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Teenage brain

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

Parent talking with teens

Talking With Teens

Breathe, listen, and grab a tile

When it comes to talking with teens, a participant in our fall Why Do They Act That Way online class shared this with me, “I think the hardest part is just not knowing if the conversations we are having make any difference. My daughter is NOT a talker, and I seem to annoy her a…  Read More

Teenager looking at her phone

For Teens, Digital Citizenship Takes Practice

“I just don’t get it!” sighed a parent I spoke to recently. “We’ve talked about this over and over again. She knows better!” He was referring to his daughter getting pulled into online conflict that had quickly escalated to the level of getting the school principal involved. If you are a parent of a teenager,…  Read More

Teenage relationship holding hands

Teenage Relationships

The Talk 70% of Teens Wish Adults Would Have with Them

“Just guess!” I would say to the wall, purposely turned away from my mom perched gingerly on the side of my bed. “Honey,” she would respond, “It’s hard to just guess what you want to talk about.” I usually met this gentle resistance with more crying and an insistence that clearly she should just KNOW…  Read More

Teenage girl having a difficult conversation with her parent.

How to Talk to Teenagers Without Yelling

Does it seem like every conversation with your teenager ends in a power struggle or argument ? There are no guaranteed strategies to eliminate all parent-teen miscommunication but learning some tips for how to talk to teenagers can improve the odds! Be very clear about your emotions instead of leaving it to your teenager to…  Read More

Feet of teenager standing on skateboard

Dopamine and the Teenage Brain

I can still remember the kitchen conversation as my brothers excitedly hatched the plan with their friends. “Yes! Let’s do it!” was the consensus as five teenage boys raced out the front door with their skateboards. Ten minutes later a neighbor was on the phone asking if my parents knew that there were teenagers, including…  Read More

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

Two teenagers in a relationship talking to each other happily

Parents Are Key to Sex Education

I’ve had the opportunity to work with an amazing organization for the past eleven years, the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. I just returned from spending two days with Forrest Alton and his staff who are celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year. The campaign and the state of South Carolina have a lot…  Read More