Is Your Parenting Ratcheting Up Your Teen’s Anxiety?

7 Strategies For Giving Your Teen a Better, More Peaceful Life

Teen anxiety is at an all-time high. How can parents help?

Or at least quit ratcheting up teen anxiety and making it worse?

Some of the root causes of teen anxiety are things parents don’t have much control over—such as our culture’s senseless obsession with elite education, or social media pointing our moral compass in a dangerous direction.

Could just confiscating the teen’s phone be an answer?

No—that won’t work. Today’s tech-savvy teens can have the phone you took away replaced by a Walmart burner phone in under an hour.

How can wise parents relieve teen anxiety in a culture where doctors say that before long, 1 in 3 teens will have a diagnosable anxiety disorder?

1. Let your teen struggle with hard things.

It sounds counterintuitive—but instead of swooping in like a helicopter to save the day when life gets tough for your middle schooler, high schooler, or college student, you could say something like, “Wow. That’s rough. What are you going to do now?”

Or, “Oh, no. That’s so incredibly frustrating. I wonder what resources you could tap into to help with that?”

Then stand back for as long as it takes to see the creative solutions your child comes up with.

teen anxiety

2. Resist the urge to make a smooth, straight road for your kids.

Instead—joy and revel in the reality that every bump and pothole they navigate on their own reduces teen anxiety by building confidence that they can handle adversity on their own.

It’s fascinating to me that one of the most effective medical treatments for anxiety is cognitive‐behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT involves—among other things—increased exposure to feared objects, activities, and situations.

You can accomplish this at home.

Give your teen the space to confront and conquer what she’s nervous about, and you’ll take a giant step toward softening and reducing teen anxiety, without making even one doctor appointment.

3. Let go of the leash of constant texting.

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5 Ways to Keep Kids From Living Off You in Their 20s (AUDIO)

Most parents worry at least occasionally: “What if these kids don’t find good jobs and become independent adults? What if they want to lie around on my couch until they’re 30?”

debt-free college podcast

Join me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 6 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn the one sentence that savvy parents cheerfully drop into casual conversation, here and there, during the years their kids are ages 12–26. It’ll make you laugh—and it’ll create a firm boundary that just might save you later.

(14 min.)

Prefer to read the content I talk about in this podcast? There are Jeannie Burlowski articles on this same subject here and here.

The show notes for this episode are below.

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Tee Your Kids Up For Career Success (In Just 2 Min.)

You desperately want your kids to succeed academically in school and in college so they can have a shot at lifetime career success—but cajoling and hovering and pushing them is just so exhausting.

Here’s fantastic help that will take you under two minutes to implement.

career success

According to world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck (who’s done decades of high-level research on achievement and success), the difference between academic and career success and academic and career mediocrity boils down to whether the child has a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

Carol Dweck describes the difference between these two mindsets this way:

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

—Carol Dweck

This is fantastic in and of itself, but here’s even better news.

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Having Marijuana in this Form is a Felony

With all the national conversation around legalizing marijuana, many teens are jumping to the uninformed conclusion that it’s low-risk for them.

Experts, however, are extremely worried about the impact of marijuana on developing adolescent brains.

Not only that—but there’s one certain kind of marijuana that’s so dangerous that possession of it is a felony. Make sure your kids know this, because if one of their friends pulls it out, they’ll want to run for the hills as fast as they can.

marijuana

My grim conversation with the police officer

When I interviewed a police officer to get information for this article, he told me in grim terms that the form of marijuana called “wax” (also known as “dabs” or “hash oil”) is especially dangerous for teens and adults due to its exorbitantly high THC level.

It’s so dangerous that possession of even a tiny amount of it is a felony.

All teens who use marijuana, or who have friends who use marijuana, need to google the word “felony” to understand the prison term that results from this—even for first offenses, even for juveniles.

This is one of the strongest arguments there is for being extremely careful who you get into a car with.

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3 Reasons Every Teen Needs A Part-Time Job (AUDIO)

This episode also includes a hilarious idea for making your teen want to go out and get a part-time job!debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 4 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn:

1. How working a part-time job increases the odds that a teen will be academically successful in college.

2. How the advice of author Meg Jay can help your kids leave behind fake, empty confidence and develop genuine professional confidence.

3. The most interesting points Jeffrey J. Selingo made about this subject in his acclaimed Washington Post article.

(10 min.)

You’d rather read than listen? OK you can do that here!

Do you worry that having a job might damage your kid’s GPA?

Read the helpful, reassuring article I’ve written on this subject here.

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How to Skyrocket the Growth of Your Teen’s Brain

In Just Minutes

Dr. Charles Fay of LoveandLogic.com is an expert at helping parents grow a teen’s brain by leaps and bounds—while helping adults enjoy a less stressful, more fun family life.

teen's brain

Dr. Fay recently said this on the subject of growing a teen’s brain:

“At Love and Logic®, we believe that kids are best prepared for the real world when we allow them to do as much thinking as possible. It’s good practice for the real world, and it keeps the monkey off of our backs most of the time. Here’s the problem. Do you know kids who like to keep adults doing all of the thinking? Do you know kids who are good at tricking us into doing so?”

One strategy for staying out of this trap is to use plenty of questions.

“The more questions we ask,” Dr. Fay says, “the better thinkers our kids will become.”

Why does this strategy work for growing a teen’s brain?

The human brain naturally seeks closure. When we ask a lot of sincere, good-hearted questions with genuine interest and empathy, it’s like we flip a switch in a teen’s brain that keeps him or her groping through possible answers. Sometimes for long after we’ve left the room.

Dr. Fay says that if we do this, our teen’s brain will have “less energy left over for power-struggles.”

Exactly what tired parents long to hear.

If you’re looking for ways to grow your teen’s brain while doing a lot less mental heavy lifting yourself, try using variations on these great Dr. Charles Fay questions:

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STARTING POINT: All the Basics You Need to Know Right Now (AUDIO)

For Parents of Kids Ages 12–26

If you’re a parent and you’ve just found this, you’re probably thinking:

“Oh, wow—seriously? There’s help for getting my kids through college debt-free, and into great jobs after college? I had no idea this kind of help was available! Am I late starting this? Yikes, I don’t have any spare time! If I work on this, how much time is it going to take me?”

Rest easy, Mom and Dad. You’re not late.

And getting your kids through college debt-free takes only minutes per week.

Right now, at this moment, you’re standing at the perfect starting point.

Listen to episode 1 of my podcast, below. It takes only 23 minutes. (Listen while you’re commuting, loading the dishwasher, or getting ready in the morning.) When you finish listening, you’ll feel hope and confidence, and you’ll know exactly what you need to do next to get your kids to the most exciting academic and career destinations—even if they don’t get a single scholarship.

If you’re parenting kids ages 12–26, listen to just the first 8 minutes below, and you’ll be hooked.

debt-free college podcast

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Forget Being Supermom—Just be “Good-Enough Mom.”

Psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud, co-author of the life-changing Boundaries books and The Mom Factor, says that today’s moms will do more good for their families by giving up “the Supermom model of motherhood, which never worked anyway,” and instead relaxing into being a “good-enough mom.”

Why would a psychologist suggest that just being a “good-enough mom” is a healthy idea?

good enough mom

“Perfectionistic mothers,” Cloud says, “tend to either go crazy or make their spouse, their kids, or their kids’ spouses crazy. Stop trying to be the perfect mom, and be content with being a ‘good-enough’ mom.”

What is a “good-enough mom”?

According to Cloud, the “good-enough mom” (the one who’s most likely to raise healthy kids and teens) has these characteristics:

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Top 9 Books I Most Love For Parents and Students

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can literally change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20-somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

(Are you worried that your teen won’t read a non-fiction book? See my helpful article on How to Get a Teen to Read a Non-Fiction Book.)

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can actually change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

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The Meme Every Kid Needs to See

Here it is—the meme every kid needs to see.

the meme every kid needs to see

Copy and forward this meme to the kids you love right now.

Tweet this meme out to the people who follow you!

When you’re a parent, it feels great to know you’re taking practical steps to set your kid up for successful college and career life.

For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free, get your copy of my book:

You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:

bit.ly/burlowski

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