Ideas For Parents in December: 10 Timely Tips

Ideas For Parents in December: 10 Timely Tips

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Ideas for Parents in December

Here are some ideas for parents in December, and what I’m learning and loving this month! Here are some ideas for parents in December, and what I’m learning and loving this month! This will include books, movies, and timely help for parents of tweens and teens. (Here are October and November) Let me know what you are learning and loving so that I can add that to future posts! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Ideas for parents in December

Learning:

Do you have a high school student? Are they starting to think about college? This is such a fun time! But, beware of the price tag for college! Help your student to be more aware of what these costs will be now and in the future.

Give you student the gift of knowledge this holiday season! Student loan debt is no joke. Here are some links to articles that will give you some help when having this conversation with your student, significant other, and anyone else involved in the education of your teen.

Most College Grads Consider Their Student Loan Debt a Life Sentence

How Will We Pay For College Next Fall?

The Truth About Student Loan Debt

Loving:

Book:

Maisie Dobbs -Winspear

This past year, I have learned to love the character of Maisie Dobbs. She is a young woman, and the setting is the years from World War 1 to almost World War 2. She is a very bright and independent person who has an interesting past. Her training is unique, and with that she solves mysteries with her intellect and intuition. It is a different sort of series, but I have loved the first three books in this series so far!

Ideas for parents in December|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Movie:

The Martian

Are you looking for a great movie to watch with teens? This is it! Whenever we see that this is on, we watch it! We first all saw it at the theater, and then bought it. It has great themes such as: survival, friendship, perseverence, problem solving, and hard work. So many great lessons and conversations have taken off from this movie every time we watch it!

Gadgets:

Christmas Tree– We ordered this one from Amazon, and I am so happy with it! The price was right, and we have needed a new one for a few years. I thought that if it didn’t work, then I would just return it. Amazon is so awesome with returns!

I love the way this looks real after I fluffed it all up. This is a huge thing for me since we cannot have a real tree because of one of my boy’s allergies.

Have you seen this thing?? It can fix lights on strands or a tree! Lightkeeper Pro

Gift wrapping Station This cart is a game-changer! You can have all your supplies right at hand with a flat surface to wrap on. My girlfriend has this, and I am jealous! This is all I want for this for Christmas!

 

Quote:

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. –Hamilton Wright Mabie

Ideas for parents in December|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Holidays:

Pearl Harbor Day (7), Chanukah (varies yearly), Christmas Card Day (9), Ice Cream Day (13), Bake Cookies Day (18), National Ugly Sweater Day (the third Friday), Winter Solstice (21), Christmas Day (25), Card Playing Day (28), New Year’s Eve (31)

Gift guides:

Need some ideas for shopping this holiday season? Here are some:

Gift Guides for Teen Girls,

Gift Guides for Teen Boys,

Stocking Stuffers for Teens,

Great Gifts for Mom

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

Other timely help

25 Days For a Teenage Christmas

Help your teen with their finals with these tips!

Watch some great holiday movies!

Christmas With Teens: 11 Special Ways to Bond Over The Holidays

I hope that you have learned some things with these ideas for parents in December!

I would love to stay in touch!

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Ideas for parents in December

Christmas With Teens: 11 Special Ways to Bond Over The Holidays!

Christmas With Teens: 11 Special Ways to Bond Over The Holidays!

Christmas with teens is the best!

Christmas with teens can be special, so make plans that they want to be a part of! This is my favorite time of the year with my kids. Your time is limited, so it’s fun to make use of it in all the ways that your kids love.

 

This GIF cracks me up!🤣

Before the break begins

Before the season even begins, be sure that you set up a budget so that you don’t overspend. I am a big fan of “less is more”, and with teens they are just looking for comfort, food, and fun. Let’s get started!

If your teens are away at college, then they will be going through their finals season. Send them a fun care package to get them through these stressful days. My friend Laura over at almostemptynest.net has great ideas for winter care packages.

Laura also has a template for planning your entire holiday on an app called Airtable -it is amazing, and super helpful, and FREE!

Set up expectations

Some of your older teens will be  coming home from college or elsewhere. You might need to set up some expectations. Here is a great post by my friend Miranda over at thereluctantcowgirl.com about how to survive and connect with your teens over winter break.

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Christmas with teens can be so fun!

Decorating

My teens loved to decorate! We always made a big deal about it right after Thanksgiving, and played music to set the mood. They each used to have a tree in ther rooms, but over time, they decided against those. Start this tradition with your teens, and end the day with a favorite meal or dessert to thank them for their help.

Simple ideas for Christmas decor throughout your house from plaidsandpoppies.com

Front porch decor from nikkisplate.com

Setting a holiday table by freshexchange.com

Easy decorations for cabinets -you could do almost anything! I do my pantry doors and clip our Christmas cards onto it. Very festive! from b4andafters.com

Ideas for bedrooms at Christmas from ladydecluttered.com

Recipes

I tried to find complilations of easy recipes!

30 easy appetizers -my boys love “snacky” dinners from playpartyplan.com

21 casseroles to accompany your main dishes -from crispyfoodidea.com

Simple and festive main dish recipes -you had me at simple! from 31daily.com

24 cookie recipes – try a new type of cookie this year! from cravingsomecreativity.com

Snowman pretzels – so many variations – by b4andafters.com

Traditions

Tradition:  1. : the handing down of information, beliefs, or customs from one generation to another. 2. : a belief or custom handed down from one generation to another. tradition. noun. (dictionary.com)

Hold onto the traditions that mean the most to each of you, and let go of the others to make room for new ones! Have fun. I talk about this in my YouTube video.

Here’s a fun tradition that I hadn’t heard of. Christmas Eve boxes. My kids always got new pajamas to wear, and a new game for the family to share. I might have to try one of these box ideas this from moneyprodigy.com

Build a gingerbread house  -from akpalkitchen.com -I will have to find a picture of one of our boys’ creations from the past! Here are some kits that would be fun to build!

Here’s another fun tradition -from cleanmama.com Have  basket of books for each major holiday. I have done this, and each year I would purchase one or two new books to add to the basket.

Crafts/Hobbies

Use this down time for your teens to find something new for them to try or continue with their love of creation. So many hobbies are relaxing, and this will go a long way to their decompression after a hectic semester.

 20+ Sharpie crafts that are perfect for the holidays from happinessishomemade.net

Washi tape crafts for the entire family from sloely.com

Lots of DIY ornaments to craft from buzzfeed.com

String star ornaments -so cute from eytozee.com

Scrap fabric Christmas tree ornaments from firefliesandmudpies.com

Games

Game night is such a fun way to connect with your teens.

12 games to play virtually if you are not together by christmasphere.com

Guess Who (Christmas version) by kidfriendlythingstodo.com

Holiday Jeopardy from allthepartyideas.com

Saranwrap candy ball -this is really fun- from momluck.com

‘Tis the Season Trivia game -we love this! I just keep it on our table during the holidays to spark conversation😀

 10+ games to play with your teen -all different kinds of games included in this post from parentinghighschoolers.com

Movies

Here are some ideas for setting up a fun family movie night… from healthyhappyimpactful.com

Here’s a post with more than 50 movies for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Checklists included for keeping track of the ones that you have watched.

Holiday Bingo for Hallmark Christmas movies -such a fun idea!

Activities

25 Days for a Teenage Christmas -ways to enjoy the holidays with your teens🎄

Stained Glass Adult Coloring Book -for relaxing in front of a fire or good movie!

Putting together gift baskets for neighbors, friends, and other people can be a great family activity. Shannon at skiptomylife.com has some great ideas for this from the dollar store!

A great activity for giving back are these feed the hungry stocking packs -from 5littlemonsters.com The family that serves together, stays together! Or make these sock packages for the homeless from penniesoftime.com -these are such a great idea.

Binge watch a series as a family! We LOVED Schitt’s Creek, but this post gives other ideas as well. Plus, the post has lots of gift ideas if you know someone who loves SC!

Work on a holiday puzzle -we always have one set up on a side table in our sunroom for the holidays, and we all work on it at different times while watching movies.

Holiday scavenger hunt -we have done this before with our dinner club, and had so much fun!

Books

Here are a couple of books that will help you during this season.

Have Yourself a Minimalist Christmas

A Christmas Memory Book

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living -If you have not heard of this, there are so many ideas for comfort. And, what is Christmas if not comfort?

Gifts

The posts below are from my blog. They are all updated often during the year. I have vetted the gift lists with a number of teens and their families over the years as I have continued to add posts, ideas and update them. I hope that these are helpful in your search for the perfect gifts!

Gifts for teen gals

Gifts for teen guys

Gifts for mom

Gifts for dad

Best family games

Stocking stuffers

Have a December graduate?

Gifts for 18 year old – This post is about all sorts of things regarding a teen turning 18, but there are gift ideas at the bottom of the post.

Christmas with teens can be such a fun time. Be sure to do your prep work. Talk with them ahead of time to make sure that any plans that you make are something they like to do or that they know is one of your non-negotiables. Relax. Do as much ahead of time as possible. Enjoy!

I would love to stay in touch!

Visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! 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!❤️

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Christmas with teens can be so fun!

 

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens!

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens!

Gift Guides for Teens for All Occasions!

There are so many different occasions to need gift guides for teens: birthdays, holidays, new driver, graduation… Teens are picky creatures, and I have been around them for 11 years so far with a few years to go. I also am around teens a lot, and love to ask their opinions about what great gifts they have received recently. The following posts are the products of my investigation.

I put together this post for you as a one-stop shop as you come across a gift-giving occasion! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Gift guides for teens

General gift guides for teens…

Stocking stuffer gift guide -This is not just for Christmas! If you are looking for a smaller gift for some occasion, this post will help you out.

Gift guide for teen guys

Gift guide for teen girls

Special occasions

Gift guide for a new driver

Graduation gift guide

Gift guide for turning 18 -this post has gift ideas plus so much other information that is good to know

Gift guide for someone moving into the dorm

Gift guide for a new college student -backpack necessities

Great tech gifts for a teen

Gift guide for a new apartment kitchen

Holidays

Valentine gift guide

Easter gift guide

Gift guide for Halloween/autumn in the dorm -these are very small gift ideas because there is just NO extra space in a dorm room!

Advent calendar gift guide -teens love these!

Other random gift guides

For the Schitt’s Creek lover

For the game lover

For the exercise lover

Remember that most teens would love cash or gift cards just as much!

I hope that this helps you as you search for the perfect gift for your teen on these special occasions or just because!

Related posts

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles

Help Your Teen Prepare For Finals

Great deals for Black Friday/Cyber Monday!

I would love to stay in touch!

Visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! 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!❤️

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Gift guides for teens

 

 

7  Helpful Ways to Help Your Student Prepare for Finals

7 Helpful Ways to Help Your Student Prepare for Finals

Ways to Help your Student Prepare for Finals

Right now our students are super stressed with finals. Whether they are in high school or college, doesn’t matter, they are maxed out. Now if your middle schooler is anything like mine, he’s just stressed out about having to get up and actually go to school (insert rolling eyes). Looking for ways to help your student prepare for finals?

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A cup of colored pencils on a green background|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

So, what can we do as parents to help our kids as they are preparing for finals? Let’s help them to have the best semester ever! Here are a few ideas…

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

This blog post is a good one to read for alleviating stress of any kind for our teens with or without finals!

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Be positive!

Encouragement is great, and can go a long way to help your student prepare for finals. I find that if I nag, then we get into a fight, and that goes nowhere fast. So, the next time your grouchy teen snaps at you, take a deep breath, count to 10 (or 50 or 100), and respond in a non-snappy way. I know, easier said than done, because I am the queen of snapping! Hang in there, deal with the current situation, then go open a nice bottle of red!

Drink wine as you help your student prepare for finals!

Ask your teen for ways you can help.

Maybe, for now, you could expect less from them around the house so that they aren’t having to deal with as much for the moment. Stock their favorite snacks in the pantry and fridge for easy access. My boys like me to even serve them in their rooms on a tray–I use these plates (they are compostable, and I can write a message on them!) and cups for cookies, cheese and crackers or any other goodies. ( My boys love this mix!)

This is the only time that I do this, so it’s fun to order things that I wouldn’t normally have in the house.

Know their schedule.

Send quick texts if your kids are away at school at times you know they would be between classes. Send them a card or a pre-made finals care package, healthy and not so healthy, to ease the pain of studying. They LOVE this! Here is a post about putting together care packages!

If they are still at home, planning a snack or meal when you know they have time for a break will go a long way towards a more energized student. I know my boys tend towards hangry when studying and stressed, so keeping them fed is almost a full time job:)

Help your student prepare for finals in medieval times

Make your teen take a break every now and then.

Everyone needs a break. I know one of my boys would never think to take a break, and would get mad if I even suggested it. But, make this happen occasionally, and they might just thank you later. Watch a favorite episode or movie. Bake a batch of cookies together. Run up to their favorite fast food joint together and let them order what they want.

Even just giving a quick hug or high five can be all the affirmation that they might need. Any of these activities would be great for getting their mind off of school just for a while. These will help your student prepare for finals all refreshed.

A great gift to send to you student who is away is a gift card to their favorite fast food joint!

Post a sticky note.

Put it on their bathroom mirror or on their desk with a motivational quote or verse. My boys have often left these for months because they knew I was thinking of them!

If your kiddo is away, even out of college and in a stressful period with maybe a first job, you can do something similar. Send them a card with some encouraging words. It is always so fun to actually get snail mail, and I bet they keep it!

I still have a silly card my dad sent me when I was in college during some stressful period-probably finals. I love the fact that my dad took the time to write it (even though he mentions that my mom told him to!) It meant the world to me!

Make them breakfast.

This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of kids skip this meal. I fix breakfast during the week for my boys for that reason alone. If you aren’t in this habit, make the time to do this until finals are over. Feed their bodies and their brains. Cooking is the way I show my love to my family. I love to cook, and it makes my heart happy to feed everyone.

If you’re not into cooking, then maybe put out some easy snack food for your teens before bed so that it’s there in the morning to grab as they run out the door. They will know you’ve thought of them and maybe they’ll eat a little something–bonus! (BTW-my boys are all great cooks, I just like to start my day with them in the kitchen during the week.)

When kids have any kind of test and especially when you help your student prepare for finals, this is the most important meal!

Fix breakfast to help your student prepare for finals

Give them grace.

They will be tired and most likely grouchy during this time. Encourage them to get enough sleep. Make sure they are eating enough of the right things. Let them know you love them. Be patient.

This too shall pass. Every finals season, I feel like I’m taking them too because the stress is almost contagious!! Deal with it a minute at a time, then go hide in your room with your latest Netflix binge!

Hang in there, mamas, you got this! Go give your kid a hug:)

Look for more ways to help your student prepare for finals.

Do you have any strategies that have worked for you as you help your student prepares for finals? Please share!

Other links to posts for gift giving…

Advent Calendars That Teens Will Love

Graduation gift guide-for any December graduates…

Stocking Stuffers,

Guy gift guide

Girl gift guide

Also, another post for stress relief is here. I gathered lots of info from my blogging besties for this age group -lots of great info in this post!

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

I would love to stay in touch!

Visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

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A cup of colored pencils on a green background|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

 

Sexting and Your Teen: Get the Facts

Sexting and Your Teen: Get the Facts

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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

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.

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

Sexting and your teen

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.

  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

Let me know what you think…

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.

Related posts

You Have An 18 Year Old: Be Aware Of These Little-Known Facts -one of them is sexting…

Ways to Keep Your Child Safe at College

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

I would love to stay in touch!

Visit  my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

 


Sexting and your teen

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