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Middle Earth Blog
Blog for parents, teachers and other community members discussing teen and adolescent issues, ranging from school, drugs, sex, constructive use of time, responsibility and more.
2022-08-08 13:12
The school year is soon starting, and with it comes renewed pressure. Teenagers today are under a lot of stress. They feel pressure from parents, teachers, peers, and social media. They worr… Read More
2022-07-18 13:14
Children can be excellent manipulators, especially with their parents. Some teens use it like a weapon to cover their mistakes or avoid punishment. Others use it to get what they want or gai… Read More
2022-07-11 13:38
According to the 2020 STD Surveillance Report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of gonorrhea rose 10% by the end of the year, and rates of syphilis were u… Read More
2022-07-04 10:44
Happy Fourth of July! Independence Day is a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends, but it also poses some risks. Thousands of people are taken to hospital emergency rooms in th… Read More
2022-06-27 13:19
Next month, July, is UV Awareness Month. With summer in full swing, it’s important to educate teens about the dangers of sun exposure. Exposure to ultraviolet (or UV) rays, from either… Read More
2022-06-20 12:28
Many families with rising high school seniors will spend part of their summer touring college campuses. The college application process has become a source of intense pressure for many young… Read More
2022-06-13 15:24
The transition from child to adult is a hard one for parents to navigate. While we all want our children to grow up to become happy, healthy, successful adults, the actual process of changin… Read More
2022-06-06 14:02
Summer is rapidly approaching, and many of us are considering vacations. The only problem for many families is that parents aren’t sure they want to spend an entire week traveling with… Read More
2022-05-23 12:47
The firearm homicide rate in the United States reached its highest level, and guns became the leading cause of death among children and teens in 2020, killing more people ages 1 to 19 in the… Read More
2022-05-09 15:32
Self-care is a big buzz word thrown around media these days, but there’s a lot of confusion about what it really means and there are many misconceptions about it. Self-care is not self… Read More
2022-04-18 12:21
Many teens are talented at making their parents feel guilty. Their protests over your actions can be endless… “I have the earliest curfew.” “None of my friends have… Read More
2022-03-28 13:44
Teasing. The dictionary defines it as a statement intended to provoke or make fun of someone in a playful way. In some families, members often tease each other, and depending on the personal… Read More
2022-02-21 14:25
Pornography today is significantly different than in previous generations. Before the Internet, porn was generally limited to pictures in Playboy magazine and renting X-rated movies from the… Read More
2022-02-14 13:20
Body piercings are quite common in the United States, and so it should come as no shock that parents often face that difficult question from their child, “Can I get my _____ pierced?&r&hell…Read More
2022-02-07 16:15
American teens have very different viewpoints on whether their race or ethnicity will help or hurt their ability to get ahead in life, as well as the existence of White privilege, according… Read More
2022-01-30 22:16
There’s been a lot of talk about “mindfulness” in our culture lately, but many people don’t fully understand the term. Mindfulness is when we try to stay consciously… Read More
2022-01-17 14:24
Setbacks in life are inevitable. No matter how hard we try, we all fail sometimes. However, even though we all know that failure is a normal part of life, we fear it. We wonder how it will d… Read More
2022-01-10 14:00
Over the last decade, mental health among youth has deteriorated. Unfortunately, while adolescent mental health was already at a very low point, a number of recent social issues – the… Read More
2022-01-02 14:32
The beginning of a new year feels like a fresh start, which is probably why so many of us resolve to improve something about ourselves. Unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions can be har… Read More
2021-12-13 15:14
Do you know a teen that has so much potential but just seems to fall short? Sometimes we develop negative behaviors or thoughts that hinder our success or prevent us from achieving our goals… Read More
2021-11-22 13:33
This week is Thanksgiving, a time to reflect on all the things in our life that make us grateful. For many of us, family tops that list. Our family members can bring meaning, purpose and lov… Read More
2021-11-15 15:42
Rejection can be incredibly painful, especially for adolescents who are developmentally wired to try to fit in and belong. Research shows that our brains experience rejection in the same way… Read More
2021-11-01 12:09
American culture does not value sleep. In fact, it almost seems a badge of honor to be slurping down coffee as you tell anyone who will listen how busy you are and how late you stayed up to… Read More
2021-10-25 12:56
All of us struggle with self-doubt from time to time, but adolescents especially struggle with acceptance due to their lack of maturity and perspective, as well as their search for their own… Read More
2021-10-04 14:43
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 weakness… Read More
2021-09-27 15:04
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… Read More
2021-09-20 14:05
Do you have a teen who doesn’t ever give their best effort? Do they hide behind screens with no interest in extracurricular activities or finding a job or determining a future path? Ma… Read More
2021-09-13 13:52
The new school year has begun. While many teens are grateful to be back in-person, the return to school also brings new stressors. Many youth are feeling a lot of social anxiety after being… Read More
2021-09-06 21:24
Our New Jersey communities have experienced a devastating flood. So many of our families have lost homes and possessions. The recovery to normalcy for some locations, especially Manville and… Read More
2021-08-23 12:15
Eye rolling. Door slamming. Loud sighing. Unexplained yelling. If you have a teenager in your house, you have more than likely experienced the “famous” adolescent bad mood. Every… Read More
2021-08-09 13:56
Life is full of changes. Teens have to deal with changing schools, peer groups, puberty, interests, as well as whatever changes are facing the family as a whole, such as moving, divorce, or… Read More
2021-08-02 11:52
Almost every expert in parenting will offer some version of the following advice: set clear rules and consistently follow through on consequences when the rules are broken. This is easier sa… Read More
2021-07-26 12:44
Adolescence can be a difficult time in life for both teens AND parents. If you are the parent of a difficult, defiant, rebellious or troubled teen, you likely go through periods of anger, fr… Read More
2021-07-19 12:37
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50% of all chronic mental conditions begin by age 14 and 75% of them begin by age 24. That means that the majority of people with mental… Read More
2021-07-05 13:36
As we finish celebrating our nation’s Independence Day, it’s a great time to consider how to instill good citizenship in youth, as the future of our country. While our country is… Read More
2021-06-28 12:20
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 bo… Read More
2021-06-14 12:24
During the pandemic, many businesses had to close their doors and lay off workers. Now that everything is opening back up, there is a huge demand for labor. However, many adults are still he… Read More
2021-06-07 13:24
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 pre… Read More
2021-05-31 13:02
Research shows that teenagers with involved parents are more likely to make better decisions, stay out of trouble, and develop into successful, independent adults. However, during adolescenc… Read More
2021-05-24 12:49
Everyone needs a way to cope with their emotions when we face very difficult feelings, painful memories, or overwhelming situations. Hopefully, we find healthy coping skills, but sometimes… Read More
2021-05-10 13:49
Anxiety is very common among teens. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that nearly one in three adolescents (31.9%) meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder. Researcher… Read More
2021-04-27 11:49
Peer pressure is a common part of life for adolescents. Humans tend to compare themselves to each other and pressure kicks in. Sometimes that pressure can be good, such as trying to get stra… Read More
2021-04-12 14:38
The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, so we will be posting a series of blogs the next couple of weeks that deal with preventing sexual assault among our youth… Read More
2021-03-15 13:39
The majority of parents would agree that they want to treat everyone in the family the same. We want to be fair and consistent with each of our children so that they feel valued and loved an… Read More
2021-03-01 14:22
No one particularly likes conflict, but disagreements are a natural part of any relationship, and two people are never going to agree about everything.  Children need to know how to han… Read More
2021-02-15 13:50
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… Read More
2021-02-08 16:20
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 deli… Read More
2021-02-01 16:12
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… Read More
2021-01-25 16:06
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 i… Read More
2020-11-30 15:47
Every year since 2013, teens have consistently reported higher levels of stress than adults in the American Psychological Association annual ... Continue reading Read More
2020-11-09 13:34
“Self-awareness” is the ability to accurately: recognize and identify your emotions, thoughts and values; judge your own performance, strengths and ... Continue reading Read More
2020-11-02 13:48
Family members don’t always get along, and brothers and sisters are no exception. Siblings often experience jealousy, competition, and disagreements. ... Continue reading Read More
2020-10-19 13:55
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. With so many students learning remotely this school year during the pandemic, bullying is ... Continue reading Read More
2020-09-28 13:14
Homework has always been disliked by students, but with many American students attending school online, homework encompasses more than ever. ... Continue reading Read More
2020-09-07 14:01
Setting goals is an important skill that can help anyone be more successful in life. Goals can provide direction and ... Continue reading Read More

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