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"I participated in this project because I know firsthand that parents should be reading these words!   How else would they know so much about their teens’ lives? Some of these pages (that might have been written by your child) give older generations a sense of what it is like to be an adolescent in current times. Hopefully, some parents will read my words and discuss them with their child. Then more families might not be saying, 'If only we had known…'


For parents, reading the words of today’s youth is like listening in on our conversations and having the opportunity to know some of the things that are on our minds.  The reality of parent-teen interactions today is that there are no distinct rules that govern what is normal and what is dangerous. Many parents search for the universal key to understanding, which turns out not to exist, and thus they are unable to hear their child’s sometimes-silent call for help.


I heard the story of a girl who committed suicide.  One evening my family had the opportunity to meet her family.  We learned that she was a kind and intelligent person, who, despite all her positive qualities, was unsatisfied enough with herself to take her own life.  I, too, had many things going for me but stresses about the future and negative thoughts about myself put me very close to considering suicide. 


As we talked with this other family, it became clear to my parents that young adult stress is a very serious issue. Later that evening, my mother repeated the phrase that the other parents used in talking about their daughter, 'If only someone had known…'


p.s. 'In addition to what you are reading on this page, I wrote something else in the book. At the time I wrote, I did not realize the implications of putting down my thoughts on paper.  But maybe it will help some parent help their child, or at least begin to get an idea of some of the things some of us go through.'"



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