Some of the challenges that could be facing you and your 10th-grader include:
• Drugs. One study shows that the more parents are involved in their children's lives, the less likely the kids are to use drugs or alcohol. They also found that the more involved an adolescent's peers were in substance use, the more likely she was to use drugs and alcohol. Most users of alcohol and marijuana have tried them before the 10th grade. Boys who drink tend to do so more heavily than girls. Beer and wine coolers are the favorite teenage drinks.
• Injury. While teenagers are the healthiest population of all, the injury rate among adolescents (especially boys) is high. Motor vehicle accidents, in which a teenager is the driver, account for most of deaths in this age group. Even mature teenagers think they're immortal, so they may not follow safety precautions.
• Being overworked. One study found that teens who work at least 15 to 20 hours a week get lower grades, have higher absentee rates from school, and are less involved in school than their non-working peers.
• Arguing with Mom. Adolescents clash more often with their mothers than their fathers, says survey data, and girls report more arguments than boys do. One reason behind the disparity: They also say that their mothers are the people who have the biggest influence over their lives.
More skills and milestones: