I was blessed to have 3 beautiful children that I adored. The hardest day of my life was losing one of them, my sweet Gaston. I knew at that moment that I had two choices; I could let this overwhelming loss drive the rest of my life, or I could do something different. I chose to do something different! MY passion is that no other parent will have a day like that or experience such a tragic loss.
At the young age of 13 Gaston took his life. Even though I wanted my children to feel unconditional love from me, I didn’t know what that looked like. I didn’t have a role model or understanding of how one would show unconditional love. I didn’t feel unconditional love from my mom, I felt disconnected and unimportant. After doing a lot of self discovery and healing work, I became aware that I did not have unconditional love for myself.
Although I don’t know all the emotional struggles that Gaston went through, I believe he must have felt all alone for him to make such a drastic decision as to take his own life. Statistics show that youth suicides are on the rise. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the US! According to the National Institute for Mental Health: There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510). Read more about these statistics in their article here.
Since that tragic day over a decade ago, I have dedicated my life to learning, coaching, facilitating and teaching healing and healthy processes and techniques that create genuine, open, honest, respectful and fun relationships. I don’t think there is anything more important! I NOW get to have amazing, loving relationships with my two children, my mom and other important people in my life.
I can’t go back and change Gaston’s experience, but I CAN help parents and teachers have more fun creating meaningful, genuine and respectful relationships with our youth, where they feel loved and cared for.
Together we can put an end to youth depression and suicided.
In my search for training tools, I found LOVE & LOGIC, which has been amazingly effective at home and in the classroom.
Please read below, why I love teaching this wonderful curriculum.
What is Love and Logic?
It is a coaching curriculum that teaches adults how to raise responsible children. It equips adults with skills/tools that will allow them to take care of themselves so that they can be a “healthy” coach. A coach, that uses Love and Logic to guide children to solve their own age appropriate problems. The primary goal is to help children learn how to make themselves behave so that they aren’t dependent upon rules, regulations, laws or incarceration to control their behavior
The founders of this program are Jim Faye and Foster Cline. Jim was a teacher and Foster was a foster parent. They got together in the late sixties and figured out how to provide empathy when children need it the most and deliver consequences that are creative and age appropriate while children are in “thinking mode.” They figured out that anger, threats and manipulation don’t work because it puts people in the “fight or flight” mode which happens in the brain stem. Responsibility grows in the thinking and problem solving part of the brain, the frontal cortex. In order to develop children’s ability to think, they must be using their frontal cortex. This happens when oxytocin is produced as a result of empathy. Once a heavy dose of empathy is given the child can be given a logical or natural consequence.
If it is not obvious what that consequence should be, delaying the consequence is good, too. Delayed consequence delivers a double whammy. It is like having to “go out and pick your switch.” It allows the adult to take care of themselves (calm down), get in the “thinking” part of their brain and get creative with the consequence. Delayed consequence allows the child to anticipate what his consequence might be or should be. Then if you get stuck and need some ideas about how to deliver a natural consequence, you can ask the child what he or she thinks. You don’t have to use his or her idea just like he or she doesn’t have to use your ideas when you are giving suggestions on how they might need to solve their problem(s).
Most children do not feel loved because they have not been able to connect with parents, extended family, teachers and other mentors. Some adults don’t know how to connect because they have become disconnected. Love and Logic is about building relationships, treating children and adults with dignity and respect while raising (coaching) responsible children. It is like using the “good neighbor policy.” People are more open to what a “good” neighbor requests than what a “grumpy” neighbor demands. That is human nature.
Virginia with Dr. Charles Faye