What to Do When: Five Ways to Support Teens + Yourself in the Era of School Shootings

May 09, 2019

Hi Julie,

Yesterday the news struck. Another school shooting. I can’t handle it. I don’t know how to help my daughter when we hear about one. She is starting high school in the fall, and I don’t know if I can handle four more years of this fear. Help!

Thanks,

Annie


Hi Anne~

There are few events that strike fear in our hearts, our homes, and our communities like the senseless act of a school shooting. With images and snippets flashed on television and streamed over social media, it is natural to feel fearful about the safety of your child and their school. Beyond limiting exposure to media, it’s critical to know exactly what to do when tragedy strikes so you can support your teen and yourself.

  1. Lean into your support system and self-care habits. To assuage your teen’s anxieties, you need to first address your own. When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others. The same is true...
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Are you Really Listening (part 1 in a 3-part series)

Apr 11, 2019

Do you ever notice that your teen’s eyes glaze over while you’re talking to them? This is a surefire sign you are talking too much and listening too little.

Solid, healthy communication is essential in any relationship, right? When we talk and share our feelings, we feel closer to one another. However, talking is only part of the equation. The other portion - the much larger portion - is listening.

Sadly, this often gets reversed because it is easy to talk and way harder to listen.  When communicating with teens, most parents and adults talk 50% more than what’s necessary. If you’re verbose, you may even say 70% or 80% more than necessary.

Yikes! And, when you are busy doing all that talking, it, again, can be tough, really tough to listen. Anyone can talk, but not everyone listens.

*You* need to be part of the group that listens.

Without the capacity for effective listening, communication becomes irrelevant. This is often what happens with your...

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How you and your Teen can Stress Less this Holiday Season

Nov 21, 2018

It feels like just yesterday I was sitting on the bay of the river, toes in sand, watching the fireworks above me. Today, I’m sitting on the living room floor, toes wrapped in wool socks, watching my teens argue over what pie we should have and tossing around ornaments for a tree that won’t up be up for another few weeks.

Yep, the holiday season is upon us. This truly is my favorite time of year where we celebrate family, friends, tradition, and spirit. Yet, all too often, we stumble and trip through the season only to begin the new year overwhelmed and exhausted. And, it’s not just you.

The American Psychological Association conducted a survey that found that adolescents and young adults report the highest level of stress among all ages. When their holiday overwhelm is paired with other seasonal stressors such as fewer hours of daylight, changes in routines, holiday guests, academic workload, finals, college applications and more, they return to the daily grind...

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