Video game DANGER for teens

Video games are fun, beautiful, challenging (at just the right level), compelling, and they give us INSTANT FEEDBACK. It’s no wonder they are so compelling (and so addictive). Video games are slick, sexy, and meet so many of our emotional needs (in the short term).

But for many teens, video games are their ADDICTION.  Just this past week, the World Health Organization declared video game addiction a new category of mental disorder, and teens are highly susceptible.

SO many teens today are feeling STUCK doing school, and like they’re in a holding cell until they get to the adult world (which can also terrify them because they’re not sure they have what it takes to handle the adult world). Video games fill SO many of the needs for worthiness, purpose, a clear role, clear boundaries, clear objectives, clear rewards, and connection to something bigger than themselves. Video games are also a great way to distract ourselves from negative feelings, or avoid things  we don’t’ want to do. It’s no wonder so many teens just LOVE video games.  But there are potential dangers…

Have you seen the movie trailer for Ready Player One?  I just saw it last week when my husband and I went to the theatre to see Star Wars.

In just two minutes, the trailer covers how many teens feel, why they game so much, and how gaming fills a deep human need for connection.

“I’m sitting here in my tiny corner of nowhere.”

“There’s nowhere left to go except the Oasis”

“It’s the only place that it feels like I mean anything.”

“Like many of you, I came here to escape, but I found something bigger than just myself”

The main character in Ready Player One, Wade Watts, is relatable to so many teens because he feels powerless, stuck in his small world, and searching or something more. When we see Wade enter “the oasis” (the virtual world) he enters a world that is more engaging and stimulating than the world he lives in. He feels worthwhile in this world. In the Oasis there is a clearly defined goal with a HUGE reward. Even more than the compelling nature of searching for treasure is the sense of purpose that he gains from connecting with something bigger than himself (the political rebellion). In a few short minutes we can see a worthless small town nobody find purpose, connection, and a compelling future.

This is the trailer I’m talking about

Watch it with your teen! It’s a great conversation starter about how gaming fills our human needs.

Video games are like CANDY, because they’re so wonderful, they can crowd other healthy options. Just like helping little ones not eat candy all day long, it’s up to parents to help teens set healthy boundaries around video games.

Some psychologists are suggesting that 3 hours of gaming or more per day has harmful effects on social interactions. There is also research to suggest that excessive gaming is detrimental to the brain’s health. As a educator and a mom, I know that it doesn’t take 3 hours of gaming a day to start to cause a problem. Whenever gaming crowds out a teen’s homework time, their sleep time, and your teen is a sleep-deprived, moody, anxious, and going to school without completing their homework, those are CLEAR signs that your teen needs help to set boundaries with their gaming.

When video games start to crowd out other activities in a teen’s life, like spending time in person with friends, physical activity, school work, contributing to household chores, sleep, or personal hygiene, they have become a problem!

In the last week I connected with Elaine Uskoski, a mom of two young men, who told me the horrific story of her youngest son who went off to college and instead of attending class, shut himself up in his dorm room for 2 months playing video games. When she finally cut through all of the lies he was telling her (and that she was telling herself) she met him in person, and saw that he was a rack of bones. Not eating. Not showering. Only gaming. Who knows what would have happened if this mother hadn’t FINALLY listened to her intuition and stepped in. For more details, you can read Elaine’s book, Seeing Through The Cracks.

I don’t want this nightmare to be your story. If you have concerns about how your teen’s video gaming is impacting the other areas of their life, please reach out.

Book a complimentary 30 minute coaching session with me TODAY.

Elaine told her son,  “You can hate me for the rest of your life, but I’m going to SAVE your life”.

And she did. But she didn’t do it alone. Elaine reached out wherever she could for the support she needed.

End this now.  You could be saving your teen’s life.

I’ve created some extra time in my calendar this week to offer a FREE 30 minute coaching call for YOU.

BOOK NOW to grab your spot.

You’re not alone.

Deanne

P.S. Elaine told me that not only was her son lying to her about his gaming, but that she had been lying to herself. She had been downplaying the severity of what she was seeing, she had been trying to give her son his independence as a college student. But deep inside her, she knew there was a problem. She made her decision to take action, now it’s time for you to make yours…from your deepest place of strength. I can help. Book your call now

Mom, I have TOO MUCH WORK to take a holiday!

I was talking to a Mom of two teen girls the other day, and she confessed that she was DREADING the holiday trip she had planned. It was supposed to be a great getaway for her and her husband and the kids, but now she realises that this is a HORRIBLE time of year for her kids because of their school work. Over the break they have projects to complete, and finals to write just a week after they get back home.
Are you in this situation?
Here’s the reality:
Everyone needs a break! We all need to learn how to switch gears so that we can rest and relax! This might seem like a luxury, but switching to low gear and learning to rest and relax is critical to our long-term health! 
We need to set our teens up for success, so that when they’re adults, they know how  to set aside their  work at the end of the day. As adults, we have to learn how to set aside our work so that we can go on a holiday (even when the day-to-day operations of our job might still be going on without us!)
It takes SKILL to set aside our work, and TRUST that we’ll be able to cope when we get back to it again!
Here’s a 4 point plan to setting aside the work to that you and your teens can RELAX, and then come back to your work and school life feeling refreshed!
  1. Make a plan: Estimate the time it will take to complete the work (the project, the studying, whatever it is). Schedule in the time BEFORE your holiday, or AFTER your holiday. Get creative with your planning! You may have to give up watching t.v. for two days, or skip a pre-trip holiday party, but when you can prioritise your work AND your holiday time, all the “extras” really come into focus.
  2. Put the work away- physically! Get a large plastic bin, or your backpack, and physically pack away the textbooks, the binders, etc. Put a copy of your post-holiday work schedule on the top. Put a “Do not open until…” sign on it. This might sound silly, but the physical putting away can be a really great way of creating a concrete boundary on your work.
  3. Visualise: As you travel to your destination, whether by car or plane, imagine the thoughts of your work as string that physically connect you to it. Imagine your thoughts of work as string connecting you to the bin of work, and watch them stretch the further you travel. When you’re ready, imagine yourself cutting the strings of thoughts of your work, and with each snip of the strings, allow your body to release the tension of the thought. By the time you reach your destination, allow your body and mind to be in relaxation (or excitement, whatever is restorative to you!)
  4. Follow the plan! When you get home, unpack the box, and follow through with your plan! There’s no better way of developing your self-trust by creating a plan for yourself and following through!
Teens are following OUR lead. If we’re setting aside the work, putting boundaries on when and where we’re checking our e-mails, and committing to our self-care, our teens will believe us when we tell them that resting and relaxing are important!
Wishing you a restorative holiday season to set you up for success in 2018!

It is better to give to that receive…OR IS IT?

When we teach our teens that it’s better to GIVE….then how are they supposed to handle all of what they’re given?
We need to teach our teens how to GIVE and how to RECEIVE.
I’d like to take the wise wisdom of Christine Arylo, who says “It’s better to give AND receive”.
Teens often have a bad reputation of being entitled, self-centered and want-want-wanting!
The truth is, teens (like all people) come in ALL VARIETIES! There are advantages and disadvantages to being a GIVER. There are advantages and disadvantages to being a RECEIVER.
No matter what kind of teen you’re working with…there IS a way to engage with your teen in a positive way, so that they can learn the art of being able to both give and receive in life.
 
GIVERS: Some teens are incredibly passionate about serving others. They are altruistic and compassionate, and they put all of their energy into making the world a better place! These teens volunteer in their community, and they are lit up by the difference they are making! As parents of givers, we encourage and applaud their efforts. They are amazing kids! Sometimes, though, the givers struggle to take care of themselves. They’re so busy taking care of others that they can neglect their own sleep, nutrition, and ability to have fun (which is SO restorative!). Givers often feel guilty for having all they need, and for having a good time. As parents, we need to applaud their self-care efforts; when they are resting, when they are laughing with friends, when they are taking time for renewal, we need to congratulate them for knowing that when they’re whole and healthy, they are better able to jump back in to serving others.
RECEIVERS: Some teens appear so SELF-CENTERED! They’re entitled, and want-want-want. This can be really aggravating because they believe that the entire world (and family budget) should revolve around them and their needs. Sometimes this intense wanting pushes our buttons because the wanting isn’t connected to understanding how to GET what they want. Another reason why our teen’s wanting gets aggravating is because we’ve suffered so much from wanting and NOT receiving, that we’ve given up on our own desires in life. Wanting can be a great indication of clarity in life, and can create a compelling future (think of the kid who wants a car and does EVERYTHING in their power to fund that vision)!
As parents, we can encourage these teens to keep wanting, AND to figure out a plan of how to GET what they want (like getting a job, setting up a savings plan, thinking long-term, etc.).
As parents, we can also help these teens to be grateful for what they have, and think of the needs of others.
Often these teens need an experience of walking in someone else’s shoes, or serving others  (more than just one time) to really understand that it’s important to give when you have so much.
Whether you have giver, receiver, or both, it’s important to recognise that there are gifts in every way of being, and there are opportunities for US as parents to really lean in to those places where our teens “push our buttons” as areas to commit to learning about ourselves and growing in wisdom alongside our teens.

EASY strategies for RESILIENCE that no-one is talking about!

So many parents I’ve talked to are wondering what the BEST approach is to supporting their teens to be able to handle what life throws at them (and, honestly, how to handle the demands of living with the emotional ups and downs of a teen).

There are a number of EASY strategies that NO-ONE is talking about that are PROVEN to develop resilience in teens! (but I’m about the let these incredible SECRETS out!)

I’m wondering,

Is raising a RESILIENT teen one of your goals as a parent?

Is helping your teen to discover their PURPOSE important to you?

Are you always on the lookout for strategies that WORK with teens?

If you said YES to any of these questions, then please keep reading!

Parents today are more stressed, overwhelmed, overworked than ever before (and so are our teens!). Trial and error in parenting can be exhausting! We need EVERY SHORTCUT that we can get!

That’s why I’m so excited to share with you The Top 5 Secrets to Raising Resilient and Purpose-driven Teens

In this 3 part video series, you’ll learn

  • How to help your teen overcome the inevitable difficulties in life
  • The missing ingredient in most goal-setting programs
  • How to help your teen connect with a sense of purpose using the “video game method”
  • How to lower the risk of your teen making BIG mistakes
  • How to stay connected with your teen TODAY so that you’ll be friends when they are an adult

CLICK HERE to grab your seat, and you’ll have INSTANT ACCESS to the first video!

Enjoy!

Deanne

P.S. The KEY to resilience, is in dipping into the resources that are available, and learning what WORKS! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn these under-used strategies for raising resilient and purpose-driven teens! CLICK HERE to grab instant access to this video series!

What every teen WANTS this holiday season

Here’s the secret….every teen WANTS the satisfaction of knowing what they want, and then getting it!

In fact, we ALL want over the holidays are good feels! We want the feeling of certainty of knowing what will light us up,  the variety and excitement of something NEW, and the certainty of feeling SATISFIED with what we get!

Here’s  what’s difficult….teens are even more susceptible than adults to the negative emotions that come up during the holiday season:

  • Not knowing what they want
  • Wanting something that they believe they can’t have
  • Wanting something they they KNOW they won’t get
  • Feeling entitled to something and having to settle for something less
  • Being completely dis-satisfied with what they get because it doesn’t meet their expectations

Wanting is hard because it can lead to disappointment and rejection. Sometimes, it’s easier to not want anything. BUT, if we lose touch with what we WANT, then we miss out on the very feeling that can compel us to action. WANTING can be extremely motivating!

Settle in to WANTING something BIG!

Want an extraordinary life!

Want to feel connected to something bigger than yourself!

Want to know how to become your own best friend!

Want to know yourself a bit more deeply!

When we focus on expanding our view from the material wants, and really allow ourselves to set our vision on something greater, then we can follow the clues laying all around us to lead us in the right direction!

Not sure how to expand your view? CLICK HERE to grab a free 30 minute call with me, and we’ll get there together!

 

Her Time 2 Shine!

Meet Madison English, an incredible  22 year old Calgary woman with a BIG VISION!

Madison is the founder of hertime2shine.com where she is creating a community of teen women, right here in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta Canada. Madison knows that teens need a safe place to talk about what is REAL in their lives, with the support and wisdom of their peers and mentors.

Her Time 2 Shine holds space for teenage women to discover their powerful ability to embody a high level of self-worth.

 

I got to sit down with Madison and hear more about her incredible vision. Watch the video to discover:

  • Why Madison is so passionate about creating a community of teen women.
  • What teen women need that they’re not getting anywhere else.
  • A time in Madison’s life when she could have used a community like this?
  • What changes in the lives of  young women when they feel supported.

To find out more about Her Time 2 Shine events in Calgary, visit www.hertime2shine.com

RETREAT into gratitude!

Are you feeling overworked and under-appreciated?

Have you been putting your own needs on the back-burner so that you can take care of EVERYONE ELSE?

Here’s what I know for sure:

There are seasons in our life when we need to take care of others, but when that becomes our default setting, that leads to exhaustion, resentment, and sickness!

Sometimes, we need to take a step back from our default setting, and re-calculate how we’re operating day-to-day.

If you’re willing to open up to GRATITUDE, it’s easy!

That’s why I’m so excited to invite you to join me for a GRATITUDE RETREAT.

Step back from your life for a weekend, and allow me to guide you into GRATITUDE

(It’s my superpower, and it can be your superpower, too!)

With gratitude, you shift out of stress and into your heart. Through gratitude you gain:

  • CLARITY around who you are, and who you’re not
  • CONFIDENCE in your ability to take care of yourself through the stressful times
  • CONNECTION with your own inner spark, AND the people you love

CLICK HERE for the full invitation

With gratitude,

Deanne

P.S. If there’s someone in your life who seems to have lost their spark, please copy and paste this link, and invite them to retreat into gratitude!

The effect of 9/11 on today’s teens

16 years ago the world watched as two planes flew into New York’s World Trade Centre, and we heard the stories of the victims, heroes, and terrorists. We watched as communities coped with the unexpected, shared tragic loss, and suffered through weeks, months, and years of knowing that life for them would never be the same.

Our teens have grown up in an era of TERROR.

It’s easy to dismiss this idea and tell ourselves that our babies and toddlers weren’t affected, but the truth is that 16 years ago the “unthinkable” happened; each of us has had to re-calculate our world view after the events of 9/11, and that shift has had a profound effect on our children. TERROR has been a part of our culture in a real and tangible way.

As a resilience coach, I wonder,

How can we be resilient in the face of extreme fear?

Since the 1970’s, psychologists have agreed that resilient people believe that they can do something to manage their feelings.

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION CAN HELP YOU TO MANAGE YOUR FEELINGS!

Teens are reporting higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression every year.

We NEED to teach our teens how to manage their feelings.

We NEED to teach our teens to be present in the moment so that instead of numbing their emotions with food, Instagram, video games, homework and basketball practice, they can actually FEEL their emotions so that they can MOVE THROUGH THEM.

When we don’t process our emotions, when we don’t allow ourselves to feel what we’re feeling, we’re not able to make the best decisions for ourselves, we’re not in touch with our divine gifts, and we’re at risk for developing disease.

So today, give yourself 5 minutes to just let your emotions flow. Get curious about what you’re feeling in the moment. Let that be enough.

I found a virtual waterfall for you! CLICK HERE to give yourself a quiet 5 minute retreat space, and just listen to the flowing water as you let your emotions flow.

If you find this exercise difficult, just tell yourself “Everything is OK right now”, because if you’re sitting in a safe plae listening to a waterfall, you are not in imminent danger.

Here’s to your wellness: body, mind, and spirit!

Deanne

Back to School Stress

Are you feeling the fall pressure?

Does your calendar ALREADY look completely packed?

Instead of falling into the old patterns of overwork and overwhelm from years past, take some time to make the bold commitment to

DO THIS YEAR DIFFERENTLY.

I’m challenging you to schedule time in your calendar for DOING NOTHING. Schedule in some time every day (10-20 minutes) and a larger chunk of time each week (1-3 hours) when you don’t have a “to-do” list to accomplish.

This is a time to do only what you WANT to do. Do what you’re inspired to do IN THE MOMENT. Sit down, drink a cup of tea, draw, stretch, lay on your bed and listen to music.

Stick to your commitment of allowing yourself this down time (this is for teens AND parents!)

Here’s why: when we give ourselves time to stop, breathe, decompress, rest, and listen to what we need in the moment, our rested mind and body is able to make clearer decisions the rest of the day (so we actually end up saving time!)

Can I tell you a quick story about doing things differently?

Last weekend I ran a 10 K race. There was a woman ahead of me who would run, then slow down to a walk, then run again. I had used this strategy in my training, but on race day I was committed to running at a strong pace for the entire race. I was SO FRUSTRATED that this woman was actually moving at the same pace as me!

Here’s the lesson: We fool ourselves into feeling like we need to push-push-push all day long to be productive and successful, when in fact, varying our pace allows us to use our energy more efficiently, and gives us some much needed VARIETY in our lives so we don’t get burned out from the push.

Give yourself the gift of taking a break EVERY DAY!

 

You are WORTH IT!

Deanne