Wednesday, August 29, 2012

'Connecting to the Power of Nature' Book Review

Nature has long been known to have a calming effect on the human psyche. But in this day and age of technology and constant movement, we have forgotten what it is like to go outside and relax. Joe H. Slate, Ph.D. aims to help us reconnect with ourselves by Connecting to the Power of Nature.

Throughout his book, he shares anecdotes about the power of various aspects of nature, such as stars, trees, stones, and more. Many of the experiences are his own, but he also shares those of people he has met throughout his life and work. He then outlines a plan of action to connect to the power of each natural object. These plans tend to consist of six steps, including choosing the item, stating your goal, connecting with the object, affirming your goal, and concluding the exercise to cement it into being.

This may sound like a bunch of New Age hocus-pocus to some people. And in some ways, I can agree with that. But, haven't you ever sat outside on a clear starry night, staring up at the sky, and felt a sense of wonderment and empowerment? Haven't you ever played with sand on the beach, mindlessly letting it fall through your fingers, and feel all of your cares melt away with the dirt? The exercises in this book are essentially the same thing. There are just fancier words and phrases used to explain them all.

No one says that you have to perform all of the exercises within the book, either. Perhaps you have an affinity for trees, but not so much for stones. So, use the tree and leaf exercises. Live close to the beach? Use the sand and water exercises. Meditation and goal setting cannot work if you are not comfortable with your muse of choice.

Also included in the book is a seven day Discovery and Empowerment plan. Each day you connect with a different piece of nature: leaf, cloud, sand, pebble, seed. Then you get in touch with your universal consciousness.

He also includes an appendix with a brief introduction to numerology, to assist you on your journey.

Exercises within this book can be easily adapted for use within families or the workplace, as each group works toward a communal goal of success and peace. Again, pick and choose what works for you within your given situation. And keep an open mind as you reengage with that foreign world known as the Outside.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase in paperback.

Purchase for Kindle

Monday, August 27, 2012

'Helicopter Parents Raise Kids Who Cannot Fly Alone' Article by Mary Jo Rapini

Helicopter parenting is one of the new trends in parenting techniques. Does this method really work to empower children? Psychotherapist and coauthor of the book Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever weighs in on the issue.

Helicopter Parents Raise Kids Who Cannot Fly Alone

by Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

I was reading a recent article on the subject of "helicopter parenting" and how cell phones and the internet have changed parents' ability to hover over their children. The parents that supposedly hover the most are moms and dads of the "Millennials;" children of baby boomers, born between the early 1980s and 2000. As I read it, I could not help but think of my own childhood. I was the sixth of nine kids and I can safely say my parents most likely didn't know where I was 70% of the time. It wasn't that long ago, and I was raised in a small town, prior to cell phones, internet, and the idea that something catastrophic could happen to me if my parents lost sight of me.

My parents weren't neglectful any more than my neighbors and friends parents. We didn't have the technology and we also didn't have the angst that comes with the technology.  There wasn't the feeling that if I wasn't constantly busy with piano, soccer or tutoring I would fall behind. My parents saw their role as providing a secure home life, plenty of sleep, good food, and help with homework.
Times have changed. Parents talk to their child every day via texts, emails, Facebook, and web sites. Even when the child goes to college mom and dad are still instrumental in guiding their courses, career, and social life. The kids cannot escape and what's more is many of them don't want to. Colleges hire additional staff to answer parents' phone calls and emails just as summer camps do.  Research supports that when parents become involved in their children's activities the children do better. They seem to enjoy the activity more whether it is college or an after school event, but there is a fine line, and the positive effects diminish when parents take over and try to control the activity the child is in.

Being there as a guide to support your child may be helpful, but if your guidance becomes you telling your child what to do, think and how to respond, your child begins feeling incompetent to handle the situations they are involved with. Soon, your child cannot make a decision without asking mom or dad.
From the time your child is born there is a process of learning to let go of them. The key to being a fantastic parent is watching your child and understanding when and how much to let go. Just as children have developmental milestones to attain, parents do too.  Hanging on too tightly to your child begins to produce several of these behaviors listed below:

1. Your child becomes less confident in their own ability to take care of themselves in situations at school or play.

2. Your child becomes fearful and withdraws from novel activities.

3. Your child will develop more anxieties and school phobias may develop.

4. Your child may become less interested in things around them unless you take an interest. A parent should be supportive of a child's interest, but not responsible for it.

5. Parents who are over protective actually suffer more from sadness and poor self image. When you have all of your needs invested in your child to be a success there is little left for you.
It is scary being a parent. We hear stories of abductions, kids getting harmed physically and sexually, and we feel a need to protect our children. If you feel you hold on too tightly though, or if your child seems embarrassed by your unwanted overprotection, there is a way you can loosen your grip without putting your child at risk. Rather than thinking about protecting your child think about empowering them. This will help you raise confident children while allowing you to be engaged:

1. When your child is small you can allow them more freedom to explore, climb and be independent if you provide a safe environment. Look over the playground or park in advance, and find the park that provides security from traffic, while still offering a fun atmosphere for your child to experience.

2. Make mistakes a good thing to experience. Kids who grow up anticipating mistakes take more risks, are less fearful and feel more confident about themselves. We all make mistakes; children have so much to learn in a relatively short period of time. Make sure they can experience their mistakes while being protected in their family. The outside world will never be as forgiving as your own family.

3. If you have a lot of fears from the way you were raised in your family of origin, make sure you deal with those with professional help. Fears are given/taught to children. This is demonstrated by children being terrified of people, things, or events with which they have no experience. The parents often instilled leftover unresolved fears of their past. Being afraid of life and all it has to offer is something you do not want to pass on to future generations.
No one will ever love your child the way you will. Protect their childhood, love them, and offer them new experiences so they can grow and learn. When a child tries something new, it is clear that they look at the new adventure and look back at you. If they see a loving parent who embraces the new while having confidence in their child's ability to master it, they will be empowered to soar.
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

'Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read' Book Review

One of the most important things that parents can do for their children is to establish a love for reading from the very beginning. Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read by Diane W. Frankenstein is a great foundational point for this.

In the introduction to this book, Diane outlines ways for parents to help their children find appropriate books to read, to turn them on to reading. Many times, the child's lack of desire to read simply stems from an inability to find anything that really turns them on and encourages them to keep on reading. She encourages rereading stories, focusing on the plotlines instead of only vocabulary, and performing conversational reading.

Conversational reading is the art of reading a book together and talking about it. Start by asking concrete questions about what happened within the story. Then, find ways to apply the book to the child's personal circumstances, so that he can really put himself into it. Encourage the child to think about other perspectives of the story. The possibilities are endless!

The first part of the book consists of 101 different books that parents and teachers can share with children. Within this part are three different sections. One is for picture books, one for grades 2-5, and those for grades 4-6+. Each book has a short story synopsis, key words, and sample questions that can be used to elicit conversation with the child. Then, there are recommended follow-up titles, if this one was of particular interest to the child.

Part two gets into subject questions, which are even more ways adults can deepen the conversation with the child. Instead of focusing on a particular book, these parts focus on general topics, such as popularity, bullies, manners, choices, and challenges.

Finally, Diane provides even more recommendations for books. Trying to choose only 101 when there are so many good books out there is a daunting task, indeed!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase in paperback.

Purchase for Kindle.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sizzling Summer Reads Giveaway August 20 - September 2

Sizzling Summer Reads

Welcome to the Sizzling Summer Reads hosted by Literary Addicts. This Event takes place August 20 - Sept 2

Each blog participating will have a book related giveaway worth at least $10.
The Literary Addicts is also hosting a grand prize - Open Internationally!

School is just around the corner. Keeping that in mind, I am teaming up with Literary Addicts as a part of their Sizzling Summer Reads Giveaway. Books for Parents & Teachers is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card. Use it to buy a new resource book for your classroom or something to help you relax after a long day at work.

Because it is a gift card, the contest is open worldwide. The contest runs from August 20th through September 2nd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the linky below and hop around!

'Childhood Obesity Intervention - Good or Bad?' Article by Mary Jo Rapini

Earlier this year, the state of Ohio made headlines when it removed a morbidly obese child from his home and placed him into foster care. Psychotherapist and coauthor of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever, Mary Jo Rapini, shares her insights on the obesity epidemic.

Childhood Obesity Intervention-
Good or Bad

by Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC
I was asked recently to be an expert for an HLN story involving an 8 year old boy in Ohio. This boy is morbidly obese tipping the scales at 218 pounds. The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) took the boy into foster care after they felt the mother was unable to follow through with appropriate measures prescribed for the boy to lose weight.

The mother's defense was that she was going to school in addition to working as an elementary teacher. She felt that she could not monitor the child at all times. Apparently family members and friends were sneaking food to the boy. DCFS reported that they had worked with mom for a year and saw no improvement.

The Ohio State Health Department estimates that more than 12 percent of third graders statewide (Ohio) are severely obese. That could mean as many as 1,380 kids in Cuyahoga County alone. This story is the first time anyone could recall a child being taken from a parent strictly due to weight-related issues.
To consider the idea that the state can handle this issue by removing an obese child from the home and placing him in foster care is not only absurd but dangerous to the development of children. Most likely there will not be enough foster homes and even if there were, will the parents in those homes be able to handle the issues an obese child struggles with? According to recent polls, one out of every three children is morbidly obese. This is not a child crisis; instead, this is a family crisis. In this situation, the child suffered from sleep apnea which meant he was hooked up to a machine at night which monitors and assists his breathing. Many obese children suffer asthma, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, anxiety, and depression.
Obesity certainly has genetic components but to simply throw your hands in the air with complete surrender to fate is not being a responsible parent. Taking a child away from the family he knows and loves borders on cruelty. Removal of a child from his/her home should only be done as a last resort to protect that child from imminent harm (the child in this case had no other medical conditions except for sleep apnea). Many times removing a child from their home is experienced so intensely by the child that they would resort to food even more as the only thing they could control. Depression, anxiety, and a heightened loss of self-esteem may be the result.

What are we telling a child if we allow them to be taken from us, because we were not able to change our lives enough to help him? I make it clear to all of the parents I work with that if you have a morbidly obese child it takes a family to support them with a healthy lifestyle. There can be no enablers and "good guys" or "bad guys" with offering the child unhealthy foods or a lifestyle conducive to obesity.
If you have a child you are concerned with who struggles with obesity, you have more power within your family than any treatment facility known. The problem is that, many times, you know your child is hurting and that breaks your heart. The guilt you feel from that affects your ability to hold the firm and loving boundaries that your child needs. These suggestions will help you get started.

1. Talk to your pediatrician and tell them your concerns. Make a list of everything you have tried and go over this with your doctor. Don't let your doctor make light of your concerns. No one knows your child as well as you.

2. Have a family meeting and rather than addressing any one child, address the whole family. Become a united team with everyone participating in a healthy lifestyle. Identify the foods that are the most problematic (soda, chips, candy, and pastries) and replace those with raw fruits and vegetables. Make these food visible, keep a basket of raw fruit on the kitchen counter, bottled water in the fridge (or fresh water in pitchers stored in the refrigerator) and vegetables peeled and ready to eat in the refrigerator. The best way to get rid of the junk food is to throw it away. It's toxic! Why would you donate or give someone else what is poisonous to their body?
3. Quit telling yourself that in order for your kids to fit in they need junk food in the house. They don't. This thinking is keeping you from being an effective parent in helping your obese child. It is not fair to let the thin sibling eat junk food and not allow it for the child with weight issues. This builds resentment. Get rid of the junk food and make it forbidden for your whole family.

4. Family activities are helpful for all families as well as marriages. Protect and prioritize these types of days. Take a family walk, go to the park, or (in the winter) ice skating. Anything where there is movement will help everyone be healthier. Activities shared as a family help the child who is overweight feel less isolated and alone.
5. If you are unsure of foods and what to serve, a wise investment is to talk to a dietitian. Many physician offices have dietitians on staff. Getting advice and attaining more knowledge of foods can help you help your child.

6. If your obese child suffers from social anxiety or depression, seek help from a counselor. It is much wiser to begin counseling before your child's self-esteem is destroyed. Rebuilding an obese child's self esteem is much more difficult then learning healthy coping mechanisms that can comfort them so they won't resort to using food.
Child protective services have a huge job and they do it well. There are so many children that need to be placed with foster parents in order to survive. Morbid obesity should not be a reason we need to contact CPS. Parents must get serious with their children's health and well being. Being a parent means taking care of your child and making sure they have all they need to be healthy. If your child is overweight and struggling with health issues, begin making changes to the whole family's lifestyle today.
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

'Parents, Please Discipline Your Kids So We Don't Have To' Guest Article by Mary Jo Rapini

Parents: Please Discipline Your Kids So We Don't Have To

by Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC
Everyone has heard the story of Karen Kane, the bus monitor, being bullied and ridiculed by four seventh grade boys in Greece, NY. It was disgusting; horrible, violent and crude language hurled onto this 68 year-old grandmother who was doing her job. Karen didn't reach out and grab the ring leader (although he looked quite small), nor did she call on her cell phone or taser him. (The school continues to say they are shocked and appalled by this behavior even though Karen has said it has happened in the past and was ignored.) The kids were impulsive, not thinking or caring about later consequences, and kept going with their taunts, knowing they were being filmed. Obviously, they were having fun, and probably came from homes where this behavior was acceptable.
The tape is so disturbing that although it lasts for ten minutes, few people can watch it for more than three. People around the world are identifying with Karen. They too know what it is like to be bullied by someone and unable to stop the bully. They identify with her being an adult and trying the tactic everyone has been taught to do with bullies, "ignore them and they will go away." They don't go away though, and instead the taunting got worse with her attempts to ignore them.
Everyone knows about bullying; we all know what it looks like, with recent documentaries of bully behavior, and kids being driven to suicide. There are many of us who are fed up with it, and we are sick of parents sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring what their kids are doing. Some (but not all) of the parents of these kids are single parents. It's a lot more difficult to raise a child on your own, maintain a social life and possibly dating someone new. Obviously, something has to get squeezed out (we only have so much time), but what is being let go of is not okay. If you let go of being a responsible parent and raising responsible, respectful children who obey the law and are engaged with their family, you are letting your child down as well as all of society.  Some parents realize too late they never wanted to be parents, and they have no idea how to set rules, follow through with consequences, or discipline their child. Their goal is to keep their child supplied with video games and cash, so their kid will not interfere with their life.
Kids need discipline (teaching); they need guidance and moral mentoring, including limit setting. They need an engaged father figure to help with this. They also need a mother who is there with her watchful eye and ability to correct their child when they make a mistake. It is important for both of these parents to be committed to raising their child through the teen years. A kid learns empathy, respect for authority, and respect for others at home. If the parents aren't at home, have no respect for one another or their child, and don't set examples of morality, empathy and respect, how in the world is their child going to value those characteristics?
The children who bullied this woman on the bus had deeper issues than their insults to her. They are mirroring happenings in their family. We need to look at the kids and the family and treat the whole system. The schools are in need of change, but they are a reactive institution. The bad stuff doesn't begin with the school (although they are a great institution onto which to project blame); the bad stuff is in our homes.

Here are a few suggestions for parents who feel as though their child has taken over the home.
1. Begin by finding a parenting class. This is easiest done by finding a great parenting program. They are listed in many of the free family magazines being circulated within your city. There is a wonderful website also that would be a great place to begin. It is called: They list a series of blogs and can help you find parenting classes as well as find help for you and your child.

2. No matter if you are a single parent or a dual parent,
you need to make home represent home again. You do this with your time. RE-establish a mealtime, cook a meal and be there.
3. Be engaged and go over your child's virtual world. (If you are computer illiterate, hire a monitoring group to help.) Children live up to 80% of their waking hours in computer games, Skype, cell phones, Facebook, and anywhere else in the virtual world to which they can escape. Kids who are angry or depressed do not frequent positive websites, friends, or texts. You need to know what your child is doing.

4. Re-institute manners in the home. Talk with manners to them, and insist they address you politely. If you are angry and beating up others with your words or your fists, your kid is going to do the same thing (when you aren't around). Bullies have seen bully behavior somewhere, and it is usually in the home.
5. Go back in your mind to the last time your family worked well together. A time when you spoke politely to one another and your children obeyed your rules without challenging you. If it has been longer than 2 months, you need professional intervention. Sometimes, beginning with a family meeting and talking about what's going on can be paramount in helping the family become stabilized and working together. A professional counselor can help empower and support family rules that mom and dad set, which gives the family back structure and helps support the family while new healthier ways of communicating are being learned.
If or when a child cannot be polite and respectful, before I look too deeply into their eyes, I am going to look into the parent's. Kids are mirrors of the home. I have NEVER met a bully child without later meeting a bully, absent, or abusive parent. Take your kids back, give them a home, guidance and mentor respect for them.
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Monday, August 13, 2012

'Your Child's Toxic Friendships' Article by Mary Jo Rapini

A new school year brings new friends into your child's life. Most of the time, friends can be a positive influence on your child. Every once in a while, though, a bad apple is found in the bunch. Mary Jo Rapini, psychotherapist and coauthor of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever, talks to parents about how to identify a toxic friendship in your child's life and how to help your child through it.

Your Child's Toxic Friendships     

by Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

Kids don't come with a manual and neither does parenting. For the most part, good communication gets you through the rough times and helps to divert disaster.  

One dilemma that tends to stymie most parents centers around the friends your child chooses. Most of the time, kids make great choices, but sometimes the friends that choose your child are not great choices. And, for some unknown reason, your child cannot get away from these types of friends. These friends are what I refer to as "toxic friends." My two daughters both experienced situations with these types of friends; even though it was brief, it wasn't as brief as it could have been had I been more aware.
If you give a situation time, it will usually work itself out. With toxic friends, however, that is not always true -- so an intervention is necessary. Before you can intervene, you need to know what you are looking for. To you as a parent, the toxic friend may appear like the nice kid next door, yet, they say nasty things when no adult is around, and they make your child feel incompetent if they tell their parent.
Here are a few more signs that your child may be involved with a toxic friend:
  1. If your child becomes totally obsessed with pleasing this friend, there is a good chance the power balance has shifted and your child is being used.
  2. If your child's friend treats their parent or any adult with disdain, pay attention. This is not a good sign as they have issues with authority.
  3. Your child's new friend doesn't abide by your child's rules. For example, if you tell your child no communicating after 9 p.m. and this friend continually calls or texts, saying rules are stupid or for little kids, this is not a friendship you want to nurture.
  4. Your child is teased or belittled in any way by this friend.
  5. The friend tries to get your child to act rude or disobedient at school.
  6. The friend wants to keep secrets all the time.
  7. Your child's friend is rude in public. All kids make mistakes, but if you notice this kid is a brat in public, can you imagine what is going on in their home?
  8. Your child's friend picks on "lesser people" or has a bully attitude.
  9. Your child's new friend has angry outbursts.
  10. Your child begins acting out, swearing, and acting belligerent or indignant (unless someone is modeling that behavior in your home).
It is much better if you can prevent these relationships from forming rather than trying to break them up once they have bonded. To end these types of relationships, you need to have your child see the light and understand what is happening. Your child also needs to know they are supported by you, as these types of friends often have power over your child with other friends. It is always advised to work on changing the family dynamics so your child will become more and more difficult for his or her toxic friend to control.
Here are a few suggestions that may help:
  • Begin by having the toxic friend over for dinner (it is even better if the parents can come). Usually you don't need to do more; the whole situation becomes very clear to your child.
  • Talk with your child about their toxic friend's behavior only. Try not to attack the friend, but say what you see and why it is unappealing. Be honest and firm with your observations.
  • Structure your child's life as much as possible. Your child will need an excuse at times and if they are able to say, "My parents will ground me for life or take my car away if I do that," it helps them save face.
  • Set limits. Keep your child's curfew and follow through with consequences. If your child begins suffering for their toxic friend, they may wake up sooner rather than later, asking why they like this person who gets them into trouble.
  • Many times your child will choose to hang out with someone you don't like as a form of rebellion. If depression, anger, or acting out become an issue, it is wise to seek counseling for your child as well as yourself. Toxic friends have the power to turn a once harmonious family into a chaotic situation very quickly.
The tween/teenage years are relatively short, but the decisions made have dire consequences for your child. Engage with your child; know where they are, who their friends are, and who the parents of those friends are. Social networking has many advantages, but also many dangers. Toxic people think of toxic ways to use social networking. Self-esteem is fragile in the tween/teen years; one toxic relationship can destroy your child's self esteem for years to come.
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Monday, August 6, 2012

'Parents Need to Talk to Their Kids About Sex' Article by Mary Jo Rapini

Talking to teens about sex isn't going to be easy, but is a necessary evil when you are a parent. Mary Jo Rapini, psychotherapist and coauthor of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever talks to parents about the importance of having the big talk and tips for how to do so.

Parents Need to Talk to Their Kids About Sex    

by Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

One of my colleagues works exclusively with teens and is noting an increase in oral sex among teens. It is interesting because the teens report being virgins and are adamant that they aren't having sex.  According to a recent study, researchers in California found that oral sex is the most frequently practiced sex act among teenagers engaging in sexual activity. Only 9 percent of high school students who have had oral sex are still virgins two years later. Oral sex has become the gateway to intercourse. The teen is in denial and not aware that oral sex is still sex and carries a risk of STD as well as teen pregnancy because most times sex does not stop with oral sex.
In the study mentioned above, Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher Ph.D. from the University of California followed more than 600 students attending two northern California high schools from 2002 to 2005 in order to understand the role of oral sex in the progression of teen sexual behavior. The teens filled out questionnaires every six months from the start of ninth grade and the end of the 11th grade. More than 90 percent of ninth grade students said they had not yet tried vaginal sex, while 40 percent of the 11th graders reported the same. Over the course of the study, most teens reported having intercourse within the same six month period as their first oral sex experience. Overwhelmingly they had tried oral sex before trying intercourse.
Sex education programs overlook oral sex and focus on abstinence. Improving education in all forms of sex is vital for preventing teen pregnancies and STDs. The best sex education must begin in the home. We cannot rely on the schools to do what we fail to talk about at home with our teens. It is possible that preaching abstinence is enabling the denial that oral sex is sex. If you are engaging in oral sex--and your parents and school is constantly bombarding you with the practicing abstinence concept, you can rationalize that you aren't having sex, because oral sex won't make you pregnant. Teens don't typically think about the consequences of what oral sex will lead to: the risk of STDs, or intercourse and pregnancy.
How parents can help protect their teen:

1. Talk to your teen about sex. This can be done by beginning when your child is young with age appropriate opportunities. TV shows, lyrics on the radio are all good branching off points for parents to begin a dialogue about sex.
2. Make sure your child has an annual exam. When you have a girl and she begins her menstrual cycle make sure you take her to a doctor who can talk to her about her body, her cycle and her breast development. Your son should go with his dad to the family doctor and his body changes should be discussed. Boys need the same focus on understanding their changing body as girls do. Parents are an integral part of teaching their children to respect their changing body and to respect the bodies of others. No parent should ever use the excuse for not teaching their child, that their parents never taught them, or that they just had a book pushed at them about sexual development, when asked why they don't teach their child about sexuality.
3. When your child asks you a question in regards to sex, their body, or a relationship, take it seriously. If you don't know the answer, tell them the truth, reassure them that it is a good question and you will find the answer.

4. There should be nothing your child cannot ask you in regards to their sexual body. If you are too embarrassed, tell them you have "hang ups," but you will find them someone they can talk to. Children are very forgiving when parents trust them enough to be honest with them.

5. Make a pact with your teen that their health always takes primary importance. Let them know you may not like their decision but you will do whatever you can to keep them safe. Teens take risks when parents disengage, and the child feels like there is nothing they can do to please their parent.
It is disturbing when therapists see children as young as 10 years old who are actively having oral sex. When the parents are brought to the session and the child admits to this, everyone is in shock. They question how did it happen and when did it happen, since the boy and girl are never alone together. Believe me; they have plenty of time to be alone together.  

You taught your child how to ride a bike, how to throw a ball, and how to tie their shoe. You better teach them about their changing body, what sex involves, and that oral sex is sex and can lead to consequences that will affect them for the rest of their life. Schools nor anyone else can teach your child about sex as well as you.   
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Friday, August 3, 2012

Promotional Book Tours August Group Tour and $100 Gift Card Giveaway

Welcome to Promotional Book Tours Group Tour taking place August 3 - 24. We have teamed up with 9 Amazing Authors and several awesome bloggers to bring you a $100 Amazon Giftcard!

Brought to you by these 9 books!

Don’t miss out on these great reads even if you don’t have a kindle yet. You can download the kindle app for you phone, desktop, or ipad HERE. All of these books are less than a Starbucks Coffee!

Incredible Dreams

Incredible Dreams is the story of a modern-day ghost whisperer who travels through time to save the life of a WWII fighter pilot, and ends up jeopardizing her own existence.
Izzy Miller prefers to call herself a spiritual therapist because she thinks it makes her sound more professional than plain old ghost-whisperer. She expects her latest project to be quick and easy because exorcising military personnel is pretty routine.

But there's nothing easy or routine about Captain Jack Baker—he's a rather forgetful spirit and somewhat mischievous. And even though he's intrigued by the US Government's latest attempt to remove him from the only place he can ever remember being... he has no intentions of going anywhere.

Plans to exorcise Jack are quickly sidelined when Izzy discovers a portal into the past inside her dreams and sets out to change his fate. Trouble is...when she gets back there, she can't remember anything but her name. She still sees ghosts, but is far less accepting of her gift. And, to make matters worse, a demonic force pretending to be the forgetful heroine's sister has her own plans—to steal Izzy's soul.

Purchase Here

50 Parent Commandments: "The Essential Guide to Hiring a Good Nanny"

50 Parent Commandments is a must have book by childcare expert, Tosi Ufodike. Parents all over the world struggle with how to hire and retain good nannies to look after their children. In this book she offers simple, yet effective advice on Hiring a Good Nanny.

This book answers many questions: Should you offer your nanny a bonus? What should you do if the nanny is a flirt? Should you allow the nanny to spank your child? How much should you pay a nanny? Nanny Cams?should you have one? Tosi Ufodike relied on numerous parent and nanny interviews to write this book.

50 Parent Commandments is the only book that gives parent tested advice that is not based on theory but practical experience. With humor, insight, and proven experience, Tosi Ufodike breaks down the daunting task of hiring a good nanny. Purchase HERE

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

When Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, she thinks she's moved to a quiet little burg.

Curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder, and suddenly she's learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.

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Bitten Shame

Jill Prescott returned from self-imposed seclusion to help save her best friend Devan’s life. Throwing herself into Devan’s problems and bringing an evil organization to its knees might just be the distraction she needs to keep living without the only man she’s ever loved. Her life changed forever when she was hired to spend a week with Doc Massey.

On the day she became a vampire her youthful innocence ended, but Doc’s love rescued her from being consumed by the darkness. The shadow of that former life continues to loom over her, keeping her from realizing her own self-worth. Running from her past only brings her closer to a destiny that is inextricably connected to what she is trying to escape…

Every gift has both a reward and a price, because All of it fits…

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As Above~ So Below: A Channeled, Assisted, Unfolding Story

A thought-provoking, journey of fantasy, through the experiences of a new writer that has moved back to the mountains of Upstate New York with his wife. He encounters a spirit who has passed over, and together, they touch upon many issues and beliefs of society and the concerns thereof; those that weigh so heavily upon their minds.

Often controversial, at times extremely passionate, and usually very captivating, this work exudes food for thought that "Magickally" keys forth a possible spirtual awakening for those yearning to grow and learn. The opinions and beliefs presented within, may or may not be similar to those of the reader~ however it will provoke the reader to think about what is said.

The author believes this to be a "channeled" work, as much that is wriiten, he believes to have received form the "powers that be." Purchase HERE


When she agrees to allow Ms. Lacusta to help develop her powers, Tasmyn has no idea how deep and dark the journey will become. Trapped between fascination and fear, she moves farther away from friends and family, even her boyfriend Michael.

Leading a double life forces Tas into decisions that will threaten her sanity and her future… and the very lives of those she loves.

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The Unsacred Gift

When Sissy was six, she had her first vision of her sister’s (Misty) disappearance. Her mother (Tina) said she had a bad dream, but not long after that Misty vanished before Sissy’s eyes. No one believed her, so Sissy pretend to act like everyone else, like Misty never disappeared and never existed. For the past fifteen years Misty’s disappearance has haunted Sissy’s dreams. She could hear the ear piercing screams at night of her sister begging for help. Sissy tries to help her, but never succeeds.

Sicily “Sissy” Monroe attends the University of Washington and is in her senior year majoring in Psychology. She has all the makings of a perfect young lady, ageless skin, flawless long black hair, full kissable lips and eyes that are shaped like almonds. She is almost where she wants to be in life. But laying deep in the pupil of her eye’s hold something that she cannot get rid of, which interferes with her plans.

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Night Game

The exclusive King's Club resort casino is a glittering playground for gamblers with everything to gain and the hunting ground for a killer with nothing to lose. Until casino owner Jay King hires P.I. Kasey Atwood. Kasey's attraction to King is immediate.

As their love affair heats up, she becomes a pawn in a dangerously seductive game of passion and revenge

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The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. Read more and purchase HERE

These fine authors are bringing you this Book Tour Event via Promotional Book Tours.This contest is open Internationally! Please fill out the form below to enter.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Meet Mary Jo Rapini and Janine Sherman, Authors of Start Talking

Meet the Authors of Start Talking

Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a nationally known psychotherapist, author, public/keynote speaker, and television and radio commentator. She is a recent recipient of the esteemed Gracie Award in the Outstanding Talk Show - News category for her show “Classmates With Cancer” on Fox 26 in Houston. Her mission is to empower women and their families.

Rapini is the Love/Relationship writer for the Houston Chronicle City Brights on-line ( and is a contributing columnist for Rapini writes the "Ask Mary Jo" monthly column for Houston Family Magazine. Her advice has been featured in numerous other publications such as People, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Men's Health and Self.

Rapini is radio/TV savvy and captures audiences all over the country with her direct answers to real issues! She has been featured on "Big Medicine", which is in its second season on Discovery Health. Her regular segment "Body, Mind and Soul with Mary Jo" airs on Thursdays on FOX 26 Morning News Extra in Houston. She recently became a regular expert for HLN/CNN.

Her new weekly radio show, “Rebooting your MoJo with Mary Jo Rapini”, is part’s show,“Across the kitchen Table.” She has appeared on many television programs including Today, Fox Morning News, Montel, and various Houston area shows to discuss topics such as holiday stress, prayer and healing, divorce and kids, children and traumatic experiences, and children and cancer.

She is an intimacy and sex counselor, and a certified anger management therapist. A mom with two daughters, her passion is helping all girls become strong women.

A popular speaker across the nation, Rapini's dynamic style is particularly engaging for those dealing with intimacy issues and relationship challenges, or those simply hanging on to unasked questions about sex in relationships.

Rapini is the author of Is God Pink? Dying to Heal and co-author with Janine Sherman of Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever.

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An OBGYN, board-certified, women's health nurse practitioner, Janine Sherman, MSN WHNP-BC specializes in preventative care and treatment of adolescents, teaching them about their bodies, and how to make wise decisions as they enter into womanhood. A large part of her practice is also educating mothers about what to expect as their daughters embark on the journey to sexual maturity and the importance of guiding them responsibly through this life-altering transition.

Sherman is a former faculty member at the School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (where she also received her MSN). She worked at the Center for Immunization Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and has written numerous articles pertaining to pap tests, HPV testing, and the HPV vaccine.

She is a popular presenter on mother-daughter issues. Sherman is quoted in Girls' Life magazine in "Taking Chances," a GL Special Report.

Sherman has contributed to two text books: Women's Health Care Exemplar (2000) and Processes of Labor (2002). Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever is her first general interest book.

Discover more at or

This article is reprinted from a media kit on KSB Promotions.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review of 'Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever'

Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever

Book Blurb: A Q&A guide for mother-daughter conversations about female health and sexuality, this book targets both daughters and mothers. Start Talking contains more than 113 questions girls ask including questions about periods, sex, relationships, guys, eating, exercise, body development, along with similar questions verbalized by mothers. Each chapter contains basic information accompanied by real-life vignettes, questions and answers for moms, questions and answers for daughters, "Table Talk" suggestions for moms on how to engage each other around these topics. This book differs from books targeting just girls understanding their own bodies, and from books targeting just mothers on what they should know: it is deliberately meant to spark conversations.

My thoughts: 

This is the kind of book that I wish I had when I was a teenager and needed to talk to my mother about various issues. She was easy to talk to, but didn't always have a lot of the answers I was seeking. Other conversations were simply too embarrassing to try to have with her until I was older.

The book is divided into "Mom Questions" and "Daughter Questions," but both can benefit from reading all of the sections. There are also mock "Table Talk" sections that provide a sample conversation between a mother and her daughter about certain topics. No one should feel like they have to use a script for those conversations. Those sections make for good conversation starters.

Start Talking isn't just about sex. It also delves into friendships, relationships, self-image and self-worth. It's purpose is to open the doors of communication between parent and teenager, which can often be difficult. I think it is a good addition to the parenting library, starting in the tween years as body and emotional changes begin to occur.