Ask Auntie Artichoke

Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Ask Auntie Artichoke - Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Mean Girls & Tough Boys–Bullying At Any Age (EXPERT)

Tough boys and Mean girls have always been around. Bullying is a catch-all phrase for an imbalance of power or strength that is either real or perceived. There is a potential for the greater power to intentionally threaten or harm the weaker one. This power struggles usually takes place over a sustained period of time and has the potential to escalate into violence. Bullying can harm indivduals, families, schools and communties. For more information please see

Learning Disabled Teens & Teasing (EXPERT)

Learning Disabled Teens And Teasing – No Easy Answers

Expert Author Judy H. Wright

Parents, teachers, extended family and neighbors recognize the special challenges of those who love and teach learning disabled children and adults. They are usually sensitive, kind and giving as small children. Because they are small in stature, people are more forgiving of what they can and cannot do.

Teenagers With Learning Disabilities

However, as these cute little kids grow into teens and adults, they have accelerated difficulties. He/she is still very dependent, while becoming harder to control, guide and teach. The skills may be delayed, but the body and hormones are changing daily. A LD teen may not understand or confuse many aspects of life when in social situations. Sensitive to others anyway, this teen may react negatively to any correction or criticism. What may have started out as casual banter, may be interpreted as hurtful teasing.

Learning disabilities can make the social scene very hard for teens.

Brain disorders are expressed in many strange ways, included a frenzy of hyperactivity. This hyperactivity may irritate the very people the teen is hoping to attract as friends.

Teens With Learning or Physical Disability May Become Target of Teasing

As I have said in many of the previous posts and articles-bullying and teasing is about power. The bully looks for someone who can be manipulated or humiliated in order to make himself/herself feel more important. The majority of learning disable adolescents do not have social skills and the ability to communicate in order to stop the teasing. Self esteem and confidence is not easy to come by in any teenager, but may be especially lacking in those who have severe physical or learning abilities. The amount of teasing, bullying, name calling and taunting that goes on in Special Ed classes and in the hallways of schools internationally, is overwhelming. This is especially true in junior high and high school when independence is encouraged and tattling is discouraged.

What Should Teachers and Parents Do

Kindness and empathy for others hopefully is an on-going conversation in your home and classroom. Help all children, but especially those that have learning and social difficulties, to determine if it is a big problem or a small problem. If it is a small problem help them come up with techniques or ideas to solve it themselves. If it is a big problem, which involves safety, help them to communicate either with the bully or with an adult. Tattling is to get someone in trouble. Telling is to save someone from harm.

Self Awareness Quiz

1. What do you think when you see a learning disabled teen?

2. Do you feel that you have nothing in common?

3. Would you step up and intervene or find help if you saw someone being teased?

4. Do you agree with the difference between tattling and telling?

5. Can you decide what is a big problem and what is a small problem in life?

You are a smart and strong person and I have confidence you will find good solutions to help support not only learning disabled teens, but others who are being teased and bullied. Be sure to claim your free report about bullying at

Thank you for being part of a community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all.

You have permission to reprint this article in your blog or newsletter as long as you keep the complete content and contact information intact.Thank you, Judy Helm Wright aka “Auntie Artichoke”


What should you do when your kids fight and argue? Should you step in or allow them to work it out? The definition of sibling rivalry isCompetition between siblings especially for the attention, affection, and approval of their parents. This article is filled with good ideas that can assist your family to stop arguing and gain more cooperation.

Picky Eaters– Common Sense Parenting with “Auntie Artichoke” (EXPERT)

Picky eaters get that way for a variety of reasons. Some are very sensitive to taste, texture and smell. The more your child is involved in planning and preparing the meals, the more he or she will enjoy them. Statistics say families who enjoy regular meals together have better job and school performance, less stress and more happiness. Never make a battle around food. Encourage good conversation and connections at the dinner table.

5 Tips for Confidence in Conversations

For many people, the mere idea of social situations and conversations through them into anxiety. Just the thoughts of beginning a conversation with a stranger, or co-worker, can bring out latent inferior feelings and lack of confidence.

I have gathered 5 tips to help you feel more confident when connecting with other people. Try to incorporate them in a situation that feels comfortable for you, and soon you will see yourself having confidence in conversations with more and varied people.

  1. Smile. Did you know that you cannot physically smile and still think negative thoughts?  Try it.  You don’t have to grin like a cat,  or freeze  a smile on your face,but do turn the corners of your lips up and look approachable.
  2. Approach someone standing or setting alone. Instead of focusing on your own feelings of anxiety, you can make a polite comment (May I join you?) introduce yourself (I am Judy H. Wright from Montana)
  3. Ask an open ended question that requires more than just a yes or no answer (tell me about where you grew up or what do you enjoy doing in your spare time) Asking questions is a great way of saying “I am interested in you. I want to get to know you.”
  4. Listen to the answers and talk about what the other person is interested in.  During a conversation, you will get lots of clues about what the other person thinks is important. If it is someone that you don’t know, take a cue from what they are wearing. ask them about a ring or bracelet they are wearing, did they make it, was it a gift or maybe even does the stone has a significant meaning for them?
  5. Make sure your body languages is open and approachable instead of closed, defensive and off putting.  Verbal communication is sharing of information and people only remember or respond to about 20%. Body language, tone of voice and facial expression are much more important and account for 80% of understanding.  Non verbal language is the communication of relationships.

Listening carefully, asking good questions, making eye contact and smiling are all necessary to start and continue conversations.  Don’t worry if occasionally there is a silence, just relax and another subject will come up naturally.

You may not always be at ease in social situations, but the more you practice and try, the more confident you will be in your ability to carry on conversations with anyone.

So smile and ask me some questions.

In friendship and gratitude,

Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker

PS:  be sure to check out for a more detailed look at building self confidence.