Supporting Teens & Tweens Through Challenging Times – Episode 1

In Uncategorized by Jo Davenport

Welcome to episode 1 the #UpYourBrave video series. I’m Natalie Cutler-Welsh, speaker, author, Impact Entrepreneur and Go to Girl, and in this episode I talk to three awesome guests about Supporting Teens & Tweens through Challenging Times.

Karen Tui Boyes is an author and the creator of the Teachers Matter Magazine, Teachers Matter Conference, Kids Matter Conference, Study Smart Workshops and the Habits of Mind Bootcamp. She’s also CEO of Spectrum Education, Affiliate Director of the Institute for the Habits of Mind and has previously won a number of awards including NZ Educator of the Year, NZ Speaker of the Year and NZ Business Woman of the Year.  Karen, who is also a wife and  mum to three children, has built a reputation for turning the latest educational research into easy-to-implement strategies and techniques.

You can find Karen here: https:://www.spectrumeducation.com/

In this episode Karen mentions: 

  • The importance of true connection. Allow kids to have really good connections.  You can then talk to them about who they’re talking to, and also how they’re keeping themselves motivated when they’re back to studying/at school. And with the physical distancing at the moment, this can lead to longer and deeper conversations with them. 
  • You don’t have to be the strong adult all of the time, it can help with creating relatable connections with your teens/tweens.
  • Create a routine, even if you’re working or doing school from home.  Make sure there’s a place at home to work to create some motivation, and if kids are doing their own self learning at home there’s a free IStudyAlarm app which has lots of study tips and helps them to set study times so they focus in short sharp sessions.

Kerry Dell specialises in nutritional science, food psychology and behavioral change in order to bring back energy and vitality. She focuses on emotional eating, binge eating, sugar cravings and late night snacking.  Kerry has studied the effects that sugar and stress have on brains, including teenagers and is passionate about educating parents on how they can assist their teenagers manage through these emotional times.  When Kerry was still living in South Africa, she was the Presenter of a TV Show called EarthBeat and she had her own radio show called Thrive Time.  Kerry has studied numerous modalities of natural health over 20 years ago and is currently a Corporate Health Coach.  Karen is the mum to two teenagers. 

You can find Kerry here: https://www.kepshealth.com/

In this episode Kerry mentions: 

  • That stress is coming into households in lots of different ways at the moment, which impacts our bio-chemistry.  So take a big breath and stay calm through it all.  A great tip for teenagers is to start everyday by writing down a couple of gratitudes, which can help to make positive changes in the body’s biochemistry. 
  • Have fruit bowls at home and additional veggies in the evening meal to get more of the ‘good stuff’ in.  When there’s stress, emotional eating can turn into sugar and fat cravings, and lead to brain fog and low energy.
  • For teens going through hormonal changes and mood swings, put them on fruit and veg and reduce the packet/processed food. Kerry talks about how taking sugar out of diets can lead to a clearer mind, and clearer thinking.

Cam Calkoen is an international speaker and speaks to corporates and hundreds of school children across NZ and internationally.  He dreams of a world where everyone is inspired to embrace opportunity, and that physical being is no barrier to succeeding.  Cam was born with Cerebral Palsy, but the only labels he needs are his name and occupation, and he’s focused on an aspiration to make life as awesome as it can be through the pursuit of excellence.  Cam helps others to identify the unturned stones – in other words, to inspire others to dream big and achieve more!  

You can find Cam here: https://www.camcalkoen.com/

In this episode Cam mentions: 

  • The power of communication.  It’s OK to not pretend that everything is all right, and when people ask how you’re doing, it’s OK to be honest about how you’re really feeling.  When Cam was a teen he was given some great advice: “come to me when you’re sad but also talk to me when things are going well and you’re happy.”  Keep talking through the good and tough times.
  • Find a point of connection with kids, and when you find that point kids are able to share their most honest thoughts and dreams.
  • You’re never too young to give back and make a difference in the world. It’s a good time for teens/tweens to think about how they can give back now and be the inspiration for others. Every one of us has an inspiring story to share, whether it’s how you got that ‘A’, won a sporting event, or built a special friendship.
  • During times of challenge, you can focus on all the things you can’t do, or instead, focus on all the things you can do. 

Natalie Cutler-Welsh is your host, parenting author at @ifonlytheytoldme, and resilience, visibility and wellness mentor at Natalie Cutler-Welsh: Go to Girl.  Nat helps people to Up Their Brave and ‘Amplify their Impact’ in life, business and wellness. 

In this episode Nat mentions: 

  • That teens tend to thrive when they grow up having one predictable person – that might be Mum or Dad, or a School Principle or Coach.  So in these challenging times, make sure your teens/tweens have at least one person they can rely on for support. 
  • Love your kids in a ‘love language’ they can understand.  It’s a good time to stop and reflect and think about how your kids give and receive love, because it’s probably going to be different to how you do.
  • Say what you want.  Often when people in the family are grumpy or having a tantrum, it’s because they’re not saying what it is they want. So just put it out there and ask for what you want, rather than inferring or talking around it.  
  • In terms of understanding what you do want, sometimes it’s easier to say how you don’t want to feel, rather than how you do want to feel. So that’s a good place to start in terms of helping teens/tween identify their needs and what may help them.

This is one of the #UpYourBrave livestream series designed to help raise the state of resilience, health and happiness on a global level. 

You can find Nat here: https://nataliecutlerwelsh.com/about/. You can also check out the other videos in the #UpYourBrave series here: https://nataliecutlerwelsh.com/video-series/.

You can also find more recommended tools and resources here.