Such is the case with Clarissa Constantine, a Florida native who now lives just north of me, in the Denver Area. I stumbled upon this wonderful lady when I discovered her Facebook Group, The ParenT(w)een Connection, a community of parents raising teen girls. Even better, the group had an Expo planned for later this month, a collection of speakers and vendors, brought together for one afternoon, in order to provide education and encouragement for parents with tween or teen kids.
I knew I had to reach out to her.
Clarissa and I immediately connected over our heart for teens, our love for BreneˆBrown, and our fur babies. I am not only excited to share her with you, but would strongly encourage you to head to The ParenT(w)een Expo this coming Saturday afternoon, which will be in the southern Denver area, at The Lone Hub.
So now, let me introduce you to this lovely lady.
(Oh! And if you missed last week's lovely lady, Samary Polnett, you can check that out HERE).
MEET CLARISSA CONSTANTINE!
1. Share your story with us. How did you arrive at The ParenTween Connection?
The ParenTween Connection literally started from a conversation with a friend whose 15-year-old daughter was giving her a run for her money. This mom said, ‘You know, I wish I had other parents to talk to.’
2. What would you say is your mission with the group (or your business, or life)?
My mission is, quite literally, to save lives by eradicating teen suicide. Too often, our teens don’t feel heard, don’t feel understood, and don’t feel cared for – despite their families’ best intentions. The reality is that there is no handbook for raising kids, and parents do the best they can with what they’ve got. But sometimes, they need community & education to help them navigate rough waters.
So, our approach is twofold: first, we create community among parents via our Facebook group. We’ve had some great conversations there, including topics like ‘Where do I go to buy my 10-year-old daughter, who is large for her age, age-appropriate undergarments – I’m not taking her to Victoria’s Secret!’
Second, we support parents with in-person and online educational workshops from experts. These workshops can range from ‘how to create a successful two-home family for the child of divorce’ to ‘how to include your kids in healthy meal prep.’ In addition to the education these events offer, they also extend the community by giving parents (and their kids, sometimes!) the chance to connect with each other directly.
3. What do you think is one important key to empowering our teen and tween girls?
Modeling self-positivity. Our girls learn from us. They watch us. They listen to us. They see us when we stand on the scale and groan; they hear us when we speak down to ourselves. We MUST model for them what a confident, self-aware, self-caring woman looks like.
4. Do you have one tip to share with moms of teen girls out there?
Ask questions that require more than a yes/no answer. And then LISTEN – let them talk and validate their opinions. Even when – especially when! – you disagree with them. How else will your daughter find her own voice? She needs to know that she has your unconditional support.
5. Could you share one favorite resource that could help "girl moms"? (favorite book, podcast, event, speaker, etc)