Information about Depression and Your T(w)een

Statistics

Did you know that only 30% of Teens and Tweens who are depressed are actually getting treatment?

Did you also know that Teen Depression continues to rise every single year?

Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 3,041 attempts by young people grades 9-12.  

AND 4 out of 5 teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs! 

With depression on the rise that means the Teen Suicide rate is on the rise. 

Many teens do not get treatment until  they become actively suicidal.  This means they are making comments to someone about their thoughts and plans to kill themselves, or they have already made an unsuccessful attempt to suicide aka take their own life before their parents seek treatment.

How Do we Stop This Trend?

Become more knowledgeable about depression in our teens and tweens and create less Stigma around getting treatment!!!!

Start Here

Complete this survey (it's very quick) to help me understand what you need more information about.

From your answers, I will gather information to create more education for YOU.  


I will be able to provide future workshops to present in our community and resources to better help you and your Teens/Tweens.  

You can also LEAVE A COMMENT and ask any questions you may have about Depression.  


ALSO…

There are only 3 Spots open in my Teen Girls Group.  Click Here to sign your teen up!

 AND IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY

Click Here to receive my free email series on Connecting with Your Teen.  

 Thanks for your help!

Talk to you soon, 

Dayna


Why Valentine's Day is Not My Favorite "Holiday"

Happy Valentine’s Day

Why Valentine’s Day is NOT my Favorite “Holiday”…

Today people are showering loved ones with gifts and spending outrageous amounts of $$$$  to impress their significant other or to win someone’s love.

People are on Instagram sharing pictures of their gifts and praising their partner for all their loving actions today.  Others are avoiding Instagram because they don’t want to see all your extravagant romantic gifts while they sit home bingeing on Netflix eating a tub of Icecream.  

Children are receiving life size balloons and oversized stuffed animals at school.

Girls are creating extremely high expectations about what this day means.  

Guys are stressing that their friends are going to outdo them in their romantic gestures.

Valentine’s Day is not my favorite day…

Now I know some of you may be thinking…”Wow, she’s really losing it.  Her husband must not do a very good job with this day.”

That’s exactly the opposite.  My husband is always good at giving gifts on holidays.  I stink at it though. But that’s not why I turn my nose up at it.  

I do not want outrageous romantic gestures.  I just want to not have to cook dinner or to come home to a house where no one left their dishes laying around.  Just once...

I’m not big about over the top days.  We need loving gestures daily. We need to feel loved daily.

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I see children who get these gigantic gifts that they pick up at school and feel so loved by their parents in that moment, but then they go home to silence or yelling and screaming.  

I’ve sent things to school in the past for my child, but then I watched other children waiting anxiously and excitedly to see if their parents loved them enough to send something to school.  Because you know those kids that got gifts had to be loved by their parents the most! It broke my heart.

I then began teaching my children that Valentine’s Day is just another day to show love to others.  I want to teach them to love every day. I want them to feel loved and give love every single day.

My son may grow up to meet a girl who despises the way he is being taught to treat this day, but we will deal with that when it comes.  

I see couples go above and beyond on V-day, but then every other day of the year one or both feels unloved and unappreciated.  

If you go all out on Valentine’s Day, good for you!  If you love Valentine’s Day and all the mushy gushy stuff that goes with it---GREAT!  

But, remember to love one another EVERY DAY.  Don’t just save it for this day. Take time for each other throughout the year, months, weeks, days.  Surprise your loved ones with gifts throughout the year, when they least expect it. Show your children what love is by your example.  

And tell them you love them

E-V-E-R-Y S-I-N-G-L-E D-A-Y!!!

Want to celebrate this holiday without all the hype?

Here’s some easy ways to make this day special without all the pressure and comparison:

  1. Create a special dinner together. Maybe make some of everyone’s favorites!

  2. Make a special dessert.

  3. Share with each other 1 thing you love.

  4. Make handmade gifts

  5. Do something for yourself today to love on yourself and build yourself up

  6. Brighten someone else’s day with a phone call or a card to tell them you are thinking about them.

Leave me a comment and tell me do you love this day or hate it?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dayna




3 Things You are Teaching Your Children by Making Time for YOU

Let me tell you a story…

Picture Yourself…

You are in the middle of running up your checkbook...taking a cat nap, resting after not sleeping the night before...folding laundry…

Your child comes in begging you to play a game with him...paint her nails…order that hoodie you’ve been talking about.

You say “I’m busy right now”...

They begin to tell you how mean you are and how you never do anything for them.  

They cry or throw a tantrum and say you don’t love them.

You feel hurt and sad that they would say these things.

You immediately get upset.

You eventually give in.

You play a game with your child and then stress about how you were unable to finish working on the bills or maybe you feel resentful that you never get a minute to yourself and you are soooo tired.  

Day after day you find yourself feeling unappreciated and that no one is considerate of what you need.  

And All  YOU need is…

5 minutes alone in the bathroom!

To be able to pee in peace!

To eat a brownie all by yourself so you can oh and ah over it with no judgement!

To sing as loud as you want

To dance 90’s style without someone telling you to stop

To talk to adults about adult things without filtering it or using code words

To hear total silence for 60 solid seconds...


What Your Child/Teen Needs…

To learn how to be considerate of others

To learn to entertain themselves

To learn the world does not revolve around them

To learn that they won’t die if they don’t have someone entertaining them at all times.


Mama!  It is not your job to make sure your child or teen is happy 100%!!!!!!!

In  fact, you are doing them a disservice if you create an atmosphere where they expect to be happy 100%!

Your child/teen needs to learn how to manage boredom or loneliness and find ways to soothe and entertain themselves.  

One day they will be all grown up, and they will find a time where they are all alone and they won’t be able to deal.  They won’t understand that no one has time to entertain them. They won’t know what to do with downtime because they are so used to being entertained and provided for during the day as they grow up and they expect that life is that way.  They won’t be able to cope with times that are not as fun and happy. And let’s face it, life is not unicorns and rainbows! It gets real and it gets hard ALOT.

They will be very disappointed…

Shocked…

Overwhelmed…


And they won’t have the tools to deal with this.  

They will be anxious or depressed because they don’t realize that lonely isn’t always a bad thing and quiet is nurturing too.  

Train your children to handle moments when you are tired…

Need alone time…

Sick…

Need adult conversation…


Teach them to find activities they like to do on their own.

Teach them how to enjoy downtime too.

With younger children, you can model this by setting a timer and giving them an activity to do while you are doing an activity on your own.  You can even have “quiet time” where mom reads her book and your child reads or looks at pictures in their book quietly.

For older kids, help them to choose from a couple of activities they enjoy doing.  And if they choose instead to throw a fit or pout, simply direct them to choose that option where you don’t have to look at it.  Because, it’s their choice to pout if they want, but you don’t have to choose to watch it.


By making time for yourself, you are teaching them:

  1. How to be considerate of others’ time

  2. That the world does not revolve around them 100%

  3. How to self-regulate when they are feeling disappointed, bored, or lonely

I encourage you a lot to spend time with your children doing activities together and having family time, but you also have to make time to take care of you.  Even if it’s just 5 minutes alone in the bathroom! If you are spending adequate time with your children and nurturing them through family activities and supportive conversations, then you are doing your job to provide love.  But you do not have to sacrifice every moment of your day to do this. Part of your job is to train them to be productive, caring, kind, and efficient human beings. Giving them all of your attention at all times is not a realistic lesson for them to learn about life.  

Tell me if you struggle in this area and 1 thing you WILL do to start taking a little time for you.  


It's National Play Therapy Week

All across TN, play therapists gathered today to celebrate National Play Therapy Week!!!

All across TN, play therapists gathered today to celebrate National Play Therapy Week!!!

That's a Wrap!!!

If you've been following me on FB, you know it's National Play Therapy Week.  This week is about educating others about Play Therapy and sharing fun activities with you.  

 Here I shared just a little bit about what Play Therapy is.  

 Click Here to see a video where I share my theme for the week.  

 Here I shared ideas of things to do indoors because in my neck of the woods, it's been RAINY and now COLD again!

 I love my job and I absolutely LOVE working with kids and adolescents!  I truly believe in the power of Play Therapy and have seen how it can transform children.  

 Today I got to wrap up the week with a wonderfully FUN group of women who share in this passion as well.  And we got to play with some playdoh too!  


 Here's a picture of my Playroom.

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Find Some Time to Play This Weekend!!!

We are getting ready for Pizza Night with a Movie!

Have a great weekend!

Dayna

My Kids Don’t Clean Up!

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Are You Raising Slobs?

I love when my house is clean and tidy.  It keeps me from feeling stressed and allows me to sit down without thinking about what I should be doing instead.

But, my family is not so concerned about how the house looks.  

It’s a constant warfare trying to get my kids to clean up their messes or pick up trash instead of step over it.  

So, for 2019, I’ve made it their personal goals to learn not to be a slob.  

Yep, this year will be the year they will learn to be more responsible and helpful.  

But guess what, they will not learn it overnight.  And, it’s going to take a lot of effort on my part.  Gasp…

However, it’s very important to me that when they are adults, their spouses do not question their slobbish tendencies.  Because guess what? That directly reflects on their parents. Yep! Guess whose responsibility it is to teach your kids how to keep things tidy and clean?  Yours!

The earlier you start the better!

But you also have to stay on top of it.  You cannot be lazy about this or they will be lazy.  Most kids are not naturally organized and tidy, unless you’ve  been working with them since they were able to clean up their first mess.  

So in the art of training, I have some tips for you.  

There is no right way to do this.  Pick what works for you and your family.  

There is a wrong way...not doing anything and just doing it all yourself.  

Here are a few things I’m going to start doing right now:

#1 They are responsible for clearing the table after supper.

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#2 The kids will alternate  washing dishes after supper while I supervise (for a little while) to ensure they are learning the correct way to do dishes.  

#3 I’m putting up signs throughout the house to remind them to :

  1. Empty the trash before it’s overflowing!

  2. Wash their dishes when they bring them to the sink!

  3. Wipe the toilet seat if they sprinkle it!

#4 I used to do this one and somehow stopped: instill a 10 minute tidy up daily before bedtime.  

#5 I also used to do this and quit (insert eyeroll): what gets left out, goes in a trash bag.  They can a) earn it back in 24 hours or b) it gets donated.

Here are some other tips from Focus on the Family.  I especially liked #1 and #6. I may import those into my plan too!  

And here are some ideas for keeping up with chores that I’ve pinned over the years!

Happy Training!!!

Dayna

P.S.

Do you also struggle with a family of slobs?  Let me know in the comments the 1 thing you want to teach your kids about tidyness.    


What If You Are The One Name Calling?

Hey friends! I haven't dropped in for a while!  Please forgive me.  I've been working on too many things.  Today I was reflecting on a theme that came up last week in my practice and had some inspiration to hop on here and share with you.

Sometimes I get questioned about what a particular word means...

A lot of time it has a negative meaning...

Children and teens often know it's negative because of the tone of voice or because of the owner of those words that are spewed.  But it's not until they ask what it means that they truly feel the effects of that nastiness.

This happened recently in my practice.

We teach our children not to name call.  "Don't be a bully!"  "Don't call people names because it's not nice."  "Try to be the bigger person", we tell them.

...........BUT WHAT IF YOU ARE THE ONE DOING THE NAME-CALLING...............

Let that sink in a second..........................

What if YOU (the one telling your child not to name call) are the one name calling?

And I'm not even talking about calling people names when you don't like that person.

Nope!  I'm talking about calling your child a negative name.

"You are lazy!"

"You are so dumb!"

"You are hateful and mean!"

"You are vindictive and spiteful!"

"You are such a loser!"

"You are annoying!"

"You are so ugly!"

Need I go on???

Friends, we cannot fill our children with these negative labels!!!  Yes your child may act lazy some days, but don't we all feel lazy sometimes?  If I was labeled as Lazy because some days I don't feel like or want to do things, I would never do anything because well "I'm Lazy, so who cares anyway?".   Self-fulfilled prophecy guys!  If you don't know what that means, google it!

Our children and teens already carry so much weight on their little shoulders and hear so many negative things at school, on the playground, on Netflix, Youtube..... Let us not fill their minds with negativity that comes from our mouths!  We are supposed to build our babies up, not tear them down!

So what if this touches your heart, but you've already done some damage by name-calling?

Put on your big girl/boy panties and apologize to that child!

Tell them mommy/daddy is sorry for saying those things and ask them to forgive you.  Tell them that some days you feel frustrated, but it's not their fault.  Let them know you love them and you are going to work on how you talk to them when you feel a certain _______ (angry, frustrated, irritable).

Build that child up!  Fill them with positive labels and help them overcome those times when you want to throw out a negative name for them.  Take responsibility as their parent to build up their character flaws (just like you do for your own flaws) and stop name-calling and putting them down.

Name calling is bad parenting.  But it's not the end all for you or your child.  Just regroup and fix it.  We all make mistakes in our parenting.  What we do with that mistake to grow as a parent is what is important.

If you feel you have really messed up, reach out.  I can give you some tips on what to say.

Leave a comment below or email me if you are too embarrassed to say it here.

Use this information to make your week great!

Talk to you soon!

Dayna

 

 

7 Fun Fall Activities

7 Fun Fall Activities

It's so important to create traditions in your family, and it's most important to have some FUN with your family!

Fun = Money

Everyone automatically goes to "We can't afford...."

Please get that thought out of your head!

Here are some FUN Fall activities your family can do for little or no cost...

Play in the Leaves!

This was a favorite of mine when growing up, and you rarely see kids doing this today.

***If you kid has allergies, this may not be a great idea***

***Also be aware of any dogs leaving surprises in your yard***

Does anyone even own a rake anymore???

Build a Fire and Roast Hotdogs and Marshmallows!

Smores are one of the BEST desserts out there, and they are SUPER EASY!!!

***Please supervise your children  around fires and ensure your fire is put out***

Camp Out in Your Yard!

This could be lots of fun without having to leave your house...

If you don't own a tent, lay some blankets out and look at the stars for a while. I believe this is one we will do while we enjoy our week off.

Hayrides!

There are all kinds of functions going on this October as we near Halloween.  Hayrides are one of those.  If you live on a farm, you could easily throw your own hayride and invite your children's friends over for a night of fun!

Hide and Seek (in the dark)

This can be a lot of fun as the nights are getting shorter.

Go for a Hike

Go to a local park and hike for free, or if you live on a farm (like me), you can just walk around your own property and enjoy nature.

Carve Pumpkins!

This is usually a tradition in our family every year around Halloween.  Sticking your hands in the gooey insides of that pumpkin and creating faces for parents to carve out.  Fun!  (My mom used to roast the pumpkin seeds...but not my thing!)

No matter what you do, Do Something together!  

Leave a comment and tell me 1 Fun Activity you will be doing with your family this Fall!

Happy Fall Yall!

Dayna Sykes

Licensed Child & Teen Therapist

P.S. Enrollment for my Teen Girls Group will be closing next week.  Only 3 Spots left!  Sign up here.  

My Child Is Cussing at School

 So you’ve gotten the dreaded call from school….

“I need you to come into the office, so we can talk about _____’s behavior.”

“We have a problem…”

Your child has gotten angry at another student and called that student an explicit name…

You are embarrassed—angry—humiliated—scared—frustrated—(____) about walking into that school! 

The use of cuss words today is common and is all around you.  Some people are very obnoxious about their expression through cuss words and others attempt to be respectful of others and choose to only cuss in situations they feel are acceptable.

Children learn new words daily and their vocabulary is growing rapidly.  This new vocabulary comes from parents, siblings, grandparents, peers, television, and the list goes on.  They are bombarded with new words daily.  Children do not usually understand what these new words are or what they mean.  They may use them when they are angry because they heard someone else say the same word in a fit of rage.

So how do you nip this in the bud if your child uses foul language to express himself?

1. Recognize where they are learning this from.

Are they hearing you talk this way?  If so, you may just want to rethink how you are expressing yourself in front of them as you are their primary teacher.  If your child belts out a “bad” word when he drops his ice cream on the floor and his response to you when you ask where he heard that from is “You said it”-be prepared for how you react to this.  If you yell at your child for using a word they are learning from you, then what are you really teaching them?  Instead, let him learn to admit when he’s wrong and correct his behavior by stating

“You’re right.  I did say that, but it was wrong and I shouldn’t use those words.  I’m going to do better.  I don’t want you using those words because they are not acceptable.”  Be honest and admit when you are wrong.

2. Monitor what they are listening to and watching.

If we do not guide their little eyes and ears, no one will.  The things they will learn will make lasting impressions, so give them guidance and ensure they are exposed to age appropriate television and music.

3. Do not laugh.

For some, hearing a child cuss seems funny and cute.  I assure you- a child cussing is far from cute, and laughing only encourages them to continue to do it.  It’s not so cute when you are getting phone calls from teachers because your child is calling them derogatory names or cussing out other students when they are angry.

4. Help them learn to express themselves with appropriate words to label how they feel.

“You are really angry.  Tell me what happened before you said ____________.” Help them find more appropriate ways to label the person they may be name calling.  “It hurt my feelings when……” “It made me angry when…..”.

5. Replace those bad words

Give them other options that will keep them out of trouble. Using funny words can also help to decrease the anger behind it.

6. Set boundaries with visitors.

If Uncle J comes over to watch the ball game, and he tends to get a filthy mouth when his team misses a play, then let him know in your house you would need him to watch his language.  Most people are receptive of this and if not, then you may need to be choosier about who is visiting with your children.

Remember that YOU are the primary example for your child and how they handle conflict and relationships.  Think about this for a minute…

 

*Comment below and share what you will start doing TODAY to be a better example. 

Talk to You Soon,

Dayna Sykes

Licensed Child & Teen Therapist

 

P.S. Share this post with a friend who needs help in this area!

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Avoidance Causes You To Miss Out!

Do you ever avoid situations or people because it’s too stressful or painful to be in that experience? Avoidance is a natural human defense mechanism, but sometimes it can be detrimental to our own growth and happiness.  

Today, I was walking through our freshly cut hay-field to get a message to my husband and father-in-law.  While talking to a family friend who was present, I said “I love the smell of fresh cut hay, but it does not love me.”  I knew for even the maybe 5 minutes I was standing there, I was going to have some discomfort. As I walked away, I noticed itching in my legs.  Then while driving away, I could feel a little discomfort in my breathing.

You see, I am a very allergic person.  But I live in the country where I am exposed to all things I am allergic too.  Now, I could move (but I’m pretty sure I’d have to leave my husband behind), but staying here is more beneficial to me than avoiding.  

 

Not to mention how BEAUTIFUL it is where I live!  

So what is an allergic country girl to do?

Be Aware…

If you know situations cause you discomfort (maybe it’s not an allergy but more depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, panic), be aware of those triggers.  I am aware of what triggers my allergies and am prepared for the consequences of being around them.

Find the Win…

For me, I was able to see God’s beauty in this hayfield.  I took a beautiful picture of it. Being outdoors is so inspiring and calming to me.  It’s worth it to have the experience!

Have a Plan…

So let’s say you are going to be around family that triggers your depression or anxiety…  If it’s not an unhealthy relationship, and you want a connection with that person, then have a plan of how you will combat the negative reactions your body will likely experience.  

  • Know your limits and have a plan of escape.  

When I am around certain people from my past who tend to cause difficulty for me, I make sure I visit them instead of them visiting me.  This way I can leave when I’m ready instead of having them in my home wishing they would leave already and not wanting to ask them to leave.  

If your reaction is anxiety or panic, make sure you have a go-to method for calming your body and mind.  

Sometimes avoidance is good when it’s too overwhelming for you to manage.  But just remember, avoidance can become a very unhealthy way to cope, and you will miss out on some great life experiences and connections.  

Need some assistance in creating your plan?

Click Here to Download a Free Worksheet!

Then, comment below and share with me how avoidance affects your life!  

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Dayna Sykes

Licensed Child & Teen Therapist

Gordonsville Counseling & Play Therapy

 

P.S.  If you have a teen girl who struggles with avoidance and you’ve tried everything to help her break out of this, then Empowering Teen Girls Group may be just what she needs to build her confidence, boost her ability to cope with difficult situations, and learn to connect with others in the process.  

P.P.S  Do you tend to walk on eggshells around your teen and avoid her throughout the day?   Every effort you make causes her to lash out and become angry. Sign up for my free email course, “Learn to Connect Better with Your Teen”, and get 5 days of action steps you can take to better support and connect with your teen.  Just Click Here!

 

Let Me Be Real for a Second...

Can I be real with you for a second? I have been finding it very difficult to create content for you guys.  I believe it stems from feeling like I’ve been put in a box.  I want to help you with your family and your children and provide practical tips and advice, but I also want to reach into the deep darkness that women experience and help you see the light at the end of that tunnel you have dug for yourself.

I, for some reason, have placed myself in this box where I have created rules that I cannot share my faith or I have to be very careful about how I share it, but in reality, it does not make sense.  In my everyday life, I want to portray my faith in God and give a since of hope to others.  I can only do this because God has blessed me with this ability to listen and give Godly guidance.  Even though others may not see it as a godly approach, everything I do I want to come from Him and be for Him.

So when I give you support and offer advice, KNOW I am doing this from a Godly perspective.  My parenting advice and experience comes from the only way I know how to parent, which is through discipline and training from scripture.  Sure I have been trained in different areas and I've read lots of parenting books, and with all that knowledge, I still know that the only true successful parenting comes from God.

I’m not trying to sell you a simple guide to parenting.  There are no 5 miraculous things you can do to become successful in parenting and raise a child that has no struggles.

I am trying to provide you with loving, supportive guidance that comes straight from a biblical perspective.  Yes, the training and work experience help my position---But these are all things God has provided in my path that He alone is directing (when I allow it).  I want to help you moms out there who are struggling with guilt, shame, feelings of loneliness.  I want to reach out and help you see that there is a way to happiness and peace in your home.  I want to provide a safe place for your children and teens to share their struggles and take that burden off your family when you are at the end of your rope and do not know where to turn.

My goal is also to provide a safe place for mothers of all ages and phases to be able to share those thoughts we often keep in our heads and never let see the light of day.  Fears. Dreams. Anxiety. Goals. Guilt. Desires. Anger. Frustration. Shame. Doubt. Excitement.

I want to create a community where mothers can come together and feel supported and loved.  Where you can gain a sense of connection and combat the isolation we experience sometimes. Even when we are surrounded by our family, it can be a lonely place.  You may feel disconnected and needing female insight.  Maybe you are struggling in many areas and feel you have no one to talk to because of fear of being shamed or judged.

When I became a stay at home mom, almost 8 years ago, I struggled through so many phases all alone.  On the outside, it looked like I had it all together.  Even when you came into my home, it was clean and organized.  I never shared my fears, anxiety, or struggles with anyone.  This led to some serious bouts of anxiety and depression.  (Do you know I almost erased that word depression?)  Isn’t it so hard to share those parts of yourself with others?  It wasn’t until I started taking steps to care for myself mentally, spiritually, and physically that I was able to get through the fog and see light.  Now don’t get my wrong, I loved being home and taking care of my children and my family!  I still do!  This is why I do not work full-time hours.  However, there is a loneliness that comes with being home all day every day with super tiny humans and no adults to talk to.

Before I became a stay at home mom, I was a work 60 hours a week and try to parent and take care of my home mom.  I SUCKED at it!  I mean majorly!  My house was always a disaster.  I felt guilty for always leaving my child with someone else, even though it was my mom-in-law who I know loves my children dearly.  I struggled with worldly desires vs. Godly desires.  I was not a patient person at home because I had given ALL my energy at work.  Can you relate?  That is not the life for me anymore!

I’m sharing this because I want you to know I have lived both sides of this as a mother and wife.  I too continue to have struggles in my own life with managing all the demands of the many roles women play.  I get it!  I’ve lived it!  I’m still living it daily.

If you are looking for someone to give you honest and caring guidance or for a place to connect with other women who get your struggles, then don’t wait to reach out.  Let me know you are ready to get connected by responding below.

Let’s work together to connect women- moms- wives and help them see they are not alone in this Big Confusing World!!!

 

 

Have a Blessed Day!

 

3 Reasons Your Teenage Daughter Should Join Group

Still not sure if group is right for your teenage daughter?  That's ok...  It's a big decision and a commitment.    Group offers so many advantages for growth.

1. It offers a place of positive support from peers who are going through the same stages your teen is experiencing.

They struggle with body image---bad attitudes about life---feel alone---won't talk to you---shy away from their friends---struggle at school---have a low self-esteem---struggle to set boundaries with others---make bad decisions--------------------I could go on...

2. They won't feel alone anymore in their problems.

Your teen may get involved and talk openly, or they may learn from hearing others' stories in the group, but one thing I do know is that they will not feel alone in their struggles.

3. They will learn to be confident in themselves.

Through the experience of group, they will learn how to take better care of themselves mentally and physically, which leads to lots of other healthy behaviors.

I hear teens and parents say:

"My daughter talks to me now!"

"I feel confident and inspired!"

"I was able to say no."

"She is happier and smiles more."

Join me in helping your teen find a healthier way to deal with life by enrolling in Empowering Teen Girls Group.

Are you ready to help her move forward?

Click here to find out how to enroll your daughter in group.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Dayna

P.S.

If you are holding back, what questions do you have?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

Open Enrollment for Empowering Teen Girls Group-Only 2 Spots Available!!!

I am opening enrollment for my Empowering Teen Girls Group, and there are only 2 Spots Available...So Hurry!!!

 

What group members have to say about group...

"Group give me inspiration."

"Group is encouraging."

"Group helps me stay grounded."

Help your teen navigate the ups and downs of growing up by enrolling her in Empowering Teen Girls Group today!

For more information about this group, click here, or email me at daynasykes@daynasykeslpc.com.

 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Dayna

Ending the Homework Battle!

We are talking about "Back to School" here on the blog and I wanted to get you thinking about Homework.  I know-I know- who wants to think homework before school even starts?!  Right?  But I guarantee your child is thinking about it and dreading it.  In fact, it may be a reason your child is grumbling about the return to school.

I know for some families, homework is a time of chaos-yelling-tears-and maybe tantrums.  This is one time where the whole family may complain and want to just give up on school.  Let's face it, homework is not going away.  In fact, it's a vital tool for your child's learning.  I can't believe I'm supporting homework!  It is proven that practice makes skills easier and helps your child to retain what they  have learned.  If they can go home and do the work, then they've gotten the hang of the new skill.  So, how do we take the battle out of homework time?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Set a consistent time to do homework----This could be immediately after school or after a break from school.  For my family, we allow some time to play and have a snack.  Especially when days get shorter and the sun goes down early.  Children sit most of the day at school and come home wound up with energy that needs to be used.  It's ok to give them time to move.  This does not mean watching tv or playing video games.  Get them moving!  They may even be able to focus much easier after this.  Do not wait until right before bedtime to do homework!!!!  Your child will be tired and this will turn into a battle!
  2. Have a quiet place set up for homework.---This could be a desk, kitchen table, or in their rooms.  Give other siblings who may not be doing homework a busy activity so they are not bothered.  Make sure there are no distractions like the tv or ipod's around for texting.
  3. Be around for support.---If your child needs help, how do they let you know?  Do they cry out angrily "I don't understand this!!!"  Let them know when to ask for help.  This is such an important lesson to teach early because we all need support sometimes, and often those adults who have high stress levels are those who struggle to ask for help when needed.  Teach them early how to ask for help.  Walk in and check on them after about 10 minutes to make sure they don't need help and talk to them about how proud you are that they are working so hard.
  4. Don't lose your cool!---Homework can be stressful for parents too.  When my son was in 4th grade and common core math started, I wanted to beat my head on the table.  I just could not wrap my brain around the concepts he was learning.  That was a long evening of googling and texting other moms for help.  But I remained calm and it actually became quite funny.  Don't get frustrated if you don't understand and know how to support your child.  Do have some people on backup who may be able to help.  Maybe dad is good at Math and mom is good at Language Arts.   Take turns where your strengths lie or call a friend.  And if that doesn't work, simply use your own coping skills and help them to do their best.  Then, let the teacher know you are unable to help with that subject.  If your child is struggling with it, make the teacher aware so they know they will have to give them some extra support to get it.
  5. Don't allow complaining and whining.  Let your child know before school starts what your plan is to help them get homework done and make it less stressful.  Set up a reward for them to get it done when asked and not whine or throw fits about it.  Celebrate when they finish-look over it to ensure they did it correctly-give them some free-time and maybe a favorite treat to show them how proud you are of their effort and their attitude.

If you haven't signed up for my Back to School series, there's still time.  You will receive 3 emails with tips to make this year a success!  Just click here to get started!

Let us know in the comments what your homework routine looks like!

This is going to be a great year!

Dayna

 

P.S.

If you would like more Parenting Support, sign up here for a Parent Group.  Watch this video about my goal for this group.  Not sure what group is?  Read here for information.

 

100 Ways to Cope with Stress and A Story On Self-Care

     The more you practice self-care and the better you take care of yourself on a daily basis, the more natural it becomes.  I've had one of the worst weeks in a long time in my life.  My father-in-law had a very serious accident with a chainsaw that could've been the end of all for him.  By the grace of God, he is healing and rehabilitating very well for an 81 year old man.  Through all of this, I have learned that my support system is bigger than I could've ever imagined, and now a week out I see that I have taken care of myself during this journey better than I may have in the past.

"If you practice self-care daily when you aren't facing tremendous stress, you will turn to healthy habits when you do hit a stressful period."

In the past, I may have comforted myself with junk food and quit taking care of myself and only focused on the stressor.  And even though I still struggled to find time to sleep or eat, I did realize I wasn't stuffing my face with junk and I WAS praying frequently and taking lots of deep breaths.  This week, we are traveling for my son's ball team, and I am finding myself seeking quiet spots to de-stress from last week.  I've kept my Bible close.  I have made time to run (my most effective tool to cope with stress).  I am continuing to fill my body with healthy choices, and I've found time to read leisurely.  These are my favorite ways to provide my own self-care, and the view in the mountains helps tremendously!

I encourage my clients to practice daily self-care.  Practice makes perfect right?  Well......practice doesn't really make perfect, but it does make it more natural and creates habit.  If you practice self-care daily when you aren't facing tremendous stress, you will turn to healthy habits when you do hit a stressful period.

"The more you practice self-care and the better you take care of yourself on a daily basis, the more natural it becomes. "

Let's face it, life happens!  It happens to us all, even me.  Difficult struggles do not discriminate.  Be prepared.  Practice your daily self-care.

Click here to sign up for a FREE list of 100 Coping Skills and let me know in the comments which skills you find most helpful.

Dayna

How do we teach our kids patience?

Image result for patience is a virtue Checking out at the Dollar Store today, I noticed that a movie recently released was already on DVD for sale.  I commented how quickly this came out and the cashier and I had a quick discussion about "the good ole days" when movies took FOREVER to be released.  Then if you waited to see them on DVD, you had to wait until it was in stock at the local video store.  Of course this sparked a conversation about how kids these days have it made.

They NEVER have to WAIT!!!!!!!

They can have instant access to just about anything they want to do or see.  They have instant access to peers and you through text messaging and social media.  They can stream content anywhere they want and don't have to wait through commercials.

I love this life too, but let's face it, it has some downfalls.

Have you noticed how easily kids are bored and how little patience they have?

I mean, they cannot even wait a minute for your conversation to end.  They want immediate responses to everything.  If you don't respond to a text right away, they start texting you multiple texts:

Image result for when someone doesn't text you back memes

Image result for when someone doesn't text you back memes

Did you know that patience is not a natural human ability?  It is something we have to practice to get better at.  Do not feel pressured to fall into the new expectations of immediately gratifying your kids' every desire.  Teach them patience!  Their boss will thank you one day!!!

Enjoy the process!

Dayna

 

Some Examples of My Own Coping Skills

I teach parents that their example is the most important in their child or teen's life.  So with that said, I find it important to set an example for you as well.  How can I teach you to take care of yourself, if I don't take care of myself.  Right? I compare this to going to the doctor and the doctor lecturing you about being overweight, but yet they are overweight themselves and visually  not taking care of themselves.  Or the family member who lectures you about smoking when they chew tobacco or drink heavily.  It's so important to be an example of what you are teaching, and I try to do this in my own work.

Watch the video below to learn different ways I take care of myself and what I use to cope in life!  (This is also a good example of going with the flow and not being a perfectionist.)

https://youtu.be/99Io2iM8SQo

Have a great weekend!

Dayna

 

 

What Coping Skills Are and What They Are Not

Today we talked about Coping Skills in my Empowering Teen Girls Group and I wanted to share with you some ideas about what Coping Skills are and what they are NOT. You can watch the video here.

 

I think people get confused when someone asks them about Coping Skills.

I am  going to talk a minute about what coping skills are and what they are not.

 

Image result for eye rolling emojiBecause I often get this eye roll or people just shut down and say "It doesn't work".  This happens across the board.  Children-Teens-Adults alike.

So what are coping skills?

These are skills you use to help yourself be in control.  They can be calming like a bubble bath- a walk- or soft music.  Or they can be uplifting like your favorite song to sing to loudly in the car (one of my favorite things to do after a long hard day) or being creative with paint or drawing-hanging out with friends and socializing.

Coping skills should be Healthy Activities you enjoy that you can kind of lose yourself in the moment.

What coping skills are not---

They are not a one time fix all solution.  They are not a magic pill to take away all your problems.  They won't do anything to take away your problem!  You still will have to deal with whatever is causing your stress at some point, but coping skills help you manage your emotions and actions around that stress.

I hope this makes sense and helps you understand the importance of having  coping skills.  I will jump back on here next week to give you an example of how I use coping skills to manage stress in my own life.  Because guess what, I need them too!

 

If you want more information about coping skills, you can visit my website by clicking on the link in this post.  Have a great day!

Screen Time Linked to Inattention

Did you know that your child’s inability to focus on tasks may be due to their screen time?  Researchers are finding out that children who have unlimited screen time are struggling to focus at school and have difficulty following through on tasks.  Symptoms of too much screen time can look like a mental health disorder.  That means that some children are receiving a diagnosis for disorders like ADHD, Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Oppositional Defiance, etc----and the culprit is the SCREEN!!!

I myself can tell a huge difference in my own child when screen time is not limited.  Her grades start dropping, and her Math sheet looks like she chooses “1,2, skip a few”.  Her ability to tolerate small frustrations and her overall attitude changes.  That’s when I have to shape up in my parenting and set those limits.  We will stay away from that screen for several days as a “reset”.  Yes, even I struggle sometimes to keep those limits set.  When life gets busy and she gets away with it, she will definitely take advantage of that screen.

It’s scary to me that so many children and teens have unlimited access 24/7.  They are exposed to so much stimulation and not to mention the inappropriate things they accidentally see when there are no restrictions on screens.  So many negative consequences fall from unlimited and/or unrestricted screen time.

If you notice your child suddenly struggling with disorganization, restlessness, limited focus, and behavior changes, try a screen free zone for a while and see how quickly and how drastic they change.  Your child who seems like they are possessed by someone/something else will return to you.

Have you seen a positive change in your child when limiting screen time?

 

Dayna