February: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Teen DV Month a national effort to raise awareness.

Dating violence is more common than many people think. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. And nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!

The 2019 TDVAM campaign theme is “Huddle Up for Healthy Relationships”


Every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. It is also known that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence. In light of these alarming facts, every year during the month of February advocates join efforts to raise awareness about dating violence, highlight promising practices, and encourage communities to get involved.

There are many resources available to provide information and support to victims and assist service providers and communities to decrease the prevalence of dating violence among young people. Anyone can make this happen by raising awareness about the issue, saying something about abuse when you see it and organizing your community to make a difference. 

Learn About Teen Dating Violence

Teen dating violence (TDV) is defined as a pattern of abuse or threat of abuse against teenaged dating partners, occuring in different forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, sexual and digital. TDV occurs across diverse groups and cultures.

Although the dynamics of TDV are similar to adult domestic violence, the forms and experience of TDV, as well as the challenges in seeking and providing services, make the problem of TDV unique. 

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and VAWnet have developed an Online Special Collection: Preventing and Responding to Teen Dating Violence. Recently updated, this Special Collection emphasizes collaborative and multilevel approaches to the prevention of and response to teen dating violence. This year's updates include additional resources for teachers and school-based professionals and a new section to support the efforts of pregnancy prevention advocates and adolescent sexual health practitioners in addressing adolescent relationship abuse.

Start Talking

For the past ten years, Break the Cycle and the Love Is Not Abuse Campaign have been hosting It’s Time To Talk Day. This awareness campaign aims to generate conversations about healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence and abuse. This year, the NO MORE campaign developed a toolkit titled “How to Start a Conversation: Talking About Dating and Healthy Relationships Step-by-Step”.

Happy Planner donates to Project Babe!

The amazing ladies at MAMBI (Me & my Big Ideas) donated 25 planners in all different designs and sizes for our girls!

We want to send a huge thank you to Stephanie Fleming and Hannah Joy Snyder for making this a possibility and for being so supportive of our organization. You have made a huge impact and our girls are so thrilled!

See the massive planner stash below!

Wellness Day at Robert Morgan High School

On February 15th Project Babe had the honor of being present for Wellness Day presented by the wonderful woman who is the Miami Date County Mental Health Coordinator for all public schools. The Wellness Day focused on nutrition, exercise, mental health and of course, safe and healthy relationships. Check out some of the pictures from the day below!

Woman's Brunch

Our January woman’s brunch brought together inspiring women to talk about our lives, health, mental health, growth and of course healing. Every woman brought something to the table and shared advice, stressors, ambitions and goals, laughs and an overall great time.

Thank you to all the women who took part and joined us!

#SeektheJoy Podcast- Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Happy #SeekTheJoy Tuesday!

This week's episode is a solo episode and it is jam packed with some good stuff (if I say so myself!) I'm chatting all about our go-to emotions and how to start choosing the emotions that we align with, not taking things personally, anxiety around connection and FOMO, and I'm joined by my friend Anna Cecilia of Project Babe to chat about Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Tune into this week's episode and then join the conversation on our Instagram page here. You can learn more about this week's episode by visiting the show notes seekthejoypodcast.com/show-notes

Did you hear? We launched #SeekTheJoy merch! (cue internal screaming!!!) Yup, Seek The Joy bracelets are here and I am SO EXCITED. Check them out here - I can't wait to see you guys rockin your bracelet!

We're now on PATREON!! Your support of this podcast means the world. Full of rewards and exclusive content, we can't wait to take this joy journey to the next level. Sign up to be a patron of the podcast here: patreon.com/seekthejoypodcast

Until next week, ✨ #SeekTheJoy - hit SUBSCRIBE - and it would mean so much if you could give the podcast a rating and/or review on iTunes ✨ if you do, e-mail a screenshot of your review to sydney@seekthejoypodcast.com and we'll send you our #SeekTheJoy Guide for Infusing More Joy into Your Life! Along with this guide, you'll also receive two limited edition Seek The Joy Podcast stickers that will be mailed out to you. We can't wait to send these out to you!

We are gearing up for the eleventh episode in The Power of Storytelling, which will air on November 20th! We want you to be part of it! To learn more and to submit your story, visit our website www.seekthejoypodcast.com/share-your-s…hejoy-story/ and fill out our interest form.

Connect with us! ✨✨

Instagram instagram.com/seekthejoypodcast

Facebook fb.me/seekthejoypodcast

Twitter twitter.com/seekthejoypod

E-mail sydney@seekthejoypodcast.com

10 Ways to Discourage Narcissists from Dating You

If you’ve ever ended up with a narcissist before, or if you are out there in the dating world, these are some of the things that you should be aware of when you begin to date someone new. These tips may keep you from realizing that you have been “captured” by a narcissist.

1. In initial conversations make sure you ask them as many questions as they ask you. Wait for an answer. If they say that they like something, ask a more specific question.

Why this is important

Narcissists actually probe you for information so that they can learn as much about you as possible. By asking them questions, you force them to tell you about themselves. This slows down the process of them collecting data and allows you an opportunity to determine if they are lying.

For example, you say, “I love dancing the Macarena” They reply, “I do too!” You can ask, “Where do you usually go dancing?” This next direct question forces them to be more specific. The first set of lies is very simple, but the more detailed the questions the more likely you will catch them in a lie. Also, it can put them off balance and make them less attracted to you.

It is important in any relationship that there be reciprocity, so asking someone about themselves as much as they ask you, is a good thing.

2. Never reveal personal or private information early. The rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t tell everyone at work, it is not something to share in the first couple of weeks of a relationship.

Why this is important

Sharing personal information has two effects. The first is that it gives you a sense of intimacy with this person. Exchanging private information is one of the ways that we get close to someone. Narcissists use this method to get close fast. Getting really close to someone before you know them is never a good thing. The second problem is that sensitive material can be used against you and if the person turns out to be a narcissist you will regret sharing things that you did not want everyone to know.

Realize we all crave intimacy.

There is a strong urge to reveal things to the same level as someone else.

It is good to base any relationship on trust and intimacy and these things take time. There will be time in the future to share these details if this is the right person.

3. Don’t fight for the relationship right at the beginning. If someone that you are just starting to date tells you that their friends or family would not approve of your relationship or if they let you know that they are leaving town or that they are worried about you breaking up with them right away it is a warning sign. They are looking for assurances, way before it is reasonable, for you to say that you would not leave. If for any reason, the relationship seems to have opposition or an expiry date, see it as a red flag. Statements like, “This is just a summer fling” are a warning sign.

Why this is important

Think of dating a narcissist as a job interview. They want someone that will be there for the long haul. They want to know that you will go the extra mile to make the relationship work. All of these things are desirable in a good, long-term relationship, but they show you are desperate in the short term. Narcissists are attracted to someone that is too desperate to easily leave any relationship, even a bad one.

If their friends or family wouldn’t approve, why would you want to be with someone when you would be an outcast or disliked? If the person you just started dating may have to leave town for a job or to go back to school, recognize that it is too early to make that kind of commitment and don’t. These situations can also be a ploy. If you move to another town with them early in the relationship they have you trapped because you are relying on them for everything and none of your friends or family are around.

If early on you get the impression that there might be opposition to your relationship or an expiry date you are being pressured to make a commitment prematurely.

4. Maintain your private time. If you are being flooded with attention it may initially feel like you are loved. This is not the case. A narcissist will flood you with attention as a way of controlling you. You get used to this level of attention and then you expect it, long after it is taken away. Try to not respond to the multiple texts, messages and calls. Don’t respond until it is convenient. Constantly interrupting your time with other people is one of the ways that narcissists distance you from your friends.

Why this is important

Narcissists need constant nourishment from others. They are trying to figure out if you are the one that is going to give it to them. By not giving it to them, you are less likely to be pursued.

A person that actually loves you, respects your right to privacy, time with your friends and your need to have time to yourself.

5. Keep seeing your friends, doing your hobbies and pursuing your interests. If your new dating partner insists on seeing you every minute, it as a sign of pathology not adoration. The beginning of a relationship is too early to be spending most of your time with someone.

It is one thing to say, “I’m going to the movies with friends.” But if someone you have just started dating digs for more detail: which friends, which theatre, which movie, are you going out afterwards? It is best to not give it. “Hiding” information from a narcissist will drive them crazy and they will not want to date you.

Why this is important

The ultimate goal of a narcissist is to have you all to themselves. This is part of the control that they have over their partners because the narcissist manages to eliminate everyone else from your life as much as possible. Having only one person in your life makes you very dependent on this person.

Realize you may want to be “good”

and not realize that you are wired to “obey”

when someone asks you to do something.

In a healthy relationship your partner will want you to be happy and having friends, hobbies and interests is a large part of that.

6. Maintain your private space. Agreeing to have someone move in right away, or suddenly noticing that one “sleep over” has resulted in the person never leaving is a major red flag. You should make other plans and tell them that you want to go out with your friends and that they can’t stay at your place.

Why this is important

This is just one element of how a narcissist moves in and takes control of your life. Suddenly, you will realize that they are living at your place full time. The longer they are there before you stand your ground the more difficult it becomes to maintain your space. Having someone move in right away does not allow time for you to balance this new relationship with the other priorities in your life.

Realize you are fighting biology here.

We instinctively want others around. It feels good to have company.

Quality relationships are not based on spending as much time together as quickly as possible. They are based on mutual respect for each other’s lives and priorities.

7. Resist the urge to “take care of someone” you just met. If someone tells you early in a relationship that they have come upon bad times at work, in health, a tragedy, ask yourself why you want to take care of them and why there is no one else in their lives to fulfill this role.

Why this is important

This is one of the tactics that narcissists use to get close to you. Examples are, “I’ve just lost my job and have no money”. “I was living with my last lover and I ended it, so I have no place to live”. “I just moved into town and have been living on a friend’s sofa but I’ve outstayed my welcome”. If they say that they just got out of a bad relationship with an awful person, insist that you don’t want to be their rebound person and move away quickly.

Realize that you are fighting instincts here.

We all want to pick up the fallen bird and nurse it back to health.

Healthy relationships are between two self-sufficient individuals. If this person cannot support themselves now, they are unlikely to take care of their half of the responsibility in a relationship.

8. We all like to dream and plan, but the beginning of a relationship is a bad time to be planning to be together forever. Try the phrase, “I think we are getting ahead of ourselves”. This allows you to be honest and can be used like this: “Yes, I would love to move to New York City with you and pursue my comedy career, but I think we are getting ahead of ourselves.”

Why this is important

One of the tactics narcissists use to keep you from leaving is to point out that you “agreed” to this relationship and wanted this relationship from the beginning. Now you are a “quitter” or “selfish” or “mean” if you are just abandoning this dream. Often, the dream was premature.

It is good to have dreams and long term plans together but these should be based on a solid relationship, not an elusive goal that is agreed upon before all of the facts are in.

9. Pay attention to how your date treats others. Ask yourself if you want to be treated that way.

Why this is important

Narcissists often think that they are justified belittling those around them. They think that they are superior and therefore they can treat others badly. In any relationship, how your partner treats others can be how they will treat you — eventually.

A nice person has respect for others and respect for you and treats people accordingly.

10. Focus on reciprocity. If they compliment you, compliment them back. If they ask about you, ask about them. If they do something for you, do it for them.

Why this is important.

Ideally, we all want good relationships. Keeping things in balance is a good starting point for a relationship based on mutual support. By treating them exactly how they treat you, you will become aware of whether or not it “feels normal”. For instance, if they buy you several gifts and it feels abnormal to buy someone you just met that many gifts, you realize that this is a red flag. This method helps you see past the joy you felt in receiving the gifts and puts them in context. If you feel like you are being disingenuous complimenting them repeatedly, realize that their level of compliments may be abnormal and this is certainly a red flag.

It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of a new relationship and suddenly realize that your whole world has changed. With a narcissist it is important to be very aware at the beginning and not let this happen.

This is kind of a good news, bad news type of post.

The good news is that this information will help you side step a relationship with a narcissist, someone that can wreak havoc on your life for decades.

The bad news is that your next new relationship might not work out.

Keep in mind you don’t always want relationships to “work out”; some of them can be bad for you.

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7 Amazing Values to Teach Children

1. Teamwork

To be successful, our children must understand the value that others hold in their lives. We must teach them that fundamental to happiness and success are healthy, supportive and successful relationships. We must encourage our children to get involved in extracurricular activities and give them chores and responsibilities in the home as ways to garner a sense of teamwork into their repertoire of life skills.

It is essential we also involve ourselves in their lives, as this gives us the opportunity to set the standards for the work they need to accomplish inside and outside of the home. The standards we set must be challenging, yet achievable. In doing this, we teach our children to be a valuable asset to each environment they're a part of. The value of teamwork keeps our children from being self-centered and entitled. We must help our children understand they can only go so far in life alone. Our goal must be to show our children that joining forces with others enhances each person’s personal power and elevates the success of all.

2. Self-care

Personal power and complacency cannot co-exist. We must parent our children to dedicate time and energy whenever necessary to ensure that no important areas of what they need to accomplish are being neglected.

They deserve to have work-time and free-time, where they are able to take a minute to feel unrestricted from the weight of their responsibilities. The easiest way to balance work-life for our children is to require they put their responsibilities first and free-time second. This value helps them manage their own lives in a highly effective way. Putting free-time second allows our children to not be bogged down with nagging responsibilities during their free-time, because they have none. When we teach our children to set high standards in all areas of their lives, they will come to see that their hard work rewards their free-time and vice versa.

3. Seeing possibilities where others see problems

When we teach our children to approach their challenges with a belief in solutions, this encourages them to engage in the creative process of examining and architecting alternate routes up the mountain. Being solution-focused safeguards our children from defeatist thinking. It is our job to teach them that if they cannot find a solution, they must open their mind, seek the advice of others and apply new ideas and suggestions until barriers are removed and their problem is solved. When we parent in this way, our children learn that life is full of possibility when they apply persistence and consistency in thought and action towards solving their problems. When solutions are the focus, we teach our children the all-important skill of pivoting in life whenever necessary.


4. Motivation

To grow our children in their personal power, we must parent them with a "motivation mindset" by teaching them to consistently monitor, evaluate and adjust to the work ahead of them and their attitude about it and to stay clear of sabotaging beliefs that may drive complacency, too much time on electronics and other roadblocks that interfere in them living up to their higher standards.

One of the best ways to keep our children motivated is to teach them to write things down as a method of defining their goals and direction. Encouragement, validation and support must be consistent in our parenting. Our children want to live up to our expectations and our acknowledgement of their effort is almost always what they experience as their greatest reward.

5. Time management

One of the most important values we teach our children is "the power of now."

Success is deeply rooted in having exceptional time-management skills. We must parent our children to get their most important tasks accomplished first. It is natural to want to avoid stress, but if we can teach our children to get their most stressful tasks done first, the rest of the work they need to accomplish will be much easier.

When our children get caught in the small non-urgent tasks, it pulls them away from the more important aims requiring their attention. It is also important to teach our children to be on time or early to all commitments. No one likes dealing with people who are chronically late. We must parent our children to understand that being on time makes other people respect them and to see them as dependable.

6. Accepting responsibility

For our children to be and feel successful we must parent them to understand that whatever happens in their life or career, the best path to follow is always to take responsibility for the outcomes, both positive and negative, which are the result of their efforts. If they make a mistake, we must encourage them to see their mistake as a self-created learning experience. We must help them examine what they need to shift and change to avoid making this same mistake in the future. Taking responsibility allows our children to learn the value of humility and to be flexible enough in their thinking to change their approach whenever necessary. We must parent our children to believe that true power is understanding that mistakes gift them with more than they take away from them. It is from their mistakes that all of their new directions will arise. It is important for our children to understand that powerful leadership is not about ego; it is about humility and a willingness to learn.

7. Kindness 

There is no greater a value to teach our children than the value of kindness. Kindness does not turn our children into sappy pushovers. It turns them into classy people who possess good character.

We must teach our children that all people have value and that they can deliver both good and bad news to others with a sense of grace. We must parent our children to be kind to themselves, as our children can be so hard on themselves when things are challenging them. When we are kind to our children, our children believe we see them as deeply valuable. When our children believe that we see them as valuable, they learn to value themselves. Their belief in their personal value sets them up to live their lives with a solid sense of confidence in who they are and what they have to offer. As parents we want to create an emotional environment of kindness that is infectious, contagious and advantageous to the children we are raising. Kindness will take our children further in life than any other human characteristic.

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A Mother's Loss

An invaluable resource and community to help with a mother’s toughest loss. We are here for you and want to help you in any way we can.

With multiple affiliate links and literature to read through- we hope this can provide some comfort and sense of ease in knowing that you’re not alone.

Domestic Violence: Defined

Today we came across an outstanding resource all thanks to a Madison, a community leader helping to educate the younger generation about prevention and awareness.

This resource, titled A Social Worker’s Guide to Domestic Violence, cover everything from the legal definition to why it is so difficult to remove yourself from a situation and understanding what healthy relationships look like.

We’re happy to be sharing this resource with all of you- as well as very thankful to Madison for taking a proactive role in our fight to help heal, educate and empower survivors.

View Resource Here.