About Us

 

Mission

Practical Parenting for Teens offers resources and tools that educate, empower, and inspire parents of teens and college-aged children.

 

Our Story

After watching countless teens suffer from anxiety, depression, and bullying,  Angela started by doing research on high school and college students to see if the behaviors she was observing were consistent among teens across America.  The statistics she found were alarming; suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens, 43% of teens have been the victim of cyberbullying, and almost 50% of high school seniors have abused a drug of some kind.  The high school students move on to college and the struggle continues with 57.2% being on prescription drugs, 40% of those for anxiety, depression and stress.  These numbers barely scratched the surface of what she uncovered in her research.  

As an educator and a parent of a college student, it seems pretty obvious to her that something had gone amiss with our youth today.  Angela observed a breakdown in self-esteem, a lack of authentic communication within families and a staggering amount of pressure on adolescents to succeed in a 24/7 world where they are bombarded relentlessly by conflicting messages on “achievement.” Our youth are so busy “doing” they are not “being” teens.  Many teens strive for perfection and anything less feels like “failure” to them.   Many of our children haven’t learned the basic premise, there is no failure, just lessons to be learned and knowledge to be gained.  As a result, self-esteem withers away and many students either quit trying or find a way to mask their perceived shortcomings.  

As Angela spoke with teachers, parents, and school counsellors, everyone expressed the same concern but were unsure of how to address the issue.   Teens felt just as frustrated and wished their parents understood the pressure they faced  24/7.  She  attended a meeting with therapists, college coaches, life coaches, and assorted other groups that worked with all types of students in multiple capacities.   Sitting in the room with and listening to these professionals supplied her with final piece of the puzzle - there could be a way to bring this all together and Practical Parenting for Teens was formed.  PP4T would attack the issue in three different ways;

  • Conferences for parents to connect them with local resources.
  • Family retreats to build communication among parents and teens through a series of carefully crafted activities and organized excursions.
  • Teen retreats designed to foster independence, build self-confidence, and teach coping mechanisms for the 24/7 world they live in today.

However, being ADHD herself, Angela knew she needed someone who believed in the Montessori philosophy of empowerment, had experience organizing conferences and who was willing to take a big risk on a completely new idea.  She was lucky to enlist the help of Cindy Oosthuizen, without whom none of this would be possible.  They make a formidable team, balancing business & creativity, dreams & reality, with an unwavering faith in their mission, AND Cindy keeps Angela on task!

Meet the Team

Angela Updike  Co-Founder & CEO

Educator, teacher trainer and public speaker,  Angela moved into teaching after working in marketing with IBMSECU for over ten years.  She now specializes in teaching Child Development, overseeing new teachers in their Practicum year and preparing students for the Montessori Model UN. She has traveled with students as far away as China and this spring heads to Rome.  She also teaches Leadership and Digital Citizenship to Upper Elementary and Middle School students.  She combined her knowledge of education and experience in marketing to outline and implement the concept behind Practical Parenting for Teens.  

Cindy Oosthuizien  Co-Founder & CFO

Cindy has a background in business and administration.  Before she left South Africa, she was introduced to the Montessori philosophy and decided to take the training.  She spent many years teaching utilizing her Montessori education, but when an opportunity to combine her knowledge in both the business and education worlds came about, she decided to make a change and worked for an organization that accredited private schools.  While there, she was involved with organizing their events and planning their annual conference.  She loved keeping her toes in the education world and also expanding her skill set.  A few years later, Angela approached CIndy with her dreams and a plan.  Cindy believed in the vision and after brainstorming all weekend, she decided to co-found Practical Parenting for Teens with Angela!