Congratulations to all the teen participants and adult leaders on another successful Operation Snowball 2019! At the end of February teens from across Chicagoland came together to participate in Operation Snowball, our annual winter teen retreat planned entirely by teens.
Children and teens are spending more and more time playing video games online with their friends. For most, this is a positive experience, allowing them to communicate with others even when they are unable to physically be with them. This is particularly true for people with difficulty spending time with others in-person, like those with major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorder and social anxiety disorder.
This unconventional method of communication is helpful in fostering connections while building the skills and confidence necessary to interact face-to-face. Although steps should be taken to ensure children’s safety online, online video games are a large part of the lives of young people and should be recognized as a source of social support.
Given the variety of changes and uncertainties facing a normal teenager, anxious feelings or worries are common. However, for some teenagers, anxiety becomes a chronic state of mind and can interfere with their daily life. Therapists at JCFS’s Response Center for Teens provide a safe, comfortable environment where teens can express their feelings and learn to manage their emotions.
If you grew up in an environment where you received unhealthy messages around eating, body image, and weight, it can be difficult to break the cycle and avoid passing these ideas on to your own kids. But it’s not impossible! A good first step is to listen to the way you (intentionally or unintentionally) talk about eating and body image in your child’s presence. If you find yourself saying any of the things below, try to shift to healthier, happier talk. This will not only benefit your child, but it can lead to your own gradual internalization of more positive thoughts and beliefs.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular terms that teens use to describe modern romance, from the tamest to the riskiest. Just to be clear: We’re definitely not suggesting that you violate your child’s privacy, but if you hear or come across any of these terms, there might be more going on than meets the eye. Don’t see the term you’re looking for? Try this comprehensive list of acronyms or this guide to teen slang.
Congratulations to Debra Mier, Kelly Grover, Ellie Molise and the staff of Response for Teens' Operation Snowball program, who are recipients of a $5,000 grant from the Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF). Response for Teens is among 35 agencies that were awarded HPCF grants for 2017. This year’s grant will allow Response for Teens to serve 40-50 students from District 113 in the 2018 Operation Snowball Program.
True confession… I binge-watched the entire Netflix series titled “13 Reasons Why!” My initial reaction was that it was a show that covered truisms that many adolescents face in today’s world (bullying, sexual assault, sexual harassment, isolation, drunk driving, parent-teen communication issues). The characters were well developed and, while often graphic and painful to watch, I thought it did a good job of addressing some pretty dicey subject matter. But after processing the series more with colleagues, I began to have concerns about some of the missed opportunities to more transparently shed light on the theme of mental illness; something that impacts one in five teens in our society today. While we occasionally see Hannah and Clay (two of the main characters), sitting alone in the lunchroom or apparently feeling invisible in classroom scenes, the only references to mental illness are within Clay’s family scenes, when mom identifies that perhaps he might want to return to therapy or re-start some medication; she’s concerned about him.