Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

6 Ways to BACK OFF and Encourage Your Child

Pushing teenagers too hard can lead to stress and anxiety.
WebMD Feature

Research indicates that children and teenagers are under greater stress, and developing more anxiety, than they did 20 years ago.

Today's teenagers face tougher competition for college admissions and often higher expectations from their parents. Alvin Rosenfeld, MD, former director of the child psychiatry training program at Stanford University, has even coined a term for what's going on: hyper-parenting.

How should you encourage your children to excel, without pushing them too hard? Here are six tips from Rosenfeld, author of The Over-scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-parenting Trap, and Nadine Kaslow, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University in Atlanta.

1. Encourage kids, then back off. "Encourage kids to engage in activities, give them opportunities to try different things," says Kaslow. Sign them up for the first six weeks of lessons. "You don't want them to be video junkies or couch potatoes," she says. But back off if it isn't working. "Be open with them. If they don't want to continue, don't push it."

2. Make sure life has balance. "Everyone, adults and children, needs balance between work and play," Kaslow says.

3. Encourage self-reliance. Let your teen be somewhat self-sufficient at home. "Let them take responsibility for their own activities, create their own schedule," says Rosenfeld. "This is not about being cop -- especially if they are responsible, trustworthy kids."

4. Enjoy your own adult life. This provides kids with an attractive model to emulate, Rosenfeld says. "Parents who enjoy each other are happier, more relaxed, and can be more genuinely generous."

5. Let kids be bored sometimes. Boredom stimulates inner life, creativity, and imagination, says Rosenfeld. Kids need downtime to think, discover, imagine, and hear their inner voice.

6. Show appreciation. Let your kids know they are good, intelligent, deeply loved and they will grow up successfully. "In my experience, if a parent has a deep inner conviction that the kid will do well in life, the kid will do well," says Rosenfeld. "Know your kid and have faith in who they are."

Reviewed on August 11, 2003

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd