Quarantine has increased anxiety and depression in many young people across the board. However, if you identify as LGBTQ+, being cut off from support networks, like friends and GSAs, and possibly living in non-affirming spaces, may make these intense emotions even worse. While it may feel like it, you are not alone.
While we feel the stress as parents, employees, and people, we cannot compare anything we have experienced in our past to what our teens and tweens are going through now. Here are some tips to maintain your own equilibrium.
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.
October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a time to celebrate anyone who announces their LGBTQ identity. Coming out takes courage, pride, and self-esteem. For some, it is a joyful experience, filled with support and acceptance from family and friends. For others, it can be scary or even risky.
If you’re thinking about coming out as LGBTQ, here are some things that may help make it a safe and positive experience.
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.
A grandmother shared with Jewish parents, families and community members that she and her family are grappling with questions about whether or not their grandchild may someday identify as transgender; her 11-year-old granddaughter has connected with traditional masculine traits and behaviors since age four.