it by training them how to recognize and verbalize emotion.

Before putting words to feelings an awareness needs to be created and triggers identified. Then our kids will be more able to self-regulate and enjoy more positive relationships with family members (and others).

This is the first blog in a series of blogs about emotional intelligence or emotional quotient. Subsequent articles will focus on how to increase your kiddo's soft skills ---like how they approach life, express themselves, and form relationships with others.

Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence Assessment 


1. Does your child become defensive when corrected? (correction not criticism)

2. Is your child able to utilize both positive and negative feedback in a constructive way?

3. How does your child response to stressful situations? (lots of homework, a busy schedule)

4. How does you child respond to disappointment?

5. Is your child able to persevere and persist in order to meet a goal?

6. How would you describe your child's general disposition? (optimistic, pessimistic, realistic)

7. Is his self talk harmful or helpful?

8. Is he able to state his concerns constructively?

9.  Is he able to dialogue and discuss without debating or becoming defensive?

10. Is he able to see things from another point of view?

11. How well does he play and work with others?

12. Does he express empathy for others?

13. Can he admit to making a mistake?

14. Is he able to ask for forgiveness? Grant forgiveness?

15. Does your child follow through with promises?

16. Is he able to be flexible?

17. Does he demonstrate respect for others, for God, for self, for property?

18. Is he loyal to family members? Friends?

19. Is he willing and able to problem-solve?

20. Does your child seek help when needed?


Next week we will explore emotion regulation and self control and how to help our kids increase their skills in this area.

(PS Just a thought, you may want to take the assessment yourself as well. How we parents respond makes a big impact on our children.)

My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
 Proverbs 3:21-22

Here are 5 related blogs posts you may be interested in:

1. 4 Ways to Increase Your Child's Ability to Make Friends

2. 10 Ways to Raise a Smart Kid

3. Don't Freak-Out Over School Choices. Google Doesn't 

4. Embracing Imperfection

5. Table Grace



Lori Wildenberg
Licensed parent and family educator, co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com , Lori's newest parenting book is available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore.  Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home.  Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting and parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  the MOMS Together community on Facebook. 




Click here to head to Amazon 



Monday, May 15, 2017

Blue Whale: A Kid- Killer APP or Hoax?


Is the Blue Whale App a whale of a tale or is it true?

The internet is buzzing about a game, app, or challenge called Blue Whale. According to my research (Thanks to Michelle Nietert for calling this to my attention) this app apparently encourages children over 50 days to do self-harm (like cutting) and then the game concludes with suicide.

Horrifying like a Criminal Minds episode.

Questions have arisen, is this true, proven?

According to Snopes this story is unproven. Yet, within the Snopes article there does appear to be a link between Blue Whale and suicides in Russia and Central Asia.

Whether or not Blue Whale is just a tale perhaps doesn’t matter. 

What matters is our kids-- their lives, their mental health.

Perhaps this is an opportunity, a splash of cold water to wake us up. Parents, we need to talk about depression with our young people. Suicide is 2nd in the leading causes of death, just after accidents with homicide coming in third for young people. 

We need to talk with our kids because if we do not, other voices will.

The Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, glorifies suicide. Here’s what an article from 2nd Wind ( a suicide prevention group) says about the show:

"There is a new series on Netflix called 13 Reasons Why that concerns many of us who are passionate about saving lives of kids at risk for suicide. Briefly, it is based on a novel of the same name about a high school student who dies by suicide and leaves 13 tapes on why she died. “

Professionals have varied opinions on how to handle this show. Some say watch it. Others say don't. I  At the very least this needs to be discussed rather than ignored. Even if your kids are not watching 13 Reasons Why  it, it is highly probable they have heard of it. 

Here are six suicide warning signs for parents to watch for (this is not an all inclusive list):

  • Suicide warning signs
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Threats to kill oneself or expressing the wish that he or she was dead.
  • Poor hygiene or change in appearance
  •  Extreme behavioral changes including moving from extremely sad to very happy
  • Giving away precious items

Here are some factors that increase risk (this is not an all inclusive list) 
  •    Untreated depression
  •   A recent trauma or crisis. 
  •     A peer who has committed suicide (Commonly called Copy Cat Suicide) 
  •     Feeling of hopeless
  •      Bullying

Actions to Take
  • Stay calm. Listen.  Don’t judge. Do not minimize the child’s pain.
  • Take the threat seriously. 
  •  Don’t leave the individual alone.
  •  Ask, “Are you thinking about suicide?”
  •  Be concerned for the child’s well being.
  •   Reassure the child that they will not feel this way forever. There is hope.
  •   Remove items that could be used for self-harm
  •  DON’T keep it a secret. Get help.


Things we can do right now to help all our kids

      ~Show interest in them and their lives.
      ~Love them unconditionally.
      ~Spend time together.
      ~Remind them they are created for a purpose on purpose by a God who loves them.
     ~Offer support yet avoid rescuing from struggles so he can build up perseverance and resiliency.
     ~Teach your child problem solving skills.
      ~Listen. 


My friend, professional counselor and Moms Together Mentor, Michelle Nietert offers these words for parents, 

"This (Blue Whale) is no longer an active app but the term is something kids might pick up on and use in a pact. Unfortunately in the social media world, it doesn't take long for trends like this to spread. Parents, I don't think we need to question them about the term Blue Whale unless we hear them use it. It's more important to  talk to your kids often about the value of life, how important they are and how can he or she can share any desperate thoughts with you because there is nothing you, he or she and God can't handle!"  

Suicide is a permanent action for a temporary problem. Our kids need to know they are valuable, 
precious, their life matters to us and to God. There is hope.

Whether or not the Blue Whale App is fake news or not, 
suicide is a reality among our young people. 

Other articles you may be interested in are:



Lori Wildenberg is a  licensed parent and family
educator, co-founder of  1Corinthians13Parenting.com,
 Lori's newest book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishers) can be ordered on Amazon or found at your favorite bookstoreIf you are a parent of a child who has strayed or know a family in this situation, this book will provide comfort, help, and hope.
Click here to  
 Contact Lori to speak at your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  MOMS Together community on Facebook. 




Monday, May 8, 2017

3 Principles for Parents of Prodigals



3 Principles for Parents of Prodigals found in Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home by Lori Wildenberg

Below are a few principles I have learned while walking that messy journey with a prodigal. These thoughts have helped me greatly. If you have a child who has gone astray,  I share these with you in the hope they will help you too.
.
"Life is not a straight line." 1
None of us expect the unexpected. Life is full of hairpin turns and switchbacks.

"Our love  for our children is unconditional but our help is conditional." 2
Having a prodigal child we must always express our love yet not enable behavior we want to extinguish. The rebel must participate in the solution.

"Boundary setting is more for the parents than the prodigal." 3
We can only control our own responses.

Do these thoughts and truisms resonate with you? If so you can discover lots more of these golden nuggets in my newest book: Messy Journey. Head over to your local bookstore, Amazon,or contact me to purchase Messy Journey.

Here's what the experts are saying:

This book  will be balm for those who are weary and wounded, and comfort and encouragement for those who love them.
–Mary Heathman, M.A., Founding Director of Where Grace Abounds, Inc.

No matter why you have a prodigal, or if you want to support someone who does, or if you are a prodigal yourself, this book will encourage you. There is hope in these pages!
Kathy Koch, Ph.D., Founder/President Celebrate Kids, Inc.

This is a resource that every parent whose child has strayed  from the expected path will want to have on their nightstand, but it’s also a book for youth and family pastors, counselors, and support group leaders.  
–Vicki Tiede, Speaker, Author of When Your Husband’s Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart

This book is a beautiful balance of the real-life mess of loving a prodigal and the steadfast truth of God’s Word. I will be recommending this book to many in the years to come.
–Dr. Juli Slattery, Co-founder of Authentic Intimacy

Messy Journey will feed your soul, give peace to your spirit, and empower you to step into the messy journey with grace and truth.  You are not alone.
 –Jill Savage, founder of Hearts at Home, and co-author of  No More Perfect Kids  




Lori Wildenberg is a  licensed parent and family
educator, co-founder of  1Corinthians13Parenting.com,
 Lori's newest book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishers) can be ordered on Amazon or found at your favorite bookstoreIf you are a parent of a child who has strayed or know a family in this situation, this book will provide comfort, help, and hope.
Click here to  
 Contact Lori to speak at your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  MOMS Together community on Facebook. 






1. Lori Wildenberg, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home ( Birmingham: New Hope Publishers, 2017) p.11.
2. Ibid., p. 65.
3. Ibid., p. 70.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Messy Journey



Dear friends,
I am super excited to share this with you. TODAY is BOOK LAUNCH DAY for  Messy Journey, How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home  (New Hope Publishers)! 

This book is my heart and soul. 

At times it was agonizing to write because it is about struggle. A relationship struggle. A faith and fear wresting match. Messy Journey is personal,  And to be honest, I'm a fairly private person yet the content of this book demanded openness and transparency.  God moved me  forward with the knowledge that this material could help and encourage another family. The stories in Messy Journey are not just mine but many others who bravely shared their lives.Some parents, some prodigals, some former prodigals. My daughter, Courtney, courageously tells her journey as well. Each of these individuals are my heroes. Motivated by the power of love they share their most private thoughts and feelings in order to touch the lives of those reading this book.  If you have a prodigal you are not alone. 

Here's a little blurb about the book: 



Messy Journey is for parents walking the difficult road with a wayward child. With rare and raw honesty, author and licensed parent and family educator, Lori Wildenberg, her daughter (Courtney), other parents and prodigals vulnerably share their stories. No matter why you have a prodigal or if you love someone who does this book will bring comfort, help, and encouragement.  Practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating your relationship with a detoured child who is rejecting faith, dabbling in sin, or wholeheartedly embracing sinful behavior are given. There is hope. After all, their struggle isn't really with you, it's with God.

Messy Journey offers the tools of grace and truth to construct a bridge that offers the  prodigal a way back to the family and to God. Nothing holds a parent's heart hostage like a prodigal. This book provides much needed hope, support, and encouragement to the mom or dad who feels alone on what can be a very solitary journey.  

Final Thought: 


If you have a prodigal or know someone who does, this book will be a blessing. Please connect with me if you would like me (or Courtney and me) to speak to your church group about either  general prodigal struggles (Messy Journey) or if you'd prefer a more specific talk regarding homosexuality, faith, and the family (When Belief and Behavior Collide: How to love your LGBT family member or friend with grace and truth ). 

With faith, hope, and love, 

~Lori





Lori Wildenberg is a  licensed parent and family
educator, co-founder of  1Corinthians13Parenting.com,
 Lori's newest book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishers) can be ordered on Amazon or found at your favorite bookstoreIf you are a parent of a child who has strayed or know a family in this situation, this book will provide comfort, help, and hope.
Click here to  
 Contact Lori to speak at your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  MOMS Together community on Facebook. 




Head over to Amazon to get your copy of Raising Little Kids with Big Love  












Monday, April 24, 2017

10 Interview Questions About Messy Journey



Friends,
My book Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home will be released May 1! (The book can be pre-ordered on Amazon.) 
I have had the blessing of being interviewed about the book  and thought perhaps you might like to have the answers to these questions as well. So here are 10 of those questions.
With faith, hope, and love,
Lori

10 Interview Questions About the Writing of Messy Journey

1. How would you describe your writing in general to someone who hasn't read any of your books?

My books are written for moms and dads in the trenches of parenting. They are for parents who are looking for another way to raise kids other than simply behavior modification or natural consequences. If families seek to encourage grace, responsibility, and interdependence my parenting books will provide faith-based,  practical, and easily applicable help and support. My mission is to help families build connections that last a lifetime. My parenting philosophy is not only to encourage desirable behavior but to raise kids in a way that encourages character development and spiritual growth. It is best to work from the inside out rather than the outside in; grow the heart, adjust the behavior.

 2. What inspired you to write Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home?

Life doesn’t always go the way we expect. As parents, we can do everything “right” and still have a child who veers off the expected path. With my daughter’s permission and input, I share our journey— the struggles a prodigal child brings and how to live life in the middle of the mess.

3. How would you describe this book to someone in a 30 second blurb?

Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is for parents walking the difficult road with a wayward child. This book is filled with stories from dozens of Christian parents and some prodigals. It includes my personal journey with my same-sex attracted daughter. The book is vulnerable and honest. No matter why a parent has a prodigal (or if you love someone who does) this book will bring comfort, help, and encouragement.  Practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating a relationship with a detoured child who is rejecting faith, dabbling in sin, or wholeheartedly embracing sinful behavior are given. There is hope.      

4. How did you research or plan your book?

Both personally and professionally I have experienced the messy journey.I have personally lived-out the journey and walked alongside many families who are heart broken and weary because their child has taken a detour. 

5.  Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Messy Journey is for the wounded and weary parent and for those who love them. It is also a resource for counselors, pastors, and support group leaders.  This book offers biblical truth, helpful strategies, prayers, and hope for the hurting and often lonely parent.

 6. What sparked your interest in this topic?

This is a book I didn’t want to write. Having a child who has gone astray not only causes heartache it can be isolating and shaming. No one wants the hurt, the pain that a prodigal brings. But as only God can do, in my grief He tenderized me and moved me to reach out to bring comfort and encouragement to other families facing major struggles with their child.

7. What do you hope readers will gain from the book?

My prayer is that the moms and dads reading this book feel encouraged and less alone. My hope is that by reading the stories of others and implementing the suggestions presented they feel empowered to get through the day and to never give up.

 8. How did personal experience impact writing this book?

My personal experience provides the overarching feeling of connection from the reader to author. Even if the reader’s struggle looks different from mine there are common threads and truths when one is the parent of a prodigal.

 9. How much of your own life goes into your books?
This book isn’t only about my daughter and me, it is filled with many parents and their stories. The prodigals’ substance abuse, sexual sin, and/or rejection of faith are all topics that are addressed. As society normalizes sin, Christian parents feel as if they are constantly fighting the culture. But we have a God who always wins and never gives up!

10. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a teacher and a mom. I am thankful I have been able to wear both hats. I am passionate about helping parents be the moms and dads their kids need. I never considered becoming an author. In the first parenting course I developed and taught, a few of the participants told me I should put the information in a book. I told them I was too busy raising my four kids, they could take notes. Messy Journey is my fourth parenting book. God can do the impossible, even with a resistant and rebellious heart.






Lori Wildenberg is a  licensed parent and family
educator, co-founder of  1Corinthians13Parenting.com,
 Lori's newest book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishers) can be ordered on Amazon or found at your favorite bookstoreIf you are a parent of a child who has strayed or know a family in this situation, this book will provide comfort, help, and hope.
Click here to  
 Contact Lori to speak at your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  MOMS Together community on Facebook. 




Head over to Amazon to get your copy of Raising Little Kids with Big Love