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Parents of Adolescents and Teens

Parents of Adolescents and Teens

Adolescence, known as the transitional phase of growth and development between childhood and adulthood, is a time of great opportunity, as well as risk and vulnerability.

For many years, PEPS has heard from our communities that there is a gap in peer-support services for parents and caregivers of adolescents and teens. This feedback is, in fact, backed up by research. Parents have shared that their child’s transition to adolescence can feel overwhelming and they experience conflicting emotions about their child’s increasing autonomy, particularly in instances where it's their first time parenting a teen. Other challenges that have been expressed include dealing with feelings of grief about the loss of the previous relationship they knew with their child; struggles with keeping kids focused on academics; fears and insecurities as kids are exposed to or drawn to substance use and sexual behavior, gender identity and sexuality, and social media; increasing isolation, depression, and anxiety among kids; a sense of their own isolation; and feelings of blame and shame among parents.


PEPS has been fortunate to have supported thousands of new parents through their journey into parenthood and our organization may be uniquely poised to respond to this developing need. And, we are very excited to embrace the opportunity and responsibility to support families with adolescents and teens!

In developing a program to support parents of adolescents and teens, PEPS strives to strengthen family relationships, reduce parental isolation, and improve the mental well-being and relationships between youth and parents through a peer-support model. Both parents and adolescents need empowering support, research-driven information and resources, and community during this period of newness and rapid changes.

The Program

PEPS successfully secured funding for the upcoming two years through grants from King County Best Starts for Kids and The Apex Foundation. We are so grateful for this extended financial support. With this grant funding, PEPS will be able to develop, pilot, and implement a new program, offering facilitated peer-support groups for parents with adolescents and teens.

We started the process in January 2020, and anticipate a two-year program development and capacity building timeline, which will include several stages:

  1. Data collection (through focus groups across socio-economic and ethnic groups with parents, teens/pre-teens, and experts; surveys; research; and landscape analysis)
  2. Capacity building (personnel, group leader recruitment, funding)
  3. Program development (curriculum and group leader training)
  4. Pilot groups (including evaluation and adaptation)
  5. Program implementation and ongoing program evaluation and adaptations

Once preliminary information has been gathered, we will determine the structure of curriculum for this program, using resources from other evidence-based programs, along with guidance from professionals in the field of family therapy, and adolescent and teen mental health. We envision providing a space that will support the needs of both parents and youth during this transitional time in a family’s life.

What’s Next

Interested in learning more? Sign up for updates and opportunities to participate in pilot groups.

Want to help? Please consider sharing insights and feedback on your experience as a parent or caregiver of an adolescent or teen by completing an anonymous 15-minute survey and sharing the Youth & Teen Survey with adolescents & teens in your community.. Thank you for helping PEPS to build a peer-support program to better support families with adolescents and teens!

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