TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted March 21, 2014, 12:40 p.m. by Julia Levine Rogers | View Comments
8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Gap Year

It is the season of college acceptances and decisions. But you may find yourself as one of the growing number of students who have chosen to defer their college admission in favor of a gap year. This is an incredibly exciting time, but you may also feel a little anxious about the adventures that await you. Here are some tips for preparing yourself to make the most of your gap year: 1. Anticipate being out of your comfort zone. Everything you experience on your college gap year is going to be different from what you now know. You’ll meet new ...

Posted March 21, 2014, 12:25 p.m. by Katherine Dayton | View Comments
Plugged or Unplugged? Technology and Summer Programs

Recently, there’s been a bit of lively buzz in the summer camps community about a new policy announced by the #1 ranked camp in Pennsylvania that allows “Smartphones, music players, tablets, e-readers, even laptops–they’re all fair game...” Technology can be a great thing, but should it be used in the great outdoors? Allowing Technology Kids are entwined in their gadgetry. In fact, almost everyone uses gadgetry for business and social commerce these days. Even in under-resourced countries worldwide, no matter how remote or economically depressed, one is hard-pressed not to find cell phones prevalent, at least. The scope of summer ...

Posted March 21, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Supporting Teens with ADHD

As parents, we likely sense what statistics confirm. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is on the rise. According to data reported in The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 11 percent of children ages 4 to 17 received an ADHD diagnosis in 2011 and 69 percent of these 6.4 million youth took medication to treat ADHD. These figures represent approximately 2 million more children with ADHD than the number reported in 2003. Many teens do NOT outgrow ADHD. According to WebMD, most people who are diagnosed with ADHD as children still struggle with it as teens. ...

Posted March 21, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Race to Nowhere: How Parents Can Help Teens Reduce Stress

Are teens still in a race to nowhere? Not if we can help it. A follow-up to the poignant documentary, Race to Nowhere, spurs the new campaign, "Replace the Race." Race to Nowhere Several years ago, I went to a screening of the documentary Race to Nowhere. At the time, my own children were in elementary, middle and high school. Prior to seeing the movie, I had thought that my older children seemed overly stressed out about school, and all of their club and sports commitments. On most afternoons, my daughters, who played multiple sports and never got home from ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 3:55 p.m. by Victoria Kempf | View Comments
3 Online Risks for Teens

When parents think about online risks for teens, many only think about inappropriate websites, online bullying, and social media, to name a few. But what if the effects of being online 24/7 stay with your teen even when they aren't sitting at the computer? Teens being online can cause deeper, more prominent issues that all parents should be aware of. 3 Teen Online Risks Parents Don’t Think About! 1. The Issue: Sleep Deprivation The Common Cause: Teens Are Online When They Should Be Sleeping The Reason: In this digital age of online risks, kids want to be connected 24/7 to ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 2:44 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Why I Send My Teen to Sleepaway Camp

When my ten-year-old daughter begged me to go sleepaway camp, I was conflicted. I knew many people — adults and kids — that thought sleepaway camp was the greatest experience. A chance to enjoy some independence, make new friends and create wonderful memories. But selfishly, I hated the idea of her being away from home most of the summer. But ultimately, I decided to let her try it. This past summer marked my daughter’s fifth year at the same camp. At fifteen, I know for sure that sleepaway camp was the best place for her to spend the summer. Here ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 11:28 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Teens and Current Events

Mass stabbings at train station in Southwest China carried out by separatist militants. Town override passes to fund construction of new public high school. Syrian refugee children deprived of an education. Lobbyists push to require labeling of genetically engineered food. Russia sends more troops into Crimea. Massachusetts bans food wastes from landfills. 6,000 children die daily due to lack of clean water. The headlines come at us fast and furiously – over the web, Twitter, Facebook, radio, and television; in newspapers, and magazines. With so many inputs daily, it’s not surprising that some of us tune out the majority of ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 11 a.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
Athletic Recruiting

Getting into college is not as simple as it used to be. To stand out in a field of star students, college applicants are expected to shine in the classroom and beyond. Not surprisingly, athletics are taking a more prominent role on the well-rounded student resume. ESPN’s recent study on youth and competitive sports notes that overall, high schools are expanding athletic opportunities for students. Club teams are proliferating, too, separately from school programs. In certain sports like soccer, teens are increasingly foregoing high school teams altogether to play exclusively for clubs—a development that is impacting high school athletic programs ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Driven to Distraction

Beyond the popular refrain, “Don’t drink and drive,” parents should include many more appeals to their sons and daughters as they grab the car keys and head out the door—“don’t dial and drive,” “don’t text and drive,” “don’t reach for the phone and drive,” and “don’t eat and drive.” Dialing, texting, and eating put young drivers at risk. According to an article published in the January 2014 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a novice driver who calls a number on a cell phone while driving increases the risk of an accident by more than 800 percent. Reaching ...

Posted March 19, 2014, 2 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Teens Need More Sleep

I was just speaking to a twenty-something graphic designer about setting up a meeting and was taken aback when he replied, “I am not a morning person. Could we meet after 10:30 am?” He readily admitted that he while he has been out of college and graduate school for a few years, he is still on the “work until the wee hours of the night and sleep in late” schedule. No 9:00 to 5:00 corporate schedule for this young business owner. Our conversation segued into how backwards it seems for high school to start before elementary school when younger kids ...

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