Ask your teen!
- TEEN RESEARCH: Ask your teen to make a list of gifts that they’d like for $500 or less, $100 or less, $50 or less,$20 or less, and $5 or less.This will give you a sense of what they’re interested in, and give YOU some options to work with within your budget (and to share with the Grandparents). Give your teen a deadline to get you their list.
- Focus on FEELINGS: Start a new conversation about how your teen would like to FEEL over the holidays…brainstorm together the activities that would help them to feel that way….you might discover the need for some new equipment (a snowboard or skates for winter sports) or an activity (a hot air balloon ride, a concert) that would make a great gift, AND give your teen an activity to look forward to, rather than more “stuff”.
- RANKING: Create a list of gifts that you think your teen would like, and have them rank their top 3 choices.
- GIFT CARDS: This is the ULTIMATE personalised gift, because your teen can choose what they want (within your budget, at a store they love). ITunes, movie theatres, book stores, electronics stores. Many shops also have electronic gift cards or store credit. Some shopping malls even sell gift cards that are valid throughout the entire mall.
- The “I owe U”: Does your teen want to go somewhere over spring break? Is your teen going away to college next year and already wondering how they’ll get home for Christmas? Write your teen an “I Owe U”for future travel, like “I owe U one airfare home next Christmas”. Or “I owe you a zip line tour on our next trip to Costa Rica”. Make sure you create a reminder for yourself about what you’ve promised.
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
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!
Valentine’s Day brings a LOT of pressure for teens (and, quite frankly, for adults too!)
There is pressure to show your friends that you care, by giving them gifts of chocolate, or a thoughtful card, or supporting the leadership club’s Valentine’s Day fundraiser by having a flower delivered to their homeroom. (While you hold your breath and hope that they did the same thing for you. Is your BFF really your BFF?)
There is pressure to ask out your “crush”, or to tell your friends who your “crush” is (or to be constantly wondering if it’s safe to tell your best friend that your “crush” is someone of the same sex)
There’s pressure to ask someone out because the other kids are dating, or at least telling stories about dating.
There’s pressure to take the relationship you’re in to “the next level”.
There’s the constant worry that the relationship won’t work out, or maybe it will, and do you really want that?
Let’s take some of the pressure off, and focus on the TRUTH:
The ONLY relationship that you will have for your ENTIRE LIFE is the relationship you have with yourself.
So, how’s that going for you?
If you’d love to build UNSTOPPABLE CONFIDENCE in yourSELF
Have a chance to play on Facebook and Instagram to win some cool prizes
Then I have the perfect opportunity for YOU!
CHOOSING ME 5-Day Instagram Challenge for teens (and adults too!)
In this FREE challenge you will receive
- Daily video lessons to build your CONFIDENCE so you can TRUST yourself to make good decisions
- Access to our EXCLUSIVE Gratitude Lounge Facebook Community
- Daily strategic action items for you to do to figure out what it means to LOVE YOURSELF
- The opportunity to WIN big prizes that will help you to nourish your inner life
Authentic CONFIDENCE happens when we know how to give ourselves what we need at the deepest level.
You have nothing to lose, and so much CONFIDENCE to gain!
I would LOVE to be your guide in this 5 day Choosing ME challenge to help you become your own best friend. The challenge begins on February 10th, so go ahead and
CLICK HERE to get started!
All the heart shaped chocolates in the stores these days reminded me of this e-interview that I did this past summer! I know that part of the process of growing up is figuring out who you are, and I know that the usual teen drama is amplified when teens are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity, because there are so many people who haven’t ever thought about something other than their own experiences. I had the great fortune of connecting with the folks at Free2Luv, an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to rockin’ individuality, celebrating equality, spreading kindness & standing up to bullying through arts & entertainment, and they were gracious enough to have both Tonya (President and Co-Founder of Free2Luv) AND a youth volunteer answer my questions!
How did Free2Luv begin?
1 out of every 3 children experience some form of bullying and 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school and online. Further, 20% of high school students say they have seriously considered suicide. As parents, Tonya and Kym Sandis believed this epidemic needed to stop and Free2Luv was born. “We know the scarring and lasting impact bullying has on our youth, robbing them of their innocence and emotionally stripping them of their well-being. Coming from the entertainment industry, we understand the power the arts have to heal, uplift and empower and we utilize this platform to spread our mission of celebrating individuality, rockin’ kindness and standing up to bullying,” says Tonya, President and Co-Founder of Free2Luv.
How can shy teens show their peers that they can be free to love anyone they choose?
We like this question as it opens up the reason why we named our nonprofit Free2Luv. We believe first and foremost, self-love is key, whether you are a teen, child or adult. When you are confident in who you are and treat others with love and respect, you show everyone around you unconditional love.
“If a shy teen wants to advocate everyone’s freedom to love, I recommend they tap into their passion and share from their place of comfort. This can be done through art, music, dance, sports, you name it. We have had youth advocates share poems, art, stories, even their passion for race car driving and they have used it as a platform to spread LUV, kindness and compassion with others,” says Tonya.
“There are many LGBTQ+ groups, either at school or online, that are a great way to express yourself. They are both a safe space and a place where you can share and be yourself. You can also talk about and share things that you love that are related to your identity; i.e. LGBTQ+ books, music, TV shows etc.,” says Free2Luv LGBT Teen Ambassador.
What can teens do if they are in a situation where it is not safe for them to share the message that love is love?
Safety is of the utmost importance. If you feel that an environment is unsafe to share your message that love is love, find a supportive community and/or environment. It could be a gay/straight alliance at school, an online organization such as ours or an informal community gathering.
“Find a safe space online. There are so many people going through the same thing that want to share and speak out, but are not safe to do so in their home or where they live. Finding a place online where you can be yourself and talk to others who are going through the same thing can help so much,” says LGBT Teen Ambassador.
What is the best part of being a teen in today’s society?
“As the Co-Founder of Free2Luv, I work with teens and youth daily and I’m so moved and impressed by how socially aware and conscious they are. If we could focus on that every day instead of all the news we hear through the media and online, there are real, young inspirational people that are true game changers in the world and we are proud to hold hands with them. There are so many wonderful vehicles today that offer youth a way to express their voice that weren’t available even 10 years ago, so it’s a really exciting time to be a teen. And with that, also comes a big responsibility because as easy as it is to spread kindness, new technology can also be used in destructive ways to spread hate. The age-old adage, treat others as you want to be treated, still applies. We need to model kindness and compassion to create a kinder world for all,” says Tonya.
“Technology is a big part of why being a teenager today is amazing. The ability to learn anything and learn quickly, the ability to talk to anyone anywhere in the world, the ability to hold the world in your pocket, the ability to be a part of a movement that is happening on the other side of the world and to speak out and stand up is amazing.
I think another, if not the most amazing part of being a teen today is that we are changing the world for the better every day. We are passionate and we care about the world we live in. We are using our voices and standing up for what is right. It’s so important and wonderful,” says LGBT Teen Ambassador.
What evidence of their work would the Free2luv team love to see in ten year’s time?
We would love to see thousands of advocates holding hands with us in communities around the world sharing our message of love, unity and the importance of kindness and compassion. We are passionate about growing our empowerment events and workshops and reaching more and more communities throughout the U.S. We are especially passionate about sharing our programs with underserved youth who may not normally have access to the type of programming we offer. We know the power of one person to stand up and make a difference and for us, success is one more child becoming self-aware, standing up, speaking out and letting their voice be heard. Will you join us?
check out www.free2luv.org for more details!
“Hey voice in my head”
“tell me something you like about me”
“Hey voice in my head”
Get OUT of this cycle of thought and turn that inner critic into your inner coach.
Join me for HEART POWER for teens: Transform your inner critic into your inner coach for authentic confidence.
This is a 3 part webinar series.January 31, February 7, February 14, 2017
CLICK HERE to register
I look forward to seeing you there!
Are you declaring 2017 to be a year for YOU?
Are you ready to step into your life in a way that is deeply aligned with your values?
Is a part of you feeling guilty that focusing more on YOU will mean focusing less on your teens?
I know that adults who are focused on their own growth and development are MORE aware of how they can support their teens in ways that are sustainable and lasting.
Go ahead- make this the year that YOU step into your own life, and get clear on your role in your teen’s life.
I’m here to help.
Happy New Year!
I know you love your kids. I also know that sometimes you pour so much love into your kids that it hurts. It hurts because you’ve sacrificed a lot of your time, money, and life force energy to support your kids.
It hurts your heart when you feel like you should’ve done more.
It hurts your heart when they don’t seem to appreciate all that you’ve done for them.
It hurts your heart when you give and give and give and feel so depleted.
This kind of giving is not sustainable.
So how do we figure out how to show them that we love them without depleting ourselves?
How often do you give YOURSELF the time, money, and life force energy and support that YOU need?
Even more than showing our teens that we love THEM, we need to show our teens that we love OURSELVES.
We need to love ourselves to model for our teens that they can love themselves.
The sooner we’re able to teach our children that it’s their job to figure out what they need, and to find a way to give it to themselves, the stronger our teens will be.
Teens who can fill themselves up are more confident and make healthier choices because they’re not looking for other people to give them the feelings they crave.
So, how can YOU start to show YOURSELF some love?
Let me just say it,
Self love feels selfish.
Whenever I schedule in some time just for me to do something that I enjoy (like have a long bath, or go for a walk by myself, or drink a cup of tea and look out the window), I feel like I’m taking time I could use to work, or be with my family, or run some errands. Once I realised that if I feel like I’ve been deeply nourished, then I can be more playful and present with my family when I’m with them, then I no longer felt like I was TAKING time, instead I was GIVING my family the best version of myself.
CAUTION. If you haven’t been taking some quality time for yourself, you will feel like you are a bottomless pit. After one blissful hour to yourself, you’ll feel like an hour isn’t enough. It will feel SO GOOD that you’ll worry that you’ll need more and more time away for yourself. You’ll feel like you could just check in to a hotel for a few days and then…just…never…go…home.
Don’t worry. That’s just a signal that you need to schedule more time for yourself, and once you get the hang of incorporating time for yourself into your schedule, you’ll realise how NECESSARY this time is to be at your best. Once you’ve started giving yourself the time, and space, and emotional availability to listen to your deepest needs, you’ll have a greater sense of clarity around what YOU need, and what your family needs.
Of course, you will go home, because you’ll start missing your family. You’ll remember all the quirky and wonderful things you love about them and you’ll be interested in what they have to say. What an amazing gift for your family to have you back with them with love in your heart for yourself, and for them.
When we give ourselves love, then giving love to others is no longer depleting, it is sustainable because we have a better sense of clarity around how to best show our family that we love them.
P.S. What would really nourish you on a deep level? Jump on the phone with me for 30 minutes and we can create an amazing plan that will have your LOVE levels so high, you’ll have love to give! CLICK HERE to connect with me!
I know that the pressure is ON for everyone in these last few weeks of December.
The holidays are supposed to be a time to connect with family and friends, but sometimes, the tension is so high that these are the days of the most frustration, resentment, and disappointment. Our teens are riding the rollercoaster of emotions as they are reminded that one more year has passed, and the regular family holiday traditions that they once enjoyed don’t give them the same feelings anymore. If you want HARMONY with your teens this holiday, give yourself the gift of one hour to truly prepare for the holidays.
You’re invited to Holiday Harmony With Your Teens, a free 75 minute RETREAT webinar designed to get your out of overwhelm and into what is really important. Together we’ll explore HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE and how those qualities can help you create a lasting connection with your teens.
Holiday Harmony With Your Teens is available until December 23rd.
CLICK HERE to watch.
With tidings of comfort and joy,