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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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? […]

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 […]