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 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 ...

Posted March 26, 2014, 2:23 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
7 Tips for Parents of Athletes

Parenting a teenage athlete has its moments of fun and excitement, but can also be stressful and time consuming. Here are 7 tips for parents to bring out the best in their teenage athletes, and in themselves on the sidelines. 7 Tips for Parents of Athletes 1. Support your child on the field. Cheer for your athlete in a positive and respectful manner. Be encouraging. Emphasize fun and effort, not results and winning. 2. Help your teen set attainable goals toward which to work. Your child can’t control how fast the other swimmers at a meet swim, but he can ...

Posted March 22, 2014, 2 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
High Schools Ban Yoga Pants

My teen daughter goes to a non-uniform public high school. Most days she wears jeans, boots and a sweater to school. But if she misses her alarm or feels kind of lazy, she sometimes wears a pair of running leggings. I noticed her doing this more often since spring track season began and she starting having practice right after school. I never gave her attire all that much thought until I recently read that Rockport High School in Massachusetts banned female students from wearing leggings and yoga pants to school. School officials say these body-hugging pants are not acceptable school ...

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, 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 13, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Teens and Tattoos

Dani Silverstein was a freshman in high school when she first thought about getting a tattoo. Silverstein says, “I am extremely interested in art. I always found amazement in certain designs and pictures. Tattoos are art, and I am all for having art on my body.” Once seen as somewhat alternative, tattoos have become a more mainstream form of self-expression. Celebrities from David Beckham to Justin Bieber have tattoos all over their bodies. Jodie Michalak, Beauty and Cosmetology Editor for About.com, says, “The popularity and acceptance of body art has certainly influenced the younger generation to hop onboard.” A 2013 ...

Posted March 13, 2014, 9 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Scholarships Can Add Up to Big College Savings

With college costs at an all-time high and continuing to rise, it makes sense for high school students to apply for as many scholarships as possible. “Applying for scholarships may seem like a daunting process to students, especially for those already busy getting applications together for college. But for students willing to put in the time and effort, there are many scholarship dollars available," explains April Bell, director at the College Board. Is Your Student Eligible for a Scholarship? College scholarships can be broadly divided into two categories: Financial need-based and merit-based. Many families assume that to receive a merit-based ...

Posted March 12, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Young Wrestler Shows Great Sportsmanship

Several weeks ago, I wrote about two incidents of bad sportsmanship making headlines in teen/young adult sports. But last week, a high school wrestler from Minnesota displayed incredible sportsmanship and character. His actions show how sports can bring out the best in teens and teach valuable life lessons. Stewart's Sportsmanship Malik Stewart, a high school sophomore, did not win the state title last week. The old saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game” was illustrated at the 120-pound state title championship in Minnesota. In a valiant effort, Stewart lost the match to sophomore ...

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