Ep. 17: BFFs & Explicit Music

Ep. 17: BFFs & Explicit Music

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Summary:
It’s no secret that teens place high importance on their friends, but did you know that it’s a need rooted in biology? Don’t miss the conversation on BFFs and why they might be a survival skill for adolescence. Also in this episode, we explore the effect of explicit lyrics on teenagers and how you can help.

All Teen Life Summit sessions are available on demand until August 10. Register and watch at any time. Use code podcast20 for $20 off!

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

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Ep. 16: Role Models & Drug Slang

Ep. 16: Role Models & Drug Slang

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Summary:
Most parents worry about the influence that other teenagers can have on their teen, but what about other role models? Join us as we talk positive and negative role models. Chris and Karlie also tackle drug slang for the most common drugs among teens.

All Teen Life Summit sessions are available on demand until August 10. Register and watch at any time. Use code podcast20 for $20 off!

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

Follow Us

Ep. 15: Gaming & Food That Slaps

Ep. 15: Gaming & Food That Slaps

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Summary:
With over 70% of kids under the age of 18 playing video games, gaming is a topic worth talking about for parents and anyone who works with teens. Chris and Karlie talk pros and cons of internet gaming, as well as current game trends you should know about. Be sure to listen to the end for Karlie’s killer food tip for winning over teens.

All Teen Life Summit sessions are available on demand until August 10. Register and watch at any time. Use code podcast20 for $20 off!

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

Follow Us

Ep. 14: Independence & “Likes”

Ep. 14: Independence & “Likes”

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Summary:

The need for independence drives many of the power struggles with teens at home and at school. Chris and Karlie get real on the reasons behind the most common difficulties between adults and teens. They also explore the effect “likes” have on teens’ mental health and how you can help.

Teen Life Summit sessions are available on demand until August 10. Register and watch at any time. Use code podcast20 for $20 off!

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

Follow Us

Ep. 13: Teen Driving & YouTube

Ep. 13: Teen Driving & YouTube

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Summary:
How old were you when you got your driver’s license? Odds are that you were younger than today’s newbie drivers. In this episode, join Chris and Karlie as they dive into driving and Gen Z. They also take a closer look at the darker side of YouTube and how it’s probably affecting you and your teen.

All Teen Life Summit sessions are available on demand until August 10. Register and watch at any time. Use code podcast20 for $20 off!

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

Have a question? If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

Follow Us

How Much is TOO MUCH? Winning at Screen Time

How Much is TOO MUCH? Winning at Screen Time

As a teenager, my favorite way to spend the summer was with a steady diet of microwaved ramen noodles, Matlock reruns and a stack of Jane Austen novels. My parents worried that I didn’t get out enough, that I didn’t have enough friends, and somewhere in there maybe they worried that I watched too much television. Maybe.

Since those late nineties summers, the mild anxiety parents once had about “too much television” has shifted from a generic concern about sedentary habits to scientifically-backed fears over “screen-time limits”. But how much is too much and why?

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in February 2020 “children ages 8-12 in the United States spend 4-6 hours a day watching or using screens, and teens spend up to 9 hours.”

Pre-pandemic, they were estimating that teens spend as much time on screens as they do sleeping, maybe more.

Some of the risks of too much screen time are measurable- eye strain, depression, insomnia. Some are less easily measured- irritability, lack of movement, lack of coping skills, poor self-image and body image issues.

But how much is too much? The American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recently changed their guidelines to reflect that the answer to that question is elusive.

Most psychologist and child development experts agree that screen time easily interferes with activities that boost creativity and mental health- activities such as time outdoors, exercising and building social skills like empathy and recognizing social cues.

But when kids are at school, parents have little to no control over how much exposure kids have to screens. Tablets and TVs are integrated into classroom lessons. And they can always find a friend with a smart phone.

However, there are many ways to optimize the time you have with teens outside of school and to help them navigate healthy and unhealthy behaviors around screens.

Teachers and parents alike can advocate for more movement in every teen’s day. Take your kids or your class outside to move around, have everyone stand up and stretch when you feel like you are losing their attention. Movement boosts creativity and information retention (and for those who stayed up too late chatting, it wakes up the brain)!

Encourage outdoor activities without screens like walking, hiking, or even sitting on a bench and reading a paperback novel. Being outside is good for everyone.

Create a parent/child tech contract like this one or this one. When teens are involved in the decision process, they feel empowered and are more likely to take heed.

When you have family time, turn off the TV and put your phones away. Pick a “getting to know you” question that everyone has to answer at dinner. Share your highs and lows of the day. Be together.

Have a centralized charging station (for everyone’s phone) to prevent late night scrolling and encourage healthy sleep habits.

Do a digital detox. This means you too, Mom and Dad. Pick a day that everyone will turn off their phones and go explore the world or have a family game night! (Listen here for tips on fun games even your teen won’t hate!)

My kids are still young, but we take a day-long digital detox whenever I have to field repeated requests to watch a show or whenever someone throws a fit about watching or ending a show. Zero tolerance. It’s a luxury we have, but at the first signs of moodiness, whining or insistence, we cut the cords.

It’s hard to say how much is too much. We use screens in so many different ways. You know your children and your students best. Look for cues that they aren’t sleeping or that their body image is changing. It’s true that they are teenagers and moodiness is often just raging hormones, but take time to listen to what they tell you and be prepared to step in.

After all, it’s our job as parents and helpers to guide teens into adulthood, and screen habits are as much a part of our lives today as brushing your teeth and eating enough vegetables.

Most importantly, make sure that you are leading by example, because too many things matter more and it’s our job to help kids and teens discover them.

Kelly Fann

Kelly Fann

Marketing Specialist

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and now is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. She has gained experience working with teenagers through work, volunteer, and personal opportunities.

Kelly has lived in three countries and worked with teens across the world, encouraging them to pursue their passions and to be kind.