1. Parenting
Send to a Friend via Email
Amy Morin

Parenting Teens


Follow me on:

Easter Desserts and Sweet Treats to Bake with Teens

Saturday April 12, 2014
Cooking and baking can help involve teens in the Easter celebration. Although some teens may be interested in helping you create an Easter dinner, other teens might be more interested in baking the Easter dessert. Here are some fun treats that teens can bake:
  • Easter Cupcakes - These Easter Egg cupcakes are fun for teens to bake and decorate.
  • Easter Basket Cake - This adorable Easter Basket cake involves candy bars, jelly beans, and marshmallow chicks or bunnies.
  • Flower Garden Cake- This flower garden cake is the perfect way to celebrate spring. You can even personalize it with photo flowers to make it a truly unique piece.
  • Sunflower Cake - This sunflower cake is super easy and serves as a beautiful centerpiece. Use yellow marshmallow chicks and some chocolate chips to turn a round cake into a sunflower.
  • Bunny Cake - This bunny cake takes a little more work than some of the other desserts but the end result is worth the effort. It comes with step-by-step photo instructions to help you out along the way.

Ways to Celebrate Easter with Teens

Saturday April 12, 2014

While many teens have outgrown traditional Easter egg hunts, there are still lots of ways to get teens involved in Easter celebrations. If your family has any particular religious or spiritual beliefs about Easter, get your teen involved in attending services. Talk about your beliefs and give your teen an opportunity to ask questions.

There are lots of other ways in which you can get your teen involved in celebrating Easter, whether it's decorating, cooking, or baking. You can also create a more "mature" Easter egg hunt. Get your teens friends involved and hide eggs at night and allow them to use flashlights to find the eggs.

If you're struggling to find some Easter gifts for your teen, here are over 100 Easter basket ideas for teens. Also, consider using these coupons as an inexpensive and fun alternative to chocolate and candy.

You can also use Easter as an opportunity to encourage teens to volunteer time or gifts to others. Fill Easter baskets for children at a local homeless shelter or donate to a charity that helps children in need. It can be a great opportunity to encourage teens to be grateful for what they already have and remember those who aren't as fortunate.

Easter Crafts and Projects for Teens

Friday April 11, 2014

If you're looking to do some Easter-related crafts with your teen, I've compiled a list from of projects from various About.com sites to give you some ideas. These projects are sure to please even the mature teen who may think she's too old to make cotton ball bunnies.

  • Clay Pot Bunny Craft - This is a cute yet simple idea that you can customize to make it suit your teen's needs. Offer paint and some simple supplies and your teen can turn a plant pot into an Easter basket.
  • Homemade Easter Decorations - Get your teen involved in helping you create some Easter decorations. Learn how to make anything from an Easter tree to an Easter wreath.
  • Dyeing Easter Eggs - There are lots of ways to dye Easter eggs. Get as creative as you want with these ideas that will show you has to personalize eggs using a variety of techniques that will lead to beautiful, colorful eggs. And if you've ever wondered where the tradition of dyeing eggs came from, here's a quick history lesson that explains the different ways eggs have been colored around the world.
  • Bunny and Carrot Eggs- This project shows how your teen can turn hard-boiled eggs into bunnies and carrots.

Order Smart Money Smart Kids Now

Tuesday April 8, 2014
smart money smart kids

Teaching teens about money is one of the most overlooked yet most important things a parent can do. After all, a teen's ability to make good decisions about money set him up for success for the rest of his life.

Smart Money Smart Kids is a helpful solution for parents who are wondering how to help their teen learn about money. Co-written by radio host Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze, the book gives parents practical ways to begin teaching kids about budgeting, saving, spending, and working. The book also explains how to help teens avoid debt, including student loans. (See my interview with Rachel Cruze about how to help teens graduate debt free). The entire book is filled with valuable tips on how you can teach your teen to win with money.

Unfortunately, many teens enter into the adult world without any idea how to behave responsibly when it comes to money. By the time many of them land their first job, they're already deeply in debt and aren't sure how to get out. Make sure your teen is prepared to pay bills, establish a budget, and save for the future.

Smart Money Smart Kids officially goes on salle on April 22 but you can pre-order it now. In fact, if you order early, you can earn up to $50 in free gifts.

Donate Your Teen's Old Prom Dress to a Good Cause

Monday April 7, 2014

Charities around the country these days are collecting gently used prom dresses to help girls who can't afford to buy a new dress. If your teen has an old prom dress that's just collecting dust in the closet, consider looking for a local charity that could put it to good use. Many non-profit agencies report difficulties collecting enough dresses, especially plus-sized dresses to outfit girls in need.

If you haven't heard of any non-profit agencies in your area doing a dress drive, check out DonateMyDress.org. They can help you locate the nearest place that is accepting dress donations. If you don't have a local charity who is conducting a dress drive, you can even consider starting one yourself. You may be able to team up a local charity to host an event.

Although many people like to keep last year's prom dress for sentimental reasons, it usually doesn't serve much of a purpose hanging in a closet. It's likely your teen won't want it forever anyway, so you might as well donate it now before it goes out of fashion. You can always donate this year's dress right away as well and girls may be able to use it for other formal events. There's no need to wait until next year's prom season.

Georgia Teen Spends $31K Stemming From Banking Error

Wednesday April 2, 2014

An 18-year-old Georgia teen went on a spending spree after the bank mistakingly deposited $31,000 into his account. Apparently, a teller accidentally deposited the money into his account, instead of another man's account with the same name. The teen had already spent $25,000 in a matter of days. His apparent spending spree landed him at the car dealership and a variety of stores.

When confronted by law enforcement, the teen initially stated he thought it was an inheritence from his grandmother. He promised to repay the money. However, when the money didn't surface within the specified time frame, the teen was arrested and charged with theft.

Would your teen be honest enough to return the money? Is your teen financially savvy enough to understand how a bank operates? We don't know for certain if the teen actually knew the money was not his or not. But either, way it's a problem. If he actually believed he was spending his grandmother's windfall, he spent 80% of the money in just a matter of days.

New Study Reveals Teens are Stressed Over Money

Tuesday April 1, 2014

Although most adults might not suspect that their kids worry about money, high school students are anxious about finances, according to a new study released by H&R Block. Teens reported they were nervious about taking out student loans, difficulties finding a job, and not being able to attain their parents' standard of living.

Many teens are getting information about money from social media. Schools don't teach much in the way of budgeting skills or money management. About 75% of teens report turning to their parents for financial information and advice, but many reported that their parents aren't comfortable talking to them about money.

About 70% of parents said they are "very concerned" about setting a good financial example for their children, according to the T. Rowe Price survey that was also released this week. Many acknowledged to giving kids mixed messages about money. About half say they bribed their kids with money, 30% said they lied to kids about money and another 30% said they borrowed from their kids' piggy banks.

Parents cited a few different reasons for not talking to their kids about money. Three out of four parents said they are hesitant to bring up the subject . About 30% felt they were not good role models and many parents said they often lose sleep over money troubles and didn't feel like they had any wisdom to impart.

Clearly, teens are communicating they want more information about money. Find out how you can begin teaching your teen financial skills.

Inability to Take the Perfect Selfie Leads to Suicide Attempt

Monday March 31, 2014

A 19-year-old British teen reportedly tried to take his own life because he wasn't able to take the perfect selfie, according to a story published by Mirror. He had dropped out of school and isolated himself so he could spend 10 hours each day taking photos of himself with his iPhone. When he wasn't able to capture the perfect photo, he felt despair. He attempted to overdose on pills, stating he felt ugly.

It's unlikely that this teens struggle to portray the perfect online image is an isolated incident. Although no one had heard of the word "selfie" just a few years ago, it's now become a phenomenon, especially among to teens, to constantly post self-portraits on social media. Many of them obsess over how they look in each photo. They want to post the most attractive photos in hopes of gaining compliments about their appearance.

It's important to be aware of what your teen is doing online. If your teen develops a keen interest in posting selfies, don't be afraid to address it. Clearly, for some teens, it's a real problem.

Study Links Depression and Obesity in Teen Girls

Tuesday March 25, 2014

Adolescent girls who are diagnosed with either depression or obesity, are at a great risk for developing the other as they get older, according to a study by Rutgers University-Camden. A teen girl diagnosed with depression is at greater risk of developing obesity in adulthood and a teen girl diagnosed with obesity is at a greater risk of developing depression later in life.

Although there have been other studies that have confirmed there seems to be a link between obesity and depression, this is the first one that shows that these two disorders can be considered risk factors for adulthood issues. Interestingly, the same doesn't seem to be true for boys and men.

Perhaps teen girls who struggle with depression should be given lots of education about how to eat healthy and get exercise to reduce their risk of weight gain so they don't turn to food to help them cope with their symptoms. Also, teen girls who struggle with obesity, could benefit from learning skills to reduce the likelihood of developing depression.

It's important for parents to be aware of these risk factors so they can take a proactive approach to addressing potential problems. Be mindful of your teen's mental and physical health so you can seek help when necessary and possibly prevent lifelong issues.

Parental Concerns Over Social Media May be Overblown

Monday March 24, 2014

It's easy to find a lot of research that indicates the internet is a scary place for teens. Bad things can happen - anything from sexual solicitation to cyberbullying. But, according to author danah boyd (who insists her name not be capitalized), many of those reports are overblown.

In her book, It's Complicated, boyd suggests that the internet isn't any more harmful than teens gathering at the local mall. She claims that many of the statistics and studies don't tell the full story. For example, boyd says a 2000 study by the Crimes Against Children Research Center exaggerates online sexual solicitation. She says that 75% of the teens who acknowledged sexual solicitation, which included everything from flirting to sexual harrassment, weren't upset by the solicitation. And 69% of the contacts did not involve any attempts to have contact outside of the internet.

Clearly, many of the problems that occur online aren't new. They are just happening in a different form. Which is why it's more important than ever for parents to be aware of what tech-savvy teens are doing. Staying involved in your teen's activities and keeping an eye out for social media activities is an important step in keeping your teen safe.

10 Social Media Strategies Parents of Teens Should Exercise

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.