Archive for October 2013

Monthly Archive

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 »

Eating Disorders: Recovery and the Role of the Family Post 2

This is the second post in our series on teens and eating disorders. Eating disorders are a complicated disease. Treatment goes well beyond the idea of ‘just eat and all will be ok.’ For anyone with an eating disorder, recovery takes a team of support and family is probably the most important part of that team. Here Dr. Adrianne Altman discusses the role of the family in recovery.

National Teen Driver Safety Week

teen getting car keysThis week is national teen driver safety week so we wanted to highlight a topic that is always relevant: teen drivers.  Driving is a privilege that gives us freedom! It allows us to come and go of our own accord, without having to rely on someone’s schedule. It enables us to transport family and friends to events and is our way of getting to school and work. For teens, starting driver’s education and obtaining a license is a right of passage. It signals the start of transition from being a child to becoming a more independent adult. It can also be dangerous. Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of adolescent death world wide, so this week is dedicated to helping us keep our teens safe on the roads. Read full post »

What You Need to Know About “Krokodil”

ivdruguseHeadlines have appeared recently about “Krokodil”, an intravenous drug common in Russia, that has made its way to the United States. It is reported to be “more perilous than heroin“, a “flesh-eating zombie drug“, and even a “zombie apocalypse drug“.

While Krokodil is an incredibly dangerous way to get high, it’s also unlikely to bring on the zombie apocalypse. Let’s talk about Krokodil, what it is and what it isn’t, and how to best warn your teen away from it.

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 »

Teens and Tobacco

Tobacco use is still pretty common, even though we now know that tobacco is dangerous and can lead to problems such as cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease in addition to cosmetic things like bad breath and yellow stained teeth. We wanted to talk about tobacco use amongst teens in order to highlight that it is still a drug being abused by teens so it’s important for parents to discuss the risks.

Teens, Impulsivity, and Suicide

sad teen girlWe’ve written a lot of posts about suicide, but I wanted to address a recent news story. The latest teen suicide to hit the media is that of 15-year-old Christian Adamek. On September 25th, he streaked a football game; by October 2nd, he was dead from self-inflicted injuries. There are lessons for all of us to learn in the sequence of events from his prank to his demise. Read full post »

Those Crazy Kids With Their Music These Days

teenmusicMusic… gives wings to the mind, a soul to the universe, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, a life to everything.” -Plato

I know it’s only rock and roll, but I like it.” –The Rolling Stones

Music is an emotional modulator, an escape, and a source of relaxation for all of us, but especially adolescents. Teens find poetry in their favorite song’s lyrics, drown frustration in a hard-driving rhythm, and let calming songs soothe them at night. Teens seeking out peers who think like them may find music an easy common language, and their dress and worldview may partially stem from their favorite musicians. Read full post »

A Parent Toolkit for Promoting Healthy Internet Use

Keeping adolescents safe from harm has been a challenge for parents since time began, but in the age of the internet, blogs, social networking sites, and texting, parents are faced with new territory to navigate. Our colleague, Dr. Megan Moreno, has written a book that can help guide parents through this terrain. Sex, Drugs ‘n Facebook: A Parent Toolkit for Promoting Healthy Internet Use is now available.

Dr. Moreno has been a guest blogger in the past and has written about her research in the use of social media and adolescent health. This book is written with her expertise as an adolescent medicine physician, research scientist, and mom. She also incorporates adolescents and parents. The combined effect is an easy to read, practical toolkit for parents on internet safety. Topics in this book range from sexting to cyberbullying and everything in between.

For more on internet safety check out these blog posts and please let us know what you think of Dr. Moreno’s book!

On the Pulse: Sex Drugs ‘n Facebook

Keeping your adolescent safe online

Teens and Social Media: Depression Displays on Facebook Part 1

Teens, Cyberbullying, & Suicide





Eating Disorders: Signs and Symptoms post 1

Eating Disorders come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be insidious, manipulative, can turn a family upside down, and have the potential to be deadly. I compare eating disorders to cancer: when the diagnosis is made, it takes an entire team, including parents, to save the life of the person affected. We wanted to address this topic in a series of video posts so we’ve asked an expert in the treatment of eating disorders to provide information on diagnosis, treatment options, and prognosis. Dr. Adrianne Altman, the Regional Clinical Supervisor at the Center for Discovery, will be featured in the first videos of the series.