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Parenting tips from top mentor



Pandemic or not, parenting has always been a challenging job

Pandemic or not, it’s parenting has always been a challenging job


Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, parenting young adults presented many particular digital-age challenges, and we can assume those challenges will remain on the other side of the current predicament. So, advice from experts in the field of young adult problems is always welcome, even when the tips offered are common sense guidelines most of us already know. It helps to hear them from a pro currently working extensively with that particular cohort, one who can offer actionable tips and assurance that they work.

Andrew Taylor, is one such expert. He founded and runs Octagon Mentoring, and Pure Life Adventure, an adventure therapy program based in Costa Rica that helps young adults deal with anxiety and depression. As a mentor, he also helps teens and young adults nationwide develop life skills.

No parent will be surprised to hear that erstwhile river guide Taylor unequivocally cites technology as a reason for the increase in depression and anxiety among young adults.

“Over the last twenty years, the world as we know it has radically changed,” he asserts. “Communication styles need to shift. Young people like raw authenticity and transparency. They don’t seek out adults or parents as much for information. They go to the internet and their friends.”

Taylor advises parents to be “more vulnerable” with their kids, and to “do their homework and be more savvy” about issues, so they can have a more informed conversation. Kids understand more, but they don’t know how to navigate. He insists kids will appreciate the effort.

Specifically, Taylor cites studies that confirm that more than two hours a day of screen time is likely to lead to increased anxiety and depression. He advises parents to say, “I didn’t grow up with this. Let’s figure out together how to deal with this.”

He is also adamant about getting outside.

In Costa Rica and Salt Lake City, he takes young adults rock climbing, hiking, surfing; he stresses fun alternatives to the distractions young people deal with. And finally, get help before there’s a crisis. At the first sign of a problem, call a mental health professional.

Call Centers for Mental Health Crises:
Dutchess - 845-486-2700 / 845-485-9700
Orange - 888-750-2266
Ulster - 845-340-9000

National Alliance on Mental Illness
Dutchess County helpline talk or text
845-485-9700 or toll free 877-485-9700

Orange County Crisis Call Center
311 in Orange County
(845) 346-HELP outside Orange County

Orange County Crisis Call Center
Confidential textline for teens for info, referrals or just to chat
Text4Teens is now available 24 hours a day by texting 845-391-1000

Mental and Emotional Wellness Resources: Orange County
Helpline/Rapeline (800) 832-1200

Mobile Mental Health Hotline is the only one of its kind in Sullivan County
The Arc Sullivan-Orange Counties, NY hosts “Children’s Mobile Crisis Intervention” service in the Sullivan County area. The program, which is for children under 18, is designed to assist a parent or guardian in need of an intervention during a time of crisis. The program operates after traditional business hours, when most children are at home.
845-701-3777

NYS has set up a COVID Mental Health Hotline, staffed by over 6,000 MH professionals, that people can access to get online or by phone therapy to cope with the stress, anxiety, isolation, etc.  1-844-863-9314 

Ulster County COVID-19 Hotline: 845-443-8888 

Ulster County Mobile Mental Health
Mobile Mental Health is operated by ACCESS: Supports for Living, between the hours of 10 AM - 10 PM.
Call 1-844-277-4820

Family of Woodstock, Inc.
(845) 679-2485 or 338-2370 
(845) 647-2443
(845) 255-8801



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