Some Good Articles

Hello Everyone,

I know that I have a Facebook icon on this website, but I’m not sure who clicks on it and gets to see my Awesome Workbook Facebook page. Instead of creating my own blog today, I’d like to direct you to my Facebook page, especially if you find any of my recent shared posts interesting. Here are the titles of several of those posts, and the websites where they were initially shared:

* 4 Tips for Keeping Conversations about Relationships and Sex Going During the Teen Years- (Chicagonow.com)
* How to Make Mini Water Blobs-(Hellowonderful.com)
* Summer Screen Rules- (NaturalBeachLiving.com)
* Fifteen Apps for Kids with Anxiety- (Parentingchaos.com)
* 30 Cool Things Kids Can Learn Online (for Free!)- (Commonsensemedia.org)
* 5 Body Safety Rules All Kids Need to Know- (Scarymom.com)
* 10 Things a Mom Wishes She Had Known About Teenage Depression- (Chicagonow.com)
* 10 Life Skills to Teach Your Child by Age 10 – (parents.com)
* Reading List for Parents of Teens and Tweens- (Chicago now.com)

And there are plenty more where those came from. I hope this is helpful to you.

Mary

Volunteering Ideas for Tweens and Teens

It’s that time of year when we tend to think about what our kids can do over the summer for self growth.  I’m forever grateful to my mother for pushing me towards volunteerism during my teen years.  I think my experience volunteering at Camp Easter Seal as a 14 year-old helped me become a more compassionate and empathetic person. Here are three pages from the chapter in my book that deals with ethical maturity.  These pages list only some of the many opportunities that are out there for our youth to reach outside themselves and help others.

Download (PDF, 116KB)

Drop Kick the Devices for a Day

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So, the holiday season is here, and it seems like a fitting time to make the goal as a family of going device free for a day.  I was so proud of the mother at the quick oil change store yesterday, because her son asked her if she wanted him to retrieve her phone that was left in the car.  She replied that she didn’t want it, and they proceeded to play I Spy.  They were having fun, and certainly bonding more than if one or both of them had a phone in hand.  I realize that Pokemon Go is a fun family activity, but how about trying to go without any electronics for a day?

Here are some suggestions of what to do together instead:

*Board or card games

*Look at an Atlas or a globe.

*Go on a nature walk or a bike ride.

*Volunteer.

*Shop for a gift for an underprivileged child or family.

*Paint the child’s room.

*Make greeting cards, and/or write letters.

*Make a scrapbook or a family collage.

*Plan and prepare a family meal.

*Go to the local park and throw a Frisbee, play on the equipment, or shoot baskets.

*Hit golf balls at a driving range.

*Thrift store shopping.

*Sew, mend, or recreate clothes.

*Make a wallet or something else with duct tape.

*Play jacks or marbles, or work with Legos.

*Make play dough, or use Sculpey.

*Go through the newspaper, or read a book.

*Take a field trip to the library.

*Get visitor passes to a local gym.

*Visit a music or art supply store.

*Put together a jigsaw puzzle.

*Create a Scavenger Hunt in your neighborhood.

*Play Hide and Seek, or Kick the Can.

*Play Charades.

*Learn Yo-Yo tricks, card tricks, or try juggling.

*Plant bulbs, and/or an herb garden.

*Make and fly paper airplanes.

*Practice yoga or some other relaxation technique.

*Go swimming.

I hope these suggestions were helpful, and that you have a wonderful and healthy holiday season.

 

 

 

Qualities Future Employers Will Look For

Practice text concept

Although my healthy workbook is geared towards 8-14 year-olds, and most of them aren’t looking for work yet, it would be helpful to take a look at the following list of qualities that most employers are looking for in a future employee.  The adult and child can go over the list to see which qualities they each possess.  Working on self-improvement is good for everyone, and self-knowledge is an important part of the equation.  After going over the list, and since it isn’t necessarily the right time for the child to look for a paying job, he or she can be encouraged to look into volunteering.  Examples for where to volunteer are:  the hospital; a local pre-school; the church; the Humane Society; the library, Special Olympics; a local retirement home or senior center; or the Red Cross.   Here is the list of desirable qualities, in no particular order:

  • Team Player
  • Leader
  • Ethical
  • Intelligent
  • Punctual
  • Reasonable
  • Non-smoker
  • Patient
  • Confident
  • Outgoing
  • Dependable
  • Skilled With Computers
  • Cheerful
  • Shows Initiative
  • Loyal
  • Good Listener
  • Skilled in a Second Language
  • Honest
  • Good Communicator
  • Has Integrity
  • Has Good Hygiene

Are You and Your Kids Working on ALL Areas of Health and Wellness?

Hand writing in a stairs the text: Health

I am passionate about health and wellness, and love to share my enthusiasm for the topic.  The first thing I like to point out is that health, (i.e. our state of wellness), isn’t just about how we take care of ourselves mentally and physically.  There are six areas of health, (also known as the six areas of maturity) that we can work on throughout our lives. Those areas are: PERSONAL, EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL, SOCIAL, INTELLECTUAL and ETHICAL health, or maturity.

Here is an overview of those six areas:
• Personal Maturity—gaining self-knowledge and self esteem by trying to work on feeling
better about ourselves and our potential.
• Emotional Maturity–being aware of and able to understand and control our feelings
and thoughts; developing a positive outlook on life.
• Physical Maturity—taking good care of ourselves as our bodies grow and develop,
especially in terms of a healthy diet, adequate exercise, getting enough sleep,
and staying safe.
• Social Maturity—making and keeping friends; improving communication skills; and
being at ease with a variety of people.
• Intellectual Maturity–understanding the importance of learning about the world around
us; gaining knowledge about our interests; expanding our creative minds.
• Ethical Maturity–developing a sense of right and wrong; deciding how we want to be
perceived; becoming a responsible citizen.

So, take a moment to think about each area and ask yourself these questions:

1.  How am I doing in this area?

2.  Where do I excel in this area, and where do I see a need for self-improvement?

3.  What goals can I make for self-improvement in each of those six areas?

I hope this post has helped motivate you towards working more holistically on your own wellness, as well as the wellness of the children in your family.  Perhaps there are some family goals that can be made as well!

-Ms. Goals R. Us

Positive Mindset for Tweens and Teens

I can do itI can do it

 

 

 

 

 

I saw the following phrases on a bulletin board at school the other day, and I thought it was a great example of trying to change to a more positive mindset.  Perhaps we can all use a little help in this area once in awhile.  I know I can!

INSTEAD OF:                            TRY:

I don’t understand                      What Am I Missing?

I give up.                                   I’ll use some of the strategies I’ve learned.

I made a mistake.                      Mistakes help me improve

This is too hard.                         This may take some time and effort.

It is good enough.                      Is this really my best work?

I’ll never be as smart as her/him.  I’m going to figure out what she/he does and try it!

I can’t make this any better.       I can always improve.  (Or, I’ll keep trying).

A Fun Project for Tweens, Tweens, and Adults!

 

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Let’s put down our electronic devices for awhile and have some fun making a personalized book. It would be especially fun for parents or guardians, and kids to do together!  All you need is a blank composition book, scissors, a glue stick, and some magazines, or photos, or computer graphics, (or a combination of all three).  It’s also nice to have a roll of clear contact paper, so you can cover the book after you’ve made your collage. Decide what kind of a blank book you’d like to make:

  • A book for journaling in general.
  • A book where you write down the simple pleasures you’ve noticed each day, and/or people and things for which you are grateful.
  • A compliment book.  (You’d write down verbal compliments you’ve received, plus insert notes, letters, or awards you’ve received.)
  • A dream journal.  (Remember to keep it by your bed. Write down your dreams as soon as you wake up!)
  • A book of your favorite song lyrics.
  • A book with examples of your poetry and other writings.
  • A book of your favorite quotes.  Write about each quote, and why it inspires you.
  • A daily food intake and exercise log.
  • A book of your ideas and goals.
  • A sketch book.
  • A book like the ones pictured here. I like to glue in my favorite articles from the health magazines I subscribe to.
  • A book that is perhaps a little more random, including some of the topics discussed above.

If you do make a blank book, I hope you use it, enjoy it, and look back on it years from now. Just think, it’s your very own, personalized book!

Remember, wellness is a continuum.  We should work on keeping ourselves well, in all areas of maturity, (personally, emotionally, physically, socially, intellectually, and ethically), for a life time. Try to keep your thoughts and actions on the positive, self-improvement side of the continuum. Things will get rocky along the way, of course. It’s hard to keep everything in balance.  Hopefully this activity will help you cope with what life throws your way.

 

Healthy Holiday Gifts for Your Tween or Teen

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hi Everyone.  I’m bringing back this post from last year, because I believe so strongly that kids want (even though they might not realize it) and need healthy gifts.

It seems like electronics are the go-to gift for kids.  But, why not think more broadly about the individual?  Why not encourage a healthier lifestyle by finding just the right gift to help your child mature  personally, emotionally, physically, socially, intellectually, or ethically?  Here is just a starter list of ideas:

*Promise a year’s worth of lessons, in whatever he/she is interested in learning about.  Suggestions are:  art, dance, a musical instrument, martial arts, gymnastics, fencing, fly fishing, swimming, golf, archery, tennis, figure skating, skiing, equestrian skills, etc.

*Give coupons for trips to specific locations:  the zoo; a museum; a water park; a concert or play, a professional game, or competition; a fishing trip; or a shoe store.

*A one year membership to the local gym, (perhaps a family membership?).

*A basketball hoop in the driveway.  (Family games of “Horse” and “Bump” can help with bonding, and skill development, physically and socially).

*A family ping pong table in the garage or basement. Again, this can be such a bonding experience for the whole family.

*Board games, especially ones that challenge the intellect, and encourage social interaction:  Scrabble and Pictionary are good examples.

*A trampoline, (with safety nets).

*Equipment or supplies such as:  hand weights; a yoga mat; swim goggles; a pedometer; bike accessories; juggling balls or pins; a bowling ball; golf clubs or balls; skis or ski boots; a fishing pole or tackle box; art supplies; a sewing machine, etc.

*Clothing for a specific sport or activity.

*A gift card at a sporting goods store, book store, art supply store, or musical equipment store.

*A coupon for time spent with you, doing the activity or their choice.

Some of the suggestions I have listed that are smaller in size, or are coupons, would simply make good stocking stuffers.  I hope this has helped you think more broadly about gifts for your tween, teen, or your family in general.  Wishing you Merry Fitness and a Happy New You and Yours!

Things to Think About When Dealing With Loss

Everyone experiences losses throughout their lives. A loss is something that has happened in your life that has caused you grief, or sadness, whether on a very small scale (such a losing your favorite pencil), or on a grand scale,( such as the death of a loved one, or the family pet).  In an earlier blog post, I discussed the stages of grieving, and offered some of the content from my book, that helps you analyze your losses.  This post features some things to keep in mind regarding loss:

*Don’t hurt others because you’ve been hurt.

*You can’t solve your problems by escaping from them.

*Realize when you are hurting.

*Don’t let yesterday rule today.

*Take the first step towards forgiveness.

*Benefits come from each failure or disappointment, if you look hard enough.

*Walls that you’ve built are not sturdy enough to keep you strong.

*Healing brings forgiveness.

*Recover for yourself first.

*Let go of pain.

*Don’t wallow in self-pity.

*Forgiveness replaces bitterness.

*Layers of resentment bury joy.

*Give the gift of forgiveness.

*Release feelings in a healthy way.

*The future is never as dark as the past.

*Life can be changed, by changing your thinking.

*Everyone thinks their load is heavier.

*Tie a knot and hang on when you feel that you are at the end of your rope.

*If you want a rainbow, you have to get through the rain.

If one or more of those sayings rings especially true to you, consider writing it out and placing it on your mirror, so you can be reminded of it.  Remember also the saying:  This too shall pass.