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Category: Connection

Teenager with pink hair and a nose ring.

How to Support Your Teen’s Identity Development

One summer evening when Monica and I were reading after dinner, our thirteen-year-old son Brian came in the back door. As he walked by the living room, both of our jaws dropped at the sight of his bright orange hair. When I say bright I mean practically neon. Luckily we had the presence of mind…  Read More

Teenager sitting alone at a table looking stressed

Stress and The Brain

Too Much, Too Little, and the Resilience Sweet Spot

As a culture, we are obsessed with stress and the brain –“Stress Free in 40 Days!”– “Go On Vacation and Leave Stress Behind!” say the advertisements. You can buy stress busters, stress exterminators, and stress eradicators. Yet one out of five children report worrying “a great deal” or “a lot.” Millenials (young adults ages 18-33)…  Read More

How To Negotiate With Your Teen

Without Being a Pushover

“Dad, Andy just called and his family is heading out to dinner and he wants to know if I can come. Can I?” My son Brian asked. “That sounds fun but you promised to clean up the basement today.” I responded. “Dad, Andy is leaving for the summer this weekend and this is my chance…  Read More

Dad putting hand on shoulder of teenage son to stay connected

Parenting Teens – Staying Connected As Your Child Grows Up

“I’m afraid I might just disappear” In my early twenties I facilitated a workshop with middle schoolers around the theme of courage. The teachers warned me that one student might be a bit difficult to deal with. “She’s always acting out and challenging authority,” one of the teachers said. The workshop went along uneventfully until…  Read More

Child eating marshmallows, reminiscent of the famous marshmallow experiment at Stanford in the 1970s.

Another Take on the Marshmallow Experiment

Why Trust is a Critical Ingredient in Self-Control

“Moot!” my son exclaimed happily. “More moot!” In order to make sure that he got his message through to me he proudly showed me his empty milk glass. I reassured him that I would return to the dining room with more milk after I checked in on dinner simmering on the stove. For a thirsty…  Read More

Mom and teenager laughing and connecting

Parenting Teens: Getting Creative With Connection

Even though you might anticipate some distancing while parenting teens, it is still not easy emotionally. My son Brian starting asking for a “divorce” from our family when he turned fourteen! He even started looking at apartment ads nearby and no doubt would have flown the coop if we had let him go. Loosen, but…  Read More

Person talking into tin can to symbolize communication

How to Communicate Effectively With Teens

The science behind parent-teen miscommunication

At the end of a conversation with your teen, you might be hard pressed to identify the exact moment when it went from a calm, cool conversation to doors slamming. Depending on the day, talking with your teenager might feel like walking through a minefield blindfolded. There aren’t a ton of great models out there…  Read More

Two girls looking up towards each other from teen texting

Teen Texting: Don’t Skip Face-to-Face Time

Does this sound familiar? You are driving your daughter and her two friends to a soccer game and the car is unusually quiet. They must be mentally preparing for the big game, you think. How nice. You maintain this illusion until you hit the first long red light at which point you glance into the…  Read More