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 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 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...]

Tips for Solving Teenage Sleep Problems

A recent tidbit of information I came across said that teenagers actually need MORE sleep than toddlers.  Considering how much sleep they need, solving teenage sleep problems should be high on your list of things to do for your kid.  Without enough sleep, they are more prone to illness and may suffer from a serious lack of attention when it comes to school work.  But, how do you get your teens to sleep at night and actually keep them asleep until the alarm goes off?  How can you wake up teens without an hour of screaming as they hit the snooze … [Read more...]

Teen Dating Tips for Parental Survival

When my kids were little, I never thought I would have to worry about teen dating tips.  They were going to be little forever, right?  Unfortunately, no.  Those rambunctious little toddlers grow quickly into mouthy teenagers who think parents are completely clueless.  I now have two teenagers and very soon I suspect one or the other will come home to tell me they are interested in dating someone.  Since sticking them in a convent/monastery for the rest of their lives isn't really an option, I decided to start looking into a few teen dating … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]