Helping Your Socially Awkward Child

Being a young teen is hard enough, but what if your child is also socially awkward?

By age ten, a child’s personality blooms and peer relationships become more important. Childishness diminishes and most kids are aware of age-appropriate social cues. But not all kids catch those social cues, creating a socially awkward child in a world that’s increasingly aggressive, image-conscious and self-centered. If you’re a parent of a socially-delayed child, this … [Read more...]

Goodbye and Hello – A Tummy Timeline


A bit of a tummy tale.. Warning:  This post contains a large dose of whining, a pinch of self-loathing, and a heaping spoonful of hormones.  Read at your own risk.   Today's post is in honor of National Love Your Belly Day! Actually I have no idea if that's a real "day" or not, but it sounded good, right? Fake day aside, I was feeling a bit down in the dumps about my lovely … [Read more...]

Confessions of a Former Cutter

confessions of a former teenage cutter

I never thought I would write this story. It’s something I never wanted to be made public. But I’ve recently been thinking about my journey and decided it’s time to confess to something I no longer do. I am a former cutter. I used to self-mutilate. (As I type this, my chest tightens with tension and anxiety.) The key word here is not “cutter” but “former.” I didn’t realize … [Read more...]

The Real Self-Esteem Booster: Competence

boosting your childs self esteem by increasing their competence.

Boosting Your Childs Self-Esteem One perk of aging is that occasionally I can get away with asserting something to be true based on longitudinal history and experience. After 30 years of working with children and teenagers, raising five of them, and observing human behavior, both in and out of the therapeutic and school environments, I am confident that competence, or a … [Read more...]

I took my 15 year old son to see the Vagina Monologues!

why I took my son to see the vagina monologues

I know I have mentioned it before, but for those of you who are new, I am a college student at Old Dominion University.  Yes, I am almost 50.  Yes, I am working on my undergraduate degree.  What can I say, like a fine wine, I have gotten better with age.... Anyway, I started going to ODU in the spring of 2013.  I had a wonderful Professor for my Intro to Women's Studies, and … [Read more...]

7 Tips For Raising Teens In A Selfie Generation

teenagers the selfie generation

There’s a phenomena that’s crept into your house that's impacting your teen. It’s the selfie. It’s a cultural phenomena that's defining our kids. Even the President takes selfies. So how are selfies impacting your teens? On the positive side, they’re a fun diversion that feeds the self-focused, impulsive nature of adolescents. Selfies meet the heightened social needs of … [Read more...]

What to Say to a Child With Stage Fright

donna schwartz

Helping Your Kids Overcome Stage Fright “I’m so nervous. How do I not get nervous when I’m playing my solo?” How many times have we heard these words uttered to us as music teachers and music parents? One of my Jazz Band students (Elementary) just uttered these exact words right before our part of the Spring Concert this week. Aside from the fact that it breaks your … [Read more...]

I Have a Beautiful Body

Self Image

Cooking dinner.  That’s when it usually happens.  I’m not sure why, but that’s when I get bombarded with the heaviest stuff.  Is it because I’m facing away?  Because I’m busy and they’re trying to lure my attention back to them?  This part will probably always be a mystery. In any case, I was cooking dinner, and the little lady said to me, Little Lady-  “I have a … [Read more...]

How Does Acne Affect Your Teen’s Self-image

teens and acne

Acne is a common skin condition which tends to affect teens, but it can also have an effect on adults. The condition is characterized by red, sore spots found mostly on the face, but they can also be found on the back, chest and neck. How does acne affect teens? We all know that the teenage years can be difficult as it is, but add acne to this and it can be a very … [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: 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...]

The Effect of Celebrity Culture on our Children

mixed messages to teens

The Negative Effects of Celebrity Culture Fame is the main reason that drives celebrity culture and is associated with status, wealth and a perception of the ‘perfect’ body. Unfortunately, the most dramatic effect celebrity culture has on our children is their relentless desires for popularity and to live exactly like their celebrity idol. Many children learn this through … [Read more...]

Back to School Supply List – Paper, Pencils and Plastic Surgery

I posted an article last week about a girl who received plastic surgery with help from a non-profit group. This group helps kids who have been bullied because of their looks to get plastic surgery to correct whatever is "wrong" with them. While I applaud the group wanting to help in my opinion, this is a slippery slope friends. I came across this infographic today and it … [Read more...]

Double Take: Everyday Suicide Prevention


Dr. Wes: While suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens (ranking behind accidents and murder), it remains thankfully rare. About 1,500 teens are known to commit suicide in a given year in the United States. Each incident asks us to reexamine our communities and ourselves to consider why it happens at all. Though we’ve shared them before[1], I worry that lists … [Read more...]

“Tangled” is Right

I’m as devoted a Disney fan as they come. I grew up taking the Mickey Mouse Club in high dosages, I wrote my senior paper on the man, himself (and received a perfect grade for it), and rarely does a day pass that I don’t quote The Emporer’s New Groove. Having said all that – it’s taken me over a year to write this review of Tangled, Disney’s animated feature released in … [Read more...]

Hey Girls! Never Diet Again!

With this amazing new product, you can look like all of the high fashion models without the expense of plastic surgery or the time it takes to diet and eat healthy! In addition to the time and money saved, you'll look exactly the way society thinks you should! Introducing the miracle Foto Shop by Adobé: httpv://   Of course this post is … [Read more...]

Double Take: Real Life Advice for Parents and Teens–Brazilian Waxing for Teens? We Smell a Rat.

 Dear Dr. Wes: I’m seventeen. My girlfriends told me that if I want to get with a guy I need to get a Brazilian Wax; and that all the boys they know will only be with me if I do it. I assume you know what that is. It sounds terrible to me and it will hurt and I don’t want to do it, but they’re pressuring me. What is your advice? Dr. Wes: After 19 years of practice it takes … [Read more...]

And You Thought Bratz Dolls Were Bad…

miss bimbo

I have to say that I am sitting here in awe typing this. I'm not sure why I'm shocked and maybe shocked isn't the right word. Maybe sad is a better word. It came on my radar today that there is a site out there where girls can create their very own BIMBO! Imagine what you can do with your very own Bimbo! You can impress your friends with your huge, heaving breasts, … [Read more...]

Tell her to let her light shine!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about … [Read more...]