Expert Support for Parenting Your Teen or Young Adult
For Parents and Providers
November 2023 Newsletter
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…? (Really?)

If I can use a car analogy, this time of year feels like slamming on the brakes and the gas…at the same time. All while someone is yelling at you that you SHOULD be having fun and WHY are you not having fun and IS THIS FUN YET?!?! 
We are being lectured that we should just “relax” and “slow down” and “enjoy this special time” and, simultaneously, that we need to make 4 complicated dishes for that Friendsgiving, navigate diet culture talk around the dining room table with our elderly extended family and get pumped to take a bunch of screaming, irrational toddlers to Legoland. (Or is that last one just me?)
Is it any wonder we are more stressed this time of year?
Add on top of that a teen or young adult that is struggling and you have a holiday-flavored recipe for feeling overwhelmed, resentful and burned out
This time last year, I gave a talk focusing on how Expectations, Criticism and Lack of Boundaries, within ourselves and between us and other people, all conspire to make this season especially challenging, particularly for those that are supporting a teen or young adult with a mental health issue. 
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What I offer is an alternative in which we meet ourselves and others with:
Curiosity where we would usually bring Expectations. Coming to events and people with an “I wonder…” or “That's interesting…" rather than “I expect…” or “They better…” or even “If they don't…then I swear to God…How could they…AHHH!”. (We've all been there.) It doesn't mean it's not valid, it is just a possible reframe
Validation where we would usually bring Criticism. I love this one because it works so well with yourself and those around you. Coming to yourself and others with empathy, compassion and acceptance can really shift how you feel about yourself and those around you. Try the go-to EFFT tool: “It makes sense I/they feel XYZ because… because… because…”. It is a great place to start. 
Setting Limits where we would usually have a Lack of Limits. This is a toughie, especially during family holidays and gatherings. Remember, better boundaries = better access to your compassion, so if you want to show up with empathy, boundaries- whatever they look like- are key. Boundaries can also be the difference between showing up how you want to show up and regretting how you handled things the next day. 
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If you want to watch the whole 45-minute talk, it is linked below. (Note: It was initially intended for caregivers of those with eating disorders, but the concepts are the same regardless of your loved ones struggles.) 
We could all use a little extra support this time of year, so please check out the resources below for an extra hand. 
And- to get back to my car analogy- don't forget your own Refueling. We can't take care of those we love on an empty tank. 
All the best,
PS: If you think you will want a little extra support to start 2024 off strong,
I just opened enrollment for my January Course + Cohort
There are only 5 spots total, so grab your seat asap. 
I just finished the September Cohort and it was magical.