Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

One Thing Tweens and Teens Want, But Should They?

posted by Linda Mintle

teen singingThey look at Justin Bieber and all his success and think, “I can do that. I can be discovered on You Tube too!”

So they post, upload, pin and tumblr– all in the hope of one thing–becoming famous!

That’s right, a third of teens and tweens surveyed say it is important for them to be famous.

And those kids who want to be famous use social networks. Social networks allow them to create their own image, manage and control it.

According to Temple University psychologist, Laurence Steinberg, social media allows teens to imitate what is like to be famous. He also thinks that adults play into this by posting videos and pictures of their kids on Facebook and You Tube.


Add society, especially reality TV, where the goal is to be discovered and kids think, this is worthy to pursue.

But is this desire to be famous and self-promoting a good thing?

Generally speaking, NO.

First, how many kids will actually make it and are spending valuable time investing in possible fame? Remember those American Idol contestants who actually thought they had the talent to win? Their families and friends were right there encouraging them when they clearly had no talent for singing. Reality check! They were wasting their time on something that would never happen. So if talent and practice are involved in becoming famous, you have to have and do both.But so many teens think it just happens or overestimate their talent.


The pathway to fame now includes:

1) Being arrested. How many shooters and bombers have had this goal in mind?

2) Being born in a wealthy family. Fame is based on entitlement, a problem we see among teens today.

3) Having outstanding physical beauty. Beauty eventually fades, and an emphasis leads to eating disorders and body image problems, both on the rise among teens.

4) Have an affair with someone famous. This is just wrong to begin with, much less getting famous for it.

5) Release a sex tape. I don’t have to explain!

6) Become a reality TV star like Teen Mom or Kate Gosselin who think this is a way of life.

Come on teens, how about goals like serving others, making a difference in the world, being a person of integrity, etc.?


Fame is fleeting and self-serving. And have you noticed how few people handle fame well. Most self-destruct.

Time for a reality check on what is important. Fame doesn’t make the list!






Source: Yalda Uhis, researcher at UCLA’s Children’s Digital Media Center presentation at the Society for Research in Child Development (April, 21013)


6 Signs of a Failing Relationship

posted by Linda Mintle

couple arguingKim and Mark were hopeless romantics when they fell in love. But lately, the marriage was faltering and both were considering divorce.

When they came to see me, I saw six signs of distress that told me things were not good. Check your marriage for these signs and get to a marital therapist now if these represent you.

1) Kim and Mark began every discussion with anger and criticism. The way a discussion begins predicts how it ends 96% of the time. If one partner uses a harsh start up (negative, accusatory, etc.), the marriage has a chance of failing.



2) The couple was hardly talking. Both had checked out emotionally and erected a stone wall around their emotional lives. Negative interactions that contain criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling lead to divorce.


3) Mark continued to distance from Kim because he could not handle the negativity she constantly pointed out in the relationship. Being overwhelmed by the negativity of one person causes the other to become flooded by intense feelings of negativity and then to disengage emotionally.


4) Mark refused to talk and Kim pursued him even more, but neither was connecting. The physical body becomes overwhelmed and the person can’t maintain the discussion. Thus they opt out physically and emotionally.



5) Kim tried many times to engage Mark and talk about problems but he had checked out emotionally. The partner’s attempts to repair conflict fail. 


6) When I asked them about their relationship, they had nothing positive to say. The past is recalled with a negative view.


So if your relationship is failing, don’t opt out, but look for these signs and get help.

We know how to repair marital difficulties.

Most couples divorce over fixable problems. And God wants you to take marriage seriously and honor the covenant.



Could Your Kiss Be Toxic?

posted by Linda Mintle

lipsYou look at him across a crowded room, your eyes meet. You move towards him, and embrace.

He’s the love of your life and reaches down to kiss you.

WAIT….Stop the script. Could that kiss be toxic?

Yes, according to a study at the University of California-Berkeley’s School of Public Health.  They tested 32 brands of lipsticks and glosses and found lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other  metals, some that could be toxic! The concern is over the level of metals in the lipsticks/glosses. Some were toxic enough to pose health risks in the long run. The issue here is that users ingest and absorb the substances that have been tied to such risks as stomach tumors. The heavier user you are, the more of the toxic metals you ingest.


The advice of the researchers. Don’t panic but use your lipstick sparingly.

I would also think twice about letting young children play with lipstick and use it as well.

The counter argument is that these metals occur nationally in our air, soil and water and impact our food. Toxicologist Linda Loretz says exposure from lip products is minimal compared to metals in food we ingest from our diet.

For me, now that I know, I’m going with bare lips more often!


Source: USA TODAY, Lipstick study opens up concerns about carcinogen, Health and Wellness, May 2, 2013






The Morning After Pill: 10 Reasons for Parental Concern

posted by Linda Mintle

anxious girl


The FDA decided to lower the age limit for the morning-after pill from 17 to 15-years-of- age. The pill can be bought without a prescription and from pharmacy shelves. You will find it in the aisle next to women’s health products, condoms and other pharmacy items. All a girl has to do to get this pill is prove her age at the check out counter. In other words, a15-year-old can easily access this pill without her parents knowing about it. Already the supporters of this are arguing that providing ID will still be a barrier to the women (shouldn’t we say, girls) who want this. 


Here are my 10 Concerns: 

1) So let me understand this. The same girl who needs parent permission to take aspirin or an antibiotic at school can take a morning after pill with no one knowing? The same girl who has to read pages of inform consent to talk to someone in therapy, can take the morning after pill with no one talking to her? Don’t tell me a frightened 15 year old is going to read the risks on the prescription and decided if she should take the pill!


2) Medically, the pill prevents ovulation or fertilization of the egg. But does it prevent a fertilized egg from implanting? The pill works to decrease the uterine lining, making it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant. When that happens, it is abortion. But advocates are redefining abortion to mean only the implanted fertilized egg. How would a person know? A girl may later be faced with the reality that she aborted her child to be. Maybe the drug companies should pay the therapy that might follow.

3) The Mayo Clinic website says that this pill should not be used routinely and doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infection. Who is going to monitor this? And who is going to make sure a 15-year-old doesn’t buy the pill and give it to her 14-year-old friend?


4) The Mayo Clinic recommends telling your health care provider because their is a risk of allergic reaction to this pill, or possible drug interactions. Are 15-year olds going to call their doctors and ask about these possibilities?

 5) Side effects include:

                Nausea or vomiting






                Breast tenderness

                Bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding


                Lower abdominal pain or cramps


These could be a bit frightening for a 15-year-old who doesn’t understand her body. And if you are vomiting, you may have to repeat the dose, but the website says you should contact your physician. Again, are 15 year-olds going to do this?


6) What about a girl with existing medical problems? Who is tracking that since this can be done in complete secrecy.

7) In my opinion, a 15-year-old is not mature enough to make this type of decision. Sex is a physical act that can be performed at 15, but dealing with the emotional, physical and psychological consequences is another thing. The issue is why is a 15-year-old having sex? Who is speaking to that, especially if this is hidden from parents?


8) Schools complain about a lack of parent involvement and yet these policies lend to secrecy and a lack of parent involvement. How does a parent help a child who was sexual active when the parent is unaware? Schools want more parents to take responsibility but I guess they get to pick and choose when that is allowed.

9) The family is marginalized when it comes to teen privacy. These are moral issues in which the family needs to be involved, not cut out of the process.  


10) Preventing pregnancy is not solely a medical issue. This type of approach to reduce teen pregnancy ignores the role of family, relationships, emotional and spiritual issues and is irresponsible. Reducing teen pregnancy is not a simple problem. it takes caring people to make a difference, not access to a pill! 


Parents, weight in –what are your concerns?



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