Author: Teenology 101

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 »

Teens and Fad Diets

eating strawberryWe’re entering the last few days of March which is Nutrition Awareness month, so asked a guest author to talk a bit about some of the fad diets teens may be exposed to. As we’ve mentioned before, we support the idea of eating  a variety of foods balanced with regular physical activity. Diets can be dangerous for developing teens and a meal plan that uses diet pills, restricts calories, or is limited to consuming only a select food group is typically not recommended. This post is not an all encompassing list of popular diets, but our guest, Siobhan Thomas-Smith, a medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine, highlights some of the popular fad diets in the media today. Read full post »

More on birth control: Part 4 long term option placement and removal

This is the 4th in a series of video posts on birth control with Dr. Amies-Oelschlager. Here she discusses the placement and removal of long term, reversible, contraceptive options for teens.

More on birth control: Part 3 long term options

This is the third in a series of videos where we discuss reversible, long term birth control options with Dr. Amies-Oelschlager. See our previous post on teens and birth control for written details.

Related Posts

More on birth control Part 1 Plan B

More on birth control: Part 2 Short Term Options