Adolescence: A Time of Contradictions
Guest post from Bennett Zielinski, LMCH-T
YESS Mental Health Clinician

Do you live with a teen who is moody all the time? Do you never know which version of your child is going to walk through the door after school? Have you ever asked a teen “what were you thinking?” to be met with an “I don’t know!”? 

The good news is, this is normal. The bad news is, this is normal. As caregivers, you play a huge role in helping teenagers develop into a fully functioning adult. And, it can help to know why teenagers' moods can be all over the place.

Experts say that adolescence starts once a child hits puberty and ends once the prefrontal cortex, or rational thinking part of the brain, develops, which might not be until a person is age 25! However, the part of the brain that deals with emotions has already developed by the age of two. This is why teenagers are fueled by their emotions and their actions may not have any reasoning behind them.

Since teens do not have a rational thinking part of their brain yet, caregivers and other adults become that part of their brain through structure and boundaries. This process can be difficult, but there are plenty of supports that can help you (and them) navigate this important time of a child’s development.

One of the hardest things to do as a caregiver is ask for help, but it can be one of the most important as well.  If a family is struggling, it is okay to reach out. YESS' Mental Health Clinicians work with teens and children of all ages while using knowledge of brain and child development to help families understand where behaviors stem from. 

While mood swings and pushing boundaries may be normal, families do not have to figure it out by themselves. If you are interested in therapy services or would like more information, please visit our website or call 515-557-2256.
1,905 Lives Impacted.

In YESS' most recent fiscal year, 1,905 children received the safety, support, and care they deserved through our wraparound programs and emergency shelter services. Every year, YESS protects hundreds of children and empowers families, providing them with the skills and support they need to create healthy and happy futures. Click on our impact report to learn more about our work and how its changing young lives in our community.

If you or someone you know wants to be a part of building relationships and creating community change, check out the open positions with Team YESS.
Holiday Giving is Just Around the Corner

Hard to believe it's time to start thinking about the holidays, but planning at YESS is already underway. Contact Jana at to see how you can help create special holiday memories for the children and families YESS serves!
Team YESS Shout-Outs

Thank you to volunteers from MidAmerican Energy for spending an afternoon helping around YESS and making caramel apples for the kids! The kids loved this fall treat and spending time with the volunteers.

Earlier this month, members of Junior League of Des Moines brought pumpkins for the girls to decorate. Thank you for getting the teens into the Halloween spirit and providing festive decorations for the shelter!
Another Successful HFL Tournament
"Playing it Forward"
Thank you to everyone who made the 2019 YESS Human Foosball League a success! Because of the generosity of the sponsors and teams who "played it forward", we raised over $35,000 for kids in crisis.

This year, 24 teams came out for friendly competition, but the biggest winners were the children who will directly benefit from such wonderful community support. To date, this event has raised over $100,000 to ensure kids and families receive the support, services, and care they deserve when life's challenges come their way.

We cannot wait to see everyone back in 2019!
918 SE 11th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309 | 515.282.9377 |