Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bubba And Giganto's Blog Book Tour

My guest today is author/editor/conference organizer/mother/friend/autism awareness advocate and probably the owner of many, many hats... Lea Schizas. I'm pleased to be part of her book tour, promoting Bubba & Giganto: Odds Against Us. Here's a review by a very satisfied reader: Bubba & Giganto is a great story about two high school freshmen who become very unlikely friends. Bubba, a new boy in school, knows he's going to get picked on because his real given name is Bubba. Giganto actually has an acceptable name—it's David, but Bubba refers to him as Giganto because the ninth grader is six feet tall and over 200 pounds! They meet when Bubba literally bumps into David when Bubba steps off the school bus. Expecting a fight, Bubba is surprised when David apologizes and introduces himself. But trouble soon finds these two boys when they try out for the school soccer team, and a trio of bullies dare them into a scrimmage after school. Bubba discovers that David and the bullies are hiding a secret.

As a mother of five, Lea certainly has garnered much wisdom about raising children. I've asked her to share some of it with us today and here's what she's prepared:

The world, once upon a time, had folks who didn’t feel the need to lock their doors, be scared to take a walk at night, to clutch their purses close to their bodies, to stand up and defend someone in need of help. Nowadays, it’s not as much adults who are putting the fear of God in everyone but the younger generation. Why is that?

I often wonder if parents are too busy, too tired to really lay the rules and regulations at home. Many are two income families, come back late from work, prepare dinner, and their energy is spent. No time to have a family ‘togetherness’ and find out how the day went with their kids.

“Hold on, I’m making dinner. I’ll come see afterwards.”

“Not now, sweetie, I have a headache.”

“Okay, I promise to read it after.”

Sound familiar? It does to me. I’ve been guilty to say these things and never get around to actually ‘hearing’ what my kids had to say. I woke up one day when I overheard one of my older kids telling the younger one to tell me the good news. Her response, “She’s busy now. I’ll tell her after.” That really shook me up. She mimicked what I had said a few hundred times. Where had I become so busy to listen to my kids?

This is where our families get into trouble because we are not there to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ our children and guide them. It was after that point I changed and never regretted it. I was able to hear frustrations about homework, how other kids bullied other fellow students, how my kids jumped in to defend them and found themselves bullied eventually. Where was I through all this? I hugged them and told them how proud I was of them to stand up and defend their friends. My mother instincts took in and guided them on what steps to take in these situations, who to contact if faced with a bully, and so forth.

The saddest thing is I talked to several kids I knew were bullies while in elementary school, and now adults, and asked them what made them act the way they did.

“Don’t know. Just didn’t want anyone to be better than me.”

“I felt important. Kids looked up to me.”

One similar thing that came out of their mouths, however, was the fact they wished their parents were more strict with them. They said they were allowed to do whatever they wanted, with no punishment to worry about.

So although our kids tell us:

I hate you.

Why can’t you be like so-and-so’s mom/dad!

Why do I have a curfew. She doesn’t’.

I’m moving out at 18!

As they grow older, they will appreciate our guidance at some point. Mind you, I’m not talking about setting ridiculous rules. I’m talking the basics:

Family time

Curfews according to their ages

Giving them responsibilities around the house again according to their ages

Punishments to fit the ‘crime’. Take a few minutes before exploding and handing down something you know you won’t keep. Kids are smart. They know how to draw our anger but we need to count up to a thousand and calm down.

By being there for our children we instill an education that will last them a lifetime. Remember: monkey see, monkey do. We need to remember we’re parents first, and then friends to our children.

Thank you Lea, for the inspirational post. For those who want to continue to learn from and enjoy more from Lea, you can stay aboard the blog train by visiting these sites in the next few days...more links will be posted at your next destinations:

Chris Chat Reviews
Zooprise Party and
Penny's Blog


Chris Redding said...

Yes Yes Yes.
I see kids without boundaries every day. I hear about them in both my sons' schools.
My husband and I are strict. We also eat dinner together most nights of the week. We love to hear about our kids' days.
More parents need to just listen.

Unknown said...

Our young people today probably need more guidance than we did at their ages. Life is not as simple as it was decades ago; certainly, I can't keep up with everything, and I'm an adult. Thankfully, my own children are grown, successful,nice people to know, and have families of their own. Now, it's our three young grandsons who need so much guidance and strength and love from every adult who loves them. Very good post. Celia

Unknown said...

In our attempt to 'keep up with the Joneses' we have denied our children the right to realize the satisfaction of having actually earned anything. I'm as guilty as the next because I love my kids and grandson so much my heart hurts. I want to give them the world, but sometimes, we love them too much, if you know what I mean. :) I vowed to do things differently with my grandson, but I find my son has become ME when it comes to spoiling and undoes any attempt I've made to reverse the trend. How can I fault him?


Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Chris, my kids all have different schedules so we don't all eat together any more. They're 25 and up, besides my 15-year-old.

However, each of them have come to us to tell us stories on what they've witnesses, meaning kids and their behaviours nowadays.

Celia, you are absolutely right. With the attraction on what a star is wearing and saying, and how they act, our kids are more influenced than ever before. Add the games they/we buy for computers and Playstation/other without checking to see what it's all about, and you have a clan of mesmorized kids targeting characters on screen.

Ginger, we would all love to give our kids the world, but they need to realize it takes hard work to earn something. I had a client a while back while I owned the salon walk in with his three children, all of them sporting new cell phones. The kids ages were something like 3 -5 -8. Why would kids that age need cell phones? We're teaching them materialism is the thing. My kids were taught that at every age there is a privilege to be earned.

Vivian Zabel said...

Children will get the attention they crave one way or another, even if it's negative attention. I learned while teaching that many bullies did receive the attention they wanted -- at the expense of others,but they received it.

Most didn't have parents who gave them guidance, if they had parents who even cared.

Lea's book deals with several themes, but the bullying is very well presented and not in a "preachy" way.

Cheryl said...

Excellent post, Lea! Children need the boundaries that parents set for them in order to grow into adults who can control their urges to have whatever they want. Unfortunately, that is sometimes forgotten. There are even days I feel like giving in just to stop the whining.

It sounds like you've written a helpful book that can teach people a lot.

Best of luck with your tour!


Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Sad but true, Lea. Thanks for a super post.


Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz said...

Lea and Ginger, great post. Bullies seem to be part of our culture and here to stay, whether we want them or not. We can only hope that books such as Bubba and Giganto will help young people stop a pattern of violence before it's too late. Thanks for sharing your insightful thoughts.

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

I think one of the things that schools have not worked on hard enough is bullying. Lea, you are right that it comes from parents not showing the right kind of attention to their kids. We can't allow kids to get everything without earning it. Some parents give their kids everything without asking anything in return and the kids become spoiled and bratty because of that. They get a sense of entitlement that they don't deserve. I see it all the time. Watch those TV shows like My Super Sweet 16 and you'll see kids that have that kind of upbringing. But then there are other parents who don't give their kids enough attention or negative attention and that is another reason why kids will bully others. I loved what Lea said and agree with it completely.

Wyn said...

Sounds very interesting.

shakingsystem said...

Hello Ginger,
I want to thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment in our "Shaking the System" blog.
I am Litsa Kamateros ,and I am collaborating on the book "Autism Epidemic: Shaking the System" with Lea Schizas.

I want to congratulate Lea on all her writing projects,in particular,"Bubba and Giganto." After reading "Bubba and Giganto", it should be stated that this book should be included in the school curriculum. It touches on a prevalent societal issue both in and out of schools, that must be looked upon as being a topic of discussion that's given high priority.
Parents need to take that little bit of extra time each day to give quality time and proper discipline to their children.In doing so, perhaps we'll eliminate a large number of bullies in our school system as well as our every day lives.
This is a formula worth memorising and impementing..............................................................................................P.S:Ginger I love your sense of humour.I remember reading about how you wished for a moment you were a fly on a donkey's xxx.Please keep the joke's and humour coming.

Alexis said...

Wow...this looks like a really great book and I love the interview at the end. As a homeschool mom, I'm trying to do what is best for my kids so they do get ahead in life, with integrity. Thanks for the reminders and might I just add, I am guilty of saying some of those things to my kids too. I appreciate a wake up call! I'll be looking for that book! Thanks!!!!

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

It's heart warming to see so many who are advocate parents in making sure our children grow up with virtues.

We do our best and that's all we can do. One thing I don't ever want to say to myself is that I didn't care or wasn't there to listen to them.

Too much attention and the lack of attention all contribute to a child's well being.

Unknown said...

I would truly like to thank Lea for her inspirational book and the stimulating comments received here today. She's an amazing woman, and I count my life richer for having had her cross my internet path. I still think she's the Most Influential Woman winner, but unfortunately, she placed but didn't receive the honor she so richly deserved. Yeah, yeah, I know's an honor to be recognized. I keep telling myself that about my EPPIE nod, but I'm still going to be disappointed if I don't win. *lol*

Unknown said...

This book should be read by both parents and children. It's devastating for children to be the victim of a bully. One of the important points in this book is the way to handle the bully.

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