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Talking To Teens: Expert Tips for Parenting Teenagers
29 minutes | 3 days ago
Ep 114: What Teens Can Do Now To Prepare For College
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeFor parents and students alike, the road to college can be full of twists, turns and unpredictable roadblocks...it sometimes feels like you’ll never cross the finish line! It might feel as though getting into top schools is practically impossible, especially when trying to get in means endless extracurriculars, community service, SATs, GPA–the list of requirements and considerations goes on and on. For students, the only thing worse than this insane workload is the possibility of not even getting in! For parents, it’s heartbreaking to know how much stress and pressure your kid is under. It can be excruciating to wait and wonder if they'll get accepted to the school of their dreams or be forced to reevaluate their life in the wake of rejection.Although it may seem like it’s all too overwhelming to handle, don’t fear! We’re here to help out. There are small steps you and your teen can take to prepare for the college application process, whether they're finishing up seventh grade or heading into their junior year, a struggling student or top of their class. If you can develop a greater understanding of the whole process, you’ll be better equipped to set your student up for success.Our guest today is Pamela Ellis, a.k.a, “ The Education Doctor”, author of What to Know Before They Go. Dr. Ellis has worked with thousands of teens and families to help students choose the right colleges and gain admission. She’s an expert on helping teens cope with the thousands of stressors of college admissions, with strategies covering everything from scholarship qualifications to everyday time management.In the interview, Pamela and I discuss how teens can prioritize their responsibilities, why they should challenge themselves in small ways to expand their comfort zones, and what they can do to organize their lives during this stressful and confusing period.This week’s sponsor is Prep U Products. Use code TEENTALK at checkout for 30% off your first order. Check out Prep U Products for the best in all-natural personal care for teen guys.Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
25 minutes | 10 days ago
Ep 113: What Top Athletes Can Teach Us About Teen Success
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeWhen your teen is lying on the couch, binging netflix with their eyes glazed over, it’s hard not to wonder where their productivity went! Kids these days encounter distractions at every turn, with access to more social media apps and streaming services than anyone could possibly list. Helping teens stay focused and motivated is no easy task.Although it may seem impossible to empower a teen that just doesn’t want to try, today, we're speaking with a guest who’s interviewed top athletes to deduce what teens can do to achieve success--and what parents can do to help. I’m sitting down with Jeremy Bhandari, author of Trust the Grind: How World-Class Athletes Got to the Top. As a lifelong sports fanatic, Jeremy decided to talk to some of his favorite athletes to uncover their secrets to success, work ethic, and most importantly, happiness. He learned some seriously powerful lessons about how young people can thrive in any avenue they choose to pursue--and he’s here to share those lessons with you.In our insightful interview, Jeremy and I talk about how some of sports’ biggest stars achieved their wildest dreams. He explains how your teen can do anything they dream of, so long as they receive encouragement, remain in the right headspace, and are constantly challenged to reach their full potential.This week’s sponsor is Prep U Products. Use code TEENTALK at checkout for 30% off your first order. Check out Prep U Products for the best in all-natural personal care for teen guys.Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
31 minutes | 17 days ago
Ep 112: Consequences of Your Teen’s Digital Footprint
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeIt’s not always easy to know what to share about your kids online. You might want to celebrate how cute they look in a Winnie the Pooh Halloween costume by posting a picture on instagram, or share your grievances on Facebook when they just won’t stop wetting the bed. When you decide to snap that pic or type that post however, you might be doing more damage to your kid’s future and reputation than you realize.Today we’re talking about how, even when parents have the best intentions, they may submit their kids to certain risks by posting information online. So much of your information can be found and used online in ways that can be harmful to your children, ways you might not even expect. Although social media can be a great place to share and socialize with friends and family, extra vigilance about your kid’s internet presence is becoming more and more necessary as it becomes cheaper and easier for companies and individuals to collect your data.In this episode, we’re sitting down with Leah Plunkett, author of Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk about Our Kids Online. Leah serves as a Faculty Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and is a leading expert on digital privacy and data collection, especially among young folks. Leah’s expertise on digital media, privacy, and adolescence make for an eye-opening interview about how you can guide yourself and your kids towards more responsible, literate use of the online landscape. Leah and I discuss a broad range of topics, covering everything from why your kids might be affected by your seemingly innocuous facebook posts, what information is at risk of being collected and exploited from your online activity, and whether or not parents should consider implementing surveillance technology to spy on their teen’s internet behavior...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeThis week’s sponsor is Prep U Products. Use code TEENTALK at checkout for 30% off your first order. Check out Prep U Products for the best in all-natural personal care for teen guys.
22 minutes | 24 days ago
Ep 111: Want Accountable Teens? Ask the Right Questions
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeWhen your kids are refusing to listen, staying out past curfew and ignoring your repeated attempts to establish control, some serious questions come to mind. Questions like: When will they start respecting me? How can I get them to listen to me? What is it that causes them to act this way?As frustrated as you may feel--and we know, teens can be frustrating--it turns out that you might be asking yourself the wrong questions. Even when it feels like your kid is single-handedly instigating disagreements and causing turmoil, there is a more effective approach than simply imploring them to end this behavior, an approach that requires you to reflect on your own actions.What is that approach, exactly? Glad you asked. This week I’m sitting down with John G. Miller, author of the classic book QBQ!: The Question Behind the Question and the recent Raising Accountable Kids:How to Be an Outstanding Parent Using the Power of Personal Accountability. John has been speaking and teaching workshops on leadership and management for over twenty years and is also the father of 7 kids! He’s here to share what he’s learned from years of mentoring clients and raising kids, and talk all about how you can practice accountability to become a better parent.In our interview, John covers the basics of the principle of accountability, and the questions you should be asking yourself if you want to improve your parenting powers. He also identifies the qualities that, in his eyes, make a weak parent, and how you can strengthen your approach to ensure your kids become the best people they can be.Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
24 minutes | a month ago
Ep 110: Hidden Depression in Perfectionists
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeWe know our teenagers better than anybody else, so we’d definitely know when they were feeling depressed...right? The basic symptoms of a depressed person are recognizable---withdrawing from social activities, no longer participating in things they used to enjoy, changes in dress and diet. If we saw that our teen exhibited these symptoms or noticed that they seemed anxious or unenthusiastic about life, we’d definitely know something was up.But what about a teen who’s depression isn’t quite so easily spotted? What if your teen seemed to be doing perfectly--class president, varsity soccer team, prom queen--but deep down, they were hiding a seriously crippling mental health crisis? Teenagers like this exist, and in fact this kind of depression is a lot more common than you might think.To shed some light on this subject, we’re sitting down with Dr. Margaret Rutherford, author of Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free From the Perfectionism that Masks your Depression. The book is all about how some people experience depression in a way we may not think of as “traditional” or” conventional”. These people seem as though they’ve got everything together on the surface, but inside, a deep depression is stirring...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
25 minutes | a month ago
Ep 109: Can Your Teen Spot the Truth?
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeWith kids these days having 24/7 access to the internet on a million different devices, free to browse endless content and information, it can be frightening to wonder what they might come across. As a parent, you may worry that your teenager could be reading some inappropriate Reddit threads or secretly playing Minecraft until one AM on a school night….However, there’s a very significant internet force that affects teens these days, one that parents might not always consider: the widespread phenomenon of fake news. You might not think your teenager could encounter dangerous misinformation online, but fake news is much more common than you might think. A 2018 MIT study has found that on Twitter, rumors and conspiracy theories are shared and clicked on almost six times as much as factual news. How can we teach our teens to avoid these fake news outlets and ensure they are remaining informed only by the truth?Our guest today is Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst and the author of True or False: a CIA Analysts Guide to Spotting Fake News. Cindy’s an expert on cyber security and the spread of information, and she’s here to answer some of your most burning questions about how fake news might find it’s way into your teen’s feed. In our interview today, she outlines some of the book’s most intriguing concepts, like how fake news manages to appear in the first place, why so many people seem to believe it, and some things teens and parents can do to think critically about how they consume media.Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
27 minutes | a month ago
Ep 108: Prepare Your Teen for Police Encounters
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeWhen it comes to raising teens, most of us know how important it it to have conversations about things like safe sex, drugs, and alcohol...but what about police brutality? Cyberbullying? Sexual harassment? Topics like these might feel like they’re coming out of left field….and you may not know where to even start! It’s difficult to teach kids about their legal rights and street smarts when there’s no manual anywhere telling parents how to do so.However, topics like these are vital to the health and safety of the modern teen. Especially in recent times, as society is uncovering just how common sexual assault and ploice brutality are, it can be so valuable to help your teen understand their rights and basic safety procedures in times of crises or coercion.Our guest today is Jonathan Cristall, a prosecutor who’s years of experience in the legal profession has taught him just how much danger teens can find themselves in. As a father himself, he wanted to give his kids a book that taught them basic legal and self defense information….but couldn’t find one! That’s why he published his new book What They Don’t Teach Teens: Life Safety Skills for Teens and the Adults Who Care for Them. It covers some important stuff your kids might not learn in school--but that they should definitely know.Jonathan sat down with us today to discuss the rights your teen should be aware of during an interaction with law enforcement, the basic street safety skills every teen should have, and how teens can protect themselves from predators online...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep 107: Only 7% of Parents Do This...
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeWhen it comes to having hard conversations with teenagers, talking about pornography is often one of the most awkward and unprecedented topics to cover. It feels so private, so uncomfortable to bring up….especially with your own child! It’s ever so tempting to just skip the conversation altogether. It’s not that likely that your teen is watching porn….right?Quite the contrary. In fact, recent research indicates that about 90% of boys and 60% of girls today are exposed to porn before the age of 17. Not only that, but about a third of teenagers say they watch porn regularly, on a weekly or monthly basis. In contrast, only about 7% of parents have talked to their teenagers about pornograpy. And with modern pornography becoming more and more exploitative of both it’s stars and it’s viewers, teens could be at risk of viewing some seriously dark stuff--and getting into some frightening patterns.That’s why we have the brilliant Megan Maas on the podcast this week. She’s a seasoned sex educator and researcher of adolescent psychology, and focuses a lot of her energy on helping teenagers and parents become more comfortable with talking about pornography and it’s effects. She’s here to chat all about how to start those hard conversations about porn--and explain why they’re so important.Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
22 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep 106: Teen Brain Hacks
When your teen is cranky, rude, anxious, or just stressed out, it’s hard not to ask yourself, what’s making them act this way? You may start to worry that it was by something you did...or wonder if there’s something you should be doing! Parenting is one of the world’s toughest jobs, and even when you’re doing your best it can feel as though your teen’s problems are somehow linked to your parenting.The truth is, however, these behaviors could be caused by something far out of your control. Teenager’s moods are affected by so many things: the amount of sleep they get, how much time they spend on their screens, whether or not the person they have a crush on talked to them at school...the list goes on. There’s countless small forces that shape teens’ behavior in big ways, and by looking at research into how teens operate mentally and physically, we can uncover how these forces accumulate to shape teens’ behavior.Our guest this week is Malin Gutestam, a researcher and educator who has worked extensively with adolescents to uncover how teens can not only improve their mood but also find success in their endeavors. She’s the author of Brain Tools for Teens, a guide to teen psychology and biology that focuses on helping teens understand their own form and function to increase performance on everything from academics to athletics...
26 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep 105: The Hormones Behind Bonding, Relationships, and Sex
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24 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep 104: A Good Relationship is Key to Raising a Good Teen
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeCreating a strong relationship with your teen doesn’t always come easy. It can be hard to interest them in shooting hoops or watching old movies with you...they’re likely more excited about skating or hanging out with their friends at the mall. Even just starting up conversations can be difficult, as teens can sometimes be wary that you’re just trying to nag them or tell them what to do.If we don’t form strong bonds with our teenagers, however, we might be keeping them from reaching their full potential. More and more research on adolescent mental health and self esteem indicates that having meaningful relationships with trusted adults can be vital to their well being. So how can we create powerful connections with our teens to ensure they move into adulthood with confidence and self efficacy?Our guest today is here to talk all about how parents can forge positive relationships with teenagers that give them power to thrive. His name is Richard Lerner, and he’s a professor who’s done some groundbreaking research on the adolescent mind. His book, The Good Teen: Rescuing Adolescents From the Myths of the Storm and Stress Years, is all about how we can smash the myth that adolescents have to be miserable, and instead create nurturing, empowering environments where care and encouragement allow teens to reach their full potential...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
24 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep 103: How Risk-Taking is Hardwired in Adolescent Brains
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeWatching teens gobble down five plates of food, grow six inches in one night and flock in groups to the mall as they attempt to attract “mates” really makes you think...teens aren’t so different from wild animals! And just like wild animals, our teenagers are up against quite a bit as they begin setting out on their own in the world. They’ll need to know how to protect themselves from danger, how to socialize with others, how to develop effective sexul communication, and how to provide for themselves as they become independent adults.We can’t protect our teens from the force of nature forever...so how can we prepare them to master the art of survival? Amazingly, there’s a lot we can learn about priming out teens for adult life from studying the patterns of adolescent wild animals. Whether it’s uncovering connections between the ways animals and humans both learn to avoid danger, or finding similarities in reproductive patterns across species, our guests today are here to shine light on how wild animals can teach us all about teenage behavior.My conversation today is with Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers. They’ve been researching animal science together for the past ten years—and they’re also both mothers of young adults. Investigating the behaviors of wild animals while simultaneously wrangling teens at home caused them to identify similarities between teen adolescence and animal adolescence. Their book, Wildhood: The Astounding Connections Between Human and Animal Adolescents, discusses how we can use research on animals to help our teens grow up safe, confident, and independent.The key according to Barbara and Kathryn is getting your adolescents’ four main needs met...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
23 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep 102: Is Your Teen’s Tech Use Healthy, Junky, or Toxic?
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeTechnology is not going away, but it can feel like our teens have been looking at a screen for half their lives. With so many new distracting gadgets and apps, it’s often overwhelming to monitor our teen’s usage--not to mention try to keep an eye on our own! It’s important to make sure teens gain an understanding of how tech and apps work. They will likely have to use various softwares and apps when they join the workforce, and they need to know how to adapt to new tech. But striking a balance between the good tech and the bad tech is tricky. This week, Dr. Shimi Kang, author of The Tech Solution: Creating Healthy Habits for Kids Growing Up in a Digital World and addiction psychiatrist, clues me in on how different types of tech are hurting and helping teen’s developing brains--and what to do if you’ve already tried and failed to pry a phone from your screen-addicted teen...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
17 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep 101: Connect Deeper with Vulnerability
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeIt’s not always easy to be pleasant as a parent, especially when your teens push your buttons, blow off curfew, or “forget” to unload the dishwasher, no matter how many times you gently remind them. As young people still figuring out the world, teenagers can be unpredictable in their emotions and wants. Having a good relationship with your teen is important, but having to keep your teen in line makes for a hard balance. And when your teenager is acting crazy and just not listening, how can you make sure they start behaving without bringing your relationship to the brink of destruction? How can you set rules and boundaries while also keeping your teens trust? It seems like sometimes there’s just no easy way to maintain a solid relationship with your teenager when they are driving you up the wall.But our guest today has faith that as parents, we were born for these challenges. Kari Kampakis, author of Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Love and Connection With Your Teenage Daughter and mother of four teen/tween daughters(!), is chock full of wisdom about how to be a more wise and graceful parent. Kari believes that as parents we can form strong, loving bonds with our kids and still nudge them towards becoming healthy, respectable adults. Whether you’re looking to empower your kids when they’ve made a mistake or just looking for ways to balance setting boundaries with fun, Kari has you covered...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
21 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep 100: Artistic Teen? Time to Get Creative...
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeWhen our kid says they want to pursue art as a career, we can sometimes be hesitant to support them. We have no doubt that they’re talented: we’ve seen them receive standing ovations at the end of a musical theater performance, rack up trophies and medals for photography, maybe even have their creative writing featured in the local paper. But that’s now--pursuing work as an adult creative conjures up the image of the starving artists, of young people struggling financially and emotionally as they try desperately to make it big in the fast paced world of art and entertainment.We want our kids to be financially stable, instead of living hand to mouth. Should we be encouraging our kids to pursue careers as bankers and programmers, even though it means they’re talent will go to waste? Can our kids really make enough money from their art to live happy and healthy lives?If only someone could tell us what it’s like to pursue a life as an artist in the modern age, so we could know if a stable future in the arts is truly possible. If only there was a person out there who knows exactly why it’s hard to make money as an artist, and whether or not we should encourage our kids to go after a career in art…Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep 99: “Mom! Dad! Can I Have Some Money?”
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeTalking to our kids about finances can be a chore: terms like “good debt,” “credit score,” and “interests rates” tend to make most people’s eyes glaze over. Besides that hurdle, it feels like as parents we have to know all the ins and outs of money and wealth to get our teens to pay attention. Most parents might just throw up their hands and rely on schools and colleges to fill in the gaps. Let’s just hope our teens get jobs that have a good retirement plan with full benefits...and that they stay in that job for their career. But what if talking to our teens about money now was guaranteed to make them wealthier in the future? It’s not a pipe dream—in fact, the evidence (and this week’s guest) suggests getting teens financially literate is one of the most important things to do to prepare them for stability as an adult...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
27 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep 98: From Insecure to Marvelous
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeBeing a tween and becoming an adult is an awkward time not just for tweens, but for their parents! Bodies are changing, friendships are growing more complicated, and your once confident child may appear to be folding in on themselves, pulling away from the world, just at the moment when they need to learn how to be on their own in it!Instead of being able to tune in more accurately to their own voice, our teens are increasingly confronted with a myriad of messages on who to befriend, how to behave, and what to wear. With so many companies and personalities vying for our teens attention, it can feel like there’s no room for the voice of a parent. But teens, arguably more now than ever, need a steady parental presence... Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
27 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep 97: One Trusted Adult
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeHelping your teenager approach independence is hard. You want to make sure they know how to make their own choices so they’re prepared for adulthood--but you want them to always make the right choices. You want them to have autonomy and take care of things on their own--as long as they do it the way you want.Even though it might be tempting to always take control and step in when your kid is making tough decisions, sometimes you just need to let your teenager learn on their own. If you constantly insert yourself in your teenager’s choices, they’re not going to be able to handle life’s crazy obstacles when they no longer have you to guide them through every little thing. Sometimes, you just need to let go and watch your teenager go at the world themselves.Brooklyn Raney has a lot to say about the benefits of letting go. She’s a speaker, teacher, and educator, and the author of One Trusted Adult: How to Build Strong Connections and Healthy Boundaries with Young People. She also runs a leadership camp for girls which helps teach young women about teamwork and resilience, and is a high school dean. Her work has helped parents, kids and educators everywhere learn the value of letting go...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
24 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep 96: Getting Over the Awkwardness to Talk About Sex
Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episodeTalking to teens about sex is one of the hardest things to do as a parent. Initiation discussion about the birds and the bees can be very confusing, messy, and just plain awkward! Not only that, but teenagers can be very resistant to opening up and talking about sex even if they have questions and want clarification on the subject.No matter how uncomfortable or difficult talking to your teenager about sex and relationships is, it’s a crucial part of helping your child to grow up happy and healthy. Kids today are exposed to sexual content from a very young age, with the internet providing an infinite amount of pornographic content. While knowing about sex from a young age is ok, kids should be learning the facts from an educational, honest source rather than porn. The porn industry, more concerned with making money than protecting the minds and hearts of young people, often portrays sex as degrading, violent, and often not even consenual.Sound terrifying? I’m scared too! That’s why I’m sitting down with Cindy Pierce in today’s episode. Cindy is the author of several different books that tell you how to talk to teens about sex: Sexplotation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Secuality in a Porn-Driven World and Sex, College, and Social Media: A Commonsense Guide to Navigating the Hookup Culture. She also travels around to schools across the country to educate teenagers, parents, and college students about sex...Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode
24 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep 95: The Truth About Alcohol
Drinking alcohol is a pretty significant part of the American cultural fabric. In fact, 86.3% of Americans over 18 say that they’ve tried alcohol and 55.3% report that they drink regularly. Nowhere is alcohol more culturally expected than in young adulthood. It’s almost assumed that college students will experiment with alcohol, and teenagers are becoming more and more likely to try alcohol before reaching adulthood.But it’s nothing to worry about, right? Alcohol isn’t that dangerous, is it? Unfortunately, the science says otherwise. In a recent federal report which rated the harmfulness of various drugs, alcohol was rated far and wide the most dangerous drug, with heroin coming in far behind in second and crack in third. How is this possible? The study examined the widespread dangers of different drugs on society as a whole, looking at how many people face serious damage from using. Alcohol is by far the deadliest, killing approximately 88,000 Americans a year. All illegal drugs combined kill about 22,000 a year, while pharmaceuticals kill 24,000. If we combine these two numbers, we can see that the amount of deaths caused by all other drugs is only around half of those caused by alcohol. And yet, most people are more informed about the various risks of taking Advil than they are about the dangers of alcohol! Our guest today, Annie Grace, is determined to change this. She’s the author of the book This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness and Change Your Life...
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