Tips, Strategies, Coaching and Inspiration designed specifically for parents of teenagers who are looking to Restore Peace Of Mind During The Teenage Years.
Teens, Tantrums and Threats. These are three “T’s” that can cause a lot of stress, frustration and sadness for parents, especially when everyone is home together all the time. Have you had situations where you feel like your teenager bursts into a fit of rage or tears without warning while you are left trying to figure out what provoked such a strong emotional reaction? You are not alone.
As I often discuss, teens have a lot going on internally at any given moment. Raging hormones, insecurity, wanting independence but being terrified of it at the same time, academic pressure, peer pressure and general confusion about where they fit into the world are probably just the tip of the iceberg. All of this “stuff” sits inside them brewing and brewing until one thing, however small, causes them to boil over.
This can result in tantrums and threats. Tantrums can involve crying, screaming, yelling, door slamming, stomping...
How is your family managing emotionally as most of us go into another week of quarantine without a clear end in sight? Likely, everyone in your home has experienced a range of challenging emotions over last 7-8 weeks.
Anxiety, boredom, fear, low mood, stress, anger and disappointment are likely some of the challenging emotions experienced. You may have also experienced joy and happiness with having more time with one another and time to do things you usually put on the back burner. Most people have experienced many or all the above emotions, which is completely normal.
What we don’t want, is to have the challenging emotions most of the time. Carrying the weight of these emotions most of the time will take its toll on our mental health and the longer they persist, the longer it will take to get things back on track.
Keep in mind that our thoughts create our emotions. The problem is that often we don’t even realize what our thoughts are, or how...
Has your family been eating more than you normally do, or eating less healthy foods during quarantine? If you are, you are not alone. The sale of snacks, alcohol and the demand for processed “comfort” foods, like mac and cheese, have increased significantly since March.
Why is this happening?
Less structured days. Work and school help us structure our days, so we only eat at certain times. With so many people home and/or not working, the structure is no longer present, and it is very easy to just walk to the kitchen and pantry and grab something without even thinking about it.
What’s the Deal with Vaping?
Teen vaping and e-cigarette use is being referred to as an epidemic. Even though it is illegal in all states for anyone to purchase e-cigarettes under the age of 18 or 21, teens are still easily able to access these products. Unlike regular cigarettes, there is not a distinct odor, so teens are able to be very secretive with their use. The manufacturers of these products also target teens, many of whom are misinformed by thinking that e-cigarettes or vaping are not harmful.
Harmful effects of e-cigarettes / vaping:
Creating any kind of a change in our lives, whether a change around food habits, exercise or changes in our relationships, can be challenging. Often, we lose steam because we are not seeing the results we want quickly enough. How many people give up on diets after a week or two because they have not lost 10 pounds or because they are not fitting into their smaller clothes yet? This happens to so many of us and it is because creating change can be hard. We become frustrated and tired and then give up. It sometimes feels more comfortable to stay in a “stuck mode” rather than invest a lot of time and energy into creating change when you are uncertain about how, if and when the change will occur.
This happens to many parents who want to change their relationship or the dynamic they have with their teenager (or with each other) as well. Parents become frustrated with the dynamics of their family. Whether there is too much yelling or...
When addressing your teenager’s behavior (or any child’s behavior for that matter), try to avoid using the following words, “DON’T, NO, STOP, QUIT”. You may be asking...WHAT???!!!! Let me explain so that this makes a little more sense. When addressing your teenager’s behavior, you likely want to extinguish negative behaviors, but you should also want to promote that they engage more in positive behaviors. When you start your conversation with the above four words…you are automatically putting your attention on the negative behavior you want less while not attending to the positive behavior you want more of. It seems like a minor difference, but you will get more of what you put your focus and emphasis on. If you are looking to increase positive behaviors, placing more focus on them will increase the chance that you will see more of them.
For example, instead of saying, “Stop playing games on your...
Most teens are on their electronic devices more than ever right now for several reasons. Boredom is one of them for sure! In addition to boredom, they are on them for schoolwork and as a means of staying connected to others. As a parent, how do you set limits or manage your teen’s screen time during quarantine when it has gone on this long?
I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer for this, however, here are some guidelines that may help.
If I asked this question before the days of smart devices, email and social media your answer would likely be “absolutely not”. You would be able to screen any calls coming into your home and protect your child from bullying, however, this is not the case today.
Unfortunately, it is much harder for teens to escape bullying unless they choose to unplug completely and what teen is going to do that? Cyberbullying can be persistent, either with non-stop harassing text messaging or with frequent hurtful, threatening or humiliating social media posts. For a teenager experiencing cyberbullying, home no longer feels like a safe place, even during a quarantine.
The other scary thing about cyberbullying is that once it is out there…it is usually out there forever. It’s easier for bullies to be relentless when they can hide behind a screen and not have to say or do something to their victim in person. While some bullying can be very blatant and obvious, other forms...
Here we go…week #4 of social distancing. When they first announced that schools would close and that everyone who could, should be working at home, did you think we would be going into a week #4, wearing masks when buying groceries, having 6.6 million Americans apply for unemployment in a single week and still not knowing when this will end? Me neither!
Are your kids asking you questions you cannot answer? Are they cycling through the stages of grief or cycling in and out of anxiety, fear and boredom? If so, that is normal. We are navigating uncharted territory and most of us have not ever lived with this level of uncertainty. What do you do when it is week 4 and we know there will be at least 2 more weeks (very likely longer) to follow? What do you do when we don’t know what this being “done” looks like and what our new normal will be following all of this? What do you do when your kids keep asking for answers that you don’t...
What is the right amount of sleep for a teenager to be getting at night?
It is recommended that teenagers get between 8 – 10 hours of sleep per night, ideally 9 hours. I know...this seems like a lot! The reason for this is that they are still having a lot of physical, emotional and brain growth which really does require this much sleep on a consistent basis.
I know that for you, as the parent of a teenager, it can be a struggle to get them to understand this and just as much of a struggle to get them to go to bed early enough that they can sleep for 8 – 10 hours. As you know, there are multiple things that can impact your teen’s ability to go to bed early earlier. They often have a lot of homework, have sports or other extra-curricular activities that take place later in the evening and of course teens also want to stay up to watch television or movies, play video games or chat and text with their friends.
If your teen is used to...