What Is Social Competence in Teens? Why Is it Important?

Humans are social beings. And so, the peer support system that our teens have around them is important. Yes, your kid may like being alone, playing video games, painting art, or perfecting their musical skill. But that doesn’t mean they won’t need social relationships later in life. Learning social competence as teens is just as important as any other skill, we would argue.

Values Matter: Using Your Values to Raise Caring, Responsible, Resilient Children

Values are very important in parenting since they deeply influence all behaviors and attitudes and effect our decisions and relationships. For a value to be truly your own, you must act on it and your behavior must reflect it – not just verbally accept it or think that you should follow it.

Helping Children Cope With Grief

Whether the loss is a grandparent, a parent, a classmate or even a beloved family pet, the grieving process can be difficult and every child will grieve in his own way. Parents, caregivers and educators wondering how they can help will find many answers to their questions in the following guide, which has been assembled with advice from several experts in the area of child and adolescent grief. You will find tips broken down into a range of ages and experiences, and information about what to say, who should say it, what to look out for and how to help.

Explaining the News to Our Kids

Dramatic, disturbing news events can leave parents speechless. These age-based tips on how to talk to kids about the news—and listen, too—can help.

If it bleeds, it leads. The old newsroom adage about milking stories for sensationalism seems truer than ever today. And with technology doing the heavy lifting—sending updates, tweets, posts, and breaking news alerts directly to our kids’ phones—we parents are often playing catch-up. Whether it’s wall-to-wall coverage of the latest natural disaster, a horrific mass shooting, a suicide broadcast on social media, or a violent political rally, it’s nearly impossible to keep the news at bay until you’re able to figure out what to say. The bottom line is that elementary school-aged kids and some middle schoolers have trouble fully understanding news events. And though older teens are better able to understand current events, even they face challenges when it comes to sifting fact from opinion—or misinformation.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Chronic Stress in America

Stress on steroids. That’s how life feels for many Americans today. Consider senseless shootings, a nasty political climate, catastrophic weather, increasing suicide rates. Factor in close-to-home stressors such as caring for a loved one; parenting a learning-disabled, autistic, depressed, or anxious child; managing your own chronic condition or addiction; looking for a job. Now layer in everyday annoyances — traffic, train delays, a nasty coworker, a long supermarket line after an even longer day. No wonder we feel overloaded, overwhelmed, out of control, and unsafe.

Developing Adolescent Identity

Among the profound and exciting changes taking place in adolescence is the process of self-discovery. Our teens are working to figure out who they are, making adolescent identity development a central feature of teen life. Young people’s identities are shaped by lots of factors — family, cultural and societal expectations, experiences with institutions like school and the media, and friends. Young people also take active steps and make choices that shape their identity. They select the environments and people they want to be around. They adjust their beliefs and behaviors based on feedback. And they reflect on all of this while working to figure out who they are.

Do Mindfulness Apps Work?

What does science say about mindfulness apps? Research began in earnest only about four years ago, and studies are indeed pointing to potential benefits for our stress, emotions, and relationships. The findings may not be as conclusive as app marketers would have you...

Tackling the Relentless Pressure to Succeed That’s Driving Girls to Despair

Be confident and speak up, and you can achieve great things, we tell our girls. You can play any sport, join any after-school club, volunteer for any cause and get the grades. In fact, girls are regularly outperforming boys in school and enrolling in higher numbers in college.
It’s a great time to be a girl — or is it? Because behind all these possibilities is a troubling development: Girls’ anxiety and depression are climbing and increasingly turning tragic.

How to Talk to Children About Difficult News

Our country is seeing a tragic trend with #massshootings, and it is affecting our youth. So how do you talk about scary and tragic news with your kids?

The American Psychological Association suggests that instead of shielding children from the dangers, violence or tragedies around us, adults should talk to kids about what is happening.

Eight Ways to Bring Mindfulness into Your Family

They can be some of the most frustrating and embarrassing child behaviors—temper tantrums, lashing out at others, impatience, and short attention spans. So what can you do about them?  Research has found that having a sense of mindfulness, or the ability to be present and think before reacting, can provide children with the skills they need to better understand their feelings, to pay more attention and to make wiser decisions. The hidden benefit of practicing mindfulness with your family is that as parents you get to reap the benefits too. Here are eight easy ways to get started:

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