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Vegan French Toast

French toast has always been a favorite breakfast food, but the eggs more or less made it a non-starter. Lately we have been testing alternatives and here is my current favorite. The best thing about this particular recipe is that it slightly sweet and toasts up to a wonderful golden brown. I promise you won’t miss the eggs at all! Vegan French Toast In a flat pan mash 2 bananas into a paste Wisk in 1 cup coconut milk 3/4 cups nut milk 1/2 tsp cinnamon OPTIONAL: 1 ...

Bump In The Road

Update on new site: Those of you who have visited the new and improved Chubby Chatterbox now realize it hasn’t been improved much. I expected a few glitches along the way, and sure enough there are. My web designer is addressing the issue of leaving comments that aren’t microscopic, but the biggest problem is with Google. The Google Friend Connect (where folks join to become members) is no longer transferable. Without telling anyone, Google cancelled the ability to move this feature ...

News & Happenings

I'm starting several new ongoing series on my blog that I'm hoping you all will enjoy. Don't worry, I'll still be posting mostly about my own art and new artistic mediums I'm trying but I thought these new themed posts would be a fun way to fill in the blanks and add user friendly content. Artist's Play Room - I've mentioned this several times before but it deserves highlighting now because it starts this month!! The first Artist's PLAY ROOM Blog Hop and ...

A Great Sense of Achievement

Sometimes we set ourselves personal goals swept away on the crest of a wave by a moments reckless enthusiasm or, as in my case on this occasion, after a glass or three of cheap heady red wine. We believe anything is possible if we put our minds to it and of course it is if the goal is realistic. The NANoWriMo was for me one of those moments.Thank goodness I did not decide to become a brain surgeon or walk to ...

I’d Like to Thank the Academy

It appears as though I have received the Versatile Blogger Award from Roy Durham and I am honored. Roy is a writing phenomenon and a mentor to me so I am doubly honored. Now I realize that fame has its price and I must pay for the honor by telling you all something about me that you may not know otherwise…hmmm. Being that I am an extremely private person, anything I tell you will be new…and you must believe it! 1. The ...

Twelve Motivational Tips for the New Year…

“In learning to know other things, and other minds, we become more intimately acquainted with ourselves, and are to ourselves better worth knowing.” Philip Gilbert Hamilton Motivational Tips: Blossom, bloom... and grow REFLECTIONS As we wind down the final days of 2010, thoughts and plans for the New Year are high on our lists and on our minds. Whether we end up having an amazing, accomplished 2011 will depend on several factors; particularly our attitude and our effort. I don’t know about you, but this has ...

Just a quick note….

Image via Wikipedia I won’t be posting anything next week, we’re taking a family holiday the first one with one of our granddaughters so I am rather excited.  We all try to get together at least once every two years to unwind and enjoy some different scenery. This time we are going to Majorca, the weather promises to be kind to us, unlike the so-called “summer” we have had here in the UK. We are all looking forward to a relaxing break and ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

“How sweet I roamed from field to field, and tasted all thesummer‘s pride.” William Blake Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer A Summer Day by Lucy Maud Montgomery I. The dawn laughs out on orient hills And dances with the diamond rills; The ambrosial wind but faintly stirs The silken, beaded gossamers; In the wide valleys, lone and fair, Lyrics are piped from limpid air, And, far above, the pine trees free Voice ancient lore of sky and sea. Come, let us fill our hearts straightway With hope and courage of the ...

Knitting Addiction

Last Wednesday while on vacation in the Outer Banks, the DH (yes, he went along) to Knitting Addiction, a yarn store in Kill Devil Hills, NC, right along US 158.  It's a neat store! Knitting Addiction has a nice selection and caters both to locals and people visiting the area.  It's a welcoming place.  They carry some beautiful hand painted yarns, along with some the usual high-end LYS stock.  Good stuff! Knitting Addiction also has a lot of accessories, t-shirts, knitting ...

Fun Flower Facts: Magnolia

Magnolia, is a genus consisting of over 200 species of evergreen flowering trees and shrubs.  They are commonly found in North America and southeast Asia. Magnolias are popular ornamental plants  grown for their showy fragrant flowers and dark green, leathery leaves. Interestingly, magnolia flowers don’t have true petals and sepals, but tepals, petal-like structures.  The flowers come in shades of white, pink, purple and red and bloom in the spring and summer. The magnolia also produces a reddish-brown cone-like fruit in ...

Dictamnus – The Real Burning Bush

When you use the common name “Burning Bush” most people assume you are talking about Kochia, a popular annual that is grown for its foliage which turns red in Autumn. But they’d be wrong! The true Burning Bush is actually Dictamnus, (also known as the Gas Plant) a plant with a magical quality that will amaze you! You see, if you light a match near the flower heads once the blooms have faded and on a warm still day the volatile ...

sea shuffle...

last week at this time sam & i spent two nights at the beach. Neptune Beach (FL). going to the coast reminds me how much i'd rather be in the woods. OH, i like the ocean.  the waves.  the breeze.  the shells. the sand in my mouth...and undies. (oh yeah, i don't wear any...) ok, well, the sand just seems to work its way everywhere you don't want it to go! give me a small cabin by a stream in the middle of the woods... and i really ...

Changing It Up A Bit

I have purchased a few new Sakura Gelly Roll pens as I await the arrival of my order from Dick Blick. I just couldn't wait to try some new techniques I've been reading about and letting them steep in the back of my brain. I've had some seriously wonderful creative dreams, knowing that these new supplies are coming. I'm dreaming up new paintings and when I wake up I can still see them in my mind! It's so thrilling, this ...

Grower Direct Fun & Freebies!

I wanted to do a quick post about our Sponsor: Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers. If you’re in Canada it’s a name you’re familiar with but did you know about the contests and freebies from Grower Direct? Yes, not only do they sell gorgeous, fresh flower arrangements but if you follow them on social media you have a great chance to win some awesome prizes! Free Rose Fridays – Every Friday on the Grower Direct Corporate Office Facebook Page you have the opportunity ...

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Ronae Jull - Hope Coaching

Meltdown! How to help when your teen loses control


Recently I posed the following question on Twitter:

What do you do when your teen has a meltdown?

The most fascinating answer: “Run like the wind!”

If you’re a parent to a teenager, you’ll chuckle. Then you’ll remember the last time your teen ‘lost it’, and wonder if that might have been a better response than the one you had. Teenage meltdowns can be legendary, and create incredible frustration both for parents and for the teens who feel out of control.

Here are some questions parents ask.

  • How can I know if what my teen is expressing is a normal part of development, or is cause to worry?
  • Is there anything I can do to prevent my teen from losing it, or is it best to just wait for things to calm down on their own?
  • When do I need to intervene? How can I intervene effectively?

Whether your child’s personality runs more to passive resistance or outright defiance, there will come a time when they completely lose it. Your response can make an enormous difference in the lessons learned, and can help create an environment where your teen can find more effective ways of expressing their emotions.

Lets start with understanding why teenagers have meltdowns. Is your teen expressing a normal teen emotion, or is this something to worry about?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article Whats Wrong with the Teenage Mind?, Ms. Gopnik, professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, explained part of the problem that today’s teens face has to do with their emotional and biological development being out of sync. Teens are entering puberty at a younger age, yet not reaching a stable adult maturity until later than at any other time in history. There’s nothing abnormal about teens’ energy or passion; what becomes a problem is when the emotional control systems aren’t developed enough to keep a reign on stress responses and voila! An emotional meltdown erupts.

According to Ms. Gopnik and other researchers of teenage emotional and physical development, the way that teens develop a mature ability to handle stress and express emotions without losing control is by practicing. Each time your teenager experiences a stressful situation – they get in trouble at home, they have a romantic relationship crisis, they didn’t make the sports team, they’re a victim of bullying, the shared-parenting situation they’re in becomes untenable – the way they respond emotionally quite literally changes the architecture of their brains.

So does this mean that each meltdown makes the next one easier? Sure. Just as a stream follows the path of least resistance, your teenager’s brain will respond “mindlessly” (in other words, without conscious choice) to whatever feels most natural or familiar. One meltdown creates a literal brain pathway that makes the next meltdown ‘easier’.

This does NOT mean, however, that things are hopeless, or that you might as well just step back and hope things get better on their own.

HOW to intervene effectively when your teen has a meltdown.

Teenagers positively crave tools that will enable them to handle stress without coming unglued. They won’t find these tools on their own, and parents who respond to emotional outbursts in kind only make the situation worse. Here is where understanding that your teens’ emotional and biological development are out of sync will be put to good use.

HOW teens learn healthy stress responses is by practicing. By literally having opportunities for the brain to develop physical patterns – a “stream-bed” if you will – that result in less explosive and progressively more mature responses to emotionally charged situations. With society’s focus on providing ever more extensive educational opportunities, what is left by the wayside are those “life” experiences – the after school jobs, apprenticeships, and ‘doing with’ opportunities under supervision of adults who are there to help guide and teach and mentor. According to Ms. Gopnik, today’s teenagers are missing out on the irreplaceable experience of practice.

Here are six powerful ways that you can effectively intervene with your teenager’s meltdowns, and create for them an environment where practice is expected and encouraged.

  1. Understand. Keep in mind that your teen’s emotional responses are real, they simply lack the mechanisms to express them in a mature fashion.
  2. Respond. How you respond when your teen starts “losing it” will have a profound effect on whether or not this is a learning experience or not. When you get angry right back, remind your child of their immaturity or the mistakes he made, you provide no tools for them to grasp hold of. Instead, respond with gentle expressions of support for their feelings in the moment. Your teen is counting on you to help them regain control of their emotions.
  3. Give space. Remember, teenagers need practice reigning in those out of control emotional responses. They’re quite literally practicing LIFE with you! Give them time to calm down, and lots of space in which to do so. Nothing will be gained by trying to pound home your message while your teen is in ‘meltdown mode’.
  4. Debrief. After the crisis has passed, ask respectful open-ended questions. Like this: “How did you feel inside when I told you that you were grounded for being 30 minutes late? What did I miss that you were wanting me to understand?” Role play different scenarios and discover together ways that might work better the next time around.
  5. Model. Whether they admit it or not, your teen is looking to you for clues to how to do this ‘life’ thing. Do you fly off the handle when someone cuts you off in traffic? Yell when you’re tired or frustrated? Talk over others rather than having a real give-and-take conversation? Use alcohol to numb your own feelings of overwhelm? Refuse to apologize? While your teenager is practicing (read that ‘making mistakes, trying to learn from them, getting better’), they will copy what they see most from you.
  6. Collaborate. Work together. If you and your teen have a habit of antagonistic interaction, sit down when you’re both calm and come up with ways to practice interrupting the cycle. Own your half of the problem, and invite your teen to join with you in finding a better way.

Everyone gets angry. You get angry. Your parents got angry. Even God gets angry. As your teenager grows into their own emotionally healthy habits of expressing upset, you can help by providing them the tools they need, and the grace they deserve. Teenage meltdowns need not take over the peace of your family, and if they already have, it is never too late to turn things around!

Your turn:

What effective responses have you found that help your teenager when they’re in ‘meltdown mode’? If you were a ‘meltdown teen’, what responses helped? What made it harder to regain control? As a parent, what is your biggest concern when helping your teen practice a better way?

Image:  Maniac Meltdown, Gillray 1803

Ronae Jull - Hope Coaching

Parenting teens is tough! After raising four and spending the last 25 years as a family life coach, I've learned a few things that work. Check out my website for mobile apps and resources. Have a parenting challenge? Your first "Meet the HOPE Coach" session is always free!

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