A Caterpillar Status Update & My Other July Articles

July was a busy writing month for me; I’m sharing two articles on research studies that benefit teens, as well as a humor piece that seems to resonate with mothers of a certain age.

In this Your Teen article “How Practicing Kindness Can Enhance Your Teen’s Well-Being,” I reported on psychology professor Douglas Gentile’s research study with Iowa State University students on the impact of certain mindsets. Gentile found that “Walking around and offering kindness to others in the world reduces anxiety and increases happiness and feelings of social connection.”

While not always easy — it’s quite natural to be envious of other people’s successes — there are real benefits to wishing good things for others. As the lead researcher and I discussed, adopting a kind mindset may be helpful when teens and their classmates go through the competitive college admissions process.

In “Can Breakfast Boost Your Teen’s Body Image?,” a recent study details how family breakfasts can boost the way teens see themselves. After reviewing survey data from 12,000 adolescents, researchers found that eating breakfast frequently during the week and regularly eating breakfast with a parent were each linked with a more positive body image.

If you don’t have time for a family breakfast, don’t sweat it. One of the best ways to counter some of the unrealistic social media messages our kids get about body image is with any healthy family meal, whether that’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Parents still have a great deal of influence with our kids when it comes to countering negative messages, and that’s nice to know.

On a final note, Eric Carle’s classic kid’s book turned 50 this summer and someone had to satirize it. Here’s my attempt, dedicated to all the caterpillar mamas in need of a brunch date: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Just Turned 50 and She Would Like to Update Her Status.

Thank you for reading!

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