You & Your Teen—Navigating Newport & Adolescence

The final years of adolescence bring dramatic changes in our teens. Their bodies continue to grow and change, but that pales compared to the intellectual and emotional growth.

This natural psychological development, and the demands of the fast-approaching adult world, mean that parents, teachers, coaches, and other adults must take a step back. Where we once led our toddlers around by the hand, we now need to walk beside and back a little to let our children learn, and most importantly, practice the skills they will need as young adults.

Broad categories to watch for opportunities to help your student graduate with young-adult skills

All the science and advice can overwhelm busy families. To help, we have separated the most important growth areas into categories and grouped age-appropriate targets by grade.

Learning Habits Lifelong Learning Habits:

Learn, think, do, assess, and repeat to continue growth

Emotional Habits Emotional Habits of Successful Teens & Adults:

Building self-knowledge, self-management, and self-agency

Meaningful Involvement Involvement that Matters:

Experiences that will help shape the future and build a resilient mind and body

Relationships Relationships:

Peer and adult connections that provide support and teach teamwork, communication, and problem solving

Course Selection Course Selection:

Actively plan depth, breadth, rigor and growth

Career Planning  Planning for Career:

Finding a fit that suits your teen and the economy of tomorrow and then arranging college or training for that plan

Specific College-Admission Tasks to Check Off Each Year


Break it down
Target one thing at a time
Focus where your student needs the most support

Your student has 16 quarters of high school. Working on one skill for several weeks gives your student plenty of time to tackle one, make it a habit, then move to the next one. This pattern of setting a goal and the steps to meet it moves your student steadily forward rather than feeling overwhelmed.


  • Our grade levels provide broad categories for adolescent development. Use your knowledge of your teen to adjust targets to the maturity and capacity of your child.
  • Don’t tackle everything at once. Be generally familiar with what needs to be done and watch for the natural opportunities for growth that will present themselves during high school.


  • Remember, you are not alone. We are working on the same things at school. And every other parent you know is navigating the same challenges. Seek insight and perspective in your neighborhood, in your class, on your team, and everywhere you turn.
  • We have provided short videos and articles to help clarify steps you can take in each area below. No special expertise is necessary. You and your student can tackle these tasks together with the information we have provided here and the help available at school.
© Thriving Teens 2020

General Parent Guidance Blog Posts

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.