TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted April 8, 2014, 12:37 p.m. by TeenLife Blogger | View Comments
Helicopter Parenting: Why It's Not Good for Your Teen

Haven’t we all had a helicopter moment? Perhaps it was a note to a teacher protesting a grade, or a call to a coach insisting our teenager gets to play in next week’s game. Maybe it was helping too much with an English paper or wrangling an invitation to a party. Whatever the reason, we stepped in and did for our teenager what they could— and probably should—have handled on their own. Occasional moments like these are part of being a parent. We love our teenagers and want the best for them. But when intervention happens too often, and we ...

Posted April 8, 2014, 11:49 a.m. by Jill Suskind | View Comments
Why We Avoid Talking to Teenagers About Money

Talking about money is usually the LAST topic we enjoy discussing with the teens in our lives. It’s often a matter that sparks tension and frustration. To make it even less productive, our culture says it’s okay to avoid the subject. That makes the matter of teaching our teens to manage money in a substantive way difficult and easy to avoid. Why don't we talk to our teens? I think we don’t talk to our teenagers about money because we’re embarrassed. If I have less money than you, I don’t want you to know it, and on the other hand, ...

Posted April 8, 2014, 11 a.m. by Jill Suskind | View Comments
5 Laws for Parents Teaching Financial Literacy

For better or worse, these aren’t laws in the legal sense. No one will arrest a person for not raising children with excellent money management habits. I’m talking about the laws of nature that operate when we set out to raise teens with financial literacy. Laws such as the Law of Gravity, Murphy’s Law, and the Law of Conservation of Mass aren’t laws you have to follow, per se, but if you understand them, you get TWO REWARDS: First, you get a lot less confusion in your life about why things happen the way they do, and second, you get ...

Posted April 7, 2014, 12:53 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Study Links Teen Depression with School Dissatisfaction

A recent study out of the Queensland University of Technology links improper school fit with teen depression. In a study of 2,000 students, researchers surveyed how teens felt about their school, their mood, and other factors. Professor Ian Shochet was amazed at the correlation between school and depression. He says, “The school experience is so important. Its link with depression is more important than parental attachment. The strength of the correlation is breathtaking.” Understanding Teen Depression Many teens don’t love school, but parents must be able to differentiate annoyance with school from depression. Shochet encourages parents to pull their children ...

Posted April 7, 2014, 11 a.m. by Julia Levine Rogers | View Comments
Experience is Everything: How a Gap Year Can Prepare Teens for Life

Recently, the parent of one of my students told me that her daughter’s hairdresser noticed a difference after she returned from her gap year. Although he only sees her a few times a year, he observed, "You can just tell she's changed." And he meant it as a compliment. As a gap year advisor, I work with students who engage in wildly different gap year activities: Studying sculpture in Florence, whitewater rafting in Bhutan, working on organic farms in New Zealand, mentoring troubled youth in Chicago. And while these activities are very different, they are all worthwhile, challenging pursuits. So ...

Posted April 6, 2014, 11 a.m. by Main Contact | View Comments
Documenting (And Maximizing) Your Summer Experience

Your teen has returned from his/her summer experience full of stories, ideas and new resolve to take on more challenges...Now what? After catching up on sleep, the very next thing that he/she should do is to compose a personal essay about the experience while it is fresh in his/her mind. The write-up may prove useful when constructing college essays further down the road. Ideally, the essay should be about one piece of the experience, one moment where your teen felt that something mattered, or their perspective changed. If your teenager is up for it, have them write more than one ...

Posted April 5, 2014, 11 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Are Summer College Visits Worthwhile?

Most parents of high school juniors—or rising seniors—feel some pressure as this summer before senior year rolls around. The college application process looms. The essay topic remains a mystery. Then, there’s the biggest question: Where to apply? As a parent, you may see summer—when your child has no classes, no sports, no extracurricular activities, and perhaps you have some time off from work—as a good time to get a jump on college tours. Campuses in summer are generally sleepier, slow, and far emptier than during the academic year. So, is it worth your time—and your student’s—to take some tours? Here ...

Posted April 4, 2014, 4:49 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Facing the Facebook Dilemma

Hearing that a middle or high school student complained that a teacher was mean or unfair does not sound like it would make headlines. But it did for Riley Statton, then a sixth grade middle school student, when she chose to make these statements on her Facebook page. Facebook Headlines School officials found out that Statton posted that a teacher’s aide was mean and she was given a school suspension. Statton went back on Facebook and posted inquiries to find out who told on her. Later on, a parent complained to the school about racy chats that Statton had been ...

Posted April 4, 2014, 11 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
The Beauty and Convenience of Early Action

Regular readers know I once referred to Early Action as something like “the best thing since sliced bread.” But not until this week have I realized what a terrific and wonderful beauty Early Action truly is. To explain why, let’s begin with a common comparison. High School Years and Stress Every time period in our lives is like a plate (as in “I’ve got a lot of things on my plate today”). If we are to extrapolate this simile to the world of high school, freshman year is like an amuse-bouche: Whetting one’s appetite for the time to come. Sophomore ...

Posted April 3, 2014, 3:56 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Summer College Tours: Eat Lunch on Campus and Other Suggestions

Many seniors have friends going off to college and their fall visits may be more independent of parental support. They may have opportunities for overnight visits, bunked in sleeping bags on dorm room floors. While other trips will likely include you, their parents, this summer before senior year is an interesting time when the campus visit and family vacation often become one. Family Vacation and Campus Visit I liked this guest post on the New York Times’ Choice blog by a college counselor with some interesting tips about making the most from a college visit. You can read the entire ...

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