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Countdown to College Part 1-Practicing Independence

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

“I’m going to hang out this weekend.  I’ll see you on Monday.” “Wait.  What?  What do you mean you’ll see me on Monday?  You are NOT staying gone all weekend!” “When I’m at college in a couple of weeks, you won’t even know if I ever come back in!” “The ink isn’t dry on your diploma, you aren’t leaving for …

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Countdown to College Part 2-Alcohol and Drugs

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

Once you have set expectations for the summer in the run up to college, there are a number of conversations that are worth having with your newly young adult child.  The percentage of college age people who binge drink alcohol (5 or more drinks in one setting) in the previous month is 41%.  Thirty eight percent rode with a driver …

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Countdown to College Part 3-Personal Safety

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

Awareness of personal safety is another of the conversations to have with your kid before they head off to college.  Hopefully, you have been able to provide a relatively safe environment to raise your kid.  If you have, they don’t really know how to identify truly dangerous situations.  (You think my wife freaked out thinking about the alcohol and drug …

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Countdown to College Part 4-Sexual Decision Making

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

Love, intimacy, rejection, lust, heartbreak, carnal pleasure; there’s so much for your college bound kid to learn and experience in the months ahead.  This is the fourth and final column on some of the discussions worth having with your older teen as they prepare to take off for college.  As such, there are several aspects of sexual decision making they …

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Cigarettes, Tobacco, E-cigarettes and Vaping

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

Everyone knows smoking is bad.  It is highly addictive and has a whole host of health and mortality problems (all of which make you dead sooner).  And it is even worse than has been previously thought.  Even teenagers know it (with the help of longstanding and coordinated campaigns by the US Government and the American Cancer Society to educate and …

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Helping Your Kid Comfort A Grieving Friend

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

Teenager’s, as we all know, think they are invincible.  Most of them also have a hard time making sense of events and situations that require a perspective greater than “what am I doing this weekend.”  This makes supporting a friend who has suffered a death in the family particularly difficult (“What do I say — and what do I NOT …

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Sexting Is In The News Again

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

Well, another story about teenagers sexting and trading pictures of their naughty bits hit the news recently.  According to the New York Times, it seems that a large number of guys and girls in a Colorado high school formed a kind of club that collected and traded naked pictures of their peers (themselves included, presumably).  From the advent of widely …

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The Study Clause

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

What do you do if your kid doesn’t follow through when it comes to keeping his or her grades up? If you were my mom, you would bring “Mr. Spoon” to the conversation (a large, thick wooden spoon that could be very convincing). I am more likely to recommend that parents have an understanding with their kids, a study clause, …