Teaching Youth Critical Thinking Skills!

To better prepare your child for building their critical thinking skills you can engage them in a natural conversation about various topics.

Critical thinking skills are important because it allows your children to build on the knowledge they will obtain throughout their lives. It also promotes independence and builds self-confidence with speaking in general.

Here are some questions to ask your children when speaking with them about specific things or after reading a book:

1. What are your thoughts about this topic?

2. How did you come up with those thoughts?

3. What emotions do you feel talking about this topic?

4. What else would you like to learn about this topic?

5. How can I help you better understand?

Follow up with more discussion by providing them with your feedback and opinions.

It’s necessary to teach your child how to have a conversation, effectively communicate with others and build confidence in speaking on different subjects.

These tips can promote growth for all youth including growing parent/child bonds, no matter the age!

Happy Communicating!

Check out our Wellness Services & Products page for additional resources.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Love & Serenity Bookstore
Bj’s Bookstore

Powerful Affirmations to Motivate Youth

I am powerful.
My ideas & thoughts matter.
I am smart.
I am creative.
I am unique.
I am fearless.
I am in control of my emotions.
I am capable of doing anything I want to.
If I think about it, I can do it.
I love myself.
I believe in myself.
Everything that I desire is possible.
I will do things that bring me success.
I will do things that make me happy.

Feel free to print these off or check out our affirmation pdf version here.

Check out our Wellness Services & Products page for additional resources.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Love & Serenity Wellness

Overcoming Fear


I had the pleasure of jumping off of this cliff into the water with my 11 year old son on July 28, 2018. We were with family at a beach. The cliff was only 10 feet from the water but it looked like it was 100 feet. Yes, I am being dramatic! I was filled with so much fear that I knew it was time for me to overcome it. We walked to the cliff and looked down then changed our minds. We weren’t ready so we turned around to walk back to the beach area. Then all of a sudden I got a sudden feeling that we needed to take that leap. I thought to myself “This is going to open new doors for our bond.” So I spoke with my son about trying it again. He was all for it. So we talked & hyper ourselves up on our way back to the cliff. We walked up, held hands and jumped off the cliff! While I was in the water, I felt like I was drowning even though I had on a life jacket. I kept trying to gasp for air meanwhile, I look over at my son and he’s doing fine. He was acting normal as if nothing major had just happened while I was panicking! After a while I was able to gather my thoughts and focus on getting out of the way so that the next set of people could jump. All of this was within a few minutes time frame, however it felt like it was an eternity!

I then reflected on the event after I was calm and later again a few days after the jump.

I had intentions of holding my sons hand throughout the entire experience. Well my son told me I let his hand go before we jumped in the water 😂. Everyone else told me I had this puzzled look on my face. He handled it all very well during and after the jump, while I, on the other hand was gasping and moving slowly & repeating to him “I can’t breath,” while barely opening my eyes.

The thing about anxiety is that we sometimes create these irrational fears. Fears of the unknown or fear of the action that we take potentially causing damage in some way. Sometimes it’s necessary to take that risk to experience what the outcome would be for us.

4 Things I Learned That Day:

  1. Fear held me back from holding my sons hand throughout the course of the event.
  2. Fear stopped me from enjoying the experience.
  3. Pushing myself to do the activity opened up a bunch of thoughts where I felt fearless, powerful & happy.
  4. I am in total control of what I fear. I have a choice of whether or not I want to let go of the fear.

Overall, the activity did not go as planned but I accomplished something I had been holding off on doing. I now imagine, “What if I had done it sooner?”

Picture yourself doing something that you strongly desire but having fear that it will not work out as planned. If you do it now, you will be able to grow from the experience sooner rather than later.

Download my mini workbook to help you start overcoming that fear! *Click Here* (USE the code “OVER” during checkout.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Love & Serenity Wellness

Motivating Children

Motivating your children to do an activity can be hard nowadays. Children are often to focused on cartoons, video games or music. As parents we sometimes become so caught up in wanting our children to just listen to us! Realistically, children do not always understand the purpose of why we are wanting them to do an activity and look at it as being work. Now if you felt that something was going to be just work, would you want to do it? Probably not but you would do it anyway. Remember that feeling that you would have if you were forced to do a task that you really didn’t want to do.

Children’s brains are not developed enough to understand logic and reasoning on the same level that you do. So, do you know what you have to do? Meet them where they are at! Approach them with a more simple, logic technique and make it fun! If you want your child to do something, pay attention to the tone in which you present the idea to them.

Here are a few tips to consider when motivating your child:

  1. Encourage children to learn about new things.
  2. Think about things that motivate you and how you usually respond. (Remember children mock their parent’s behaviors.)
  3. Provide them with choices so that they can get used to feeling empowered.
  4. Give love to them daily.
  5. Give them room to make mistakes. (Do you know someone who has never made a mistake? No, me neither!)
  6. Try not to repeat generational disciplining actions just because you experienced it.
  7. Understand that no two children are alike. Find comfort in seeing the difference between how you expect your child to be versus how they are.

Powerful Affirmations to Motivate Teens

Teens need guidance from parents, family, older siblings, teachers and other community support systems they have. It’s important to encourage them to be their best selves. Encouraging the youth to be happy with their own looks, personality and ideas can sometimes be difficult. Here’s a list of affirmations that you can pass along to teens to speak to themselves routinely. A quick tip for using these affirmations would be to have the teen say these things to themselves in a mirror. This can be very empowering!

  1. I am powerful.
  2. My ideas & thoughts matter.
  3. I am capable of doing anything.
  4. If I think it, I can do it.
  5. I love myself.
  6. I believe in myself.
  7. I don’t need to be like anyone else to succeed.
  8. I will do things that make me happy.

Not only are these beneficial for teens, these affirmations work with children and adults as well!

5 Tips to Help Overcoming Anxiety

Anxiety can be very overwhelming. It can cause a disruption in the relationships you have, goals you make, work and your personal life in general. Here are 5 things that I often work with clients on when assisting them with overcoming their anxiety.

  1. Learn and understand your triggers. 
  2. Practice Self-Care.
  3. Talk with others who you trust about your anxiety.
  4. Keep a journal to track days/times of highly anxious moments.
  5. Exercising and changing your diet.

4 Tips to Building Self-Esteem

4 Tips to Building Self-Esteem


Having low self-esteem comes from experiences that we have in life. These experiences can often trigger negative emotions, feelings & actions toward self and others. Sometimes people are not aware that they have low self-esteem.

How we view ourselves is dependent upon how we view the world. This is through the eyes of us as children, media images, society & cultural norms.

Here are a few tips on how to raise your self-esteem:

  1. Reward self when you do something that you’re proud about.
  2. Stop looking for validation from others, validate yourself.
  3. Wear clothing, accessories and colors that make you feel good.
  4. Self-Affirmations while looking in a mirror. Tell yourself that “You’re doing a good job!” “You’re amazing!”


Basic Statistics 101

Yes, I’m excited to post my first blog! As you know, Alpine’s Empowerment Agency focuses on individual and group counseling. What you may not be aware of are the raving statistics of the youth and teen population who suffer from addiction, depression and anxiety.

In a world where social media is prevalent in households, schools and communities, it has come to my attention that there just isn’t enough “talk” about these problems teens face on a daily basis. It’s more common than most would think.

Please take some time out to view Samhsa’s statistics on high school and youth trends: High School, Youth Trends.