How to Help Your Teen Have a Successful School Year

Maria Boublil | Posted 09.18.2015 | Canada Parents
Maria Boublil

Having a good start to the school year can set the tone for many months to come. It is always a difficult transition for teenagers to head back to school after summer. Now that the first few days of back to school frenzy are behind us, it's a good time to set the foundation for a positive school year for students.

Canada's Most Engaged Citizens Might Actually Be Too Young to Vote

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 09.05.2015 | Canada Politics
Danielle S. McLaughlin

Why don't we let 15-year-olds vote? We educate them about citizenship from the time they are in elementary school. We wail and moan about ever-decreasing voter turnout. But we don't really look at young people as citizens. We think of them as citizens-in-waiting.

How to Support Your Teen's Mental Health While at University

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 08.26.2015 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

For parents with children away at university, it can be a giant leap of faith to step back and let their young adult children be independent, and know that they will be okay. Most young adults transition to university without difficulty and take charge of this new independent phase of their lives with motivation to do well and the skills to navigate their academic and social lives. But for some young adults, the stress of being on their own to manage the academic and social demands of university life may be a breaking point that heralds or worsens mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression.

5 Steps to Keeping Your High School Graduate Safe

Alyson Jones | Posted 06.09.2015 | Canada Parents
Alyson Jones

June can be the month when students are immersed in the world of carefree parties, peers and possibilities. The festivities surrounding grade 12 graduation events tend to be an exercise in pushing boundaries, creating memories and grasping the moment. This is all very exciting for the youth involved, and somewhat terrifying for the parents of these youth.

The Way You're Talking To Your Teen About Dress Codes Is All Wrong

Dr. Shimi Kang | Posted 06.01.2015 | Canada Living
Dr. Shimi Kang

Since teenage brains are literally neurobiologically different from adults, coupled with their fluctuating hormones, the way they process information also differs greatly from how we may process the very same things. This creates a situation where, when told not to wear something deemed inappropriate for that particular environment, while an adult may understand that it is simply a fashion issue within that specific circumstance, a teenager may perceive it on a chemical level as a personal threat to their entire identity and independence. As a result, they can become fiercely protective and hypersensitive to any potential threats made to their autonomy and are more likely to push the limits in response.

Parents, Learn How to Foster Independence in Your Kids

Kids Help Phone | Posted 05.28.2015 | Canada Parents
Kids Help Phone

Developing independence is part of growing up, and it's something that young people should be encouraged to develop at every age. Safety should always be a priority for parents, but kids' maturity should also be taken into consideration as well. When you show young people that you trust them, it helps kids to trust themselves.

How to Deal With Underage Drinking At Prom

Alyson Schafer | Posted 05.28.2015 | Canada Parents
Alyson Schafer

It's a simple truth that some teenagers will likely drink alcohol on prom night. This isn't a wise decision, and one I hope your teenager will never make. That's why I've created an entire video series to help parents navigate the challenges of preventing underage drinking

Dispelling The Biggest Myths About Parenting Teens

The Huffington Post Canada | Kristy Woudstra | Posted 05.20.2015 | Canada Parents

Many parents dread the teen years -- all those hormones, so much attitude, the rebellion. No thanks! But parenting expert Alyson Schafer offers a diff...

Teens Reveal What's Cool Today

The Huffington Post Canada | Isabelle Khoo | Posted 05.01.2015 | Canada Parents

With the latest fads and trends coming and going so quickly, it's hard for us parents to keep up. So what's cool today? Let's go directly the keepers ...

Parents: Help Your Kids Say "No!" to the #KylieJennerChallenge

Samantha Kemp-Jackson | Posted 06.27.2015 | Canada Living
Samantha Kemp-Jackson

As parents, we have an obligation to counter the messages and images that our children are bombarded with, particularly now. If we don't put a stop to it, we're destined to have a whole generation that is not only insecure, but psychologically scarred as well. Here are some tips to help your tween/teen.

How to Help Your Young Person Become a Leader

World Vision | Posted 06.23.2015 | Canada
World Vision

You'd never know it to look at me, but more than 40 years ago I started a global movement. After seeing the devastating images on T.V. of children starving in Ethiopia, my heart was broken. My friends and I didn't think we could do anything, and casually proposed the idea at our young people's group of doing something and having it be a weekend event where we went hungry.

Will We Ever End Smoking?

Bill Bogart | Posted 06.20.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

There's good news and bad news about smoking. Recent statistics reveal that consumption rates are at record lows and appear to be dropping even further. And, as those rates fall, the menace of second-hand smoke also recedes. But these positive developments come at a time when new evidence warns that cigarettes are even more hazardous than we have thought. So to end smoking and the many costs it imposes on this continent, let alone elsewhere in the world, much remains to be done.

Don't Fear Failure, Learn From it!

Terri Fedonczak | Posted 05.17.2015 | Canada Living
Terri Fedonczak

It's okay to let your kids fall, so they can learn how it feels to get back up on their own. Failure in middle school or high school has a much less drastic effect on their long-term success than failure in their first job, when you're not there to help them. If you never let your kids fail, then they won't know how to innovate and grow.

Why the New Generation Is Turning Away From Facebook

Erin Bury | Posted 03.09.2015 | Canada Business
Erin Bury

Despite being a tech-savvy Gen Y'er who lives online, sometimes I read an article that makes me feel like I'm being relegated to some "too old to be hip" corner of the internet where only Clint Eastwood and baby boomers hang out. The most glaring instance was an October article in Quartz about the rise of social payments app.

Top 3 Tips from Eugene Levy to Teens Everywhere

Shane Feldman | Posted 01.24.2015 | Canada
Shane Feldman

I caught up with American Pie star Eugene Levy on the Red Carpet at "It's Always Something" hosted by Russell Peters. I asked Eugene to share his top tips for teens. Here are his top three pieces of advice.

Trick-or-Treating is For Kids. Period.

Samantha Kemp-Jackson | Posted 12.28.2014 | Canada Living
Samantha Kemp-Jackson

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.

How Athletic Pressure Can Harm Youth

Alyson Jones | Posted 12.21.2014 | Canada
Alyson Jones

The human body is fascinating. It has been part of the human journey to understand and study how the human body works and achieves what it does. There...

Back to School: How to Calm Students' Stress and Anxiety

University of Toronto News | Posted 11.10.2014 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

The heavy academic pressures so common today raise back-to-school stress like never before -- and it's not just high school seniors or university students who are feeling it right now. Parents can do a lot to help ease their children's anxieties around school. The key is to really listen, and let your child open up about their fears.

Mind Your (Mobile) Manners In Front of Your Kids

Kathy Buckworth | Posted 11.03.2014 | Canada Living
Kathy Buckworth

While using a phone in the bathroom isn't technically dangerous, it is of course extremely unhygienic... and more than a little off-putting. Texting and driving is extremely dangerous, and doing it in front of your teenager doubles the danger, as they see our behaviour as normal and potentially mimic it when they start driving.

Helping Kids Manage Back to School Stress

Kids Help Phone | Posted 10.26.2014 | Canada Living
Kids Help Phone

For young people of all ages, school's an opportunity to form new relationships with peers and teachers, develop new skills through extracurricular activities, and discover new interests. But school can also be a source of stress, anxiety, and pressure for many young people, and it's a topic that kids and teens bring to Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors throughout the year, even during summer holidays.

Bringing Sex Education to the Stage

University of Toronto News | Posted 09.15.2014 | Canada Impact
University of Toronto News

While some are horrified by the overtly sexual movies and TV shows consumed by today's youth, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health has a slightly different stance. Shira Taylor, a doctoral candidate at the School's Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, is taking to the stage to educate young adults about sex.

Home Alone: When Is It Safe to Leave Your Child?

Dr Dina Kulik | Posted 08.11.2014 | Canada Living
Dr Dina Kulik

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.

That 'Trendy' Drug Your Kid Does Is the Same as Meth

Chris Curry | Posted 08.01.2014 | Canada
Chris Curry

Ask any avid drug user the difference between 'molly' and 'ecstasy' and they will most likely tell you that 'molly is pure MDMA' and ecstasy was more known to be cut with other substances. In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth. And herein lies the problem. Unless you are an accomplished chemist, 'pure' MDMA is a myth.

Ask These Questions Before Your Teen Goes to Party

Jennifer Pellegrini | Posted 07.18.2014 | Canada Living
Jennifer Pellegrini

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.

Attention Parents: Mother Nature Needs Us

Dr. Shimi Kang | Posted 06.21.2014 | Canada
Dr. Shimi Kang

Given the state of the world and the tasks of the next generation, our survival depends on how we parent our children right now. We need to focus on the values we are encouraging for our children, and questioning whether or not our individual actions are helping our kids become the environmental stewards the world desperately needs.