Losing someone we love is a painful experience for anyone. For parents, it can be difficult to know how to best support children after the loss of a loved one. This can be an especially challenging task with teenagers, as their quests to prove independence can lead them to present façades of composure. Educating yourself about grief in teens can help you recognize appropriate grief in your teenager and offer support. The following questions and answers offer some clarity. [Read more…]
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
For parents with children who are about to graduate from high school, families begin to feel the stress of transitioning to another milestone in their children’s lives applying to and enrolling in college. Aside from having to decide which institution best suits their children, there’s also the added worry of what their child should study, as well as having to cope with the proverbial “empty nest syndrome.” Amidst all this pressure, families may forget to address one of the more insidious phenomena that plague a growing number of first-year college students, and has been the ruin of many a promising child’s student career college alcoholism. [Read more…]
In her poem “To a Daughter Leaving Home,” Linda Pastan describes her experience of teaching her eight year old daughter how to ride a bike. As her daughter rides away up the street, the mother runs behind to catch up, anxious she might hear a crash. Her daughter laughs and “pumps for her life,” with her hair like a “handkerchief waving goodbye.”
This scene illustrates many of the feelings that parents have as they see their children growing up. On the one hand parents want to encourage independence, and work to teach children the skills they need to be self-sufficient. On the other hand, children’s independence can scare parents: will they be alright on their own? The child’s journey can also leave the parent feeling abandoned. As parents cheer their children on, they also feel the loss of their company.
Adolescence brings about many changes within both the individual child as well as the entire family. These changes can bring both excitement and challenges as the developing teenager seeks out his or her autonomy and identity. Parents are important agents within this developmental transition, serving as a secure base while teenagers explore their environment. This can be accomplished through parenting strategies that foster support and encourage exploration.
The teenage years can be a demanding time for both youth and their families. Adolescents face increasing academic responsibilities and new social pressures, even as they grapple with rapid physical, cognitive, and emotional changes. While some thrive in the face of these challenges, other teenagers begin to experience difficulties. Depression, anxiety, poor school performance, eating disorders, substance abuse problems, and conduct issues all may manifest themselves during the teen years. Conflict within families may increase as teenagers alternately reject adult direction, demand more privileges, and engage in risky and irresponsible behavior. [Read more…]