Best Books for Teens About Social Justice

Best Books for Teens About Social Justice

Lessons we need to learn…

Social justice books for teens are a great way to teach real world lessons that they can continue to learn through their lives. Social justice is an ongoing issue in real life. As a mom, as a teacher, as a person, I need to be willing to put myself in someone else’s shoes. To empathize with my fellow man. As I live out my life, I hope that the lessons my own children, as well as my students, have learned from me will help them to be better people. To be empathetic, sympathetic, to be GOOD people, now and always.

Respect.

Tolerance.

Diversity.

Equality.

Justice.

These are all concepts that need to be taught. Defined. Lived. As mothers, teachers, parents, we can only do so much, but with everyone’s help, our world can be a better place.

With headline after headline of police brutality, rioting, social injustice-sadly, the list goes on and on. We need to do better. We need to BE better. No excuses. We have run out of time.

What I have taught….

One of the units that I teach as a middle school English teacher is Deep Study of Character -with Lucy Calkins curriculum. It is literature based on all the above characteristics woven through their themes. I love to use books to teach all sorts of lessons.

I was new back to the classroom last year after a long hiatus bringing up my boys, so many of the books on the following list are still new to me. However, I have researched all of these, and I am part of a wonderful group of teachers on Facebook that shares and elaborates, so I pulled a lot of information from that group. Read on for great social justice books for young adults (and everyone)!

Check the bottom of the post for other options besides books!

Here is a link to one of my most popular posts: Best Books to Read When Parenting a Teen

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Books That Were Chosen

These books were chosen to represent the best of what I have taught and what I have learned as a teacher listening to other teachers…

There are sections for picture books, short stories, young adult and adult, and finally, authors who have written so many books to choose from. I wanted to get this out and published because this is such an important subject and will be adding to this list frequently!

*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.

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”―Martin Luther King Jr.

Picture Books

Not My Idea -Higginbotham This is an honest book that looks at race, racism and being white in today’s world. This addresses the topic of civic responsibility in a great way for kids to relate to. I have ordered for my classroom!

For white folks who aren’t sure how to talk to their kids about race, this book is the perfect beginning. —O MAGAZINE

It’s Our World, Too: Young People Who Are Making a Difference: How They Do It -How You Can Too! -Hoose  This is two books in one. First part is stories about kids today who are making a difference in various ways. The second part is how-to advice to get started for young people who WANT to make a difference in positive ways.

Separate is Never Equal – Tonatiuh  The unknown story of school integration in California 10 years before Brown v. The Board of Education. This began school integration in California for Mexican-Spanish American children.

You, Me, and Empathy -Sanders   “Showing empathy towards others is a learnt trait, and one to nurture and cherish with the children in our care,” -this quote taken from the book description. Such a wonderful book about the main character, Quinn learning that empathy means “being able to understand how another person is feeling and recognizing their needs helps people to connect to one another across race, culture and the diversity that is ever-present and so important to our world.”  Everyone needs to read this one!

“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better.”― Georg Lichtenberg

Short Stories

Thank You, M’am – Langston Hughes This short story is all about morality. What is good? How do we know? A boy tries to steal a woman’s purse to buy a new pair of shoes. Find out what happens… I found this on the CommonLit website.

Flying Lessons and Other Stories -Ellen Oh   This selection of stories is such a great collection. I have not read them all, but between my classes last year, I have heard about all of them from my students. All sorts of stories about all sorts of people. My students chose the story with this book that resonated with to do a project on for class. These ten stories are all great in their own way.

The Hero Next Door -Rhuday-Perkovich  This is another gathering of stories about being brave in today’s world. Young people can make a difference, all it takes a little courage. Again, I have not read all of this collection, but the couple that I have read were great!

Fresh Ink – Giles  These short stories are unfinished. Their endings are still playing out in today’s headlines. These are all amazing stories of individuality and bravery. Diverse and raw and uplifting. Please read!

Our Stories, Our Voices -Reed  These are essays by popular YA authors who all have something to say about all sorts of things that happen as kids grow up.

The Treasure of Lemon Brown -Myers  I found this on CommonLit.org  We studied this story in my eighth grade class this year. So many lessons contained in this short story! We all loved it.

51 Black Heroes -Norwood “Black Heroes introduces you to 51 black leaders and role models from both history and modern times” from all walks of life. This book is for younger audiences, but also good for lower readers.


“In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice…, the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man.”― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Young Adult

Wishtree -Applegate  An old oak tree that has been used as a “wishtree” for the surrounding community. A new family that is not necessarily welcomed by all. A crow and other creatures watch from the trees branches as this story unfolds. This is a wonderful story told by a tree, but so much more! If you are not a fan of fantasy, give this a try anyway-because, a tree is wise.

Dear Martin -Stone  This follows the story of a Justyce, who always Is doing the right thing: honor student, helps those in need, all-around good guy. Then, he is arrested and cuffed by an off-duty police officer after an event which Justyce just happens to be there. I have not read this, but it’s on my list! There is a sequel, Dear Justyce, which follows up as Justyce is at Yale as a college student.

Refugee -Gratz  This was another class favorite. Three refugees on three different paths are all connected  by the end of the story. All of them leave homes that they love for reasons beyond their control. They encounter so many difficulties both on their journeys and at their different destinations. I learned a lot about the plight of refugees and many of their circumstances!

All-American Boys -Co-written by Reynolds and Kiely  This story could unfortunately be ripped out of today’s headlines. Gripping and realistic. Could not put down!

Long Way Down -Reynolds  This book has haunted me. My students all were intrigued by this story and a lot of great discussion came from this. The length of time it takes to get down Will’s building’s elevator. His brother has been shot and killed. While Will rides the elevator down one day, he is visited by people from his brother’s past as it stops at each floor. This is now available in a graphic novel version -soooo good!

Will got on the elevator with a singular purpose. Will he get out at the bottom and carry through his plan?

Weekly dose of parenting encouragement

“Genuine equality means not treating everyone the same, but attending equally to everyone’s different needs.”― Terry Eagleton

The Poet X – Acevedo  The main character her, Xiomara, is a young woman with a lot to say. She writes in her journal, and has many thoughts that she feels cannot be shared anywhere else. She is invited to a slam poetry contest, but she knows that her family would not approve.

The 57 Bus -Slater  This is based on a true story. Two kids from completely different parts of the world, within one city. They have eight minutes together each day. Then a tragic event occurs. One is injured. One is charged with a crime…

Monster -Myers  This is a complicated story about the trial of a young man for a crime. Is he guilty or innocent?  A pawn of the system and the characters surrounding the crime. Is he a “monster” as he has been titled? Steve, the young man in this story, starts to transcribe his story as a film script. What is the verdict? This would be a good one to read with your teen…

Mexican White Boy – de la Peña  Half Mexican, half white, Danny is struggling with a lot of things as a teenager in San Diego. He mostly wants to figure out where he belongs…

The Hate You Give -Thomas  I have to admit that I have not read the book, but I loved the movie!

Harbor Me -Woodson  I loved this book! Six kids meet in a room that they have a special name for.  They can talk about their lives. It’s a wonderful story about a caring teacher, a group of kids dealing with so much, and the friendships that evolve from their meetings. My students loved this book.

Out of My Mind – Draper  This book really got to me. Locked into a body that won’t work, Melody is assumed to be stupid. Far from it. She finally proves that she is really smart only to be rejected again. Heartbreaking, heartwarming… My students learned that students with disabilities are always what they seem! Along the same lines as Wonder, another wonderful book and movie -talk about overcoming adversity!

Ghost Boys -Rhodes  Two boys meet who have been tragically been killed as a result of racism in different places and times. They help one another to figure out some things about what happened to each of them. This is on my list to order for my classroom!

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry -Taylor  This is a classic! A wonderful story set in the depression about hate and racism and social injustice. It stands the test of time.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You -Jason Reynolds and Ibram Kendi  The authors reworked Kendi’s book Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, and write it in a way so that you can identify racist thoughts and ideas and “stamp” them out when they begin. I have not read this, but it was recommended by a good friend who is a counselor as a great choice for this list.

“When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else’s oppression, we’ll find our opportunities to make real change.”― Ijeoma Oluo


For Adults

Just Mercy  -Stevenson  This is a true story about a young lawyer defending a young man accused of a crime he swears that he did not commit. Compared to To Kill a Mockingbird, another great book about good v. evil.

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness -Brown  Written by Austin Brown, who finds out at the age of 7, that her parents named her Austin so that future schools and employers would think that she was a white man. As she grows up, Austin learns that people don’t mean what they say, and she grapples with what it means to be a woman of color in today’s world. Really good insight for me.

Raising Fences -Datcher  I read this a few years ago for a book club. It’s a memoir written by a black man who wants to be a good father without having had one himself. This was painful to read, but I never felt so white while reading this.

Americanah -Aditchie  This is a novel that really opened my eyes. It is a love story, but is also a story about how unaware we are of race in this country as white people. This was so good!

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration -Wilkerson  This is a story that covers the migration of six million people from the south to the north in the US from 1915 to 1970. Thousands of interviews and really great stories of a people who tried to escape oppression and find a better life for themselves and their families.

Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America -Kendi  “In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.” This is at the top of my list to read. Grab the companion book co-authored by Kendi and Jason Reynolds, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You.

“The world howls for social justice, but when it comes to social responsibility, you sometimes can’t even hear crickets chirping.”― Dean Koontz 

Authors to Check Out

Kwame Alexander

Matt de la Peña

Gary Soto

Jason Reynolds

Jacqueline Woodson

Walter Dean Myer

Alan Gratz

From my friend, Louisa, over at LPTutoring, she has this great list of podcasts that I copied here. Her post is awesome and has book as well as other resources!

Hope this helps you start a conversation…

This list is by no means complete! Please let me know if you have a good suggestion that will help to teach our young people lifelong lessons. I hope that these books will help you start or continue a conversation that has to happen in order for our world to be a better place for everyone.

Other book posts: 9 Books to Read With or Without Your Teen, Great Book Gifts for Teens (And Adults!),

And, here is a link to my ongoing list of favorite books on Amazon!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

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15 Ways Parents Can Help A Stressed Out Teen

15 Ways Parents Can Help A Stressed Out Teen

Today is such a strange reality. We are all home. Working at home. Staying at home. Our teens are home from school and college. There are so many things that keep happening, it makes your head spin! Here are some ideas that will  help out a stressed out teen in overwhelming times.

(I first wrote this back in April of 2020. Some things have changed. Some have not. Many kids are able to go to school in some type of in seat hybrid version, some are learning in pods, and some are totally virtual. No matter which way, their lives probably look very different than they did one year ago this time. These tips for checking with your teen’s mental health are possibly more important today than ever.

We have a son struggling with depression -and before Covid had no problems. Would they have surfaced without this pandemic? Possibly, but we will never know. All I know is that I am proud of how he has handled himself, and he is working his way towards his future with help from us, his friends, and a counselor. Please check in with your teens!)

Our whole world completely turned upside down! What is next? For about four days in a row, I kept thinking that it could not get any worse, and I kept being wrong… If our adult heads are spinning, just imagine what is going on in our teen’s brains and hearts right now.

I have reached out to my blogging friends to find the best advice that they have for our stressed out teens today and any other time.

Here is the advice that they have shared.

*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.

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Grab a Coronavirus Survival Chart for your stressed out teen here!

Calming Tips

Leo Baubata posted his zen habits for calmness. Here are his 7 habits and the link to his article with much more information:

  1. A calm morning ritual
  2. Watch your response when you are stressed
  3. Don’t take things personally
  4. Be grateful
  5. Create stress coping habits
  6. Single task
  7. Reduce noise

If you can encourage your teen to just try one or two of these habits to try, it will go a long way to relieving their stress. I, for one, reduced the noise I was hearing over the past weekend. I did not listen to news. I did not read anything that might stress me out.

I basically took a time out from news for a couple of days. It was wonderful, and I plan on doing this every weekend from now for as long as the current (insert whatever you want!) situation goes on.

The news isn’t going anywhere. I was available to my family and friends if something came up, but it really refreshed my soul to tune the world out for a bit.

Have your teen try a time out, even if it’s just for a few hours, they will be glad they did it!  This will be a great way to help a stressed out teen.

Here are my friends’ tips for calming your teens…

Calming Activities by Karen at Nourishing Teens

Tips for Getting to Sleep Faster by Dana at Parenting in Real Life

Calming an Anxiety Attack by Dana at Parenting in Real Life


 


Weekly dose of parenting encouragement

 


Diverting Activities

Our teens have a lot of time on their hands even with school, friends, social media, and right now, a world-wide pandemic. Here are a few fun things that might distract them when they have a moment of boredom!   Staying busy is good for a stressed out teen, as long as it is balanced with rest and relaxation.  Here are my friend’s tips for keeping your teen busy…  

18 Killer Podcasts by Nancy at Raising Teens Today  

101 Things to Do When You’re Stuck at Home by Nancy at Raising Teens Today  

Things for Bored Teens/Tweens To Do While Stuck Inside by Karen at Nourishing Teens  

100 Blissful Solutions to Teen Boredom by Shannon at Skip to My Life  

5 Things That Your Teen Needs to Know About Their Grandparents by Shannon at Skip to My Life  

Things To Do During Quarantine by Loren at LorenKellyCoaching


Stressed out teens|www.parentinghighschooelrs.com

Helping Your Teen With Anxiety

If a teen has anxiety, it’s a whole other dimension of stress. It is all-consuming, and overpowering. Teens may need outside help. They for sure need for you to know that it is very real to them. More than anything, they need your love and support!

Here are my friends’ tips for dealing with teen anxiety…

Why Anxiety Can Destroy Your Gen Z Child by Shannon at Skip to My Life

How To Mitigate Anxiety In Your Teen by Dana at Parenting in Real Life

Helping Teens Manage Their Anger by Dana at Parenting in Real Life

Parenting Through Mental Health Challenges and a Global Health Crisis by Betsy at Betsyjewell.com with Dr. Marcia Morris  (This is a podcast as well as a blog post.)

Natural Stress Relievers for Teens by Miranda at The Reluctant Cowgirl

School Angst

Here are some basic tips to help teens with school stress…

  1. Have a schedule
  2. Use a planner or some sort of calendar
  3. Start big projects early-as in right away!
  4. Create a dedicated work space
  5. Talk to the teacher
  6. Get a tutor
  7. Prioritize work by date due and amount of work that will be needed

Here are my friends’ tips for dealing with school stress…

Helping Kids to Thrive As They Adjust to Distance Learning by Betsy at Betsyjewell.com with Kellyann Rohr  (This is a podcast as well as a blog post.)

Ways That You Can Help Your Teen With Finals (Or School Stress in General!) by me

Model behaviors to help a stressed out teen

Stress is a factor every day in our teens’ lives. School, work, family, money, dating relationships, the list is endless. We need to model behaviors that are positive for our teens to emulate. We need to practice self-care, so that we can help meet their needs and show that it’s a great stress management tool.

Let’s help our teens to fill their toolboxes with strategies for dealing with stress today and any other time that will be stressful in the future.

Here is a great post on coping with all this as a mom from my friend Miranda at The Reluctant Cowgirl.

Here is a post that I wrote about self-care under the best of times, but is great for now because there are tiny doable things that you can do to have a better day, every day!

Here are some affirmations to get us through these days from my friend Shannon at Skip To My Life

Conversation can help

We have time now because everyone is at home. The thing is that we should always make time to have conversations. Our teens are only with us for a limited amount of time-the countdown has started for them to leave for college or a job or the military or one of a million things.

Use the time that you have with your kids to have some of these important conversations about making their future a better place to be. Help you teen to have an advantage by discussing important tips that will help them no matter what is going on in the world.

The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School by me

5 Easy Ways to Improve Communication With Your Teen by me

Things to Know If You Love a Teenager by me

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

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Best Valentine’s Gifts to Give and Get For Teens

Best Valentine’s Gifts to Give and Get For Teens

Valentine Fun!

Valentine’s Day can be such a fun time for teens. Even for teens that do not have a special “other person”, giving gifts to a bestie or other friends can be fun! Finding the best Valentine’s gifts can be a lot of fun, and there are many great activities as well that I list at the bottom for fun!

We encourage our boys to give gifts at least to us and their grandparents, even if it is just a card. These can mean a lot, especially if they are homemade!

Showing someone that you care is a life lesson, and there is no better time than Valentine’s Day to make sure that this happens!

Encourage your teens to reach out to someone or many someones with a message of friendship and/or love.

I put together the following list of Valentine’s gifts with help from my boys and my middle school students. These vary in price from just a few dollars up to a lot -most are really inexpensive items of less than $25. Our teens need to remember that it is the thought that counts more than anything.

*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.

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Best Valentine’s Gifts!

Red or pink nail polish

Heart boxers

Heart pillow

 Giant hersheys kiss

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt

Pink earrings

Heart sweatshirt

Love dish

Shaving kit

Heart mug

Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ―H. Jackson Brown Jr.


Heart magnets

Heart shaped sunglasses

Leather ear pod case


Pink candle

Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” ―Ben Carson

Weekly dose of parenting encouragement

Pink or red tassel earrings

Personalized pocket knife

Heart socks

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ―Pablo Picasso


Heart jammies

Bedshelfie

Nintendo switch

Heart shaped box – Use these to create something beautiful to then fill with some other gift for your Valentine.

Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” —Booker T. Washington

Photo box explosion album -My son got one of these for Christmas from his girlfriend! It is so cute! She did say that it took some time to put together.

Some fun activities for spending time together on this special day!

•Watch some movies about love! Then, make some Valentine’s popcorn and enjoy a date night!

•Make heart shaped cakes, pancakes, waffles or cookies– Here are some links to recipes.

       Cupid floats, 20 Valentine cookie recipes, 14 Valentine’s dinner ideas

•Set out some simple Valentine’s Day decorations – Some links to fun decor…

      V-day decorations round-up, Dollar Store decor for Valentine’s, Valentine’s vignettes

•Create a Valentine tree -I think these DIY twig trees are so cute! This one is cute, too.

•Write someone love notes and/or coupons -you get to choose what to offer.

•Spend one on one time with your teens -watch movies, play games, take a walk… Here’s the link to  a post my friend wrote about creating a fun day with her teenage daughter!

•Get them their own box of candy -always a favorite!

•Hot chocolate bar with these cute supplies -Here’s a great Idea for a charcuterie board, and an easy recipe for crockpot hot chocolate.

•Decorate your teen’s door with fun Valentine’s stuff or do some homemade hearts with personal messages!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

Related posts: 25 Valentine Movies, Best Easter Baskets for Teens, Best Graduation Gifts: The Ultimate Guide

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25 Movies for Valentine’s Day: Teach Your Teen About Love

25 Movies for Valentine’s Day: Teach Your Teen About Love

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Valentine’s season is here, and it’s a great time to watch some movies about love. These are not all about romantic love, but love between friends and family as well. These are great movies to use as a springboard to some conversations about realistic love.

Relationships can be so complicated, and with all the social media options available these days, it’s even more important that our kids know that communication is key. Not texting, but talking. Relationships can and should be grounded in friendship first, and there is no rush to any of this!

These movies can really help open the door to difficult conversations!

After a painful breakup one of my boys experienced, we watched a few of these movies. He ended up liking some of these, even though, at first, he thought they were chick flicks. Watching these together opened up some great conversation that he later said really helped him. Here’s a checklist to keep track of the ones that you have watched:)

Here is our family’s list of the best movies about love to watch for Valentine’s Day!

*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.

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Movies About Love

Valentine’s Day– This is great! This is the story of many intersecting stories about love. Mother love, romantic love, puppy love and more… Each relationship in this movie is special for different reasons, and there are lessons to be learned in each situation.

You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not,” Jodie Picoult in My Sister’s Keeper

Sweet Home Alabama– A young woman in the big city learns that she can leave home, even recreate herself, but leaving the past behind is not as easy as she thinks. 

You always gain by giving love,” Reece Witherspoon

Ghost– Love from beyond. The spirit of a young man comes back to warn his love that she is in danger. Appearances are not always what you think!

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same,” Emily Brontë

10 Things I Hate About You– A complicated of boy meets girl, boy wants to date girl, girl not allowed to date… A fun story about love/hate between sisters, their dad, and the boys who want to date them.

I have decided to stick to love; hate is too great a burden to bear,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Movies About Love

The Proposal– Love conquers all even when the girl is the office “witch” and the movie starts out with the boy hating the girl.

When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be,” Leo Tolstoy

Grease– Lesson learned here is peer pressure can be intense. Be who you are!

Love was made for me and you,” Nat King Cole

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Some Kind of Wonderful– Lessons about growing up, the freedom to make your own decisions

Love is a friendship set to music,” Joseph Campbell

When Harry Met Sally– Harry wants to prove to Sally that men and women cannot be friends because sex always gets in the way. I love the evolution of their friendship throughout the movie, and ultimately sex does complicate things as he predicted. Classic!

Love is friendship that has caught fire,” Ann Landers

Pretty in Pink– Love conquers all, friendship and the struggles across social and economic classes are a few of the themes in this classic John Hughes film. If you want to show your teen a glimpse into the ’80s, then this is my pick!

Love recognized no barriers,” Maya Angelou

Movies About Love

Dirty Dancing– Another classic. Set in the ’60s, this has love and conflict wrapped up in Kellerman’s family camp in the Catskills, this movie delivers a young protagonist who “was smart, funny, reckless, tenacious, awkward, curious, righteous, strong- and instantly real.” 

Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary,” Oscar Wilde

You’ve Got Mail– Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, enough said!

I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly,” Kathleen, in You’ve Got Mail

While You Were Sleeping– A girl who imagines herself to be in love with the “perfect” man, finds out that love is so much more when you find the right guy.

You don’t marry someone you can live with — you marry someone you cannot live without,” unknown

Sabrina– I liked the original Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, but LOVE this remake with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford! Girl loves boy who doesn’t have a clue she exists. Girl goes away and grows into beautiful woman. Girl comes home and then things get complicated when boy finally “sees” her.  

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other,” Audrey Hepburn

Hope Floats– Great movie about starting over after all seems lost. 

Love yourself first, and everything falls into line,” Lucille Ball

Movies About Love

Where the Heart Is– Talk about starting over! Natalie Portman is great as a young pregnant woman who is abandoned at a small-town Walmart. Ashley Judd steals the show as the sidekick. 

Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you,” Misty Copeland

Steel Magnolias– My girlfriends have my back no matter what, and this movie goes to show that we all need our girlfriends through the situations that life can bring us.

A good friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have,” an Irish proverb

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days– This is a cute rom-com about a relationship that has every reason to fail from the start.

“You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly,”  Sam Keen

Fried Green Tomatoes– Another example of girl friends being there through thick and thin.

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart,” Eleanor Roosevelt

The Vow– True love twice! An amazing true story…

You are my sun, my moon, and all my stars,” E.E. Cummings

Movies About Love

Beaches– Girlfriends again. Even when a friendship seems to end, their love for one another shines through in the end…

There are friends, there is family, and then there are friends that become family,” unknown

Regarding Henry– True love, true friendship, and what is important in life is what Henry and his wife discover after a horrible accident.

The couples that are meant to be, are the ones who go through everything that is meant to tear them apart, and come out even stronger,” unknown

A Walk to Remember– Be true to yourself. I showed each of my boys this movie when they were in middle school. Peer pressure, love, family, and how to stand up for what is right are all themes in this great movie. The book is great, too!

You know it’s love when all you want is that person to be happy, even if you’re not part of their happiness,” Julia Roberts

The Notebook– Loyalty and lifelong love are the story here. I cry every time!

I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.” Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

She’s All That– Another great teen flick. Their relationship starts on a dare. Pygmalion updated…

To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you are the world,’ Dr. Suess

Clueless– Another update. This time Emma is the story, and Alicia Silverstone is hilarious as the heroine.

She was one of those, who, having, once begun, would always be in love,” Emma, Jane Austen

I hope that one or many of these movies about love will help you to enjoy the Valentine’s season!

We love to use movies to teach a lesson in a totally “innocent” way. These movies about love and friendship can spark great conversations about all facets of life and love. Have fun, and enjoy some movies about love with your teens this Valentine’s season! Remember to download the checklist to keep track of the movies that you have watched!

Related posts: 49 Movies to Watch for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, Best Valentine Gifts for Teens to Give and Get, 7 Things to Know If You Love a Teenager, and The Best Sports Movies to Watch with Your Teen 

I have to include one more movie for the Leap Year! This is a cute rom-com with Amy Adams.This movie’s theme is that you can’t control love!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

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Movies about love|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Sexting and Your Teen: Get the Facts

Sexting and Your Teen: Get the Facts

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This is a guest post. 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!

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

Christy Monson, LMFT and Heather Boynton are the authors of Stand Up to Sexting, An Open Conversation for Parents and Kids. It’s full of examples of possible sexting problems you can discuss with your kids. It’s available on Amazon.

*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.

Hand holding a cell phone with the word "sexting" crossed out|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Sexting: An increasing problem among teens.

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.

  1. About a third of all middle school and high schoolers have been the brunt of rude sexual comments or jokes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.

Christy Monson, LMFT and Heather Boynton are the authors of Stand Up to Sexting, An Open Conversation for Parents and Kids. It’s full of examples of possible sexting problems you can discuss with your kids. It’s available on Amazon.

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

A helpful website

An Additional Site

Wow! This is a lot of information that our kids need to be made aware of! I just was able to watch the cyberbullying and sexting lesson be taught in my classroom by another teacher in my district.

One thing that I was unaware of was this: a possible consequence could be that a teenager can be put on the sexual predator’s list. This is a life long designation.

Please make sure that you and your teen take sexting very seriously.

 

I would love to stay in touch! Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

 


Hand holding a cell phone with the word "sexting" crossed out|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

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