TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For Parents

Posted March 8, 2014, 2 p.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
What You Need to Know About 529 Plans

“How will we EVER afford college?” For most parents, this question can cause overwhelming anxiety as their children reach the teen years. Paying for college can feel like an insurmountable task on par with climbing Mt. Everest. Parents are right to worry: Tuition costs and fees at public universities tripled over the past 30 years when adjusted for inflation, according to the College Board’s annual report on college pricing. As higher education costs take a bigger bite out of our paychecks, families are turning to 529 plans to jump-start their college savings. There are now more than 11 million 529 ...

Posted March 8, 2014, 11 a.m. by Debra Bradley Ruder | View Comments
Teen Depression

George was in middle school when something inside him changed. He was bored in school and had few friends. Sleeping was a challenge. He wished he’d never been born because then he wouldn’t feel so awful. Finally, he spoke up to his parents, and together they realized he might be suffering from depression. They got professional help, and after several months of medication and talk therapy, George began to feel like himself again. “Kids with depression think nobody else goes through it,” says George, now in college. “You feel like nobody knows you. Having [professionals] who understood what I was ...

Posted March 6, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
What You Need to Know Before College

In their quest for acceptance, college applicants often fail to see the bigger picture. They obsess over “getting in,” while ignoring current realities about the value and role of an undergraduate education. These realities should play a central, rather than ancillary, part of the college choice process because, when considered, they can help students circumvent the financial hazards and career dissatisfaction that currently plague so many American adults. Before deciding on a college and course of study, students (and their parents) need to account for the following truths: A college degree, while necessary, is no longer sufficient for entry into ...

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 March 3, 2014, 12:59 p.m. by The Experts at TeenLife | View Comments
4 Ways to Entice High School Students to Volunteer

Teenagers make the perfect volunteers: they are energetic, passionate, and eager for change. Many high school students, however, consider themselves to be too busy with school, sports, and other extracurricular activities to engage in community service or particpate in a summer volunteer program for teenagers. // Here are four easy tips to make volunteering more accessible to teens: 75 percent of teens and young adults ages 13 to 22 who participate in community service are friends with people who also volunteer regularly. Create incentive for volunteers to talk to their friends about joining the cause. Studies show that peer influence ...

Posted March 3, 2014, 11:22 a.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
Talented Teen Mikaela Shiffrin

The 2014 Winter Olympics may be over, but Americans can't get enough of 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin. The breakout star of the Sochi Games graces the March 3, 2014, cover of Sports Illustrated, and her picture already appears on the Wheaties box, says Sports Business Daily. In case you missed it: Shiffrin won Olympic Gold in the women's slalom last Friday, becoming the youngest Alpine medalist in U.S. history and the youngest-ever winner—male or female—of any Olympic slalom. Shiffrin's victory wasn't a fluke; entering the Olympics, the teenage phenom was the No.1 ranked women’s slalom skier in the world. The so-so ...

Posted Feb. 27, 2014, 9:19 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Value of Experiential Learning

The teenage years are characterized by curiosity, development, and experimentation. Traditionally, high school classes and extracurricular activities help foster these traits and aid teenage success inside the classroom and out. We believe experiential learning can advance teen success even further. Today, the field of experiential learning is booming. Teens have access to many more opportunities than their parents had at their age—they can travel to almost any destination during the summer, spend a gap year volunteering after high school, and even practice their future career ambitions with an internship. With thousands of programs available to students around the world, teenagers ...

Posted Feb. 26, 2014, 11 a.m. by Barbara Williams | View Comments
6 Tips for Single Dads With Teen Daughters

The teenage years can be tumultuous and overwhelming for girls, and difficult for their parents as well. A single father of a teenage daughter may feel overwhelmed and under-skilled for the task of parenting alone. It’s fairly common to see a woman raising a child or multiple children on her own, but single fatherhood is still considered an odd situation, especially a single father raising a daughter. The most recent data from the US Census shows that only about 14% of children living in a single-parent household were living with their father. Issues Faced by Single Fathers Many of the ...

Posted Feb. 26, 2014, 9:57 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Eating Disorders Awareness Week

The week of February 23rd is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – a time to educate ourselves on the pervasive, growing, and serious health issue facing families each and every day of the year. The sponsor of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), is a major advocacy organization in the U.S. working to support individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Their goal is to focus on prevention, assist with better access to treatment, and advocate for broader and increased research to take care of those with eating disorders. NEDA estimates that 30 million Americans will be ...

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