sam w's blog
Ways to connect with the teens in your life
What can you do to stay connected without becoming the main component of their social lives?
Helping a teen through a break-up
If the teen in your life is dating, odds are there's a break-up in their future and yours. Break-ups suck, and they suck the most for the person experiencing them. But that doesn't mean it's pleasant to watch someone you love go through one, and you may feel at a loss as to how to handle it. Here are some tips to help you go about it.
For two years, I worked in a bookstore that was aimed primarily at children and teenagers. It was a job I quite enjoyed, but I quickly discovered that when you work near books, people always want to tell you their opinions on said books. That's fine most of the time. But I noticed a pattern when parents or adults would refer to The Hunger Games series. They would express dismay over a child wanting to read the book, wondering what they saw in it, and either implicitly or explicitly stating that they thought the book was not good for youth to be reading.
What struck me about these conversations was that ninety-nine percent of the time, the adult in question had not even read the book they were criticizing. They dismissed it, either as inappropriate trash or as mindless fiction without ever actually seeing what it had to say.
Our societies are chock full of norms and ideals of beauty, and we all run up against them eventually. These norms and expectations often have a hand in shaping how we feel about our own bodies. When you're a teen and trying to sort out how to feel comfortable in your changing body, these messages can be very potent indeed.
So, what can you do - and what shouldn't you do - to help teens feel at home in their own skin?
It's a perennial cliché in nearly every coming of age movie, book, and sitcom. An adolescent or emerging adult character brings home a new boyfriend or girlfriend, who is met with dismay or disapproval by parents.
So how do you go about working out whether or not your concerns are valid, and what to do about them if they are?
Many trans or gender non-conforming youth come to us looking for support they're having difficulty finding, or don't feel safe looking for elsewhere. We know from talking with these users that one of the biggest factors in their overall well-being -- and how hard or easy all of this is on them -- is how supported and safe they feel in their identities when around their families.
This piece is created with an eye towards how can you support them while dealing with any emotions you might have.
Mental illness is often a hard thing to talk about even at the best of times. There's still so much stigma attached to it and mental healthcare, and a lot of misconceptions about what someone with a mental illness looks or acts like. It can be doubly scary and intimidating if the person dealing with that illness is your child.
What can you do to create a more supportive environment for a child who may be coping with mental illness?
I am tired of disbelief.
I am tired of skepticism.
I am someone who does, genuinely, believe in the value of looking at things with a critical eye, of being cautious, of acknowledging that there are two sides to every story.
But I am tired of it when it comes to people who have been, or are being, harmed or made vulnerable.
I have a thing for Vincent Price.
I don't just mean that I enjoy his body of work. I mean I feel desire for his body.
You may be asking what, exactly, my feelings for a deceased horror icon have to do with the work we do at Scarleteen. The answer is that it gets me thinking about desire and how even those of us who consider ourselves enlightened can fall into old traps when it comes to attraction.