18 and Under

Double Take: Teen tattoos are a lasting expression in a world of cyber communication
March 24, 2015
Kyra Haas says that in 60 years, after her texts, photos and tweets have been lost to cyberspace, she and her friends can point to their wrinkled, faded tattoos as one of the few lasting expressions of who they were and where they came from.
Double Take: My young son identifies as gay; what should I do?
March 17, 2015
My child isn’t even in middle school, and he is identifying as gay. I think I’m a pretty accepting parent, but this seems more like a fad or something my child heard on TV rather than something heartfelt. How should I respond?
Double Take: Legislation would ignore reality of teen behavior and needs
March 10, 2015
Teens are going to have sex, and the opt-in model of sex education does not address the realities of teen behavior. Dr. Wes proposes a multi-level education model that gives teens a choice.
Double Take: Senate bill stands in the way of education
March 3, 2015
This week, Dr. Wes and Kyra discuss the Kansas Senate’s SB 56, which charges with a class B misdemeanor any teacher caught teaching things that lawmakers or parents consider salacious.
Double Take: ‘Relationship’ label requires agreement on behavior
February 24, 2015
Dr. Wes proposes teaching kids from preschool on that “a relationship” isn’t a label but an agreement between two people on how they will behave toward each other. Like any contract, you set your terms so everyone knows what’s to be expected.
Double Take: PLUS model helps parents respond to teen crises
February 17, 2015
Teens bring many difficult situations into their parents’ lives. The PLUS model, which Dr. Wes and previous co-author Katie Guyot developed, gives parents a formula for how to respond in a helpful way to just about any difficult situation — or at least to not make things worse.
Double Take: Tough to talk to parents about teen’s sexuality
February 10, 2015
Dr. Wes and Kyra begin an eight-week series on teens and sexuality with a reader’s question on what to do now that her parents have learned she is sexually active.
Double Take: Students have the power to influence those in charge
February 3, 2015
In the last of their series on changes in schools, Dr. Wes advises teens now might be the time to consider the vital resource we have in our schools and where we’d be without them. Kyra warns that it is essential to advocate for change where those in charge can actually find your message. Cast your ballot. Protest in public. Then you can head to Twitter.
Double Take: Know what you’re getting into before buying into advanced education ‘opportunities’
January 28, 2015
Kyra and Dr. Wes take on high school Advanced Placement classes and other educational programs, and whether they provide students with the best opportunity for learning.
Double Take: In class, a team is not always a solution
January 20, 2015
While a good study or work group can make (or break) you, those are synergistic enterprises, not socially engineered gatherings. We all work better when we can choose how we work, and, in this regard, schools are behind the curve in expecting kids to get much out of group projects.
Getting organized can help teens avoid mayhem
January 13, 2015
Organization isn’t just for people with ADHD. The secret of happiness can be how you organize your life. We’d rather see happiness as something magnificent like meditating toward a higher state of consciousness or perhaps something trite yet unattainable, like, “look on the bright side,” “seek your true love.” But a catchy mantra, no matter how much you practice it, can’t create happiness unless your life is organized so you can gain its benefit.
Double Take: Students’ sleep suffers with early schedules
January 6, 2015
Every January marks “Back-to-School: The Sequel” for students all over America. In honor of this annual holiday rebound, Kyra and I will be doing four columns on school-related topics this January. Three of them are about things we’d like to see schools do differently, not just our schools but all schools. This week, it’s teen sleep — or, more correctly, what most American schools do to make it worse.
Double Take: Resolutions require dedication, purpose
December 30, 2014
It’s time for the annual Double Take resolution tradition. Unfortunately, we’re up against some stiff opposition. According to research from early 2014, only 8 percent of people actually meet their New Year’s resolutions.
Double Take: Decide whether consenting to using location app is in your best interest
December 22, 2014
Feel free to accept your boyfriend’s invitation to join Find My Friends, if you think it meets a need for him and doesn’t bother you. Or, feel free to decline if it makes you uncomfortable. Your guy will have to decide what he wants to do in response.
Double Take: Prepare for college applications by preparing for the worst
December 15, 2014
Given the number of high school students I see, I didn’t need a reminder that December is the beginning of college decision season.