Tips for Car Shopping for Busy Parents of New Teen Drivers

This discussion about tips for car shopping has been sponsored by Capital One but all opinions expressed here are my own. Several months ago, my son got his learners permit and he is in the process of taking Drivers Education and becoming a real life driver.  To be honest, the entire concept scares the heck out of me!  We live in a very large metropolitan area with congested highways and drivers who think they are actually on a race track.  We had always assumed that our kids would inherit our 16-year-old pickup truck as their first car but … [Read more...]

A Mom’s Take on Raising an Introverted Child

For 16 years I have been raising an introverted child and it is just as stressful for me now as it was when they were toddlers. Many years ago, my family went up north for a family wedding.  My son was 5 and my daughter was 3.  We were staying with my brother in law and with all of the siblings in town there were a lot of kids underfoot.  At one point, we shooed all of the assorted cousins outside (who ranged in age from toddler to about 10) and watched as they played.  A huge crowd hung around the play gym, digging in the sandbox or swinging … [Read more...]

Online Safety for Teenagers Presents Unique Challenges

Keeping my kids safe online when they were young was pretty easy.  The computer is in the living room and they had no cell phones or other electronic devices.  They also had no idea what the term 'search history' meant and had even less of a clue about how to erase it.  Online safety for teenagers presents unique challenges that you just don't have to deal with when your kids are little.  Both of my kids now have smart phones, Kindles, way too much time alone and are more tech savvy than I am.  How do I keep my teens safe online when they have … [Read more...]

Teen Safety Tips for Traveling Abroad

This discussion about teen safety tips for traveling abroad is sponsored by Wearsafe for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. This year, my daughter is a Freshman in the high school band. We found out last year that the high school band would be traveling to Europe this year to march in the New Year's Day parade in front of the Queen. Sounds like an amazing opportunity, right? Sure. Except that my daughter is only 14 years old and I am not that keen on her traveling abroad at such a young age. I might be an overprotective mom but that is … [Read more...]

Tips for Surviving High School Every Teen Should Know

In one week, my daughter starts her Freshman year of high school.  I can't believe she has grown up so fast!  I find myself searching online for first day of high school tips to make the transition a little easier.  Elementary school was easy.  Middle school presented a whole bunch of unique challenges.  What will high school bring?  I want my daughter to learn how to survive Freshman year to make her next few years absolutely fabulous.  I know I can't make it perfect for her but here are a few tips for surviving high school that I want her to … [Read more...]

Tips for Raising Teenagers: Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

People think that the terrible twos are challenging but raising teenagers is even harder.  I am constantly seeking out tips for raising teenagers in an effort to keep them on the straight and narrow.  I used to think that raising toddlers was the hardest thing I was going to have to do.  I was sorely mistaken about this! My kids have entered that phase of their lives where I am beginning to suspect that aliens have taken over their bodies.  Most questions that I ask them are answered with an eye roll or a grunt and look of ambivalence.  … [Read more...]

How to Ensure Successful STEM Learning in Kids

This post about STEM learning in kids was sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions are my own. My husband and I both have degrees in the science field and improving STEM learning in kids is something we are passionate about.  We spent 4 years acting as the 'Science Night Committee' at our children's elementary school and it was an incredibly rewarding experience.  Watching 100 kids and their parents get such excitement out of simple science experiments really … [Read more...]

How to Read to a Child: Tips and Tricks to Get Them Engaged

Have you ever thought about how to read to a child to really get them engaged with a story? When my children were young, I was passionate about reading to them.  Their library of Little Golden Books was out of control and it even included a few of my own favorites from when I was young.  I will never forget the joy that all of us felt as we read 'The Monster at the End of This Book' with furry old Grover.  Or the story of Two Little Kittens with eyes of blue, one was named Twinkle and the other named Boo.  We spent hours every week curled up in … [Read more...]

Online Safety Tips for Children No Parent Should Ignore

All parents should familiarize themselves with an assortment of online safety tips for children given the amount of questionable content that is floating around on the internet.  When my children were little it was relatively easy to keep them safe.  They stayed with me at all times...I was there to catch them if they fell and kiss any and all booboos that needed attention.  Now that they are teens it is a lot harder to keep them safe.  They are not with me 24/7 anymore.  They want to go off with their friends without mom trailing along behind … [Read more...]

How to Teach Your Child Tolerance in a World Filled with Hate

In today's increasingly hostile world, it is vitally important to teach your child tolerance. I live in a relatively conservative area of the south where tolerance is not always an accepted lesson to teach your children.  When my son was in second grade, the elementary school he attended was having 'dress up day' as part of a 'We will not call it Halloween' celebration.  The children were allowed to wear their non scary costumes to school, eat cupcakes decorated with orange frosting and open goodie bags filled with candy and plastic spiders.  … [Read more...]