Talking with Your Teenager about Sex

Parenting is hard, and parenting is teenager is often incredibly hard.  Many issues present themselves during this phase of life that are uncomfortable to talk about, and also where there aren’t always clear-cut answers. Parents often struggle to communicate well with their teenagers in general, much less about difficult topics such as sexual behavior.  Further,…

Learning to Love Learning

Being a child is hard.  While as adults we may idealize our childhood years and daydream about returning to that simpler time, let us not forget that being a kid in today’s society (or at any point in time, really) has its challenges.  Most kids feel a lack of control over their own lives; they…

Preparing for College Life

While there is still a considerable amount of time until National Decision Day on May 1st, many high school seniors are already beginning to receive news regarding their college applications.  It is therefore a time of great celebration for the students who are accepted into the schools of their choice, as well as some feelings…

Making a Better Apology

Saying “I’m sorry” can be trickier than it may seem. No matter how good our relationships are, having conflict and sometimes hurting people is unavoidable. Making an apology is essential for maintaining the quality of relationships. Unfortunately, we have all experienced bad apologies – given them, received them, or even witnessed them in situations that…

Easing Back into the School Year

Although it may feel hard to believe, summer has drawn to a close and the new school year is officially in full swing. This transition can be a difficult time for all families, especially as the excitement of the new school year begins to wear off and kids shift into the daily “grind” of the…

Lessons for Today from Mister Rogers

(This entry is adapted from an article by Shea Tuttle published by the Greater Good Science Center) I remember Mister Rogers vividly from my childhood – eating lunch on TV trays sitting on the floor of our living room with a friend, seeing the puppets and listening to the songs. At the time, of course,…

Self-Harm: Understanding What it Is (and Isn’t) and Knowing How to Respond

A quick tour of online resources for parents of teenagers reveals that the subject of self-harm is frequently raised, usually in the form of parental concerns over cutting behavior. Parents asking for advice or support when they discover that their son or daughter is self-harming are understandably alarmed and upset. They also tend to run…

Strategies for Building Empathy in Kids

Empathy represents a complex, often misunderstood, and sometimes taken-for-granted set of skills that help us to navigate our social and emotional world. It includes not just feeling concern for others who are in distress, but also our ability to “see” things from another’s perspective as well as to imagine how someone else might be feeling.…

Intolerance of Intolerance

I recently saw an Internet meme that questioned whether a tolerant society should or can tolerate intolerance. After all, to be fully tolerant, you must accept (or at least hear and allow to exist) all points of view, even if they differ from your own, even if that viewpoint is based in total intolerance of…