Using Spark as a Family

Here’s a little-known fun fact about Lucero: Long before we built an app, we created Quest Cards: a conversation card deck with questions that youth and families could use to spark conversations around the dinner table. With prompts like, “If your personality were a color, what would it be?” and “Tell a story about one […]

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 anxiety and depression, and even […]

Raising Your Teen to Embrace Vulnerability

man in gray sweater carrying woman in black jacket

When parents are asked what qualities we hope for in our teens, we use words like kindness, courage, resilience, and purpose. Vulnerability probably doesn’t make it onto many lists, but maybe it should. According to clinical social worker and researcher Dr. Brené Brown, embracing vulnerability – including our imperfections, mistakes, and difficult emotions – is […]

The Benefits of Travel for Teens

person holding black and green compass pointing to west

There’s been a seismic shift in travel over the past three years, and it’s not as easy for today’s teens to enjoy the carefree adventures their parents once did. But one thing hasn’t changed: travel is still one of the most powerful ways for teens to learn about themselves and the world, all while developing […]

Helping Your Teen Nurture Friendships

group of men sliding on blue canopy

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 of bullying and the stress […]

How to Give Your Teen Advice

two men talking

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, irrelevant or both.” Sound familiar? […]

Teaching Your Teen How to Have Meaningful Conversations

woman in black long sleeve shirt holding black ceramic mug

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 of confidence and conversation skills. […]

Why Living Consciously is so Important for Teens

selective focus photography of woman reading book while sitting at bench

What does it mean to live consciously? According to Zen Habits blogger Leo Babauta, it’s about “taking control of your life, about thinking about your decisions rather than making them without thought… If you’re drifting through life, or feel out of control, or don’t know how you got here, deciding to live consciously could be […]

5 Myths About Teen Mental Health

Family walk

There’s no doubt that teen mental health is in crisis. Since 2007, rates of teen depression and suicide have risen by 60%. Self-harm, anxiety and other mood disorders also rose sharply during the same period. And while the COVID-19 pandemic made things worse for many, teen mental health was in decline before 2020, making it […]

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 time to get involved, but […]

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