Archive for the ‘Teens’ Category

Do we really need another bake sale?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

“May you live in interesting times.” Chinese Blessing

With shrinking education budgets and cuts in sports, arts and afterschool programs; we need to get creative with fundraising.  Well, here’s a unique product that is relevant for parents and kids!

Consider a fundraiser that provides security, safety and peace of mind in a……

TRAVEL STIX®

MEDICAL AND TRAVEL INFORMATION FLASH DRIVE

The unique digital device to ensure safe travel and proper medical treatment for teen athletes’

Sport Teams, Schools and Sport Associations

________________________________________________________________________

2010 SCHOOL & TEEN SPORT CATALOG

for a complete tour, visit us at http://www.mytravelstix.com

Be sure to use Coupon Code PW2010 for FREE SHIPPING!

NEW FROM TRAVEL STIX®

CUSTOMIZED CREDIT CARD FLASH DRIVE WITH 2GB OR 4GB WITH YOUR LOGO ON BOTH THE FACE AND THE EMBEDDED TRAVEL FORMS

MULTIPLE LANGUAGES: ENGLISH – SPANISH – FRENCH

TEEN SPORT TRAVEL STIX®

Unique storage device for your important travel & medical information.  This state-of-the-art credit card shaped flash drive may be used in every computer, net book or iPad’s USB port.  With two versions providing either 2GB or 4GB of memory, this is the digital device to keep what you need accessible and not reliant on the Internet when you are on the go!

Price of 1 to 5,000 is $14.50 for 2GB; $22.50 for 4GB which your organization can sell for the suggested retail price of $19.95 for 2GB & $29.95 for 4GB.

You can also include your school or team’s logo right on the Travel Stix® as well as encourage local businesses to donate funds to support your event and pay for the customized Travel Stix®.  Your logo is free when using coupon code PW2010, provided your order is a minimum of 100 Travel Stix®.  You can allow contributing local businesses to include coupons and web site links that we can pre-embed on your customized version.  This is another way that the Teen Sport Travel Stix® enable you to maximize your fundraising efforts.

TRAVEL STIX® was created by an attorney who is also a mother of two active teens.

Visit  http://www.mytravelstix.com and be sure to use the coupon code PW2010 for free shipping.

If you have any questions, you can also contact me.

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Wishing You a Very Happy Back to School

Monday, August 30th, 2010

It dawned on me as we stood in the aisle…it would be our last trip for back to school supplies.  My youngest child was starting her senior year in college.  For so many years, this was one of my favorite traditions.

We always shopped early to avoid the back to school rush.  Truth be told, I went early because I couldn’t wait and loved the  brand new notebooks that snapped as they opened, the highlighters, post-its, a new dictionary (not sure if that was necessary), were there that many new words?  The sneakers kept safe in their box for that very first day to be worn with a specially selected outfit, and those amazing pictures taken the first day each year by the tree outside to measure their growth.

Years flew and there I was making this special trip for the very last time.  I realized by my daughter’s eye roll, she didn’t appreciate me sharing that with the clerk asking if we needed assistance.  I didn’t need assistance, but I desperately needed a tissue.

One thing I want to share with anyone with a child:

  • Entering kindergarten or first grade
  • Stepping into middle school for the first time (they are going to stress over the combination locker)
  • Stepping into the halls of a scary high school where she can’t imagine getting from one side to the next in time for classes
  • Just drove away on ‘move-in’ day and hope that your college freshman will wake up himself and go to class

The new school year is always a new start.  The teacher has a blank grade book, and all students begin with an A+ in each class.  Where they go is up to them.

Now, a note from Dr. Vicki Panaccione before the stress sets in….

Having a hard time juggling everyone’s hectic schedule?

  • Here are a few helpful tips:
  • Keep a big family calendar where everyone can see it
    • Use a different color marker for each person in the family for a quick and easy way to see who needs to do what, when and where

If you have more than one child, allow one or two after-school activities per child

  • That way your kids are not being overloaded
  • And neither are you

Take short cuts:

  • Make and freeze meals ahead of time
  • On busy nights, use paper plates
  • To avoid the last minute scramble in the morning,
  • Have your kids lay out their clothes,
  • Pack up the back packs and
  • Get out the lunch money before they go to bed.

And please don’t lose sight of your #1 priority—

  • Family comes first—even if it means doing away with an activity or two.

For additional tips log in to Parental Wisdom® and locate the email under Free Stuff The Promise of a New School Year.

Have a terrific first day of school!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Are you building or ruining the relationship?

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Question: What do these situations have in common?

  1. The three-year-old having a meltdown on the check out line at Target
  2. The seven-year-old who could put in more effort at school
  3. The eighteen-year-old high school senior looking at colleges

Answer(s):

  1. They all create a certain amount of stress for parents
  2. They are NOT life threatening
  3. They ARE relationship threatening

What does that mean?

These situations become stressful because we sometimes care more about what other people think, and as a result let that influence the way we handle situations with our children.

Let’s reset the scenarios a bit:

Why is the three-year-old having a meltdown?

Did he nap?  Is he hungry?  Did you plan a marathon shopping day and this is the tail end of the six-hour trip?  Did she see something the store put as an impulse item that they want?

The looks from other people on line do not matter!

All that does matter is your relationship with your child.  The meltdown usually starts low and slowly, so you can plan your exit strategy, even if that means abandoning your shopping cart.  Make the best decision you can given that set of circumstances.

The same could be said of the effort of a grade school child.  You’re right to ask the child to do his/her best in school, and choose to be a good role model in terms of work ethic.  But realize that education works best for those who are good at following rules.  Don’t get stressed about your child not having straight A’s and instead be more concerned about their love of learning and ability to think for themselves.  When family and friends ask how the kids are doing, it’s OK they are healthy and happy.  You don’t have to ‘report’ on their report card as if it measures how well you’re doing as a parent.

The high school senior looking at colleges has more stress than he or she can handle.  Don’t let the opinions or questions of caring and concerned family and friends add to that stress.

Think of the questions they are being asked:

  1. What college are you going to?
  2. What major are you choosing?
  3. What do you want to do for the rest of your life?

Really?  Do those questions seem reasonable?

I would like to be the voice of all parents in response to family and friends and strangers with good intentions:

Thank you for your concern, now please mind your own business.  Amen!

To see the patented Parental Wisdom® concept and multiple answers to these and other questions, you can learn more and become a member.  It’s free and you are anonymous.   It really is a better mousetrap.

p.s. This is the kind of advice you should share with your friends.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

How To Connect with Your Teens through Travel

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

By Luisa Frey

Creator/editor of www.teentraveltalk.com

What’s one of the biggest issues facing parents of teenagers?

Disconnect between parent and child.

We all know the feeling of wanting to be closer to our young adult yet mostly we end up butting heads because of their desire to be treated like an adult but not really acting like one. Inevitably, we often feel the void that this disconnect causes.

However, I’ve discovered one sure-fire way to connect with my teen – through travel. While we can’t be on the road 24/7, I’ve found over and over again that when my teen daughter and I are away from our daily routine, we turn into different people – ones who don’t see each other as a “parent” or as a “teen” but instead as a complementary duo. And we actually have real conversations instead of those which escalate into shouting!

So what are my secrets to selecting a trip that facilitates connecting with my teen?

LET THEM OWN PART OF THE PLANNING PROCESS

Last winter my daughter and I were going through a very difficult time. However, one day she walked into my office and said, “I want to go to Salem, MA with you next month since I’m doing a history paper on the Salem Witch Trials.” My first reaction was, “No way, we can’t afford that.” But then I realized that she actually wanted to spend time with me and that I was going to move heaven and earth to make this trip happen!

So I gave her ownership of the planning process and told her to choose a website to help her plan it; find out which attractions were open in the winter; price an affordable hotel; and decide how many days we needed to stay there. The next day she marched in with an itinerary she had created and an affordable hotel suggestion.

Needless to say, I booked the trip and it proved critical in getting our relationship back on track.

TURN “CAR RIDES” INTO “CONFIDES”

Our road trip from New Jersey to Massachusetts gave us plenty of time to talk, listen to music, or just be in the same space for a period time without one of us having to run out the door like at home.

Since then, I have discovered that my daughter opens up most when we are in the car and I am driving. Perhaps it’s because teens do not always feeling comfortable looking an adult in the eye when they talk about deep matters. With me behind the wheel, that scenario is facilitated.

USE THE POWER OF THEIR PEERS

Let’s face it – teens are most influenced by their peers and not as much by mom and dad. Why not use teen influence to help you plan a trip that your teens will enjoy? What parent wants to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a family trip that their teen labels “lame” ahead of time? Instead, you can nip “baditude” in the bud by getting your teen enthused before you even leave the house.

One way to do this is for you and your teen to check out www.teentraveltalk.com. This blog is written by teens for their peers and parents and details trips that get the teen stamp of approval. It also features articles that are written by teens and their parents regarding trips that had some tension around them. These articles give advice from the teens as to what they would have liked to have done differently on those specific trips. Lastly, it includes teen and parent forums for asking family travel questions which are answered by teentraveltalk.com’s teen bloggers.

ACTION IS A MUST

When you check out teentraveltalk.com, you’ll see a recurring theme: teens love trips that feature ACTION! They do NOT want long car rides, sitting in a cathedral in Europe, nor too many museum visits. They want to be out there doing cool, active things. This can range from horseback riding in Costa Rica to walking over the Brooklyn Bridge.

However, action needs to be tempered with time to “hang out.” This is not the same as down time on a plane or in a car. Instead it means unstructured time to listen to their iPod, watch a movie, munch on some snacks, or hang out at the beach.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO KEEP THE MEMORIES ALIVE

During and after your trip, use the alluring power of social media to keep the trip memories alive. My daughter LOVES taking photos – thousands of them. The photos are great documentaries of what we did and what we saw. They also are the impetus for us to stand around her computer after a trip – her little brother included – and laugh at some of the fun moments of our trip.

Of course these photos then turn up on my teenager’s Facebook page. While some of us parents are not privy to our kids’ Facebook pages, you should feel honored that the trip you went on with your child actually landed up on her/his wall. Sounds like your teen might actually want to take another…and another trip with you after all!

Do you have Santa’s Phone Number?

Sunday, December 6th, 2009


Happy Countdown to Christmas!

Is real life really like high school?

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

high school
I’ve heard it said that real life is like high school; full of uncertainly, figuring out who you are and how you fit in and what group(s) you belong to. Yesterday, I attended my 35 year high school reunion from St. Edmunds, which at that time was an all girl school.

If that statement is true, that real life is like high school; the outlook is good. We’ve grown up, gotten over the things that bothered us, though I did overhear a few “You know, you made my life hell” comments, but all in all what you remember, as the great Streisand so aptly sings in “The Way We Were” is,

it’s the laughter that we’ll remember.

The best feeling I came away with is that as women we’ve learned how to be good friends which in high school seemed as if it was much more of a challenge. Good lesson to teach our own daughters.

All the best to the class of 1974.

It’s the friends you can call up at four a.m. that matter.
-Marlene Dietrich, German movie actress (1901 – 1992)

It’s a bird; it’s a plane, it’s a helicopter parent

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

helicopter

Helicopter Parent: “A mom or dad who hovers over his or her children.”

In case you haven’t heard the term, “Helicopter Parents,” are always hovering–always helping–always rescuing–and always involved.

These are the parents who micromanage their kids’ play dates, science fair projects, and soccer game tournaments.

In high school they drive the teachers batty by hovering in at the first sign of a bad grade, making sure their kid’s schedule was stellar (with only the very best teachers), and writing those college entrance essays.

In college they are first on the scene setting up their kid’s dorm room (and complaining if the roommate wasn’t the perfect fit), and even calling the university president to complain about an unfair grade. Cell phones and e-mail have created umbilical bonds that are difficult to cut.

Well, now the kiddies have graduated and they are entering the workforce in mass numbers. It seems these parents are still hovering, but from all indications, their presence is now up a level — think “Black Hawk” mode. According to major businesses from coast to coast these parents are actually attending their kids job
fairs and interviews, negotiating salaries and benefit packages for their children and even demanding that the business call to let them know if their offspring got the job. And businesses are scratching their heads. What do we do with these parents?

Many are actually changing their long-standing practices to send notices of hiring intent to the parents as well as the kids.

This is over-the-top parenting. This isn’t mentoring but meddlesome, and it can rob kids of the self-reliance they need at this point in their grown-up lives. What can these kids fall back on if they have no internal resources of learning and failing because parents protected them from any ever experiencing failure?

Ask yourself a question before you jump in to save your child. What is the worst thing that can happen if you don’t step in?

If there was such a thing as a parent’s job description, it would probably say that we should raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted, independent children that contribute to society. Don’t wait till your child is twenty to celebrate Independence Day. Even very young children can and should have chores.

Though well-intentioned, the self-esteem movement of the last twenty years is what many believe to be the cause with the lack of self reliance many ‘twenty-somethings’ now face. Interestingly, that movement
started about the same time you would see those annoying ‘Baby on Board’ signs on cars.

It’s actually very simple. If you want your child to have self esteem, give them responsibilities. Begin when they are little with simple chores, and continue on as they get older.

Visit Parental Wisdom – Free Reports, and get a copy of the Chore Chart Ideas for a few ideas; add your own creativity. For example, if you want a four-year-old to pull up his bed covers every morning, take a few digital pictures of each step in the process and label the pictures with a big #1, #2 and #3 for each step. Leave it on a small poster so he will know and remember what to do. That will make your child feel good about his achievements and he is more likely to take on more responsibility.

This is one of the best ways to communicate with, and stay connected to your child.
Great way to avoid all the helicopter traffic.

Perfect Example of a Missed Opportunity

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

madd

In a less than courageous move, the South Plainfield NJ Board of Education reversed a decision by school administrators to ban from the graduation ceremony a group of students who came drunk to the prom. Students signed a pledge to arrive at their prom alcohol-free but at least some came “visibly inebriated,” a spokesperson said.

The students’ parents protested the ruling and threatened to take the issue to the state commissioner of education. The board then reversed the decision.

I don’t blame the Board of Education for not having a backbone, though it is obvious. I blame the parents for not having the wisdom teach their children a life lesson so valuable it could actually save their lives.

The question a parent should always ask is, “what is the worst that could happen?” For parents of the students that had the nerve to come to the prom drunk might actually cause them to learn about consequences.

Let’s focus instead on the majority of the students in South Plainfield High who deserve to enjoy this wonderful milestone despite this minority of the student population creating such a distraction.

Kudos to the teachers who are fed up with a system that caves to loud parents who don’t seem to know any better.

This could be urban legend, but the following is supposedly the answering machine message the Pacific Palisades High School (CA) staff voted to record on their school answering machine system. This came about because the school implemented a policy requiring parents to be responsible for their children’s absences and missing homework. The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children’s failing grades changed to passing grades even though those children were absent 15 to 30 times during the semester and did not complete enough school work to pass their classes.

“Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all your options before making a selection:
To lie about why your child is absent, press 1
□ To make excuses for why your child did not do his work, press 2
□ To complain about what we do, press 3
□ To swear at staff members, press 4
□ To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you, press 5
□ If you want us to raise your child, press 6
□ If you want to reach out and touch, slap, or hit someone, press 7
□ To request another teacher for the third time this year, press 8
□ To complain about bus transportation, press 9
□ To complain about school lunches, press 0
□ If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, and homework, and that it’s not the teachers’ fault for your child’s lack of effort…hang up and have a nice day!”

We have a bill of rights. We need a bill of responsibilities. -Bill Maher

Exerpted from Because Kids Don’t Come with Manuals®:Contemporary Advice for Parents by Tina Nocera

What do you think about this issue?

Our False Positive Popular Culture

Saturday, June 21st, 2008


It’s one of those news stories you think you didn’t hear correctly. Teen girls trying to get pregnant!

It could have happened anywhere, but the town of Gloucester, MA is now trying to figure out why the teen pregnancy rate is four times higher.

Perhaps as usual, we’re asking the wrong questions:

• We’re trying to understand why over 150 girls under the age of sixteen, which very likely means that over 150 girls, under the age of sixteen were having sex
• We scratch our heads and wonder why girls would make a pact to become pregnant
• We look to point the finger at the school, the community and the parents to see who is at fault
• We debate over the use and availability of birth control and parental notification, when we should educate both
• We question the wisdom of making is easy and fun to bring a baby to high school and park a stroller next to the lockers
• We ponder the self esteem issues of young girls that need to feel loved

We follow popular culture in a ignorant stupor as millions are paid for the first picture of Jaime Lynn Spear’s new baby. No doubt the celebrity babies (see an earlier blog on this same topic) have a lot to do with the romantic notion of having children. This is a case where a positive test result leads to a false sense of reality.

What we really need to question is why we are not outraged that so many girls under the age of sixteen are having sex.

Please don’t lecture me on the reality of life. We create our own realities, and we’re so worried about our kids’ self-esteem, that we don’t think about this reality: they are too young to be sexually active. How does that affect their self-esteem?

Parents – talk to your children and be the moral compass in their lives.

What Do You Do?

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Thursday, April 24th marks the 16th annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work® Day.

It is so much more than a career day. It demonstrates to our children why education matters, but more importantly, our children can be inspired to learn what it is they might love to do. You can only be really great at something with passion and persistence and that begins by doing what you love.

Now for the bad news. If you’re negative about your current job then I recommend you don’t pull your children out of school for the day since you’ll be doing more harm than good. Instead use this as an opportunity to think about the advice that you would give to your grade school age child so that she is not in the same position.

Here are some ideas:

Do what you love. As a young child, spend the time finding what it is that you love
Test the waters. You can’t know if it’s right until you try it. And then if you think you like something, try it again.
Talk to people (as many as you can) in the field you think is for you. Even be courageous enough to talk to people who have left the profession so you could understand why.
Think about the kind of a life you want to live. Do you want a family? Would you love (or hate) to travel? What if you had to constantly relocate? Do you want to be home for dinner every evening (if this is important to you, don’t even think about politics).

Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure;
Where your treasure, there is your heart;
Where your heart, there your happiness.
-Augustine