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Mental health

Let’s Design Tech for Adolescent Development Not Dollars

“When do you think kids should have access to social media?” a parent recently asked during a workshop. Before she could help herself, another parent nearby responded quietly, “When they are twenty-five.” Another parent chimed in more confidently, “Never.” This sparked knowing laughter from the entire crowd. It turns out that both of these parents’…  Read More

Teenage girl sitting on couch looking at her phone.

Mental Health TikTok and Teens

Last week I was scrolling through TikTok after a friend sent me a video of a hedgehog taking a bath (a video experience I highly recommend). Just as I was working to pull away from the algorithm-induced vortex, another video caught my attention. A young man facing the camera was pointing to a list of…  Read More

Group of young teenagers sitting outside in a circle showing each other images on their phones

Teens and Screens: Why The Shift From Control to Connection is Key to Mental Health

We all have well rehearsed parenting phrases that emerge at different stages in our kids’ lives. Usually they pop into our heads or out of our mouths before we’ve even had time to think them through. You aren’t alone if the dominant phrase during middle and high school is, “PUT. THAT. [INSERT TECH DEVICE]. DOWN.”…  Read More

Student heading back to school with backpack on

Back to School: Let’s Focus on These 5 Things

(What else would you add to this list?)

Every year back-to-school feels both reassuring and slightly ominous. There is comfort and relief in the traditions of finding schedules, organizing supplies, and packing backpacks. But beside these familiar routines there is the inevitable buzz of uncertainty and anticipation. Our kids are considering small, and very important, questions like, “Who will I sit with at…  Read More

Young people holding hands navigating stress

A Mindset For Teens That Embraces (Some) Stress

​​Math was by far my favorite subject in elementary school. Other subjects required more effort. But math felt comfortable and full of ease. It felt great when others offered praised for my “natural” math abilities. This was all well and good until my eighth grade geometry class. I was completely lost from the moment I…  Read More

Child actively noticing grass below a tree

Why Noticing New Things Is a Path to Mindfulness That We All Need Right Now

“How’s your summer going?” I recently asked another parent at our neighborhood park.  “Good!” he quickly responded. I waited a bit because his face looked less certain than his immediate response.  “No, I mean, good. Everything is good! Kids are good. I’m good.” He went on, clearly second guessing his answer in real time. We…  Read More

Line of teens sitting down looking at their phones

How Involved Should We Be In Kids’ Tech Lives? A New Study Sheds Some Light

“Just tell me how much screen time my kids should have!”  This is often the sentiment of parents I meet who are tired of conflicting advice about kids and technology. I get it. Our risk-assessment capacity is fried, news headlines give us constant whiplash, and we all could use some certainty right now.  That’s why…  Read More

Group of teenagers sitting outside in a circle talking together.

Adolescent Mental Health: Why Teens Are Sensitive to Stress AND Support

For years, many parents and advocates have spent the month of May trying to break through the noise to assert the importance of mental health awareness. This year, for better and for worse, mental health has decidedly occupied the spotlight. More than ever, we are having national conversations about mental health and wellbeing.  Unfortunately though,…  Read More

Tween using tablet during pandemic screen time

Screen Time Has Gone Up (Again) – What Do Teens and Tweens Need Now?

“The data are out!” I said aloud while scrolling through the feeds on my laptop.  “What data?” my older son asked, briefly looking up from his school issued Chromebook.  “Dataaaa! Dataaaa!” my youngest sang enthusiastically, clearly not tracking the conversation but willing to be a part of it. He continued swiping through activities on his…  Read More

Child painting during grief process

Why We Shouldn’t Skip Over Grief and Grieving

“I see that the rates are starting to come down,” a parent recently shared with me. “But I don’t feel the relief I was expecting. It’s just relentless,” she concluded.  “Yeah. I don’t think grief works that way,” I said gently. I knew that her father, who had been another primary caretaker for her kids,…  Read More