Kids Are Not Cookies

Time Aparts, Not Time Outs

Kids are not cookies, and cookie cutter approaches are not effective. Understanding the effects of timeouts, and the theory and reasoning behind them will help us as adults make best decisions on helping our youth.

We must recognize that most kids who “act out” do so, because they are unable to verbalize their thoughts and emotions. They are in crisis, and they respond with fight, flight, or freeze. The others who act out may have witnessed the inappropriate behavior, which has been ignored and/or brought them attention, money, fame, etc.

We must listen. Actively. To our children, and one another. Then we create an action plan, and create “policies and budgets” that help us bring that plan to fruition.


Excerpts from the linked article by Claire Gillespie

“If (the child) leave(s) the spot before time is up, you must take them back, as often as necessary — while refusing to engage in any conversation. When the timer goes off, you reiterate why they were there, tell them to apologize for their behavior and give them hugs and kisses so they know you still love them.”

“Parenting experts have criticized the timeout technique in recent years, saying that it might neglect a child’s emotional needs. Most experts agree that punishment is harmful to a child’s emotional development and that isolation — the defining quality of the timeout technique — is a form of punishment.”

“Children experience feelings of isolation and abandonment when placed in time out… There is loss of contact, which can also be interpreted as loss of a parent’s love, especially for younger children. Kids who are sent to their room often believe their isolation is a result of being bad enough that parents do not want to be around them.”

“(Timeouts) can be particularly risky for kids who have a predisposition to anxiety…isolation may increase their fears, and the more anxious they become, the more likely they may be to exhibit behavioral outbursts, such as destroying their toys or room during a timeout.”

“Healthy humans are social creatures… We rely on others for physical survival and emotional support, which means when we are involuntarily cut off from other human beings, psychologically painful feelings of loneliness and anxiety arise. In children, this is amplified by their belief that they are helpless in the world without their parents to help them. The threat of separation from those who protect them can cause severe anxiety and psychological discomfort in a child.”

“…regular reliance on the timeout technique can have long-lasting negative effects. “A child who experiences frequent threats of (or actual) abandonment by their parent will build a model of the world in which they have no firm anchor of support,” Haas writes. “They have learned they must conform to the views of others in order to survive, and are thus more likely to grow up feeling insecure and powerless.”

“Kids don’t have the advanced cognitive skills to think abstractly… Emotional modulation and regulation occurs with development of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain which doesn’t fully develop until adolescence.” This means putting a child by themselves in a timeout situation and telling them to think about what they’ve done is generally a waste of time. “If you ask the child why they are in timeout, they usually say ‘I don’t know,’”

“Many parenting experts advocate “time-in” as a healthier behavior strategy. It involves sitting with your children when they misbehave, talking them through their emotions and helping them to learn to harness those big feelings they don’t yet understand.”

“To help a child grasp why their behavior is not appropriate, (go) to the child’s eye level, (speak)in a calm, soft voice, (explain) what the child is doing and why they shouldn’t do it, and (suggest) an acceptable alternative.”

“Some kids can be overstimulated or overwhelmed by the emotions of those around them, which may lead them to respond in ways that can be misconstrued as defiance or misbehavior. However, if timeouts are used as a way to give the child a calmer environment, the parent should remain with the child at all times, and maintain a calm, loving demeanor to help them calm down.”

“It can be helpful to remove the child from the party or movie or play or whatever is causing the problem and go to a place which is more quiet and calm… Hopefully, the parent will be open to hearing the child’s point of view about the situation and open to trying to understand why they did what they did.”

“The parent can then calmly explain why they thought the child’s behavior was inappropriate or dangerous. This is an opportunity for both the parent and child to better understand each other and learn from each other — an opportunity which is missed if the parent chooses to isolate themselves from their child.”


A Survivor’s Story. Part One

We met at the University where we had some mutual friends.  He was in a band.  He played the keyboard.  Later he learned the bass.

I was a musician too.  I was  in the rotation schedule for leading the Worship Team at the Friday night fellowship that I attended.

He let me borrow his car for errands, because he didn’t use it, since he walked everywhere, or took the bus.

I usually walked, rode my bike, or took the bus, and the car was helpful for trips out of town.

He argued that homeless people should not be turned away at the meals after Sunday morning church service.

I argued the same.

I believed everyone should be able to make a joyful noise into the Lord.

He disagreed.  But it was minor.

He was an East Asian Studies major, and I was an Asian-American Studies major.

We ended up taking the Summer Intensive Japanese course…. all day long, five days a week.  On the first day of class, the teachers cautioned us: “Be careful.  You will be spending a lot of time with each other.  You might end up getting married.” I laughed out loud.

In retelling the story, he would say that he turned around that day to see who it was that had been so offensive.  It was me.

I was a challenge.

I had grown up with the Fairy Tales… the Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel tales that told of how the white knight in shining armor would appear to rescue the damsel in distress.

I grew up with tales of how in China, my family ancestors were emperors, and had I been born long ago, I would have been a real life princess.

He was a martial artist.

My father studied martial arts.

He was confident.  He was strong.  He was handsome. He was my prince, and I was his princess.

We became pregnant.  We got married.  We had the baby.  We moved in with my mother-in-law and lived in the caretaker’s cottage on the property.

It was difficult for me, so we moved back to our University town.

I remember, it was idyllic when we moved back into our own apartment.

I remember when the neighbors called law enforcement because of an argument we had.  We told the officers it was just an argument.

He had pushed me and hurt my arm.

Then, our second son was born.

And that was when the real trouble began.  He hit the baby so hard that the baby turned purple.  I was unable to make a trip to see my parents and my childhood dance teacher.

I thought something was wrong.

But, we moved.  To another apartment.  Partially it was because we were now a family of four in a one-bedroom apartment, and according to Codes, that was too many people for a 1-bedroom apartment.

We were both college graduates, and we had two children.  He was 27 and I was 24.  Our parents were married to one another, we had siblings.  None of our siblings were married.  He was the oldest in his family, and I was the youngest.  I went back to school, earned my teaching credential, and started teaching.

He stayed home with the babies, and we joked that he was the “housedad”, and why wasn’t it okay for us to have reversed roles?

We were movers and shakers, bringing outdated traditions into the 21st Century.

–End Part One–


“Endings Bring Merry Beginnings”

The Divorce Story and Thanksgiving Day – A Time for Reflection

**Warning:  Reader Discretion Advised – contains Real Talk regarding human sexuality**

The Divorce – The Power of a Name Changer

Seven years ago, on this evening, I spent my last day as a Samson.  Tomorrow would be the day that my divorce was finalized, and the Judge would grant me permission to return to my maiden name.

It seems odd, thinking back now, that someone has the power to approve, or disapprove my name, for that matter anyone’s name.  Thinking back to Angel Island, and the immigration of countless Chinese immigrants, whose names were written at the convenience of the immigration officials, and perhaps also to their dismay when they heard names the could not understand being spoke to them in broken tongue.  My cousins have the name “Ju”, while we have the name “Chew”.  The Chinese character is the same, but the American spellings vary from Chu to Chiu to Zhu to Jiu to Zhao to Chao and on and on.

So on this night, when many people are thinking of holiday turkeys, I am remembering the divorce.  Ironically, this is the same day that I am thinking of the end of my second relationship after my divorce.  The first ended when my fiancee hit me.  And denied it.  After his shock of realizing that I was not returning, and actually leaving, he refused to give me money for the trailer that was mine (a truck bed trailer), the washer that was mine, and the bed that was mine.  It was a disappointment.  In the end, I decided that pursuing any sort of legal action was not worth it.  Not because it was not my right to reclaim my property, but simply because going to Court is exhausting.  And expensive. And frustrating.  Especially when you have a lawyer who attempts to seduce your boyfriend (not the fiancee, but this was the fellow in the second relationship that I just spoke of, who is one of the individuals not preparing for Thanksgiving, because he is British.  And Brits don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.)

This is the second break up in the eleventh month, just seven years apart.  And I feel fine.

We Don’t Know What We Are Doing, Nor Why We Are Doing It

The Bible talks about having the gift of singleness.  Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible alludes to overpopulation and the problems of moving too quickly.  Judy Blume’s Forever talks about how love really isn’t forever… it’s just the transfer of physical needs placed upon another human being.

When I was a student at the University, I learned that boys think with their penises.  It wasn’t love, like the TV shows portrayed.  It was the need to rub their penis on  (in) something warm and inviting, and to ejaculate.  The need for physical relief was so great, that these boys would consume alcohol to convince themselves that the girl they were with was enough for them.  The need was so great for the girls, that they would fool themselves into thinking that they were dressing up for themselves, because they wanted to wear what they wanted to wear.

We lied to ourselves.

Thanksgiving Message

Here is what I want to say to anyone who is listening:

  1. Stop talking.  Listen.  Actively.
  2. You don’t owe anyone anything.
  3. People do the best that they can do.
  4. Many people are afraid, and don’t know that they are afraid, or refuse to believe that they are afraid.
  5. We have forgotten how to think.  In fact, our systems work to ensure that we don’t remember how to think.
  6. We need to respect and honor:  Creativity, Humanity, Empathy, and Wisdom
  7. Be methodical.
  8. You are amazing, beautiful, and intelligent.
  9. People lie.
  10. Believe in yourself, and you can do anything.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and to all.

Wishing you peace and a happy healthy days,

/Felicia 🙂

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life. Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”

Help End Systemic Domestic Violence:

Stand Up, Speak Up. End Systemic Bullying, Systemic Racism, Systemic Domestic Violence

Electeds, friends, community members: I charge you with ending systemic bullying, systemic racism, and systemic domestic violence.

Fact: There is a dark side to victims of bullying, non-physical aggression, including threats and intimidations.  Eventually, they have enough, they rise up, and take matters into their own hands.  Then, they are blamed and shamed, and people wonder how the nice person went into a “psychotic episode.”

We are all too familiar with sayings like:

“The straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“Nice guys finish last.”

Which may result in victims’ and allies’ sayings like:

“F@%! the system!”
“No one else gives a $***, so beat the M#%÷F#%$÷= up!”

And people comment:

“My, that escalated quickly.”
“It was just a joke.”

People don’t really care about the victim, or the perpetrator…. Because people are no longer taught empathy, and because human relationships are lacking… in fact destroyed… by the very systems that are supposed to be protecting the people.

Systems are made for convenience. Meetings are held at times that people cannot attend.  Accommodations must be fought for.  People are shamed with comments like:

“If it was important to you, you would make time for it.”

Electeds, friends, community members, It is time to say #Enough; time to #SpeakUp.  #IfNotYouThenWho #RealHelp #SafetyPinNationTimeToDoTheRightThing #StopTheBlame #StopTheShame #FixTheSystem

Equity – You’re doing it wrong.

Equity is not the same as equality.

Equity balances out the playing field and bursts through glass ceilings.

Equity allows folks who were given the short end of the stick to make up ground that was lost due to having the short end of the stick.

Equity happens, and people used to “equality” use their inequitable resources to try to expand the gap.

People used to “equality” distract those who are starting to learn about “equity”, and people trying to educate about “equity” end up in a huge distracted argument.

Equity – you’re doing it wrong.

Equity – you are trying to use the same tools that Equality uses (and we already know that Equality’s tools don’t work for Equity).


Take a breath.

Don’t panic.

Refocus yourself, Equity, and introduce your perspective, your tools.

Equity, you must create new Tools that are equitable parts Courageous, Assertive, Patient, Tolerant, allowing for Sadness, Hope, Anger, Reality, Empathy.

“Gun sense,” not “Gun control”

Regarding “gun control”.

Any type of “control” in regards to another human being just does not sit well with me these days…

We need “gun sense”… not “gun control”.

We need more programs that educate our community about mental health, and explain the need for power and control.

We need to stop the shaming and the blaming that leads to a sense of hopelessness, and crises situations that result in fight, flight, or freeze.

A $3 programming fee could accompany all weapons purchased, and a $3 penalty fee could be assessed on individuals charged with threats and intimidation, emotional and verbal abuse, and bullying (some of those need to make it to the statutes). Those penalty and programming fees would be used for the programming described above.

Yes, gun owners should be responsible; it is also time to hold our community responsible.

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life; without each of us our picture is incomplete.”

We must hold one another accountable for emotional and verbal abuse

Trans teen kills self while on suicide watch.  Nurse kept calling him a girl.

When we entrust others with our most precious gifts… and they fail us…. Hospital nurses kept calling a trans teen who was on suicide watch — a girl.

My heart is so sad. This is an older article, but this type of avoidable tragedy still happens daily. I don’t know the outcome of this case; I hope the Nurse accepted responsibility and has changed her practices. I hope the hospital’s hiring, training, and retention staff changed their practices. If they did not, I hope they were moved to another post.

The mother forgave. Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting.

We must remember…

1. Anxiety in emotional health and mental health lead to suicides.

2. People who shame and blame others lead to suicides.

3. People who are in a position to make changes to policies and budgets, but do not… are responsible for suicides.

4. We, as a society, are responsible. It is not a red thing or a blue thing. It is a human thing.

5. We must choose to honor and support those who foster creativity + humanity + empathy + wisdom.

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.  Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”

A Message to Victims and Survivors of Domestic Abuse

You’re NOT crazy. You are beautiful, intelligent, amazing.

You are suspicious (that is normal due to what you have experienced).

You are hypersensitive and hypervigilant (also normal, due to what you have experienced).

Trust your gut.
Feel the earth beneath you.

I am sorry for what you have had to experience.

It is not your fault.

We do the best that we can.

You are beautiful.
You are intelligent.
You are amazing.
❤ ❤ ❤

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life; without each of us our picture is incomplete.”

Spanking Children — Don’t Do It. Ever.

We must release our egos and allow growth and creativity.

“Aversive disciplinary strategies, including all forms of corporal punishment and yelling at or shaming children, are minimally effective in the short-term and not effective in the long-term. With new evidence, researchers link corporal punishment to an increased risk of negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional outcomes for children.”

American Academy of Pediatrics

At last, research from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding shaming and blaming.  When we couple this with ACES and Arnold Lobel’s “The Bad Kangaroo” in Fables, that describes the child who put thumbtacks on the furniture because his parents did, we can see even more clearly that as grown-ups, we must set a “good example” of being responsible, accepting responsibilities and perspectives of others.

We must stop the blaming and stop the shaming.

“We know that the brain does not grow and develop as well once there has been physical punishment to the point where it can cause learning problems, problems with vocabulary and memory, as well as aggressive behavior.”

Academy of American Pediatrics

We must recognize that all of us do the best that we can.  All of us.  Even those who are deemed to be “lazy”.

Suspend Disbelief.  Stop putting yourself, and others, in a box.  Live in harmony.

People often categorize themselves as “optimists” or “pessimists”. Why do we have to be wholly one or the other?

The teaching of harmony, and the image of the yin-yang symbol, understand that there is a little of the “other side” in a “side”.

  • It is necessary to embrace this understanding, and it is taught in many cultures.  Some of the words make some of us bristle due to implicit bias, prejudice, and learned behavior.
  • It is necessary to teach our children, and our selves, to think.
  • It is necessary to recognize that some adults never matured emotionally.
  • It is necessary to provide space and opportunity for all of us to grow our emotional selves to match our physical selves.

We can (we must) teach ourselves and our children to be responsible and accept responsibility.

We must release our egos and allow growth and creativity.

Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Creativity + humanity + empathy + wisdom

A Government Should (and Should Not)…

Freedom BECAUSE of Government (not Freedom IN SPITE of Government)

“Why learn to fight?”

“So you don’t have to fight.”

(from The Karate Kid)

This is similar to the sentiment that should be held about being in a position of governance:

“Why be in a position of governance?”

“So we can give people back the power to govern.”

(From Vote Felicia Chew,

Here is what a government SHOULD do:

  1. A government should provide SUPPORT to the people who it is given to govern.
  2. A government should provide a Hand Up.
  3. A government should EMPOWER the people.
  4. A government should be working BEHIND THE SCENES to keep things moving smoothly.
  5. A government should provide the ability to all people to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Here is what a government should NOT do:

  1. A government should NOT “control” the people.
  2. A government should NOT provide Hand-Outs.
  3. A government should NOT create people who are DEPENDENT on the government.

Our country should not be ABOUT the government.  The Government should be ABOUT the people.

Vote Felicia Chew for 2020 Pima County Supervisor, District 3 and 2020 Amphitheater Public School Board Governing Member

Creativity + humanity + empowerment + wisdom

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life,  without each of us our picture is incomplete.”