As we look back on 2020, we’re proud of how our Your Teen community has come together this year. We’ve supported and cheered for each other. We’ve helped our kids navigate middle school, high school, and college transitions. We’ve sought out answers to our questions and offered advice from our experiences. And we’ve done it all during a pandemic, rising to the challenges of a year like no other. So as we look forward to a new year that will no doubt offer its own unique challenges, we wanted to highlight the articles that most resonated with you—our readers—this year.
Our Top 10 Articles of 2020
1. 100 Things Teenagers Can Do Without Screens
Teens love their screens and it can be a challenge to get them to put down the phone or walk away from the laptop. So this top article includes a list filled with fun and creative ideas to help you do just that.From cooking to yoga, these activities are intended to spark your teen’s interest and get them to come out from behind the screen.
2. A Litany of Thoughts from the Parent of a High School Junior
As the parent of a high school junior, writer Christine Burke finds herself second-guessing everything she’s done to prepare her son for the real world. With college on the horizon, she says, “Every moment feels attached to a long goodbye.” For any parent who is going through the big transitions of high school, this sweet, poignant essay really hits home, making it a top article.
3. What Not to Do When Raising a Teenage Girl
As the parent of a 14-year-old daughter, writer Bryan Johnston has learned, “Raising a teenage girl is not for the timid, nor the weak.” So he asked sociologist Dr. Marika Lindholm what we need to know about parenting our teenage daughters. The resulting top article is a valuable list of helpful tips on what NOT to do when raising teen girls.
4. 10 Things to Teach Your Teenager Before They Leave Home
We want our kids to be ready to face the world when they fly the nest—whether they’re headed to college or starting their first job. But what do they really need to know? This top article includes a list of the ten things we think are important life skills every teen should master while they still live at home.
5. An Annoyed Teen Identifies 5 Annoying Things Parents Do
Jake Van De Walle is a teen writer who wants to help parents recognize, and correct, the annoying things we do. While it can be hard to acknowledge we make mistakes, Jake wants us to remember that the parent-teen relationship is a two-way street. “We know you love us. We know raising us is hard,” he writes. “But these examples of bad parenting are easy to change. And we’d be so grateful.”
6. Behind Every Teen Athlete is an Exhausted Parent
Teen athletes missed out on a lot this year, including many of their favorite sports. But when teams began hitting the courts and fields again, their parents were ready to step up and assume the responsibilities that go along with parenting a sports-loving teen. As writer Christine Carter reminds us in this top article, “When you are a parent of a teen athlete, you will be exhausted, overscheduled, overwhelmed, and over budget, but the payoff is worth every depleting detail of all that you do for your kid.” We couldn’t agree more!
7. I Pamper My Teenagers and I’m Okay With It
Yes, the teen years are about building independence and teaching our kids to take care of themselves. But sometimes it’s nice to pamper them a little and remind them that they will always be our babies. For Elizabeth Spencer, making a pancake breakfast for her high school freshman was as much for herself as it was for her daughter. “Maybe I’ll be a little readier for life without her at my kitchen table if I do for her what I can do—even if she can do it for herself—while I still have the chance,” she writes in this top article.
8. The Most Popular Apps for Teenagers: What’s Hot, What’s Not
Having a hard time keeping up with what your teen is doing on their phone? You’re not alone. One of our most-read perennial articles seeks to keep you updated about which popular apps teens are enjoying—along with what you need to know to make sure they’re staying safe.
9. Boys in High School: 5 Things Teen Boys Worry About
They’re growing up, their voices are changing, and they may even be taller than us now—but our sons are still figuring out who they are and what they want. Problem is, they’re also more inclined to keep their feelings to themselves. Writer Laura Richards is the mother of four boys—and she has the inside scoop on what parents need to know about what has high school boys worried.
10. Dangers of College: An ER Doctor on Real “College Readiness”
We all want college to be the best time of our kids’ lives. And it can be! But for some teens, the college experience can be more than they’re ready to handle. In this eye-opening top article by Kristin O’Keefe, emergency room physician Dr. Louis M. Profeta provides a stark look at the dangers of college—and offers advice on making sure your teen can handle the freedom of college life.