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  • April 2018
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Study Shows Arguing with Your Parents May Help in Other Areas

Image Courtesy Phaitoon

Did any of the loving caring adults in your life ever tell you not to talk back?  Well, according to this study by researchers at the University of Virgina, arguing actually helps you to develop skills you’ll need later in life when navigating through troubled relationship waters.

157 thirteen year old teens were video taped while describing a big blow up between them and their parents.  What were the fights about – you ask?  I think you can assume: grades, chores, money, and friends.  Next, the video was shown to both the parents and the teens, and their reactions afterward were documented.

Then, 2 years later, the now 15 year old teens were interviewed again to determine their relationship with their peers.  Turns out that those teens who were able to argue effectively with their parents – who were “calm and confident” reacted similarly when confronted with tricky situations amongst their peers.  How does arguing effectively with your parents help you in other areas of your life?

Image Courtesy graur razvan ionut

If you find yourself tongue tied when confronted with a disagreement, try getting some tips and tricks on effective communication from one of these titles.  These skills just may come in handy in other areas of your life!

Breaking the Code: Two Teens Reveal the Secrets to Better Parent-Child Communication by Lara Fox and Hilary Frankel

Closing the Gap: A Strategy for Bringing Parents and Teens Together by Jay McGraw

How to Raise Your Parents: A Teen Girl Survival Guide by Sarah O’Leary Burningham

The Mother Daughter Project: How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds, and Thrive Through Adolescence by SuEllen Hamkins

What’s Up With My Family? by Annie Fox

Good luck communicating!!

~LeeAnn Anna

What don’t your parents get about life online?

Vanessa Van Petten runs a website called RadicalParenting.com, written by teens for their parents. She has a slew of interns ages 13-19, and she recently asked them what they wished their parents understood about life online. She outlines them in this guest post over at NetFamilyNews.org, and I thought they were pretty interesting. You should click over to read the whole thing, but in summary, her interns made the point that, while technology is normal for their life and they expect to have access to it, they sometimes feel like they can’t get away from it — but they often think their parents overreact to the stories about meeting creeps online.

Pittsburgh teens, does this resemble your reality?  Are cell phone bills and Facebook time major sources of fights between you and a parent?  Do you think online sexual predators are a risk that is overblown?  Of course, scary things do really happen.  Do you think your parents trust you enough in your online habits?

The recent cover article for National Geographic about the “beautiful brains” of teenagers, by David Dobbs, argues that even though the brain continues to develop and grow its decision making centers until the mid-20s, teenagers are still responsible and can assess risk — possibly better than adults, who tend to over-assess the risks of certain actions.

There’s even a Risk-Taker Quiz so you can find out what your risk threshold is. (Unsurprisingly, it told me that I was “pretty timid”)

What would you consider the risks that are inherent with the parts of our lives that are stored online?

There are books about just this subject… just imagine what it would be like if your online life took a very wrong turn:

Want to Go Private? / Sarah Darer Littman

Insecure about the changes high school brings, Abby ignores advice from her parents and her only friend to “make an effort” and, instead, withdraws from everyone but with Luke, who she met online.



Exposed / Susan Vaught

Chan Shealy, a sixteen-year-old baton-twirler and straight-A student, becomes involved with an internet predator, despite strict parental rules and her own beliefs that she knows how to keep herself safe online.




Bad Apple / Laura Ruby

Tola Riley, a high school junior, struggles to tell the truth when she and her art teacher are accused of having an affair.


– Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

Be Counted!


Did you know that only 67% of Pittsburgh’s population was counted in the last census? Do you know what that means?

Let’s put it differently: What would it mean if you brought home an exam with a grade of 67%?

When you or your parents fill out a census form, you’re making a statement about your community’s needs. More than $4 trillion dollars over the next 10 years will go to the cities and communities that need it–well, if they are represented in the census, that is.

Census data helps your community get money for your school, afterschool programs, libraries, hospitals, job training, emergency services, senior centers, and road repair.

The stakes are especially high for cities with large groups of people who are difficult to count. Renters are one of these groups, and Pittsburgh is one of these cities–along with Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, and Houston. Is everybody really leaving Pittsburgh, or is our population just changing and inaccurately counted?

Check out these resources for more information, and make sure that you are counted!

U.S. Census Bureau


Why Some Cities are Struggling with the Census


New Pittsburgh Courier: To Be Equal


Sara Dora, CLP-Hazelwood

Question of the Day: Do You Like Your Parents?

It can be tough. They want you to do your chores, get good grades, participate in after school activities, watch your little brother or sister, stay out of trouble, keep up with all your checked out library materials, and appreciate them for making you do these things “for your own good”.

How do you feel about these expectations which, while annoying, are probably good ideas? Do you think your parents understand your annoyance? Despite all the pressure they put on you, do you actually enjoy hanging out them?

According to a New York Times article on Project Teen Canada and the 5,500 teens surveyed, Canadian teens like their parents and like hanging out with them more now than they ever have in the last thirty years. In 1992, 52% of the Canadian teens surveyed felt misunderstood by their parents, while in 2008 only 39% felt misunderstood. I wonder how America’s teens compare?

If you don’t feel like your parents understand you (or that you don’t understand your parents) or if you would just like to learn some negotiation strategies to argue for a higher allowance or a later curfew check out How to Raise Your Parents: A Teen Girl’s Survival Guide, Dealing with Mom: How to Understand Your Changing Relationship, or Yes, Your Parents are Crazy! A Teen Survival Guide.

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