Teenagers

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From Berkeley to St. Louis to Charlottesville — even on NFL playing fields — youths across the country have been watching the nation's adults respond to issues of race, culture and ideology. Today, psychologist Wes Crenshaw returns with a panel of teens to discuss whether America is measuring up to the democratic values it claims to hold dear.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Fringe Festival is now officially a teenager. Organizers this year are making a push to reach performers and audiences about that same age, or a little older. 

The 13th annual festival kicked off on July 20, and runs for 11 days — more than 400 performances across 16 venues. The KC Fringe is teaming up with Kansas City Young Audiences to provide more opportunities for teenage actors, singers and dancers.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Whether you spent hours in the summer sun at a lifeguard post or delivered hot, greasy pizzas across town, it's hard to forget your very first job. Today, callers and KCUR staffers share their memories and the lasting impacts of that first job or paycheck. Then, we meet the Kansas City high schooler whose year-long research project into the "suffrajitsu" movement earned her top marks at the National History Day competition.

Is It Teen Angst Or Anxiety Disorder?

Jul 10, 2017
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While the challenges of peer pressure, all night study sessions, and "fitting in" aren't new, today's teens also have to deal with social media bringing the worries of the world right to their fingertips. So how is a parent supposed to know the difference between normal teen stress and a possible anxiety disorder? Today, psychologist Wes Crenshaw provides his insight.

Netflix

The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has received praise and criticism for how it approaches weighty topics such as teen bullying, sexuality, mental illness and suicide. Today we speak with psychologist Wes Crenshaw, who says the drama can encourage important discussions between parents and their children.

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It can be hard for parents to have a genuine talk with their teen-aged children without it ending up as awkward, emotional, or even worse, unproductive. Today, psychologist Wes Crenshaw discusses what is, and isn't, valid in a conversation with your teen.

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James has announced the expansion of the Hire KC Youth program into a city-wide initiative. The program offers about 200 summer internships but the Mayor appealed to about 80 businesspeople and employment groups at a breakfast meeting to provide more.  

“There is no better social program than a job,” said James. “And when kids have work, when they have a sense of responsibility, then their entire world opens up and barriers and walls fall.”

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your future self?

When she was in high school, KCUR's Lisa Rodriguez wrote a letter to herself. She just received that letter in the mail, in time for her 10-year reunion. She opens the letter for the first time and reads part of it on-air.

Guest:

  • Lisa Rodriguez, KCUR

Social media can be a place where middle schoolers feel like they can develop relationships. But the dangers of sharing information on the Internet can be frightening. We talk about navigating a complicated online world. 

Guest:

  • Dr. Wes Crenshaw is board certified in couples and family psychology. He writes the Double Take column for the Lawrence Journal World.

Jillian Shoptaw / KCUR

Since 2002, The Mortified Podcast has been showcasing adults sharing artifacts from their childhood, most notably, readings from their diaries. 

A few gracious Kansas Citians agreed to dig out their journals and read their most embarrassing entries at a recent KCUR Podcast Party. These are stories about love, anxiety, and angsty rock music.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

What does it mean to be an American teenager? That's been a question posed everywhere from The Catcher in the Rye to Huckleberry Finn. It's also the subject of the Spinning Tree Theatre's production of the musical 13, a show about adolescents — with a cast made up of nineteen of them.

At a recent rehearsal for the company's production of 13, sets are under construction and the musical director is tinkering with the score.

Swipe left or swipe right, mobile dating apps have gotten traction with the younger crowd but do they lead to lasting connections? We ask how young people are using them: as a path to a relationship, or to find sex?

Guests:

  • Wes Crenshaw is board certified in couples and family psychology and the author of I Always Want to Be Where I'm Not: Successful Living with ADD and ADHD.
  • Lauren is an architectural engineer in her early twenties and Tinder user.

Penguin Random House

Are you stumped looking for last-minute gifts for the kids and teens in your life? How about the gift of shape shifting or time traveling? 

It's all possible between the covers of a good book, and these selections represent the best that 2015 had to offer in the way of children's literature.

Johnson County Librarians Dennis Ross and Kate McNair and retired librarian Debbie McLeod offer some recommendations to keep kids and teens reading well into 2016.

For preschool through 2nd grade:

Pornography is readily available and free and young people are taking advantage of that. We talk about how porn can affect their relationship expectations and where it can turn into an addiction.

Guests:

  • Dr. Wes Crenshaw is a psychologist board certified in couples and family psychology.
  • Michael Kraske is the online editor of The Harbinger at Shawnee Mission East High School, where he has written about this subject.
  • Morgan (real name withheld) is a student at UMKC.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Imagine it's 8 p.m. on a Saturday in the mid-1970s.

You're starting the engine of a 1966 Chevrolet Caprice, big block engine, 4-speed manual transmission with a vinyl interior. 

All is dark and quiet in town, but the main square is lit with activity. For perspective, it looks and sounds kind of like American Graffiti — engines revving, music pouring out of open windows, there's hollering and laughter. Cars are lined up, bumper to bumper. For the rest of the night, you're cruising.

Nineteen-year-old Claudia Rivera shares a single-story tract home in Liberal, Kansas, with her boyfriend, 20-year-old Jesùs Varela.

Last month, Varela’s mother moved in so she could watch Rivera’s baby boy, Fabian, while Rivera works at the Dollar General store and Valera pulls down a shift at the local meatpacking plant.

Moving Out

Jul 13, 2015

Whether heading off to college or to a new job, many young adults are preparing to be on their own for the first time.  Up to Date looks at how teens and twenty-somethings can successfully take the training wheels off their adulthood.

Guests:

Dial Books

Summer vacation has officially started and for many parents, that means a lot of free time to fill for their kids.

How about a trip to the ancient Martial Empire or to a faraway desert island? These summer reading picks will take your young ones to some of the most remote edges of the earth.

Johnson County Librarians Dennis Ross and Kate McNair and retired librarian Debbie McLeod selected some titles to keep kids and teens reading all summer long.

Recommendations for ages 3-10

  • Smick! By Coreen Cronin, illustrated by Juana Medina. Ages 3 – 6.
  • Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton, Ages 4 - 8.
  • Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson, Ages 5-10.
  • Billy’s Booger: a Memior (Sorta) by William Joyce and his younger self. Ages 5 – 10.
  • Princess In Black by Shannon Hale, Ages 6-9. 

A recent Pew study shows that a growing number of teens are going online almost constantly. We discuss how young peoples' relationships to technology are changing and explore what effects increased social media use has on teens.

Guests:

The culture for gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, and queer teens appears to be changing so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up. We explore this swiftly changing environment and how it affects teens as they explore sexual identity during high school.

Guests:

  • Dr. Wes Crenshaw is a psychologist board certified in couples and family psychology.
  • Julia Poe is a senior at Shawnee Mission East who identifies as bisexual. She’s Editor-in-Chief of the Shawnee Mission East Harbinger.

From Narnia to The Hunger Games, young adult literature has an age-old obsession with right versus wrong. But moral conundrums on teens' bookshelves are more complex than ever. What does the changing moral landscape say about growing up today? 

Guests: 

  • Melissa Lenos, associate professor of English, Donnelly College
  • Naphtali Faris, early literacy manager, The Kansas City Public Library

Wes Crenshaw: Consent-Based Sex Education

Feb 16, 2015

  Teaching kids about sex has always been controversial. There are a lot of ways to go about it: the chaste filmstrips of yore, abstinence advocacy or scientific specifics.

On Monday's Up to Date, we look into the debate over that curriculum with psychologist Wes Crenshaw. We discuss his idea for consent-based sex education. We also talk with high school student filmmakers about the approach they’re taking with their own documentary on sex education.

Guests:

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Central Standard is following three high school seniors through the trials and triumphs leading up to graduation. Catch up with Ashwanth Samuel, Harold Burgos and Sache Hawkins on internships, waiting to hear back from colleges, career dreams, school lunch, juggling coursework with outside interests, senior-itis, and what grown-ups don't know about high school today. Plus, one of these seniors surprised us with an early graduation in December.

nshepard / Flickr-CC

For college-bound high school seniors and their parents, December begins the season of decisions. Most applications are due by Dec. 31, and if you've applied early, the results are starting to come.  Now that the admissions departments have spoken, it's time to decide which college is the best fit.

On Monday's Up to Date, Wes Crenshaw joins us to discuss why students often make their college decisions with too much emotion and without enough forethought.

Guests:

Sixteen And Singing Proudly

Aug 22, 2014
gracieschram.com

Gracie Schram has sung the national anthem for the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC, and she also has her own single with an album in the works. It's a pretty ambitious start for the 16-year-old Prairie Village, Kan. songstress.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with her about her start, her new music and her humanitarian efforts.

Guest:

Ryan Melaugh / Flickr-CC

Young people experience complex emotions, and it can be hard to pick out which teens are at risk for depression and other mental issues. Some problems may just be natural growing pains, but some are not.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk about what teen depression is-- and what it isn't-- and examine the broad range of strategies available to treat it.

Guests:

Wes Crenshaw: Parents, Teens And Maturity

Jul 21, 2014
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When an old-timer mutters, “Oh, kids today… they’re not like we were,” he might be right. Statistics show that young people are waiting longer to tie the knot, and the change may be down to the maturity of the guys.

On Monday's Up to Date psychologist Wes Crenshaw joins us to examine this shift. We explore changes in dating practices and why teens might be slower to mature these days, especially if they’re boys.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Temperatures are rising, but a shortage of lifeguards in some communities is keeping pools closed. 

Once a stereotypical way to make some summer cash, fewer teens are willing to go through expensive training for a minimum wage job.

And while the problem here isn't as pronounced as in Austin, Texas, which had to delay opening half its pools, there are still cities scrambling to recruit the needed lifeguards to keep swimmers safe.

It takes a lot of lifeguards to keep one pool safe

The terms ADD and ADHD have become common parlance as more and more kids get diagnosed with these attention disorders. But what’s the difference between your average squirmy kid and one who needs treatment?

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk with psychologist Wes Crenshaw and a few local teens about how kids are diagnosed and whether doctors are over-diagnosing when it comes to these conditions. We also take a look at how to get the right treatments and what a difference that can make.

Guests:

Parents, Teens & Money

Apr 21, 2014
Howard County Library System / Flickr-CC

Every parent these days hears it from their children: “I want a new smartphone” or “We have to get a new tablet—I’ll just die without one.” But how do you teach kids to value how expensive it is to keep up with the Joneses?

On Monday's Up to Date, psychologist Wes Crenshaw joins us to talk about teen entitlement and how you can help your kids learn the value of money. We discuss how to explain the difference between needs and wants and how to get your teen thinking on the same page as you when it comes to the next upgrade.

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