connectings with teensLet’s face it. Life with teens is challenging. They are busy establishing their own identity, which often conflicts with parents’ wishes. During these turbulent years, kids are terribly concerned with their friends' opinions, while trying to separate and become independent. The news isn’t all bad. Children in teen years need their parents more than ever. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) Reference for Developing Adolescents, “The truth is that adolescents, despite occasional or numerous protests, need adults and want them to be part of their lives, recognizing that they can nurture, teach, guide, and protect them on the journey to adulthood.” Here are some well-thought-out strategies that can help you develop and keep good communication with your child.

Teen JobsUsually the mention of the words “job,” or “work,” make people roll their eyes and sigh loudly, but having a job in the summer has some benefits you might not have considered.

529 planIt’s no secret that college can be expensive. Currently, the average cost for one year of an in-state university is around $25,000, while a private college is closer to $50,000 with many Ivy League schools topping $65,000.  When we do education planning for our clients the numbers are even more daunting. Over the past decade, college costs have inflated at an average rate of 5%. If that current trend continues, a child who is 10 years old today is looking at a cost of $37,000 for their freshman year at a hypothetical in-state university. For a private school, the first year will average $74,000.

teen jobsSet Your Teen Up for Success with these Suggestions

Getting a first job can be an intimidating experience for a teen and his or her parent (who may be helping in the process). It can be positive if it goes smoothly, building self-esteem and independence through success. Sometimes, the job can seem more like an ordeal, but even that teaches valuable life lessons. Whether it’s a summer spent petsitting the neighbor’s dog or a future career path in sales, teen jobs are a valuable way to teach a young person responsibility. Here are a few strategies to help get started.

teens readingIt’s one thing when you find a great book that you love, but another to find out there are more just like it. That’s why we enjoy reading books in a series – it’s exciting to follow a beloved character throughout a difficult journey or when they solve a great mystery.

With the Beaufort County Library’s Summer @ Your Library program launching soon, now is a great time to explore new books. There’s a little something for every reader out there - contemporary, science fiction, and fantasy. I recommend these books for teens ages 12 – 18: