One of the perplexing things about teenagers is that they tend to trust the input of their peers more than the advice of their own parents – perhaps because they feel their friends understand their situation better.
Understanding this dynamic and appreciating teens’ acute need for guidance, Lauren Forcella created a website called Straight Talk for Teens, which gives young people access to practical, experience-based advice from a panel of over 85 young people of their own generation (Lauren usually gives her perspective, too).
The service has been online since 2004, so teens can search for or ask for input on an impressive array of topics. The advice is consistently candid and useful, offered from a variety of perspectives.
On tough issues: depression in teens, runaway teens, troubled teens, teen cutting, suicidal teens, teen drinking, texting and driving accidents, pregnant teens, STD testing, gay rights issues, drug use among teens, marijuana and pharmaceutical use by teens, drug rehab, date rape statistics, and overcoming pornography.
On trends and fashions: tattoo cover up, Halloween costumes, emo clothes, prom dresses, and body piercing jewelry.
On relationships, Family & School: parenting teens, advice on dating, peer pressure facts, teens and divorce, overweight teens, healthy eating for teens, home school programs, college majors, time management, stress management, and life skills for teens. Work & Play: We cover summer jobs for teens, job interview techniques, jobs for college students, leadership activities and community service ideas.
And more. The advice also appears in many newspapers as a syndicated column.
Parents, teachers and other adults who work with teens use the site as a window into the mind and world of teenagers. Maybe you should find out what’s going on there…you might learn a few things!