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Polis Report

Raising Cain

By Jim Rendon

Baby boomers, who have so compulsively told each other the secret art of doing everything that someone finally published The Authoritative Guide to Self-Help Books, now have another source for handling one of life's more arduous tasks--raising teenagers.

Parent.TEEN, a freebie Bay Area magazine slated to appear six times a year, is the creation of Dixie Jordan. Seventeen years ago she founded Parent's Press, a publication about raising younger children. Jordan says her readers asked for a magazine about raising older kids, and so Parent.TEEN was born.

"It's the boomers' kids that are today's teenagers," says Jordan, adding that the Bay Area is home to some 600,000 teens, a market that is virtually untapped.

The first issue guides middle- and upper-income, well-educated (Jordan estimates that 97 percent of readers completed some college) moms and pops through the terrors of everything from choosing a zit cream to lining up classes to get Junior into Stanford.

Despite the magazine's rosy outlook for parents, teenagers today are confronted with numerous difficulties, from drug and alcohol abuse to divorced or absentee parents. According to Amy Dominguez-Arms, policy director for Children Now, a children's advocacy organization, teens in California face increased juvenile violence, a world where a high school diploma means less and less and exacerbated racial tensions, particularly where college admissions are concerned.

Will this magazine really help parents and kids negotiate the turmoil that comes with adolescence? Or will it merely help parents drive kids faster and harder toward that pie-in-the-sky law degree?

"No article will end drug abuse or make them think safe sex or abstinence or never drink," she says. "This magazine is for the average, works-well-most-of-the-time family."

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From the June 19-25, 1997 issue of Metro.

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