Parenting My Teen

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Archive for the ‘Teen Must Read Articles’

Helping Your Teen Succeed in High School

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Education, Teen Must Read Articles

You know your teen can handle the work, you know your teen knows what to do, yet you watch your teen fall short of meeting a certain educational goal. Many parents have witnessed this over the course of parenting their teens and many parents find it hard to endure a teen whom they feel isn’t trying their hardest. If you observe your teen refusing to do homework or making more out of an assignment than there really is, this is often a way of expressing their confusion, frustrations and at times, anger.

Under-achievement in teens can be caused by many things:

Emotional discomfort. A teen who has experienced a life changing event (addition to the family, a family loss, divorce…etc) is very likely to go through a period of educational underachievement.

High parental expectations. Many times parents put too much pressure on their teen to make a certain grade, excel in a certain subject or sport or perhaps pick a certain career path and this can have a negative impact on the teen. If the academic pressures on your teen are too strong, your teen may feel the need to rebel.

Undiagnosed learning disabilities – there are time where a mild learning disabilities is missed in lower level schooling or there could be a physical hindrance such as poor eyesight or hearing difficulty.

Peer pressure. Pure and simple, there is good peer pressure and there is negative peer pressure. Many teens feel that the smarter they are, that some of their friends won’t like them. They may feel the need to perform at a certain level to feel accepted into a certain clique of friends.

If you notice your teen becoming an underachiever, first check in with your teen to see if there is something that you can do to help. Communicate with your teen about how he or she is feeling about school overall and ask them if there are any problems.

You can then speak with your child’s teacher at school to see if there are areas where extra help would be beneficial. Many schools offer free tutoring services. There are many times that an underachieving teen has hit a downward spiral because they are disorganized and find it hard to keep up with the schoolwork and other activities they are involved in.

While it may be hard for some parents to digest, not all children are academically inclined. Even if your child isn’t a scholar, that doesn’t mean that they can’t excel in many other areas. If you tune into your child, you can help them find out exactly what they are good at and passionate about. Letting your child know that doing their best is good enough and if their best IS a C then that is OK will go a long way with your child. It will encourage your child to try their very best and it will alleviate some of the pressures that they feel which may cause your child to rebel or shut down completely.

Many teens that are underachieving will see that it will affect their self esteem in a negative way. If you teen has low self esteem, offering them emotional and comfort will help them greatly. The best way to let your child know that you love them is to shower them with acceptance. Make sure that no matter what grades your child brings home, that doesn’t mean that you love him or her any less.

Help your teen manage his/her schedule better. Make sure that they have everything they need to stay as organized as possible. Help them to set goals for themselves as it pertains to school (grades, study habits..etc). You can even suggest that your teen start up a study group and offer to host it at your home.

The key here is to try everything that you can and to find out why your teen is not living up to their potential in school. If after working on this and tackling it from many angles, you feel your teen isn’t making any process, you may then want to consult a professional to see if there are some other issues causing the problems. You can seek professional support from a school counselor, doctor, therapist or clergy.

As a proactive parent we must seek resources to help our child take an interest in learning, growing and becoming independent. Being an informed parent is one of the 1st steps to ensuring your child has a brighter future.

Struggling To Help Your Teen In High School? Get help now. The Real Life Guidance to Helping Your Teen In High School report is available for easy and instant download to your computer.


October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

By: Aurelia Category: Teen Education, Teen Must Read Articles

(ARA) – Most kids associate October with the scares related to the traditional Halloween standbys – ghosts, witches and zombies. But, the month also marks National Cyber Security Awareness month, calling attention to frightening things like online identity theft, cyber bullying, viruses and damaging malware.

If your teen is among the 93 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds using your family’s laptop, smartphone or tablet to surf the Internet, they are vulnerable to multiple cyber threats, many of which could be detrimental.

Moreover, teens do not realize the abundance of threats awaiting them, nor do they recognize a tweet or photo upload can impact not only their reputation and future, but their safety, as well. Microsoft’s research shows that 55 percent of teens say they give little or no thought to the consequences of posting something online.

And, according to a recent survey, 1 in 4 parents are overwhelmed by technology and just hope for the best.

“As hackers continue plotting attacks, the increase in vulnerability among teens is likely, but parents may not realize they are actually the first line of defense in keeping their families safe online,” says Linda McCarthy, cyber security expert, former senior director of Internet safety at Symantec and author of Own Your Space: Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online.

The increase in prospective cyber threats provides opportunities in the career field of cyber security. If your teen enjoys spending time online, it’s never too early to begin discussing the education required to enter this field.

Cyber security related fields are projected to grow more than 28 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. DeVry University, which has partnered with McCarthy to provide complimentary copies of the Own Your Space eBook to parents, teachers and teens, recognizes the growing need for professionals with the skills required to protect individuals and organizations from cyberattacks. By also partnering with technology leaders like Cisco and Microsoft, its students are provided with a mix of relevant theoretical and hands-on education.

For concerned parents and teachers, McCarthy offers the following advice to help protect teens online:

1. Protect equipment. Install and update antivirus software, spyware protection and firewalls.

2. Realize social networking sites are here to stay. Review your teen’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. Make sure they do not display personal information such as full names, addresses or school names.

3. Boost password strength. Utilize a mixture of letters, numbers and characters. And most importantly, never share passwords with anyone.

Cyber security is a moving target, and as threats develop daily, it’s imperative for parents and teachers to educate teens about these dangers. “The goal is to inform and educate teens, not scare them about the dangers of sharing information online,” says McCarthy. “By protecting your family’s devices and empowering teens with the information needed to recognize impending threats, cyber sabotage is avoidable.”

To download a complimentary copy of Linda McCarthy’s eBook, Own Your Space: Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online, visit

Read more about National Cyber Security Awareness Month Here

Teenage Goal Setting

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Must Read Articles

Many teens go through high-school with the attitude that what happens in high-school won’t have an impact on their future. However, these teens are in for a big surprise when “the future” arrives. As adults, we understand where our teenagers are coming from because we’ve been there before, but we also have the advantage of hindsight. We see how the things that we did and didn’t do in high-school have impacted our lives. Because we have this knowledge, it’s our responsibility to help our teenagers make smart decisions while they are in high-school.

Obviously, we can’t make our teens see how their actions now can affect them for the rest of their lives, but we can help guide them to make good decisions. One of the ways we can do this is by helping them to set goals for their lives. Setting goals is an important life skill that preferably needs to be taught when our children are still young. However, if your child is a teenager, it’s not too late – in fact, it’s the perfect time!

You may not think that setting goals is that important until one is in college and working towards a career, but this isn’t true. Goal setting is an important aspect that will help our teens learn how to achieve anything they want to during their lives…not just a career. This is why setting goals is a skill that needs to be worked on long before the college years. We all know that the best way to become good at something is by practice – and setting goals is no exception.

If you can teach your teen how to set goals that are achievable in a short amount of time, then you will be able to teach him or her how to set long term goals as well. However, it’s important that you help your teen establish short term goals before you jump to the long term goals. For example, if your teen wants to make the varsity basketball team, but doesn’t have the qualifying grades, then the first short term goal should be to get those grades up. You will need to teach your teen how to achieve this goal by asking him or her to come up with things can be done to get the grades up. Some acceptable solutions would include talking to the instructor about extra credit or finding a tutor.

The reason setting goals is so important for teens to do is because it helps them realize that they can achieve anything they want to if they are willing to work for it. These achievements can be anything from making the varsity basketball team, getting an “A” on a term paper, getting accepted to their college of choice, starting their dream career and so much more. Having goals will not only allow your teen to dream, but it will also give them the motivation they need to reach those dreams.

For more information and help with parenting your teen, click here.

Parenting Teens: How to Help them Survive a Break-up with their Best Friend

By: Mary Lutz Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Must Read Articles

Has your teen had the same best friend since you they in grade school? If so, you realize they’ve probably shared more with them than with nearly anyone else. They know each others faults and fears. If that all-important relationship changed as your child became a teen, you’ll want to be there to help your child know how to survive a break-up with their best friend.

Some friendships seem to stand the tests of time. Others aren’t so lucky. What may have seemed inconsequential in the past has become very hurtful. Your teen may realize the friend she once had has changed, or maybe you’re teen is the one who changed. No matter the reason why, the following ideas will help your teen move on after they have to say goodbye to their best friend.

It’s important to acknowledge their pain. Friendships can be as emotionally overwhelming as romantic relationships. And, if they break up with their best friend, they’re going to grieve. Your teen may actually go through similar stages of grief as someone who has lost a loved one to death because that’s basically what has happened – the friendship has died. Allow them to grieve. The old saying is true – time does heal all wounds.

Encourage your teen to spend time with family after a break-up. The need to know their family loves them for who they are and will stand by them. It’s not unusual to want to be alone after a relationship ends, but let them know their family will understand and know when to pull your teen into activities and when to leave your teen alone.

Help your teen take time to write out their feelings. Journaling can be very therapeutic. Encourage them to write down what they’ve learned about themselves through the friendship, how they can view life differently and brainstorm about what what they can do differently. Teach them that getting the feelings out will help them feel at least a little bit better.

Help your teen understand it’s important not to blame themselves for the break-up. It is a rare relationship that is ruined entirely by one person. Chances are both part played a part in how the friendship changed and therefore they are probably equally at fault for the break-up. Help your teen to forgive the other party, as well as themselves, and try to move on.

In many cases a friend can keep you from doing some of the things you like. Now is the perfect time for your teen to focus on their own interests. If they gave up ice skating because their friend didn’t want to learn how, why not encourage your teen to strap on their skates and hit the ice? You can also encourage them to take the time to learn something new. That friendship is no longer going to hold them back, so it’s a perfect time to grow and shine.

Encourage your teen to try group activities rather than focusing on one friend for a while. This doesn’t mean they can’t spend time with only one friend, but they need some time to adjust to their new status. Give your teen time to work through the break-up and they’ll be better prepared to delve into a ‘best friend’ relationship again.

No one likes to break up, and doing so with a best friend may actually be more devastating than losing a romantic relationship. The feelings your teen will experience are much the same so let them grieve the loss. Before you know it they’ll be ready to begin another close friendship.

Ten Tips For Driving Safety

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Must Read Articles

Ten tips to keep teens safe behind the wheel

(ARA) – Waiting for a teen driver to return home safely probably causes the most anxiety and lost sleep for parents. And with good reason – car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers, accounting for 35 percent of all fatalities among young people 15 to 20 years old, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

While statistically teen deaths related to motor vehicle crashes have declined over the last several years, a dark cloud remains over the alarming rate of deaths among teen drivers, who are four times more likely to die in a car accident than drivers 25 years or older. That, combined with a surge in the number of young drivers – the children of baby boomers – who are taking to the roads, is leading more states to institute tougher teen driving regulations. Measures range from graduated licenses to a ban on the use of cell phones while driving for teen drivers, according to, a leading online source of legal information.

Besides keeping teens safer when they’re behind the wheel, the new, tougher regulations also aim to get parents more engaged in helping their teens learn the rules of the road. offers 10 tips to help protect your teen driver from an accident.

1. Practice, practice, practice. During the first 500 miles of driving, teen drivers are 10 times more likely to be in auto crashes than any other age group. Driving requires mental and physical skills that can only be honed with time on the road. That’s why it’s essential for teen drivers to get professional training and why more states are issuing graduated licenses that require teens to drive with their parents for an extended length of time before being eligible to drive on their own.

2. Create a safe driving contract. Parents should consider creating a safe-driving contract with new drivers to build safe driving habits. Have clear, consistent consequences when your teens do something inappropriate while driving so they understand their boundaries as drivers. The focus of such a contract should be on removing distractions, such as cell phones or eating in the car, which may divert a teen driver’s attention from the road, and keeping teen drivers off the roads at particularly risky times of the day (after 10 p.m. and before 6 a.m.).

3. No cell phones. Texting while driving is banned in 26 states and D.C., and an additional eight states prohibit text messaging by minor drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Six states prohibit all drivers from using handheld phones while driving. Make sure you and your teen driver are familiar with your state’s laws on mobile devices and driving.

4. Seatbelts. Fifty-five percent of teens killed in automobile accidents in 2008 were not wearing seatbelts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wearing a seatbelt is not only a good idea, in a growing number of states, it’s the law – 31 states have primary seat belt laws and 18 have secondary laws, according to

5. Passenger restriction. Parents should try to limit the number of passengers in their teen’s car, especially those younger than 18. Some states even have laws that do not allow minor passengers to be in the vehicle for the first six months after a new teen driver receives his or her license.

6. Curfew. Teens can be more distracted at night. A study done by NHTSA finds that nighttime, especially after 10 p.m., is one of the riskiest times of the day to drive for teens. Check state and local city laws regarding curfews as some states impose curfews on teen driving.

7. No drinking and driving. On average, a drunk driver kills someone every 45 minutes, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Help your teen find other solutions to drinking and driving, especially responding to peer pressure to drink. Lead by example and show your kids it’s never okay to drink and drive.

8. Make sure your teen gets sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most teens need at least nine hours of sleep. Sleep deprived teens can drive like someone who is impaired by a blood alcohol content of .08 percent. Don’t let your teen drive if they are feeling drowsy. Offer to drive them or let them sleep more before driving. Drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 car crashes each year.

9. Train teens for poor weather conditions. Your teen will never know what challenges he will face on the road. Make sure he is able to handle snow, wind, and rain. Ride along with her during a storm before she has to face this challenge alone.

10. Make an accident kit. You never know what tools you will need after an accident, and it’s better to always be prepared. Some ideas for your accident kit: a disposable camera, flashlight, glowstick, pen and personal info sheet to list all of your insurance information and personal details. You may also include info cards and witness cards to collect license plate numbers, insurance details, and other information from all cars, drivers and witnesses involved in an accident.

To learn about the law and for more information about a parent’s liability with their teen drivers, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent