vaping program

Introducing RAVE: Reduce Adolescent Vaping Education

Raising Awareness Around Vaping

Vaping, or the act of inhaling a vaporized liquid from an electronic smoking device, is becoming an epidemic across the country. Teenagers are picking up BLU cigarettes, JUULs, and other vaping devices for a multitude of reasons and ending up addicted to nicotine. Whether teenagers are interested because they see their friends vaping, enjoy the flavors, or think it looks cool, it’s detrimental to their health and wellbeing.

There is a common misperception that vaping is safer than smoking because vaporizers do not contain the hundreds of chemicals found in the tobacco leaves and filters of cigarettes. However, research is showing that this is not the case. The vapor is infused with propylene glycol, flavoring chemicals, and nicotine. A person who vapes, just like a person who smokes cigarettes, becomes dependent on the nicotine within the product.

Some vaporizer liquids do not contain nicotine, but most do. In fact, JUUL is the most popular brand of e-cigarettes and 100% of their “pods” contain nicotine. While it is marketed as a smoking cessation device to help adults kick the smelly habit of smoking traditional cigarettes, the marketing is also targeting teenagers. Until they were reprimanded by the FDA, JUUL had a highly engaging presence on Instagram, a social media platform mainly used by teenagers. And still, to this day, the design and packaging of the JUUL is sleek, “sexy”, and appealing to easily influenced teens.

More worrisome than the design and accessibility of the JUUL, and other vapes, is the discreetness of them. Unlike traditional cigarettes that come in a large pack and carry a lasting odor with them after they’re smoked, vapes are discreet in size and omit no odor. This makes it much harder for parents, teachers, and other adults to recognize when their teenager is vaping.

The RAVE Program

According to research reported in the Wall Street Journal, vaping rates among teenagers jumped 75% in 2018. Alarmed by this increase, Mark Neese, principal therapist at True North Counseling in Louisville, KY, has decided to raise awareness around the dangers associated with this behavior by introducing a special program. RAVE: Reduce Adolescent Vaping Education, is a 4 to 6-week program that combines individual, group, and family therapy with education to ensure that parents are able to act as change agents in the lives of their teenagers. Teens enrolled in RAVE will attend 4 weekly group sessions that are facilitated by two certified clinicians. True North Counseling’s certified clinicians include one behavioral specialist and one social worker who will provide up-to-date information about the dangers of vaping and smoking. Each session will feature a strong Mindfulness component as well.

In addition to the four group sessions, a family session will kick off the program and three individual sessions are also included with the goal of enlisting a commitment from the teen to stop vaping. During this process, parents are given strategies for relapse prevention including the use of Nicotine Test Kits. Nicotine can stay in your system for up to three months depending on the frequency of use. When used randomly by parents and guardians, nicotine testing proves effective in deterring teenagers from continuing to vape. Nicotine Test Kits will be provided to the parents or guardians who participate in the RAVE program, so they can test their teenagers as frequently or infrequently as they’d like.

Tips for Parents & Guardians

If you are a parent, guardian, or adult concerned that a teenager you know may be vaping, the first thing to do is talk to them. Ask them if they feel they are dependent on the device or if they feel agitated when they are not doing it. Discuss the risks of vaping including what’s known and not known about the long-term effects. Make sure that they understand vaping is just as bad for them as cigarettes, but with different effects and different results.

If you’ve already talked to them and still suspect that they are vaping, let True North Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky help. With the new RAVE program available at True North Counseling, parents or guardians can work with their teenager and True North Counseling’s certified clinicians to help teens stop vaping. As a team, everyone will come up with a strategy to quit vaping, prevent relapse, and stay mindful of the dangers associated with vaping and the benefits, both short-term and long-term, of not vaping.

To learn more about the dangers of vaping, read our past blogs on teen vaping and vaping facts. True North Counseling’s first RAVE program begins on July 11, 2019. For program costs and enrollment those interested in learning more can contact Henry L. Buckwalter, CSW, an Associate Clinician at True North Counseling, by calling 502-377-4814 today. 

The Illusion of Instagram

Virginia Woolf wrote, “It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality.” So it is with envy of what other people have—or, in the case of social media, what we perceive other people to have. What’s exhibited on Instagram does not always reflect real life, but it’s easy for us all, adults and teens included, to forget that fact.

Whether we realize it or not, we all curate our social media presentations more than the average art exhibition. We present a certain image to the world, whether that’s of “fun loving, free spirit” with festival pics, the “perfect mom” with beautiful family pictures and “candid” shots of kids doing adorable things, or the “happy couple” with hundreds of pictures of canoodling and gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes.

What’s not shown is all the work that goes in to making these lives: the hours spent at work to afford the concert tickets, the organization of family pictures and begging, pleading, and arguing with family members to get them in to the “perfect” outfits, or the work in therapy that it took to get to a place where the couple could comfortably reach out and connect with each other.

What’s also not shown is the illusion of it all. A good friend of mine from a while back had a beautiful Facebook page, filled with pictures of her family, trips she was taking with her husband, and joyful messages of hope and inspiration. Behind the scenes, however, it was a different story: Her marriage was falling apart, she was overwhelmed as a mother, she lost her job, and had returned to destructive habits she’d battled for years. Just because something looks good, doesn’t mean it’s worth envying.

So what do we do with this knowledge? As a social worker, I’m of two minds. One is that we all could be more honest about our struggles. Instead of pretending that everything is perfect when it’s not, connect with people (in real life!) who might be able to make a difference in improving things. The other is that we sometimes need to exercise the option of turning away from our devices to help us with our envy of what (we think) other people have.

Teens and Suicide

The local headlines this past month included the tragic loss of a 10-year old boy to suicide. I’m certain that no parent or grandparent ever gets over this. One of the few details that was shared in the Courier Journal was that he was bullied. I want to address the issue of Bullying in a later blog because it affects lots of kids and teens and it’s a very complicated behavior.

Suicide is very rare with children. Not so with Teens.

Consider the current trends:

-In 2016 adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 13.15.

-8.6% of youth in grades 9 through 12 reported that they made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months.

-Girls attempt suicide twice as often as boys.

-Approximately 1,500 teenagers will attempt suicide in the next 24 hours.

-15.8% of youths in grades 9 through 12 reported that they had seriously considered attempting suicide during the past 12 months.

Teenagers send signals that something is wrong. They tend to be in clusters. If we suspected a teen at risk for suicide because they were sleeping too much, then many teens would be at risk. We are looking for changes in the typical functioning of your teen. We are looking for changes in a cluster of behaviors. These signals indicate that your teen might be at risk.

What are some of the Danger Signs?

Hopeless comments such as, “nothing really matters,” or “I just want to end it all.”

Sleep problems including sleeping too much or too little, insomnia, waking up often while sleeping.

-Preoccupation with death such as a fascination with music, art work, or poetry that has morbid themes.

School problems such as difficulty keeping grades up.

-Signs of depression such as feelings of worthlessness, social withdraw, loss of appetite, increased irritability,  and a “down” expression.

There are events that can increase the likelihood of suicide thoughts or events. These include:

Potential Triggering Life Events:

-The recent loss or threat of loss of a friend or family member through serious illness, death, separation, divorce or change in residence.

I cannot emphasize the importance of calling a counseling center if you are concerned about your son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter. There are things that you can do to help them through these very vulnerable years.

There is a wonderful app called, “A Friend Asks” that I high recommend. It was developed by The Jason foundation. JFI is a nationally recognized leader in youth suicide awareness and prevention. This app is for teens that are considering suicide and for their friends. It help teens help their friends that might be considering suicide. An excellent app.

Here are some numbers that might come in handy. Hopefully you’ll never need them, but please keep them just in case.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8225

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Afsp.org

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Sprc.org

If You have a Teenager You Better Know about Vaping

Alarming Trends:

-Currently 1 in 4 Middle School and High School students have used a vape pen or e-cigarette, 1 in 6 over the past 30 days.

-There is evidence to suggest that e-cigarette use increases the risk of using combustible cigarettes.

-Nearly 6 in 10 cigarette users also us e-cigarettes. This is a two-way relationship.

-A recent study found that teens who use e-cigarettes are 4 times more likely to begin smoking tobacco cigarettes within 18 months when compared to teens that do not vape.

-E-Cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among teenagers.

What are Vape Pens or E-Cigarettes?

They are electronic nicotine delivery devices, plain and simple. They come in many flavors and are called by various names: e-cigs, vape pens, e-hookahs, vapes, and mods just to name a few. Make no mistake, if your teen is using a vape pen, it is delivering nicotine.

Why are E-Cigarettes so Popular with Teens?

Three reasons:

1. Curiosity.

2. Flavors. 8 of 10 teen users use flavored e-cigarettes. In a recent study, the primary reason that teens use is because “they come in flavors that I like.

3. Teens believe that e-cigarettes are safer. 1 in 5 teens believe that e-cigarettes cause no harm.

Are E-Cigarettes Harmful to Teens?

Simply put, YES!

-Nicotine disrupts the development of brain circuits that control attention and learning.

-Nicotine use by teens can puts them at risk for mood disorders and permanently lowering their impulse control.

-The nicotine in e-cigarettes affects development of the brain’s reward system, making them more susceptible to addiction to other drugs.

-Although e-cigarettes are safer than combustible cigarettes, there are still many questions being asked about the health risks of e-cigarette aerosol. There is no question, however, that nicotine exposure poses a major health risk for teens.

What Can You Do?

First, do not be hoodwinked. If your teen is using e-cigarettes, they are using nicotine.

Second, treat them as combustible cigarettes and let them know that you know!

Third, prohibit the use of e-cigarettes by your teens. I understand that this is not going to be easy, but you have to start by setting limits. You can randomly use a urine test to hold them accountable.

Fourth, educate them about e-cigarettes.

Fifth, if you have tried everything, enroll them in our Stop Vaping-Education Group at True North Counseling. This group is called: Salvage and is somewhat of an acronym for Stop Vaping Group Education. Salvage means: to preserve something from potential loss or adverse circumstances. We want to preserve the health and welfare of your teens. Call 502-777-7525 for more information.

What’s Wrong with My Teenager?

I’ve been listening to a series of lectures on Audible entitled, “Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior,” by Mark Leary, Ph.D. He’s a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. I’m going to be sharing several of his topics over the next few months. The one that caught my eye was, “Why Don’t Adolescents Behave like Adults?” Here are some of his thoughts:

First, there tends to be more family conflict when kids transition into adolescence.

The good news is that this conflict generally is short-lived (lasting the first couple of years of adolescence) and generally focused on minor issues such as their personal appearance, dating, family rules, and curfews. The reason for these conflicts seem to be rooted in the teen’s desire to establish their independence, which is a healthy and important part of their development.

Second, Teens tend to display more rapid and extreme mood swings when they enter into adolescence.

Certainly, hormones play a role in these emotional swings, but researchers are looking at the role that stress plays in mood instability. Leary points out that, “Adolescence involves major personal and social changes and transitions that would be stressful at any age, but for a young person without much life experience, these changes can be overwhelming.” Increased stress equals increased mood instability.

Third, teenagers tend to display an increase in risky behaviors which, as Leary points out, “have the potential to harm them or others.”

I see a lot of these teens, and here’s what’s happening in their brains. This increase in risky behavior is due to the interplay between two distinct networks in the brain. The first network is the socioemotional network. This network process rewards, especially social rewards. As a child enters adolescence, the reward center of the brain changes and teenagers begin to pay more attention to potentially rewarding experiences. The cognitive control network controls what is typically called executive functioning and involves functions such as planning and impulse control. Unfortunately, this network develops gradually throughout adolescence and matures by the mid-twenties. One system is telling the teen to speed up and the other is telling them to slow down. Unfortunately, the cognitive control network can be outmatched by the socioemotional network. It’s like putting a new driver behind the wheel of a race car.

So, to address the question, “What’s wrong with my teenager,” the answer is nothing.

Teens are becoming something. They are becoming adults and stretching the wings that one day they will be using independently. They are testing boundaries that one day will not be there and they are exploring and taking risks that one day will be wonderful growth experiences. But until they become adults, they need our guidance, support, teachable moments, patience, and they need a gradually increased amount of freedom to become the people that you have raised them to become.

I often hear extended family members counsel younger parents. The younger parents are overwhelmed and exhausted with the the task of raising children. Aunt Susan will respond with, “If you think it’s bad now, wait until they’re teenagers.” I couldn’t disagree more! Yes, it’s painful at times watching them transition into an adult, but it’s also one of the most reward times that you will have with them. Understanding what’s going on is the key to looking forward to it and even enjoying it!!!!

Teaching Kids About Feelings

I watched a lot of PBS in general when I was a kid, and I loved Mr. Rogers. One of the great things about Mr. Rogers is that he really normalized feelings for kids. Too often I have seen parents treat their children as “little adults,” not understanding that we are not born “knowing how to behave.” Nor are we born with an emotional (or any) vocabulary. When children have a toy taken from them by a peer or sibling and hit, it’s often because they don’t have the vocabulary to express their feelings. Having a parent or caregiver label their feeling for them, and provide the alternative, preferred behavior, can make a huge difference in shaping a child’s future interactions with their peers.

Consider the following scenario:

Sarah takes John’s toy. John gets red in the face, screams, and hits Sarah before taking his toy back. Mom sees John hit Sarah, and goes over and grabs him up, perhaps hitting him with an open hand on his backside. John escalates, and is now having a massive tantrum. Sarah is crying, John is crying and screaming, and Mom is sweating and wondering what’s wrong with her kid that he would just hit another sibling. The next time Sarah takes John’s toy, he hits her again, and the events unfold the same way.

Alternatively:

Sarah takes John’s toy. John gets red in the face, screams, and hits Sarah before taking his toy back. Mom sees John hit Sarah, goes to him, and calmly says, “No John. We have nice hands.” She removes him from the situation, still calm. When he has calmed down, she labels his feelings for him: “John, you were mad that Sarah took your toy. I knew you were mad because you got red in the face and your hands made fists.” He is able to go back to playing with Sarah, because he’s not crying, Sarah’s not crying, and Mom is calm. The next time Sarah takes his toy, John yells, “No!” and Mom can intervene before the hitting starts.

For some people, this may seem like “hippy dippy nonsense.” However, it’s important to be able to label kids’ feelings for them accurately, respectfully, and calmly. I remember attempting to label a 4 year old’s feelings as “mad,” and having them correct me with, “I not mad. I FURIOUS!” Of course I was able to accept that correction (I am, after all, The Therapist, so I’m used to this and have had lots of practice), and agree with them that, yes, indeed, they were furious.

To understand the necessity of accurately and respectfully labeling kids’ feelings, it’s important to see an example of unhealthy parenting. Imagine that a 3 year old child is misbehaving at a grocery store. Maybe he’s hungry, tired, or just wants Mom’s attention. Mom gets down in the child’s sight line and while holding his arm painfully hard, smiles and says, “You are going to be in so much trouble when you get home.” When they get home, Mom’s behavior escalates (now that they’re away from prying eyes), and she yells at him, insisting that SHE’S NOT MAD as she shakes him and tells him that “He ruined their nice day!”

So. Here we have a few things:

Mom’s body language does not match her words.
Her tone doesn’t match her words.
Mom’s actions don’t match her words.
Kid’s feelings and thoughts are going unnoticed.

If nothing changes, this kid will grow up to be someone who is out of touch with his feelings, who responds quickly to any perceived threat with either fear or anger (inward or outward directed behaviors), or who treats his own child the same way.

A final word on letting kids feel their feelings…

One of my least favorite things to hear is an adult telling a child not to cry. Refusing to allow someone to cry is a sign that (as Mr. Rogers says), the adult is too uncomfortable when the child shows their feelings. I would much rather we tell children that it’s okay to be sad, mad, happy, confused or anxious. What matters is the choices we make about our behavior when we’re feeling those emotions.

Jennifer Kendrick

AAMFT Approved Supervisor
Kentucky Board Approved MFT Supervisor

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Clinical Social Worker in KY
Licensed Clinical Social Worker in IN
cell: 502.203.9197

The Hurried Child –Are We Creating a Generation of Anxious Children?

I first read David Elkind’s book, “The Hurried Child,” while in graduate school almost 25 years ago. It provided a course of treatment for me to use with families and their children. I encouraged families to relax and limit the stress that they imposed upon their kids. This stress usually took the form of over-involvement in extra-curricular activities and pressure to excel academically. Elkind asserted then and continues to in the 25th Anniversary edition of his book, that we are rushing our kids through childhood and contributing serious problems with anxiety and depression.

“The concept of childhood, so vital for a child’s healthy development,” he writes, “is threatened with extinction in the society we have created. Today’s child has become the unwilling, unintended victim of overwhelming stress –the stress borne of rapid, bewildering social change and constantly rising expectations.”

People need stress. It’s very important for our body to function and can help create creativity and motivation for being productive in society.

But chronic stress is very harmful and can lead to health issues such as, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and anxiety, just to name a few.

“For some children, Elkind summarizes, “chronic stress is translated into what Freud called “free-floating anxiety,” in the sense that it is not attached to a specific fear of apprehension.”

Childhood Anxiety is becoming an epidemic in our country.

I think Elkind is careful to spread the blame to several institutions for this rise in stress and anxiety with kids and not just parents. These include: the family system, schools, the media, and the internet. I recently reviewed the book, “IGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are growing up less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy, and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood,” by Jean Twenge, PH.D. “Whereas teens used to hear about social events through whispers,” she writes, “they can now see up-to-the-minutes pictures of exactly what they are missing.” Children and teens are being robbed of the peace and safety of living in the “here and now.”

I remember many things about my childhood: playing with my brother Tim, building forts, and watching Saturday cartoons. I grew up during the Vietnam war and remember seeing soldiers on the evening news. Also, the threat of nuclear holocaust was a constant fear in the 60’s. But we used most of our days living like kids: playing in the here and now.

Unbeknownst to us, we we’re practicing a form of Mindfulness! Playing in the here and now!

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy-For Children

At True North Counseling, we want to help children and teens cope with stress and anxiety. We want to help children and teens get better connected with themselves and with the “here and now.” We do this through Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy-For Children (MBCBT-C). This is done in a group setting and uses evidence-based strategies to help them cope with stress. We utilize graduate-school students and provide this group treatment at no charge to the children and teens that we see for Individual and Family Therapy. If you would like to utilize this service, call 502-777-7525 to set up an assessment for your child or teen.

If you’re worried that you might be contributing to the increased stress and anxiety of your child, read Elkind’s book.  

 

Friday Waypoints- 12/14/18

Sometimes you simply need a break. I rarely get sick. Hopefully, it’s because I eat well, exercise, love my family, friends and job, and because I take care of myself. But I was under the weather this past week and I decided to take a day off.

Meaningful Moments- Taking some time off

I really didn’t do a thing. I binge-watched a couple of movie trilogies. Grazed on food throughout the day. I laid around and did nothing.

I felt a little guilt because of my “purpose driven” way of thinking. It’s difficult to disconnect from that.

But I woke up feeling better physically and mentally.  I think that it helped me recover from whatever I had. This is the “body mind connection” that so many have written about. Your body and mind are so closely connected that they catch each other’s diseases. That is a lesson that I continue to learn and apply.

Movie I watched

I am a Veteran. I enjoy watching historical movies about war. I think it’s a “band of Brothers” kind of thing. A friend who enjoys classic movies came over for dinner and he suggested “The Paths of Glory,” starring Kirk Douglas. It was directed by Stanley Kubrick. It’s a movie made in 1957 about WWI.

What I didn’t know about this movie is that it was one of the first anti-war movies made. It was heart wrenching.

Take some time and buy or rent the movie. It won’t change your mind about the senseless nature of most wars, but it will humanize the losses that we experience as a nation and as a people during war.

Lessons from My Clients- Talking Helps

When teenagers and their families come to see me (and other therapists as well) they talk. And they get better. I see it all the time. Things get bottled up and sometimes a teen needs to talk. Talking to me helps and talking to each other helps too. Things can get a little heated during our sessions.

But when family members look at each other and talk and cry, it’s therapeutic.

A 10-year wonderful girl was able to tell her absent father how much he had hurt her by abandoning her. He wasn’t there, but she was able to say the things that she has wanted to say to him. “Daddy, you really hurt me, when you stopped seeing me for no reason.”

She had been blaming herself. We talked. I saw the burden that she was carrying get a little lighter.

Family Hiking Tips

Why You Should Still Hike in the Fall & Winter

Don’t shy away from hiking with your family during the Fall and Winter months as the positives clearly outweigh the negatives:

  1. NO BUGS!
  2. NO SPIDER WEBS! Those of you that have hiked in the summer months, know the experience of having those yucky spider webs get all over your face…I hate them!!! I’m always glad to let the other hikers hit the trail first and get the spider webs all over their face…but when hiking in the winter, there are no spider webs.
  3. You don’t overheat. A cool morning or afternoon makes hiking in the Fall and Winter more pleasant.
  4. You can see more. The forests change when the leaves fall. I love the view from the ridges of the Jefferson Memorial Forest in the winter.

The Do’s & Don’ts for Family Hiking

Make initial hikes short.  

I recommend 2 miles or less and very little elevation change (see the recommended hike at the end).

Prepare a snack and hot drink.

You want the hike to be fun and rewarding for the kids (and yourself). These can be healthy snacks or not. Chalk it up as a picnic! Plan ahead and purchase a day pack and thermos.

Be positive throughout the hike.

This may be difficult because our children today are very stimulated by electronics. The forest CAN compete but you have to help them shift gears. They will come to love the forest, its sounds, colors, and smells. Help them notice the forest.

Don’t be afraid to be quiet and let the forest teach your children.

Dress Warm.

No one likes to be cold. Pick a sunny Saturday or Sunday with the temperature in the upper 40s or 50s. Any type of sport sneaker will work, and dress with layers so you can shed them if you get warm.

Try This Louisville Hiking Trail First!

The Horine Cemetery Trail, Jefferson Memorial Forest

This is a 2-mile out and back trail, meaning that it is 1 mile out and 1 mile back. There is almost no elevation change, which means a perfect trail for young children.

Directions to the Trailhead Parking lot:

-Take the Gene Snyder Freeway to the New Cut Exit

-Turn Left onto New Cut Road heading toward Fairdale

-Follow New Cut Road for approximately 1.2 miles

-Enter the Roundabout and take the first right onto Mitchell Hill Road

-Follow Mitchell Hill Road for approximately 1 mile

-Turn Left onto Holsclaw Hill Road

-Follow this road up the hill for approximately 1.5 miles

-At the top of the hill take a sharp Right into the Horine Reserve section of the Jefferson Forest

-Follow the road to the parking lot

-Exit your car and walk through the campground gate

-Walk the campground road for approximately .2 miles

You will see the Horine Cemetery sign on the left and a gate just before the porta potty.

This is a beautiful 2-mile hike!

When you get there, let the kids look around while you prepare the snacks and hot chocolate!!

Before going on the hike, you might do a Wikipedia search for the Horine Family and Cemetery. Share the Horine story!

Everything that you see around you once belonged to them.

And now it’s yours.

Parenting a Teenager

I interviewed Kim Francia, BCBA this past week. She is a Behavior Analyst on our staff. She has close to 10 years of experience working with families and behavior problems. And she is a parent of teenagers.

I asked her to share some strategies for parenting a teenager. We came up with these principles:

1. Make sure you’re in charge when they’re children! This means being consistent. ‘No’ means no. If you ask them to do something, they don’t get away with NOT doing it. This means rewarding good behaviors and punishing bad behaviors. Remember:

All children need to learn two things:

They don’t get what they want all the time.

They have to do some things that they don’t want to do.

2. Transition away from a punishment-based parenting style to a privileges-based parenting style. Think about what you wanted when you were a teenager. PRIVILEGES. You wanted a permit, you wanted to stay out later, to go to concerts and places by yourself, to choose your own friends, and the power to decide if you attended a family outing or not.

The one thing that I have learned, and Kim agreed, was that you cannot punish teenagers into growing up!

3. A Privileges-Base Strategy says, “If you want to be treated like a 16-year old (privileges) then you have to act like a 16-year old (mature behaviors). These might include:

Get yourself up every morning.

Passing all of your classes in school.

Taking care of your hygiene on a daily basis.

Managing your emotions.

Working.

And most important:

Being were you say you’re going to be!

4. This one’s simple: let the “School of hard Knocks” kick in! If they don’t want to work, get used to being poor. If they want a permit, the state has academic requirements.

5. Lastly, Kim and I both agree that you must preserve your relationship with your teen. Parenting a teen can take its toll on the relationship. If you remain upset with them for days on end, then rethink the strategy that your using. We’ve seen parent and teens that, simply put, cannot stand each other, never talk and can’t wait to live separately. It doesn’t have to be that way.

You absolutely need to keep taking!

6. Finally (again), before things get really bad, bring yourself and your teen in for some family therapy. True North Counseling specializes in working with teens and their parents. Honestly, it’s the most fun that I have; helping parents help their teens grow up!