Last month I wrote a “favorite things” blog post on a whim. It was fun to share the book I was reading, my favorite movie, podcast and tv series and other things I am currently loving. The response was great and I got so many messages from readers asking for more. So, I’m excited to announce the Super Mom’s Favorite Things will become a monthly series! AND volume 2 is up today. I even included our new favorite snack from @artisantropic! Sooooo yummy! Click on the link in my bio or swipe up in stories and let me know what categories you’d like to see me add in January!
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Last month I wrote a...

This week has been hard. Sunday would have been my Nana’s 95th birthday and it was also the first anniversary of the passing of one of my best friends, Brooke. 
This was the photo that hung in my Nana’s living room. She would show it to everyone that visited her.  She told me she would stare at it and smile every single day. She was so proud of all of her great-granddaughters. 🥰 I’m so grateful that my girls were able to know what an amazing woman she really was, even if she was taken from us a little earlier than expected. So while I try to reflect on the good times, I’m still trying to accept that she and my friend are both gone, too soon. It’s been a hard week, but I will get past this and keep living my best life... that’s what they would have wanted. How do you deal with grief?
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📷 @jenpriesterphotography 
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This week has been hard....

Happy National Cookie Day! Where are my caramel macchiato fans at?! Super Dad and I will rarely order anything else when visiting our favorite local coffee shops. So when we were trying to come up with the perfect cookie flavor to celebrate today, I had to try these caramel stuffed macchiato chocolate chip cookies. And let me tell you, they came out SO good. Head to the blog for the full recipe (link is in my bio or swipe up in stories). What kind of cookies are you celebrating with today?
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Happy National Cookie Day! Where...

Let’s play a fun game, inspired by my cousin, Jenn… Guess what’s in the box. The funnier, the better... Let’s hear your guesses!
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Let’s play a fun game,...

I say it all the time. We may have rescued Elle from @bigdogranchrescue, but we needed her just as much, if not more, than she needed us. I can’t imagine our family without her. Does your family have any pets? I’d love to hear about them and how they changed your life. .
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#rescuedogsofinstagram #rescuedog #rescuedogsrock #dogsofinsta #puppiesofinstagram #puppylife #whoreallyrescuedwho #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #raedunn #raedunnfinds #raedunnmugs #raedunnclay #raedunnobsessed #hobbylobby #hobbylobbyfinds #tommyhilfiger #bigdogranchrescue #rescuedogs #sharpei #sharpeisofinstagram #christmas #christmasgifts #christmasiscoming #hohoho #merrychristmas🎄

I say it all the...

We visited @treasurecoastsq last week to remind our girls that the true spirit of the holidays is about giving. #sponsored With their lists in hand, they went to their favorite stores (Claires, Spencer Gifts, Forever 21 and Justice), picking out the perfect gifts for their favorite people.They did such a great job of choosing each present without going over their budget and the only thing they got for themselves was hot cocoa and a snack from Starbucks! On our way out, we took some pictures by the Santa Photo Experience, located in the Old Navy Court and someone special snuck up behind them to get in the pictures. They had no idea that Santa was standing just a couple of feet behind them!  There’s something about the holiday decor at Treasure Coast Square that always gets us in the Christmas spirit. Our next trip will be to drop off some donated toys at The Salvation Army Angel Tree table! What is your favorite part of the holidays? #holidayatsimon

We visited @treasurecoastsq last week...

Where are my Frozen fans at?! #ad My girls have been fans since day 1, so it’s not a shock that most of their Christmas wish list is Frozen themed. When we found this @HuffyBicycles Disney Frozen EZ Build Bike at Walmart, Falynn couldn’t "let it go" and she received a Christmas gift early! This bike has so many fun features! It even plays Frozen sounds! It’s available in 12” or 16” and features Elsa, Anna and Olaf. It’s perfect for young riders! Head to Walmart to purchase a Huffy bike for your little one this holiday season. They make the best big reveal gifts for the holidays and you’re sure to get tons of nice "warm hugs!" This bike is ON SALE now -- link in bio and stories to shop.  #GiveTheRide #LiveTheRide #AvailableAtWalmart .
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Where are my Frozen fans...

Traditions are a big part of our holiday season. We are so grateful to be working with @minted this year on one of the traditions I love the most, our annual holiday cards. Our daily lives can be hectic, but it’s a great way for us to stay connected to our family and friends. Minted made the process incredibly easy. They have a card template for everyone and they are completely customizable (greeting, colors, fonts, and more). And if you need help, Minted offers free card styling service. Just Text Your Photo to 22737 and a Minted stylist will text you back five holiday card designs, selected especially for and styled with your photo—for FREE. Import your address book and Minted will address the envelopes for you! Do you know how much time that saved me?! They even have the option to create your own stamps to match your cards! I can’t believe how easy it was and more importantly, how beautiful they turned out. We can’t wait to send them off to family and friends this week! Now through 11/29, Minted is offering 20% off all orders $150+ or 15% off all orders, plus free shipping with code BF2019. Have you ordered your holiday cards yet?
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Traditions are a big part...

Falynn has always been our little fashionista #ad But now that she's older, she's discovering her own sense of style. She prefers shorts to dresses, hats to headbands and would call her own style "swagalicious," if you ask her. She was super excited to receive this new #BMR1959 Ken doll! She must have spent 15 minutes describing each piece of his outfit. She really got a kick out of their matching hairdos! I love watching her enjoy @Barbie as much as I did as a kid! BMR1959™ is perfect for the holidays! These bold, fully posable dolls capture the diverse looks found in today’s streetwear culture. From high-low fashion mixes, re-imagined ‘90s gear to juxtaposed patterns, textures, and silhouettes, this curated ensemble is all about personal expression and style. Is #Barbie a staple in your home as well? .
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Falynn has always been our...

S E V E N. 
Where has the time gone? It was just yesterday that she was born, yet here she stands today, an intelligent, beautiful, incredible big girl. Today on the blog, I’m sharing a special birthday message for Falynn, the girl who is everything I wish I could be. .
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S E V E N....

Does your Teen Struggle with Anxiety? 

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You are a parent of a teen. You mostly want to rip your hair out on a daily basis yet wish that today will be the day that your teenage child starts to talk to you. Nope. Not happening. So how do you as a parent know when your teen may be struggling with significant stress levels or anxiety that interfere with learning, relationships, and other areas of functioning? Keep reading to find out. 

Teen Stress vs. Anxiety

Sometimes with teens there is often a less direct source of stress and they may become less aware of what they are even anxious about. They may even feel anxious about being anxious! 

The key between stress and anxiety is a sense of helplessness and ability to affect their daily functioning. Many times, when teens experience fear they feel helpless. As an adult, you may be more likely to dive into the problem causing the stress and know how to problem solve more easily. With anxious teens, they have not yet learned how to master this. 

What to Look For

Many times, teen stress can manifest in different ways and it is important to know what to look for when it comes to teen anxiety. 

Emotional changes: Your teen might appear irritable, agitated, excessively worried, or depressed. Pay attention to changes in behavior. 

Behavioral changes: Look for changes in eating or sleeping habits, and avoidance of normal daily activities or refuse to engage in new experiences (especially school avoidance). Teens may also isolate and avoid their usual activities, have less interest in hanging out with friends. IMPORTANT: **In an attempt to diminish or deny their fears and worries, they may engage in risky behaviors, drug experimentation, or impulsive sexual behavior.** 

Physical changes: Anxious teens are more likely to complain of stomachaches, headaches, or pain in the limbs and back. Teens may also notice their heart beating fast, have shortness in breath, and tense muscles. 

Cognitive changes: Your teen may exhibit decreased concentration, daydreaming, forgetfulness, or sullen, moody, and rebellious. 

When to Seek Help

In some cases, common teen stress can become concerning if your teens starts experiencing an excessive or unrealistic amount of worry, anxiety, and fear. Anxiety that is excessive and unrealistic is different than the ‘normal’ level of stress that a teen may experience. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a diagnosis given to those who experience excessive and irrational worry for at least six months. The excessive anxiety interferes with the ability to function and usually consists of extreme anxiety for everyday matters. 

If you notice any of these changes in your teen, he or she may be experiencing high anxiety. First, try your best to effectively communicate with your child. It is very important to keep the lines of communication open, spend more one-on-one time each week with your teen, and listen carefully and respectfully without discounting their feelings. This may increase the likelihood that your teen will open up to you when he or she is feeling overwhelmed. 

If that doesn’t work, then taking your teen to see a licensed psychotherapist who specialized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) would be the next step. CBT techniques are effective in addressing adolescent anxiety disorders and can help your teen recognize the exaggerated nature of his or her fears and develop a corrective approach to the problem. Cognitive-behavioral therapy also tends to be specific to the anxiety problem, and the teen actively participates, which usually enhances their understanding. To find a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in your area go to www.psychologytoday.com. 

How to Find Alison Seponara, MS, LPC:

Website: AlisonSeponara.com
Instagram: @theanxietyhealer
Facebook: Alison Seponara LPC
Email: AlisonSeponaraLPC@gmail.com

How do parents know when a teen may be struggling with anxiety and significant stress levels that interfere with learning and relationships?

XOXO
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35 Comments
  • Mary
    October 30, 2019

    This is a very helpful article! I think a lot of people deal with anxiety these days.
    Mary recently posted Pampers Swaddlers vs. Cruisers: A Quick ComparisonMy Profile

  • Mommy Rockin In Style
    October 14, 2019

    This is one of the things I am afraid of when my boys grow up. Thanks to this post, now I know what to do when that time comes.
    Mommy Rockin In Style recently posted Eight Beauty Secrets Every Woman Should KnowMy Profile

  • Lyanna Soria
    October 13, 2019

    It’s during teenage years that kids tend to have problems regarding anything like school or friends. Those are some great tips and points to look for if you suspect your teen to have anxiety.

  • Yeah Lifestyle
    October 12, 2019

    My daughter will be turning into a teen soon so, as a parent, it is nice to be prepared to know what to expect and how to handle teen anxiety when the time comes
    Yeah Lifestyle recently posted Award-Winning musical Curtains heads to Hanley’s Regent TheatreMy Profile

  • Olya AMANOVA
    October 12, 2019

    You talk about important issues. And I love how well researched your article is.

  • katrina Kroeplin
    October 11, 2019

    anxiety presents in so many ways. my daughter suffers from anxiety big time. we are trying so many different way to help her along with medication.

  • Fatima Torres
    October 11, 2019

    Physical changes can be tough and you just never know if it’s just a mood swing. I battled with depression when I was a teenager and it was quickly seen as anxiety disorder.

  • Emily Fata
    October 11, 2019

    As someone who suffered with chronic anxiety as a teen, I can definitely back up these points! Thank you so much for sharing something as important as this with your readers.

  • Emily
    October 11, 2019

    These are all really important signs to look out for. My friend has a daughter going through this at the moment, I shall forward this to her
    Emily recently posted The Best Vegan PancakesMy Profile

  • Sue-Tanya Mchorgh
    October 11, 2019

    I remember struggling with anxiety when I was younger. Eventually i got over it but I got over it when I was an adult. I wish I didn’t struggle as much as i did. I am glad you are talking about this topic.

  • Brianna S
    October 11, 2019

    I’m sending this to my cousin, this is such good information!! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Catherine
    October 11, 2019

    Such an important topic to address. I think a lot of teens experience anxiety as they find themselves and try to find their voice in a time where they feel pressure to fit in. Thanks for sharing.
    Catherine recently posted Marinated Jarlsberg Antipasto BoardMy Profile

  • Emman Damian
    October 11, 2019

    It’s all about moral support and also coaching. You also need to divert them out of social media and ask for more friends’ support.
    Emman Damian recently posted Perfect Kid-Friendly Destinations to Visit this AutumnMy Profile

  • Chad
    October 11, 2019

    Anxiety is becoming so widespread among teenagers something needs to be done about it. This is great to detect it and deal with it, thank you.

  • Anne Marie
    October 11, 2019

    I had many anxious moments as a teen, and remember having trouble sleeping and getting a stomachache from worries. My faith, and my closeknit family were essential to weathering these little storms of life!

  • Wren
    October 11, 2019

    This is great information that is needed for everyone! My teenager struggles with some anxiety that she sadly got from me. It is important to be there for them.
    Wren recently posted Some of You May Die…My Profile

  • Ruth I
    October 11, 2019

    Thank you for all of this information. A few teens I know experience anxiety but some moms have no idea what their kids are going through. I will be sharing this with them.

  • Joyce
    October 11, 2019

    I have bookmark your blog post. I do have teen nephews and my older sister is really stressing out. I also am a mother of a 10-year-old son now and will soon become a teenager, I will make sure to go back and review the signs and how to help them overcome anxiety.

  • Krisy
    October 11, 2019

    I love how this serves as an awareness and call to action to all parents out their. No one should ever downplay anxiety!

  • littlemisadvencha
    October 11, 2019

    thanks for sharing this awareness. i know a lot of friends have anxiety and all i can really do is to be there for them.

  • kumamonjeng
    October 11, 2019

    Glad you have clearly highlighted which are the things to look out for. We have to pay more attention to teen and help them grow to be a fine adult.
    kumamonjeng recently posted Spain, Valencia : Eurostars Rey Don Jaime Hotel ReviewMy Profile

  • joy
    October 11, 2019

    Bravo Heather on covering a tough topic like this. many moms will surely be helped by this.
    joy recently posted Freya Lingerie: Take a Walk on the WILD SideMy Profile

  • Sherry
    October 11, 2019

    This was something I worried about when my daughter was a teenager. As a parent I felt helpless not knowing what was wrong or how to help.

  • Marissa
    October 10, 2019

    This is a very helpful article! I think a lot of people deal with this.

  • Nate
    October 10, 2019

    Very solid tips on how to help a teen with anxiety. Especially useful for parents!

  • Maya Gutierrez
    October 10, 2019

    Thank you so much for this article. My son is newly a teenager and it’s like a whole new (scary) world has opened up. This is so helpful.

  • Marta
    October 10, 2019

    Sadly, a friend of mine lost her 13 year old son to suicide last month. Even sadder was that he displayed none of the typical signs. I sat my teens down and had a long, hard conversation only to find out they were both struggling with things I’d never even think they’d wrestle with. It’s so important to have those conversations.
    Marta recently posted Puff Pastry Dough from ScratchMy Profile

    • Heather
      October 10, 2019

      I’m so sorry to hear that Marta!

  • Valerie
    October 10, 2019

    I just read your bio in addition to your article. Our son suffers from DDMD, ADHD, PTSD and Anxiety. 2 steps forward then 1 step back. We are staying the course. Thank you for talking about it.

  • Tami
    October 10, 2019

    I didn’t know the difference when my kiddos were teenagers. Thankfully there was someone nearby that did. This is something all parents should read to be aware of what their teens may be dealing with.
    Tami recently posted Just in Case You Ever Wonder | Children’s Book by Max LucadoMy Profile

  • Amy Desrosiers
    October 10, 2019

    My daughter has a little bit of anxiety related to her grades and tests. I think that is normal, but if it were spilling into everyday of her life I would intervene.

  • This is so helpful, parents should really be on the look for those signs
    Paula @ I’m Busy Being Awesome recently posted Episode 11: Top 5 Secrets to Make Time Blocking Work for YouMy Profile

  • Liz Mays
    October 10, 2019

    This is helpful advice. It really is a good idea to keep an eye open for those behavioral changes. It’s nice when you can catch these things early so you can address them.

  • angelina
    October 10, 2019

    This is so insightful. Thank you so much for sharing with us

  • Colleen
    October 10, 2019

    This is such important information. The teen years are a minefield for both our kids and us. We have to be on the lookout for what could be something more than just stress, and usually our kids aren’t going to tell us.
    Colleen recently posted Scottsdale with Kids – 22 Fun Things to Do in the West’s Most Western TownMy Profile

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Does your Teen Struggle with Anxiety? 

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