Articles from the Archives

How to Make a Pop Star

– by Walt Mueller © 2006, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding I’ve been showing it to people since I first spotted it. It’s a photo that reveals many truths and draws a variety of responses. That’s what happens when you combine head and shoulders shots of four blonde, popular and attractive female teenage clones into... more »

The Jet Set

– by Tom Piotrowski 2000, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding In my younger years, one of the last cartoons to come on Saturday morning was the Jetsons. Just before noon, and with a sunny day and friends beckoning, it was always a tough call to miss that wacky family from the future. What fun to...
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Teens and Oral Sex

– by Walt Mueller 2001 The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding What’s sex? – that’s the question curious young children often ask their parents when they first hear the little three letter word. Believe it or not, its also a question today’s parents should be asking their children and teens. Recent research on an alarming new trend...
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What You Need to Know About “Scarfing”

– by Walt Mueller ©1998, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding editor’s note: the following is a condensed and revised version of an informational article written by CPYU President Walt Mueller for a national publication. CPYU has reprinted  the article in order to raise parental awareness on this critical topic. Due to its sensitive subject matter...
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My Trip Through Seventeen

-By Paul Robertson ©2003, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding As the father of four boys, reading teen girl magazines was never really high on my list of priorities. But as a student of contemporary youth culture, I must. I was recently sitting in a restaurant scrutinizing the May 2002 edition of Seventeen when my curious...
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Eminem – Meet the Real Slim Shady

– by Walt Mueller ©2000, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding He’s been described as controversial, demented, vulgar, violently warped and offensive. You won’t see him hanging around the schoolyard or at your neighborhood playground, but there are probably few kids inNorth America who haven’t encountered him and his lessons on life. Judging from his meteoric...
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Teens & Drugs – The Warning Signs

– by Walt Mueller ©1998, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding It’s a school district proud of its quiet neighborhoods, good families, high academic standards, and bright students. A $40,000 student survey opened their eyes to the fact that in 1995, district teenagers were using alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and a variety of other drugs at rates...
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Pink – Reflecting the Changing Colors of Youth Culture

– by Walt Mueller ©2002, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding It’s a recipe for mainstream pop music success that’s been used over and over again: Take one ambitious and curvaceous teenage blonde who can get her foot in the young music audience door by oozing youthful innocence and enthusiasm. Cover her – at least partially...
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Are We Salt & Light?

– by Walt Mueller 2001, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding Had you been alive while Jesus Christ was walking this earth, and had you been monitoring his journeys though the world as it existed, you probably would have been shocked by some of the places he visited and certainly by some of the people he...
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What’s TV Teaching us About Dads?

– by Tom Piotrowski ©1999, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding At the end of the day, I love climbing the stairs to the room of my six- and eight-year-old sons to “tuck them in.” It’s a chance to sort out the day passed, ask a question and anticipate another sunrise full of new adventures. Growing...
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Getting Huffy: The Epidemic of Inhalant Abuse

1999, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding Shockwaves rippled through the Philadelphia area last January when five teen-age girls were killed when their car crashed into a utility pole while returning from a shopping trip to buy prom dresses. More shock waves followed when the coroner reported finding the chemical difluoroethane in the bloodstreams of the...
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Fostering a Sense of Self in a “Skin-Deep” Culture

– by Paul Robertson 1999, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding On March 20, 1967, a 17-year-old girl named Lesley Hornby from London, England, stepped off a plane in Chicago and forever changed the nature of adolescent culture in North America. A year earlier she had turned the English fashion world upside down. That week an...
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BB’s, Bullets, and Innocence Lost

– by Walt Mueller ©1999, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding Paper bulls’-eyes and tin cans were no longer satisfying. Without really discussing it, Todd and I silently headed to the woods knowing that it was time to “graduate” to a new level of excitement by shooting at moving targets. Once in the woods and out...
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Commodified Kids

– by Paul Robertson ©2003, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding In October 1759, famed French philosopher Denis Diderot wrote to his young friend Sophie Volland the poignant words, “you all die at 15.” Diderot was clarifying his feelings on what it meant to be passing through, what in those days was known as early adulthood....
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Safe & Sound

– By Tom Piotrowski ©2003, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding Various members of the band Good Charlotte are jumping around the stage of the Philadelphia Spectrum in front of a packed house of 18,000, mostly teenage fans. The lead singer’s lips look glued to the microphone in front of his face as his body thrashes...
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Ecstatic Over Ecstasy

– by Walt Mueller ©2001, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding Look up the word “ecstasy” in the dictionary and you’ll find that it’s “a state of overwhelming rapturous delight” and “intense bliss,” or “powerful emotion that lifts one out of oneself.” Ask teens about “ecstasy” and there’s a good chance they’ll tell you about a...
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Hearing the Cry for Compassion

 – by Walt Mueller ©1999, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding Editors Note: This article was written two-weeks before the shootings in Littleton, Colorado. Keep those events and the role played in Littleton by those labeled as “misfits” in mind as you read. Yesterday was a bad day for our 15-year-old daughter Caitlin. Lisa could see...
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Winners or Losers?

 – by Walt Mueller ©1997, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding   I learned some amazing lessons about life when I was a starting forward on the worst basketball team in the history of the world. We were a sloppy group of pre-pubescent sixth and seventh graders who took to the gym floor on Friday nights...
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Ghost Ride the Whip

 – By Chris Wagner ©2006, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding Last winter, CPYU reported on the dangers of teens and driving. Unfortunately, since that article was written, a new craze is sweeping through youth culture that brings further danger to inexperienced and impulsive teens with a set of car keys. The latest high-risk activity on four...
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