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July 4th: Independence and Your Teen

July 4th teens and family

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Let me begin by wishing you a Happy July 4th, the day of the official signing of the Declaration of Independence when we went from a colony to a country. 

Millions of Americans have died since 1776 to allow all of us to keep our freedoms and liberties, the greatest experiment in democracy and capitalism the world has ever seen. Almost frail and imperfect, but none better.

Teen suicide rates are up by more than 60% over the last few years and teen depression is at epidemic levels, according to the CDC. The days of not caring what your teen thinks or does over their summer break are behind us. Too much is at stake. 

We are now full-blown into the summertime, and now is a good time to open up a conversation with your teen.

Here are just a few questions that you wish to engage with your teen about.  And, as I always recommend, make dinners cell phone-free.  No texting, no social media, just good parent-teen conversation.

Here are some conversations starters:

  1. What are your plans for working this summer?
  2. What are your plans for getting ready for college?
  3. What are your friends doing this summer?
  4. Where would you like to take a family vacation and when?
  5. Are you excited to be off?
  6. Are you looking forward to August and going back to see your friends at school?
  7. How do you feel about high school coming to an end soon and college beginning?
  8. What book are you getting ready to read and why?
  9. Tell me what July 4th represents to you. 
  10. Do you know the history of July 4, 1776?
  11. Do you understand our freedoms and the price that was paid for them?

Summer is a great time to engage with your teen and make new memories with them. Don’t let them be lazy, even if it’s summer. You are always the parent and they are always your child. 

We have published the Parent Survival Toolkit at

Have a great July and enjoy the summer with your children.

Elliot Kallen



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