Protecting Kids from Questionable Content on TV

This post about protecting your child from questionable content on TV has been sponsored by XFINITY but all opinions are my own. Are you worried about your kids watching questionable content on TV? When my kids were young, I was a bit of a control freak over the remote control to the television.  I didn't want them to be watching Dora one minute only to have them hit the 'channel up' button and end up on the news watching the latest gang shooting.  Step out of the room for even a minute and it's amazing the kind of questionable content they … [Read more...]

How to Encourage Creative Writing in Kids

This post about creative writing in kids isn't going to automatically turn your child into the next best selling author a few years down the road.  However, creative writing is a skill that schools are pushing like crazy right now because it helps get them into college.  If you remember back a few years to those dreaded college essays you had to write, you will understand why creative writing in kids is so important.  So, how do you get your child to sit down with pen and paper to create something in written word? I will share a few tips that I … [Read more...]

Life Skills Every Teen Should Know

This post about life skills every teen should know is going to help you prepare your teenagers for the future.  A future where, in theory, they live in their own house, pay their own bills and are responsible for their own screwups.  Right now, YOU, mom (or dad) take care of all your kid’s vital needs and a few of their desperate wants.  One day, God willing, your little angels will flee the nest and you won’t be there to answer every question they have.  Like how to boil water or does this shirt match with this tie. Unless you want your … [Read more...]

How to Support STEM Learning in Teens

This post on How to Support STEM Learning in Teens has been sponsored by Post-it Brand but all opinions expressed here are my own. The one class I always looked forward to attending in high school was science.  It didn't matter if we were using a microscope, mutating fruit flies or even dissecting something, I was excited to walk in that door.  Fast forward a few years to college.  I got a degree in Microbiology and then spent years working in cancer research.  The challenge of unraveling the next scientific mystery drew me in and kept me … [Read more...]

Parenting Teenagers: Getting Them to Enjoy Family Time

Parenting teenagers is sort of like raising a disobedient sloth while simultaneously trying to balance an egg on the tip of a pencil.  You need to tread carefully while still motivating, encouraging and sometimes kicking their butts into gear.  If you have not had the pleasure of parenting teenagers yet, I don't mean to scare you with the realities of this age group.  However, you should be prepared for the chaos that those teen years may bring.  Your toddler is a walk in the park compared to the stress of raising teens! One of the … [Read more...]

Best Ways to Start a Family Discussion about Underage Drinking

This post about Best Ways to Start a Family Discussion about Underage Drinking has been sponsored. I am participating in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking Program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #ABFamilyTalk So, lets say you have teenagers like I do and you are concerned about underage drinking. With high school graduation and prom season on the horizon, this is a major concern for many parents.   You decide you need to talk to your teens … [Read more...]

Teach Your Kids to NEVER Do These 5 Things!

I have two teenagers whom I love dearly but I can honestly say that I am not generally fond of most kids.  This makes me sound like a horrible person but I have found that many kids (mine included!) have some habits which really grate on my nerves.  In my own kids, I can correct their bad behavior or at least punish them for things they know better than to do.  Other people tend to frown on non parental adults correcting their kids and maybe the things that annoy ME are totally allowed in your house.  In an effort to help society create … [Read more...]

Important Questions to Ask the High School Guidance Counselor

My son is in high school this year and while he has always been a good student, I find myself worrying about whether we are doing the right things when it comes to getting into college.  It seems crazy that I have to worry about college admissions requirements at the age of 15 but the competition is fierce when it comes to getting into the school of your choice.  Unless we hit the lottery, my kids aren't going to  Yale but I at least want to know that they can get into a local state school without a problem! So, what do we need to do to make … [Read more...]

Movies for Teens: How do you Know Which Ones are Appropriate?

As of less than one month ago, I am officially the parent of two teenagers.  It's a rather scary thought, to be honest, and I seriously hope I don't screw it up somehow.  There are so many external factors that influence how our teenagers mature and very few of them do parents have any actual control over.  Teens get so much of their knowledge from peers, books, TV and movies that it's a wonder any of them become productive adults nowadays.  Have you seen what Hollywood is throwing at us left and right? Trying to decide which movies for teens … [Read more...]

5 Things Dads Need to Know About Teenage Daughters

I am pretty sure that my kids have the greatest dad of all time.  He was there to catch them the moment they were born, despite nearly passing out from the blood.  He disciplined them with loving kindness as they turned into unruly toddlers, only occasionally threatening to leave until the terrible two's passed.  And he spent many years attending PTA meetings and orientation days with me when they were in elementary school, despite the utter boredom over treasurer reports and curriculum standards.  My kids are lucky to have such an amazing … [Read more...]