Edith Bracho-Sanchez is a primary care pediatrician, director of pediatric telemedicine and assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
(CNN)Dr. Ken Ginsburg is tired of swimming against the tide when it comes to public perceptions about teens.
After decades of work strengthening families and raising teens of his own, the founding director of the Center for Parent and Teen Communication at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia says it's time to change the narrative altogether.
"We have to begin telling the truth about teenagers," said Ginsburg, who is also an adolescent medicine physician. "Adolescence is an incredible opportunity," he added.
His most recent book, "Congrats — You're Having a Teen! Strengthen Your Family and Raise a Good Person," offers a step-by-step guide for parents and caregivers looking to seize this opportunity.
Triggering joy and celebration
If the title makes it sound like one of the "What to Expect" books you purchased when your kids were little, that's because he aims to trigger that same sense of celebration you felt when you first brought your child home.
"The whole idea is to tell you what's going to come," Ginsburg explained. "But also for you to understand it, because when you understand it, you know how to react."
Ginsburg is under no pretense that the adolescent years are easy — for anyone. As much as he enjoys working with adolescents, and celebrates them, he also understands the teen years can be challenging for parents and their children.
"That's why you write a book about it," he argued. "You don't write a book about easy things."
But he doesn't believe his book gives parents more hard tasks to complete. Instead, Ginsburg believes a simple understanding of this time in young people's lives can make all the difference for families.
Teens are supposed to push you away, temporarily
Though Ginsburg does not like comparing teens to toddlers, he does want parents and caregivers to think of them within the framework of their developmental stage, much like we think of kids in early childhood.