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

I'm a Failure

So I've really had a come to Jesus moment right smack in the face Very Recently.  I don't usually share about myself, but I think the best way to help others sometimes is to show that even I struggle with life sometimes.

For some reason, when people hear I am a therapist, they get this notion that I have it all together and all figured out and that everything is easy for me and my family.  I don't know where people get that idea that therapists are perfect.  The only perfect being I know of was Jesus, and I surely am not Jesus.

I want you to know the ugly truth...

I fail at things.  Sometimes I fail HARD.  I fail at taking care of myself.  I fail at parenting.  I fail at marriage.  I fail at friendships.  I even fail at work.  And that's OK!  Because I'm allowed to fail.

#1- I am human. 

#2- I AM NOT JESUS.

#3- Failure leads to all the good stuff 

 

GROWTH---STRENGTH---COURAGE---PEACE---BLESSINGS---ACCEPTANCE

 

The last couple of years, I have had some weird health issues pop up.  And while some are not common, others are becoming more common in people my age.  Why?  Because we live in a world of constant activity and business.  It's all relevant to self-care.  I am an advocate to others in terms of self-care.  I would like to think my practice is around empowering women, teens, and children to care for themselves.  It's not just about listening for me.  It's about knowing when you leave my office, you have a way to be gentler on yourself and healthier.

 

 

 

 

However, I have been failing at taking care of my own self.  I got so wrapped up in things I wanted to do and began spiraling into a puddle of self-doubt as health issues arrived.  My body has been telling me to slow down, and it has been trying to signal to me that I'm forgetting the most important thing.  Me.  I quit running consistently, quit eating clean, gained weight, lost progress I had made and all the while ran myself down trying to do too many things and overthinking every step I took.  My parenting became lazy, my marriage became a little distant, and my house was missing attention.

 

But all it takes is a new day, a new sunrise and me saying I'm done with how things are going.  It's time to put myself first again.

Do you ever find yourself losing this battle?  I know you do, unless you are Jesus...  Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  There are hurdles and injuries and struggles to make it to your goal.  But it is so worth it.  If you find yourself in a losing battle right now, all I have to say is Learn from it, Forgive Yourself, and Move Forward because every day is a new day.

And remember:

 

 

#1- I am Human!

#2- I am not Jesus!

 

#3- Failure leads to all the good stuff! 

 

I am going to spend some time focusing on self-care and invite you to join me.  Let me know in the comments where you are in your marathon of life.  Are you struggling right now?  Maybe I can help coach you along.

Blessings,

Dayna

 

Happy Valentine's Day!

It’s Valentine’s Day!  For many this day gets blown way out of proportion and you set really high expectations for your spouse.  You may end up making it a day of frustration and resentment.

Vow to make this day about love and appreciation.  Sure, receiving a dozen roses is nice, but that $100 plus could be better spent right?  Think about the small things you can do for each other to show appreciation.

If you tend to feel frustrated when you see others bragging about their gifts, then take a day off from social media.  There’s nothing worse than agreeing to spend time together and harboring jealousy and resentment because you feel like you aren’t loved because your husband didn’t surprise you with flowers, chocolates, and a massage while you were at work.  Keep in mind that over the top gift giving does not equal a good marriage.  For some couples, Valentine's Day is the only day they show love.  How sad...

Remember that every day is a day to show your love to your spouse.  Valentine’s Day is a day to rekindle your love for one another.

A few simple gifts to avoid the pressure of perfection:

-Make your spouse’s favorite dinner.

-Leave sticky notes around the house for them thanking them for things they bring to the family.

-Put the kids to bed early and spend time watching a movie or your favorite series.

-Sit together on the couch and talk.

-Make a special dessert.

-Write a note highlighting the many reasons you love them.

-Create a playlist of songs you both love and listen to it together.

-Do something on their to-do list for them.

-Give your spouse some alone time (without interruption).

-Draw a bubble bath for your spouse and offer a drink and soft music.

-Go to bed at the same time and spend time talking and connecting.

-Send romantic texts throughout the day letting them know you are thinking about them.

Think about the things that make your spouse feel loved and do something for them that you know will leave them feeling loved and appreciated.  It’s not about expensive and outrageous gift giving.  It’s about your relationship with one another.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tis the Season to be Jolly, Joyful, and to ROCK MidTerms!!!!

Tis the Season to be Jolly, Joyful, and to ROCK those Midterms!!! Don't forget to help your kids (5th grade and up) study for their exams. For our local schools, midterms are beginning. The best way to beat test anxiety is to BE PREPARED!

For College Students, give them a call to celebrate finishing up Finals!  They could use the encouragement, trust me.

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.

 

Mindfulness Activity: 5-4-3-2-1

What is mindfulness?

Sometimes we get overwhelmed with unpleasant feelings..  Mindfulness is a way to recenter our mind and body and quickly relax tension that we may be experiencing from these unpleasant feelings.  Mindfulness is a way to recognize and cope with overwhelming feelings  so you can focus on the present.    

 

Mindfulness is not….

Mindfulness is not a magic solution.  It will not remove your stress or cause you to feel completely and utterly relaxed for all time.  But if practiced often, it will help you manage your stress and unpleasant experiences so you are not overwhelmed by them.  

Try this activity

This mindfulness technique teaches you to hone in on your senses and forces you to really focus on each sense.  You may find yourself noticing things you’ve never paid attention to before.  Think about how often you drive home and don’t even realize your surroundings or that you passed a certain marker on your way until you are already home.  Mindfulness helps you soak in your surroundings and be present with them.  

For this exercise you will need to be in a comfortable position.  Spend several minutes 2-3 on each step, some may require more focus and more practice.  

 

5 Things You See:

Get comfortable and begin observing your surroundings.  Try to focus on 5 things in the room around you.  Make a mental note of what you can see.  You may notice a mark on the floor you’ve never seen or vibrant colors you haven’t realized were there.  

 

4 Things You Hear:  

Focus on what you can hear.  Really listen to the noises around you.  Try to block every other thought out of your mind and just really focus on sounds.  Can you hear the hum of the heat/air unit?  Is there a distant sound of cars passing?  Maybe you can hear a clock ticking in a room closeby.  

3 Things You Feel:

For this step, I want you to notice sensations against your body.  What can you feel?  Work from your toes up if you need to.  Can you feel the pressure of your feet on the floor?  Do you feel the seat against your body?  Can you feel air against your skin?  Maybe you notice unpleasant sensations like a tag scratching your neck.  Just sit and feel for a couple minutes.  

2 Things You Smell:

This sense will take a little more focus as you differentiate smells in the room or area you are in.  What can you smell?  If you can only smell 1 thing, don’t give up.  Keep your focus and really channel your nose to pick up smells.  

1 Thing You Taste:

For the last step, you will be focusing on your taste buds.  Just focus on what you taste at the moment.  It may be pleasant or unpleasant.  Maybe you are tasting the remnants of your previous meal or drink.  You may taste stale breath.  Focus and taste the sensation.

 

Once you have moved through each step, think about the senses you noticed and what got your attention the most.  You may have noticed things you have never realized were present.  Maybe you began to smell or taste something you hadn’t noticed 15 minutes ago.  When we really take time to focus on things, we can be enlightened.  Now pay attention to how you feel.  Are you more relaxed?  Is your mind clearer?  Once you have completed this exercise, you can either decide to engage in another activity or go right back to what you were doing before.  If you become stressed and agitated, take another break and try this exercise again.  

 

Mindfulness takes practice, so use this activity often to build good coping habits.  Mindfulness can be done anywhere but I recommend practicing it while you shower  and when you are lying in bed.  These are times our minds often wander onto stressful thoughts and we can become tense and frustrated very quickly.  

Let go of the stress, and enjoy the present.

Dayna

P.S.  To receive my free list of Top 5 Coping Skills Your Teen Can Use Now, Click Here.

 

 

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!

3 SIMPLE STEPS FOR A STRESS FREE MORNING

Back to School Morning Routines

So here it is!!!  Resources to take the stress out of this Back To School season!  For some of us, the season has begun and for those few lucky ones, you are right on the brink of start days.  Here are 3 Simple Steps to get your mornings flowing without the stress!

1. Do as much as you can the night before!

  •  Look at folders and sign forms as soon as you get home!!!!
  • Kids need to empty Lunchboxes and refill water bottles for tomorrow.
  • Have a set time for homework!!!! I cannot stress this one enough. (Do this ASAP to avoid the fight…look for future info on trouble shooting homework) book-15584_1280
  • Pack that backpack up and hang it or sit it by your exit. Older kids can do this without help!
  • Showers before bed—we like to do this while mom is cooking supper.
  • Send kids to lay out clothes and shoes—hair bows—earrings—socks— (trust me on the socks!)
  • Check the lunch calendar for the next day-mine hangs on the refrigerator for easy access.

1. Did you send lunch money this week? If not, then do this now. 2. Have your kids pack their lunch boxes- all you have to do in the morning is add a cold drink and a sandwich if you don’t like soggy.

child-666137_6402. Get in Bed On Time! Sleep is important!! Children need 10-12 hours of sleep for healthy brain development and growth.

  • Take a few minutes to connect with your child.
  • Help!  My child won’t sleep! (post about this coming soon)
  • Go to bed!

Bedtime is a great time for connecting with kids. This is often the time they are ready to share thoughts/worries/concerns/exciting moments of their day…Keep the lights off and snuggle up or sit on their bed for a few minutes. *Warning* This is not a time for disciplining or lectures…just listening!

Sleep is important for you too! Go to bed early enough to get 7-8 hours of sleep.

*Unless you have a baby this is doable*

3. Rise Early!alarm-clock-2132276_640

  • Please do not let your children be the ones to wake you for school! They need guidance! Get up early enough to be prepared for whatever the morning may throw at you—a child who can’t seem to wake up—a belly ache that sends them running to the bathroom—a child refusing to get ready—I could go on and on here. Get up and get ready before you have to wake them.
  • Wake them up at a set time each day! Do it in a way that sets the tone for the day. No yelling or screaming. Please do not pour water on their heads… Wake them in plenty of time to do their own morning routine. Yes they will need a routine too.
  • Eat Breakfast! Make sure to feed your child or get them to school early enough for Breakfast. A child cannot concentrate on school work with a growling tummy and they are more likely to get in trouble due to distraction of hunger.
  • Grab backpacks (These should already be packed waiting by the door.) and head out the door!
  • If your child is a car rider…Make sure there is time to walk your child in without hurrying them (if needed). You will be glad you got up early and got yourself ready before you left.
  • Send them off with a hug, kiss, and “I love YOU!”

Remember Rome was not built in a day, and your routine will take some time to get used to.

Make this routine YOURS each day and your stress will be gone! If you need support, comment below so I can help you trouble shoot your routine. Remember Rome was not built in a day, and your routine will take some time to get used to. Don’t make these simple steps Hard! If you are struggling overall with parenting, call me today to talk about Parent Coaching at 615-683-1111.

JUST IN TIME FOR BACK TO SCHOOL!!!

I am BURSTING AT THE SEAMS ready to share all these Back to School resources for Parents that I’ve been working on!  My wheels have been spinning and I have been writing and creating, writing and creating!  

Back To School

Writing and Creating here!

I will be providing tips on how to help Teen Anxiety.   Back to School resources for parents.  Tips on Parenting children.

I’m in the midst of getting a new website up and going.  We are in the draft stages now and time is ticking down until it is up and going.  I cannot wait!

This new website is going to open the doors for my ability to share more with you and to provide Parenting tips, Parenting Support, resources YOU need for YOUR Teens and Children!

Just a sneak peak at what I’ve been working on:

Free Routine Checklist!

My Top 5 Tips for Battling Anxiety

3-2-1 Approach to Take Control of Your Anxiety

5 Reasons Groups Rock!

…And my Back to School Series:

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Homework!

 

Don’t see what you are looking for?  Leave a comment with a Parenting Struggle you would like help with, and I will provide you with some resources.

 

 

 

P.S. I am in the beginning phase of marketing for Groups!

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Groups Now Open For Enrollment!

Groups Now Open For Enrollment:

Teen Girls Group (ages 15-17)

Life skills for Young Adults Group (ages 17-20)

Parent Coaching Group (Parents of Young Children)

If any of these groups sound appealing to you, call or email me for more information!

Can’t wait to hear from you!

3 WAYS TO GET YOUR TEEN TO TALK TO YOU

 So many times I hear parents say to me “She won’t talk to me!”  or “He stays in his room on his phone.”  The frustration in your tone is heard.  I can feel the pain you are sharing with me.  I want you to know that teens not talking to parents is a normal stage in development, but it doesn’t have to be this way all the time.

“She won’t talk to me….”

Do you wish your teen would tell you what is on her mind?  Do you wish your son would come to you when he has a problem?

I’m going to show you 3 ways to get your teen to talk to you!  Yes!!!  You heard me right….TALK to YOU.  And the best part about it is that they are pretty simple things to do.

So are You ready to do this?

Here it is:

  1. Listen to them

Listen to your Teen!  I’m going to share with you what your parents, grandparents, mentors, and teachers have always told you that stands true with your teens.  You listen with your ears, not your mouth.  Wow!  Aren’t those words of wisdom?  Listen to your teens.  And when you listen—HEAR them!

So what does not listening look like?  Let me give you some case examples:

“That’s the stupidest idea you’ve ever had!  Why would you do that???”

“I don’t care what your excuse is, your curfew is 10:00!!!  No excuses!”

“You did what???”

“I trusted you and…..”

Or….”when I was your age….”

“Why would you want to …..”

Sound familiar?  When your teen decides to come to you with a problem, and you immediately shut them down with a lecture, discipline, or shaming their choices; I guarantee you they WILL shut down.

“Listen with your ears, not your mouth!”

Don’t interrupt them with these parent moments!  Don’t ruin a wonderful opportunity of talking with your teen because you impulsively must have a parent moment.  You both know you are the parent!  Just push pause on “parent mode” for a few minutes and hear them out and don’t interrupt them.  You have plenty of time to parent after the conversation ends.

  1. Trust them.

    trust your teen

    Trust your teen

You have worked for years on teaching this child right from wrong.  They know when they make mistakes.  They know when they are going to be punished.  They know when you are going to be disappointed in them.  Knowing all of this and still coming to you is the ultimate respect in a parent/child relationship.  When your teen feels comfortable saying “Mom, I really messed up.  Can we talk?”  then you know you can trust your child with just about anything.  I know some of you are saying— “like that would ever happen!”  I see your eyes rolling far back in your head!  But it does happen!  There are families who have open communication with their teen.

You can too!

If your teen avoids you when they make mistakes, ask yourself why?  I know the 1st response is probably “Because they know they are in trouble!”  But I bet if I asked your teen, it would be “They don’t listen. (1)” or “They don’t understand.” (Boy I hear that one A LOT!)  LOL!

“Be honest with yourself.  Would teenage you want to talk to you?”

Be honest with yourself.  If you look back on your reactions toward your teen when they do something dumb AGAIN, would you come talk to you?  Do you yell at them?  Do you berate them and belittle them?  Do you point out how stupid they are?  How often do you go to people who treat you like that?  Think about that one for a little while, and then come back and read on…

  1. Stop Assuming

Talk through a problem with them.  Stop assuming they need you to tell them how to handle things. Don’t tell them how to fix it unless they point blank ask you for advice.  Listening and trusting them shows you have confidence in them.  Stop assuming they need you to fix all their problems or that they even want that.

Questions to Ask you Teen:

How do you feel about what Abby did?

What do you think you should do about …?

What kind of consequence do you think a late curfew deserves?

How do you feel about your friends drinking?

By asking open ended questions, you are inviting them to talk to you and teaching them that growing into an adult means making good decisions and you are giving them confidence in knowing they CAN make good decisions rather than assuming they Won’t Do the Right Thing. You are letting them share what they think and how they feel about situations.  You are learning that your teen has a good head on their shoulders and can choose the right path.

“Listen…Trust…Stop Assuming”

Most teenagers are going to be fair in their responses.  Now I know there are a few out there that would take advantage of this, but I’ve seen parents look totally shocked when we’ve had these open discussions in sessions and their teen Adults Up!  They assume they know what they would say, but they quickly have to pick their chin up off the floor when this Teen rocks their decision-making skills.

So that’s it!  Listen, Trust, and Stop Assuming. Pretty simple!  If you don’t make it hard.  Your relationship with your teen does not always have to be filled with drama, yelling, fighting, tears, and feelings of doubt.  You can Talk!  You can have a good relationship!  It really does happen for a lot of families.

If you do these 3 things, it allows your teen to trust you and to develop respect for you as their parent.  They will know that no matter what, my mom or dad is going to respect me and love me.

Now go and put this into action!  Then come back here and leave a comment and let me know how it went.  If you struggle, that’s OK.  I’m here to help!  Maybe you feel like your relationship is too far gone and you feel like there is too much damage done.  Damage can be fixed!  At no point in parenting is it too late.  Change can happen at any stage and age.  This doesn't mean change is going to be easy, but the longer you let it go the harder it will become.

Need more specific examples of scripts to use when communicating with your teen?

Comment below with your biggest challenge in communicating with your teen.

P.S. Teen Girls Group will be starting November 9th!  If you would like more information, click here.

MUSIC IS THERAPY

Sometimes a song can come on the radio and I can feel it through my soul. It reaches every fiber of my being. Music can speak to you. It can empower you-give you strength-confidence-even closure.

The lyrics of a song can feel alive and breathing. Music has been around since creation. It’s a natural source of relaxation and calm. It’s a way to express our feelings. Songwriters pour out their lives on paper and add music to it that reaches our souls.

Here are a few songs I’ve found helpful in therapy:

1. Alessia Cara “Scars to Your Beautiful” https://youtu.be/MWASeaYuHZo

2. Kelsea Ballerini “Secondhand Smoke” https://youtu.be/fa2ni7GYRiA

3. Kesha “Praying” https://youtu.be/JqvviR15bmE

What songs do you use for therapy?

ANY PROCRASTINATORS OUT THERE?

 

Time management is something I value but also have to work very hard at in my personal life.  I’m great at the important things-the priorities-family life-attending appointments-work.  I struggle when it comes to adding new things that I know will benefit me but are new to me.

Any procrastinators out there?  Typically when someone procrastinates it is because a) you are anxious and unsure of how to do it  b) it’s not important to you or c) you lack desire to do it.  Most of the time when I procrastinate it’s because I have no idea where to start, and therein lies my anxiety and insecurity of whether or not I know what I’m doing.  Why do we always feel we have to know what to do even when it’s brand new to us?  Insert eye roll here…

I’ve been slowly working on improving my site and figuring out exactly how I want it to function.  I’ve put it off at time due to feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of ideas I have for this site.  It’s been stressful to me because I want the content to be useful to you, and I want the information to be accurate and simple to put into practice.  I don’t want to overwhelm you.  Writing is not new to me.  It’s a hobby that I used to have more time for.  It comes naturally.  I really enjoy putting words on paper and watching them flourish into something useful.  And therein lies my biggest fear…will what I’m writing be useful to you?

So as I am working on developing content for my readers out there…those who hopefully haven’t given up on me during this last block of time–cough…cough… (2 months of dead air), I hope you will find it useful and applicable to your life.  I could really use your help in letting me know what you are finding easy to implement into your life and what you need more help with.  I need you to tell me where your struggles are.  And my promise is to work at meeting your needs by posting information on parenting and what to expect for your children/teens at different ages and stages.  I will give you options to apply in your life that will help you feel more in control of your family and yourself.  I will share my own experiences so you can see how it works in a real situation.  I will be real and honest with you because I am a parent too and I know how difficult that job can be.  I will not encourage you to do anything I wouldn’t do with my own children.

Now that I have a purpose in this site, it’s off to my notepad.

NEW RESOURCE ADDED FOR TEEN MOODINESS

Do you sometimes feel like your teen’s mood is unbearable?  You’ve probably heard them say “I can’t help it”…or maybe you’ve thought “she is out of control!” Did you know that we have the ability to control our thoughts?  Our feelings?  And how we react?  Therefore controlling our Moodiness!

Below is a NEW RESOURCE for you to use with your teen to help GAIN CONTROL of your teen’s moodiness!!

Our brain is a very complex organ in our body that controls everything we do.

We can remap how we approach things by making changes to how we think.

In this worksheet, I provide you with instructions on how to walk through your thoughts, feelings, and actions/reactions so your teen can GAIN CONTROL of their mood.  I also provide an example for you!

This tool is developed for teens but can be used by anyone struggling with moodiness.

Download it now  or find it anytime on my Self Help page.

If you need help with your teen, call me at 615-683-1111 for a free 15 minute phone consultation.

BELLY BREATHING

One of the most common tools I teach teens and adult clients is belly breathing.  It is one of the most successful tools when treating anxiety and fear.  This trick can calm you down quickly and can be used ANYWHERE, which is what I love about it.

Belly breathing is also known as deep breathing.

Before you practice this technique, I want you to imagine your belly is a balloon….

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OK—Got it?

When air is blown into a balloon, it inflates.  So as you breathe air in, your belly will inflate like a balloon.

When you release your breath, your belly should deflate as a balloon would when slowly losing air.

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Step 1: Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down.

Step 2: Clear your thoughts

Step 3: Take a slow deep breath in through your nose, slowly counting to 7, while focusing on your belly rising.

Step 4: Hold that breath for 2-3 seconds.

Step 5: Slowly release your breath, counting to 7, while your belly releases air.

Step 6: Repeat for 1 minute.

The trick to this technique is that you are breathing through your belly—Not— your chest.

Practice this Belly Breathing daily to build your stamina and increase the number of seconds you are inhaling and exhaling.  Work your way up to increments of 5, 10, 15 minutes of deep breathing.

A relaxed body cannot be an anxious body…

More on how to teach deep breathing to your child in the next post…

DEEP BREATHING FOR CHILDREN

As promised, here is a post on helping your child learn deep breathing techniques or belly breathing.  Deep breathing is a quick trick to help alleviate anxiety and calm worries.

When teaching a child this technique, there are 2 different ways I approach it, depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and comfort.  Most children are open about practicing techniques in front of others, but older children may feel a little weirded out when you start asking them to perform belly breathing in front of you, especially if they already have anxiety.

Trick #1-Teaching deep breathing using Bubbles. soap-bubbles-870342_640

I have a pack of bubbles in my office like this one that I can hand out to children in sessions.  I have the child blow bubbles and discuss how hard/soft to blow to get lots of bubbles or big bubbles.

I then suggest this as a trick to help them fight off their worries or (fill in the blank)-tummy ache, jitters, etc.-most of the time children cannot label anxiety/nervousness/worries.  But they can tell you what somatic complaints they have easily, which is a sign of anxiety depending when and how often it’s occurring.   (Please be advised that tummy aches do not mean your child has anxiety.  If you are concerned your child may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety, schedule an appointment for further assessment with a Pediatrician or Mental Health Professional.) 

 

Trick #2- Teaching Deep Breathing using a stuffed animalbear-678607_640

Have your child lay down on his/her back comfortably and place a small stuffed animal on their belly.

While directing them to slowly breathe in through their nose and out their mouth, guide them to watch the stuffed animal move up and down on their belly.

This will teach them belly breathing, and they can visibly see if they are breathing correctly.  Most times, this is modeled for the child by first doing the technique and then asking them to teach it back to me.  Children love to be the teacher!  I always end a session reminding them to teach their parent what they learned.  This keeps parents involved in progress and helps them hold the child accountable to practice daily.

Alright, that’s it-2 simple ways to help your child practice deep breathing!

DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH SELF-ESTEEM?

This week we’re going to be talking about our children’s self esteem.  That can be a heavy subject! chains-1379468_640

I would like to know where you struggles with your own self esteem and when you think it began for you.  Our ability to see the good in ourselves begins in childhood and either grows or is stunted as we mature.  Our parents have a huge influence on what we think of ourselves and how much confidence we have in our ability to Be or Do great things.

When you think about self-esteem, you often get an image of someone in your mind that you know…  Who are you picturing right now?  Maybe they have a negative view of their body, they have zero confidence and are really shy, or maybe they never socialize for fear of embarrassment. And on the other side of that, you know people who seem to have a very strong confidence in themselves that seems arrogant and cocky.  I bet you’re picturing someone else you know!

Where is the healthy middle?

Stop and Think—

Set your timer for 1 minute and write down as many positive things about yourself that you believe are good qualities.

Now…how many did you come up with?  If you struggled with this, why did you struggle?

We will talk more throughout the week about how to combat this thing called self esteem and how to set our children up for success in this area.

Please share your experience in the comments and tell me where you struggle with your own self esteem.  Do you know when this struggle began?