Looking Back on 2007: Teen Health

Wow! I am amazed that this year is coming to an end already - time just seems to go by faster the older you get! I want to thank the readers of Teen Heath 411 and Healthline for supporting this endeavor - I love writing this blog and having a great excuse to read everything I can find about teen health, including some great books.

I looked back at the posts in 2007 and realized that teen health is a huge topic. There is a lot of variety in the 2007 posts which include topics as diverse as book reviews, spirituality, driving how-tos, and information for parents and teens about the transition to adulthood and the world of college and work. The bulk of the posts are about physical health - dental health, health risks, piercing, flu shots, blood pressure, staph infection, heart attacks, sports injuries, and recognizing stroke. There are also many posts about mental health - stress, body image, surviving parents, bullying, cutting, friendship, and growing up gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

The posts about policy changes and media articles relating to teens tend to focus on the scary parts of adolescence - the risk, Internet safety, sexually transmitted infections, romance, dating violence, substance abuse and eating disorders, whereas the posts coming from what I experience tend to focus on the wonder of teens and how to make the most of and appreciate the short time we still have with them. I think the most valuable posts are those that help parents address issues that are tough to talk about but allow us to share our values and give teens the skills and confidence to assume the responsibility the world is giving them and enjoy the transition.

I think important topics in 2008 may include mentoring, involving teens in community service, and "connection" with family and community. Watching our amazing children grow is a blessing and although we will never get a certificate that says we did a great job as a parent, reminding ourselves that teens each have their own path and are more than their "risk profile" will help us appreciate them!

Enjoy whatever celebrations your family shares this week and don't forget to come back and visit Teen Health 411 is 2008!

Photo credit: theeerin
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