• Raising Teens: A Synthesis of Research and a Foundation for Action

    Simpson, A. Rae (2001) Harvard School of Public Health

    “This report has been written to heighten media and public attention to both a crisis and an opportunity. The crisis is that, by almost any measure, America's teenagers are facing risks from violence, mental illness, abuse, neglect, inadequate education, substance abuse, poverty, and other sources that profoundly jeopardize their futures—and, hence, our own.

    One of the most striking aspects of this crisis is how little we have involved parents as part of the solution. While initiatives are needed at all levels, from community development to policy change, we often lose sight of one of the groups that can and most wants to help teens: their parents.

    Therein lies the opportunity: In recent years, an unprecedented body of research has been accumulating about the powerful ways in which parents and families make a difference in the lives of teens. Yet, little of that knowledge has been reaching the media, policy makers, and practitioners, let alone parents themselves.”

    Two of the main components the LRHSD administration finds the most valuable to parents are listed below. The LRHSD administration hopes parents find this information helpful.

    1. The Ten Tasks of Adolescence

    2. The Five Basics of Parenting Adolescents

    I. Love and Connect

    Teens need parents to develop and maintain a relationship with them that offers support and acceptance, while accommodating and affirming the teen's increasing maturity.
    II. Monitor and Observe
    Teens need parents to be aware of—and let teens know they are aware of—their activities, including school performance, work experiences, after-school activities, peer relationships, adult relationships, and recreation, through a process that increasingly involves less direct supervision and more communication, observation, and networking with other adults.
    III. Guide and Limit
    Teens need parents to uphold a clear but evolving set of boundaries, maintaining important family rules and values, but also encouraging increased competence and maturity.
    IV. Model and Consult
    Teens need parents to provide ongoing information and support around decision making, values, skills, goals, and interpreting and navigating the larger world, teaching by example and ongoing dialogue.
    V. Provide and Advocate
    Teens need parents to make available not only adequate nutrition, clothing, shelter, and health care, but also a supportive home environment and a network of caring adults.