To help parents, particularly fathers, build better relationships with their teenage children and prepare them for adulthood, City Dads Group has become a “mission partner” with The Center for Parent and Teen Communication.
The center promotes the health, character and well-being of adolescents through education, research and advocacy. Its mission is helping parents raise teens “prepared to thrive,” according to its website.
“Adolescence is a time of opportunity and parents matter more than ever,” the mission statement reads. “We strive to ensure every caring adult has the knowledge and skills to promote positive youth development and foster strong family connections.”
Resources to improve parent, teen communication
Based at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, CPTC offers a comprehensive website at www.parentandteen.com. It features articles and videos for teens and parents on communications strategies, growth and development, and building character.
These resources include:
- An email newsletter with parenting advice. You can sign up to receive it daily or weekly at https://bit.ly/3p7dkFm
- “Parenting in 100 Words” — bite-sized parenting tips that are easy to remember and put into action. Read them at https://bit.ly/3Hj6ZwC
- Personalized stress management plans for teens. It’s available at https://bit.ly/3t0eaVr
- Content addressing the unique stressors faced by families of color that builds on cultural strengths. This “Culturally Responsive Parenting” information is found at https://bit.ly/3hbNTOe
- Daily insights, articles, and helpful tidbits on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels
City Dads Group co-founder Matt Schneider, a father of two teen boys, will serve as the liaison with CPTC.
“The Center for Parent and Teen Communication offers practical, actionable, and relevant advice. It comes in a variety of formats I know our dads of tweens and teens in our community will find useful,” Schneider said. “For example, I love reading a tip in my email in the morning then bringing it up around the dinner table that evening.”
The City Dads Group network has chapters in most major metropolitan areas in the United States and one in eastern Canada. Members get together, with and without their children, to socialize with, learn from, and support one another.
Improving parenting skills to meet fathers’ needs
CPTC Executive Director Dr. Jill Baker said City Dads Group will aid their efforts to explore “specific parenting needs of fathers of teens.”
“Scientific literature shows that fathers are just as influential as mothers regarding their teens’ decisions about health,” Baker said. “Fathers want to have close, impactful and positive relationships with their teen children. But dads are often left out when it comes to developing and implementing resources that can enhance their parenting communication and overall positive parenting skills.”
Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, founder and program director of The Center for Parent and Teen Communication, said, “Loving, involved dads help our children know they are worthy of being loved and deserving of our focused attention. When we serve as role models, they imagine who they could be as adults. When we love them without condition — for who they really are — they gain the security that enables them to launch into a successful adulthood.”
Ginsburg, a pediatrician at the children’s hospital, specializes in “social adolescent medicine.” This field places special attention on prevention and recognition that social context and stressors impact physical and emotional health. He has written several award-winning parenting books, including Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings which he discussed on our Modern Dads Podcast. Ginsburg also has a forthcoming book, Congrats – You’re Having a Teen!: Strengthen Your Family and Raise a Good Person.
“We all know how much we matter as parents when our children are small. After all, they rely on us for their very survival. But as our children grow more independent, a central question of parenting is ‘Do I still matter?’ The answer is a resounding YES!,” he said.