TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Jan. 31, 2014, 11:02 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
6 Valuable Ways a Tutor Can Improve Your Standardized Test Score

Standardized tests are here to stay. Not only do colleges use them to determine academic abilities, but also partly base offers of admission on these scores. With competitiveness among college applicants growing, many parents and students should consider a tutor to help prepare for the PSAT, SAT and ACT. If you’re considering a tutor for test prep or simply for academic help, it is prudent to know how a tutor could assist you and help you improve your scores. 1. A tutor can teach test-taking strategy. A good tutor can teach you how to approach difficult problems, use complicated math ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 3:22 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Mother-Daughter Bonding: Time Well Spent

As girls advance through the teen years their relationships with friends typically eclipse relationships with parents. Although many mothers realize separation is part of a normal developmental stage that they went through themselves, it’s not always easy for moms to readjust to “the new normal.” In an article in Psychology Today, The Challenge of Mothering an Adolescent Daughter, Dr. Carl Pickhardt explains the reasons for the change: Over the course of adolescence, issues of ‘attachment versus separation' and issues of ‘similarity versus differentiation' are contested by the young person to establish independence and individuality. So for independence, the adolescent wants ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 3:17 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Demystifying Common Core Standards

If you have heard the term “Common Core” but not sure what it means, then read on. According to the official website, “The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.” In other words, the main goal of the Common Core Standards is to simplify and systematize American elementary and ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 3:06 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
The Importance of Respect in Teenage Sexuality

By the time a boy crosses the threshold into his teen years he undoubtedly has participated in sex education classes at school and maybe also at his house of worship. Likely a parent has sequestered him on a long car ride for the proverbial “birds and bees talk.” And it’s probable that a couple of coming-of-age books have been lovingly placed on his bookshelf in hopes that at least one will be cracked open in the privacy of his room. No matter a parent’s perspective on sensitive topics such as sexual orientation and pre-marital sex, virtually all want their sons ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 2:58 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
The Best of the Grammys

My daughter and I watched the 2014 Grammys together. While a friend aptly labeled the performance, “Too much of a good thing,” we: Were mesmerized by the glam and glitter. Loved many pairings of old and new, like Carol King and Sara Bareilles. Cheered for Lorde and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Gasped at Beyonce’s outfit and post-baby body. Giggled at Pharrell’s hats. Marveled at Pink’s acrobatics. Coveted Taylor Swift’s dresses. But you’ll never guess what grabbed us above all else. The advertisement for Microsoft’s search engine, Bing: “Celebrating the Women of 2013.” I am happy to report that my daughter ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 2:52 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
How to Avoid the College Application Frenzy

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, freshman enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 48 percent form 1995 to 2009 and is projected to grow 11 percent between 2009 and 2020. With more college applicants vying for a relatively static supply of freshman slots, it’s no wonder that high school students and their parents have a hard time avoiding the college application frenzy. But it can be done. Here are ten ways: Recognize that colleges want what they don’t have. For example, colleges in New England have lots of applicants from New England. So, wherever you live, consider schools ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 2:50 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
How to Achieve Real Happiness

As parents, we want our children to be happy for their sake and for ours. In fact, we all live the adage, “You’re only as happy as your least happy child.” But as the title of a January 9, 2013 article in The Atlantic warns, “There’s More to Life than Being Happy.” The writer opens her editorial with a powerful quote from Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, who says, "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness," to communicate that people who have meaning in their lives are the most resilient, and are able to rise above even the ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 12:16 p.m. by Rosa Heyman | View Comments
5 Ways to Stay Healthy in College

It's never too early to start thinking about your health when you go away to college. It is easier than you think to make unhealthy choices, especially when you are surrounded by french fries and chicken fingers every day in the cafeteria. Make sure to leave high school prepared, and you will find it easier to make healthy decisions! For every cup of coffee, drink a glass of water Coffee and caffeine are inevitable parts of every college student’s routine – whether you are out late with friends or stuck in the library cramming for an exam, sometimes it feels ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 11:57 a.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
Allowance and Chores: How to Up the Ante

I admit it: getting my three sons to do household chores is, well, too much of a chore for me. Like most parents, my mind is going in a million different directions as I move through another harried day. At any given moment, I'm trying to answer the following questions, usually simultaneously: "Who am I carpooling with for tonight's basketball practice? What time is Leo's winter cello concert? Did I pay the mortgage yet? How am I going to finish my writing assignment and get dinner started? Will I make it home before the dog pees on the oriental rug ...

Posted Jan. 24, 2014, 12:52 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Hooking Up In High School

Dating in the 50’s seemed so simplistic. Remember the movie Grease? There were the good girls like Sandy and the not-as-good girls like Rizzo. Going out meant going to the movies or to the malt shop. And when Danny wanted Sandy to be his girlfriend, he gave her his letterman jacket to wear. But teen dating today does not seem quite as simple. A July 2013 article, Sex on Campus; She Can Play That Game, Too in the New York Times about dating on college campuses caused quite a stir amongst parents and teens. The article suggested not only that ...

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