Photo by Andrew Bret Wallis
Essential Resources for Parents with Teenagers
Parents dread the day they find themselves staring down their very own teenager. The stereotypical parent and teenager dynamic plays out as a tireless feud between the unstable teenager and the clueless parent, but when it comes to teenage stereotypes, national statistics suggest that many hold true. For example, four in ten women under the age of 20 become pregnant at least once, and an astonishing 91 percent of all teenagers have been bullied. Also, of any age group, traffic accident rates are highest among teenagers between the ages of 16-19.
The resources below are designed for parents whose teenagers are facing problems such as mental health issues or drug and alcohol abuse. Additional teenage resources covered include academics, dating, sex, and STDS. These resources are essential reading material for any parent hoping to better their relationship with their kids.
Mental Health Issues
- The National Institute of Health’s Teen Mental Health: NIH’s web page is dedicated to mental health issues teenagers frequently face. It includes summaries, diagnoses and symptoms of mental health disorders as well as treatment suggestions.
- Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center: Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center’s website on teenage mental health includes information on panic disorders, phobias, obsessive compulsive and personality disorders.
- The Teen Mental Health: Teen Mental Health works to improve the mental health of teenagers and provides parents with application-ready training programs, publications and other insightful tools to help troubled teens.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry is one of the country’s leading medical associations dedicated to treating children and teenagers suffering from mental and emotional disorders, including drug and alcohol abuse. The website provides families with the names of reputable resource centers and advocacy groups.
- Adolescence Substance Abuse Knowledge Base: This website includes current statistics on drug use by teenagers, descriptions of common symptoms and signs of drug abuse, and a teen treatment directory.
- Cigna Medicare: Cigna Medicare provides an overview of teen alcohol and drug abuse. The site also includes a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) section, names of support groups for both parents and teenagers, and a fact sheet on teenage drug abuse.
Dating, Sex, STDS and Teen Pregnancy
- Advocates for Youth: Advocates for Youth is a nonprofit organization that takes a realistic approach to encouraging safe sex. The site includes a list of programs and initiatives (including podcasts) that focus on sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
- Teen Pregnancy Statistics: A helpful website for parents of pregnant teenagers, Teen Pregnancy Statistics provides pregnancy support resources, information on teenage prenatal care, and single parenting.
- National Association of State Boards of Education: This website provides parents with information on state regulations regarding sex education at different grade levels, as well as curriculum content and individual state mandates.
Academics, Tutoring, College Planning
- The Princeton Review: The Princeton Review offers parents and teenagers a range of services related to college planning, including SAT tutorial classes, information on admission policies for undergraduate schools, an FAQ section regarding college admissions and a list of college rankings.
- Plus Plus Tutoring: Plus Plus Tutoring offers parents and students information on college planning, including college admission policies and rankings. Tutors also provide SAT test-prep lessons, as well as aid parents and students during the college application process.
- Innovative Study Techniques (IST): IST primarily helps prepare students for the SATs but also includes services that can customize individual academic programs for schools and parents.
Additional Resources for Parents
The following list includes links to forums that parents of teenagers may find helpful:
- Parents Forum: Parents Forum is a non-profit organization that provides emotional awareness workshops to parents in order to strengthen communication and parent-child relationships.
- Parenting Teens Online: This online publication provides parents with information on a broad range of topics, from nutrition to college, as well as teenage alcohol and drug abuse. The site also provides podcasts on issues concerning teen obesity and teenagers’ use of social media tools.
- PBS’s Frontline: This website provides online resources for parents who want to improve mutual understanding and communication with their teenagers. It includes links to other helpful sites, such as a 2000 report released by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers entitled, “Teens and Their Parents in the 21st Century” and the National Parenting Center’s “ParenTalk:Adolescence.”