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Teaching Your Teens and Tweens to Be Grateful

I am grateful for you. 
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we all think about those things that we are most grateful for and happily share our thoughts with our loved ones. Why should this be something we reserve only for the forth Thursday in November?  Studies show that there are many benefits that come from expressing gratitude and keeping a gratitude attitude all year-along.  How then, do we teach this to our kids in a way that will come easy and fun to do?
God gives us life so that we may enjoy it with those who we call family. There are all kinds of families, big and small. This week many people will gather with their family and friends, eat a great meal and make amazing plans as they celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is my intention for all of your plans to come alive and that everyday you have more reasons to be thankful. The good news is that you get to be grateful  any day and everyday of the year. You are given only those things that you can handle with ease and grace. Somehow you are managing those things quite well, believe it  or not.
Through ParenTeen Moments, it is my plan to continue to serve my mission of strengthening and transforming over 1 million families. The lessons we learn and apply in our lives, makes this possible. This Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity to teach our children, especially teenagers the value of THANKSGIVING; it’s not just another holiday; it represents the essence of giving thanks. Past the Black Friday Sales, there are so many opportunities to spread gratitude in our life every day.
Here are 10 great ways to  teach and inspire gratitude in your family.
1)  Be a Positive Role Model: As parents, you play an important part in the decisions your children will make. The truth is they are watching what you do more than you think. They are influenced by your actions, even more so than what you tell them. Model gratitude by thanking them and those around you, even for the little things.
2)  Write “thank you” Notes: In this era of texting and an overload of social media platforms and apps, encourage your kids to write THANK YOU notes. It can be to their grandparents for cooking an amazing dessert or a teacher for taking time to tutor during lunch, even a friend who picked them up to get to cheer-leading practice.  All of  these are great reason to express gratitude in a way that really shows they made an extra effort to be thankful.
3)  Keep a Gratitude Journal: Gratitude Journals are a great way to keep track of all those small and big things that happen in our life. The truth is that if we take a few minutes everyday to reflect on those things we are grateful for, the Universe provides more reasons to be grateful. This journal and also come in handy on those rainy day when we feel a little blue. Reading back on those great things that happened to us, not only is uplifting but also beneficial to our emotional well-being.
4) Have Them Earn It: To some having your kids earn stuff may sound a little cruel. We want our kids to have all that we can give them. However, word of caution… though many kids understand the value of money. many feel that they should have everything. They tend to forget that in life we must earn the greater things in life. For instance the raise, the better position or the things you want come in part as a result from what we do everyday.  Earning it is not an allowance, it is an incentive that they can build on.
5) Encourage Them To Give Back/ Serve Others: It is important to provide opportunities for your kids to serve.  If your son or daughter is in High School, there are scholarships that require a certain amount of hours to graduate. This is another reason to find places where they volunteer, such as: the local church a school or another non-profit agency. There is a huge sense of satisfaction that develops when we give back.
6) Encourage Respect for Others: Everyone  can appreciate someone that is polite. Rather than getting upset about something beyond our control, stay calm and be respectful. Let your kids know that it is important to utilize those words that we learn since Kindergarten, such as: please, thank you,  excuse me, you are welcome. This will set them up for the future, hopefully to land the job they want or the best clients.
7) Create A Mindful Habit: A habit is formed through a consistent behavior. When we add “mindful” to habits it means that we are not just performing on autopilot. Some suggestions are: saying grateful affirmations as soon as they wake up’ ” I am…. Gratitude morning brush. While brushing their teeth they can think of the things they are grateful for everyday.
8) Point Out The Good: It easier to correct the wrong behavior than acknowledging  the things you see them doing right. Make it a point to validate their efforts to do the right thing. Not only will they wan to to do more good deeds, they will also increase their confidence in themselves.  Remember it is important to keep set  boundaries and specific expectations so that they know what you expect from them.
9) Create Grateful Moments: ParenTeen Moments is all about creating great moments. Make more of them, even if all you have are a few minutes  a day, make each of them count. Put your phones down and have true conversations, plan a short or long trip together, watch a movie, play a game. It’s up to you, just remember to show how grateful you are for those special moments.
10) Start A New Tradition (Any-day): This is by far, one of my favorite. Everyone gathers as a family and does something on a continuous basis. Whether it’s once a week or once a month think of a special activity you can share together. “Ice-cream Friday.”  Monthly Game-night. Any activity is fine as long as you all agree and you keep it fun. These traditions can seem silly but they surely develop reasons to be grateful.
Need a visual on these 10 tips? Click here and watch the slide show I recently shared at one of your parent workshops.  Get the details on these tips on my quick video right here. 
Wishing you blessings on this Thanksgiving Day. May your heart be filled with everlasting joy. Know that you are always taken care of. If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time or if you simply wish to improve your connection at home with your family  (your tweens or teens), book a complimentary call. Click here:.
If the link to book your FREE call is does not work copy the hyperlink to your browser. https://mery.as.me/
PS> Look out for a SPECIAL OFFER I will be sharing with you soon. It may just change your life in a magnificent way.
Fond regards,

Mery

Parent Engagement Expert

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How Releasing My Blocks Helped My Teen Daughter Thrive

Do you ever find yourself warning your kids about the mistakes that you made, hoping they don't make the same ones? Are you reading the latest parenting books and doing everything to be the best parent but still feeling like something is just not working? Then you are not alone. That was me, just two years ago. I launched my company about three years ago because I was sure I had all the answers about parenting teens. After 23 years as a teacher and constantly helping parents, I knew I could do more. Somehow I felt I was doing it all right and I only needed to share about what was already working for me. It wasn't long after, that my journey changed. I realized that in spite of the countless hours of research, when it comes to pain points, there are somethings that you just have to teach from personal experience. I learned soon enough that I was in for a big surprise. 

It was Summer of 2017, my daughter was close to finishing her Sophomore year and she seemed to be a normal teenager, talented, modeling, teen pageant winner, playing the piano and well-known in school. I thought our relationship couldn't be any better; as far as I was concerned she was happy and I couldn't be any more proud. I was on the third year of my Parenting Coaching business and I was happy and confident of how I was showing up as a parent. All this shattered the day my daughter told me she didn't know why she was alive. She started having a panic attack and soon she was in the hospital without a diagnosis other than anxiety. I was unsure what was happening. I soon learned that she was feeling ashamed, ugly and not enough. I was devastated because I couldn't understand how this was happening to me. I felt I was failing as a parent and that even my business was a lie. My sense of inadequacy created a halt in my business and worst of all in my heart. 

I was so unsure of what was wrong because I was following all the evidence-based techniques, innovative approaches, affirmations and activities that I could follow to ensure my parenting was exemplary. I was puzzled and my husband had no answers for me either. I had her go to therapy to address her anxiety and something inside of me told me there was more to be done. The answer was not more techniques or shrinks, it was looking within myself. This is when I discovered that I had work to do inside myself. I worked with a Spritual Coach who soon made me aware that I was not using my gifts. I new I had a God given gift, other than connecting with people. I have the ability help heal. 

With this realization, I noticed that I would have to go through some healing work myself. Whoa! I was amazed to see the things that came up for me. My awareness of the weight I was carrying was unbearable. I knew that my daughter's insecurities were coming from me. She was my motivation to be open to this kind of work. In just a few short months, my daughter was operating at a whole new level. School was about to start and she was actually excited about her Junior year. Our conversations became deeper and she had a sense of confidence about herself that she still exhuberates a year and half later. 

The answer was me! I realized that my thoughts of "not enough" had been weighing on me all along, like a heavy chain around my foot, since I was a little girl. It was that energy that she was picking up, regardless of what I was saying to her. At first, I thought it was because of I felt unwanted and ashamed as a teenager, when I got pregnant. However, I dug deeper, which led me to discover I had been carrying that fear of abandonment, ever since I was a child, when I found out my biological mom had given me up as a baby. Since then, the process of aligning myself led me to find my biological mom and heal the internal wound that I never even knew existed. I was able to do profound forgiveness and release an unconditional love that only actions could explain. I realized too that the shame was not even mine either, it was hers. It was that same shame that was not even allowing me to show up as I wanted to in my business and in life.  

As a mother, today, I could't be any more thrilled. Since then, I've revamped my program ensuring the components of what it needs based on what worked for me and is working for many others. I know that when parents experience this, their children will reap the benefits. You see, I learned that as parents we need to support our children by helping ourselves first.  I understand my daughter will probably make her own mistakes, but I rest assured she won't be making my mistakes or those my mother made. Ancestral healing is a process that I am grateful to have discovered. I am in a much better place and focused on helping hundreds of parents release, heal and live the life they want. 

As my daughter and I discuss the next college application and homecoming dresses, I know how much she gets that she matters. She is happy and thriving.

If you'd like to learn more, visit my site www.parenteenmoments.com and click on contact us to  book a ​Free 20 min. Clarity Session. Find out if you are a good candidate for this process and see how your life change can produce an amazing domino effect.

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Is Your Teen Ready to Graduate?

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Protected: Discovering Your Inner Strength – Teen Retreat

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How to React to Report Card Jitters

Report cards. Whether you wait for your teen to bring the printed copy home or view it on-line on the parent viewer, it can be a surprise to all parties involved. The best thing to do is STAY CALM.

If your teen shows up with a poor report card, here are a few tips you can follow.

  1. Review the assignments and grading scale to ensure accuracy. Most high-school teachers provide a syllabus that includes major assignments, grading scale and class objectives. Just because they neglect to read the rules, they are not exempt from required assignments.
  2. Communicate rules, expectations and consequences to your teen in an effective and clear manner. Create a goal chart that states the desired outcomes in certain classes. Have your teen review these goals regularly so that issues can be addressed the moment goals are not being met.
  3. Be consistent with discipline. Discipline is not punishment, rather than a method of doing things in a constant manner. Being firm and establishing guidelines and consequences early.
  4. Talk your teen and most importantly ask questions. Find out the reason why they have received such a grade. Allow them to be advocates for themselves by encouraging to ask their teacher for explanations and support and set specific study time (without the phone).
  5. If you are unsure how you can support your child or why the grades are not good, request a teacher conference. Yes, you can request these at the high school level too. Write your questions down, prior to the meeting

 

Be mindful not to connect the grade to the child’s identity. For example, a child who earns a D in math might not “bad” in math. Dumb? Lazy? NOPE!
He or she simply needs support in that area. A child who earns an A in English, isn’t a super smart kid, either. It all comes down to how much a student applies themselves.

The most important thing to remember is, although we care a lot about our child’s grade, a grade does not make a child. It’s a child that makes the grade. Don’t be afraid to show your child some compassion. School can be very stressful sometimes and this can lead to the feeling of anxiety and in some cases depression. Open conversation with your child can promote good study habits as well as healthy habits that lead to your teen’s future success. Above all, don’t forget to take a deep breath and SMILE.

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