Archive for 2014

When Teens Can’t Find a Job

Teen Girl With Paint RollerRecently, a report by the Brookings Institute came out about the dismal labor market for teens (and, for that matter, young adults). Particularly for high-school age teens, job opportunities are few and far between. In fact, employment rates dropped almost 50% for 16-19 years olds between 2000 and 2011.

Of course, we know the job market itself was shaken up by the recent recession. Also, the report points out that a small portion of the drop in employment is due to a rise in school enrollment, which is good news!

The worst-affected teens are those who have dropped out of high school and need to work full-time. Because higher levels of education increase employment opportunities, they are the least likely to find a job. However, many teens who are in school also desire or need to work part-time, for reasons ranging from contributing to family finances to paying for a trip to Europe over the summer.

Here are some ideas for helping a teen who can’t find a job: Read full post »

Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccines have been a topic of much debate lately: Do they help? Are they safe? Should I vaccinate my child?

I can recall a recent visit with a 16 year old girl. She had a question about the HPV vaccine. She’d seen a commercial and was interested in learning more. We discussed the risks and benefits as well as the purpose of the vaccine. After she’d asked a series of very insightful and thought out questions, she decided she wanted to proceed with starting the vaccination series (the Gardasil vaccine is a series of 3 shots over 6 months). We brought her mother in to talk about starting the series and her mother hesitated. Like any caring parent, she wanted to be certain her daughter was safe. Their pediatrician hadn’t discussed the vaccine and she’d read on social media that it had potential side effects. At the end of our visit, my patient still wanted the vaccine, but her mother wanted to think about it. Read full post »

A parent’s role in prevention of underage drinking

As a follow up to our post last week on the Safe Roads Awareness, we wanted to share a video that discusses the importance of you, as a parent, in preventing underage drinking and the consequences that are associated with it. In this video post, Dr. Leslie Walker talks about how important your communication with your teen is in preventing alcohol use.

What Teens and Providers Talk About When Parents Leave the Room

doctor and patientMost parents are expecting it: that day when your health care provider politely asks you to leave the room so they can speak to your tween or teen alone. It’s a rite of passage, an acknowledgment that teens might have events or concerns that they don’t feel comfortable talking over with family members present.

I’ve gotten a few amused comments, such as, “It’s time for the sex talk!” as well as some dissent. I wanted to write a bit about what we talk about while you’re gone, and why it’s important. Read full post »

Safe Roads Awareness Week March 25th

drunkdrivingThis week marks the one year anniversary of a tragic accident that affected a local nurse and her family. Karina Schulte, her 10 day old son, and his grandparents were walking on a spring day in their neighborhood when a drunk driver struck them. He killed both grandparents and severely injured Karina and her son. In this post, guest author Inga Manskopf of Prevention WINS discusses the importance of parents in preventing teen alcohol use as well as preventing teens from riding in a car with someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Read full post »

7 Tips For De-Stressing Your Teen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe expect a lot from teens. We expect them to reach their full academic potential, to succeed in athletic, artistic, or charitable endeavors, and often hold down a job. They take on roles of responsibility in clubs, teams, families, and their communities. They care for younger siblings, pass standardized tests, plan for their young adulthood, and attempt to keep up strong peer and romantic connections. No wonder they’re exhausted!

I believe that teens can succeed in all these tasks, but I also believe that teens can get stressed and overscheduled trying to live up to all their obligations. I wanted to offer a few tips for you to help your teen keep life in balance. Read full post »

The Most Important Message Your Teen Should Hear About Money

leahparentIt’s very simple: that their well-being is priceless.

I was recently privileged to attend a discussion in which teen gave their thoughts on various health care issues. It was engaging, enlightening, and eye-opening. One unexpected thing I heard- from multiple teens- about getting health care was that they wished it didn’t cost their parents so much money, and that they felt bad being a burden.

I and other health care providers present were taken aback. Our society tends to paint teens as self-centered and even selfish. Listening to a teen talk about how they might not tell their parents if they were ill, hoping to save them money on an expensive medication, was heartbreaking.  Read full post »

Tanning beds: It’s not just a risk for skin cancer

solariumA new study in JAMA Dermatology will come out this week that shows an association between tanning and teens being engaged in other risky behaviors. We have long known that tanning but this study provides us with more evidence that they may be risky for other aspects of our lives as well. Read full post »

Bullying can have long lasting effects

sadteenA new study in Pediatrics (the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) published an interesting study last week. The study looked at 4,000 kids, interviewed them in 5th, 7th, then 10th grade to see how bullying might affect them. What they found was not surprising to me. Kids who are currently being bullied or who have been bullied in the past and are still being bullied had poorer health outcomes. Read full post »

Helping Your Teen Handle a Breakup

stepkidtalkThe breakup of a romantic relationship is almost always hard. Even as adults, we might mourn, weep, question our worth, and wonder if we’ll ever be happy again. The Holmes and Rahe stress scale (for adults), which seeks to score big life events in relation to how they affect your overall stress level, rates divorce as second only to the death of a spouse. While teen breakups are not nearly as long or complicated as a divorce, they still can bring sorrow, guilt, emptiness, low self-esteem, and anger.

In fact, some people who have been through divorces might get angry at me even comparing a teen breakup to a divorce. As adults who have watched friends and family divorce, or divorced ourselves, we know the two are very different. But a teen has never been married or partnered, has never been divorced, and may well have never been in a relationship lasting longer than three months. To you, it’s a blip on the radar. To them, it’s the end of the world.

How do you help your teen get over a breakup? Read full post »