How to Better Understand Your Teen

Reality to Teen?  Do you ever feel that your teen is from another planet? They speak a language you don’t know. They have interests that you’ve never heard of and just don’t understand. It’s a common phenomenon. Teenagers are weird.

That being said, they’re your teenagers and there are steps you can take to get closer to them, to better understand them.

#1 Ask Questions and Listen

The first step to understanding your teen is to ask questions. Now there’s a strategy here. Many teens give yes/no answers when you ask them a question. The trick is to do it when they’re more likely to open up. Driving in the car seems to be a good time, assuming they don’t have their iPod blasting music in their little ears.

When you ask questions, make sure to listen to the answers – even if you don’t understand half of the words they’re using. It’s okay to ask for clarification. As you’re listening, take mental notes. They’ll come in handy in the next step.

#2 Google It!

If you have no idea what your child is talking about, Google it. Google the things they express interest in, the people, and even the language they use. The Urban Dictionary can be incredibly useful. For example, “Feels” – A wave of emotions that sometimes cannot be adequately explained. “Watching Back to the Future gives me all sorts of nostalgic feels.”

#3 Eavesdrop

Seriously, one of the best ways to better understand your teen is to listen in on their conversations. True, most of their conversations are via text message so listening in on those conversations is impossible. However, you can snag their cell phone from time to time and scan through the text messages.

If that feels too invasive, try to be around them when they’re with their friends. Attend events with them. Volunteer to drive them and their friends to events. And encourage them to invite their friends over.

#4 Get Involved

Start taking an active interest in your teen’s interests. For example, if they’re involved in the local drama club then volunteer to help out with the club. If they are active online and have their own YouTube channel, then by all means watch that channel but also watch the other YouTubers that your child follows.

#5 Relax

Each generation has their own trends, language, and interests. Guaranteed, when you were a teenager your parents thought you were from another planet as well. It’s the way of the world. It’s okay to not be able to completely relate with your teenager. In fact, it’s normal.

Do what you can to connect with them. Let them know that you’re interested in their lives and then relax. You don’t need to be a friend with your teenager, nor do you need to share the same interests. It’s enough to let them know that you care.

 

Does Your Kid Need A Tablet

Back to School Basics: Is a Tablet Necessary?

A tablet may be the coolest tech gadget around, but is it really necessary?  We asked Andrea Eldridge, the CEO and Co-Founder of Nerds on Call, a to your door tech service to give her expert advice…So here it is – and find out if your kids REALLY needs tablet.

As parents everywhere prepare to send sons and daughters back to school, they want to arm them with the best possible resources. For many families, computers or tech gadgets are alongside clothes, pens and paper on the list of purchases to budget for. As tablets grow in popularity, you may be wondering if your student would benefit from having an iPad or inexpensive back to school tablets like a Kindle Fire, Google Nexus or Barnes and Noble Nook in their book bag.
As I’ve explored in previous articles, tablets can play a role in our children’s education. Studies have shown that playing certain educational games can improve test scores. Access to the internet (when in range of a wireless signal) can give your student instant answers to any of her queries, or make quick work of finding ideas for a science project. Office-style programs, while limited, can even provide the ability to write reports or create presentations and email them to her teacher.
However, the overall value of a low-end tablet to pre-college level students is limited and handing your child unfettered access to the internet is a dangerous proposition. The portability of tablets makes it all too easy for Jr. to head off to his room to research that paper, only to end up somewhere you’d rather he didn’t explore on the internet. A common area computer allows you to more easily monitor his activity or better yet, install parental control software to set some limits. Parental controls on tablets are minimal, typically restricting access to certain apps, but not limiting exposure online.
It’s difficult to use a tablet for the kind of school work your pre-college age child will be focused on. Most teachers won’t allow the tablet to be used in-class, and even if they are permitted your child won’t likely have access to WiFi. While the starting price is low (beginning at around $200 for the Fire, Nexus or Nook), you’ll have to add on a Bluetooth keyboard for typing papers and a sturdy case to minimize the risk of damage from bumps and drops. Printing is a challenge and while the programs available to integrate with Word, Excel and Powerpoint give you basic document and presentation production capability, many are limited in their function, particularly when you aren’t in range of a WiFi network. For a tablet running Android, you’ll be best served by investing $20 in Quickoffice HD Pro while iPad users can install Pages, Numbers or Keynote depending on the functionality needed (iTunes app store, $9.99 each).
When it comes to your college-age student on the other hand, there may be some definite advantages to adding a tablet to their arsenal. Using a stylus with certain note taking applications converts handwritten notes to searchable text, while drawings become images that can be inserted into future reports and projects. Their ultra-portability makes them the ideal addition to a backpack and professors typically don’t limit their use in the classroom.
Spring for a pricier iPad and your co-ed can utilize iTunes U, the “world’s largest online catalog of free education content from leading institutions”. Even if their specific lessons aren’t posted through the app, they can access virtual lectures, videos and books from the leading minds in education at Stanford, Yale, MIT and many more.
Finally, many college-level courses expect work to be submitted electronically which is far easier for a tablet user to accommodate than the printouts and tangible paperwork expected of younger students. The “WiFi everywhere” atmosphere at most college campuses also leads tablet users to be more productive than when they’re unable to access the internet. While it would take some getting used to and some working around its limitations, a college student with a Bluetooth keyboard, office-style productivity suite and cloud-based backup and syncing service could definitely benefit from having a tablet at their fingertips. Some may even be able to get by without a laptop or PC.
About The Author: Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service for consumers and businesses. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns, Computer Nerds On Call a nationally syndicated column for Scripps-Howard News Service, and Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She regularly appears on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The CW, and CNN on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, Good Morning Arizona and MORE Good Day Portland, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. Andrea recently has begun working with Demand Media to produce content for eHow.com and has written a book for them Smartphone 101: Integrating Your iPhone Into a Windows World. Andrea is available for Q & A’s, expert tech quotes and will appear on your show, call today! See Andrea in action at www.callnerds.com/andrea.

Your Questions About Mommysavesbig

Donna asks…

This is too good to be true! Is this coupon to american eagle real or fake?

http://www.mommysavesbig.com/printable-coupons/american-eagle.pdf

Tell me what you think

richmama answers:

I’m not sure but go ahead and take it with you, you don’t have anything to lose but maybe you will be able to save $15. Give it a try and let me know if it works, I could use it 🙂
~~~~~~~~~

Chris asks…

how can i get free clothing coupons?

okay so can anyone tell me how can i get free coupons? and what should i do? should just print them out?

is this a cupon?
http://www.mommysavesbig.com/printable-coupons/journeys.jpg?mid=cc-pcpo-0696-530025-00-00-0000-022411
can i go with this in store and got % off??

richmama answers:

Get free coupons by typing in the store, and then just coupons on google!
And yeah, that’s a coupon, but it’s for online shopping though……
Hope I helped!

Lizzie asks…

$15 off american eagle with no minimum purchace! Real or fake?

http://www.mommysavesbig.com/printable-coupons/american-eagle.pdf

I got an email (not from the official american eagle website) saying you could get $15 off with no minimum purchace. Has anyone used this? Do you think its real or fake? I am going to try it tomorrow.

richmama answers:

Its a fake… I work at American Eagle and Corporate has sent out a message to all the stores not to accept this coupon. It doesn’t even scan in when you try and it doesn’t have a number to manually type it in.

You can tell its a fake from a mile away

Charles asks…

Coupon websites?

does anyone know any good websites for online AND in store coupons?? i alredy know about mommysavesbig.com which is great but i need a good variety

richmama answers:

I like one stop shopping so i like the site below. They have instore printable coupons, grocery coupons, free things and tons of online shopping coupons and deals. Happy Shopping!

Http://www.dealtaker.com/forums.html

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Your Questions About Images Of The Book The Outsiders

Lisa asks…

in the book “the outsiders” what do soc and/or greaser girls look like?

the book is “the outsiders” by S.E. Hinton
***the soc or greaser look must NOT look inappropriate***
in my language arts class we read the bookthe outsiders” and are now holding a contest on who can look like the best soc or greaser. i am a girl, so please tell me what a girl version of a soc or greaser looks like. it’s ok if you only have words, or only have pictures(to tell/show me what a greaser and/or soc would look like). but both pictures and words would be greatly appreciated! please don’t say to look on photobucket or google images,because i already did.
what would the hair style be, the types of cloths, the shoes, etc. of a soc and/or greaser look like?
please help!

richmama answers:

Soc- preppy. Nice clean cut clothes.
A lot of white, long skirts, blouses.
Clean curly hair.
(they are made out to be the rich kids)
http://kamikazeegirl.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/blair-waldorf.jpg

greaser- ripped jeans, band shirts (old bands)
converse shoes.
Messy teased hair.

Http://photos.posh24.com/p/216502/l/leighton_meester/taylor_momsen_goes_punk.jpg

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/images/users/uploads/9132/taylor_momsen.jpg

Lizzie asks…

The Outsiders SE HINTON book questions and projects.?

In clear thoughtful words, analyze how Johnny’s actions or observations of others demonstrate an understanding of life beyond his years. Does Johnny use the understanding wisely or not??

Were doing a paper plate diagram and the top plate is supposed to present a theme of the outsiders. Like a previous students put sand paper on half, and smileys on the other half, Which represented the two quotes “Things are rough all over” and “Happiness Can Be Found Anywhere” Can anyone give me any ideas what to do please??

&&We are supposed to draw and image that shows how Johnny moves from “dawn” to “day”, from the poem in the book “Nothing Gold Can Stay” We are supposed to do the same for Dally, with a separate picture.

Those who help me, thank you, it’d be very helpful!!

Thanks
-Courtney

richmama answers:

Well Johnny didn’t really have a childhood scince he was abused so he had to really grow up and mature. So being through all those situations has given him a new perspective on life and to learn to charish the things you have. Johnny definetly uses the understanding wisely.

And as for your project do some brainstorming its not that hard to pick some themes in the book and reprent them in some way. Pick some qoutes in the book that reprsent a theme and put that on your plate.

Sorry i really don’t know what to say for the last one.

Joseph asks…

Where to find photos in the similar style to these (The Outsiders)?

I’m doing a newspaper article on the church fire from The Outsiders (my favorite book) for English and I need to find headshot kind of photos for Ponyboy, Johnny and Dally. I have found what I need for Ponyboy and Johnny, but I can’t find one for Dally! These are the kind of effects I am looking for:

Ponyboy:
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/megdays/Really%2520Cool%2520Stuff/The%2520Outsiders/4045812.jpg&imgrefurl=http://s660.photobucket.com/albums/uu326/megdays/Really%2520Cool%2520Stuff/The%2520Outsiders/%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D4045812.jpg%26currenttag%3DC.%2520Thomas%2520Howell&usg=__i4vQhOCMVCR7aRijSyqzhn7WqAk=&h=676&w=411&sz=35&hl=en&start=30&sig2=1jBEN2bS_qc5jcyR4N519w&tbnid=e46e-cSZ6WbJiM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=102&ei=8nJaTODVOsbJcc6R_d4B&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dponyboy%2Bcurtis%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1013%26bih%3D599%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C1054&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=737&oei=7XJaTPviLIT6vgPHkszoAQ&esq=3&page=3&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:30&tx=31&ty=82&biw=1013&bih=599

Johnny:
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://api.ning.com/files/5GMft5nqv7DJLzwcvIaqxmyoUuen7SpnJqPH8G-L9LkQir8aC-hVgnia6SGFibJaF7ZD4YH7Pofvo4xNtLSgFY6owqmMqBqh/4045813.jpg&imgrefurl=http://guy456.glogster.com/johnny-cade/&h=676&w=449&sz=35&tbnid=sMCZoRMDAec6hM:&tbnh=276&tbnw=183&prev=/images%3Fq%3Djohnny%2Bcade&hl=en&usg=__1bQgFPzejg4M4dEpyaI6JBEzOvg=&sa=X&ei=CXNaTOjlHIbOugPV85DkAQ&ved=0CBYQ9QEwAw

Do you get what kind of effects I’m looking for? Thanks so much!
So, basically, I need one of those photos for Dally 🙂

richmama answers:

How about this:

http://quizilla.teennick.com/user_images/X/XX/XXD/XXDEMONIC666ANGELXX/1253586097_8329_full.jpeg

or this:
http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/6800000/dallas-winston-the-outsiders-6830939-884-1200.jpg

Hope I could Help! =)

Betty asks…

Quotes from any of these books?

I am looking for quotes from these books: (Pic of book included)

Once upon a Maigold
http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n52/n263198.jpg
Twice Upon a Marigold
http://www.dondammassa.com/images/r916.jpg
The giver
http://coffeestainedpages.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/giver.jpg
The star of Kazan (maybe)
http://contentcafe.btol.com/Jacket/Jacket.aspx?SysID=buymusic&CustID=bt0109&Key=%200142405825&Type=L&Return=1
Life as we knew it
http://www.sd68.k12.il.us/schools/orchard/lmc/Book%20Covers/life%20as%20we%20knew%20it.jpg
Narnia books
http://acct.tamu.edu/smith/narnia/narnia_books.jpg
the outsiders
http://www.eastchester.k12.ny.us/schools/ms/teachers/burke/images/outsiders_000.jpg
flipped
stargirl

if you have any of these books, please give me quotes! thanks!!
i forgot flipped and stargirl

flipped
http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n13/n69948.jpg

stargirl
http://tontireads5.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/stargirl.jpg

richmama answers:

I’m not sure what sort of quotes you want, but here are some from The Giver.

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

“For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps, it was only an echo.”

“They were satisfied with their lives which had none of the vibrance his own was taking on. And he was angry at himself, that he could not change that for them.”

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Your Questions About Images Of The Book The Outsiders

Daniel asks…

Anyone have any static image ideas for The Outsiders by S.E Hinton?

I have to make a static image of the book outsiders relating to one of the themes. Well I have an idea of like tearing up red, black and grey pieces of paper and collaging it for the background, but I would need an appropriate image and quote that would go with the image. And I don’t want to use the qoute nothing gold can stay.

richmama answers:

How about tackling the prejudices between the Socs and the Greaser gangs?

Title: Black and White

Quote: That’s why we’re separated. It’s not money, it’s feeling- you don’t feel anything and we feel too violently [Ponyboy Curtis; page 36]

Image: Have one half black and the other white (left Socials; because they are in the West side and right Greasers because they are on the East side).

That’s all I got, maybe you can work around it. I don’t know. I hope I helped though.

Sharon asks…

Which character is which in the cover of the outsiders..?

http://images.google.com/images?q=the+outsiders+book+cover&btnG=Search+images&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&um=1&sa=2
umm well im like 99 percent sure its ponyboy then dally cuz ponyboy is the main character and dally had blond hair in the book

richmama answers:

Clockwise- right to left
Soda Pop, Dally, Darrel, and Ponyboy
http://www.eastchester.k12.ny.us/schools/Ms/teachers/burke/images/outsiders_000.jpg

Chris asks…

Could anyone please name a few places described in the book, the Outsiders?

My class has just read the Outsider’s and now our teacher wants us to draw a map of the city that they live in. Apparently, most everybody was supposed to create a mental image in their heads of the book and the places described in it while they were reading. But i didn’t! So i have no idea how to draw a map and what it should lookl like! Somebody help me. Could you name so places in the Outsiders book other than the ones i have here:
Vacant lot, hospital, school, park, ponyboy’s house, the dingo, dx gas station, jay’s, movie theater, and the Dairy Queen. If you can’t think of anymore places that i can put on my map, suggestions on how i should draw the map would be great, too.

richmama answers:

You can Google it but in the mean time add in the abandoned church, and the hospital.

Jenny asks…

Images for theme of The Outsiders?

I’m doing a book project on The Outsiders. I need some good suggestions on images that would represent the theme of the book. If you could also tell me what you think the theme or message of The Outsiders is that would really help too.

Thanks =)

richmama answers:

As the title suggests, The Outsiders is a theme in itself. Looking at life as an outsider and feeling as though one is being treated as an outsider is a matter of perspective or point of view. Someone who always feels like an outsider may conclude that life is unfair.

Adolescence is a time when teenagers may consider themselves to be adults, but in reality teens are still under the control of others. Parents, teachers, and other authority figures are always telling them how to live their lives. This loss of control inevitably leads to the feeling that life isn’t fair. For example, Ponyboy knows that he is not safe walking the streets in his own neighborhood. He could be attacked solely because of the way he is dressed; he feels like an outsider in his own town. His feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability lead him to conclude that life is not fair.

Ponyboy sees injustice on a daily basis. His parents are dead, Darry is forced to work two jobs to support the brothers, Soda has dropped out of school, and the greasers are looked upon as “white trash.” He explains that the gang warfare is actually warfare between the economic classes. Because he is from the poor, East Side of town, his place in life is unfairly predetermined.

The evolution of the family relationships is a recurrent theme in the novel. Family relationships are strained during the teen years, but in the Curtis family, the right to stay together as a family is a constant struggle. Since the death of their parents, Darry has assumed the responsibility of guardianship for Pony and Soda, and under that pressure he has aged beyond his years. He no longer views the two boys as siblings, but rather as a responsibility. Darry recognizes Ponyboy’s potential and has high expectations for him. Ponyboy complains that Darry is a stricter disciplinarian than his father, but by the end of the book he understands Darry’s role: “Darry is a good guardian; he makes me study and knows where I am and who I’m with all the time. . . . My father didn’t yell at me as much as he does.”

Pony struggles with his expectations for Soda. He is self-conscious about the fact that Soda has dropped out of school, and he wants him to finish his education. Soda did not do well in school, did not like school, and is perfectly content to work in a gas station—a job he loves. Soda also believes that he is doing the right thing by helping to support his family. Pony doesn’t care about any of those facts; he just wants Soda to go back to school. Gang relationships are included in the theme of family love. Ponyboy’s gang members need the support and security that they find in the gang. The home life situations that these boys find themselves in are often abusive. They have turned to the gang for the love and support that should have come from parents.

Johnny is painfully aware of the difference between the gang and a family and through him Pony begins to understand how lucky he is to have caring family members: “I don’t know what it was about Johnny—maybe that lost-puppy look and those big scared eyes were what made everyone his big brother. . . . I thought about it for a minute—Darry and Sodapop were my brothers and I loved both of them . . . They were my real brothers, not just sort of adopted ones.” Pony’s eventual ability to appreciate his family shows his growth.

The third major theme that runs through The Outsiders is the use of colors in a black and white world. Adolescents have a tendency to embrace people and events as absolutes. For example, someone or something is either right or wrong; there can be no middle ground. The characters in The Outsiders are either Socs or greasers. People are either rich or poor, good or bad. Hinton descriptively uses color throughout the book to define and add depth to the characters in their environments.

Early in the book, she associates warm colors with the Socs and cool colors with the greasers. Warmth usually is equated with inside and cool is associated with outside, and the colors reflect the characters’ positions in society: The greasers view the Socs as insiders and themselves as outsiders.

Using many descriptive colors, Hinton paints the greasers as outsiders. In her original descriptions of Ponyboy’s gang, she uses cool colors: Ponyboy’s eyes are greenish-gray, Darry’s eyes “are like two pieces of pale blue-green ice,” Dally’s eyes are “blue, blazing ice, cold with a hatred,” and Two-Bit Mathews has gray eyes.

Dally is the exception to the rule, “His hair was almost white it was so blond.” White contains all of the visible rays of the color spectrum. It is a crossover color that cannot be affiliated with anyone or anything, so it is interesting that Dally, who was “tougher than the rest of us—tougher, colder, meaner,” was the one with white/blond hair.

White is also used many times throughout the novel to describe fright, “white as a ghost.” The color white symbolizes the internalization that there are no

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