Victoria Peace Green

Children's Author * Freelance Writer

Category: tween anxieties (page 1 of 2)

SUMMER VACATION IS OVER BUT THE FUN DOESN’T HAVE TO BE!

The school hallways are full up again with kids…some kids miss summer time and its chill time and miss the ‘no routine’. Well, summer is still around because FALL doesn’t begin officially until Sept 21st.

What to do when the homework is done and dad and mom are home too?

Dig up some cool things to make everyone smile and laugh. Maybe Do an evening of games– the old fashion games! The UNO AND THE SCATAGORIES! Maybe Monopoly or Clue! How about after dinner doing some old fashion S’mores ! Yup! Strike up the grill and get those grammies and marshmallows out and don’t forget the Hershey’s.

Phones can get in the way of family fun. Well, pretend for even an hour that they are not yet to be invented. So, what to do? TALK! Yup. Talk AROUND THE TABLE or sit around the family room and talk about your HIGH point for that day and the LOW, or not-so-good- time of that day. Talk about what you like most about one another. Talk about how you might pray for one another. Ask what one another how you might pray and write it down so you WILL actually remember to pray. Back to school can bring anxieties. Kids getting use to new grade level and new responsibilities and new friends. Family time brings stability, comfort, renews love, and helps kids and adults stay solid in their faith.

Summertime evenings like these are great fun once you make them a routine. Just like any of your routines, they can be looked forward to and shared with friends!

https://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/842477/50-family-fun-night-ideas-for-families/

https://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/824467/5-games-to-play-at-the-dinner-table/

https://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2017/january/parenting-in-age-of-anxiety-children-teens.html

https://www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/kids/10-benefits-of-family-prayer-time.html

OUR TWEENS ARE BEGINNING A NEW YEAR!

Beginning a new school is pretty tough for any of our children, but when out tween begins middle school even the more confident child can have some frustrations and anxieties. How best can they begin to feel a part of the new community of middle school?

Clubs! Tween’s need their group or their pack! Clubs are a wonderful answer to feeling included and assured of friends!

FUN- Just because it is school doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Learning about their talents and discovering (perhaps for the first time) new interests brings both shy and extroverted tweens to new and exciting levels. Let’s encourage our child to pursue what he/she knows they are talented in but also to expand on new interests. There are typical clubs like art, music, yearbook, band or orchestra and all just waiting to bring fresh looks into what they already know. Less traditional are scrapbooking, green club, leadership club, math, building clubs, technology, and many other clubs.

NOT BORING BUT.. SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT- It’s not just about ABC’s or math like in elementary school. Now school community becomes a variety and variety makes a difference in how our tween views learning. Without the school clubs there would be no extracurricular plays, art shows, technology contests, yearbooks to collect, school leaders, competitions of all sorts and the list keeps on growing.

NO WASTE OF TIME– Making friends for most middle school children is on the top two of their list of: How Best to Survive School! Schools are now very much aware of the ‘bully’ and are proactive in seeing the bully’s demise. Clubs are a great tool and guard against bullying. It’s not a waste of time when your child comes home with smiles and good attitude because of the new like-minded friends they met in their club. Clubs can be a shot in the arm for your tween’s attitude even in their school work. Clubs can and do make a whole lot of difference!

LEARNING COMMITMENT/RESPONSIBILITY– Middle school clubs are not going to demand a lot of your child’s time so that they have no time- but they will require meetings and some do programs/events. This is all good. Your child’s peers can teach commitment and responsibility in a realistic way!  Working with their peer group helps children to get along and to be a team member- a lot like real life, right?! They will learn social etiquette even when dealing with kids they do not especially like as well as learning to work with sudden challenges. So as a parent we need to make sure we talk over with our child, the time elements and the load of responsibility that may come along with it.

PAVES THE WAY INTO THE HIGH SCHOOL- Just like adults need resumes for a good position, our kids need a record on their middle school record that says: “This child was in this club and that club” The gifts/talents they discover they process in middle school will be greatly enhanced and better protected as they come into the High School with interests already in tow.

For more ideas:

http://www.ehow.com/how_7720895_join-school-club.html

GENERATION Z- UNCERTAINTY CLOUDS THEIR MINDS

Our grandson is a game junkie. That’s not a judgement- it’s a fact. I have heard many a complaint from parents for they too have a teen that seems to spend more time online, or on phone with social media, or gaming, or u-tubing. It might be all bad from our perspective. What is our perspective?

It all depends on what generation you are a part of. Today’s teens and tweens are by default born in Generation Z. This guarded lonely culture, consists of kids born 1999 to the present. Shockingly to many of us that have not put much question as to why our kids behave the way they do, the definition to what Generation Z is can be summed up pretty much as the generation that doesn’t know what it is like to live without fear. To live in a threat-free society is absent from their lives; past or present. They desire to find ‘safe-spaces’ where they are included but not judged. They are a coddled group mostly because their parents rightfully are fearful for their children in today’s world. They don’t know what it is like to go outside to play without supervision. They are not “allowed” to walk where their hearts take them for their parents fear of what the media warns us; kidnapping. Polls say they don’t want to learn to drive for fear of death.

What happened in 2000 and up to this very day – the years in which these non-risk-taking kids were born? All we have to do is re-play one catastrophe after another to know the answer. School shootings, bombs, terrorism of all forms, wars that do not stop, 911, TV news reporting 24/7 fearful and anxiety breeding news. You could have a host more and it all is summed up as UNCERTAINTY 24/7. Now ask yourself again…. why does my kid sit on social media? Could it be they feel safer inside that ‘world’ where threats seem easier to experience? A world they can pretty much create? Or so they think. Actually, predators like cyber-bullying are just within a click away. While seeking relief, they fall further into what they fear- unsafe places.
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OUR TWEENS AND TEENS ARE MORE ANXIOUS THAN EVER THESE DAYS

                             

WHAT DID YOU READ about this morning or hear on the radio on your way into work? These days 9 times out of 10 the answer is just NOT GOOD NEWS. No matter what are personal opinions are about today’s world, politics, and the seemingly continued chaos, the news affects your emotions if you are truly honest with yourself. And more so if you are a parent of a middle schooler or high schooler. Our kids take it all in as much as we do but don’t have the years of experiential living to deal with it.

Studies show that their young minds are getting more and more anxiety ridden and most don’t realize this constant barrage of bad news brings on overwhelming symptoms. We parents are in position to defuse or lighten the emotions of our kids. If you could list the top 4 reasons why our teens and middle schoolers are depressed/anxiety ridden what would that list look like? Anything like this one I researched?

Control of the world around them or no control of their own lives adds to depression and anxiety. Lack of control or too much control affects them. Compared to decades past, today’s social issues, diseases, excess of materialism brings on confusion and the feeling that these impressionable youths have no control over their own lives.

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10 Things Your Middle School Kid Wishes You Knew!

Come on Dad; let me make up my own mind please. Thank you for your opinion, but I want to try to figure this out on my own. I need to take my time and I will be ready by the time the bus comes. Please!” Maybe you hear the same plea in the mornings before school as your tween decides what clothes to wear or which way “the hair” will look good today.

But if we could be a crumb sitting on their lunchroom cafeteria table, we might hear them ranting and raving about us; their parents. Maybe we might be more help than we realize if we could listen with a discerning ear. “I wish my parents were more……..”. 

  • Patient- I’m really able to get my routine done before school but I’m my own person. Even though I need a nudge to get going, please don’t nag me just know I am doing my best to get on that bus- after all I don’t want to be embarrassed by being late.
  • Let me choose my friends – wish you would ask me more about my friends before you judge them. If you don’t like them it seems like you don’t trust me to choose the ‘right friends’. Trust me to make mistakes as I pick and choose – stay open minded but if you still think they are bad to me, please, I need your gentle guidance showing me sound choices and also on my side.

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WHEN BFF’S MOVE AWAY

 

Summertime for tweens is a time of freedom, to re-group and take some time off from school. Close friends are always available with just a phone call away or an invite to spend the night, unless that close friend moves away. Summer has lots of fun but also brings families to relocate due to job transfers and a host of other reasons.

 But our tween’s do not take their relationships casually. They take them deeply! Buddies and BFF’s are a large part of their development. Most people do not like the adjustments that come with moving, but tweens are devastated emotionally when it involves them.

 No matter the personality of your child; shy or gregarious, they all have the same emotions. Having a BFF or a close buddy or two to share their ups and downs and great dreams is powerful security. Many times, family issues bring the unknown or insecurity for tweens, as they do us- so having close friendships with the same interests naturally brings security and safety emotionally. God gives them friends to be their anchor when rough times come at school, with school work, with siblings, loss of a pet, loss of a family member and a just a safe place of coping.

 Helping our tweens through the storms of life such as friends moving or our own tween moving, can be a great way once again for us as parents and grandparents to show them they can lean into us and God.

 One of the hardest things we as parents will do is helping our tween say good-bye. Continue reading

ARE YOUR TWEENS ACTING MORE LIKE TEENAGERS THAN KIDS?

I I really don’t like to go to dentists appointments- I don’t think anyone does unless their tooth is in horrific pain! But a few weeks ago while sitting in the waiting area I couldn’t help but feel so sad for this person across the room. I could see the tiredness in her eyes as she adjusted the earbuds in her ears to take a call. Her laptop was opened on her lap but she was overwhelmed as she talked on her pink cell phone about some report she had messed up- how could that be since spending two weeks on I heard her remind the caller. “I don’t know what to do now, because I have a meeting with Mr. Taylor tomorrow and this Saturday are team finals!” Listening and listening again she was quiet and then reassuringly said just before she disconnected, “OK, mom, dad is about to pick me up- I’ll see you tomorrow after your flight gets in.”  This was a child; about 11 years old I guessed.

 Today’s kids are growing up too fast and with so much responsibility in their young lives! I don’t mean that I am old fashion, but it is true. Does this describe your child? Tweens are blending in with teenagers and their minds are no different when it comes to social and what is expected of them from teachers, peers, coaches, and their families! Yup. Tweens are 8-12 years old! Remember the days when you were that age? What has happened to cause this jog toward adulthood?

 How about PRESURE? We all had pressure as tweens. But today’s world is changing faster than ever before. Pressure from society’s changing landscape, technology, the marketplace and its cultural changes, school pressure, and parents make our tweens into what they are today. Continue reading

WHAT ROLE MODELS DO YOUR KIDS HAVE?

Children imitate behavior.It’s that easy. Most of us can remember the few adults in our lives which had great influence. Remember the not-so- good ones? Some of those role models many of us are still trying to forget! But healthy role models challenged us and encouraged us like no one else. We wanted to be like them. They helped us come to places of great decision- the ones that affected the outcome of our lives.

Of course the most obvious first role models for any child are us parents and then grandparents, aunts, uncles, older cousins and of course teachers! What is healthy in modeling behavior? If we smoke, drink, swear, gossip, or just sit around and watch TV- it’s very likely our kids will do the same. We can preach all about not doing those things but if we do them- well, I remember my mother would advise me but if I saw her do what was the opposite or be a hypocrite- then all was lost! Continue reading

Power-Words To Feed Our Kid’s Hearts and Minds- 24/7

I was at the grocery store the other day. I don’t like grocery stores. Just too chaos and too many choices to make…. so I enjoy studying any kids and their parents that are also engaged in each other and  in the experience of shopping. I decided after cleaning my cart with those wipe things to make a study on what I heard between kids and adults.

Moms and some dads were hustling around with kids in tow or in the carts. I listened as if I had no eyes. In fact in places where it was safe to do so, I closed my eyes as I heard ‘conversation’ between adults and children. I wanted to cry. Why? The parents talked at their kids not with their kids, the kids nagging, nagging for whatever reason, then the big shouting match telling the kids “NO” only to be followed with more nagging. I have to say the bazar habit of parents talking or texting on their phones, while they are supposed to be choosing groceries and being attentive to their children, has got to be the most unrecognized neglectful adult behavior. What are they teaching their kids while they do this? Uhhhh…..for starters, how about its OK to ignore those you are with. And they learn to do the same thing with their own friends and family !

 IMAGINE OUR KIDS AS GROWN UP KIDS 

 I asked myself, if all these kids were grown up and walking beside their parent how the conversations would be different? We ought to try walking at the store or anywhere with our kids and imagining they are adult kids. Or we might pretend that sweet 3 foot tall child is our own friend we enjoyed a bite to eat with at the lunch hour today.

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THE LEAFLESS TREE: IT ISN’T DEAD BUT SEEMS TO BE LANGUISHING

            Outside my office window is a giant but very cold-bare crape myrtle. The birds peer into my window as they huddle almost as one life-form on its branches. That tree which was once their hiding place, security from predators, and shelter from the rain, has become unable to do its job any more. The birds don’t wonder like I use to as a kid; is that tree ever going to have leaves again or is it dead?

            Even now as an adult and though I know better, the tree appears as though it is lifeless, just not thriving, or for a better word, languishing. Once it had such vibrancy and purpose as it housed the birds and was admired constantly last spring, summer, and a tad of autumn from my office. I can’t help but see a parallel between that languishing tree and tweens; those kids I love so much. Tween’s find it hard many times to share what hurts, so they often hide or try to under their pretend smiles. Nature has so often, the answers to most of life’s questions. I love how Jesus built the lessons he wanted people to grasp about life and the state of our souls, all around nature. How many of those parables do just that? They make us to wonder about ourselves and seek out those answers. Continue reading

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