Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 10-18-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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4 ENTERTAINMENT / AT HOME OCTOBER 17-23, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION On occasion, they grounded me to my room – I could, of course, come out to do chores, which they seemed to delight in assigning whenever I was grounded – and confis- cated my radio. In that event, my social and creative life came to a virtual standstill. Obviously, I survived these traumas. I'm sharing this personal history because of something odd about many of today's parents, or at least a good number of those who come to me seeking advice, much of which pertains to narcis- sistic, sociopathic behavior on the part of their kids. The odd thing in question is a self-defeating form of enabling. To use a not-uncommon example, a young teen's par- ents tell me she is disrespect- ful and belligerently defiant toward them, refuses to lift a finger around the house, and is just plain nasty toward her younger siblings. No one knows that she has an evil alter-ego because outside the house she is a paragon of civility. When she is home, she is found in her room, door closed, submerged in what is called "social" media – an oxymoron if ever there was one. The girl is in dire need of an at-home rehab pro- gram. I recommend taking everything away from her that is not of absolute neces- sity, including, of course, her smart phone. For how long? the parents ask. Until she turns herself around, becomes a model fam- ily citizen, and sustains her recovery for three months. I point out to them that it may be a year or more before she is reunited with her smart phone. They look at one another like they've just realized they're in a room with a per- son who's not in possession of a completely right mind. They tell me they don't think they can do that. Why not? I ask. "Well, John, I mean, um, uh, well, in her peer group everyone communicates by phone," the father answers. "And, well, uh, I mean that's her whole social life…it's, well, it's her whole world." Precisely. That's the point. I understand that certain pos- sessions can become super- important to a teenager and that one particular possession can become key to the teen's social life. My bicycle occu- pied that status until I could drive. And when I was in my room – where, like most teens I preferred to be – my radio was my world. With it on, my room became a stage and I became a rock star. Nonetheless, my parents had no problem parking my bicycle and grounding me to my room – which they would purge of my WLS machine – for weeks at a time. Somehow, my mental health survived these abuses, as did my social life. There are times when noth- ing short of a "Godfather offer" – one the child can't refuse – will bring about what the child does not know is in his or her best inter- est: civil behavior. And yes, when things get to that point, they are sure to get worse before they get better, but keep in mind that the opera- tive words in that adage are "they get better." Family psychologist John Rosemond: johnrosemond.com, parentguru.com. PARENTING From Page One The AUDUBON SOCIETY OF RHODE ISLAND will offer free bird walks for beginners at Caratunk Wildlife Refuge, 301 Brown Ave., Seekonk, Mass., on Tuesdays, Oct. 23 and 30, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Learn the basics of birding and discover how to identify birds through appearance, song, behavior and habitat. Start with a brief presentation in the barn and then head out on the trails to look for birds. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars. Weather dependent. Open to ages teen to adult. Register online through the events calendar at www.asri.org . Seagrave Observatory will host My First Telescope program SCITAUTE – Seagrave Memorial Observatory, 47 Peeptoad Road, will offer the program My First Telescope on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. The members of Skyscrapers Inc. will help participants build their own telescopes to take home. Because the telescope does contain several small parts, this program is open to family members with at least one adult. Cost is $10, and the program is limited to four families only. To register, contact Steve Hubbard at cstahhs@gmail. com. Visit www.theskyscrapers. org for more information. Place your classified ad online at valleybreeze.adperfect.com

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