Parenting

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


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.  


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

 

 

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.

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.

 

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

 

 

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

Your Teen Wants You To Know This

Do you wish you could be on the inside listening in on your teen's thoughts?  Well, I've gotten a free pass into some of their thoughts that they wish they could share with you. Watch this video where I share with you inside information I got directly from your teen.

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I had the privilege of setting up shop at the Smith County Career Day, and I asked teens to "Drop a Post It" answering 1 of these 2 Questions:

  1. If you could tell your parents anything, what would it be?
  2. If you could change 1 thing in your life, what would you change?

Here is what they said!

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"I wish my parents knew how I feel."

"I wish my parents knew what I'm going through."

"I wish my parents understood the temptations I face."

"I wish my parents knew I (smoke/am depressed/love them/am trying)."

"I wish my parents knew about the bad things that have happened to me".

"I wish my parents knew how your behavior and actions affect me."

"I wish I could change how my parents treat others."

"I wish I could change how I treat others."

"I need to be nicer to people."

"I need to learn how to communicate with my parents."

When you think your teen wants nothing to do with you or shuts you out, know that this is normal.  And know that they really do need you to find a way in.  They want you to know them and understand what they are experiencing.  A reminder for you- Think back to when you were a teen.  What was that like for you?  Now I am not telling you to go share those experiences with your teen, but when you are trying to connect, keep in mind what it was like for you to connect with your own parents.  Have some empathy and understanding.  Don't quit on them!  They need us all!

Blessings,

Dayna

P.S. Empowering Teen Girls Group (ages 13+) starts April 12th!!!  I'm super psyched to get this group started!  If you would like information, Click Here.

What to Know about Spring Break and Your College Student

Spring Break is here for many colleges and high school students!

For some Spring Break is a time to get away with your family, but for many it is a time to do "whatever you want" with the thought of no consequences.

Here is an article from The Culture Translator for all parents to watch.  The links provided in this article will take you to videos from Fox News.

If you are a parent of a Spring Breaker, this is a must read.  Educate yourself on what your college student will be exposed to and talk to them about making healthy choices so they don't suffer the consequences that many other young college students have.

If you are a parent of a college student, please read this and the associated links.  

The Spring Break Phenomenon (from Culture Translator)

March marks the beginning of spring break season, and this month, hundreds of thousands of students will migrate south for fun and sun in what is now popularly described as “the spring break phenomenon.” In most cases, the scene can only be described as debauchery, and perhaps nowhere else can the nature of hook-up culture be witnessed so explicitly. The ethos, and lie, of spring break is that anything goes, you can do whatever you want with no consequences—go wild, get crazy, get wasted, have sex. What happens on Spring Break stays on Spring Break.

According to a Penn State professor, this annual rite of passage is indicative of a larger social problem among students: “The more you are part of the party atmosphere in the university, the more likely you are to engage in those behaviors during spring break,” including binge drinking and casual sex. A survey of last year’s spring break attendees reveals that 30% of respondents said they had “8 or more” drinks during the day while on spring break, and 65% of respondents said they had at least one sexual experience. It’s a dangerous cocktail of alcohol-induced inhibition, sexual exploitation, and peer pressure that often leads to unwanted and damaging sexual encounters.

But unlike the expectation, Spring Break isn’t a time when the laws of the universe are suspended; every cause still has an effect. And those who participate become slaves of the system, bound by self-destructive norms and the consequences long after their hangovers fade to distant memories.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can begin teaching our kids at young ages how to rest well and discern the emptiness behind the tempting facade. And even if our kids are already in college, we can still have constructive conversations that point toward the deeper, more fulfilled life. If you’re looking for ways to redeem this annual tradition while equipping your teen to resist the normalization of illicit behavior, check out our “Parent’s Guide to Spring Break.” It’s an incredible read that will help you understand the root issues and how to draw your kids into a grander, more fulfilling narrative.

Previous topics: Search our archives here

Educate your college students on the dangers of the spring break attitude "anything goes".

You may have your own spring break regrets, and this generation is exposed to more than yours was.  Let's protect these young people and provide all the information we can to them.

Blessings,

Dayna

2 Major Changes in Parenting That We Struggle With

Sometimes life gets a little overwhelming, and you find yourself just going through the motions and losing enjoyment for things that used to matter.  This is called burnout.  People get burnout at work, which usually happens when you experience high stress over a long period of time with no breaks/vacation/self care days.  People feel burnout in school when they are struggling with a high load/stressful relationship/discouragement/many years of this on repeat.

Today I'm talking about burnout at home, which looks a lot like burnout at work.  You find yourself going through the motions of preparing meals, laundry, cleaning, helping with homework, sickness, driving kids from place to place, cleaning, laundry, cleaning, laundry....You see where I'm going with this?  As parents, it can get overwhelming and just TIRING.  At some point, you find yourself hating all the mundane tasks, thinking negatively about everyone who is not pitching in on the to do list, and ready to just throw in the towel.

2 things have changed in our parenting society.

1 . Moms are still the main caretaker- Moms work full time jobs and lots of times are doing the majority of the work with taking care of the house and children.  (I know there are some families who share-rare, and I know there are families where roles are reversed.)

2. Parents are not teaching there Kids to help out at all!

Why do we continue to live like this?  The stress is unreal.  Moms (just replace with dad if you must) get labeled as "drill sergeant", "nagging", "always in a bad mood", "no fun", "buzz killers".  You know the answer to our problem lies in our homes.  It's right there within your reach.  Family!  It's time for parents to regroup and put your family to use.  Moms-you are not the only ones who can fold laundry, scrub toilets, or run a vacuum.  Divvy up the to do list.

This not only takes the stress of bearing all these responsibilities off of one person, but it teaches everyone else responsibility.  If you want mom to have more energy/time for fun/playful attitudes, help her out.  It's exhausting to come home from a long day of working or grocery shopping+running errands+transporting kids to appointments or practices and know you still have to cook, clean up, do homework, make sure baths are done, wash/dry/fold/put away laundry..... before you can fall in bed.  Let's hand out some of these jobs to our loving family members and remember that it's teaching them responsibility.  Take the time you would be spending doing chores and spend some real quality time with your family.

Give your kids a chore today and ask your spouse for some help with 1 item on your list, then tell me how it went by leaving a comment below.

Top 5 Ways to Motivate Your Teen

Top 5 Incentives for Motivating Your Teen

After years of working with teens and parents, I'm hearing the same story repeat itself within each family...

"How do I motivate my teen?"

"Help!  "I can't get my teen to do anything."

"My teen won't help around the house."

"My teen refuses to study or apply herself at school."

"My teen never follows through!"

You feel like you have no control and you are constantly offering empty threats or endless encouragement that doesn't seem to work.

That's why I've decided to create this Top 5 List of Incentives That Will Motivate Your Teen.  Things that we often forget about.  

First let me start out by explaining what an Incentive is...

An incentive is something you add to increase motivation.  And let's be honest, we all need incentives.  An incentive is not a "bribe", which I hear parents frequently complain that they don't want to feel they have to bribe their teens to do anything.  And an incentive Does Not have to cost you money!

Let's  be real!  For us, an incentive to clean the kitchen every night is that we get up in the morning and have a fresh counter to work on.  Our incentive for cleaning the toilet is that we don't have to worry when we have unexpected guests come in and use our bathrooms.  An incentive for getting up and going to work everyday is that we take home a paycheck.

Teens need incentives too, and they are going to be different from me and you because let's face it, they are not adults so they don't think the same way.

So without further delay, here are my Top 5 Incentives for Motivating Your Teen:

1. Device Privileges

Does your teen get unlimited usage on their/your device?  Why?  Who pays for this service? You do right?!  Limit your teens device usage based on the amount of motivation they have to accomplish assigned tasks.  If they are not doing homework, why do they get free reign to text their friends or surf social media?  Besides, this is often what they are spending time doing vs. doing the tasks you have assigned.  Did they refuse to clean the kitchen?  Well then you refuse to supply their network to their friends.

2. Remove Netflix

How much time is your teen spending binge watching their favorite tv series or movie?  I'd say that removing this distraction would certainly free up some time to let's say do some studying or vacuum the living room.  Right?

3. Friend Time

Teens love to hang out with other teens.  Whether it be in the community or setting up camp in each other's homes binge-watching Netflix while eating up all the food in your house.  Let me remind you that this is a PRIVILEGE, not a necessity.  Limit your teens time with friends when they are not following through with your expectations.

4. Car Privileges

This one is a big one!  Guess what-?!  You do not have to provide your teen with a vehicle, gas money, or a ride if they are not doing their fair share around the house or if they are slacking off at school.  Set an expectation they have to meet in order to receive this privilege.

5. Alone Time

While some alone time is healthy for a teen and privacy is important, this is also one of those privileges you earn.  If your teen is not following through, then their attempts to ignore the family and hideout in their rooms should be stopped.  If the family is pitching in on Saturday to clean up the yard, your teen should not get a free pass to hang out in their room and text friends.  There are lots of ways to solve this solution, and if you need some creative help, let me know.

Is there something more specific you are struggling with?  Comment below and let me know what it is.  I am always looking for ways to create content specific to you.

So there you have it!

P.S. Click Here to receive a free mindfulness activity to help your teen cope with overwhelming emotions.

 

BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!!!

Keep a lookout for an awesome resource I am adding for parents to help with the stress of getting your kids Back To School!

I have reached out to parents and teachers to ask them what the Biggest Struggles are with Back to School!

I will be offering tips on making this transition Stress free and Drama Free!

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If you would like to make sure I address issues you need help with, then leave a comment below and I will try to include it in my offer!

Don’t forget to check back in a few days to get a chance to sign up for this opportunity to start the school year off Stress Free and Drama Free!