Hello fellow therapists,

Ya know when a person says “I don’t know” to almost every question? Typically, the office rule is that “I don’t know” is not allowed  in therapy so clients have the opportunity to share their feelings and do “the work”.  But what are they supposed to say instead?  Sometimes people, especially kids, are afraid to talk about things or they want to talk about it later, but they don’t know how to express that.  Some kids are trained to always give an answer, even if it’s not true, and sometimes, they really have no idea what to say.  These cards are meant to help kids understand the choices they have when talking about difficult subjects.

So Print these cards to help people know they have a choice in what they do or do not say…… and sometimes, “I can’t remember” is the correct answer!

click here:  what to say cards

When things are so frustrating, you barely know what to do, this card may help.  Please put something in each square of the card, then you will have pre-planned ways to help yourself; ways to give yourself some comfort when life really gets rough.

The six parts of the card are………….

  1.  Thing:  This can be anything that you can hold, a photo, a fuzzy blanket, a piece of jewelry from your grandmother. If you are a teen, this item is likely a phone, or a similar electronic device which takes on the purpose of a security blanket. This “thing” may also be a pet, but for some folks, a pet falls in the category of “person”.
  2. Place:  Think of someplace where you can go where you feel some peace or comfort, just by being in that place. It must be a place that you can get to within one hour of travel, so being in Nebraska, this is not the mountains or the ocean. If you are a  child, it needs to be a place you will always have permission to go to, like your room or the fort in your backyard.
  3. Person:  The ideal person is someone that makes you feel loved and special even if you do not talk about what is bothering you. If this person has died, then scents and odors are very powerful in re-creating the same feelings and memories you shared with this person.  Like I said in number one, this “person” could also be beloved pet
  4. Food/Drink: It is pretty easy to think of comfort food or drink.  Most people have a favorite when they are stressed, feeling ill or when it is  a special occasion.  Alcohol and large quantities of food may or may not be a good choice for you.  In fact, all of the items on this card are meant to be used in moderation.  The idea is to use many different kinds of things to help distract yourself when stressed or upset.
  5. Image/Memory:  This is something you can picture in your mind that will help you remember a positive event or feeling. It may be an actual memory of a vacation or visiting a calm place.  You can also invent something on your own, like a deserted tropical island with unlimited chocolate and a personal maid.
  6. Activity:  For this category there are two kinds of activities that can bring you comfort.  The first one is an energy releasing activity.  This would be something like cleaning, dancing, running or jumping on the trampoline.  Something that will help you get all of the stress out of your body, something that gets your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes.  The second one is a soothing activity.  Something that will help you relax and lower your heart rate.  This could be a bath, meditation, reading, listening to music or an old fashioned nap.  Please include both ideas in this box, ‘cuz sometimes you need one or both of these types of activities.

To print out your own comfort card, please use this pdf:       COMFORT THY SELF

So, if you survived Psychology 101 in high school or college, you probably know about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  The idea that each person has biological and psychological needs that must be met in order to achieve “actualization”.  The basic rule is that the lower needs have to be met BEFORE it is even possible to meet the higher needs of the pyramid/triangle.  I have applied this idea to the emotional needs of children.  This has helped me describe the emotional needs of children to the families that I work with.

Click on this link to see the diagram in a PDF file that you can print.

emotional needs pyramid

 

Moral development is a tricky thing, sometimes kids seem really empathetic and want to help others, and sometimes they are so selfish you wonder if they are human. Most moral and ethical decisions are based on a person’s conscience, which grows and develops over time. For some people, it doesn’t really develop until adulthood, and their brain is fully functional. For others, it is deeply influenced by life’s circumstances. I do not know exactly how it changes, but I do know that caregivers do not have complete control over it.

Do not give up hope that a child can eventually make ethical and moral choices, while at the same time, be practical in where they are at now. What motivates them to make choices now? What helps them make a decision? See the graphic below, which describes my version of the progression of moral development.

***not based on research, just my observation of human behavior

 

These are some short phrases you can say to yourself to help you when you are struggling with common parenting issues.

If they are helpful, repeat them over and over as much as needed.

 

1. I have to raise the kid I have, not the kid I was.

This is a new day and age, and although we think the way we grew up or was parented worked pretty good, it most likely will not work in today’s society, culture and educational system. Kids are taught starting in preschool to have critical thinking skills, so they are learning to think for themselves and evaluate situations on their own. This will be great when resisting peer pressure, but it also means they will be less likely to follow your advice just “because I said so”.

2. It’s harder for them than it is for me.

I know parenting is really hard and sometimes you have to put up with so many hassles that you wonder why you wanted to have kids in the first place. But no matter how hard it is for parents, it is much harder to be a kid, and especially a teenager today. They have more pressures than prior generations, including being asked in 8th grade to choose their career paths and the issues with social media are unprecedented. If you don’t believe me, check out a book by Chap Clark, Hurt Kids 2.0

3. It’s not about me, they just take it out on me.

Kids have a tough time managing their emotions, and they have to spend all day at school being calm, following directions and managing the peer social strata of high school or middle school. Kids get about 500 commands a day, plus the hormones which lead to mood swings. They are literally “fried” when they get home from school. My 12 year old daughter yelled at me one day when asked how her day at school was. I could have punished her for “being disrespectful”, but instead I gave her some time to cool down and gently approached the subject again later. Come to find out, the boy she had a crush on did not say “hi” to her in the hallway that day at school. I know, seems silly as an adult, but to her this was devastating and her disrespect had nothing to do with me.

4. Timing is everything.

One of the key lessons I learned the hard way was to always ask first before talking to my teens and pre-teens. Whether I just wanted to chat or focus on a problem behavior or a teaching moment, I eventually learned to ask “is this a good time to talk?” The key word is “time” as they don’t always get a choice to talk, just a choice on when to talk. If a kid is not in the mood to talk and you go ahead, it will very likely turn out badly, trust me.

5. They have their own brain.

Your children are not little robots, and therefore, can not be completely controlled by you. Whether we like it or not, they have their own brain and they are able to use it to make their own decisions. This is the nature vs. nurture argument. It is very important how you interact with your child and develop a relationship. But it’s also important to remember that you can’t control everything. If you have a kid who is compliant and eager to please, thank your lucky stars. You might want to take credit for it, but it might also be possible that it’s part of their “natural bent”. I had 3 kids; one was rebellious, one was worried about being perfect and so was compliant and one just cooperated because she wanted to. Not scientific proof, but true.

6. Their brains are the reason.

A child’s brain (mostly the pre-frontal cortex) does not fully mature until they are 24 or 25. This part of the brain manages their ability to make good decisions, plan ahead and problem solve. This is a developmental thing, just like learning to walk, parents have almost no control over when it actually happens. So based on this fact, the following mantras apply:

a. I can’t fix lack of maturity.

They are going to make dumb decisions, its not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN and WHAT KIND, so don’t be surprised when they… don’t use their book for an open book test, pick a loser boyfriend or want to buy a $400 dress for homecoming.

b. Don’t expect them to plan ahead, for anything.

Planning ahead is an adult thing, not a kid thing. You can help train them, but it will not come naturally until they are out of college. They especially have a hard time deciding what to do if they go out as a group. The best you can expect is that they tell you where they end up, not where they are going. Since they literally change their minds on the way tnature-ocean-rocks-4378-622x350o place X to go to place Y instead. Hopefully they have good critical thinking skills that they have honed since preschool and will have a way to get out of bad situation if needed.

c. Let them learn from their own mistakes.

You can preach, lecture, give consequences and scold, but kids who learn from their own mistakes are more likely to actually remember the lesson. It is so painful to watch as parents, because you know if they just listened to you, you could save them heartache and pain. But, what was the best way you learned?

7. I need a parenting mentor with kids about 5-7 years older than mine.

Parents with kids younger than yours or much older won’t be nearly as helpful as those who have just survived the stage you are in. Friends or family who don’t have kids or who have younger kids have all sorts of advice, and are happy to think they are experts, but they don’t really understand what it is like. When you talk to parents of kids that are just a few years older, they give very little advice and are more likely just to pat you on the shoulder and remind you that you will live through it. Since the truth is, every kid is completely different, and what works in one family, may or may not work in another. And if you talk to grandparents or folks with much older kids, they have forgotten how difficult it is and have these nice sweet remembrances and memories; which is not much comfort either.

8. If I let my teenager live, I will have grandchildren some day.

I know this is a morbid thought, but having teenagers was the hardest time for me. Every parent has a favorite stage of parenting and mine was everything but adolescence. The mantra that got me through lots of frustration during the teen years was the potential to enjoy grandchildren. I even found a plaque that said “you have children to love and grandchildren to love you back”.

9. It’s my job to “reset” the relationship.

It is tempting to have an argument with your child, then wake up the next day and just go on as if nothing happened. With younger kids, they might forget, but teenagers won’t. The relationship has to be reset. This might mean an in-depth conversation with both parties apologizing, or might mean a simple gesture of sending a heart emoji in a text. But there has to be a way to validate the relationship is back on track and you are there to be their safety net and coach. Here are some questions to ask yourself to get over the resistance of initiating the “reset” button. Do you want your child to come to you if they are in an abusive relationship? Do you want your child to call you if they are stuck at a party with no ride home? Do you want to walk your child down the aisle at his/her wedding? Do you want to be the one they go to for advice?

10. I need help to stay balanced.

If you are a single parent, please find an accountability partner or mentor to help you stay on track. It might be nice to have complete control over parenting decisions, but the downside is that there isn’t anyone there to help you know if you are over reacting or under reacting. And one or the other happens almost all the time. Getting a second opinion will prevent regrettable parenting decisions and the need to go back on your word. Another way to prevent this is wait to decide about major decisions for 24 hours, most people have a clearer head after a good nights sleep and more time to think about the right thing to do.

11. Maybe this problem in my family is to help ME grow as an adult.

So, this mantra might not apply to everyone. But for me, the problems with my children taught ME how to be a better grown-up. More patient, more understanding, more consistent, more organized, etc. In the beginning of my parenting journey, I believed that it was my job to teach my kids how to be good citizens and contributing members of society. It was my responsibility to make sure they learned everything they needed. But in the end, it was really ME who needed to learn a few lessons and my children were the best ones to teach me.

12. I am the expert of my family.

And I guess my last bit of advice is to not take other people’s advice against your own good judgement; even mine. You know yourself and your child the best and find something that works for you. Lots of people like to think they are experts, but you are the best expert on your own family. If none of these ideas work for you after you try them, then find something else. A good resource with lots of other ideas is a website called www.empoweringparents.com.

 

Good luck on your own parenting journey,

Blessings,

Sheryl Overby MS NCC LIMHP

Also try Sheryl Overby Counseling Facebook Page

Release Stress in a Helpful Way

Adapted directly From “What to do when your Temper Flares” by Dawn Huebner, Ph.D.


Active Method

Stress is like fuel in your body, you need to get rid of it by burning it off. One way is to have physical activity, something that gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat and takes about 15 minutes. This method works best if you’re focused on the activity itself or on something unrelated to whatever you are unhelpful about. To get unhelpful thoughts out of your head during the physical activity, count in your head, sing out loud, or say a word over and over again.

Plan ahead to have an activity in mind that you can do at home, at school and when you are outside. Sometimes it even helps if you have an activity planned that you don’t need special permission for, such as jumping on a trampoline, or running up and down the stairs in your house.

Quiet Method

Sometimes it’s better do something to slow down the stress, something relaxing and private. There are three methods, Stretch, Squeeze and Tap. You should try each method to see which one you like best. You can practice every day even if you are not feeling unhelpful, then it will be easier to do when you are upset. IF YOU DO NOT PRACTICE WHEN YOU ARE CALM, IT IS NOT LIKELY THAT IT WILL WORK WHEN YOU ARE UPSET. You will have to retrain your body and your brain, but it will work if you don’t give up and practice about every day for two weeks.

Breathing is an important part of each of the quiet methods. The kind of breathing that works the best starts by taking in breath through your nose. Breathe in very deep, all the way into the bottom of your stomach, and count slowly in your head 1, 2, 3. Then breathe out, keeping your mouth closed and count slowly in your head, 1, 2, 3, 4. The out-breath is a little longer than the in-breath. This will take practice, as it is different than regular breathing. It’s ok to open your mouth a little until you get the hang of it.

Some people like to imagine smelling something really good like _______________________. When you breathe in imagine the good smell and when you breath out, imagine the stress slowly leaving your body like red hot smoke. Either counting or imagining a good smell will help you stop focusing on the thing that was making you upset, it is very important to get the stress out of your mind as well as your body.

With the breathing you can do one of 3 things, STRETCH, SQUEEZE OR TAP.

CHOICE 1: STRETCH

1. Stretch your arms up over your head. Reach your fingertips for the ceiling; breathe in 1-2-3 and out 1-2-3-4.

2. Put your hand on your shoulders with your elbows pointed out to the side. Breathe in as you twist slowly to one side, breath out as you twist to the other side. Twist back and forth, gently stretching your body with each twist. Keep breathing.

3. Now, clasp your hands behind your back. Bend forward while you bring your arms up and behind you, stretching gently to raise your arms toward the ceiling. Breathe in 1-2-3 and out 1-2-3-4 once and then again, twice.

4. Straighten up and drop your hands to your sides. Roll your head gently to one side, then the other, back and forth, keep breathing.

CHOICE 2: SQUEEZE

1. Grab a pillow, and suck in a big lungful of air. While you are breathing in, squeeze the pillow as tightly as you can. Even if it’s a small pillow, put your whole body into the squeeze. Tighten your arms around the pillow, scrunch up your face, and stiffen the muscles in your legs. Keep your whole body in that giant squeeze while you breathe in and count 1-2-3 in your head.

2. Loosen your grip on the pillow and relax everything while you breathe out, counting 1-2-3-4.

3. Stay relaxed, no squeezing this time, and do one more slow, deep breath in 1-2-3 and out 1-2-3-4.

4. Breathe in and squeeze again, just like in #1 and repeat steps 1 to 3.

5. Do this pattern a total of 5 times, with breathing in and squeezing, breathe out and relax. Make sure you do a relaxing breath without squeezing in between.

CHOICE 3: TAP

1. Cross your arms to make an X over your chest. Tap your right shoulder with your left hand, and then your left shoulder with your right hand. As you tap, count in your head. Tap once for each number you say to yourself.

2. Breathe slowly but don’t count your breaths, you have to count your taps instead.

3. Keep going— right, left, right, left, right, left, tapping back and forth, over and over again, counting until you get to 100. This may seem like a big number, but just try it and you will see it only takes about 2 minutes.

4. Keep your arms crossed and take two extra breaths, slow and relaxing, in and out through your nose. In 1-2-3 and out 1-2-3-4, pause then do it again, in 1-2-3 and out 1-2-3-4.

5. Do the taps one more time, right, left, right left, with arms crossed, counting to 100.

 

Great, now all you have to do is try each method one time and pick one to start with for practice. If you don’t practice when you are calm, you won’t be able to slow your body down when you are upset. Practice at least once a day for 10 days. Also, try to practice when your body or heart is revved up due to exercise instead of stress because that will be the best practice of all. If the method you picked doesn’t work try a different method. Even if this doesn’t help your stress all the time, if it helps a little, it is still worth it to try.

Get the book “What to do when your Temper Flares” by Dawn Huebner, Ph.D. for more information

MANAGING BEHAVIOR DURING

SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

Sheryl Overby, MS LIMHP


There are 3 main types of ways to help kids with their social interactions with peers. Pre-teaching, coaching in the moment and giving feedback. All social interactions between children improve based on trial and error, and some kids need extra help from adults to understand their peers’ responses and to know how to change their behavior to make the interaction more pleasant.

PRE TEACHING: 

Identify House Rules

  • House rules, or rules for the activity should be decided between the caregivers and discussed in advance.
  • These rules maybe different than those of siblings, and should be based on the needs of the child. Children who demonstrate good judgment will have different rules than children who have shown to have difficulty making good decisions.
  • All privacy rules are expected to be followed by all children in the home and all children who interact with your child.
  • Physical boundaries about where the children are allowed to go should also be determined ahead of time and should be stated as a house rule.
  • Rules about the use of food and drinks should also be decided ahead of time.

Identify an agenda for the peer interaction

  • Have an idea if the peer will be involved in snack or dinner time, the expectations for arrival and pick up, and their planned activities.
  • Explain to your child what the expectations are for supervision (line of sight/hearing?) and how they should respond if the friend wants to do something that is against the supervision rules.
  • Sometimes, kids need help to decide what to do with unplanned time, and a back up plan or activity is helpful if the original activity does not go well or the children change their mind and don’t want to do it anymore. Examples are to play a board game, play outside (depending on their need for supervision), do a craft activity or watching a movie.
  • The parent needs to be available for coaching during all peer interactions and should be available as needed.

Identify an escape plan

  • Have an idea of how you will handle things if the peer interaction is not going well for whatever reason and how the activity will end.
  • You may need a signal your child can give you if he/she wants the friend to go home or have an excuse prepared that won’t hurt the friend’s feelings.
  • Have a plan on how the friend can go home early if needed and who will provide transportation.
  • Sometimes the phrase “cooperation/patience/ability to share is all used up” can explain the problem if the friends are arguing without placing blame on either child.

COACHING:

Prepare for Caregiver Intervention

  • Depending on your child’s supervision plan, you will need to provide visual and/or
    auditory supervision with all peers.
    If your child has a sexual behavior problem, they have already shown that they have a problem with good judgment. You will also need to know what they do well with peers and what areas need improvement so you can know how to proceed in the future.
  • Sometimes, a simple statement can help the peer interaction proceed more smoothly.
  • Examples are to: label/notice positive behavior, suggestion to change activities, Suggest to your child in private to use the STOP or Turtle steps or distract both children with a snack.
  • Be careful not to “shame” either child in front of their friend as this may backfire and create long term problems in your relationship and embarrass the child.
  • If you need to provide individual feedback to your child, do so in private. Praise may or may not be provided in private, depending on the preferences of your child.

FEEDBACK:

Use Natural and Logical Consequences

  • If the interaction goes well, provide more opportunities and go out of your way to provide transportation so your child can have positive peer time.
  • If the interaction does not go well, explain to your child the problem and the need for more supervision or the need to reduce peer time in frequency or length until the child has better skills.
  • DO NOT completely stop all peer interactions; ask your therapist for help in getting creative to make opportunities for positive peer interactions.
  • These interpersonal skills will be needed the rest of your child’s life and it is part of the endless, unrewarded job of parenting to help your child learn this skill. Some children do not automatically have this skill and it will take lots of time and practice to learn it.

 Do all you can to make the feedback session positive

  • Get your child’s permission first, especially for girls. Always ask your child if they are willing to talk about the peer interaction and listen to feedback.
  • If they say no, then WAIT until they are ready. This issue can always wait until a positive conversation is possible.
  • Make sure both you and your child are in the mood (not hungry or tired) to provide and accept feedback.
  • Always sandwich negative feedback between praise for something positive, even something simple as being willing to listen and end feedback session with praise or hope that things will go better in the future

 OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOCIAL INTERACTIONS:

  • Allow “growth privileges”!! Participation in team sports, clubs at school or attendance of birthday parties are all good chances for your child to have interactions with friends while being supervised in a group setting.
  • Use good judgment if you take away these opportunities as a punishment, it may backfire and cause more problems in the long run. Your child needs opportunities to practice and learn to share, respect authority and cooperate with others.
  • Remember, coaches and other adults may be able to teach your child skills that you will receive benefits from in the future.
  • Coaches are often willing to have child “run extra laps” or have other consequences while remaining on the team or do other things to help motivate your child to improve their grades or behavior. Please talk to your child’s coach or adult mentor before making them quit the activity.
  • If your child has had problematic sexual behavior (PSB) or has committed a child on child sexual assault, please read other articles on this website for more information or go to NCSBY.org.

Maximizing Sexual Respect  for Children under 10

Sheryl Overby  MS  NCC  LIMHP

 If everyone in the world has sexual respect, then there would be no sexual abuse.  One of the best ways to help kids have healthy ideas about sexuality is to teach sexual respect.  The world and its “pornified culture” will have a huge impact, sure, but do all you can to minimize that impact by implementing ideas of sexual respect.

Here are my best tips…….

  • Clothing Choices:  It is a good idea for ALL family members to be conscious of what they wear outside of the bedroom. Seeing others in their underwear or pajamas may be over-stimulating to a child.  Reframe desire for clothing choices from sexual “hotness” to appropriateness for the event or comfort
  •  Language:  Suggestive, sexualized, objectifying or obscene language is not allowed from anyone.  Reframe focus of compliments from attractiveness to character strengths.
  • Objectification:  The concept that people are treated like objects, most typically a sexual object.  Do all you can to avoid this from a very early age.  The American culture is prevalent with pornography, sexualized media and the meeting of sexual desires with people outside of relationships.  But, it is more than sexual objects, so teachers are more than just teachers, waiters are more than just servers, husbands are more than a paycheck, etc.
  • Sexually explicit materials such as magazines, videos, catalogs, or TV programs should be completely eliminated from the household.  Don’t keep TV and Video game systems in your child’s room that have adult swim or internet access that they can use in the middle of the night.
  • Computer time should be monitored to make sure the youth is not “accidently” exposed to sexualized images.  Remember, the youth has more time, energy and motivation to break through the parental controls software than the parent has to maintain it.  This includes ALL MOBILE DEVICES and gaming devices.
  • Explain what you are doing  Kids want to know why.  Depending on their age, you can give varying degrees of explanations about why you are putting filters on the internet, or not allowing TVs in their room, etc.  Most of them will appreciate your involvement.   Go to commonsensemedia.com for videos you can show your kids about how sex is used for marketing and advertising.
  • Don’t use porn Sexual respect means ADULTS have sexual activity in a RELATIONSHIP with a REAL LIVE PERSON, not an image on the computer screen, which may or may not be real.  Make sure the adults in the child’s life model this message in their own behavior
  • Sex Education: All children need basic information about how they develop sexually.  They also will benefit from an atmosphere in which it is OK to talk about sex.  Appropriate words for body parts, such as penis, vagina, breasts, and buttocks, will give the child helpful words to use to describe themselves, especially if they have to talk about sexual behavior.  All children (any age) should have an age appropriate explanation for the sexual behavior that has been done to them if they have been abused by an older teen or adult.
  • Encourage them to Say NO Children need to learn that they have the right to assertively say “no” when someone touches them ANY WHERE or in ANY WAY they do not like. Help them to practice this. A youth should NEVER be pressured into touching someone or showing affection if they are not comfortable. If your child has been sexually abused, this is especially important that they can say NO in any type of situation they do not like.  This may include situations of feeling intimidated or taken advantage of.
  • Mutual Respect Among Siblings Sometimes intimidation is a part of a problematic sexual behavior.  This needs to be turned into mutual respect.  Encourage equality among siblings by giving younger children equal power when deciding family activities.  Teach the appropriate use of drawing straws, taking turns and rotating responsibilities.

 

  • Privacy for Children: Everyone has a right to privacy. Children should be taught to knock when a door is closed and adults need to role model the same behavior. Children also deserve to have privacy with their thoughts, feelings, personal belongings, personal space and time.  I am repeated this for a reason, Children also deserve to have privacy with their thoughts, feelings, personal belongings, personal space and time.  Think about it.  Children who have been abused or who have sexually harmed another person deserve the right to privacy when determining who needs to know about their history

  • Secrets:  Help the child understand the difference between secrecy, surprises and privacy; this is a tricky thing for all of us, frankly. This relates to gossip, tattling, reporting abuse and sharing feelings.  In general, it’s always OK to ask mom and dad for help to figure this one out.  Secrets are usually discouraged, privacy is usually encouraged and surprises are usually a lot of fun, except if there is a spider in bathtub.

 

  • Privacy for Adults: Don’t forget that adults need privacy too, especially if engaged in sexual activity.  Lock the bedroom door always and make sure children cannot hear sexually related noises.  This is extremely overwhelming and arousing for a youth who may not have a healthy understanding of sexuality.
  •  Follow the 9 Rules:  See Handout on the 9 Rules that May Prevent Sexual Abuse
  • Practice Critical Thinking: Ask your child why they think the strawberry commercial pretends to be sexual or why a restaurant wants their waitresses to look a certain way.  Ask your child why they think a swimsuit top for a 2nd grader would have padding or ask about the current jokes kids tell at school.  The goal is to help your child think; send the message that they have a choice about their sexual behavior, their sexual thoughts and their sexual gender issues.  Things they will have a long time to figure out if they wait until they are grown up to share their bodies with someone.
  • BE PEPARED:  Now that your child knows they can talk to you, knows they have a choice, be prepared to have lots more discussions with them about their sexual choices and the sexual messages in society when they are teenagers. That’s a whole ‘nother paper and much more complicated, so come find me when they are about 11 or 12, I’ll have something on sheryloverby.com.

 

NO MEANS NO

 

Stop  –  means no

Turning away  –  means no

I don’t want to  –  means no

Shoving you away  –  means no

Leave me alone  –  means no

Not touching you   –  means no

I’m not ready  –  means no

Playing dead / not moving  –  means no

 

I don’t feel like it   – means no

Drunk or drugged  –  means no

Get away from me  –   means no

Screaming  –   means no

Don’t   –  means no

Crying  –  means no

 

Yes means one thing only:   FREELY GIVEN CONSENT, where BOTH person’s needs, wants and desires are the foundation for the interaction.