The Resilience of Youth

When my oldest daughter was five years old, we took a plane ride to California. The ride was V E R Y turbulent, and it was all I could do to keep calm and not run up and down the aisle screaming! To her, we were on a roller-coaster and it was fun!

Here we are many years later, dealing with a pandemic, the coronavirus, vaccines, work-from-home, remote learning, etc.

I find it hard to stay calm and positive.

But to our children: toddlers, a young child, your middle-school aged child; this is another moment in their life. A new adventure!

How you see the world, is how they see it.

Dad and his daughter

Read further about what a group of UC Berkeley students is offering:

Looking to make friends and explore your interests during quarantine? Connect-In-Place is a FREE virtual program, launched by college students at UC Berkeley. We offer classes on everything from Intro to Programming to Bollywood Dance, as well as support groups and tutoring groups, all led by college students from top universities. So far we’ve served 3,300+ middle and high schoolers in our small, friendship-building classes. If you need some extra help, or just want to get excited about learning again, Connect-In-Place is the right community for you.  

Session 5 (Feb 22 – March 20) sign-ups are open now and close Friday, February 19th at noon PT!

Register for Session 5:
tinyurl.com/cips5-middleschool
tinyurl.com/cips5-highschool

Stay safe and have fun!

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

February 19, 2021 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

Who We Are Matters

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

When I was growing up, my mom would tell me that my actions were a direct reflection of my home training by her and my dad. While I hated hearing that, I taught the same thing to my children as well.

Who we are matters.

I have been trying to write today’s blog since the January 6 insurrection at the White House. As I watched the people storm through the barriers, break glass, pump their fists, and FaceTime their audiences; all I could think of was “What would your mom (or dad) think of you?” Also, how could I explain (to my children) why these people are allowed to deface the nation’s capitol without being dragged to jail. Most of the people who participated in the insurrection were white males and females.

The other major event that has my attention, is a rash of carjackings/robberies that have been taking place in different communities in the Chicagoland area. Many of the young people who are carjacking people, are young black teenagers. I thought how I would feel if one of those young men was my son.

In each case, I’m angry and think what kind of training did the insurrectionists and carjackers receive at home while growing up? Were they raised to respect others? Were they respected by the people they lived with?

Here’s something that I want parents to remember: how your child shows up is a reflection of how you interacted with them. Children aren’t born to fight and attack. They learn that behavior. When you grow up in an angry environment, that’s what you do when you respond to situations whether you understand what’s going on or not.

There are many young people who are raising themselves; who are not participating in online school learning, (parents may or may not be home with them) and who are trying to survive. Survival tells them that they must steal from other people in order to survive. They believe If they don’t steal, they won’t eat or they will be unsheltered.

The insurrectionists have been told that the rights and privileges that they are used to experiencing, are going away. Having to play nice with people that don’t look like them, is a scary idea!

In both cases, people are afraid. They feel that they don’t matter. And when people feel that they don’t matter, they do extraordinarily dumb things to help those around them know that they do matter.

So what does that mean to everybody else?

  • God made us a little lower than the angels, which means we are powerful.
  • We are each other’s keepers.
  • No one can achieve what they are trying to achieve by themselves.
  • Our differences and cultures are okay – we don’t have act like anybody else to succeed.

Raising your children to “be somebody” as my grandmother used to say, is still noble and honorable. Love and respect yourself and know that what you do to others and for others – Matters. ✌🏽

What are your thoughts?

By the way, I’m collecting data on a new relationship trauma program and would love your feedback. Please click here to answer the questions.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

January 28, 2021 at 9:21 pm Leave a comment

Educational Staycation Ideas for Homeschooling Families

Unsplash

Guest blog by Jenna Sherman, parent-leaders.com

With travel off the table for many families this year, it’s a good idea to come up with fun alternatives that can help break up the monotony of self-isolating and homeschooling. Use this guide for ideas on how to take an educational staycation, whether it’s doing science experiments in your backyard or getting a new challenging video game for your kids. If you need some support or help coming up with ideas, read C. Lynn Williams’ blog.

How to staycation

If your kids have been homeschooling for most of this year, it’s getting a bit old by now. Between video lessons and Zoom chats with their teachers, it’s likely they’re missing the social parts of going to school, not to mention recess. To help break up the monotony of homeschooling, it’s a great idea to come up with educational staycation options.

When you’re considering educational activities, think about subjects that genuinely interest your child. For kids who love science, help them come up with a science experiment they can do in the backyard. One fun option is building a rocket out of an old film canister, baking soda, and vinegar.

Or if your kid loves biology and the natural world, visit a forest or a park near your house and identify as many plant and animal species as possible. Encourage your child to start a journal to keep track, and visit every couple of weeks to add new species to the journal. Take a camera to record each species, and print off the photos so they can add them to their journal.

For kids who are interested in the culinary world, it’s a great idea to come up with some fun cooking or baking projects. Have them pick out their favorite meal or dessert, and hand over the recipe so they can be head chef. Help them where needed, but let them take the lead if they’re ready. Not only will you help them explore a new hobby, but you’ll also have some (hopefully) tasty meals or treats to enjoy as a bonus.

Extra-curriculars at home

One great option for kids who are into gaming is finding some educational and challenging video games. If your kid needs a break from their geography book, they might have more fun playing a game like Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego? The game will help them learn the capitals of countries around the world and will help them learn to use the Google Earth tool. It’s free to play, and there are three different versions to keep your kids interested.

To help your child learn to solve problems, the Nancy Drew interactive mysteries series will keep your kid entertained for hours. The games are spinoffs of the original Nancy Drew book series that dates all the way back to the 1930s. There are 33 games in total, and they can be played on PCs, mobile phones, and some gaming consoles.

While video games often get a bad reputation for being addictive, there are actually many benefits. Not only do kids learn hand-eye coordination, but games also help promote cognitive skills such as problem-solving. And for kids interested in computers, gaming can help open up a learning opportunity in computer science.

Gaming can be great fun but is often frustrating if you don’t have an internet connection that can handle the workload. Be sure to boost your internet speeds if you want your kids to game at home, especially if other members of the household need the internet for work or school.

Homeschooling can be highly monotonous for kids, so coming up with fun staycation ideas will help keep them engaged. Educational staycation projects such as backyard science experiments and cooking or baking are great alternatives to lesson plans while still helping your kids learn. And if they need a break from the school grind, educational video games will be entertaining and beneficial for your young learners.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

January 22, 2021 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Essential Self-Care Tips for Exhausted Working Parents

Life as a working parent can be exhausting.

Continue Reading December 22, 2020 at 7:28 am Leave a comment

Holiday Sanity and Self-Care

How well are you managing yourself during this pandemic as the holiday festivities begin? Unless you begin preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas during the summer, the flurry of emails, texts, and ads to buy have bombarded us since Halloween. Frankly, that can be stressful, especially with everything else you have on your plate.

Which one of these is you?

“I’m prepared for the holidays, but…”

Maybe you are attending one Zoom meeting after another and aren’t eating healthy foods or staying hydrated. Or perhaps you could benefit from an adequate morning routine of exercise, prayer, meditation, and breakfast. Maybe you’re the last one in bed at night, because “chores won’t take care of themselves”; and you also get up (in the middle of the night) when the baby needs feeding, or your 3-year-old has nightmares.

Face it – you are taking care of everyone else: your family, your co-workers, your clients! But are you practicing a little compassionate self-care? Where is the balance that you need to be sane, healthy and happy? According to hrzone.com, home and work-life balance refers to the level of prioritization between one’s personal and professional activities and the level to which activities related to their job are present in the home. COVID-19 isn’t helping because we are quarantined and asked to stay inside – to stay safe.

“I am constantly tired and slightly depressed…”

It’s quite possible that you are completely disenchanted with COVID-19 and have decided that you won’t catch the “virus”. So, you take unnecessary risks like not wearing your face mask.

If any of this is happening to you, you are not crazy.

There are two things happening here. One, you may be experiencing home and work-life imbalance. And two, you could be experiencing what Candace Hamell, LCSW calls “pandemic fatigue”. “Pandemic fatigue” can occur when people get tired of the pandemic measures and become less likely to follow public health practices or simply begin to drown out those messages. Pandemic fatigue can be experienced differently for everyone but often presents itself as:

  • Feeling restless
  • Irritable
  • Lacking motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating on tasks

You may even notice yourself withdrawing from socializing with others or physical symptoms such as changes in eating and sleep habits.[1]

Ms. Hamell is working with the American Heart Association this holiday season, to provide wellness tips to combat holiday stress and make your soul happy. Here are her wellness tips:

  • Manage stress – incorporate meditation and mindfulness practices into your day to distance yourself from daily stress.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet – avoid overeating or using substances such as alcohol to cope.
  • Stay physically active – this is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind healthy during this season and improve your quality of life.
  • Practice gratitude – write down five things that you are grateful for each day. This is a powerful tool that can reduce levels of depression, anxiety and improve sleep.

Make some boss moves and follow these tips to feel better and improve your quality of life!


Follow Ms. Hamell at candaceawilliams.com.

Follow me, C. Lynn Williams @MsParentGuru on Instagram and Twitter.

[1] https://www.chroniclejournal.com/life/beating-quarantine-fatigue-through-nature/article

December 5, 2020 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Care Enough To Join Me

We had an event in my community yesterday and it had been a culmination of twice weekly activities over a six week period, that included young people from elementary through high school as well as adults.

We had a pretty decent turnout, with most parents attending with their child. The odd thing was that the parents of one of our teens did not attend. She said they were home cleaning house 🧼 🧽. I was really bummed out, for her. She had had some rough times during our weekly meetings with family issues but during the entire time, we never met her parents. 👁👁

It took me back to the days when my children were younger. We tried to attend everything they were involved in. Of course that wasn’t possible, but we tried. And maybe this was true for my teen’s parents. Maybe they attend every other event and just couldn’t with this one. Watching her during our project meetings I got a different impression. To me she felt lonely and alone.

So this is what I want to say to her parents: It is important to show up in your kid’s life as often as you can. Doesn’t matter if they are 5, 15 or 25 years old. Our kids love our support! Yes it’s easy to show up for the large events like graduations and milestone birthdays. But sometimes we have to be parents no matter how busy our days are and be available! That means we play games with our kids, we go for walks (yea put down the headphones, game controllers and phones) 😁

As the parental unit (one of my daughter’s favorite phrases), our kids won’t remember that we were trying to make a living and had to put food on the table that’s not the first thing that they will remember about us. What they may remember is that we sat on the stairs and talked with them about what the 2020 election means; they’ll remember that we drove to the lakefront and watched the sunset; that we talked into the night about good and bad decisions, that we watch their favorite Disney movie 10 times… in a row. They will remember playing Monopoly with you and how many properties you bought!

Your child will remember the times you spent doing stuff together!

I feel bad because my teen friend looks and feels lonely. It doesn’t feel like she has a good support system and I hope she has a stronger one in the future.

Oh and parents… try to be more mindful of the time your child really needs with you.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

October 10, 2020 at 6:51 pm Leave a comment

Has Human Companionship Disappeared

Human companionship isn’t working well these days is it?

It’s gotta be the pandemic’s fault!

Maybe it’s all of the togetherness that we are experiencing as a result of sheltering in place. Snuggling up, spooning, boo’ed up is not as much fun, when you’re in the house 24/7 and so is your sweetie (with you). Basically you start to get tired… of each other.

There I said it!

Now, clearly I’m talking to just a few of you… the honest ones. I know it’s not the end of the world, but it’s scary because you’re admitting that the one person that you pledged to be with FOREVER… isn’t enough to keep you going during this pandemic crisis. And for my single friends, it’s really scary, because how do you date (responsibly) during a viral scare when you have no idea where that delightful person who looks great online, has been.

I had a long talk with God yesterday and decided (remembered), that our mates, spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, partners are human companions. They are not designed to please us indefinitely. Matter of fact, they are probably wondering why they feel so… blah (with you)? I’m not saying that the thrill is gone, nor am I saying it’s time to look for a new mate. It’s just that we are on a journey, and part of that journey is physical (relationships) and the rest is spiritual. The spiritual journey helps you build inner resources to realize that a human will never be enough (forever). God is the only forever relationship.

So forgive your partner if he or she wears the same shirt for an entire week. They’re doing the best they can. Same with you. Be real. Make jokes. Have fun. Be thankful for what you have.

Build up your spiritual relationship with your source. I call my source… God. Take time away from your kids, your partner, your phone, your Zoom calls and get quiet. You will be surprised at how peaceful life really is. And how much better you feel.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring relationship-building programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters, Fathers and their Sons or Mothers and themselves.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

September 23, 2020 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment

I Heard Family…

family

Last week I watched the Democratic National Convention and Vice-President candidate Kamala Harris (D) spoke about how much she admired her mother and grandmother. She talked about kids going back to school whether in person or remotely and how important going to school was. She also talked about how challenging it is for parents and teachers during this time. There are so many questions to answer like what happens if I send my child to school and she gets the virus? Or what happens when I begin teaching my face-2-face classes and I catch the virus? As we head into the fall 2020 school year, these are questions that parents and teachers have. 

Everytime Senator Harris spoke I heard family. The importance of family! Mothers! Fathers! Grandmothers! In many households, parents have chosen to homeschool. In other households, the parents have to leave home and their children are either going to school, or sitting in front of a computer screen and learning virtually. No matter which story is ours, we are concerned with keeping our children (and ourselves) safe from coronavirus.

When Senator Harris spoke of her mother, it reminded me of how much my mother supported me throughout my high school, college, grad school career.

Her support meant everything to me, even though (at times) I felt that she was overbearing and too

my mom

strict. When I didn’t understand a school topic, if she couldn’t explain it, she found someone that could. With her guidance, my dad’s, aunts, uncles and grandparents, I am here today able to talk with you about the importance of family support.

As Senator Harris said, getting ready this school year is challenging whether you are the parent or the teacher. But what I know is that our children are counting on us to learn and thrive. We can give them that whether we are college grads or high school dropouts. We may not have all (or even some) of the answers, but let’s start with the three points listed below.

Commit to these things:

  • Your commitment to helping your child get online daily
  • Asking your child questions to help him think critically
  • Taking time to have fun. Play with your child and learn from him/her
  • Be a good listener
  • Be willing to learn new things

Know that this is an usual time, so have lots of teachable moments, fun, and learning something new times! Be patient with yourself, your situation and your children. Make memories that your children will talk about when they grow up. 

 

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 28, 2020 at 6:08 pm Leave a comment

Getting Prepared for The School Year

It’s now August and that means school is starting in a few weeks. As a part-time professor, that means getting my courses ready, putting my lectures and discussion topics together and getting prepared.

School year starting

That’s the normal part…

The abnormal, crazy thing is that we have to figure out how to get our kids educated during this COVID-19 pandemic! Teach but stay safe! Educate so that your kids learn properly whether online or face-to-face.

Online learning

There are so many questions that need to be answered??

• How do you feel about sending your child back to school?

• What is your school district offering – Online learning or face-to-face?

• Is your child learning effectively in a remote (virtual) environment?

• How do I help my special needs child learn if they are not engaging online?

Alright that’s the unknown and the unknown is scary. Instead let’s focus on what we know and can control:

• Most school districts are offering learning alternatives – remote (online) for younger grades and face-to-face for high school seniors.

• Ask questions of your school administrators to find out how the school year will be conducted.

• If your child didn’t engage well with the online classes, think about why and what you can do at home to supplement their learning.

As my mom used to say, “this too shall pass.” As you and your family work through the challenges related to this pandemic, remember:

1. Stay calm

2. Practice parent self-care (take care of yourself)

3. Make time to listen to your children

4. Be willing to learn what your child already knows

5. Maintain (or implement) routines

Great advice from Minnesota Department of Health and MsParentguru.

https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/mentalhealth/children

Remaining calm and positive is important for you and your child. To them the pandemic is an adventure. If they’re a tween or teen, then the pandemic is an annoyance! Turn it into learning opportunities where you discover stuff about each other.

Have as much fun together as possible. 🙂

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

August 5, 2020 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

Shifting Your Mood Helps

Today I hit a brick wall and my morning wasn’t as sunny as it usually is when I wake up. Meh 😒

A couple of my projects had flopped this week and I had taken on too many assignments that were all due at the same time. Some of my project results weren’t spectacular (which is what I expect) and I felt blah. 😕

As I sat quietly and expectantly, I listened to the very wise person that lives inside of me – my Spirit.

I tell myself that I’m a good person, God loves me, and I love me. Those words help loosen any feelings of defeat or sadness that had caused this ‘Wednesday Blues’.

I read today’s scripture from my bible app (a few times) and my mood starts to shift… I’m feeling… better… If this has happened to you, how do handle these unwelcome feelings?

Here are eight ways to shift yourself out of a Bad Mood:

1. Be Here Now. Focus on the present moment. …

2. Be Silly. …

3. Practice “Pivoting” …

4. Take a Walk. …

5. Lend a Hand. …

6. Laugh More. …

7. This, Too, Shall Pass. …

8. Indulge Yourself.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/8-ways-to-shift-a-bad-mood-and-feel-better-fast_b_8201180/amp

Taking time for yourself is monumental to staying sane – during the best of times, but especially during the COVID-19 quarantine that we find ourselves experiencing.

Our family relies on us to stay balanced, happy and upbeat (fun). There is nothing fun about feeling ‘blue’ or depressed. Stay encouraged.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

July 15, 2020 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

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