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The Best of 2019: Our Top Ten Parenting Articles Of The Year

Flipping the calendar as one year ends and another begins often causes us to stop and reflect on the previous year. With that in mind, we present our 10 most read articles of 2019. They range from college readiness to driving to homecoming dates, but they all share our collective hopes for our teenagers to be happy, healthy, and independent.

1. Dangers of College: An ER Doctor on Real “College Readiness”

Google “images of college students” and you’ll encounter an array of photos featuring cheerful young people holding books, engaging in discussions, and lounging on lush green campus lawns. As an emergency room physician, Dr. Louis M. Profeta has seen a very different picture of college students.

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2. What Were You Thinking!?! Understanding the Teenage Brain

When her sons entered adolescence, Dr. Frances Jensen, a neuroscientist, couldn’t help but wonder what was going on inside their heads. Your Teen talks with the author of The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults.

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3. Behind Every Teen Athlete is an Exhausted Parent

Behind every teenage athlete is an exhausted parent. You’ll find these moms and dads shivering on the bleachers, draped in blankets and coats. They’re holding umbrellas while they show up in rain, hail, sleet, and snow. They cheer on their kid at every game because that’s what they do.

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4. 4 High School Parenting Mistakes I Made—That You Can Avoid

It’s been almost a year since our third and last child graduated from high school. Looking back, I can see that during those years our kids were in high school, we steered into several bumps in the road that we could have avoided. Parenting mistakes are inevitable. But here are my top four parenting mistakes I made. I share them so that you don’t have to repeat them.

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5. My Teen’s Social Life Means That I Never Stop Driving

When my son started high school, I had no idea that I was about to embark on quite possibly the most challenging part of raising teens. And I’m not talking about block scheduling or AP classes. I’m not talking about FAFSA forms or the Common App for college admissions. I’m not even talking about the realization that your kid is actually going to leave home sooner than later.

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6. Getting Asked to Homecoming: A Boy Mom’s Advice for Girls

My husband showed me the text on his phone. I gasped in surprise. It was from the mother of a female player on my son’s freshman team. She hinted that her daughter needed a date to the homecoming dance. Wouldn’t our son like to ask her?

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7. Discipline vs. Punishment: How to Punish (and Not to Punish) Teen Boys

Ugh. You just found out that your son has done something really bad. The kind of bad that makes you want to deny you know him.

Now what?

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8. It’s Not Going Away: What Parents Need to Know About Juuling

While searching for my iPhone earbuds in my 16-year-old daughter’s bedside table, I came across a coin purse with tiny cartridges that look like a computer thumb drive. When Jane got home from school, I asked her what they were. “They’re Penelope’s,” Jane said. “I’m holding them for her.”

That seemed plausible. Penelope is a friend whose mom is very strict. But I still didn’t know what they were, and I thought: This can’t be good.

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9. Understanding Changing Middle School Friendships

Middle school is challenging for so many reasons. Academics become more difficult. Schedules fill up with activities. And, in what might be the most treacherous terrain for kids and parents alike, friendships in middle school change. Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure, offers her take on middle school friendships.

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10. Ask the Expert: My 14-Year-Old Has a Boyfriend

My 14-year-old daughter has a boyfriend and she wants to spend time alone with him. Every chance they get, their faces are stuck together. Is 14 too young to date? What are the rules for dating at 14? How far is too far for my 14-year-old and her boyfriend? He’s fairly “out there” about his attraction to her, and she seems to like that a lot.

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