Relationships & Connection

How Can I Nurture My Youth’s Self-Discovery Journey?

How Can I Nurture My Youth’s Self-Discovery Journey?

Self-discovery is the mission of every adolescent’s journey from childhood to adulthood. A strong identity helps tweens and teens develop self-awareness, self-regulation skills and confidence, and it guides them to make healthier choices and to grow into resilient adults. How can parents and caregivers make sure young people get the…

Why Are Loneliness Rates Increasing?

Why Are Loneliness Rates Increasing?

Loneliness has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., according to Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. In May, Murthy’s office released a sobering report which stated, “Our epidemic of loneliness and isolation has been an underappreciated public health crisis that has harmed individual and societal health. Our relationships are a source…

The Rise in Loneliness and What to Do About It

The Rise in Loneliness and What to Do About It

2023 marked the release of a public health advisory unlike any other in history. Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community calls out the profound impact of loneliness on mental and physical health, with a special focus…

Why Self-love is So Important for Teens

Why Self-love is So Important for Teens

Self-love includes “radical honesty, positive habit building, and unconditional self-acceptance,” writes poet and author Yung Pueblo. If a single quality could ensure teens’ lifelong mental, physical and emotional well-being, it just might just be the ability to love themselves. That’s because self-love gives teens tools to conquer self-doubt, practice self-acceptance…

From Loneliness to Connection: Five Actionable Strategies

From Loneliness to Connection: Five Actionable Strategies

Rates of adolescent loneliness are on the rise, and it’s a cause for major concern among mental health experts. Loneliness, according to Stanford University researchers, is “the state of distress or discomfort that results when we perceive a gap between our desire for social connection and our actual experience of…

How Connection Helps You Navigate Transitions

How Connection Helps You Navigate Transitions

Transitions are a part of life at every age, but they’re especially intense for tweens and teens. Nonstop neurological, psychological, physical and social changes are woven into the fabric of adolescence, making tweens and teens more vulnerable to stress, anxiety and depression. Researchers say that connection to others – including…

How Connection Builds Confidence

How Connection Builds Confidence

The confidence of almost every tween and teen takes a hit in adolescence. Kids who were spunky, sassy and carefree a few years ago may suddenly seem unsure and anxious. The transition is tough for parents to process. “…A confident child does not automatically become a confident adolescent,” says psychologist…

How Connection Addresses Stress, Anxiety and Pressure

How Connection Addresses Stress, Anxiety and Pressure

In a 2018 survey by the American Psychological Association, teens reported higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety and worse overall mental health than any other age group. The sources of that stress are complex, including everything from academic pressures and negative thoughts and feelings about themselves to fears about…

Why Did We Include Connection With Our App Model?

Why Did We Include Connection With Our App Model?

Connection is a core component of adolescent mental health. Without supportive relationships, tweens and teens are far more likely to experience depression and anxiety and to be at risk for self-harm. Positive relationships with family, friends and others build tweens’ and teens’ self-esteem, increase their resilience, lower their risk of…

How the Pandemic is Still Impacting Your Teen

How the Pandemic is Still Impacting Your Teen

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of people of all ages, but teens were hit especially hard. According to the CDC, more than a third of high school students (37%) reported they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported persistent feelings…

5 Ways to Foster Connection

5 Ways to Foster Connection

Connection is a core component of adolescent mental health. Without supportive relationships, tweens and teens are far more likely to experience depression and anxiety and to be at risk for self-harm. Positive relationships with family, friends and others build tweens’ and teens’ self-esteem, increase their resilience, lower their risk of…

The Impact of Being Alone Together on Tweens and Teens

The Impact of Being Alone Together on Tweens and Teens

We know the scene all too well: family or friends sitting together but otherwise disconnected, with heads bowed over their individual devices. It’s increasingly common for our closest relationships to take a back seat to online connections. MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle calls the phenomenon Alone Together. “We…

How to Help Your Teen Make a Difference

How to Help Your Teen Make a Difference

No one is more passionate and driven than teens who want to make a positive impact on the world. From Greta Thunberg to Jalen Arnold to Marley Dias and many, many more, teens are leading the way to a brighter future. But your teen doesn’t have to spearhead a major…

How Healthy Habits Can Improve Your Connection to Yourself and Others

How Healthy Habits Can Improve Your Connection to Yourself and Others

Connection is a cornerstone of teen mental health. But what does it mean for teens and tweens to feel connected? Imagine that each positive relationship in your teen’s life is like a single strand in their individual safety net. Many relationships equal a strong safety net. When they’re struggling, make…

Why Connection With Others is So Important for Teens

Why Connection With Others is So Important for Teens

Connection with others is important at every age, but it’s critical for teens. Research shows that positive relationships with family, friends and others build teens’ self-esteem, increase their resilience, lower their risk of anxiety and depression, and even help them be more physically healthy. Connections give teens a support system…

Helping Your Teen Nurture Friendships

Helping Your Teen Nurture Friendships

Did you know that friendship is one of the most important measures of adolescent development and mental health? Several recent studies confirm that close, supportive teen friendships correlate with everything from increased empathy and self-esteem to lower rates of depression and anxiety. Friendships even provide protection against the adverse effects…

How to Give Your Teen Advice

How to Give Your Teen Advice

Every parent of a teenager knows how tricky giving advice can be sometimes. Teens still need your guidance, but they’re likely to resist receiving it. Psychologist Lisa Damour says, “First, teenagers bring us their problems; second, we earnestly offer suggestions and solutions; and third, teenagers dismiss our ideas as irritating,…

4 Tips for Helping Teens Overcome Loneliness

4 Tips for Helping Teens Overcome Loneliness

Teens are lonelier than any other age group, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Adolescence, and rates of teenage loneliness have doubled in the past decade. Besides causing emotional pain, loneliness impacts teens’ mental and physical health. It is a risk factor for depression, anxiety and…

Teaching Your Teen How to Have Meaningful Conversations

Teaching Your Teen How to Have Meaningful Conversations

Teens need real-world connection. Meaningful conversations with others help them find their identity and feel a sense of belonging that’s crucial for mental and emotional health. Teens are famously not always eager to open up, but that’s not because they don’t crave connection. It’s more likely due to a lack…

Helping Your Teen Navigate Grief and Loss

Helping Your Teen Navigate Grief and Loss

Teens grieve differently than younger children and adults, according to a recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology. That’s because teens have an adult concept of death but haven’t developed adult-level coping skills or the capacity for emotional self-regulation. Because grief can have a long-term impact on teens\’ sense of…

How to Help Teens Deal With Disappointment

How to Help Teens Deal With Disappointment

Elena says she knew something was wrong the moment she got a text from her 14-year-old daughter asking to be picked up from school a little early. “As soon as she closed the car door she started sobbing. Her first boyfriend had broken up with her. I just wanted to…

Teaching Teens How to Set Boundaries

Teaching Teens How to Set Boundaries

Boundaries protect your teen’s right to feel safe, respected and validated. They help teens create a strong sense of identity, and they’re a part of every healthy relationship. But setting boundaries is not easy, even for many adults. Here are five steps to help you teach your teen how to…

5 Positive Podcasts to Listen to With Your Teen

5 Positive Podcasts to Listen to With Your Teen

Podcasts can seriously save the day. When we’re driving or doing chores, listening to a podcast somehow makes time spent on mundane tasks both entertaining and educational. Even better, listening together with your teen is a low-key way to connect and start great conversations. With around 2.5 million podcasts out…

The Benefits of Volunteering for Teens

The Benefits of Volunteering for Teens

Volunteering is on the decline among teens, according to a recent study by the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute. Researchers say many factors contribute, including busier school and extracurricular schedules, families relocating more frequently and the rise in social media and online communities. It may be hard to find…

6 Ways to Engage Your Teen in Conversation

6 Ways to Engage Your Teen in Conversation

Many parents report that one of the toughest transitions of the teen years is when a previously chatty child suddenly seems reluctant to have conversations. “My daughter used to tell me everything that happened as soon as I picked her up from school,” one mom says. “Now, she’s texting her…

The Importance of Teen Friendships

The Importance of Teen Friendships

Friendship is important at every age, but it has special significance during the teenage years. Friends help teens shape their identity, learn social skills, develop empathy, and feel a sense of belonging. Supportive friendships protect teens’ mental health against stress, depression, and even bullying. And even though teens may prioritize…

Top 10 Conflict Resolution Skills for Teens

Top 10 Conflict Resolution Skills for Teens

Raised voices, rolled eyes, slamming doors… parents of teenagers are no strangers to conflict. Fighting is never fun, but every disagreement is an opportunity to teach teens how to handle conflict constructively. With the right skillset, disagreements and misunderstandings can lead to closer, more authentic relationships – right now and…

Choosing the Right Therapist for Your Teen

Choosing the Right Therapist for Your Teen

The relationship between a therapist and a client is important for building the trust necessary for healing. Choosing the right therapist for your child is an important step, and with teenagers, it is typically best to allow them some “voice” in the process. Where do we begin? First, have a…

The Secret of Getting Teens to Listen

The Secret of Getting Teens to Listen

If you ever wonder if your teen’s ears have an off switch, you’re not alone. What’s the secret to getting teens to listen? One strategy experts agree on is for parents to improve their own listening skills. Most of us think we’re pretty good listeners, but our body language, choice…

How to Support Your Highly Sensitive Teen

How to Support Your Highly Sensitive Teen

If your teenager is highly sensitive, chances are you already know it. Being highly sensitive means having a nervous system that is more impacted by environmental, emotional, or social stimulation. Up to 20% of people are highly sensitive, and traits begin to show up as early as infancy. Here are…

5 Facts Parents Need to Know about the Teen Brain

5 Facts Parents Need to Know about the Teen Brain

“What was he thinking? Is this really my child?!” Parents of teenagers can empathize when Frances Jensen describes her fifteen-year-old son’s hair dye disaster. Her “sweet-natured firstborn son had suddenly become unfamiliar and unpredictable.” Jensen was baffled, but as a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, she had an edge in…

The Family as a Protective Factor

The Family as a Protective Factor

Protective Factors are attributes in families that increase health and well-being. We could take that a bit further and state that family and community in and of themselves can be Protective Factors. Families who establish and maintain healthy habits, support each other, and engage in community are more likely to…

8 Simple Ways to Support LGBTQ+ Youth in Your Life

8 Simple Ways to Support LGBTQ+ Youth in Your Life

This June marks Pride Month which means more rainbow flags and equality stickers may show up in your newsfeeds and new vocabulary may come up in your conversations. You may feel awkward having these conversations, but they are absolutely essential. There are concerning statistics on bullying and suicide rates for…

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