Tag Archives: Ilene Dillon MSW


With some time off for most of us, I wanted to remind you to take me-time, laugh and play time, and alone time for you and for your kids. Ilene Dillon said it best.

Laugh and reblog on www.parents-are-people-too.com

Hi Ho, Hi Ho! It’s Off To Play We Go!

By: Ilene Dillon

Raising my children in the 70′s and early 80′s, it was possible in the area where we lived for them to do play on their own. My daughter rode her pony in the woods (starting at age 10), my son rode his bike (via the back streets, which I taught him how to do) to the next town over to his school when he was in second grade. Much like the experiences I had on my grandparent’s farm when I was growing up, they had the opportunity to meet the world without the watchful or protective eye of an adult on them. This happens more when you are a single parent (which I was), yet I made a point of helping them to have solitary time away from me whenever I could.

Children NEED this type of time in order to connect with their deeper self. To me, it’s a tragedy that most children, today, never have such an opportunity. When kids can spend time alone, they develop the ability, little by little, to care for themselves, develop confidence, make decisions and grow to respect their own decisions. Allowing our children to venture into the neighborhood is not so much about “age” as it is about:

  • what kind of neighborhood we’re in
  • what kind of relationship we have with others in our neighborhood
  • how much decision-making responsibility we have allowed to our child previously
  • whether there are trustworthy older children to watch out for the younger ones
  • if our child wants to venture out alone.

This will be different ages for different children. Parents are best to assess these different factors, and then check in with their own gut. My children, at the age of 13, had grown to the point that they did some international travel on their own. My daughter spent a week in London, England, doing a homestay with a family with children her age. My son traveled for a weekend to Kangaroo Island (from Adelaide) Australia on an organized trip, while I taught a workshop in Adelaide. They both did beautifully. They came back to me feeling strong and empowered.

Thirteen is one of the two ages (4 and 13) during which children explore “power.” It was perfect for them. Start small, allow bigger as your trust–and theirs–develops. I always told my children I would trust them to the point they demonstrated to me they could not handle it. Then, we would go back to an earlier level of freedom, and they could work their way up once again!

Yesterday, my son sent me a video of my granddaughters, ages 7 and 5, touring me through their new Forest Service cabin in the Sierra mountains. “Grammy,” said the older girl, “the best thing about this place is that we can go out into the trees and be alone!” Her father commented that it was a great thing not to have a parent around every single second. She was grinning at the thought.

About The Author

Ilene L. Dillon, M.S.W., M.F.T., and L.C.S.W. If raising a child “takes a village,” how many light workers does it take to create global human transformation? Ilene Dillon, M.S.W., is such a worker, dedicating herself for over 40 years as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist and Coach, intent on helping people–and our world–to achieve transformation.

Parents Are People Too Thoughts

I was lucky enough to grow up in a small town were I was free to roam.  My kids were also raised in a similar town.  So agree with Ilene that children of today have lost something.
One suggestion to provide at least a bit of alone time is to have quiet and alone  home time.  I recently throw a sheet over our dining room table and had my three year old grandson take some private and alone time in his “Cave.”  He loved it. Didn’t want to come out.

Stay strong

Make it a goal for the coming  week-end to figure out somewhere your family can go and safely take some alone-time. Remember to share and care. Thank you for all you do and thank Ilene for her wise thoughts.


I have been blasted for suggesting a marital arts solution to the growing violence in our world.  Those who understood read my entire post or knew the power Aikido.  Plan to take a break by visiting an Aikido DoJo.

in defense of aikido

To defend myself I had to go looking for more Aikido stories and comments.  I liked this statement by Rocky Izumi:

I will try and paraphrase something that Tohei Akira sensei once said:

On the mats, or outside, one should try and achieve harmony. In the dojo, we hope there are no crazies so we should not act crazy. Outside is another matter. There are many crazies out there and we should harmonize with them also. In the street, use street technique. If the person is a little crazy, you should also be a little crazy.

That one reminded me of a woman who worked for me.  My staff often had to work in unsafe parts of the South Bronx.  Often they went where the police wouldn’t go.  Then they could have  security guards walking with them.  This woman always refused the guards.

I worried about her and one day she told me, “Don’t worry, Katherine. When I walk those streets I always make myself into a crazy woman, I pull my hat down, mutter to myself and look like the craziest bag woman around. The bad guys give me a wide berth.”

A fellow Social Worker and now the host of Internet radio’s Full Power Living show, Ilene Dillon, MSW (emotionalpro.com & raiseincrediblekids.com) sent me this story of how she used Aikido to tame a group of wild teenagers bent on being nasty:

….during my internship placement at Catholic Social Services in San Rafael, California, I was assigned to run a group for 12-14 adolescent boys, ages 12-13. My co-leader was Pat, a warm and gentle man who was doing community service as a Conscientious Objector during the Vietnam War. We were enjoying working together with a group of boys who had moderately severe emotional problems, and who could sometimes be rowdy.

On one particular Friday I learned that Pat would be unable to lead the group that day. With only a fifteen-minute warning, I prepared myself to lead the group alone.

The boys, already assembled, were whispering and laughing when I entered the room. I noted that they were eyeing me in an unusual way, then snickering together. Listening carefully, I determined that they had been making plans for something. Shortly the boldest of the group stepped forward and informed me that they were planning to attack me and remove my clothing. He moved toward me, ready to begin the attack.
One year of studying Aikido is not really much, but I realized it was all that I had.

I centered myself, took a firm stance, and attempted one of the moves I had learned. The young man fell to the floor. He got up, eager to close in for the “kill” and came after me again. Once again, using another move, I applied pressure on his hand in such a way that he fell to his knees, unable to do anything but pay attention to the discomfort in his wrist. He quit the field.

In their turn, three more boys came after me, fortunately not all at once. With each one of them, I used what I knew of Aikido, leaving them flat on their backs on the floor.

As this happened, they became curious. Finally the first boy said, “How do you do that, anyway?”

I informed him that I was using Aikido, something I had been studying recently. I told him if they would stop their aggressive actions toward me, I would teach them some of what I knew. The boys eagerly agreed and we spent the rest of our therapy time doing “Aikido rolls,” learning to “move from center,” and other basic things I had learned from Mr. Nadeau. The crisis was averted. Patrick returned the following week; and the boys in the group kept working until they graduated.

ParentS “Take a Break’ Advice

This week as you plan your Take A Break Time, seriously consider making family time an Aikido Adventure.  Find an Aikido DoJo and set up an introductory session for the family.  If not this week, soon. You will not regret doing so.

If you remain skeptical about a martial arts experience, contact the Alternatives  To Violence Project and  sign your family up for one of their trainings.  I think adding self-defense training is imperative, but understand some of you don’t agree.

STAY Strong

A sad fact of modern life is the increase in violence. I am hopeful that the call for multiple remedies  to the Newtown murders  are the beginning of something good.  Conflict resolution is part of all my programs and many of the exercises work to help you stay calm and focused on what matters.


Here is my thank you gift if you have just started following me.   It is a free guide to the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. These are easy to learn, easy to practice and helpful to anyone dealing with anger, sadness, stress and other of life’s  every day problems. They will help you stay calm and in control.

All my other  books can be found on my  Amazon’s Author Page.

You can also follow me on the When Good Kids Do Bad Things Facebook page. If you go there please take a moment to like it.

Finally, You might find my Emotional Fitness Training’s Pinterest site helpful. Both of my blog posts are pinned there, and I also share other people’s information that I think will help you stay strong both as a parent and an individual. Take a peek by clicking here.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day,  do not weaken, give lots of love to others and to yourself, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope  the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love.


DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA.  If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are.  If this troubles you, feel free to read elsewhere.  If you persevere, you are practicing kindness by lifting my spirits for that means you find what I say helpful and that is one of my missions. Kindness always repays those who spread it.