by | Apr 17, 2019

It’s an ordinary Tuesday, no more and no less valuable than yesterday or tomorrow. Emma, 14, awakes with a twinge of uncertainty. The gray skinny jeans, white T-shirt and booties chosen Monday night to stave off a fashion crisis this morning, she now finds dreadfully unacceptable. Her confident creativity comes to life. In her short search she matches gray sweats with a pair of pink high-tops. “Aha! I love it!”

We might not recognize the difference between gray jeans and sweats. But for Emma, on this Tuesday morning, it’s massive. Rather than staying stuck on yesterday’s decision, losing it, or ruminating about how miserable she’ll be in jeans, her resilience and problem-solving skills kick-in. As she shares her fashion success story with us, we must compliment her decision-making process and admire her sense of style.

Her twin, Eric, hits the snooze button again. And again. Somewhere, between awake and asleep, he plans his strategy: go to the bathroom, get dressed, gulp down a smoothie, grab his backpack and click his seat belt by 7:55 AM. Without a hitch he’s certain he can sleep until 7:44 AM and brag in the car, “Aha! I did it in 11 minutes!”

We might be tempted to brand Eric’s longing to sleep as long as possible as procrastinating or risk-taking. Especially if his morning habits vary vastly from our roomy routines. A better action is to admire him for his time management and self-direction skills. On the ride to school we must take the opportunity to praise his planning skills and authentically appreciate him for being on time.

Emma and Erik, and our kids, too, need us to cultivate their internal integrity and external habits by intentionally encouraging and reinforcing them. As we strengthen and hone their core beliefs in themselves, we raise the best of humankind.

I admire and appreciate all you do,


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JoAnn Schauf

JoAnn Schauf, Founder of Your Tween & You, began her professional counseling career in California. Later, as a counselor in schools and colleges in Texas, JoAnn supported students, families and educators providing guidance, designing and presenting professional development, and creating innovative programs. JoAnn responded to the needs of parents of adolescents by founding Your Tween & You in 2016. She received a Top Entrepreneur Award in Dallas in 2017. She’s a member of the Texas Counseling Association, contributes to local media, and stays in contact with her readers with a bi-monthly newsletter, The Tween Times. A sought-after coach and speaker, JoAnn empowers and inspires adults and adolescents with the system and secrets to thrive together. She understands that it’s challenging to be in the body of an adolescent, and equally frustrating to be the parent of one. Those she’s touched call her the “Parent Whisperer” because what they learn and apply transforms their relationships with their children. JoAnn and her husband raised four children, all of whom who are now successful adults with families of their own. Every holiday season her family and friends eagerly await a box of her famous fudge. It won’t be long before JoAnn’s book for parents of tweens will be available.