TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Health & Wellness

Posted July 2, 2019, 10 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Anxiety

Everyone worries. How will I do on that test? What if I’m late for work? Is my friend mad at me? And because everyone has some familiarity with worry, it is to think of anxiety disorders as just a more intense form of the nerves we all experience. Anxiety disorders, however, are a very different experience from everyday anxiety. People suffering from anxiety disorders feel constantly on edge, sometimes fretting over specific issues, other times just overwhelmed by a sense of general worry. And those dealing with these disorders often have a very difficult time controlling their anxious reactions, even ...

Posted May 31, 2019, 10 a.m. by Arastou Aminzadeh | View Comments
Talk About Depression

Teen depression is becoming increasingly troubling. It seems our teens are suffering in higher numbers than in the past, even when taking into account the typical mood swings and drama that accompany the teen years. While parents and teachers are well aware of the vulnerabilities experienced during adolescence, stoked by hormonal changes, peer pressure, social issues—especially bullying and social media issues, and academic stress— these days it feels as if a heavier emotional burden is weighing our teens down. So, what is a parent to do or say when they suspect their teenager is grappling with emotional struggles or depression? ...

Posted March 29, 2019, 8 a.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
Marijuana-Talk

Pot smoking isn’t what it used to be. For one thing, it’s legal in a growing number of states, making it more accessible than ever. For another, marijuana itself has changed over the years, and today’s cannabis is a lot more potent than what the Woodstock generation smoked. Add in the availability of pot-based gummy bears and other edibles, and the marijuana scene can be a confusing one for today’s parents. How do you handle this tricky landscape? The risks of teen cannabis use First off, medical researchers and addiction specialists are largely in agreement that the best threshold for ...

Posted Feb. 12, 2019, 8 a.m. by Roberta Cannon | View Comments
Mother and teen son bow their heads to each other for a walk in the park

Throughout childhood, you’ve been your child’s advocate, making health-care decisions, picking up prescriptions, making sure medication is taken and that instructions from the pediatrician and specialists are followed. That all changes when your child turns 18. It’s a startling realization that, at 18, children are now adults in the health-care world, able to make their own health-care decisions and to keep that information private. It can be frustrating to parents, because health-insurance policies can cover young adult children until they are 26. Parents still get the bills but can’t call the physician’s office to ask any questions about charges related ...

Posted Jan. 25, 2019, 9 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
How to Promote Positive Teenage Behavior and Independence

The trials and tribulations of being a parent of a teen are regularly covered in the media. The message is the generally the same -- it's hard and getting harder. Whether it's college application time, dealing with accidents, drug addiction, or news of a suicide without warning signs -- it can all seem incredibly sad and difficult. In her book All Joy and No Fun, Jennifer Senior argues that changes in the last 50 years have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers. Children today are sheltered for long stretches of time and require much more schooling to ...

Posted Jan. 25, 2019, 8 a.m. by Katrielle Soussana | View Comments
Sleepy young woman yawning.

Writing this, I feel the pull of drowsiness at the corners of my mind. I slept only 5 1/2 hours last night – no wonder I feel so tired. My relationship with sleep has evolved and hit many obstacles over my 3½ years of high school. In addition to eating well and regularly exercising, getting enough sleep at night is paramount to maintaining your overall health. Teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Seems reasonable, right? Maybe it is, for a teenager living under the right circumstances. However, leading up to ...

Posted Jan. 18, 2019, 8 a.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
Mother and teenaged son summer portrait with phone

A stay at a residential treatment center can be life-changing for a teenager, but the work doesn’t end when a child comes home. “Completing rehab is just the beginning. Adjusting after the return is a big challenge for everyone involved – the teenagers, the parents, the rest of the family,” says Tina Muller, family wellness manager at Mountainside Treatment Center, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center in Canaan, Conn. Parents should begin doing their own work while the child is away, she says. LOOKING FOR HELP? GET OUR TEEN THERAPEUTIC GUIDE “Start building a network that you can rely ...

Posted Dec. 15, 2018, 8 a.m. by Sonja Montiel | View Comments
beautiful girl in striped light blue shirt in red christmas cap standing holding red gift box, unboxing and looking inside

Our children never outgrow wanting “stuff” for the holidays. Look at your teen’s gift list and you will see the usual items that sound like a foreign language, possibly with footnotes about their emotional dependency for each item. Go ahead, read it: I really need to have the-most-advanced-tech-thingy-that-you-don’t-know-how-to-use-or-pronounce, or everyone is wearing this piece-of-cloth-that’s-way-too-expensive-but-I’ll-die-without-it! As parents, we have been there, done that, and negotiated for years, right? However, if you have a high school senior, maybe you won’t read such a list this particular season. For most seniors, something extraordinary happens with their wish lists for the holidays. The concept ...

Posted Oct. 31, 2018, 8 a.m. by Roberta Cannon | View Comments
College student carrying boxes into dorm with dad in background.

All teens who head off to college do so with some anticipation, anxiety and fear of the unknown, along with excitement about the freedom this new environment has to offer. But students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, often experience more stress and have more academic difficulties than other students, according to Children and Adults Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, a nonprofit that provides facts and information about ADHD. If you are the parent of a child with ADHD, you probably began preparing for college when your child started kindergarten. You made sure they took everything they needed for the day at school, double-checked ...

Posted Oct. 16, 2018, 8 a.m. by Roberta Cannon | View Comments
Female student in a lotus yoga position.

While there are many programs to help support teens through the various challenges of adolescence, mindfulness has become more popular over the last few years as a way to deal with pressures such as stress and bullying. “Mindfulness or mindful awareness is paying attention on purpose to what’s happening right now, internally and externally,” said Katie Medlar, director of school and community-based programs at Calmer Choice on Cape Cod. “We do this with kindness and curiosity for ourselves and others.” Calmer Choice is a nonprofit organization that sponsors secular mindfulness programs in more than 28 schools, for 15,000 students and ...

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