Tuesday, March 23, 2010

About Parenting: messed-up parenting


Can you mess up in your parenting and still have great kids?

Of course you can!

Parenting is not a science but if you know about child development and read this book - you'll realize you can do it with

less anxiety and much less guilt.

child development and parenting

99 pages packed with useful information


If I, a Developmental Psychologist with an expertise in early childhood, messed up – why should you expect to be perfect?

And while the title is directed at mommies; all I have to say here is meant for daddies too. In most homes still, yet, whatever; mommies are the major child caretakers.

This book was written to hopefully help alleviate the guilt that parents feel before during and after raising their child.

caveats - please be sure to read

If you are a person who thinks daddy or mommy is not to be questioned - do not buy this book - you will be offended..I also have a New York style sense of humor [sarcastic and odd] so if that offends you - please do not buy my book...you'll be unhappy.


From the Introduction

Another parenting book? Yup!

But this one is different – why? Because I am writing it and I have great ideas that I don’t mind sharing with anyone who asks and even with those who do not ask! And at 70 years of age I am entitled to say what I want .

I’ve long been a Dr. Seuss fan and love this:

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.


For those who don't know me, I have been in the field of Developmental Psychology since the early 60's when I entered graduate school. I was a college professor, wrote a few text books and edited a life span series. Now I want to get information out in a more readable and less paper intensive fashion so I am authoring e-books about psychological development.


Conversation with my son

My son read the manuscript, of course, and so I asked him for comments.

First he said he did not remember all that I wrote about his early years but he was sure I was accurate about them...

What he did recall was that he felt I was unique because he had a say in decision-making and some of his friends seemed not to have that say. Not that we did as he suggested but that his voice was heard. I was not a totalitarian!

He still calls me his “parental unit” and said that while he is not all that keen on my writing about parenting him, “it’s my life and whether or not I like it, you were there too.”

Yes he has known this book was in the works and has hinted that he may comments to make if I do the parenting teen one.

[not so sure I want to hear those comments again ]


This is an honest, thought provoking, informative, inspiring book!

The exercises are great for self-reflection/examination, and the writing is very accessible. This book will help many new and veteran parents better understand their children - even if you are not a parent this book will help you understand children and their worlds.

Well done! This is amazingly awesome :)

Rabbi Shai Specht


from Chapter 1

Lynn’s take on family labels

I hate the term “broken” family. No family is broken. Families are all different. Broken implies a negative that may or may not be there – much as a family that stays married can be either a positive or negative environment. Marriage and divorce are not the biggest factors that define the quality of a family.

The same goes for adopted children – they dislike being asked about their “real” parents when one means the birth parents. The real parents are the ones raising them.

I felt this way before I had a child and I certainly came to dislike the labels more after his father and I divorced. We may have been dysfunctional – but we were not ‘broken.”


It's excellent. I wish there'd been something like it when I was raising mine.

She pulls no punches. Straight to the point. Hope parents buy it.

She deserves to be heard.



from Chapter 6 Behaving

To behavior “properly,” that is in accordance with the rules of one’s culture,
people need to know what the rules are. Then they can distinguish right
from wrong.

But, and as they say this is a big but, they also need to want to act in
the correct way and they need the ability to control themselves.

So ask – can young children even be considered as having morality or being
capable of behaving in the adult definition of these terms?

I think not.

The start of this process of moral development and behaving is the ability to
put yourself in the place of another - and that’s a high level cognitive

I’ve written before that cognitive growth is at the root, so to speak, of all
development – and here it is again. You need a certain amount of complex
cognitive ability to behave in what we call a moral fashion.

But being moral is not the same as being well behaved. In fact many of what
we call “well behaved” children are only behaving out of fear. An older study
indicated that scaring children into behaving as the adult wishes them to
behave tends to result in the behavior only happening when that adult is

For example – if a parent threatens or scares a child about crossing streets –
that child is more likely to look around for the parent – and NOT look at the
traffic. The same can be true for school behaviors. “Well behaved” children
tend to be loved by teachers but it does not mean the child is sitting there
learning academic material – they may be sitting there with all their thoughts
focused on keeping still because they were scared into thinking that was
“correct.” This behavior takes up a lot of mental energy – energy that is not
going toward learning school material.


From Hayley in Perth

You just never know where your words are going to end up!
I was on Twitter chatting with a friend and I told her about my daughter and something she had said when she was a young child. She'd drawn a picture of the family but her younger sister was missing from the picture. When asked where she was, she replied with a very serious face, "She's still in the pencil, silly." We all erupted in laughter because she was such a funny little thing.

Well, Dr Lynn Dorman Phd, an American Psychologist was in the process of writing her e-book, "You can totally screw up as a mom and still raise great kids!" She sent me a direct message asking if she could use that quote in her e-book.

Well, surprise, surprise, her e-book is finished and there is Sarah's quote on Page 84.

I love the thought that a 70 year old woman would take the time to share her wisdom with the younger generations. There is just something very special about our Elders and it touches my heart when they desire to reach out and pass on what they know.



Chapter 1 Before We Talk Babies And Children Let’s Talk “Uniqueness”
Chapter 2 Okay Now Let’s Talk Babies
Chapter 3 Early Infancy
Chapter 4 Infancy 1-3
Chapter 5 Those Developmental Tasks
Chapter 6 Behaving - What On Earth Does That Mean?
Chapter 7 Putting It All Together And Taking It On The Road
Chapter 8 Those “Pesky” Other “Things” That Raise Your Children
Chapter 9 Conclusion


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Park and Trail Improvement

Park and Trail Improvement Opportunities for North Portland

Parks Bond Measure


March 18th, Thursday Evening at St. Johns Community Center

8427 N. Central

7pm - 8:30pm

ask questions - get answers

sponsored by St. Johns Neighborhood Assoc. & Friends of Cathedral Park Neighborhood Assoc.

Come Learn about a possible Parks Bond Measure for needed upgrades

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bridgeton Meeting

March Meeting

Monday, March 8, 2010

7 PM @ Columbia Pioneer School

716 N. Marine Dr., Portland, OR


What will happen to the Marine Drive interchanges and access to Hayden Island?

CRC Representatives will present the most current plans for our access to/from MLK, Marine Drive West, I-5, Hayden Island, and Delta Park if the bridge is built. Right now those things do not look favorable for our ability to go anywhere as easily as we do now. This may be the time to start communicating our dissatisfaction with the CRC plans to City Council, Metro, PBOT, ODOT and all other members of the Project Sponsors Council.

For your information

Spring Clean Up is scheduled for April 10th from 8 am until Noon.

The Bureau for Planning and Sustainability wants our thoughts on plans for West HaydenIsland.

A group is planning to have a program called Fuel Pdx on Fire in September at PIR.

Pen2 wants the neighborhood to tell them what we think of their plans to cut down the large Magnolia at the school and to use our mitigation funds to extend the berm at the school into the parking lot.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Kenton Library Opening - March 8th

Dear Community Member and Kenton Library Partner -

Hello! My name is David Miles and I'll be the Branch Administrator at your new Kenton Library. I'm pleased to let you know that the library will open to the public on Monday March 8th, 10:00 a.m. On Saturday March 13th there will be an all day celebration and dedication ceremony at 2:00 p.m.

I know that you have waited a long time for this library, and I and the rest of the Kenton Library staff are proud and excited to be a part of this wonderful addition to your community.

We look forward to seeing you at the library and in the community!

David Miles
Kenton Library Administrator
8226 N. Denver Avenue
Portland Or. 97217

Monday, March 01, 2010

More from Tina Kotek Rep. HD 44

Special Session Wrap-Up

Kotek header
In This Issue
Town Hall this Saturday
Highlights of the Session
Other News from Salem
Quick Links
Dear Friends,
The February Special Session of the Oregon Legislature wrapped up its business last Thursday, passing 120 bills in an intense 25-day session. Our focus was on jobs, the economy, and helping struggling Oregonians.
We balanced the budget and reined in the cost of the Business Energy Tax Credit. We held true to our commitment to K-12 schools to provide the dollars necessary to ensure a full school year in the coming year. And we passed bills to protect job applicants and consumers in these difficult times.
I hope you will join me at my town hall this coming Saturday, March 6th, to hear more about the session and to add your ideas to our preparation for the 2011 session. Please see the details below.

Legislative Town Hall this Saturday, March 6th
Rep. Tina Kotek, Rep. Lew Frederick,
and Sen. Chip Shields

10:00 a.m. to Noon
Portland Community College-Cascade Campus
Terrell Hall, Room 122
Please join your North/NE Portland legislators for a report on the February Special Session and a discussion about community issues as they prepare for the 2011 Regular Session.
Highlights of the Session
These are tough times for lots of folks. My priority during the session was to pass good bills to help people and our state recover from the economic recession. We did that, despite limited resources, and my hope is that our efforts will keep the recovery moving forward. Here is a summary of some of those actions:
  • Extended Unemployment Benefits - Unemployment benefits are extended until mid-April for 19,000 unemployed Oregonians, helping them make ends meet while they search for employment (HB 3655).
  • Balanced the Budget and Filled Some Gaps - Even with the tax measures passing, we came into the session approximately $190 million short because of another drop in state revenue. We tightened our belt to balance the budget, but we also restored child care assistance for working families (theEmployment Related Day Care Program which would have been cut July 1st) and made sure Opportunity Grants promised to college students would be available through the end of this school year.
  • Provided More Resources for Small Businesses - Knowing that small business growth and hiring will drive the economic recovery, we passed legislation to provide new loans and grants to small businesses who create new jobs and hire Oregonians (BOOST, HB 3698) and increased access to loans from the Oregon Business Development Fund for capital investments (SB 1017).
  • Protected Job Applicants and Consumers - I was the chief co-sponsor of the Job Applicant Fairness Act, which restricts employers' use of pre-employment credit history checks, thereby removing an obstacle to employment for many Oregonians hard hit by the recession (SB 1045). We also passed bills to protect consumers from unlawful trade practices by banks and other financial institutions (HB 3706) and tightened up requirements for lenders to explain to struggling homeowners why they were ineligible for loan modifications (HB 3610).
Other News from the Session
In addition to my work on the Job Applicant Fairness Act (see above), I was pleased to pass a bill that makes a one-time investment of $150,000 to implement a demonstration project to create a cost-effective, evidenced-based vision screening program that can, eventually, be duplicated statewide (HB 3626).
When one in five children have undiagnosed vision problems that are keeping them from succeeding in school, it is essential to explore ways to provide vision screenings on a regular basis to Oregon school children.
I was also excited to work on and pass an expansion of Oregon Health Plan coverage to young adults aging out of the state's foster care system (HB 3664). This was a follow-up bill to legislation I introduced in 2009 to make sure former foster care youth continue to have access to essential health care until they turn 21.
Senator Jackie Dingfelder's bill to reduce exposure to radon in residential buildings and public buildings will be important to North/NE Portland residents because of the prevalence of radon in our end of town (SB 1025).
The Senator and I also teamed up to re-introduce a bill to provide the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with another tool to work with problem bars and taverns (SB 1026). The bill had a hearing, but didn't advance, so we will be strategizing on new approaches on this issue for the 2011 session.
Finally, at nearly the close of the session, we referred a measure to the voters who will decide whether the Constitution should be amended to allow the Legislature to meet every year in time-limited sessions. The measure calls for 160-day sessions in odd-numbered years and 35-day sessions in even-numbered years. I believe this change would provide more efficiency and regularity to allow the Legislature to meet the complex needs of our state.

It's an honor to serve you in the Legislature. Please contact my legislative assistant Alex Berke at our district office, by phone, 503-286-0558, or email, if we can be of any assistance to you and your family.

Best wishes,