Archives for Teens


The Most Important Key to Blending Families: Time

Given that 50% of all marriages end in divorce; 75% of all divorce persons eventually re-marry and about 65% of remarriages involve children from the prior marriage-- there are many parents and children trying to blend into new families.

If recognized, “ Time” can be a crucial resource. Blending a family is a process that takes place over time. If you keep time on your side, you may be able to suspend expectations, appreciate small steps and trust the power of love, flexibility and take out food.
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Preventing Teen Suicide:The Importance of Information and Connection

It is difficult to look too closely at what baffles and terrifies us— teen suicide is one of those realities.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. for young people between the ages or 10 and 24 years.
The National Institute of Mental Health believes that there may be as many as 25 attempted suicides for every teen who dies by suicide.
The frightening part is that attempting suicide is one of the strongest predictors of a completed suicide.
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Cell Phones: A Near and Possible Danger for Young Children

In an earlier blog I considered the dangers of teens sleeping with cell phones. Specifically that the “ on call status” was in most cases not choice but obligation, anxious need, and even addiction.

A recent article by Deborah Fallows in The Atlantic, entitled, “ Papa, Don’t Text,” invites us to consider the impact of cell phones on those too young to use them.

Fallows asks us to consider the impact on babies and small children when the parent or caregiver is present but talking with someone else on a cell phone or present but silently texting.
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Raising Teens Without Ruining Your Marriage: Three Principles

Whereas most people are warned that the blessed event of a new baby may challenge the romance in their marriage – not enough warning is given to parents of teens. Lulled by the relative calm of the school age years, they find themselves suddenly embroiled in the challenging journey of adolescence which extends anywhere from age 12 to 18 years.

Notwithstanding the love parents have for their kids and for each other, most parents will agree that the teen years can stress even the strongest of marriages. Why?

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Reducing Marital Stress Helps Children Return to School

When children head back to school this year, they should not be carrying emotional baggage from home.

When we worry about how our children will handle school- what they will face and how they will cope, we often overlook the impact of marital strife on their physical, emotional and intellectual functioning.

It is difficult to feel confident, curious or open to new school friends or ideas when...
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The Denver Movie Shooting: A Dark Catastrophe

The definition of catastrophe is an event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering. The early morning shooting and killing of 12 people and wounding of others as they eagerly began viewing the latest Batman movie; “The Dark Knight Rises,” tragically qualifies.

As we shockingly take stock of this horrific event, we once again dare to imagine the pain of the families or resonate with memories of having faced similar pain. In the face of traumatic loss we are left without words, helpless to understand ‘Why’ and needing to believe there is a way to prevent such events.

We have come to know that even as we can still barely catch a breath and struggle for answers, there are some initial steps of Psychological First Aid (PFA) that offer some relief.

Here are some suggestions worth knowing and owning when life has suddenly become so darkened.
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Strategies for Healing the Psychological Impact of Medical Illness

In the preceding blog, we considered the importance of recognizing medical illness as psychological trauma.

In this blog we report on an interview with Michele Rosenthal, author of the trauma recovery memoir, BEFORE THE WORLD INTRUDED, survivor, and host of ‘Your Life After Trauma'.  

Diagnosed with a rare disease, Stevens Johnson Syndrome, at age thirteen, Michele journeyed through two decades of undiagnosed PTSD to eventual recognition, recovery and support of many as the founder of

What she offers in lessons learned is of value for parents of children who have faced illness, as well as adults who wonder how they will ever reclaim their bodies, heal their sense of self and take a new self into the future.

Michele, your journey from illness started when you were only thirteen. Parents suffer so much when they see their children suffer. How did your parents respond?

My parents were phenomenal! They were there in a very active way. Their presence next to me, their translation of what was happening to me, their role in helping the staff understand me in a certain way were all crucial to my safety and comfort.
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“The Hunger Games”: Some Suggestions For Parents

The new film, “The Hunger Games,” based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, has outstripped Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax as the top grossing film this year. Perhaps because it is based on a young adult novel written in the voice of a 16-year-old heroine with many young fans, it earned a MPAA rating of PG-13 despite considerable violence. As such, there has been concern about its impact on the millions of teens who will be viewing it.

Research studies have demonstrated both an increase in aggression and desensitization to violence by children and teens viewing many hours of violence in TV shows, interactive games and films. Longitudinal, cross-sectional, and experimental studies have all confirmed this correlation.

In “ The Hunger Games” what is of particular concern is that the violence is lethal violence of children against children, an activity portrayed as “games.”

The Role of Parents

As parents you can best mediate the impact of what your children have seen or are viewing if you are “media literate” i.e. – you know what your children and teens are exposed to. Accordingly, if your teens have seen or are going to see “The Hunger Games,” it makes sense for you to see it. If necessary, see it separately.
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Mental Health Day: Suicide Protection Across Generations

Suicide ranks as the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States. We have lost loved ones across the generations.

Older Americans are disproportionately likely to die by suicide. Although they comprise only 12 percent of the U.S. population, people age 65 and older accounted for 16 percent of suicide deaths in 2004.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students and the third leading cause of death in adolescents.  Every day 14 teens take their own lives.
 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the second year in a row, middle -aged adults have the highest suicide rate in the country, surpassing even older Americans.

While there are many factors that contribute to suicide, an important new study identifies two factors that have been associated with increased risk for suicidal thought and behavior across the lifespan – hopelessness and lack of connectedness to others.

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