Author: Teenology 101

Addressing Teen Substance Use: Post 1 Is Your Teen(s) Using In Your Home?

In the Adolescent Medicine Clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital, we have the privilege of working with chemical dependency professional, Lisa Chinn LMHC, CDP. Over the next two months, we’ll be posting a guest authored series written by Lisa on teen substance abuse. She’ll cover some of the challenging topics parents often ask about in our clinic setting including how to address substance use in your home, whether or not to have your teen provide random drug screens, and how to address alcohol poisoning. Lisa is a great resource and we hope readers find useful information throughout the series!

Is Your Teen(s) Using in Your Home? Read full post »

Autism and Teens

teenandgrandpaGuest Author Siobhan Thomas-Smith

4th Year Medical Student

University of Washington School of Medicine

During high school I had the privilege of volunteering at Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Stanley Stamm Camp with several pre-teens and teenagers who were learning how to navigate the difficulties of adolescence with the added challenge of living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I was inspired by the courage that it took to face these battles. The psychosocial difficulties of middle school and high school can be overwhelming in and of themselves. There is social pressure to conform, academic pressure to achieve, and a new biological urge to seek out intimate relationships. For an individual on the autism spectrum, these physiologic and psychological changes can be difficult to comprehend and can complicate both the joys and difficulties of transitioning to adulthood. 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.

Teens in foster care

iStock_000004330022_ExtraSmall[1]Children and teens in foster care may not make up a large proportion of the population, however they are a group that are faced with challenges others are not. As parents, you may have the opportunity to play a role in the life of a foster child. This role may be in the form of a foster parent, or could be as a mentor or positive adult role model (even if it’s just because they came over to visit your teen). We asked a colleague, Dr. Kym Ahrens, whose research is specific to the lives of foster kids about this topic. Read full post »

Facebook Changes Privacy Settings for Teens: What Parents Need to Know

teens and techThis week, Facebook announced changes to its privacy rules that allow teenagers to post status updates, videos and photos publicly. If you’re a parent with a teen on Facebook, this opens the door to an important conversation that you and your child need to walk through…and soon.

What changed?

Until yesterday, Facebook users between the ages of 13 and 17 were only able to set the “audience” for their posts as “friends” or “friends of friends.” Now, these users have the option to set the audience as “public.” With these new rules, the status updates (including photos, videos, etc.) posted by adolescents who have made their audience “public” can be read by strangers, and by marketers.This may lead to unwanted friend requests or messages, or possible use of your teen’s photos or posts in marketing materials – on Facebook or beyond. If your 14 year old daughter (or you, for that matter) shares some vacation photos publicly on Facebook, you may someday see those photos used to advertise a beach vacation in Mexico, or a brand of jeans your daughter is wearing. Read full post »

Taking Sexuality into Your Own Hands

birds and beesGuest Blogger:

Tracy Whittaker, BSN, RN

University of Washington School of Nursing

Let’s face it; no one wants to talk about masturbation. It is a taboo topic that may cause you to feel uncomfortable, or embarrassed, or guilty, and talking to teens or parents about it would be mortifying for either party! But masturbating is a common and safe kind of sex play for both women and men that in fact has many health benefits and is largely ignored in the “Birds and the Bees” talk. Read full post »

College and other educational opportunities for your teen

college studentGuest Author: Charley Jones, MSWc,  University of Washington

Is your teen graduating from High School this year?

First, congratulations!  Graduating from high school is a great accomplishment and presents a landmark in one’s life, closing the doors of formal education in your teenage years and opening the doors to many future options.  As a parent, you’ve played a large role in the success of your teen being able to achieve this accomplishment! This is arguably a time when some of the most meaningful education happens in one’s life.  The upcoming decisions of “where to go next” can be exciting and overwhelming for teens and parents because of the vast amount of options available.  I’ll start with a few tips to evaluate the options for your teen and briefly describe what a few of these options look like. Read full post »

Teens and prescription drug abuse

There is nothing safe about being your own pharmacist: Guest Blogger Alexis Barrere RN   

A pink/red cough medicine on a gray/black background.A teen worried about their weight may overhear that their sibling’s ADHD medicines was making them less hungry and choose to started sneaking some of their siblings pills every few days. Or a teen who finds an old bottle of painkillers that had been left over from their dad’s operation may decide to try them or share them with friends, assuming the pills are safe since a medical provider prescribed them. Sometimes parents even give their own prescription medications to their kids. Taking prescription drugs in a way that hasn’t been recommended by a doctor can be more dangerous than people think. In fact, it’s drug abuse. And it’s just as illegal as taking street drugs.

Teens experiment with prescription drugs because they think they will help them have more fun, lose weight, fit in, and even study more effectively. Prescription drugs can also be easier to get than street drugs. Family members or friends may have them, but prescription drugs are also sold on the street like other illegal drugs. A 2009 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that prescription drug abuse is on the rise, with 20% of teens saying they have taken a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription. Read full post »

Warning Signs of Depression in Teens

iStock_000014694151XSmallMay is Child Mental Health Awareness month so many of our posts over the coming weeks will cover the topic of mental health in teens. Fortunately, we have many experts in the field of adolescent mental health who have agreed to help offer information on this subject. Child and teen mental health is a topic often left un-discussed, yet it can cripple the lives of the teens who suffer and the families who love them. In this post, we’ve asked Dr. Carolyn McCarty, a psychologist at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital to answer questions on warning signs of depression in teens. Read full post »

Teen Male Health

Guest Author David Breland, MD MPH

male at docMales in general, seek medical care less often than females. This is true for adults and teens alike, but in addition to providing routine screening for issues like high blood pressure or diabetes, the annual check up can be a great source of information.  We asked Dr. David Breland, who specializes in treating adolescent male patients, tips for parents on male health. Read full post »