5 Ways to to Help Teens Before School Starts 

It’s been five months since the COVID-19 outbreak hit Americans hard. As we’ve gotten used to a lot of change, here are a few ways parents can help teenagers even more right now. Parenting Teens – 5 Ways to to Help NOW  Many parents have been agonizing over how to cope during the pandemic. It’s […]

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55 Boredom Busters for Teens

When your middle school and high school kids are bored, check out this list of the best 55 Boredom Busters for Teens! From life skills to easy crafts, this teen activities list will keep them busy for the next few weeks while we navigate our new reality. 55 Bordom Busters for Teens With the latest […]

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Easter Baskets for Teens

Easy Family Dollar DIY Easter Basket Ideas for Teens. $25 or less with items from Family Dollar and free printable bunny tags. Fun gift ideas for teenager girls and boys!

Easy Family Dollar DIY Easter Basket Ideas for Teens. $25 or less with items from Family Dollar and free printable bunny tags.

Sponsored by Family Dollar

Family Dollar DIY Easter Baskets for Teens

Need some fun new Easter basket ideas for teens? Then you’ll love what I found at Family Dollar for my teenagers! Join me as I walk you through what I found for $25 or less at Family Dollar. Don’t miss my new giant free printable Easter bunny tags to make your gift baskets extra fun!

Family Dollar is full of so many great products and deals, that it’s hard to decide what to choose. I really could spend hours in that store! On my last trip, I spent a lot of time shopping for things I thought teenagers would like and actually use. These Easter basket gift ideas for teen girls and boys will definitely save you time on your next shopping trip to Family Dollar.

Easter Basket Ideas for Teens. $25 or less with items from Family Dollar and free printable bunny tags.

Easter Baskets for Teens that they can actually use!

Watch my video below to see how quick and easy these Easter baskets for teens are to make! I had so much fun finding affordable gifts my kids could actually use and love. Find more Family Dollar deals with their Smart Coupons.

Easy Easter Basket Ideas for Teens. $25 or less with items from Family Dollar and free printable bunny tags.

Smart Reusable Easter Basket Container

I like to choose Easter baskets that can be reused after giving. When I was little, my mom always found the most fun, unusual containers for gifts. I must have gotten that idea from her!

If you’ve never been to your local Family Dollar, then I highly recommend going there today! I found so many fun containers for $1-$3 each, that it was hard to choose which ones I would use for my teen’s Easter baskets.

These cute square caddy containers were only $1 each and come in various colors. New caddy’s are just what my kids need in their bathroom too!

Easy Easter Basket Ideas for Teens - cute caddy from Family Dollar.

What to put in an Easter Basket for Teens

First of all, think technology! My teens fight the most about who has taken who’s phone charger, so I immediately went to the front of Family Dollar to shop their tech products.

Wireless Phone Chargers

I found some great wireless chargers and know my daughter will love this unicorn charger!

Easy Easter Basket Ideas for Teens - wireless chargers from Family Dollar.


Adorable Plush Food Pillows

Next I found the cutest super soft, sweet treat food plushies for only $3! How cute are these? They have donuts, hot dogs, pizza and french fry mini plushies. I wanted to get all of them!

Easy Easter Basket Ideas for Teens - cute food plush from Family Dollar.


More Easter Basket Gift Ideas for Teens

  • Favorite Snacks – Teen boys (at least mine) are all about the food! So be sure to grab their favorite snacks along with the usual Easter candy.
  • Bath & Beauty Products – Teen girls can never have enough nail polish, make-up or bath products. I really love the hair towel I found for my daughter and need to get one for myself too!
  • Joke Items – I couldn’t pass-up the dollar whoopee cushion for my son!
  • Pens & Journals – You can’t go wrong with scented pens, journals or cute stickers.
  • Jewelry, Shoes and Hair Accessories – I saw a lot of cute flip flops and earrings on my last trip to Family Dollar too!

–> For more great Easter Basket ideas, check out Family Dollar’s weekly deals HERE.


Easter Basket Free Printable Tags

I designed some jumbo bunny tags for these Easter Baskets and think they turned out really cute! Download the tags below, then trim with scissors and tape to a colorful paper straw to insert into your gift basket.

Easy Easter Basket Ideas for Teens - Free bunny printable tags from LivingLocurto.com


Easy Easter Basket Ideas for Teens - Print Free bunny printable tags from LivingLocurto.com

Download the Jumbo Easter Gift Tags ©2019 LivingLocurto.com


Watch Me Make These Easter Baskets

I hope you found lots of fun gift ideas with these items from Family Dollar. Watch my video below to see how quick and easy these Easter baskets for teens are to make! Find even more amazing Family Dollar deals with their Smart Coupons.


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Fun Adult Party Games

Fun Adult Games to play at your next party or anywhere at anytime! Enjoy these hysterical adult party games that cost nothing to play and unique ideas for a spur of the moment game night.

Fun Adult Games to play at your next party or anywhere at anytime! Enjoy these hysterical adult party games that cost nothing to play and unique ideas for a spur of the moment game night.

Fun Adult Games to Play Anywhere Anytime!

Often adult games at a party are just the ice breaker you need for a group to get to know each other or to help get the party started. Whether you need party game ideas for teenagers, a church group, college party or a group of women for girls night in, these fun and simple adult party game ideas are great for any age.

What’s even better is that these games do not require a board game, drinking, or any other supplies. You only need a pen, paper and your friends!

Fun Adult Games to play at your next party or anywhere at anytime! Enjoy these hysterical adult party games that cost nothing to play and unique ideas for a spur of the moment game night.

More games and party ideas:

Fun Adult Games to play at your next party or anywhere at anytime! Enjoy these hysterical adult party games that cost nothing to play and unique ideas for a spur of the moment game night.

Fun Last-Minute Adult Games for a Party

Adult games are often hard to come up with last-minute, so enjoy these hysterical games that cost nothing to play and perfect ideas for a spur of the moment game night!

For example, the first game mentioned here called Celebrity is what we played at my Grinch party this last Christmas and it was a blast!

Fun Last-Minute Adult Games for a Party

5 Best Adult Games – No Supplies Needed

At your next party, be sure to have a few of these fun adult games in your head andready to play. Play these fun adult party games last minute anytime anywhere! The most you’ll need is a pen and paper. These hysterical adult party games cost nothing and make great icebreakers for any size of group.

Fun Adult Games to play at your next party or anywhere at anytime!

1. Celebrity

The object of the game Celebrity is to be quick thinking with names and be the last one standing!

How to play the game:

  1. Sit in a circle and go clockwise around the room.
  2. The first person starts by naming a celebrity by first and last name.
  3. The next person has 10 seconds to shout out a celebrity’s name that has a first name that starts with the letter of the previous person’s celebrity’s last name.

Example: If I say Will Ferrel, the next person would have to name a celebrity with the first name starting with the letter “F”,such as Frank Sinatra.

Rules of the game:

  • You’re out if you can’t think of a celebrity’s name in 10 seconds or less.
  • No repeating celebrity names. Once the name has been said, that’s it.
  • No one named celebrities.
  • If your celebrity’s first and last name start with the same letter, then you reverse and go counterclockwise, etc.

Example: If I said Amy Adams, the game reverses in the opposite direction.

Ways to make the game harder:

  • Have a theme such as movie stars, cartoon characters, musicians, etc.
  • Make it a drinking game and take a shot if you can’t think of a name in time.


2. Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie is a fun icebreaker game for a group to get to know each other better and perfect for all ages.

How to play the game:

  • Pick a person to start. They must tell two things about themselves that are true and one thing that is a lie.
  • Everyone gets to guess which fact is the lie.
  • Once everyone has guessed, the person will reveal what was true and what was the lie.
  • If only one person was correct, that person can go next. Or just go around in a circle.
  • This can go around as many times as you would like or just so everyone gets the chance to go once.


3. Name That Star

Name that star is a game similar to name that tune, but you have to name the singer or band, not the song.

How to play the game:

  • Write the names of famous singers or bands on small pieces of paper and place into a bowl. You’ll need 3-4 names per guest. Make sure these are names that the party guests will know.
  • Guests take turns picking out one name, then must sing a verse of that singer’s song.
  • The other guests will try to guess who the person is trying to be.
  • If you don’t know the star you picked, you can draw again, but you lose a life. Three lives lost and you’re out.
  • Give out prizes for the best performance.


4. Conversation Starters

If you’re looking for a simple icebreaker for your next party, my printable conversation cards are perfect for a dinner or just sitting around with friends.

48 Free Printable Dinner Conversation Starter Cards. Perfect Ristorante Pizza meal idea for your family or dinner party!

Print Adult Party Games

—> CLICK HERE to print 48 conversation starter questions. Just trim the pieces and place into a bowl for people to draw.


5. Like & Hate

How to play the game:

  • Have everyone at the party write down some likes and dislikes on a sheet of paper.
  • Examples: LIKE: Chocolate, Traveling  •  HATE: Snakes, Asparagus
  • Collect the papers and have one person read them aloud one at a time while everyone else tries to guess who wrote what.

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Should Teenagers Trick or Treat?

Apparently some folks in Apex, North Carolina are so concerned they’ve laid down the law. Literally. As in a town ordinance:

Sec. 14-18. – Halloween restrictions.
(a) No person over 12 years of age shall engage in the practice of “trick or treating” at any time.  

Heaven forbid. 

Let’s be real. Do you really care if you get teen-aged trick or treaters on your doorstep? And the next question: WHY??? 

Out of all the places my teenagers could be on Halloween night, I’d love for them to be trick or treating. 

It’s like no one really knows what to do with teenagers on Halloween. Should they stay home and pass out candy? Go to a Halloween rager? Go water balloon some cars? 

Or maybe just go out and trick or treat with some friends and be part of your neighborhood? As long a teenagers aren’t causing any trouble for the little kids I’m more than happy to hand out the candy. We don’t get enough trick or treaters anyway. 

People’s opinions are all over the map.  There are polls spread across the internet with people weighing in on cut off ages for dressing up and going door to door for candy. Check out this discussion on Facebook:

The discussion ranged all over the map. 

One person commented:

 “I’m tired of enabling people, period! (These) young adults DO NOT need to go door to door asking for candy!!!! Get a job!!!”

Hostile much? I think we’ve made a mountain out of a mole hill. 

We all mourn the fact that our kids grow up too fast — so why are we pushing them out of Halloween so fast? 

What do you think? What’s the cutoff age for trick or treaters? 



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3 Screen Time Rules My Kids Actually THANKED Me For

They are the 3 screen time rules that made the biggest difference. 

They are the 3 screen time rules that made the biggest difference. 

One day this summer I lost my mind. 

You know when you see your kids all zoned out on screens? Phones, TV’s, tablets. It was a beautiful day outside. Yet I had 3 kids lying on the couch like zombies.

In a moment of rage induced brilliance I took EVERYTHING away. I unplugged the computer and carried it out of the room. I took the XBOX and the Wii and tucked them away in cold storage. I seized ALL of the devices and sent them outside. 

After cooling my jets, I came up with a summertime experiment (that we’ve decided to continue indefinitely).  I wanted to reduce screen time, get everyone outside more, but most importantly to BUILD BETTER HABITS. 

Here are the screen time rules and guidelines I put in place:


Define The Purpose

This has two parts. 

These rules and reasons might look different at your house. Here’s what it sounds like at my house:

  • What Are These Rules For?

    • These rules are not punishments
    • These rules are to help you build good habits
    • We want you to have fun, we want you to do the things you want to do, we just want you to learn how to do them at the appropriate time
    • We’re working on building habits
    • Our top priorities are your health and happiness
    • It’s our job as parents to give you the best shot we can at health and happiness and habits are a big part of that
  • What Are These Devices For?

    • Technology in and of itself isn’t “bad”
    • Phones are for communicating
    • TV and Tablets are for entertainment
    • The computer is for work and education

Define and understand the purpose of the rules and devices. Set the tone. Frame things positively.  This doesn’t have anything to do with lack of trust or that phones and technology are evil.  There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with using these devices (oh and P.S. THEY ARE DESIGNED TO BE ADDICTIVE).  We all need to be proactive in building healthy habits in the way we use them. 


Put It All On The iPad

Take all of the social media, apps, and games on your teenager’s phones and put them on the iPad or tablet. Do the same thing with your own apps and games while you’re at it. For some of these apps they’ll need to keep their passwords and have the ability to log in and out of apps like Instagram. 

Oh, did I mention the iPad is password protected?  They have to come to me to get into the iPad itself.  That little moment also creates a moment of accountability or a “start time” for how much time they are going to choose to use the iPad for. 

The point here is that a phone is for communication and that’s what we’re going to use it for. Calling and texting.  We left the basic utility apps on their phones, but all of the time wasters? GONE. 

We’re choosing to use the iPad for entertainment. We’ve defined entertainment as that moment when you make a conscious choice to seek out a game or to entertain yourself. (As opposed to the habitual choice of constantly turning to your phone for a game or getting lost in Instagram in a moment of boredom that turns into hours of wasted time). I think as adults we can all relate.

The iPad comes out after they’ve done things like chores, or spent some time outside etc. . 


One “TV” — Yep. Just ONE. 

How many TV’s do you have at your house? Now how many devices are the people at your house using as a TV?  In our case, there was a computer upstairs that was constantly streaming Netflix.  My kids were also watching videos on their phones or on the iPad. We’re done with that. 

I put that computer away for the rest of the summer. And guess what? The time they spent streaming Netflix almost entirely disappeared. Out of sight, out of mind. Our actual TV is downstairs and a bit out of the way.  Once again, choosing to go to that TV required more a conscious choice to spend time there. 

I had to pull that computer back out for the school year because the computer is meant for work and education, but it’s password protected and meant for homework.


Here’s What Happened

I didn’t have to nag anymore. I wasn’t constantly policing and complaining. 

On THEIR OWN the kids were making better, MORE CREATIVE choices with their time. 


They Actually Said THANK YOU

Here’s the thing. Kids KNOW they don’t feel good glued to screens. They feel it. They’ll admit it. They know it.  

Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t say thank you right away. But each of them, unprompted has told me what has changed for them:

  • From my 8-year-old: “Mom, I’m glad you took the computer away from the upstairs. I play outside more. I like it better”.
  • From my 13-year-old: “Guess what? I don’t even miss Instagram. I wasted soooo much time when that was on my phone.”
  • From my 15-year-old: “I look around at my friends when we are hanging out and realize how much time we are staring at our phones instead of doing something fun. It’s lame.” 


Did I Go Too Far? 

Some of you may read this and say I’m over the top. Or that I’m helicopter parenting my kids and their technology choices.  Tony Fadell, one of the minds behind the iPod and the iPhone said “I wake up in cold sweats thinking, what did we bring to the world.” He goes on to say:  “A lot of the designers and coders who were in their 20s when we were creating these things didn’t have kids. Now they have kids,” he says. “And they see what’s going on, and they say, ‘Wait a second.’ And they start to rethink their design decisions.”

If the guy that helped create these things has concerns, so do I. I’m literally not willing to leave my kids to their own devices when it comes to this. As parents we have to be more engaged than ever and we need to be constantly evaluating how we are using all of these devices ourselves. 

Ultimately, this is what’s working for us NOW. It will probably change and evolve as my kids continue to get older and mature.  Parenting calls for flexibility. Some of you may  think that these rules don’t scream “FLEXIBILITY” but I promise you our household is a better place because of them. 


What are the screen time rules at your house? I’d love to hear what’s working for YOU!


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Parents, Stop Teenage Privacy NOW!

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Parents, Stop Teenage Privacy NOW

Teenage Privacy: Moms and Dads, I’m here to tell you that you need to take away their privacy—NOW.

Dear Parents of Teenagers,

I love students.

I have known tens of thousands of them, perhaps I know yours.
I have worked with them for a decade and a half, across all demographics.
I have traveled with them, laughed with them, grieved with them, served alongside them, and prayed with them.
I have walked their hallways and sat in their classrooms.
I like to think I know well, them and the world they live in.

And Moms and Dads, I’m here to tell you that you need to take away their privacy—now.

I imagine that you (and certainly the teens reading this), hear that and think, “Well, that’s a pretty terrible thing to say!”

OK, then I will be terrible and right.

There was a time, when teenagers could have privacy, and by that I mean, they could have one room where we could get away from the world, where they could shut the door, put on some music, open-up a notebook, and write the things that were on their hearts—a piece of themselves that was theirs alone.

But that time and that place is long gone.

Now, when teenagers walk into that room and close the door, they are no longer alone (in fact, many of them aren’t capable of solitary existence.) Now, when they walk into their rooms, they are not gettingaway from the world, they are walking into it and to the most dangerous, threatening, frightening parts of it. They are inviting that world into their sacred, personal space.

Thanks to their phones, teenagers can in seconds reach the kinds of people and places that our parents could have only had nightmares about.

They can reveal their most intimate secrets to total strangers.
They can get drugs and guns, and find sex and term papers.
They can threaten suicide to thousands.
They can bully and be bullied.
They can gamble using your credit cards.
They can buy and sell everything imaginable.
They can give out photos of their bodies that can be shared, and never returned.
They can see the most vile, violent and damaging images on the planet.

And all of it is password-protected.

You see, the world has changed and so have the rules.

Technology is simply moving too fast for students to be left in it alone.

They can’t handle it.

(Heck, neither can most adults but that’s another topic for another day.)
You need to be out in that dangerous water with them, as if they were newborns in a raging ocean, teeming with sharks.

“But my kids are trustworthy”, I hear you saying.

That really isn’t the issue, is it?

Trusting their kids, was never, ever the full story for parents, was it?

I know it wasn’t for my parents.

As a teenager, when I used to hang out with friends, my mom and dad knew them, knew where they lived, who their parents were, and what those parents believed. They knew where we were going, how we would get there ,and when we would get back. (Sure, it was privacy, but it was informed privacy.)

On social media platforms, your kids probably have a few hundred “Friends” that they don’t even really know, who have regular, ’round the clock access to them. Do you really want to give them private time with that many strangers?

Moms and Dads, simply put: If you are a parent of a preteen or teen and you do not have access to every text, every device, every password and every site that your kids do, you are being negligent at best. You are a willing accomplice to everything they do and see and experience.

OK, so maybe it isn’t privacy that teenagers shouldn’t have or can’t handle, but technology privacy.

Do teenagers need and deserve a place all their own? Absolutely.

Let them get away from the world. Let them go into their rooms, let them close the door, turn-up the music, and grab a notebook to write the things on their hearts, for only their eyes to see.

But if the notebook of choice is not spiral-bound, but battery-powered—get the password.



John is a 20-year ministry veteran living in Raleigh, NC. You can find him blogging at JohnPavlovitz.com

John’s first full-length book is coming October 6, 2017 on WJK Books. A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community shares a bit of John’s story and a vision for spiritual community that allows everyone a place.



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Fabulous Bedroom Ideas for Girls

Bedroom inspiration for teenage girls. Get inspired and find new ideas for tribal, modern and chic room styles. Great home decor bedroom makeovers!

As my daughter gets older, I get asked more often about changing her bedroom style. My minor in college was interior design and when there is a chance to redecorate something, I’m always up for that challenge! I love home design and one rule I seem to always stick by is to keep it simple and change things up with accents and added color.

As I’ve been searching for new bedroom ideas for my daughter, I came across three styles that seem to be very popular now. There is so much you could do with these styles of bedrooms!

I hope you enjoy today’s fabulous bedroom ideas for girls. BONUS – There is a $2,000 SERTA PERFECT SLEEPER MATTRESS GIVEAWAY when you get to the end!!! Don’t miss out!

Relaxed Tribal

Bedroom inspiration for teenage girls. Get inspired and find new ideas for tribal, modern and chic room styles. Great home decor bedroom makeovers!

Tribal prints and macrame are everywhere! I love this bedroom inspiration in black and white and found similar Black and White Tribal Bedding and White Faux Fur Throw Blanket to help you achieve this look.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the same without Macrame Plant Hangers! Who remembers these? I actually found a Macrame Plant Hanging kit from the 70’s in my mom’s house not too long ago. I’m happy they are back in style!

Fun Handmade Macrame Plant Hangers

This platform bed would be fantastic for a relaxed tribal bedroom!

Modern Platform bed


Modern Chic

Bedroom inspiration for teenage girls. Get inspired and find new ideas for tribal, modern and chic room styles. Great home decor bedroom makeovers!

This fabulous Pale Pink and Gold Girls Bedroom is a girl’s dream! My daughter said this was her favorite look. I’m glad because I love it too!

I found a beautiful Tufted Wingback Nail Bed that looks very similar if you want to achieve this bedroom style. I want this for my room now!

Beautiful Diamond Tufted Wingback Nail Bed

You couldn’t get this inspiring look without a pretty chandelier. I found this affordable chandelier that you might like. This fabulous light fixture would be great in a bathroom as well as bedroom!

Beautiful Light for a girls bedroom! Love this Chandelier.

Minimal Modern

Bedroom inspiration for teenage girls. Get inspired and find new ideas for tribal, modern and chic room styles. Great home decor bedroom makeovers!

I was inspired by this simple modern bedroom. I love the dark wall and textures. To achieve this style, a modern bed in white would look great with a faux fur throw blanket.

Faux Fur Throw Blanket

I also found more items you might like:

White Modern table lamp Decorative throw Pillow in black


Serta Mattress Giveaway!

Need a new mattress? I do! My friends at the Women’s Choice Award® have a wonderful giveaway for a NEW SERTA MATTRESS valued at $2,000!!! They do all the research for us to find highly recommended brands. Now you can enter to win a Serta perfect sleeper mattress. Sleep will never be the same again if you’re the lucky winner!

Go enter today! Good luck!!!

Women's Choice Award Serta Mattress Giveaway

enter to win

You might also like these great girls bedroom ideas!


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Best Parenting Tool Ever! How to Keep Kids Safe Online

Best Parenting Tool Ever! How to Keep Kids Safe Online and manage their phones, tablets and more from anywhere. Great Parent Hack!

Parenting is hard! Keeping up with technology and what our kids are doing is getting harder to manage each day. There is always something new or tricks your kids will learn on a phone or tablet that you know nothing about. It can be a scary world when you really sit down to think about it!

Have no fear… I’m so excited about this brand new announcement to help keep kids safe. It’s the all time BEST parenting hack ever. Every parent needs this tool!

You need to know about Circle Go!

Manage Internet from Anywhere! Best Parenting Tool Ever! How to Keep Kids Safe Online and manage their phones, tablets and more from anywhere. Great Parent Hack!

I’ve been using Circle to manage my kids internet usage and online devices for months now, but with older kids (and one teen on the go), I need a way to manage their phones from anywhere. I’m so excited that now we can!

Circle just announced that now you can easily manage your family’s mobile devices on a Cellular network with Circle Go!

Circle Go manages your family’s mobile devices, across all networks anywhere.

What you need to know:

  • You need a Circle to use Circle Go (read my review about it here)
  • Circle Go is a monthly subscription
  • It’s currently available for iOS devices. Look for Android coming this summer

Check out the video:

I can’t say enough good things about the Circle. I can’t wait to start using Circle Go now too! That peace of mind will be worth every penny.

–> More good news!! Circle is now available for Android users. Yay!

Best Parenting Tool Ever! How to Keep Kids Safe Online and manage their phones, tablets and more.


Now is the time to keep your kids safe by managing your kids devices. It’s never been so easy!

Learn More About How to Manage Kids Internet Usage with Circle


4 Awesome things you can EASILY do with Circle:


The post Best Parenting Tool Ever! How to Keep Kids Safe Online appeared first on Living Locurto.

How To Effectively Parent A 13-Year-Old Girl In The Digital Era

Tips for parenting teenage girls

Teens today face a different set of problems, but that doesn’t mean you can’t relate.

Do you remember when you were 13?

It’s an overwhelming time, to say the least. Everything you knew as a young kid suddenly gets upended. You’re suddenly focused on best friends, falling in love, and not feeling understood — by yourself or anyone else, and certainly not your parents.

When you’re on the other side of it as an adult, it’s just as confusing. And heartbreaking — because now you have to watch your child, whom you love more than anything, navigate through it.

And guess what? There’s technology making things even more complicated for kids that age. Not a big surprise.

Social media, for one, can make 13-year-olds feel insignificant.

As an example, think of a child whose family has just moved. The child stays connected with old friends via Facebook, or other social media platforms. The problem is that it also makes the feeling more acute that life is going on in the child’s absence. Kids post about parties, new “in a relationship” statuses, and lots of things going on from football games to church activites that they’re no longer a part of.

Selfie culture is not something to dismiss. Pay attention.

Many 13-year-olds like to take selfies. They send them to friends, but also they take them and just keep them. They become a currency, a way to document, even a way to process what they’re feeling in any given moment. It’s confusing for us as parents. What are they doing taking pictures of themselves constantly? When your child is bored in the back seat of the family car, why are they making facial expressions into their phone and taking selfies of her face?

It’s a struggle for parents to understand how new forms of technology impact a 13-year-old’s life. Technology is linking them to others, as in the case of social media or to themselves, as inthe case of selfies. But not all that transpires is good for them.

Here are some suggestions that can help you navigate being a parent of a 13-year-old in today’s technological world:

  1. Remember, your child is only 13. You can insist on being her friend on Facebook, although that may come with a promise that you will never post or respond.
  1. Encourage her to share with you what’s going on in her life, both in her day to day world and this extended virtual world. One of the best ways to do this is to share what’s new with you and also some of the pitfalls and upsets you weathered at her age.
  1. Fall in love with her selfies, never make fun of them. See them as an expressions of getting to know herself, just as you may have stood in front of the bathroom or bedroom mirror at her age and posed. But be clear on the standards of what should happen to those selfies. Explain the difference between private and public.

And of course, keep your daughter involved and busy in the real world. She can’t do too much with social media or selfies if she is so exhausted from school, sports, homework, chores, practicing the piano or flute, clubs, family time with no technology, some volunteer work in the community, etc. Remember, you are the parent. She’s only 13. She needs you to be the captain. You can do it!

Read more about 13-year-old girls in Barbara’s book Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen. The ‘Girl’ in the book deals with all the issues that that age stirs up.

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