I invaded my son’s privacy. Now What?…

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 Dear Coach Richie: I recently took away Xbox privileges and also phone (just for a few days). I after about 3 days I had an intuition to look through my 15 yo sons phone. Instant regret! Parents of boys, how do you broach the topic of “sexting”? I don’t want him to know I’ve invaded his privacy but I do want him to know..well, I’m not even totally sure what I want him to know. HELP!

Coach Richie: We worry about our children because of our life experiences and don’t want them to make the Same mistakes we made. However, punishment usually never works. Makes the child. Angry, frustrated and controlled. Then that conjures revenge fantasies. Which makes things worse. Remember being a teenager. Now see his world from that garage point. As a teen he already has enough of that going on in his life and when the people that love him do it to him it makes them really angry. Avoid the punishment by getting the the root cause of the problem. They are all just problems that need a solution and when we work with our children on finding a solution…everyone wind because they feel empowered and don’t feel controlled. Maybe an option for next time instead of the dreaded punishment. Ok. The phone stuff. I know we can’t help ourselves but we can’t go there. What are you really afraid of? Think about that? That is what they do these days. Would you rather him be having real sex? Even more challenges. If he finds out you snooped you are done. He will

Hate you and set a course for outofcontrolville. He will do everything in his powers to make your life a living hell. He will disconnect from you and connect with his peers who understand parents that betray their trust. Once he connects with them. It is a new game with an entirely new set of rules. I know it is hard but just let him be. If you have trust in him he will trust you. That is what you need to have. So when his life gets really challenging he will come to you for guidance and not that idiot tribe that all think alike. Be confident in your parenting skills and allow him the freedom to make his own decisions and make some mistakes. He will grow. How do you think the sexting conversation will go? What is your outcome? Before you speak think of the outcome and the possible consequences of it. Teens these days know

More about sex than we could know in a millions years. You are a great mom who wants the best for your son and sometimes they is giving them some space. You can love them or control them but you can’t do both. You got this .🤘

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 . Always anonymous.




My son got high before school…Now What?

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Dear Coach Richie: Not a good morning my son got high this morning before school. I confronted him things did not end good. I just want to get in my car and drive away far away

Coach Richie: Yes. Getting high before school. The teenage years. Of course things didn’t end good. Because when you confront a teen in a bad state what do you think their reaction will be. Same as yours. Anger and frustration. Then both of your days are ruined. They are going to do what they are going to to do. They are finding their identity and exploring who they are and what their place in this world will be. This event is in the past so you can’t change it. In the future, you could give this a try. #1 take 24. Take 24 hours to get hold of your emotions and approach this situation from a place of calm and peace. that way he will be calm and peaceful #2 Understand where he is in his life. Empathize with him. You were once a teenager right? Tell him about what you did. Let him know he is not alone and you understand his wanting to try things and experiment. Please no jarring here (judging, Advising or Rescuing). Tell him how you feel about what he is doing. Your emotions, sad, frustration, fear.etc. Then don’t say anything. Give him the space to open up and talk with you instead of talking at him. #3 empower him to come up with a solution to this problem. Give him 24 hours to see if you both can come up with some options to solve this challenge. He will feel in control instead of being controlled. Hope something here works. You can love them or control them but you can’t do both. 🤘  

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 . Always anonymous.



My son’s Mother tries to make him feel guilty for wanting to live with me…Now What?

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Dear Coach Richie: Due to my ex now living with a ex heroin addict who now is apparently on a methadone treatment plan I decided to only allow our 12 year old son to sleep at his mothers 1 night per week. More importantly this is what my son wants too as it’s very stressful for him to be at his mums. There’s also a lot of debt there and she relies on my maintenance payments.

When he stays there for the night all his mum and her boyfriend do is try to make him feel guilty for not wanting to be there. They do not appreciate how he feels and I think they fear that the more he is at mine the less maintenance I have to give my ex. These guilt trips are upsetting my son. How can I try to deal with this?

Coach Richie: The truth is the only way to go. The guilt trips that they are putting your will create a lot of turmoil in his life, especially as he begins his teenage years. He probably feels like he has no control of the situation. Because he really doesn’t. If he doesn’t want to go there than why does he have to? Is it court ordered? Then that should be taken up with the court. If it isn’t and you are saying that he has to spend time with his mom. Unfortunately you are going to end up being the bad guy. Because he is going to find someone that understands him (his friends) that is not good for anyone. That teen tribe will turn your son on you and you will lose him to them. What does that mean? You can probably imagine a pretty dim picture. Lot’s of chaos, anger, violence, trouble with the police, drug use to escape his dreadful world because nobody is listening to what he wants. When he connects with the teen tribe it is entirely different game and the least of your worries will be your ex and the ex addict boyfriend. So what can you do now.

  1. Tell your ex that your son is very uncomfortable going to her house. Because of the guilt trips. You guys both need to have your son’s best interest at heart. If you don’t his future will be very difficult and challenging.
  2. If it isn’t court ordered that he go. Then ask him and let him make that decision. That will make him feel like he has some control over his life when the age he is at he feels as though he has none.
  3. Maybe a cooling off period. Where you explain to your ex how your son feels and let her think about how he feels when they make him feel guilty. What emotions does one feel with guilt. (Sadness, Depression, Anxiety)
  4. Have your son write a note. Yes, pen and paper and let him explain his feelings to his mum on paper.
  5. When you speak with your son and he tells you about how he feels. Just listen, acknowledge his feelings, (something like, Hmmm. That must be very hard when your mum says that, your own language here). With serious conversations like this you don’t want to fix, advise or lecture. (like saying your mum loves you and she really doesn’t mean to do that). Just let him talk and acknowledge his feelings and that is it. That will be a world of difference for him to have a parent that is just listening instead of telling.

Hope you can find something here that will help you. It is challenging, however you sound like an amazing dad who loves his son very much. You got this.

RESPONSE #1: There is no court order and I’ve told him on numerous occasions that if he doesn’t want to go to his mum’s all he has to do is tell me and he doesn’t have too. He is suffering emotional abuse and any more I’ll be stopping him going myself.

Coach Richie Reply #1: I understand. You can see how the guilt is already setting in on him that is why he feels as though he needs to go there. His mum is denying and avoiding because she is only hearing his feelings from you. Once she hears it from your son through a conversation or a letter she may get the big picture. However, Until she hears it from him she will just think you are making it up. Oh yes, She probably is very angry at you because your son wants to stay with you. Another reason to disregard anything you say. She probably is really angry with your son for wanting to stay with you and she can’t hide it so it comes out of her as pushing the guilt upon him. She probably doesn’t even realize she is doing it. Anger is tool that is used to hide our true feelings and emotions. What if you tried another conversation with him and framed it in a different way. It seems to be a problem for him and you. So what if you tried to frame it as a little problem and work together on a solution. When he brings up the guilt, what if you made a statement about what could we do to work together to help his mum understand the comments make him feel sad? He may be open on doing some problem solving to come up with a solution. There a bunch of ways to approach it. Unfortunately, it takes some time to experiment and test options. You will eventually find what works and being resourceful is hard when you feel as though you are up against the clock. All the best,

I’ve spoke to his mother but honestly she either denies everything or doesn’t see the damage she is doing. She is a very difficult woman.

I validate all his feelings and I make sure he knows I’m there to support him and he’s safe with me.

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 . Always anonymous.



I want to shake some sense into my daughter…Now What?

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Dear Coach Richie: Grrrr!!!!!
Today’s my 20 year old daughter’s midterm. She’s currently in bed with a headache, not going to college class today.
I’m angry because she has medication to help with headaches but didn’t think to take them, and has had this headache sense last night. (Her words). I told her to take them and get her ass to school. She told me her teacher already excused her and told her to send her test in, (She has to tell a story in sign language).
If this was an event that was important to her, she’d take her meds and muscle through it. (An event such as a party, hanging out with her friends, something fun to do). She was hanging out with friends all day yesterday. She should’ve been studying.
I want to shake some sense into her! She’s missed 3 days of college in 3 months. Her classes are for an hour two days a week. Ugh! It’s so hard to “parent” an adult. I put quotations around the word parent because I can’t parent an adult.

Coach Richie: Yes, Parenting an adult is almost as challenging as living with an adult child. What makes you so angry about her not taking her medications. Isn’t she old enough to deal with a headache? It is her head that hurts? Why are you letting that effect your state of mind? Do you think she is going to listen to you when you tell he to take them? Would you listen to your mom if she ordered you around that way? She probably sees that as a sign of control. That is sometimes why they will suffer with things just to prove you have no control of them or what they do. My leg is broken and I am not going to the doctor because you said I should. Ok then….let them suffer and be ok with it because they are adults. Not mature but that comes with time. Typically over 26 years old for most children. Maybe she doesn’t care about college? Does she really want to go? I don’t know many people that really liked school. I would have much rather hung out with my friends as well. Why should have she been studying? Do you not believe she is capable of doing the work? Are you a mind reader? We parents are typically guilty of that. I was for years when my kids were that age. What are you afraid of really? That she won’t graduate and will live with you until she is 70? Really what are you afraid of? I would ask myself that question when I want to interfere with her life and decisions. Because she clearly doesn’t care. You want to shake some sense in to her. Listen to the language you are using. Do you really thinks that is what she needs? What if you tried for a couple of weeks not to parent an adult? What if you started to take the pressure off of yourself and off of her and let things be. Honestly, don’t you think she is going to do whatever she wants anyway. The only thing you will get out of it is additional stress, frustration and her wanting to run away from you. The hardest thing we can do as parents is let our older adult children be. Give them the freedom to make mistakes, experience their own lives and cope with the consequences of poor decisions and lack of action. That is a gift we can give to them that will make our lives so much easier. When we let go of the reigns a little bit we make more space in our own lives for more happiness and less needing to shake them out of it. As parents that is all we want is the best for our children and sometimes what is best for them is for us to take a back seat to the life they want to lead. You are an awesome mom with an abundance of love and passion for your daughter well being. Whatever happens you have made the right choice. You got this. 🤘

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 . Always anonymous.


Found Drug Paraphernalia Outside My Son’s Window…Now What?

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Dear Coach Richie: Found a bunch of drug Paraphernalia, pipes, marijuana, papers outside of my 14 year old sons window today. Drug testing him tonight and there will be consequences! Should I let his friends parents know? Or just keep it private? Any advice?

Coach Richie: The consequences should do it. Did your son know that he wasn’t supposed to do drugs? Was he aware of the consequences if he did do drugs? Sometimes as parents we let our emotions get the better of us and react to circumstances that are not within our control. What type of outcome are you looking to have when you give him that drug test. He is doing drugs. You confirmed it now what? What is the long game you are playing. He is 14 years old and at the point where his entire world is in chaos and he is trying to find himself, fit in with others, please his parents and worrying about the future. What is going on in his world that he needs to use drugs. What about if you came from a place of love and understanding instead of where we usually come from as parents. With judgment and punishment. Maybe he is looking for attention. Crying for help. Have you asked him what he needs? You only have a small window of opportunity to help him before he finds guidance, understanding and support from his friends. Then all bets are off. He will be gone for a long time and you will not have any thing to say about. You have an opportunity right now to find out what he needs. An opportunity to listen to him and hear him. see him when he is not being seen and to love him when he doesn’t feel loved. If you tell his friends parents what do you hope to achieve with this. He will hate you even more for dropping a dime on him. Possibly destroying a friendship that a 14 year old’s whole world is about. Do you think he would love you more? or resent you for at least 10 years for doing that. This is an opportunity you have to do something different that most parents won’t do. Get in touch with him and start finding a way to be his friend so he will open up to you when he has challenges in life. What did you need when you were his age? Would you appreciate your parents giving you a drug test and then telling your friends parents. Can’t you just assume that he is probably doing drugs and move forward from there. It is better to love than to be right. You can love them or control them. But you can’t do both. 🤘 You got this.

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 . Always anonymous.


My Daughter is Threatening to kill herself…Now What?

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Dear Coach Richie: Hi! I don’t know how to deal with my 14 years old daughter. She hates me so much because I moved in other country and she’s going now to a new school. She refuses to make new friends, she doesn’t want to speak at all with her new classmates and keep talking all day with her old friends on her phone/internet. She lies to me every single day, if I ask her to do homework or learn something she starts crying and treatened me that she will kill herself. Our house became a madhouse 😭 .
Whatever I talked to her it’s not working, today she took pictures with me and she was laughing with her friends about me 😭
If I shout at her she accusses me of abuse, if I ask her to leave a bit her phone she start crying, she’s crying everyday in the last 2 months.
I don’t know what to do 😭

Coach RICHIE: Have you acknowledged how she feels and sympathized with her? Teenagers entire worlds revolve around their friends. It took them a tremendous amount of work to fit in with a specific peer group to find her identity and become one of them. She feels like her entire world has come to an end. Because of the effort she put in…she feels like she is starting over from square one. As parents we understand why we have to do things but teenagers only see how it is impacting their life. Because that is really all they have is their peers. They live and die by them. Remember when we were teenagers? How important our friends were to us. What would you have done or how would you have reacted if you were moved to another country. The first step in this challenge is acknowledging her feelings, how upset she is. She doesn’t want to hear…you will make new friends, etc. She doesn’t want to hear how it will be better. She is coming from a place where her entire world has been destroyed. So first thing I would do is find a way to acknowledge her feelings, respect her feelings and understand why she is angry. She is going to lie, threaten and manipulate you because in her eyes that is what you had done to her. Sorry. That is how the teenage mind works. Try to stop talking at her and just start listening to her. You have a huge void to cross in trying to get her to trust you and be your friend. You can’t be friends with someone that is always talking at you. Just start listening to her and don’t say anything. A lot of um’s and I see’s will work wonder’s here. She is hurt and feels alone and just wants someone to understand how she feels. BE SOFT. Soft language, go to her with love in your heart. No matter how angry she gets. see the little girl in her that is hurt. I would not even mention making new friends with her. She will figure it out or she won’t. The teenager needs to have peers in their lives. It is unfortunately how they cope and survive. They use them to tell all their problems to because they don’t feel like they can trust their parents. So if you were her right now. Put yourself in her shoes back when you were age. What do you need now? What would you want your parent to say to you or do for you to help you through this difficult transition in your life? That is where you will find your answers. You have the answers inside of you. you know what you need to do but in times of crisis like this we let our emotions take over and they cloud our judgment and as a result we make poor choices that push them further away. What does she need right now? You also have to keep trying different things and all your approaches need to come from a space of love and tenderness. Remember SOFT always wins. Just remember. This too shall pass. You can love them or control them but you can’t do both. All my love and support. Coach Richie

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 . Always anonymous.