It takes a lot to raise a healthy child. As they grow and explore the world around them, social and peer relationships can get more complicated. Their sense of self confidence may need more boosting. They may need advice on how to channel the natural curiosity and adventurousness of adolescence in a healthy direction, rather than caving in to negative peer pressure and experimentating with substances like nicotine/tobacco, drugs and alcohol or participating in unhealthy relationships.
Teaching our children about healthy behaviors and relationships is a continual process that requires open and honest conversations. They also need trusted resources that they can explore on their own to find answers. Below are some suggestions:
- NJ211.org: Tweens and Teens Resources provides general resources and services in NJ to help address the challenges of transitioning from childhood to adulthood.
- Nemour's Children's Health has a website dedicated to Teen Health, including mental health, nutrition and medical care.
- Students Against Destructive Decisions is a national non-profit dedicated to the safety and wellness of all students. Using 40 years of expertise to facilitate educational and engaging programming, SADD operates through school and community chapters (like student clubs) dedicated to advocating healthy decision-making. SADD was founded on the simple philosophy that young people, empowered to help each other, are the most effective force in prevention.
- Web MD's information on Anxiety in Teens helps identify it, explains how much is too much, and suggests solutions.
- The Mayo Clinic's Teen Depression website explains what it looks like and how to get help.
- Essex County's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT) website provides information and a list of links for both parents and youths.
- One Love is on a mission to educate young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships, empowering them to identify and avoid abuse and learn how to love better. Through our powerful films, workshops, and peer-to-peer discussions, One Love offers a framework that helps students spread our message online and in their communities.
- The CDC provides resources on identifying and preventing Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Health
- The Partnership for Maternal & Child Health of Northern New Jersey's Personal Responsibility Education Program (NJ PREP) aims to reduce the rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) within the state. The program educates young people between the ages of 10 and 19 on abstinence and contraceptive methods to prevent teen pregnancy and/or STIs. The primary goal of NJ PREP is teen empowerment– training adolescents to reduce their risk of unplanned pregnancy and prevent HIV and other STIs. NJ PREP helps communities with ongoing health education efforts by enabling teens to make safer and healthier decisions about their futures.