Work With Lynne

Lynne Griffin RN, MEd is a content expert on health, education, parenting, and mental health. She’s been interviewed as an expert for numerous national and regional television and radio outlets and for print publications such as, Parents, Salon, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, Seattle Times, and Family Circle, to name a few. Lynne has written front of book pieces for Parents and Parenting, and has written features and essays for Scholastic Parent & Child, Library Journal, Writer Magazine, Kid’s Growth, Babble, Psychology Today, Brain, Child, and Lit Chat.

If you’d like Lynne to write for you, contact her at [info @ Lynne Griffin dot com] or call 781-545-6585. To learn more about her freelance writing, click here.

Freelance Writing | Content Marketing

Freelance Writing | Content Marketing

Lynne Griffin RN, MEd is a content expert on health, education, parenting, and mental health. She’s been interviewed as an expert for numerous national and regional television and radio outlets and for print publications such as, Parents, Salon, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, Seattle Times, and Family Circle, to name a few. Lynne has written front of book pieces for Parents and Parenting, and has written features and essays for Scholastic Parent & Child, Library Journal, Writer Magazine, Kid’s Growth, Babble, Psychology Today, Brain, Child, and Lit Chat.

Select Clips:

As the expert—

As the writer—

Books Lynne co-wrote—

  • Transition Planning for Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs and Disabilities [Stephanie Porter, Linda Freeman, Lynne Griffin]
  • The Truth about Family Life [Renee Despres, William Kane, Lynne Griffin]
    Children and Youth Assisted by Medical Technology in Educational Settings [with Stephanie Porter]
  • Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents [American Academy of Pediatrics, Maternal Child Health Bureau, Georgetown University]

Select developmental editing services or strategic marketing clients—

For over twenty years Lynne has worked with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Children’s Hospital, Boston writing patient education materials in the form of newsletters, website content, and book-length works.

Her Nonfiction Clients Include—

  • Henry De Sio, Deputy Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama [The Changemaker Playbook, in development]
  • Jose Sierra, Lead Council for key government witness in FIFA scandal [Foul Play, in development]
  • Jennifer De Leon, former Writer-in-Residence Boston Public Library [Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, University of Nebraska Press]
  • ML Nichols, Nationally recognized expert on parent-professional partnerships [The Parent Backpack, Ten Speed Press]
  • Katie Naftzger, Psychotherapist and expert on adoption [Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Teen Years, Kingsley Publishers]

Her Fiction Clients Include—

  • Jael McHenry—The Kitchen Daughter (Simon & Schuster)
  • Clara Silverstein—Secrets in a House Divided (Mercer University Press)

Her Strategic Marketing Clients Include—

  • Celeste Ng—Everything You Never Told Me (Penguin)
  • Christopher Castellani—All This Talk of Love (Algonquin)
  • Annie Weatherwax—All We Had (Scribner)
  • William Dameron—The Lie (Little A)

The Novel a Day Habit

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” –Albert Camus

In 2019, we desperately need to honor truth, so I’m going to post a #noveladay on twitter. My recommendations will include old favs and new finds. And I’ll archive additions to the list once a month here.

The most useful role of fiction in our age may be its power to foster empathy and understanding. And we certainly need more other awareness in 2019. So I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite novels, especially those new finds from fresh and treasured voices that deeply move you.

January 1st: Today’s #noveladay is a brilliant story that reimagines Hamlet from the point of view of an unborn child. Ian McEwan’s NUTSHELL is masterful. I rarely reread books, even those I’ve loved, but I’ve enjoyed this slim powerhouse a few times. Highly recommend!

January 2nd: SOMEONE by Alice McDermott is a stunningly beautiful novel about the extraordinary nature of living an ordinary life. I met Alice when we were both speaking @chautauquainstitution, and she is as lovely as her prose. #noveladay  Alice 1

January 3rd: Check my twitter feed under #noveladay for more picks. I’ll update and archive this list periodically here.

Happy reading in 2019!

Lynne

Grief After Suicide—Profound loss with complicated feelings

The primary focus of my work with schools is to equip teachers, parents, and teens with the tools to support emotional well-being and to detect risk factors and warning signs related to mental health issues before a suicide attempt occurs.

Unfortunately, as we’re learning after the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, even with comprehensive support and treatment—and loving family and friends—people coping with mental illness can still die by suicide.

It’s a tough subject, I know, I’ve experienced this profound grief personally. My sister died by suicide after years of struggling with mental health and substance use issues. And this week’s news is bringing back some painful memories.

Understand and be prepared for:

Guilt—The most common feeling loved ones express after losing someone to suicide is remorse. “Was there something I could have done to prevent this?” In Jill Bialosky’s memoir, History of Suicide, she too grapples with this question. Off and on over the years, she wondered if maybe she’d missed something, a clue. If only she’d known what her sister had planned, or how despondent she was, maybe she could have stopped her.  Professionals call this survivor’s guilt and while it’s a common response, those who experience it must work through it in their own time, in their own way. It’s important to come to the conclusion that no one has complete control over another person’s actions.

Shame—How many of us have seen or heard people talking about suicide in hushed whispers, fearful of the reactions of those around us? Bialosky writes, “I also became more sensitive to this tendency when anyone spoke of a suicide; even in her death, I wanted to protect Kim from that kind of ridicule or shame.” She wondered if her sister’s memory would be diminished or tainted by suicide. After my sister’s death, I was open with others about her struggles. No doubt my honesty made some people uncomfortable, but I believe this discomfort is necessary if we’re to end the stigma associated with mental illness.

Anger—I’ve shared in an earlier post that when I was in high school my father died of a heart attack at age forty-seven. Irrational as it was, I admit there were times I was angry at him for leaving me. Feelings like these are normal, yet they’re especially difficult to contend with if you’re grieving a loss related to a loved one’s suicide. That said, it’s important to remember that along with deep depression come some intractable thinking, thoughts that convince a person others will be better off without them.

Relief—For many friends and family, the weeks and months, and sometimes years, leading up to the death of a loved one by suicide have been a rollercoaster of emotion. In cases where repeated psychiatric hospitalizations, incarcerations, and/or inpatient rehab stays have become commonplace, it’s normal to feel a sense of relief that the unpredictable nature of life has come to an end. Sadly, these feelings often cycle back to guilt or shame. While it may feel wrong to be relieved, it’s perfectly normal to grapple with these feelings.

Sadness—Feelings of profound sadness accompany all kinds of grief. Yet a common nuance as it relates to loss through suicide is sadness over lost potential, over the hopes and dreams never to be realized, as well as all the what-could’ve-beens.

I was deeply moved by Jill Bialosky’s History of a Suicide. It’s a beautiful story about two sisters, and a thoughtful exposé about grief and loss and suicide. Above all it is compassionate. I highly recommend reading it, as well as Joan Wickersham’s, A Suicide Index—a memoir about putting her father’s death in order.

***

If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, here are ways to help.

Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

***

Lynne Reeves Griffin RN, MEd teaches family studies at the graduate level and she’s the author of the family novels, Girl Sent AwaySea Escape, and Life Without Summer. She’s also the author of the nonfiction parenting guides, Let’s Talk About It: Adolescent Mental Health and Negotiation Generation. You can find her online at www.LynneGriffin.comor on Twitter.com/Lynne_Griffin.

Strategies for Stress-Free Evenings at Home

Excerpt from an article in ADDitude magazine.

To avoid parent-child power struggles, make fewer verbal demands. Instead of telling your child what to do (which is often perceived as nagging), use a nonverbal cue. “Children with ADHD may lock into certain behaviors and lose focus, but parents can often redirect them with a simple nonverbal cue,” says Lynne Reeves Griffin, author of Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment! Griffin suggests handing your child a sharpened pencil or lightly tapping your finger on his worksheet when he is distracted. “When parents use nonverbal feedback, it helps children get focused quickly. This is encouraging to a child who is struggling,” Griffin says.

When your child does something that helps the evening go more smoothly, acknowledge his contribution. Children feel valued when their actions are appreciated. Using phrases like, “Thanks for your help” or “I appreciate your cooperation,” makes a child feel good about himself.

Read More

Read Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment (Penguin)

Top Secret Strategies for Negotiating with Your Kids

Excerpt from Parenting magazine article.

While life often feels like an assembly line of yes-no’s, a healthier approach may revolve less around imposing your will and more around a business-centric tactic: negotiating. What’s that, you say? Doesn’t negotiating mean you’re getting stepped on more often than Times Square? Nope. The key, says Lynne Griffin, author of Negotiation Generation, is to find the middle ground. “They have freedom within the fences, but you decide where the fences are put up. Too many fences built too high only creates a desire to jump them.”

Read More.

Read Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment (Penguin)

Proactive Parenting Series South of Boston ~ Beginning October 3rd

Parenting Series 2017 (1)

Forging Strong Parent-Professional Partnerships

Decades of research show that when families and schools partner together, children are better positioned to reach their greatest potential as learners and active members of the school community. There’s simply no doubt that parental involvement is directly linked to students with higher self-confidence and more positive attitudes toward school and learning. From better attendance and higher grades, to better homework completion rates and higher graduation rates, the most consistent predictor of high academic achievement and positive social adjustment for children is engaged parents.

When I collaborate with school staff and parents, I highlight the fundamental belief that all teachers and families want to work collaboratively to support the development of every child. Perhaps they simply lack sufficient skill to do so effortlessly. However, when skills are nurtured, a true partnership allows us to advance the eager reader and the math whiz beyond grade level, develop a child’s ability to organize and plan work effectively, strengthen language skills, and nurture social-emotional development—all critical outcomes of the early education years.  With a team approach, we are better able to understand how every child thinks and learns, capitalizing on his or her strengths and working together to support any challenges that may impact learning.

Here are some tips for focusing on partnership…IMG_3657

The Commitment to Parents-As-Partners–What Schools Can Do

Walk the talk. It isn’t enough to say the partnership is important. A true commitment is evident when parents are invited into the school for a variety of  child-specific as well as social events and activities.

Our information is your information. When a teacher makes observations or has assessment data about a child, parents are urged to contribute to the plan for education. Whether a child needs to be more challenged or his learning more supported, teachers engage parents in the conversation.

Be Flexible. Schools must demonstrate respect for the real work-family balance issues parents struggle with. Creating family-friendly ways for engagement should be a school-wide priority.

Build a Community of Learners. Schools are uniquely positioned to encourage parents to be lifelong learners. Through parent education, family support, and referral services, schools play a key role in helping parents see the benefit of growing and developing as their child’s best teacher.

Tips for Strengthening the Partnership–What Parents Can Do

Make connections early. There’s no telling when there will be a need to discuss a child’s academic, social-emotional, or behavioral learning. It’s always easier to be open and honest when a relationship has already been established.

Opt for face-to-face communication. Voice mail and email, while time-efficient, may lead to incomplete or contentious communication. Talking to teachers about your child is more likely to be successful when the communication is done in person and has been scheduled so both parent and teacher have had time to think through the main objectives.

Always keep your child at the center of your exchanges. Not every parent and teacher will have an affinity for each other. Yet when parents and teachers keep the child in front, and not between them, the child is sure to benefit.

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Crossover Fiction Gets Parents & Teens Talking

GirlSentAwayNumerous studies also confirm what every reader already knows—that the novel is an incomparable vehicle for the exploration of human social and emotional life. Literary critics and philosophers have long advanced the notion that one of fiction’s main jobs is to raise social consciousness.

Decades of research also show that when parents and teachers partner together around social-emotional learning, teens are better positioned to reach their greatest potential as healthy, active members of the community. There’s simply no doubt that this kind of involvement is directly linked to teens having higher self-confidence and more positive attitudes toward school and home. From better attendance, higher grades, and higher graduation rates, to increases in prosocial behavior and decreases in problem behaviors, the most consistent predictor of high academic achievement and positive social adjustment for teens is engaged parents and teachers.

The Power of Fiction to Teach

When teachers, parents and teens come together to deepen their understanding of our collective emotional lives—using fiction—they positively impact the development of the core competencies of social-emotional development, which include nurturing self and social awareness, developing relationship skills, and influencing responsible decision-making.

Despite biological predispositions to conditions like anxiety or depression, it is resiliency skills that help protect teens from various mental health conditions.  And if you or someone you care about has an existing mental health condition, then building resilience is crucial to improving one’s ability to cope.

Using a conversation-based approach to discuss fiction, teens are afforded a safe space to learn about preventive mental health and capitalize on personal strengths for building resilience and navigating complex social relationships.

Crossover Fiction Gets Parents and Teens Talking

Some within publishing deem a novel “crossover” when it is written for young adults but attracts a healthy adult audience. Others—mostly in the fields of public relations and marketing—consider a novel “crossover” when it is written for adults but young adults read and spread the word about it. Regardless of which direction interest first flows, crossover fiction serves a powerful purpose, which is to get parents and teens reading and talking about meaningful text together.

Participation in conversations using high interest fiction, allows parents, teachers, and teens to:

  • discuss risk and protective factors for mental illness
  • develop resiliency skills that promote emotional well-being
  • demonstrate perspective-taking and conflict management skills
  • express empathy toward others
  • practice interpersonal communication skills

Your Book Discussion Group

GSA-companion-cover copyDue to the sensitive nature of the types of books that can have the greatest impact on raising social awareness and reducing stigma, it’s important to prepare the environment, making it conducive to sharing and learning. Thoughtful, respectful conversation is more likely to occur if teachers and parents create emotional safety zones in advance of book discussions.

  • Create ground rules and goals, either by utilizing a planning committee or taking the first few minutes of each meeting to agree on participation expectations.
  • Consider coaching teens to co-lead the discussion with agreed upon ground rules and partnerships with parents and/or teachers.
  • At every meeting, ensure confidentiality and find ways to establish a sense of closeness among teens, teachers, and parents by aligning interests.
  • Choose books wisely by outlining group goals in advance and then selecting titles that support certain kinds of discussions.
  • Keep discussions focused on characters and their wants, needs, and choices. Revisit ground rules if conversations become too personal.
  • Extend the learning beyond the group by identifying activities that parents, teachers, and teens can engage in to keep conversations going.

The best fiction illuminates the human condition and gives readers much to reflect on and discuss. By harnessing the power of storytelling—informed by research on social-emotional learning and effective communication—teachers, parents, teens can engage in conversations about mental health and emotional well-being, with the goal of building empathy, nurturing perspective-taking, and strengthening resilience.

Titles to Consider:

Stories written for teens with crossover to adults:

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (Friendship, Diversity)

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (Mental illness, grief)

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin (Loss, loyalty)

Stories written for adults with crossover appeal to young adults:

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (Technology, Relationships)

Disgruntled by Asali Solomon (Belonging, Diversity)

Once Upon a River Bonnie Campbell (Independence, courage)

 

Let’s Talk About Adolescent Mental Health

HOST A PARENT/TEACHER/TEEN BOOK DISCUSSION

Recognized expert on family relationships, Lynne Griffin will facilitate a discussion of her new novel Girl Sent Away using the companion guide Let’sTalk About It: Adolescent Mental Health. The guide includes conversation starters, discussion questions, and additional books and films parents and teens can read and watch together to keep the lines of communication open, effective, and engaging.

SCHEDULE A PARENT OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Tailored to meet your educational initiatives and to suit your parent, faculty, and student population, Lynne Griffin is available to assist you with:

  • strategic implementation of Let’s Talk About It: Adolescent Mental Health
  • curriculum mapping for social-emotional learning
  • coaching and program development for interpersonal leadership and communication
  • consultation for working with complex families.

ADOPT GIRL SENT AWAY INTO THE CURRICULUM

Lynne’s nonfiction guide, Let’s Talk About It: Adolescent Mental Healthprovides information and activities a school may use to positively impact adolescents’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes about emotional well-being. With a focus on curriculum integration, each literacy, health, and social-emotional learning module includes:

  • Overview & objectives
  • Essential questions
  • Activities/projects/assignments
  • Select STEAM mapping opportunities
  • Discussion questions related to the novel
  • Resources for further exploration

 Email Events [dot] LynneGriffin [dot] com today to discuss your program needs.