Exploding Turkeys and Obnoxious Relatives – NOW it’s the Holidays!


Are you ready for Thanksgiving?! The relatives are coming! The relatives are coming! But before you take that knife out of the turkey and plunge it into the back of your sister-in-law, watch this video as Dr. Wes discusses what goes wrong at family holiday gatherings. Or at least he tries to scratch the surface. The exploding turkey comment will make sense later in the … [Read more...]

Double Take: My Parents Want Me to Stay Local for College

graduation girl

Dear Dr. Wes & Miranda My parents are pressuring me to go to college locally and live at home. That's not the college experience I wanted. I've been accepted to colleges here and in other places, and I want get out of my hometown. Money is not an issue. I have some scholarships and our family isn't poor. What can I do to make them understand? Miranda: Your problem … [Read more...]

Double Take: Transitioning From Elementary to Middle School


Going from Elementary to Middle School Miranda: In late August I’ll pack up my room and leave for college. I’ll watch as my parents drive off leaving me to get accustomed to my new life; to take new classes and make new friends. I certainly won’t be the only kid transitioning to a new school this year, and never is that more challenging than when preteens leave their … [Read more...]

Double Take: Anorexia


Katie: Anorexia nervosa whittled me down to 90 pounds when I was 15, putting my body mass index in the first percentile of girls my age. I’m not proud of that, but I am proud to write that after regaining the weight I lost, I have achieved happiness and healthiness. I’m sharing my recovery story today for the sake of those who can’t yet say the same. As an anorexic, I judged … [Read more...]

Double Take: Crack Down on Drunken Driving with Teens (and Adults)


Dr. Wes: I was visiting with a young person the other day we’ll call Jordan. Jordan blew about three times the legal limit and joined a growing number of teens and young adults coming face to face with the consequences of drunk driving. The legal consequences, that is. The real consequences—death, maiming, a felony conviction—make a DUI seem pretty tame. Jordan is not an … [Read more...]

Double Take: The Tragedy of Teen Homicides


Wes: Homicide is the second leading cause of teen deaths in America, accounting for 13% of lost lives from age 12 to 19. Though accidents, most of them in automobiles, kill three times as many teens, 13% is still a sobering number to consider. For black teens, the rate is even higher. The faces of those statistics have, for now, become Autumn Pasquale and Jessica Ridgeway, … [Read more...]

Double Take: Post-Election Holidays? Families Need to Keep It Civil


Dear Dr. Wes and Katie: I am dreading the holidays. All summer my family argued about politics. I was home from college and I'm more liberal than my family. By Thanksgiving we'll know who wins the next election and either way it's going to be horrible. My family doesn't argue about these things in a civil way. They argue like they're on Fox News and it always gets personal. … [Read more...]

Double Take: Is a College Degree an ATM or an Educational Journey?


Katie: Every year I was in junior high, the guidance counselors showed a PowerPoint on making post-high school plans. First we’d calculate our GPAs, determine the number of credits we needed to graduate, and then consider a bar graph comparing the average salaries between high school and college graduates. The point of the presentation? You have to go to college to be … [Read more...]

Dr. Wes and Young Adult Panel Discuss Sex Live on the Radio


This is probably the best radio show I've done in the last year. I recruited three 19 to 22 year old college girls (sorry no boys responded!) to speak on the topic of teen sexuality and dating, and wow did they. There is no morning better spent than one in which we talk openly with three articulate (and very entertaining) young people about the important issues of sexuality. As … [Read more...]

Double Take: So, Which Teens Aren’t Having Sex?


Dr. Wes: One of the hottest topics in my media interviews on parenting this year has been “is my teen having sex?” Apparently teen sex creates an a lot more mystery for parents, which always baffles me. Here’s what we know: 47% of high school students have had sexual intercourse, and 35% report being sexually active at any given moment survey.  The average age for first … [Read more...]

Double Take: What’s So Great about Drugs and Alcohol?


Dear Dr. Wes & Katie: I have a question that may surprise you coming from someone who is 19. Why do teenagers like doing drugs and alcohol? I've tried to figure this out since I was about 13 and I still don't get it. I've never seen anything good come from it. Most of my friends use. I've had family members with alcohol problems. So can you tell me why this is so … [Read more...]

Double Take: Birth Control Dilemma for Mom


Dear Dr. Wes and Katie: My son and I have a great relationship. I've followed your advice and been open with him about sex and birth control. Recently that paid off when he asked that I help his girlfriend get on birth control. He admitted they'd already had sex. Her mom doesn’t know she's sexually active and I'm in a quandary about what to do. I don’t want to be a … [Read more...]

Double Take: College Daughter Needs Therapy, But…


Dear Dr. Wes and Katie: My daughter is starting her junior year at an out of state college. I have encouraged her to seek counseling for anxiety at her school but she is somewhat resistant to that. How can I persuade her that this is a good idea when she's not living with me? Katie: A therapist can only give your daughter as much aid as she's willing to receive. Moreover, … [Read more...]

Double Take: How to Child Proof Your Divorce


Dr. Wes: In my business high conflict divorce comes along all too frequently, damaging everyone in its path.  In fact, my first rule for dating singles is this: Don't marry anyone you don't want to be divorced from. In other words, watch how your beloved treats the people he or she dislikes and consider how things might go if you become one of them. This week we've compiled … [Read more...]

Double Take: What’s Wrong with My Defiant Son?


Dear Dr. Wes and Katie: My relationship with my 10th grade son has deteriorated.  We can't communicate and he will not listen or obey.  I don't know if my pushy behavior is turning him off, but I can't let up on my expectations.  He starts out motivated with wonderful words of what he is going to do.  Then he fizzles out. Back in 7th grade in private school, the principal … [Read more...]

Double Take: Sexually Explicit Sites and Teen Dating Violence?


Dr. Wes: In July I posted an article on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FamilyPsychologicalServices) in which Keir Starmer, the top British prosecutor suggests that teenage relationships are now more violent due to the prevalence of Internet pornography. He cites research showing “that exploitation and violence in teenage relationships are more common than previously thought” and … [Read more...]

Double Take: What If A Teacher is the Bully?


Dear Dr. Wes & Katie: What do you do when a teacher is the bully?  Last semester one of my daughter’s teachers repeatedly yelled at her in front of the class for asking questions, requesting help using classroom equipment, asking to go to the bathroom, etc.  I downplayed how severe this was until I met with the teacher to discuss a grade that seemed unfair. In response … [Read more...]

Double Take: Adolescent Stress


Dr. Wes: This week we welcome Katie Guyot (Ghee-oh, hard “g”) to the Double Take chair. She’s the ninth coauthor since 2004, continuing a remarkable tradition of teen journalism that is without match in any other newspaper or magazine in print or online. Katie is a Free State senior and won our April contest in a field of eight strong competitors. She’s also editor of the Free … [Read more...]

Double Take: Miranda Davis (and many other seniors) Move On


Dr. Wes: Today I will perform a ceremony. In a digital age, it is a ritual of click-drop-and-drag. I will click on the computer folder entitled “Miranda Davis” and drag it into the folder titled “Double Take Archives” where it will reside next to the other seven teen coauthors, safe, sound and easily accessed. Her work will be gone from our weekly lives, but always available. … [Read more...]