Sunday, October 26, 2014

Self-Esteem for Teens in Difficult Times

Self-Esteem for Teens in Difficult Times

Being a teen is tough enough. Add to it some tough times, like having a break-up, failing a core class, school drama, relocation or having your parents divorce and it can be double-trouble for your self-esteem.

When some of life’s biggest bummers take place, we tend to take the blame and feel that we are somehow personally responsible for all the negative things that happen around us.  When we’re thinking our best, we may realize this is untrue, but it's harder during times of struggle to feel good about ourselves!

Here are some simple strategies to put into play to give your self-esteem a boost during trying times:

1.     Be Hopeful. The power of your mind is incredible. Did you know that if you're in a situation that you truly believe is hopeless, your chances of changing that situation are drastically impaired? If you believe things can and will get better, your chances of improving the situation (or at least how you feel about it) are greatest. That’s the best reason we can think of to keep looking up, keep believing and keep holding out for the best. ALWAYS!

      Being hopeful doesn't mean things will go back to the way they were.  It doesn't that you'll get back together with a love interest, find out you got 93% correct on the test rather than 23%, that your parents will reunite or that the school drama will disappear with the snap of your fingers. No. That's not what being hopeful is about. Being hopeful means you can see beyond what is happening in the here and now, and recognize things won't always feel as tough as they do in one particular moment. 

Believing that things will improve will also help you feel more confident about yourself. You'll feel more positive heading into the right direction, and your self-esteem will increase.

2.     Accentuate the Positive. Negative things happen in everyone’s life, even though you may not see that from afar. You may think some people get all the breaks, while unfortunate events continue to intrude into your life. That’s really not the case. It’s a fact: nobody’s life if perfect! Remind yourself of that when you think you’re the “only one” with troubles.  It’s just not so.

You’ve likely heard the saying "Things could be worse." Try to focus your attention onto what you have that is good. Whether it's great friends, caring parents or teachers, a roof over your head or food in your stomach; focus on what is positive and special in your life. Go ahead…list what’s working in your life!

3.     De-stress with “You Time”. When things aren’t going according to your plan, it can be very stressful. This clearly doesn’t help you feel good about yourself. More than likely, you're not taking any time out for the most important person in your life: you.

Allow yourself some time to relax and regroup. It makes a huge difference! Make the time to do something that you thoroughly enjoy doing. It can be alone or with family or a trusted friend - whatever relaxes you the most.

Read a book, take a bubble bath, draw, or dance around the house to your favorite music. Anything that can relieve some of that stress you're feeling will make a big difference.

Life sometimes presents us with difficult situations with which we're not prepared to deal. During these times, pay really close attention to your thoughts.  Move away from the negative and towards the positive. Your self-esteem will be strengthened, along with your belief in a better outcome.

In Summary 

Three things lead to feeling better about your situation and yourself, even in difficult times.

  1. What you believe about things getting better.
  2. What you choose to focus on and think about. Always choose the positive.
  3. How you take care of and treat yourself.

The Best News of All

The best news of all is that while you cannot control all of the events that happen in your life, you can control all three of the things that can help you feel better! It feels better just knowing that, doesn’t it?

What do you think?

Tell us below in the comments.

Need more resources that help teens?  Check out 

and, to help tweens and teens with over-the-top feelings, try our resource for therapists and counselors to use with tweens, teens or adults: 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Free Printable: Feelings Face Witch for Halloween

Image of Witch Hat by Cheryl Seslar Designs.

Free Printable: Feelings Face Witch for Halloween

As promised, here's a free printable to use at home with your kids, in the classroom or in your therapy or counseling office.

It's a great time of year to capitalize on facial expressions, whether you are drawing on or carving pumpkins or using this new seasonal printable for Halloween.

Reuse, Recycle and Save a Tree

If using this in a classroom for a center, simply stick the printable inside a plastic sleeve and this printable may be used over and over again by several students.  

All Feelings are Okay 

While students are filling in these printables, you can also use the time to talk about all feelings being's what we do with them that counts!

Grab your printable HERE.
If you have our tutorial at the bottom of THIS page.

Looking for More? See Our Fall Resources

If you are looking for more resources for social emotional development that dig deeper, you can find them in our store.  Incredible value for a resource you'll use year after year!

Our specific resources for the fall seasons include:

Pumpkin Feelings Expansion Set (scroll towards bottom of page)


The Fall Bundle: 3 great products at a lower price when you purchase together!

Happy Halloween from Kidlutions!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Boo Book: Play Dough and Coloring Mats for Social Emotional Development

Just $8.00
                                                                        Add to Cart

Seasonal Fun with Feelings - 
Play Dough and Coloring Mats for Halloween

Witches, pumpkins, spiders and ghosts.  When kids get to give them any feeling they choose, they are provided with an opportunity to "try on", if you will, many feelings for themselves.  They can project onto these seasonal images, any feelings they care to.  

Why it Matters

Helping kids think about, talk about and process the meaning of feelings, plus how to cope with them, is a crucial life skill.  These skills build a foundation upon which all other learning can grow. We know that kids who can manage their feelings, and have the ability to interact and support others' feelings too, have richer, happier lives. Who doesn't want that for their kids? 

Start 'Em Off Early

Kids as young as two and three and starting to recognize feelings in themselves and others.  Promote this process by providing fun activities that capitalize upon this.  Our resources are all built to do just that.

What's Inside

Just $8.00

Add to Cart

A Closer Look

Inside, you'll find 18 pages of seasonal fun:

Suggested Options for Use, including alternatives to using play dough...just color!
Ways to Extend the Learning (shapes and counting)
PLUS...more ways to make it more fun with "add ins"
Play Dough Recipe (my favorite one)
Color Images - 5
Black & White Images - 6

B ~ O ~ O!

Happy Halloween from Kidlutions!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Girls' Q and A Book on Friendship by Annie Fox

You can find the book HERE!

Friendships: Fixing the Fallouts

Anyone who parents, cares for or spends time around tween girls knows the difficulties that lurk in their friendships.  Navigating these social conundrums can be quite unsettling when a tween is feeling swept away by emotions. Thank goodness there's Annie Fox to the rescue, answering some of the trickier questions girls have. 

This book is incredible! I will be using it on a daily basis in my office, there is no question. The advice is solid, respectful and it's delivered in language that tween girls can understand.  A girl an read the book one minute, and implement the advice the next! In the Girls' Q and A Book on Questions, Annie provides 50 ways to fix a friendship without the drama.  And peace shall echo throughout the land! 

I had an opportunity to ask Annie a few questions 
about her new book and here's what she had to say:

1.    What motivated you to write this book?

I’ve been answering tween and teen email since 1997 and peer conflict has to be the number one issue that motivates girls to write to me. It’s always been variations on the same theme “Why is my friend not acting like a friend? And what can I do about it?” I’ve written books about healthy relationships (the only kind worth having) for teens and tweens. Then I started getting calls and emails from parents and teachers of 1-4th graders. So I decides to write the Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship for 8-12 year olds. My goal was simple: Girls friendship conflicts cause so much damage in 6th-8th grade. If I write a book for younger girls, maybe I can provide them with some valuable tools and insights so that when they reach middle school, they will be better able to navigate the waters. Hopefully I have done that.

2.    When you were younger, did you experience any of these friendship conflicts you write about in your book?

Sixth grade was tough for me. My bff was “stolen” by a new girl and then the two of them turned most of the other girls in the class against me. It was confusing and very upsetting. One of the first major betrayals of my life. And yet… I survived! (As we usually do.) But that doesn’t mean I forgot the feelings. Obviously I didn’t. So maybe, in the grand scheme of things, the way I processed that situation (which pretty much lasted the entire school year) gave me needed insight for the work I do. I totally empathize with the kids who write to me for help. I have great compassion for their suffering (and they are, in many cases, truly suffering). I also understand that, as humans, our emotions often get in the way of us making our best choices– whether it is speaking up for ourselves in relationships that are not nurturing or standing up for others who are being mistreated. Or simply, managing our own emotional responses in appropriate and responsible ways so that we don’t add to the “social garbage” online and off.

3.    How do you think friendship conflicts have changed through the years, if at all?

The conflicts themselves haven’t changed. The Greek dramatists as well as Shakespeare portrayed relationship conflicts at the heart of their work. Great drama has always be created from feelings of betrayal, rejection, jealousy, etc. That’s always been the stuff of tween and teen peer conflicts. So I’d have to say that the conflicts themselves haven’t changed. What has changed is the battlefield on which these emotional dramas play out. Of course I’m referring to Social Media, where people of all ages some how believe that they can post whatever they like with no impunity and no consideration to the consequences of their actions. Social media is the world’s largest unsupervised playground and without parents and teachers helping young people understand that their choices matter (online and off) kids often run amok. We need to do a better job teaching our kids how to manage their destructive emotions and to help them understand that a keyboard should not be used as a weapon… ever! Social media is not good or bad, but it is often the vortex where a child’s character development battles it out with peer approval addiction (doing whatever it takes to fit in).

4.     What is the single most important piece of advice you would give girls about friendship? 

In the book I included advice from older girls to younger girls (my readers) on how to be a “Super friend.” Their wisdom is spread throughout. But if I had to choose the single most important bit of advice about friendship I’d say this, “Pay attention to what you need in a friendship. When you are with a friend, notice what makes you feel happy, accepted, respected. Let your friend know what you appreciate about her and the friendship. Notice also when a friend’s behavior makes you feel uncomfortable. Talk about it with your friend and work together to make things better. We teach people how we want to be treated. When things are not going well in any relationship, we have to speak up, otherwise, the other person might assume that we don’t mind being disrespected. If that’s not the message you want to send, then be your own best friend and stand up for yourself.

Thanks, Annie!  Your book is a keeper and I know it's going to help girls world wide!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall Bundle: Pumpkins, Ghosts and Apples

Three Popular Fall Resources
Bundled Together
for One Low Price!

Fall Bundle
Pumpkins, Ghosts and Apples...just in time for autumn!  Perfect for your fall themed centers or Halloween fun in your classroom, counseling office or home. These activities teach kids all about feelings.  It's social-emotional development like you've never seen!
What You Get:

26 total pages of Pumpkin Feelings Activities
A Dozen Different Sets of Pumpkin Feelings Faces:
7 sets of silly, traditional jack-o-lantern faces
5 sets of pumpkins with basic feelings for easy recognition: mad, sad, scared, worried, happy
5 sets of blank pumpkin faces so you can create your own versions, if desired
Illustrated directions for “Pumpkin Feelings File Folder Fun”
Printable “My Pumpkin Feelings” mini-book (8 pages, in greyscale)
Printables and a Poster for a “Pumpkin Feelings Bulletin Board”
Freestyle Pumpkin Faces Coloring Sheet (Children add their own feelings to pumpkins)
Cooperative Pumpkin Faces Hunt (linking affective development, cooperation and math!)

What You Get:

Ghosts, candy corn and spiders...with a host of different feelings, round out and expand the games shared in our Pumpkin Feelings resource (above).  The perfect complement to increase play time and understanding of basic feelings for early childhood.  Use throughout the fall season for center time or early finishers!  (NOTE: This set is made to go along with Pumpkin Feelings and does not come with instructions.)


What You Get:

More than 30 pages of apple-themed fun to promote social-emotional development.
6 fun activities to help kids identify and deal with feelings:
Apple Cutouts
Apple Memory/Matching Game
Connect the Feelings
Complete the Feelings
Feelings Hunt
Feelings Group
Feelings Graph
Use in centers, circle-time, at home in counseling and more!
The perfect way to jazz up affective education and build social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.

Build Social Emotional Muscles

Kidlutions resources are unparalleled when it comes to building your child's social-emotional muscles!  And as you know, these critical skills, which children begin to acquire in early childhood, will continue to be just as important as he or she starts the first day of college, too!

All Three Resources Above are Bundled
at the Special Price of
JUST $16.00
This product is an instant download,
as are all Kidlutions' products.
No physical product will be sent.

 Add to Cart

Get Yours Now!
You'll use these resources year after year!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days, 31 Signs: The Basics of ASL

If you haven't met my friend, Louise Sattler, now is the perfect time.  Louise and I met online, which led to a business relationship, which led to a friendship, which led to us presenting at a conference together, which leads us to this! Louise has a 31 Days of ASL challenge that you won't want to miss. Read more below!

31 days, 31 Signs: Learn the basics of ASL

 Each year in homes and classrooms around the country, American Sign Language – ASL – or forms of signed English are being used to help communicate ideas, needs and feelings.  While sign language was once thought of exclusively used in the Deaf community, it has now found its’ way in to the mainstream and being used among parents with their babies and teachers with students!

Louise Sattler

Louise Sattler, Psychologist and the owner of SIGNING FAMILIES  has developed the 31 days ASL Challenge to encourage students, parents, teachers and community members to learn the basics of sign language. Whether words such as simple as MORE or HELP to words a bit more complicated in context – MAD and FRUSTRATED.

This event is FREE and easy to participate!  All one needs to do is go to the SIGNING FAMILIES / LOUISEASL YouTube page and subscribe for the daily emails to learn the new sign for the day!

 The conversation will follow  on FACEBOOK where you can suggest signs you want to learn for the next ASL CHALLENGE!

 Here is a sneak peek!  

Have fun with Louise's 31 Day Challenge!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Feelings Show and Tell

Feelings Show and Tell

Helping kids learn how to identify and deal with feelings is an important step in making sure they are ready to face the world, engage in friendships, get along with others and solve social problems.  More yet, these are all prerequisites to better academic performance.  Seems simple enough, right?

Creative Activities, So Many Uses

Right! And here at Kidlutions, there is nothing we love more than helping folks around the world do it all in a fun and memorable way.  Whether you use it at home, in a classroom, with a church or scouting group or in your therapy practice, you'll adore the creative activities.  This resource has page after page of innovative ways to help kids learn how to identify and deal with feelings! You'll use these activities again and again.

This social-emotional development 
resource includes the following:

5 Unique Activities
A Mini Printable Workbook
Bulletin Board Plans
5 BONUS Ideas

                                               Add to Cart

Here's a peek inside at the contents:

This resource offers ideas to provide hours of extended play to help youngsters grade Pre-K through 2nd grade learn to identify feelings, and deal with them.  The adorable little kiddo faces, coupled with the innovative activities make this resource a winner! You'll use these ideas over and over again, because feelings can change, just like the weather.  Kids won't tire of these activities, because you can expand them in a number of ways (focusing on just one activity at a time, or covering several of them at once).

Get Yours HERE!
Just $15.00

Add to Cart

Here it is all together:

Getting Out of the House on Time with Kids

Getting Out of the House on Time with Kids

If you are like most parents, getting out the door on time with your kids poses a big challenge. Morning madness plays itself out in homes across the land.  Keeping kids on track with their morning routine can be a point of contention, and the stress the family experiences can set the tone for the whole day.  The morning countdown can be brutal, but now it doesn't have to be so hard. Nosiree! In fact, mornings can be a little more cheerful, thanks to the awesome idea one of my co-workers uses!

The Morning Routine

Toni (the gal who keeps our office running smoothly, who always has a smile on her face and a laugh to share) was, like so many parents, talking about the struggle it sometimes is to get out the door while making sure her youngest had completed her morning routine.

One day, Toni shared her awesome idea about creating "morning routine sticks" to help her daughter, Miss L, stay on track and beat the clock to get out of the house on time, with all of her morning routine completed. (No more car trips where the kids are saying, "Mom, I didn't brush my teeth," or, "I forgot my backpack!")

Here's the scoop:

Morning Routine Sticks

How Toni Made 'Em

Toni used large craft sticks, glitter glue and a little creativity to whip up these clever routine sticks. (She's always a handy one: creating, organizing and beautifying things around her.)  She then embellished a votive cup with some fancy swirls and whirls...and viola', the Morning Routine Sticks were born!  (If you have really young kids, you'll be safer with a non-breakable container.)

Miss L has some blinged-out sticks that help keep her on track and keep tabs on what she's done and what she still needs to do. 

Here's what's on L's list:

Brush Hair
Wash Hands
Wash Face
Brush Teeth
Make Bed
Clean Room

Of course, you will tailor make yours to whatever your child's routine requires.

How Lil' Miss L uses these sticks:

The sticks are stored on the bathroom counter.  When L completes a task, she simply removes the stick from the container and lays it on the counter.  When the container is empty, she's ready to go. Easy peasy, lemon squeezie!  They are then scooped back up and placed back in the container for the next day.

What's to Love About 'Em 

Lil' Miss L Says: "They are glittery and sparkle and they help me remember!"

Toni Says: "My favorite thing about them is that the only reminder I have to give is, 'Did you do your sticks? All of them?'  I also like that it's something that can be left out on the bathroom counter and still look cute."

I Say: I love so much about these.  They're funky and fun and oh, so cute!  Much more than that, they encourage independence, confidence, responsibility and strengthen executive function in all kids. This is even more meaningful if you have a child with ADHD (or other executive function difficulties). I also think they're more fun than ho-hum check-off boxes and they're reusable.  You just can't go wrong with these lil' cuties!

Here are the ladies behind the story...people I know
in real life!  Toni and Lil' Miss L
(both as beautiful on the inside as they are on the out!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...