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Parenting Teens

Parenting a struggling teen is hard. We hope these tips for parents and families make those teenage years a little easier.

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Families That Eat Together Stay Together

Rather than suddenly corralling the family for seven nights of regimented dining, though, ease into it if it’s not already a habit. One or two nights a week is a great start. Make it fun by cooking something everyone will like (or even ordering in) and try to make dinner time fit everyone’s schedule to the extent you can. This approach is more likely to leave your family wanting more, rather than less, of this healthy family habit.

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Daily Wellness Tips for Your Family

This series of blogs is designed to serve as a reminder of some basic building blocks for emotional and behavioral health. These are not treatment modalities with fancy names or reams of clinical research. These are simple lifestyle choices that can help you and your family feel and function better.

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Caretaker vs Caregiver

All of us have people we care about: mothers, fathers, children, extended family and close friends.  We want the best for them and we don’t want them to feel pain or endure hardship.  So when does caring for someone become caretaking?  Here are a few differences to help you distinguish between the two. When a…

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Thanksgiving

It’s true of nearly everything—gifts, massages, meals, hugs, praise—that the better you are at receiving the better you’ll be at giving. It’s true of gratitude as well. If you find yourself deflecting other people’s efforts to thank you with a dismissive wave of the hand, a falsely humble headshake, or a blocking phrase like “not at all,” or “it was nothing,” then knock it off! For everyone to benefit maximally from an act of thanksgiving, that act must be accepted. If someone lobs a sincere “thanks” your way, do them—and yourself—a favor: look them in the eye, smile, and say, “you’re welcome.” Enjoy it! That’s what gratitude is all about, after all—giving, receiving, and enjoying.

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Childish vs. Childlike in Inner Child Work

Imagine a three-year-old (let’s say his name is Joe) playing with a playmate (perhaps Mike).  Joe and Mike are playing contentedly with toy trucks in the sand when Mike decides he likes Joe’s toy better and takes it from him.  What is Joe’s reaction?  Perhaps he tries to take it back and the two argue over the toy.  Mike…

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How to teach Sex Ed to Teenage Girls

Having taught Sex Ed to teenage girls for 13 years, I am continually surprised at what they DO know, and what they DON’T know. As I contemplated how to better teach girls about their bodies, I considered taking my experience and putting it into a pamphlet for them.  But I know teenage girls well enough…

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Turning Crisis Into Opportunity

Following a family crisis–while your still open, flexible and a little messy inside—is the best time to break the old habits that festered into dysfunction in the first place and create some new ones. The good news is that a lot of personal growth work can be awfully nice! Following are several areas to explore that can complement the intervention, treatment, therapy and medication your family has just experienced, leading to longer-term healing instead of just emotional triage.

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Enmeshment Definition, Causes, Signs

Understanding Enmeshment: Definition, Causes & Signs You May Need Help

Enmeshment is a description of a relationship between two or more people in which personal boundaries are permeable and unclear. This often happens on an emotional level in which two people “feel” each other’s emotions, or when one person becomes emotionally escalated and the other family member does as well. A good example of this is when a teenage daughter gets anxious and depressed and her mom, in turn, gets anxious and depressed. When they are enmeshed the mom is not able to separate her emotional experience from that of her daughter even though they both may state that they have clear personal boundaries with each other. Enmeshment between a parent and child will often result in over involvement in each other’s lives so that it makes it hard for the child to become developmentally independent and responsible for her choices.

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Blue Zones at Home

eenagers are drawn to whatever’s fastest, easiest, edgiest, biggest, newest or “best.” Hence the teenager’s penchant for extreme music, extreme hairstyles and extreme sports. As a teen’s brain develops, whole new cognitive worlds open up; pushing the envelope is, in part, a way of exploring these new realms. It’s also a teenager’s developmental prerogative to create a distinct and independent identity, which provides another incentive for exploring extremes.

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Negative Teen Behavior, Is it Contagious? | New Haven Residential Treatment Center

Can A Teen “Catch” Negative Behaviors?

Physical diseases are not the only problems that are contagious. Negative behaviors can be passed from one person to another too, though these problems are socially rather than physically contagious. Some self-destructive teen behaviors, in fact, are extremely socially virulent and can spread among groups of teens as rapidly and destructively as a physically communicable disease.

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