TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For Parents

Posted April 25, 2019, 11:30 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Listening parent

Labels for different parenting styles have come and gone for just about as long as there have been parents. Since the college admissions scandal made headlines last month, there has been a lot of talk about the perils of “snowplow parenting” -- clearing a path for children by shoving obstacles to the side. Like the tiger mothers and helicopter parents who came before, snowplowers are highly involved parents who take a proactive and often authoritative role in their children’s lives. Any parent can understand the desire to do everything in their power to make their kids’ lives better. And, with ...

Posted March 7, 2019, 8 a.m. by Katrielle Soussana | View Comments
Young blonde woman studying at computer.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is an international education system that in the United States spans the last two years of secondary education – junior and senior year. There are many components to the IBDP curriculum, but in this post, I want to provide a balanced look into the life of an IBDP student in high school and hopefully help any readers decide if it’s the right path for them. But before I do this, I want to explain a little about the circumstances behind my IB education. My high school is a new IB World School and I am ...

Posted March 5, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
pencil and SAT answer sheet

What is a “test-optional” college? It is a college and/or university that de-emphasizes the use of standardized tests and picks a substantial number of applicants who are recent graduate U.S. high schools without using the SAT or ACT. Other colleges exempt students who meet grade-point average or class rank criteria from submitting ACT or SAT scores, while others require scores but claim to use them only for placement purposes or to conduct research studies. Test-optional colleges have long been a controversial topic. When a college allows students to opt out of reporting their standardized test scores, do they have an ...

Posted Feb. 5, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
African-American Woman Using Mobile at Street

Social media makes it easier than ever to connect with colleges and admissions representatives because you don’t have to be on campus to make a connection. College admissions officers prefer students who are partial to their particular school and many consider whether a student is “demonstrating interest” during the admissions decision process. You can find out how much emphasis a college places on demonstrating interest by visiting CollegeData.com, typing in the college name, clicking on the admissions tab, and viewing the Selection of Students information. Bentley University, for instance, considers demonstrated interest as an “important” factor in college admission. But ...

Posted Jan. 25, 2019, 9 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
How to Promote Positive Teenage Behavior and Independence

The trials and tribulations of being a parent of a teen are regularly covered in the media. The message is the generally the same -- it's hard and getting harder. Whether it's college application time, dealing with accidents, drug addiction, or news of a suicide without warning signs -- it can all seem incredibly sad and difficult. In her book All Joy and No Fun, Jennifer Senior argues that changes in the last 50 years have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers. Children today are sheltered for long stretches of time and require much more schooling to ...

Posted Jan. 16, 2019, 8 a.m. by Monica Matthews | View Comments
Hand of student in shirt taking notes from laptop

Online scholarship search and matching sites abound on the Internet, but signing up for each and every one of them is a huge mistake that can lead to student frustration and angst. Why? Because there are thousands upon thousands of scholarship opportunities available to students, but unfortunately a great majority of them are drawings or contests designed to gather personal information and use it to promote student loans and sell student data. Once students have signed up and agreed to have scholarships emailed to them, their inboxes will be inundated with offers, and wading through them to find legitimate or ...

Posted Jan. 14, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Portrait of sad teenage boy reading message on his phone.

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens wasn’t talking about college admissions, but it certainly applies. By late December, the Early Decision answers have come in. If you were blessed, your student will be on cloud nine being accepted to their first-choice college. If you are like many parents and students, the lack of an admissions offer will be devastating. A friend of mine experienced the bad news last year right before Christmas. It rocked her world because her son was a legacy and had impeccable test scores and grades. But it was ...

Posted Dec. 15, 2018, 8 a.m. by Sonja Montiel | View Comments
beautiful girl in striped light blue shirt in red christmas cap standing holding red gift box, unboxing and looking inside

Our children never outgrow wanting “stuff” for the holidays. Look at your teen’s gift list and you will see the usual items that sound like a foreign language, possibly with footnotes about their emotional dependency for each item. Go ahead, read it: I really need to have the-most-advanced-tech-thingy-that-you-don’t-know-how-to-use-or-pronounce, or everyone is wearing this piece-of-cloth-that’s-way-too-expensive-but-I’ll-die-without-it! As parents, we have been there, done that, and negotiated for years, right? However, if you have a high school senior, maybe you won’t read such a list this particular season. For most seniors, something extraordinary happens with their wish lists for the holidays. The concept ...

Posted Dec. 9, 2018, 8 a.m. by Shannon Vasconcelos | View Comments
young woman seated at a desk working on applications

By far, the most lucrative source of scholarship funding for college is the colleges themselves. Having said that, however, there are thousands of scholarships available from organizations outside of the colleges that may be worth pursuing. We generally call these funds “private scholarships” or “outside scholarships,” and they can certainly make a sizable dent in your college costs. In order to cash in on the wealth of outside scholarship funding that is out there, follow these 10 tips: Use the web. I start here because most students do. There are some great scholarship searches on websites like scholarships.com, bigfuture.org, and ...

Posted Nov. 12, 2018, 8 a.m. by Sara Nolan | View Comments
Blurred hands moving really quickly over a computer keyboard.

Are you stuck on your college essay draft? Or don’t even know where to start? Are you sure that you have nothing of interest to say? Bogged down by wordiness and obfuscations? Or are you trying to write too many essays at once? Freewriting has the cure for what ails you. Here’s why and how to do it, and some prompts to get you started. First, freewriting is cherished by almost all writers as one of the best (and tried and true) ways to become unstuck and make discoveries, and also to force yourself to JUST WRITE SOMETHING. It doesn’t ...

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