As a blogger of Young Adult literature and a professional book reviewer, I read a lot. There are tons of great books out there if you are looking to purchase your teen a gift of the literary sort (and of reasonable cost). The following are my top picks for 2014, based on quality and overall likeability.
It's fair to say that many teens love getting something for nothing. Free candy? It fits the bill. And every October 31, they fail to disappoint, showing up at the door, thrusting a bag in the direction of unwitting participants, sometimes without even uttering the agreed request -- sometimes, the words "Trick or Treat" aren't even mentioned.
Busy parents eagerly anticipate the day when their children can be trusted to stay safe on their own. It frees parents up to stay a little longer at work, head to an appointment or go for dinner. But when is a good time to start leaving your child home alone? Ultimately the decision comes down to when you think your child is ready for this responsibility.
While the house party that was recently broken up by police in Brampton had some expensive -- and terrifying -- lessons for the families involved, they're teachable moments for the rest of us. So, here's a checklist of what to ask your teen before they hit the party circuit this weekend or this summer.
Accept the fact that your teen could be sexually active: No matter how much we deny that our precious babies could be sexually active, the reality is what it is. No amount of wishing it away is going to change that fact. You're better off accepting reality and approaching them with love and compassion, than making their sex life about how good a parent you are -- or aren't.
When my husband and I recently escaped from our four month long home renovations, our teenagers, our two Labrador retrievers and the cold and wet Vancouver weather, we left our 19-year-old son home alone for two weeks. Yes, we had multiple discussions -- he and I, he and his dad and the three of us. Again and again we said: NO PARTIES, remember to take out the garbage, don't spend too much money, look after your sister if she comes home on the weekend, BE GOOD. But still I was nervous...
One thing most of these people have in common is that they are challenged by some unnamed fears that hinder their success. These people have decided that by choosing to fail and sabotaging the various kinds of help given to them, they can "win." We can all feel Martin Sheen's pain about this kind of "winning."