Ways to get Kids to Listen….

Children who have been diagnosed with ADHD and other types of mental health issues cause parents to really turn on their patience button. These kids need special attention time and care. Some of the ways parents can help listen to their children and help children listen to you are listed below.
1. Listen to your kids….
Parents know their children better than anyone else therefore listen to them. Their verbal and non-verbal language tells you what is going on with them.
Do not force your children into situation just because you feel they “should” be doing certain things. Therefore if they are uncomfortable in groups do not force them into group activities. Forcing children sometimes into what you the parents “expects” does more harm to the child.
Look at the signs and help them to navigate around situations and circumstances that are uncomfortable.
2. Be a Reliable Parent…
Do what you say. Often times parents make threats or promises that they do not follow through on or keep. This creates instability and cause the child not to trust what you say. Therefore when you say “I am going to the shop to come back, I will be a few minutes” Do not go out for four hours.
3. Be Honest with your child….
Asking your children to tell little white lies like “If Sarah calls tell her I am not home” or ” Do not tell your dad I bought these shoes today” causes problems because you are essentially teaching your children to lie by building up on little white lies.
4. Be Accurate
Sometimes parents can be motivated fear. Parents are afraid that their children will get hurt and sometimes we tell them all sorts of things, presenting them as facts in order to get your children to comply. E.g. “You will fall if you go any higher on the swing”, “If you eat too many sweets your teeth will fall out”.
When children find our these ‘facts’ are untrue and a way to control, parents will be less sought for advice. That though, can be very dangerous when they then turn to peers for advice in their teenage years. Be wary of the difference between giving advice and facts. Parents should give their opinion and discuss their children’s point of view then come to a consensus.
5. Be Playful with your kid…..
Playing with your kids can greatly improved communication. Sometimes as parents we get so caught up in the adult world that we forget that in order to connect and communicate with our kids we ourselves have to come down to their world. Playing side by side activities and allowing them to direct play encourages them. You can listen and learn what is going on with your child through their play and playing with them.
6. Be Positive instead of negative…..so less “No’s”
Sometimes we need to find how to rephrase our speech so that it comes out positive instead of negative or a downright “no”. This can assist in how your day children respond to you and also shows them that you are listening and trying to help them.
For example, if your child wants a toy and you can’t afford it, rather than say an outright no you could say, ‘Sure, let’s put it on the wish list and work out ways we can buy it’. Do you have anything you can sell or trade? What about a second-hand one? Let’s work out ways we can save up for it’.
Showing them you are always on their side, trying to find ways to help them, will strengthen their trust in you and set you up as partners rather than adversaries.
7. ‘No’ is an acceptable answer in some situations….
When we approach things in generally a positive way the times we do have to say a downright “NO” will cause children to respond and listen. Our “NO” has to be firm and assertive and not a tool we use all the time since it becomes less effective when overused.
Also as parents we should be able to accept “NO” from our children from time to time. We cannot tell them no and not also respect that they are entitled to tell us no in some situations.
8. Be informative.
The above guidelines are to assist in providing information, advice and to encourage feedback from your children rather than demands or orders. The guidelines will help you to help them in listening to you. However, they might not always comply with your request, just as you do with them, they may say no but suggest acceptable alternatives to you both.
These techniques seeks to help to produce a reasoning, thoughtful, free-thinking child that has a strong connection with his/her parents.

Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things

I saw this article and I really liked it so I thought I would share it on my blog. The actual article can be found on http://www.npr.org/2012/05/01/151764534/psychology-of-fraud-why-good-people-do-bad-things

Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things

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Illustrations by Adam Cole/NPR
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May 1, 2012

Enron, Worldcom, Bernie Madoff, the subprime mortgage crisis.
Over the past decade or so, news stories about unethical behavior have been a regular feature on TV, a long, discouraging parade of misdeeds marching across our screens. And in the face of these scandals, psychologists and economists have been slowly reworking how they think about the cause of unethical behavior.
In general, when we think about bad behavior, we think about it being tied to character: Bad people do bad things. But that model, researchers say, is profoundly inadequate.
Which brings us to the story of Toby Groves.

Chapter 1

Toby grew up on a farm in Ohio. As a kid, the idea that he was a person of strong moral character was very important to him. Then one Sunday in 1986, when Toby was around 20, he went home for a visit with his family, and he had an experience that made the need to be good dramatically more pressing.

Toby Groves origin story.

Twenty-two years after Toby made that promise to his father, he found himself standing in front of the exact same judge who had sentenced his brother, being sentenced for the exact same crime: fraud.
And not just any fraud — a massive bank fraud involving millions of dollars that drove several companies out of business and resulted in the loss of about a hundred jobs.
In 2008, Toby went to prison, where he says he spent two years staring at a ceiling, trying to understand what had happened.
Was he a bad character? Was it genetic? “Those were things that haunted me every second of every day,” Toby says. “I just couldn’t grasp it.”
This very basic question — what causes unethical behavior? — has been getting a fair amount of attention from researchers recently, particularly those interested in how our brains process information when we make decisions.
And what these these researchers have concluded is that most of us are capable of behaving in profoundly unethical ways. And not only are we capable of it — without realizing it, we do it all the time.

Chapter 2

Consider the case of Toby Groves.
In the early 1990s, a couple of years after graduating from college, Toby decided to start his own mortgage loan company — and that promise to his father was on his mind.


So Toby decided to lie.
He told the bank that he was making $350,000, when in reality he was making nowhere near that.
This is the first lie Toby told — the unethical act that opened the door to all the other unethical acts. So, what was going on in his head at the time?
“There wasn’t much of a thought process,” he says. “I felt like, at that point, that was a small price to pay and almost like a cost of doing business. You know, things are going to happen, and I just needed to do whatever I needed to do to fix that. It wasn’t like … I didn’t think that I was going to be losing money forever or anything like that.”
Consider that for a moment.
Here is a man who stood with his heartbroken father and pledged to behave ethically. Anyone involved in the mortgage business knows that it is both unethical and illegal to lie on a mortgage application.
How could that promise be so easily broken?

The Promise Flashback 2Chapter 3

To understand, says Ann Tenbrunsel, a researcher at Notre Dame who studies unethical behavior, you have to consider what this looks like from Toby’s perspective.
There is, she says, a common misperception that at moments like this, when people face an ethical decision, they clearly understand the choice that they are making.
“We assume that they can see the ethics and are consciously choosing not to behave ethically,” Tenbrunsel says.
This, generally speaking, is the basis of our disapproval: They knew. They chose to do wrong.
But Tenbrunsel says that we are frequently blind to the ethics of a situation.
Over the past couple of decades, psychologists have documented many different ways that our minds fail to see what is directly in front of us. They’ve come up with a concept called “bounded ethicality”: That’s the notion that cognitively, our ability to behave ethically is seriously limited, because we don’t always see the ethical big picture.
One small example: the way a decision is framed. “The way that a decision is presented to me,” says Tenbrunsel, “very much changes the way in which I view that decision, and then eventually, the decision it is that I reach.”
Essentially, Tenbrunsel argues, certain cognitive frames make us blind to the fact that we are confronting an ethical problem at all.
Tenbrunsel told us about a recent experiment that illustrates the problem. She got together two groups of people and told one to think about a business decision. The other group was instructed to think about an ethical decision. Those asked to consider a business decision generated one mental checklist; those asked to think of an ethical decision generated a different mental checklist.
Tenbrunsel next had her subjects do an unrelated task to distract them. Then she presented them with an opportunity to cheat.
Those cognitively primed to think about business behaved radically different from those who were not — no matter who they were, or what their moral upbringing had been.
“If you’re thinking about a business decision, you are significantly more likely to lie than if you were thinking from an ethical frame,” Tenbrunsel says.
According to Tenbrunsel, the business frame cognitively activates one set of goals — to be competent, to be successful; the ethics frame triggers other goals. And once you’re in, say, a business frame, you become really focused on meeting those goals, and other goals can completely fade from view.


Tenbrunsel listened to Toby’s story, and she argues that one way to understand Toby’s initial choice to lie on his loan application is to consider the cognitive frame he was using.
“His sole focus was on making the best business decision,” she says, which made him blind to the ethics.
Obviously we’ll never know what was actually going through Toby’s mind, and the point of raising this possibility is not to excuse Toby’s bad behavior, but simply to demonstrate in a small way the very uncomfortable argument that these researchers are making:
That people can be genuinely unaware that they’re making a profoundly unethical decision.
It’s not that they’re evil — it’s that they don’t see. 
And if we want to attack fraud, we have to understand that a lot of fraud is unintentional. 

Chapter 4

Tenbrunsel’s argument that we are often blind to the ethical dimensions of a situation might explain part of Toby’s story, his first unethical act. But a bigger puzzle remains: How did Toby’s fraud spread? How did a lie on a mortgage application balloon into a $7 million fraud?
According to Toby, in the weeks after his initial lie, he discovered more losses at his company — huge losses. Toby had already mortgaged his house. He didn’t have any more money, but he needed to save his business.
The easiest way for him to cover the mounting losses, he reasoned, was to get more loans. So Toby decided to do something that is much harder to understand than lying on a mortgage application: He took out a series of entirely false loans — loans on houses that didn’t exist.
Creating false loans is not an easy process. You have to manufacture from thin air borrowers and homes and the paperwork to go with them.
Toby was CEO of his company, but this was outside of his skill set. He needed help — people on his staff who knew how loan documents should look and how to fake them.
And so, one by one, Toby says, he pulled employees into a room.


“Maybe that was the most shocking thing,” Toby says. “Everyone said, ‘OK, we’re in trouble, we need to solve this. I’ll help you. You know, I’ll try to have that for you tomorrow.’ “
According to Toby, no one said no.
Most of the people who helped Toby would not talk to us because they didn’t want to expose themselves to legal repercussions.
Of the four people at his company Toby told us about, we were able to speak about the fraud with only one — a woman on staff named Monique McDowell. She was involved in fabricating documents, and her description of what happened and how it happened completely conforms to Toby’s description.
If you accept what they’re saying as true, then that raises a troubling scenario, because we expect people to protest when they’re asked to do wrong. But Toby’s employees didn’t. What’s even more troubling is that according to Toby, it wasn’t just his employees: “I mean, we had to have assistance from other companies to pull this off,” he says.
To make it look like a real person closed on a real house, Toby needed a title company to sign off on the fake documents his staff had generated. And so after he got his staff onboard, Toby says he made some calls and basically made the same pitch he’d given his employees.
“It was, ‘Here is what happened. Here is the only way I know to fix it, and if you help me, great. If you won’t, I understand.’ Nobody said, ‘Maybe we’ll think about this. … Within a few minutes [it was], ‘Yes, I’ll help you.’ “
So here we have people outside his company, agreeing to do things completely illegal and wrong.
Again, we contacted several of the title companies. No one would speak to us, but it’s clear from the legal cases that title companies were involved. One title company president ended up in jail because of his dealings with Toby; another agreed to a legal resolution.
So how could it be that easy? 

Chapter 5

Typically when we hear about large frauds, we assume the perpetrators were driven by financial incentives. But psychologists and economists say financial incentives don’t fully explain it. They’re interested in another possible explanation: Human beings commit fraud because human beings likeeach other.
We like to help each other, especially people we identify with. And when we are helping people, we really don’t see what we are doing as unethical.
Lamar Pierce, an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, points to the case of emissions testers. Emissions testers are supposed to test whether or not your car is too polluting to stay on the road. If it is, they’re supposed to fail you. But in many cases, emissions testers lie.
“Somewhere between 20 percent and 50 percent of cars that should fail are passed — are illicitlypassed,” Pierce says.
Financial incentives can explain some of that cheating. But Pierce and psychologist Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School say that doesn’t fully capture it.
They collected hundreds of thousands of records and were actually able to track the patterns of individual inspectors, carefully monitoring those they approved and those they denied. And here is what they found:
If you pull up in a fancy car — say, a BMW or Ferrari — and your car is polluting the air, you are likely to fail. But pull up in a Honda Civic, and you have a much better chance of passing.


“We know from a lot of research that when we feel empathy towards others, we want to help them out,” says Gino.
Emissions testers — who make a modest salary — see a Civic and identify, they feel empathetic.
Essentially, Gino and Pierce are arguing that these testers commit fraud not because they are greedy, but because they are nice.
“And most people don’t see the harm in this,” says Pierce. “That is the problem.”
Pierce argues that cognitively, emissions testers can’t appreciate the consequences of their fraud, the costs of the decision that they are making in the moment. The cost is abstract: the global environment. They are literally being asked to weigh the costs to the global environment against the benefits of passing someone who is right there who needs help. We are not cognitively designed to do that.
“I’ve never talked to a mortgage broker who thought, ‘When I help someone get into a loan by falsifying their income, I deeply consider whether or not I would destabilize the world economy,’ ” says Pierce. “You are helping someone who is real.”
Gino and Pierce argue that Toby’s staff was faced with the same kind of decision: future abstract consequences, or help out the very real person in front of them.
And so without focusing on the ethics of what they were doing, they helped out a person who was not focusing on the ethics, either. And together they perpetrated a $7 million fraud.

Chapter 6

As for Toby, he says that maintaining the giant lie he’d created was exhausting day in and day out.


So in 2006, when two FBI agents showed up at his office, he quickly confessed everything. He says he was relieved.
Two years later, he was standing in front of the same judge who had sentenced his brother. A short time after that, he was in jail, grateful that his father wasn’t alive to see him, wondering how he ended up where he did.
“The last thing in the world that I wanted to do in my life would be to break that promise to my father,” he says. “It haunts me.”

The Promise Flashback 1

Now if these psychologists and economists are right, if we are all capable of behaving profoundly unethically without realizing it, then our workplaces and regulations are poorly organized. They’re not designed to take into account the cognitively flawed human beings that we are. They don’t attempt to structure things around our weaknesses.
Some concrete proposals to do that are on the table. For example, we know that auditors develop relationships with clients after years of working together, and we know that those relationships can corrupt their audits without them even realizing it. So there is a proposal to force businesses to switch auditors every couple of years to address that problem.
Another suggestion: A sentence should be placed at the beginning of every business contract that explicitly says that lying on this contract is unethical and illegal, because that kind of statement would get people into the proper cognitive frame.
And there are other proposals, of course.
Or, we could just keep saying what we’ve always said — that right is right, and wrong is wrong, and people should know the difference.
Web story produced and edited by Maria Godoy; on-air story edited by Planet Money and Anne Gudenkauf.

Peaceful Communties still Exist

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending some Divali Celebrations in my community as well as in Felicity. Felicity is a small rural community in central Trinidad. Divali is a Hindu celebrations where the home is lighted up with dias to welcome the goddess Lakshmi, since it is believed she will bring prosperity.

I remember as a child growing up things like Divali and Christmas used to be huge events that I looked forward to every year. Divali time was about getting dressed in pretty Indian wear and going by family or friends to light up, play with star lights and eat Indian sweets. Not only were there Indian sweets, there was delicious Indian food as well, roti and curry, but as a child with a sweet tooth, the sweets were my favorite part.
Over the years, moving on to becoming a teenager and an adult, festivals like Divali and even Christmas lost some of that of that childlike luster it once had. Long ago it just used to be more fun not only because I was a child but people in general were so carefree and full of life. The togetherness that was once felt sometimes feels quite absent.
These feelings though, changed in the celebrations for this year. My two outings were impromptu this year. I was greatly saddened by the first one in my community. Back in the days they used to have prayers, bend bamboo into interesting shapes and invite people to light the dias, sing and partake. The celebrations this year and a few years now is like a show. The crowd does not participate and there was no prayers. Entertainers were on stage performing. This is certainly not like the celebrations I know or remembered.
The second celebrations restored my faith in my fellow country men. My drive to Felicity was quite lovely was passed on some country road where there had many houses lighted up beautifully. When we arrived in Felicity it felt like a different country. The entire street was filled with arches and overhead lights. As we started to walk along the street, each and every house was immaculately clean. Hindu’s were lighting their dias. We passed many houses where they gave out Indian sweets and parasad. There were various houses that did different types of bamboo bending with dias and Christmas lights. Many houses even put up bamboo stands outside on the pavement so that foreigners could lite a dia as well. Other houses had dias on their walls and banisters.

Walking along the street in Felicity felt so wonderful. I felt the togetherness and peacefulness of the community. I felt safe and even reminisced a bit from my childhood memories. I felt very much like a child again in awe at the lights. These feelings made me realise that no matter what, crime rate, 3rd world mentality and dictator style rulers, there are good peaceful people living in our country. People are still willing to open their doors and their hearts to others. These feelings are certainly not what I feel everyday walking through the streets or travelling on the road. Togetherness and peacefulness should be the everyday norm in Trinidad not something to be sampled once in a while. But I felt really good knowing that these qualities still exist in the people of Trinidad…
Jenna Samaroo

Self Awareness Tool

Last week I had the pleasure of redoing an exercise that always gives me great insight into myself and persons around me. The exercise is the Johari Window.


  What you see in me What you do not see in me
What I see in me The Open Area The Private (or hidden) Area
What I do not see in me The Blind Area The Unkown Area

The model was developed by Joe Luft and Harry Ingham hence the name Johari. The model describes each of us as having four windows in which we have to consider as seen above.

The first window is the open or public area. These are the aspects of ourselves that are known by our friends ,family, co-works, colleagues, etc. This window is where we present ourselves everyday. These are the things we are open to discuss and observation of persons around us that we know about and is comfortable with others knowing as well. Like I think I am generous person, I like to share what I have, and persons around me think so as well.

The second window is the blind area. This area is the part of ourselves that is observed by everyone else but is not known to us. So for instance in this area, one of my colleagues thought I was alert. She observed this quality in me that I did not recognise, that I did not know about. This part is very important because many times people tell us what they observe about us and we are quick to get defensive instead of looking objectively at the observation, positive or negative. This feedback offers us great insight into ourselves that we did not have before, therefore this helps us in discovering part of the ourselves that is sometimes unknown.

The third window is the hidden area. This hidden area is where we keep parts of our lives private. There are aspects of our lives and ourselves that we do not tell people. Observations, experiences, traits, characteristics etc. that we do not share with others but we are fully aware of them. Even though we do not tell people about these hidden details it is important for each of us to understand why we want to keep these details hidden. This awareness helps in discovering the unknown.

The forth and final window is the unknown area. This area is undiscovered. The people around us and our own selves do not know this part yet, but life’s experiences and challenges will reveal this aspect of ourselves. The blind area can also help us to develop and become more aware of the unknown area. Also being aware of what causes us to hide aspects of ourselves from others will also give us insight into the unknown area. Therefore all in the windows have benefits for self awareness and self discovery.

This exercise is very good with team building, since it allows us to expand our knowledge base of each other. This exercise also makes us more aware of ourselves and what others see in us. Knowing what others see and working on them makes us more self aware making the window of the unknown a little smaller for the better understanding of self.

Mind and thanks….

Today I am lucky to come to many realizations. One of them comes from this book I am reading about the power of the subconscious mind.Human Beings are marvelous creatures and the mind is even greater than we perceive. Imagine if we really channeled our energies into peacful thoughts instead of gossip, negative thoughts and other daily things that weigh us down. The power of thought is great, it decides what will come our way or not. Today I have many things to be thankful for especially in terms of my career. Most of my success comes from being positive about doing the things i love. This success of mine is but a small part of the greater success to come but I have to stop and thank God for the successes of today. To me today is a big day with big events happening. To the ordinary person today is just a normal day that will pass by but have you stopped to look at the clouds in the sky? to be thankful that you have a meal today? Are you thankful for the things that you do have? instead of looking at what you dont have…. I am and my journey is trying to remember these things everyday, even on those days when life gets tough. Today I am thankful.

Jenna Samaroo


sometimes it’s amazing how life turns out how one never knows what to expect out of life. one of things that has impacted on me since i have been in Barados is how much i have grown as a person. i think that sometimes people see you very differently to how you perceive yourself. sometimes it is important to listen to what people have to say to you about you, because sometimes your peception about yourself is not ideally what other persons see. i’m not talking about gossip and the like, i’m speaking about when people compliment you, their thoughts about you, how you spend your day, their interaction with you, those things that speaks to who you are in daily life. in the last two months my classmates, my hall mates and i guess my friends that i have made on this journey in my life have pointed out things that i never realised would identify me as me yet when they point out things, i think to myself that is me!!!to me life consists of many journeys but this particular one brought me to a place of self discovery which is one thing that i value the most because it can help me to make firm, confident decisions in my life. it has truely been a learning experience in more ways than just studying and the beaches. i chose to write about this because i got some inspiration today from a good friend………just something to think about…..