Should I break my teens trust to rescue someone else…Now What?

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THE CHALLENGE: My daughter is 13. She is BI she has a GF who I absolutely adore as they have been friends since kindergarten. They are both quite nerdy and I know they have not been physical because she tells me everything. Any who she has another friend who she is close to and this friend has a boyfriend. She actually went to the mall with my daughter as a cover up to go meet her boyfriend while her mom had no clue. I was bothered by that but I thought I’ll just keep it to myself. Then my daughter told me that this girl has been talking about wanting to have sex with this boy and she even went as far as buying condoms. I don’t think this is age appropriate and want to bring it to the attention of the mother however if i do that i’m scared my daughter will hate me and not tell me everything anymore. I trust my daughter but being that age once i know how you can be influenced by friends to do things that you may typically not be ready for. Please nay advice on what i should do in this situation?

NOW WHAT: I will speak from experience. Once the trust is broken it will take a long…long….long time to get it back. If you are lucky you will get it back. If you break this trust not only will you break the trust with your daughter, you will break the trust she has with her girlfriend and it a teenagers eyes that is a cardinal sin. They are extremely attached to their peers and if you end up getting in the middle that will be an extremely harsh blow to deal with for your daughter. I would feel blessed if I had that trust with my teens when they were her age. So some questions to ask yourself. What am I hoping to have happen by spilling this secret. What is the worst thing that could happen if I say something? Will telling this secret really protect my daughter? If I do tell will this girl stop being friends with my daughter? What are the consequences of that? Is that what I really want? For them not to be friends any longer so she will not be a bad influence on my daughter. So who is telling this secret really serving? Me, my daughter, her friend, her friends parents. There are 3 businesses in life. Our business, everyone else’s business and God’s business. Who’s business is this that you are interested in being a part of? I would be content knowing that my daughter still trusts me to keep her secrets. I would be confident in my parenting skills that I raised her right for her to know right from wrong. I would be happy to let her make her own decisions in life and be there to support her whatever the outcome. We can love them or control them. We can’t do both. Whatever your decision it will be the right one. 🤘

Parenting Challenges and nowhere to turn! Send me your challenge and let’s see what we can do to empower you, reduce some of your stress and help you build a stronger foundation with your children. Email me at whatsup@richiepryor.com

Parenting Challenges and nowhere to turn! Send me your challenge and let’s see what we can do to empower you, reduce some of your stress and help you build a stronger foundation with your children. Email me at whatsup@richiepryor.com


from best friend and sweet little girl to attitude, argumentative and mean teenager…Now What?

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THE CHALLENGE: Just looking for tips on how moms with daughters handled the transition from best friend and sweet little girl to attitude, argumentative and mean teenager. I’ve accepted that I have to loosen the reigns and let her try to figure out who she wants to be on her own while trying to provide guidance. Even though my guidance is not perceived well with her cause “I know nothing about anything” in her eyes. I keep reminding myself that I once was a teenager myself and this too shall pass. I also know that I’m not the only one who has or will go through this with their daughter. Just looking for suggestions on how to cope with these changes so that I’m not so miserable and feeling like I’m constantly nagging her.

NOW WHAT: I really love that you are trying to let her figure it out. That is amazing as some parents think the parenting job is to control them. They are looking to find out who they are and sometimes they see us as a road block. These days our teenagers are connected more to their peers than to us parents. It is mostly because they have constant connections with them (Facetime, social media, texting, etc.). Which leaves us parents excluded from their life, We cannot compete with that because that is 24×7 access. They have much to much in common with them than they do with us. But honestly, it does hurt seeing our innocent children turn into teenagers. Years ago when we were teens we didn’t have this type of exposure to our peers. We would see them in school and maybe speak on the House Phone (with a wire) I am not that old. However, when they get connected with their peers they are influenced by the groups beliefs, values and well most likely lack of respect for parents. Hey if my friend is putting down her parents, I should do the same so I fit in. The more they are influenced the more they will be mean to us. So what is the problem that needs to be solved? Ask yourself some questions. What am I going to accomplish by asking her a million questions? Can we have a conversation without me giving advice? Can I just listen and agree with the challenges she is facing without trying to rescue her? How can I try to understand her world? How can I show her I had challenges when I was her age and provide her with guidance without sounding like a broken record? When we try to give them guidance they just hear more noise. How can I show her that I am human and have feelings and am vulnerable? How can I find a way to become her friend (find a way to play the game that her peers are playing). What does she like to do, to eat? Can we spend some mom and daughter time together without, questioning, lecturing, judging or trying to rescue her? What do I need for me? What makes me happy? Our teens are going to do whatever they are going to do. Trying to control their lives will not work. I understand how it feels when they are becoming independent (we could do without the drama) but that is the stage they are in. We can love them or control them. We can’t do both. Whatever you do will be the right decision for you and your daughter.🤘

THE RESPONSE: thanks so much for your post!!! It’s great advice!! That’s the one thing I knew I’ve been trying to do and it wasn’t working which was to control her. I’ve since realized that I can’t do that. I gotta cut her some slack. I think me taking a step back, asking the questions you suggested will definitely help! I’m definitely just going to love her and hope that one day my actions will be her guidance. Thanks again for taking the time to offer this advice. It means ALOT!!

Parenting Challenges and nowhere to turn! Send me your challenge and let’s see what we can do to empower you, reduce some of your stress and help you build a stronger foundation with your children. Email me at whatsup@richiepryor.com

Richard Pryor
Warriors Of Life Institute
Transformational Parent Coach, RelationSHIFTER, Teen Mentor, Part-Time Comedian & Author


I’m in a fight with myself…Now What?

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THE CHALLENGE: Well so far this morning my daughter has gotten in trouble because she can’t stop talking long enough to make it to class on time, and all of her classes are on the same level. There was a riot at the high school and my son got maced standing on the side lines, and because he didn’t keep it moving he got ISS for a whole week. I had quit my job due to some management issues but one of the higher ups asked me to come back so I’m in a fight with myself do I go back or stand my ground AND ITS NOT EVEN NOON!!!

THE FEEDBACK: What do you want to do? Can you be with your kids at school?. Our teens sometimes make poor choices. They grow when the are faced with consequences. This makes them better adults who learn coping skills in their teens. We try to shelter them so much and in the end it makes them weak adults. What could you have done when your daughter was talking in school? Could you have changed anything? Can you control riots at your son’s school and preventing a macing? Doing things that makes us happy shows up in how we love our children. So what do you want from this life you have been given? Do you want to go back to work or hang out at home and wait for the phone to ring to react to things you couldn’t control in the first place. We always have choices and the one you make will be the right one. In the end we can either love our teens or control them

Parenting Challenges and nowhere to turn! Send me your challenge and let’s see what we can do to empower you, reduce some of your stress and help you build a stronger foundation with your children. Email me at whatsup@richiepryor.com

Richard Pryor
Warriors Of Life Institute
Transformational Parent Coach, RelationSHIFTER, Teen Mentor, Part-Time Comedian & Author


A Parent’s Love can never be locked up.

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Parents Helping Parents teamed up with the Father’s Group and visitation Committee at MCI Norfolk Prison to host the Annual Family Movie & Game Night on June 27, 2019.  This was the second time any event like this was ever hosted in the prison. A special thank you goes out to our Super Volunteer, Linda Perry facilitates the father’s prison group and who is in the picture below with Richard Pryor, Program Director of Prisons, shelters and Community support groups..

The Father’s group collected funds from other inmates in the prison to purchase, games, movies, art & crafts supplies and a lot of food and goodies to enjoy with their families. This event provided the incarcerated dad’s a chance to spend some quality time with their children doing things that most people take for granted. Eating popcorn and watching the newest Spiderman movie with their children. Playing a game of battleship with their son. A dad and his daughter using the paint to create lasting memories on t-shirts with an imprint of their hands and vice versa. Having the ability to get their children an ice cream to enjoy on a hot summer night.  Spoiling them with a little candy, chips, cookies and soda.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked through those prison doors with Linda on that hot summer evening as those large heavy doors closed behind us.  As we made our way through one locking door to another, I got a sense of the world that these men lived in. As we made our way out to the visitation center, I looked in awe that the high cement walls with rolls and rolls of barbed wire, I knew I had been transported to a different world.

As we approached the visitor center we were met with so many bright but somewhat nervous smiles from the dad’s that were hosting the event. They needed this event to be amazing not only for their children and themselves but also for the prison staff who was very supportive getting this put together.  Linda and I got in and feverishly worked with the dad’s on getting food purchased for the vending machines. We were cutting it very close as the families were supposed to arrive shortly and we wanted to make sure everything was perfect for their arrival.

We started feeding those cards into those vending machines like it was a race against time. Wilson, ordered “let’s get some of those big chocolate cookies…we need to have more Cheetos…kids like those. Swedish fish…yes… sour patch kids even better”. This back and forth went on for about twenty minutes and we worked as a team to make sure we were all ready to welcome the children and families into the center on time. What about the ice cream? Let’s wait until the movie is over and we can treat them to an ice cream one dad said. Sounds like a plan…However, we don’t have a lot of money on these vending cards so we can only allow them to have a1, b1, c1, d1. Those were the least expensive ice creams in the machine. Me being a dad myself I knew the kids were going to want the big-ticket items…. Chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches that were an extra 75cents.

We finally got all our items purchased; the tables were lined with all the goodies any child could ever dream of.  Popcorn, candy, pizza, sandwiches, chips, soda, (they loved the orange Fanta). It was like the prison at MCI Norfolk visitor center had been transformed into a hybrid of Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory and Chuck E Cheeses.

Just as we finished laying out the last bags of chips, I heard the door open and turned around. A little girl probably no more than 4 years old with pig tails yelled DADDY and proceeded to run across the floor and jump into her dad’s arms. Her dad received her like he had just caught the winning pass at the super bowl. The little’s girl smiled, and the dad’s smile lit up the room. This is another thing that a lot of people take from granted, giving and receiving a magical hug to our son or daughter. From that point on I knew I was in a special place and taking part of something that would create memories for all that were involved, including me.

I sat there speechless, like I was watching another wonder of the world. Watching these families eat popcorn watching a movie and laughing together. Didn’t feel like we were in Kansas any longer. I certainly did feel like I was in a prison and I had a sense that neither did that dad’s or their families. That was the point of all this. There are 8,760 hours in a year and this event provided these families and especially these children with 4 hours of quality time with their dad’s.

Once the movie was over, they proceed to play various board games with each other, there were therapy dogs there that are trained by the inmates. There were huge superhero cut outs designed by the dads and they had picture taking for mementos of this event.

There was basketball toss and some huge bowling pins with a bowling ball. The dad’s and the children played together just as you would see in a park on a warm summer day. There was an artist doing portraits and hand painting which I think the dad’s loved more than the kids. There was smiles from one end of the center to the other, the prison visitor had been filled with so much love, happiness and joy.

As time ticked away, the thought that was in the back of everyone’s mind was it was only 4 hours long, and they were all making the most of it. I enjoyed chasing the basketballs that didn’t hit the hoop. Some great unexpected exercise for me. I observed Linda chatting with a family as they played the game battleship together. In that moment I knew I was in the right place in the world. Parents helping Parent and that is what I came to realize in reflection of that moment.

However, the most fun I believe Linda and I had was getting the ice cream out of the vending machines. The children came up to our table and Linda and I had the machines to our back. They rifled off requests, Chocolate Éclair, the strawberry one, the green one. Then suddenly, I heard. I want the ice cream sandwich. In that moment I was pretty impressed with my own parenting skills to know, those were what those children would want. So, we did not disappoint, Linda and I were so happy to put smiles on their faces and blew the budget wide open. I have never purchased that many ice creams in a matter of an hour and in a prison to boot. Talk about never knowing where you are gong to end up in life. But on this day, I was exactly where I was supposed to be and so grateful to be part of an organization that help transform a prison into a fantasy world for a child.

So, The machine was taking a long time to push them out and I started telling the kids there was a little guy in there and was really working hard to create these magnificent frozen treats. I am pretty sure the older kids knew I was full of it but the younger kids looked puzzled, smiled and were very patient as the little guy worked his but off to deliver what they wanted.

As the event came to a close, everyone knew that time was near. Wilson gave a great speech and Linda and I were given the honor to provide the kids with prizes for winning the games. We were so happy to be a part of this amazing event where everybody won. Especially the dad’s as they lined up to go back to their cells. I paused for a moment and turned around to capture that moment as the dad’s in all their glory and smiles had their white t-shirts with very colorful handprints on them from their children with the words love as the common theme. That would have truly been a magical moment to capture on film. That wasn’t an option and I know my words will never do that image justice, but I am happy that I had an opportunity to share them to you in this article.

While we were on our way-out Linda had asked one of the little girls what she thought of the event. She said I quote “This has been the best day of my life”. In that moment I realized that the event wasn’t about movies, food, and games. It was about love and showing these beautiful children how much they are loved by their dad’s and no number of doors, walls and barbed wire can ever keep that love locked up. Because love is exponential and always in abundance when we have the amazing opportunity to be blessed with having a child and being a parent.

If you are a parent in need of a support group please visit our website at www.parentshelpingparents.org

Richard Pryor
Warriors Of Life Institute
Transformational Parent Coach, RelationSHIFTER, Teen Mentor, Part-Time Comedian & Author


My 13 year old daughter snuck out the house twice the other night…Now What?

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THE CHALLENGE: So my 13 year old daughter snuck out the house twice the other night. I have no clue what to do. Phone is gone and shes grounded for 2 weeks but nothing seems to phase her I am at a loss.😔

THE FEEDBACK: What do you think you need to do? Do you think taking her phone away is going to make her change her behavior? What is going on in her world now? Has anything changed around the house? Teen’s start acting out between the ages of 13-15. Some a little earlier and some a little later. You can try to get the police involved. They may help or create more tension and cause her to act out even more. Have you tried to talk to her and ask her how she is doing without judgement, rescuing or offering her advice. Sometime all they want is someone to hear them and when parents don’t listed they find solace in speaking with their friends. We have to remember that these days with social media, texting, face time, etc. their peers are in constant communication with them and we sort of get shut out. When they have that attachment to their peers they are easily influenced and it fosters bad behaviors. So how can you find a way to make her your friend so she confided in you instead of her friends. What does she love to do. Take her some place that she likes and have a conversation with her as a friend and not her parent.Don’t have this conversation in the house because that is not really a place where they feel safe because it is your house and your rules. They have had enough of our parenting and are looking for someone to share their world with. How can you find a way to understand the world she is living in. We were teens once so you have to do a little digging to find a way in. Resourcefulness is the key ingredient and never give up trying different things….because eventually you will find what works. All my Love and support on your journey. 🤘

Parenting Challenges and nowhere to turn! Send me your challenge and let’s see what we can do to empower you, reduce some of your stress and help you build a stronger foundation with your children. Email me at whatsup@richiepryor.com

Richard Pryor
Warriors Of Life Institute
Transformational Parent Coach, RelationSHIFTER, Teen Mentor, Part-Time Comedian & Author


Reaching out to an ex who’s a narcissistic B***…Now What?

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THE CHALLENGE: My boyfriend has primary placement of his daughter, age 17. She’s been living with us since age 13. Since being in court back in 2015 her Bio Mom hasn’t contributed one dime. At the time, my boyfriend didn’t care about child support as he just wanted his ex out of his life as he can afford his daughter all on his own. Fast forward to now, his daughter needs oral surgery. He’s asked the dentist over and over “how much?” and he can’t get a real answer. He was given estimates pre insurance and told that it will be covered. He’s yet to call the insurance company to see what percent will be covered as it’s $4,400. He’s thought about reaching out to his ex to see if she can contribute anything but is reluctant as she’s a narcissistic bitch. He doesn’t know what to do. Wait to hear from the insurance company on coverage or actually talk to her Bio Mom who he hasn’t talked to in 4 years. His daughter sees her Bio Mom, but the visits don’t last long…maybe 2 days a month as his daughter and her Bio Mom are like oil and water.

THE FEEDBACK: Why hasn’t he called the Insurance company yet? Why getting all stressed about the what if’s? You can’t control any of the outcomes. The cost is the cost and worrying about it doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t appear that anyone wants anything to do with the ex and begging for money. So that option should be taken off the table. So why even bother discussing it. and from a guy perspective I wouldn’t go back to my ex if she was the only one in the world with money. You originally stated that your SO can afford his daughter on his own…so why the drama about the oral surgery? If he doesn’t have the money, he will certainly find a way to get it. Don’t dentists have payment plan’s etc. What about if the daughter asks the BIO mom for help? Oil and water…has nothing to do with it. This is her daughter and she needs to be the one that says no to her daughter. Need to discover more ways to be resourceful. Hope this helps.

Parenting Challenges and nowhere to turn! Send me your challenge and let’s see what we can do to empower you, reduce some of your stress and help you build a stronger foundation with your children. Email me at whatsup@richiepryor.com

Richard Pryor
Warriors Of Life Institute
Transformational Parent Coach, RelationSHIFTER, Teen Mentor, Part-Time Comedian & Author


My Daughter thinks I have too many rules…And Is STRESSED because of me…Now What?

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The Challenge: Update about 16D: Past 24 hrs have been awful for me (single parent with no family or close friends near me and her father ignores her). So after a confrontation last week (on Thursday morning) about her stealing my friends earrings last weekend (and she refuses to admit it was stealing..just borrowing!) I took away her xbox and we got into a huge fight after she claimed I have too many rules and she hates living here and says it’s been a toxic homelife for a while now (because of me of course) and refused to talk to a counselor with me about this because all her stress revolves around me. She said if I have to kick her out so be it. So I tried to reach her counselors (there are 3 in the counselling office..1 she sees every week but she cant talk to me about her without my daughters permission and 2 crisis counselors who’ve known us for the past 2 years and know about my daughters history and issues) but the 2 were on training thursday and Friday so I tried to keep the peace as best I could til Monday but on Sunday morning I woke up to the smell of pot near my daughter’s room. Long story but I confiscated a ton of pot as well as an iPhone (no idea whose it is) and some cbd that she took of mine (it has thc in it. I bought last October for pain after my car accident but only used a bit of it since it didnt work for me). She freaked out and didn’t want to give the pot to me at all but I ended up getting it eventually after she tried to hide it). This happened at 9am and she was supposed to work at noon. After I took her phone and laptop) she took off and never ended up going to work so will of course be fired now. Also..I called all over to try and find her and her friends parents ended up finding her at the mall after 5pm and she refused to come home but said she would go home sometime that night. The friends parents didn’t want to leave her at the mall so asked me if she could stay with them and I said of course so she agreed to go there for a while. But later around 730 or 830 she refused to go home still so I arranged for her to go to another friends place and her friends parents dropped her off at the other place around 9pm. Between the stealing, not taking responsibility for anything shes done, the disrespect and not willing to follow the rules at all, the ton of pot thing plus the taking off and skipping work AND what she said to her friend in the texts about being self destructive and not caring (may have only said that for attention), I know she’s out of control and I don’t know what to do about it. I do know she needs help but not sure what/how. I’m STILL waiting to hear from the counselor but my daughter has a meeting with her regular counselor at
4pm so I wanted her regular counselor to have talked to the crisis counsellor by then and discuss her options.. if shes coming home or not etc. I don’t know if my daughter will be coming home later or not. No idea what to do.

The FEEDBACK #1 :  I had similar challenges with my boys. They are looking to find anything they can control in life. Because as a teenager they feel like nothing is in their control. You are not going to be able to control her. She is searching for her identity. Remember your teenage years. Now multiply that pressure by 100x. Smoking pot…etc..etc. You need to find a way to build rapport with her, learn her language, identify with the crisis she is in. If you are doing x. Then do the complete opposite. Resourcefulness is the key to a relation shift. At some point you have to let her fail so she will begin to understand consequences of poor decision making. That could come in the form of an arrest or something else. What is the worst thing that could happen if she doesn’t come home? In the end we can only control our own actions and how we perceive a situation. I lost my son 4 years ago and in the end all the choices our kids make in the end our theirs and not ours. What are you doing to reduce the stress in your life? Remember that this is your life and you need to find ways to create some peace and space in your world. Sorry so long. Like every stressful event in life. This too shall pass

RESPONSE #1 no that was well said and this is the way I’m looking at it now too after a friend and counselor also pointed out that she’s losing control of everything in her life (her friends ditching her and her father ignoring her etc) so she’s looking to feel in control and although I can’t let her walk all over me I can help her feel in co trol of some parts of her life maybe a s work with her to feel loved regardless. So I brainstormed with my best friend last night and came up with a possible approach that may work.. as long as shes willing to come home and give it one more try. Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate it.

FEEDBACK #2 you got it. Resourcefulness. Use every opportunity you can to express how much you love her and understand her world. I loved tell
My boys how much I screwed up when I was a teen. So they don’t see us as this immortal being. They see we are human and that we have faults. Being vulnerable is an amazing way to build rapport with teens. You could also try some reflective listening which you can find on Dr. Google.

RESPONSE #2 thanks I will try to do that …if we can get her to come home at all to try again

Parenting Challenges and nowhere to turn! Send me your challenge and let’s see what we can do to empower you, reduce some of your stress and help you build a stronger foundation with your children. Email me at whatsup@richiepryor.com

Richie Pryor
Warriors Of Life Institute
Parenting Strategist, Teen Mentor & Author


My 16 Year old Daughter Ran away…now what?

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THE CHALLENGE: My 16 year old daughter ran away and moved in with her boyfriend. Refuses to come home. Wants to be grown. I have posted situations about this before. Today she asks me if she can take the dog overnight. she’s constantly trying to make me out to be the monster. She punched me a couple weeks ago and told me to shut the fuck up because I wouldn’t buy her weed from the dispensary. Flipped out. While I was driving. Then jumped out of the car in the intersection and walked to her boyfriend’s house. BECAUSE I WOULDN’T SUPPLY HER WEED!!! like this is something new? I mean what the fuck. Anyway.. Here is part of the conversation. She’s munipulative and she’s abusive and she’s great at gas lighting. My heart hurts. She won’t come home and there’s nothing I can do about it.

THE FEEDBACK: You can’t force her to do anything. She is finding herself and when they start to manipulate you have 3 choices. Give in, fight it or step back. If you give in she will never stop manipulating you. If you step back you will let her make her own choices and then have to deal with the consequences. We typically try to save our teens because we believe we know what’s best for them. That is what they don’t want. They want to be independent and think they know everything. With this power they have a power of choice and when they make a poor choice and suffer a consequence that teaches them coping skills. I see a lot of parents that try to save their child or protect them from the same challenges they struggled with at that age. What ends up happening is that they never learn the lessons that they are supposed to that help them grow because they grow up sheltered from the reality of life and the world. The lessons that we learned as teens made us smarter and wiser. You can also try and fight it and that never does anyone any good. So you have 3 choices to help her find her way in the world and learn some valuable lessons. Give in, Fight it, step back.

Parenting Challenges and nowhere to turn! Send me your challenge and let’s see what we can do to empower you, reduce some of your stress and help you build a stronger foundation with your children. Email me at whatsup@richiepryor.com

Richie Pryor
Warriors Of Life Institute
Parenting Strategist, Teen Mentor & Author