Feb. 24, 2023

Fresh Take: Lisa Damour on the Emotional Lives of Teenagers

Powerful emotions in teenagers are a feature, not a bug–but when our kids are dysregulated it can feel like something parents are supposed to fix. Dr. Lisa Damour, author of THE EMOTIONAL LIVES OF TEENAGERS, tells us how to become "safe containers."

There's a mental health crisis among teens. Teens are also highly emotional creatures by design. Adolescent psycholost Dr. Lisa Damour thinks the two are starting to get conflated– and that means parents and educators can sometimes overcorrect in their responses to teens' emotional outbursts.

Dr. Lisa Damour co-hosts the Ask Lisa podcast and writes about adolescents for the The New York Times, in addition to her clinical practice. She is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood and Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls.

Dr. Lisa's latest book is called The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents.  In this interview Amy and Lisa discuss:

  • Why good sleep is the first thing we need to help dysregulated teens solve
  • What the pandemic actually revealed about teens' mental health
  • Key myths and misconceptions about adolescent emotions

Dr. Lisa says that we– and our teenagers– can gain much by asking if the strong emotion a teen may be feeling is uncomfortable or unmanageable. If it's uncomfortable, learning to sit with that is part of the process of healthy emotional maturation.

Here's where you can find Lisa:

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