Lisa Rothfus, LCSW
As a mother of two teenage boys, one 13 and the other 18, I can definitely say I understand how challenging adolescence can be. For many years parents have wished for a “User Manual” to help understand their teens, and as a therapist, mother, and coach for teenagers, I too have searched for many answers to makes sense of this perplexing stage of life. I am excited to say I now think we have the beginnings of a “User Manual”, and surprisingly it comes from changes that have occurred in technology over the last 10 years. PET scans and fMRI imaging has helped us see inside the teenage brain, and to deepen our understanding of what specifically is happening during this stage of development. I believe that great parenting begins with understanding our children and having empathy for them. The more knowledge we have about adolescence, the more likely we are to make informed decisions when parenting our teens, and keep a strong connection with them throughout these important years. My workshops will help to decode some of the mysteries we all encounter in our relationship with our teenagers, and help parents form a strategy for guiding them through this fantastic, tumultuous stage of their lives.
Lisa Rothfus, LCSW
The school year just started and she already seems stressed. What should I do?
Barb Steinberg, LMSW is a teen life coach, workshop facilitator and Westlake Speaker Series presenter who transforms the lives of adolescent girls and the adults who care about them through practical strategies, insight, compassion and humor.
We asked Barb what questions she routinely fields from parents of the girls she coaches, and, in turn, what advice she gives them. We’d like to share her insights with you, in the hopes you find this helpful in raising your daughters.
Question: My daughter wants to do it all -- play a sport, take challenging classes, make all As, volunteer and have a lot of time to hang out with friends. I’m concerned that she is spreading herself too thin. She already seems stressed and anxious, and school practically just started. As a parent, what can I do to help her manage her time?
Answer: Recent studies confirm what I’ve seen in my coaching practice -- that “wanting to do it all” is not a phenomenon restricted to working women. As Stephen Hinshaw outlines so well in his book, The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today’s Pressures and Conflicting Expectations, girls put a lot of pressure on themselves to:
Thankfully, we parents can help lighten their load and help them prioritize their time so they have more time to have fun and just be the kids that they are.
If you haven’t already, schedule some time to sit down with your daughter to review how she is spending her time and make adjustments as necessary for the coming school year.
Once you get a plan in motion, keep in mind that things change. You may need to revisit her activities if some require more time than advertised. You might need to have her delay an activity for a semester if Calculus is proving particularly difficult. Check in with her monthly, if not more often, to see how she is feeling about her load.
This parenting stuff is hard work, but when you see your daughter less stressed and thriving at home and in school, it will all be worth it…for both of you! :)
Barb will be going into more detail about how to ease your daughter’s stress level at her upcoming Empowering Your Daughter workshop in south central Austin on Friday, September 19th from 11:45am-1pm. Pre-registration is required at barbsteinberg.com.
This is National Suicide Prevention Week. Unfortunately, suicide is a major health issue in Texas. We lost over 2,800 residents to suicide in 2010. For youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death.
As parents we are often the first to notice that our child is experiencing emotional distress. You can serve as a bridge between your child and the people who can more directly intervene in a crisis.
Knowing how to recognize these signs is the first step in taking action that could save someone’s life. People who attempt suicide often send out warning signs before they actually make an attempt. These signs may be loud and clear, or low-key and subtle. Knowing how to recognize these signs is the first step in taking action that could save someone’s life.
Ten Warning Signs of Suicide
Call for Help!
If you need to talk, or are concerned about someone else, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If someone is in immediate crisis, call 911.
Notify the Student Support Counselors at WHS – Katie Bryant & Kristi Waidhofer.
Your child spends at least eight hours a day at school and we want to do our best to ensure their safety and well-being.