Follow Dr. Roni's blog for her insights into the issues troubling today's families.
For Young Teens, Cyberbullying Can be Life-Threatening
Just the other day, an 18-year-old Texas high school senior who was subjected to relentless cyberbullying for over a year shot herself in front of her horrified family. Although Brandy Vella had complained to school authorities and the police about fake online sex profiles and abusive text messages, the culprits were never caught. Even after READ MORE
Sleep Problems DO Affect Teens’ Stress Response
Brand new research by Dr. Silvie Mrug and her colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Arizona State University demonstrates what parents and teachers observe all the time: Teens who don’t get enough sleep—or high-quality sleep—are prone to react strongly to stressful situations. This, in turn, puts them at risk for academic, behavioral, READ MORE
Teens Need More Exercise
Although the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of exercise are clear, a new study proves that today’s teens are getting far less than they need. Using GPS tracking devices and accelerometers, researchers were able to measure the activity levels and surroundings of 549 adolescents ages 12-16. They found that at school teens are active 23 READ MORE
Daydreaming Can Be a Good Thing!
How often have you chastised your teens or tweens for staring into space, seemingly doing nothing, or simply daydreaming? You may wonder how they could possibly get anything done when they’re thinking about things that are completely unrelated to whatever they’re supposed to be doing—for example, homework, eating breakfast, or getting ready for school. Well, READ MORE
One More Reason Teens Shouldn’t Binge Drink
Sometimes parents’ most dire warnings fall on deaf teen ears. While it’s true that many young people who binge drink suffer from alcohol poisoning—and some even die—these facts do not always deter them from trying it. That’s because teens have an incredible sense of immortality. What they think is, “But that’ll never happen to me!” However irrational, READ MORE
College Prep for Tots?
Just the other day, the Higher Education Research Institute of UCLA released its annual report on the mental health and well-being of college freshmen—a survey they’ve been conducting for nearly 50 years. It showed an ever-worsening trend. Recent high school graduates are 50% more likely to be depressed than they were five years ago, and READ MORE
Gossip Can Promote Self-Reflection & Growth
Gossip usually has a bad reputation. As parents, we may cringe when we hear our kids talking about their peers—especially in a negative light. But new research by scientists in the Netherlands, reported in APA’s Monitor on Psychology this month, suggests that hearing gossip about other people is valuable. Positive gossip leads to self-improvement. When READ MORE
Spa Days for Children?
When I read yesterday’s article, “After a Spa Day, Looking Years Younger (O.K., They’re Only 7)” in The New York Times, at first I thought it was a satire. Diaper-clad toddlers treated to manicures and limo rides? A spa geared for children that calls itself “Seriously Spoiled?” But alas, this article illuminated many ways in READ MORE
Marijuana’s Effects On Young Brains
With the legalization of marijuana, it’s even more confusing for parents raising teens to guide them in whether to use pot. As an article in Sunday’s New York Times’ Education Life supplement indicates, mothers and fathers are taking a variety of stances, from “zero tolerance” to “outright permission.” But a study on the effects of marijuana, conducted jointly READ MORE
Why New Research Makes Sleep a Necessity
For years, we’ve been hearing how important sleep is for learning, performance, mood, and general health. Still, the busy lives (and devices) of teens and adults lead many of us to stay up later, putting off sleep until the weekend, if we’re lucky. Although teens are supposed to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep, most READ MORE