Technology Overload + The Great Outdoors + College Applications + Good Teens

[amazon asin=1620876361&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Max Strom, author of There is No App for Happiness.
How to avoid a near-life experience.
Issues: Technology has expanded at such a rate that nearly every aspect of our world has been affected–but there has been no expansion of personal happiness. Instead, the wealthiest societies have become depressed, anxious, sleep-deprived, and overmedicated.

[amazon asin=0399161082&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Peter Brown Hoffmeister, author of Let Them Be Eaten by Bears.
A fearless guide to taking our kids into the great outdoors.
Issues: A simple, practical introduction to hiking, camping, and exploring that will help parents and kids alike feel empowered and capable. So turn off the video games and rediscover the powerful of going out to play.

[amazon asin=0345498925&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Michelle Hernandez, author of Acing the College Application.
Maximizing your child’s chances for admission to the college of his or her choice.
Issues: Understanding the Common Application; how the answer to the “Why” question can make or break your application; the truth about what colleges are really looking for in essays; myths and misconceptions about the on-campus interview.

[amazon asin=0307347575&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Richard Lerner, author of The Good Teen.
Debunking the negative myths about adolescents.
Issues: Teens have an undeserved bad rap in the media and elsewhere; redefining adolescence; all teens have the potential to develop in healthy ways; the characteristics of a good teen and what parents and others can do to encourage them.

Yet Another Reason Breastfeeding is Best

breastfeeding is best

Most of us know that breastfeeding has all sorts of great health benefits for kids, including better immune system function, fewer allergies, and lowered risk of obesity, tooth decay, pneumonia, and ear infections. New research from Tel Aviv University has added one more benefit: protection against ADHD in the teen years.
[Read more...]

The Joys of Reading Aloud + Secret Lives of Boys + Trade Husband for a Housekeeper

[amazon asin=014312160X&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook.
Helping children become avid readers.
Issues: How reading aloud awakens children’s imagination and improves language skills; the rewards and importance of reading aloud to kids; the latest research about reading–including the good and bad news about digital learning.

[amazon asin=0465002544&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Malina Saval, author of The Secret Lives of Boys.
Inside the raw emotional world of male teens.
Issues: Why the author believes that the “boy crisis” we hear about is overblown; understanding the landscape of boys’ social cliques; how parents can get closed-mouth sons to open up.

[amazon asin=B002I4OVWO&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Amy Nobile, coauthor of I’d Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper.
Loving your marriage after the baby carriage.
Issues: The challenges of modern parenthood for married couples; a frank look at marriage post-tots; keeping parenthood compatible with marital bliss; how moms can learn to make the most of what they have and love their marriage as much as the husband and kids.

Your Teen’s Rocky Road to Independence + Motivating Teens + Best Birth

[amazon asin=1118228839&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Carl Pickhardt, author of Surviving Your Child’s Adolescence.
How to understand, and even enjoy, the rocky road to independence.
Issues: Preparing for the inevitable; a road map to early, mid-, and late adolescence; discipline that does–and doesn’t–work; why constant arguing is better than silence.

[amazon asin=B00263J6SQ&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Janine Walker Caffrey, author of Drive.
9 ways to motivate your kids to achieve.
Issues: Getting kids excited about learning; encouraging children to seek opportunities beyond their comfort zone; using rewards and consequences to get results; inspiring children to take charge of their own life.

[amazon asin=0738211214&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Sarah McMoyler, coauthor of The Best Birth.
A Guide to the safest, healthiest, most satisfying labor and delivery.
Issues: Understanding the causes of pain and pain management approaches; myths about doctors and the medical team (hint: they’re on you’re side); everything you need to know to make the best, most-important decisions on the biggest day of your life.

Raising Amazing Adolescents and Teens + Job Hunting Success for Teens

[amazon asin=B0064XB8CG&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Tom Sturges, author of Grow the Tree You Got.
Topic: 100 ideas for raising amazing adolescents and teenagers.
Issues: Learning to let go; the importance of making mistakes; punishing with kindness; what rivers can teach us about adolescents; seven ways to keep the peace.

[amazon asin=145057842X&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Abby Kohut, author of Absolutely Abby’s 101 Job Search Secrets.
Topic: Success tips for teen job seekers and their parents.
Issues: Why you’re on a Never Ending Interview whether you know it or not; How to be resilient in the face of rejection; The importance of LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook to your job search; How and why you should interview your next boss; How to use retro technology as part of your new strategy.

Teen Drinking Experiments: It’s a Lot Worse Than You Think

drinking hand sanitizer - a scary teen drinking trend

Back when we were in high school or college, if we wanted to do a little teen drinking and get drunk, we raided our parents’ liquor cabinet, went out and bought some beer (or scotch), or got an older sibling or friend to get it for us. But today, teens looking for a quick high have a lot more choices. In this guest post, Melissa gives us some startling insights into a problem there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of.


There are many crazy things teens and college students are experimenting with to get drunk these days. While many of us simply turn a blind eye or think “my son or daughter would never be that stupid”, these are real issues that our teens or future teens are attempting to either show off or to be cool.

While not all of these teen drinking trends are used by every teen, the popularity of attempting dangerous or outlandish things while drinking and then posting the results on YouTube is growing immensely. So we as parents not only have to educate our teens about alcohol and drugs but also have to educate them on the dangers of social media and publicizing too much on YouTube, Face book, or wherever. Once it’s online, it can’t be erased and too many teens are not thinking about how these videos could damage their future careers or reputations, not to mention their health.

Here are some of the latest teen drinking crazes:

  • eyeball shots - a scary teen drinking trendEyeball Shots. Just do a You Tube search of eyeball shots and you get over 7 pages of results. Eye shots are done by filling 10% of shot glass with alcohol and then pouring it in the eye ball quickly. Some however attempt to pour more or less into their eye. Some describe the feeling as going blind temporarily or extreme burning. The theory behind eye ball shots is that the alcohol will be quickly absorbed by the mucus membranes surrounding the eye. Leading medical experts, however, argue that this is not an effective way to get intoxicated quickly and could cause serious damage to a person’s vision.
  • drinking hand sanitizer - a scary teen drinking trendDrinking hand sanitizer. It only takes a few gulps to apparently feel the effects. Containing over 120 proof, hand sanitizer has significantly more alcohol in it than vodka, which is around 80 to 90 proof. Teens and young adults also find a thrill in drinking this product as a way to sneak around and get drunk in school. The problem is, drinking hand sanitizer is a fairly new trend so it’s harder for the drinker or others around them to gauge overdose or warning signs. The pure speed of intoxication by drinking hand sanitizer is alarming.
  • inhaling alcohol - a scary teen drinking trendInhaling alcohol. A new fad created to get drunk in seemly no time. That is because inhaling or smoking alcohol vapors will bypass the stomach and go right into the blood stream. “Instructional” videos are also popping up all over You Tube as a “fun” “new” way to drink. Unfortunately many teens are mixing several types of alcohol quickly, because inhaling alcohol is nothing like drinking a glass or shot of liquor. This can lead to a high risk of overdose or alcohol poisoning.


There are many other weird teen drinking crazes kids these days are trying, and these are just a few examples. While there is truly no way to prevent your teen from experimenting with alcohol in college or even on a night out, it is best to talk to them about alcohol overdose or poisoning. Teach them warning signs of an overdose, the right actions to take, and the consequences of drinking. As a parent we can only do so much but prevention is the key and it just may save their life in certain situations. Remember the best way to approach your teen is with a calm and understanding tone, anything else may send them running the other way.

Melissa is the Public Relations Coordinator for St. Jude Retreats–-a non-12 step alternative to conventional alcohol and drug rehab.