LGBTQ+: My Perspective as a Mother and Therapist, by Linda Reeves, MA, LMFT

LGBTQ+: My Perspective as a Mother and Therapist, by Linda Reeves, MA, LMFT

As I watched my son walk toward me across the school lawn to my car, I studied his face and posture in anticipation of his report on how his day had gone at middle school.  The afterschool pick-up routine had come to include a conversation about the mean remarks, dirty stares and shoves he’d received from the other students; boys he had grown up with since Kindergarten.  Remembering the helplessness I felt in those moments causes my chest to tighten

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Things I Wish I Knew: Helping Your Highly Sensitive Teen, by a Manhattan Beach mom

Things I Wish I Knew: Helping Your Highly Sensitive Teen, by a Manhattan Beach mom

I recently learned about the concept of Highly Sensitive People, and realized that one of my children absolutely exhibited so many of the traits associated with highly sensitive people. I can’t help but wish I had been able to identify this trait, make her aware of it, and help her navigate a daily routine more compatible with her biological predisposition.

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Bridging the Gap Part III: Parenting & Technology By: Randy Jo Hillier, LMFT

Bridging the Gap Part III: Parenting & Technology By: Randy Jo Hillier, LMFT

In my first two blogs I discussed the pitfalls and challenges parents face regarding their children’s usage of technology. I explored the importance of parents developing the mindset of becoming “digital parents” and the benefits of conversations wherein technology can be realistically discussed and managed in the home. This blog will address the strategies and interventions that might be additionally helpful

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Embrace the Pause: How We Parents Can Reduce Stress in Our Students’ Lives, by Dr. Nicole Wesley

Embrace the Pause: How We Parents Can Reduce Stress in Our Students’ Lives, by Dr. Nicole Wesley

Homework, projects, exams, college applications, after school activities, sports, games, and so on. There’s so much going on that causes stress and anxiety…and I’m talking about us parents! Yes, you, me, us. As I start my 21st year as an educator, eight of which were as a principal, I’ve come to realize just how impactful parents are at reducing, or, increasing the stress level in their child…and many times we don’t even know it. 

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On the Minds of Parents: Teens, Technology, and Social Media

On the Minds of Parents: Teens, Technology, and Social Media

No topic seems to come up among South Bay parents as frequently, and with such growing alarm, as teens and technology. Is it even possible to keep up with all of these apps? How do we effectively establish and enforce boundaries around screen time? And what should the boundaries be? We get it. As technology continues to evolve, so does its role in our children's lives. It’s clear that it significantly impacts everything from our children’s sleep patterns to their overall mental health and sense of self, both in the short and the long term. The good news? There is sound, research-driven advice from experts that can help guide us as we navigate this complex issue. 

 

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A Word to Parents on Teen Alcohol and Drug Use, by Joan Stein Jenkins, Manhattan Beach City Prosecutor

A Word to Parents on Teen Alcohol and Drug Use, by Joan Stein Jenkins, Manhattan Beach City Prosecutor

... I have seen a wide array of teen problems, many of which are drug and alcohol related. In this context, I should like us to examine both the direct and indirect harms that can arise as a consequence of use and the ways to bring teens back on track. As both a parent and prosecutor, I believe these three assertions to be true: 

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Helping Children Through Grief: What is normal? When does a child need extra help?

Helping Children Through Grief: What is normal? When does a child need extra help?

Just as every adult processes grief a little differently, the same is true of children. As I like to continually remind the grieving people and organizations we serve, “Normal grief symptoms and feelings span a very wide road.”  In most cases, the overwhelming, intense emotions and behaviors a child may be experiencing fall well within the normal range, especially in the immediate aftermath of a tragic loss.  The list of symptoms below are considered normal responses to a traumatic event but, they should begin to subside after first 24-48 hours.

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Announcing Our SBFC Inspiration Award Recipient, Mitzi Cress

Announcing Our SBFC Inspiration Award Recipient, Mitzi Cress

It is with great appreciation that we announce Mitzi Cress, Principal, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, as the South Bay Families Connected Inspiration Award recipient for the 2016-2017 school year. Her limitless dedication to, and advocacy for teen wellness and substance use prevention serve as an inspiration to all who strive to improve the lives of youth.

Following are thoughts from just some of the people who have been inspired by Mitzi. Be sure not to miss Eliza Santarosa’s piece at the end for a moving overview of some of the ways Mitzi has impacted our community, as well as the ripple effect that she has set in motion.

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Dr. Mike Matthews -- 2017 Thoughts on Advanced Placement

Dr. Mike Matthews -- 2017 Thoughts on Advanced Placement

 In the last two years, we have ramped up our focus on student stress here in MBUSD, and we are not alone.  We have joined other districts with a similar interest through Stanford’s Challenge Success initiative.  We study the issue with 6 other high performing districts across the country in the 21st Century Superintendents’ Consortium.  So please allow me to give you some of my thoughts about AP classes and student stress.

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Points to Consider about TV Show "13 Reasons Why", a blog by Dr. Greg Allen

Points to Consider about TV Show "13 Reasons Why", a blog by Dr. Greg Allen

Many kids and adults have heard of the show “13 Reasons Why” (2017) released on Netflix. The show is based on a bestselling novel called 13 Reasons. Both the show and book are about a teen girl's retrospective look at reasons why she committed suicide, which she articulates in audio tapes and mails to 13 people on the day of her death. The book/show includes graphic discussion of rape, underage drinking, sexism, and survivor's guilt.

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Let's Stop the College Madness!

Let's Stop the College Madness!

I’m the mother of two young adults, and I remember college admissions madness well: When my kids were seniors, we were consumed with anxiety about coming college admissions decisions. When they were juniors, we were in the middle of the SAT/ACT prep and test-taking grind. Sophomore spring was spent debating just how many “rigorous” classes they could cram into their junior year schedules and just how little sleep they needed; maybe a zero period WAS doable! 

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