Archive for 2013

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 »

Back to School: time management

college studentSchool will be starting soon. This means an end to summer relaxation, sleeping in until noon, and having nothing to do all day. For teens, getting back into a routine can be a big challenge. Going back to school means having to manage their time.

I know as an adult, I feel like I rarely have time for myself. I’m constantly balancing work, social life, marriage, parenting with the need to eat regularly, exercise, and take care of my own health. Even though teens don’t have the same demands, that doesn’t mean that they have fewer people asking for their time. I wanted to take a couple of posts to highlight some issues that come up with returning to school. This post is meant to remind parents of the many demands teens have on their time and provide some tips on how to manage those demands. It is definitely not an all encompassing list! We’ll focus on time management today and talk about sports and extracurricular activities in the next post. Read full post »

Miley Cyrus, music videos, and parenting

kids watching tvCelebrities and parents in the US are talking about the MTV Video Music Awards that aired Sunday night. Most of the award show was a fun concert showcasing the latest popular artists like Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry, but there is a performance by one artist that has everyone buzzing: Miley Cyrus. She’s the same young lady who many of my teen patients grew up watching as Hannah Montana and last night she showed America that she wants to be seen as all grown up; an adult woman. Whether she relayed that message in an appropriate way is left up for discussion. The look on the face of Will Smith, who was sitting with his young teen children in audience, showed a parent who would agree with me that her performance was for mature audiences only. Read full post »

Is Indoor tanning safe for teens

Tanning bedIn Washington, we’re nearing the end of our summer and with winter comes days of grey skies and few glimpses of sun. Indoor tanning salons are so popular here they are in nearly every plaza mall you drive past and from what I can see, they seem to be a hot spot for teen girls. It turns out my observations aren’t that far off. A new study in JAMA found that about a third non-Hispanic White teenage girls and young women are regular patrons of tanning salons and the media has picked up on this as well. While we all enjoy a sunny day or walk on the beach in the summer, having ongoing exposure to UV light isn’t as harmless as it seems. Read full post »

Plan B Emergency Contraception: an update

We’ve blogged about Plan B, a form of emergency contraception, in the past to discuss what it is and why we feel it should be available over the counter, but there have been some important updates on legislation that we wanted to share.

Preparing Your Teen for College: Home for the Holidays

Right now you may be focusing on getting your teen settled into college life and the Holidays are months away, yet Thanksgiving and Winter break are just around the corner. Dr. Cora Breuner offers tips for time with your teen when they are home for the holidays.