Tweens

Children Will Listen: How to Promote a Healthier Body Image for Your Kids

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.

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Cuffing Season, Ghosting, Hooking Up: Teen Dating Slang That Every Parent Should Know

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.

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Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) Awards $5,000 Grant to Response for Teens’ Operation Snowball

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.

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Thinking about Coming Out? Here’s Some Advice

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.

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Response Responds to "13 Reasons Why"

By Robin Stein, LCSW
Director, Response

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.

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Teasing vs. Bullying, and Why It's More Serious Today

By Robin Stein, LCSW, Director of Response

When I speak to parents and members of our community about bullying, I most often am asked the following question:  “What’s the big deal?  Bullying happened when we were kids and we all survived!”

Flashback some 35-40 years ago and yes, bullying happened – on the playground, walking home, on the school bus, in the locker room.  Some of us were teased (“four-eyes,” “uni-brow,” “brown-nose”).  And yes, teasing is quite different from bullying.  How so, you may ask?

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Online/Offline: 10 Techno Tips for Parents from Response

The good news is, we can do most anything more efficiently and connect with friends and family members 24/7 with the wonders of technology!  On the other hand, technology follows us everywhere; from brushing our teeth in the morning to turning in for the night.  There is, literally, no escape!  For tweens and teens, this sense of being attached to an “electronic leash” can have negative consequences, including bullying behavior, sexting, online dating, etc.  Know how to set reasonable boundaries around the use of technology in your family and you’ll be way ahead of the curve. 

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Tween Girl Drama: 7 Ways to Support Your Daughter

Parents of 9 to 12 year-old girls know “Tween Girl Drama” even if they cannot define it.  They see it in the struggles their daughters have negotiating friendships, their changing bodies, and their growing desire for independence.  They experience it in the moodiness and seeming over-reactions to the littlest of things. Here are 7 tips for supporting your daughter (or even your son) as she navigates these challenging years:  

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