Month: May 2017

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Parenting Pointers: Say NO to the Bully

Bullying has taken on a whole new meaning in the past decade and the conditions have changed.  The weapon isn’t a fist or a bat it is the cold heart and unrelenting mouth. The phrase sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me – no they actually hurt you so deeply – they can kill. Point in case, a young girl in Texas had peers create fake profiles set up in her name on dating sites giving graphic descriptions of her name “for a good time”.  The young girl was bombarded with so many inappropriate calls and emails to the point where she took her own life.  These peers thought this was a good “prank” – no this was cyber bullying.
Young people don’t have the fortitude to deal with this. Bullying used to stop at the park or after school now it follows you home it’s in your computer/phone and won’t leave you alone. The demographic of the audience has changed it used to be one on one and now it is open for the public.  Parents and caregivers need more reminders and tools to help them combat.
Here are some helpful tips to combat cyber-bullying:
1.     Always talk to your youth about the importance of knowing who he/she is and talk about the perils of social media including bully examples
2.     Teach them how damaging “made up” stories or distorting the truth can be. This is not a minor “distortion’ and can get out of hand very quickly.
3.     Let them know everything they see on TV and social media isn’t real. A lot of young people believe everything they see to be real.
4.     As parents/caregivers we need to make sure we know what our children are exposed to. Sit down and watch the TV show they are watching with them and ask questions about the topics discussed in the shows to see the perspective of your child.
5.     Know your child’s social media group: look at their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts on a regular basis. You will meet resistance but who is paying for their phone/computer access? In most cases not your child.
6.     Know who your child is “hanging out with” after school and pay attention to changes in your child’s appearance, attitude and disposition.
7.     Teach them how to stand tall in face of adversity by listening closely to what they are saying and seek help from authorities at school or in the community if you feel threatened in any way.
8.     Remember bullying happens in all socioeconomics and demographics – it is not the under-privileged – it can happen to anyone.
I have raised at-risk youth in my home for over 15 years and when we talk a lot.  We talk about how telling lies can be just as harmful as hitting someone with a baseball bat. The visual works.   I teach the youth to listen to what their peers are saying about each other (not just them) because “out of your mouth the heart speaks” – if someone is unkind chances are they can be the same to you.  Remember, a bully is only as powerful as you let him/her be.
Lori Hoff is the CEO and founder of OMI (Outreach Ministries Inc) a nonprofit helping at risk youth OMI is leading the first National Youth Week for across the US on June 13th. Hoff also just released: and author of Teen Code: A Rock-Star’s Life. Hoff  was the Board chair for Big Brothers Big Sisters and established a food pantry for the working poor in Middlesex County.  She also worked with the State of NJ as a therapist for at-risk youth helping them to stay in school and become productive members of society. Along with her nonprofit work she is also a full-time Manager in the Technology And Engineering space for AT&T in Dallas, Texas and was the  National Mentoring officer for Women of AT&T for 4 years.  A Native of Washington, NJ, Hoff graduated from Calvary Theological with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ministry, and earned a Masters in Child and Adolescent Therapy from Cornerstone University.
Connect with Hoff on: Facebook,, Instagram,  Twitter

Website: www.nywusa.com Books will be available at all major bookstores and through Amazon.

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Valder Beebe Show

Lori Hoff talks with Valder Beebe.

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Dallas nonprofit to spearhead National Youth Week in June

Just about any person who spends time with teenagers is likely to say their issues today are more intense, challenging, and even life-threatening than in earlier decades.

Dallas resident Lori Hoff is leading a multicultural, national crusade to equip young people to deal with conflicts, temptations and dilemmas that could derail them as they struggle to grow up whole and healthy.

Hoff wears many hats as both a professional and volunteer, including communications executive, faith minister and youth counselor. For a few years, she has been moving methodically toward launching her first national youth crusade, which is set for next month.

As founder and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Outreach Ministries Inc., she will spearhead the first National Youth Week, June 13-19, in various cities.

The week is designed to teach youths skills for coping with the modern pressures of their lives, including bullying, drugs, sex, gangs and peer pressure. The week also will involve the youths in positive outreach projects that help them see their value to society as they help others and make a difference in the world.

“There are so many negative comments and stories about our young people today,” Hoff said in an interview. “We want to take time out to celebrate their potential and promise. We want to give them tools and action steps in that week that they can continue throughout the year.”

Participants will go to workshops and embark on projects that include visiting the elderly, cleaning parks, and helping food banks feed the hungry. Counselors also will instruct youths on how to ferret out appropriate role models and mentors. And the youths will do activities designed to help them learn to talk to, share their feelings with, and support each other and their peers.

Hoff, who was born in Washington, N.J., says challenges she experienced growing up equipped her to identify with what society calls “at-risk” youths — those whose lives could easily be wrecked by struggles they face. The adults in her life were unstable, emotionally absent; and her one caretaker died. She ended up living alone as a teenager with no support system. But she encouraged herself, earned a master’s degree, and honed her professional and volunteer activities.

“I was in a very dark place,” Hoff said. “I never want anyone to experience what I went through. It made me an advocate for young people.”

Hoff wrote the book Teen Code: A Rock-Star’s Life as a resource book for teenagers and people who influence them, including faith leaders, schoolteachers, and family members. The book shows youths how to gain the satisfaction of living the idealized rock star’s life by using their natural abilities to serve others. The book also presents some biblical principles as basic guidelines for successful living.

The former Big Brothers Big Sisters board chair in Middlesex County, N.J., said the week also will feature the launch of a cellphone app that youths can download, then enter their ZIP code and gain around-the-clock access to area counselors to help them through dilemmas and stressful situations. Future goals include giving adults tools to be better parents, reducing violence toward and among teenagers, and empowering them to move upward “when no one is encouraging you,” Hoff said.

To learn more, visit nywusa.com, call 844-469-9872 (844-4NY-WUSA), or email info@nywusa.com.

By: Norma Adams-Wade, Special Contributor

Original: Column Post

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KMET Radio

Lori Hoff talks with Aaron Sanchez from ABC 1490 AM KMET.

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