Happy New Year GCP! Every year we all talk about making resolutions and ways we are going to change in 2017. Here at GCP we want to suggest a few things that parents should not change, but should keep doing in 2017:

1) Stay focused on being a thoughtful and conscious parent: Listening to your son, and paying careful attention to what he is saying, can be one of the toughest things parents can do, especially with all the devices around to constantly distract us. So make a conscious effort to spend time with your son away from the phones, iPads, and laptops. Try #DevicefreeDinners (find out more about them here).

2) Stay attuned to your son’s moods and feelings: Studies reported in a recent article found here determined that teens suffer mightily from stress, and that much of their stress stems from school. A surprising 1 in 3 high school juniors in a recent study reported feeling “chronically sad”, and an alarming 1 in 5 freshmen and juniors reported contemplating suicide. And before you instinctively respond that black kids aren’t suicidal, know that suicide has become the third leading cause of death among black people between the ages of 15 and 24. (Read more about that here.) Bottom line, we need to keep an eye on our sons to make sure that they are feeling good about themselves and feeling able to handle the demands of school and life in general. And remember, encouraging your son to get help of any kind if he needs it, is one of the best things you can do for him.

3) Stay vigilant about our nation and its promise: The election results and the incoming administration have created in many a new series of stressors, as people worry about how much will change over the next four years. It is very important that you do not let your sons become stressed out by worrying about the changing political climate and its potential impacts. Talk with him about how your family can get involved with organizations that champion the causes that you care about.

Staying the course on these three issues will go a long way towards helping you and your sons have a great year. Keep us posted on how you are doing!!