TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Health & Wellness

Posted Feb. 21, 2014, 1:03 p.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Thoughts on the "Empty Nest"

A bird is termed "nidifiguous" if its offspring leave the nest shortly after hatching. While human teenagers are by no means so quick to depart, you wouldn't guess so from watching! With birds, it's so graceful; the mother gives the chick a firm push and out it flies into the world, a free bird. With us, it's not so pretty. After eighteen years (or sometimes even longer), we are driven to a college campus for the last great family road trip between recounted memories, sappy songs on the radio, and nostalgia. We unpack, sometimes with fanfare, sometimes without, and there ...

Posted Feb. 20, 2014, 11 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Snow Day Activities

Snow: you either hate it or love it. In New England, it’s hard to hate the snow. Hating snow in New England is like working at a coffee shop and hating coffee; or voluntarily going to the mall when you hate shopping. Snow is simply equated with winter here—something you have to get used to and something you’ll never escape (unless you move out west or down south. In that case, be sure to avoid Atlanta). This winter has been particularly snowy, with countless hits from polar vortexes and arctic blasts. The snow has almost become an inside joke here ...

Posted Feb. 19, 2014, 3:46 p.m. by Amy Cody | View Comments
Parents and Teens Talking About Sex

Teenagers and their parents should always communicate with one another about sexuality. Sexuality isn’t just about sex - it is also about healthy relationships, body image, reproduction, gender, sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. There are so many opportunities to talk! Parents and Teens and Sex A recent survey conducted by Planned Parenthood Federation of America revealed that while parents feel comfortable talking to their teens about topics related to sex, teens aren’t so comfortable with the conversation. At Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM), we want to help parents AND teens! We know that ...

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. 12, 2014, 11:12 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Understanding Diversity in Asperger's Syndrome

I recently had the opportunity to hear an eye-opening speech by Aaron Levinger, a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) who was diagnosed in middle school and speaks to school audiences about his experience. While most of us have heard of Asperger’s, many are unsure of what exactly defines AS. Asperger’s Syndrome is a neurological disorder on the autism spectrum that affects many areas of development. Symptoms vary and range in intensity but often include difficulties with social communication, sensory sensitivities, poor motor coordination, and intense interest in and knowledge of certain – andsometimes unusual – subjects. When You've Met ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 3:22 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Mother-Daughter Bonding: Time Well Spent

As girls advance through the teen years their relationships with friends typically eclipse relationships with parents. Although many mothers realize separation is part of a normal developmental stage that they went through themselves, it’s not always easy for moms to readjust to “the new normal.” In an article in Psychology Today, The Challenge of Mothering an Adolescent Daughter, Dr. Carl Pickhardt explains the reasons for the change: Over the course of adolescence, issues of ‘attachment versus separation' and issues of ‘similarity versus differentiation' are contested by the young person to establish independence and individuality. So for independence, the adolescent wants ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 2:52 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
How to Avoid the College Application Frenzy

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, freshman enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 48 percent form 1995 to 2009 and is projected to grow 11 percent between 2009 and 2020. With more college applicants vying for a relatively static supply of freshman slots, it’s no wonder that high school students and their parents have a hard time avoiding the college application frenzy. But it can be done. Here are ten ways: Recognize that colleges want what they don’t have. For example, colleges in New England have lots of applicants from New England. So, wherever you live, consider schools ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 2:50 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
How to Achieve Real Happiness

As parents, we want our children to be happy for their sake and for ours. In fact, we all live the adage, “You’re only as happy as your least happy child.” But as the title of a January 9, 2013 article in The Atlantic warns, “There’s More to Life than Being Happy.” The writer opens her editorial with a powerful quote from Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, who says, "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness," to communicate that people who have meaning in their lives are the most resilient, and are able to rise above even the ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 12:16 p.m. by Rosa Heyman | View Comments
5 Ways to Stay Healthy in College

It's never too early to start thinking about your health when you go away to college. It is easier than you think to make unhealthy choices, especially when you are surrounded by french fries and chicken fingers every day in the cafeteria. Make sure to leave high school prepared, and you will find it easier to make healthy decisions! For every cup of coffee, drink a glass of water Coffee and caffeine are inevitable parts of every college student’s routine – whether you are out late with friends or stuck in the library cramming for an exam, sometimes it feels ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 11:57 a.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
Allowance and Chores: How to Up the Ante

I admit it: getting my three sons to do household chores is, well, too much of a chore for me. Like most parents, my mind is going in a million different directions as I move through another harried day. At any given moment, I'm trying to answer the following questions, usually simultaneously: "Who am I carpooling with for tonight's basketball practice? What time is Leo's winter cello concert? Did I pay the mortgage yet? How am I going to finish my writing assignment and get dinner started? Will I make it home before the dog pees on the oriental rug ...

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