Just Be U Blog

teen girl contemplative

Activity for Teens: Identifying Core Values

By Harriet Turk / January 27, 2023

Summary: When teens identify their core values, they are better equipped to resist peer pressure, avoid burnout, and make choices aligned with what is important to them. Skip to the Tip: Activity for Teens- Identifying Core Values You’ve met that teen who is super organized and always on time, and is starting college classes at 16?  And the teen who is so much fun and connects so easily to everyone around them?  How about that teen who spends every free moment volunteering at the animal shelter? Why are people the way they are?  Why do people choose to do different things than other people?   Ok, that’s a huge question, and I’m not a psychologist, nor do I play one on tv, so I won’t attempt to figure out the entirety of the human psyche! However, one cool concept I’ve learned about is identifying our core values, and this idea is both simple and powerful for helping you to help the girls in your life align their actions with what’s important to them. Values are core principles that are always important to us in any situation in life and are an integral part of our authentic selves. Values serve as a…

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teen mental health

Teen Mental Health & Social Media: New Year’s Resolution among Young Adults

By Harriet Turk / January 19, 2023

Young adults are prioritizing their mental health, and the trend is trickling down to teens. Navigating the topic of teen mental health and social media can feel a little inspiring and a little scary. I have a tip that will help you and your teens improve your mental health in a few minutes today. Skip to the Tip Teen Mental Health and Social Media After a particularly busy and stressful end of 2022, one question I’m asking myself in 2023 is “What good is any of it if I’m too stressed to enjoy it?”  Apparently, I’m not the only one!   This article on Forbes says that nearly 50% of Gen Z said their New Year’s resolution is improving their mental health.  The article explains that the reason for the increase in awareness of mental health is likely because anxiety and depression in young people spiked during covid, and because it’s a trending topic on social media.    While this study looked at young adults ages 18 and up, this trend of prioritizing mental health has filtered down to teens as well, and that can be both positive and negative.  One way the trend is growing is through social media.    Teens learn…

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When Grownups Don’t Notice You

By Harriet Turk / December 9, 2022

Did you ever pick flowers for your parents or other grownups when you were little?  Or do you remember doing something else that seems silly and small now, but back then it put the biggest smile on their face?   Maybe as a teen you feel like no matter what you do now it’s never right.  Whether it’s your grades, your attitude or your clothes, grownups always have something to complain about.  Maybe you wish you could go back to the days when it was easy to make them smile.   Little gestures of thoughtfulness are called bids.  Bidding is an invitation to connect, to enjoy each other, and to experience the world together.   A lot of adults don’t know that.  A lot of teens bid in ways that are different than what they did when they were kids.  Maybe now you punch your dad’s shoulder, or try to show your grownup your favorite song even though you know they’ll hate the lyrics.  Maybe you yell at them when you really want a hug.  Or you do something kind, and they don’t even notice.  Sometimes grownups forget to watch for bids. We get busy.  We get stressed.  We get cranky.   The next…

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Yellow Flowers: Cherishing Little Moments

By Harriet Turk / December 9, 2022

[cue music] … I don’t get flowers anymore. I used to get them all the time. When we were outside and flowers were near, Andrew would always pick a few and present them to me with intense focus and an expression of undying love. [crescendo] The flowers always wilted within a few hours, but they warmed my heart for days. Sometimes, though, I was careless with the weeds—excuse me, flowers—he presented. Andrew was so concerned. “Why didn’t you put them in water, Mommy?”  I was apologetic, immediately trying to revive the wilted or dead flowers. I quickly learned that Andrew saw these weeds/flowers as something bigger, and I should cherish them. Now that he’s older, we don’t take as many walks as we used to. I’d give anything to go back to those carefree days when we would feed the ducks at Patriot Lake, or go for a hike and explore our neighborhood. I had no idea how much that time together would mean to me now. Last week, we went on a bike ride. We stopped for a few minutes, and then I began to ride ahead of Andrew. As I looked back, I saw my son with something…

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Happy Holidays!

By Harriet Turk / December 8, 2022

Click to watch a fun Minions video, and pass it on to the girls in your life!!

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To the Curb: Dealing with Divorce

By Harriet Turk / December 1, 2022

It’s cold.   It’s raining.   I’m mad.   Every Monday night I feel this way, because every Monday night I have to take the trash out to the curb.  I’ve already done the other “manly chores.” I’ve been in the backyard and scooped the dog’s poop. (The dogs I never wanted, but now I adore.) I’ve put up the Christmas lights inside and outside.  And, now, I’m taking the trash to the curb.   I didn’t plan on this. I thought my husband was going to do these types of chores. Right now, I hate all women who don’t have to take their trash out. Those women, whoever they are, better not drive by my house, smile and wave. I’m cold, wet and ornery.   As I walk back up my driveway, I see my Christmas lights turn on, compliments of me installing the light timer. My mood suddenly shifts.  I did that.  I put up the lights and installed the timer, and the lights came on. They lit up when they were supposed to. Not once did I have to nag the lights to come on. Not once did I have to beg for the timer to be installed. I did it, and…

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finding balance in an unbalanced life

An Unbalanced Life: Dealing with Divorce

By Harriet Turk / November 23, 2022

An Unbalanced Life  I. AM. SO. TIRED.  Andrew wants me to sleep with him. I would love to snuggle, but all I can think about is climbing into my own bed and watching the TV shows I’ve recorded. Part of me feels guilty. I want to be there for my child and help him feel secure. Another part of me just wants to be alone. I know if I lie down with him, I’ll be asleep before he is. I. AM. SO. TIRED. Ugh. What am I thinking? I’ve got to finish the laundry, the dogs haven’t been fed, and I’ve got work to do. I … am … too … tired. I’ll do it tomorrow. Where’s the balance? My days have no balance. I have to choose. Choose to be with my child one night as he drifts off to sleep, and then choose chores the next. Squeeze in my mindless relaxation—my TV shows—when I can. It’s the nature of being a divorced mom. I have no one to help me. It is tiring. It is hard. But I know I can do this. I don’t get to say, “I think I can,” like the hopeful little engine in…

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Seeing Things: Teens Dealing with Divorce

By Harriet Turk / November 14, 2022

Have you ever noticed when you go into a classroom without assigned seating that everyone sits in pretty much the same place every time anyway?  Do you do that?  Do you have your favorite seat in math class, because it’s by your friend, and your favorite seat in Spanish class, because you can look out the window?  I know lots of teens and adults who are this way. 

Humans are creatures of habit.  

If the teacher walks into the classroom and announces a new seating chart or that everyone has to move to the other side of the room, if you’re like most of us, you will moan and groan.  Why?  You can’t talk to your friend during class anyway.  The other side of the room isn’t vastly different.  Why do you feel like it’s a big deal?

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Seeing Things: Dealing with Divorce

By Harriet Turk / November 14, 2022

All I wanted was to pull in my garage, walk in my house and go to bed.  After a long day of traveling, I was so tired and couldn’t wait to go to sleep.  I pulled in the garage, got out of my car and walked to the back door.  I hit the garage door button, and the door began to close. Then it stopped.  I punched the button again.  The door went back up.  I hit the button.  The door began to lower and then went right back up.  

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teen girl sad about parents divorce

Divorced Parents: Dealing with Divorce

By Harriet Turk / November 8, 2022

The mouse had a broken leg, and it was squirming on the concrete, suffering.  A 12 year old girl stood over it cringing, holding a shovel in her hands, and feeling sorry for the little creature.  She looked over her shoulder, through the kitchen window, and saw her mom cringing even harder. The girl didn’t want the animal to suffer anymore, so she raised the shovel, poised to strike.  My friend, Anne, told me this story about the time she had to dispatch a mouse.  Her parents divorced a few years before, and she lived with her mom.  Anne felt responsible for taking on traditionally male-dominated tasks for her mother.  She lifted the heavy things, worked outside, and, in this case and a few others, dispatched of the creepie crawlies. Several years later, her mom got remarried, and Anne felt relieved that her mom would be safe, and wouldn’t be alone, when Anne went off to college.   Anne’s mom was not the least bit incapable of handling things on her own. She’d been a single mom before, she had a steady job, and she was the more responsible of the two parents.  She managed most household tasks even when she…

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