Smiling Mind App Review

The Smiling Mind app is a free app for iOS and Android that has meditation exercises geared for age groups! We think this is really cool because meditation for a 10 year old is not the same as for a 19 year old or 26 year old or even a 50 year old.

Photo Credit: Smiling Mind
Photo Credit: Smiling Mind

When you download the app you can sign up with your email or sign in with your Facebook account. Once you pick your age range then you can begin the “programs” that are pre-set in the system.

After your session with the app checks in with “how you are feeling now” to help you track what meditations work best for you.

Overall we think this app is really useful and accessible.

Let us know what you think! Did you download and try the app? Do you use another app? Would you recommend this app for your child? What do you prefer?

Positive Ways to Use Social Media

Photo Credit: Iain Browne via Compfight cc

We tend to always hear about the negative aspects of social media, but sometimes, it has the power to make the world a better place – IF you use it correctly! Although social media can be used in ways that can be harmful, like cyberbullying , there are many positive ways to use it to empower yourself and other people or groups. Here are a few ways social media can help with your personal or professional development in safe ways.

  • Spread positive messages! Sharing positive experiences (e.g., volunteering) might encourage others to learn more about or share your message.
  • Create profiles on sites such as LinkedIn. Advertising yourself for the future can be a great way to put yourself out there.
  • Expressing your opinion in a private social media status update can help give you the courage to voice your opinion out loud in public.
  • Social media can help develop cultural awareness and allow teens to discover how people their age live in other countries.
  • Familiarizes teens with technological functions that are used in many different career fields.
  • Social media has also been reported to help build confidence

Can you think of any other ways that social media has helped you or your teen? Have you ever talked to your child about the positive ways to use social media? Let us know in the comment section below!

Dr. Taunya Tinsley

Meet Dr. Taunya Tinsley

Doctor Taunya Marie Tinsley is a Licensed Professional Counselor, DMin, PhD, NCC, LPC. She is the owner of Transitions Counseling Service LLC and Life Skills Program, where she provides individual, marriage, family and group counseling and consultative services.  Additionally, Dr. Tinsley is the Clinical Director of the Mount Ararat Baptist Church Counseling Center.  According to her website “Dr. Tinsley’s interdisciplinary areas of counseling, research, and publications include multicultural issues in counseling, multicultural training and organizational development, spiritual and Christian interventions in counseling, sports counseling, and youth, adolescent, and adult development through sports.”

Photo kindly provided by Dr. Tinsley
Photo kindly provided by Dr. Tinsley

The SOVA Project recently had the amazing and fortunate opportunity to sit down with Dr. Tinsley.  During our sit down we had the chance to speak to Dr. Tinsley about her work as a counselor. Here’s what she had to say:

Continue reading Dr. Taunya Tinsley

Beating the Summer Baking Heat

Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc

When it’s hot out the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven and make it hotter! Did you know you can still make delicious desserts and get around the heat by baking with your slow cooker?

These Crockpot S’mores Cookies for example would make a delicious summer treat without the extra heat!

Continue reading Beating the Summer Baking Heat

Major in Social Media?

Photo Credit: Tama Leaver via Compfight cc

One college in New Jersey is opening a center for social media study and will be offering a business degree with a concentration in social media marketing. New programs like these are suggesting that social media is here to stay, and will be a major way that all types of business will market in the future.

Continue reading Major in Social Media?

Does my child have depression?


It can be tough to decide whether you believe your child has depression or does not. Why is that? Mental health symptoms happen on the inside – they don’t show up like a rash on the skin that everyone can see. When symptoms show up on the inside, the only way you can “see” them, is by the person explaining to you how they feel, or by what you see as their behavior. If they are also having trouble understanding how they feel and are worried about what you will think if they say anything, they might not share that with you. That is one good reason why if you are the least bit worried, a good idea is to ask your doctor for help figuring it out.

Continue reading Does my child have depression?

Teen Driving Agreements: Easier said than done

The number 1 cause of death in adolescents is motor vehicle accidents. Having a talk with your teen about safe driving can be one of the most important talks you have. Studies show that sitting down and making a parent-teen driving agreement or setting limits and rules for driving – like not having friends in the car – can help your child stay safe. But easier said than done, right?!

Check out the video below and on tips how:

Do you think this video was helpful? Have you made a safety agreement with your child before? Share your tips below!