Screen rules that stick

In many homes, getting kids to turn off their cell phones, shut down the video games, or log off of Facebook can incite a rev…

  • Guide to Teenage Social Life

    Guide to Teenage Social Life

    I have something to say about teenage social life: it just plain sucks. There's nothing more difficult and hard to navigate when you come out of the single digit years on this earth. You remember what it's like, don't you? Just when you're starting to feel confident and comfortable with how you manage things you get enormous feet that don't match your body, a face full of zits and blemishes, and you start to secrete bodily smells that you didn't know you possessed. Summed up, it's pretty horrible. The good news is that you eventually turn into an adult (not without the occasional mishap of a huge zit, of course), and the bad news is that, for parents, you have children that turn into teenagers. Somehow, as a mom, I've gone through puberty twice: once on my own and again when my children experienced it. You can immediately remember what it feels like to be pubescent. That is fairly horrible, too.

    Related: 10 reasons why teenagers are better than toddlers

    I am often asked, in my

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  • homeschool


    The back-to-school sales and clothes and backpacks and all those little things you didn't think you needed but have convinced yourself your kids have to have are probably making your head spin. It can be a really stressful time of year. Parents worry about all the stuff we can't control at school and kids do, too. Will they get good grades? How will the teacher be? Will other students pick on them? Homeschoolers don't have to deal with any of that. No measuring up to other kids, no awkward lunchroom moments, no raising a hand to ask to go to the bathroom. No worrying about having the coolest pair of sneakers because, well, shoes aren't needed around the house.

    More from The Stir: Home-Schooled Kids Are Smarter

    Homeschooling sure sounds great, but to be honest, I'm not sure I'm cut out for it because ... well, what if I totally mess that up and I end up being the worst teacher ever therefore making my kids F students? But apparently many parents are doing a much better job of

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  • How do you help your teen?

    At the beginning of each school year, your kids have a chance for a fresh start. And you, their most important teacher, are key to their success. Here are five ways you can help them succeed:

    1. Understand that teens are different. You're not parenting a seven-year-old. Your teen wants to be in charge of her time and choices, but she still has a lot to learn. You need to be on hand to help with skills like problem-solving and decision-making. That's help, not do it for her.

    2. Give them time to decompress after school. One of the things a group of eighth grade girls said bugs them is when they are picked up from school and their parent (usually mom) immediately asks them about their day. They've just spent seven hours in school and would like to think about something else. So sit tight. If you play your cards right, information will be forthcoming.

    More From YourTango: 7 Tips To Boost Kids' Confidence Before School Starts

    3. Encourage student-to-teacher communication. It's time for you

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  • Unhappy kids are more materialistic

    Unhappy kids are more materialistic

    When I'm sad I like to buy things. (But usually I'm sad because I don't have any money to buy things.) I guess it's the same for kids.

    A study from the Netherlands suggests that unhappy kids are more materialistic. This jibes with what I know about human nature. When you are unhappy you look for other things to make you happy, like a PSP or an iPad.

    And exposure to TV commercials makes it worse. Advertisers send the message that possessions increase happiness. (Which is silly because we all know it's food that does that.)

    Related: 7 tips for teaching kids how to manage their allowances

    The Netherlands study involved 466 children who participated in online surveys both in October 2006 and October 2007. In the survey kids rated themselves on how much they like other children based on whether they have more possessions. Kids also rated how happy they were with their life, home, parents, friends, school and themselves and as a whole.

    The interesting thing is that the sad ki

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  • By Chef Lorena Garcia

    We need to start paying attention to what we are feeding our children. One out of every three children in the United States is already overweight or obese and this generation may be the first who live sicker and die younger than their parents. This is not acceptable.

    But there is good news. We can make a difference.

    I'm teaming up with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, who for six years, has been making great strides to work with schools, kids, companies and doctors to reverse this alarming trend.
    Together, we're creating healthy recipes schools can use to serve meals full of vegetables and good proteins, and more importantly - meals that kids like to eat. I'm pleased to contribute my love of cooking and training to fight childhood obesity. All it takes is each one of us doing our part.

    Let me tell you about Gayla Moghannam. She spent many enjoyable days volunteering in her daughter's class at Walt Disney Elementary School in San Ramon, Cali

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