Teens and Alcohol

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem for teens in our country. It has been well publicized that drinking for the sake of getting drunk has many negative consequences for both adults and teens. Some of these negative consequences include loss of job, homicide, addiction, driving while intoxicated, and spouse abuse.

Alcoholism is not merely a problem for adults. It would surprise many if they were to learn that alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in America among teens today. Even though the alcohol consumption of our nation has been declining for years, the increasing number of minors who drink is getting out of hand. Today there are close to 3 million teens between the ages of 13 and 17 who are considered problem drinkers according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition to those three million, there are another 300,000 more teenagers who are dependent on alcohol. Many teens experience the negative consequences of alcohol abuse that include poor grades, getting

Read More

That’s Boring: Why Classic Literature Is No Longer Relevant to Tech-Savvy Teens (or Not)

English teachers and librarians frequently lament the disinclination their students feel toward classic literature-specifically, anything written before the twentieth century. Not only, do they believe, that today’s young adults need the short-snappy-immediate prose (if one can call it thus) of cell phone texts, but they will no longer read classic literature on their own, for pleasure’s sake, unless it’s assigned-and even then, teachers are forced to test against Cliffs Notes and scan for the internet for proof of plagiarized papers. With random predictions forecasting the doom of paper and the downfall of traditional libraries, is it a waste of time to subject teens to the likes of Homer and other historic authors during this Information Age when bite-sized information is the rule of the day?

For many students, who do not hesitate to complain, the language of past writers is too hard. Since people no longer speak or write the way Shakespeare and J

Read More

Technology, Social Media and Your Teen

My children are at an extremely low-tech school. There are no televisions, computers or tablets in the classroom, and mobile phones are forbidden during the school day. Families are encouraged to keep their children screen-free in the early years (up until age six) and for grade one through seven, limited screen time is recommended for weekends only. Our family has followed these guidelines since our children started at the school and we have rarely deviated from them.

Now that my daughter is 13 and in high school, the struggle to limit screen time and exposure to social media is real. Most of my daughter’s classmates have Instagram accounts and many of them are smuggling phones into the classroom, despite the “no tech” rule. She says that without her own account, she often feels a disconnect with her classmates because she didn’t see the latest Instagram post that everyone is talking about. Are we impeding her ability to socialize and communicate with

Read More

Social Networking’s Good and Bad Impacts on Kids

Social networking provides benefits and poses risks for children. Social networking sites have a lot to offer, from apps, games, and the chance of meeting lots of people. These things make them appealing to young kids and teens. And experts say exposing kids to social media can actually help them, but the fact that it can also harm them is also undeniable.

The Bad Effects

According to some studies, teens who use social networking more often show more narcissistic tendencies. Also, young adults who have a strong presence on Facebook show more signs of psychological disorders such as antisocial behavior and manic-aggressive tendencies.

Overuse of social media technology such as the computer and mobile devices can also have a negative effect on the health of children, pre-teens, and teenagers. This makes them more susceptible to depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems.

Facebook and other social networking sites are distracting and can have a ne

Read More

Kids and the Constiution, or the Day My Kid’s Tried to Impeach the President

It all began when I took out the Presidential Cards that I made a few years ago in order to provide a “Knowledge Challenge” in honor of Presidents Day for my Passport Kids. I love the spontaneous learning that occurs during the conversations that these challenges inspire.

The challenge was to put all the Presidents in order, from Washington to Trump. As a bonus, I asked them to name the eight Presidents who had died in office and how they had died. Over the years, I have found that Presidential deaths make a great conversation starter with the kids, and they end up asking questions about all kinds of stuff. What can I say? If it works, keep working it.

So at one point, Gecki, a precocious eight-year-old girl, asks, “Why is there a mirror on the back of the last card?”

“That is because we don’t know who the next President will be yet, and someday it could even be you.”

Satisfied with my answer, she goes ba

Read More

Bullying – Not My Child!

The headlines have recently reported the tragic consequences of bullying. While this is not new behavior, it is increasing due to the feeling of anonymity that bullies have when they use electronic devices to bully. Let’s get clear on a definition of bullying. Any one of these three main conditions are present in a bullying situation: harm, unfair match (either in age/size or in numbers i.e. 3 kids against one) and repetition. Examples of bullying including:

  • Hurting someone physically
  • Stealing or damaging another person’s things
  • Ganging up on someone
  • Teasing in a hurtful way
  • Using put-downs, such as insulting of someone’s race, weight, intelligence, appearance or making fun of someone for being a boy or a girl
  • Touching or showing private body parts
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Texting rumors or lies
  • Publishing rumors or lies on social networking websites
  • Excluding someon
Read More

Ten Rules For Teens

Some of my favorite people these days are teenagers.

I am not an expert on teens or family interactions, but I do know that kids need rules. I wrote these ten for one of those fabulous teenagers who inhabit my world. They are not intended to be all-inclusive, but rather to hit the highlights of life at this moment. Even so, I think they are well worth sharing.

Rule 1. Life is too short to hang out with people you don’t like.

Rule 2. There is always a nice way to do something hard. That doesn’t mean it will be easy for anyone involved, but you can look back and feel good about how you handled the situation.

Rule 3. If it is to be done, best done soon. Shakespeare said it better, but the point is, if you are going to break up with him/her, do it sooner rather than waiting.

Rule 4. Take care of yourself. You are the only you we have and we think you are very special. Don’t smoke, don’t ride in a car without a seatbelt, don&#821

Read More

10 Sample Interview Questions For Teens

Everyone gets a little tongue tied answering job interview questions…

Most adults dread going on job interviews. So can you imagine how nerve-wracking it is for your teen-ager at his very first job interview?

One of the best things you can do to prepare your teen (or even yourself!) for an interview is to hold a “mock interview” at home.

That’s why I’ve put together the 10 most common interview questions and answers so you can help your teen appear cool as a cucumber!

1) Question: Why do you feel you are the best candidate for this job?

Answer: Because I’m responsible, reliable, and a hard worker.

2) Question: Do you have any experience in this type of work?

Answer: If you have related experience, tell them about it.

But if you don’t have experience, then answer: Not exactly, but I am a fast learner and I’m excited to learn as much as I can about (blank

Read More

Teens and Puberty – Are the Effects on Teens Overblown?

Current research questions whether the influences of puberty on teens are as strong as once believed. Have the effects of puberty been overstated? While it is true that puberty impacts some adolescents more acutely than others, as a whole, puberty is a less-dramatic event for teens.

Before we go any further in this article, let’s agree on what is puberty. It is a biological change that children go through that causes bodily changes as well as emotional changes. It also includes maturation of thinking and moral development, in ways that teens view themselves and others.

While puberty is occurring at an alarmingly earlier age in children, puberty typically begins within the ages of 8 and 13 for girls and 9 and 14 for boys. If it occurs before the age of 8 for girls, and 9 for boys, it is considered early (precocious) development. Puberty is considered delayed if it has not begun before the age of 13 for girls and 14 years for boys.

First signs of puberty for

Read More

How Much Do Magazines Influence Today’s Teens?

Children are growing up too fast these days fro anyone’s comfort. They seem to learn faster and as long as it is limited to this all parents seem to revel in the thought that their child is a fast learner. But this also implies that they will enter start behaving like teenagers much sooner. Teenagers seem to grow up and change from playing to dolls to applying make-up almost overnight. It sometimes comes as quite a shock to the parent who has not been looking hard enough.

The media and exposure to a vast area of information has fermented this change that is occurring in our teens today. Teen magazines have a particularly high impact on the mindset of the teens and they seem to be enamored by the information that is provided on the latest pop stars and models. Teen magazines have changed over time to cater to the growing curiosity of the children. Earlier these magazines talked about the favorite color or the favorite attire of a celebrity but now they publish relationsh

Read More