Adolescence has always been a difficult phase of life, but today’s teenagers are navigating a world that is vastly different from any generation before them.
From social media to cyberbullying, from political polarization to climate change, weathering a pandemic and more—the challenges facing today’s teenagers are unique, numerous and complex. It’s thus not surprising an entire generation is experiencing anxiety, overwhelm, depression and other mental health issues on an unprecedented level.
So how do we equip teens emotionally with the tools they need to navigate our complex and ever-changing world?
Here to help us answer this question is teen whisperer par excellence, Lisa Damour, PhD.
Lisa is a Yale-educated psychotherapist with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan who specializes in education and child development. She is the author of three New York Times bestsellers: Untangled, Under Pressure, and The Emotional Lives of Teenagers—the latter being the subject of today’s exchange. She also co-hosts the Ask Lisa podcast and is a regular contributor to The New York Times and CBS News.
“The single most powerful force for adolescent mental health is strong relationships with caring adults.”
– LISA DAMOUR, PHD
Today we explore the issues that are most pressing for today’s teens: the impact of social media on mental health, the pressure to succeed academically and professionally, and the struggles that come with trying to fit in and find a sense of belonging. We also look at the ways in which the pandemic has exacerbated some of these challenges, and how teenagers are coping with the disruption to their lives.
But most importantly, Lisa provides concrete, actionable strategies for teaching teens how to manage their feelings and overcome friction at home. She also provides the groundwork for initiating important conversations about risky behavior, navigating friendships and romances, and many other important topics.
The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. And as always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
If you are a parent of young humans trying to make the right moves, or just want to better understand how young people think and why they behave as they do, then this episode—along with Lisa’s first appearance on the podcast— is appointment listening.
Peace + Plants,
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- Connect with Lisa: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
- Podcast: Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting
- Book: The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents
- Book: Under Pressure: Confronting The Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety In Girls
- Book: Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through The Seven Transitions Into Adulthood
- The New York Times: What’s a Parent of a Teenager to Do?
- The New York Times: Teens Are Struggling Right Now. What Can Parents Do?
- NPR: How to show up for teens when big emotions arise
- NPR: Damour’s guide to helping parents understand teenagers’ intense emotional lives
- Slate: The Book That Explains Why Our Approach to Teen Unhappiness Is All Wrong
- Time: How to Help Teenagers Stay Motivated at School
- KQED: What parents need to know about their teens’ mental health
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