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 July 26, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
current events for teens

Years ago, people read a newspaper in the morning with their coffee and watched the news on television at night. Today there is almost unlimited access to news. There are whole channels devoted to news, multiple television platforms and access to tons of news sites online. With mobile devices, there is no need to ever wait for the news—it is available 24/7 in real time. No Increase in Public Knowledge But according to a 2007 Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, public knowledge of current events has changed very little despite the fact that there such as ...

Posted July 16, 2014, 1:53 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments

For most teens, the school year is very busy. Balancing school, homework, sports, extracurricular clubs, religious events, etc., can leave very little downtime. Summer seems like it would be a great opportunity for teens to slow down and relax. But many teens (and their parents) feel pressured to make sure their summer is productive. They may worry that they will be in trouble come college application time if they do not participate in activities that are “resume worthy.” Robin Mamlet, co-author of the book, College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, says, “There is nothing wrong with downtime. After the rigor ...

Posted June 20, 2014, 11:30 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Why The Fault In Our Stars Resonates with Teens

When people think of summer blockbuster movies, they think of superheroes, action adventures, or sidesplitting comedies. Movies like X-Men, Spiderman or the sequel to 21 Jump Street come to mind. But will a movie about teens living with cancer draw this summer’s moviegoers? TFIOS Resonates with Teens The Fault In Our Stars (or as fans call it TFIOS) arrived in theaters Friday June 6th as one of the most widely anticipated movies of the summer. Based on the book of the same name by John Green, TFIOS tells the love story of Hazel and Augustus (Gus), two teens living with ...

Posted June 20, 2014, 9:47 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Why Choose a Single-Gender Overnight Camp?

My younger daughter has attended an all girls’ overnight camp for the past five years. When we were first looking at overnight camps for her, we weren’t specifically interested in a single-gender camp experience. We chose the camp because she liked it—it has only been over the past several years that she has come to appreciate the benefits of spending a few weeks each summer with just girls. Extra Comfort at Single-Gender Camp Camp is a time to relax and unwind—an opportunity for kids to step out of their box, be adventurous, and a little goofy. While all sleepaway camps ...

Posted June 15, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
What Parents Need to Know About Concussions

Concussions in youth sports have received a lot of media attention. This past Thursday, President Barack Obama called for more robust research, explaining that there remains deep uncertainty over both the scope of the troubling issue and the long-term impacts on young people. “We want our kids participating in sports," Obama said as he opened a day-long summit on concussions at the White House. "As parents, though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information." What Parents Need to Know Several of my children’s friends have gotten concussions while playing sports and I ...

Posted May 12, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Should You Let Your Teen Get Plastic Surgery?

Insecurity about one’s appearance is not an uncommon feeling among teens. Many teens look in the mirror and do not like what they see. From breakouts to imperfect smiles, to feeling that their nose is too big or their ears stick out too much, many teens are unhappy with the way they look. Some perceived imperfections can be resolved with a quick fix—cover up to conceal blemishes, a new hair color, etc. Some issues may warrant seeing a dermatologist and/or orthodontist. But what if the way a teen looks makes them so self-conscious that it interferes with their ability to ...

Posted May 7, 2014, 4:33 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Mean Girls

The movie Mean Girls celebrated it’s 10-year anniversary last month. Hard to believe that movie is a decade old. Having watched it again recently, the movie is still as funny and as relevant as when it debuted. Comedian and actress, Tina Fey, wrote the screenplay for the movie based on the nonfiction book by Roseland Wiseman, Queen Bees and Wannabes. Wiseman’s book described the social “cliques” and other social politics that teens face in high school. For the few who haven’t seen the movie, Cady Heron is a new 16 year-old student from Africa who had been previously homeschooled. She ...

Posted April 16, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Misdiagnosis of Eating Disorders in College

Frances Chan is a 20-year-old undergraduate at Yale University. In September, Chan went to the campus cancer center because she found a lump in her breast. The lump in her breast turned out to be benign but her visit spawned university health officials to become concerned about her weight. At 5’2” and 90 pounds, Chan was definitely thin but had confessed weighing the same amount since high school and had never experienced any medical issues due to her weight. Eating Disorder Misdiagnosis Chan wrote about her ordeal in an essay for the Huffington Post. Since December, Chan has been subjected ...

Posted April 10, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Helping Teens Deal with College Rejection

Years ago, when parents told their teens that a letter had arrived from the college admissions office, the immediate question would be “thick or thin”? A thick envelope meant “acceptance” and a “thin” one unfortunately meant rejection. While many schools have gone environmentally friendly and send out their initial decision letters online, there is nothing friendly about finding out that the college you are really into is just not that into you. Rejection hurts, especially when a teen has worked hard and has a strong desire to attend a particular school. How Parents Can Help with College Rejection How can ...

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 ...

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