TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Health & Wellness

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 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 ...

Posted Aug. 23, 2018, 12:11 p.m. by Danielle Bogaty | View Comments
Teenage girl doing yoga and looking happy

#Wellth. Nope, that’s not a typo, but a word mashup. You know, a combo of words put together to mean something new. Examples you’ve likely heard are vlog (video/blog), hangry (hungry/angry), or jeggings (jeans/leggings). Wellth is a combo of wellness/health and just so happens to sound like wealth. Wow, that makes it a trifecta of a word! If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s being used by various companies, hashtagged socially everywhere and seems here to stay. Keeping your health is the new wealth, and that is accomplished by taking care of your body both physically and mentally. Wellth ...

Posted Aug. 9, 2018, 8 a.m. by Stephen Gray Wallace | View Comments
d and lonely black girl feeling alone; sitting against a gray wall.

First, the good news. A new Youth Risk Behavior Survey report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is partially meant to focus the nation on behaviors among young people that cause the most serious health problems, and to assess how those risk behaviors change over time. This will help to foster critical prevention strategies for parents and professionals. And, new data analysis published by The New York Times reveals that, compared to survey results from 10 years ago, fewer kids report having had sex, drinking alcohol or using a host of other drugs. But there’s plenty of bad ...

Posted Aug. 8, 2018, 9 a.m. by Laurie Higgins | View Comments
Dad hugging teenage son in home setting.

Becoming clean and sober is only the beginning of a lifelong journey for teenagers who have abused drugs and/or alcohol. By the time most teenagers struggling with addiction reach sobriety, their parents have suffered through sleepless nights, had countless arguments and spent plenty of money. They are invested in helping their child continue to do well, but many don’t know exactly what to do. We asked two addiction specialists who work with teenagers for their best advice on how to support your sober teen. Be a good role model. Studies show that teens whose parents are vocal about their disapproval ...

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