Portland Family Counseling

10 Tips to Help You Talk with Your Teen About Pot

Naughty boy showing marijuana joint to calm student girl

Now that marijuana is legal, it’s more important than ever to have conversations with your teen or preteen and make it clear about your values and approach with this issue. I want to provide you with some guidance to help you do that.

Teen pot usage over the past few years has remained relatively flat. However, what’s changed is the average teen’s perception about the amount of harm that marijuana can cause, which has gone down. Legalization will certainly contribute to this misperception. It’s important that we don’t get alarmist about this. A lot of teens have and/or will try some pot during their high school years and do just fine, but a lot of them won’t. Read More

Finding the Opportunities in Adolescence

What does adolescence really mean, anyways? Do you know? To be honest, I didn’t always have a clear idea. I would often think of it synonymously with “the teen years.” When you think of this period, what comes to mind? How many negative adjectives are popping up right now?

Most people seem to describe this period with words like “self absorbed,” “moody,” or “difficult.”

I’d like to help you gain a better and more optimistic view of this period of life. I know how brutally hard it can be in the trenches with kids at this age. But I want you to be able to see the incredible opportunities that come with it as well. Read More

How to Help your Stressed or Anxious Teen

ID-100246983 (1)Teens today may be the most stressed out and anxious cohort ever. The American Psychological Association conducted a large stress survey a couple years ago. On a scale of 1 to 10, teens reported their average stress level as a 5.8 while believing that a healthy level should be a 3.9 (adults rated their average stress at a 5.1). Read More

The Number One Way You Influence Your Teen

81373-20141021Have you ever wondered about that visceral reaction we sometimes get from watching sports or our favorite show? Have you ever found yourself reaching for a drink of water immediately after observing someone else do the same?

Experiences like this are partially explained by clusters of cells in our brain called mirror neurons. Our brain has a mechanism that literally “mirrors” input it receives from the environment. This is why we’re prone to mimic the behaviors and emotions we observe from others, even on television. Read More

What to do when you lose your cool with your teen

Does this sound familiar?194510-20140812

Parent: “You’re grounded and I’m taking away your phone.”

Teen: “That’s ridiculous.”

Parent: “Maybe you’ll think next time before doing something so stupid!”

Teen: “Maybe you’ll learn how to stop being a controlling psycho.”

Parent: “You really are a spoiled brat!”

Teen: “You’re a terrible parent, that’s why my friends don’t come over.”


Read More

Some great books and blogs to check out over the summer.

133611-20140605As another school year ends with summer break looming, how are you feeling? Some parents I’ve talked to are looking forward to it, others not so much. I’ll tell you why I think summer is a great time to connect and grow as a family. I’ve also got some good new resources to share with you. Read More


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