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Adolescent Psychology Expert Dr. Lisa Damour Shares Tips with Parents

Dr. Damour, who has worked closely with our community since last spring, shared tips on how to support teens during this pandemic to help them build lifelong resilience.

Convent & Stuart Hall hosted Dr. Lisa Damour on November 12 for an evening talk and Q&A event with Grade 7–12 parents focusing on how to parent effectively and support teenagers during this time. Recognized as a thought leader by the American Psychological Association for her work on stress and anxiety, Dr. Damour is the author of two best-selling parenting books, a monthly New York Times columnist and a regular contributor to CBS News.

Dr. Damour opened her talk by drawing a distinction between positive and negative coping strategies because, she says, "How we manage this pandemic comes down to how we manage our coping." She adds: "And not all coping is created equal." Positive coping methods include social connection, happy distractions, self-care and caring for others, according to Dr. Damour. 

Dr. Damour was first introduced to our community last spring when she joined parents and faculty for separate presentations about the psychological science behind how stress and anxiety operate, both under everyday conditions and at times of heightened concern and disruption. She has also worked directly with students, serving as a special guest at the virtual senior retreat in May and speaking to high school students twice this fall about how to manage and even thrive under stressful circumstances. 

During the most recent parent talk, Dr. Damour addressed topics such as how parents can help their children manage different forms of conflict, how to help spark intrinsic motivation, what hazards to watch out for and how to provide "emotional first aid." She encourages parents to show sincere empathy, validate distress and remind teens that "There's very little your life will ever throw at you that's harder than this."

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