Author Archives: middleearthnj

Regular Attendance Key to Success in School

As school begins, parents are often considering how to ensure their child has a successful school year. Ironically, one of the easiest ways to ensure a child’s success is a factor that is often overlooked: regular attendance. Research shows that consistent attendance at school helps children achieve better grades, develop healthy life habits, avoid dangerous behavior and have a better

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Fighting Negative Self Talk

The majority of today’s teenagers are struggling with negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is an inner dialogue you have in your own mind that puts yourself down, focuses on weaknesses and minimizes strengths, limits your confidence, or blocks your ability to reach your potential. We all have an inner critic, which can sometimes be helpful in motivating us to improve, but

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Pandemic Changed College Drug Use

The coronavirus pandemic changed our lives in many ways, but one change that surprised researchers occurred in colleges across the country. College students altered their substance use last year. A recent study discovered that alcohol use among college students declined, while marijuana use increased. The “Monitoring the Future” study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has been

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The Milk Crate Challenge and Other Dares on Social Media

Teenagers love social media, and they love dares. Unfortunately, sometimes these can mix into a bad combination. Lately, TikTok in particular has had several dares or challenges go viral that are quite dangerous. In the “blackout challenge,” young people are encouraged to hold their breath until they pass out. In the “Benadryl challenge,” youth intentionally consume large amounts of the

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Fighting Teen Loneliness and Encouraging Positive Friendships

Your teenager may have over 500 followers on Instagram, but does he or she have a couple of close friends?  A report released in July 2021 by the Journal of Adolescence stated that feelings of loneliness among teenagers rose sharply between 2012 and 2018 around the world, with higher increases among girls. Before 2012, the levels of adolescent loneliness (which

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Eco-anxiety in Youth

According to multiple studies and surveys, the majority of youth feel anxious about climate change and feel that their opinions about the climate crisis are being ignored. Teens today are bombarded with reports in the media about the negative impact people are having on the health of our planet, and it has created a variety of emotions in this young

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Why YOUR Behavior Matters SO Much to the Youth in Your Life

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, then you are probably a little tired of hearing “be a role model.” It’s usually our first go-to with any behavior we want our teens to adopt. We’ve mentioned it for encouraging creativity, tolerance, healthy eating, exercise, compassion, adaptability, positive stress management, healthy relationships, honesty, money management… okay, you probably get the

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Encourage Creativity in Adolescence

Young children are full of creativity and strong imagination. They explore their world with few boundaries. But as children enter adolescence, they become self-conscious and face intense pressure to conform. Most teens don’t want to stand out, and their longing to fit in inevitably reduces their creativity. At first glance, this might not seem like such a bad thing. After

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