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Root to a Bully

Root to a Bully

“My kid isn’t mean, he/she is a sweetheart!” “Where is this coming from?” “Kids will be kids” “Your child is overreacting.” “My kid didn’t mean it.” “My kid is just cranky today.”

– Parent excuses

Planting the Seed:

Bullying can come in all shapes and forms and can also be misinterpreted by the word alone. Getting down to the nitty gritty of it, your child is mean and is harming others emotionally and/or physically- and get this, they might not know they are doing it! Who knows, your kid might be one kind kid, but struggle with social cues or their feelings. You may not even be considering that your child is a bully right now, or you might not think anything more than your child is just angry and that it is just a phase. The scale of this issue can get so deep and so complex and can lead to many opinions and arise by pointing fingers, but have you ever taken a step back and thought, hey! maybe it’s me?

Root Formation

It all starts with you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be you at fault first hand, but it is your responsibility to give the child the greatest understanding and ease that they can receive. There is a circle in your child’s life and it’s the closest circle that affects your child the most. You, their biological dad/mom, their stepmom, stepdad, uncle, aunt, your best friend since grade school they call “auntie”, cousin, grandparent. This is your child’s circle, people they’re expected to trust. 

We’re all trying to figure out where we can place the band-aid on this issue, and as we are growing as a society we are also becoming more isolated. Cyberbullying is becoming more of an issue. Neglect is becoming more of an issue- and it will only get worse in this generation to come. By providing your child with greater communication skills, and by this, I mean personable. It can help with higher self-esteem and charisma with surrounding peers. By teaching your child how to interpret and process emotion, it can provide your child with a greater understanding of empathy for others. 

Feeding your plant

Rather than being an upset parent, or a sad parent, you should take it at a different angle and be a supportive and understanding parent. This sounds a lot easier said than done, but treat this as a milestone and grow as a family by introducing problem-solving to your child. 

  • What’s wrong?” Give your child the opportunity and comfort to allow them to express themselves freely to you. This might require time and trust from them and the consistency and patience from you.
  • “What had made you feel like this?” This can take a lot of interpreting on your part. Your child could be scared to fully express themselves, so you might have to get creative. Example: My daughter has “bad dreams” This could be her interpreting her putting into words on how she’s feeling. She’s telling me what happens in the dream as a metaphor, even though she doesn’t know what a metaphor is.
  • “Do you understand this feeling or problem?” The feeling that they can be expressing they might not understand. Anxiety, anger, irritation, isolation. They might not know what they want, and by wants I mean needs. If they are demanding a form of attention, the feeling might start with anxiety that leads to irritation, then anger, then end in feeling isolated. 
  • “How do you think we should fix it?” With the example expressed above, you already know the feeling. Asking them how they should be handling the situation the best that they can provide your child with an opinion and a voice that is heard. In essence, opening up communication, importance, value, and confidence in their decision making.
  • “Do you know what I think might help?” Follow up their ideas by providing your suggestions on how to make the situation better. This can help distinguish morals and weighing out choices in which is the best to make.
  • “I’m proud of you!” Allowing your child to problem solve on their own and giving them as much credit as they deserve in this because let’s face it. This is a huge accomplishment for them. 

Your child may not know all the answers to any of these questions, because the younger they are the less they understand on expressing themselves. They will lack the vocabulary and can’t put much into words. So knowing your child is a huge tool into understanding where they are coming from, so they can understand where you’re coming from. Analogies and metaphors could be a helpful tactic- The simpler the better. 

Growth

We as parents should take higher strides for our future (our kids). Not just for our sake, but for theirs. We’re paving something out extraordinary for them. They have all of the easiest resources and technology available to them making life that much easier. We work hard so they don’t have to? Wrong! It’s nice to think because we love them so darn much. Becoming a decent human being and the best being they can be is and always will be work for any individual. To this day I, myself still strive for that- As we all do! So when trying to really understand what’s going with your child, and you’re done with all the investigative work. Try problem-solving internally, rather than externally, and start with yourself and your Child’s close circle.

Chicken Piccata & Pasta

Chicken Piccata & Pasta

Chicken Piccata was one of my first meals I was excited to make. I have never liked cooking. After having a family, I made meals because I had to, not because I had a passion for it. This meal was inspired by the Cheesecake Factory- When I tried it there for the first time, I was so impressed by the complimenting flavors of zest and savory, I definitely had to make it at home… a lot! As a beginner in cooking, I loved making this meal because it was so easy to make, and it tasted like I was experienced cook!

Ingredients:

Breading:

  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Paprika

Garnish:

  • Chopped Parsley
  • Shaved Parmasean
  • Angel Hair Pasta

Poultry and Produce:

  • 6-8 Chicken Tenderloins (tenderized.)
  • 4-6 Tbsp Canola or Vegetable Oil (For cooking Chicken.)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic (I love garlic.)
  • 4-5 White Mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp Capers
  • 1 1/2 Cups White wine… I always start with one cup…and splash in more 😉
  • 1/2 Large Lemon

Process:

  • Starting with the breading, mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl.
  • Then take two pieces of wax paper, and place Chicken Tenderloins in between to tenderize. (I don’t have a kitchen hammer, so I used the back of a large cooking spoon.)
  • Bread the Chicken once and evenly. Then, DO…IT..AGAIN. (Typically, I’d egg wash, but I prefer a thin breading. You’re more than welcome to dip in egg if that’s what you prefer! I mean, you’re making this for you right now…not me.) Then cook the chicken in oil and 1 Tbsp butter for about 3-6 minutes each side. Remove from pan and set aside. (Around this time, I start boiling water for noodles, and start making them.) I like to save a 1/2 cup of pasta water to thicken sauce up a little bit.
  • With remaining oil and what’s left of chicken debris, throw in chopped and minced garlic and onion on medium heat until fragrant and onion is translucent. Then, add chopped mushrooms until soft.
  • Add in White wine, allow it to simmer down some and then squeeze in lemon juice and add capers. Reduce heat. You can add the 1/2 cup of pasta water to the mix as well.
  • Drain noodles and mix in with sauce. Place chicken on top and garnish with chopped parsley and Parmesan. I like to spoon out capers, a little sauce, and onion/garlic mix and drape it over chicken because the sauce is more loose.

Now, Eat!

Smoked Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Smoked Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky has always been a favorite growing up, especially the teriyaki flavored jerky! A fond memory of this treat was snacking on the road when our family vacation would cross many states. Although I have always favored the sweetness of the teriyaki, I have grown to a more bold liking. I added a smokey taste to the mix and I am so pleased with the outcome of the flavor combination.

Jerky requires a lot of time to make, but the preparation is quite simple. I was still able to do everything I needed to do throughout the day. So as intimidating as the time commitment was, I was still overall pleased about how smooth this trial and (lack of error) there was!

Serves: 4

Ingredients needed:

  • 2 Pounds Round Eye Steak
  • 1/2 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3/4 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Kappa brand Black Maple (http://www.kappafoods.com/products/black-maple/ )
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Honey

Process:

  • Before I prepared the marinade, I put the chunk of meat in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. This helped getting a nice clean cut for a favored size.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together and mix well in a bowl big enough for meat slices to be accommodated as well.
  • After the meat is well chilled, cut in about 1/4 inch slices against the grain.
  • With a gallon size ziplock bag, place sliced meat and marinade together and mix well to ensure full coverage.
  • Place in refrigerator to marinate for 8- 10 hours.

I used my oven to cook my Jerky. I had the temperature set to the lowest degree which was 170 degrees Fahrenheit. I also had adjusted my racks to the highest rack and lowest rack used. The bottom was lined with aluminum foil for minimal clean up and catch any excess marinade.

  • After taking the meat from out of the bag, I patted dry the slices. (Make sure the red pepper flakes are evenly distributed.)
  • I used water soaked wooden skewers that you can find in just about any grocery store to hang the Jerky.
  • I hung about 6 slices on each skewer making sure they don’t touch each other, and enough room to hold the ends when removing from oven.
  • The cooking time did take about 7-8 hours. My marinade was dark as it was, so after the cooking was done, it looked as of a charred color, but depending on your oven settings it could potentially require more or less time. You can check my simply ripping into a piece!

Enjoy!