Tell Your Tweens + Teens

It’s Going To Be Alright

So, how was your very odd summer? Did you adopt a wait-and-see attitude and hold it together? Or, did you stay glued to the news, and maintain a continuous thread of panic? Regardless of how you approached it, here we are. Inevitably, it’s August again, and with it, the end of summer.

August, by definition, is a time of transition. Despite the quarantine changes, the uncertainty of the times, and the “New Normal” that always seems to be just out of reach, August arrives anyway. School is beginning again. Summer is ending (on September 22, 2020) again. All of that is normal.

Your spring/summer panic or calm did not affect the coming of August or autumn, nor the beginning of school, nor the pandemic. Your panic or calm is not going to affect world events, or economic changes, but it does affect your family.

Before the next transition is upon us, consider how you want to anticipate it. How do you want to exist between now and then? You actually have a choice.

  • Constantly react to negative “breaking news.”
  • Decide how you want to respond to life.

(Spoiler Alert: I vote for the second one)

It’s okay to let it go. Worrying about the future produces toxic stress hormones in your body. It gives you wrinkles and indigestion. It compromises your immune system and it makes it difficult for the people who love you to feel good when around you.

Speaking of the people who love you, your children mirror your stress, plus add their own to the mix. Why not make this next stage of life easier on you all by releasing the worries you cannot possibly control?

No one knows what the this school year holds, so may I suggest that you don’t worry about it… and tell your kids not to worry about it. If you work on reframing their point of view to a healthier one, you’ll end up positively influencing yourself in the process. Here are four examples, two for your kids, and two for you:

Worry 1: Will I even get to have a senior year?

Positive Adjustment: Let it go. What will be, will be. You can’t control what the school decides, however, we will make sure you have the best senior year. So, have a good time right now.

Worry 2: I thought I was leaving home for college, and now they’re doing everything online!

Positive Adjustment: Let it go. You can’t control what the college decides. You can decide whether you want to attend school online, or take an experiential Gap Year and learn some skills first. We got this. All we need to do is a little research.

Worry 3: My kids will be behind the other kids because I couldn’t figure out the whole homeschooling thing like the other moms did.

Positive Adjustment: Don’t psych yourself out. The other moms were flying by the seat of their pants, too. Let it go. You did the best you could with what you had at the time (supplies, access, time, energy, stress, etc.). Plus, you still have time to fill in the gaps during the new school year. Even if you are following the school’s directives and timelines, you can still Google “interesting ways to teach ___.” You could even grab some ideas right now to get your kids started on this year’s course work so they can begin the school year confidently.

Worry 4: My kids and I miss our friends and relatives. We’re getting out of touch with them.

Positive Adjustment: Let it go. You can’t control how friends and relatives respond during these weird times. They are doing the best they can with what they got. You can make their absence easier by filling the time with unusual activities for you and your family. Here’s a list of 250 ideas to get your creative juices flowing from Tell your kids to each pick an idea, develop it, and then reach out to invite family and friends to participate.

The bottom line is that if you adjust your frame of reference to a positive one, your family will adjust, too. Keep repeating this to your kids and to yourself:

“It will all work out alright. I’m going to make sure we are fine. There is no need to worry about the future we can’t control. When it’s time, we will make a plan. Until then, let go of the things you can’t control, and enjoy the present.”

That’s good advice, right? Imagine what things would be like now if you had been living by this philosophy since March. Now imagine what it will be like at the end of the upcoming first semester/quarter if you adopt it now, and live by it going forward…

It’s worth a shot. You Got This!

This previously published piece bears repeating as school openings loom. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need help sorting things out, contact me at to set up a free 30 minute call.

For more suggestions, check out How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door. It’s available for purchase on amazon or smashwords. Enjoy!

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Let me know if you know the original source of the Proton image. Thanks!

Awesome Moms

Shift Your Pandemic Outlook*

How many times a day do you come across references to finding the New Normal? The phrase is still being bantered about because folks don’t recognize what our New Normal is.

The New Normal has already arrived, people. It’s called CHANGE, and now it’s our job is to get used to it.

Simply put, our world has morphed, and there is nothing we can do about it. So, let it go. Don’t hold on to the way things used to be. That’s like trying to hold onto childhood – impossible. Instead, here’s how to get a grip on our current reality.

We can’t control what’s happening out there, which means letting it go is the best thing we can do for ourselves. In its place, work on controlling what’s happening in your home, in your space, in your job, in your mind, in your relationships… that should be enough to keep you busy 24/7, and keep you focused on the present.

If you try to view today’s circumstances as your New Normal, this time next month you’ll be stressed out when things have changed yet again. With the season that follows next month, things will already be different from the coming month’s changes. This time next year, things will have changed so many times, we won’t be able to keep track of it all.

If you are waiting for consistency, don’t. Just don’t. Most likely we’ve got a couple of years of changes ahead of us:

  • failing traditional businesses suitable only for our former life, replaced by new businesses serving new needs
  • increasing appreciation and respect for jobs that keep our infrastructure functioning (trash removal, cleaning services, mail carrying, deliveries, caregiving, etc.)
  • adapting experimental strategies for resuming education as the pandemic shifts
  • a growing emphasis on living locally and more simply, inadvertently decreasing our carbon footprint (Yay!)
  • adjusting to new ways of shopping, socializing, interviewing, eating, playing, and living

That’s okay. We can deal with it once we realize the truth:

Change is the New Normal.

The empowering direction for everyone is to proactively embrace change, and roll with it.

That reminds me of a story…

When I was a teen, I was body surfing at Misquamicut State Beach in Rhode Island, unaware of how fast the waves were increasing in height and intensity. Once I recognized the waves were breaking further and further from shore, I knew it was time to head back. I tried to ride the next one in, but it swept me up and slapped me silly.

I managed to swim to deeper water to recover (where the waves were still rolling swells), but two things were crystal clear.

  • The ever-changing tide had become too rough for me to handle.
  • I didn’t know how to safely return to shore.

Terrified, I asked another swimmer bobbing in the water near me what to do. She told me that instead of struggling amidst the force of a crashing wave, to relax under it until the turbulence passed.

So, that’s what I did. In between waves, I paddled toward shore. When I felt the water drawing me backwards – the definitive sign that another wave was coming – I’d stop swimming, check for the location of the wave, and gently sink underwater until it passed. It took quite a while, but I just kept altering what I was doing according to the ocean’s demands.

I survived by letting go of my panicky need to get my feet back on familiar ground as fast as possible. I replaced it with a willingness to read the situation and adjust to it. Little by little I made progress, and little by little my fear diminished. By the time I reached an area shallow enough to plant my feet without being knocked down by the oncoming waves, my alarm had been replaced by the type of calm that only empowerment can provide.

That’s how we’re going to make it through these unusual times. You’ve already committed to functioning despite the pandemic, and within the pandemic. All you have to do now is embrace your ever-changing life, including its inevitable ebbs and flows. If you can be willing to relax and adjust as the New Normal shifts, and shifts again, and shifts again, you will be happier.

Besides, you’ll find it markedly easier to calmly exist with minimized apprehension … plus a bit of buoyancy.

I know you can do it. I have faith in you.
*This is an excerpt from my book, How To Get Your Happy On. 
Get your copy of the original version of this powerful little ebook at for only $3.99.