EP – 186 Understanding and Addressing Teen Loneliness

Dr. Gene Beresin, MD, MA, from The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, joins us to discuss the increase in loneliness among today’s teenagers. We start by discussing the Surgeon General’s report on loneliness, the causes and effects of loneliness in teenagers, and the role of social media and over-scheduling in contributing to loneliness.

We also discuss and emphasize the importance of face-to-face interactions, social-emotional learning, and deep relationships in combating loneliness. We talk about the need for grandparents to be a resource for their grandchildren. Gene and I feel that Grandparents play a unique role in their grandchildren’s lives, offering wisdom, support, and meaningful conversations about challenges we have faced and overcome.

Grandparents can teach new skills, validate their grandchildren’s knowledge of technology, and foster curiosity and connection. However, as we discuss, social media can be both beneficial and detrimental. It can foster connections and academic resources but also displace in-person engagement and lead to cyberbullying and misinformation. It’s important for grandparents to ask about loneliness, anxiety, and depression and to have conversations about mental health.

Here is a list of the surgeon general’s seven recommendations. I also strongly recommend purchasing the e-book Ways to Help Your Lonely Teen, discussed in this episode. The link is https://store.bookbaby.com/book/ways-to-help-your-lonely-teen.

  • Invest in Your Relationship with Your Child or Loved One
  • Model Healthy Social Connection
  • Help Children Develop Relationships with Supportive Adults
  • Encourage Healthy Social Connection with Peers
  • Be Attentive to How Young People Spend Time Online
  • Identify Behaviors that May Increase Risk for Social Disconnection
  • Talk to Your Children About Social Connection Regularly

Once you have listened to this meaningful conversation, please share it with someone who would benefit from Gene’s wisdom and insights in working with children and adolescents.


Click here to visit The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds: https://www.mghclaycenter.org/

You can order your e-book, Your Lonely Teen, by clicking this link: https://www.mghclaycenter.org/spotlight/

Here is a link to the Shrinking It Down Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0vzxZCZ8qci88yFa4utxLK.

Here is the link to the first conversation that Gene and I had: https://cool-grandpa.us/2021/10/ep-51-talking-about-mental-health-with-our-grandchildren/

Use this link to sign up for Grandparents Week. This is a great free resource for grandparents: https://training.grandparentsacademy.com/a/2147832178/ikxv5HFd.

If you want to view this interview, click this link: https://youtu.be/-oZ7HXpiuGI.

Affiliate Links

These are links to products and services that I highly recommend AND use. I do get a percentage of the purchases you make.

More than GrandMore Than Grand is an excellent resource for new grandparents AND parents. Listeners of The Cool Grandpa Podcast enjoy 10% off any fantastic products that More Than Grand provides by entering COOLGRANDPA10 at checkout. To visit More Than Grand, click HERE.

Intentional Grandfathering MasterclassGrandfathers have a unique and meaningful role to play in grandchildren’s development, yet they often find themselves behind the scenes, on the sidelines, or less engaged than they’d like to be. This masterclass delivers a playbook for helping grandfathers level up their influence and impact. Listeners to The Cool Grandpa Podcast can receive 40% off this course by using Cool40 at checkout.

Grandparents academyFounded in 2011 by Aaron Larsen as a way to honor his grandparents, GrandparentsAcademy.com is the world’s first and only online academy dedicated to helping grandparents grow meaningful relationships and rich legacies with their loved ones.

My Grandpa’s Grandpa

When it is time for bed, Charlie’s grandpa tucks Charlie in. Charlie asks his grandpa many questions about his grandpa’s grandpa. Charlie’s grandpa shares a magical moment as he introduces Charlie to his great-grandpa through fun memories.


This is my children’s book, created to entertain and inspire conversations about other family members that the children may not have had the opportunity to meet.



If you prefer an eBook, you can download the Kindle version by clicking on this LINK.

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