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Tag: Communication

Teenager vaping and using nicotine

The Teen Brain on Nicotine

“I wouldn’t smoke, it’s just nasty. Vaping isn’t as big of a deal though.” This seems to sum up the trend among adolescents today. Fewer teens are lighting up traditional cigarettes while e-cigarettes are exploding onto the scene. This is refocusing our attention on the impact of nicotine on the teenage brain. Let’s start with…  Read More

Parent frustrated while setting limits

Teen Tantrums: Ten Ways to Ensure Anger Doesn’t Rule Your House

I had just finished an iBrain presentation for parents when a couple approached me. “Do you have a minute for a question?” the gentleman asked. “Sure,” I responded. “How can I help you?” “We’re really struggling with our fifteen-year-old daughter’s cell phone use,” he began. “She’s spends so much time talking, texting, or Facebooking that…  Read More

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

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

Divorced parents sitting on opposite ends of the couch with child in the middle.

Discipline Tips for Divorced Parents

“I asked mom and she already said it was okay for me to go out with my friends tonight.” “But dad never makes me do my homework before I play video games!” Sound familiar? Parenting across two households can be a real challenge. Working through the pain of ending a committed relationship into a working…  Read More

Child looking very angry and frustrated

Avoiding Power Struggles With Your Child or Teen

For lots of parents, simple conversations can quickly escalate into a power struggle. As our kids start flexing their own muscles of independence, one of their developmental jobs is to find the outer boundaries of appropriate behavior. How far can I go? Who cares? This is especially true during key developmental windows (namely, the “terrible…  Read More

Teenage relationship holding hands

Teenage Dating: Romance and the Brain

My daughter seems to be “dating” a different boy every few months. She is in high school and we have talked a lot about respectful relationships etc.. and she seems to be doing all this okay but she doesn’t seem to stay in relationships very long. Should I be worried? Thanks, Sue, Kentucky Sue, Most…  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

Two siblings fighting

When Siblings Fight

Just last week my (now grown) kids and I were looking through old photo albums. Brian and Erin couldn’t believe how chummy the two of them looked as little kids. There was hardly a picture where they didn’t have their arms around each other or their chubby little hands weren’t tightly clasped. Their sweet little…  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