TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Marie Schwartz

Marie Schwartz is the CEO and Founder of TeenLife Media. Marie launched TeenLife in 2007 after moving to Boston with her husband and two middle school sons and discovering that there were no information resources for families with older children. Today, TeenLife's award-winning website lists thousands of summer and gap year programs, schools, college admission resources and volunteer opportunities for teens around the world.

Posted April 9, 2014, 2:38 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
What You Should Know About Executive Functioning

Have you ever wondered exactly what executive functioning means? “Executive functioning” is a phrase you’ve probably heard. It’s a big one in the fields of education and psychology. Even if no educator or helping professional has ever mentioned this to you personally, you’ve probably overheard the phrase in one of those places where parents congregate, from the playground to the high school games’ bleachers. Philip David Zelazo of the University of Minnesota, a leading expert in executive functions, defines them as "the deliberate, goal-directed control of behavior." And to channel that behavior, in essence, it means a person must have ...

Posted April 9, 2014, 11 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Summer is a Time to Practice Aloneness and Reaching Out to Friends

Parents tend to think about how to nurture their children's ability to make friends and simultaneously, encourage their independence. We hope that our kids, left to their own devices, can manage time alone. We pay attention to sociability and independence, because it’s important to connect with others and to be comfortable by oneself. As kids get older, the routines of school, homework, and organized activities take over and we may stop thinking so much about how our teens navigate friendships and alone time. With cell phones and social media, we may think our teens are rarely alone, even when they ...

Posted April 5, 2014, 11 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Are Summer College Visits Worthwhile?

Most parents of high school juniors—or rising seniors—feel some pressure as this summer before senior year rolls around. The college application process looms. The essay topic remains a mystery. Then, there’s the biggest question: Where to apply? As a parent, you may see summer—when your child has no classes, no sports, no extracurricular activities, and perhaps you have some time off from work—as a good time to get a jump on college tours. Campuses in summer are generally sleepier, slow, and far emptier than during the academic year. So, is it worth your time—and your student’s—to take some tours? Here ...

Posted April 3, 2014, 3:56 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Summer College Tours: Eat Lunch on Campus and Other Suggestions

Many seniors have friends going off to college and their fall visits may be more independent of parental support. They may have opportunities for overnight visits, bunked in sleeping bags on dorm room floors. While other trips will likely include you, their parents, this summer before senior year is an interesting time when the campus visit and family vacation often become one. Family Vacation and Campus Visit I liked this guest post on the New York Times’ Choice blog by a college counselor with some interesting tips about making the most from a college visit. You can read the entire ...

Posted April 1, 2014, 4:23 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Risky Pills Too Bitter: Prescription Drug Abuse Among Teens

With all that we cover here at TeenLife, we feel that teenagers' prescription drug abuse to attain higher-level achievements is an issue that has become very relevant to our readers. So much of what we write about on the TeenLife blog has to do with students’ achievements—or how to bring out the best in teens. We cover college admissions, gap years, internships, summer enrichment and community service. We also think about downtime and communication and technology. We don’t write much about teenagers’ “troubles” because everyone else does. Achievement Drugs on the Rise The New York Times ran an article about ...

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