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Teens and Parental Monitoring

“Do you know where your teen is? Do you know who they are with?”  The teen years are a time of experimentation, risk taking and boundary pushing – and even the best kids may be tempted to do things that can get them into trouble.  While parents can’t ever hope to watch their teens every […]


Teens and School Violence

The unthinkable violence in Connecticut has brought the issue of school violence to the front page. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that the vast majority of students will never experience violence at school. At the same time, when disturbing events happen in America’s schools it can cause parents, students and teachers to […]


Parenting Teens Who Want to Fit In

Constantly changing clothing styles, musical preferences and career goals seem to be par for the course when raising teenagers.  One of the most noticeable developmental needs of teens is the sense of belonging or fitting in.  As teenagers get older, the influence of parents becomes less pronounced as the influence of peers increases.  The physical, […]


Teens with Technology

It is common for parents to focus on the potential problems of digital media use, like cyber-bullying or online predators, and how they can protect their children from such dangers.  However, there are many positive aspects of digital media, including the ways that it can contribute to your children’s development, enhance the parent-teen relations and […]

teen leadership

Teens and Leadership

Are leaders born or made?  Searching the definitions of leadership can help answer this age old question. One definition is “the ability to influence and support others in a positive manner for a common goal.  It is a set of skills and attitudes that can be learned and developed that will help the leader influence […]

positive youth

Teens and Positive Youth Development Indicators

  Positive youth development indicators are factors that help protect a teen from engaging in risky behavior and promote positive development. Based on responses from the 2009 Southwest Wisconsin Youth Survey (SWYS) of 5,747 7th-12th graders, a majority of southwest Wisconsin teens report high levels of each of the 31positive youth development indicators that were […]


Teens and Conflict

Conflict can be both positive, leading to new ways of thinking about things and interesting debates, or negative, leading to anger and even violence. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of females report they would respond to being pushed or hit by another student non-violently. Sixty-four percent (64%) of males would respond to being pushed or hit by […]


Parents Make A Difference Newsletter: Active Teen

Everyone needs to keep moving to keep looking and feeling good.  Children and adolescents should be encouraged to get at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. However, youth today are busy!! According to SWYS results, 28% of 10th-12th graders spend 10 or more hours per week in a job. To learn more about […]

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Teens and Sexual Abuse

Would you know a sexual abuser if you saw one?  Based on national statistics the answer would be “no”.  Those who abuse look and act just like everyone else, and are often people the victim knows.  In fact, they often go out of their way to appear trustworthy.  SWYS had similar findings as can be […]


January Parents Make a Difference Newsletter

Stress is often a part of our daily lives, but it is important to stop and think about how stress impacts teens’ lives.  As teens progress through school the amount of stress they report increases as shown in Figure 1.  Overall, only 10% of teens report no stress in their lives.  Helping teens to manage […]