A letter I received from a mother in Pennsylvania told the tale of her 15-year-old daughter who, she explained punctuates all her conversations with finger pokes and punches, and she leans into the mother or pulls on me whenever she wants to say something. Most of the time the daughter tries to pass this off as a joke. The mother […]

Sometimes teens would rather hear us talk less. We need to show that we care with our eyes, touch and body language. Sometimes a hug or an arm around the shoulders will help a teen feel he or she can tell you what is on his or her mind. Today’s teens have a lot more to worry about than we […]

PARENTS Q: About a month ago you wrote about a mother who was worried about her daughter’s first date. You said the boy should come in and meet you before they went out, have a snack, and tell you their plans for the date (even if your daughter had already told you). Don’t you think this is a bit ridiculous? […]

Q: Our sons are 17 and 18, one in high school and one in college. This year they want to go to Florida or the Bahamas on spring break and they are asking us for the money. They would drive down with friends but they don’t know where they will be staying; it depends on how much money they can […]

Q: I usually agree with your advice, but when you were a teen in the 1950s, your family had more time to have talks and do things together. Today there’s just not enough time. — K.P., Clear Lake, Texas A: I agree that making time to interact with their teens is one of the biggest problems facing today’s parents. However, […]

Some people were brought up in families that practiced daily conversations. Teens are bombarded with sounds. They may relish moments of silence and reflection. Sometimes school and family are the last things they want to talk about. Your child might even want to talk to someone about her fears, hopes or dreams . . . someone who will just listen […]

Heart-to-heart communication differs with each child. Even though you feel you are not receiving from one daughter, what you are sending to her may still be effective. If your standoffish daughter still asks your opinion on things important to her, she is communicating and interacting. Even if your conversations are brief, she may be getting what she wants. Some people […]

Q: Last year a friend of mine committed suicide. I can’t forget it and keep feeling I could have done something to prevent it. I know I get depressed sometimes, but I can snap out of it. I guess many other teens can’t. I read that 5,000 commit suicide each year and that it is the leading cause of death […]

Q: My wife and I work long hours at high-stress jobs in order to have the time and money to take one or two nice vacations each year. The last three have been disasters because of the way our teenagers (a son, l7, and a daughter, 15) behave. We spend the whole time trying to do things they would enjoy, […]

There has been considerable controversy over school-based Project 10 counseling services in the past few years. Started by Virginia Uribe at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, the Project 10 model is now being used at high schools across the nation to give counseling and emotional support to students who know or feel that they might be gay and/or who […]