S-T-R-E-S-S – Helping Your Teen Deal

by Stephanie Partridge

Our kids are stressed.  Study after study is confirming this, citing a wide range of stress related complications such as sleep problems, anxiety, depression and eating disorders.  Our kids are growing up in a world that is much more stressful than the one we knew as teens.  And it is having a significant impact on them.

My kids have expressed to me the various stressors that they have in their lives.  My daughter, who is 17, will be graduating in June.  She is looking at colleges right now.  While she seems to take everything in stride, she has, from time to time, talked to me about the stress she is under.  School, grades and finding a good college are all areas that cause her worry.  Her teachers adore her and her grades are exceptional, she is even in college prep courses that she loves, but she admits to feeling stressed out sometimes.

My 15 year old son, on the other hand, tends to show his stress more.  He has a learning disability which makes an already stressful classroom situation even more difficult.  He does well in school and is very popular, but he worries about everything.  He won’t broach the subject, but we all spend time in the evenings talking as a family and many times those worries rise to the surface.  He worries about me, about my health, about the fact that I am “alone” (despite my telling him that I am very happy being single), about our finances (I have a good job, but what little child support I get is sporadic at best) and so many other things.  He worries about school, his sister, his friends.  Sometimes even I am overwhelmed.READ More on Stress and Your Teen

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50 Ways to know when you graduated to parenthood!

Ah, the joys of parenting! It is the most wonderful job you will ever have. It is also the most frustrating, gross and exhausting. Take a break and enjoy a chuckle over these 50 ways that you know you’re a parent.

My kids are 15, 17 and 19 and they still freak out over number 29. Number 27 is one of my favorites too, gets me every time!

  1. You can’t remember the last time you were able to go in the bathroom, close the door and not be interrupted.
  2. You know the book “Goodnight Moon” – by heart.
  3. You have actually acquired a taste for strained peas.
  4. A full night’s sleep is a luxury – and something you haven’t had in so long you can’t even remember.
  5. It takes you two days to shave your legs: one leg one day and the other leg the next day.
  6. You have never been so frustrated and so in love with anyone in your life.
  7. You are at dinner with a friend, they spill something on their shirt and you reach into your bag and pull out baby wipes to clean up.
  8. You not only carry smiley face bandages with you, you also carry antibiotic ointment.
  9. You have at least one story of how your child cut their own hair.
  10. The three second rule isn’t set in stone, sometimes it’s five seconds, sometimes even more.
  11. You realize that you are now one of those annoying people who carries a “brag book” of photos of your kids and corners unsuspecting victims with “cute” stories about your offspring.
  12. Pregnancy and birth stories are interesting.
  13. You have traded in your silk, wool and cashmere for the more practical cotton and polyester.
  14. Baby talk is not reserved for just your children.
  15. You have stayed up till 1 am making cup cakes for an entire class of first graders.READ More on You Know You’re a Parent When…

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by Stephanie Partridge

Dogs have it going on. As we are starting the new year, I am becoming more reflective regarding how I live my life. I have decided that I will take some lessons from my dog. I wanted to pass them on to you – maybe you or your kids will be inspired.

1. My chihuahua's best friends were a bulldog, a pit bull and a cat! Talk about embracing diversity!

2. It's the little things that matter. A pat on the head and a hug are far better than a new collar or toy.

3. Sometimes a growl is all that it takes to get your point across. You very rarely have to actually bite.

4. There is nothing more important than food to eat, shelter from the weather and being with those who love you.

5. Protect and guard your loved ones at all costs.

6. Walking in the sunshine is an event to be anticipated and savored.

7. When you need a nap, take it.

8. Drink lots of water.

9. There is nothing so comforting as sleeping next to someone you love.

10. When a loved one comes home, even if only at the end of the day, it is a cause for celebration.

Stephanie Partridge: I am a mom, not just to my three terrific teenagers, but to the entire neighborhood! I am also blessed with a wonderful husband who married us all and moved into the dad role with an ease that is awe inspiring. We live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with our three pit bulls, Chihuahua (who rules the house) and two cats. I am currently pursuing a psychology degree so that I can counsel young people and incorporate therapy dogs into my practice.

No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any form without the express permission of More4Kids Inc © and All Rights Reserved

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by Joy Burgess

If you have a teen in your home, at some point they probably will want to get a job. Of course, there are some things you are going to have to do to prepare them to go out there in the work force. Teens need good preparation for a job at home, great ideas for jobs, and tips for actually landing that job. You can help your teen to make the transition to a working teen, which is not always as easy as teens may think. It is even more difficult to land jobs in this struggling economy, which is something your teen needs to understand. Here is a closer look at how you can your teen can prepare, find, and land a good job, even during tough times.

Preparing Your Teen for Their First Job

The first step in the job process for you and your teen is to start preparing your teen for their first job. It's not easy to step into employment from being a carefree teenager. However, you can make this a process that is smoother for them with some simple preparation.

Analyze Their Interest: One thing you can do to prepare your teen for a job is analyze the interest that they have. If they have some interests in a particular job, consider helping them find a volunteer position so that they can see what it is like. This also will give them a taste of keeping a schedule that balances school, work, homework, and family and friends.

Make Sure They are Responsible at Home: Another thing that you can do to make sure they are well prepared on the job is to make sure they are responsible at home. Ensure that your child is handling their responsibilities at home. If they are not able to keep up with home responsibilities, your teen probably is not ready to handle the responsibilities that come with balancing a job, school, and more.

Teach Them About Handling Money: This is the perfect time to teach your teen about handling money. If they are going to make money, you want them to handle it in a responsible manner. Consider helping them open a bank account, teach them the basics about keeping up a checkbook, and make sure they know about saving money and how important it is.

Great Job Ideas for Teens

Not sure what jobs are great for teens today? It's a good idea to know what jobs are out there for teens. Here is a look at some great job ideas that your teen may be interest in.READ More on Teen Jobs – Preparing Your Teen for a Job in a Struggling Economy

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manners-and-respectThe teaching of manners has come in and out of vogue over the past several generations. Many parents today consider manners important, but aren't sure when to introduce the ideas or how to broach the subject. Kids don't require formal lessons and learn best in the natural course of life.

Books are a great way to introduce a new concept and start a discussion with your child. There are a variety of books written on topics related to manners. One good example for general manners is Perfect Pigs: An Introduction to Manners by Marc Brown (author of the Arthur series) and Stephen Krensky. This book covers a variety of table and living manners topics and situations.

When you decide to begin focusing on manners, don't try to teach it all at once. Prioritize the issues that are most important to your family and select one or two things to focus on. You don't want to overload your child with a sudden onslaught of lessons in manners. Take it slow.READ More on Teaching Manners

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Tracing Your Family Tree – Getting Started in Genealogy

Discovering your family history is not only a fun activity, but can help bring your family closer together

I was thinking of great family projects for 2010 and I thought about how great it would be to research ones own family history.  For many reasons, it is important to know about your family background. It can give you and your family a sense of who you are and where you've come from. It can also be important because knowing how your ancestors died could have an effect on your own medical history. If you're not sure what you need to get started in genealogy, here are some tips to get started.

First off, you will need to have some basic office supplies available when you get started. File folders can be used to keep any blank charts you'll need; they can also be used to keep your ancestors organized. Start a file folder for each surname you find during your search. When it is too full, you can always separate the information further.

If you'd rather not keep everything you gather in paper form, you can invest in good genealogy software such as Roots Magic 3, Family Tree Maker or Legacy Family Tree 7.0 Deluxe.  These will range in price between $30 and $100. You can also find free software, such as Personal Ancestral File 5.2 or Family Tree Builder 4.0.

The important thing to remember is to keep things organized, no matter which method you choose to keep notes on your family members. Be prepared, however, as you may find delving into your family background so interesting that it takes over a good amount of space in your home.READ More on Genealogy – Making Geneology a Family Affair

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children playingIf you have more than one child, you know that each own has a temperament all their own. There are those kids that are very verbal and interact with others whenever they get together. On the other hand, you have those that are quiet and more reserved, and just want to play by themselves. Even though your child may be born with a preference to be social or not, much of a person's social ability to interact appropriately with others is based on what they are taught. You, as their parent, have a wonderful opportunity to help your child thrive in social situations. Helping them to succeed socially will give them confidence and the ability to adapt to situations all throughout their lives.

When teaching your child social skills in life, it is important to remember that these skills include many facets. Not only are social skills based on behavior, but also on the child emotions, intellect and ethics. These are all areas that will need to be strengthened as our child grows, so that they will have the ability to interact with others and achieve the goals they set for themselves.

Tip 1: Encourage Emotions

Emotions are a part of every day living, and in experiencing these emotions, children will have to learn what is appropriate and what is not. Some emotions are naturally easier to express than others. Most children can express themselves just fine when they are happy and excited. Once a child gets angry, hurt or rejected, they may not be able to express those emotions in a proper manner. These are times when a parent must reaffirm to the child that these feelings are normal, but there is an appropriate way to handle them. If you teach your child the skills they need to cope with these feelings and emotions, they will be able to be resilient and able to handle the hurts they will encounter in life.READ More on Weekly Parenting Tips – Encouraging Social Skills

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