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 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 ...

Posted Feb. 14, 2014, 3 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Michael Sam: Why Coming Out Is a Big Deal

On Sunday February 9, Michael Sam, a National Football League (NFL) draft prospect, announced to the world that he is gay. In interviews with both ESPN and the New York Times, Sam said, “I am an openly, proud gay man.” Assuming he is drafted, Sam would become the first openly gay NFL player. The importance of Sam’s announcement was debated by my own tween and teen. My son thought it was a big deal that Sam had come out but my daughter did not understand the fuss. “So what?” she asked, “Why does it matter if he is gay or ...

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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