18 and Under

Double Take: There’s nothing ‘small government’ about Kansas’ stupid divorce bill
February 25, 2014
The commonality of divorce impacts teens and young adults. It undermines their trust of the “us” in our world. It makes them leery of commitment. It will thus come as a great comfort to Kansans, already impressed with pro-spanking and anti-gay initiatives in Topeka, that legislators have found a cure for divorce — make it impossible to get one or, at least, ridiculously difficult and embarrassing.
Double Take: Why can’t I take a ‘mental health’ day off?
February 18, 2014
Why is it that we can say we’re going to throw up and not go to school, but if we say we’re too sad or feel like dying, we have to go. Aren’t mental health issues just as important as physical ones?
Double Take: Abstinence-based sex ed is ‘out of step with reality’
February 11, 2014
I heard you speak last fall about abstinence-based education. You said your thinking had changed from seeing it as a viable alternative to seeing it as kind of dangerous.
Double Take: I’ve dated all my friends, now what?
February 4, 2014
I go to a small school, where everyone knows everyone else. It gets too close for dating at times, and things get really awkward in a hurry. What do you suggest to avoid this problem and still have someone to date?
Double Take: My teenage son refuses to drive
January 28, 2014
Most of my 16 1/2-year-old son’s peers couldn’t wait to drive, but he seems to be putting it off eternally.
Double Take: Nobody is born to be monogamous
January 21, 2014
Periodically, I rant about teen ethics. Actually, many of our columns are about that topic, some more explicitly than others. Ethics define how we should treat others and ourselves toward a greater good. Nowhere are they more critical than in learning how to love and be loved.
Double Take: How to choose the right college experience
January 14, 2014
A key part of your college research is deciding exactly what you’re looking for. Type-A gal that I am, I came up with an acronym while searching for my ideal college: C.A.L.F. (Character, Academics, Location, and Finances).
Double Take: What boy texts really mean
January 7, 2014
I’m a fifteen-year-old girl. My friends and I were trying to figure out this boy’s texts to one of us, and we started talking about how texting means something different to girls than it does guys. Like, we all sit around and stare at our phones, waiting for a guy to text he’s like, “whatever.” Do you agree with this and how do you clear up confusion, especially if it’s someone you like?
Double Take: Son hacks mom’s email account to block messages from school
December 31, 2013
At the end of the semester, (my son’s) school contacted me because I hadn’t responded to several emails. To make a long story short, I found out my son had hacked my email account and was preventing me from getting them.
Double Take: Carving out college niche can help cure homesickness
December 24, 2013
Dear Dr. Wes & Kendra: I graduated from high school in the spring and moved about 80 miles away for college. Even though it’s not far, I’ve been homesick. … Is time and getting used to being away from family the only thing that will help?
Double Take: Scholarship shouldn’t dictate college choice
December 10, 2013
Should students choose a college because they receive “free” money? Increasingly, I think the answer might be “no,” particularly if that college is an expensive out-of-state institution
Double Take: Like it or not, drinking part of most teens’ social lives
December 3, 2013
We recently addressed a teen’s request to clarify the limits of confidentiality in therapy, particularly where substance use is concerned. In responding, I wrote, “Although I don’t personally condone alcohol or drug use, weekend drinking is common among my peers and rarely has long-term harmful effects.” A subsequent letter to the editor countered that underage drinking does have long-term effects.
Double Take: Stuck in the middle of a divorce
November 26, 2013
Divorced parents are asking their child to keep their dating lives a secret.
Double Take: How much can my boyfriend’s therapist tell parents?
November 19, 2013
My boyfriend has been having problems with depression. He’s 16 and agreed to see a therapist. But in the first session she told him that if he talked about anything having to do with drugs or alcohol, she’d have to tell his parents because that’s illegal.
Double Take: Cheap options available for teens to get tested for STIs
October 22, 2013
Dear Dr. Wes and Kendra: I am trying to take your advice and get any partner I have sex with tested beforehand. But when I went to the doctor they said it would cost $199 and insurance won’t cover it unless I have symptoms. I’m like, seriously? I have to get something first before I can get tested? How does that make sense?