Is your teenager depressed? The symptoms may be harder to spot than obvious blues. The following are some of the signs of teenage depression, and are most significant when they occur in combination and over a period lasting more than two weeks. • First, sadness, anxiety and hopelessness. • Second, lack of interest in food or compulsive overeating with resulting […]

Adults often ask me, “What question do you hear most from teens?” The most frequent concern that teens have, and the one most often voiced by patients, and in letters from readers of our books is, “Am I normal?” This question can be asked in many different ways. One teen might say, “I’m fourteen, but I look about ten, and […]

The prospect for seeking professional help from a family counselor, a psychologist, or psychiatrist can be a painful one. But your teen or your family may need professional help in the following instances: • One, if you’re caught up in hurtful patterns of behavior that create and perpetuate tension within the family. • Two, if your teen shows signs of […]

So your child has expressed an interest in riding a bike. Now what do you do? Well first you need to find a suitable bicycle. If you do buy a bike, take your son with you to the bicycle shop and get expert advice to be sure the bike fits him. Don’t get a bike that is too big so […]

Parents who really believe that spanking is the only way to discipline usually continue to do it, no matter how many family counselors or parenting specialists advise against it. Parents who are unsure about ways to discipline, but who are open to learning other ways to guide or discipline their children, DO usually try other options, and find that they […]

At about 15 many teens go through a period of being introspective and moody. They seem to be thinking through how they feel about themselves and figuring out how this perception matches with what others think of them. Most of them work through this and come to terms with their self image by age 16. Ups and downs during the […]

Busy, overloaded days often make us unaware that family communication is suffering. Congratulations to those parents who take notice and want to improve the situation. However maybe it is more the “what” than the “how” that’s the problem. For example, if you ask parents to list what they talk with their school aged children or adolescents on a given day, […]

I believe in being the wall against which kids must push up against and that parenting is not a popularity contest. I think it’s usually safe to talk to one’s feelings ( i.e., “I need to talk about our confrontation. It really scared me. It must not happen again because that behavior is just not acceptable to me. I’m your […]

Inhalants are a group of volatile (breathable) substances abused by sniffing/inhaling. These are legal substances, most of which are found in everyday household products; not normally thought of as drugs, they have drug-like effects on users. Regulation for misuse is difficult, and the best prevention is educating children about the lethal effects of misuse. Inhalants are most often abused by […]

Q — After eight years of living with his mother, my 16-year- old son has decided to move in with me. Sharing my apartment with him and his belongings is a shock! I feel guilty about resenting him for intruding. He’s my son and I love him. But our fairly close relationship is being jeopardized by what I view as […]