Woodbury, Long Island, New York (516) 340-0378
Get Rid of Your Child’s Shyness Once and for All

Get Rid of Your Child’s Shyness Once and for All

Why Your Child is Shy

I recently worked with a young girl “Sally” (age 14) who was shy. Her mother was concerned about her lack of social life. When I first met with Sally, she was reluctant. Sally’s prior counselor had given her homework she was not able to complete.

Her assignment:

  1. “At school, go up to someone you don’t know and start a conversation.”  
  2. “Midweek, make plans with one of your friends for the weekend.” 

Sally wasn’t able to do either. And not only did she feel bad about it, she felt worse than she did before.  Sally already felt bad for being shy, but now she felt the added emotion of failure as she was not able to fulfill her counselor’s recommended homework, even though the tasks seemed simple.

The result?

Sally became more self-critical of her “shyness” and more self-critical of her ability to act in order to fix it.

You see, what most don’t realize is that children “know” what they need to do to socialize. They see many kids doing it in school. That’s not the issue.  The issue is that Sally really isn’t shy.  She simply does not feel comfortable with herself, so she doesn’t feel comfortable socializing.

So, asking a child who feels insecure within herself to start a conversation or make plans with a friend is IMPOSSIBLE for the child.

The reason she isn’t able to fulfill this seemingly simple task is because the root issue is not being addressed: her lack of self-esteem. 

Sally is not socializing because she feels unsure of who she is, compares herself to others and tends to be self-critical of herself in her own mind.  So, it’s ineffective to encourage action on her part which, at this stage, is too advanced and will only set her up for feeling like she failed again.

Therefore, if you have a child similar to Sally, who is shy or maybe lacks friends, then do the only thing you can do: improve your child’s self-esteem.  Because children who have an improved self-image discover how to love life and most of all, love themselves.  And when that happens, their social life improves.

When you teach children to love themselves, they feel better, perform better and are more comfortable being themselves around other people.  If your child isn’t shy at home, innately your child isn’t shy. It’s as simple as that.  You must teach children how to feel comfortable with themselves first, and then and only then will they feel comfortable around others. Imagine that?

The end result: after completing my program, Sally found the confidence within herself. She stopped feeling bad about herself; stopped feeling as if something was wrong with her.  Nothing was wrong with her, aside from her not knowing her true worthiness. And instead of begging mom to change schools to find new friends, she formed new friends and even became more involved in school activities, all because she understood that the only thing necessary was loving herself first.

Connie Henriquez is a Teen Life Coach who works with kids & teens who suffer from anxiety and common childhood insecurities. Her specialty includes teaching them how to be confident, happy, make better decisions and LOVE their LIFE in as little as 30 days (regardless of what they have experienced in their past). For more information check out Connie’s “30 Days to Happy” program here or call (516) 340-0378.

What’s the secret to being happy every day?

What’s the secret to being happy every day?

There is only one thing to rely on for happiness in your life: The power of your mind.

Many people tend to complain and choose to focus on their problems, never realizing that the reasons for their complaints and problems stem from their own mind and their thoughts.

That is why negative people usually have the worst luck, nothing ever goes right for them and/or they are always sick or suffering from some physical ailment (neck ache, back ache, etc.)

It is also why happy, positive people tend to have good luck, things tend to work out for them and they typically have good health.

It is not a coincidence, people!

Consider the people you know.  Are they super happy, positive and loving life?  Or are they cranky-pants, stressed and just getting by?

Newsflash: Your world reflects back to you, how you think and feel.  Good or bad

So knowing this information, why do so many people continue to complain and focus on all the negativity around them?  Do they not believe they have the power to improve their life one thought at a time?

The great news is: YOU have that power!  And it’s easier than you think.

The first step is becoming more aware of what you think and speak about.

For example: When you wake up, you can be excited about the day anticipating a great day ahead.  Or you can dread getting out of bed and focus on all the reasons you don’t want to go to work.

Which will result in you having a great day?

And when you get to work, you can greet your co-workers in a happy mood, spreading the sunshine.  Or you can show up recapping how you couldn’t sleep and questioning whether it’s 5pm yet?

Which will result in you having a great day?

Then on your way home from work, you can recap all the amazing things from your day, such as:  so happy I got to work on time; Sally and I had a great laugh about that work project; lunch was extra good today.  Or you can focus on what went wrong that day, such as:  this was the longest day ever; Sally is so annoying; my boss has no clue; and I can’t stand this job.

Which will result in you having a great evening?

You guessed it! The person who deliberately looks for the good in everything finds happiness.  Now, will there always be stuff you don’t love? Of course. That’s called life.  But, you dohave a choice on what you give your attention to and what you choose to speak about.

So now that you know how your thoughts are responsible for how your life plays out, each and every day, how can YOU start thinking differently today?

Speak of your life as you want it be, as opposed to how it’s been.  Imagine your life how you want it to be versus how it’s been.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Just give it a try! XOXO! 

Do you feel guilty for wanting more out of life?

Do you feel guilty for wanting more out of life?

I remember in my early 20’s, sitting at the Airport Diner in Bohemia, Long Island at 11pm with an old friend catching up and discussing life. I recall being dissatisfied with where I was and pondering what was next.

Oddly enough, I remember the conversation well.  It went like this…

My friend: “Con, I feel as if you will never be happy.  You are always wanting for the next.  It’s as if you are never satisfied.”

Me: Whaaaaa…?? (Insert frowny face 🙁 here)

OMG.  He was totally right. I recall sitting there with nothing more to say other than thinking, geeeez, what is my problem…if this is my life I am so screwed.

Fast forward 10 years later…

I finally have a new understanding of the conversation that night.  It’s interesting when you finally realize that seemingly insignificant pieces of your past really do have significance. 

That night, I thought I had a problem.  I feared the mere thoughtof going through life never being crazy-excited about waking up each day, always wanting for more, never getting it, being strangely disappointed that I would be subjected to the same long career, typical marriage in my mid-twenties and juggling some kids until they were old enough for college.  Definitely Ok for some people, but for me…

Little did I realize that the exact opposite would soon happen and I would owe it to the conversation that night as my inspiration…

What I realized was…

I felt bad that night, but not because my friend was right.  I felt bad because that conversation revealed that I was focused in direct opposition to everything I ever wanted: a better job, more money, an awesome relationship … etc.  

I was allowing some else’s perspective of me, based on their own limited thinking (unknowingly of course…), to influence how I felt about myself and my desire to consistently grow.

As a result, I came to a very clear understanding, one in which I appreciate my friend for calling me out on…

90% of the population is content with the status quo.  They begin a career, work hard all their lives, wake up on Monday looking forward to Friday, and count down the years to retirement.  And if that’s you and that makes you super happy, then great. 

But if you are anything like me and find the status quo terribly boring and suffocating to say the least, then you are in luck…

What I finally realized is that there is are 10% just like me, who also believe…

Life is about the evolution of YOU.  Which means you are always going to be wanting for more. Long gone are the days when you pick one career and stick with it your entire life.  Instead you will create a goal, accomplish the goal and then move on to the next…

And there is nothing wrong with this at all!

In fact, the most growth, fun and satisfaction you will experience in life, is when you continuously expand your boundaries.  This is where increased confidence plays a role.  The more you try new things and accomplish what you set out to do, the more confidence you find in yourself.  It is pretty amazing and life-giving once you start on this journey of self-growth.

The second realization is something equally important and one that I was guilty of for years…

Appreciating YOURSELF. For years I neglected to pay attention and appreciate everything that I had accomplished so far.  This includes everything, the little things, the great things and even the things you screwed up royally.  Everything you do must be appreciated, because everything you do helps you clarify your likes and dislikes.

Some things you will want more of and some things you’ll realize that once tried, there is never a reason to have to do that again.  Every experience allows for you to make better decisions that are aligned with the NEW YOU and what you are moving towards.

Start Loving Life now…

Life is about progress. Life does not stand still.  Life only seems to stand still when you keep doing the same things over and over again.  This equals boring, stuck and the feeling of discontent. 

Don’t feel bad for consistently wanting to grow and evolve.  That is what a fun, amazing life is about. Expand your boundaries and life will expand with you, allowing new and great experiences to come your way.

Appreciate everything you can about everything you have lived so far.  Give credit where credit is due.  Every experience has created the person you are today.  Don’t allow any bad experience to consume you, instead appreciate the bad experience as a clarifying moment. 

Appreciate yourself for every little thing you have done or plan to do.  Once you discover the value in appreciating yourself, you will see how life changes in the craziest ways and crazy goooood things start to happen for you…

What steps can you take today to move your life forward? 

What things from your past and present can you appreciate for allowing you to be the person you are today?

Comment on the blog below! XOXO

Are VIDEO GAMES BAD for KIDS?

Are VIDEO GAMES BAD for KIDS?

Many parents call me with the concern that their child is spending way too much time playing video games, whether it be Call of Duty, Minecraft, Fortnite or whatever the rage is at the moment.

And yes, if you find your child’s excessive playing is affecting responsibilities, social life and/or school work, then I definitely do recommend creating some kind of time limits to ensure your child is engaging in the world.

But, I would never suggest video games are all bad. In fact, I find that video games can help your child tremendously, especially if your child is experiencing stress, anxiety or is going through a difficult time. And yes, most parents are shocked when I say this, but let me offer you a perspective from someone who teaches kids how to love life and be happy.

As a parent, you may have a hard time relating to video games since your generation grew up very differently. For you, it was common to play outside, play with friends or just play with rocks (joke!). It took little to entertain you as a kid and as a result you felt you were more engaged in the world. And you are correct, you probably were. But that’s NOT the same world your kids are living in today. And that’s a very good thing.

Today’s world is about technology and progression. Today’s children are living proof of these advancements, as they know how to navigate an IPHONE or IPAD before even learning to walk or talk. It’s as if the kids of this new generation were born ready and willing to embrace all of what technology has to offer. This is very different compared to our generation of the Rubik’s cube, Lite Brite and if you were more advanced, Atari (another joke!).

And this is in addition to all the social media stuff (Instagram, Snapchat) as well as the constant noise in your child’s mind from social pressures, self-criticism, perfectionism, anxiety and the list goes on.

But children, who innately know the power of their minds and the need to “turn it off,” will often look to video games as an outlet. And that is not a bad thing.

Video games can allow children to shut their minds off from the daily stresses of life or negative thinking that can contribute to stress and anxiety.  Just as there are many other creative outlets, including reading, coloring, listening to music, playing an instrument, baking and even meditation, video games can be a helpful distraction if that is what your child prefers.

Each child is unique and will gravitate to the creative outlet that works best for him or her. If part of that outlet for your child includes moderate video gaming, then “let the games begin!”

Connie Henriquez is a Teen Life Coach who has a private coaching practice located in Woodbury, New York where she teaches kids & teens how to overcome anxiety, self-doubt and improve their self-esteem in as little as 30 days utilizing her signature Start Loving Life® “positive psychology” coaching system. For more information on how your child can start loving life®…call (516) 340-0378

 

Why you have to stop giving everything to your kid.

Why you have to stop giving everything to your kid.

Hey Parent!

Let’s start with stating the obvious …

You love your kid.

BUT … you may feel at times …

  • resentful …
  • overwhelmed …
  • stressed …
  • And maybe a bit guilty because even though you LOVE your child, you resent the fact that parenthood makes you a bit bitter.

If so, don’t worry since you are not alone.

You should not feel guilty about this.

In fact, these are common emotions that you are feeling so don’t fret.

In this article I am about to share with you …

  • Why you feel this way
  • Why it’s not a BAD thing BUT a GOOD thing
  • And how you are going to fix it.

Here goes …

As a parent you want what’s best for your child.  Obviously.

And like most parents, your intention is to provide a better life, with more opportunity for your child than what you experienced growing up.  Sound familiar?

But the problem is that although your intention is good, you give away the farm to your child.

And I don’t just mean the physical things or experiences …

Instead, you give them the most important thing, you must nurture and love in order for YOU to feel good.

And that is …

Yourself.

That’s right.  You forget to take care of YOU FIRST.

And yes, I can hear many out there saying now … “well if my kid is happy then I will be happy” …

…BUT this is a BIG MISTAKE that NEVER WORKS long term and sets you up for BIG time resentment, not just as a parent but as a person and I am going to tell you why …

…If YOU allow your happiness to depend on anyone other than yourself, you are setting yourself up for a life of disappointment; and this includes the happiness of a child or a spouse …

You see …

…unless YOU are happy, you really don’t have much to give anyone else.

It’s hard to LOVE and GIVE whole-heartedly when YOU are not LOVING yourself.  In fact it’s pretty impossible …

And what most parents don’t realize is that the more YOU as the parent become happy with yourself the more you teach your children (by EXAMPLE) that their happiness comes from within them and is not dependent on you as the parent or anyone else for that matter. (Imagine learning THAT at a young age … that’s a life changer)

So if you want to be an example of what it looks like to Start Loving Life® and teach your kids to do the same, then listen up …

Taking care of yourself is NOT taking the time to get your nails done OR get your hair done or spend the day at a salon.

Although nice, those are short-lived and temporary.  You may feel good in the moment, but as soon as you get home you’ll be back to the grind waiting on the next nail or spa appointment …

So instead I am going to tell you what you can do that ACTUALLY WORKS and is simpler than going to a salon.  In fact you don’t even have to leave your house for it …

I know it’s hard to believe that it can be that easy, but a wonderful thing happens when YOU Start Loving Life: not only do YOU feel good but your life actually becomes much easier …

So here goes ….

RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, you are going to do the ONE thing you probably NEVER do.  But it’s the MOST POWERFUL thing you SHOULD do that will get you feeling better RIGHT AWAY …

YOU HAVE TO START APPRECIATING YOURSELF!!!!

That’s right.  I said it.  Now you may be rolling your eyes right now but hear me out …

You may be super-loving and kind with your child, but ARE YOU super-loving and kind to the first person that matters most … YOU?

Meaning are you appreciating all the BIG and LITTLE ways you …

  • Manage your family life (all of it … kids, spouse, parents, pets, etc.)?
  • Maintain the household STUFF?
  • FOOD?  Everyone has to eat right?
  • Perhaps you have a J-O-B?

AND do you appreciate yourself when you TOTALLY mess up?

Like forgetting to pack your kid’s lunch?

Or forgetting to pick up your child from school or daycare?

Sounds terrible I know, but it’s called LIFE and it’s called it’s okay to mess up.  But appreciate the fact that YOU ARE TRYING YOUR BEST and STOP being so hard on yourself.

In fact, practice smiling MORE.

Practice laughing MORE.

BUT first and foremost, practice LOVING YOURSELF MORE …

Because MOM … YOU ARE AMAZING.  And I am sure your kid is pretty damn amazing, too.

But the BEST part about this whole process is that once YOU start to feel amazing, REGARDLESS of anyone or anything, you will then teach your child to do the same.

Imagine that?

Connie Henriquez Kimmel is a Teen Life Coach who works with kids & teens who suffer from anxiety and common childhood insecurities. Her specialty includes teaching them how to be confident, happy, make better decisions and LOVE their LIFE in as little as 30 days (regardless of what they have experienced in their past). For more information check out StartLovingLife.com or call (516) 340-0378.