How to Put Love Center Stage When Your Kid Comes Out As LGBTQ




A Secret About Raising
Kids That Every Parent

Ought To Know!

BySusan Berland

In recent months LGBTQ kids from the streets of Russia to communities around the world have seen a country arresting its own citizens for being gay. In Uganda a law was passed making homosexuality illegal. The law also provides long prison sentences for anyone who supports the civil rights of LGBTQ people or offers them aid. Not only is it illegal to be gay, it’s illegal to not report someone you suspect of being gay. It reminds me of Nazi Germany.

Right here in America, we witnessed a father of a talented NFL draft pick express his disapproval of his son when he came out as gay. Reading Michael Sam, Sr.’s response to his son’s coming out breaks my heart. I know first-hand the long-term impact that kind of response has on our LGBTQ kids. It affects their self-esteem and can lead to depression and substance abuse and in some cases, even suicide attempts.

In sharp contrast to Michael Sam’s father, LGBTQ kids around the world saw a powerful model of parental acceptance when Magic and Cookie Johnson shared their love for their openly gay son on the Oprah’s Next Chapter Program on the OWN television network.

Oprah asked whether or not they knew their son was gay. I so related to Cookie. Like a mom, she suspected from a very early age. “He’s your child. You love your child and you support your child, no matter what they are. Being a mom, I knew.” Cookie said. Magic said, “It was a shock in the beginning but also I knew.” Magic relays that he told his son, “E.J., I love you so I’m going to support you no matter what… He wanted my approval. He wanted my support.”

If only all LGBTQ youth had that kind of support from their parents when they come out. Sadly, that is not the case. Even when parents love their kids no matter what, as Magic said, it can be a shock in the beginning and parents may need to go through a period of adjustment. During that time, their LGBTQ child may feel rejected even if that is not the parent’s intent. So much can be done to alleviate those feelings and to help the parents move along their path and build a bridge to understanding and acceptance in a way that supports both the parents and the LGBTQ youth.

For parents who love their child and want to understand, there are tools available to move toward acceptance and understanding. Love denied is a tragedy, and it is time to bring in the healing. Parents and LGBTQ youth continue to struggle. Here are some tips to lay the foundation.

  • Start by acknowledging and accepting where you are. If you don’t start there, you won’t be able to move beyond it.
  • Be courageous and open in discussing uncomfortable topics with one another.
  • Show compassion and caring in your communications so you will be heard and understood. Communicating out of anger, frustration and disappointment stops the message you are trying to deliver from being heard.
  • Be patient with yourself and one another. It takes time to adjust one’s expectations and there is no one way and no one right way. Everyone has a unique path.
  • Trust yourself, your feelings, and who you are. When the foundation of love is still there, you can trust that you will be able to build a bridge back to understanding and acceptance.

To learn more about Susan Berland and download her A.C.C.E.P.T.™ Manifesto, click

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Tired Of The Designs On Your Shirts Cracking? Here’s The Solution!

Custom designed t-shirts can help you really step it up for your game, party or event. With online designing, you name it they can put it on there! But what good is a t-shirt you can only wear once?

Don’t find out the hard way that your custom shirt needs some extra “TLC” to get it through laundry day. Pulling out a wrinkled, cracked or peeling design from the dryer to wear for game two will not leave your teammates too happy with you. But not to fear! Follow these few simple rules on how to prevent your washer and dryer from eating up your new custom shirt like two month old puppy.

Rule #1

Turn it inside out. Like most delicates, flipping it inside out, ensures that the wash sensitive front section of the shirt, in this case the design, does not rub up against other items in your wash or the machine itself.

Rule #2

Keep it chilly. Make it a cold temperature wash. You don’t want your t-shirt (especially if its cotton) to shrink and effect the print, this could cause wrinkling. Also set it to “gentle” or “delicate” cycle just to be safe.  Your normal detergent shouldn’t be a problem unless stated otherwise on the manufacturer tag, or if it contains bleach.

Rule #3

Mix with like fabrics. Try not to  wash  custom t-shirts with heavy fabrics such as jean or heavy outerwear. Most people are aware of the “mix with like colors” rule, but this goes the same for fabrics that can be too rough on your design as well.

Rule #4

Turn the heat down low. Tumble drying should be done on a low heat closer to room temperature to prevent cracks forming in the design. As soon as the cycle is over, make sure you get the shirt out of the dryer as quickly as possible so that wrinkles do not form in the warm material.

Rule #5

Lay it down. After tumble drying its recommended that you lay the shirt flat to ensure it does not wrinkle. DO NOT hang dry as this could affect the integrity of your design.  Many stores sell basic, mesh drying racks for you to lay it flat on for air drying.

Rule #6

Ironing. If you need to get rid of extra pesky wrinkles, keep the shirt inside out and iron once again on a low heat. Just avoid using steam if possible, and from directly placing the iron over the design, this will lengthen the life.

Rule #7

Don’t dry clean. It’s not worth the money! If you feel like your custom design is too precious to risk it, hand wash it. There’s no shame breaking out the easy to find hand wash delicate detergent, and just laying it flat to dry. DO NOT wring the shirt out, drip dry is perfectly fine!

Following these tips can help you keep your shirt alive for many years without having to worry about those annoying cracks or chips!

Today’s post was contributed by Rebecca Borchers from the DG Promotions Inc. content development team. Rebecca lives in Orlando, Florida and enjoys spending most of her spare time shopping. Visit her on Google+ to learn more.

How to Prevent Gun Accidents Involving Children

By Preston Rezaee

Whether you’re for strict gun control or strict Second Amendment interpretation, the fact remains that 40% to 45% of homes in America have a firearm. Between 17% and 19% of adults own a handgun and 30% to 34% own a gun of some type. And, alarmingly, 20,000 children each year visit emergency rooms due to firearm injuries.

Proper gun safety practice and choosing the correct method of gun storage and safety can practically eliminate gun accidents involving children. Knowing the facts and proper safety protocol for your home can save lives.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the most effective way to eliminate the hazards and possibility of unintentional gun accidents involving children is to remove all guns from the home. However, if eliminating guns from the home is not an option, then teaching children about gun safety and the safe storage of firearms is essential to a safe home and injury prevention.

It’s important to teach children that guns are real, unlike guns that are toys, on video games, or in movies and cartoons. Teach children that a gun can seriously injure or kill another person or themselves by simply touching it. The devastating effects of a gun accident may be a difficult concept to convey, but the more you talk about the danger, the more they will begin to understand the magnitude of the harm.

Teach children to follow these rules when coming into contact with any gun:

  • Stop what they’re doing.
  • Do not touch the gun and leave the area where the gun is.
  • Call a parent immediately. If a parent is not available, call 911.
  • If a friend offers to show you a gun or wants to play with a gun, say no and call a parent right away.

If you are keeping a gun in your home you have a duty to keep children safe and act in a responsible manner to prevent gun accidents involving children. To ensure the safest environment for your family and friends:

  • Take the ammunition out of the gun.
  • Lock the gun and keep it out of reach of kids. Remember that children are resourceful and hiding the gun is not enough.
  • Lock the ammunition and store it apart from the gun.
  • Store the keys for the gun and the ammunition in a different area from where you store household keys. This location should be known only by adults and out of reach of children.
  • Lock up poisonous gun-cleaning supplies.
  • When handling or cleaning a gun, do not leave the gun unattended.
  • Never use or handle a gun irresponsibly, jokingly, or while intoxicated.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and you or someone you know has been the victim of an unintentional firearm accident, a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights while your family begins the healing process. For quality advice from an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer, contact Preston Rezaee at The Firm at 222-FIRM.

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Vocabulary-Building a Major Benefit of Reading to Children

By Allison Bell Bern, SchoolReady

Vocabulary is becoming a hot topic. Schools are focusing their discussions about how to teach it to students, and more and more parents are coming to understand the huge advantages that come with having a robust vocabulary. Vocabulary is, in fact, considered by some to be the number one predictor of academic achievement and is also strongly correlated with future earning potential.

The good news for parents when it comes to vocabulary and their children? The best thing they can do is to keep doing what they’ve been enjoying doing all along: reading books with their children. That’s right: grab an old book, a new book, a red book, a blue book (it doesn’t necessarily matter: if you show enthusiasm for a book, chances are your kid will, too, at least for one read-through), cuddle up, and let the learning commence.

It’s almost magic, it works so well. Children hear a new word in context a few times and, before their parents know it, they’ve adopted it as their own. (Sometimes it takes as little as one exposure to a new word; sometimes up to 12 exposures may be required.) Outside of conversation, reading aloud is the primary way that parents teach their children new words.

The Research

Conversation and reading as “vocabulary instruction techniques” – to be overly technical about it – are often referred to as “indirect instruction,” and they’re how children learn 90% of the 3-4,000 words they learn every year. Consider that children who average 25 minutes of daily reading are exposed to 20,000 unfamiliar words per year, and it’s no wonder these children have a major academic advantage over their less-literary peers.

Repeated and diverse exposure to new words is at the heart of why reading is so good for building vocabulary. “Knowing” a word can mean many things (we have reading, writing, speaking, and listening vocabularies), but the bottom line is that the more a child can see, hear, experience, and him use a word, the more likely he will be to understand that word fully. Engagement is also an important part of why reading is so beneficial: the more interested, or engaged, a child is in the source of the new word, the more likely she will be to pay attention and fully absorb its meaning. In other words, the more she likes the book, the more she learns!

Many Reasons to Read

There are, of course, a variety of benefits to reading to your child. Outside of teaching vocabulary, reading is an important exercise in developing thinking and analyzing skills. Outside of learning benefits, even, are the recreational and emotional ones: reading time is a great time for parents to connect with their children as they snuggle up to enjoy a favorite story.

Just in case you needed another reason to read, though, consider the above. Reading is a powerful vocabulary-building tool, and vocabulary itself is a powerful tool in its own right. Parents are wise to consider vocabulary on the list of reasons they read to their children.

About Allison:

Allison Bell Bern is a mother and the Creative Director of SchoolReady, creator of a new series of fun children’s books that teach essential academic vocabulary. She is a former educator and author of the SchoolReady blog, “Getting Our Children SchoolReady,” where you can go for interesting and useful education-related information and activities. More at

Does Your Teen Post Selfies? Here are a few things you need to know!



By Tammy Potosky

You may have noticed the big thing now is taking “selfies”. This is when you take a picture of yourself and share it with others whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, or any number of other social media ways of sharing.

Taking and posting selfies is not a bad thing unless it is used in a bad way. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Girls typically take more selfies than anyone else. Take a look at Facebook or Instagram and you’ll see.
  • People posting selfies are looking for others to “like” the pictures they post. Quite often people look for validation by what they post. They look for people to comment that they: look good, wore a great outfit, are doing something funny, etc. It’s important to keep in mind that many young people seek validation from others for their own self worth and self esteem.
  • Teens may take pictures during a time in which they might be feeling on top of the world and their confidence at the moment is soaring so they take a bold picture, possibly doing something they wouldn’t normally do. We’ve seen this happen before when someone takes a picture either drinking, showing a body part, and even on some occasions committing a crime.
  • On the other hand, they may be feeling really low and take a picture that’s not something they would typically want to share with others.
  • Everyone is doing it – adults and kids alike; even celebrities.
  • This can be a great way to share your personality and your interests with others.

It’s important to remember any picture posted on social media is out there; it is public and chances are someone some day can find it. As we’ve seen lately from some public figures, sending pictures either via text or posting can come back to haunt you.

What can you do as a parent?

Have a discussion with your teen about posting pictures. Keep an eye on what your teen is posting – sometimes our teens don’t make the best choices in what they post. Potential employers and schools can find out a lot about a person by looking them up on social media or even just by Googling someone.

Have family rules and guidelines. Discuss as a family what is appropriate and what is not. Discuss the safety and security issues around posting information and pictures. This is a great way to open the doors of communication with a general discussion.

Tammy Potosky (Teen Coach Tammy) is a certified Family Coach and learning professional. She works with parents who are frustrated with their teens to have a more loving, trusting and respectful relationship so families can maintain balance and enjoy life with their teens and all life has to offer. Tammy helps her clients achieve these results through one-on-one coaching, group coaching and workshops. For more information please visit

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