Monday, October 29, 2018

Why Wasn't I Invited?

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri, 

An old friend, who’s lived by me forever, didn’t invite me to her Sweet 16 birthday party. I was shocked and hurt.

She invited about 100 kids. She could’ve invited one more person.

We share some friends. They assumed I was going and asked me what I was wearing to the formal party. I told them I wasn’t invited. One friend said I should ask her why I wasn’t, but I can’t just ask, “Why wasn’t I invited?”

I asked a friend to find out for me. She wasn’t happy, but said she’d try.

I just wanted to know why. We haven’t hung out together since 8th grade, but all our shared friends were asked.

I found out she didn’t ask me because I dropped her as a friend and went after the same guy she liked.
I need to know if I should try talking to her and apologize. Maybe it’s not too late to go to her party.

Signed,
Not invited 


Dear Friend,


We all want to belong and feel loved. We all haven’t been invited somewhere at sometime. However, it seems to hurt the worst when we expect to be invited.

There are many reasons for not receiving an invitation. It’s personal for the inviter, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.

Some tips for not being invited:

•    Find out why you want to be invited so badly – Is it FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or do you want to attend an exciting event, whoever is doing the inviting?

•    Accept that you weren’t invited – Replace that night with another friend and a different activity. Don’t dwell all night on why you weren’t invited or you risk making your other friend the brunt of your resentment. Have a pity-party first and then enjoy your night.

•    Vent alone – Venting to your close friends can help for a short time, but you could make your friends feel guilty they were invited and you weren’t. That could cause them to avoid you because you’ll oppress their enthusiasm. It’s not healthy for your relationships or you.

•    Speak directly to the inviter – Start by “saving face” (make it private) and ask how you may have offended her. Ask her how you can mend your relationship. Be genuine and make your conversation about your connection, not about her function. People can sense when we care more about having an entertaining night and less about the person.

Your goodness and worth is your truth. Not everyone is going to like you all the time and you don’t have to judge yourself based on other people’s opinions.

Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri



Sunday, October 21, 2018

My Friend's a Cutter



Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri, 
 
My best friend’s a cutter. We’re ten.

She’s beautiful, but she doesn’t think so. She’s bullied because she looks 
older than 10. 

Bullies at our school are the popular girls. They ignore her, push, shove, 
and bump into her on purpose.
My friend goes into the bathroom at school and cuts herself on her thigh. 

I cried and she laughed. She said cutting makes her pain stop from the 
bullies. I said we need to tell someone. She said her mom knows and 
tells her to stop, but she doesn’t.
I told my mom what was happening and she called the school.

My friend brought the razors to school and stole her mom’s pain pills. 

I can’t tell my mom again, and no one did anything anyway. 
I try to help her. Help!
 
Signed,

Friend’s a Cutter
 
Dear Friend,

You’re a true friend, however, people who try to make their friends 
change may become codependent. 

Codependent means one person may have an addictive problem, 
like cutting, 
and doesn’t want to change, but wants you to support her 
neediness and problem. 
Cutting most often requires a professional therapist to help. 
Please tell a 
trusted adult, maybe a teacher. Make sure to show this column
 to your mom.

A cutting
disorder is a form of self-harm that involves a deliberate
 decision to mutilate or hurt oneself.

This method of harm affects mostly young girls ages 10-24 years old.
Cutting is the most common method.

Some other methods include:
  • burning
  • scratching
  • hair-pulling
Some facts:
 
·         One out of 12 kids deliberately hurt themselves with cutting
·         Seventy percent are girls. Girls as young as 9 have started cutting.   
 
 
Although cutting disorders are not necessarily a suicide attempt, many 
who don’t receive help may eventually commit suicide because cutting
 doesn’t stop the pain anymore. It also may accidently cause suicide.
 You might help her by replacing cutting conversations and switching 
them to talking about an uplifting movie, or running or playing 
soccer together. It will help you, too. 
Talk to your mom about professional help for you.
Your friend’s situation is a lot for anyone to carry on their shoulders.

Remember your friend’s issue isn’t about you and others that care. 
It could be caused by self-hatred, usually from deep and severe trauma. 
Cutting is not for attention-seeking purposes. Cutters usually try 
to keep it hidden.
 Your friend wants and needs your love and acceptance. Please 
continue to include her in your activities.Stand up (literally standing tall 
 and having direct eye contact) to the bullies and be genuinely happy. 
Bullies hate when their victims are happy.  
 
Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Monday, October 15, 2018

Porn: Is it a Big Deal?


Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

My heart’s broken. I found my 12-year-old son watching violent, awful porn. I can’t believe he thinks this is all right.

He was brought up to be respectful, polite and a gentleman to girls.

This isn’t my first bad experience with porn. I caught my husband with specific celebrity porn and it nearly destroyed our marriage. He broke my trust and I couldn’t be intimate with him for a long time.

We went to therapy a few times. He said that was enough and he told me he wasn’t doing it anymore, but then I caught him with another video of her. He got mad that time and said it wasn’t a big deal.

I’m so depressed that my son is doing the same thing!

I took my son’s phone away as a consequence. He said that won’t stop him because everyone has porn on their phones, girls included. I feel like the dumbest mom on Earth. Is porn really okay with everyone now?

Signed,

Porn is a big deal

Dear Mom,

We couldn’t agree more: pornography is a Big Deal. All porn is demeaning.

We’re sorry your guys are involved with it. Our society portrays porn as not being a big deal because it’s seen as a fake relationship and not reality, but you’re dealing with real emotions, feelings and difficulties, like the following:

• Real feelings of hurt that causes real emotional pain;
• Real anxiety and self-shaming because of a shattered sense of self-worth, trying to compete with the “perfect” image;
• Real consequences with the possibility of mental health issues;
• Real fear that you won’t be able to recapture real trust, comfort, and genuine love;
• Real loss of real relationships, because it’s too difficult to deal with compromise, acceptance, time, and energy issues.

Our new societal relationship norm is pessimistic and cynical about love in general, which tends to create less trust and interest in marriage and family.

The following statistics regard your son and his peer’s generation:

• 93 percent of boys and 63 percent of girls see porn before the age of 18;
• The first exposure to pornography among boys is 12 years old, on average;
• 31 percent of 14-to-17-year-olds own a Smartphone and easily access graphic hardcore pornography.


Help:

1.      Stop the “No Big Deal” porn mentality, with a support group in your community.
2.      Stop addictive porn that’s proven to change the brain and increase abusive relationships.
3.      Stop porn from invading our families and increase spiritual growth and healthy relationships.

Keep it REAL!

Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Timeout works, when you do it correctly


Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I’m a single mom of a four-year-old son in pre-school. My son and another kid in his class are completely out of control. He wasn’t like this until the other boy showed up. 

My son yells, punches, stomps, talks back, and rages when he doesn’t get his way. 

Even though his dad behaved the same way, his dad’s now in another state. So he can’t be taking after him.

Timeout is what I use for discipline (so does his teacher). My son screams like I’m torturing him and I try to ignore him. It’s a nightmare to get him in his Timeout chair. I use a timer for four minutes, and praise and hug him when he’s done. 

His doctor said he doesn’t have ADHD and just needs more positive attention.  

I’m thinking about putting him in another school so he won’t be able to feed off the other kid. 

Signed,
Distressed Mom

Dear Distressed,

You’re doing a great job using “Timeout.” Research has proven Timeout to be an excellent strategy to change negative behavior.

However, most people don’t understand that Timeout is a teaching-learning discipline tool. It promotes positive behavior, but it’s not the complete behavioral solution.

It’s important to focus on the changes in your son’s disposition, not outside influences, with the help of a child counselor. It’s also an opportunity to explore what is behind his behaviors, not who is causing the changes.    

It could be myriad reasons, for example, missing his dad, being bullied, or academic struggles.  

Any attention feeds behavior. Timeout is a tool to stop all types of attention – negative, like screaming, stomping, making demands, and threats, or positive, such as parental explanations, rewards, and hugs

Your Timeout guidance plan could be based on the following:

1.      Don’t overuse it (only once or twice a day).
2.      Explain the problem to your child.
3.      Tell him what positive behavior is required to replace the negative behavior.
4.      You’re the one in control – don’t negotiate. (This is imperative.)
5.      Reward him only after he follows your directions.
6.      Explain what his consequences will be if his undesirable behavior returns.
7.      Tell him he’s responsible for having a Timeout – he chooses his behavior.
8.      Don’t physically force or restrain him into Timeout; this reinforces negative and aggressive behavior. Enforce consequences consistently.

His constructive behavior changes may reward you with appropriate parental control (remember you’re not his friend – you’re his caring, loving parent) and you’ll establish a healthy and connected relationship. 

Most of all, you’ll have a loving, respectful, and peaceful rapport. 

Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri