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BACK TO SCHOOL: Let the Games Begin! | 3 Tips PARENTS need to know

BACK TO SCHOOL: Let the Games Begin! | 3 Tips PARENTS need to know

It’s that time again! Anxiety and stress are crouched at the door! Your child is both excited and nervous; and you are holding your breath in anticipation of your teen’s next emotional roller-coaster ride.

As we approach a new school year, many parents are wondering if things will ever change. Well, the quick answer is, “No!” Of course, your child will still have butterflies on the first day of school. Your child may not want to go to school on the first day. She may have anxiety because she has the second-lunch period and her best friend has the first-lunch period. She may have fears about fitting in and being accepted. So, of course, she will be a little anxious and nervous.

But, how do you know if your child falls within the normal behavioral guidelines for back-to-school anxiety? Answer “YES” or “NO” to the following questions:

Does your child usually complain of stomachaches or body pains the night before or the morning of school?

Does your child suddenly seem quiet or withdrawn?

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Has your child become more angry and/or irritable than usual?

Has your child’s eating or sleeping patterns changed?

Does your child seem to worry more than usual?

If you’ve answered, “YES” to three or more of these questions, it is possible that your child is experiencing back-to-school anxiety. Remember, life changes may cause a variety of emotional and somatic symptoms as your child learns to adjust to new classes, new students, a new environment, new teachers, and new expectations. This is normal. The real question is, “How can you help?”

Unfortunately, parents mistake their child’s anxious behavior as disrespect or “having an attitude.” It is important that you are able to recognize your child’s symptoms.

TIP #1: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CHILD’S BEHAVIOR

It is important to recognize slight behavioral changes in your child. If your child is cranky and irritable most of the time, you should seek help from a physician or mental health counselor. However, if your child is usually jovial and carefree, but you notice that she is angry and withdrawn…take this seriously. Here are a few symptoms to look for:

Psychological/Emotional Symptoms may include:

·      Excessive worry

·      Fear or panic

·      Irritability, anger

·      Dread

·      Obsessive thoughts

·      Difficulty concentrating

Physical symptoms:

·      Nausea or vomiting

·      Rapid heartbeat

·      Body aches

·      Muscle tension

·      Changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns

·      Sweating, hands and palms

·      Butterflies in stomach

 

TIP #2: DO NOT ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE

Your child may struggle with communicating exactly what she is feeling. When children are faced with change, their first reaction will be anger. It is important to understand that ANGER is a secondary emotion and usually there is a primary emotion lurking beneath anger. Those primary emotions may include the following:

·      Fear

·      Confusion

·      Unworthiness

·      Envy or Jealousy

·      Devalued

·      Helplessness

·      Inferior

·      Overwhelmed

·      Lonely

·      Hurt

·      Sad

·      Uncomfortable

·      Awkward

·      Distrusting

If your child displays angry or irritable emotions, refrain from adding fuel to the fire. Instead of chastising your child for acting out, attempt to understand. Here are a few questions you can ask your child:

·      How do you feel about your first week of school?

·      I know your feel angry, but what else are you feeling right now?

·      What can I do to help you?

·      What else will help you deal with what you are feeling?

In moments of distress, it is necessary to become your child’s ally and not her adversary.

TIP #3: SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP IN A LIFE-COACH OR COUNSELOR

Choosing to work with a Coach or Counselor is not an admission of weakness for your child or your family. When you decide to team up with a coach, you are giving your child an opportunity to embrace personal, social and academic success!

Coaching and Counseling will provide your child with emotional benefits that will strengthen her confidence, self-esteem and overall success. Here are a few benefits of adolescent or teen therapy:

·      Learn self-awareness skills to recognize emotional distress

·      Understand the difference between perceived and actual fears

·      Explore social anxiety triggers and learn to let go of fears

·      Understand and process relational conflicts and/or challenges

·      Learn to REFRAME negative emotions, thoughts and experiences.

·      Learn to create strategic plans to achieve attainable goals

·      Learn to embrace hope and positivity

·      Develop healthy decision-making skills

·      Learn the art of emotional management

As a Teen Self-Esteem Specialist, I encourage parents to take an active role in the emotional development of their children. As I work with my teen clients, I also work with the parents. It is necessary that the parent learn just as much as the child. Understanding your Parenting Style is the first step to helping your child succeed. Over the past 15 years, I've worked with teens girls challenged with low self-esteem and poor decision-making skills. My NEW Self-Esteem POWER approach to working with teen girls has proven both successful and necessary for building healthy self-concept. This 6-step approach to counseling teen girls through self-esteem issues will help your child achieve greater success!

I you want more information about back to school anxiety or parenting styles, contact a therapist near you. Or you can click the button below for a free consultation to learn more about Jada's Self-Esteem POWER Kit for Teen Girls!



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3 Beauty Tips to Improve Your Mood: Get BRAIN-SMART!

3 Beauty Tips to Improve Your Mood: Get BRAIN-SMART!

If you look like a MESS, you will FEEL like a mess! With the hustle and bustle of today's pop culture, it seems harder and harder to keep up with beauty and fashion trends. This article is designed to give you three simple tips to LOOK better and improve your MOOD at the same time.

I spent ten years as a fashion and print model; and I've walked over 2,000 runways! Now, I want to take the time to combine my "beauty-knowledge" with my "brain-power."

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Remember, the definition of MOOD is a "temporary state of mind." That means that your mood may change from day to day or from month to month. One of the most important skills that I teach my clients is the technique of "managing emotions" from hour to hour throughout the day. Maintaining emotional stability throughout the day will give you greater focus, improve relationships and help you make more effective decisions. Additionally, you can also manage your emotions by choosing to LOOK better. Yes! That's right! Regardless of your age, profession or physical attributes, you can FEEL better about yourself TODAY when you embrace these three simple beauty tips:

1. GROOMING

2. ACCESSORIZING

3. PAMPERING

Let's get started!

GROOMING is the first step to a more "manicured" appearance. Do you ever wonder why some women look flawless even when casually hanging out or shopping? Oftentimes it's because they pay attention to details! Your eye brows, nails (fingers and toes), and hair must be maintained at all times! For me, I believe the brows are the most important aspect of the face. I spend a great deal of time making sure that my brows are groomed perfectly. This is my most important tip! If you want, you can stop reading here because if you focus on your eye brows only, you will begin to look and feel better!

Remember, it is so important to keep your brows waxed, plucked and manicured at all times. Even if you do not wear makeup…KEEP YOUR EYE-BROWS FLAWLESS!!! The video below will help you get started if you are a beginner, and give you some additional tips if you are already a brow-pro!

 

Also, when it come to grooming, it is necessary to keep your finger and toe nails manicured. You do not have to wear colored polish or acrylics to look groomed and flawless; but, you must pay attention to detail. If you wear your nails short, keep them filed and clean; and always keep hand lotion with you. There is nothing worse than shaking hands with someone that has rough, dry hands.

Another grooming must is to keep your hair NEAT! No matter what hairstyle you choose, make sure that it compliments your face and it looks neat. You always can tell a well-put-together person by how they maintain their hair.

If you make intentional upgrades in these grooming areas, you will certainly begin to feel better about yourself.

 

ACCESSORIZING is the second step to a more “put-together” YOU! Remember, accessories are the glue that holds an outfit together. Whether you are headed to the office or walking around the park, pay close attention to your accessories…and don’t forget that less is more. A simple pair of sunglasses, a simple bracelet, or earring can add just the right touch to make a statement and upgrade your mood. Look better...feel better! The video below is simple and to the point. There are some great tips to get you started. You may agree or disagree with some of the options, however, take a a risk and be creative!

Final tip...

PAMPERING is the third beauty step to boost your mood! Life is crazy, the kids are busy with activities, work is demanding and everyone needs YOU! Well, tell them to WAIT! Take an hour and a half to PAMPER you! Applying a little love and care to your chaotic world will not only boost your mood, but you will begin to feel better about yourself. Remember, you do not have to spend a lot of time on pampering...again, less is more!

Here are a few Ideas for pampering yourself...keep an open mind and be willing to be CREATIVE! Click the button below.

 

 

Respectfully yours,

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Jada Jackson  M.S., M.A., LMHC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Author, Talk Show Host, Life Coach and Communicator

Total Life Counseling Center  (407) 248 0030  1507 S. Hiawassee Road #101 Orlando FL 32835  
Email: jada@TotalLifeCounseling.com
Jada's TLC Page: http://www.totallifecounseling.com/counselors-orlando-therapists-counselors/jada-collins/

Jada’s website: Jadajackson.com
Website email: info@jadajackson.com
Blog: http://www.jadajackson.com/blog/
Media Room: http://www.jadajackson.com/new-gallery/

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Kids and Technology Addiction | 3 Tips to Safeguard your Child's Future | Jada Jackson LMHC

Kids and Technology Addiction | 3 Tips to Safeguard your Child's Future | Jada Jackson LMHC

There is much controversy regarding technology and its negative effects on children. Because television is relatively new in the grand scheme of time—our great grandparents’ generation grew up without it—and for the most part computer and video games were born in the 80s, there is concern and skepticism about the potential harm that could ensue from the entertainment, now in almost every household around the world. We live in the age of sedentary lifestyles. Kids used to spend most of their time outside playing with friends, and fun used to be defined as finding ways to stay out of the house and not be bored on the couch! My, how things have changed. Today if you were to ask a handful of elementary children what they like to do for fun or how they spend their time after school, the majority of the responses would consist of, “watching TV” or, “playing my favorite video game.” That’s just the way recent generations have grown up and what our culture consists of now. I can absolutely account for partaking in technology and activities indoors much more than playing outside as I grew up. While there isn’t anything wrong with playing electronic games and watching some television, how much is too much? When does it all become detrimental, in any way? How do we prevent the problems of addiction— which are quickly becoming very common and even have specific diagnoses—? There has even been talk of adding these types of disorders to the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders! Here is an important question we should all ask ourselves and research: What is the influence of technology on a developing child?

Merely a couple decades ago, kids had to create their own entertainment and really use their imagination in play. Simply having fun really exercised the mind and allowed the flourishing of creativity. Kids of the past were almost always on the move, exploring nature and aspects of the world now overshadowed by electronics. This allowed the brain the be stimulated and, as a natural result, intelligence and education to develop and reach optimal levels. Of course one who goes out and exposes his/her senses to all sorts of different learning opportunities and information, will be more educated on the world and overall more developed than an individual who stays inside and doesn’t do much more than experience what the TV and computer have to offer. A 2010 Kaiser Foundation study revealed that elementary aged kids spend about 7.5 hours each day on entertainment technology. In addition, 75% of children have TVs in their bedrooms, and 50% of all North American homes have the television on all day! Those are rather astounding facts. No longer do families actually talk and spend quality time together. The TV is the main focus and source of communication. Constantly relying on electronic and sedentary activities dramatically limits one’s developing imagination and ability to be creative. More importantly, these types of entertainment can impede one from achieving proper sensory and motor development. Rapidly advancing technology has caused an increase in physical, psychological, and behavioral disorders. Childhood obesity, as a result of staying inside and being on the couch too much, is a national epidemic in the United States. ADHD, autism, developmental delays, unintelligible speech, learning difficulties, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders are all associated with technology overuse—at an alarming degree. The following factors are critical in achieving proper development and a healthy child: movement, human connection, touch, and nature. Such factors ensure normal posture, bilateral coordination, appropriate arousal states, and a good educational foundation for entering school. It’s frightening that by engaging in too much television or electronic games, all 4 critical components go unaddressed. What does this say about how technology affects a child? It is clear that one must monitor TV, cellular, and internet usage of children so that important developmental milestones are not missed— resulting in suboptimal intellect.

Below are some tips to keep a relationship with technology under control!

·      Set a rule that for every hour inside spent on sedentary activities, your child must spend 3 hours outside.

This just keeps a healthy ratio of the types of stimulation, with more importance placed on getting the healthy interactions and sensory discovery the real world provides.

·      For young kids make TV time an educational experience.

Baby Einstein videos are well-known and scientifically created to help stimulate the early child mind. Disney Junior is ideal for kids around the kindergarten age. This portion of Disney Channel focuses on educational topics while still being fun and entertaining.

·      Despite living in a world consumed with electronics, make sure you’re engaging with your child and they are getting the kind of interpersonal contact necessary for prosperity and being a well-adjusted human.

Some resources to take advantage of, if you have a child leaning toward an addiction to any kind of technology, include the following sites: http://netaddiction.com/parents/; http://childpsychologist.com.au/resources/technology-addition-and-young-people.

The latter website offers articles and interviews on disorders, as well as ways to tell if your child is in fact addicted to technology or possesses a milder problem. In addition, you can find strategies and tips to combat the struggles the popular ways of entertainment today can pose.

Like many things, technology is good in moderation and without overindulgence. It can be dangerous, as research has shown, but with the knowledge and preparedness one can have, there is no reason why TV, internet, games, or cellphones, can’t be enjoyed without negative effects.

Authors: Jada Jackson LMHC and Emily Simpson (Intern)

References:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/technology-children-negative-impact_b_3343245.html



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Laws of Attraction | 3 Steps to Use the Laws to Your Advantage | Jada Jackson LMHC

Laws of Attraction | 3 Steps to Use the Laws to Your Advantage | Jada Jackson LMHC

We can all point out the “beautiful” people in a room, but that doesn’t guarantee we’re all going to be 100% attracted to them. For example, your friend can be completely love-struck by someone you think resembles a blend between Carrot Top and Quasimodo, why is that? Why are we attracted to one person over another? What draws us to certain people, aside from the obvious physical appearance?

This can be explained by the “Law of Attraction,” the concept that ‘like attracts like’. Positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative. The reciprocity principal and the uncertainty principle also play a part in our attraction toward potential partners. 

There are 2 elements in the law of attraction that makes it a bit complicated. In the reciprocity principle there are clear signs of interest from both sides, the attraction progresses and things go on from there. In the uncertainty principle a person finds out another ‘might’ like them and become focused on the discovering the answer. They begin to interpret actions as explanations to support the possibility. This focus begins to translate as desire and longing without truly knowing them.

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Those dealing with the reciprocity principle felt happier, more content, and made a smoother transition into a relationship. Those dealing with the uncertainty principle felt higher levels of attraction but lower levels of happiness. The uncertainty can become emotionally draining.

As far as “like attract like,” the attitude we have can determine the type of people we attract. A positive or negative attitude can be picked up on from across the room. It can be from our posture, hand movements, tone of voice, facial expressions, and so on. We make unconscious leaks in our attitude that are picked up and pursued by those who can relate. Which is why we often find ourselves in the same type of relationship.

Use the Law of Attraction in your favor to start attracting the best partners for you.

1.     Stay true to yourself. You can’t attract the right person if you’re sending out false signals. Be authentic and let the real you come out.

2.     Love who you are. If you need someone else to make you feel great about yourself, you’re going to attract the wrong person. Acknowledge your greatness and lead with it.

3.     Maintain a positive attitude. If you accept yourself and love all that you are, it’s hard not to have a positive attitude. This will not only attract more positive relationships but it will also increase your respect and standard for yourself to help in selecting the right person for you.

By understanding the power in the laws of attraction, you understand that you have control in who you attract by controlling what you put out, and always presenting your best self. If you work with the laws of attraction, positive attractions and relationships are bound to follow.

Author: Dani James (Intern)

 

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Tips For Parents: Understanding Parenting Styles

Here are some common conflicts most, if not all, parents face:

Common conflicts for parents:
-Disruptive children (making a scene it public)
-Communication (not knowing what children are doing)
-Demanding your attention
-Messy children (won’t clean up after themselves)
-Picky eating (getting them to eat healthy foods)

Co-Parenting after Separation Conflicts:
-Resentment from previous relationship (disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing)
-Difficult time communicating
-Disagreements with discipline
-Time with children (having to split)

Blended Family Conflicts:
-Children not accepting new family (can cause tension in relationship)
-Confusion for kids (identity confusion)
-Can create rivalry between new and old siblings.
- Competing for attention

While assessing the conflicts we each endure, in order to best assist the consummation of this metaphorical bridge, we must first identify what type of parenting style we fall into:

Authoritarian Parenting: Parents set strict rules that have to be followed, failure to do so will result in harsh punishment. These parents typically have high demands, but don’t tune into their children. This style is generally obedience and status based and expects their order to be obeyed without explanation. Referred to as the “because I said so” parents.  

 Impact on child:
  -Tend to associate obedience and success with love.
  -May display more aggressive behavior outside home.
  -May act fearful or overly shy around others.
  -Have difficulty in social situations.
  -Often have lower self-esteem.

 
Authoritative Parenting:
Like Authoritarian, these parents establish rules that their children are expected to follow. But with this style parents are more responsive to their children and are open to listening to questions from them. When children make mistakes these parents are more nurturing and forgiving. They monitor and impact clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive or restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self regulated as well as cooperative.

 Impact on child:
  -Have good emotional control and regulation
  -Tend to have happier dispositions
  -Develop good social skills
  -Are self-confident about their abilities to learn new skills.

 
Permissive Parenting:
Permissive parents are generally known for rarely disciplining their children due to their expectations in the maturity and control of the child. They are more responsive then they are demanding, they do not require mature behavior and avoid confrontation. This often leads to being more of a friend then a parent.

 Impacts on child:
  -Lack self-discipline.
  - Sometimes have poor social skills.
  -May be self-involved and demanding.
  -May feel insecure due to the lack of boundaries and guidance.

Uninvolved Parenting: An uninvolved parent has few demands, low responsiveness and little communication. These parents fulfill the child’s basic needs, like food and shelter, but then are generally detached from their child’s life. They are typically emotionally distant from their children, offer little or no supervision, show little warmth, love and affection towards their children, don’t attend school events and parent-teacher conferences, and are often overwhelmed by their own problems.

 Impact on child:
  -Must learn to provide for themselves.
  -Fear becoming dependent on other people.
  -Are often emotionally withdrawn.
  -Tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence.
  -Feel fear, anxiety or stress due to the lack of family support.
  -Have an increased risk of substance abuse.
 
It's often the case, that as adults we belittle and minimize the personality of kids, deeming them and their opinions trivial and unimportant and while although some kids say the darnest things, unconditional support and love, go a very, very long way. Next, are some tips an hour to better bridge the generation gap. But before we move on, it's important to keep in mind two points I've mentioned previously: having a sincere and open line of communication and finding a unique bond with every child.

Tips to help resolve parenting conflict:

Know kids will make mistakes. It’s a guarantee. No one is perfect and accepting mistakes are a learning process makes it so much easier to roll with the punches. As children develop they test boundaries, it’s a part of their nature. Instead of getting angry or avoiding it, confront the situation from a compassionate and guided perspective and the children will respond.

Be open to communication. You want your children to feel like they can come to you when they do make a mistake, instead of not telling you and the problem potentially getting worse.

Support the others discipline. If your children observe disagreements on how to discipline the situation, it makes the immediately disrespect. If there are disagreements take the issue aside and try to find a discipline that can work for both parents and that both are willing to continuously carry out.

Provide a constant form of consistency. In order for a child to positively grow, they need a solid stable form to start from. Whatever changes being made or stage they are going through in life, there needs to be a consistent source of love and support. You don’t have to love and support some of the behavior, but you have to consistently love and support the child.

Find a unique bond with each child. It’s important as the parent or stepparent, you create a unique bond with each child. Having a special connection helps them find their individuality and create an attachment. Its important to make each child feel just as important as the other.

Use mistakes as teaching tools. When kids inevitably do make mistakes, its important to use that time as a teaching moment and show the child the mistakes behind made so they can better recognize how to solve it next time. Simply solving the problem yourself, avoiding it, or getting angry with them wont help them grow. Kids that are taught to use mistakes as lessons were shown to adjust to change more successfully.

I sincerely hope these tips have benefitted you, the reader, and have provided some insight on how to curb one's own desires and habits. Kids are our future and, as stated earlier, although sometimes they can be a handful and overwhelming, how we treat them today, shapes the people they become,and consequently the world we live in, tomorrow.

Authors: Jada Jackson LMHC, Dani James and Ricardo Mojo (Interns)

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