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Help Your Teen Deal With Stress

Prepare your teens on how to deal with stress.

Teens can feel stressed, even more so than adults because they have high school Helping your teen control their stress and to become stress free.to deal with.

I’m not sure if you remember but high school is probably the most stressful time of anyone’s life.

They have to deal with the cliques and all that. The teen years are a time to find yourself; who you are and the person you want to become.

Help them find a stress free zone

Everyone has a zone that makes them feel stress free.

Your child’s stress free zone may not be visible to them; therefore you may have to help them find it. This is a place where they can unwind and not think about what is going on in the world.

For some, it is as simple as watching cat videos.

Whatever your teen’s zone is make sure that you give them the chance to go there because having their stress build up may cause more problems down the road.


Photo by Hahnee Oh on Reshot

Let teens know that it is all about the effort

We can control what we put into the task but the outcome is beyond our control.

Letting your teen know that if they put their full effort into what they are doing then you, as a parent, are happy on whatever the outcome will be.

Make sure that you praise their hard work and dedication.

Dammit Doll Classic

Take away stresses that teens don’t need

It is the little things in life that matter. Help your teen out by changing their laundry or helping them with the dishes one night.

It is nice when your spouse does this for you so doing the little things for your teen will have the same effect.

A lot of parents don’t like to hover, which you shouldn’t, but as long as you are not doing it all the time, it is okay.

We want our kids to grow into strong independent adults but taking away a little stress relief will be appreciated from time to time.

Teach teens to talk to teachers, if they don’t do this already

I know that for me this one would be difficult because I am an introvert, however, your teen must learn to speak up if they have a question about an assignment or why they received a certain grade. This will help reduce that stress.

Teachers are humans too and I am sure would love to get to know their students.


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Treats worked when teens were little, they still work now

Even though your children are growing up and becoming young adults, they still like to be given treats.

If they look like they are down in the dumps don’t pressure them into telling you what is going on, instead bribe them.

Take them for a cup of coffee, pick them up from school so they don’t have to ride the bus, or take them out to lunch.

This will give you some alone time with them.

Then possibly mention that you noticed they have been down lately and ask if there is anything that you can do to help.

But whatever you do, don’t push it.

Did you tell your parents everything?

Don’t talk about the past and what life was like for you as a teen

Sharing your stories on how bad your life was as a teen does no good for your teens today. Even though we still like to share our stories with our teens, those stories go in one ear and out the other.

As a teenager, did you believe that your parents walked up hill to school both ways in the snow with wolves chasing them? No, probably not.

Your stories may be a little more realistic but no matter what you say your teens feel that their life is even harder and just not the same.

And I believe that they are, especially with all the social media these days. It is a different kind of stress than what we experienced.

We as parents know that high school is stressful but the experiences are different because times have changed.

Unless we go back to high school now, we won’t fully understand where our teens are coming from.

Provide a judgement-free zone

Teens are constantly getting judged as they walk up and down the hallways at school. Whether it is about what they are wearing, how they act, or who they are hanging out with.

Helping them feel that home is where they can be themselves gives them a sense of release.

Giving them a space to speak freely and voice their opinion, whatever that may be. It is just an opinion and everyone has one.

Let their opinion be heard.

Exercise, works as a de-stressor for us and it does for them too

Everyone needs a little bit of exercise in their life.

Exercise is a great de-stressor for adults as well as for teens. It is great even if it is just walking around the block. Ask your teen if you can join them.

You don’t even have to talk if you don’t want to.

This a great way to clear their head. Whether they think things through about the situation that is stressing them out or if they don’t think about anything at all.


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Make a sleep plan with them

Teens often need to be reminded that sleep is an important part of their lives and should not be taken for granted. It should be scheduled into their day to day activities just like any other task.

Lack of sleep causes more stress due to being tired all day.

This can result in not being able to pay attention in class and missing assignments or sleeping in late and missing their first period.

Sit down with them and schedule what time they should go to bed by based on their activities.

Have them interact with an animal, if they are not allergic

Do you know anyone with a cat or a dog? If you don’t, there is always the pet store.

Watching puppies or kittens play always seems to put a smile on everyone’s face. Another way would be to watch cat videos.

Getting a smile on your teens face is always a plus, even if it helps them to forget that stress even for a little bit.


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Watch a comedy

Comedies are always great to watch when you need a good laugh.

Science proves that laughing decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.

Have your teen find a hilarious movie and watch it together.

Take a bath

Get out the bubbles or bath bombs and suds up because taking a bath can be very relaxing.

There is nothing wrong with your teen learning how to pamper themselves at a young age. This can be something that they carry on into adulthood when stressed.

Hydrate

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Everyone needs water to survive, it maintains temperature, removes waste, and lubricates your joints. Water is needed for overall good health and you should drink 6-8 glasses each day.

There are other ways that your teen can get hydrated besides just drinking water such as eating certain fruits or vegetables. For example, watermelon and tomatoes.

There are also certain sports drinks but make sure to read the labels for high levels of sodium or added sugars and make sure that your teen is exercising.

Be A Role Model

Monkey see, monkey do.

When your teen was younger did they ever watch you do something and then try to mimic it themselves?

Children look up to their parents and yes even as a teenager they still do, usually without knowing it.

Show them that even as an adult you still take the time to relieve your stresses as well. They will see this and naturally follow because they still do look up to you.


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Teens can become so wrapped up in their lives that they forget to relax and just take a deep breath. This is a time in their life where they really need to learn how to deal with stress and we as parents need to guide them on the right path.

Helping your teen deal with their stress is crucial because if they can’t deal with the stresses at a younger age then more issues will resolve later on.

This would include depression and possible suicidal ideation. Guiding them towards a healthier way on how to deal with stress will help them as they grow into adulthood.

Helping your teen control their stress and to become stress free

Stress Free Blended Family Christmas

How to Have A Stress Free Blended Family Christmas

How to NOT sweat the small stuff this Christmas due to having a blended family.

Sending out Christmas cards.

Decorating the house.

Baking the cookies.

Shopping for food and gifts.

Wrapping the gifts.

And then there is not knowing what to get everyone.

The list goes on and on.

The holidays are stressful no matter if your in a blended family or not.

Here are a few ideas to keep your sanity during this stressful time of year and stay stress free.

1. Be Prepared to Compromise

Think about what is most important to you and ask them what is most important to them.

If having the kids on Christmas Eve is more important to you then let them have the kids on Christmas day.

If that doesn’t work out then switch it up every year.

For instance, you get them for Thanksgiving this year but next year you get them for Christmas and vice versa.

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2. Remember That The KIDS are Most Important

I don’t think that I have to say much after this point because it speaks for itself.

It’s going to be difficult being away from your children on a holiday but you have to stop and realize that your ex or your spouses ex is going through the same feelings.

3. Think About the “Holidays” Versus THE Holiday

Just because Thanksgiving or Christmas is one day doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate any other day.

Families tend to get wrapped up on technicalities that they forget to look at the big picture.

It might work best for everyone if you celebrated the weekend before anyway.

As a kid, this is great!

They get to have multiple Christmas’s. Who doesn’t want that?

4. Plan ahead

Make sure that you are prepared because nobody likes a hostess that forgot to make the turkey.

Have a calendar handy on who has the kids.

Make yourself a list.

What needs to be completed and what day it needs to be completed on.

Having this in your face so you can look at it everyday will help keep you on track.

Ask for help. From your spouse and from the kids.

Everyone can chip in.

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5. Stay on Top of The Shopping

Ask for lists from everyone but make sure that the kids didn’t give both their families the same list.

Do it ahead of time and on-line.

Most everyone loves Amazon and all you have to do is Prime that baby to your doorstep within a day or two.

No fighting the crowds of people.

Enough said.

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6. Forget about all the extras

The opening of gifts, spending time with family, and having off from school is enough for the kids.

Skip all the extra stuff if you don’t have the time or energy such as the elf on the shelf, advent calendar, or homemade cookies.

Don’t feel like you have to do it all.

7. Make it a potluck

Not very traditional but who cares?

You can still make all the traditional foods.

Have Aunt Jane bring the mashed potatoes and Uncle Sal bring a raw veggie tray.

If you want to make it even easier on yourself, make something in your slow cooker.

Even have the kids chip in and help with the cooking. Eventually they are going to have to learn how to make something to survive when they move out anyway.

Less stress in the kitchen is less stress on everyone.

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8. DIY Gift giving

Share the list with your co-parent and decide what you can afford/what you want to give your children.

If you are low on cash over the holidays opt for do-it-yourself gifts.

Just make sure that the projects are easy to make so you are not stressing about the DIY vanity with stool you promised your daughter.

Give yourself plenty of time just in case they don’t turn out.

Or you could opt for the generic gift card. Everybody loves these.

Some people say this option isn’t very personable but you can always get the card to their favorite store or restaurant.

9. Don’t stress over the things that are beyond your control

Don’t stress the small stuff or the things that you don’t have control over.

It doesn’t do anyone a bit of good.

Uncle Joe forgot to bring the pickles.

Yes, this is a tragedy in my book. I love pickles.

But really, is anyone else going to miss them? Probably not.

Just like any other day, things can go wrong but you move on.

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10. Pamper Yourself

This is a busy time of year for almost everyone.

Treat the holidays like any other day that you are stressed.

If you need to go for a walk or run or get your nails done, do it!

Make some time for just you.

RELAX

11. Remember, what is it all about

Spending time with family

How to Have a Stress Free Blended Family Christmas

How Do You Motivate Your Kids?

How do you get their lazy butts off the couch?

Off their phone?How to motivate your teens

Off their I-pad?

Off the television?

Off the video games?

Stop and think.

What motivates you?

Yes, you read that right. I feel that a lot of things that motivate us as adults also motivates our children.

If you want to go on vacation, you’ll start saving money for that vacation.

This means that you may have to give up certain things, like going to Starbucks every day, going out to eat at restaurants four to five times a week, or buying that sweater that costs $100.

Or if you want to lose weight, you have to start working out or eating healthier.

Plain and simple.

That weight isn’t going to lose itself.

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A lot of parents feel that they just want their child to not be lazy. Instead, we want them to get outside and enjoy the weather or to be more active.

Another example would be to do their chores when they are told to the first time. Some of following suggestions might work better than others.

Everyone is different.

Even if you have more than one child, your second born may not be motivated the same way as your first born and so on.

Compliments

Everyone loves a good compliment.

“That shirt looks nice on you”

“You did a great job writing up that proposal”

Whether it’s coming from your colleagues, boss, friends, or family, it makes you feel a little bit better.

So compliment your children, it makes them feel good too, whether it’s on their grades, appearance, or for taking out the garbage.

Yes, even if you have just asked them to do a certain chore multiple times, still compliment them by saying “thank you”, I really appreciate that you did that”.

It will make them feel good about doing it and possibly not take as long next time to complete the task.

Don’t say “It’s about time you did what I asked of you”. They will do exactly the opposite of what you want next time.

This will ruin their self-confidence and make them feel like a failure.

Next time you ask them to do something, they will remember how doing that chore made them feel, even if how they felt had nothing to do with the chore itself.

Encouragement is the key to motivation.

Recognize your child’s achievements and celebrate their strengths.

Humor

Children are more motivated when given a little bit of humor rather than nagging or lectures.

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Stay positive about tasks they have forgotten to do.

I know that this may be hard but here are a few examples

Have you ever heard of the phrase “I am bored”? Of course all parents have.

It’s my favorite saying!

When you hear it, give them something to do.

Don’t give out suggestions on what they could do for fun anymore.

Needless to say, I don’t here the phrase all that often anymore because the kids have learned.

It gets their minds thinking when they are about to say “I am bored” and start to think of something to do.

Usually it’s away from you, in their room or outside, because usually when a child is bored they walk around the house like their a lost puppy.

When you see them doing that ask them if they are bored and the answer is usually always ‘NO’.

Another example would be if your child doesn’t pick up their room.

If you have told them on Tuesday to pick it up and it’s still not picked up by Thursday, this is a problem.

Simply tell them that at 5 o’clock the tornado is coming through.

What this means is, going into their room and making it even more messy.

This may include taking clothes off the hangers or out of the drawers, anything on top of the dresser gets thrown some place else.

(Just make sure not to break anything)

Or you can always do the complete opposite and clean it yourself. This would entail them having nothing left their room because you threw it all in the trash.

They may not think this is funny, but as a parent, it’s hilarious.

Motivate with Pictures

Pictures.

Visuals.

Paintings.

Images.

Doodles.

Literally anything that they can see.

Even quotes.

Take pictures of them doing what they love to do. Find pictures in magazines and cut them out.

As a summer project, to keep them busy doing something productive, have them create a collage on what motivates them. Hang the pictures around the house or their room and bathroom.

When they wake up, one of the first things that they see is something that will get them pumped up.

It gives them a reminder on what they are working toward without you having to nag them every day.

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Making a deal using collateral

Have you ever felt like you are being taken for granted at times but yet want your children to have everything you can afford to give them?

Here are a couple of ways to motivate them to step up, so to speak, of taking charge themselves.

It helps them become more independent and not rely on you as much.

For example, you will drop them off at their friend’s house but they have to find a ride home.

Or, asking them to take the dog out every morning for the week and you will do something for them on the weekend.

It teaches them to not just take but to also give. This is how a healthy relationship should work.

If only one person is doing all the taking and one the giving, the relationship isn’t going to last long. The one giving is going to start resenting the taker.

An example that my husband and I do with our oldest is paying for her car insurance.

She has to be on the A or B honor role in order for this to happen. Otherwise, she has to pay for it herself.

This gives her motivation to get good  grades without us having to get on her butt about it. The ball is in her court, so to speak.

Motivation through involvement

Motivating your child through involvement can be a little tricky.

How involved should you be?

Again, This depends on the child.

If you start to get too involved, they might start to see it as nagging or lecturing and it could have the opposite effect of what you are wanting.

When you do it in a positive way, they won’t even realize that you are doing it.

Letting them know that you are there for them, if they need it.

Asking them how they feel about a test that they had taken that day or helping them with a chore that they had to do that week for example.

This also gives you a chance to spend some time with them.

I know that when they get to be teenagers, it seems that you never get to see them anymore.

You are not the cool person to hang out with.

Doing this, gives you quality time and a chance to chat and see how their day went.

They will appreciate this and it will motivate them to do it the next time.

Internal Drive Theory: Motivate Your Child To WANT To Study: Motivation Strategies For Your Primary School Kid

Follow Through

I’m leaving the best for last because I feel as a parent this is the one that gets most of us parents into trouble.

We as parents want what’s best for our children.

We as parents want our children to have what we didn’t have growing up.

And we as parents can often go soft.

This is okay.

But we must motivate our children to follow through with what they said they would do, doing their chores, etc.

We can do this by being a great example for them and following through on what we say as well.

The first step is to agree on what will happen if they don’t follow through. Listening to what they want and how they would like to proceed if they don’t follow through with the task.

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Sometimes you may not always agree with what they want the terms to be because deep down you know it still will not get done.

However, listening to them and letting them decide, at times, makes them feel like they were heard and you trust them.

The second step is to make them follow through on their word.

All you have to say is “what was our agreement?”

Let them know that you didn’t one hundred percent agree with the terms but you were trusting that they would keep their word to you.

Look back on all of the times that your children weren’t motivated to do their chores, homework, or whatever it was.

And think.

What would motivate you to do that chore?

Think of how your child works or thinks and come up with the best way to motivate them to do it.

How to Motivate Your Kids

3 Golden Rules for Step Parents

Rules that everyone should know going into a relationship when kids are involved

Whether you met the kids when they were one year old, teenagers, or full grown Golden rules for step parentsadults, there are still learning curves to being a step parent.

You will have questions like, how long should you wait to meet them? How involved should you be in their lives?

Or more simple questions like, will we get along? Will they respect me?

Being a step parent is not an easy task. It can cause a lot of stress between you and your partner. I feel that there are some ground rules that you have to set for yourself up front.

Rules. Huh?

My step kids don’t obey the simple house rules but I have to follow rules for step parenting?

That’s ridiculous! Or in teenager jargon, “that’s wack”!

Where do they come up with this stuff?

Anyway, the answer is “YES”, we should follow a couple of ‘golden rules’, as I like to call them.

Rule #1 Never try to replace their biological parent

You also do not want to be their best friend as this will cause problems down the road. You are there for extra support to your partner and the kids.

Make sure that they respect you, as their elder. Anything that you say is just as important as if your partner or their biological parent were saying it.

This is something that your partner has to stand behind you on as well, otherwise you may grow to resent each other. You need to have each other’s backs when it comes to making decisions, even if at the time you don’t agree on what the other said.

Never argue in front of the kids. Instead, wait until they are in bed and then discuss the issue and what steps should be taken next time that situation comes up. It’s not always easy because your partner will not always have your back.

Just like any other couple there will be disagreements.

And your partner won’t always understand where you are coming from because they may have never been in your situation.

It comes back to the old saying “until they walk in your shoes, they won’t understand”. However, a great partner will try to be as supportive as they can.

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Rule #2 Try walking in the child’s shoes.

Like I stated up above with your partner not understanding you.

Walk in their shoes.

Imagine…Mom or Dad starts dating and this new person is coming over to your house and taking your time away from you with that parent. All summer you and your parent  spent countless hours hiking, kickin’ each other’s butt at FortNite, or going to movies.

Now you have to share that special person in your life with someone else.

You have a choice whether you want to be a part of that family.

The kids don’t have a choice.

They are kids.

The kids don’t have a choice whether they want you a part of their life or not. Sure they can say what they want to your partner but in reality, it’s up to your partner if you stay or go.

It’s not up to the kids.

To avoid this from happening, make sure to include the children in your plans. I know as a single person that this can be difficult.

Trust me.

Not having to worry about anyone but yourself is way easier. You can go out any night of the week and not have to worry about picking anyone up from soccer practice.

Be patient with the kids, include them in on some date nights, and treat them like little humans.

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Rule #3 Communication

Always keep the lines of communication open between the kids and your partner. If at all possible co-parenting with your partner’s ex.

Sometimes this is not possible (which is my situation).

For the most part, this can be a touchy subject.

Showing the kids that you are able to be the better person and communicating when possible. This teaches the kids that communication is key in anything you do, which it is.

If your partners ex hates your guts, it makes things a little more difficult. But you do have to remember to not talk bad about their biological parents.

If you do this, the kids will see you in a bad light. The kids may say that they hate their mom or dad but you cannot.

You have to remember that you are the adult and you should take the higher ground.

I feel that these rules are most important to remember when going into a relationship and kids are involved because it will help your relationship down the road with the kids and your partner.

Of course there are many other rules and guidelines that you should follow when dating someone with kids but do I know what  will work best for you and your situation?

No, of course not!

My situation is different than yours along with my neighbors next door. I’m merely telling you what I have learned from my own experiences.

Like I stated before, step parenting is never easy.

We always seem to be the bad guy that gets the blunt of everything.

Stay positive because when the kids come to give you a hug at bedtime or run to you when they fall down and get a scratch on their knee, it’s all worth it.

Golden Rules for Step Parents