Young Teen Touchpoint: Having a role and purpose

Learn about: Young Teen Touchpoint: Having a role and purpose from Joshua Sparrow, MD,...
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Young Teen Touchpoint: Having a role and purpose

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One of the things that is hard for many teenagers is the way we set up adolescence these days in our country. There's a way in which we set up adolescence as a time for waiting until later. You are doing what you are doing until you are 15 or 16 in order to get into college or in order to graduate and be on your own. And it is hard to wait when you are living your life right now. And so what is really important for teenagers is to respect their need to feel that their life has meaning and purpose. In every moment today, not the day when they graduate, not when they get into college. And so, we as adults, parents and teachers need to actively look for and support opportunities for teenagers to do things where they feel like a role, they have a purpose, they are making a contribution. And that they really matter, not for later but for now.

Learn about: Young Teen Touchpoint: Having a role and purpose from Joshua Sparrow, MD,...

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Joshua Sparrow, MD

Child Psychiatrist & Author brazeltontouchpoints.org

A child psychiatrist, Dr. Sparrow’s care in the 1990s for children hospitalized for severe psychiatric disturbances, often associated with physical and sexual abuse, and for developmental delays aggravated by social and economic deprivation, prompted his interest in community-based prevention and health promotion. At the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, his work focuses on cultural adaptations of family support programs, organizational professional development, and aligning systems of care with community strengths and priorities, and has included collaborative consultation with the Harlem Children's Zone and American Indian Early Head Start Programs, among many others. He has lectured extensively nationally and internationally on related topics and has consulted on media programming for children and parents, including PBS’s Frontlines and Discovery Kids. Co-author with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton of 8 books and the weekly New York Times Syndicated column, “Families Today,” Dr. Sparrow has also served as a contributing editor to Scholastic Services’ Parent and Child magazine. In 2006, he revised with Dr. Brazelton Touchpoints: Birth to Three, 2nd Edition and in 2010, co-edited Nurturing Children and Families: Building on the Legacy of T. B. Brazelton, a textbook on the ongoing generativeness of Brazelton’s seminal research in a wide range of fields. Dr. Sparrow has authored numerous other scholarly works, teaches and lectures nationally and internationally, and is frequently called upon for his expertise by national and international media. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Sparrow worked for several years as a preschool teacher and journalist in New York City.

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