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 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 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 ...

Posted March 4, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
A Parents' Role in the College Process

My older daughter jokes that she is our parenting “guinea pig”—we test out everything on her. It is true. With the first child, it is always about trial and error. From potty training to college applications, my husband and I do our best, but sometimes we make mistakes and hopefully gain insight that we can use with our other children. As I said in my first post, my older daughter is currently attending a college where she is both happy and successful. So whatever we did “wrong,” it was nothing catastrophic, and in the end it all worked out. We ...

Posted March 3, 2014, 1 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
A Parent's Role in the College Process

Going through the college process with my older daughter was nerve wracking and stressful. Although she is currently a happy freshmanat the college she selected, looking back (and ahead, as I also have a daughter who is a high school sophomore), there are things my husband and I did right—and certainly things we would do differently. Part I: 5 Things We Did Right 1. We cared less about rankings and more about fit. I am not sure if it is just our community or society as a whole, but there seems to be a huge emphasis now on college ranking ...

Posted Feb. 18, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Are Young Athletes "Good Sports"?

How important is sportsmanship for young athletes? Marcus Smart Pushing "Incident" Marcus Smart is a 19 year-old star college basketball player for Oklahoma State and considered a definite NBA draft pick. Although Smart may be destined to break NBA records, right now he is infamous for shoving a fan at recent game against Texas Tech. In the closing seconds of the game, Smart fell out of bounds and into a group of spectators. While he was being helped up, a fan said something that really upset him (Smart has said it was a racial slur but the fan adamantly denies ...

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