A Tribute to Bad-Ass Moms

Being a mom is one bad-ass job. I worked with the mom of two teenagers last night. She came in alone, with nothing in particular on her mind, no pressing issue, no crisis to resolve. She wanted to talk about the way in which she parents her kids, a gut check to ensure she was [...]


The Lowdown on 420: Guiding Your Teen Through the Weeds

A highly astute, very funny client of mine suggested the other day that, if you're the parent of a teenager, and you don't know what '420' is, you must be high. Some thirty or so years ago, legend has it, a group of Bay Area high schoolers decided they would meet after school, at 4:20, [...]


The New, Improved Teen Brain: Their Ultimate Multi-Tasker

In my clinical practice, I see frequent referrals in which parents are deeply concerned with their teen's overuse of electronics. They cite myriad fears and concerns, including stress, lack of attention to schoolwork, too little face-to-face contact with others, a decrease in social skills, and brain damage. Their concerns are not unfounded. In fact, I [...]


Morning Has Broken: Now How Do We Fix It?

Yeah, you've probably envisioned the perfect morning. Cup of coffee out on the deck at sunrise, perhaps. Deep-breathing and yoga stretches? A gentle jog through the woods? When you're a parent, those ideal mornings tend to fall away for an hour or two that tends to be a bit more, say, chaotic. More like a [...]


Teens, Dating and Cash

I've come across the issue of how teens handle, or mis-handle, money many, many times. This is a truly tricky topic. By and large, parents I work with want their teens to be able to date, provided they are mature enough for that type of relationship. In the same breath, parents also want their children [...]


Fostering Compassion in a Jaded World

How do we teach compassion, in a genuine way, to our children? This has been an ongoing theme in my practice over the course of the past year or two. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I'm asked, and a few thoughts: - With so many people suffering around us, why is [...]


Radical Optimism About Teenagers?

Going through airport security this past Friday en route to San Francisco, my wife, son and I finally reached the agent for the last of several ID verification checks. The agent scanned and closely eyeballed the picture ID’s for Julie and I, and then asked George his name. As we were packing up the paperwork, [...]



A piece Tuesday morning on "Good Morning America" suggests, correctly, that sexting is on the rise among teenagers. They also note that, with the advent of smart phones that can make video segments, sexting of racy video is increasingly insidious. The host of the piece, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, suggests that parents "keep the conversation going" with [...]


The Available Sibling

I've been fielding a lot of questions lately from parents concerned about sibling rivalry amongst their teens and tweens. So, here are a few notes on sibling strife: - Blatant favoritism by a parent drives a lot of sibling strife. It is critical that parents show positive regard to all siblings. This is most difficult [...]