Overview of Essentials

Teens Overview

A Trusted Resource for Families

Essentials for Parenting Teens is a free online resource for parents and caregivers of youth between the ages of 11 and 17. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed extensive research to identify the best approaches to parenting teens and talked to the experts—both recognized leaders in the parenting field and parents themselves—to create articles, videos, and activities parents and caregivers can use.

Topics covered in Essentials for Parenting Teens include:

  • Understanding and Adapting to the Teen Years
  • Coaching Teens to Recognize and Manage Emotions
  • Encouraging Teen Independence
  • Praising Your Teen

Together, these materials provide a strong foundation of information and advice. Materials for each topic offer opportunities for parents and caregivers to reflect on what they have learned and practice new skills with their teens. While Essentials for Parenting Teens does not cover every challenge parents and caregivers may face, the series offers fundamentals to support understanding, communicating with, and encouraging teens.

An Evidence-Based Methodology for the Professionals Who Care for Youth and Families

CDC has been funding research and providing expert guidance to protect youth, support families, and build nurturing and healthy communities for more than 30 years. That is why professionals serving youth and families (including educators, clinicians, clergy, counselors, and therapists) can feel confident recommending CDC resources to the people they serve.

To create Essentials for Parenting Teens, CDC commissioned a comprehensive literature review of parenting studies and research published over ten years. The research team reviewed relevant articles and interviewed well-known researchers and academics from the fields of social work, psychology, and prevention science, to identify information and skills helpful to parents and caregivers of teens.

Using the literature review and subject matter expert interviews, CDC developed materials and tested them with focus groups of parents and caregivers across the country with experience raising teens. The result is a thoroughly researched and tested collection of easy-to-read articles, instructional videos with real-world examples, and engaging activities that parents and caregivers can use anytime.