Interview: Teen Eating Disorders Thrive in Secrecy, So Let’s Talk About It

Interview: Teen Eating Disorders Thrive in Secrecy, So Let’s Talk About It

If you are struggling with an eating disorder or believe you may be, Go to the National Eating Disorders Association for their Free online chat, call their Help Line at 1-800-931-2237 or contact their Crisis Line by Texting “NEDA” to 741741.

Dr. Karla talks with Dr. Jillian Rigert (DMD and MD) about what teens, parents, doctors, and teachers can do to help teens recognize, get treatment and heal from eating disorders in adolescence, starting with self-worth and self-compassion.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and this helpful information is needed now more than ever!

You get to live your magical and FUN life! 

Dr. Rigert wrote an incredibly helpful blog for IME Community, titled, “Lessons from a recovering perfectionist”.  I found Dr. Rigert’s blog and my interview with her to be so helpful and healing.

Teen Eating Disorders Video

We’re talking about teen eating disorders in this video, so just know that if you are not feeling it, go ahead and stop listening.  Also, the video is super helpful and healing, but doesn’t take the place of going to your doctor and working with a therapist who specializes in eating disorder treatment.  The earlier you are diagnosed and receive treatment, the better your outcome.  

First, if you are experiencing disordered eating, know that you are not alone, that it’s never your fault, you are worthy of help and treatment and healing no matter where you are with your diagnosis.  

Recognize, you are not broken and you can heal and live your beautiful life.  

You don’t cause and you don’t control all the things in life.  Eating disorders are a mental health diagnosis.  They are a medical condition.  You are not a diagnosis. 

I simply love you and want you to know that you are deserving of a self-love superpower life.  

Eating Disorders in Adolescence Are Common

Eating disorders are unfortunately common, cross gender lines, and do not have anything to do with weight.  What do I mean by that? You cannot determine if someone has an eating disorder based on their weight and external appearance. 

In our society and culture, we feel entitled to comment on bodies and sizeism is a thing and so is weight bullying, weight stigma and bias, and the false association between weight and health.  It’s all 100% harmful.

Dr. Jillian and I talk a lot about social media in this helpful discussion. It’s very very helpful. 

Welcome to National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  I mean, I guess it’s a good thing to have an awareness week? What do you think?  I spent some time figuring out how to be helpful and not just share the typical talking points that are out there on eating disorders.   

How IME Community is addressing eating disorders starts with sharing the story of Dr. Jillian Rigert and her experience with an eating disorder, but most importantly, how Dr. Jillian is intentionally healing through her journey of self-worth and self-compassion.  

Sound familiar?  It’s self-love superpower! 

Eating disorders are “suffering”, a word Dr. Jillian used many times in this discussion.  Parents, note that your teen’s weight has absolutely nothing to do with their internal mental state.  If you believe your teen’s thinness means they should be happy, you’re wrong.  If you believe your teen who exists in a larger body, needs to shrink their body and their emotional and mental health and well-being will be fixed, wrong. I’m not saying that improving health habits won’t improve well-being.  Our focus on weight being equated to health and emotional health is just wrong.  

Stop Believing the Pursuit of Thin Privilege Gets to Happiness

Silence is fuel for an eating disorder.  Not talking about it, not knowing how to talk about it, staying stuck in diet culture, focusing too much on weight and not on mental health are all ways that parents and doctors contribute to the perpetuation of eating disorders and potentially create continued harm. 

Just like many issues in healthcare, eating disorder screening and treatment is another thing we’ve not been that helpful in addressing. Dr. Jillian and I talk about how we can start by having discussions with physicians and get rid of the focus on BMI (Body Mass Index) and weight-based diagnostic criteria.  When she talks about how harmful BMI at the doctor’s office was for her, I was overcome with emotion.  Her story is very powerful.  

Here’s a link to one of the many helpful Dr. Jillian Rigert articles on eating disorders, Eating Disorders Thrive in Secrecy, So Let’s Talk About It, published in  

Next up, I will discuss the different types of eating disorders.  Parents, please let me know what needs you have for coaching on this important health issue. 

Reach out to me at Teens, 12 to 18, and parents of teens, go to and subscribe to the IME Community newsletter – you’ll be automatically added to the IME Community and get my coaching to create a Body Positive Community for Teens in a Body Negative World!

Self- love superpower, 

Dr. Karla, ActivistMD

Do You Parent with Compassion or Compliance?

Do You Parent with Compassion or Compliance?

Do you parent with compassion or compliance?

I don’t have everything figured out.  

I don’t have some secret that I’m withholding from you.  

I don’t know any more than you, especially when it comes to your teen.  

I don’t think your parenting needs fixing or solving. 

You Are an Unbroken, Loving Parent

In fact, I believe with my whole heart that you are unbroken.  I believe with my whole heart that you are an incredible loving parent who is living your amazing life with your incredible teen.  Like me, you want your teen to reach their full potential in every aspect of life and be happy.  Right?  That seems like a tall order with all that’s going on in the world these days. 

You cannot control all of the things in the world for your teen, which often makes us feel helpless or powerless which makes us double down with our fear and lack and compliance parenting approach.

Once You Change, Your Teen Changes

Here is what I have worked on as a parent myself and as a pediatrician over many years, and that is, drumroll please, once I change, my teen changes.  Until coaching I thought I needed to change my teen to make myself feel better.  Wrong!  Once I learned the power of thoughts and that thoughts create feelings, I started to get curious and invested at least the last 2 ½ years (yes, years) in creating a more loving and supportive approach with my teens.

I was as stuck as a parent could be in a fixed and prickly relationship with my daughter.  I kept waiting for her to grow out of it and it seems like it took me forever to figure out that I’m the one who has to “grow up and out of it”.  Of course, she stepped up too with intention to create a more healthy dynamic between us.  I can tell when she is trying.  

I was parenting her from fear and lack and a belief that when I say something she should do it and collecting all of the evidence when she didn’t do what I said, take my advice which would, of course, at least in my mind, make her life so much better and make her more successful, then I could make it mean that the label I was assigning to her is true.  I became more self-righteous as a Mom and our relationship suffered or stayed stuck and I felt like a failure and felt defeated, hopeless and helpless.

Learn to Parent with Compassion Instead of Compliance

I was parenting with compliance and not compassion. A round of unfun for all! Yuck!

Now, the first and most important thing I learned is to put my self-love superpower oxygen mask on first.  

I learned how to stay in my lane, that I will continue to make mistakes (on the daily) and I learned how to set boundaries, which has helped me with all aspects of my life. 

I recognize that I cannot fix or solve my teen because they are unbroken.

I recognize I don’t cause or control all of the things and that I am a mere mortal and so is my teen.  

I learned that even though my actions came from good intentions, none of it was helpful when my actions, coming from my feelings, created by my thoughts I was choosing over and over even though they weren’t serving me, are what mattered.  All our teens know is our actions or inactions. In your head, you may be June or Ward Cleaver or Dr. Spock, but none of that matters if you are triggered to get in your teen’s lane every time they walk in the room.  

I created a curious awareness of my thought patterns that would send me into emotional reactivity and victim mode instead of taking responsibility for my feelings and responding as an emotional adult.  

Parent with Compassion and Stay Out of Shame, Guild, and Judgment

I learned to parent with compassion and not compliance and most importantly, to treat myself with compassion and not judge how good of a parent I am 

I stay out of shame, guilt and judgment of my teen and myself as a parent, most of the time.   

My teen and I just got back from a couple of college visits and we had such a great time.  We had our moments of tension which is fine, those will always happen, but so many glorious moments that we wouldn’t have had if I haven’t done this self-work.

You and your teen are worthy of your self-work. 

Self-love superpower, 

Dr. Karla

Self Awareness and Discovery – Doing the Work

Self Awareness and Discovery – Doing the Work

“The Work” of self awareness and discovery is hard.

There’s no way around it.

Circa 2018 or 2019: “Mom, I know you’ve lost weight and have done a lot for your health, but you act the same.  I don’t see much of a difference.”

That was my daughter, Katherine’s comment to me after I reached my weight loss goal, referring to my emotionally reactive self which still rears her ugly head on the daily, though exponentially less these days.

Man did that one sting. 

We Cause Our Own Suffering

In “Loving What Is” Byron Katie teaches that most of the harm and suffering we cause ourselves and others is by staying attached to the thought that reality should be different.  

Should is the key word in that sentence.

Does the reality that you will cause harm and suffering in others, even your children, give you a punch in the gut?

Hitting Rock Bottom

I hit rock bottom in September 2019, after a perfect microburst storm of grief over my mom’s death, transitioning to a reality I couldn’t deny that my oldest was going away to college, and resigning from my job after enduring years of whistleblower retaliation and toxic gaslighting. 

To be honest, though extremely painful, and as difficult all the above were, the additional pain and suffering I was adding to the mix by how I was showing up as a parent with my daughter, Audrey, was the icing on my dark-times bitter cake.

Keep in mind, all of this was pre-pandemic. 

I was down on the mat and down for the count, soon to be a colossal loser because of my attachment to my belief that Audrey should change for me to feel better about myself as a mom.  It was clear in my ever-blurrier vision that Audrey was a problem I needed to fix and solve.  

From the Mouths of Babes

Keep in mind, my kid is a great kid.  She’s brilliant, fearless, and doing great things in the world.  

I have lost every argument with her since she was 3.

Flashback to 16 years ago, potty-training the most adorable child to exist with buns squished on the toilet seat, feet turned in and talking through a PhD level logic thread while sucking her thumb: 

Hey, you don’t control my body.”

“I don’t even control my body.”

“God controls my body.”

“Wait, God doesn’t control my body.”

“If Jesus is God’s son, why would he kill his own son?”

“If Jesus is really God, why would God kill his self?”

“Fine, Audrey. All pigs can fly.  You keep crapping your pants.”

Flash forward 16 years to when I resigned from my job:

Mom, you’re just bored.”

“You do nothing all day.”

Since our teens live in gotcha culture, failures are weaponized.  

Negative Self-Talk & Pursuit of Perfection Spans Generations

It makes sense.  When you are raised by hyper-competitive, external achievement focused, perfection driven Gen X parents, it’s going to seep in. 

Years of attachment to my negative self-talk, inner critic, spilled over and since I had minimal to no self-compassion and taught her that I could control suffering and avoid failure, I provided Audrey a lot of robust evidence that Mom must be a failure.  

Mom’s a loser and now’s my chance to let her know every time she tells me to study, come out of my room, and gets in my lane. 

Byron Katie is an enlightened genius, and I couldn’t recommend her work more.  When I say, work, I mean, “The Work” which are four seemingly simple questions that will lead you through personal inquiry to self-discovery.

What Are the 4 Questions of Self Awareness and Discovery?

The Four Questions:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

We cringe thinking of doing “The Work” or any work on ourselves.  

Isn’t it easier to just change up other people so that we can feel a certain way? 

“The Work” is a gift of personal inquiry, of self-awareness and discovery.  The only reason you may be really frightened, even terrified to do “The Work” is because you are terrified of what you will discover.  That all this chasing down the external and changing yourself up to make yourself feel a certain way, to prove you are worthy, that you finally fit in, has not only been a colossal waste of time, but has also caused unnecessary suffering.  

It seeps over to our teens.

Maybe you aren’t willing to do “The Work” of self awareness and discovery for yourself, but I guarantee you are more than willing to do “The Work” so you are able to show up as a loving and supportive parent for your child.  

I can assure you leaning into doing “The Work” has been a transformational gift in my life.  

Right now, you may be white knuckling through life, fighting off reality like a failed superhero at every turn.  

You most likely come to parenting with some baggage, so having grace and compassion for yourself is the first step.  

Also, staying out of perfection. Perfect doesn’t exist.  Perfect parenting doesn’t exist.  

Let me know when you’re ready to do “The Work” on yourself.

That’s your first powerful decision.

Self-love superpower, 

Dr. Karla, ActivistMD

Do You Parent with Compassion or Compliance?

Parents – Stop Weight Bullying Your Kids and Your Kids’ Friends

You’re crossing an inappropriate boundary when you judge and comment on a child’s body.  

Do better! Now! It’s time to stop weight bullying your kids and your kid’s friends.

Stop Weight Bullying – It’s Abusive and Toxic

Here’s the logic thread: If you bully, your kid will bully.  If you are bullying, do a U-turn.  You are bullying yourself.  If you bully, you are stuck in diet culture and its toxic harms.  All of it trickles to your kid.  You are living a limited life and you’re putting cinder blocks on your kid’s potential growth as a human being and chance at happiness.   

When I started TikTok over a year ago, I was shocked at the number of videos of body positive creators getting cyber-bullied based on their body size.  Absolutely horrible! So, I started making videos talking about how you know nothing about anyone else’s health.  Health and weight are not directly correlated and health information is private and protected.  So, that was that.  And, the cyber-bullying continues in full force.

Then, shockingly, I started noticing videos made by young adults whose parents have weight bullied them.  Totally disgusting and abusive! So, I made duets and called it out on my go-to platform, TikTok. 

Okay then, what will I discover next after putting on my scuba gear and diving into the clock app? 

I won’t change the world.  I’m here to learn.  Listen. Listen. Listen. 

Just the other day, I ran across a video while scrolling, where @powerlove2855, who I follow and you should too, talked about when she was little, her friend’s mom weight bullied her.  Unbelievably toxic! 

Weight Bullying Video with a Teen TikTok Creator

Of course, I did a duet video with @powerlove2285 on TikTok:

My text at the top:

Studies show young children experience weight-based victimization from parents, friends, peers, doctors, and teachers.  

 “On more than one occasion in elementary school I would have a friend tell me that her Mom said I was fat and I needed to lose weight. That Mom was secretly hoping that that little girl would stop being my friend.  Because she wanted her little girl to have the social capital of being friends with all the pretty, tiny, little Limited 2 girls back in my time.” 

“It is so absolutely petty.  The part of this conversation of growing up fat that we don’t talk about enough is that adults that are not your family, not your parents consistently comment on your body.  Friends of parents, teachers, lunch ladies, school librarians, neighbors, unhinged women at the grocery store who tell your Mom to stop feeding you.”

“The absolutely disgusting commentary around a child’s body must end.  Must end.”

The comments on my video are rolling in and it’s not looking good, folks! Grandparents weight bully, Parents, friends’ parents, teachers, doctors, neighbors.  It’s a toxic entitlement to comment on children’s bodies.  As a pediatrician and mandatory reporter, these comments strike me as inappropriate on the level of verbal and emotional abuse.  Let’s disrupt the toxicity by calling it out! 

Weight Shouldn’t Be Weaponized

Research and studies have been out for quite a while of parental perceptions of weight-based victimization, its harms for their children and listing weight bullying as the number one health concern for parents of teens with overweight.  

It’s unfortunately, not a surprise that children in larger bodies are ostracized and their weight is weaponized as a weakness, just as they are growing and developing.  

Parents, we can help our children and teens create bully bans or boundary setting statements, but, if you are a weight bully stuck in diet culture and your internalized biases, you’ve got some work to do.  

Make a Commitment to Stop Weight Bullying Your Kids or Teens

Commit today to stop weight bullying your child or teen.  What are your future parent guide words?  Envision you showing up as the kind of parent you want to be.  Nobody’s watching but you, and your kid.  If you are a parent who is a weight bully, you’re most likely weight bullying yourself and it’s not a simple flip of a switch to cancel diet culture. Your children and teens are worth the work you have to do to do better. 

May 2022 Is Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month.  Teens are in a Mental Health Crisis as another wave of COVID hits. We simply don’t have time or tolerance for adults who bully children. 

Go to and get on my email list, read and share my blogs! Follow @imecommunity on TikTok!

Self-love superpower, 

Dr. Karla, ActivistMD


Interview: Teen Eating Disorders Thrive in Secrecy, So Let’s Talk About It

What Is Sextortion and How Do You Prevent Your Teen from Being a Victim?

This blog and video come with a trauma warning.  If you or your teen are experiencing depression and need to talk to someone, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

“Sometimes I feel like I want to give it up, but it’s such a big part of teenage life, I just don’t.” (Teen on Childhood 2.0 Life in the Digital Age)

Do You Know How to Help Protect Your Kids and Teens from Cyberbullying and Sextortion?

Do you feel like you can protect your kids from the dangers online?

Do you feel like your kids need to learn to navigate the digital world on their own?  

After all, they live in the Information Age which surely comes with some benefits.  Us Parents grew up with all of the physical dangers and there’s only so much fear we can take on.  

Parents, we need to adapt and it needs to happen quickly.  

The COVID pandemic has exacerbated process addictions like screen time. 

Statistics show that violent crimes, physical dangers, are not as much of a risk to our children as the harms online, including cyberbullying, sextortion, digital marketing that uses highly successful and strategic neuro-marketing tactics.  

An Important Documentary About Sextortion and Cyberbullying

You and your teen need to watch Childhood 2.0 The Living Experiment to really see what it’s like for our children and teens growing up in the digital age. Parents, we do hard things and it’s time to stop burying our heads in the sand when it comes to our teens and social media and the scariness of what’s out there on the internet.  

If you are the kind of parent who believes “This will never happen to my son or my daughter,” you are living in an alternate reality.  Process addictions like screen time addictions are real.  Youth suicide rates are up and in younger children.  

If you or your teen are experiencing depression and need to talk to someone, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

We can’t control all of the internet, but we also can’t throw our hands up in the air and not do anything and be totally helpless.  

What is Self-Coaching?

When it comes to helping our teens there’s nothing us parents won’t do. 

It’s just that we don’t cause and we don’t control a lot.  Recognizing the reality that we can’t prevent suffering for our teens or ourselves is powerful awareness.  

In this YouTube I am doing the hard work, putting in the time, to coach myself (aka being curious and creating thought awareness) on the topic of sextortion on the internet and our teens.  

This is very hard work, but it’s the most important work us parents need to do for ourselves to truly help our teens.  

You may have heard the tragic news of the high school student who was a victim of sextortion by internet trolls who sent a compromised photo of a girl he knew, or he thought was her, and then asked him to send a photo of himself.  Once he did, he received an email asking for $300 or the photo would be spread on the internet.  He sent the money and then received another email asking for $1,000 or the photo would be shared. He didn’t have the money and panicked and within six hours of receiving the first email he ended his life.  

Why It’s Wrong to Think “This Can’t Happen to My Teen”

If you believe this can’t be your teen, you are wrong. 

I was panicked with the worst fear possible when I heard this tragic story.  Thoughts create feelings and feelings drive actions.  I felt panic and froze.  In other words, I froze in my steps and wasn’t doing anything to help my teens at all.  With self-coaching, I was able to get curious and create thought awareness.  Current thoughts create current reality and current result.  If I wanted to get unstuck from freeze mode, I needed to create awareness of my thoughts that were creating the feeling of panic.

Once I created powerful awareness of my current thoughts and feelings and actions, then I can do some self-discovery to figure out why I keep choosing to stay stuck and then create some powerful thought shift to a thought that creates a feeling of intentional.  

Positive Actions to Take Against Sextortion and Cyberbullying

Here’s what I found out. 

The most powerful current thought coming up for me that was creating a feeling of panic and sending me into a stress response freeze mode was:

“I haven’t done enough to protect my kids.”

This thought created panic, the action of freezing and the result: “I’m not doing anything.”

Then,  I created a thought shift to something that is believable to me and will create a feeling of intentional, which is how I decided I want to feel.

Here’s my new thought:

 “I trust myself to show up even when it’s a hard issue, topic or conversation.” 

Feeling: Intentional

Action: Self-coaching, check out documentary and resources and write opening to conversation script with my teen

Result: I’m showing up to help my teens through difficult times.

See how that self-coaching works? It’s important work and our teens are worth it. Make sure you check out and Join for Dr. Karla coaching.

Self-love superpower, 

Dr. Karla, ActivistMD


Self Awareness and Discovery – Doing the Work

Life Coaching Gen-X Parents of Teens on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Are you a GenX parent like me? I proudly wear my Purple Rain t-shirt I got at Target with my Mom jeans, Hoka sneakers and Apple Watch that I ignore when it pings me to stand up several times a day. That’s the “Rebel Yell” in me.

If you’re a GenX parent, you grew up with 80’s music, which I say is the best ever and my daughter says is the sole reason she’s grateful she wasn’t a teen in the 80’s. We’re hypercompetitive, overachieving, diet-culture believing parents who grew up without the internet because Al Gore hadn’t invented it yet, and without the yin and yang of technology and social media.

We grew up with all focus on the external. No one asked us, “How are you feeling today?” No one cared. Even if someone had asked, we wouldn’t have had a clue how to respond.

Cable was MTV (totally) and not 24 hour a day news like today’s teens are exposed to. Of course, us GenX parents experienced global disasters and tragedy, but without social media there was a natural buffer, so we weren’t inundated constantly with tragic news.

At times, we felt helpless (for sure), but were not constantly reminded of our
helplessness and a sense of impending doom as we mindlessly scrolled through our phones. Cordless phones were super high tech and for the 1% at the time.

There’s no doubt, the 80’s were fun, but were served up with a fakeness and
superficiality like a side order of tasty pre super-size McDonald’s fries.

This just in from AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) News:
Pre-pandemic About 21% of teens experienced a major depressive episode and
9% of children and adolescents experienced anxiety even before the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on their lives.

Morbidity and Mortality – A Look at Mental Health of Children and Teens 2013 – 2019

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report takes an in-depth look at the mental health of children and adolescents from 2013-’19. They pulled data from nine federal surveillance systems and found that among youths ages 3-17 years:

  • 10% of children and adolescents had received mental health treatment in the year before the survey
  • 10% of children and adolescents had received mental health treatment in
    the year before the survey
  • 10% had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • 9% had experienced anxiety problems
  • 9% had experienced behavioral/conduct problems
  • 8% had taken medication for mental health problems in the previous year
  • 4% had experienced depression and 2% met the autism spectrum disorder surveillance case definition.

Some of the data sets looked specifically at adolescents/teens, including age
ranges of 12-17 or 14-18 years. These data showed:

  • 37% persistently felt sad or hopeless for at least two weeks
  • 26% received mental health services
  • 21% had experienced a major depressive episode
  • 19% had seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous year
  • 9% had attempted suicide in the previous year
  • 7/100,000 adolescents ages 10-19 years died by suicide in 2018 and 2019
  • 4% had a substance use disorder in the previous year.

Previous studies indicate 40% of children will have met the criteria for a mental health condition by the time they reach adulthood. The stress of the pandemic has exacerbated these issues.

Late last year, the AAP, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in children’s mental health, and the U.S. surgeon general issued an advisory calling for action to protect the mental health of youths.

Russia Invades Ukraine


“Did you talk about Russia and Ukraine today at school?” I asked my senior and freshman.

“Yes”, they responded and then we left it at that. We have strong opinions and conversations in our house, but never once did my husband or I ask our teens,

“How are you feeling today? Russia invading Ukraine is big news and I’ve been thinking about you and wanting to check in to see how you are feeling.”

If I asked this, my teens might literally put down their phones, look at each other, and finally agree on something. “Who is this woman in our kitchen who looks just like our Mom?”

With all of today’s tragedies it can be overwhelming, bringing up the legitimate question, “Is it even possible for GenX parents to actually help our teens process global tragedies?”

Us GenX parents may be short on introspection, but love our children beyond
measure. I guess those cheesy 80’s love songs must have struck a chord with
our parenting.

10 Ways to Support Your Teen During a Global Tragedy

Here are 10 ways to support your teen during a global tragedy:

  1. Discuss issues by asking, “How are you feeling?” to let your teen know you care about them and how they are processing the news.
  2. Don’t try to fix or solve or invalidate your teen’s feelings by saying things like, “It’s okay.”. Instead, listen, listen, listen. Get comfortable with leaving the conversation with, “It’s terrible. It’s so tragic. It’s horrible.”
  3. Global issues are constantly evolving and changing. It’s not a one and done conversation. There’s no finish line. Be open to having ongoing conversations with your teen on the same issue
  4. Support your teen to practice Intentional Self-care (See IME Community Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Teens)
  5. Recognize you don’t cause or control suffering for you, for your teen or for the world. You are a part of a common humanity of joys and suffering and so is your teen.
  6. Decide how you want to show up for your teen and where you want to put your attentional focus.
  7. All of life is a duality. It’s a mix of good and bad. Let your teen know it’s okay to have a mix of emotions. It’s okay to have fun with friends and also care deeply about global issues.
  8. Don’t shame your teen if your teen copes with emotions by buffering with food, sleep or social media.
  9. Stay in your lane. How are you working it out for yourself? Check in internally with yourself and ask, “How am I feeling?”
  10. Decide which experts you are going to learn from and what news outlets you want to follow. None is okay too. Monitor your inputs and outputs on social media. Consider a social media cleanse.

Us Gen-X parents have not evolved when it comes to becoming introspective, but the world has changed and the stakes are high for our teens. Let’s stop waiting for Michael J. Fox to pick us up in the DeLorean and take us “Back to the Future”. It’s time for us to parent up!

Self-love superpower, 

Dr. Karla, ActivistMD