As we raise children , our goal has to be to prepare children to be happy, healthy 35 year olds.

Why Reaching Teens Matters

Adolescence is a time of great promise and potential when each young person strives to answer the fundamental question, “Who am I?” It is the stage when youth are learning to navigate their environment, imagining what independence may look like, and considering how they might contribute to the world. It is the time when teens begin to explore intimate relationships that will hopefully lead to them having healthy and satisfying adult lives.

Although adolescence is a time of inspirational possibility, it is also a stage of potential peril. Teens struggle to individuate from their parents and discover how they are just like – and so very different from – them. This can lead to rebellion. Peers take on a pivotal importance as young people try on different personas and experiment with new behaviors. For these reasons among others, the greatest threats to adolescents’ lives and well-being are tightly linked to their behavior.

The teen years are the time when both healthy and dangerous lifelong habits are formed.

Adolescence is often framed as a time of fierce independence when adult guidance is rejected. In fact, adolescents are hungry for guidance. Although parents are ideally situated to offer their wisdom and experience, they are also the people from whom youth are programmed to wrest independence. This means that youth serving professionals have a crucial role both in guiding teens to make the choices that will position them to thrive now and into adulthood and in supporting parents to optimize their influence.

We matter!