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Positive Parenting Solutions: The BEST GIFT you can give your child this Holiday Season!

Connie Henriquez H.H.C. is a Teen Life Coach who teaches kids & teens how to overcome anxiety, self-doubt and improve  their self-esteem. For more information, call (516) 340-0378 or check out her website at startlovinglife.com. 
    December is here and it came quick! It makes you realize how quickly life goes by if we aren’t paying attention. Many parents go through days, weeks and months consumed with routine (or rat race of life), they neglect to actually enjoy life!
    I see this often when working with kids and speaking with their parents. The parent wants what’s best for their child, but most of the time they do it at their own expense. They end up getting bogged down and exhausted along the way because it becomes impossible to keep up. You as the parent weren’t meant to keep up, you were meant to love life! And I am going to show you how…
    The first thing you must do is give yourself a break! As Long Island’s Teen Life Coach, I am constantly on the phone with parents who are concerned about their children. Whether it be anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings or lack of self-esteem, these concerns are very common and usually the result of plain-old childhood pressures. However, when speaking with parents, there is often a tone of guilt in their voice as if they did something wrong to cause their child’s concerns. It breaks my heart when I hear this, because it isn’t true. AND, even if it was, it doesn’t even matter. 
    Without a doubt, every child has the ability to be happy and confident regardless of their surroundings, and that includes you, the parent. In fact, that’s what I teach the kids in my program.  Happiness is an inside job and kids should never depend on anyone, including their parents, in order to feel good. This is important because parents are HUMAN. Parents aren’t perfect, nor were they ever meant to be. So, stop putting undue pressure on yourself to be the perfect parent– it doesn’t exist. More importantly, you don’t want your child to think that it does. By doing so, you are doing a disservice to you and to them.
    Above all, raise an independent free-thinking child who knows that their happiness is JUST as important as yours. Happiness is an inside job for you (the parent) too, and shouldn’t be dictated by your child’s behavior. Yes, we know that the kids of today tend to be temperamental, but do your best to stay true to you. Appreciate yourself and know you are doing the best you can, AND that is enough! Because as a parent, the best example for your child, is finding your own happiness and teaching them to do the same!


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Poolside Picks

Dive into your summer reading list

(Family Features) Laying out on the beach and floating in the pool are true hallmarks of summer. A good book, however, can elevate these relaxing experiences to a new level.

Whether you find yourself looking for a beach read, a book for the pool or something to help you escape while lounging on the couch with the windows open, these sizzling summer reads offer something for nearly every type of reader. From suspense to romance and adventure, you don’t want to miss these books this summer.

Some Secrets Aren’t Meant to Be Shared

From author Meg Mitchell Moore comes a warm, witty and suspenseful novel filled with small-town secrets, summer romance, big time lies and spiked seltzer. In “Two Truths and A Lie” the leader of an idyllic beach town “mom squad” has made surprising effort to include a new resident and her daughter in typically closed-group activities, though they’re not the only ones she’s been spending more time with. A blend of propulsive thriller and gorgeous summer read, Moore’s latest novel is a reminder that happiness isn’t always a day at the beach, some secrets aren’t meant to be shared and the most precious things are loved ones.

Romantic Adventure Proves Anything Can Happen

No. 1 “New York Times” bestseller Susan Elizabeth Phillips returns to her Chicago Stars series with a romance between a quarterback and one of the world’s greatest opera singers – and a major diva – in “When Stars Collide.” It’s Mozart meets Monday night football as the temperamental soprano and stubborn jock embark on a nationwide tour promoting a luxury watch brand, they engage in soul-searching, trash talk and backstage drama. Threatening letters, haunting photographs and a series of dangerous encounters also complicate their lives and make them wonder if it’s the work of an overzealous fan or something more sinister.

Transatlantic Love Story Raises the Royal Stakes

“New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author Alyssa Cole’s second Runaway Royals novel, “How to Find a Princess,” is an Anastasia-inspired romance featuring a long-lost princess who finds love with the female investigator tasked with tracking her down. When a threat to her grandmother’s livelihood pushes the princess to return to Ibarania, the investigator takes her on a transatlantic adventure. When they finally make it, they realize there’s more at stake than just cash and crown, and the princess must learn what it means to fight for what she desires rather than what she feels bound to by duty.

Find more titles to add to your summer reading list at Facebook.com/WilliamMorrowBooks .


Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman reading in pool)

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