Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Every voice deserves to be heard

April 7, 2014

 

Let me spell it out for you

Let me spell it out for you

It’s Autism Awareness Month and organizations like Autism Speaks do a tremendous job in the areas of education, research funding, and providing resources for families. A couple of years ago, at this time of year, I was on a quest to learn more when I heard about Carly’s Voice : Breaking Through Autism by Arthur Fleischmann.  I read the synopsis: “At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Although she made some progress after years of intensive behavioral and communication therapy, Carly remained largely unreachable. Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough.

While working with her devoted therapists Howie and Barb, Carly reached over to their laptop and typed in “HELP TEETH HURT,” much to everyone’s astonishment. This was the beginning of Carly’s journey toward self-realization.”

I was hooked, got my hands on the book and read it in three days. All I could think was, “Wow! There goes a whole bunch of assumptions about autism.” I was blown away by Carly’s intelligence, her wit, and her drive to communicate and be understood. I was also touched and inspired by her father’s relentless commitment to connect with her. I had to learn more about the story behind this story. I wanted to interview Arthur Fleischmann.

Social media being what it is, connecting with Arthur was easy. He graciously accepted my invitation to be my guest on Family Confidential. What a fascinating, dynamic and very personal conversation we had. I’m so pleased to share with you this never-before-published interview. Aruthur’s chronicle of life with his daughter Carly provides us all something to think about, especially when it comes to giving everyone the respect he or she deserves plus the opportunity to be heard. Listen here.

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Kids from hard places need soft places to reside

March 31, 2014

An essential book for adopting parents

An essential book for adoptive parents

When kids “act out” you’d better believe strong emotions are the drivers. Parents and teachers usually pay attention to the behavior without taking time and patience to dig deeper and discover the trigger that unleashed the storm. What’s causing such distress in this child that s/he is acting this way? Discovering the answer is key to understanding children and ultimately helping them a) understand themselves better b) effectively manage their destructive emotions c) express themselves in socially responsible ways so that d) they can get their needs met without causing harm to themselves or others.

This truth was illustrated beautifully in a story Dr. Karyn Purvis told me during our interview for my podcast, Family Confidential back in 2010. Dr. Purvis is a Developmental Psychologist and Director of the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth. For the past decade, she and her colleagues have been developing research-based interventions for at-risk children. Dr. Purvis is also the co-author of The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family, a book that has helped countless adoptive and foster parents better connect with their children who have come from “hard” places.

In our recorded conversation Dr. Purvis tells me about a little girl playing in the kitchen while her mom makes dinner. The girl asks for a candy bar. Mom says, “No, sweetheart. Dinner will be ready in ten minutes.” The girl has a full-fledged meltdown, screaming, crying inconsolably. She throws things and physically and verbally abuses her mother. Mom has no idea what’s going on and feels powerless to help her daughter.

In desperation, Mom turns to Dr. Purvis and comes away with a better understanding of what was going on and how to meet her little girl’s needs without giving her candy every time she asks. Turns out this child was adopted from an orphanage where she often did not get enough to eat. When her mom said “no” to the candy, the girl panicked and remembered feeling powerless as she cried out in hungry, only to be ignored. Dr. Purvis’ compassionate response helped the mom and the child immeasurably. What was the solution?

You need to hear my never-before-published interview with Karyn Purvis, an educator for whom I have the highest respect and admiration. Listen in. 

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Teaching Kids to Be Good People Blog Tour

February 28, 2013

As a published author, of course I know about book tours. Not that I’ve ever actually been on one, but I’ve attended other authors’ events at Book Passage. So, yeah. I understand the concept. What I didn’t get, until recently, is “What’s a blog tour?” Turns out it’s pretty much the same thing as a book tour without the books, the bookstore, or the fans eager to buy an autographed copy.

Not all teachers are parents, but all parents are teachers

Since I’ve got a new book I’m rather proud of and zero publicity budget, starting today,  I’m on the (virtual) road with the Teaching Kids to Be Good People Blog Tour (Feels like we need a theme song. I’ll work on it.) At each of the nineteen stops along the tour, there is no stump speech. You, my dear readers, will be treated to totally new and thought provoking content to help us 21st century parents raise nice kids who also do good in the world.

Here’s where you can find me and when:

I know it's a virtual tour, but I want this bus!

Teaching Kids to Be Good People Blog Tour Itinerary

Got the T-shirt:

February 28 – Suzanna Narducci’s blog at TweenParent.com

February 28 –  Heather Chauvin’s blog (video interview)

March 5 – Kelly Hirt’s blog My Twice Baked Potato

March 7 – Jean Tracy MSS’ Parenting Skills Blog

March 10 –  Jeanne Demer’s The Ruby Books

March 16 –  Rick Ackerly’s blog at Genius in Children

March 18 – Margit Crane and Barbara Dab’s Good Enough Parenting Radio Show

March 18 –  Sharon Silver ‘s blog at Proactive Parenting

March 19 – Families Magazine Southwest (UK)

March 20 –  Sue McNamara at 6seconds.org

March 21 – Kristen Ploetz’ Little Lodestar

March 27 – AK StoutDeb Evans‘ Social Geek Radio 6 pm (PT)

March 28 –  Bruce Sallan’s #DadChat “Doing the right thing is good karma” (on Twitter) 6 PM (PT) Enter TweetChat room

March 29 – Lynnee Jimenez’s ClubChicaCircle.com

April 1 – Melissa Wardy’s blog at PigtailPals

April 8 – Keith Rispin’s Parenting Old School blog as well as Keith’s Ed Tech blog

April 15 – Carrie Goldman’s blog Portrait of an Adoption

April 19 –  Sarah Newton’s blog at Sarah Newton.com

April 29 –  Dr. Laura Markham’s blog at Aha Parenting

A big thank you  to all my blog tour hosts. These are top-notch folks. All of them are authors, educators, clinicians, and/or parent coaches who do truly excellent work supporting kids, parents, and families.  I’m honored to be on the same team with each of them and I encourage you to explore their books and services. We’re all here together to help each other as we help our kids.

OK, the blog tour starts now. Wait!! How’s my hair look? Oh, right. It doesn’t matter. :O))

Happy Parenting! (And if you feel the urge, please sign the guest book.)

We're in this together!

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