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For students, the transition back to school can be both exciting and stressful. Here are a few tips to help your kids and teens feel prepared for that transition, as well as some thoughts about what is “typical” back to school stress and what might be a sign to seek support from others:

Eating Disorders

Nearly 3% of teenagers between the ages of 13-18 — boys as well as girls — struggle with food, weight and body image issues severe enough to constitute an eating disorder.1 Such disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating) seriously affect both physical and mental health, and in some instances can be life-threatening. 

The Magic Touch

Would it surprise you to know that there are health benefits of holding hands with your partner as you walk down the street, or embracing when you return home at the end of the day? Or setting your hand atop his thigh or behind his neck when you're the passenger next to him in the car?

Let's Talk Facebook

For most of our sons and daughters, especially the tweens and teens, Facebook has become almost as essential as food, air and water. With adolescent identity development oriented so much around the peer group, Facebook and other social media are powerful vehicles mediating how our kids experience themselves within their social universe.

When Kids Cry

Perhaps the toughest thing when our children cry are the emotions their tears trigger in us: empathic upset and sadness, plus a sense of helplessness that comes from thinking we need to do something while unsure what that would be.

Your daughter comes home in tears. She can barely choke out words to describe the mean things some girls said to her on the school bus. You listen to her story and try to comfort her. If you’re really skilled, you’ll offer her attunement (Are You Okay?

Hiding Negative Feelings

Imagine that for twenty minutes, your 4-year-old has been fussing at the playground, crying and complaining and kicking sand at other children. Feeling growing irritation, you inch toward delivering a serious scolding. But you sense the watchful eyes of parents nearby, and so you suppress your feelings and handle the moment with faked aplomb.

Sex is like money; only too much is enough — John Updike

It’s a popular notion that couples who engage in more sex are more content in their relationship than couples who engage in less. But is it true? Perhaps sex operates like money. In that area, research has revealed that the greater one’s family income, the higher the level of reported satisfaction — but only to a point.

Marriage and the Heart

Marriage has earned a reputation for offering health advantages: longer and happier lives, fewer medical challenges. But “it’s not the case that any marriage is better than none.”i Some studies have found better health among divorced or single people as compared to spouses in high conflict/high stress marriages.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2009), an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).