Monthly Archives: June 2014

Some things to know about your teenager’s brain


Some things to know about your teenager’s brainTeenagers are a unique species, very different than children and adults. They can be hard to understand and hard to live with at times. I’ve got two teenage siblings, so I speak from experience. My house is like a science lab where we’re always witnessing the outcomes of teenage brain development. With teens, you can expect disagreements, dramatic outbursts, or getting through half of your day before your teen has even gotten out of bed.

Sound familiar? If you’re living with a teen, take a moment and remind yourself that this behavior is quite typical of the age, and most likely nothing to take personally. The teenage brain is still developing and some of the teen experience is just …

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Five-step plan to avoid summer weight gain for kids


Five-step plan to avoid summer weight gain for kidsSummer break is upon us and like many holiday seasons, it’s a time full of good times and rich food.

Staying healthy over the summer months is a challenge. With so many family get-togethers and outdoor BBQ parties, who can resist the temptation of cooling off over a big bowl ice cream or biting into a juicy hamburger hot off the BBQ?

Now is a good time to model portion control and moderation for your kids when it comes to indulging in treats or handling situations where it’s easy to overeat.

Five-step plan to avoid summer weight gain

1. Stay active. With nothing to keep them occupied, kids will quickly become couch potatoes, making frequent trips to the kitchen for …

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Aging well


Aging wellI was born in 1949, and this year I’m hitting a significant milestone.  There is no real magic at 65 and yet, in our culture, it is a formal marker for the beginning of “old age”.  The other day when my 90-year-old father expressed frustration at his inability to remember a fact that in years gone by would have rolled off of his tongue, I said with a smile, “It’s okay Dad – you’re just getting older”. I am happy to say that my Dad is healthy and his body and brain function as well as that of a much younger person. I’ve learned a lot from my dad.

Lessons from my dad on aging well:

  • Cultivate wisdom
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What were you thinking?? Risk-taking and the teenage brain


What were you thinking?? Risk-taking and the teenage brainSometimes I wonder why I hear my parents and teachers make comments like: “Teenagers today, I tell you!” or “What on earth were you thinking of when you did that?”

Curiosity got the better of me and I did some research on teenage risk taking, which led me to find articles on teenage brain development. Simply put, our teenage brains are not fully developed. We react and process information differently than adults do which can sometimes cause a divide between generations. OK, OK, it does create a divide!

Want to understand what makes us different? The following is a shortlist of what some researchers are currently investigating:

  1. The parts of our brains that help us work through emotions, consequences,
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