When teens push themselves too far

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When teens push themselves too far

There are many teenagers that people think are the ideal teenagers. They work hard, play on the teams, babysit; all of the things that you would want a teenager to do. They are the model teenager. There is a dark side to some of these teenagers, not all of them. The dark side is that they push themselves too far. They don't listen to themselves, they don't listen to their body, and they get themselves into trouble. They don't eat well. Sometimes they have eating disorders. Sometimes they have depression. They are just constantly working. One of the challenges of parents with these kids is to teach our kids how to relax. Doris Goodwin, when she wrote the books about the presidencies, one of the things she focused on was the healthy presidents, the good presidents, knew how to relax. They knew how to turn it off. Reagan took a nap every night. FDR would have a cocktail every night, where no one could talk about the war. They would talk about other things. They had ways to turn it off. One of the things we need to teach our teenagers is how to turn things off. That means we need to model that ourselves. Sometimes we need to tell our kids, "This is going to be a homework free weekend. No homework. We are just going to do fun things. I've talked to your teachers." Whatever it is. We need to show them how to take a break because once kids get caught up in this; they can't stop themselves. Unfortunately, this is one of the conditions that you see come into counseling offices a lot. They are perfectionists and they don't know how to stop themselves. Part of this is a challenge for parents. When you are noticing that their kids really can't stop. How do you take a break? Summertime is great for this. These are the kids that want to take a summer course and we have to stand up to them and say no. If they don't experience that down time, they just want more and more.

View Michael Riera, PhD's video on When teens push themselves too far...


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Michael Riera, PhD

Head Of School, Brentwood School

Michael Riera, PhD, Educator, Author, Media Personality, and Speaker. Michael Riera is the Head of School at the Brentwood School, best-selling author, award-winning columnist, educator, television commentator, and national speaker on issues of children, adolescents, families, and parenting. Mike is the author of Right From Wrong: instilling a Sense of integrity in Our Children, Field Guide to the American Teenager, Uncommon Sense For Parents With Teenagers, and Surviving High School. His most recent book, Staying Connected To Your Teenager, was launched with three appearances on Oprah! For eight years he was the Family Consultant for CBS The Saturday Morning Early Show and also hosted an award winning television show on the Oxygen Network, Life in Progress, as well as his own daily radio show, Family Talk with Dr. Mike. Mike has worked in schools for over 20 years as a head of school, counselor, dean of students, teacher and consultant. 

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