How and when do I get them to start healthy habits, like washing their face or sleeping more?
Rachel Concannon, adolescent therapist: “As early as possible, honestly. These routines and habits are lifelong– and they’re so important. You’ve taught them to brush their teeth until that becomes rote– habits like washing their bodies, getting sleep and eating healthy need to be approached the same way. For athletes you might say: ‘You have to let your muscles rest so you have to sleep well; you have to let your muscles grow so you have to eat well.’ If doing well in school is their goal, then you can say: ‘You need to sleep because it's how your brain retains information and how you stay focused in a test.’ These healthy habits are going to make you feel better inside– more confident, more steady. Washing your face shows that you care about YOURSELF. You’re taking care of YOU– which is part of being an adult. Having the responsibility for yourself is part of growing up—and that’s cool!”