Put your smartphone away! Lonely kids crave real conversation

Despite our continual digital connections to everyone and everything, people today feel more lonely and less supported than 30 years ago. I was reminded of this fact recently as I observed a family at a restaurant. Mom, dad, and three brothers ages approximately 10, 7, and 4 were all bent over their devices, tapping away. The parents were on their smartphones, while the boys played video games on … [Read more...]

Cannabis conundrum: Are we ruining a generation of teenagers?

The ‘60’s and 70’s were the hay day for drug and alcohol usage by teenagers. Today, cigarette and alcohol use by teenagers are at their lowest levels since 1975. Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used in the United States by teens as well as adults. A survey of drug, alcohol, and cigarette use among teens found that past-month marijuana use for 10th and 12th graders has stayed relatively … [Read more...]

I hate my body! When and why body image dissatisfaction begins

Body image concerns for girls don’t typically start appearing in high school; it’s often grade school when the angst begins. It can begin with an offhand comment from a friend or parent, and almost always involves girls looking outside of themselves for their sense of worth. The cost is tremendous anxiety, self-hatred, and discontent. Let me share some stories of real girls whose names I have … [Read more...]

Flabby girls: boost these 5 critical social-emotional muscles

Yes, a lot of you girls are too flabby, but I’m not talking about your bodies. I’m referring to vital social, emotional, and psychological muscles that girls need to build up in order to live happy, fulfilled lives. You will have to throw off the shackles of good girl conditioning and push through cultural constrains. Just like in preparing for a marathon, it will require discipline and courage. … [Read more...]

Best parenting tips for 2017: Just don’t suck at it!

Kids are under a lot of pressure to be perfect these days, and the same unrealistic standard applies for parents. Advice comes in many forms and from all sides: grandparents, teachers, friends, coaches, blogs, articles, podcasts, and the Internet. Moms and dads often feel overwhelmed, and at the end of most days, like failures. My best parenting tip for 2017: “Just don’t suck at it!” The … [Read more...]

Girls who march to a different drum change the world

Mariah, 16, should have grown up in the ‘60’s. Have you ever met a kid who just reeked of that by-gone era: free spirits who want to try everything no matter how restrictive their parents become and who march to a different drum? I often describe these rebels as wild horses cooped up in a corral, kicking at the slats of the fence as they try to escape their enclosure. When allowed to exert their … [Read more...]

Best antidote for the holiday blues? An attitude of gratitude

There is no better antidote for the holiday blues than gratitude. Thankfulness raises your spirits because you cannot be in a state of anxiety, worry, or anger at the same time you are experiencing gratitude; it’s just not possible. A study of couples found that people who expressed gratitude for their partner felt more positive about them and felt safer expressing concerns about their … [Read more...]

Unforgettable mentors inspire greatness in us all

The value of mentors is immeasurable. Sometimes it's someone offering us the right words at the right time; other times it’s watching how they respond to a challenging situation. For some, it's a one-time chance encounter with a guide; for others it's a more formal mentorship. Their guidance can dramatically affect the trajectory of our lives through a helping hand or through wisdom that helps us … [Read more...]

Stop treating struggling teen girls like they are broken

It is often reported that anxiety and depression in children, and girls in particular, is on the rise. Girls today feel more stressed out and overwhelmed than ever before. Is this an exaggeration, and if not, what’s going on? Research says that women are 60% more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder over their lifetime with the average age of onset at 11 years. By … [Read more...]

Don’t allow overzealous youth coaches to rule your life

Parents are giving youth sports coaches way too much power over the lives of their children and families. Overuse injuries, overtraining, and burnout among child and adolescent athletes are a growing problem. Single-sport, year-round training and competition is becoming more and more common, as well as weekend long athletic tournaments that leave little down time for the child. Parents, kids, and … [Read more...]