Episode 91: David Thomas

David Thomas joins me for Episode 91. You may remember him from Episode 51 when we talked about raising boys. David has over 20 years of experience counseling kids and families. He’s written 7 books including the newest one, Are My Kids On Track which he wrote with Sissy Goff and Melissa Trevathan where they breakdown the emotional, social and spiritual milestones that kids need to reach. We spend our time together chatting about the four emotional milestones: vocabulary, perspective, empathy and resourcefulness. So with that, we talk about how to equip your kids with an accurate emotional vocabulary, how to help them register emotional pain, how to help them problem solve and how failure and fear are actually necessary in building empathy and courage. If you have ever felt overwhelmed with parenting, I think this conversation will put you at ease. 

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Links:

David's Survival Kit:

(Amazon affiliate links used when possible--purchasing through these links is an easy way to support the show. Or shop using www.SurvivingSarah.com/amazon and a portion of the what you buy will go back to the show.)

Connect with David:  Instagram // Facebook // Website

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • I appreciated his advice as to where to start. I am so thankful that his first step was to celebrate what you are already doing. Because, we all know that parenting can feel overwhelming—even working on your own self care in regards to this topic can feel overwhelming. So the fact that you are listening to this or reading the book or having conversations about this is worth celebrating. I want to give each one of you a high five. So as you start to think through how to help your kids reach these different milestones, remember to celebrate where you are and what you are already doing.

  • Pay attention to what's going on inside of you. You can only pass on to your kids what you already possess. 

  • In regulating emotions, model for them the things they don’t yet know, that way they see that emotions are normal and good part of life. Give a dedicated space to sort out their emotions. Use the phase "yellow light" as a cue to let your kid know to pause. Consider getting a dog as a means to help them regulate their emotions.

  • @@We have to let our kids learn to problem solve for themselves@@. 

  • Failure and fear both get a bad wrap. We need to reframe that. These are good things. @@Fear is the birthplace of courage@@. You can’t be courageous if you never face fear. You want to be a resilient which means you have to stand face to face with failure. You won’t be compassionate unless you land on your face sometimes. That is one of the best teachers of empathy.

  • Pray for failure for your kids. What would it look like if rather than praying for our kids to be happy, we prayed for our kids to be strong? (which is an invitation for failure.)

  • Pray for ourselves that we will allow the space for our kids to be resourceful. We are sometimes too busy trying to be their resources. With that, ask good questions in those moments like what do you want to do with that? What’s your game plan? What are you thinking?

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What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on great conversations with women just like you. Women who are surviving and thriving. You don't have to do life alone. Be inspired, encouraged and entertained by women like Sandra Stanley, Shannan Martin, Jamie B. Golden, Mo Isom, Annie F. Downs, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay, Christy Nockels, Kay Warren, Suzanne Stabile and many more.

Did you enjoy today's conversation? Rate the podcast.

My goal each week is to encourage you to survive in this very thing called life. If you were encouraged or inspired or entertained, head over to iTunes and leave a brief review with a 5 star rating.

Here is a recent one from "Carollovespodcasts". She said, "I look forward to this podcast every week! It's refreshing, encouraging and just fun! Thank you for all the work you put into this so we can join you at the kitchen table."

Your review will help get the podcast in front of new listeners who are just like you looking to know that they aren't alone in life. Thank you for being awesome!

Episode 90: Katie Peters

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You are joining me for Episode 90 and for this episode we recorded a live show in front of a group of women. There is a non-profit organization who works to be the church and bring a different kind of church to their community in the East Cobb area of Atlanta who invited me to record a live episode with them. The women of East Cobb Gathering get together on a regular basis to connect, grow and enjoy the company of other women from their area.

So I sat at the table with my good friend, Katie Peters. She is a wife and mother of 4, recent graduate with a Masters in Pastoral Counseling and Life Coaching and she is the founding director of East Cobb Gathering.

We sit down together with a live audience to talk about why we need community to survive.

Links:

Katie's Survival Kit:

Sarah's Survival Kit:

(Amazon affiliate links used when possible--purchasing through these links is an easy way to support the show. Or shop using www.SurvivingSarah.com/amazon and a portion of the what you buy will go back to the show.)

Connect with Katie:  Instagram // Facebook // East Cobb Gathering Facebook

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • August tends to be a season of starting. Now is a great time to look for community. Maybe your kids are going back to school. Or maybe you are starting a new job. Or maybe you had a life change. And many churches are ramping back up for fall. Now is a great time to look around to see where you can find some women to come alongside you. In fact, I just gathered a group of women at our church to start a community group. It can be awkward but its worth it. We all need someone to be a support or to celebrate with or to lean on.

  • "Your real you is worthy of community." 

  • At some point, take a risk and ask someone: what is God doing in your life right now? That's how you start to cultivate deep friendships.

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What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on great conversations with women just like you. Women who are surviving and thriving. You don't have to do life alone. Be inspired, encouraged and entertained by women like Sandra Stanley, Shannan Martin, Jamie B. Golden, Mo Isom, Annie F. Downs, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay, Christy Nockels, Kay Warren, Suzanne Stabile and many more.

Did you enjoy today's conversation? Rate the podcast.

My goal each week is to encourage you to survive in this very thing called life. If you were encouraged or inspired or entertained, head over to iTunes and leave a brief review with a 5 star rating.

Here is a recent one from "Carollovespodcasts". She said, "I look forward to this podcast every week! It's refreshing, encouraging and just fun! Thank you for all the work you put into this so we can join you at the kitchen table."

Your review will help get the podcast in front of new listeners who are just like you looking to know that they aren't alone in life. Thank you for being awesome!

Episode 89: Kathleen & Derek Hamer

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Kathleen Hamer and her son Derek join me around their kitchen table in the Seattle area. I had been wanting to introduce you to them for a long time now. In fact, they were one of the first guests that I listed out when I first brainstormed the podcast. You see, Kathleen was an almost emptynestor when she and her husband, Dan, decided to adopt Derek who was age 5 and his brother, Reggie, who was age 3. And now, Derek just graduated high school. 

They adopted the boys 13 years ago. And I know so many adoptive parents who are on the front end of adoptive or even in the thick of the middle years of adoption. And just like in so many things, sometimes its helpful to have a perspective who has walked the road longer. And I thought it would be helpful to hear from an adopted son's perspective. 

You will hear their story of how they found each other, what it was like when he lived on the streets of Kitale, Kenya at age 4, his advice for adoptive families and what it was like when he returned to Kenya years later. So pull up a chair to the kitchen table and join the conversation.

Links:

  • Video of Derek sharing his story
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Survival Kit:

  • Derek: his relationship with his parents

  • Kathleen: A good book, chocolate, her family

(Amazon affiliate links used when possible--purchasing through these links is an easy way to support the show. Or shop using www.SurvivingSarah.com/amazon and a portion of the what you buy will go back to the show.)

Connect with Kathleen:  Instagram // Facebook

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • There is something powerful to their story. Isn’t it remarkable how God orchestrated their meeting? I think it’s always a good reminder that God speaks even to the hearts of little children. It’s heartbreaking to think of a 4 year old living on the streets, but God sees. I love seeing the man Derek has become. I’m so thankful that he is willing to share his story. 

  •  God can make something good out of something painful.

  • The best question to ask yourself is: "What can I do?” It starts with you.

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What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on great conversations with women just like you. Women who are surviving and thriving. You don't have to do life alone. Be inspired, encouraged and entertained by women like Sandra Stanley, Shannan Martin, Jamie B. Golden, Mo Isom, Annie F. Downs, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay, Christy Nockels, Kay Warren and many more.

Did you enjoy today's conversation? Rate the podcast.

My goal each week is to encourage you to survive in this very thing called life. If you were encouraged or inspired or entertained, head over to iTunes and leave a brief review with a 5 star rating.

Here is a recent one titled "Great For Husband's Too" from JakecGross. He said, "Great + entertaining podcast. Send it to your wife, but also check it out yourself."

Your review will help get the podcast in front of new listeners who are just like you looking to know that they aren't alone in life. Thank you for being awesome!

Avoiding the “New Kid” Target: Seven Ways to Help Guard Against and Counteract How Cyberbullying at a New School

Laura Pearson joins me today to talk to you about the realities of cyberbullying along with some ways to guard against it. Laura is a mom whose son was the target of cyberbullying. You can find more from Laura here.

Moving to a new city or state is a stressful time for school-age children. They have to cope with a new home environment, make new friends, get to know new teachers, and learn their way around a new school. One thing that makes being the “new kid” even more difficult is that they can become an easy target for bullies—particularly cyberbullies. Statistics show that over half of adolescents have experienced being bullied online. 1 in 3 students have experienced threats online. With those stats in mind, we can’t sit back and ignore the realities for our kids. Here are seven ways to help guard against and counteract cyberbullying at a new school.

Get Your Child Involved in Extracurricular Activities Early

The new kid makes an easy target for bullies in part because he hasn’t had the opportunity to make many friends yet. You can help to combat this problem by getting your child involved in extracurricular activities soon after your move, even before he starts attending his new school, if possible.

Extra-curricular activities provide opportunities for kids to easily make new friends with shared interests, which can make them a less-appealing target for bullies. Plus, after-school activities can provide an outlet for stress and boost self-esteem.

Create a Stress-Free Home Environment

There’s no way around it: moving will be stressful for your child. Keeping the home environment as stress-free as possible can help your child adjust to the many changes happening in her life. Make sure there are plenty of healthy food choices available for packing school lunches, after-school snacks, and meals. A healthy diet supports both mental and physical well-being.

Make moving fun for your child by allowing her to pick out new decor for her bedroom, giving her her own personal space where she can escape and feel comfortable. Adding some plants throughout the home can help to purify the air and give it a more home-like feel, as well.

Encourage Your Child to Communicate with You

When your child starts her new school, ask her about her day, every day. Having open lines of communication may make some children more likely to share both the ups and downs as they get acclimated to a new school, which in turn makes it easier for parents to pinpoint potential issues.

 Watch for Warning Signs

Children are notoriously silent about many instances of bullying which means that you must be vigilant and keep an eye out for warning signs. If your child doesn’t want to talk about his day, for instance, starts to spend more time alone in his room, or experiences sudden shifts in appetite or changes in sleeping patterns, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s going on behind the scenes.

Talk to Teachers and Staff at the School

If your child is being cyberbullied, it may fall outside the school’s direct control, depending on the laws in your state and local school district policies. That said, it’s always worth talking to the teachers and staff at your child’s school. They can watch for problematic behavior and keep an eye out for the emotional effects of bullying that your child may be exhibiting in school. Plus, when they’re aware of bullying taking place outside of the school walls, they can take more immediate action if incidents do occur at school.

Enlist the Help of a Psychologist

If you suspect your child is being cyberbullied, or even if your child is having a particularly tough time with the move, enlisting the aid of a psychologist or therapist can be helpful. It may be easier for some children to discuss sensitive subjects with a trusted adult other than her parents. Additionally, a therapist can provide you and your child with proven coping strategies to help you work through the transition and combat the emotional effects of cyberbullying.

Report Cyberbullying to Authorities

Keep documentation of cyberbullying incidents. Save text messages, take screenshots of messages and comments on social media, and document all other bullying interactions. You shouldn’t hesitate to report cyberbullying to online services (such as social media platforms) or even local law enforcement agencies, particularly if a bully is threatening your child or encouraging self-harm. Sometimes, reporting these incidents can stop bullying in its tracks as bullies may become fearful of legal consequences.

Cyberbullying can make moving to a new city or state even more stressful on young children and teens. Creating a stress-free home environment, getting your child involved in extracurricular activities, and enlisting the help of teachers, staff, and professionals are the best ways to help your child overcome cyberbullying at his new school. Never hesitate to report cyberbullying to online services and law enforcement.

Episode 88: Neely McQueen

Back in early July, I took the podcast on the road to Seattle. Seattle now is home to so many people that I love and who were influential in my life during my early twenties. So I took the opportunity to fly out there to sit down around the table with a few of them and Neely McQueen was one of them.

I enjoy being around Neely so much. She is the real deal--what you see is what you get. She is a wife to her husband, Josh, for 18 years. They have 3 kids--2 biological and 1 adopted from Ethiopia. And she oversees student ministries at Overlake Christian Church in the Seattle area.

With over 20 years of student ministry experience, we talk about loving teenagers and advice for parents of teenagers. And we also have a conversation about adoption--why they chose to step into that, what helped her walk through the early days and how adoption changed her.

Links:

Survival Kit:

(Amazon affiliate links used when possible--purchasing through these links is an easy way to support the show. Or shop using www.SurvivingSarah.com/amazon and a portion of the what you buy will go back to the show.)

Connect with Neely:  Instagram // Twitter

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • One of my takeaways was the reminder to be mindful of where you are in life. Take time to remember and look back because time will pass. You need to be reminded in the middle of the eye rolls that they were cute and you have made progress. Sometimes parenting feels like you are walking in quicksand. So taking time to look back and look around truly does help.

  • What's great about teenagers: When they are younger they believe you. They believe that they can change the world. They are more willing to try things. They have less cynicism to life. They feel loved just by your presence.

  • What do you say to parents who fear what is coming? Keep trying. Your kids really do want you and need you. You are their constant. You are their solid foundation. Take small nuggets of time together. Step into their world--their interests. Be intentional. Be willing to push through and make yourself available.

  • "The conversations you avoid become the conversations that are the problems." Don't be unwilling to have the hard conversations.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on great conversations with women just like you. Women who are surviving and thriving. You don't have to do life alone. Be inspired, encouraged and entertained by women like Sandra Stanley, Shannan Martin, Jamie B. Golden, Mo Isom, Annie F. Downs, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay, Christy Nockels, Kay Warren and many more.

Did you enjoy today's conversation? Rate the podcast.

My goal each week is to encourage you to survive in this very thing called life. If you were encouraged or inspired or entertained, head over to iTunes and leave a brief review with a 5 star rating.

Here is a recent one titled "Great For Husband's Too" from JakecGross. He said, "Great + entertaining podcast. Send it to your wife, but also check it out yourself."

Your review will help get the podcast in front of new listeners who are just like you looking to know that they aren't alone in life. Thank you for being awesome!