As a Nurse Practitioner, mom, wife, friend, sister and neighbor, people are always asking me for health advice. I love translating complicated medical information to help people navigate their way toward better health and wellness. I’ll help you find the information you need to make the best decisions for your health and the health of your family.
Here’s to better health,
Nurse Barb Dehn RN MS NP
1. Does your teen know how to make friends and be a good friend?
Do they have friends they can call on? Do they know how to applaud a friend’s success and also be there when they’re down? Are they having fun? Can they work with others in a group? They don’t need to have a tons of friends, often one friend is enough when times are tough.
Knowing how to make friends is one of the most important life skills we all need through out our lives. You might have a National Merit Scholar in your house, but they still need to know how to interact with roommates, people in the dorms and in class. Kids who are isolated take more risks. You may not like their friends, but do get to know them.
2. Does your teen know how to talk to people?
Do they know basic manners and etiquette? Can they look adults in the eye, shake hands, introduce themselves, and carry on a conversation? Will they be able to navigate talking to a supervisor at work, the TA’s, professors, RA’s, or coaches? Can they communicate with respect? If it’s all about them, other people get tired of that pretty quickly, which can lead to a lot of frustration and misunderstandings.
We all know a lot of people of all ages who are super smart, but whose lack of basic communication skills prevent them from realizing their full potential. If you’re teen is struggling with this, an entry level job will really help.
It’s normal and natural for teens to be 99% self-absorbed. After all, besides the toddler stage, this is the time in life that the entire universe revolves around them. Really, it does, and a memory-lane-news flash….it did for you too when you were their age. Yes, it did, your mom told me! That’s why a single minuscule pimple is a major catastrophe and can ruin not just their day, but the entire week. [...]
Frank Bruni’s book, Where You Go is Not Who You’ll Be couldn’t have come at a better time. His message really resonates with me especially after seeing so many teens struggling with overwhelming amounts of stress.
I’m seeing so many teens with high levels of stress, anxiety and who aren’t sleeping, are depressed, feeling numb, are better at witty texts than at real heart-to-heart communication. They’re drinking, smoking, using edibles, cutting, going wild, having lots of hookups, feeling pressured to be perfect, and on top of it all trying to maintain a façade of being the All-American-I-have-it-all-together, Yes, I’m really looking forward to college kind of kid.
Well, I’m not buying it.
I’m nurse practitioner, who cares for women of all ages. Most of my adult patients couldn’t deal with the amount of stress that these kids are faced with day in and day out. I live and work in the high stress, high stakes pressure cooker of Silicon Valley. And yes, just up the road are high schools where teens have tragically taken their own lives. And yes, I’m a mom; my son is a freshman in college.
We’ve all heard the same list of reasons from both parents and kids why the stress is so high now…..but what can we do? That’s just life, right? Maybe not…. I think the stakes are higher now and success is much more difficult to achieve. But let’s all stop for a moment and consider how we define success and what is really at stake.
Achievement just to check it off the list
At first glance the “Stakes” seem like Everything. But they are just stepping stones. High GPAs, High test scores, lots of activities, volunteer hours without meaning may help someone go to a prestigious university but then what? [...]