2 Things to Definitely Do This Summer FOR Your Kids and Teens

While watering our garden the other night, my nearly 7 year old said to me, “Mom, will you be home with us this summer all the time?”

Totally wishing I could pull from the money tree blossoming in our backyard and say yes, I said, “No little one, I have to work.  But I will be around more, and we can go to the pool and do fun things together.”

Point blank she said, “Well if you can’t be around all the time, can you please be off your phone when you’re with me?”  

Really tuning in I said, “I will do my best.  I have to do some things for work on my phone sometimes, but I will really try.  I hear you and thank you for telling me what you want.”

Then squeezy hug.  I love this kid.

I bet you can guess 1 of the 2 things to do this summer FOR your kids and teens.

#1 Get off your phone mom and dad.

Now that I have really got your attention (unless you just got a text on your phone you are now looking at…remember #1 people), let’s move onto #2.

Keeping up with other families and relatives is not always in your children’s best interest.  Some families are constantly on the move and some barely leave the house.  Neither of these ways of being are right or wrong.  They’re just different.

What is important though is while you are doing nothing or doing something, pay attention to if it is working for your family.  Doing back to back to back outings might be too much for your kids.  They may need some R&R.  Or maybe they are so bored and fighting all the time because they haven’t been stimulated enough.

Many parents can get swooped up in the FOMO (fear of missing out) and push their kids to the brink.  So when little Johnny is having a meltdown because he is super fatigued from sun and fun, you may want to rethink what Johnny really needs.  

Sometimes our children’s needs might not coincide with what we want.  That fact can be a bummer to miss out hanging with another family you really enjoy or not getting to stay home all day when that is what you had in mind.  This life is full of compromise.

Please remember this:

#2 Tune into your kid and do what they are needing more of and less of this summer.

Wishing you all a wonderful summer!

I Wish I Had Known

Auditorium of empty seatsDo you remember your 5th-8th grade self?  If you are like me, you may remember a variety of selves that showed up.  Transitioning from a kid to a teen in the matter of 4 short years.  From changing bodies to older topics of conversations to getting in and out of braces.  Then there is the labeling yourself, judging others, trying to find your place, changing relationships with your family members and friends, and seeing yourself in a whole new way.  And then there is the more modern day changes from no phone to phone and from texting to use of social media platforms.

I believe these years are extremely critical to our development and are a window of opportunity.  Kids and teens can still hear us. I see it all the time in my work; kids who are spouting out their family values, words, and beliefs.  Towards the junior high time though, many parents feel like their kids stop listening to them.  This time is when it can be helpful to have your child hear positive messages from other people.

Deep down inside of me is a teacher with wisdom to share with younger people.  While I don’t have all the answers, I believe I do have a knowing based on my own experiences, the experiences of others, and my training to help guide, share, and inspire.

There are a lot of things I wish I would’ve known and why I feel so compelled to run Wise Girl Workshops.  Here are a few:

    1. That feeling you get when you start eating a lot of food when you aren’t even hungry or you find yourself drinking faster, that’s anxiety.  There are healthy things you can do when you recognize that feeling to take care of yourself and watch it pass.
    1. You can be the person you want to be and you will also have challenges within yourself.  That’s ok.  You don’t have to be perfect.
    1. You are enough and can love yourself as is AND you can also work to better yourself all at the same time. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
    1. You can make good decisions for yourself and seek guidance from the loving adults around you.  It is ok, and people approve of you asking for help.
    1. We all want attention.  You don’t have to seek it out in unhealthy ways and succumb to pressure from others in order to be seen.
    1. We are all just trying to find our place. It’s ok to feel sad, worried, scared, and lonely.  It’s ok to talk to someone who cares about you when you feel this way.  You aren’t weak.  You are human.  And you don’t have to happy all the time.
    1. You can dream big and make things happen.
    1. You don’t have to sit quietly when comments, gestures, or requests are made that make you uncomfortable.  Stand up for yourself.  Set limits with others.
    1. Allow yourself and others to try on different ways of being without judgement.  We are all going through it.  No one way is right.
    1. Give yourself permission to embrace your strengths.  From academic success to athleticism, to being funny and caring.  It all counts!
  1. No one ever starts out using substances and intends to be addicted.  It can happen to anyone.

What do you wish you would’ve known?

Top 4 Reasons Your Daughter Needs An Emotional Tool Kit

  1. girl holding mylar balloons of ice cream and emojisYour daughter NEEDS to develop HEALTHY tools to handle emotions.  Our foundation for how we handle things in life is being set now.  Let’s give them something solid to stand on.  HEALTHY coping skills includes journaling, exercise, talking to a supportive person, affirmations, goal setting, prayer, etc.
  2. Parents can’t do it alone.  At this age and stage of your child’s development, she is beginning to look to others to provide answers and advice.  You may even have a child who puts down everything you say.  Why not let a trained professional help her in an area where all girls could use a boost?
  3. UNHEALTHY coping skills can take over and cause life long problems.   Keep in mind, unhealthy tools can become addictive behaviors like alcohol, drugs, sex, computers, gambling, eating issues, cutting.  Let’s get these girls off on the right foot for coping.
  4. We need the opportunity to be real and see real.  Social media is crushing our girls in so many ways.  Girls are being smothered by images of how they should look, what they should buy, who they should like, and being bullied like no other time in history.  Kids have constant access to say what they want under “anonymous” posts or feeling free to say what they want behind the screen and real girls are the casualties.  In this workshop series, girls will have the opportunity to see what real girls look like, how they feel, and connect in a safe and caring environment.

Click here to learn more about the Emotional Tool Kit Workshop series.