When Your Teen is Embarrassed to be Seen with You

Back in the day, when I was a teen, my mother had really long, thick hair that she wore in a huge bun piled on top of her head. Every morning, before work, she rolled her strands around this wad of fake hair which was designed to make bun-making easier. Then, using about a million hair pins, she neatly gathered the hair on top of her head and secured it so that not even a tsunami could dislodge it. If it was a special occasion, she would position one stiff curl on each side of her face. My mother wasn’t exceedingly tall, but she wasn’t short either; and, if you can remember the older clothing racks at the department stores, they were a bit taller than they are now. Anyway, I could always find my mother in a store by looking for that bun floating above the tops of those racks.

Embarassed Teenager

When I was little, that bun was just a normal part of my mother, like an arm or a leg; but as I got older, that bun came to signify everything that was wrong with her. Long after other mothers began wearing their hair down, or even, gasp!, short, my mother continued to pin that bun to the top of her head. She didn’t evolve; or, at least, her hair didn’t. And, if her hair didn’t evolve, her clothes were even worse. She just wasn’t hip.

Learn how your relationship and level of communication will mature as you move past this stage with your teen >>

Vacation Temptations Can Lure Teens Into Drug, Alcohol Use

Summer vacation may evoke thoughts of carefree days and warm, starry nights, but for many teenagers, the start of the season can also be accompanied by an increased likelihood of engaging in unhealthy behaviors.

According to a July 18, 2008 article in The Princeton (N.H.) Packet newspaper, experts with Princeton House Behavioral Health (a unit of the Princeton HealthCare System) have identified June and July as two of the riskiest months of the year when it comes to first-time use of drugs and alcohol by teens.

The paper reported that the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that the highest rates of first-time marijuana use among teens occur during these two months – periods that also see spikes in teens who drink for the first time.

“Summer can be a risky time for teens when it comes to drug and alcohol use, and parents need to be especially vigilant,” staff psychiatrist Dr. George Wilson told The Packet. “But summer can also be a season of hope for adolescents already struggling with addiction by providing them a fresh chance to seek treatment.”

The article quoted Dr. Wilson as advising parents to monitor both their children and themselves in an effort to offset vacation temptations. For example, keeping close track of children’s schedules and whereabouts, and scheduling a slate of family activities are good ways for parents to exert positive influence over their offspring, Dr Wilson said.

But because actions speak louder than words, Dr. Wilson told The Packet that parents need to be sure that their own behaviors don’t contradict the “no drugs and alcohol” message they are attempting to send to their children.

The most important advice he offered, according to The Packet, was that parents shouldn’t be hesitant to get help if their children are exhibiting signs of alcohol use, drug abuse, or other issues that warrant immediate attention. “Serious child and adolescent problems don’t take a summer break,” Dr. Wilson said.