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Respect, Hope, and Humor: EMOTIONAL

“Laughter is the best medicine”.  We’ve all heard it before, but what does it really mean?  How does laughter and having a good sense of humor actually help us to live a more virtuous and healthy life?  Check out some of the amazing benefits of laughter and humor at the link below and begin to enjoy life more fully by incorporating this virtue into your daily routine.  It just might be the best part of your day.

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Respect, Hope, and Humor: SOCIAL

When we hear the word “social” as it relates to teenagers, we most often think about their interactions with their peers.  However, parents are the first and primary source of socialization for their children, and their interactions with their teens play a larger than realized part in helping them navigate their peer relationships.  Why then do these parent-child interactions oftentimes seem so difficult?  Teens regularly share that they are constantly told they need to be more respectful toward adults, but they also wonder why they aren’t deserving of that same respect.  Oftentimes, the disconnect can be described by the phrase “teens are experience rich but language poor”.  Your daughter may not have the vocabulary to articulate her emotional life well, but she can roll her eyes with the best of them.  Still, parents are the trendsetters in this regard, and a review of the following suggestions may be just the trick to giving and getting more respect and thereby helping your teen have a more satisfying social life.

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Respect, Hope, and Humor: ACADEMIC

What clearer example could there be of a student exercising self-respect than to live her best academic life possible. Fulfilling the academic requirements of her courses also conveys respect to her teachers and her parents who have invested time, money, and energy into the success of their students.  Simultaneously, it is imperative that students be helped to acquire the virtue of hope in order to maximize their academic potential. 

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Respect, Hope, and Humor: SPIRITUAL

No matter what virtue our young people are trying to cultivate, it is a given that they will need the guidance and help of their parents and other trusted adults to assist them in this endeavor.  In a world that has grown increasingly cynical and distracted from pursuing the eternal for the sake of the here and now, we might benefit as well from a few guiding principles to assist them.

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A Prayer to Increase Hope

A Prayer to Increase Hope

Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.

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Exams and Final Things: EMOTIONAL

Research shows there is a direct link between the way we feel and the way we think.  More precisely, the way we feel is intimately connected to those deeply held beliefs and convictions we hold to be true.  The simplicity of it is rather beautiful:  the way I think affects the way I feel which affects the way I act, and so on, and so on.  It should come as no surprise then that the way teens think about exams and the end of the year affects how they feel as they prepare to take their exams and make plans for the summer.  The link below will shed light on the emotional and physiological impact that exam stress can have, as well as ways to help combat that stress.  And, remember, when searching for meaningful activities to pursue this summer, you can look through the list of summer enrichment opportunities provided in your Naviance account.

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Exams and Final Things: SOCIAL

In today’s world, young people tend to live the bulk of their social lives online.  Having grown up with modern technology, many adolescents have little experience having deep, meaningful conversations with others in person or even by talking on the phone.  While it might seem that this technology makes adolescents more connected, the truth is many young people feel more disconnected now than ever before.  With research indicating a statistically significant rise in the use of social media platforms during the summer months, it may be helpful to reflect on the way the young people in our lives are affected developmentally by all this posting, sharing, and tweeting and have honest conversations with them about how to use social media in more meaningful and positive ways.

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Student praying in chapel.

If our spiritual lives are anything like the other parts of our lives, it is likely we are feeling a little drained at this time of year.  Looking forward to summer as an opportunity to replenish our spiritual lives is a noble goal, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things we can do now to finish the race strong.  Click the link below for a few helpful suggestions.

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Love Yourself: A Prayer

St. Therese of Lisieux Prayer from “Story of A Soul”

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

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Love Yourself: EMOTIONAL

Research shows there is a direct link between the way we feel and the way we think.  More precisely, the way we feel is intimately connected to those deeply held beliefs and convictions we hold to be true.  The simplicity of it is rather beautiful:  the way I think affects the way I feel which affects the way I act, and so on, and so on.  In few areas of our lives is this cycle more clearly revealed than in the area of self-love.  Read along here to find out how our beliefs about ourselves in relation to our God-given identity can profoundly shape our emotional world. 

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Person working on laptop computer on couch

In today’s world, young people tend to live the bulk of their social lives online.  Having grown up with modern technology, many adolescents have little experience having deep, meaningful conversations with others in person or even by talking on the phone.  While it might seem that this technology makes adolescents more connected, the truth is many young people feel more disconnected now than ever before.  While social media has its positive sides, the information provided at the link below reveals some of the ways that social media can have an adverse effect on the development of a young person’s sense of self.  Interestingly enough, when the negative effects of online interactions lead a person or someone they love to suffer, it is then that we seem to know intuitively we need to reach out and connect, in person, to someone in our support network.  How much better is it to recognize this before problems arise and focus on developing those meaningful interpersonal connections that can actually help insulate young people from some of these effects?

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