Author Archives: middleearthnj

Tips to Protect Teens from Eating Disorders

Today begins a national awareness week for eating disorders. It’s estimated that 30 million Americans (20 million women and 10 million men) have struggled with an eating disorder at some point over their lifetime. Eating disorders can affect people of every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group. They are a serious illness; in fact, eating disorders are the

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Pros and Cons of Dual Enrollment

Many high school students are currently in the process of choosing their courses for the next academic year. High schools offer many course options for students, including several that allow students to earn college credit. A growing number of teens across the United States are choosing to enroll in college-level courses, such as: Advanced Placement (AP). AP courses are college-level

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Preventing Juvenile Crime

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the most common crimes committed by youth from 2015-2020 were theft, simple assault, and property crime. Unfortunately, these types of delinquent acts can lead to major detrimental effects on a young person’s life, such as injury, drug use, dropping out of school, incarceration, and future adult criminal behavior. The next generation is

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Misconceptions about Dating Violence

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, which makes it a perfect time to promote safe, healthy relationships to youth.  Teens should know that the term ‘dating violence’ does not refer to the occasional argument or bad mood, which are a normal part of any relationship. Rather, dating violence is when someone tries to control their significant

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Dangerous Social Media Challenges

Ever had that moment where you want to ask your teen, “What were you thinking?!?” As teens take the journey of becoming independent adults, exploring their limits and abilities is part of developing their identities. Risk-taking is an important way for teenagers to learn about themselves, and it’s a normal rite of passage. Some reasons that teens take risks include:

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Teach Teens the Competencies that Employers Want

Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently put out a report in 2020 called Workplace Basics: The Competencies Employers Want. A person’s qualifications for employment are generally defined by a combination of their education, their experience, and their competencies. Competencies are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that workers use in their jobs and are essential to an employee’s

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Fun, Socially-Distanced Holiday Activities with Teens

The holidays are normally full of fun social engagements. From New Year’s Eve parties to holiday gatherings with family to outings with friends, this time of year is normally a busy season of close encounters with those we love. Sadly, the 2020 pandemic has made almost all of those activities unsafe. While we could let these circumstances rob the joy

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Effect of Pandemic on Teen Substance Abuse

The pandemic has impacted almost everyone’s mental health in some way. American teens are no exception, and many in the public health sector worried how the loss of school, social activities, and milestone events might impact adolescent substance abuse. Reasons substance abuse might decrease. With teens spending more time at home during the pandemic, they have less opportunity to obtain

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Teaching Teens to Stand Up for Themselves in the Right Way

For some teens, standing up for oneself is intimidating. They might worry that they will lose social status or that the other person will be angry or not like them anymore. On the flip side, some teens have no problem standing up for themselves but have trouble responding in a calm, non-confrontational way. They come across as hostile. Neither style

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Chronic Stress Epidemic

Every year since 2013, teens have consistently reported higher levels of stress than adults in the American Psychological Association annual survey. In 2019, teens reported worse mental health and higher levels of anxiety and depression than all other age groups. Then 2020 came and brought a whole new level of stress to youth. Our high schoolers are very stressed! In

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Instilling Gratitude During Difficult Circumstances

2020 might seem like an inappropriate year to be talking about gratitude. So many things have gone wrong this year, and so many people are suffering. However, studies show that people who are grateful, appreciative or thankful are happier, more satisfied, and healthier overall in their lives than people who are not – even during crises! Finding things you are

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Helping Teens Develop Self-Awareness

“Self-awareness” is the ability to accurately: recognize and identify your emotions, thoughts and values; judge your own performance, strengths and limitations; understand how your feelings and thoughts influence your behavior; and respond to different social situations. The term encompasses quite a bit, but it’s really about being able to see yourself objectively. Research has shown that people with high self-awareness

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Sibling Rivalry or Sibling Abuse?

Family members don’t always get along, and brothers and sisters are no exception. Siblings often experience jealousy, competition, and disagreements. However, there is a fine line between normal rivalry and behavior that is abusive. Today’s blog explains how to tell the difference between sibling rivalry and abuse and how to prevent and address abuse. Our society generally expects fights among

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How Parents Shape their Teen’s Mental Health During Pandemic

Most parents work really hard to raise their children in the best way that they can. Circumstances can make that job easier or harder, depending on a parent’s own stress level. Right now, the pandemic is making it much, much harder. With job losses, school closures, and political uncertainty, 2020 has made it difficult for anyone to reasonably hold it

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Prevent Cyberbullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. With so many students learning remotely this school year during the pandemic, bullying is most often taking place online, so today’s blog will focus on how we can prevent cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can be defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior involving a real or perceived power imbalance that takes place over digital devices like cell phones,

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