15-16 years

Discover tips, tools, and support for this age

Your teen is continuing to develop their own identity! Continue to help them prepare for more independence and responsibility. Consider encouraging them to find a summer job and explore options for life after high school. 

Scroll down to learn more about your teen at this stage, explore available resources, and find free events for teens. 

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Development continues through the teen years and into adulthood! Learn about your teen's growth and what to look out for during this exciting time.

Around 15–16 years old, most teens:

  • Social

    • Have early work experience
    • Show more independence from parents or caregivers
    • Are more willing to share
    • Develop more intimate relationships
  • Communication

    • Begin to express more interest in moral issues
    • May seem moodier and use harsh language when talking
  • Learning

    • Learn more defined work habits
    • Show more concern about future school and work plans
    • Give clear reasons for their choices, including what's right or wrong
  • Physical Development

    • Show signs of puberty
    • Use deodorant
    • Become more aware of sexuality
  • Health

    • Have 6 to 8 ounces of grains daily (such as 1 bagel plus 1 cup of rice)
    • Have 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables daily (1 large pepper plus 2 large celery stalks)
    • Have 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits daily (1 banana plus ½ cup of dried fruit)
    • Have 5 to 6 ounces of meat and beans daily (1 can of tuna plus 2 eggs)
    • Have 3 cups of milk daily
    • Do 1 hour of physical activity each day
    • Sleep about 8–10 hours per day

As your teen transitions into adulthood, look out for signs they may be at risk or troubled, including if they:

  • Act Early

    • Being too overweight or underweight
    • Expressing a lack of self-worth or talking about suicide
    • Showing changes in appetite, weight, or eating habits, which may signal an eating disorder


Find the support your family needs to thrive

A free City ID card


NYC Human Resources Administration

IDNYC can often be used as an official ID for all New Yorkers age 10 and over.

Leadership opportunities for youth

NYC Youth Leadership Councils (YLC)

NYC Service

On YLCs, youth take action in their communities by shaping policy and practice and leading plans for change.

Paid summer experiences for youth

Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)

NYC Department of Youth & Community Development

SYEP provides youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer experiences for up to six weeks.

Virtual Events

See what your family can do for free in NYC

NBA League Pass

All Day
During the NBA Hiatus, watch a free preview of NBA League Pass. This free offering…

Express Yourself Writing Workshop

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Our unique experiences shape the ways in which we view the world around us and…