Volunteer with Your Tween this Spring

Welcome to March! This month is always bittersweet. We get to spring the clock ahead again for daylight saving time, giving us a feeling of summer. However, here in Ohio, mother nature always brings another snowstorm or two before the month is through. During this time of year, many of us are looking ahead at spring break that may fall into this month (ours does) and looking for something to fill the time with the kids. One great way to spend non-school days together is volunteering.

It is important to instill the value of giving in our children early in life. By learning the value of giving and helping others it gives children a feeling of pride. Using time and talent to help others, rather than just providing money, allows kids to see an immediate positive impact on someone's life. When volunteering, kids will experience first-hand how other’s live and this gives them a sense of gratitude for what they have. It can be difficult to find volunteer opportunities that allow...

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Helping Your Tween Overcome Difficult Emotions

As humans we are wired to be guided by emotions.  Generations ago, our ancestors used their “fight or flight” instinct to survive. A saber tooth tiger may not be chasing your family today but, helping your tween learn what their emotions and internal intuitions are communicating can feel just as daunting. Many of us deal with negative emotions by trying to ignore them or living in a negative state without a plan to move forward or channeling it into competition and anger with others. A more empowering option is to learn from our emotions.

In order to learn from our emotions, we need to evaluate them. The following steps will help you have an open and honest conversation with your tween (or yourself).

First, have your child describe the feeling or feelings they are going through so you both can identify the emotion.  Next is to clarify the message of the emotion. What is this specific emotion trying to convey? What is the purpose of that emotion?  Evaluate...

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The Importance of Goal Setting for Kids

Welcome to 2020! Some of you are (or already have) created resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. On the other hand, some of you may not be the New Year resolution type but believe progress and self-growth happen no matter the time of year.

In either case, are you including your kids in creating and setting goals for themselves? If you are, I applaud you, as goal setting is a powerful thing. It can literally alter our brains. This article from INC Magazine by Geoffrey James, explains beautifully the benefits of goal setting, with the scientific research to back up this amazing phenomenon. James says, “if you strongly desire a goal, your brain will perceive obstacles as less significant than they might otherwise appear”.  Our brains are chemically changing based on what we focus on. This is a huge benefit to teaching your child to goal set.  You child is growing, learning, and reprogramming new thoughts and belief systems every day. By goal...

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Unlocking Gratitude When You Aren’t Feeling Grateful

As Thanksgiving approaches many of us feel pressured to constantly be thankful or obligated to publicly count our blessings via social media gratitude challenges. But life happens, things don’t turn out as we expected, and we bite back the urge to whack the next person who ask us what we are grateful for. The example might be a bit extreme but some of us are not great at being grateful. And that’s OKAY.

With all the excitement around the holiday season and end of the year, many of us get caught up in the stress the season can bring. If you are not feeling particularly grateful, then instead take a moment to really feel the feeling you are experiencing. If you are sad, angry, overwhelmed, or whatever feeling is surfacing, allow yourself to really get the message of that feeling. Bring it out. Ask yourself, why this specific emotion?  Listen to the answer. Every emotion has some purpose. Finding the purpose can open the door to new insights. So, experience that...

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Talking to Your Tween about Social Media

kids social media tweens Oct 17, 2019

October is a time to celebrate and explore spooky side of life. As a parent, one thing that might be a bit horrifying to think about is your elementary or middle school child having their very own cell phone and access to the world at their fingertips. A new cell phone for your tween means new areas your child is exploring without your knowledge. Many kids use various social media applications to communicate with friends using their cell phone.  Providing kids with their own cell phone, means more responsibility and an opportunity to build trust between you and your child. We have put together a few tips, suggestions, and conversation starters to use when discussing social media and phone use.

Tips and Suggestions:

  • Remind your child that what they see on other’s profiles is their highlight reel, not necessarily their day-to-day life. Remember that they do not have insight into what is behind the photo. Everyone’s journey is different.
  • Remind your child to be...
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Making Learning Fun and Educational with J.O.Y. Journal

If your home is like ours then homework (or really any activity deemed educational) is either a battle to get completed, placed on the back burner or ignored. When we created J.O.Y. Journal we wanted to help kids explore and build upon important values such as self-love, resilience, confidence in owning who they are.  These are some tough values to teach but, like anything else in life, we wanted the child to learn through experience and thoughtful reflection.   Our main goal was to allow the child to discover who they are and what is great about them by interacting with guided questions while enjoying the fun and creative aspect of a journal. We didn’t want the journal to feel like homework.

The great news for you as a parent is that J.O.Y. Journal aligns with national educational standards so using the journal means your child is learning necessary skills while having fun. The chart below outlines how the J.O.Y. Journal aligns with Common Core and State...

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The Importance of Creativity for Children

creativity kids parenting Sep 02, 2019

Through the eyes of a child, the world is full of possibilities. You can be a pirate, sailing to undiscovered worlds. You can be a doctor, caring for your stuffed bunny with only one good eye. You can be a master builder creating spaceships, forts, and whole cities all with the click of a block.

We need creativity and imaginative thinking present in our children’s lives because it builds creative and divergent thinking skills, develops physical dexterity, and teaches comprise and negotiation tactics.  CNN.com published an article discussing with educational psychologist Kyung Hee Kim creativity scores in 300,000 American K-12 students saying, “Creativity scores have significantly decreased since 1990. […] Creativity scores for kindergarten through third-graders decreased the most and those from the fourth through sixth grade decreased by the next largest amount”.

In addition to free-play and exploring the outdoors, you and your child can expand your...

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Remove Your Labels….Then Teach Your Kid the Same

When you were growing up you probably had someone around who taught you the colors of the rainbow, how to tie your shoes so they won’t slip off or sang the ABC song to help you remember the alphabet. Now that you either have your own kids or, like me, borrow your friend’s kids to enjoy and lovingly give them back, you try to teach them the basics, as well as values like sharing and being polite.  

We teach children by explaining, showing and doing. We give concrete items a label. This is a CRAYON. That is a DOG. This CHAIR is BLUE. 

We attach labels to everything; we even begin to attach labels to humans. You are FUNNY. She is MEAN. He is such a LOSER. Those type of statements start to show up early in life and we just keep sticking these labels to each other (and sometimes even ourselves)It becomes a problem when we believe that label is...

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4 Awesome Ways to Journal

Think journaling in your J.O.Y. Journal is getting boring? Try these four creative ways to complete the activities in your journal or fill in the blank pages in the back of the book. Don't have a J.O.Y. Journal but want one? Not familiar with this guided activity journal? To know more about J.O.Y. Journal click here

1.       Art Journaling – Create a masterpiece to answer the question.  Go all out! Use any type of art medium you want: paint, clay, chalk, sand, or anything else you can think of. Let your imagination run wild.

2.       Doodle Journaling – Create funky doodles throughout the pages of the journal to brainstorm and answer the daily activities. Use emoji’s, animals or silly shapes to express yourself.

3.       Good Old Fashion Writing – This is the most common way people journal, through the power of the pen.  Placing words on the paper...

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3 Ways to Accomplish a Challenging Activity

Uncategorized Nov 25, 2017

You may have just started the J.O.Y. Journal or you have been busy checking off activities, but now you have ran into an issue.  Suddenly you find a daily challenge that is not so easy to complete.  No matter what stage of the journal you are in, here are some tips to help you get through a challenging activity.

  • Put it aside – You might be thinking this is the last piece of advice you want to hear. Sometimes when we focus on something so intently we get tunnel vision and can’t see new ideas. Putting the challenging activity aside for a couple of hours or a few days can help us refresh and refocus to find a new way at viewing a hard situation.
  • Breakdown into Smaller Pieces – Is this one with multiple questions? Answer them one at a time instead of all at once. Does the activity require you to work with others? Contact those you wish to work with and make advance appointments so you have time to prepare and not meet several people at once. Breaking a...
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4 Creative Ways to Teach Kids About Self-Love

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