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Independence Day and Your Teen

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, celebrates the country's separation from the British Empire in 1776 and the founding of the U.S.

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Take a moment to step back and think: What were you doing on July 4th, 2020?

In our family, I recall we were dealing with a lot of uncertainty.

Our twins were living in separate states halfway across the country, the future of our economy was up in the air, and every day, it seemed like the headlines were becoming increasingly bleak.

It was like the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, that tells the story of a man trapped in a time loop. At times, it felt that time was standing still, or that time was stretching on to create one long, endless day.

Thankfully, we’re all returning back to real life as people are getting vaccinated and our communities begin to reopen and rebuild. We’re all exiting our own personal Groundhog Day.

However, there is no question that, across the nation, teens and young adults have felt the tremendous negative effects of the pandemic. Adolescent and teen depression and suicide rates are still on the rise.

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So parents, this Sunday is a great day to slow down, talk with your teen about their feelings, their isolation from their friends, their apprehension about college or this summer’s activities, their frustration with the past school year or any other emotion that comes to mind.

(And here’s a tip: You can ask them about their friends’ mental state; your teen may be more apt to discuss someone else’s depression rather than their own. )

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, celebrates the country's separation from the British Empire in 1776 and the founding of the U.S.

Independence Day icebreaker

This Independence Day also gives us an opportunity to start the dialogue around our country’s founding principles:

“We hold these trusts to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Ask your teen:

What do these words mean to you? How do you interpret them?

What benefits do you think you’ve been able to enjoy as a result of being American?

What are some parts of our country that you think we could work on?

It’s important to remember that, beyond flags and fireworks, Independence Day is a celebration of the uniquely American experiment: the idea of having a country where people of all ethnic, religious, economic, and cultural backgrounds can live together in freedom and harmony.

So this 4th of July, let us celebrate our awesome freedoms. 

Let Sunday be more than just about hot dogs and hamburgers, baseball games or fireworks.

Let us take in the air of liberty, and let us relish in the pursuit of happiness.

… And let’s talk with our teens!

For more information, please browse the ABD blog. It is filled with lots of easy, actionable tips for coping with the difficult and stressful parts of life.

Please join us at our upcoming events:

5TH ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT, a terrific day of sunshine, golf, and philanthropy. 

All funds will go toward driving teen mental health awareness locally and nationally. This event is happening on Friday, August 20th at 11:00am.

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TEEN TALENT SHOWCASE, in partnership with Palo Alto JCC. 

You may begin watching and voting for participants on July 6th.

The full Teen Talent Showcase will be airing on YouTube Live on Sunday, July 18th at 6:00pm PT.

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VIRTUAL GALA, an exciting evening full of entertainment, music, live speakers, virtual door prizes, a silent and live auction, and much more!

This event is happening on Sunday, November 21st at 4:00pm PT.

Any questions – please email me at

Elliot Kallen

President, a brighter day charity



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