Stories about: teens

Weight-loss surgery for teens and young adults: A good option?

Teen thinks about weight-loss surgery

Bariatric surgery, commonly known as weight-loss surgery, can be a safe and effective treatment for a teen or young adult whose obesity has persisted despite all medical efforts, and who has complications of obesity. Dr. Camilla Richmond, medical director of the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, answers common questions about weight-loss surgery at Boston Children’s.

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Beyond the birds and the bees: What children really need to hear from their parents

Mother and teen daughter hugWhen most parents think about talking to their kids about sex, it makes them very uncomfortable. It’s not exactly easy to discuss the specifics of how babies are made — especially when you are hoping that your kid doesn’t have sex until they are, well, much older. Which makes you not want to discuss it with them until they are, well, much older.

The problem is that kids need to have conversations with their parents about sex and sexuality earlier rather than later, certainly by middle school.

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Why our teens turn us into shrews

mom of teenIt happens each time one of my children enters the teenage years (sometimes a little bit before). I go from having a lovely child and feeling like a reasonably pleasant parent to having a moody houseguest and becoming a shrew.

You’d think, having gone through this now four times, that I’d figure out how to avoid it. Or that I’d expect it. Or not let it bother me so much. Nope. It happened again, it caught me off guard, and I hate it.

To be fair, it’s only natural to be optimistic each time a child of yours moves out of the sweet years. After all, they are such sweet years: the years after diapers and being woken all night, the years when you begin to have real conversations and real fun with them, when they make you laugh and still love to snuggle with you. Sure, they can be messy and maddening, but overall they are so sweet that you think: how bad could the teenage years be?

Pretty bad, of course. Not just because of how teens act, but also because of how we parents end up acting in response. Here’s why turning into a shrew is inevitable:

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Could starting high school later be healthier for teens?

Lack of sleep can affect academic performance in teens.

According to experts, teenagers need a little more than eight hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, (surprise, surprise) most teens aren’t listening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that only 31 percent of high school students get eight or more hours of sleep on an average school night.

This is upsetting news because poor sleep is tied to a lot more than a teenager having a bad attitude when she’s tired. Insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and obesity. Sleepy drivers are more likely to get in an accident, and sleepy students tend to do worse on tests than their well-rested peers. Teens who average less than eight hours of sleep per night are also more likely to drink, do drugs and indulge in inappropriate sexual behavior.

Clearly our teens need more sleep. But as any parent will tell you, telling a teenager to go to bed earlier is one thing—getting her to actually do it is something else all together.

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