TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Randi Mazzella

Randi Mazzella-profile-picture

Randi Mazzella is a freelance writer and mother of three from New Jersey. She is a Contributing Editor for Raising Teens Magazine and writes monthly for the blog Barista Kids.

Posted Sept. 26, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
ACT vs. SAT: Which Test Is Right for Your Teen?

Even though the SAT and ACT are both nationally recognized college admission tests, the tests are very different. While some colleges and universities have decided to become “test optional” (see list below), the majority of schools still require applicants to submit a standardized admission test score. How can parents help teens choose which test is right for them? What are the main differences between the ACT and the SAT? The SAT will be undergoing major changes in 2016. But for now it remains the same test as in prior years. Both tests have a math, reading, and writing component (although ...

Posted Sept. 18, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Changing the Toilet Paper Roll and Other Life Lessons

Will Reid, a British father of two teenagers, posted what he says is the first in a series of instructional videos for his kids. The first lesson is teaching them how to change a toilet paper roll. He says in the video that he had tried teaching them this important lesson in person but it did not work, so he went to social media. Viral Toilet Paper His kids did not think it was very funny but apparently many parents did as it has had over 3 million views to date and his story has been picked up by many ...

Posted Sept. 13, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
youth sports

As a mother of triplet sons and a youth sports coach herself, Brooke de Lench has learned a lot first hand about youth sports. De Lench says, “Sports programs that are well run set a child on a love affair with sports and fitness for a life time with numerous benefits." Risks in Youth Sports While there are many benefits to playing youth sports there are also risks. The pressures and dangers of youth sports have gotten more media attention in recent years. The year-round commitment some sports require has led to an increase in athlete burnout and injuries. The ...

Posted Sept. 12, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
junior year stress

The reputation of how demanding junior year of high school is can make teens fearful—with good reason. It is an important and busy year for students. But it does not have to be an overly stressful year with proper planning and the right attitude. How can parents help their teen deal with junior year stress? Junior Year is Busy Students have to juggle a lot in their junior year. Heavy course loads, standardized testing, and extracurricular activities (not to mention trying to have a social life) can make it difficult for teens to balance everything on their plate. A slow ...

Posted Sept. 10, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Sorority Life: To Join or Not to Join

According to Jean Mrasek, the Vice Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), sorority life on college campuses is on the rise, with increases in both enrollment and number of sorority chapters on campuses across the country. Says Mrasek, “This increase corresponds with the number of women who pursue college degrees at this time. It also speaks to the fact that women value what we have to offer—leadership, scholarship, community service and lifelong friendship.” Why Join a Sorority? For many, joining a sorority is a great way to meet other like-minded friends at college. Mrasek explains, “Sorority chapters offer authentic ...

Posted Aug. 21, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Helping Teens Deal with Summer Romance

The infamous song “Summer Nights” from the 1978 movie Grease sums up the allure of a summer romance—especially for teens. In the movie, Danny meets Sandy at the beach and they spend the whole summer together hanging out and falling in love. But it turns out their summer personas are very different than who they are during the rest of the year. When sweet Sandy starts attending cool Danny’s high school, the romance seems doomed. But by the end of the school year, Danny and Sandy have found their way back to each other. While in ‘reel’ life, true love ...

Posted Aug. 16, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
is your teen on tinder?

When the editor at TeenLife suggested I do some research on teens and Tinder, my first thought was that she was talking about a Kesha song (that song turns out to be “Timber,” thus proving once again I am not as in the know as I think I am.) Once I did a little research, my second thought was, “Why would a teen use this app?” Teens have tons of places to find other teens to date and socialize with—school, sports, clubs, religious organizations, work, etc. I could not understand the allure of an app like this. What is Tinder? ...

Posted Aug. 13, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
What Apps Are on Your Teen’s Phone?

Pick up any teen’s mobile device and parents are sure to find tons of apps. Most parents know about popular apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Used appropriately, these apps can be fun ways to share information and connect with friends. Many parents are “friends” with their teens on Facebook as a way of keeping tabs of their teen’s online behavior. But this may be giving parents a false sense of security about what their teen is doing online. According to a June 2012 survey conducted by McAfee, more than 70 percent of teens hide their online behavior from ...

Posted Aug. 10, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
living with a teenager

Every parent has their own, authentic experiences with their teens—some good, some bad. But of course, there are also many incidents with teenagers that are universal for all parents. Here are the top 20 signs you live with a teenager. Everyday you find out you are just not cool. Even though you are not cool at all, your shoes, bags and skin care products are always missing. You can no longer help them with their math homework. You find yourself telling stories starting off with "When I was your age…” Before you can ask, “How was your day?”—The person that ...

Posted July 28, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
10 Tips for Parents with Teens Traveling Abroad

Although my daughter has spent summers away from us before, this is the first summer that she is travelling to a foreign country without us. Even though I am excited for her to hopefully have an amazing adventure, I was also a little nervous to have her so far away. Based on our experience, here are 10 tips for parents when sending their child on a travel abroad program. 1. Make sure paperwork is in order in advance If you are thinking about sending your teen on a trip abroad and they do not have a passport, get one immediately. ...

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