The adolescent years are hard to navigate. Young people’s brains are wired to establish separate identities for themselves, and to try risky things. What can parents do to boost the chances that this experimentation and risk-taking doesn’t lead to long-term negative consequences?
To help answer this question, Jessica Lahey joins us for this week’s Best of Both Worlds podcast. Jess is a teacher, a mother, and as it happens, a recovering alcoholic who wanted to help steer her sons away from their family legacy of substance abuse. She talks about her book, The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence, and shares some ways to talk with kids about brain development and addiction. One important takeaway: You can start having these conversations a lot earlier than you probably think you should be having these conversations. There’s lots of great advice in here, so please give it a listen! (And check out Jess’s other work, such as The Gift of Failure, and her podcast with KJ Dell’Antonia and Sarina Bowen called #AmWriting).
In the Q&A a listener writes in about the challenges of raising children and caring for aging parents. We’d like to cover this topic more in depth, so feel free to suggest ideas and resources.