Strength Not Stress

To all the mommas who are getting their children ready to head back to school or are helping their children get settled into their new routine I hope this message helps you in some positive way.

One thing I am absolutely honored to do is to have a platform to spread hope, empowerment and hopefully inspire those to keep fighting to make the most out of their life. Being a parent is one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had, but also one of the most difficult jobs as well. I want to make sure I am doing everything in my power to raise good human beings, keep my children safe and in this day and age it's hard not to worry about our children's safety along with the negative impact of social media. The stressors can be heavy for most adults to digest, so imagine how our children feel? Social media was not something parents had to navigate while growing up, although most of us dealt with bullying, feeling left out, not feeling adequate or even shamed publicly we didn't have to continue those feelings like teenagers do today with social media being a part of their life at all times. Now add all of that on top of the academic requirements of education. So what do we do, especially when so many things are out of our control? We can wave the white flag and just settle or we can choose to help them rise above it all by giving them the example, tools and support they need.

I do believe we can help our society rise above all of the struggles we are facing and I am a firm believer that impact begins in our homes. I also believe social media can have a positive influence and my hope is that I am providing that in many ways. I am thrilled and honored to be partnered up with Five Star® & raising awareness with them in their "Strength Not Stress" campaign. They believe everyone struggles with stress, but together we can become stronger and overcome it. Five Star® and I believe that we can empower teens to show them how strong they really are and that they are tough enough to get through anything that comes their way. So you are probably thinking how is that possible or where would you even begin to do that. I am hoping these tips and lessons I am learning along the way will help.

Please know that I do not have this parenting thing down and I am far from perfect but I do believe as parents we can learn from one another. I will take all the tips I can get if it's working for other parents. With that being said, what I have learned parenting three teenagers is we will make mistakes, that our actions seem to speak louder than our words and I believe what we do with our children at home can positively influence other teenagers that may not have parents that are engaging or involved in their lives. Sometimes it starts with just simple steps at home that lead into a bigger impact than we might expect.

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So instead of trying to change everything or waiving that white flag, let’s start small and simple. It's those small consistent habits we apply daily to our lives that can have the biggest impact. Let's empower our teens to start off the school year feeling confident, organized and ready to face whatever comes their way. Whatever we are expecting from our children we need to show them the example we expect first. When our children share things that are happening with them or those around them, we need you put our phones down and look them in the eye. These moments are sometimes rare so if they are sharing something with us, we need to listen 100% and be engaged. We also need to be "annoying" because what that really means is we care. We need to ask questions like "how was your day?”, “how are your friends", "how are things really going"? Listen we all know sometimes we are only going to get one word answers, don't ever let that stop you from asking or engaging in these conversations. We have to keep letting them know we care even when we feel they may be annoyed or not engaged, it matters that we keep asking these questions and when their friends are in our presence we need to care by asking them the same things.

I also always work on making our home the place they all want to hang out. So I asked my kids how can I make that happen? The answer was simple, food and drinks. It's true! A friend of mine gave me a great example by hosting "Waffle Wednesday" at her home every week. Her teens invite their friends and they all eat breakfast at her home before school. I loved this tradition so much I began to host this at our house. Each week different kids would show up and I can't tell you how many of these teens began to share difficult situations they were going through or asking for my advice in certain areas in their life. I was honored to become someone they could confide in and trust.

So what are some things we can do to start this school year off right and help our teens feel ready to strongly tackle this school year? Well, besides everything I shared above, let’s talk about helping them be organized and the tools they can use with the help of Five Star®. Good news is I have a discount I can share with you all to use on these helpful products my three children have!

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1. Stress and worry can start a wildfire. Being unorganized causes stress. I know for me personally if my home is clean and organized I feel calm and in control in other areas of my life. But a clean organized home takes work and I realized that just small daily habits along with the right tools can keep everything organized. It is the same with my teens. If they are unorganized assignments go missing, then get handed in late, then affect their grades/confidence and things can start to spiral out of control. So what tools do we have available to help them get more organized? Inside each of my teens bookbags is a Five Star® Zipper Binder which will last all year, guaranteed*. In this binder there is supply and textbook storage, there is a five-tab expandable file which is great to keep homework for the night in for each class, expandable pocket to store calculators or any tools for math and a zippered pocket to store index cards. They can use this system to place everything thing they need at home for that night or week instead of lugging everything from their locker home. Two of my children were known for having the most unorganized locker door, will barely close type of lockers, so they need all the help they can get in this area.

2. The Five Star Flex® Hybrid Notebinder. Which I actually love for myself as well. So not only does this binder hold loose leaf paper, it has a cover that will stay intact all year and is guaranteed* to last all year (believe me if you buy the cheapest items right now you will end up replacing them later in the year costing you more money, been there for many years) It also includes 5 pocket dividers helping them stay organized on different topics discussed in their specific class/subject. The flexible rings won’t break or misalign, and allows the cover to be folded over flat like a notebook.

3. The third item is the Five Star® college ruled notebook. I used to buy the paper notebooks that are on sale for .50 at the beginning of the year but they would fall apart and not be on sale when they needed to be replaced and when the cover would rip or fall off my kids couldn't tell which subject this notebook was even for. The Five Star® Wirebound Notebook is also guaranteed* to last all year and the cover is even water resistant which is great because we are a family that spills all the time, there is even storage pockets in these notebooks as well. The pockets are great to stick your study guide in and have your notes in your notebook if you are headed to the library or friends home to study.

*Guarantee good for one year from the date of purchase and does not cover misuse or abuse.

My hope is that these tips help in some way and that your children have a school year they feel empowered and less stressed. Together we can make a bigger impact!

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I love that Five Star® is giving me a discount code along with free shipping to all my subscribers and friends! You can click on this link or simply use the code: FRESHFITKATE at checkout or click here: www.fivestardirect.us/fivestar/home?utm_source=brand+ambassador&utm_medium=freshfitkate&couponid=FRESHFITKATE&ship=Standard&utm_campaign=bts

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Fitness and Lifestyle Coach - Fresh Fit Kate - Katie Bryant

Hi, I'm Kate, a Fitness and Lifestyle Coach who teaches clients how to be good to themselves, how to nourish their bodies the right way and how to incorporate workouts into their lifestyle from the comfort of their own home.

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