DEAR READERS: They say all good things come to an end. Writing Teen Talk for the past 16 plus years has been an incredible journey, and I want to thank you, the readers.
My first column was published in 2001. Times were very different for teenagers. Social media was just emerging and cell phones were more of a way to connect to your loved ones and less a way to connect to the world. Over the years and through the 825 columns I wrote, you allowed me into your homes, lives and worlds.
It was an honor and a privilege to walk through this age of electronic explosion together and to guide your teenagers around the pitfalls and obstacles created by our new way of life. Being a teenager is difficult, way more difficult than I ever had it, and I feel for teenagers who are overwhelmed, over stressed and over scheduled.
I hope Teen Talk served as a lighthouse to teenagers, parents, teachers, grandparents and anyone who followed the column. I hope it offered direction, advice, helpful information and guidance for teenagers as they navigated through the ups and downs of not being a kid anymore but not quite an adult yet.
The one constant through these ever changing times is that I believe in teenagers, regardless of their generation. I believe teenagers have good intentions and good hearts. I believe if given a chance to stop and think, they will make the right decision. I believe that even teenagers who make bad choices are still good people.
I believe parents want the best for their teenagers and just as the stress for teenagers has escalated because of today’s standards and expectations, so has the stress for parents. I believe Teen Talk provided family discussions, encouraged communication, and opened the door to talking about important topics that needed to be shared.
I want to thank The Sacramento Bee, especially my first editor Pam Dinsmore, for taking a chance on Teen Talk and providing a much needed space in the newspaper for and about teenagers. I have been blessed with great editors along the way and I am thankful to each of them for their edits, insight and help putting the column out every week.
Over the years so many of you wrote to me – to agree or disagree – with the advice given or to share your personal experience around a particular topic. I appreciated each letter and feel as if I learned just as much from you as hopefully you did from me. Thank you to anyone and everyone who took a few minutes to read Teen Talk. I set out with the hope of helping at least one person along the way – if that happened the column served its purpose.
If you have enjoyed Teen Talk, please follow my blog on Thera-mom.com. I will continue to write about issues around teenagers from a therapist and a mom’s perspective. I hope to stay connected to readers who enjoyed my column and as well as continuing to be connected to the community and the village we are raising our teenagers in.
I am always ready for the next challenge and excited about the start of a new chapter. Thank you for giving Teen Talk 16 amazing years. It’s been one heck of a ride.