Been feeling a bit “blah” over the past several months? You’re not alone! We’re joined on the podcast this week by Ryan Federoff from Newport Academy, a residential treatment center and personal hospitalization program for teens 12-19 focusing on mental health. In this episode, we chat with Ryan about mental health in students, parents, and educators as we dive into how to overcome the feelings of languish, spotting red flags in your teens, and so much more. See below for a full list of key topics covered in this episode with Ryan.
Key Topics Covered in This Episode:
- Addressing how the pandemic and everything going on in the world has affected young people’s mental health
- Ryan’s recommendations on how to help our students during these times
- Dealing with the “languishing” feelings and a lack of motivation
- How to set your kids up for success over summer break
- What are the red flags to look for as parents and/or educators?
- What to do if you notice red flags with your teen
- The importance of setting boundaries and resetting your family
- The harmful effects of social media on teenagers
- Ryan’s big takeaway piece of advice for listeners
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[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Learning Reimagined. I am Allison. And with me is Sandy. Hi, Sandy. Good morning. How are you? I’m doing great. How are things going? Things are going really well, really well. It’s, it’s exciting. Things are coming back to normal. There’s the school year is coming to an end. It’s just a, it’s an exciting time, but I know our parents have a lot.
Questions and as, as we go through this transition and things are opening up that I’m excited about our guests today. I am as well. We have with us today Ms. Ryan Federoff. Ryan Federoff is the National Director of Education for Newport Academy. And Newport Academy is a therapeutic boarding school.
They’re based out of Newport, California, but they are, they, they are all over the country. I think they have about 18 different sites. They focus on the mental wellbeing of youth. I think ages 12 to 18 or 19. I’m not positive. 12 to 19? [00:01:00] Yes. 12 to 19. And so she is a wealth of knowledge. I’m excited to talk to her.
Well basically about her history and what she has seen in, in youth mental health and the changes, and specifically what’s been going on over the past year and a half, and what we as parents and educators can do to help our teens and any red flags that we should be looking for, Any coping mechanisms and, and what can we do moving forward.
Yes, and I I, I’m so eager to hear what she has to say, so I’m excited. Our viewers are here and asking questions, and we look forward to this next hour. I hope you enjoy it. This podcast is brought to you by our friends at Advantages Digital Learning Solutions. We’re learning as reimagined. Good morning.
Hello, Sandy. How are you today? I’m great. How are you doing? Doing awesome. I am so excited for today’s podcast We have with us a very special guest, a very powerful woman, Ms. Ryan Federoff, who is the National [00:02:00] Director of Newport Academy. Welcome, Ryan. Hi, how are you ladies? Oh, we’re so good. And we’re so happy you’re with us.
Ryan. Thank you so much for joining. I’m really happy to be here. This is my first time recording a podcast, so Oh my gosh, . Well get ready for the flood with me. Yeah, get ready for the floodgates to open. I mean, you have so much to share. I’m very excited for our listeners to Yeah, get to know you a little bit.
Ryan, before we get really diving into this, why don’t you look, tell us a little bit about you and about what is New Port? Yeah, so, so I’m the National Director of Education for Newport Academy. So we are residential treatment center and partial hospitalization programs for teens, ages 12 to 19. We focus on the underlying mental health issues that teens are dealing with.
So depression and anxiety are the most common that we see. And then we’re also dealing with the secondary, like maladaptive coping skills they might have developed due to that. So, Suicidality, Self harm, isolation school [00:03:00] refusal substance abuse. So kind of that is what we’re looking at. And we’re also really working in depth with the family system.
So as we’ll talk about a little bit today, looking at the family and how they contribute or could make some changes to help support the child in improving their mental health. Mm-hmm. , I can’t imagine how much. This past year and a half has really impacted you, A and Newport Academy and, you know, other o obviously our parents have, we, we all feel it.
But you and your occupation, you’re getting a double whammy cuz you have it at home as well as at your workplace. Have you seen a tremendous growth at Newport with this? We can’t get the kids in fast enough. It’s so sad. And that’s across the board at all the adolescent treatment centers that we’re in contact with.
I mean, they’re just overflowing with potential patients and it is such a challenge right now. And I think that it’s been just the coupling with not having the school structure and then having like some [00:04:00] propensity to having mental health issues. It’s just been. Overwhelming. So we are growing and trying to provide services in as many different regions as we can in order to what we think is going to be the next round of the pandemic in order to serve this population.
It’s really sad. That’s a great point that you bring up, Ryan. And when you mentioned it’s, it’s not, they’re getting younger and younger. Mm-hmm. , the students that they’re servicing that 12 years old, that’s pretty young. Yeah, it’s so sad. I mean, in my community here where I live, which is Mill Valley, California, right outside of San Francisco, you know, we have had two suicides of seventh graders in our community this year.
Oh my gosh. That’s so, it’s. Been a very challenging time in Marin County, and I think across the globe. I think that’s what we’re seeing. But it is becoming younger and younger and in the, a moment of time, these people, these kids feel so, so much sadness and so [00:05:00] alone and so isolated for whatever reason that they take extreme measures.
And I think we’re just seeing it at such a young age. It’s really frightening. And for someone who also has my own two children at home, mm-hmm. , I mean, we had to work really, really hard over the past year to maintain, and I’m sure we can all understand this, some semblance of normalcy and normalizing what we were going through and just providing and, and balancing, you know, our careers and our student, our own children’s education.
It’s, it’s a lot to manage. On that, On that same exact point, we have so many listeners that are in the same predicament and and have such great concern, and as we’ve lived through this for the past year plus, what kinds of recommendations do you have to keep on with this normalcy? to help our students. I think one of the things that is the most important thing and something that we really focused on within our own family is, is figuring out what fills your kid up.
Right? Mm. [00:06:00] What is that activity or that’s something that they like to do that makes them feel really good. And I’m not talking about video games or, you know, binge watching Friends . I’m talking about. You know, what are those outdoor activities that make a kid feel really good? So things are starting to open up.
We have more access now, and I, I’ll talk about this more as we kind of delve into kids that are really struggling. But we need to think about what gives them that warm like rush. Feeling inside and makes them feel good. And so for our child, like our second grader, well he was in first grade with the pandemic hit.
He struggled. I mean, the first month we were, and I’m an educator, and he, he was crying every day. He was refusing to do work. It was such a battle. And he picked up a skate. and he started to skateboard. It was an activity he could do in isolation. And so from there we were able to kind of develop, this is what fills him up and makes him feel good.
And that [00:07:00] actually kind of carried him through this idea of like, not having his friends, the structure, the teachers, all of that. Yeah. I think that’s really important to find something, get them outdoors if you can. Mm-hmm. . I know I have teen, my kids are a little bit older. They’re When the pandemic kid, I had a senior in high school and a sophomore in high school, and my senior, of course, dealt with a lot of different things just because it was her senior year.
But for for my younger daughter too, it just, I felt that they were just really retreating and they really depended on their phones and, and Netflix and it just, it was. Really hard. Like I, I teased my younger daughter, Lane became an activity. What are you doing? Yeah, I’m just laying, I’m like, No, that’s not what we do.
We don’t just lay right, Let’s find something else to do. And so it was right. And my kids are very active and it, it just, it was a, it was a huge battle trying to get everybody up and out [00:08:00] and, you know, cuz you get this like, it, it wasn’t quite a depression, but it was just, Feeling of blah. Yeah. That, that just was universal.
Yeah, definitely. I think one of the things that we did that we were like, we’re never gonna do this, it’s never happening, is we’re not getting her a phone until she’s in eighth grade. What did we do? We got her a phone . We’re not giving her social media. We gave her TikTok, and I’ll tell you what happened is that all these things that I’ve been speaking about for years, you know, limiting video games, limiting social media, that actually became in that those first like eight weeks when we were really locked down, that really became like their social connection.
It actually became a way for them to interact. So in some ways there was some positivity there. Now for many of us, we started to pull back as we realized they were able to go outside and meet with their friends. We live in a very walkable neighborhood, so all the kids were walking around. And so we kind of pulled all that back, but some kids now have [00:09:00] gotten into this cycle.
Playing video games, 14 hours a day, being on social media celebrity worshiping doing all of that, that they’re, yeah, they’re spending, cuz they’re just on those, you know, they’re scrolling those stories all day long. So that became sort of, if we didn’t put a stop to it and it just sort of spiraled.
And for many of us it was how we survived. It was like, I gotta get on a video call. Just don’t talk to me. Just do whatever you need to be doing. Right, right. Be quiet. Right. I don’t know how. Parents did it with the younger kids having to be in charge of their education at home. Mm-hmm. and to be able to work.
And I, at least my kids are older, so that we had that, you know, they understanding handle most, Yeah. They could mostly handle it. We had a lot of lane, but they able to do their own work. But for the parents, with the younger kids, I just, I, I think there’s a lot [00:10:00] of Reactions that we’re going to see long term.
I think there’s gonna be a lot of effects of this pandemic that we don’t even know yet. You might have foresight into that, but Oh, definitely. Yeah, I’ve seen it. Mm-hmm. . I just think that we’re gonna see that real from these effects for many, many years. . Yeah. And I know, you know, it was so funny because in 2020, the word of the year right?
Was pivot. Right? I used pivot every day. It was what I called the word of the Year. Mm-hmm. . And now I think we saw that New York Times article and it says the word of the year’s languishing. Right? Like, right. Basically it’s that blah moment, that blah feeling that you that you are feeling that kind of in between happy but not depressed, but just feeling unmotivated.
You know, like I noticed my executive function skills. I mean, I couldn’t finish a project. I could start a project. I couldn’t finish a project to save my life. And I think my kids went back to school full time. This is, I believe, our third week back. The first week they were back, I literally could stare at my computer for hours and couldn’t get anything [00:11:00] done.
And now I see I’m starting to come up for life and I’m starting to get. Reinvigorated and I’m starting to get my motivation, but I didn’t realize how much I was just surviving last year. Right. With young children like survival. Oh, it’s, it’s interesting Ryan mentioned an article, I believe it was in the New York Times.
We have put the link up on our, on all our social media. It’ll be on this as on the tail end of this as well. But it’s a fascinating article and learning what languishing this new, It’s not a new term, but just the definition and how it. How it really just re relates to where we all, all are in life.
And I’m reading it. I’ve never been a depressed person. I’m a very hyper energetic, happy most of the time, but even over the past year, I had this not depression, and I kept asking myself, Am I depressed? Like, is this what depression is? And it’s not. Mm-hmm. , but I questioned quite a bit and I’m reading this article, I’m like, Wow, that’s, that’s right there.
That’s, yeah. I think universally, I think. [00:12:00] That’s what we all are feeling for sure. I mean, I definitely think that people have a propensity towards depression and there’s definitely people that are severely or moderately depressed or anxious. Mm-hmm. . But I think that there is a group of us and teenagers that are in this in between stage and we didn’t know what it was and we didn’t know like, how to label it.
And it totally made me, like, once I read that I was like, Oh, okay, I can get out. Yeah, and I think it’s really important when we talk about teenagers, because teenagers that are feeling that kind of blah low motivation, they don’t have the insight that we have in order to be able to identify that this is a moment in time.
It’s not a good feeling. They don’t like the feeling, but they don’t have the insight to kind of like understand it. And so I think that’s where we’ve sort of seen kids starting to fall into a more severe depression. We have the skills and the ability to kind of maintain in that languishing that in [00:13:00] between state kind of purgatory where there’s like, yes, , the real like obvious solution, right?
We can do that. We have the skills. Mm-hmm. and many of them just don’t have the skills. And then Go ahead. No, I don’t mean to interrupt you, Ryan, but exactly that. Like when you’re saying, identifying that when I read that article. Like Alison said, I could relate to it as like, Oh my gosh, identifying that.
Mm-hmm. and I have two teenagers, and so how, as a parent, how do I help him get from that to Yeah. Not, not the other spectrum, right? Yeah. Those tools. And so I, I didn’t even interrupt you, Ryan, but that’s no. Where you were going is what are those skills? How do I help them? How do I, I know how to help myself, I think
Mm-hmm. . But how do I help them? Well, you know, for many of us too, like we’re gonna hit summertime and what’s gonna happen in summertime is we’re back to that kind of unstructured sort of way, waffling, which. [00:14:00] For us parents is normally manageable for the eight short weeks. But then for us who feel like we’ve been in this for now over a year and our kids just got back full time, Right.
I think it’s gonna be a challenge and I think that that eight weeks of just sort of like wavering and waffling and, and not having a schedule is, is gonna be a challenge. So, you know for younger kids, I really and, and the other part of it too is, Activities have gotten really expensive. We’ve noticed an increase here in the prices of activities.
It’s really challenging to set up your kid for success over the summer if you don’t have the financial resources. I know the ym d a and all there, There’s different organizations that have more reduced camps, but I think that we need to think about how we can maintain routine. And structure in our kids’ days and really enforce that.
I don’t mean like scheduling down to the minute. I know that that is not successful. You have to have routine, but have flexibility. I think [00:15:00] for I think when we talked about earlier, those activities that fill kids up and make ’em. Feel good. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. growing as much time and energy as you can into that.
I think one of the things that we’ve all hopefully have a little more of now is a little bit more flexibility. We know we’re working from home, we know we’re managing our children. We know that we don’t have. All of the amenities that we normally are used to having. So I think building out time in the day to help you and your child get outside, take a walk for lunch.
You know, we you know, often go to the skate park. We take the kids to the beach, we get them outside activities and, and also identifying with them, I know we’re gonna talk about this today, but how we communicate with. talking to them about how, like what are some activities that you would like to do?
What are some things that you’d like to try that are maybe new? Oh, interesting. Yeah, Yeah. Like what are some different things that kind of draw you in that we can maybe try? Is it indoor rock climbing? Is it mountain biking? Is it surfing? So I [00:16:00] think that really engaging the kids too in those activities and asking them what they think getting their buy in is really, I.
Right. Yeah, I think that’s, that’s very important. I think Summer always provides a challenge just because parents are working, kids are at home. And now adding into this, you. Culture of Lane and Netflix and trying to break that cycle. That’s, that is gonna be a challenge this summer. Yeah. But you’re all right.
Things are opening up a little bit more, so there will be some opportunities and parents just really need to focus and make it a priority to get to break the cycle and get get kids outside. But now, as the past year and a half has gone on, there is the languishing, there is the, not quite depressed, but just languishing.
Mm-hmm. How do we determine whether it’s normal languishing effects of the pandemic or if it’s something more severe that we really need to pay attention to? Are there red flags that we should look for as parents, right, and as educators? Yeah. I mean I think that some of the [00:17:00] red flags that we look for, right?
Like we have to be able to differentiate between normal adolescent behavior, right? Mm-hmm. and and that normal has kind of changed a little bit in the pandemic. And what is concerning. I think the first thing I wanna tell parents is you’ve gotta follow your gut. Your gut is generally giving you some piece of information that something is not right, but maybe you can’t pinpoint what it is.
So follow your gut. That’s number one rule. Things that we kind of look at are changes in their eating habits, their sleeping habits, sleeping too much, not sleeping enough. If kids were, are not showering frequently, so, , You know, and when I’m talking about kids, I’m talking about like our teenagers and when they’re not, they’re not, you know, getting enough sleep or engaging in taking showers daily.
Like that’s concerning behavior. What about their social situations? Are they changing who their friend groups are? Are they feeling senses of sadness? Are they having irritability or mood swings? [00:18:00] Are they seeming scared or are they having social anxiety, not wanting to go out with their. Substance use and drop in grades are, you know, of course a red flag.
Experimentation is really normalized and there is some level of experimentation that does occur. But I would be really concerned if a middle schoolers experimenting with marijuana at any level that to me is a concern. Or alcohol, you know, experimentation would typically be a more acceptable behavior in high school.
More thought to happen, but if you’ve got something, eighth graders, Trying drugs than I would be concerned cuz they’re more likely to have, you know, they’re more likely to get addicted and to have suicidal ideation later on, or substance use issues. Getting in fights. So irritability, we all know is normal.
Hormonal outbursts, totally normal. I have an 11 year old, I know that very normal, mostly directed at mom. But I wanna talk about like aggressiveness towards a parent or a family member. Like that is concerning. Like if they’re getting really aggressive, if [00:19:00] their, if their behaviors are. becoming really out of control.
So those are just different things that you can look at. You’re looking for the extreme signs, and sometimes it does happen kind of slowly over time. And then one day, all of a sudden the parent goes, Wait, this something doesn’t seem right. Mm-hmm. , something’s not right. And so really following that gut intuition is one of the most important things I can tell parents.
And what, what if my gut is telling me something’s not okay? What tips do you have for seeking help? What, what, What would I do? Who do I call? Do I talk to their pediatrician? Do I call you? I mean, what do I do? ? Yeah. So interestingly enough, I love pediatricians. They don’t always have. The most information about resources in your community?
Okay. The first thing that I always tell parents to do, if you have the ability to have a thoughtful conversation with your team. If you’re in a moment with your teen and you’re sitting there and you’re having spending time together and having some really [00:20:00] open moments, use that as an opportunity to segue into some questions.
You know, we call this, it’s called motivational interviewing. It’s a therapeutic strategy that’s used. I love it. Thanks. Motivational interviewing. I might interviewing. It’s asking open-ended questions. So it’s saying things like you know, you seem overwhelmed. Can you tell me how school’s going? Or you know, how are your friendships going?
Or I’m seeing some changes in you. Are you feeling any of those? Are you seeing any of those? Like just kind of trying to understand, you know, a little more of what’s going on. So you’re asking open ended questions, you’re not telling them. I see you’re not taking showers. I see you’re not sleeping, you know, well, you’re up on your phone, you know, getting really accusatory.
Instead, you’re approaching it from this real, this place of compassion and understanding. Mm-hmm. , and you are kind of getting them to sort of tell you information. They may not open up, they may continue to be closed off. They may [00:21:00] continue to feel. Like they don’t wanna share any information with you, but at least you’re starting that conversation and again, kind of reinforcing with your gut what’s happening, right?
Like, oh, this is seeming not right. Then the next piece of that is seeking professional help. If they’re not opening up to you, you might suggest, would you be open to, If you don’t wanna open up to me, I can understand that. Would you be open to talking to somebody else? Would that be something you would explore?
And really putting the ball in their court, not telling them they’re gonna do it. So schools often have, I’d be wary of like how much information you’re disclosing to a school. You don’t wanna talk about heavy substance use, you don’t wanna talk about any of that. What you wanna say is, My child seems to be having some depression issues or some anxiety issues and I really wanna seek out some support for them.
Do you know any people in the community that do really great work with teenagers? And asking them for those? Again, really don’t get into the details of any substance use. Anything like that, but really [00:22:00] just saying and also telling the school. I just want you to know we’re really concerned, but as parents we’re, you know, we’re stepping in and we’re doing some work, but I just wanna red flag and, and let us know if you see anything.
Let us know if you have any concerns too. That’s really important to share. That piece is not to over disclose. Yeah. So, yeah, the substance use part is still something in schools. I think it’s a, it’s kind of a, a difficult conversation. They, you know, we see it as really a maladaptive coping skill in young children, but schools still see it as a very behavioral issue.
So you just don’t wanna get them into a place where They’re being seen as a bad influencer or a negative child in this. Yeah. Changing gears here just a little bit less focus on the covid and the pandemic. What do you see with Newport Academy and with the students that are enrolled with you?
How difficult is it that for them to focus on their academics while trying to focus on recovery? [00:23:00] So our program really integrates their academics and their recovery together. So we’re really focusing on how are their mental health issues showing up in the classroom, So their peer interactions. There’s school based anxiety, pressure from the family.
So we’re really integrating all of that. I mean, I think that, you know, look, the kids are coming in feeling that same languishing effect we are. Right? The low motivation. Mm-hmm. even really good students struggling, like no motivation to get onto Zoom. I know some, a significant amount of families, this was a conversation I was having yesterday, continued to opt into extended distance learning during, through their districts.
Mm-hmm. , and a lot of that was. The, the children in the families have a lot of power now. So what’s happened is our parenting, I think this is really important to bring up, our parenting has kind of gotten watered down. We often send our kids to school. They receive social feedback from their peers, they receive social cues from their teachers and they also receive feedback from us as parents.
In the pandemic. We were the sole providers of all [00:24:00] discipline. We were the sole providers of all of that, and we got tired. So I would say you can only have the video games for 30 minutes. And then I got on a phone call and here we are an hour and a half later and kids still on the video games. So my boundary setting got weakened.
My kids didn’t take me quite as seriously anymore. And so what I think we’re seeing is that kids have a lot of the power now, and we need to shift that dynamic and that paradigm now that we have a little bit more bandwidth. We need to be able to say, Okay, we need to reset our family. And so that’s what we’re kind of doing.
And a lot of what’s happening at Newport is, you know, kids are coming in with really severe issues. At Newport, we’re seeing a lot more eating disorders. We’re seeing more severe social anxiety more we’re gonna see, think, think an increase in school refusal. And so what we’re doing is we’re really helping the family system to look at.
Family, how are they contributing to this and how can we shift that dynamic within the family system? It’s not just the client that’s the identify. Right. The whole family. [00:25:00] That’s that’s interesting. Yeah. It’s, yeah. . And by doing that, we’re, we’re hoping, you know, and by doing all of this work, you know, what we see in the classroom is as we improve their skills around their depression or anxiety, they’re able to improve their focus and concentration in the classroom, their goal setting.
And we’re doing a lot of that goal setting every day. You know, when we do all of our advantages, schoolwork, you know, today you’re gonna finish, you know, we want you to finish 5% of English in this block, period. And when they finish it, we connect. How do you feel like you set a goal, you achieved that goal.
How does that feel inside? And they are often like, Yeah, it felt really great. And it’s like that’s what setting goals and following through with goals will do for you in life. It’ll make you feel really good, warm you up, fill you up inside. Right. Positive feeling. Mm-hmm. , I, I love that you approach it holistically with the students, not just.
The student and their whatever they are in recovery for, but holistically. And you look at their, their whole environment, [00:26:00] their schooling, their parenting, their family life. And to me that just that that’s great. And I think it’s okay to, for our parents, I mean, maybe your child is not to that degree and is not in some sort of therapeutic Right.
But it’s okay to have those open conversations where. You say, Let’s reset our family like that. That really struck with me. I’m like, That’s fantastic. You’re not just going with it anymore. You’re, you’re admitting that we haven’t been awesome and you’re admitting that there’s some things that we need to change.
And having that open dialogue with your kids, and I don’t think age is an issue. I think you can do that even with elementary level students. I, your family who, the younger kids, I think you can do it through. Well, we did a reset. Oh, go ahead Sandy. No, I’m so sorry that the whole boundaries and resetting them, that is I pertinent for in any setting, whether it’s in education, families work.
It’s just something that is so pertinent right now. Mm-hmm. , I mean, I think teachers in the classroom have to do it. I think administrators in [00:27:00] schools have to do it. I think we have to do it. I mean, I, like I was saying, we did it. So my husband’s a teen, the. So it really helps , but he kinda, that I know, right?
I have that we’re gonna have him on next week. I That’s fantastic. . So he, you know, so we so we reset our family because I’d lost complete control. I mean, I re I like if anyone in the family didn’t have control anymore, it was definitely me, . So he was still fine. But we, you know, we had to do that around video game use and we were successfully able to do it.
When he went back to school, we used it as an opportunity to say, Okay, we need to reset. Like what we’re go doing has not been working. We cannot continue this way. You can have 30 minutes of Minecraft a day if you do these certain things. You’ve gotta read for 20 minutes, you’ve got a skateboard or do a sport, and then you can have 30 minutes.
So that’s like, And you have. And so that’s how we kind of reset. And so we’re just sort of slowly taking the power back. Mm-hmm. Cause we did, we kind of like had to give them some power in order to survive . [00:28:00] And that, that’s an interesting twist because. Academically speaking, I felt the pandemic gave parents more power with students’, academics, you see a lot of pushback with parenting with parents against the school district.
Like, this isn’t good enough anymore. I’m seeing that we’re seeing a huge uptick in blended learning situations now cuz parents are like, This is not good enough. I want my child to get classes from here as well as from here, and I’ve seen a lot more parental involvement in education. But your perspective is very interesting and you’re absolutely right, and the home front parents have lost a bit of control because it’s, We’ve been in survival mode.
I mean, I feel like we’ve all been in war. You know, I, It feels surviving. Yeah, and I agree with you. I mean, I think that for the first, for few months of, for the first probably, I don’t know the, the last months of last year and the first few months of this year, I definitely felt like, wow, I have more insight into who my kids are as a student than I ever did.
Mm-hmm. . I really felt like I understood them. I knew what their challenges [00:29:00] were. I knew, you know, I knew I didn’t want them at home. I could check that box for you. But I, I really felt like, wow, I really understand them. My son has like, An amazing second grade teacher this year. So that was also very helpful because she was really insightful.
But I agree with you. I think that parents are thinking outside the box about what’s gonna work best. I think too, that kids who had social struggles in school are actually really benefiting from this. The kids that were really constantly in comparison mode to their peers and also. Craving social interactions.
Mm-hmm. And weren’t able to get them and have that like kind of authentic high school experience. I think for them, online learning has actually been kind of a gift. It’s alleviated a lot of stress from that for them. I agree. Doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t be finding social outlets outside cuz it is such an important part of just like development.
But I think that it’s eliminated some pressure for kids and I think that that’s also. Become [00:30:00] something that’s apparent, which is what I think you’re seeing, right? Mm-hmm. , and I think also with everybody being quarantined or, you know, locked down, whatever you called it in your community, the social media aspect kind of stopped because nobody was doing anything.
Mm-hmm. So, but, but jealousy of, Oh, so and so and so and so are hanging out together and I’m not there. You know, that’s, that wasn’t happening. So I, I felt a huge. At least temporarily for our kids in that regard. But that is another issue that we could probably have a whole nother podcast. Oh yeah. Is the social media influences in our kids that it’s been a almost a life source for them over the pandemic just to keep connecting, you know?
Mm-hmm. , the TikTok dance is okay. I know we all learned at least one with our kids trying to just keep engaged. Yeah. There was some who didn’t know were inappropriate and then found out later . Yeah. We don’t have to, we won’t be. But I, I think social media in, in that regard over the pandemic has been a [00:31:00] blessing cuz it did keep kids somewhat connected without the pressures of of being left out a hundred And now we’re, Yeah.
Yeah. But now we’re back into that where there is that social media. Crush And it, it’s, that’s another one that I think with, with, in your, in your field that you see a huge amount of you know, references to the social media and how that is aiding in the anxiety and the depression with youth and leading to all kinds of things.
Totally. I think that you know, I think that there was, again, when we talk about that sense of relief, I think for certain kids that were feeling excluded or not a part of, and social media was highlighting that for them, I think for them there was a sense of relief mm-hmm. and that then this is where we talk about that integration being really difficult back into normal life.
Mm-hmm. Where I think this is where we start to see sort of those extra added layers of that anxiety and like unmanageability. Kind of developing and [00:32:00] becoming a parent and you know, we are seeing it for sure. And I think too this is where, you know, that celebrity sort of obsession started to come where they sort of get obsessed with certain celebrities and the way they look and the way they behave and the way they act.
So we’re seeing a lot of that. We’re seeing you know, obviously I mentioned earlier, a real significant increase into eating disorder. My sister’s a pediatric nurse here in the Bay Area, and she said her entire pees floor is eating disorder patients. You are kidding? Yeah. And she said, like, we don’t, I mean, that’s what we’re treating now.
Like that’s what we see and it, it’s, it’s young girls mostly. And it’s just so, so sad. So, and we’re seeing just really different in unusual behaviors we haven’t seen before, you know, And so it’s, it’s kind of like, You know, the, the mental health challenges have just increased tenfold over the past year, and I think that that’s only gonna become, you know, kind of a, like a spiral effect over the next [00:33:00] few years.
Schools are gonna have to figure out how to manage that too. Mm-hmm. , Absolutely. Cause there’s a trickle effect as well. You know, oftentimes you talk about the freshman 15 when girls go to school or mm-hmm. , and I’ve heard even within my peer group, other moms saying, Oh, it’s the quarantine 15, and using this language so loosely that it’s just affecting our younger kids at home.
Right. Mm-hmm. , we poke fun and, and, but it, these, these words have so much power and to see so many young kids having these eating disorders, it’s, I can’t help but to think there’s that connection. Mm-hmm. , definitely. I think that, you know, our parent kids have spent so much time with us, and they have heard so much more of our, like, adult speak than they normally would.
And they’ve taken on some of our anxieties, right? Like that was something we really tried hard to do is, you know, we live in a community that was very, like covid [00:34:00] cautious, was very much about masks, was very much about quarantine. Like very rule following on everything. And we were like, We’re gonna follow the rules, but we’re not anxious.
We’re gonna be okay. But I think a lot of kids took on that anxiety from their parents. And it’s cuz they’ve been hearing more of that. So I agree with you. Stuff like talking about your quarantine 15 or your, your quarantine 19. Some of them have been saying Yeah, the Covid 19. Yeah, the Covid 19 . Yeah. I mean all of that is contributing to just like their overall, like where their mind goes and, and hearing that.
So, you know, we model so much of what our kids. Do and how they behave. And it’s so important for us. We all have different things that go through our mind and different stresses and worries and anxieties, and it’s just really important that we keep those amongst us adults, you know? And we have those conversations amongst us, with our spouses, with our peers and really keep them from taking that and [00:35:00] hearing that and, and feeling that That’s so critical.
It’s critical. Ryan, I know we’re running out of time here, so is there any. If you could give one piece of advice to parents anything, If you could get one thing across to everybody, what would it be? I think the number one thing I’m gonna say is trust your gut and do not feel shame. So ask for help.
And it’s okay because there’s so many people out there that are struggling and I think the most important thing that we can do is not feel shame about it because that shame will carry over into our. So we need to be open and honest and feel okay with the fact that, and not place the blame anywhere and just understand that this is just something we need to do together and there are is a ton of support out there for parents to help navigating these reach out for help.
I love it. Trust your gut. This has been so insightful and gift to have you with us. I just appreciate your time. Well, I appreciate our partnership over the years [00:36:00] and I appreciate you ladies, and this is so cool. My first one ever, sorry about the dog, by the way. Of course, you start to do something and they go crazy, and we might wanna have you back here in a couple months to talk more about.
How at the end of summer maybe and how we’re going back into school and what we’re, what you’re seeing on your end. I think that would be following. Following how mental health has changed over this pandemic. I think that’d be a fun thing to watch. So you’re gonna be a repeat guest? You might be For sure.
I love that. My husband on, We can do a dual show. He’s really fun. Oh, well that would be fantastic. Okay. Next time for sure. We’ll have him on and it’ll, Yeah, it’ll be very interesting. I look forward to it. I love it. Thanks ladies. All right, well thank you so much. Thank you, Allison Uhhuh. Thank you.