Information & Resources for Parents

Dr. Johnson's Approach to Care for Adolescents

Dr. J 's Approach

Parenting: the
5-10-15 of Adolescence

5 Basics of Parenting Adolescents
10 Tasks of Adolescence
15 Sources of Resilience

Articles and Interviews with Dr. Johnson

Menstrual Disorders
Early Adolescent Sexuality

Your Budding Daughter: Some Practical Suggestions for Parents

Opening the Channels for 'The Sex Talk' With Your Teenager

Teenage Sexuality: A Doctor's Thoughts

Adolescence is a special time...

and adolescents benefit from personal, comprehensive care. They’re experiencing physical and emotional changes, and they often have questions about "what’s going on." Dr. Johnson makes it safe to ask those questions, and she answers them. She offers information and support to parents, too.

Parental interest and involvement are key to healthy adolescent development. These affect progress toward health goals. "Dr. J" encourages patients and parents to talk openly about matters that affect well-being. With difficult issues, she helps families communicate more effectively.

How appointments work

A private conference with parents may occur at the start of the visit. At the first visit, "Dr. J" meets briefly with adolescent and parent together. Then she and the patient talk privately. Parents are welcome to stay if the patient prefers. Then, at the end of the visit, she meets with patient and parent together to discuss recommendations, complete plans, and answer questions.


When it comes to healthcare, privacy and confidentiality are important to all of us. Developing and maintaining a trusting relationship with her patients is important to Dr. Johnson. Conversations with patients remain private, unless the person is endangering him/herself or others.

Parenting Your Adolescent

Many parents view the approach of their child’s adolescence with trepidation. In fact, most adolescents navigate this passage without the “Sturm und Drang” (“storm and stress”) often ascribed to this period. Adolescence does require renegotiation of roles, responsibilities, and limits. So in some ways, parenting changes as the adolescent matures.

Dr. Johnson recommends the "5-10-15" for understanding, parenting, and supporting adolescent development. These are adapted from other resources.

The 5 Basics of Parenting Adolescents
  1. Love and connect
    Teens need parents to develop and maintain a relationship with them that offers support and acceptance, while accommodating and affirming the teen’s increasing maturity.
  2. Monitor and observe
    Teens need parents to be aware of—and let teens know they are aware of—their activities through a process that increasingly involves less direct supervision and more communication, observation, and networking with other adults.
  3. Guide and limit
    Teens need parents to uphold a clear but evolving set of boundaries, maintaining important family rules and values, but also encouraging increased competence and maturity.
  4. Model and consult
    Teens need parents to provide ongoing information and support around decision making, values, skills, goals, and interpreting and navigating the larger world, teaching by example and ongoing dialogue. 
  5. Provide and advocate
    Teens need parents to make available not only adequate nutrition, clothing, shelter, and health care, but also a supportive home environment and a network of caring adults.
The 10 Tasks of Adolescence

Every developmental stage has certain "tasks" that are typically completed during that phase. The transitions prerequisite to assuming an adult role in society are referred to as the “growth tasks” of adolescence. Each growth task represents an important developmental process. They include achieving autonomy and independence; forming a distinct self identity; developing an identity as a sexual person; acquiring social competence; and developing new cognitive skills.