Why On Earth Would You Want to Work with Teens?
This is a question that is often asked of me... a lot. Easy...
When you bring your new baby into the world, you are bombarded with "how-to's" and "help guides", support groups, play dates, manuals, classes, videos, blogs, books, cd's, and entire television shows on how to care for your new little infant. If you're a new parent or a repeat offender, the world has you covered to make sure you know what to do with your adorable new family addition.
But as your infant starts to grow and become a little human, your support groups begin to dwindle a little. Your advice columns that you checked faithfully everyday no longer apply to your family situation. And yet, the babies just keep on growing.
Soon, they reach the double digits in chronological maturity and you find you are all alone in the parenting community!! There is no support group, a smattering of blogs, books and videos and no television shows (except the ones showing how the teens are needing new baby help!). A parent can feel awfully alone as their once logical, emotionally stable child goes through these horrifying changes.
It seems that overnight, the baby that they have loved and cared for has become unrecognizable, sleep deprived, mouthy, emotional, secretive, and no longer seeks the advice or friendship with their parent. Suddenly, the parent is on the outside looking in not knowing how to handle these changes. And just as suddenly, the child is on the inside, looking out not knowing why these changes are happening but are certain that no one else could possibly understand.
I saw a gaping hole in the parental/family teaching world and I decided to fill the need. I became a life coach specializing in teens first, then family dynamics and then relationships. There just didn't seem to be much help for families as their children grew into young adults.
When I was a teen, I felt lost. And I made sure my mom was just as miserable as I was. While I know my family loved me and did the best they could with the knowledge we had, they didn't think to teach me the skills of living a successful life, much less what to do with all these surging hormones and changes going on in my brain and body. No one really thinks to do that. Society believes that when a child graduates from high school, they just... know. We turn them out into the world and just expect them to be successful.
Science has now proven that teens go through as big of a "growth spurt" as far as change and learning, during their teen years as they did in the first eighteen months of life! That's huge!! Remember how quickly your newborn learned and changed and grew almost right before your eyes!! Your teens are doing a second round of growing and that is why they are so foreign to you. Information overload!
I am here to support the teens and help them get through this trying season of their life without going too far to any extreme. I don't doctor them or analyze them, I just respect them and help them work through all the stuff in their life. I work with the other family members as well, trying to keep that cohesion which is so important but so very fragile during this growth spurt. I help them make choices and work through this new growth without hurting themselves or others! Lol. I love being a teen-life coach! But there was more...
So I came up with the Total Truth Workshop. A lot of common denominators were coming up in my sessions with teens and so in order to reach several teens at once and focus on some of the core materials and have fun with it, Total Truth Workshop was born!
The Total Truth Workshop is an intensive, interactive weekend that I created to present a small group of teens with the basics of getting through this time in their life and planning for their futures, no matter what they might be. I've made it fun and engaging so they will lock it into their memories and be able to access it for years and years to come. Anytime we can connect an emotion or involve our peers in an exciting way, the information is more likely to stay with them. The Total Truth Workshop is an entire weekend of just that. The teens have so much fun! They meet like-minded people that will inspire and encourage them. They learn valuable life transforming information and skills. Plus they (and I) have a great time doing it!
Speaking totally selfishly, this gives me my teen fix, and it gives me the opportunity to travel! I'll take the TTW to cities all over the United States one weekend at a time. It's a win-win! The workshop can be so beneficial to teens and their families. I have created this in such a way that they get the most information, in the shortest amount of time and still have access to me in case they get "stuck".
There is also a class that follows the workshop for the parents, so they can get an inside look into what was taught and how they can best help their teen get the most from the weekend.
I love working with teens! They have SO much to offer! They are bright, intelligent, creative, funny and coming into their "own". I think because they are caught in that battle of finding out who they want to be that many people get turned off, because while in that battle, comes a lot of attitude, anger, secrecy and rolling of the eyes.
And while their parents are totally thrown off guard at the changes taking place in their "babies", I have the opportunity to be welcomed in as an odd outsider that is still an adult but is still welcomed and usually even respected! And for parents, hopefully, I fill that need for support and encouragement and information, helping them raise their teens without killing them. :)
The Total Truth Workshop embraces and celebrates this valuable time in their life as well as gives them some basic guidelines and tools to help them make the best choices for their present life and their future. My workshop can't fix everything, but it does give them a leg up if they apply the principles.
These are the tools that they will not learn in any school. These are life skills. These are practices that I came up with from learning from my own mistakes and studying how to by-pass the pot holes in the "road of life". I don't pretend to know everything. I am still learning everyday. I do not have letters behind my name, and do not claim to be smarter than the rest of the "experts". But I can promise you that my study has been focused on these issues and this age group for many years. And while the information that I present to you isn't new, I have become an expert in creating memorable learning experiences so when the information that is being presented to your child would be considered boring and forgettable if just read in a book, will be retained, enjoyed and most likely executed because of the unique way I offer it up to them.
I had no idea the culmination of my creating summer camps, homeschool classes, coaching and writing would come to this, the Total Truth Workshop, but I love how all of my loves have joined together for this one special purpose.
Why on earth would I want to work with teens? Because I believe it was my calling, my specialty, my area of expertise. This is my arena. We can't ALL be baby experts! Lol!
I love working with teens.
I love teaching. And now, I can do both and change the lives of teens all over the world.
I can meet and bond with families.
I can see all of the beauty the United States of America has to offer.
And I can write at all the intervals in between!
How perfect for me!
If this is the last thing I do... travel from state to state and city to city working with teens the rest of my life... I couldn't be happier.
A Big Announcement
Now that the release of my second novel Waiting for the Sun has passed, I can move on to my BIG announcement!!
This has been a long time coming!! I am so excited to announce the official 2014/15 Nationwide Tour of the Total Truth Workshop!!
All year I've been doing smaller beta tests of the workshop to get out some of the bugs and to make sure I'm offering up what the kids need most and I am pleased with the results as are the kids. So the only thing left to do is to take it out on the road!
This is will be my first attempt to travel with this kind of event, but I see it as an adventure! So many new places to see and new families to meet! And lots of good information to be passed around to make a difference in people's lives and futures! I am so excited! (& terrified!)
"I'm so glad someone finally listened to what teens need and not what they think we need."
"I love this workshop. I think it will help a lot of people. Miss Elizabeth is awesome."
"The Total Truth Workshop wasn't boring at all. Miss Elizabeth always thinks for fun things for us to do and before we realize it, it became a lesson."
I'm kicking things off here in my home town of St. Louis, MO first on the last weekend of June, 2014 and then starting off slowly. A weekend here, a weekend there and when school starts back up, I'll really swing into gear hopefully offering two workshops per month through the winter months. What a life change for me! But I welcome it with open arms. I could use a good challenge to keep me on my toes!
I've been working diligently on the website which is now live. (I wish I was more tech savvy, but I am not! So, I had to work at it in bits and pieces at a time.) I am thankful for my support system at St. Louis Onsite (Shout out to Paul Arthur and Joey Felps) and to the newest addition to my tech crew, Ryan Lambert. Ryan is working on making the teen website pop with awesome videos. I am so very blessed to have so much talent around me.
I am also so thankful for my Personal Assistant, Sarah Arnold, she gets my phone work under control and helps keep me on track to what my most present task is. If you only knew how much I needed that!! Lol!
The workshop is starting to get press and is moving along faster than I'm ready for! So that just means I need to work harder and faster!! But I wanted to let all of you know first before it is released to the rest of the world! I am excited that it is getting positive feedback. I hope that helps the Total Truth Workshop get off the ground and have all the weekends sell out!
For those of you that don't know about the Total Truth Workshop, it is a project that I have been "working" on for about six years now. It was going to be just a book called Do It Now or Re-do It Later- and it still will be, but it seemed to me that teens would get more out of the information if it was presented to them in a live, interactive format. When we have the opportunity to experience something over just reading about it, those experiences are more likely to make an impact and stay with us longer. And since creating fun camps and classes are my forte, this seemed like a perfect fit.
So basically, for one weekend, these kids will come and hang out with me and we will work on life lessons, accountability, goal setting, and all the things they won't be taught in high school but NEED to know to be successful in the grown-up world. It's called Total Truth because I won't pull any punches or sugar coat the facts. The real world doesn't care whether you're tired or not feeling well or ran out of money. The world moves on and you need to be ready to move with it or get trampled by it! (I know the trampled part! I don't wish it on anyone!)
It's so much more than sitting in a room and being talked at for three days. I wouldn't want that... I can't think of anyone that would! There are games and dancing and a fun atmosphere. These kids will come out of this event with a good idea of where to go next to make their future one they can look forward to. Instead of waiting to see what opportunities or jobs "fall into their lap" they will have the power and the know how to go and get what they want. They will be given a set of tools to help deal with bumps in the road and letting go of harmful habits and replacing them with productive ones. The workshop also deals a great deal with relationships and communication. Two things that everyone needs to be comfortable with so they can be prepared to deal with the relationships of their future. Bosses, teachers, family members, love interests, co-workers. The information they learn at the workshop will be of use to them the very first day.
This workshop will be a huge asset for those kids who choose to use it. They are not only creating a future for themselves, they are linking with like-minded teens and developing a support system, a mentoring group and new friends that will last them a life-time. And me. I'll be there with them for as long as they need me. I've set up a members only Facebook group, their own membership pages within the website, on-going blog posts to keep them on track and they will have life-time access to me and to any webinars I host.
I am just so excited about this whole thing! This is my life's work. This is what all my years of experiences have led me to. I wish I had something like this when I was in my teen years. I certainly wouldn't have made as many mistakes trying to figure things out as I went. I hope you will come on board and help me spread the news about my new "baby"! I can't wait to share it with the world! I love this age. So many new things coming their way and so many things to learn.
Please comment below or shoot me an email if you'd like to know more information but I'll try and keep everything posted on here so you can see my progress. To find out more about the Total Truth Workshop, please visit the page on this website or you can bounce right to the brand new website to learn all the details! www.totaltruthworkshop.com
Please be happy for me and keep theses prayers and well wishes coming my way, because I need all the encouragement I can get!
BONUS if you or would like to sign up for the Total Truth Workshop (in the St. Louis area), please send me a message in the Contact Me and I'll give you a discount code for HALF OFF!! This offer is only good until June 17th.
(Not in the St. Louis area? Message me anyway and first, let's see when I'll be heading to your city and second, I'll give you a special friends and family discount offer that you can use!)
I don't know what I'm afraid of. I've been here before... at the crossroads. But every time I make my way to this point, I am stricken with fear. Choices. Go right? Go left? Go straight? ... go back? What if it's the wrong choice?
I am standing at the crossroads. I can see the choices before me... and that familiar fear creeps up my throat and makes it hard to breathe. I am deathly afraid of failure.
Its actually a ridiculous circle of events, I work and work and work so hard just to get me to this point and then I am freaked out when I get here. And one of two things is going to happen... Either, I will push ahead and give it my all and will face whatever outcome results from it, or subconsciously sabotage the project so that when I fail I have something to blame it on. Is it sad that I can literally SEE my two choices before me?
This is a big one. It's not like changing the color of my livingroom walls or even buying a new car. My choices in front of me are life changing. If I fail at this, it will knock me back quite a few notches. Sure, I've been there before, at the bottom of the failure pile ... but I don't like it. I realize that sometimes you have to fail before you can succeed, and I could really use a success.
If you've been following my blogs, you have seen how I am shifting slightly in my niche. I am turning my focus to teens and family coaching and diving in head first into the workshops and seminars. I have peace about my decision right up until the time I have to take action on it. So I've done all the small things, the research, the writing, the connections, the announcements... but now, it's actually time to do it. It's time to offer my first workshop. It's time to suck it up and start making videos for on-line seminars and the blogs, etc. It's time to make the new website go live. It's time to put the wheels in motion.
Scary stuff... Scary, scary stuff...
So, this is me where I am at this juncture of my writing career. Thank you for letting me share my trials with you and thank you for your prayers and kind words. I know the direction I need to follow. I am standing in the crossroads, but I know the direction I need to take. It's just a matter of taking that first step.
Maybe tomorrow.... yes, definitely tomorrow.
I had something completely different planned for my blog today, all nice and neat and written out, but I was side-tracked. So please bare with me. I just have to get this out there...
I am participating in a marketing program that is taking my web-site, my blogs, my writings and the things that I offer and scrutinizing them to find my strongest areas and creating the best ways monetize them. This is so very overwhelming. First of all, yes, I do want writing and training to be a career for me. So, I need to change my way of thinking that I can't just write whenever and whatever I want. It has to shift into more of a business mind-set. When they asked where my heart was; what my passions and personal goals were, I told them MY personal goal is to be able to offer fun and interactive workshops for teens. I want to be able to travel from city to city and give them this amazing opportunity to become the best part of themselves and face their future with confidence. I've called it the Total Truth Workshop. I am really proud of it but have not put it into action as yet. (I was waiting until this marketing team gives me feedback, I guess.)
I enjoy all the aspects of my writing "career", but they, the marketing team, have a point, and it is that I am spreading myself too thin. Try as I might, I cannot be all things to all people. I was told to choose. UGH! The agony!! I want to help EVERYONE!!! Why can't I help everyone??
With my history and my happiness, I return, always, to teens. My work in coaching leads me in that direction as well. I enjoy working with families and I do well with relational coaching and seminars. I have been working with kids for over twenty-five years! Whoa! That's saying something!
That time in their life is such a struggle and it seems like we are in a weird "pretending it's not happening" to "micro-managing" to "it's someone else's fault" way of dealing with things. These kids on the verge of adulthood are amazing but no one gives them the credit or the directions they need to make that transition!! I want to help them get everything they want out of life. I want their teenage years to be happy memories. I want them to have the confidence to go after whatever their heart desires regardless of where they came from. There is no other program out there that is offering what I do. It's fun, it's interactive and it's a life-time of support and new friendships. I am excited to get it out there.
Back to the marketing people...
Teens don't pay for my kind of programs. That's where the parents come in. So they suggest that I work on things for parents and then lead the parents into the Total Truth Workshop.
I can do that. I would enjoy doing that... but...
At the moment, I am feeling so overwhelmed and pulled in several directions. I have my fiction followers, my motivational followers, my relationship followers, my Christian followers, my fitness followers and (deep breath).... I don't want to disappoint a single one of them. I do however need to eat. So I am trying to "chunk down my niche." Not sure how I'm going to do this and for just a moment, I wasn't going to do it at all. I was just going to keep on doing what I've always been doing for as long as I could do it... but then...
I went to a couple of the teen support group pages I regularly comment on, and was so overwhelmed by the sadness that was coming from the posts. So much sadness and confusion. They have no foundation within themselves to turn to for strength when times get hard. I help provide that. I can help them. My workshops for teens are created for them. My seminars for families can help heal them. This is where I need to be.
So, it is decided. I will start shifting things in that direction. Teens and family will become my main focus. I do have some projects that are currently in the works that I will complete but I need to narrow my focus to where my heart is needed most and I feel that I am called. So hang with me as this slow shift happens. The exciting thing is that I still get to do all the things that make me happy, write, travel, speak, create, motivate, help others, I'm just narrowing down my target audience even more than before.
So- if you are part of a family (and there's a good chance that you are) and you need to communicate with others, (my area of expertise) then chances are you still might be able to find some value here on my site.
No! No! No! You've got to stop me!! Don't let me try to go back to writing for everyone!! Lol!! I need you to help keep me focused!! I'm so weak!!
Thank you for letting me go off track and vent just a little... I will get things back on track soon! Please, feel free to leave your comments below. I love to hear from you!
There's just something about getting the ba-jeezes scared out of you. In a controlled environment, of course! And tonight is the night! The kids are all coming over with an assortment of scary movies so we can be terrified in the safety of Momma's house!
Which begs the question, which are your favorite scary movies? It's too late to influence our decision for tonight, but it's still relatively early in October and I'm sure we can squeeze in a few more movie nights before the season is over. Because at the end of October, all bets are off! No more scaring the Momma! We move on to Charlie Brown and Santa Clause! But for the next couple weeks, the dark side prevails!!! So give me your favorites!
After we decided on our movies, the topic turned to; what scares you? For me it's clowns... hate those things. Even when I was a kid I'd steer clear of them! Spiders, heights, and snakes also came up for us. "Anything that can kill you in one bite!" my Thomas added.
It's fun to enjoy the creepy holidays with the teens! Thriller by Michael Jackson sounds just a little cooler around this time of year, pumpkin flavored anything is in season, hoodies, apple cider and bonfires are the call to action! Embrace your fears for a short time and let it be okay to hide behind your pillows and peek out from behind your blankies and lets not forget the ultimate excuse to squeeze a little closer to the ones you love! Scary movie night! Gotta love it!!
Chime in on your Halloween favorites below!! What scares you??
As many of you know I can barely contain the excitement about launching my new teen line! New books, new websites, new workshops and new coaching services! We just completed technically two photo shoots and I am thrilled to be able to put the photos to use!
So let me begin with my thanks.
Thank you to Scott Neer who was our photographer for the St. Louis shoot. He is most comfortable in the sports world or has beautiful, and I mean beautiful pictures of animals from zoos. This time, I think Scott met his match! I'm sure he'd rather have hockey players and polar bears than have to ever deal with teenagers and great danes again! Lol. We gave him a run for his money. Thankfully, we got a few good pictures that will be used for our upcoming events.
Jenni Muzillo who was the photographer for the Arkansas shoot. She got in there with the kids, lined them up, and really showed their best sides! She took tons of pictures and it will be hard to narrow down my favorites.
Mary Spezia, of Sweet Note Styles, who does my hair and make-up did a lovely job as usual. Unfortunately, on the St. Louis shoot, her artwork stays hidden under sunglasses most of the time! Outdoor shoots can sometimes get tricky! Lol. But that's okay, I felt pretty!
Joey Felps, my go-to behind the sceens guy took TONS of pictures!! They are so much fun to look at. I see a bloopers reel coming!
Paul Arthur took on the job of capturing video. He is the creator behind my website and has been urging me to get some video on there, so we started at the St. Louis shoot. It was so windy that I don't know how much of it is usable, but hey, it was our first attempt! AND, I might mention, this is a huge hurdle for me that I am struggling to overcome. Seeing myself on video... not a pleasant thing...
And most of all, thanks to the kids that took the time out of their busy teenage lives to help me out when I needed them. They were all so wonderful and had great attitudes and beautiful smiles and were a joy to work with. In no particular order, I thank: Ariel Cummings, Catalina Holbrook, Laycie Bivens, Thomas Arnold, Elizabeth Weick, Eric Cummings, Chrissy Holbrook, Dylan Blackwood, John Cummings, Dustin O'Donnell, Katie Bourgeret-Caldwell, Andrew Hopkins, Will Skaggs, Emma Sievers, Megan Jines, Austin Brown, Thomas Cornelious, Daniel Hopkins, Ashley Evers, Kylie Prestien & even my Great Dane, Meera.
Look for these wonderful faces to start showing up everywhere! I am so excited at the turn of events for my future and I can't wait to get started!
There's a lot of changes going on at the Elizabeth Bourgeret camp and when you visit the website, it's like going to a playground and not being able to play on anything! I know there are a lot of new tabs to click on that are not giving you the information that you're looking for, but I promise you, we're working on it!
The teen photo shoot is scheduled for this Sunday, and that was part of the hold up because we need the images from the photo shoot. (If you haven't signed up for the shoot and still want to, click on the camera icon on the home page for all the details.) And, honestly, there is just SO much happening that I'm having trouble keeping up! All good things, I assure you.
As you might have seen, I'm opening up my Teen Life Coaching sessions on a broader (more public) scale and the brand new Total Truth Teen Workshop which will be launched in St. Louis in January 2014! (Then, look for it in your city after that!) I have switched my schedule around so I can kick my speaking engagement opportunities up a notch and yes, on top of that, I will still be writing my fiction novels and non-fiction books. The next fiction, Waiting for the Sun, should be released in Spring of 2014. And that's not all! There's more! But I'll tell you about those things another time! As you can see, things are pretty busy around here!
So, I just wanted to thank you for your patience and to ask you to please come back and visit when it all gets set up and running smoothly! I'll be sure to share in more detail with you all the new things that are going on. I just know you'll be excited right along with me! I anticipate that the site will be completed by October 14th. (Whoo! There's something about putting that date out there that motivates me to work twice as hard! Don't want to disappoint!)
I hope you will like the changes that are coming and it will benefit your lives in positive ways. I am already so blessed that I didn't think it could get any better, but I am happy to be wrong!
Young Adult Photo Shoot
Big things are happening in the Elizabeth Bourgeret franchise I am happy to say! I am getting ready to launch an entire new line. I have been working on these things for some time but just didn't have the platform to be able to offer them to the world. I am so excited to tell you that because of you, my fans, readers and friends, this dream is finally able to come to fruition.
But before I can tell you all the specifics, I need to get through this photo shoot first. So I can show you the whole package... WITH pictures!!
So, (obviously) I'm having a photo shoot, and I need a few more teens to help me out. If you are or know of a young adult between the ages of 13 and 20, I need your face!!
The photos and some video will be used for upcoming books, websites and teen workshop promotional materials. It will be so much fun!! And yes, I'm not above bribing with food and sweets!!
So if you're available on Sunday, Oct. 6 from 2-6, I need you!! Go to my home page and click on the photo icon and I will email you all the details!
And then, sit back and wait for the unveiling!! Featuring your faces!!! So join me for an afternoon of fun, food and photos!
Click on the camera icon to get more info and register to be a part of the action!