I am passionate about reading. Books take you places. Teach you things. Create memories. This booklist is by no means complete. However, as I thought about the best books to read as a young adult, I thought about the things I wish that I had known more about -the subjects that my husband and I tried to at least introduce to our boys.
I split the list into four categories and an additional list. This is one time that I don’t recommend for your teen to read all of them. Check out each list, read the synopsis of each, and then choose one from each. You know your teen better than anyone, so base the choice around that knowledge. These also lend themselves to being read aloud, and then have multiple conversations. *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy ishere.
Pin for later!
-the use of one’s own efforts and resources to achieve things without relying on others-the use of one’s own efforts and resources to achieve things without relying on others
This has been a fun topic to research. I hope that these books help in your parenting journey!? Please check out the posts below, especially the one about your teen turning 18- there are so many things to know legally.
Visit myFacebook page, and follow me onPinterestandYouTube! I look forward to seeing you again! And, finally, if you feel like this post was helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform! Thank you so much!❤️
Sexting and your teen is such a huge issue with our kids. As a teacher, I know kids are getting themselves into trouble with this issue ALL the time. Please inform yourself and then your teen!
Take the time to read the following scenario yourself and then with your teen. This behavior happens more frequently than you think…
Here’s some info about my guest author
Christy Monson established a successful counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She also practiced in Salt Lake City, Utah for several years before her retirement.
B.S. Degree from Utah State University
M.S. Degree from University of Nevada at Las Vegas
*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.
Sexting and your teen
Sexting is a subject I never thought I’d get involved with, but the more I worked with victims in counseling, and the greater social media availability is today, I see it as a looming problem—the elephant in the room, if you will.
None of us can turn a blind eye to sexting and our teens. According to one research study about fifteen percent of our kids are involved in sexting.
About a third of all middle school and high schoolers have been the brunt of rude sexual comments or jokes.
2 It can touch all of our kids in some way or another, even if it’s just their friends or kids they know. Let’s address it and give the kids some tools to keep themselves safe.
Sexting can also lead to addiction. Research shows that sending a sexy message can lead to an increase of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, in the brain and make you feel like you’ve taken a drug.
When the dopamine spikes, it can lead its victim to any form of addiction: pornography, alcohol, drugs, and other escapes from life. Did you know that nude, or partially nude pictures, texted or shared on social media among kids constitutes child pornography and jail time can be the consequence?
Know the laws of your state because all areas of the country are different. Talk to a local police officer. There’s one at your kid’s school. Become acquainted so you’ve got some knowledge of your local laws.
Here’s an all-too-common story that I hear.
Vanessa was invited to a summer swim party with the popular kids. She’d never been asked before and was excited to go.
“There’ll be alcohol,” her older brother, Ben, said. “I went to a party there once. I left when everyone got drunk and didn’t go again.”
“Not a problem for me,” Vanessa said. “I’m not going to drink.” She went shopping for a cute new swimsuit.
At the party, some of the girls’ outfits were so revealing they made Vanessa feel uncomfortable. Some of the boys snapped pictures and took sexy videos.
Vanessa stayed in the background, feeling trapped. She wanted to leave, but couldn’t think of an excuse.
Vanessa took a sip of punch. It was spiked so she set the glass back on the table. Several boys bypassed the punch and pulled out their own brown bags. The drunker and louder everyone got, the more uncomfortable Vanessa felt.
Boys and girls began posting pictures on Instagram and Snapchat. Even though she didn’t want to, they pulled Vanessa into some of the photos.
By midnight Vanessa slipped away from the party without saying anything to anyone. The next day, she heard that some parents had called the police.
An investigation underway, accusing the party-goers of posting underage pornography. Vanessa felt scared. She was in some of the pictures.
What could Vanessa have done differently? What should she do now? What could her brother Ben have done differently? What could he do now?
Discuss this story with your teens.
What do they have to say about it? Listen to their thoughts. Many times, they come up with better ways to avoid this kind of activity than we do. This is a great way to assess where their thinking is.
Be part of your kids’ social media lives. Talk with them before things go wrong. Ask their opinions and listen, listen, listen. What’s their favorite new app? Is there a new social network they want to join? It’s also important as kids are growing up for everyone to know what your family stands for. Kids are questioning a lot of issues at this age. They’re being exposed to new ideas.
Bounce these ideas around as a family and let the kids know what you believe, what your standards are, and where you’re coming from. Develop an open conversation so you’re the one they come to with a question or problem.
Here are a few other ideas to consider talking about. Address the fact that pictures sent to friends become part of our digital footprint, and we have no control over who screen shots them or where they go. It’s important to discuss what will happen to the pictures if a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship ends. Saying no is a difficult task, when peer pressure is in full force.
Help kids develop a plan and know what to say when a situation turns sour. Emotions can become intense and friendships ruined when the pressure is on. Discuss the possibility of being assaulted by cyberbullies.
The after effects of cyber bullying can be devastating. Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress for victims can become all too real. Discuss these situations with your teen. Decide together a good way to handle them. Kids are smart and have good ideas. Work together to develop a plan that will work for your family.
1.Mori, Camille, et al. Association of Sexting With Sexual Behaviors and Mental Health Among Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, June 17, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1658
Follow my blog with Bloglovin Are you wondering what your teen will need in their first apartment? Or are you a young adult moving out for the first time? This is the first in a series of posts that will go room-by-room in an apartment, that will help you make decisions ahead of time. These posts will help you know what you need to think about, and also help you plan out how you want to budget for all of the needs of a first apartment. Here is the lowdown all about first apartment kitchen essentials.
Many times our teens will be living with friends, so that will help with the expense!
As we shopped for our son’s first apartment, it was really nice to spread out the cost over a few months. Some of the items that we knew he would need were rather expensive, but by planning ahead, we were able to manage the costs of many items by watching sales on Facebook Marketplace, Salvation Army and various websites.
Let’s get started with first apartment essentials for each room!
The first room that we will talk about equipping is the kitchen. This is the room that needs the most to supply, so I suggest that your talk with the roommates, and make a plan. Just know that most apartments are generally equipped with the larger appliances such as oven, refrigerator, and microwaves. The rest is really up to the tenants to supply. *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy ishere.
Pin for later!
Appliances for first apartment kitchen essentials
Microwave, if not provided -There are so many to choose from, so measure the space available carefully. You may want to purchase a small side table, (I like this one with a drawer for napkins, etc) to put the microwave on, so that the limited counter space isn’t taken up by this appliance. Hopefully, this is a purchase that you won’t have to make!
Toaster oven -Again, this will take up precious counter space. But, I recommend a toaster oven over a plain toaster because they are perfect for heating or cooking individual meals without using an entire oven, especially if you are wanting something to be crispy. (My boys prefer heating their pizza in this because the microwave can make things soggy.)
Crockpot -This is actually something our middle son has asked for. He loves to cook, and knows that he can put food in to cook all day. Since he is working almost full time, he likes the idea of coming home to a ready-made meal with enough to pack up leftovers for future meals. There are so many easy crockpot recipes. Check out this cookbook for easy 5 ingredient recipes to get your teen started!
Mixer -This might not be used often, but it is sure nice to have if they decide to whip up some cookies!
Instant pot -If your teen likes to cook, this is an amazing tool for the kitchen. Here is an easy cookbook to get started with this device.
Fun Extra Small Appliances:
Waffle maker -There are so many things that can be cooked in a waffle iron besides waffles. Biscuits, brownies, cookies, hash browns… The list is endless! The cookbook Will It Waffle is great for new ideas:)
Griddle -This is also a great kitchen tool. Can easily be stored under the sink to be pulled out to griddle up sandwiches, pancakes, or bacon and eggs.
Other tools for a first kitchen
Pots and Pans and Other Cookware:
Set of cookware -I would not spend a ton, but also don’t do the cheapest if you want this to last through the next few years. I would highly recommend getting dishwasher safe cookware only because that is probably how it will probably be cleaned, hopefully it will be cleaned after every use, but don’t count on this…
Glassware -My boys like different sizes of glasses for different drinks.
Coffee cups -Lots of coffee will be consumed through college…
More first apartment kitchen essentials
Dishwasher tabs -My appliance guy was just here the other day, and he recommended Finish over Cascade for the best clean and it’s better for the machines too. He also mentioned using this cleaner once every 3 months.
Does your teen know how to cook? Plan meals? Organize a shopping list?
My online friend, Marie Fiebach has an amazing website and she helps teens to know how to do all of these things! And, how to do all of that on a budget as well. Her website, feedyourfamilytonight.com is a great place to look for ideas about meal planning, prep and shopping on a budget!
I hope that this post answered the question, “What should I purchase for first apartment essentials?” Let me know if you can think of anything that I have forgotten!
We recently moved our middle son into his first apartment.
Last year, it was a dorm, now he’s moving into his first apartment. This means essentially, that our son will never be moving back home again.
Moving him into a dorm was hard work, and I was a little emotional because it was the end of an era. I knew that we would all miss him, especially his little brother. But, I also knew that he was embarking on a new adventure, and that he would have lots of fun in college. Therefore, I didn’t get too sad.
Plus, silly me, I thought that he would be moving home for the summer after his first year away. So, what does an onion have to do with this story you ask…
*This post may contain affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase. My full disclosure policy is here.
Pin for later!
All moved in
Well, now it is July after his freshman year, and he has been in his new apartment for a few weeks. I have had time to process this a little bit. He is still in town. He still comes home a couple of times a week. He came home yesterday for an onion.
Really? We are still helping with his groceries and rent money. He does know how to grocery shop on his own. But here he was for an onion!
He is a great cook. He has helped with meals ever since he was in middle school. He is looking for a grill on Facebook marketplace because he would like to have cooking options. His roommate doesn’t cook, but said he would split the cost of food and clean up if Will would cook and share.
My son called after their first trip to Aldi’s to say, “Momma, that place is a miracle.”
So, yes, he has moved out, but that’s okay. He is still my sweet boy. Who calls and stops by to grab an onion, who wants my *chicken salad recipe (included down below this post), and who is very particular about how his room looks now.
We are still looking for some good deals on some things that they need for their apartment, but it is coming together nicely.
As your teen (or anyone) is moving into a new place, here is a great guide to what and how to pack for an organized move-in.
*Recipe at bottom of this post.
How it all came together
One thing that his roommate’s mom and I did was to shop ahead of time at garage sales, estate sales, online, and our own homes to gather a lot of their necessary supplies and furniture. This really helped to split the cost and not have it all be happening at once. Here is a first apartment checklist!
I shopped at Home Goods for a lot of his bathroom supplies, and I do believe he was as particular about what he wanted as any girl would have been. I took pictures and texted them to him. His comments were priceless.
“Too girly.” “Too patterned.” “That’s ugly.” “Too brown.” You get the picture!
He and I just headed to another home supply store last night, and I think he is set with his first apartment must haves. He mentioned when we walked through the doors that this was his new favorite kind of store! I was cracking up. He looked through all the kitchen gear, and we spent at least fifteen minutes in the candle section trying to find just the right scent for his room. Priceless time together!
Here is one thing that he and his roommate are learning.
They are really proud of their new home. They have worked hard to make it nice. It is amazing what a little ownership will do for their housekeeping! I have dropped by with a few items a couple of times. Each time, their apartment is spotless! This is the boy who, when we moved his bed out of our house, we were able to fill a trash bag with the stuff from under his bed. It was DISGUSTING!
They have started to learn who of their friends they can trust to be respectful of their space and things in that space. This has been very eye-opening for them.
Speaking of friends… It is good to remind your teens to stay safe. It is important for them to know who all are aware of their address. Read the following article about staying safe in their new digs here.
They have established house rules.
They have established a time for the end of the night. Obviously, they will make exceptions, but in general they decided what time they want everyone to leave.
Another thing that they have decided is that their friends need to let them know that they are headed over, and their friends need to make sure that it’s an okay time.
My son and his roommate are both on really tight budgets. They have asked that their friends not show up empty handed. They cannot afford to host with food and drink every time their friends are over. This is a very social group, and basically their apartment is one of the few that any of them have right now. Many of their friends living at home for the summer and are wanting to come over away from their parents.
My son has the hall bathroom. He has learned that a lot of his friends are pigs. His term, not mine. He has had to clean his bathroom many times more than probably ever in his life! With that in mind, I created some fun bathroom art for him. Here is one of them below. They are each meant to be printed out and trimmed to 5″ x 7″.
Setting up a budget has been a work in progress for a couple of weeks.
We have been helping him with all the expenses of a first time apartment set up. Now that it is pretty much a settled place, we have had him keep track of expenses.
Summer fun money
He is now on a set budget where he takes care of all but the groceries. This is with the understanding that he needs to be shopping at Aldi’s and not the gourmet grocery store downtown. We will adjust the amount in a few weeks if it isn’t enough or is somehow too much. He already pays for his own gas, and will start paying us for his car insurance in the fall after he has made his summer money.
Don’t forget to grab the first apartment checklist here.
Pin for later!
Have you checked about renter’s insurance? If the apartment is on campus, it may not be needed. If off of campus, check with your insurance carrier. Coverage is offered for many things. The building itself will be covered by the apartment owner’s policy. Personal property is covered by renter’s insurance. Only 37% of all renters have this, so it is definitely worth checking into!
(Please note: renter’s insurance may be required by the landlord and it’s typically very affordable!)
Remember, this is your teen’s apartment. You are probably not welcome there very often. Get them moved in, and then stay away.
If you do stop by, do NOT say anything about the way it looks. Giving your child a fair warning that you are coming would be polite.
Do not assume that your kids know what you will be paying for. Both of our boys thought that since they were now going to be in apartments that they would have to pay for their own food! We told them that we would help them to get on a budget and give them a little towards food weekly. They were both shocked because they thought moving out meant they were on their own.
I ask occasionally if either of them needs anything at Walmart or wherever. I like to let them know I got extra toilet paper or cleaning supplies that they can come pick up. They love this because it mean their budget will go towards more groceries for the week.
Here are some tips and tools for working remotely whether it’s for a job or for school. Our lives look different these days! Work is from home can be completely remote or partly at home. School is still remote in many places during quarantines, and families are choosing to keep their kids home.
I hope that this helps you with any job or school situation.
This post has strategies as well as tools for remote work and school success. These ideas will help as you create and/or improve your working space!
*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy ishere.
Routines and dedicated space/time for working remotely
Routines will be very important for you to get the most work/studying accomplished during your day.
Create a morning and evening routines –Each morning look over calendar for the day, set timers for appointments, create a daily checklist. Start some music. Find a playlist that works for you, I like to listen to smooth jazz because there are no lyrics to distract me. Try different playlists for different tasks so that you won’t get bored. Each evening set a time for finishing and clear your desk for the next day. If you are in the middle of a project, straighten it up, and make sure that it is in a safe spot overnight.
Dedicated work space -Have a dedicated space which can be indoors or out, sometimes both depending on where you live, and what your day needs to look like. Some jobs might need to be done all inside because they will take longer, and you don’t want to move all your things in and out all the time. Other smaller tasks might be more fun to do in the morning outside before the heat of the day.
Keep set hours -make a weekly schedule each Friday for the following week. Take breaks for set amounts of time- don’t skimp on breaks. Take breaks at the same time as friends so that you can socially distance meet for a walk in the park, zoom for fun etc. Protect your personal time-in other words, just because you are home, don’t work ALL the time.
Set ground rules with others in your home -no interruptions, no touching papers. If you have kids or siblings, spouses even, let them know of your schedule. Have a procedure in place if someone really needs your attention. A “do not disturb” or stop sign can be a great signal. On the other hand, have a green light sign if you are available, so that your people know!
This is one of the most important tips and tools for working remotely. You have to take care of you. Whether you are working remotely for a company or studying and attending class as a student, don’t forget to do the following things regularly.
Get out of your house -Go for a walk. Go to the store. Sit out on your front porch and watch the sun set.
Take sick days -You would take these if you were going into work, so take care of you while at home. There will be days that you cannot work because of illness, your boss and/or teacher knows this!
Be positive -It can get easy to just focus on work, to get lonely, to get bogged down in not being able to get out. Make healthy choices to do what you can. Set a timer to stop work every so often. Make a date to meet someone for lunch, however that has to look.
Communicate in ways that are not work related-send that funny GIF or meme to fellow workers.
Set times for your meals – When you have set times for meals, you can better plan your day. This makes it easier to make plans for lunch out or scheduling a doctor’s appointment. Try to avoid too much snacking!
Give yourself grace -Working from home can be great, but it has its own stresses. Avoid overworking- this is easy to do when you are at home all the time. Know that mistakes will be made at home just like anywhere else.
Work relations for working remotely
Socialize with your colleagues -Communicate in ways that are not work related-send that funny GIF or meme to fellow workers.
Use a VPM (virtual private network) –I had to look this one up. It is highly recommended especially if you are working from home. Not as necessary for schooling, but not a bad idea. These can be free, but really, all the ones that I found ranged in price from $4.99-$12.99 a month. This seems really reasonable when you are thinking of internet safety.
Show up for meetings -If there is a meeting or class that is scheduled, then you should be there. This includes any meetings for group projects. As an employee, your job performance will be based on attendance as well as other intangibles such as effort and problem solving.
Get face time with your company -at least once or twice a year, hopefully, this will be possible! It is always a good idea to meet in person.
Look for training opportunities -Another term for this is “upskilling”. Take it upon yourself to learn new skills. Websites such as Udemy, Skillshare or even Khan Academy are all good places to look. Some examples of skills to learn might be: preparing Excel spreadsheets, making pins for Pinterest on Canva, or even a new language.
Overcommunicate -Be present, even virtually. Be available. Document everything. Be polite. Follow up. This applies to students as well as employees.
Use separate phone number for work -There are many options for this. If your company doesn’t set this up for you, then you might check into it for yourself. Be sure to mute your personal phone when working for less distractions.
Ask for what you need to work from home -Anything that you feel would make your experience better is always worth asking for. Whether it is for a job or school, please ask your boss or professor. They will do their best to help if you have good reasons for asking.
Ergonomics are important -This is “engineering for your body.” Not only is comfort important, it will help you to maximize your time, and prevent burnout. There are many reasons why this is something to think about.
How to negotiate working remotely
Decide your “why” -Do you really want to do this? What would be your benefits of doing so?
Be prepared with solid information about how this will work -For instance, how will you keep track of hours worked? How will communication work between you and your co-workers? Come up with all the concerns that you think your boss will have, and be ready with an answer. In other words, do your homework.
Start with a trial period, of say 8 weeks -Both you and your boss can assess whether this is working or if anything needs to be tweaked to make it better.
Have you been home and want to stay there to continue working? Read this article for ideas how.
Working remotely best practices
Find out what your employer or school policies are for remote work.
Know how to reach your boss/manager or professor. Do they keep set hours?
Clarify expectations between co-workers or fellow students working on a project.
Set meeting times with extra time in the front and back end to catch up just like you would in person.
Get dressed for the day.
Make a work “playlist”.
Try new ways of doing things.
Assess what is working regularly- for yourself, and the company or school (grades).
Tools for working remotely
Comfort is key when working anywhere. If you are newly working or studying at home, look at what you have around the house that will make your work area both comfortable and inviting. You would do this at an office, and you should make an area or two where you work or study a place that you enjoy. I have listed some tips and supplies that will help you as you begin or continue to work remotely at home.
Pomodoro method -This is a great method for working and/or studying. You break down tasks into manageable chunks and set a timer. If you have never tried this method, it’s worth trying!
To-do lists -Tips to creating the best lists for getting things accomplished in a logical order. This is great when you have lots going on!
I highly recommend working outside when you can! It is always nice to get fresh air, and it will give you a different work space that won’t leave you feeling trapped inside all day.
Work outside in the morning before the heat of the day, or maybe in the evening after a few hours off in the afternoon through dinner. Here are some tips and tools for working remotely outside.
Sunscreen -Even if you are out before prime sun hours, you really should use this! Don’t forget the back of your hands, your neck, and ears.
Sunglasses -These are also a must. Don’t squint into the sun! Wrinkles in your future so much faster! And, Blue light blocking glasses -even if you need no correction to your vision, these will help protect your eyes from hours on a screen. Blue light glasses reduce fatigue and improve your sleep!
Camp table –This one has adjustable legs, folds up, and has a smooth, not slatted surface.
Sail canopy -Automatic shade! These are really nice, and really easy to set up.
Balcony table -This is cool! It hangs over your balcony railing. Really nice if your space is limited! There are two sizes available.
Comfy chair -This is so important! Make sure that you find a chair that you can sit in comfortably for a couple of hours. Of course, it’s best if you get up more often than that, but you may have to sit through a long meeting or class. This one is nice with the mesh seat and back. There are six color choices.
Planter pots– These are great for indoors or out. I like the size of these, and these two pots look a little like concrete.
Rug -This one is sisal, and comes in many sizes. This material is great indoors or out.
Throw blanket -This will be great for cooler mornings and evenings. The design in this is classic, and comes in many different colors. The price is right, too! Here are some lightweight Turkish blankets that are fun!
Indoor setup for working remotely
Many of us have indoor offices set up already. Look at your area with a set of fresh eyes. What could you do for a refresh? Do a deep clean first, and throw out anything that is no longer needed or necessary.
Could you pull a new area rug from a different room? What about a new plant? Purchase some new art, or even better take some time to do an easy DIY project for your update. Here are some tips and tools for working remotely inside.
Comfy chair -This is another ergonomically designed chair. I love a chair with armrests!
Standing desk converter -This is the bomb. I have ordered one for my desk. It will raise so that you can stand while you work. My rear end gets so tired!
Planter -This set of 2 little brown/ cream geometric planters are really cool for a girl or guys work space.
Rug -This rug comes in many colors to match any decor. Also many sizes. It’s amazing how just a rug can transform a space from drab to amazing.
Lamp -This is dimmable, has different settings for brightness, and has a USB charging port. It comes in a couple of colors.
There are so many apps and software available now, that it is hard to know where to begin. Talk with your work to see if if any of these could be provided for you. Know what the choices are and do some research about the pros and cons of each tool, app or system.
Glare guard -for screen (especially if working outdoors) This particular guard is anti-blue light, anti-glare, and blocks UV rays.
Power station -This is not totally necessary, but would be nice to have on hand in a few instances of low power or a power outage.
Wifi booster -This can be helpful in many instances. We have a couple of these in our home because our wifi is awful!
Hope that these tips and tools for working remotely help!
Working or studying from home is a challenge and a privilege. Even if you have no choice about your home location, then you do have a choice about making it the best experience that it can be. Be sure to use these tips and tools for working remotely.
Be comfortable. Be smart. Be productive. Good luck to you!
Make sure to visit myFacebook page, and follow me onPinterestandYouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! And, finally, if you feel like this post was helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform! Thank you so much!❤️
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.