a zine for stress-less families
kim engstrom counseling services
About the Creator
Teenagers Are Just Misunderstood
A Healthy Brain
What's a Parent To Do
Tech Talk Picks
Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backwards
Today's Family: Listening For Greatness
Let's Talk: Communication Tips
Teen Point of View
Yoga: It's a practice
Kim Engstrom has been working with teens, young adults, and families in various capacities as a teacher, counselor, advocate, and fan for 20+ years. A mother of two daughters, her commitment is to them having lives they love, being a contributer to the world, and practicing unconditional love. Kim finds no greater joy than being with her family and treasures being present as often as possible, seeing children as the beautiful gifts they are to this world.
For more information on stress or communication coaching for you and your family contact Kim @484 558 0311 firstname.lastname@example.org
FB @ Today's Family
Table of contents
I have always valued working with adolescents and young adults. They are our future after all! We forget what it was like when we were teens. It was probably one of, if not the, most tumultuous times of our lives.
From the ages 15-24 we experience the most developmental growth: spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally.
Easy to understand then, why teens are confused, in doubt about their future, longing to connect and just plain exhausted. I'm committed to helping teens remove the blocks to discovering what is possible for their lives.
Sometimes all you need is someone to listen and bonus if they get what you're saying.
The Inhale-Exhale team commitment is that all families be whole and complete .
Our promise is that parents feel affinity and connection with their children and are inspired to take on stress in their lives with a sense of freedom and ease.
As a result, our young people are validated, heard, accepted, and empowered to take on their future!
Teenagers Are Just
Mental Health is not a dirty word, yet often we overlook or ignore issues until they are full-blown problems resulting in crisis. The impact can be life-changing. Families are ever-evolving entities made up of multiple events and incidents that can impact a child for the rest of their life.
The answer is not to avoid or hide what is going on, but to talk openly about it.
Allow family members the space to share what is going on for them and how it occurs to them. The way a child sees it will more often not be the way an adult sees it. In fact, their concerns may seem insignificant compared to what you are dealing with as an adult.
Do not discount their concerns. They are very real for them.
A Healthy Brain
The rational part of a teen's brain isn't fully developed and won't be until age 25 or so. In fact, various studies including research from Stanford Children’s Health “Understanding the Teen Brain” and a 2011 NPR report,
“Brain maturity extends well beyond the teen years” and really no surprise, that adult and teen brains work differently.
Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain's rational part. The prefrontal cortex is in development for our young people and studies have shown the use of computer and phone screens are potentially slowing this process down even more.
In light of this research, another aspect of development is the Core Identity.
Who we consider ourselves to be begins in childhood as we learn to adapt to dealing with events and circumstances in our lives. If something doesn’t go quite the way we imagined it to go, we make up and adopt ways of acting and being to deal successfully with what we perceived went wrong.
By the time we reach adulthood, those ways of being and practices that we found worked for us as a child, now become part of our personality and we build a set of rules to live by- usually unconsciously and automatic - without us realizing it. These ways of being and acting generally serve us as strengths but also have a way of dominating everything we do.
. For Example: I get punished when I’ve been “bad” so I better be “good.”
Being good is a noteworthy trait, except when being good is the driving force behind every behavior. This can lead to perfectionism, insecurity around perceived failure, deep disappointment around mistakes, and a general feeling of not being good at anything.
There is no room for mistakes as the consequences are too grave. Perfectionism becomes the driving force. Anxiety is rooted in this core identity and a persistent feeling of "I’m not enough just the way I am," is what has one always striving to be good, more or better.
This striving in itself can be seen as a strength, but a sense of accomplishment and belonging is diminished. The downside of this way of identifying with ourselves is that the core identity rules the show and we are not free to choose our actions and responses.
What's a Parent To Do
This zine is designed to ease tension by sharing tips from certified professionals, family enthusiasts and parents and kids themselves.
Our focus is on mindfulness, awareness, and community-building. Our promise is that parents will feel increased confidence and connectedness, and young people will feel validated, empowered and inspired in their lives. Finally, every reader will take away skills to communicate powerfully, and tackle the stressors in their lives, leaving with a sense of comfort and support that they are not alone.
Talking to our kids is no easy feat. If we could just speak the same language.
Each issue of Inhale-Exhale will give you simple and effective tips and tools to get you on the same page with your kids.
Today, parents have ample reason to stress over the well-being of their children. From common occurrences such as on-line bullying to tragedies such as school shootings, parents’ anxiety and stress over keeping their children safe is arguably at an all-time high.
These stressors are also being felt by our children. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, one in five adolescents has had a serious mental health disorder at some point in their life. In fact, problems with mental health often start early in life, with symptoms exhibiting as early as age 14. It is clear that the progress of technology and the evolution of modern families create a landscape that has so far been unnavigated.
Set Limited Viewing Times
If you are not going to turn off the television completely, choose the appropriate television viewing windows for your kids.
It is much easier to limit their viewing habit if they understand that they can only watch one show in the morning and one show after school (as an example).
According to a 2014 article by Nick Bilton, a former New York Times columnist, Apple’s Steve Jobs was a low tech parent. There are a number of other technology chief executives and venture capitalists who strictly limit their children’s screen time as well. They ban all gadgets on school nights, allocate time limits on weekends, forbid screen time in anyone’s bedroom, and some don’t even allow their children to have their own devices. Oh my!
Limiting your child’s screen time may
seem like an impossible chore or it may seem
like a battle that is too difficult to fight but it is
Implementing just a few steps right away will help you implement the others. The more you enforce limits, the easier it will get and the more compelled you are to continue actually enjoying the freedom and ease that happens as a result. Praise children when they make good decisions on their own about their viewing time. Enlist them to help you create policies that everyone can live with. The bottom line is more about what screen time has replaced and as a result what are our children missing out on. Just as important, what are we missing out on with our children.
Observe Your Child’s Behavioral Changes
Technology use has an immediate impact on your child’s behavior. Irritability, aggression, selfishness and impatience are all behavioral changes to note and signs a child has had too much screen time.
Set the Example.
How do children learn the things they do?
They model their parents when they are younger and their peers as they get older. If hey see you reading a book, they are more likely to read. And if they see you watching television, so will they.
Up next ..screen time contract !
Tech Talk Picks
2. YOU ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE
...repeat I AM PERFECT JUST THE WAY I AM and remind yourself often. This strategy lessens the impact of feeling you are not enough.
So much stress comes from that fact that we don’t breathe properly. Breathing is easy and free and all you have to do is inhale 1 .2. 3. And Exhale 1 .2.3 If you find it hard to breathe, find something or someone that makes you laugh ASAP
Stressful events are inevitable, let’s face it. But they are just that... events. Believe it or not, we're the ones that make them stressful by the stories we create and the meaning we give to what is actually happening in our lives.
Drama gets created within the interpretation and meaning we give to what actually happened.
Take on with your family one of these practices a month and begin to lessen the impact of stress in your life. You just may find it will give you some space to focus on those things that are most important to you and those you love!
1. CREATE A MORNING RITUAL
Start your day with an intention of what you see is possible for you to accomplish. Have a busy day planned? Instead of coming from how overwhelmed you feel about it, make a declaration that your day is going to be easy and breezy!
Put yourself in your child’s shoes and really try to understand what is going on for them.
Listen to them as the perfect, whole and complete humans they are rather then trying to fix them which is how it appears to them.
Listen to them from the greatness you know they possess.
a new tip every issue
Listening for Greatness
by Kim Engstrom , M.S.
In today’s modern age, self-doubt and multiple points of view are major obstacles to effective communication. This is especially true when it comes to parenting and developing children.
Parents who are being too strict or authoritarian can prove to be a hurdle for children to be able to express themselves. Being too lenient or permissive without clear boundaries or guidance could lead them down the wrong path.
The secret just might be in how you listen to your children rather than how you talk to them. Talk with your children rather than at them. Talking straight with your kids can help parents to overcome perceived difficult issues in a trouble-free manner.
Next time...Parent Point of View
Teen Point of View
with Devon Charles H. a 17 year old
male High School Senior from Kennett Square , PA
What one thing do you find most challenging about being a teenager?
Meeting my parents' expectations to be better, more organized and as smart as they are some day. I worry about the future.
What causes you the most stress?
When I think I've disappointed my parents and let them down. I don't always know how to communicate to them what's going on . If I don't think I can meet their expectations than sometimes I have an attitude of "Why bother."
What one thing has been most helpful about working with a stress coach?
A: It's helpful to have a place to vent for sure and it's made talking to my parents a little easier . I know they love me very much . It's hard to tell them how much I really do care about them.
What do parents need to know about the importance of down time?
Parents need to know that there is a lot going on in a teens life and sometimes, it can get to them. They need downtime to exfoliate that stress. For me it's reading fan fiction and playing a bit of a video game like being part of a beta test, getting excited at the little things!
INHALE -EXHALE TEAM
Christie Decker Frazier
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I AM CALM AND CENTERED
YOGA : IT'S A PRACTICE
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Screenagers the Movie:
Growing up in the Digital Age
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Working Dog Press
THIS ISSUE OF INHALE EXHALE IS IN MEMORY OF
KAYLA BROOKE LEHMANN
4-5-2003 TO 4-7-2018