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From Distress to Success: How to Help Your Teenager Through High School

Adolescence is a complicated time of identity development when every aspect of an individual’s sense of self is examined, redefined, and integrated. It is an important developmental stage and can be stressful for the teen and the family. However,  it can be a time of great growth, creativity, and success and does not have to be a time  of family conflict and crises!

Transform the parent-teen relationship from distressing to successful. Empathy on the part of parents is first step. Developing an understanding of the multiple demands on our teens helps to foster empathy. There is now a great deal of brain research that tells us what is going on in the mind of our teens. We also know that the teen body is undergoing tremendous hormonal shifts. At the same time, as teens approach the verge of adulthood, their social and academic lives require attention, clarity, and energy for which they do not yet have the skills.  Parents can become their best allies, supporters, and partners in navigating this complicated life stage successfully with minimal distress.  This powerpoint provides information and suggestions that can help you build a constructive and rewarding relationship and avoid becoming opposing poles in ever present conflicts and mood fluctuations.

Download powerpoint:  Promoting Success, Reducing Stress Final

Tips for immigrant parents of bicultural teens

Bringing up children in America can be challenging for multiple reasons and the teenage years are particularly complicated. How do we understand the changes that our children begin to exhibit and how do we ensure that they envelop the cultural values that we treasure and are successful academically and professionally. This brochure offers some tips and suggestions to help immigrant parents develop more effective communication with their teenage children, reduce possible conflicts and help the children become effective in the American culture while retaining the values of their cultural heritage.

Download the Brochure: Tips for immigrant parents of bicultural teens

Tips for Parents of Teens

Communication between parents and teens is complicated and yet, essential for the negotiation of this important developmental life stage. But parenting an adolescent can sometimes be a challenge -a roller coaster of emotional reactivity coupled with the never ending crises of fast approaching and nearly missed deadlines of academic work, college applications, and other potential achievements. This coupled with the emotional highs and lows of highly complex teenage social interactions, romantic forays, questions of identity and the meaning of life can make for a roller coaster ride that beats most amusement parks. During all this, parents are also worrying about the dizzying array of potential risks their teens are facing ( of addictive and harmful substances, sexual activities, gambling options, unsafe behaviors, emotional decompensation, and academic failure). Staying connected to your teen and keeping lines of communication is the antidote to distress and essential for reaping the benefits of the considerable change this period of life offers. This brochure offers some tips that can help parents empathize with their teen and develop a constructive, open, supportive and communicative relationship.

Download the Brochure: Tips for Parents of Teens

Video: What is Depression? What is Bipolar Disorder?

While mood fluctuations in life are normal for all of us, if mood disturbances persist and start to affect our functioning in non-productive ways, we may meet the the criteria for the diagnosis of a mood disorder.

There are two kinds of mood disorders: Depressive Disorders that are also called Unipolar Mood Disorders and Bipolar Mood Disorders.

Depression, in all of its variations, represents one set of conditions in which a disturbance of mood is a primary feature. However, just a sad or low mood without other indicators may not indicate the presence of a depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder, in all of its variations, represents an entirely different set of conditions in which a disturbance of mood is a primary feature. Again, just ups and downs in mood without other indicators may not indicate the presence of a bipolar disorder.

To learn more, watch this video clip recorded on December 16, 2013 for the TV show FOCUS ON in Princeton, NJ.