Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Tea Time with Teens

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There is more and more press about the possible health benefits of tea - helping brain function, improving focus, increasing the alpha rhythms that help us feel relaxed, energizing us (with caffeine), and even providing antioxidants that may help in the treatment of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

All of these sound great, but I also want to point out a simpler reason to add "tea time" into your life with teens. The reason is, it slows us down and gives us an unstructured time to talk to our kids. I do not know about you, but sometimes it is easy to get into a pattern of spending time with my teens while doing other things - cooking dinner, doing dishes, folding laundry, driving, waiting in line or for a medical person, or watching TV. This may be valuable, but I am distracted and maybe not quite as in touch with their words or body language as I might be.

On the other hand, if when I get home from work, or right before bedtime, I make a pot of tea, I can usually get them to come to the table and "just talk." It helps us all shift from the busy day to home time, or helps us relax and unwind. It is during tea that I frequently hear bigger stories about friends, school, and hobbies - stuff I might not get in the "how was school today" conversations held while doing something else.

It does not have to be fancy, but that is fun, too, and whatever you do, do not start in with 20 questions, but just allow some together time without an agenda, and you may be pleasantly surprised with what you hear!

Photo Credit: Spiralz

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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