In teenagers, powerful emotions come with the territory. And with so many of today’s teens contending with academic pressure, social media stress, worries about the future, and concerns about their own mental health, it’s easy for them—and their parents—to feel anxious and overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Learn more.
Our Strategic Priority:
Focus on Student Well-being
We invite you to explore the Parent Resource page on the Ursuline website. You’ll find references to a wide variety of information resources, from books and articles on student wellness to research on how girls learn. There’s also a calendar of events of special interest to parents of teenage girls. This dynamic page will be updated on an ongoing basis. So we encourage your feedback, and look forward to your suggestions on what you’d like to see added as the page evolves.
Ursuline's Mission to totally develop the individual does not start and end on campus. The resources provided on this page are intended to help you navigate today's world with a teenage girl.
Current parents are also welcome to utilize the Ursuline Library Resources. An Overdrive account will grant you access to our eLibrary. Parents are welcome to browse our collection and can email Librarian Renee Chevallier to request an account.
Explore Resources Below:
- Authors Who Inspire Us
- Topics to Talk About
- Research on Girls
- Letters From Leadership
- Important Contacts
Authors Who Inspire Us
Under Pressure addresses the facts about psychological tension. Damour explains the surprising and underappreciated value of stress and anxiety: that stress can helpfully stretch us beyond our comfort zones, and anxiety can play a key role in keeping girls safe. When we emphasize the benefits of stress and anxiety, we can help our daughters take them in stride. Learn more.
Dr. Damour draws on decades of experience and the latest research to reveal the seven distinct—and absolutely normal—developmental transitions that turn girls into grown-ups, including Parting with Childhood, Contending with Adult Authority, Entering the Romantic World, and Caring for Herself. Learn more.
Enough As She Is provides practical parenting advice—including teaching girls self-compassion as an alternative to self-criticism, how to manage overthinking, resist the constant urge to compare themselves to peers, take healthy risks, navigate toxic elements of social media, prioritize self-care, and seek support when they need it. Learn more.
Rachel Simmons: "Enough as She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible [...]" | Talks at Google
Dr. Jean Twenge
Born in the 1980s and 1990s, Millennials are reshaping schools, colleges, and businesses all over the country. They are tolerant, confident, open-minded, and ambituous, but also disengaged narcissistic, distrustful, and anxious. These children of the Baby Boomers are now feeling the effects of the changing job market – even as they effect change the world over. Learn more.
Born after 1995, iGen is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. With social media and texting replacing other activities, iGen spends less time with their friends in person – perhaps why they are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Learn more.
iGen: The Smartphone Generation | Jean Twenge | TEDxLagunaBlancaSchool
Where you go isn't who you'll be. Americans need to hear that, and this indispensable manifesto says it with eloquence and respect for the real promise of higher education. Learn more.
Modern parenting is defined by an unprecedented level of overprotectiveness: parents now rush to school to deliver forgotten assignments, challenge teachers on report card disappointments, mastermind children’s friendships, and interfere on the playing field. As teacher, journalist, and parent Jessica Lahey explains, even though these parents see themselves as being highly responsive to their children’s well-being, they aren’t giving them the chance to experience failure—or the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems. Learn more.
Jessica Lahey SXSW EDU Keynote | Teaching the Gift of Failure
Topics to Talk About
- College and Career
- Community & Inclusion
- Emotional Well-Being
- Faith Formation
- Financial Literacy
- Online Learning
- Social Media
- Student Success
- Teen Health
- Teen Relationships
- Questions to ask your teen:
College and Career
Ursuline Academy is preparing your student for college, careers, and life after high school. As a parent or caretaker, you can help at home. Below are a few suggestions to get your family ready for this transition.
From College Counseling:
More College & Career:
There’s a dark side to the American dream. From the creators of Root of Evil, Gangster Capitalism Season 1 is centered on the 2019 college admissions scandal that is exposing everyone from CEOs to celebrities. Award-winning documentarian, Andrew Jenks, uncovers the origins and inner workings of this unprecedented scam, introducing you to the people involved, and exploring the larger debate around higher education that has been brought to the forefront. Learn more.
The most valuable things parents can do to help a student with career planning are listen, be open to ideas, and help your student find information. Read more.
What Every Parent of a Graduate or Graduating Student Needs to Know. The Career Playbook gives young career-minded individuals eager to find their path in life a comprehensive guide to successfully identifying, launching, and managing their career. Read more.
Through conversations, parents can help support and guide students in adjusting to college. Learn more.
The College Board website is for parents, guardians, relatives, and other adults helping a student plan for college. It explores getting ready academically, learning about financial aid, and taking the SAT. Learn more.
Co-rumination occurs when we dwell with our kids on their problems, worry about a problem’s causes, focus on a child’s negative feelings and egg each other on to keep talking. Originally discovered in 2002 as a phenomenon occurring among friends, co-ruminating – also called perseverating or overthinking aloud with a companion — has been linked by University of Missouri psychologist Amanda Rose to both closeness in relationship and anxiety and depression. Learn more.
Community & Inclusion
Jane Cooley Fruehwirth's article states that "religiosity helps to buffer against some stressors, like worse physical health or the suicide of someone close. Given that antidepressants show clinical success in reducing depression in only about one-fifth of cases, our research suggests that all counselors who deal with children would be remiss to dismiss the potential beneficial effect of religiosity in treating clients." Read more.
Donald Pfaff goes into detail about the neuroscience of altruism. Giving has a built-in self-reward system in the human brain and it can be seen in children as young as toddlers. Flooding the body with oxytocin is one of the benefits of altruistic giving. This increases feelings of empathy and reduces stress. Many people believe, incorrectly, that the more money they make and keep, the happier they will be. This could not be further from the truth. Learn more.
An alarming study published in May 2017 in the journal Translational Psychiatry found that more than one-third of teenage girls in the U.S. experience a first episode of depression – and that’s almost three times the rate for boys. Read more.
By mid-adolescence, girls are twice as likely to develop mood disorders as boys. This disparity could stem from the idea that girls develop faster in terms of emotional regulation than boys, and this sensitivity to emotional stimuli can make them vulnerable to anxiety disorders. Read more.
Anxiety and depression occur in both genders, but by the teenage years, girls are much more at risk than boys. Read more.
When we hear the words “mental health,” we often think of illness or disorders. Generally, conversations around psychological and emotional health happen most frequently when there are problems. In the case of girls, that might be low self-esteem, negative body image, and unfortunately the impacts of trauma. Fortunately, mental health can be addressed and improved in the same way physical health can be. Read more.
Psychologist and CBS News contributor Lisa Damour addresses the rise of anxiety among girls in her new book, "Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls." Damour joins Norah O'Donnell in the Toyota Green Room to discuss the unique pressures girls face today. Watch video.
Going, Going, Gone is the unprecedented report on why young people leave the Catholic Church based on the comprehensive national study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown and Saint Mary’s Press. This report uniquely details the many and varied reasons for disaffiliation by telling young people’s stories in “their own words.” Learn more.
How can we transmit a living, personal Catholic faith to future generations? By coming to know Jesus Christ, and following him as his disciples.
These are times of immense challenge and immense opportunity for the Catholic Church.
Consider these statistics for the United States.
- Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing.
- Fully 10 percent of all adults in America are ex-Catholics.
- The number of marriages celebrated in the Church decreased dramatically, by nearly 60 percent, between 1972 and 2010.
- Only 60 percent of Catholics believe in a personal God.
"Adulting is hard. But sometimes we make it harder than it has to be. Combining entertaining stories from his own experience, insights from the Bible, and compelling evidence from research, Jonathan "JP" Pokluda lays out a roadmap for how to navigate your life as an adult." Learn more.
Successfully managing personal finances can be challenging for adults. You can help your student prepare for her future by talking with her about money. Here are some resources:
The teenage years are often the time in young people’s lives when the value of a dollar, and how to earn it, become very important. Read more.
Find out what they spend their money on and work out a plan with them. Don’t make it for them. Let them give mature input. Let them know that this budget is theirs. Learn more.
To help you prepare your teens for the real world, this Forbes article includes the top five financial topics that teens should understand by high school graduation. Learn more.
"Teaching strategies, classroom management, education reform, educational technology -- if it has something to do with teaching, we're talking about it. Jennifer Gonzalez interviews educators, students, administrators and parents about the psychological and social dynamics of school, trade secrets, and other juicy things you'll never learn in a textbook." Listen to podcast.
This documentary-drama hybrid explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations. Learn more.
Social Media Can Strengthen Friendships, be a vehicle for doing good, reduce feelings of isolation, be a vehicle for authentic support, be platform building, an outlet for personal expression, and a place to gather information. Read more.
Social media is embedded in the lives of teens: 95 percent look at social media regularly. Read more.
Experts say kids are growing up with more anxiety and less self-esteem. Read more.
Amid our huge, unplanned experiment with social media, new research suggests that many American adolescents are becoming more anxious, depressed and solitary. Read more.
“The key messages to young people are: Get enough sleep; don’t lose contact with your friends in real life; and physical activity is important for mental health and well-being,” Nicholls says. “If you look after yourself in those ways, you don’t have to worry about the impact of social media.” Read more.
The more students fall behind in the pandemic, the less likely they are to feel that they can catch up. Read more.
Educators say parents need to show their teens that they value their education. Read more.
There are many ways that parents can support their children's learning at home and throughout the school year. Here are some ideas to get you started! Read more.
The best predictor of student success is the extent to which families encourage learning at home and involve themselves in their child’s education. Read more.
Dr. Bob Rotella describes the importance of optimism in a winning mindset. It is an act of faith and choice. While optimism doesn’t guarantee success, it does improve your chances. Student-athletes and students must trust their preparation. When setbacks occur, Dr. Rotella explains how a successful athlete finds hope, a reason to keep believing in themselves to continue working hard. Learn more.
Drugs take over 250 lives every day. To address the increasing number of overdose deaths related to both prescription opioids and illicit drugs, the CDC created a website to educate people who use drugs about the dangers of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, the risks and consequences of mixing drugs, the lifesaving power of naloxone, and the importance of reducing stigma around recovery and treatment options. Together, we can stop drug overdoses and save lives. Learn more.
The internet can be a great resource for information for teens, but not everything they read online is true. Misinformation about health can be particularly dangerous. The MPH online program from Baylor University's Robbins College of Health and Human Services has created this resource to help parents start conversations with their teenagers about separating fact from fiction when it comes to online health advice. Read more.
A healthy body image is an important part of a growing girl's self-esteem. Understand what you can do to help your daughter feel comfortable with her body. Read more.
Girls should learn to love movement because of how it makes them feel, not how it makes them look. And remember, your daughter is looking to you to set an example of what adulthood is, which includes how and when you incorporate movement into your own life. Read more.
Get information to help you talk with your teens about drugs and their effects, and learn where to go to get help. Learn more.
Over 5,700 kids start vaping every day. Misconceptions, peer pressure and marketing tactics all contribute to the staggering rise. Talk to your kids about e-cigarettes while they're still willing to listen. Learn more.
Adolescents are devoted to their friends and often provide one another excellent support. At times, however, teenagers learn that a peer has a problem that requires adult intervention. Read more.
Research has found that girls who are more authentic in their friendships – by being open and honest about their true feelings, and even having conflicts – have closer, happier connections with each other. Yet when a girls’ social life goes awry, they often blame themselves. Read more.
A good relationship with a teacher today may help you in the future. You will need teachers' written recommendations to apply to a college or job after high school. Read more.
Ten goals to strive for when raising a teen daughter. Read more.
Technology has changed teen dating and many parents aren't sure how to establish rules that keep kids safe. Read more.
While dating can be a way for youth to learn positive relationship skills like mutual respect, trust, honesty, and compromise, it also can present challenges. Read more.
Questions to ask your teen:
- Can you tell me how you are doing socially/emotionally?
- What self-care practices are you implementing?
- When you feel you have had a stressful or bad day, what does that look like? What does a good day look like?
- Who would you go to at school for support if you are feeling overwhelmed and/or sad?
- What are some things you have to look forward to in the next few weeks?
Research on Girls
Laurel's Center for Research on Girls
National Coalition of Girls Schools: Research Database
The Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education
Note: you may access once you sign up as an Ursuline parent
Letters From Leadership
Letters From Leadership
"On Tuesday, while discussing plans and imagining possibilities for next year with some of our amazing Mothers Club leaders, one mom asked what Ursuline does for student well-being. My thinking defaulted to guest speakers on anxiety and teen mental health, advisory activities, Life Skills classes, research on exercise/athletics and well-being, giving students people on campus to support them, and Campus Ministry programming."
"All of us have seen the recent headlines talking about the current state of adolescent girls, primarily spurred by a recent report from the CDC. These reports heighten a focus on well-being for those of us who care deeply about our students. Unquestionably, parents of teen girls are seeking reassurance."
"Two words have been resonating for me this school year: abundance and scarcity.
Whenever I can assess my reaction to a situation or an experience, I always understand my response better when I determine if I am in a place of scarcity or abundance. This can mean scarcity or abundance of time, resources, rest, emotional readiness... the list goes on."
In the case of any emergency, any student or family should utilize 911 or the closest hospital Emergency Room.
Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas
24-hour crisis line 214-828-1000
24-hour crisis line 972-233-8336
Student and College Counselor Contacts
While not a complete list, here is a sampling of resources recommended by Ursuline faculty and staff that you can utilize as a parent to assist in your daughter's overall well-being. If you have any requests for topics, or suggestions for additions to this page, please contact the Communications Department.
Wellness Facts: Did you know?
It is important that students eat breakfast in order to not only maintain a healthy lifestyle, but to also increase their academic performance.
Energy drinks are consumed by 30% to 50% of adolescents and young adults.
- The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents by Lisa Damour
- Untangled by Lisa Damour
- Under Pressure by Lisa Damour
- Enough As She Is by Rachel Simmons
- Grown and Flown by Lisa Heffernnan and Mary Dell Harrington
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
- Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
- Welcome to Adulting by Jonathan "JP" Pokluda
- How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims
- Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
- Love Does by Bob Goff
- Everybody Always by Bob Goff
- Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley
- Beautiful Resistance by Jon Tyson
- Befriend by Scott Sauls