A parent’s primary role: Protecting our kids against hopelessness

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Jessica DuLong

Published August 31, 2021

Given the pandemic’s extra stressors, it can be hard for parents to know what’s weighing on our kids or how to help.Whether adolescents are struggling with the impact of Covid-19 on their lives or more ordinary issues around friends, grades, extracurriculars or graduation and what comes after, psychologist Lisa Damour offers clear prescriptions for parents.Parents’ primary job, she said, is to help “guard our kids against an overall sense of hopelessness.” Easier said than done — these days, especially — but the stakes are too high not to try.

Just as she does on her podcast, Ask Lisa: The Psychology of Parenting, with her Adolescence column for “The New York Times” and in her books, “Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood ” and “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls,” Damour offers sane, science-backed perspectives on how parents can best help their teens and tweens through these tough times.