6 Steps to Stepping Up Your Step Parent Game

how to be a step parentZach, what in the hell are you doing writing a blog about step-parenting when you have absolutely no experience as such? Fair question. First, I have some insight here, as you’ll see. Second, I’ll answer like this – The former pitching coach for my beloved St. Louis Cardinals, Dave Duncan, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, is widely considered to be the best pitching coach in baseball. However, Dave Duncan wasn’t a pitcher, he was a catcher, but he observed a lot of pitchers. Same here. I’m a step kid. My son is a step kid. I have a step sister and a step brother. My sister is a step kid. My dad is a step father and I obviously have a step mom. So like Dave Duncan, I’ve done a lot of observing. To round out my resume, I recently spent a whole lot of time dating a mother of two boys and a beautiful girl, all of whom I miss dearly here in Indo.

Being a step parent isn’t easy and there’s no handbook. I know this because my Dad is one of the kindest, most patient men in the world, but that didn’t exactly translate into being a good step-parent. He’s my benchmark when it comes to being a husband and father, but at times, his role as a step Dad tried his patience to the breaking point. Not because there was a lack of love, but of a lack of clear understanding into what is, and more importantly what isn’t, a requirement of the job. This is complicated by the fact that you’re dealing with kids, who often behave outside the realm of reason and reality, especially when put into a new and unusual situation. They’re not bad kids, it’s just what kids do.

When I was introduced to Jen’s kids, I tried to put myself in their shoes, bowling shoes to be specific. It was their little world that required MY acclimation, not the other way around. I reflected on my experience as a step kid and my father’s struggles as a step  Dad and with all of that experience and information, I preceded to do nothing. I kept my mouth shut. I observed. And as a result of all of the things I didn’t do, Jen’s kids fell in love with me. And I fell in love with them.

Step 1 – Keep Your Mouth Shut

The first mistake made by most step parents is to try and assert themselves as an authority figure. The common misunderstanding is that if you don’t stand up for yourself immediately and demonstratively, you’ll be the victim of abuse for as long as the children are under your roof. Don’t do that. Respect isn’t demanded, it’s earned. Be patient and kind and leave the discipline to your partner. There are no BUTs about this step. No caveats, no “what ifs.” Leave all discipline to the parents. Sure, if big brother has little brother in a submission hold and little brother taps out, please intervene, but don’t discipline.  Keep you mouth shut.

Step 2 – Keep Your Mouth Shut

The best conversationalists don’t have to say a word. They merely listen and facilitate with a question or a nod and let their counterpart do the talking. People like to hear themselves talk and they don’t like to be talked at. The same can be said of your step kids. They don’t want to hear you talk, they want to hear themselves talk. They want to feel important. So keep your mouth shut and let them talk. And genuinely listen to what they have to say.

Step 3 – Keep Your Mouth Shut

Regardless of the situation, everyone involved is experiencing change. As the adult, you need to acclimate to the kids, not the other way around. In order to do this you need to listen, and that’s hard to do if you’re setting rules and talking over the top of them. Keep your mouth shut and give the situation a chance to develop naturally, without long lists of rules and regulation.

Step 4 – Keep Your Mouth Shut

If you find yourself witness to an argument between your partner and the step kid, your natural reaction will be to come the rescue of your partner. Don’t do that. Keep your mouth shut. Your partner is an adult. This ain’t her first rodeo. She can take care of herself, especially in regard to her children.

Step 5 – Keep Your Mouth Shut

Never say a disparaging word about your partner’s ex. Even if she is in the middle of a colorful rant about something legitimately stupid that her ex has done, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. If you want to alienate yourself from a kid, start talking smack about their Mom or Dad.

Step 6 – Be Wonderful to Their Mom

You thought I was going to say keep your mouth shut, right? You can’t keep your mouth shut all the time, so when it’s open, make sure it’s saying wonderful things about their mother. Kids aren’t stupid. They’ll always have loyalties to their biological parents, but they’re smart enough to know that anyone that makes Mom happy is good for them too. So make her happy every chance you get.

Depending on your relationship, this could be the easiest step or it could be the hardest. If it’s the hardest, you should probably just leave. Wouldn’t you rather be alone and be alone, rather than be with someone and be alone. Not to mention the poor kids that have to bear witness to your below average relationship. There is a reason people don’t like being alone… it’s lonely. However, with risk there is reward. You can’t expect to find wonderful while pacifying yourself with mediocre. So wait for something wonderful. Soon you’ll find that you’re not waiting at all, you’re actually living. This is when you’re ready for the wonderful. And trust me, the wonderful is worth not waiting for.

There Is Only One Diet I Can Recommend – HCG 2.0

HCG 2.0   Don t Starve  Eat Smart and Lose  A Modern Adaptation of the Traditional HCG Diet  Dr. Zach LaBoube  9781490964164  Amazon.com  Books

hcg diet booksIf you’re looking to lose a few pounds, the only diet I can recommend is my HCG 2.0 protocol. Why, because it works and I see it on a daily basis. If you don’t believe me, join my HCG 2.0 support page on Facebook and ask.  It’s a private group with over 1500 members, most of whom have already completed the diet with tremendous success. It’s a very interactive group. I take a lot of pride in how forthcoming everyone is with sharing tips and motivation. If you’ve been considering weight loss, join and read some of the success stories. You could be next.

What is HCG?

HCG is a hormone that’s produced by the placenta during pregnancy. Typically, the human body wants to store away calories in our fat cells as a defense mechanism against long winters, or famine, conditions that we don’t have to worry too much about today. However, when a woman gets pregnant, the growing baby requires a 24/7 calorie source, so her placenta begins making HCG. The HCG then activates a gland in the brain which tells the mothers body to tap into her fat reserves to provide a continuous calorie source for the baby.

If the hormone is supplemented, in the absence of a pregnancy, and combined with a low-calorie diet, as described in HCG 2.0, the result is rapid weight loss from the areas you need it most

HCG Targets Your Weight Loss

Because the HCG hormone attacks stored fat, you lose weight from all of the areas you need it most, because that is where you highest concentrations of fat are located. When dieting without the assistance of HCG, you’ll actually lose muscle mass before you lose fat mass and this is entirely counter productive to weight loss. The goal is to maintain muscle mass while strictly losing from fat.

HCG Suppresses Appetite

HCG facilitates a ccompletely healthy metabolic process called ketosis. The conversion of stored fat to useable calories is called ketosis. And it’s the ONLY way to tap into your unwanted fat reserves. Ketosis is the result of a low carb diet. It can be achieved without the use of HCG, but HCG makes it tremendously more efficient.

Most Dieters Lose 20-30 Pounds In 30-40 Days

This is the typical weight loss on the HCG 2.0 protocol. Women generally lose between .5 to 1 pound per day, while men lose 1-2 pounds per day. In addition, the most exaggerated weight loss is in the first week to two weeks of the diet. It’s not uncommon to lose 10-12 pound in the first week alone. Visit our HCG 2.0 testimonials page to see some of the dramatic results.

If you’re ready to get started right away, visit our online store. If you’re still a bit skeptical, join our private HCG 2.0 Support page on Facebook and spend some time scrolling through the comments. There are hundreds, even success stories. You could be next.


To your success,


Dr. Zach

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The HCG Diet Drops and HCG 2.0 from Dr. Zach


My First Scoliosis Patient

scoliosis st. louis lumbar spine
Lumbar Spine

In my first 4 years of practicing chiropractic in St. Louis, at my InsideOut Wellness and Weight Loss office, I didn’t see a single scoliosis patient. Here in Jakarta, Scoliosis makes up at least 25% of our patient base. It’s not that the prevalence is greater, it’s just that in a city of 13 million people, like Jakarta, there are a lot of kids with scoliosis.

Ricky Ngo has been my guru in educating me on how to treat and correct a crooked spine. Ricky is a Vietnamese American educated in the states. He’s been working with scoliosis since he graduated Chiropractic School in 2009 and he takes his work very seriously. After all, these patients are kids with their whole lives ahead of them, so the stakes are high. This is what makes Ricky the perfect mentor for me – not only does he possess the knowledge and the experience required to correct crooked spines, he also has the passion. He has a great rapport with the kids and parents alike, and most importantly he gets results.

I had my first scoliosis patient come in last week, a 16 year old girl who we’ll call Jill. She presented as you would expect a scoliosis patient to present, high shoulder, head tilt, and anterior head carriage. Jill speaks great English, by the way, which makes treating her much simpler. I have a translator with me at all times, but it’s much effective if I can communicate directly to the patient. Reni, my translator, relays everything to Jill’s mom who does not speak much English.

Since taking Jill into care, I’ve had an additional two scoliosis patients begin treatment and Ricky is overseeing everything out of the gate, which is a tremendous comfort. We use a combination of chiropractic adjustments to mobilize the spine so that our weighting and supplemental therapies will be more successful. We also want to add to add A to P curve in her cervical and lumbar spine. Without those proper A-P curves, the spine becomes confused and starts to curve left to right. To treat, we add A-P curve where needed, mobilize the part of the spine that’s curved so that our therapies will take effect, and we educate the patient on proper posture to prevent further damage.

scoliosis st. louis, thoracic spine
22 degree curve. Anything over 20 is considered a scoliosis

A primary education point that we make clear to the kids (adults should pay attention as well) is that if you use your cell phone, you MUST hold it above your shoulders to prevent the slumped posture that we all exhibit when wrapped up in our phones. Another good posture for phone use is what we call the Sphinx Position. This is when you lay on your belly with our arms out in front of you. This is actually a good position for restoring curve in the C-spine.

Take a look at Jill’s ex-rays below. These are fairly minimal curves. Technically, if the curve is less than 20 degrees, it’s not even considered a scoliosis. So goal number one is to get Jill below the 20 degree point. Ultimately we want to straighten her out completely. Notice the lack of lordotic curvature in her C-spine. As I said before, you’ll find this common of all scoliosis patients. To correct the we have to first restore proper A to P curve and then work on left to right curves. I’ll keep you posted on Jill’s progress.

scoliosis jakarta cervical spine
Notice the lack of curve in her cervical spine.


scoliosis st. louis lateral lumbar
Again, notice the lack of front to back (A-P) curve in her lumbar spine.