Posts Tagged ‘teens’

Got a Teen? Don’t Take the Bait!

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Recently, on the way to school, my teenage son and I heard a silly commercial on the radio. I commented that it must be running at the same time every day because we had heard the exact same commercial while sitting at the same stop light the day before.

Just making conversation, right?

My son suddenly must have realized that he hadn’t fulfilled his “if mom says the sky is blue I must insist it’s green” quota for the day. So he came up with: “It wasn’t exactly the same commercial as the one that ran yesterday.”

Then he looked at me expectantly…

For the record? Yes, friends, it was EXACTLY the same commercial. But to my credit, I did something I don’t often manage to do: I didn’t take the bait. I just sort of shrugged as if to say “Oh well. You may be right. Who knows?”

Drove him nuts. Who was this mom who failed to engage in a debate over… nothing? After a couple more attempts resulted in less that his desired results, we moved on to another topic.

Success! I was not the catch of the day. I wish I could say it went this well every day, but I’ll take my victories where I can get them.

Have you been baited by your teen lately? How did you handle it? Today I was on my game. But tomorrow? I may need all the tips I can get!

Free E-Course: Bullying — What Parents Should Know

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Jennifer O’Donnell, a terrific writer and editor on all things parenting-related, has created a free e-course on bullying. With her permission, I’m including all the info here so you can easily sign up to receive the course materials. (Did I mention that it’s FREE?) Also check out Jennifer’s wonderful Tweens column.Be sure to sign up for her free newsletter while you’re there, too. Great info. Thanks, Jennifer!

Bullying can be a threat to any student, but bullying behavior peaks in the middle school years, and the consequences can be severe and forever damaging. Here’s what parents should know about bullying, bullies, victims, and types of bullying. The more you know, the more you can help your child.

This free e-course will be delivered in four lessons, one per day. Here’s what you’ll learn about preventing and dealing with bullying:

  • Day One: Bullying and Middle School
  • Day Two: The Different Types of Bullying
  • Day Three: All About Victims and Bullies
  • Day Four: The Effects of Bullying
  • Are Teens Getting Tired of Social Media?

    Monday, January 4th, 2010
    Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

    Facing a time crunch with homework, tests and other real-world activities, some teens are just saying no to Facebook and other social-media temptations, according to a recent New York Times article.

    Some are going so far as to ask a friend to change their Facebook password to help them avoid the siren song of social media.

    According to the article, Facebook will not reveal how many users have deactivated service, but Kimberly Young, a psychologist who is the director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in Bradford, Pa., said she had spoken with dozens of teenagers trying to break the Facebook habit.

    “It’s like any other addiction,” Young says. “It’s hard to wean yourself.”

    Are your kids cutting back on social-media use? How about yourself? Is it time for a reality check regarding how much of our lives we’re willing to devote to the social-media beast?

    Take Me Out to The Blog Carnival!

    Monday, July 6th, 2009

    It's blog-carnival time over at, and I'm jazzed that Parent Talk Today was mentioned on their "End Mid-Summer Madness Now!" post.

    Head over there right now (or after you hang around here for a bit!) to learn about:

    °    The dangers kids can get into when they have too much time on their hands in the summer.

    °    How to strengthen the bond with your children.

    °    Fun ways to interact with preschoolers.

    °    How parents who work from a home office can swing a break now and then. (Picnic, anyone?)

    °    How to get fit as a family.

    °    How to participate in community service as a family.

    °    How to host a teen slumber party

    °    Play-date tips.

    Teens and Smoking: Why?

    Monday, March 2nd, 2009

    On the way back from dropping my son off at school this morning, I pulled up alongside an older Volvo
    at a stop light. I smiled when I saw two girls, about 17 years old, in
    the car, thinking that the driver's parents had probably made darned
    sure she was driving a safe car.

    They were so young and beautiful. Smiling, chatting, downing their Starbucks coffee drinks. Then, almost in unison, they both stuck their hands out the car window and flicked ashes from a cigarette.

    My heart sank.

    My mother in law, Pat, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) when my son, Matt, was just in first grade. A lifelong smoker, she tried many times to quit. But the habit, which she picked up in college, was too tough for her to give up. I remember her telling all this to Matt and then telling him to NEVER start smoking. To this day, he still talks about that conversation with his grandmother.

    This morning, I wanted to get out of my car and go tell all of this to those girls. Those lovely, healthy young women with beautiful skin, bright eyes and (I hoped) still-healthy lungs and hearts.

    I didn't, of course. The light turned green. We went our separate ways. And I don't expect those two girls to be seeking out a parenting blog… Until they are parents themselves, of course. When they're addicted to smoking and worried like hell that the second-hand smoke, and the example they're setting, might be hurting their kids. When they're looking up articles on Google about how to quit smoking or how to make sure their own kids never smoke.

    How much easier it would be for today's teens to not pick up that first cigarette. Or to quit now, after a few months of smoking, rather than having to stare down that nicotine beast after a decade or more of damage.

    If you're a parent who is smelling cigarette smoke on your kid's clothes when then come home, please show them this post. You may not be the parent of those two particular girls. But then again, there might be an older, gold-colored Volvo sitting in your driveway right now.

    Momagers, Momtourages and Mommy Mobs, Oh My!

    Friday, January 2nd, 2009

    Bake sale cupcakes“We really want the kids to feel special at the magazine drive contest
    next week, and do not want anyone to feel like a ‘loser’ because they
    are all winners.  So, we will all be responsible for bringing in
    presents and trophies for someone else’s child so everyone is included!”

    “You did a fabulous job at the Need-Organic-Glue-in-the-Classrooms Fundraiser. Thanks so much!”

    “In honor of Shalom-Winroads School’s 12.5-year anniversary, we are having a benefit. Have you bought your table yet?”

    If you're a mom with a kid in preschool through middle school, you may be laughing, because you know these quotes from a post over at On Youth and Teens Today With Vanessa Van Petten aren't all that much of an exaggeration

    Be sure to read the entire post. Vanessa is one of my favorite parenting bloggers. She throws in a lot of humor with her great insights. Head over there right now and subscribe… before you read another e-mail from the PTA president.

    Get Creative When Giving Teens Gift Money

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

    Piggy bank from German bank HASPA, around 1970.Denise Witmer, over at Teens, has some terrific advice for parents and relatives who want to give a teen money for the holidays. (And what teen doesn't love the idea of receiving a little mad money?)

    Here are a few of Witmer's suggestions:

    • Put the money in a new wallet and wrap the wallet.
    • Stick the money in a festive envelope and place it in a book on learning about money.
    • Disperse the money into gift cards to your teen’s favorite
      stores. Add a card that sets a date to go shopping and spend some time

    For more creative and fun ideas, visit Teens.

    Teens Say Prescription Drugs Are Easier to Buy Than Beer

    Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

    Hi everyone -

    As I was finishing writing this post, my 12-year-old son wandered into the office, and the photo and headline here grabbed his attention. We ended up having a really good chat about kids and drugs. You never know when and where these opportunities will arise! OK, back to the blog:

    Parents who don't monitor their kids' school-night
    activities, safeguard their prescription drugs, address the problem of
    drugs in their kids' schools, and set good examples increase the
    risk that their teens will smoke, drink, and use
    illegal and prescription drugs.

    That's the word from the 13th annual back-to-school survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

    The survey
    found that the later teens are out of the house hanging out with
    friends on school nights, the more likely they are to be involved with
    alcohol and drug use.

    percent of 12- to 17-year olds report leaving their house to hang out
    with friends on school nights. Among these teens:

    °    50 percent who come home after 10:00 p.m. say that drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana or other drug use occurs.

    °    29 percent who
    come home after 8:00 p.m. and before 10:00 p.m. say that drinking
    alcohol, smoking marijuana or other drug use occurs.

    For the first
    time in the CASA survey’s history, more teens said prescription drugs
    were easier to buy than beer (19 vs. 15 percent). Almost half (46 percent) of teens say
    painkillers are the most commonly abused prescription drug among teens.

    When teens who know prescription drug abusers were asked where those kids get their drugs:

    °    31 percent said from friends or classmates

    °    34 percent said from home, parents or the family medicine cabinet

    °    16 percent said other

    °    9 percent said from a drug dealer

    Talking with your child about drug and alcohol abuse, safeguarding the family medicine cabinet (including keeping a count of pills that might be abused) and setting family rules and curfews can all help prevent teen drug and alcohol abuse.

    What conversations are you having with your kids about this important topic? Please share your thoughts in "comments."

    Death by Pecking (Or Fudge Ripple, Whichever Comes First)

    Monday, July 14th, 2008

    You’ve seen the t-shirts that say “Raising Children is Like Being
    Pecked To Death by Chickens,” right? Well, raising a teenager, I’m
    learning, can be like being pecked to death by a very large,
    hormone-filled rooster.

    I’m off to the grocery store to escape the coop. (And because we’re out of food, but that’s beside the point.)

    Yes, folks, I’m living proof that one can spend 12 years writing about parenting, child psychology, education, kids’ health, yada, yada, yada — and still be driven insane by one 12-year-old boy.

    OK, frozen-food department, here I come. Better lock up the chocolate ice cream.

    Parenting Teens Just Got (a Little Bit) Easier

    Sunday, July 29th, 2007

    Our son is only starting sixth grade in the fall, but Randy and I already are getting a preview of the teen years that lie ahead. And we know we’ll have plenty of challenges and decisions to deal with.

    Parenting a teen these days calls for a cool head — and solid information. The Parenting Teens Resource Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing news, resources and journal articles that are helpful for parents of teens. (Disclosure: I have contributed writing to this site. But I spend more time there as a parent than as a writer. There’s just so much helpful info available.)

    Also, through the organization’s online Parent Forum, parents can talk to each other and ask questions of parenting experts and teens themselves.

    Because, let’s face it, none of us has all the answers. Do you know what the latest “gateway” drug is? Is your teenager too old
    for the pediatrician’s office? Could your student athlete be tempted to use steroids? In addition to information on drugs and alcohol abuse, the site covers gambling, internet/video game use, teen weight issues, sports and sports injuries, bullying, dating, single parenting, gender issues, teaching life skills and much more. Check it out.