Archive for September 2013

Monthly Archive

25 is the new 18

Peer Groups multiethnicRecently, child psychologists in the United Kingdom received a new recommendation: that their treatment population should not be birth to eighteen, but rather birth to twenty-five.

The reason behind this change is our advancing knowledge of human brain development. Our brains, including functions involving self-regulation, decision-making, and risk-taking, do not develop into a “fully adult” brain until age 25 or later.

This has brought a storm of criticism. Some question the effect of the new guidelines on young adults, and whether it will prolong adolescence beyond where it is. Some think we are coddling young people who have been considered adults for most of history.

As anyone who works in the field of adolescent health knows, this research and these recommendations are not new, and our health system has been slowly incorporating these ideas into health care.

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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 »

Adolescent Medicine Open House October 8th

Envelop in shape of house with paper inside. 2D Artwork. Computer Design.Have you ever wondered what a clinic devoted to adolescent health looked like? Would you like to meet providers who have dedicated their careers to the care of teens? Do you just want to find a resource in the community for your tween or teen children? Well, we have a great opportunity to introduce you to the Seattle Children’s Hospital Division of Adolescent Medicine. We’re having our open house on Tuesday October 8th from 4:30 to 7:30pm.

Seattle Children’s Hospital is a leader in the specialty of Adolescent Medicine with a team of experts in the areas of the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of adolescents. We have providers in our practice who are known nationally (and internationally) for their work with teens as well as some of the 2013 Top Doctors in the Northwest.

We help teens and their families with a variety of concerns including (but not limited to): eating disorders, weight management, ADHD, poor school performance, reproductive health, body image concerns, transgender, delayed puberty, substance use and abuse, chronic illness, and chronic pain.

The Open House will be in our clinic on Tuesday October 8th from 4:30pm to 7:30pm. We’ll have  refreshments and great company, so please stop by!

Date: Tuesday October 8, 2013
Time: 4:30pm-7:30pm
Address: 4540 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 200                   Seattle, WA 98105
Parking: free, located beneath the Spring Brook office building, off of 45th St, or on the plaza level of the Spring Brook office in between the 2 buildings

How Not to Discipline Teenagers


Recently a listing on Ebay has garnered international attention. An angry mother is selling the One Direction tickets she bought for her daughter and her daughter’s friends, in order to punish her daughter for lying and sneaking out.

So far, none of this is particularly objectionable. Where things begin to get interesting is the description she posts along with the tickets for sale.

Let’s deconstruct this listing a little, and point out how this mother’s Ebay communication to her daughter is not a good example of how to discipline your teenager. (Disclaimer: I’m not implying any of our gentle readers would use these parenting tactics, I’m more responding to the enthusiastic support from various people on the internet.)

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When is weight loss an eating disorder

lettuce on plateOur culture places constant pressure on teens ( and adults) to lose weight. The trend in the US is towards obesity, with about a third of our population being considered overweight or obese, so the messaging about weight loss makes sense. But this constant message to lose weight can back fire. Often this pressure to be thin results in participation in fad diets, extreme workouts, and losing weight too quickly. All of these behaviors may be the start of an eating disorder, but the warning signs can be missed because the person losing weight is being complimented on their achievements.

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Teens, Cyberbullying, & Suicide

computerkidIn what is becoming a sadly familiar story, a 12-year-old girl named Rebecca Sedwick killed herself last week after months of both in-person and online torment by her peers.

What is especially frightening, at least to me, is that Rebecca’s family took all the recommended steps to protect their daughter. They immediately notified the school, then withdrew her from the school when the torment didn’t stop, and enrolled her at another one. They sought mental health counseling. They “unplugged” her from the websites bullies were using to reach Rebecca. And yet despite all these efforts, the bullies got through, and Rebecca took her own life.

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Teens, Suicide, and Gun Safety


A recent study examined gun violence in major metropolitan areas across the U.S. The good news is that homicide by gun decreased overall, but the bad news is that suicide by gun increased 10-15 percent among young people. We’ve had a couple of posts about teen suicide, but I want to specifically discuss the issue of suicide and guns. Here is some basic information: Read full post »

Preventing teen suicide

teenage girl siting against wall in a depressed stateThis week of September 8-14th is National Suicide Prevention week so we wanted to take a moment to bring up this important topic again. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for young people ages 15-24 and it is very preventable! During this week, let’s remember those whose lives ended too soon and watch for warning signs of depression and suicidal thinking amongst friends and loved ones.


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Back to School: sports and sleep

girls basketballLast week we posted about time management as teens headed back to school. You and your teen are getting back into the swing of things with squeezing in breakfast, scheduling time for homework, family time, and friends. In this post we’ll talk a bit about sports and sleep. We’ve had great guest posts on preventing sports injuries, like concussion, and we’ve posted about sleep tips before. Here are some highlights to take with you as the school year begins: Read full post »

Yelling at your teen can backfire

parents yellingAll teens will test limits. It’s a natural part of being a teenager and important for development, but how we as parents, respond, can have a significant impact on behavior. It is not surprising that yelling often accomplishes nothing, but a new study has found evidence to support the idea that yelling can have long-term harmful consequences. Read full post »