Learn From Struggle or Failure, You First Need to Struggle or Fail 12/11/17

This Weeks Love Letter 2 Parents: Learn from Struggle or Failure, You First Need to Struggle or Fail

We overheard a high schooler reminiscing about her middle school days and offering great advice to her younger self: Make sure to relax, don’t stress so much, enjoy your friends, and take in the opportunity to learn about yourself while learning new subjects. Figure out ways to take it all in, while not overwhelming yourself with perfection. Focus on doing the best you can, while learning how (and not forgetting) to care for yourself and others.

Parenting by the Seat of Our Pants 12/3/17

This Weeks Love Letter 2 Parents Parenting by the Seat of Our Pants

Parenting teens in today’s world is very much a “learn by doing” (or by the seat of our pants!) experience. As we approach the time of year for giving and receiving, we started wondering about the things we give to our children and families. After all the publicity for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday and the push to buy and give, we paused to reconsider what are absolute needs. We reminded ourselves of the difference between giving others “presence” and “presents,” recalling how fun it was to have “game nights” and “movie nights” (and how much easier they were to plan!) when they were little.

Creating Stillness in the Chaos 12/3/17

This weeks extra Love Letter 2 Parents Creating Stillness in the Chaos

Tryouts for winter sports means relief and excitement for some and heartbreak and disappointment for others. Upcoming finals usually means stress, and we know it comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. Freshmen may be feeling this kind of stress for the first time and may not understand it or know what to do. Whatever they are feeling or however they are manifesting stress, it is common for kids to feel like it is them (a character flaw rather than a compound set of issues). They may see it as their issue and theirs alone rather than a common set of feelings shared/felt/experienced by many and intensified at this time and under these circumstances (tryouts, grades, time change, college applications, etc.).

Wisdom From Our Past 11/26/17

This weeks Love Letter 2 Parents Wisdom From Our Past

Wooden’s words are simple, profound, and apply to us all. Teens often feel they do not have much control. They also may not know how to handle situations when they actually have control. These days, they likely do not realize how much influence social media use has on their thoughts and feelings and that they have the capacity to exert more control over its influence. Whether they’re a star on the athletic  team or a student sitting in the back of the room, not wanting to be seen, Wooden’s words may be hard for a teen to grasp. Yet, it feels like an important idea to help them understand for it could add significant value to their lives. (As a parent, how often do you recite the serenity prayer?)

Thank You! Gracias! 11/23/17

Thanksgiving Love Letter 2 Parents Thank you! Gracias!

The simple phrase has such an impact. It’s easy to say, feels good to hear and can immediately transform one’s mood. Saying it recognizes the other’s efforts, another’s intention or gesture, and what’s in their heart. The praise acknowledges appreciation and connection to another. 

Defining Your Own Happy 11/19/17

Defining Your Own Happy

"Nothing ever great is achieved without enthusiasm." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

We currently live in the “Happiest Place in America and arguably the world,” but living here doesn’t guarantee happiness any more than our bank accounts do. Our thoughts, actions and relationships are what lead to and sustain our happiness. We also have the science and research to support this as happiness research has taken off i n the last ten years and many books, movies and documentaries are available on the subject.

Finding Kindness in Everyday Life (11/12/17)

This weeks Love Letter 2 Parents Finding Kindness in Everyday Life

People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou

The wildflowers are blooming and fresh leaves are surprising us from the bare branches of their sleeping trees. What a gift to have a fresh start, and an opportunity to keep an open mind- looking beyond what we may see on the outside and offering a show of kindness by removing judgement. Each one of us, including parents and teens, has a story and muriad of activities in our lives, and by offering kindness through our thoughts and actions, we connect beyond ourselves.

Smiling Can Be A Super Power 11/5/17

This weeks Love Letter 2 Parents Smiling Can Be A Super Power

Words are powerful. Sometimes they are hard to find.  The emotions and feelings are all locked up inside, but struggling to be released. Words alone have the power to both heal and wound. Being intentional with the words we use matters for they can encourage and connect or harm and divide.

The Life Preservers of Parenthood: Finding Ways to Stay Afloat (10/30/17)

This weeks Love Letter 2 Parents The Life Preservers of Parenthood: Finding Ways to Stay Afloat

“What actions will you take (to cultivate well-being)?”

When it comes to supporting and promoting our kids’ well-being, it takes all of us, the village, beginning within our families and expanding out to the world around us. Well-being involves figuring out how to tread water when things are tough so we can stay afloat. Being buoyant gives us the ability to be well and stay well, so that we can do such things as learn, perform or compete, build and nurture relationships, take risks, and lead engaging and rewarding lives. How do we find out if our kids are staying afloat?

Promoting a Healthy Sense of Well-Being (10/27/17)

BONUS Love Letter this week LOVE LETTER 2 PARENTS Promoting a Healthy Sense of Well-Being

This has been a big week for us personally. In preparing to speak at the Suicide Prevention Forum, we recalled many painful and wonderful moments. Our preparation also gave us an opportunity to revisit the work we’ve been doing over the past eighteen months and all that we have been learning along the way. Our reflections and conversations have been difficult, but also healing.

Riding the Waves of Parenthood Letter 5 (10/23/17)

This weeks Love Letter 2 Parents Riding the Waves of Parenthood

Whether we are parenting our first teen or feel well-seasoned with experience, we are all trying to surf the waves of adolescence. You may be a natural surfer with innate skill and a feel for the ocean, rely on instructors or friends to teach you how, or prefer to read and watch videos to learn on your own. As parents, we are always learning and our kids are our best teachers.

An Attitude of Gratitude (10/16/7)

This weeks Love Letter 2 Parents: An Attitude of Gratitude

It’s been sunny and warm. We are grateful to live in a place with incredible weather, countless opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors (ANY time of year!), and live in a community that values well-being! If you read the paper or heard news, Gallup-Healthways' newly released Community Well-Being Index is out ranking the communities of the United States. While looking closely at the rankings and thinking about what they say and don’t quite capture, we know that well-being is not solely determined by geography, climate or weather. There are many qualities that shape and influence our well-being- some are even hard to measure.

Focus on the Good 10/10/17

This weeks Love Letter 2 Parents: FOCUS ON THE GOOD "Our kids’ lives have been shaped differently in this age of 24-hour information and unfettered internet access- commonly without built-in monitors and filters. As parents, teachers and mentors, we hope to guide and support our teens to learn how to filter and choose where to direct their attention. In the face of tragedy, loss and struggle, we hope to both encourage and join them in cultivating meaningful connection and well-being."

Mosaics: A Celebration of Individuality and Imperfection (09/24)

This weeks Love Letter 2 Parents Mosaics: A Celebration of Individuality and Imperfection

How do you treat yourself? When was the last time you cared for yourself in the moment? Whether by getting fresh air, enjoying a movie or some couch time, taking some create, walking with our dogs, working with your hands, doing yoga or working out at the gym, surfing or hiking, or even savoring a homemade cookie with our coffee, there are many ways to fill our personal tanks with things that fuel us.

Staying Connected in a Digital World (09/11/17)

This week's Love Letter 2 Parents is about Staying Connected in a Digital World

Face-to-face or snap-to-snap and via words or streaks, all are ways of communicating and connecting. Regardless of the form, human communication takes skill that can grow with practice and experience. Even as adults, we are continually honing our skills and working to improve how we communicate in our personal and professional lives.

Powerful Messages Behind the Music (09/06/17)

This weeks Love Letter 2 Parents, Powerful Messages Behind the Music The week began with us compromising with our kids to find an activity to participate in- all of us in one room, without having a meal, but wanting a shared experience. As with most households with lots of different ages to appease, we surprisingly (and a little reluctantly) found ourselves watching the Video Music Awards on MTV.  We kept an open mind and without voicing our skepticism outwardly, we began watching.  After the opening act, tears clouded our eyes, our skepticism waned, and the evening began to unfold.  We were brought into the veil of our teenagers’ world, the music they listen to, the messages behind the music, and the issues and battles they are facing each day. 

Cultivating Well-Being (08/28/17)

A fresh letter for a new school year on Cultivating Well-Being

The campus reflects fresh energy with the arrival of a new school year. New faces and familiar faces- rested, nervous and excited for the promise of a new year and a fresh start. On Monday, we said our first good-byes at home, in the car, and by the curb with our own feelings, hopes, and wishes for the coming school year and our kids. Whether they are navigating a new building and many unknowns or returning to campus to reunite with school friends, our kids are making new connections, forming new relationships, and learning new skills, content, and ways of being.

Mindfulness 101 (08/21/17)

Breathing is not as simple as we think and many of us may even take it for granted. However,scientific studies and centuries of meditation and breathwork practice have explored how our breathing affects the quality of our thoughts, emotions, well-being and, thus, quality of life.Mindfulness 101 Breathing is not as simple as we think and many of us may even take it for granted.