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Monthly Archives March 2017

Best (And Not-so-usual) Hobbies to Inculcate in Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on March 27, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

Most kids and teens have very particular hobbies and extracurricular interests. Some love to read, others love sports. Then there are the avid gamers, the skateboarders and the writers. The list could go on and on, because every kid is different.

There are many interests that parents don’t align with youth but that provide an educational outlet or a unique perspective on the world. For parents looking to round out their child’s interests and encourage an extracurricular avenue that diverts from the norm—in a good way—here are a few unconventional hobbies to introduce into the lives of kids:

  1. Chess. While many associate chess with a proclivity towards math and academia, chess is simply a game of skill and strategy. Chess teaches problem solving and hones planning skills. A player must always anticipate an opponent’s next move and be able to visualize the moves on the board.
  2. Astronomy. Not to be confused with astrology—e.g. horoscopes! Studying the stars, constellations and viewing planets through a telescope helps teach kids about the vastness of our universe. Seeing the depths of space and viewing the many celestial bodies of the universe also help teens understand that we are all part of a larger picture.
  3. Gardening. We live in a fast-paced society and so many families have to rush through a drive-through on the way to the next game, meeting or recital. Planting a garden allows teens and all members of the family to appreciate how our food is grown and harvested. Growing produce also provides clean food while teaching self-sufficiency. To make the endeavor a bit more fun for teens, pick a creative theme for your garden.
  4. Improv. Public speaking is an important skill that can be learned but never taught. Encourage kids to overcome the fear of the public through improv classes and performances. Improv teaches the ability to problem solve and uses imagination. Plus, it’s ok to laugh if you make a mistake.
  5. Role-playing games. Much like improv, games like Dungeons and Dragons encourage an ability to think skillfully. They also encourage imaginative ideas and foster creativity.
  6. Archery. For teens that maybe aren’t athletically inclined but who still want to participate in a sport, pursue archery. The game requires stealth, skill and helps work on hand-eye coordination. Goals can be individualized per each player. Plus, a bow and arrow is absolutely en vogue…thanks to Katniss Everdeen.
  7. Creative fandom. For the teen who loves Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things or any popular franchise, encourage creative expressions of their fandom. Professional make-up artists have celebrated their own obsessive fandom by creating television show themed palettes, brush sets and other cosmetics collections. There are no limits to fandom creativity.
  8. Cosplay and Costumes. For the budding fashion designer, encourage cosplay. Have teens create costumes of their favorite characters to pay homage to a particular show, series or genre. Get really creative by mixing and mashing up characters…like a Jack Skellington Ewok!
  9. Sewing. While sewing has fallen out of popularity, learning how to sew is a fun and useful skill. Those interested in a career in fashion design should know their way around a sewing machine. And learning to quilt and embroider also takes the knowledge up a notch.
  10. Treasure hunting. No, this isn’t about finding a lost treasure…but teaching teens the value of thrift. Thrift store hobbyists have a knack of finding incredible treasures at fantastic prices. And thrifting also is a way to teach teens to be cautious and responsible with their money.

Encourage teens to adopt an out-of-the-ordinary hobby to add an extraordinary element of creativity to their lives. Find a new and unique hobby that speaks to their personality. Unique extracurricular activities help teens seen the world in a diverse light and allows them to branch out of their comfort zones.

Contributor: Amy Williams, a journalist and former social worker passionate about parenting and education. You can follow Amy on Twitter.

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Tips for Helping Teens With Homework

Posted by Sue Scheff on March 21, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

Parenting tips abound for raising teenagers, but often these strategies overlook the importance of teaching our children how to study or take advantage of the educational opportunities that come their way. As our sons and daughters make their way through the school system, they will inevitably be faced with homework. For most families, homework is a touchy subject that often leads to arguments, tears, and slamming doors.

Although we can’t take that calculus test for them, we can help by offering homework support so they can succeed today and tomorrow.

Listed below are eight ways we can embrace homework to help our kids prepare for their future:

Remain calm. Take a deep breath and focus on helping a teen. If we get upset, flustered, or judgmental we won’t be any good to our kids. If we are overwhelmed, we can bet our children are, too.

Help them prioritize. There will be days when the piles of work and chapters to be read seem unending, but we can help our children see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some teens respond better to finishing small easy tasks first so they can focus solely on more complicated assignments later. However, other students perform better when they knock out the harder work first. We know our children and can help them prioritize their assignments so they can stay on top of their courses.

Create an area ideal for studying and working on projects. Teens often want to listen to music, watch videos, or lay in their room while doing homework. Unfortunately, this can be distracting and prevent them from being productive. Help them stay on task by creating a comfortable work space with proper lighting and easy access to supplies. Even though we might not be able to find the cosine and tangent of a triangle, we can ensure they have sharpened pencils and erasers at their fingertips.

Seek help from the Internet. Today’s teens might be taking advanced courses and even college credit classes. For many of us, that means our sons and daughters are working with complicated theories and equations. It’s alright to admit we don’t know all the answers, but we can help them locate the proper resources to solve the problems. Look online for reputable sites or videos from professional teachers that explain concepts and model the proper techniques. A good site to consider is Khan Academy or scroll through the education section on YouTube. Sometimes it just takes a different explanation or perspective to help a child grasp new ideas.

Don’t work harder, work smarter. Take advantage of quiz sites like Kahoot! or Quizlet to help review for tests and make studying a little more fun. Use different fonts, like Comic Sans, when reading typed notes or go “old school” by writing notes out on paper to help with comprehension and memory.


Take small breaks. Homework can be overwhelming, especially if a teen is tired or frustrated. After extended periods of focused work, revitalize a teen with a short recess. Encourage them to get up, stretch, or take a mental breather for five to ten minutes. The key to using breaks is that they should have a clear beginning and ending to keep kids productive.

Get them organized. Most teens need help learning to organize and prioritize. Their rooms are a mess, their lockers are stuffed with papers, and nobody knows what is lurking in their cars. As our kids become more independent, they will need to learn how to keep track of assignments and schedules. Buy them a planner, install a scheduling calendar on their phones, or teach them how to track their commitments on a computer to make this job easier. Once they are organized, they can realistically look ahead and plan accordingly. Hopefully, this eliminates last minute projects or late nights.

It’s okay to let them fail. Unfortunately, if we are constantly stepping in and solving their problems, we are only setting them up for a serious reality check when they head out on their own when a college scholarship or employment is on the line. As a parent, it is hard to sit back and let your child crash and burn. However, teens need to fail every now and then so they can learn how to get back up. Thankfully, we can be there to dust them off and brainstorm ways to avoid a similar scenario in the future.

How do you support your teen when it comes to homework and learning study habits?

Contributor: Amy Williams, a journalist and former social worker passionate about parenting and education. You can follow Amy on Twitter.

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Racism: How Is It Affecting the Views of Teenagers Today?

Posted by Sue Scheff on March 10, 2017  /   Posted in Mental Health, Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

We are living in an era where the color of your skin holds more significance than what is in your heart. People don’t care about what kind of person you are after finding out that you’re a Muslim.

Racism is spreading like cancer throughout the world. People often forget that they are all the same; no matter what family they belong to, what color their skin is or what God they worship. If one day we could rise above all the petty things like color, creed or language and start judging people on the basis of who they truly are, that will be the day we will be able to call ourselves civilized.

Unfortunately, that is far from reality. These days, young children get bullied because they’re black; adults have to deal with colleagues who criticize them only because they’re Muslims, people getting ragged in the subways and streets only because they’re disabled. Most of you are probably shocked by this; however, this is the reality. Racism has become a huge part of our lives – Such a big part that if we see a few children surrounding a black child, we don’t do anything about it. One thing we never realize is that Racism is the only thing that could kill a living person. They could be walking and talking normally, but from the inside, their self-respect is crushed and their conscious weighs down from all the hatred.

We’ve compiled a list of things that could happen when an individual faces more than a few racial comments every day…

Severe Stress and Depression

It’s more than obvious that a person who is teased every single day by colleagues, co-workers, class mates, etc. will be depressed. They will absolutely despise every single thing about the place they have to go to every day of the week. Honestly, any of these things are enough to ruin anyone’s day. If you’re one of the people that teased someone for being a Hindu, then you probably should stop, because you’re probably the reason they are distressed for the rest of the day.

Lowered Morale and Self-Esteemed

This is no hidden fact that a person who laughed at twenty times in the day would lose confidence in themselves. It can demoralize them and can reduce their capability to work. All of you are probably familiar with Martin Luther King. He is the reason black people have the rights that they do today. Martin Luther King realized the fact that if America keeps on usurping the rights of black people, they will end up with a half broken and battered nation. This would, ultimately, start a war – A war that will take place inside America. From this, you can easily realize the effects that racism has on someone’s consciousness.

Suicides

There have been hundreds of cases when a teen that was abused at school ends up committing suicide. Even though there are a very small amount of cases of adults committing suicide, their frustration is no less than teenagers. Insults over insults are enough to ruin someone’s day. However, when the insults are directed to someone’s color, creed or religion, this might push someone to the extent of committing suicide.

How is Racism Hurting the Minds of Teens?

So, what happens when teens witness racism all day long? Does a Christian kid become happy when someone mocks a Muslim? Does a white child feels amused when someone laughs at a black teen? The answer is Yes. Our society has become one where racism is no longer considered death to social life, however, people enjoy it. Think about it yourself, when was the last time you stood up for someone being teased? We are living in a world where racism makes people feel a false sense of superiority as compared to the minorities – and it is needless to say, this isn’t playing well for teens.

How Can Parents Keep Children Safe From Racism?

Whether your child is a racist, or if they are being mocked by someone else, as a parent, it is your duty to protect them from either one. The best way to protect your children would be to use Parental Monitoring Applications. They are able to monitor all of your child’s conversations on their Smartphone, and you can know if your child is cyberbullying someone. You could use their own device’s camera and microphone and see if they aren’t getting bullied by someone at school. Hence, making sure that you protect your children from the disease that is racism itself… 

Author Bio: 

Nicki is a working mum writing blogs to help fellow mums use technological apparatus to make parenting easier in today’s era. Her work on cell phone tracking software has received great appreciation from a reader. To know more about her follow on twitter @nickimarie222

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What Career Path Is Your Teen Considering?

Posted by Sue Scheff on March 02, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Summer Jobs, Teen Help

Do you remember the dread you felt as a kid when an adult asked what you wanted to be when you grew up?

CareerBuilder research shows that nearly 1 in 4 high school students pick their career based on something they saw on TV or in a movie, and 33 percent of full-time workers regret the college major they chose. In conjunction with Find Your Calling month, an initiative that empowers students to pick a career based on their interests, CareerBuilder is releasing a series of studies with surprising insights into labor market and hiring trends. Today’s release focuses on top occupations for younger workers.

CHICAGO and ATLANTA – March 2, 2017 – What do I want to do with my life? It is one of the most pressing and often overwhelming questions for America’s youth —and CareerBuilder is working to help them find the answer. Today, CareerBuilder launched Find Your Calling Month, a nationwide initiative taking place throughout March that encourages students to discover possible career and education paths and get them excited about the future.

 

CareerBuilder research shows that nearly 1 in 4 high school students pick their career based on something they saw on TV or in a movie1, and that 33 percent of full-time workers regret the college major they chose.2 As college debt rises, the skills gap widens and a significant number of workers fall prone to unemployment or underemployment, it is important to start educating students early about their options. 

 

CareerBuilder’s month-long initiative centers around its free national website FindYourCalling.com, which enables students to instantly view a wide range of careers based on their individual interests. Students can see job growth projections, salary ranges, companies hiring, educational programs and more, and can easily share that information on social media to get their friends to discover their own career paths as well. The initiative also enlists schools throughout the country to host Find Your Calling days and encourages parents and businesses to participate.

 

In conjunction with Find Your Calling month, CareerBuilder is releasing a series of studies that provide surprising insights into labor market and hiring trends. Today’s release focuses on top occupations for younger workers based on jobs that are growing quickly, pay a good wage and have a solid concentration of workers ages 19 to 24.

“There is a world of opportunity open to younger workers in business, technical and creative fields,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “When choosing a potential career, you want to ask yourself two questions: 1) What am I passionate about? and 2) Does data show that this occupation is growing and pays well? The more informed you are about your options and what it takes to get to where you want to be, the better the outcome.”

The study is based on data from Emsi, CareerBuilder’s labor market analysis arm, which pulls information from nearly 100 national, state and local employment resources.

1 CareerBuilder’s nationwide survey of 210 high school seniors conducted by Harris Poll, June 2015
2 CareerBuilder’s nationwide survey of 2,851 full-time workers conducted by Harris Poll, June 2016

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is a global, end-to-end human capital solutions company focused on helping employers find, hire and manage great talent. Combining advertising, software and services, CareerBuilder leads the industry in recruiting solutions, employment screening and human capital management. It also operates top job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

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