Happy National Teenager Day!

Cast Photo from THE OUTSIDERS

Today is National Teenager Day, which is only fair — margaritas get a day after all. And while I’m admittedly biased as the parent of two teenagers, I’m a big fan of this age group. Here are a few of my recent articles with a teen focus.

In the spring edition of Your Teen Magazine, my son and I offer a parent-child review of S.E. Hinton’s THE OUTSIDERS, which the author wrote as a teenager herself. Based on the comments, it’s still beloved after 50 years.

On the anniversary of the Parkland mass shooting, my essay in the Washington Post discusses parenting in this era of gun violence. If there’s one positive from that story, it’s the fact that our teens are coming together and advocating for each other.

I also wrote a reported piece on the CDC’s largest study of teen risk behaviors. While adolescent health has improved overall, Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Ph.D., founder of the NYU Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health, notes there are still many risks, including growing rates of teen depression and opioid overdoses.

But there is positive news from the CDC and experts like Dr. Guilamo-Ramos: “Too often, parents are unsure if what they say actually matters, and the truth is that research says it does. Teens want to hear from their parents on important issues and desire specific guidance.”

So forge ahead, parents of teens — despite the eye rolls, your kids are listening.

For those in the midst of college applications and decisions, here’s a great message to share from author Frank Bruni, who called out the college admissions madness a few years ago in his book Where You Go is Not Who You’ll Be. 

“Where we go to college will have infinitely less bearing on our fulfillment in life than so much else: the wisdom with which we choose our romantic partners; our interactions with the communities that we inhabit; our generosity toward the families we inherit and the families that we make.” 

True story. Now hug a teenager today, if they let you.

 

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