Parenting My Teen

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Archive for the ‘Teen General Health’

Teenagers want parents to be involved in their lives

By: Aurelia Category: Family, Parenting A Teen, Teen Emotional Health, Teen General Health

(BPT) – Today’s changing social environment and confusing messages about drugs and alcohol may be making it even more difficult for teenagers to get their bearings as they move toward adulthood. That is why it is more important than ever for parents to know what is going on in their kids’ lives and have the skills to respond to their teens appropriately.

Specifically, as drugs and alcohol are becoming more accessible and more states are legalizing marijuana, many teens may believe that the use of marijuana or other substances is now okay. Parents should know that legalization of marijuana does not mean it is harmless, and increased availability of other substances does not make them less harmful, either. Marijuana and other substances can cause permanent damage to the teenage brain, and teens can become addicted more quickly than adults.

This is a time when parents need to become involved in their teens’ lives and help them navigate these complex issues. While many parents may think of their teens as grown-ups and able to fully take care of themselves, teenagers have said that this is a time when they need their parents the most. Asking questions and being involved shows teenagers that their parents care.

“Even though teens may sometimes indicate otherwise, through my experience as a psychiatrist to teenagers, I have found that most of them want their parents involved in their lives to provide guidance and support,” says Dr. Thomas Wright, chief medical officer at Rosecrance, one of the country’s leading teen substance abuse treatment centers. “Teens want their parents to actively parent them and provide them guidance they need, including direction around substances.”

Studies have shown that parents who play an active role in the lives of their teens can positively impact their children’s behavior and influence them to cease or abstain from ever using substances. In contrast, research shows that teens whose parents expect them to engage in risky behaviors such as drinking and using drugs are more likely to do so.

“It is critical that parents understand their role and take conscious measures to support their teens in living a healthy and happy life,” Wright says. “Parents should ask what their teens are doing, address the pressures they are facing, act immediately when they suspect their teen is in trouble, and advocate for help if their teen needs it to help them live a healthy life.”

Starting a conversation with a teen about substances can be daunting. It can be even more overwhelming for a parent when their teenage child approaches them with questions before they have had a chance to prepare. For a helpful guide to talking with a teenager about marijuana visit

Be sure to check out Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen to grab some additional parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen.

Teen Anxiety and How to Help

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Emotional Health, Teen General Health

Teen anxietyWhat is teen Anxiety  – Teen anxiety occurs when a teenagers feel unsure of  themselves or the events that  have taken place in their lives. Anxiety is an unsettled, restless state of mind. The teen experiences emotional distress (sometimes combined with overwhelming feelings of disappointment) on a day to day basis. Everything seems to be out of control.

Why teens experience anxiety?  The teenage years are times of high stress, hard decisions and strong emotions. Teen anxiety can come about through many events in the teen’s life such as a broken relationship, a parental divorce or academic pressure in school. These issues are real and are very much a part of their lives. Teenagers are easily influenced by people and events around them. Moreover, they are living in a fast-paced, constantly changing world. Technology produces everything faster and better even before everyone has adapted to the old products. Everything – from cell phones to i-pods – conveys the message that everything has to be accomplished fast, practically without thought or meaning. As well, teens are heavily influenced by the media which promotes the idea of always being Number One. The images result in a lot of pressure on teens because these standards are unrealistic and are usually not attainable.

Parents can tell if their teen has anxiety if they show signs of…

· Inability to follow through with a  usual routine whether it is school or work related

· Compulsive actions

· Repetitive behavior

· Agitated behavior

· Disturbed sleep patterns

What can parents do to prevent overwhelming anxiety in their teens?

A certain amount of teen anxiety is normal and it is possible for the average adolescent  to cope with his or her anxiety. Parents play an important role in helping them do so. One task for parents is to identify when symptoms become unmanageable and to arrange for professional assessment and treatment if necessary. When a teen’s anxiety interferes with his or her ability to function well in school, at home or with peers, then a consultation with a mental health professional can prove invaluable. Similarly, when a teen shares that anxiety is making him think of dying, professional treatment is best.

The majority of teens are dealing with less intense types of anxiety. They’ll be able to get by with a little help from their friends and family. Parents can help with their teen’s anxiety by listening to them. Teens do not want to be lectured by their parents who criticize everything they do. Teens need someone who they can talk to and vent their frustrations to. Teens need to feel that they are not being judged and whatever they say will be accepted. They need to feel they can trust their parents and that they are loved and cared for. Sometimes parents can guide teens toward activities that provide stress relief such as sports, drama clubs, volunteer work, and even part-time jobs. Parents can also encourage downtime, family fun (board games, outings, hobbies) and even cooking!

A short vacation or even a few hours out of the house for some one-on-one quality time can often work wonders with an adolescent. Parents can even play some relaxing music in the house to help set a calm mood. Of course, reducing family stress (no yelling, fighting, marital battles, etc.) will also help reduce teen anxiety. If parents are experiencing stress of their own, they shouldn’t share it with their teens but rather with other supportive adults.  Teens who effectively navigate the stresses of adolescence, on their own or with parental and/or professional support, are in a good position to handle the stresses and anxieties of adult life. It’s important for parents to refrain from rescuing their teen from every difficulty because this prevents the youngster from learning how to handle and overcome excessive stress. Providing guidance while trusting one’s child to be able to handle life is the healthiest approach for parents to take. The teen will be encouraged by the vote of confidence!

Be sure to check out Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen to grab some additional parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen.

5 Ways To Protect Teens From Cyberbullying

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Emotional Health, Teen General Health

With the advent of social media, and the rise in high technology, everyone is connecting like never before. With social networking being the main way we communicate, post recipes, or share music, the dependency of technology is shaping our everyday lives. Although face-to-fact contact is, and always will be prevalent, kids are using social media and texting throughout their daily lives more and more. Unfortunately, the Internet can’t always filter out bad behavior or crime, and bullying can take place even when two people aren’t in the same room.</p>

Raising Awareness

President Obama made October National Cyber Security Awareness Month recently, shedding light on the rise of this growing concern. The Department of Homeland Security has tips for increasing cyber security, which include: setting strong passwords and not sharing them with anyone; installing updates on an operating system, browser and other critical software; and limiting the amount of personal online information and using privacy settings.</p>
<p>Government officials called for a partnership to secure U.S. interests in cyberspace, particularly critical infrastructure, according to FCW. In early October,  Keith Alexander, Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency, called on agencies to collaborate with each other and the private sector to better share information for the sake of national security.

Lock It Up

Sensitive information is also a target for cyber bullies. Someone’s bank accounts, financial information, job information, and social security information may be on their computer, and this type of information needs to be protected. By helping protect a person’s identity, services like LifeLock provide a cyber safety net. When a thief obtains personal information, these security companies supply early notifications of threats to personal identity, helps cancel and replaces contents lost in a stolen handbag or wallet, scours the Internet for the illegal distribution of  private information, verifies changes of address or information forms and more.

Knowledge is Power

The Cyberbullying Research Center provides timely  information about the nature, extent, causes and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents. Cyberbullying is defined as “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.”

The site provides ways adolescents use and misuse technology and is meant to be a resource for parents and others who work with youths. The site also provides numerous resources to help people prevent and respond to cyberbullying incidents. Knowing what to look for and how to respond to this growing concern among teens will be the difference between continued struggle and a brighter future. Parents should take the time to educate themselves on this topic alone, and with their kids, regardless of if their children are being bullied.

Parents should also look into the CyberBully Hotline Program. Each school within a system is given its own unique number that students can call in or text to report bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, intimidation and information on potential harmful or violent acts by others. Messages received are immediately forwarded to a designated school official or officials and can appear on their mobile device, in their email in-box and within the secure  CyberBully Hotline website.


Having frequent discussions about online child safety is very important and will help to ward of potential online dangers. If you want information on a good internet monitoring software that is easy to use, then check out the link below:

The Nutrition Teens Need

By: Aurelia Category: Family, Parenting A Teen, Teen General Health

It can be easy to think of teenagers as simply young adults when it comes to proper diet. The truth is that teenagers are still developing mentally and physically, and require specific nutrition to help them do so.

Teens tend to live on starchy comfort food and protein, such as potatoes, pasta, bread, meat and cheese. Although the protein and calories can be beneficial for rapid growth, most of these foods are nutritionally inferior.

Healthy teenage bodies are resilient, and generally respond well to improved habits in the future. Still, moderating such foods and observing a proper diet throughout the teen years can influence overall health in the coming decades.

Some of the specific things happening in teens’ bodies are bone growth, hormone changes and weight gain. Eating the right foods can help these processes take place as they’re meant to.

Bone Growth

Most of the bone mass that people have for their entire lives is built before adulthood. To prevent osteoporosis in later years, it is incredibly important to amass healthy bone tissue during the teenage years.

Calcium generally comes to mind regarding bone strength. Cheese is a calcium rich food, which is perhaps part of the reason teens love it. Low fat or fat free varieties of milk and yogurt are also high in calcium. It’s best to choose plain versions rather than chocolate milk and most flavored yogurts. These add refined and unnecessary sugars to the diet.

Avoid overdoing dairy by including calcium rich leafy greens, chick peas, almonds and fortified orange juice in your teen’s diet. It’s best to get calcium from whole foods as opposed to supplements.

Vitamin D is essential for proper calcium absorption. The best source is a few minutes daily of direct sunlight, which the body converts to vitamin D. When the sun’s not out, food sources such as salmon, shrimp, egg yolks and fortified milks are ideal.

Hormone Health

Teenagers experience significant hormonal changes, and are prone to hormone related symptoms like mood swings and acne. For the best hormone health, a well rounded and nutritious diet low in salt, added sugars and unhealthy fats is the best thing.

One of the easiest ways to achieve this diet is to reduce or eliminate fast and processed foods. Fried foods, refined breads, low quality meats and cheeses, artificial sweeteners and large quantities of salt characterize these items, and don’t do much beyond supply empty calories.

Load your teen up with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish, whole grains and healthy fats like olives and avocados. If you eat meat and dairy, opt for lean, organic options without the questionable injected hormones. The animals these come from are often in better general health, which means higher quality food for you.

Weight Gain

It’s common for teenagers to gain weight more quickly than adults. This is because of increased muscle mass (mostly in boys) and fatty tissue (mostly in girls). The teen years are not a time to adopt low calorie and drastic weight loss plans. A nutritious, varied diet low in processed food is best.

Of course, this is also a time that many children see unhealthy weight gain. If underlying problems such as thyroid trouble or diabetes are non existent, consider trading simple carbohydrates for complex ones, whole dairy for fat free and reducing salt and added sugars. For example, if white pasta and pork are typically in your meals, try switching to whole wheat pasta and turkey sausage. Swap out juice cocktails for natural fruit drinks and read labels for reduced sodium.

Remember to take into consideration your teenager’s lifestyle. Sports, environment and family habits can all be impacted by his or her dietary choices. For most kids, a well rounded, nutritious diet will see them well on their way to becoming healthy, strong adults.

Author Bio:

Katherine E. Reilly Mitchell is a freelance writer and mother with deep passions for writing and parenting. Currently she works for Being a stay at home mom is not an easy task, and provides everything you need to thrive as a SAHM. Katherine also maintains a personal blog at

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Promote Healthy Teenage Positive Body Image

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Emotional Health, Teen General Health

Peer pressure is a fact of life. As a child becomes a teenager, your opinions begin to slip into the background and those of their friends take center stage. When that happens, you’ll want your child to be well-equipped with tools to keep their opinion of themselves high even in the face of the opinions of others.

Besides friends, the media and society are all around us. They broadcast their view of what “beautiful” is to the world. It is easy for adults to get caught up in that. Just look at the number of adult cases of anorexia and bulimia. It is not as common as teenage cases but it is there for men and women.

If adults have a hard time with self-esteem and body image then teens will too. There are so many hormones raging at the same time that their bodies are changing by leaps and bounds. The hardest part to accept is that the internal changes are going on without their permission. Psychological conditions like anorexia and bulimia give back a measure of control over their bodies that many teens crave.

But, there are other ways to exert that control and it all begins with you, the parent. It begins in early childhood. Right from the start do what you can to teach your child that they are beautiful and validated. Here are some tips.

  • Offer positive feedback to your teen – When they buy a new outfit, complement them on their choice even if you don’t much like the color. That is a personal preference and they are allowed to express themselves and their style.
  • Promote physical activity – This doesn’t have to be structured exercise. Instead spend time each day doing an outdoor activity as a family. Your child will get used to physical activity and see it as a way to have fun and release stress in the process. Consider an after dinner walk with the family to discuss how your day has been.
  • Offer healthy food choices in the house – When healthy food is always on the menu, there is no reason to look at food in a negative light. Sure, it’s okay to eat sugary sweets in moderation and they can learn that within the household.
  • Teach your children about food – Most kids love to cook. It gives you a chance to take a break from fixing meals and also to teach your child about the components of foods. Allow them to taste the natural flavor of fresh vegetables and fruits without added condiments. Discuss how fats add empty calories but a few are fine in moderation.
  • Avoid negative talk about food – This can make your child feel guilty every time they eat a certain food. It can result in them still eating it but hiding it from you. That sets them up for negative body images of themselves.
  • Empower them – No matter what they want to do, they can do it if they put their mind to it. This means breaking into a “boys only” sport or running for student body president. Instill confidence in them and their abilities.
  • Discuss societal views – Teens have questions. The best place to get answers is from you. Talk about how they feel towards society’s idea of perfect and normal. Let them know that they are allowed to be an individual and inject their style into society. 
  • Get them involved in the community – Taking part in empowerment seminars, youth organizations and community service helps them to see and be a part of the world outside of them. By focusing on others and helping them, you increase good internal feelings about who you are. It helps to put all of life into a realistic perspective.

Body image is a psychological picture of who you are. As a parent, strengthening that view from the beginning is important for your child. It can also help you to let go of any negative self-image issues that you might have. A child is a blank slate. Encourage them to be all they can be and happy in the skin they are in.

Here are some Easy Breakfast Recipes for all kids

The Weight Loss Diet eBook – The Original Negative Calorie Foods eBook. Try negative calorie foods & diet to lose that extra fat to attain a slim & fit body. This will ensure a healthy, happy and long life.