Raising Teens

A site for parents of teens striving for sanity

Author: mominthesprings (page 1 of 7)

Helpful tips when shopping for your college freshman.

Seems like yesterday but, it’s only  been a year since we started shopping for Olivia’s college stuff.  I knew it was going to be overwhelming, so I decided I had to do whatever I could to make it less stressful. How bad could it be? How expensive could it be? Answer:  very expensive.  So if you are shopping for your son’s  or daughter’s dorm  here are some helpful tips to get you through college move in day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Make a list of what items your teen needs for college.
  2. Sit down with your teen and set  deadlines on what needs to get done and bought by what date.
  3. Go over the list with your teen and make sure they approve and the list is complete.
  4. Go online or  into a store to shop for the one area you are focusing on such as the bedroom or desk, bathroom etc..
  5. Focus on a different area until you are done with the entire dorm room or apartment.
  6.  Save some items for when you get to school. You may not want to lug a new TV  or other big items with you if you are driving or flying. It’s better to buy the big stuff once you get to school.
  7. Super Walmart is your best friend as is Bed Bath and Beyond! Your teen does not need top of the line products for college! You can pre-order everything in your hometown and pick it up at the store near campus.
  8. Make sure you son/daughter has his or her medical insurance card in case they get sick, or for any emergency.
  9. I know many colleges and universities have a medical clinic on campus which is great,  but if your child  doesn’t want to go to the clinic, I recommend a CVS Minute Clinic which is usually near campus.  At CVS, you can see a doctor or nurse practitioner and  get your prescriptions at the same time.
  10.  Books can be bought on Amazon to help save money. Not all classes make the books available on Amazon, but if you can save on one or two  books it will be a worthwhile shopping experience.,

Now, once your son or daughter lives  off campus in an apartment, that’s another shopping adventure!

Here are some more helpful hints….

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Shop for each room separately  (bathroom, kitchen, living room etc.) like you did for the dorm.
  2. Pick appliances and accessories that stand out so no one else can mistake it for theirs. Olivia chose a Tiffany blue color for her pots and pans and cooking utensils.
  3. Wait to buy some supplies for the apartment until you get there so you can take measurements and know exactly what you really need and the right size.
  4. If there is a dollar store near campus, introduce your child to it!!   Dollar stores sell a lot of what college students  need for a  $1! Dollar Tree allows you to order online and have items delivered to your store of choice.

 

Here’s an overall tip. If your son or daughter wants college gear, online stores like Fanatics.com carry a great assortment and will ship to campuses. Here’s a link to Fanatics College Hot New Products

Good luck with your college student and Happy Shopping! If you have any tips, please share with other parents!!

The teenage son haircut struggle..It’s real.

 

My son Matthew has beautiful curly wavy hair. When it is cut, it looks so good and makes him look so handsome. However, to get him to get a haircut is torture for both of us. The constant back and forth and  mother-son bickering is awful.

I just don’t understand why there is a struggle every time I ask him to get a haircut.   I even compromised and said he could just get his hair “trimmed.”  I was desperate. He still refused.

Recently, I texted him about getting a haircut and as you can see I didn’t win.  I guess I should be grateful that at least he will get his haircut before school starts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I wonder if my son’s resistance is because how he looks and how he dresses represents his identity and that is the one thing he would like to control or have a say in.  Look, I get it, for teens, how you look should be up to you and your appearance is your choice, but I also think you mom or dad should have a little say in it, right?

I am curious to find out if any other parents have had the same struggle. If so, how have you resolved the haircut battle?

 

13 Reasons Why Not (Preventing Teen Suicide)

My daughter, Olivia, recently told me about the Netflix show “Thirteen Reasons Why which is based on a novel about a young teenage girl who commits suicide and leaves 13 letters behind to explain the 13 reasons why she did it. This show is somewhat disturbing, but yet so real and mesmerizing. It’s a subject no parent wants to talk about because it is incomprehensible to think of a child committing suicide, but face it, suicide is VERY real! Ignoring or avoiding the subject could cost your child his or her life.

I have to admit, there were times I worried about Olivia.  Four years ago, Olivia had a friend in high school she knew through her soccer team, Bailey Leal.  I remember meeting Bailey at the end-of-year high school  soccer awards dinner. At the dinner, Bailey was awarded  an iron for being the “iron girl” of the varsity team.  I remember thinking, “WOW, how cool is that to get an “iron” award!”  Little did I know how Bailey would be impacting mine and Olivia’s  lives, not to mention thousands of others.

On May 21, 2013, I received a text from Olivia saying Bailey Leal committed suicide. I remember thinking, “This must be a mistake. How can this be? ” I also remember thinking the bigger question.. “WHY?? ”

Within minutes, the news about Bailey’s suicide was all over our town. Teens  were devastated and parents were numb. Olivia at the time was going through her own personal problems and this did not help. Olivia could not comprehend WHY Bailey would do this? I remember her telling me , “Mom, she was beautiful, popular, everyone loved her. She was an All-American soccer star and got a  perfect score on the ACT. She had it all Mom. Why did she take her life?”

Olivia, couldn’t understand if Bailey had ALL of this going for her, what could be so awful that her only solution would be to end her life.  Little did I know how fragile Olivia was and how badly this would affect her.

There were times Olivia couldn’t go to school. She couldn’t handle her emotions inside and was afraid of herself and what she was feeling. Bailey’s death brought all kinds of feelings to the surface. It made what she was feeling and thinking REAL and at the same time it scared her to death.  This changed my world as well because I didn’t know how to deal with teen suicide and what the signs were and how to talk to Olivia about it. She was suffering and I didn’t know how to get through to her and help her.

Bailey’s death brought everyone together in the community, teens, parents, families. They even created a club at school  called the HOPE club so kids can  get together and talk about what they are feeling and deal  those feelings together, no judgment. These teens had no idea how  Bailey’s suicide would affect them.  I know many parents became afraid that their child would be next. Bailey’s death brought awareness of how  thoughts of suicide can hide behind a smile, a laugh, a hug.

The point of my blog is to keep Bailey’s spirit alive through awareness of Mental Illness. Not every parent can recognize the signs because  teens are really good at hiding them. So  as a parent of a teen, what should you do?

Talk to your teen!! If he or she doesn’t want to talk to you, suggest they talk to someone else.  Not every teen has thoughts of committing suicide, but it’s okay to talk to them about it because they may know someone who they think does. Ignorance will not save anyone. It’s okay if your child is not okay. It is up to us, the parents, to be as involved in our teens’ lives as possible, even when they don’t want us to be.

Sad enough,  teens are committing suicide because they didn’t seek any help or they felt no one could help them. They are literally suffering inside in their own hell. Parents think their child is fine or  just moody or going through a hormone stage.  That may not be true. Your teen may be suffering from depression, anxiety,  bipolar disorder. But without really talking to them or getting them help,  you won’t know   until it is too late.

I have attached a video that was created for the one-year anniversary of Bailey’s death. I have to warn you, it will break your heart.  You will cry. I sometimes wonder how Bailey’s family got thought her death. How did they even want to wake up in the morning?  What I can tell you is that they did. It wasn’t easy, I am sure. And, I bet every day is a struggle. But Bailey’s mom is now an advocate for mental health and keeps her daughter’s memory alive through education and awareness of teen suicide.  I am in awe of her because as a mom, I don’t know if I would be as strong as she has been. So, all you moms and dads and teens who are reading this blog, I hope this opens your eyes  to mental illness and teen suicide and prevention.

I thought I would end with the 13 Reasons Why Not to commit suicide:

  1. You are not alone
  2. The pain can go away without committing suicide
  3. There is help
  4. The world needs you
  5. No one can replace you
  6. You will be missed
  7. It will make things worse for the people/family you leave behind
  8. Friends and family will be devastated
  9. Your life hasn’t even begun
  10. You can save someone’s life
  11. You are bigger than the problem
  12. You did not come this far in life to end it so tragically and so early.
  13. You are worth more and loved more than you think.
raquelmalderman@gmail.com has shared a video with you on YouTube

 

 

 

 

Remembering Bailey

 

by William Holden

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Is Your Teen a Picky Eater or is it Selective Eating Disorder?

Family dinners are supposed to be easy and nice but when the dinner is at your teen’s girlfriend/boyfriend’s house, do they get nervous or anxious because they have to try new food?

My son Matthew was invited for a family dinner at his girlfriend’s house last Saturday. Simple enough right? Wrong.

Matthew was terrified! He is a very picky eater or as he calls himself a Neophobe.  Food neophobia   is generally regarded as the reluctance to eat, or the avoidance of new foods. In contrast, ‘picky/fussy’ eaters reject a substantial amount of foods that are familiar (as well as unfamiliar) to them.  I don’t think Matthew is a Neophobe, but I do believe he may  have ARFID- Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), also previously known as selective eating disorder (SED), which is a type of eating disorder where the person limits the foods he eats based on appearance, smell, taste, texture, brand, presentation, or a past negative experience.

So, this eating problem is a BIG problem for Matthew.

Matthew gets extremely anxious when it comes to eating over people’s homes.  He avoids situations where there may be food he won’t like. When Matthew was a little boy he ate everything, but when he got older his diet  choices got smaller and smaller. Now mind you, Matthew is healthy and never  gets sick — thank goodness–  but still, his eating habits are not the greatest.

He JUST started eating sandwiches for the first time in his life —  peanut butter sandwiches on Wonder bread. That in itself was a miracle! He  didn’t want to start high school eating only fishies, pretzels and chocolate chip cookies for lunch.  Matthew recognizes he has a problem and has been struggling to overcome his fear of new foods. I have come to learn that the more I push him, the more reluctant he becomes to try new foods.

Last year we went on a cruise and he tried the steak and loved it. So guess what he ate every night for dinner?  You got it, steak and fries. Breakfast is pretty easy for Matthew, he eats cereals and waffles and pancakes and drinks 2 1/2 gallons of milk a week. So he gets a lot of Vitamin D.

Lunch and dinner are the challenges. Now that he’s a teen, he can’t eat his favorite food, chicken nuggets and french fries every day like he did when he was younger.  So, he added black beans and rice in for variety but those are the only two things he will eat for dinner,  To say it has been a challenge is an understatement!

So, here lies the dilemma that happened last Saturday. Matthew got invited to dinner at his girlfriend’s house! I asked him what they were having because I know Matthew hasn’t most likely eaten whatever food was being served.  He said they were having “pasta”.  I told him that was very broad and he needed to find out what kind of pasta. Well, it was spaghetti. Now, here I am driving him over to his girlfriend’s house and I am literally trying to calm him from his anxiety of eating  the pasta. He really wanted to try to food for his girlfriend. He said this was a good test to try new foods. I told him most likely they would have the pasta with spaghetti sauce. He said, “I don’t like red sauce.”  I told him he could add butter to it, but without anything it would taste bland and awful. I also told him to just ask for a small bowl and say he had a late lunch, which he did. I also told him to  honest and let her parents know his fear of trying new foods so they didn’t get offended. Honesty is always best. 

Matthew started to get hot in the car, even though the  cold AC was running. I told him Matthew, “It’s just  food. It won’t hurt you or kill you. What are you afraid of? “He said that he was afraid he wouldn’t like the taste and that it would make him sick. I then told him well we all have tried new foods we didn’t like. I tried sushi and I really really didn’t like it. But, it didn’t kill me. I thought it tasted awful, but I survived and he, too, will survive.

When I dropped him off, I told his girlfriend that he must really like her. I also told her to take a picture. So here is Matthew trying the spaghetti.  I texted him asking him how it was and of course he said “okay” and “plain.”  I said,  “Of course it’s plain! You put nothing on it.” I told him I was proud that he tried it.

So, now you know about my Matthew and his fear and anxiety over trying new foods. Do you know anyone who suffers from the same disorder? How did they overcome it? Would love to know of some suggestions and recommendations.

Open or closed bedroom door policy with girlfriend/boyfriend over?

Last Sunday,  my son Matthew asked me if his “girlfriend” could come over?   This would be the first time his “girlfriend” would be over since they have been together.  Until now, Matthew has been going over her house after school. At first,  I was happy that I finally get to meet her after they have been together for a month.   On the other hand, I was nervous. Will she like me? Will I like her?  Will she be rude? All the mom concerns were coming at me. This is really happening. Matthew is growing up! UGH!

She finally arrived and I walked into Matthew’s bedroom to introduce myself. She was cute and sweet, a typical 15-year-old teen. So far, so good. Matthew had his arm around her and was smiling, and for a second I had a weird feeling come over me; Matthew cares for someone else now. I am not his world anymore. I saw how happy he was and  you know what? I was a little bit jealous. Yep, this mom was jealous of a 15 year old. I wanted Matthew to hug me and love me like he did when he was a little boy and I was his everything.  Part of me was sad, but the other part was happy that this girl makes him happy.

So I left the room, and when I got into the family room, my husband told me  to make sure the bedroom door is open. Well, how the heck do I do that? Do I go back and open the door and embarrass them? Matthew would kill me for embarrassing him. I texted him to please keep the door open and you know what? I walked back toward his room and the door was open! That was easy! I was expecting a text back from him arguing with me about it.

I would love to know if other parents experienced this situation and how they handled it. What is your door policy when a girlfriend or boyfriend is over? Open? Closed? Cracked? Inquiring mom wants to know.

 

 

Social Media: Deathtrap for teens?

I recently reviewed a book  called The Boss of Me…is Me and was impressed, horrified, scared out of my wits and grateful  to the authors all at the same time.  The authors  have written an eye-opening book about  how social media can  lure teens into some scary and awful life-altering situations. They  give some  edgy scenarios as real-life examples.  One of the most shocking was about a young teen who had befriended an 18-year-old on Facebook, slipped unnoticed from her home to meet him, and walked into her death trap. As I was reading the book, all I kept thinking was how I could so see this happening.

The  book is filled with tips and intended to  empower teens with the life skills they need to be the boss of their own thoughts, attitudes and actions.    The authors address a variety of relevant issues including suicide, shoplifting, child molestation and runaways.   The book is designed to equip teens to think and act quickly to avoid going down a path that ends in death, prison and suicide. It  basically helps prevent teens from becoming  a victim and  a statistic. As a mom of two teens, these scenarios scare the heck out of me and infuriate me at the same time! I am still shaking my head that these threats to our teens are  really happening in our society, but I shouldn’t be.

I like that this guidebook helps teach teens that there is always a way out of these awful situations they get themselves into, often because of their social media activities. The guidebook is in a notebook form so teens can write in it and basically have a lifetime of references when completed! The notebook does not come in a digital format because the authors wanted to ensure parental supervision however, the guidebook is in digital format. The guidebook empowers parents to facilitate and engage in conversations with their teen and that’s what is most important!  Without the parents being a facilitator, your teen wouldn’t learn or grasp the true meaning and value of the message(s) the authors are trying to convey.

Parents, because you haven’t physically seen or been exposed to this DOES NOT MEAN it’s not happening or could not happen to you and your kids. Your child could be a victim!  No one is immune. Educate, be aware and talk to you kids. Better yet,  BUY them this book so they can learn first hand about the crimes that are happening to teens.

As a parent, I encourage you to  have them read it! Get the electronic version since you know teens prefer technology to actual books. I hope this books builds awareness but most importantly, saves lives.

Here is a link if you wish to purchase The Boss of Me…is ME ! It is also available at www.cablepublishing.com, Amazon, and all major bookstores. (25% of all proceeds will be donated to The Youth Connection in Detroit, MI.)

By the way, the authors’ backgrounds are impressive:  June Werdlow Rogers  is a retired federal agent with a PhD in criminology,  Rayfield Rogers Jr  is a retired district chief of security for a school district in Michigan,  Grenae´ Dudley PhD is CEO of a youth center.

Parents if you have encountered scary scenarios with your teen as a result of social media, or know someone who can relate, please share your stories.

13 going on 30

My sweet cousin, Isabelle turned 13 today and she is so excited to be officially a TEENAGER!I remember when I would visit her in  New York and go ice skating with her and hold her hand so she wouldn’t fall. This sweet, young, innocent young girl will now be entering the world of a teen. Does she even know what’s ahead  for her? Does she realize she will be changing without realizing it? When I visited with her  last month, I told her that I would write a blog about her turning 13.

So Isabelle, honey  here are my top 13  tips for  turning 13:

  1.  Periods. If you haven’t already, you soon will be getting your period. It may be a rite of passage for womanhood, but it is not all that it is cracked up to be. Monthly cramps, bloating  and mood swings are not fun. My advice: stay in bed and watch TV.
  2. Acne. Along with your monthly “mensi” comes acne.  My advice:  Don’t fight it. Just wash your face real well and  put anti-acne medication on until it goes away. Do not pick at your pimples or face! You will regret it later if you scar.
  3. Makeup.  Most 13 year olds like to wear makeup and try to look older. My advice:  Stay away from makeup until you really need it. You have beautiful young skin.  Enjoy it without makeup while you can. Now you can put on some nice lip gloss, or a little mascara now and then for a special occasion.
  4. Boys. If you haven’t already, you soon will start taking an interest in boys. My advice: Stay away from them and enjoy hanging with your girlfriends. Boys will come and go but your girlfriends will always be there.
  5. Dancing. This is the time when teens start to learn how to bump and grind and try to act cool dancing. My advice: Don’t. Bumping and grinding make you look silly and inappropriate.
  6. Dating. Some 13-year-old girls may want to go to the movies or a dance with a boy. My advice: Go as a group with your friends. Meet at the movie theater or the dance and just have fun. You are too young to date! Trust me, enjoy being carefree and young.
  7. Boobies. Yep, that’s right.. the tatas! You will be getting them and wearing a bra.  You probably already are wearing one. My advice: Embrace it, don’t advertise it! No need to show the whole world what ya got!
  8. Clothes. Now that you are a teen, your body will be changing and you will be growing and exploring new clothes and new styles. This is your time to figure out who you are and what makes you feel pretty. My advice: Don’t go crazy spending a lot on clothes because you will be outgrowing them sooner than you think.
  9. Parents. As much as you think your parents are a nag, annoying, a pain, mean, not fair, etc.., your parents are looking out for what is best for you. My advice: Listen to them.  It’s okay to disagree. You are entitled  to your opinion, but be smart enough to realize they are protecting you and trying to keep you safe and happy.
  10. Mean girls.  There are girls that are nice to you to your face, but behind your back are saying bad things and doing bad things. My advice: They won’t ever change  so stay away from them. They grow up to be mean women.  They are not your friends even if they act and say they are. You will know who your true friends are. Trust your gut. It’s usually right.
  11. Social Media. Teens  use this a measurement of popularity and some just can’t live without it.  My advice: Be careful  and limit what you say and do on it.  There are cyber bullies so be very careful what you post and who you “friend”.
  12. Peer Pressure. Becoming a teen makes you want to fit in and be liked and that comes along with social pressure.  My advice: Be yourself. Don’t let other people pressure you into doing or saying something you don’t feel comfortable with. Again, if they do, these kids are not your “friends”.
  13. Respect. ( my biggest tip! ) You may think you know it all and adults don’t understand, but they do. My advice: Always always respect your parents, family, teachers, adults etc.   You are entitled to get upset, be in a mood, say things you don’t mean, but you are not entitled to be disrespectful.

There is a movie  called “13 going on 30.” I think you should watch it, Isabelle, and see that growing up and being an adult is not easy. It is more fun to be a teen and be young and carefree.

So Isabelle,  I hope you will take my 13 tips and  gain the wisdom  to know  how to survive your teenage years! Time goes by fast, so savor every day and every moment.

Now parents  of teenagers, I would love to know what tips you have for Isabelle as she becomes  a teenager.

Why teens are taking prescription medicine

I am sharing with our readers an article that was published  in my son, Matthew’s high school newspaper,  The Eagle Eye.

I was shocked but then again I wasn’t when I read this well-written article about prescription medicati by a junior at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High in Coral Springs, Florida. I am very familiar with Adderall because my daughter Olivia is on it for her ADD. I recall reminding her to take it every day and cautioned her about the side effects that came with taking it. I told her she would have loss of appetite and it would keep her up all night.  I also recall reminding her  that selling her prescription pills is a felony and told her not to ever even think of doing so, even if someone asks to buy one from her.  She was well aware of that risk and assured me she would never sell her pills and jeopardize her future. But, what is sad is that kids feel the need to use this ADD/ADHD medicine to help them get through all their school workload. Some teens are so desperate they illegally want to buy it off their friends. Parents, this is awful! This is a cry for help! These kids have no other alternative? Really?  Clearly, this medicine helps many teens succeed and do well, but at what expense?

Are the schools or teachers even aware that so many teens feel a need to take this medicine to stay awake and focused? If not, teachers need to wake up. Maybe our high schools should have classes for teens on how to handle stress or school workload. I am very worried about our teens’ stress levels. Some turn to prescription drugs,  some become depressed — and some do even the unthinkable, commit suicide.  We as parents need to do what we can to help our teens handle their stress levels, even if that means talking with their teachers.  My heart goes out to these teens who feel they have no other alternatives  to handle their stress other than medication or suicide.

Adderall is physically and psychologically addicting, and has long-term side effects.  What about the legal ramifications if your teen gets caught taking it without a prescription? You can kiss your teen’s future goodbye because now they are in a heap of legal trouble.  Now, as a preventative or if your teen does get into legal trouble, I would highly recommend you reach out to ARAG, a national company that offers legal insurance to families.   I wish I knew about legal insurance  years ago, but I know about it now and I am very passionate about paying it forward and helping  other parents become aware of this resources they could tap  in case of an emergency.  There are so many things to worry about as a parent of a teen and  ARAG  (a sponsor of RaisingTeens) could be an important resource because having legal insurance can save you money  and peace of mind when it comes to your teen’s future.

So, parents, please read this article because your teen can have all the right intentions as to why he/she is taking  Adderall, but not realize there are physical and legal consequences for abusing it, and selling or sharing their medicine.

Students abuse pharmaceuticals to maximize efficiency for schoolwork

Teen Trouble With The Law

When I was a teen, the only encounter I had with the law was either getting a speeding ticket or getting in a minor accident when I rear ended someone during spring break in Ft. Lauderdale.

Nowadays, teen trouble with the law happens more than parents care to admit. Teens of course are still speeding, or distracted driving and getting into accidents. However,  it seems like the severity of their accidents are worse. Some young teens will steal their parent’s car without having a license,  end up getting into an accident because of their joy ride and total the car.  When that happens,  parents often are left with fixing or replacing the vehicle, not to mention a possible arrest and ticket for driving without a license.

Parents of course do not want this on their teen’s record because this isn’t just a normal moving violation, this is breaking the law. This will require an attorney to ensure your teen does not carry a record with him all his life.

Most parents don’t have a criminal attorney on speed dial. I know from my personal experience, I had no clue who to turn to when faced with a similar situation. I ended up asking a police officer friend for a lawyer referral.  I was lucky and that lawyer turned out to be fantastic. The experience changed my life and my daughter Olivia’s. The legal process and potential consequences without proper legal representation was scary.

I remember talking with the attorney and hoping everything would turnout okay. This was all new to me. I was concerned, yet I had to be strong for my daughter whom I wanted to strangle for putting me through this.

Going to court with her the day of her hearing, I was sick to my stomach and fearing the worst. Fortunately for her, the judge ordered her do community service hours and instructed her that she had to maintain  a 3.0 GPA. If she did all she was ordered  within the period he gave us, he would expunge this from her record. Relief came over me and I was grateful to have a great attorney who was experienced with cases like this.

I want to  encourage parents who are raising teens — or will be in the near future – to be aware and prepared for what may come and make sure they have access to the right resources. Even responsible teens can mess up.

I recently learned about ARAG, a national company that offers legal insurance to families and who is also a sponsor for Raising Teens blog. Legal insurance plans protect consumers and their families against life’s legal issues, by giving you access to a nationwide network of attorneys and  legal resources. I wish I knew about legal insurance when I went through my daughter’s legal issues. I was fortunate to have had a great attorney but some people are not as lucky. ARAG offers help and resources that could be beneficial to families with teens. I highly recommend you check them out because having legal insurance would have saved me money and peace of mind.

A parent cannot predict what their teen will do – drive drunk, use a fake ID, get caught with weed –  but when they do, you will be prepared.

Raising a teen is not easy in today’s world, we need all the help we can get from each other, and outside resources to ensure we raise our teens safely and with proper morals.

I am curious to hear of any teen vs the law stories you may have had and how your experience turned out?

Tips on how to take a teen approved picture with an iPhone.

I don’t know about you but I cringe when my daughter Olivia asks me to take a picture of her alone or with her girlfriends.  I cringe because if the picture is not PERFECT, it’s my fault.   I get anxiety when I take a photo because I know she will get frustrated with me and have no patience  with my picture taking skills or so-called lack of skills.

So, according to my daughter here are some tips to take a good photo of a teen with an iPhone:

  1. Make sure there is proper lighting! This is key! Have your teen check for lighting by taking a practice  photo to make sure the picture looks good in the light.
  2. You have to focus on the faces and hit the box  that is on your faces to focus. God help you if you don’t do that!
  3. Then, immediately after you do that, you click the camera button to take the picture. This has to be timed precisely right or the picture will come out dark or blurry and you will have to deal with a bad picture and the wrath of a teen.
  4. Be patient because you will not be taking 1 or 2 photos, try  5-6 and they will all be different poses. Be prepared to help come up with different poses if necessary.
  5. Their  phone will always be better than your phone to take pictures. Period.  End of story.

In addition to the above tips from Olivia, here are my tips to survive this task:

  1. Ask if you don’t know  what to do but, be prepared to have  a huge sigh and “OMG mom, you are so annoying”.
  2. Do exactly as your teen instructs. 
  3. Practice makes perfect, You will get it after the 6th time!
  4. Have a sibling – your other son or daughter –  take the picture! They  would do a better job than you.
  5. Compliment the picture always. Teens need that reassurance or you will be taking  pictures of them forever!

There needs to be a section in the Apple store for parents with teens to learn how to take the proper teen approved picture with an iPhone. I know I would attend!

Please share your photo taking memories of your teen or any insights or photo taking skills you may have. It could save a mom or dad!

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