Monthly Archives: March 2012

You Can Do It!


How to Talk to Teens

you can do itHave you ever tried to talk to an apathetic teen?  I have.  It is sometimes quite maddening.  Once they are feeling down they will put up all kinds of barriers. They seem to dare you to try to make them feel good.

One of their favorite words is, “Whatever.”  It means, “Whatever you say or do doesn’t get through to me. You can talk all you want, but you can’t breakthrough to me.”

It makes you feel like those old Charlie Brown TV shows.  You could see the teacher talking in the background, but all Charlie Brown could hear was,  “Mwah, mwah, mwah.”  When they are in that ‘whatever’ mode they seem to be deaf to encouragement.


whateverBut having taught teens for decades I have my own rules for ‘whatever’.  My rules go like this.

Whatever you do,  don’t stop talking to them.  They may appear deaf, but they are not.  The world has turned them upside down temporarily, and they are reaching for help. When they appear the most deaf, the most uninterested in what you have to say, is exactly the moment they need you the most. 

They can’t let you know your words are helping.  It’s some kind of teen honor code or something.  But don’t be fooled; they need your words. Much later they may be able to tell you how much your words meant to them.  Or maybe not.  But I’ve worked with teens for decades and I am telling you whatever you do, don’t stop talking.  Here is exactly what to say.

“I’ve been thinking about you.”  Tell them specifically when you were thinking about them.  When you were in the car?  While you were grocery shopping?  During a meeting?  Tell them the details about when you were thinking about them.  They need to know that you think about them when you are not with them.  They want to know they matter to you.  It’s true for their parents.  It’s true for their teachers.

Then say, “It seems like something is on your mind.” or “It seems like something is going on in your life.”  “I’ve been noticing you’ve been extra quiet.  I want you to know that I am always here for you.  You can always talk to me about anything.  But if you don’t want to talk about it yet, I respect your privacy.  Just know that I’m here for you.”

Caution.  If they have shared something with you in the past and you have gone cuckoo about it, they won’t share again.  It is always best to under react to keep the lines of communications open.  Teens have told me things that would curl the toes of the devil himself, but no matter how I’m feeling inside I always under react to an initial revelation.  Later when the situation has improved or changed I might let them know how worried or bothered I was for them.  But I NEVER allow my initial shock to show, so they will feel comfortable approaching me in the future.

 Dauna Easley’s Whatevers

Here are my own ‘whatever’ messages I want teens to learn from me.

  • Whatever life hands you, you can handle it.  Life is a roller coaster filled with ups and downs but you are equipped to hang on and triumph.
  • Whatever happens, you are creative enough to respond to it.  If you lose a job, you can find or create a new profession with your talents.
  • If a new opportunity presents itself, you can do it.
  • Whatever challenges come your way you have the perseverance to overcome them.
  • You are strong.  You are talented.  You are capable.  I believe in you.  You can handle WHATEVER comes across your path.
  • I’ve been thinking about you; and I know you can succeed whatever comes your way.




Yes or No

the choice

The world is full of an endless variety of people.  We come from all cultures, socio economic categories, and experiences.  We further differientiate ourselves by our talents, gender, interests, and professions.

But within all those categories, I believe humans honestly separate themselves into two main groups.  I’m talking about ‘yes’ and ‘no’ people.  These two types are universal.  You will find them within every sub category. They identify themselves by the choices they make.

When given a choice of any kind, ‘yes people’ have an instinct…an automatic response…to say yes.  They have to build a significant case against any choice before they feel comfortable ever saying ‘no.’

Given the same choice, or frankly any decision, ‘no people’ will put on the brakes.  Their automatic instinct is to say ‘no’ unless someone can convince them to overlook their reservations.  They have to be talked into a ‘yes’ and that can only be accomplished with some reluctance.

decision makingThink about yourself.  Which one are you?  ‘Yes’ people often find themselves overbooked, juggling too many responsibilities, maybe even resentful of being asked to take on more projects than they can fit into their lives.

‘No’ people, on the other hand have more free time but may miss an opportunity to grow because they deliberate too long before they are willing to take a risk. They may later regret not moving forward.

 The Choice

I’m a ‘yes person’.  I’ve learned this about myself.  I will find myself sometimes completely overwhelmed because I want to say yes any time I can possibly say yes.  So three months ago when someone who is an old friend emailed me and asked me to co-author an ebook about caring for our elderly parents; while all instincts inside of me were pointing to, “Are you crazy?” I still found myself leaning precariously toward yes.

I started making my checklist. Is this a smart idea?

yes or no

  • I never thought I would write about my mom and dad.  Can I do this?  Would I even want to?
  • I have nothing written about my parents.  It would be so much work.
  • Me?  Writing an ebook?  Have I ever even read an ebook?  No.  (Terrible thing to admit).
  • My computer skills are less than stellar.  Could I write an ebook with my lackluster computer skills?  Probably not.
  • My co-author whom I admire greatly lives all the way across the country.  I live in Cincinnati.  She lives in Seattle.  We would have no face-to-face contact.  Are you kidding?
  • She is talking about webinars and conference calls.  What?  Those words give me chills.

 Decision Making

After weighing all the pros and cons, quickly sketching out a couple of stories,  feeling completely overwhelmed and out of my element, quaking in my desk chair about the technology, I made the only choice that made any sense.   I said “Yes.”

The Result

gratitudeWe did it!  I’m incredibly proud of the stories we’ve written.  I know our experiences will help others who are trying to help their elderly parents make choices about their golden years.

I was in a steep learning curve every step of the way.  Yes, I have already written a book.  But this was my first venture into ebook territory.  It was truly foreign soil for me.  I had to maneuver webinars and conference calls which finally no longer scare me.

My partner, Marky Olson and I, encouraged one another every step of the way.  It seemed like each time one of us was a little discouraged the other would have just the right words to say.  Am I glad I took the risk?  Oh YES!  Our ebook will be out soon.  We are now in the process of  maneuvering through the decisions about the print version of our book.

My best advice?  Say ‘yes‘ whenever you can.

But maybe that’s just me.  I’d rather risk a failure saying ‘yes’ than regret missing a wonderful opportunity by saying ‘no’.  No doubt, I will fail more than most.  But I’ve already admitted I’m a ‘yes person’. I suppose you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day


Happy St. Patrick's Day

What I Like (or not) About St. Patrick’s Day

There are green things I like and some green things that…well, turn me green.  It’s the day to celebrate our photosynthesis friend so I thought I’d take some time to spell out my preferences.

Green Things I Like

Beans, traffic lights, spring grass, peas, mint ice cream, trees, shamrocks,  broccoli, four-leaf clovers, money…lots of green money and pistachio pudding please.

 Green Things I Don’t Like  

Leftovers, brussel sprouts, slime, green complexions, jealousy, turnip and collard greens, and guacamole.   Being pinched for not wearing green.  Ouch. I also don’t like too much lettuce in my salad bowl. Thank you very much.

Irish Things I Love

Potatoes (any kind), luck, leprechauns, and my grandkids.

Winning the Lottery


Turn Your Losses Around

Do you buy lottery tickets?  Truth is I don’t.  But my brother does.  Recently he sent in a losing ticket to the Ohio Lottery center.  They receive 25,000 losing tickets each week and draw out eight people to come to a TV show called Cash Explosion.

I’ve written a post for my other blog site that I know you will enjoy.  I’m not certain if I’m allowed to copy a blog post from one spot to another, even if I wrote it.  Since I’m a play-by-the-rules kind of a gal, even if I’m not sure of the rules, I’m asking you to visit my other blog site to read my post.

Here are a couple of teasers and a promise

  • I went to the filming of the Cash Explosion show with him.
  • He won money!
  • But I won something more valuable than cash.
  • I promise you’ll like my true story

When you visit my other blog you will see old black and white photos across the top.  The two photos on the right are old pictures of my parents.  The blog I want you to read is titled “How I Won the Lottery!”  But there are some other great posts there also.

Find the blog site at:


Horn Honking Ettiquette


The Good Manners Guide to Honking

Geese may honk.

Let me start by saying I never dreamed I’d have to write such a ludicrous post.  But recent experiences and absurdities have clearly proven to me that someone is going to have to have the guts to clarify to the world in written form, simple courtesies that used to be obvious to people with good manners.  But proper ettiquette behind the steering wheel seems to have flown out the exhaust pipe.

                    If you are a goose, you may honk at anytime.

For geese, honking is their only means of communication so human rules do not apply to them. Honk away if you are a goose.

If you are driving down the road and see a friend, you may give a friendly short honk and a wave.  Even if you don’t know the person, a short toot and a wave with a smile is considered a friendly greeting. A long honk with another gesture demonstrates you have no couth whatsoever.

A short honk and a wave is always welcome

A wave is always welcome!

If you are driving in a traffic jam and choose to honk your horn in frustration, you are proving your parents lacked the initiative to teach you about courteous behavior.  You are announcing to the world that you don’t know how to act in civilized society. Who are you honking at?  Where should they go?  Honks in a traffic jam only raise the stress level and blood pressure for everyone.  Keep thy hand off the horn!  Listen to music or a book on tape.  Practice acting like an adult. Grow up.

Honking in a Traffic Jam Only Makes It Easy to Identify the Fools

Why are we honking horns to lock car doors?

Do you have a door lock on the inside of the car?  Push it down.  Do you have a button on the inside of the door?  Push it.  It takes only the tiniest pressure from one finger NOT to hit your remote key and make everyone else around you jump because they aren’t expecting a honk.

Honking the horn to lock your car door is like having an argument on your cell phone in an elevator.  You are the only one prepared for the noise and intrusion so it is inconsiderate toward everyone else.  My former car would flash the lights to let me know it was locked.  My current car makes a honking sound if I use the remote.  Is this progress?  No.  I won’t use the remote to lock my door out of consideration toward others.  It is a small courtesy I can extend and I accept that responsibility.

Does it take a horn blare to lock a car? No.

Most Important Rule! 

At an Intersection, The Person in Front Decides When to Go

 That’s why they are in front.  They waited their turn to be first. They have a brain and a driver’s license.  Do not honk at them if they hesitate for a split second as they check oncoming traffic.  Who do you think you are?  In case you have forgotten your identity, I will remind you.  If you are second in line and honking, you are a rude nincompoop.

Last week I was at the intersection next to the Columbus, Ohio Convention Center.  A HUGE event was taking place.  Large buses were stopping along the sidewalk to drop off hundreds, even thousands of young people.  The light turned green.  The driver next to me did not move forward because dozens of children were in the cross walk in front of us. He couldn’t possibly move forward without running over a child. A charter bus unloading more young people blocked his vision to even turn right if the cross walk were empty. And yet the fool behind him was honking the horn. I wanted to run this nut’s driver’s license through a shredder.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated event.  When did we become so impatient that we have to hit the horn the second the light turns green?  Why don’t we think of that as rude?  IT IS OBNOXIOUS!  It’s no different than knocking someone over on purpose and then walking on without an apology.

Yes, I admit, I like my remote key chain.  I feel safe unlocking my car as I approach it without having to fumble for a key in an urban parking garage.   But I want my next remote key to only flash the lights to signal that the locks are engaged  like my last one did.

 However, I also want my next car to have a new and now necessary feature.  I want a button I can push from inside the car that will release the rancid smell of a skunk from my exhaust pipe to annoy anyone behind me who honks as I pause to check the intersection.  A girl can dream.  Go ahead and honk.  Make my day.  SPRAY!