The arrival of the adolescent and teenage years often seems to come suddenly, almost without warning. For parents, grandparents, and teachers of these 11 to 16 year olds, this sudden shift is not fluid. Often it is a whirlwind of steps forward and back with regards to developmental shifts, emotional and intellectual changes, and the broadening of possibility and potential. Thus the experience for adults at home and at school can be both wonderful and at times complicated and confusing.
Charis Denison is a teen advocate, parent educator, and expert on adolescents and teenagers. She has great expertise in what teenagers need to develop life skills, as well as teaching parents and teachers how to help them do this. In addition, she has designed and implemented Health and Human Development Curricula in many schools around the nation. Most importantly, Charis possesses a rich understanding of how teenagers and parents can navigate today’s complex adolescent experience, while maintaining communication, respect, and connection. Charis co-authored “Tolerance for Others”, a middle school focused human development text. Her work has also recently been featured in Peggy Orenstein’s new book, “Girls & Sex: Navigating the New and Complicated Landscape.” To get a feel for Charis’ philosophy and teachings, please watch her TedTalk, “The Gift, The Flip Side of Teen Behavior.”