All Entries For teen
Often we talk about girls and the complexities of their friendships—I wrote a whole book about them that inspired the movie Mean Girls. But with boys, we usually assume their camaraderie lacks the same intricacies that make them feel pressured and confused. In reality, your son's relationships have similar challenges. What's more, understanding the role he plays within his friendship group is critical. Your insight will help him stay true to himself and create the support system he needs to get through life.
Within any one group, most boys have a three- to five-guy inner circle. Then there are a few more guys they associate with but are not close to. Boys have assured me that these roles can be found in every group, regardless of social status. The boys I interviewed and I came up with the following list to describe these roles: Mastermind, Associate, Bouncer, Entertainer, Fly, Conscience, Punching Bag and Champion.
What's important to know is that the roles emerge when there's conflict in the group. Conflicts don't always mean big arguments. They could be over simple things like where to eat lunch or which movie to see. But they're inevitable. And you will rarely be around to see them—so understanding what happens in these tense moments is key. But it doesn't mean that your son behaves like this all the time, that these boys aren't good friends or that they don't care about one another. Read More ›
For Amy Scheibe, tolerating meltdowns didn't end after her son, Bo, graduated from toddlerhood. When he was 10 years old, he started having serious fits of screaming and sobbing that he wasn't good enough for his parents. After one particularly bad incident, she and Bo ended up cuddled on the couch, where he finally admitted that he missed the way things used to be. "You don't tickle me anymore," he said. Turns out Bo was simply going through a typical—but stressful—developmental hurdle: the desire to become more independent while still yearning for a little parental hand-holding.
In the years leading up to and during puberty, hormonal surges are a lot like biological fireworks, skyrocketing even little problems into big explosions. And your kid has no idea how to handle them. In fact, research suggests the region of the brain involved in planning, organizing and making decisions—all things that help us cope with stress—is still developing during puberty. That's why we shouldn't expect kids to always have the best judgment or react to pressure well. But they can learn the best way to address and manage it.
Check out these six common tween and teen stressors—submitted from real moms via e-mail and Facebook—and smart ways to overcome them. Read More ›
Maybe you know someone whose teenager has suffered a brain injury playing sports—a colleague at work, the neighbor down the block, your BFF from college. Would you recognize the signs if your child had a concussion? What you don't know could hurt him.
Sports-and recreation-related brain injuries have led to a 60% increase in ER visits among kids 19 and younger over the last decade. Test your knowledge of concussions. Take our quiz. Read More ›
My daughter was 11 when she went to her first school dance. I put on a brave face as she got out of the car in her polka-dot dress (with a denim jacket for her signature swagger). "Have fun," I said, trying to sound airy.
But what I really wanted to say as she disappeared into the crowd of sixth-grade bravado was, "Wait—come back!" She still seemed too young for a middle-school mixer and the awkwardness that accompanied it. I thought about my first dance: standing alone in a corner, not moving, desperately waiting for him to notice me. How did I get from there to dropping off my own daughter at the doorstep of romance? And was there a way to make those girl-meets-boy dramas any less heart crushing? Read More ›
There's no better time than the holidays to teach your teens the significance of making a difference. By helping them create a giving circle—a group of people who pool individual contributions to make a bigger charitable donation—you'll enable them to have a greater impact and pick up some valuable life lessons. "Kids become much better informed, not only as philanthropists but as active community members," says Ken Menkhaus, Ph.D., professor of political science at Davidson College in North Carolina, who helped launch a course as part of the Learning By Giving program. Classes at selected schools—including Tufts, Columbia and UC Berkeley—research local nonprofits and debate who should receive grant money. But you don't have to wait until your kids reach college. Just use this simple plan to get your teens to step up. Read More ›
If your teens are like mine, they love to stay up late, are difficult to get up in the morning, and would sleep until noon if you let them. That is what teens do, especially when they are growing. Teens often make difficult choices and trade-offs when trying to allocate time among school, work, extra-curricular activities, friends and family. Many times those choices are at the expense of sleep.
Studies suggest teens need at least nine hours of sleep each night; however, many are only getting around seven hours a night on average. When sleep is limited on school nights, students can go to school too sleepy to learn. Having trouble staying awake increases the chances of missing important information being taught while also risking the loss of a teacher's respect.
A recent study published online in the journal Child Development reports that teens who stay up late to cram for tests tend to do poorly on the test they studied for because of sleep-related academic problems. Researchers also found that the problem compounds over time as academic rigor increases. Now that teens are back to school, will late-night studying to stay on top of their tough academic schedule sabotage their success? Here are some keys to help your student make the most of their study time and their sleep.
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You may have heard the recent news about a school bus aide who was tormented to the point of tears by a group of middle school students. The appalling encounter was caught on video and went viral on YouTube. News stories, internet videos and even thousands of dollars of sympathy donations are among the reactions of shocked Americans across the country. The questions are rampant: How could the tormenters behave that way? How does a person sit idly while victimized? Could the bus aide have done anything to stop the boys? What did the parents do (or not do) to raise boys that would behave that way?
At some point, all of us have been the victim of someone’s bad judgment, whether it be a comment or glare because of our age, weight, or some physical feature. It is wrong, but we cannot escape it. Why are we compelled to hurt other people? Even worse, why do some take pleasure in hurting others?
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Crime. Recession. Terrorism. Tsunamis. In our digital age, the news—much of it big, scary and confusing—is everywhere, all the time. And whether it's on television or radio, in print or online, tweens and teens are constantly exposed to disturbing stories, images and videos that can cause them to view the planet as a threatening, terrifying place. "On the one hand, we want our kids to know what's going on around them," says Michael Brody, M.D., chair of the television and media committee for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "Problem is, the news is not rated. A lot of it is sensational, horror-story stuff, which means parents need to put things in perspective." Learn how to talk to your kids about current events, from natural disasters to politics to war, with these smart strategies. You'll calm their fears and help them make better sense of those screaming headlines. Plus, it's a starting point for a deeper, ongoing dialogue that will expand their minds and get them thinking about their role and responsibility in the real world. Read More ›
A few weeks ago, I was asked to talk to an eighth-grade health class about food and nutrition. During the school day, there were five periods of eighth grade health; each class contained about 25 students. I have worked with this age group before and was well aware of the diverse reactions I would encounter among typical 13 and 14 year olds. I knew that some would be very much interested in the topic, some would be defensive and defiant, others rude, and some just ''too cool'' to comment. But off I went, with my plastic food models, portion plates and sugar test tubes.
However, the reactions I experienced throughout the day were not what I expected. To make my point, here are just a few examples. (Trust me; the full list is much longer.) Read More ›
The teen years aren’t easy, usually neither for the teens nor the parents! I don’t know anyone who survived them unscathed. Between hormones, homework and the ''Heathers'', most teenagers have experienced pangs of insecurity and inadequacy at some point in time. And for those teens who are struggling with being overweight or obese, those insecure feelings can become strong, with impacts on physical health as well as social and emotional wellbeing.
There is no shortage of advice out there for teens who are concerned about their weight. From diet pills to cover stories on popular magazines, to fad diets, to celebrities promoting products, it can be hard to navigate what works and what’s dangerous. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for lifelong health – like the tortoise and the hare, remember that ''slow and steady wins the race''.
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Before your kid nabs a babysitting job, here's what you both need to know to make the most of the experience.
Even in today's strained economic environment, one evergreen starter career is flourishing more than ever: babysitting. Summer child care gigs for teens and tweens are even more plentiful than in the past because parents work outside the home and for longer hours. Unlike traditional teen summer jobs at the local mall or restaurant—which are now harder to snag because many adults are vying for the same spots—babysitting usually offers some flexibility so your teen can still make it to soccer practice, SAT prep or a family trip. And it's the perfect pick for tweens who are too young for office jobs and internships. "Sitting gives young people many more skills than a basic entry-level position," says Suzanne Byron, Ph.D., a Seattle-based instructor for the American Red Cross Babysitter's Training program. "It's an opportunity to learn about being an entrepreneur, develop people skills and build confidence." Since most parents begin lining up summer help in May, now is the ideal time to encourage your kid to get down to business.
I have a teenage son. He is your typical high-schooler; he has his driving permit, participates in some school sports, and plays in the high school band. He is striving for complete independence from his parents, yet is secretly still glad to have mom and dad around most of the time. He often hangs out with his friends in my basement, playing pool, air-hockey, and euchre. My husband and I have nick-named them the ''basement boys.''
So a few weeks ago, three of the ''basement boys'' decided to arrive on my front doorstep at 4:30 pm. Their plan was to capture my son, eat at the local pizza place and then head to the basketball game. I, on the other hand, had a better idea and invited them to stay for dinner and then go to the game. Luckily, I had prepared a large pot of soup and had enough to feed the crew. They agreed to stay for our evening meal.
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Before 21-year-old Owen Thomas became captain of the football team at the University of Pennsylvania, he was a star athlete in my suburban community, one hour north of Philadelphia. Since age 9 he had him. Five months later another ripple went through our town when doctors revealed Thomas had CTE—chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain that may cause depression and has been found primarily in athletes with a history of repeat concussions. Former NFL players—including Dave Duerson, who took his life this past February after leaving a note saying he wanted his brain to be studied—are increasingly being diagnosed with CTE. As talk about Owen circulated an alarming number of friends and neighbors had their own stories to share about concussions in young athletes. "It worries me," said a mom whose son is a football captain at our high school. "One boy got a head injury the first week of practice and was out for three weeks. Another quit football after middle school because he'd already had two concussions." Read More ›