fbpx

Teenage brain

Frustrated child sitting at table with her head in her hands

Why Forecasting Emotions Can Help Kids Handle Them

“I try to have a positive attitude about it and give him a fresh start,” a parent recently shared with me. “But it seems like every day there is a blow up when it’s time to stop gaming. It’s miserable.”  “Ugh. That sounds so hard,” I responded picturing similar scenes playing out in my own…  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

Five Questions That Will Help You Listen (And Learn)

“Wait,” my oldest recently interrupted me. “Aren’t you supposed to be lending me your ears?”  “What?” I responded, annoyed at being interrupted but also momentarily distracted by the image of handing over something akin to the fake rubber yoda ears shoved into our costume bin in the basement. In the time it took me to…  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

Parent holding their child's hand

Want to Nurture Independence? Share Power.

“Is there such a thing as being too connected?” A parent recently asked.  “What do you mean?” I responded. “Well,” she went on, “Obviously I spent a lot of time with our eighth grader in the past two years. We stayed really close and overall did well managing distance learning and all that. But now…  Read More

Overwhelmed child scrunching up his face and holding his arms out in front of his chest

Big Feelings? Don’t Skip These Three Steps

Whether it is with our toddlers or teens, we all know what it is like to witness big feelings completely overwhelm our kids. This isn’t just because life can be overwhelming and stressful (though it certainly can be). It is also because the cortex, the part of our kids’ brains that helps them manage big…  Read More

Student wearing a yellow t-shirt and a blue backpack going to school with a mask on during COVID-19 pandemic

How to Help Kids and Teens Avoid the Trap of Overgeneralizing

(This goes for grownups too)

“I can’t ever remember not wearing a mask to school!” my second-grader interjected as we began explaining what to expect in the upcoming school year. It made sense, given that his kindergarten year was interrupted by COVID-19 and he had been online or in a mask ever since. Apparently undisturbed by this persistent reality, he…  Read More

Three pre-teens sitting outside looking at camera. One teen is wearing a green shirt and the other a white hoodie.

Listen to Youth Voices in Uncertain Times

Why Participation is Essential and Protective

“My middle schooler has a few tiny things on his mind lately… you know, like the Delta variant and the climate crisis,” a parent recently shared. She went on, “Honestly, things are pretty existential in our house right now…and I just feel so powerless to help. How can I even reassure him when his worries…  Read More

Teenage boy looking at phone and llistening to music with earbuds in his ears.

What Teens Need Us to Know About Social Media and Mental Health

“Any gratitude I had for screens is gone,” a friend shared this week, “I was thrilled in March…thank goodness for technology! Take the iPad and go forth! Now online meetings, gaming, and chats feel more and more empty, especially with everything going on the world. I just want my kid to unplug for a while.…  Read More

Teenager checking their cell phone

Informed or overwhelmed? The brain on COVID-19 news

This week marked the first official week of learning at home in the wake of school closures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our family started social distancing efforts last week so I had a little time to mentally prepare for the new reality of juggling working, parenting, and teaching. I knew better than…  Read More