Life with Teens Fall 2012
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Life with Teens Fall 2012

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The Fall 2012 issue of Life with Teens explores important topics such as social media, cyberbullying and a variety of others. It provides valuable insights, expert advice, and guidance.

The Fall 2012 issue of Life with Teens explores important topics such as social media, cyberbullying and a variety of others. It provides valuable insights, expert advice, and guidance.

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Life with Teens Fall 2012 Life with Teens Fall 2012 Document Transcript

  • FALL 2012 THE MAGAZINE FOR PARENTS WITH TEENS SUBSCR IBE NOW teenlife.co m/m IT’S FRE ag E! PROTECTING YOUR CHILD FROM CYBERBULLYING Parents & Teens The Social Media Gap NOMINATE YOUR TEEN 10PUBLISHED BY SAFEST CARSTeenLife.com FOR TEENS VOL. 1, ISSUE 2
  • Reserve your free SUBSCRIBE NOW teenlife.com/m IT’S FREE! ag + subscription Are You a Helicopter Parent? now. DIVORCE Parents, teen s, and experts weig h in. PUBLISHED BY TeenLife.co VOL. 1, ISSUE m 1 10 TIPS FOR TEEN ON THE ROAD S FINANCIAL TO SUCCESS LOOK INSIDE Go to TeenLife.com/mag to keep receiving Life with Teens in your mailbox! Plus, you’ll get: 1. Unlimited access to our award-winning website featuring thousands of programs and opportunities for teens. e-Newsletter and popular 2. Our information-packed printed and digital guides. calendar of local events 3. Access to our community and volunteer opportunities for teens.Sign Up Now at TeenLife.com/mag.
  • Welcome to The Magazine for Parents with Teens! t’s back-to-school time! Like most parents, I was always Plus, if you turn to page 37, you can nominate a teen happy when my kids headed back to school and my to be one of our TeenLife TeenLeaders. Two finalists will family could get back into a routine again. Although be selected for their leadership and outstanding community my two sons are not in high school anymore, they too service work. The prize includes a $1,000 scholarship! are getting back into the swing of things. My husband We hope you enjoy our fall issue! If you are not aand I just took one of my boys, Ben, back to college and I member of TeenLife, sign up at TeenLife.com/mag so thathelped my other son, Eric, move into his new apartment in you continue to receive your free digital subscription.New York City where he started working. Trust me when I I welcome your feedback and comments, so please reachsay, the teenage years fly by. out to me. And pass our magazine along to other parents you Not too long ago, I was in your shoes working hard to know with teens!raise confident, capable young adults. That’s why our newmagazine, Life with Teens, is so important to me. As you turn the pages of our second issue, you’ll see Marie Schwartz, President & Founder,that it is chock-full of relevant articles, personal stories, TeenLife Media, LLC, mschwartz@teenlife.comand expert advice on: • Teaching your teen to drive P.S. Spread the word! Connect with TeenLife on Facebook • Learning how to save on college tuition (facebook.com/teenlife) and Twitter (@teenlifemedia). Invite • Monitoring your teen’s social media use family, friends, and coworkers to sub­ cribe to Life with Teens s at TeenLife.com/mag. International. Individual. Inspirational. British School of Boston Academically rigorous and internationally focused, Open Houses: featuring the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Wednesday, October 17, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Serving toddlers through High School students. Saturday, November 3, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. High School Merit Scholarships Available Tuesday, January 15, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. NEW Toddler Program from 18 months 617.522.2261 admissionsbsb@wclschools.org • www.britishschoolofboston.org FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   1
  • omprehensive ollege ounseling TeenLife.com Guiding students to become strong applicants PUBLISHER and find Marie Schwartz, President & Founder the right schools. MA R K E TI N G Cara Ferragamo Murray Vice President of Marketing & Communications Camille Heidebrecht Director of Marketing & Managing Editor Jon Blumenfeld Associate Manager, Social Media & Member Marketing A DV E RTI S I N G SA L E S • Assistance defining Stefanie Magner goals and needs Sales Manager, stefanie@teenlife.com Dina Creiger • Information on colleges Account Director, dina@teenlife.com suited to individual Mary Anne MacLean academic and social Account Director, mamaclean1@gmail.com needs and preferences O P E R ATI O N S • Advice on course Ellie Boynton, Vice President of Operations selection, extra-curricular Maria Kieslich, Director of Operations activities and testing Alice Vaught, Lesli Amos, Customer Service • Help with all aspects CO N TR I B U TI N G W R I TE R S of application process Sarah Buttenwieser, Randi Mazella, Caroline Metcalf-Vera, including essay writing Mary Michael Nibley, Kimberly Wolf, M.Ed. A RT & P R O D U C TI O N Achieve your child’s Kathryn Tilton, Designer goal with a minimum of stress. PUBLISHED BY Life with Teens, Volume 1, Issue 2 Fall 2012 is a quarterly publication of TeenLife Media, LLC. 1330 Beacon St., Suite 268, Brookline, MA 02446, (617) 277-5120, info@teenlife.com, www.teenlife.com LIMIT OF LIABILITY TeenLife Media, LLC (TL) does not verify claims or information appearing in any advertisements contained in this magazine. While advertising copy is reviewed, no endorsement of any product or Anne Weisholtz service offered by any advertisement is intended or implied by publication in Life with Teens. No part of this magazine’s editorial content may be reproduced without written consent by TeenLife. 201-568-9326 TL is not responsible for the accuracy of any description, or for mistakes, errors, or omissions of any kind, or for any loss or damage caused by a user’s reliance on the information contained in this publication. Information is subject to change without notice, and readers are advised to confirm all information about an organization before Member IECA, NACAC, making any commitments. NJACAC, HECA Trademarks: TeenLife Media, LLC and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of TeenLife and/or its affiliates in the United States and may not be used without written permission. Visit my website at Copyright © 2012 by TeenLife Media, LLC comprehensivecollegecounseling.com Published by TeenLife Media, LLC, Brookline, MA2  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • A Leading ProgressiveConservatoireBA (Hons) MusicLeeds College of Music - the onlyEnglish conservatoire with All-SteinwaySchool status - offers an excitingand distinctive degree in Music withspecialisms in Classical, Jazz, PopularMusic, and Production.Visit the Leeds College of Music standat the New York City Performing andVisual Arts College Fair, Tuesday 16October, 6.30pm - 9.30pm, Jacob K.Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34thStreet, New York, NY 10001.Discover more about Leeds atwww.leedsliveitloveit.comCourse Enquiries+44 (0)113 222 3416enquiries.assistant@lcm.ac.ukwww.lcm.ac.ukTwitter: @LeedsMusic
  • FALL 2012 TeenLife.com 8 CAREER TRACK: Why Study STEM? By Randi Mazzella 171 3 MONEY SENSE: Making College More Affordable By Mary Michael Nibley17 CAMPUS CONNECT: Putting Teens to the Test— A Well-Rounded Approach to SAT & ACT Prep By Kimberly Wolf, M.Ed.20 Parents and Teens and the Social Media Gap FEATURE: 29 By Sarah Buttenwieser27 VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Does Your Teen “Do Something”? By Lesli Amos29 HEALTH & WELLNESS:and Parent: Demonstrate, Instruct, How to Be Your Teen’s Best Driving Coach By Kimberly Wolf, M.Ed.32 VIEWPOINTS: Cyberbullying— A Real Fear for Parents and Teens Today By Sarah Buttenwieser In Every Issue 6 NewYOU KNOW? stats DID groundbreaking 7 FAVORITE FINDS:and greatest Review the latest See page 7.43 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR COLLEGE ADMISSION COUNSELING (NACAC) NATIONAL COLLEGE FAIRS STAY CONNECTED!44 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR COLLEGE ADMISSION COUNSELING (NACAC) PERFORMING & VISUAL ARTS COLLEGE FAIRS FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   5
  • DID YOU KNOW? Daily Deals Work! 68% of daily deal buyers returned to the establishment even without another discount offer. ConsumerSearch.com and The About Group Research, June 2011 ERE BY 2016, TH WILL BE N MORE THA NE 4.4 million SMARTPHO USERS. teens volunteered Statista 2102 377 million hours of service in one year. Volunteering in America 20106  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • FAVORITE FINDS Here are some of our favorite new sites. burst.it Want a simple, safe, and smart way to share your photos and videos only with your closest family and friends— not the entire Internet? Sign up for Burst. It’s an easy way to share life’s SURE moments without the need for pri- MAKE ECK vacy settings. A free Burst account TO CHHILD’S includes the mobile app, secure C YOUR INGS! storage and backup, and a personal SETT Tom K! / Shutterstock.com media dashboard! www.burst.it. Available for iPhone and Android devices. ALMOST 13 MILLION FACEBOOK USERS SAY THEY HAVE NEVER SET, OR DID NOT KNOW ABOUT, FACEBOOK’S PRIVACY TOOLS, SUCH AS BLOCKING APPLICATIONS AND CONTROLLING WHO SEES THEIR PROFILE. Consumer Reports, 2012 lyst.com Lyst combines the best of social and shopping. Follow your favorite designers and bloggers and add the products you like to your personal “lyst.” Pinterest junkie? Link your account and the items you’ve pinned will also land on your lyst. When any of your items go on sale, you’ll get an QR alert! Go to www.lyst.com and sign up for future shopping bliss. barcode dailyworth.com scans have increased From impulse buying to saving for retirement to testimonials of entrepre- 157% in the past year. neurial success, Daily Worth provides ongoing tips to help women manage Scanlife 2012 money effectively. Their daily financial advice is definitely worth it! Learn more at www.dailyworth.com. FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   7
  • CAREER TRACK WHY STUDY STEM? B Y R A N DI M A Z Z E L L A ebekah Fraser, founder of the website Real World STEM (www.realworldstem. com), recalls an intense discussion she overheard between her middle school daughter and several friends about para- sitic mites that live on human eyelashes. Fraser was amazed that the girls were soknowledgeable about these creatures. She remarked, “Ihad no idea you girls were so interested in science!” Herdaughter laughed and said, “Ugh! No, I hate science,”and her friend added, “Yeah, it’s so boring!” Fraser says,“The girls had a complete disconnect to the fact thatwhile they may not like their science classes at school,they were fascinated and excited by scientific concepts.” Fraser’s daughter and her friends are not alone intheir thinking that subjects like math and science can bedull, difficult, and have no relevant application in theireveryday lives. Students may even question if there is aneed to learn these concepts at all. But a solid foundation in STEM (the acronym com-monly used for Science, Technology, Engineering, and at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering &Mathematics) education will provide today’s teens with Applied Science, which provides a number of teen summerthe foundation for a wide range of exciting and lucrative programs says, “The study of engineering teaches studentscareers in the future. valuable skills such as problem solving, teamwork, and criti- cal thinking. These skills are transferable to a wide arrayWho should study STEM? of careers including but not limited to actually being an A solid foundation in STEM education is important engineer.”for all students. Judith Hallinen, an educator at Carn- Some students may feel they just aren’t math or scienceegie Mellon University says, “There is a misconception students and want to opt out these subjects. Joyce Plotkin,amongst some educators that STEM-related studies are founder and chair of the DIGITS Project, a STEM educa-meant for elite students.” David Cedrone, Executive tion program, says, “Yes, math and science can be difficultDirector, Governor’s STEM Advisory Council of Massa- but that doesn’t mean kids should give up; it means theychusetts adds, “STEM education is necessary at all levels should be encouraged to ask for help.” Parents can help toofrom high school to vocational school to PhD programs.” by urging their child not to give up on subjects they find Teens and their parents may think there is no need challenging.to study engineering or technology beyond their typi- To increase teen interest in STEM subjects, Fraser says,cal science and math classes, unless they want a career “Educators need to illustrate how these subjects are relevantin these fields. However, Megan Doherty, Associate to their students ’ lives and find creative, interesting ways toDirector, International and Service Learning Programs teach these concepts so that kids want to learn more.”8  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • What is a STEM career? cation can open many doors for stu- has shrunk to about 15 percent.” Christianne Corbett, a senior dents. (See page 10 for more details.) President Obama has been veryresearcher at the American As- Corbett highlights careers in vocal on the need for STEM-basedsociation of University Women, biomedical research, environmental education and the importance thatadds, “There is a misconception engineering, software engineers, and STEM-based careers will have on thethat having STEM a career means network systems and data communica- future of the United States. The U.S.working alone in a white lab coat tion as “hot” STEM careers for the Department of Commerce’s Econom-or that the only jobs in technology next decade. ics and Statistics Administrationare writing code.” The reality is (ESA) released a report in 2011 thatthat there are many different and Why pursue a STEM profiled U.S. employment in STEMexciting STEM careers. career? fields. The report showed that over Broadening public awareness According to Rodney C. Adkins, the past 10 years, growth in STEMof the many STEM opportunities senior vice president of IBM’s Systems jobs was three times greater than thatavailable in the workplace is the & Technology Group, “It is clear that of non-STEM jobs, and STEM jobsgoal of the Massachusetts based to benefit our economy and society, our are expected to continue to grow atWOW campaign. The campaign national priority should be on encour- a faster rate than other jobs in thehighlights the careers of fifteen aging more students to study STEM. coming decade. In addition, STEMvery different individuals including Unfortunately, the U.S. is trending in workers command a higher earninga video game designer, a meteo- the opposite direction. When I gradu- potential. They will earn 26 percentrologist, and a baseball statistician. ated from college, about 40 percent more than their non-STEM counter-The objective of the campaign of the world’s scientists and engineers parts and are also less likely to experi-truly illustrates how a STEM edu- resided in the U.S. Today that number ence unemployment.How parents can foster an interest in STEMEncourage students to take as many math and Eliminate negative learning myths.science classes as they possibly can in high school. Well-intended parental statements such as “I was neverThe key is for students to have a good foundation in good at math and I turned out fine” send students thethese subjects so that they can continue to build wrong message. Instead parents should encourage theirknowledge at a higher level of learning. Even if they child to take classes that may be difficult—and emphasizedon’t think they want a career in engineering or math- learning as a goal instead of always getting “the A.” Tryematics now, their career goals may change in the positive reinforcement with statements like, “I believe infuture. Without basic knowledge of STEM subjects, your abilities. I am proud of you for working so hard attheir potential for growth may be limited. something so challenging.”Encourage students to pursue STEM subjects Instill in your child a “growth mindset” instead of aoutside of the classroom. “fixed mindset.”Look into summer programs that offer fieldwork in Corbett explains that students with a fixed mindsetSTEM subjects and afterschool clubs such as FIRST believe their intelligence and talents are just fixed traits.robotics www.usfirst.org. FIRST robotics is a not-for- With a growth mindset students understand that theirprofit organization devoted to helping young people talents and abilities can be developed through effort,develop a passion for STEM subjects through hands- good teaching, and persistence. A growth mindset allowson robotics competitions. students to achieve much more because they believe they can.Sean Amos, rising freshman at Worcester PolytechnicInstitute, says that FIRST strengthened his resolve to Be your own child’s role model.pursue a career in the STEM field of robotics. “It gave Rodney C. Adkins sums this up nicely, “My father me hands-on experience with designing, programming, encouraged me to deconstruct, analyze, and experimentand building—I loved it,” Amos remarks. with our home appliances. The insight I gained into how things work together opened my eyes to new Treat girls and boys as equals in the world of learning. possibilities and instilled in me a desire to create Eliminate the idea that a career is just for boys or just new technologies.”for girls. Instead encourage all children to follow theirpassion. FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   9
  • Meet the WOWsters Fifteen people with diverse occupations are spotlighted in the WOW Campaign, an initiative of the Massachusetts Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. Joyce Plotkin, Council Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Public Awareness Committee that created the WOW Campaign, says, “This initiative is about identifying and shining a spotlight on professionals who exemplify the WOW of STEM. They are wonderful role models for our young people and they show the exciting work that STEM professionals do. My hope is that every state in the country will do a similar local campaign.” Here are some of the “WOWsters” featured in the 2012 campaign: Bill James is a statistician for Jim Toepel enjoys working the Boston Red Sox. James pro- on the cutting edge of technol- vides senior management with ogy as a video game designer. research analysis on special He is currently on the software projects and player contracts. development team at Harmo- He has been writing about nix Music Systems where he is baseball since 1975 and is the creating brand new experiences author of more than 30 books. for gamers. Mish Michaels is a meteorologist. Mikell Taylor is a Robotics Michaels has a Masters in Educa- Engineer who participated on tion with a concentration in Tech- the FIRST robotics team at her nology and a B.S. in Meteorology/ all-girls high school. Mikell cur- Atmospheric Science. Michaels rently works for Bluefin Robotics has worked on several weather Corporation, a company that programs including WBZ-TV builds and designs underwater in Boston and The Weather robots. Channel’s Atmospheres. Anna Mracek Dietrich is the Daniel Pratt is a real life CSI. Co-founder of Terrafugia, Inc., a With a B.S. in biology, he collects, company which is developing the preserves, and analyzes physi- Transition® Roadable Light Sport cal evidence and supervises the Aircraft—the first real-life “flying Crime Scene Response Unit for car”. Anna was named one of the the Massachusetts State Police. Boston area’s top 15 Innovators by the Boston Globe in 2010. Catherine Reyes was born and Andrew J. Jackson is currently raised in Columbia, and came to a chemist at Cubist Pharmaceu- the United States in 2000 as a tenth ticals. Jackson’s story reminds grade student. Reyes participated students that although math and in the school science fair and science may be challenging, to received an honorable mention, stick with it. To get to where he which sparked her enthusiasm is today, Jackson enrolled in a for science. Reyes attended the community college first where he University of Massachusetts and found a mentor in his chemistry has received a full scholarship to professor. Jackson then received Harvard Medical School where she a degree in general chemistry is currently a third year student at the University of California, pursuing family medicine. San Diego. For more information on the WOW campaign, or to order a poster or see the video, go to www.mass.edu.10  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • Large corporations such as IBMare jumping on board as well, withstrong initiatives in new grade 9-to-14schools that focus on STEM educa-tion. These schools pair students withcorporate mentors, who provide real-world insight into industry trends.Students graduate with an Associate’sDegree and the skills needed totransition directly into jobs in theinformation technology industry. Other STEM initiatives includeorganizations like CityScience(www.cityscience.org) in New York.CityScience coordinates service-learn-ing projects that employ and engagestudents with STEM professionals.Together students and profession-als tackle real world challenges in astudents’ community. In CityScienceprograms, for example, high schoolstudents have studied the biodiversityof urban forests and used GeographicInformation Systems (GIS) to modeltopography. Teens in Tech Labs(www.teensintech.com) providestools and resources that bring youthand technology together—and inspireyoung people to become early productentrepreneurs. building toys and video games than to promote girls and STEM. Their Rebecca Blank, Acting U.S. Com- their female peers, it is debatable DigiGirlz Program teaches highmerce Secretary adds, “Students who whether this is a result of a natural school girls about careers in technol-pursue jobs in science, technology, inclination or a reinforced behav- ogy and provides hands-on computerengineering, and math are the next ior based on societal stereotypes. and technology workshops.generation of creative entrepreneurs Corbett says, “Girls tend to under- There is also a disparity in termswho will make sure we have the best, estimate their abilities in STEM of fostering STEM education amongmost skilled workers in the world so subjects. But in fact, girls are just as minorities. According to Adkins, ofthat the jobs and industries of tomor- successful.” school-age children today, 43 percentrow take root right here in America.” When it comes to career choices, are of African American, Latino, or Corbett points out that women tend Native American descent. Yet of allEncouraging Girls and to be more concerned with making a the engineering bachelor’s degreesMinorities to Study STEM social contribution to the world versus in the U.S., less than 15 percent It is imperative that educa- men whose career choices are more are awarded to underrepresentedtors encourage girls and minority likely to be motivated by social recog- minorities. We need to reconcilestudents to study and pursue STEM nition and/or compensation. Corbett these opposing trends so that thecareers early on. says, “The social contribution of a composition of our STEM education There are several reasons why STEM-related career may not be as pipeline reflects America’s shiftinggirls may shy away from STEM obvious. But STEM careers can have demographics.studies and STEM careers. Corbett a very positive effect on the world, STEM education is paramountexplains, “Some STEM disciplines such as creating more drinkable water for all students. A background richhave long been viewed as ‘male do- or finding a cure for a disease.” in STEM makes for flexible, logicalmains.’” But while little boys Large corporations like Micro- minds, and increases the capacity fortypically gravitate more toward soft are jumping on the bandwagon all youth to continue learning. LWT FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   11
  • SENSE MAKING COLLEGE More Affordable B Y M ARY M ICHAEL NIB LEY he cost of college can cause a serious case What Constitutes a Financial Aid Package of sticker shock. Luckily, there are ways Customized aid packages assembled by colleges and to make earning a four-year degree more universities can take many forms. They can consist of affordable. Some strategies take long-term government-sponsored grants and/or loans contingent advance preparation while others come into upon a family’s income and assets, work-study jobs, andplay once the application process begins. Every parent, merit-based scholarships bestowed for accomplishmentseven ones with very young children, should keep this in (such as high GPAs, class rank, talent, athletic prowess,mind: it’s never too soon to start thinking about how to leadership, community service, and so on). Families canfoot the college bill. get feedback on whether they qualify for need-based A married mother of two teens was pleasantly sur- financial aid by plugging some basic personal financialprised by the generous aid package offered by the college numbers into free online tools before tackling the gov-her eldest daughter will attend this fall. After her daugh- ernment’s required Free Application for Federal Studentter was accepted by Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Aid (FAFSA). Government websites have a wealth ofPA, and also several other universities, she worked closely reliable information (See www.studentaid.ed.gov).with financial aid officers to decipher what was the best Sites sponsored by the College Board (www.college-financial scenario at each school. She was surprised to board.org) as well as individual colleges and universitiesdiscover how schools compete over financial assistance. are also extremely helpful. “Anybody on the fence about “Muhlenberg’s offer beat the others and their finan- seeking financial aid should pursue it,” advises Cristincial aid staff was terrific to deal with,” the mother said. Viebranz, college counselor, at University School ofMuhlenberg College’s “list” price—i.e., full cost without Nashville.any aid—is about $54,000, which includes tuition, room That’s especially important in light of the soaringand board, and some miscellaneous expenses. But through cost of college. Department of Education statistics reporta combination of need-based grants, merit scholarships that between 2000 and 2010, the cost of tuition, room andto recognize her daughter’s musical theater talents, board—not to mention textbooks, supplies, and ancillarysubsidized loans, and a work-study job, the tab to attend fees—rose 37 percent at public institutions and 25 percentMuhlenberg will be significantly less than the cost of at private schools, after adjustment for inflation.sending her daughter to a larger state institution—another Private calculations are even higher, with manyschool at which she was accepted, at a price of roughly economists estimating college costs running at about 2.5$24,000 a year for New Jersey residents. times the inflation rate. The cost of earning a degree at a FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   13
  • private, four-year college is estimated options and providers,” explains Jeff FINANCIAL AIDto be $200,000. Weiner, Senior Vice President for COMES FROM CCO Investment Services. MANY SOURCESBuild Relationships with According to White, these ap-Prospective Colleges proaches are preferable to borrowing 74% Viebranz also recommends through government-sponsored financialutilizing the expertise of financial aid programs that have relatively highaid offices at prospective colleges. By interest rates. Rates on home equityestablishing a relationship with the loans currently hover in the 3% rangefinancial aid staff, families can have while taking out an unsubsidized loan Federal governmentin-depth discussions about their in- through the government’s Stafford Loan grants, loans anddividual needs. And the relationship program, for example, has a far steeper other aidshould not end once a student selects rate of 6.8%. Rates on PLUS loans,a school and submits paperwork seek- another government education financing 17%ing financial aid. Sometimes financial tool, are even higher—7.9%.aid packages can be adjusted if afamily’s circumstances have changed Money Saving Strategies forsince the original aid application was Receiving Financial Aidsubmitted. “Every year I see unique Stephanie Welder, a private coun- College grants/situations,” Viebranz notes. selor and founder of Access College and scholarships Scott White, director of guidance Career Consultants, reminds parentsat Montclair High School, Montclair, that there are things high school stu-NJ, believes the most affordable way dents can do before the college applica-to finance college is to save over timeby using 529 accounts or by borrow-ing against a secure asset, such as a tion process begins that will increase the odds of getting some form of financial assistance. Students should be active 5%home equity loan or a pension loan. in the community and seek volunteer State governmentNamed for a section of the Internal opportunities. They should maintain grants/scholarshipsRevenue Service Code, 529 accounts the highest possible grades and take theare education savings plans. most rigorous course loads possible. “A 529 plan qualifies for federally These factors can be a plus whentax exempt investment growth and,in some cases, additional state taxbreaks. Other benefits include profes- applying for non-need based scholarships and grants. They can also help students stand out among their peers and attract 4%sionally managed investment portfo- the attention of community organiza-lios, parental control, and flexibility to tions that provide scholarship funds to Private andchoose from a variety of investment deserving individuals. employer grants/ scholarships Be sure to take advantage of federal and college-provided funds, which add up to about 90% of all aid.• Nearly half of four-year college students attend a college with a sticker price of less than $9,936 a year—and thanks to financial aid, most of them pay even less than that.*• More than 6 out of 10 college students receive some sort of financial aid. The average student received a little over $12,400 last year to help pay for college.• The federal government last year awarded more than $132 billion in grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans. Note: All statistics refer to undergraduate students. *Accounts for nonprofit colleges only. Sources: The College Board’s Trends in Student Aid 2011 and Trends in College Pricing 2011 reports.14  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • In some cases it’s possible for EarthConnect: A Costa Rican Adventurehigh school juniors and seniors toearn credits by taking courses atcommunity colleges, which might Summer Programshorten the time needed to re-main in a four-year institution andthereby lower the price. Performingwell on Advance Placement (AP)and International Baccalaureate(IB) tests can also earn students for Teens ‘‘college credit. Another money-saving ap- Story after story came…proach is a bit more radical—andmay not appeal to students who are Spy hopping with theeager for the full college experi- dolphins, kayaking inence. It involves having studentsenroll in comparatively inexpensive, mangroves, meetinglocal, two-year community colleges locals and traveling byafter high school and then transferto a four-year school to complete a bus. What became clearbachelor’s degree program. to me was how much Given that for many profes-sions, employers want job applicants Sam enjoyed being withto have post-graduate degrees, the authentic people from aimportance of where and how theundergraduate degree was accom- foreign culture. When Iplished is less important. When asked him “Was it whatconsidering this approach, checkwhether the four-year institutions you thought it wouldwill accept the community-college be?” His response wascredits where students hope toeventually go. “Better, by far!” He According to the New Jersey was proud of the workmom, one of the best pieces ofadvice she has heard about coping he accomplished and allwith college admissions came from a that he learned. He gothigh school guidance counselor. Thecounselor always advises students more out of the program than I could have ’’and families to include a “financialsafety school” in the list of placesto apply. It should be a school that possibly expected.the student would actually want to —EarthConnect 2011 Parentattend but is more affordable thanother first-choice schools. For every family, finding a wayto finance college that fits indi- Chill Expeditionsvidual goals and needs will involveresearch and detailed discussions. Costa Rican Adventures Experiential Learning Adventures Since 1995Welder offered this advice: “Themost important thing to remember 800.551.7887 Toll Freewhen applying for aid of any kind requests@costaricanadventures.comis that there are deadlines and everysource of funds has a different cut- www.costaricanadventures.comoff point.” LWT FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   15
  • INTERVIEW WITH A COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID OFFICER TeenLife Intern Caroline Metcalf-Vera interviews her mother Melissa Metcalf, Associate Director of Financial Aid at Boston College. Q: How do parents and students apply for financial aid? Q: What are the financial aid deadlines? A: Families must complete a Free Application for Federal A: Deadlines can vary at each school, depending on Student Aid (FAFSA), a College Scholarship Services whether you are applying through admissions as (CSS) Profile, and often submit a recently-signed copy “early action”, “early decision”, or “regular decision”. of an IRS federal tax return (complete with schedules Most deadlines begin in November. These deadlines and W2s) for both parents and students. Many institu- are critical to the overall amount of aid you receive. tions require their own forms as well. Q: If parents are separated or divorced, do they both Q: Is financial aid based on merit or need? need to submit financial aid documents? A: Financial aid can be based on merit, need, or a A: For institutions awarding federal student aid only, combination of both, depending on the school to the custodial parent needs to submit the FAFSA and which you apply. Merit-based aid takes a student’s tax information for the custodial family. academic or athletic achievements, special talents, or demographic characteristics into account. Need- For institutions awarding their own money, most based aid is the difference between the cost of atten- colleges and universities require information from dance (COA) of that school and the estimated family both parents. Need-based aid is based on the princi- contribution (EFC) determined for that year. The EFC ple that both parents are responsible for paying for is determined through using standard federal and the cost of education. The custodial family should fill institutional formulas. Every school differs in the way out the FAFSA and CSS Profile and the non-custodi- they award a student’s financial aid package so asking al parent should fill out the Non-Custodial Parent questions and understanding the process for each CSS Profile Statement. institution is important. Most schools will consider waiving the non-custodial Q: Will a student’s chances of acceptance be requirement with documentation of special circum- diminished if they apply for aid? stances. Unwillingness is not usually a reason for waiving the requirement. A: Not always, some schools have a “need blind” admis- sions policy, which means that the admissions office evaluates each student’s academic credentials without knowledge of a family’s financial circumstances. Again, it can vary from school to school. Q: Do families need to apply every year? Will the financial aid be the same over the four years attend the college? A: Yes, students who wish to be considered for financial aid must apply each year. Need-based financial aid awards are based on demonstrated financial need; therefore your need may change from year to year. Significant changes such as increases or decreases in parent or student income, assets, tax liability, family size, or number of students attending college may impact your overall eligibility for financial aid. Your financial aid award will change accordingly. 16  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • CONNECT Putting Teens to the Test A Well-Rounded Approach to SAT & ACT Prep BY K IM BERLY WO LF, M.E D. n a time when the admissions process continues to 1. Put the test in perspective. While the SAT get more competitive and the economy acts as a con- or ACT can play a significant role in a student’s college stant reminder that being successful in the workforce application, standardized tests make up just one part of requires better preparation than ever, all aspects of the greater picture. As AcceptU’s Dr. Stephen Friedfeld, college admissions can create a great deal of pressure a former college admissions officer, notes, “Admissions isfor parents and their college-bound teens. Because they a holistic process and all parts of the application will haveare much-hyped, arduous, and in many cases, required, the some importance.” While more selective universities willSATs and ACTs are significant drivers of this anxiety. typically place more importance on scores in order to dif- The good news is that parents and students can employ ferentiate among many highly qualified applicants, Fried-a variety of tools and strategies to ease the process and feld continues, “Grades and rigor of curriculum are alwaysmake it more manageable and rewarding. Putting the test in the most important part of any application.”perspective, starting preparation early, identifying the best Colleges also take into account a teen’s essays,resources, scheduling the time to focus on practice, and extracurricular activities, and “leadership potential.”supporting healthy habits can help inspire the confidence, Remember test scores only tell colleges one part of anskill, and clarity needed to succeed. applicant’s story. FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   17
  • 2. Start early. Sallie Oto, Director Start with the College Board (www. For instance, Huntington Learningof Tutoring Services for ArborBridge, collegeboard.org) and the ACT Centers (www.huntingtonlearn-notes that the students who perform (www.actstudent.org) websites to ing.com) use full-length practicewell on exams are those who have gain a baseline understanding of the SAT exams to measure a student’sbeen studying for four to six months tests. Here, you can find descrip- progress.and “feel like the structure and con- tions of test length, question type,tent of the exam is ‘second nature.’” and format, as well as free full-length How experienced are your tutors?Beginning preparation at the end of practice tests, and tips for prepara- “Experienced tutors will know everysophomore year will give your teen tion. For the self-motivated student single question in the book of 10enough lead time to gain a sufficient and families looking for the most Real SATs, as well as the ten offeredlevel of comfort with test material. affordable quality course options, online,” Oto says. Whether yourFor an added bonus, “starting to plan these sites both offer online courses teen is taking the SAT, ACT, orand study early (and during the sum- for under $100. other standardized tests, make suremer lull),” Oto says, “results in higher For added support, opt for a tra- prospective teachers have a deepscores and stress-free test-taking for ditional class, in-person tutoring, or and thorough understanding of theall upcoming exams that fall in junior virtual programs. Test prep compa- material.and senior year.” nies like The Princeton Review offer all three (www.princetonreview.com). How do you personalize your services?3. Identify your resources. Of course, the options are many, Many SAT and ACT prep servicesWhen it comes to studying for but asking a few key questions will will take your teen’s aptitude, learn-standardized tests, look to free online help you identify the highest quality ing style, schedule, and even per-resources and paid services to help services that best fit your teen. sonality into account when matchingproduce desired scores. A huge indus- them to a course or tutor. Ask howtry exists around SAT and ACT prep, Which teaching materials do you use? they assess new clients, what optionswhich means that there are tools avail- Oto emphasizes that the best teach- they offer for scheduling, and if theyable at a wide range of price points ers and tutors will work “primarily are tied to a location or able to con-that can be tailored to students with a with materials published by the test duct sessions virtually with the helpvariety of needs and learning styles. makers.” of Skype or similar programs.18  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • 4. Schedule the time. bfa dual degree with tufts universityAccording to Steve Elefson of studio art diplomaSummit Education Group, “prep pre-college summer studioshould continue right up to thetarget test date. We don’t wantteens to make lots of progress overthe summer and then do nothinguntil test day; instead, they shouldkeep up the work during the schoolyear.” Even if teens are startingprep months in advance, Elefsonsuggests planning for consistentweekly test practice right up to the school ofexam. This can be easier said than the museumdone for today’s over-scheduled of fine arts,teens, but studying late at night bostonor over the weekends can help 230 The Fenwaystudents get needed practice hours. Boston, MA 02115“Some students aren’t ultra- to schedule a visit, call 617-369-3626productive by 9:00 p.m. at night,”Elefson says, “but others find that a school for artists, by artists, since 1876time works just fine.” If teens’schedules don’t allow for weekly smfa.edupractice, it’s time to startmaking trade-offs.5. Support healthy habits.In the days and even momentsbefore an important test, propernutrition and a good night’s sleepcan give students’ performance an Give your teen theextra boost. Dr. Alan Greene ofStanford Children’s Hospital andwww.DrGreene.com discouragesconsumption of sugars, caffeine,energy drinks, and processed white confidence they need.flours before tests. These can Alleyoopcontribute to anxiety and inter-fere with sleep. Instead, he says,teens should “stock up on proteins,fruits, some grains” and “lots of fi-ber [which can] even out hormonal Academic Life Coaching Ten one-on-one sessions tailored to the individual student. Increase academic confidence and reduceswings.” To help teens get a good anxiety. Build personal confidence and self-awareness. Improvenight’s sleep before the test, en- communications, relationships and leadership skills; for school, for life,courage exercise to help tire them for your child.out, and “keep living spaces cooland dark. This can affect serotonin Gina Halstedlevels, which reduces anxiety, help- Academic Life Coaching students sleep better.” gina@ALCteen.com Keeping all of these test-taking 781•258•9085suggestions top-of-mind will lead www.ALCteen.comyour teen to SAT and ACT suc-cess. LWT FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   19
  • PARENTS & TEENS AND THE Social Media Gap The most important thing I realized as I researched this story about teens and social media is that the story is primarily about the parenting of adolescents. And yes, it’s also about social media. I was surprised to find myself thinking about social media-related questions differently than I’d imagined. by Sarah Buttenwieser20  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   21
  • Except, I’m not a teenager; I’m a writer and a blog- ger. Engagement in social media has become a fun—but occasionally timewasting—part of my work. We all use social media to learn things and to connect with friends—and to do some goofing off, too. However active adults are online, though, it’s unclear to many of us whether our kids use these networks as we do. My daily computer habits differ greatly from my teens’. My more typical teenage user listens to Spotify (a digital music service) while he chats with three or four separate friends at the same time he is reading an article. My less typical teenage user, my second son, makes a beeline for the computer Wednesday afternoons when he gets home from school in order to read the New York Times food section online. He keeps up with food blogs more faithfully than he does friends. I flip back and forth between work and social media, generally not while listen- ing to music. While my son’s banter most often occurs on Facebook chat or through texting, mine is as likely to happen on Facebook or Twitter or (kind of old-fashioned) e-mail. THE AGE OF DIGITAL NATIVES Let’s face it: children like ours, the ones who grew up with chubby hands on a mouse, are part of the Internet Generation. These “digital natives” have almost constant access to the web. According to researchers on the Digital Natives project at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, digital natives are defined “by their experience growing up immersed in digital technology, and the impact of this upon how they interact with information technolo- gies, information itself, one another, and other people and institutions.” As parents, the concept of raising digital natives is certainly not to be taken lightly. We must open a strong “digital dialogue” with our kids about both the positives and negatives of social media. have two teens. As a parent, I’m focused on rais- Texting is another issue that should be on parents’ ing healthy, independent young adults (and I hope minds. We are concerned that our children are texting too that we still like each other throughout the process)! much and not always appropriately. The research sup- Social media is a flashpoint that reveals my parent- ports this—teens are nearly sending 3,000 texts a month ing insecurities; my kids’ technological abilities are compared to about 200 minutes used to talk on the phone,fundamentally different than mine. Our journey requires according to the Nielsen Company survey in 2009. Send-some dialogue, some struggle, some trust, some wonder, ing sexually explicit messages or “sexting” often goes hand-and a good deal of my letting go. in-hand with texting. Only 12 percent of parents imagine Nearly half of all teenagers in the United States check these explicit and often illegal messages as a part of theirtheir social media several times per day. Facebook trumps teen’s life, but 43 percent of teens report that they haveTwitter for teens, with 68 percent reporting Facebook participated in sexting in a given week.as their main social networking site compared to just 6 From discretion about the photos teens send to Face-percent saying the same of Twitter. And Instagram and book banter that could be visible to college admissions offi-Pinterest creeping up. Now, by this calculation, I am cers in the future, this plugged-in generation must considertotally a teenager. their social activity across not only their teen years, but22  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • also their entire adult lives. Issues like Steyer believes adults need toidentity, privacy and safety, creativ- understand the huge impact that A Note from a Teenity, piracy and intellectual property, the Internet has on our lives: “Theand information overload will take up Internet is fundamental to the way “Growing up in the Digitalgreater prominence in our lives, and we all communicate and interact now. Age, teens are a part of a genera- tion of instant gratification—andbe fodder for academic research, legal Teens are part of a generation that has keeping in contact 24/7 throughresolution, and public policy. never known life without 24/7-access text and social media is a part of to any information in the world. It’s that. From my point of view, I findTEENAGERS’ SOCIAL changed the way teens communicate that Facebook, the leader in socialMEDIA USE: THE SAME OR and there’s no going back.” media, is fading out and Twitter is beginning to take the front seat. ItDIFFERENT FROM OURS? is easier for teens to interact with Parents of teens note that their DO PARENTS REALLY KNOW each other there. A new socialteenagers’ social inclinations are HOW MUCH THEIR TEENS media haven is Instagram, which ismirrored by their social media use. ARE ONLINE? a blog of your pictures. TogetherOne friend of mine, a parent to three It’s surprising to discover how Twitter and Instagram seem to be taking the place of Facebook.teens and a tween, says, “The more parents’ perceptions of their teens’social my kids are, the more they use Internet use diverges from teens’ Personally, I don’t know whereFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram. My actual use. Parents think teens are way I would be without social media.eldest, who just turned 19, goes to the less engaged online than they actu- Going into high school I movedmost parties and he spends hours after ally are—by about two hours per day. three towns away from my best friend. Along with texting, socialhe finishes his homework chatting While parents think their kids spend media is how I stay connectedwith friends, Skyping, and messaging. about three hours a day online, kids with her and updated on her life.My husband and I think of that sort of report spending more like five.thing like our hour-long phone calls in A snapshot comes courtesy of one When discussing with myhigh school.” She puts those calls and recent study by the security company mom a way to set boundaries on my Internet access, we came toher son’s multifaceted communications McAfee. The study polled about 1,000 the conclusion that the best wayin the same frame: “Even though we teenagers (13 to 17-year-olds) and to monitor my time on the Internethad seen someone all day, we still had 1,000 parents. It notes that there has and usage of social media wasso much more to say.” been a sharp increase in the percent- for my mom to be my Facebook Another friend, whose son is 14, age of teens who lie to their parents friend, and follower on Twitter and Instagram. So even thoughnotes, “All of his social media use about Internet use. Nearly 70 per- she isn’t monitoring my computerebbs and flows depending on who he cent of teens admitted that they hid usage all the time, she can stay onis this week and who his friends are.” their full Internet use from parents, a top of my activity.”Through his social media use, she’s sharp rise from 45 percent since thevery aware of the fact that the ground company completed the same surveybeneath teens often seems to shift two years earlier. Pair teens’ lies orwithout warning. omissions with parents’ gullibility— Jim Steyer, CEO of Common nearly half of the parents surveyedSense Media, reflects: “Social media reported that they are certain theyis the place where kids are becom- know “everything” their kids are doinging adults. Gender differences, hate online—and the gap between percep-speech, homophobia, and racism are all tion and reality is readily apparent.a part of teens’ lives.” We encounter Truthfully, parents don’t knowthese things as adults, and it is part of everything their kids do online,growing up to learn how to deal with because how could they? 53 percentthese issues. Steyer continues, “The of teens report that they clear thedifference in the digital world, how- browser history, and nearly half sim-ever, is the anonymity factor and the ply close or minimize windows whenimpulsive nature of mobile and online their parents walk into the room.communications. Social media has the About one-third hide or delete instantpotential to exacerbate age-old anxiet- messages or videos.ies and rites of passage in ways that Cover-ups are not necessarilyyesterday’s communications did not.” required: while about one-quarter of FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   23
  • teens report lying, the same percent-age claim that they use computerstheir parents never check. That’sbecause most parents don’t seem ter-ribly worried about their kids’ onlinepractices. 78 percent believe their kidsare hanging out with friends online;about half of the parents surveyedthink kids go to Facebook or itsequivalent “daily.” About 25 percentof parents say they don’t have time tomonitor their children’s Internet use. So, if we aren’t exactly in tunewith the amount of time our kidsspend online with social media, orthey cover up their online activities,what should our strategy be? Whatis the best approach to getting closerto reality? TIPS TO MONITORING YOUR CHILD AND THINK ABOUT A SOFT Braun believes parents should SOCIAL MEDIA APPROACH TO PARENTING be reminded that “there are tools here 1. Set “no technology” zones. SOCIAL MEDIA that can change lives, because you can Designate the dinner table or Dr. Lynn Clark, a media studies ask questions and find answers. Being family events as places where expert, did interview-based research able to access information that can help cell phones and technology are off limits. with teens and parents focused on the you to grow is a pretty amazing thing.” topics of digital and mobile media use Applying strict rules for social media 2. Embrace technology. Become your child’s friend for her forthcoming book, The Par- use is not always the answer. on Facebook and follow them ent App: Understanding Families in a One parent, totally on top of on Twitter and Instagram. It’s Digital Age. She makes some valuable social media for her own work, says easier to observe their activity points: her relatively newfound expertise and stay connected personally. Parents must be well informed about required a sharp learning curve, and 3. Know your child’s passwords. social media. she wonders how people who are It’s perfectly reasonable to check your teen’s social media Dr. Clark recommends parents not versed in social media can make use, even text messages be well informed about social media appropriate guidelines for teens. It occasionally. Just make sure in general in order to be both credible goes beyond monitoring their use you’re monitoring, not and capable of asking good questions. or imposing rules; it requires time snooping. Librarian Linda Braun, who navigating and using social content 4. Configure privacy settings. describes herself as formerly “anti- themselves on a regular basis. Teach your child how to computer” hopped on the bandwagon “Experts who came to my kids’ establish privacy settings. Social media posts should once she noticed teens using the high school suggested rather strict only be shared with close library’s old computers. She realized rules that were totally unrealistic,” she family and friends. that she needed to become social adds. “From what I can see, parents 5. Discuss the rules of the media savvy. Braun says she believes and even experts often don’t interact Internet. Remind your teen parents are afraid in many ways, via the Internet to their own profes- that whatever they share including many who are harboring a sional or personal networks beyond online can be used against them down the line. Colleges fear that their teens know more about email and links to static websites. and future employers may technology than they do. The only That renders them social media eventually look them up. solution, she believes, is to do some illiterate. It is no surprise that the learning. rules that parents lay down are so24  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • easily circumvented.” received were all about not talking everyday lives. Social media is not only She continues, “I opted for a to strangers. Most bullying, most just changing our relationships, but itdifferent tactic; attempting to foster inappropriate behavior for that matter is also changing the way teens accessgood habits and awareness of what an doesn’t occur online from strangers, information in very positive ways.online community means. It seemed however. Bullying isn’t better if the Teens Build Relationships througha much smarter preparation for adult people bullying are friends or people Social Medialife than simply imposing rules my you’re acquainted with, but all these The original purpose of social me-kids could wiggle around.” worries about some far-off threat, dia can get lost with all the different Develop a strategy around dialogue it’s just not the concerning issue,” features it has to offer. However, theand trust. she says. “I think it’s easy to blame most important feature—connecting Rather than a demand to be technology for what are really societal and maintaining relationships—is stillfriends on Facebook, Dr. Clark issues, like bullying. What’s on the evident for teens. A Common Sensebelieves that “Many parents seem to Internet is really no different from Media report based on surveys over ahave better success when they ask anything offline.” one-month period (February to Marchtheir teen for a Facebook tour every 2011) to 1,030 teens aged 13-17 years,once in a while, or ask a game player says that the single largest effect teensto teach them how to play a favorite report (29 percent) is that social mediagame.” She continues, “Ask your Rather than a demand makes them feel less shy.teen to show you a favorite YouTube to be friends on Facebook, Half of teens report that socialvideo. The reason is that each of these Dr. Clark believes that networking helps their relationships,actions allows parents to demonstrate “Many parents seem to have especially friendships with peopleconcern and interest and to learn better success when they ask they can’t see on a regular basis. Teensabout their teen’s world.” This easily believe social media helps them get toopens up dialogue and trust. their teen for a Facebook know schoolmates better and to con- Don’t blame the Internet for lack of tour every once in a while, nect with new people joined togetherprivacy—educate yourself. or ask a game player to around a shared interest. In a New York Times article, an- teach them how to play While most social media use isthropologist and professor Dr. Danah a favorite game. positive, it is also worth noting thatBoyd frames adults’ fears about the teens also report strife: one-third ofInternet as just another example of the those questioned say they’ve arguedcurrent era’s anxiety-fueled helicopter So Braun’s advice to parents is with friends online; one-fifth sayparenting. She asserts that the world pretty simple: it’s to be “willing to they’ve lost friendships; under 10isn’t nearly so dangerous as people talk—and to listen—about every- percent have feared for their safetyfear, and says normal teenage “hang- thing.” She suggests parents have a or gotten into physical fights overing out” has just moved online. real conversation with their teen, and something that happened online. One- In the article, she explains, “We realize that the work isn’t to teach quarter of teens reported that they gotneed to give kids the freedom to them so much as to learn from them. into trouble in school due to onlineexplore and experience things online Then, she says, offer information and incidents. For all of this online en-that might actually help them. What suggestions on very specific issues. gagement though, about half of teensscares me is that we don’t want to look “Rather than try to teach them about questioned say social media comes inat the things that make us uncomfort- privacy, what parents can and should second to face-to-face conversation.able. So rather than see what teenagers be on top of are things like Facebook’s Impact in the classroom.are showing us online about bullying privacy settings, which require updat- Social media is enhancingand suicide and the problems they’re ing practically every week. Make sure communication between educatorsdealing with and using that infor- your kids know how to update the set- and parents. From classroom andmation to help them, we’re making tings. They are generally really open homework blogs to parent portals,ourselves blind to it.” to changing them.” educators have begun to use tech- Braun thinks that parental fear nologies so parents can be activelyof strangers (bullies and pedophiles) NEW MEDIA AS A involved in their children’s education.reaching their children online is really USEFUL TOOL Dr. Clark confirms, “Social andjust the same as their fears offline. “It’s As parents, we also need to be mobile media are transformingreally just like fears other genera- reminded that social media can be a learning spaces today. There aretions had when the warnings children good and practical tool in our teens’ exciting ways that some educators FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   25
  • are incorporating game design, socialmedia, and data analysis into their cur-riculum.” She observes that parentalbuy-in is easier when the learningvalue is clear. For educators, Twitter may serveas a useful tool to assist with role-play-ing activities and to support develop-ment of concise storytelling skills.Interviews with lecturers via Twitteror students’ tweeting during lecturesto encourage commentary in real-timeabout the lecture are becoming someof the newer classroom modalities.Some educators create a Facebookpage—or have their students doso—about a curriculum topic such astheorems or literary characters. As Calvin Stowell, Social MediaStrategist for DoSomething.org notes,“Teens are super passionate, whetherit be about a brand they care about or say they have talked with a partner their families, and their friends.a cause. Social media was born as a about safer sex and a quarter who Around 40 percent of teens agree—means to communicate those passions, report having visited a doctor or other somewhat strongly—that they’dand because of that it’s not only easy, health provider or gotten tested for like to unplug briefly. Although it’sbut also rewarding to engage with HIV or other STDs did so because of common for parents to wish that theirteens positively. It’s all about meeting the campaign. 28 percent of respon- teens would detach from their devices,a teen where they are and listening to dents under 18 reported that due to 21 percent of teens wish their parentswhat they have to say, not just telling the campaign, they had a conversation spoke less on cell phones or werethem what we think.” Taking this per- with a parent or other adult regarding less frequently attached to electronicspective on teens into the classroom, a sexual health issue. devices, too.many educators successfully boost Social media allows teens to It’s probably no surprise thatstudent engagement, and fun. foster change. many teens are uncertain about the Teens use the Internet and social Social media has the capacity to impact of social media upon their lives,media to gather information. give teenagers a powerful platform, positive or negative; they have little Take sex: teens go to the Internet one that might be harder to find with- or no comparison to previous genera-for information about sexuality. 36 out it. This past spring, 14 year-old tions. However, it is clear that teenspercent report that they have looked Julia Bluhm took to the Internet with are surrounded by social media andup information on STDs and preg- a petition drive aimed at glossy maga- technology that allows them to stay innancy. A collaborative initiative of the zines’ unrealistic depictions of teen contact with friends 24/7, and this isKaiser Family Foundation and MTV girls’ bodies. She lobbied for Seventeen unlikely to change any time soon.attempts to reach young people with Magazine to publish at least one image While parents should set bound-information on pregnancy prevention each issue that isn’t airbrushed. Three aries that are appropriate for theirand STDs. The partnership grew from months and about 84,000 signatures teens, it’s more important that theya realization that the Internet could later, the magazine has agreed to be communicate with their childrenserve as a safe, judgment-free, go-to more transparent about its images and about the positives and negatives ofplace for factual information young has launched what it calls the Body social media use. Of course, Face-people want and need. Peace Project. book and Twitter have changed the The initiative’s recent survey of way people communicate with one500 teens reveals that nearly half of TAKE TIME TO UNPLUG another, but the basics of parentingthe respondents reported behavior It’s also worth noting that teens remain the same—stay informed andchanges that they credited to the recognize an increasing reliance upon involved in your teen’s life, but givepartnerships’ efforts. Nearly half who electronic gadgets for themselves, them room to grow up too. LWT26  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT Does Your Teen “Do Something”? BY LESLI AM OS ith its Celebrity sponsorhips, social media, and a mission statement that declares, “We love teens,” DoSomething.org’s edgy vibe and teen-targeted initiatives empower teens to take action. Founded in 1993 by Melrose Place actor Andrew Shue,DoSomething.org’s innovative campaigns allow teens andyoung adults up to the age of 25 to do service work in areasthey are passionate about. In 2003, Nancy Lublin becameCEO (affectionately referred to as “Chief Old Person”) andmoved the organization online after recognizing that teensare extremely Internet and tech savvy: surfing the web andtexting is where teens connect. Today, DoSomething.orgchampions their causes by texting more than 500,000 teenmembers on a regular basis. Ben Flajnik Dave DeLuca, the Head of Campaigns for the orga- from ABC’s nization, comments, “Teens are wired, and so are we. We The Bachelor inwork hard to create engaging content on social media. In a Times Square Aeropostale store fact, we’re finishing up our first successful Facebook ‘cause this year.campaign,’ The Bully Project, where over 120,000 teenstook a survey encompassing the state of the problem in theirschools and lobbied to host the documentary Speak Up in the site, search the “action finder” for opportunities, andtheir school.” The survey results have yet to be published. specify a particular time commitment—literally ranging And while taking the survey may seem like a somewhat from one minute to one year. Teens can also find theirsmall contribution, DoSomething.org reminds students that passion in any one of eleven categories, including bully-every bit of activism counts. “People always believe that you ing, the environment, human rights, and so forth, basedhave to become a hardcore activist to make change,” DeLuca on their specific service interest.notes. “And while those people are amazing and make a huge Of course, parental guidance is an importantimpact, small things can make a difference as well.” component of raising goal-oriented teens, but when Lending to its success, DoSomething.org makes teen it comes to actually participating at the ground level,participation extraordinarily easy. Teens can simply go to DoSomething.org motivates teens to take over the reins. Parents need “to believe in their kid, trust them—and get out of their way,” says Deluca. That is not to say parents Help teens get involved and influential adults shouldn’t point them in the right with DoSomething.org direction—look at how their teen can become a member Encourage teens and their friends to: of DoSomething.org, or peruse the many grants or scholarships available. • Become a member Another part of DoSomething.org’s appeal is the • Sign up for a current campaign celebrity factor. Many young actors and musicians • Start a club support DoSomething.org’s viral creativity. A recent • Apply for scholarships campaign against texting and driving, Thumb Wars, was FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   27
  • promoted by Harry Shum Jr., best known for his role as Mike Chang on Glee. Teens ordered “thumb socks” to remind them of the fatal reality of texting and driving. Celebrities also rev up the teen crowd at the popular televised DoSomething.org Awards. With the support of 1,000 Substance Abuse stores, 12,000 schools, and more than 245,120 teens, students participating in its popular Teens for Jeans drive Treatment for Teens have collected and donated over 1 million pairs of jeans in four weeks to shelters. n Clinical expertise in substance abuse The popularity of student volun- and psychiatric illness teering among teens is certainly ap- parent. DoSomething.org continues n Strong support for parents to be one of the largest organizations n Peaceful residential setting near Boston in the U.S. for teen social change. There are currently more than 4,000 student-run clubs nationwide. In 2011 alone, 2.4 million young people participated in their various social causes, putting DoSomething.org closer to its goal of acquiring 5 mil- lion active members by 2015. One of DeLuca’s most recent encounters with a DoSomething. org volunteer involved a 13-year-old girl from New York. After she had been hospitalized for anorexia, she wanted to help others who struggled with body image, so she started a DoSomething.org club. “She told me that when you don’t have something in your life you can feel good about, all of your negative energy can get focused on how you look,” DeLuca recalls. “She helps young girls like her find hobbies and skills that they are passionate about. She doesn’t tell them to love their body—she helps them love themselves. This is just one of the hundreds of thousands of teens that we are lucky to have help out every day.” As a parent, remind your teen that it’s never too late to “do some- McLean Hospital is the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School thing.” It couldn’t be easier for your and a member of Partners HealthCare. teen, their friends, and classmates www.mcleanlanding.org :: 877.412.3445 to sign up as members or start their mcleanlanding@mclean.harvard.edu own teen club. They can simply visit www.DoSomething.org to register. LWT28  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • HEALTH & WELLNESS Demonstrate, Instruct, and Parent: How to Be Your Teen’s Best Driving Coach BY K IM BERLY WO LF, M . ED. f you are a parent with a driving-age teen, you are technique through your own behavior. probably terrified at the thought of your child behind Second, educate your teen about the full range of the wheel. Maybe you’ve read the statistics. Had some risky behaviors associated with driving. Dr. Ray Bingham frightening conversations with other parents. Or the of University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Insti- mere experience of having your teen back the car out of tute articulates, “Parents should be focusing on any behav-your driveway was enough to scare you. ior that results in one or both hands being off the wheel and Don’t fret! The good news is that studies show— the teen’s eyes being off the road.”and driving safety experts agree—that parents can play asignificant role in ensuring their teens’ safety on the road. Bingham emphasizes these “distractedOf course, driving instructors can certainly play a key role driving” concerns:in teaching teens to drive, but according to Kelly Fisher of Interacting with navigation systems while driving.Toyota’s Teen Driving Program (www.toyotateendriver. Encourage your teens to set their navigation system beforecom), “Parents cannot be underestimated in the amount of they leave for their destination. If they need to reset direc-influence they have. They can be instrumental in helping tions during their trip, instruct them to pull over.teens make responsible decisions.” Reaching for objects that are out of reach while driving. First, start by modeling ideal habits for your teens. Teach your teens to keep their cars clean and free of objectsAs Michael Pollock of the National Safety Council says, that could accidentally fall under the driver’s seat. Discour-“Parents need to set the example. Drive safely; your teens age them from reaching into their backpacks or handbagsare watching you.” If you want your teen to pick up effec- while driving. Again, tell them to pull over if they desper-tive driving habits, it can be as easy as demonstrating good ately need something. FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   29
  • Distraction by peer passengers. being convicted of motor vehicle hours of supervised practice beforeStudies show that the more teen homicide while texting. It is impera- being allowed to drive alone (www.passengers a teen driver has in the tive that you emphasize and over- teendriving.aaa.com).car at a given time, the higher the emphasize that your teen should not Pollock notes that many par-risk for an accident. “When it comes text and drive, even when it comes ents “think their kids are ready toto you as a parent riding in the to returning your texts. drive after getting their licenses.”passenger seat, you are relatively Fortunately, there are a But even the most capable, re-safe,” Dr. Bingham states. Believe plethora of apps such as T-Mobile’s sponsible students, and those whoit or not, during the first phase of DriveSmart Plus and Key2SafeDriv- passed their tests with no problem,licensing (when teens are riding with ing that you may want to consider. need coaching and experiencetheir parents), there are hardly any They sense when your teen is driv- behind the wheel, particularly in difficult or stressful conditions.accidents. The crash rate is very low. ing, usually by GPS measuring “A straight-A student,” PollockIt’s when parents exit and other teens speed, and disable most or all of a continues, “is just as much at risk asenter the car that accidents are more phone’s functionality once a pre- an average student.”likely to occur. determined speed is reached. To round out your teen’s driv- Texting and driving. Probably Third, and perhaps most im- ing experience, make sure they havethe most dangerous combination is portantly, ensure that your teen has ample practice in the followingtexting and driving. It is actually a plenty of experience driving with areas with you by their side:crime in 38 states—and authorities you in the car before you let him or • Nighttime drivingare cracking down. Massachusetts her drive without you in the passen- • Freeway drivingteen Aaron Deveau, 18, was recently ger seat. The American Automobile • Driving at rush hoursentenced to two years in prison and Association (AAA) recommends • Driving on slippery roads or loss of his license for 15 years after your teen complete at least 100 in bad weather A small college prep high school engaging bright students who learn differently since 1964 The Nora School Grades 9-12 955 Sligo Avenue Silver Spring MD 20910 301-495-6672 “a program that is magical Visit us at for the non-traditional thinker” -Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools www.nora-school.org30  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • Kelley Blue Book’s10SAFE NEW CARSFOR TEENSThinking about getting a new carthat will be safe for your teen todrive? With so many to choosefrom, finding the safest, best fitfor your family can be an involvedprocess. To make it easier, KelleyBlue Book (www.KBB.com) com-piled the following list of optionsjust for us here at Life with Teens.How did they decide? They usedtheir comprehensive data bank While your teen may be reach- that allows for additional driv-and knowledge of affordable cars ing a new stage of independence ing privileges. Your teens may bealong with information from the and you may feel a loss of control, subject to restrictions by law, butNational Highway Traffic Safety it’s important that you continue to you can address additional topics,Administration (NHTSA) and the parent, set rules for the road, and including communication (as Dr.Insurance Institute for Highway keep your teens accountable for their Bingham suggests, “Know whereSafety (IIHS). This list should driving safety. they are going, why they are going,come in handy as you begin your who they are going with, and whenauto search! Here are a few other they are coming back”), driving suggestions: safety, and the milestones teens2012 Hyundai Elantra Share a car. For the first year must hit (i.e., a certain number of2012 Ford Focus your teen has his or her license, State hours behind the wheel) before Farm Insurance suggests sharing a driving without a supervising adult.2012 Chevrolet Sonic family car. This will allow you to You can write your own contract2012 Volkswagen Jetta keep control of the keys and moni- or you can find templates on2012 Honda Civic tor your teen’s driving ability more sites including www.cdc.gov, closely. www.saferdrivingforteens.org, or2012 Kia Optima Enroll your teen in driving school. www.toyotateendriver.com.2012 Subaru Impreza Professional driver education can be The thought of having your an effective way to become a more teen behind the wheel can be scary,2012 Kia Soul experienced, safe driver without the but fortunately you are in a posi-2012 Honda Fit parent/teen tension often associ- tion to make your teen a safe and2012 Scion tC ated with learning to drive. In many responsible driver. By taking steps states it is actually required. to ensure that your child receivesFor more information, visit Kelley Create a driving agreement signed the best coaching and proper expe-Blue Book online at www.KBB.com. by you and your teen. Outline impor- rience, you can lessen your teen’s tant rules as well as a reward system risk and your own worry. LWT FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   31
  • VIEW POINTS CYBERBULLYING A Real Fear for Parents and Teens Today ou might remember these names: cyberbullying is harassment, embarrassment, Phoebe Prince. Tyler Clementi. humiliation, or torment between peers that occurs Both children were victims of cyber- online through digital technologies or phones. bullying and both ended their own Each of the teens and parents profiled in lives. You may know a teen who has participated in this story are still ensconced in the hurt of their or been a victim of a joke or an intentionally cruel situations; there was no sense of resolve. It’s clear incident that evolved into cyberbullying. that cyberbullying is something that will continue According to the national organization Stop to affect these teens, and their parents, for a very Cyberbullying (www.stopcyberbullying.org), long time. BY S A R A H BUT T EN WIESER32  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • In their own words TEENS TELL THEIR PERSONAL STORIESCLAUDIA, 13, currently in 8th grade she had to agree when in the groups. Everyone seemed to think that it was okay to just ruin my reputation. This story shows how drastic measures may have to be So many apps let you hide that you’re doing somethingtaken to protect your child. mean. Even the fact that you can list yourself as a private When I came into seventh grade I had a friend with an caller on the mobile phone means you can secretly makeolder sister, so we were friends with lots of eighth grad- crank calls. People texted me, saying things like, “I wish youers. That was good until one friend got jealous of me and were dead.” No one would dare say those things to my face.sent a text calling me a bad name. The text came out of Besides blocking those numbers, I deleted my Face-nowhere. She made up things about me and wanted all the book account for a while so that no one could post on mygirls to hate me. page or send me messages or anything like that. I didn’t Things got worse when I was asked to drink and I re- put it back up until recently.fused. I had to block three girls’ phone numbers because of I went to the guidance counselor and she was reallythe messages and texts I was getting. People who weren’t good at talking about the situation, but she couldn’t changeinvolved felt entitled to jump in; even friends who wanted it or fix it. In our school everyone has to be in this weeklyto stay friends with me got caught in the middle. One meeting about what’s happening in school called “Thefriend tried to stay friends with me in private but felt like Forum.” The seventh grade teachers led it for our grade, Get Life with Teens on Your Tablet for free! FALL 2012 ACCESS GAZINE FOR PA RENTS WITH TEENS + on your iPad®, Kindle Fire, THE MA SUBSCRIBE NOW Nook Tablet™, and on Android™ teenlife.com/mag IT’S FREE! tablets via NEXT ISSUE™ CTING PROTE FROM go to: CHILD G www.teenlife.com/app YOUR ERBULLYIN CYB s & Teen Parents cial The So ap G Media ATE NOMIN EN TE YOUR 10 CARS SAFEST S EN iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Kindle and Kindle Fire are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. NOOK is a registered mark of Barnes & Noble PU BL ISHED BY FOR TE Inc. NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color are trademarks of Barnes & Noble Inc. Life with Teens is a trademark of TeenLife Media, LLC, registered in the U.S. e.com TeenLif 2 1, ISS UE VOL . FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   33
  • but in order for anything to be done, embarrassing photo of you. Then, saying must be true.I’d have to tell on the people doing they tag the photo and write really At this point, I feel very alone. Aall of this to me. I didn’t feel like it nasty comments. A photo was taken new school year has started. What Iwould help. I didn’t feel like there was of me getting out of the shower at a am trying to do is rise above every-anyone on my side, really. sleepover. At the time, I’d thought thing and be the bigger person. The texting got so bad that I these girls were my friends, but I latercouldn’t go to school. I missed three learned they’d pretended for months,weeks. I felt worried about being in order to turn on me. That was their Megan, now 15, in 10th Gradeteased all the time. plan all along. As a result, I have moved in with After the Facebook problems, Megan’s guidance counselor wasmy dad and have started at a new things got worse. I was doing a school extremely supportive in helping her copeschool. One of my former friends said project with a friend, or someone I with the daily bullying.that I was taking the easy way out thought was my friend, when she When I was in 7th grade I wasby moving, but I don’t think I had asked for my email password. We bullied. One girl who wanted me toanother choice. I needed a fresh start. were working together, so I gave it lie to our coach for her started it. I to her. She hacked into my Facebook didn’t feel comfortable lying for her, account and wrote awful things under so I just told him that she couldn’tTatiana, 14, in 9th grade my name. I had to delete my Face- make it to practice. Somehow the book account right away. coach found out that she went to the This ninth grader has decided to start Things continued to spiral. There movies instead. She was so mad; shethe school year off with a fresh perspective. was also a whole website made about came into the cafeteria during lunch What happens a lot online is that me. Photos and mean comments were and absolutely lost it. After that, shegroups of girls write mean Facebook posted. Tumblr and Twitter both al- just turned our whole group of friendsstatuses. The pettiness is kind of low people to hide their real identities against me. I felt very alone.coded—not directly mean, but writ- and make anonymous comments. You A few months later a rumorten to make everyone wonder about can no longer do this on Facebook. was started by one of the girls in thethe person being mentioned. Girls When this first happened, my group. She said that I got pregnant.pile on comments or “Like” a status mom tried to contact the police. She The rumor was totally unrealistic. But,and when people ask, the person post- was told nothing the girls were post- we were in seventh grade so peopleing gives hints or responds that they ing was illegal, because there wasn’t were gullible. No one would talk tocan chat online. any violence. The school’s principal me, but they could surely text me with Soon, everyone’s chatting and the didn’t help, either. She didn’t believe their mean accusations. To everyonename gets around and the post gets me, maybe because the girls doing the else, I was disgusting. I went to thetons more “Likes” and comments. I bullying babysit for her daughter. She guidance counselor’s office everyday.was that person who got named. As told me at my eighth grade graduation She was the only person who wouldhurtful as it is, there is not much you she was surprised I made it through. talk to me.can do. Her way of thinking seemed to be that Eventually, another rumor was Sometimes, people post an whatever the majority of girls were started about someone else, which I know is not right, but then mine was forgotten. But I still sat at the lunch table by myself. Then out of the blue one day, a girl I didn’t know started a conversation with me. Pretty soon we became best friends. She helped me through the rough times when I thought I had no options left. But I got through it. Time passed and no one cared anymore. I moved on to better things. Bullies are mean, but my advice to other teens is—don’t let them ruin your life. It just isn’t worth it.34  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • AMG Educational Consultants Admissions • Motivation • Guidance Worried about your child’s college or private school admissions process? AMG Eductational Consultants will advise you and your student while easing the stress and anxiety associated with the process. www.findingcolleges.com Contact Andrea Glovsky for a consultation.  amg@findingcolleges.com In their own words  978.526.7809 $200 off signed contract if you mention this ad. PARENTS TELL THEIR PERSONAL STORIESJennifer, mother of a phone back off before they returned17-year-old son it, so my son went through the day unsuspecting. Although girls are generally bullied Fortunately, I’m my son’s Face-more frequently than boys, boys are often book friend and I caught the porno-still victims. graphic image within 10 minutes. My story with bullying began the Immediately, I removed the image,day my 17-year-old son had his locker so very few people saw the Facebookbroken into at school. We don’t know post, and then I notified the school.whether one kid or more than one Later, my son turned the phonekid broke in. The person (or people) back on and saw the photo. He wastook his phone and then snapped a upset and called me. I told him whatphoto of a very graphic pornographic I’d done to address the situation.picture, one that was most likely being The school officials were very To finddisplayed on someone else’s phone. sympathetic. They did try to find local eventsThen, this kid or these kids uploaded out who had done this. They werethe image along with a vulgar com- unable to discover the kids’ identities. in your area,ment to Facebook. They put thephone back and left the scene. Because the perpetrators remained unidentified, I think the worst part of check out the One thing that is still so aston- our story is that we could not deter- TeenLife.com/ishing to me is that it took very little mine whether my son was specificallytime for them to hijack his persona. targeted or if the offenders just tried calendar. Phones aren’t allowed to be on random lockers until they were able toduring school and they’d turned his get into one. We are very lucky noth- FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   35
  • ing else happened. Given that he plays sports and is game consoles. Insist that your chil- Before this, I wasn’t terribly wor- very close to his teammates, it would dren use the available safety measures.ried about cyberbullying. It seemed be ridiculous for any bullies to attack Kids should not share too muchvery far from our lives. I guess I fig- him in real life, where they’d likely information.ured there might be obvious reasons have ten very athletic guys pile on I’ve also instructed my kids notsomeone would be targeted, although within seconds! “check-in” to locations or InstagramI’m not sure what a likely target really I was approached to participate their location without asking me. It’slooked like in my mind. in a study conducted by Trend Micro not always a wise idea to say whom It’s my understanding there are called The Digital Joneses. I jumped they are with and where they are.more girl than boy cyberbully victims. at the chance to learn how to betterMost incidences of cyberbullying I protect my children and our entire Parent, mother of Claudia,had read about involved cyberbullies family. I have made a lot of changes to the 13-year-old girlpicking on what they perceived to be our digital procedures.weak targets, kids that might be called One simple thing to do is to“underdogs,” the less popular, shy password protect your child’s phone at The mother of Claudia actuallykids, the disabled, the kids who were the very least. received bullying texts in reference to hersomehow considered a little bit “dif- They need to be told to keep their daughter too.ferent.” That’s not my kid. passwords secret, even from their clos- My daughter is very tall and I felt confident my son was safe est friends: one fight, one break-up, pretty. Seventh grade started out justbecause he’s athletic, smart, and well and that person has the ability to do a fine. She was popular. Some of theliked. I imagine his popularity pro- lot of damage. ninth graders wanted to hang out withtected him from being vulnerable to My kids also play video games. her and all was well until a boy had amore bullying—of any sort. There are parental controls on video crush on her at the same time that CONFUSED ABOUT COLLEGE? What H.S. courses? What activities? Crucial timelines! How to pay for it? You have questions. We know the answers. Contact 301.834.6888 We also work with or www.cklaar.com. students via Skype!36  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • ANNOUNCING THE TEENLIFE TeenLeader Contest Do you know a teen who has made a difference in his or her community? Our mission at TeenLife is to “bring out the best in teens.” So we invite parents, teachers, and advisors to nominate an outstanding TeenLeader from their community. TO ENTER Go to www.teenlife.com/teenleader and tell us how the teen you have nominated is an outstanding role model for their peers. Deadline: December 31st JUDGING 10 finalists will be selected by TeenLife and showcased on TeenLife.com for final judging by our members. GRAND PRIZE Two winners will receive: · A profile in the March 2012 issue of Life with Teens. · A $1,000 Scholarship from the TeenLife Foundation.Find contest rules at www.teenlife.com/teenleader
  • NEARLY 49 MILLION STRUGGLE WITH HUNGER. DON’T LET THEM GO UNNOTICED.SPEAK OUT AGAINST HUNGER THIS SEPTEMBER TOGETHER WE’RE Visit FeedingAmerica.org/HungerActionMonth
  • a ninth grade girl had a crush onthe boy. My daughter wasn’t going todate him: she was 12 and I wouldn’thave let her. The other girl didn’tknow that. Jealous, she went on theoffense. These “friends” started to sendtexts with nasty words and a wholeFacebook page went up with her photoand a fake name and repeated mean,ugly comments. My daughter’s feel-ings were understandably very hurt. It took ten days for the fake pageto be taken down. In the meantime,people could—and did—continueto post on it. Even though Facebookrequires you to be 13, sixth graders stunned. The school responded. She did take action however and relent-are on it. went to the school counselor regularly lessly tried to track down the source. You certainly wouldn’t say these and the nurse. The vice-principal I actually think they may have.things to somebody’s face. Lashing got involved and was kind to us But getting the school involvedout like this is very aggressive. The too, but the school couldn’t fix just caused the problem to get bigger.reason cyberbullying is so disturbing the situation. Girls were telling Megan to call offis that it’s invisible. Kids can’t defend My daughter has moved in with the investigation. She told them itthemselves. her dad where she’ll be in a much was me that was pushing it. It was It wasn’t just my daughter; I smaller school that goes from kin- after this that I believe she started toreceived bullying texts, too. One dergarten through 12th grade. The think about suicide; she had no onewas made to seem as if it came from small community leaves no room for to sit with at lunch. That is extremelymy daughter’s number. The mes- meanness. The move was my daugh- tough on a young girl or anyone forsage was: “Mom, I’m pregnant and I ter’s idea. It’s hard to let go, and yet I that matter.don’t know how to tell you.” While I know it’s the best way to start anew. Unfortunately, these were girlsknew it wasn’t true, I was shocked at she had been “friends” with sincepeople’s cruelty. kindergarten. I couldn’t believe how I really believe the ability to text Molly, mother of Megan, awfully they treated her and howand put up videos on YouTube and the 15-year-old girl many terrible text messages andto post on Facebook—and the spoof emails she received. These incidentscard program on Twitter that lets you This parent made the decision to in 7th grade colored her 8th gradesend text messages as if from a differ- send her teenager to a much smaller experiences as well.ent number—are all things that en- private school closeby. By the end of the school year,courage kids to be cruel and cowardly. I read what my daughter Megan I had her in therapy, which helpedThis attitude is entrenched. wrote, and truthfully it was a lot more tremendously. The therapist really It doesn’t help that parents don’t devastating than she lets on. When helped her figure out the best way tocommunicate with each other. When the rumor that she was pregnant deal with bullies and the friendshipsthe cyberbullying started, I couldn’t started, she had been out of school that had gone sour. The therapist en-contact the parents of the kids in- sick for 2 days, only 2 days. One of couraged her to be the better personvolved, because so many people have her “friends” called her on her cell and persevere.given up their landlines. You can’t phone to ask her if it was true? Of We had already been consideringfind them easily. course it was not. That night, the private school when Megan was in Even though we are very close, mean texting started. I immediately middle school, but this solidified ourmy daughter didn’t really tell me called the school. I was infuriated. I decision to enroll her in a local paro-how upset she was. Finally, I got a wanted to call every mother of her chial school. She has blossomed, madecall from her friend’s father that his “so-called friends” that I knew, but new friends, and joined the volleyballdaughter was worried my daugh- her guidance counselor told me that and hockey team. I am so happy thatter had been cutting herself. I was it probably wouldn’t help. The school she has found her place. LWT FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   39
  • ADVICE FROM OUR EXPERT Expert, educator, and author, Dr. David M. Hall, weighs in.The number one reason that teens are cyberbullied 2. Track correspondence. Parents should engage withis due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or their child on a daily basis and track all correspon-expression of these things. In short, the teens most likely dence or acts of cyberbullying. Monitoring your teen’sto be bullied are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. social media use and occasionally checking text Heterosexual females are the second most likely targets. messages is perfectly reasonable.There is no one “hotspot” for cyberbullying. It can 3. Identify the best steps for intervention. Is cyberbully-include hurtful comments, unwanted remarks, or ing occurring during the school day? If so, documentharassing texts on various social networking sites. the problem and make the school aware. They may be hesitant to intercede in cases of cyberbullying, but ifSometimes cyberbullying is extremely dangerous; there it occurs from kids’ phones or computers during theare many reported cases that involved death threats school day, they have a responsibility to intervene andand situations that led to violence. Other cases may try to find the source or sources of the problem.involve sexually inappropriate content. In cases likethese, obviously, authorities should be contacted. 4. Approach schools from a strengths-based perspective. Too often parents leap into attack There must be zero tolerance for violence or the threat mode when they are frightened, which can cause of violence. officials to become defensive. Instead, approachHere are some recommendations for parents and school officials with the perspective that bullying isstudents regarding cyberbullying. intolerable—and no one wants it to occur. Suggest that your school, teachers, parents, and students workTeach your child to be a good digital citizen online. collaboratively to be proactive against cyberbullying.It is not enough to let kids figure out the rules of Inter-net conduct for themselves without parental guidance. 5. Practice bystander intervention. One of the Parents must educate their children on how to conduct most effective responses to bullying is bystanderthemselves online. intervention. The critical work for adults—and adolescents focused on this issue—is to make it clearTreating others the way you want to be treated is a that bystanders do have a responsibility to intervenereally smart golden rule—even in the technology world. and report any acts of bullying.Basically, all teens need a code of conduct and theyneed to adhere to it. It starts with you as a parent. 6. Find other activities and creative outlets for your child. Engaging your teen in other activities orRather than just handing your teen a smart phone and areas of interest can boost your child’s self-esteemtelling them to be responsible, parents need to explain and sense of personal strength: music, athletics, to their child that having a cell phone and a social media theater, community service, etc.account is a privilege—to be used to connect and buildpositive relationships with peers. 7. Contact the police. If the bullying has reached a criminal level, police involvement may be necessary.Parents should also be prepared to encounter and react to incidents of cyberbullying, as well as be prepared to 8. Learn more about cyberbullying. There is plenty set ground rules with consequences, if their child is ever of valuable information readily available online. Twoinappropriate online. extremely informative sites are www.stopbullying.gov and www.cyberbullying.us.What should you do if your child is experiencingcyberbullying? Unfortunately cyberbullying is a reality today. Parents, schools, and teens must not only educate themselves1. Talk to your child. These incidents are particularly chal- about the topic and its consequences, but must also lenging when children have to manage them on their learn how to take action when needed. Fortunately, own. You need to gather information first. What is the more and more people are taking the problem seriously. incidence of bullying? Where or who is it coming from? If we are merely reactive, cyberbullying will only get Does your child need professional help and support? worse. If we are proactive, we can significantly reduce Keep checking in; it cannot be a onetime conversation. the degree to which it occurs. Dr. David M. Hall has been a teacher for the past 15 years and has been an advisor for the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) for the past 10 years. He is the author of three books and currently has the app BullyShield for parents and teens. He and his partner have 3 kids and live in Bucks County, PA.40  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • TeenLife.com. The “go-to” source for families with teens. FRES H D ESI GN • I MP RO VE D SE A R C H • U PDAT E D C O NT E NTCheck out the new TeenLife.com.
  • S P E C I A L P R O M OT I O N Is your teen interested in hosting their own TV show? Students can learn the exciting world of broadcast with the Emmy award-winning New England Cable News sportscaster and founder of YBA Studios, Jimmy Young! As a veteran television and radio broadcaster with more than 35 years of experience, Jimmy Young “My experience at YBA helped me reach my ultimate is the founder of YBA Studios (www.YBATV.com) goal of becoming a sportscaster. But it also helped me grow where he teaches young students not only how to as a person and become more articulate.” communicate in front of the camera, but also how –Chris Dugan, University of Connecticut to effectively communicate in everyday life. “When I started YBA Studios, I recognized that there are four key skills for voice projection and oral communication often not taught in schools today— “YBA has changed my child’s life. He is now inflection, pronunciation, intonation, and enunciation. confident, articulate, and I can actually YBA uses workshops and hands-on experience to hone understand what he is saying!” these important skills,” says Young. –Linda, Holliston, MA FALL 2012 YBA’s Building Confident Communicators Program and realistic LIVE TV studio provides students with THE MAG AZINE FOR PARENT S WIT H TEEN S the opportunity to host their own shows, meet with SUBS CRIB teenli NOW E fe. IT’S com/mag FREE media experts, interview local sports and music ! celebrities, and build confidence while learning the Life with Teens YOUR PROTECTIN Parent CHI CYBERBLD FROM s& Tee The So ns Media cial ULLYIN G G Comes to Life! Gap broadcast field—all in a fun “learn by doing” environ- PUBLISHED BY NOMIN YOUR ATE TEEN ment. Students create news, sports, weather, and TeenL VOL. ife.com 1, ISSUE 2 10 music programming that is streamed live on the web! This fall YBA Studios will be SAFEST FOR TEE CARS NS hosting the first-ever Life with Teens show. Young adds, “It’s amazing how putting students on Check out interviews with our Founder and both sides of the camera develops their interpersonal CEO, Marie Schwartz, and other experts to communication skills and boosts their self-esteem.” find out what every parent needs to know. www.youtube.com/teenlifemedia YBA Communications is a digital media production company that teaches the world of broadcast through the development of oral communication skills. For more information on YBA’s programs, email info@ybatv.com or call 508-650-2000. YBA Studios, 81 Speen Street, Natick, MA 01760 www.ybatv.com42  LIFE WITH TEENS  FALL 2012
  • 2012 National Association for College Admission Counseling(NACAC) National College FairsAlready looking at schools? Attend one of NACAC’s National College Fairs where you and your teen can discuss admission and financial aid requirements, majors, and campus life with representatives from a wide range of colleges.September BATON ROUGE, LA November Wednesday, October 10BIRMINGHAM, AL 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ATLANTIC CITY, NJSunday, September 16 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Thursday, November 11:00 p.m. - 4:00p.m. Baton Rouge River Center 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.Birmingham-Jefferson 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Convention Complex JACKSONVILLE, FL Atlantic City Convention Center Saturday, October 13CHICAGO, IL 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. FT. LAUDERDALE, FLSaturday, September 29 Prime F. Osborn III Thursday, November 111:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Convention Center 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.Navy Pier 5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. CINCINNATI, OH Ft. Lauderdale/Broward CountyLONG ISLAND, NY Sunday, October 14 Convention CenterSunday, September 30 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Duke Energy Center SEATTLE, WANassau Veterans Memorial Friday, November 2 Coliseum PHOENIX, AZ 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Sunday, October 14 Saturday, November 3MILWAUKEE, WI 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.Sunday, September 30 Phoenix Convention Center Washington State Convention12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. & Trade CenterFrontier Airlines Center ST. LOUIS, MO Sunday, October 21 PHILADELPHIA, PA 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Sunday, November 4October Saint Louis University – 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Simon Recreation Center Pennsylvania Convention CenterINDIANAPOLIS, INTuesday, October 2 PORTLAND, OR SPOKANE, WA9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Friday, October 26 Tuesday, November 66:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.Indiana Convention Center Saturday, October 27 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Spokane Convention CenterDENVER, CO Oregon Convention CenterSunday, October 7 WASHINGTON, DC1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. BALTIMORE, MD Wednesday, November 7Colorado Convention Center Monday, October 29 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.NEW ORLEANS, LA 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Walter E. WashingtonTuesday, October 9 Tuesday, October 30 Convention Center9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Baltimore Convention CenterErnest N. Morial Convention REGISTER FOR A FAIR! WWW.GOTOMYNCF.COM Center BOISE, ID Tuesday, October 30MINNEAPOLIS, MN 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.Tuesday, October 9 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Boise Centre4:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Wednesday, October 109:00 a.m. - 12: 00 p.m.Minneapolis Convention Center To scan the QR code, you must download a QR scanner App. The QR code links to www.gotomyncf.com FALL 2012 LIFE WITH TEENS   43
  • 2012 National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Performing & Visual Arts College Fairs The NACAC Performing & Visual Arts College Fairs are designed for students interested in pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, dance, theater, visual arts, graphic design, and other arts-related disciplines. Held each fall, parents and students can learn more about entrance requirements, auditions and portfolio days, financial aid, and other specialized arts programs at exhibiting schools. Many fairs include valuable attendee workshops. October NEW ORLEANS, LA SAN FRANCISCO, CA Saturday, October 13 Sunday, October 21 ATLANTA, GA 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Monday, October 1 Pontchartrain Convention & Civic Center Nob Hill Masonic Center 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. workshop: Cobb County Center for the Navigating the Performing and PORTLAND, OR Excellence in the Performing Arts Visual Arts College Fair Monday, October 22 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. TAMPA, FL Portland Art Museum Tuesday, October 2 CHICAGO, IL workshop: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday, October 14 Navigating the Performing and University of South Florida 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Visual Arts College Fair workshop: ChiArts, Chicago High School for the Arts 4:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Choosing the Right College 5:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. NEW YORK, NY SEATTLE, WA Tuesday, October 16 Tuesday, October 23 INTERLOCHEN, MI 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday, October 7 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. workshop: Interlochen Center for the Arts Navigating the Performing and LAS VEGAS, NV workshop: Visual Arts College Fair Wednesday, October 24 Navigating the Arts Placement Process 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Las Vegas Academy of International DALLAS, TX Studies, Performing & Visual Arts DENVER, CO Wednesday, October 17 workshop: Monday, October 8 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. College Admissions 101 for the Performing The Denver Center for the Owen Fine Arts Center, Southern and Visual Artist Performing Arts Methodist University 5:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. workshop: Navigating the Performing and WASHINGTON DC CINCINNATI, OH Sunday, October 28 Tuesday, October 9 Visual Arts College Fair 5:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. University of Cincinnati, Walter E. Washington Convention Center Tangeman University Center HOUSTON, TX workshop: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Thursday, October 18 Navigating the Performing and workshop: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Visual Arts College Fair The FIT Factor Rice University Alice Pratt Brown Hall 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 5:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. workshop: MINNEAPOLIS, MN Navigating the Performing and November Thursday, October 11 Visual Arts College Fair 5:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. BOSTON, MA 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Thursday, November 1 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities LOS ANGELES, CA 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Coffman Memorial Union Saturday, October 20 Boston Center for the Arts, Cyclorama 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. REGISTER FOR A FAIR! University of California, PHILADELPHIA, PA WWW.GOTOMYPVAFAIR.COM Los Angeles-Ackerman Union Monday, November 5 workshop: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. College Choices in the Visual National Museum of Jewish and Performing Arts American History 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. workshop: Preparing for Auditions 5:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. To scan the QR code, you must download a QR scanner App. The QR code links to www.gotomypvafair.com