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Physical Wellness



  • Physical activity keeps the body strong and healthy and can improve mental health by decreasing symptoms of depression, anxiety, pain, and loneliness.

  • Physical activity can also improve focus, school performance, sleep, and energy levels.

  • Children who participate in regular physical activity enjoy improved relationships and a more positive body image.

  • Adolescence is the period of transition between childhood and adulthood. Children entering adolescence go through many changes (physical, intellectual, personality, and social developmental). Adolescence begins at puberty, which now occurs earlier, on average, than in the past.

  • The rapid physical development during adolescence requires an increased number of calories for girls and boys. A challenge during this time is making sure that teens are consuming a sufficient balance of appropriate foods. Two extreme nutritional issues during adolescence are obesity and eating disorders, both of which can have negative physical and psychological effects on youth. 


  • Encourage your teen to get enough sleep and physical activity and to eat healthy, balanced meals. Make sure your teen gets 1 hour or more of physical activity each day.

  • Keep television sets and electronic devices out of your teen’s bedroom. Set limits for screen time, including cell phones, computers, video games, and other devices, and develop a family media plan.


Make sure your child gets the recommended amount of sleep each night: For teenagers 13-18 years, 8–10 hours per 24 hours (including naps).

Recognize & Intervene




  • Give your children your undivided attention when they want to talk. Don't read, watch television, or busy yourself with other tasks.

  • Listen calmly and concentrate on hearing and understanding your children's point of view.

  • Speak to your children as courteously and pleasantly as you would to a stranger. Your tone of voice can set the tone of a conversation.

  • Understand your children's feelings, even if you don't always approve of their behavior. Try not to make judgments. Keep the door open on any subject. Be an "open/approachable" parent.

  • Avoid humiliating your children and laughing at what may seem to you to be naive or foolish questions and statements.

  • Encourage your children to "test" new ideas in conversation by not judging their ideas and opinions but by listening and offering your views as plainly and honestly as possible. Love and mutual respect can coexist with differing points of view.

  • Help your children build self-confidence by encouraging participation in activities of their choice (not yours).

  • Make an effort to commend your children frequently and appropriately. Too often, we take the good things for granted and focus on the bad, but everyone needs to be appreciated.

  • Encourage your children to participate in family decision-making and work out family concerns with you. Understand that your children need to challenge your opinions and ways of doing things to achieve the separation from you essential for their own adult identity.

Support & Reach Out


Reach out:

  • To your pediatrician for support and strategies for helping your child stay healthy.

  • Prepare healthy and nutritious meals.

  • Play.  Make a tradition of celebrating family milestones beyond birthdays and holidays a tradition. Marking smaller occasions like a good report card or a winning soccer game helps reinforce family bonds.  Connect with the parents of your child’s friends and organize parent-child outings like to the mall for some shopping, a group dinner out, and trips to the baseball or football games.

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