Snowmen, Scrooge, and Self-Reliance

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. Things are always a mess with the Rhines family, so why would this past weekend be any different? After we spent Friday and some of Saturday helping our son move into his first apartment, we were looking forward to a relaxing Saturday night. Instead, both of our dogs were sprayed by a humongous skunk in our backyard. It was so smelly that you would have thought we were all doing tear gas training for the military. Eyes and noses burned and itched like crazy. I hope this weekend will be a LOT less thrilling! Whether you are planning for some quiet moments at home or would welcome some unexpected excitement, I hope you’ll have a great weekend!

Quote of the week: “Remembrance, like a candle, burns brightest at Christmastime.” –Charles Dickens

Book of the week: I am a sucker for really neat children’s books, because even when you are older and more mature, you can still learn the lessons such books project. This week, just for fun, I want to recommend the book Snowmen at Night, by Carolyn and Mark Buehner. It tells the wonderful story of all the possible things snowmen would do if they could walk around the neighborhood after dark. This is one of my favorite winter books, and though it’s not officially winter yet, I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Joke of the week: How did Scrooge win the football game? The Ghost of Christmas Passed!

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: This week I want to talk about becoming self-reliant, which means doing as many things for yourself—by yourself—as possible. There comes a time in a teenager’s life when your parent(s) need to pull back and let you become more independent. To help you prepare for increased responsibility, parents can do things such as adding more household chores, giving you permission to spend time with friends at the movies, and teaching you how to get a permit and to learn to drive a car. The challenge for you as a young adult is to recognize (and admit) when those new responsibilities and freedoms become more than you are able to handle. My advice is simple: Use open communication with the adults in your life, and be willing to express how you feel. The world is scary enough; enter it at the pace that is most comfortable to you.

Podcast of the week:  I’m thrilled to share with you a link to a podcast by foster care advocate Dr. John DeGarmo, who with his wife has been a foster parent for more than 60 children. His weekly radio show Parent Factors provides inspiration for parents within the foster care system, and he has generously agreed to share one of his podcasts with RiseUP on the second Friday of every month. In episode one, Dr. John interviews psychologist Dr. Craig Wiener, author of Parenting Your Child with ADHD: A No-nonsense Guide for Nurturing Self-reliance and CooperationClick here to listen as Dr. Wiener suggests ways that concerned parents can address their child’s attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) without medication.

Have a great week. Remember, you are most awesome and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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