Archive for 2013

Preparing Your Teen for College: long distance relationship or break up

young loveAs summer is getting into full swing, those teens who graduated from high school may be preparing to go off to college. For many of the teens I work with, moving means leaving behind friends, family, and a boyfriend or girlfriend. When I ask teens what they think will happen to the relationship, many tell me they aren’t sure. Often they are in their first serious relationship, one where their family and friends all know the significant other and much of the teen’s free time is spent with their partner. I ask them about what will happen to their relationship in order to get them to think a bit about the future, while enjoying the summer. Read full post »

In the News: 1 in 3 Teens Experiences Dating Violence

Closeup photo of a boy and girl holding handsDating violence- defined as physical, psychological, or sexual violence towards a romantic partner- is a common experience for teens. Recent research by the American Psychological Association states that 1 in 3 American teens (aged 14-20) have experienced dating violence. The actual numbers are slightly more complex: 1 in 3 male teens and 2 in 5 female teens have been the victim of dating violence, and 1 in 3 teens report committing dating violence.

When we think about violence, we often think about someone being punched or beaten. Physical abuse is a devastating type of dating violence, but psychological and sexual violence also hurt keenly and can cause lasting damage.

Why is this so common? What can we do about it? How do parents try to protect their teens from ending up being abused- or being the abuser? Read full post »

Preparing Your Teen for College: Study Abroad

We’ve asked Dr. Cora Breuner for tips on preparing your teen for college. In this clip she offers advice for studying abroad. We’ve covered this topic traveling abroad in a previous post, but here Dr. Breuner gives more detailed advice on the opportunities to study abroad during college.

Why you should consider the HPV Vaccine for your teen

tween hpv vaccineAs a parent, I try to protect my daughter against as much as I can. I put her in a car-seat with 5 point restraints, I make sure she’s wearing a jacket if it’s cold outside. She gets multiple servings of fruits and veggies each day, and I take her in for routine well child checks with her pediatrician. For my family, we decided that we also wanted to protect her from harmful infections, so we had her vaccinated. She’s only one year old, but I’m hopeful that as she grows she’ll continue to have good health and will never have to experience the burden of cancer. My father recently died of  cancer and a very close family friend (who never smoked a day in her life) is dying of esophageal cancer. In an effort to decrease my daughter’s risk, I’m also going to take her in to her pediatrician for the HPV vaccine when she’s 11 or 12 years old. Read full post »

Why Your Teen Should Get a Job

Teen Girl With Paint RollerI never had a job in high school. My brother did, but I managed to avoid it somehow. I’d watched him working as a checker at a retail store, and it looked tedious and thankless. Between summer programs, illnesses, and simple inertia, I got to college without having worked a day in my life. I did need to work in college, but it was missing a few “real world” attributes, like a paycheck (it went straight to tuition). This led to me, in my early 20s, calling my roommate in a panic because my second paycheck was so much less than my first. My roommate laughed for a long time and explained taxes to me. Read full post »

Behavioral Health: Teens and Bipolar Disorder

sad teen girlIn the late 1990s and early 2000s, diagnoses of pediatric bipolar disorder increased sharply. Children as young as preschoolers (and pre-preschoolers) entered treatment. However, most current experts agree that pediatric bipolar disorder is rare. People with bipolar disorder need medications in order to function, but these medications have side effects and should never be prescribed unless necessary. Read full post »

Managing Chronic Illness

diabetic teenThe developmental stages of adolescence include pushing boundaries, determining your sense of self, and forging new relationships. Add a chronic illness into the mix, and life as a teen can get extremely complicated. For teens with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or asthma, this means that on top of finding out who they are, then need to give themselves life saving medications daily, arrange medical visits, and be vigilant about what they eat & how they eat, or what activities they can participate in that won’t trigger a flare in their disease. It’s no wonder that many teens decide they are done with having a chronic illness and decide to ignore their self care. Read full post »

Teens and situational awareness

A group of young people walking to sunset in city parkRecent media coverage of a case involving the shooting a teen boy has lead me (and our nation) to have more questions than answers: what events could lead to the shooting of a teen? What concerns lead a citizen to carry a concealed weapon? If a person carries a weapon, what triggers them to feel the need to use it? How can being aware of our surroundings prevent tragedies from happening (both the death of someone who was still a child and the burden one may carry from having ended someone’s life)? Read full post »

When Your Teen Has a Temper


There are two developmental stages in life notable for behavioral outbursts: toddlerhood and adolescence. Teens are acutely sensitive to situations that they feel are unfair or uncalled-for, and will often let you know in no uncertain terms how they feel. Due to a mixture of hormones, brain development, and cognitive changes, they may simply be irritable and get mad for no reason (or at least, what you would consider no reason.) Sometimes your teen’s temper seems to be getting out of hand. What do you do about it?
Read full post »

Preparing Your Teen For College: Drugs, Alcohol, Eating Disorders

Congratulations on having a teen who has successfully graduated from high school!  Now the journey into adulthood begins. We’ve asked Dr. Cora Breuner (who is raising 3 teens herself) for tips on preparing your teen for college. In this video blog, she offers advice on drugs, alcohol, and eating habits.