Leave This Teen Alone!

Dec 24

Leave me alone,
Get off of my case,
I’m over 16,
Get out of my face!Poetry about a bully teen

Leave me alone,
But let me be clear,
I welcome some freedom,
But don’t disappear.

Leave me alone,
But please not tonight,
I’m calling from jail,
I’ve been in a fight.

Leave me alone,
And I’ll die in this place,
Can’t you see fear,
All over my face?

Leave me alone,
But please don’t forget,
I look like a man,
But I’m not a man yet.

Leave me alone,
But please mom and dad,
I need my parents,
Before things get bad.

Leave me alone,
But please keep me close,
These are the years,
I need you the most.

 

Steve

From a teen’s point of view, they want freedom but not abandonment. How many parents see our growing kids as adults once they look like an adult? How many of us let our teens have everything their way once they turn 16? How many of us think our teens just need to “figure it out.” Teens might want their freedom but they need discipline. They need guidance. They need parents.

Fact is, a young adult mind is not fully developed until somewhere past the age of 25. We can give them freedom but we can’t give them up. Keep them close. Our job as a parent is not to be out children’s buddies but to be our children’s teacher.

Okay, sounds a bit like a preach session here but this is important. So are  our kids. Just be there.

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Drop a Pebble in the Pond

Sep 24

“Drop a pebble in the pond”
The wise man told the boy.
“And watch the endless circles,water-rain-drops-ripples-blue-7417702
As the ripples spread with joy.”
 
“Then try to stop them quickly,
Stop those ripples if you can.
And see what really happens,
Catching ripples with your hand.”
 
So I dropped the little pebble,
In the pond as smooth as glass,
And tried to stop the ripples,
With each and every pass.
 
“This act is really foolish,
I can’t make ripples stop!
You cannot stop a ripple,
Once you let the pebble drop.”
 
“Precisely” said the wise man,
To the young and curious lad,
“One can’t undo an action,
Be it good or be it bad.”
 
 
 
As history repeats itself, some of us learn and some of us don’t. Like our words, our actions are not retrievable. Choose your words carefully. Choose your actions even more carefully.
 
The essence of this writing is an old Chinese parable. Quite amazing how even the oldest of words still have wisdom we can use today. Do you have an idea for a poem you would like to submit to A New Kind of Poetry? Drop me a note!
 
Steve 
 
Copyright 2014 © Steve Dahl
 
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I Am My Daughter’s Bank

Sep 01

She looks at me warmly,
With her sweet baby blues,
And I hand her some cash,
And she buys some new shoes.
 
I look like her dad,
But I feel kind of blank,bride
As I hand her more money,
I’m becoming her bank.
 
I’m her ATM Dad,
I’m her angel investor,
I’m her blank kind of check,
It’s MY credit I hand her.
 
I’ve created a monster,
Who feeds on my cash,
She’s ruined her credit,
And her life’s in the trash!
 
She’s dependent on me,
On my neck there’s a noose.
We’re both in too deep,
But I can’t cut her loose.
 
If I just cut her off,
From her frivolous spending,
She’ll resent me forever,
But my cash flow is ending.
 
I’ve my own bills to pay,
And she wants a new car,
How come I’m now the jerk?
This has gone way too far.
 
I’m her lottery winnings,
I’m no longer just Dad,
I’m her loan officer,
And for that I feel bad.
 
If I could go back,
To my parenting days,
I’d teach her of money,
And responsible ways.
 
For that, she won’t like me,
Might even get mad,
But she’ll learn self-reliance
From her teacher called… Dad.
 
 
Steve
 
Is it so wrong to give your children everything you never had? Wrong, no, effective no. Just think if you could go to the bank and borrow money, interest free, with no real deadline to pay it back. Wouldn’t that be sweet? Would you ever learn to be responsible with money?
 
That’s the business relationship we sometimes set up with our children when they don’t have any responsibility or accountability for their financial IQ. Let them learn. Let them earn. It might be a bit uncomfortable in the short run but they will thank you in the long run. And it’s the long run that matters. 
 
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This Un-Mindful Pace

Aug 27

If I pause for a moment,
To dwell on your word,A New Kind of Poetry - Mindfulness Requires a Little Pause
I ‘d listen more deeply,
And you could be heard.
 
We can’t keep on running,
This un-mindful pace,
We’re so disconnected,
It’s all over your face.
 
Let’s hit the pause button,
We know where it’s at,
It’s in between ears,
And beneath our big hat.
 
If we both pause together,
Then we won’t pull apart,
Then we both listen better,
As we hear with our heart.
 
We can both listen deeply,
With a mindfullness cause,
Take a breath – then another,
With a button called…
 
Pause. 
 
 
Steve
 
Okay, take a breathe! And another…. I’ve been taking this great class on mindfulness from Megan Leuchars and Christy Cassisa with UCSD Center for Mindfulness. It’s been a lot of meditating and a little yoga and a lot of shutting up and listening! Sometimes all we need to do is hit the pause button and our entire life can change.
 
You might want to check out this course in San Diego. Here’s the link. Even if you don’t live around here you can play their 10, 20 and 40 minute meditations and body scans right here: http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/mindfulness/mbsr/Pages/default.aspx.
 
Any ideas for A New Kind of Poetry? Send ’em over!  
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Wolves at The Office!

Aug 24

There’s a battle raging down the hall,
Two wolves fight and one will fall.
This battle is for – your company soul,
The winning wolf will take control.
 Wolves pair
One wolf is evil, he’s filled with pride,
His fangs are poised – not on your side,
He’s jealous, greedy, manipulative too,
He’s arrogant and sneaky, while working for you.
 
He’s nasty, slippery, covert at times,
He’s constantly stepping over the lines,
One wolf is good, he has no need,
To injure a person, or make you bleed.
 
He’s kind, friendly, never acts mean,
He’s honest, respectful and cares for your team.
He’s truthful, helpful to all he will meet,
He’s confident, focused and quick on his feet.
 
These two combatants determine success,
One is for progress and one makes a mess.
So which of these wolves will you give control,
And allow to establish – your company soul?
 
Which one will win?
Is the question indeed,
And the answer depends,
On which one you feed!
 

Steve

Copyright © 2014 Steve Dahl

This is about bullies in the workplace, the people who REALLY run your business. Who do you let get away with this stuff? Who is really in control? Do the aggressors win? Do the extroverts call the shots? Do you hear from the small voices or does the squeaky wheel get all the oil?

Consider what behavior is rewarded in your organization. Do you model respect? Do you have a safe organization where creativity is free to express? Is failure encouraged? Is failure too risky? Does anyone dare to stick their neck out to find a better way or is that way too risky?

Do the big dogs squash spirits and squander creativity? Are the alpha males leading the pack? Is there a pack mentality that makes speaking up risky? Are you paying a lot of people to remain silent because you don’t dare confront the bully that’s really calling the shots? Leadership sets the culture. Who do you feed?

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Money Doesn’t Grow on me!

Aug 20

Money doesn’t grow on trees – I said,
And my son looked so confused.
“What does that mean?” he said to me,
That’s when I blew my fuse.Grouchy boy

If I give in and give you cash,
We know how fast you’ll burn it,
If I say “no” you’ll have to think,
And maybe you’ll go earn it.
 
Yes you’ll be mad at stingy Dad,
Your friends will call me crazy,
But we both know when I say “Yes”,
It tends to make you lazy.
 
So this hurts inside as I stare you down,
You’re abhorred at my defiance,
But I don’t give in, it’s my job you see,
To teach you – self-reliance.
 
See I’m your father, not your friend,
And at times I do get – wordy,
But you need to learn this money thing,
So you don’t move home at thirty.
 
 
Steve
 
Believe me, I was not the perfect parent. But looking back on what it took to get our children to that point of self-reliance I think it was a little luck, a great partnership with a wife using the same playbook as I was and the ability to say no. I believe our first and most important job as a parent is teaching.
 
When we have the courage to say no when we need to – with a loving heart of course and when we know how to be a better teacher than a best friend to a child that desperately needs to learn life skills, our children will learn to be become not just financially responsible but responsible in all areas of their lives.
 
But, wait a second, let me amend one of those comments. It’s not just a parent’s courage to say “No!” it’s really more about saying, “What’s your plan?”  “Sure you can do that, sure you can buy that, sure you can… AND what’s your plan?”
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