The YAB want you, PARENTS to know what’s on their mind, what they’re concerned with, where they’re coming from, and that you can find a way to relate to your teen and talk to them.  Here’s what they have to say about the teen experience…. Then vs Now, and much more. 


Then, teens didn’t have cell phones or social media. And now, everyone has access to instantaneous information and social media and phones that can be addictive. Furthermore, there is pressure from social media like Instagram to make it look like you’re living the best life possible. So much attention and comparison on social media and texting has its negative effects on our mental health; bullying, body image, quality of life is less than others, FOMO (fear of missing out), etc.


There was more time, more down time and less stress. Today, it feels like everything is the most important thing ever – everyday. And then, teens’ resumes were not nearly as big as teens resumes today. This is because we are involved in so much more and we have more that causes us stress. Today, there is so much pressure in school to success and to be the best.


The biggest differences are technology; instant messaging, 24-hour access to be entertained, meme culture, media culture. And, with so much screen/internet time, family interaction is decreased, pressure and stress are increased – meeting high expectations every day. Safety is a new and different feeling now compared to then. My parents had tornado and fire drills, today we have lock-down and drills/practices for school shootings. I think about and worry for my safety sometimes just walking into school.


People talk about drinking and getting high/vaping all over social media and texting. Kids will plan parties and you know by text if it’s going to be a party with substances. My Parents didn’t have social media and texting. My parents were able to walk/do whatever and wherever without as much fear or pressure.

What is concerning you most right now?

Adjusting to school. Making sure that I stay strong against peer pressure.

How this year, my Junior year is supposed to be the hardest year of my life.

What else do you want Parents to know? How can they support you & talk to you in a meaningful way?

I think it’s important for students and Parents to communicate in a meaningful way about all of these pressures, but I also want Parents to know that we/teens also need some alone time and that we don’t always want to talk right when they might want us to.

Communication doesn’t need to be forced. You don’t have to have all the answers, just listen to me, keep an open mind, try to be kind and help me when I’m so stressed or annoyed about school. Know that I am really trying my best.

What would you tell your younger-self or younger teens coming into high school today?

Work on your time management and organization skills – because there is a lot to juggle in high school.

School is going to be kind of crazy so make sure you’ve got a good group of friends to turn to. Also, it’s okay to say “No” to something…. It doesn’t make you lame.

Listen to your own voice and don’t do things just because others are doing it, or you feel pressure to.