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tweens, teens, Teen Girls Rebel when Teen Boys Rated Female Classmates on Looks, Teen Boys Rated Female Classmates on Looks, teen girls rebel, girls fight rape culture, #MeToo, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School

You’ve heard of burn books? We all have. I remember in high school they were called slam books; same difference. Same jerky idea, different decade. Well, a group of high school boys at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Maryland are bringing it back. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the girls are refusing to stand for it. Teen boys rated female classmates on looks and the teen girls rebel. They will no longer stay quiet. Like teenage superheroes, these girls fight rape culture.

Teen boys rating girls on their looks is a practice as old as time. For as long as men have been objectifying women, girls have been getting rated by their looks in burn books, slam books, bathroom walls and in guy group texts. It’s a national pastime for men and boys. The undiscriminating discriminatory act of objectifying the part of the population born with girl parts. It’s sickening.

This time the list is in an iPhone Notes app. It included the names of 18 girls in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, ranked and rated on the basis of their looks, from 5.5 to 9.4, with decimal points to the hundredth place. There, with a number beside it.

A number rating system for girls like they’re cattle being rated for purchase. A group of male students created the list over a year ago and it’s been recirculated. Spreading like a plague through text messages and whispers during class. One male student saw the name of his friend, Nicky Schmidt, on the list and told her about it. Within 24 hours, most of the senior girls knew about the list. Teen boys rated female classmates on looks and the girls are not having it.

READ ALSO: The Problem with Little Boys

In the past, tween and teen girls would see the list, hang their head in shame and pray no one brought it up again. It’s shameful. It’s one thing to feel ugly ( as we all do in those awkward years) but it’s quite another to have everyone at school to see your national ugly average rating in notes, much less hear it whispered as you walk through the halls. The thing about these sorts of lists is that it shakes even the most confident young women to their core. Even if you’ve always thought you were pretty, these books have a way of crawling into your psyche and taking root; growing, twisting and digging in.

As someone who suffered from eating disorders and was never sure of herself, at least in the looks department, finding myself in a burn book would have made me feel so isolated, unsure and depressed. As a grown woman, it would make me rage because of two things, 1) I know I’m attractive enough 2) I don’t care what anyone else thinks about how I look or think or exist. But this is as a grown woman, it took years to have this confidence.

Yasmin Behbehani, a student at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, found herself ranked on this list after her friend, Nicky Schmidt, let her know about the list, as a heads up. But Behbehani didn’t want to know about this list. She was trying to stay in her lane; just trying to survive high school is hard enough without extracurricular  humiliation. She’d spent her entire high school tenure recovering from eating disorders and trying to avoid this kind of triggering comparison to her classmates but there is was in a text message with a screenshot of the list, typed out in the damn notes app.

These kinds of lists are not new. And they will never not exist. As long as boys are raised to objectify women with no real consequences they will continue to do so. But today is not yesterday, or last year, or the last decade. Today, we live in the world of #MeToo.

We are raising ours girls to not take this kind of treatment. Raising our girls to know there are more important things to be than beautiful and to speak up, no to scream, when we need to be heard. We’re empowering our little girls. We are not afraid of you any longer. You can’t demean us with your stupidity and objectification because we know we are more than our parts.

READ ALSO: Raising Girls to Survive Misogyny, Sexting and Slut Shaming

The girls of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School felt violated, objectified by classmates they thought were their friends. They felt uncomfortable getting up to go to the bathroom, worried that the boys were taking notes and editing their scores.Objectification feels horrible; judged at your very existence.

The things that no one counted on in this “boys will be boys” rape culture that we live in is that  there is power in numbers. Dozens of senior girls spoke to the school administration and to the boys, demanding not only disciplinary action in response to the list but a school-wide discussion about the toxic culture that allowed the list to happen in the first place. This resulted in one male student being given an in-school detention for one day. It wouldn’t even be on his record.

Not happy with the disciplinary action, Schmidt texted 15 friends and told them to tell all of their friends to show up at the school’s office the next day during lunch, “to tell them we feel unsafe in this environment and we are tired of this toxicity,” Schmidt wrote in her text. 40 senior girls showed up, packing into the assistant principal’s office where Schmidt read a statement she had written.

We want to know what the school is doing to ensure our safety and security,” Schmidt said. “We should be able to learn in an environment without the constant presence of objectification and misogyny.”

READ ALSO: The Reality of Being Born a Woman

The girls and administration agreed that to have a meeting with the male students in the program, including the assholes who created and circulated the list. On International Women’s Day, almost all of the students in the IB program — about 80 students — met in a large conference room for what was supposed to be a 45-minute meeting during fifth period. It lasted over 2.5 hours.

The girls shared personal stories and impassioned speeches about how the list made them feel. They shared their stories of sexual abuse, harassment and the lasting effects objectification has had on them. And something miraculous happened, the boys heard them. In fact, the boy who created the list stood up, took responsibility for the list and apologized for the hurt the list caused. I am so proud of the girls for uniting and standing up and demanding that their voices be heard. Silence is the enemy of equality.

The thing this isn’t new and the kid who made the list and the ones who passed it around are not the minority. The girls who spoke up and refused to be treated like this, they are the minority in our culture. We need to make doing the right thing easier and more common. It shouldn’t be this hard for women to be treated like humans. We shouldn’t have to fight for a basic human right like being treated like people and not objects.

What will we do next time we find out teen boys rated female classmates on looks? Where will we be when our teen girls rebel?

To be honest, since the #MeToo movement began, I have shared my own stories. I shared them before but I never realized that men don’t actually understand what it feels like to be a woman and be objectified. They have always been bigger, stronger and more privileged than women. They’ve always lived in a boys will be boys culture and they’ve watched, from the time they were little boys, the world apply different rules for women and girls. Boys assault women in so many ways and all they get is a slap on the wrist, even from women. But no more.

Since the day they were born, we’ve been raising our girls to respect themselves and to value no one’s opinion over their own. I’ve taught them that no means no and if they have to scream that, then do so. We’re raising our girls to be brave and determined. They know that they are as good as any man and in some instances, even better.

This generation of moms is raising an army of feminists ready to do battle for their human respect, equality and dignity. If you can’t get on board with that, that’s your problem. It’s happening. Be ready for it. Don’t stand in their way. This is their future and their worth is more than any ranking a man could ever give them.

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blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

I know not everyone agrees with this or has this same experience because parenting a teen is a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get from one day to the next, even from one hour to the next. One minute they love you and the next, maybe you’re the dumbest person to ever walk the face of the earth with the dinosaurs. But sometimes you get lucky, even if it’s just for a little while, and they love the shit out of you. Maybe we’re in the honeymoon phase of teen parenting but for today, happy birthday to my teenager, my best friend. There I said it. I love and her sister more than anyone in the world and quite honestly, I like her more than most people too.

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

The past few months have had me feeling a certain kind of way. It’s a new avenue in parenting that I’m just beginning, the teen years. Bella turned 13 last year and I felt the tug of her growing up. However, my little girl leaned in and we’ve gotten closer. We talk about everything that she wants to share, I don’t push but I encourage her to know that I’m always here. It’ worked for us, so far. I know it’s not the popular parenting school of thought but she is becoming my best friend and I love how close we are. I have no idea what the next few years will bring so I am cherishing every moment she chooses me to confide in. I’m here for all it.

READ ALSO: Love Letter to my Daughter on her 7th Birthday

In the past year, there’s been first crushes, a new understanding of friendship and knowing when to hang on and when to let go, there’s been putting family first, learning that kindness is something we can give that always replenishes, finally comprehending that we cannot control how other’s respond to what we put out there. She’s become kind, generous and compassionate all on her own in ways I wouldn’t even have thought of because she believes it’s the right thing to do.

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

She’s become unapologetically herself not giving too much of a damn of what other’s think of her. My favorite shift I’ve seen this year, while she may still fight and bicker with her little sister, she will always go to bat if anyone even thinks about hurting her sister. Lastly, she is embracing her Latino culture in a way she has not fully appreciated in the past and that makes my heart happy. She also seems to be starting to be grateful and appreciate the parents that she has.

READ ALSO: Birthday with a Surprise Ending

Yesterday, she turned 14-years-old. We’ve already started planning next year’s quinceanera (in case you are not familiar with what a quinceanera is I will write a post soon explaining it all) and I think that’s got me all in my feelings. While she is holding my hand tightly, she is running head first, full-force towards 15; towards being a young woman. This makes me feel so proud of her, humbled being along for the ride and a little scared of what the future might bring but I am so excited for her. I can still remember all of the firsts and newness of this time in my own life and I only hope the experience is as exciting and enjoyable for her. Either way, we’ll always be here to help make the transition smooth.

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

As I sit here listening to Tu Sangre en Mi Cuerpo and looking up pins for the big 15th birthday party (quinceanera) for next year, I’m nostalgic for that sweet baby who smelled like green apples and came into my life and gave it meaning. Let me be embarrassingly honest for a moment, the moment that I held her in my arms, I fell deeper in love than I ever knew possible. I had never felt that kind of love in my life and the closest that came to it was the Big Guy. She and her sister are the culmination of the best thing that ever happened to me.

READ ALSO: Love Letter to my Tween

For Bella’s birthday, we let her choose to spend the day however she wanted to (that’s what we do in our house). We celebrate her party next weekend with family and friends. But yesterday, she wanted brunch, shopping for bikinis, a Disney movie marathon and homemade buffalo wing pizza for dinner. She had exactly what she wanted; a little bit big girl and still a bit of my baby. Culminated, like every year since birth, with her 4:51 pm birth minute kiss.

 

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

Bella,

One day you will read this, my sweet girl, and I want you to know, I love you more than everything. You are amazing in ways that you don’t even understand but I see the good, kind and caring kind of child you ‘ve always been and the young woman you are growing up to be. Keep being you and living the life you want. We’re always here to get your back and love you, no matter what comes in life. You can do anything you set your heart to. Dream big, baby girl. To the moon and back and forever and ever.

Xoxo

Mama

blondienites, 14th birthday party, love letter, 14th birthday, birthday girl, happy birthday

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The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Anxiety, Chronic illness, teenage girls, Anxiety attack, anxiety symptoms, teenage girls

Raising a teen is hard. Being a teen is hard. I know a lot of us parents complain about our teens and how inconvenient their ever-changing moods are. We wonder where our sweet little children have gone and why in his/her place a grouchy, nonverbal awkward almost adult has arrived. Maybe we need to look a little deeper and exercise a little more patience.

Sometimes, I can be overbearing and dismissive. I’m tired and my life is pretty monotonous. I know after 14 years, sometimes I run on autopilot. We get so caught up in our own inner dialogue that we forget that everything our children do is not always just to make our lives harder, even though it may feel like it at times. For example, my girls bicker almost constantly and it’s become something that I’ve begun to take personally because I feel like they do it in spite of my requests for them to stop. It almost feels like a collateral act of defiance. I’m trying to step back and see the whole picture, take into consideration that maybe they’re going through something that I’m missing.

Which brings me to the entire point of this post. Children of all ages who are experiencing anxiety and how they express those feelings. My daughter has been suffering from chronic sinus issues for the last couple of years. This year, it has been particularly bad. She’s already had 5 sinus infections since the beginning of the school year. Per our pediatrician, she is on meds to control her allergies and prevent the subsequent sinus infections that follow any sort of congestion, but that no longer seems to be helping.

READ ALSO: Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words

It’s gotten so bad that she is getting migraines which, if you’ve ever had chronic sinus issues, you know, is debilitating. She’s starting to feel like she’s sick and she’s not getting better. She doesn’t understand and neither do I. We do what we’re supposed to. We go to the doctor. We follow her instructions and still my child is sick. Today, we are seeing a specialist, an allergist, because we have to get to the bottom of this.

We love our pediatrician and I trust doctors. I have close friends and family members who are doctors, so I have no problem with doctors. But when your child isn’t getting better, you have to advocate no matter who it is or whose feelings it might hurt. This is where I am today.

The thing is we’re at a point now where my daughters is in such pain that the thought of being at school with no one to help her sends her into a panic. Her anxiety kicks in and she is practically immobilized. I’m talking, gets to the office at school and goes into flight mode. The other day her sinus infection was so bad and she couldn’t be medicated because of tests, she cried for 3 hours in the nurse’s office before they called me to bring her home.

How can I send her to school when she is so obviously in pain and, on top of that, terrified of not knowing why it won’t go away. Which, I won’t lie, I am getting concerned myself. I’m thinking if this appointment with the specialist doesn’t give us answers, maybe we need an MRI. I won’t say that to my daughter and I can’t lead on that I’m more worried than she thinks I am. As her mom, it’s my job to keep my shit together while handling business on the backend.

READ ALSO: When You Just Need a Moment for Yourself

I’m trying to stay cool but I get why she is having this anxiety of the unknown. I try to keep her comfortable. I have chronic sinus and allergy issues too. I get migraines. I know how painful all of this is but when I’m sick, I have the luxury of burying myself in bed. When she’s sick, she still has to show up but lately, even when she’s showing up, she’s not really because she’s so preoccupied by the pain.

I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes kids and teens are not jerks just for the sake of being a pain in the butt. Most times, there is something behind it. Whether it be anger, worry, fear or embarrassment. Sometimes even teenagers can’t use their words to tell us how they’re feeling. They are like toddlers in that way.

They say things like, “I’m tired”, “My head hurts”, “My stomach hurts” all very non-specifically and for a parent that can be frustrating because you feel like maybe they are trying to get something over on you. A long time ago, I started going deeper on my questioning (once we rule out that it’s not an actual physical ailment) I ask, “has anything happened at school?”, “Did a friend say something that hurt your feelings?”, “Did a boy say something that made you feel weird?”, “Did a teacher get too close?” “Did anyone make you feel uncomfortable or compromised in any way?” Sometimes, the answers will come out without them having to find the words.

READ ALSO: Parents who Send Sick Kids to School are the Worst

But in this situation, my daughter is actually sick. I’ve been to the pediatrician so many times this year that I feel like I should get frequent flyer miles. I’m also not too sure they don’t have me on some weird mom Munchausen by proxy watch list. It’s embarrassing but every time I take her in, there is actually something wrong with her. So it’s not in either one of our heads. I know how to advocate for my children and I’ll do whatever I need to get them healthy but how do I help them deal with their anxiety?

As a mom, how do you differentiate between your child being legit run of the mill fear of something and having brain chemistry induced anxiety attack about it? One might only need a hug but the other might need a professional. What would you do if your teenage girl was experiencing anxiety while suffering a physical illness?

Update: Allergy tests showed that she is allergic to every Midwestern allergen except cats. We have a dog. The allergens are triggering sinus infections. If your kid keeps getting sinus infections, it might be worth a trip to the allergist. Also, I will write some posts next week to help your kids deal with sinus issues, give you the low down on allergy tests on kids and teens and the symptoms of anxiety in teenagers. Basically, I’ll help you understand the secret life of the American teenager. We’ll all get through this together.

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slut shaming, sexting, misogyny, shaved, Mean girls, raising girls, hair, shaving, waxing, self-esteem

The things we have to talk to our children and teens about these days is intense. I never remember my mom talking to me directly about misogyny, slut shaming, rape or even consent. She definitely didn’t talk to me about sexting because it didn’t exist. I remember my dad adamantly telling me to respect myself and my body and to stand up for myself. Maybe that was the 80’s version of the same thing I’m talking to my girls about. My dad has a black belt in karate and he taught us all how to throw a punch so maybe he was prepping me for the real world, in his own indirect way.

I grew up and knew that I wanted to have a very open dialogue with my children, especially when they hit those difficult, awkward teen years. By the way, all kids are awkward at this age so it’s not just your kid. They all need a little TLC during the teen years when they can sometimes be at their most unlovable. Just remember all of that angst is probably masking insecurity.

READ ALSO: Parent Guide to Teen Slang Words

Lately, I’ve had to have some very direct conversations that I never thought I’d have to have. The two I most thought I’d never have to have a direct conversation about are misogyny (it’s not you, it is definitely them) and slut-shaming (it’s never ok to be a part of that problem). Thanks to modern politics and the trickle-down effect, it has had on our community, it’s been necessary to explain to my daughters that it’s never ok for any man to treat you like you are a less valuable human being because of what’s between your legs.

Women are 100% equal to men, as we are all human beings. The only thing that elevates a person’s worth in the world is the way in which they conduct themselves and interact with others. We should be measured by our contributions, not our sex.

Thanks to a prevalent case of moral superiority that seems to permeate the circle they have found themselves surrounded by, I’ve had to jump to the rescue of strangers for making questionable moral choices. At this age, everyone is a critic and the higher the number of kids judging, the worse the criticism. I’ve always told my girls that they should live their own best lives and do good in the world but we don’t judge others because their life choices are between them, their conscience and their God.

READ ALSO: When Misogyny Speaks the World Listens

Do I want my daughters to grow up and make questionable moral choices? Of course not, but do I want them to live a full life? Yes. So maybe that means they make some choices that I wouldn’t make or they take chances that I would have discouraged them from making. Will we always see eye to eye? Definitely not. My girls have free will and I wouldn’t change that.

I’m not particularly excited about watching them fail or get hurt and I will always be there to pick up the pieces and kiss the booboos, no matter how old they get, but I can’t live their life for them. This is why we have to have the hard talks. This is why I’ve been talking to my girls about sex, misogyny, and respecting themselves and their bodies since they were toddlers. You have to start these conversations when they are young.

We’re at a particularly uneasy part of childhood; the part where they are not quite children and not quite adults. They are naïve, hearts wide open, full of hormone fluctuations and walking around looking like adults.

Ever wonder why our teens make the choices they do? Something, not so much shocking as unexpected, happened at my daughters’ school recently and I found myself shocked that in this day and age a kid would make this poor choice because I thought all of us were having the same conversations with our kids. I sometimes forget how new the Internet really is. Sexting happened.

READ ALSO: Who is Protecting Our Daughters

Maybe it’s because I work in social media but my kids have known since before they were in school that the Internet is forever. Anything can be screenshot. Not everyone is who they appear to be online. Don’t measure your worth by how many likes, follows and “friends” you have. It’s all a smoke show. It’s fake and not seated in reality. But above all, it is forever and like the angry ghost of a crazy ex, it can haunt you forever so make good choices kids. Not all parents have this conversation even once with their children.

My girls have both had smartphones with parental controls since they were 9-years-old. We openly monitor their activity. We check their phones. They are only allowed an Instagram and Pinterest account, which they share. The accounts are monitored. Everything they post is monitored. There is no Finsta. I check their DMs. I block people. We’ve not made it taboo but the girls know that any time we could be watching so all I ask is that they respect themselves and not say anything on the Internet that they’d be embarrassed for their grandfathers to see.

Back to this sexting situation. A girl in 8th grade sent explicit unsolicited photos of herself to a boy she liked. He told his mom but not before consulting his friend. He sent the picture to his friend and the friend sent it to a group chat. The mom went to the school to tell on the girl. The police are now involved because this is the distribution of pornography involving a minor. As if this is not horrible enough of a situation, the 8th-grade girls are shunning her and one girl pointed at her in the presence of my daughter and called her a “slut.”

READ ALSO: Good Girls and Double Standards

My daughter shut it down because I’ve taught my girls that we never slut shame. It’s not our business to judge anyone, especially another woman, because of a momentary lapse in judgment or even if someone outright chooses to be promiscuous. I feel bad for this girl. She has to live with this choice and I’m sure that’s not easy. I’m not sure how you recover from something like this in a Catholic school where everything they do is seeping with moral superiority and virtue.

For me, I don’t understand why she chose to do this but maybe her parents never explained that anything you put out into the world digitally lives on forever. Maybe she was just so desperate for the attention that her judgment was clouded. Or maybe she just didn’t fully realize the weight of her actions until after she hit send. Either way, she made a choice and now, unfortunately, it will follow her.

I’d also like to point out that we live in a world where girls feel like they need to share these kinds of photos to capture a guy’s attention. Girls are objectified from very young ages. She’s not the only one who participated in this situation, she may have sent the photos but the boy could have deleted them. He didn’t need to share them with anyone and the kid who shared those private photos with the entire group chat, in my opinion, is the most culpable.

READ ALSO:  Love Letter to My Daughter

My girls were shocked by the behavior of the girl who sent the texts, the boys who shared them and the girls who are now doing the shunning. My oldest is feeling disillusioned by her friends. But I explained to her that these are just growing pains and it’s also a good dose of reality and a lesson in consequences.

Like my dad, I am saying to my girls respect yourselves, do good, make good choices and stand up for what you believe. Misogyny and slut shaming may be something our society tolerates but it doesn’t have to be. It starts with individuals choosing to do better, choosing kindness and compassion over judgment and cruelty. As parents, we need to remember that even when our teens don’t want us, they still need us and we need to see past their eye-rolling and exasperation and step in if necessary. They’ll get over it.

How do you teach your girls to survive sexting, slut-shaming and misogyny?

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Best Things to Do in Boston with Teens and Tweens, things to do in Boston, Boston Commons, Georgetown Cupcakes, Signature swings

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Boston is one of our favorite cities to travel to as a family. We fell in love with it on our first trip when the girls were just preschoolers and we’ve found new things to do and places to check out on every subsequent visit. It’s one of those places that you can go back to 100 times and still find new and exciting adventures to be had. Virginia might be for lovers but Boston is for families and the proof is in my best things to do in Boston with teens and tweens list that I’ve compiled.

We’ve done the typical things like go whale watching, visit the children’s museum and walk the Freedom Trail. We’ve visited Harvard and explored every inch of the commons. As the girls grow older, from toddlers to teens, what they want t do and what interests them changes. Lucky for us, Boston is a city with endless options.

READ ALSO: Things to Do in Boston When Traveling with Children

One of my favorite things about Boston, and I’ve said this many times, part of what makes it such an amazing family destination is that the people of Boston are so kind and welcoming to their city. Every time we’ve been, it never fails, if I need to stop and ask someone for directions or for a recommendation of places to eat or things to do, without fail they stop and answer my questions. This plays a big part in why I feel safe in Boston and return every year.

If you’re looking for a city to visit that offers something for all ages where you and your family can explore, Boston may be for you.

Best Things to Do in Boston with Teens and Tweens

Shopping

Primark

Shopping on Newbury Street

Newbury street is more than just a shopping center, it’s a cultural epicenter with all varieties of food and .

Anthropologie

Intermix

Remember to pack a duffle bag because if you are with teen girls, there will be plenty of shopping done and you’ll need the extra space.

Eating

Pret a Manger

We only discovered this gem last year when I was sick and we needed something quick. Pret a Manger is literally, ready to eat. My girls are obsessed with grilled ham and cheese.

Cheers Boston

This is one of our favorite places to go with the girls. They love getting Shirley temples and Boston Creme pie and the Big Guy and I love the casual atmosphere and pub food.

Best Things to Do in Boston with Teens and Tweens, things to do in Boston, Boston Commons, Georgetown Cupcakes, Signature swings

Georgetown Cupcake

Most delicious cupcakes ever with a fantastic flavor variety.

Eating in Chinatown

Any place you try, it will be good.

The Q

Come for the hot pots and stay for the sushi.

The Gourmet China House

The Gourmet China House is a quaint, unassuming restaurant that serves up some of the tastiest Chinese food I’ve ever eaten.

Stoddards

Gastropub serving vintage cocktails & craft beer in a historical building & former corset shop

New York Pizza

It’s a little bit of New York in Boston. If NYC style is your favorite pizza, you’ll love it.

Legal Sea Foods

Places to Stay 

Westin Boston Waterfront

The Westin has the most comfortable beds and attentive staff. If you are in town for a conference, the Westin is attached to the conference center. It’s also within walking distance to downtown.

Hyatt Regency Boston

The Hyatt is a modern, clean hotel located in the theater district within walking distance to the Commons, Chinatown and Newbury Street. Also, the customer service at the Hyatt is wonderful.

Boston Park Plaza

Entertainment

Best Things to Do in Boston with Teens and Tweens, things to do in Boston, Boston Commons, Georgetown Cupcakes, Signature swings

The Swing Park at the Signature

This is such a fun thing to do for people of every age. We spent hours there from sunset until it was dark out swinging on those glowing swings.

Faneuil Hall

Exploring Boylston neighborhoods around the Public Garden Park

Catch a show at the Paramount Center

The Swan Boats at the Commons

Visit Harvard University and Cambridge

If you’ve never been, you have to go. It’s a beautiful campus with so much to see. Plus, it’s never too early to introduce your kids to the possibility of Harvard.

READ ALSO: Ogunquit Maine the Perfect Beach Getaway

These are just a few of the many places to go and best things to do in Boston with teens and tweens but there are several more. We’re going back this June and I’ll have even more things to do and places to go then.

What’s your favorite city to visit with your family and why?

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eye rolling, how to get your teen to respect you , how to get a toddler to respect you

Ever wonder how to get respect from your teen? I remember wondering how to get respect from a toddler. It’s simple really if you want respect from your toddler thru to your teens,  you have to respect them too. I know, crazy, right? I’ve been all for treating my kids as little people from the day they were born. I just adjusted as needed, Age appropriate and full honesty has always been my long term parenting style.

Do your children roll their eyes at you? Mine has on occasion. They’ve been doing it since they gained control of their eyeballs and realized that sometimes, as a mom, I’m winging it. Some days, I don’t even have a clue and feel like the poster child for “ParentingFails.”

I definitely don’t feel like I know how to get respect from a toddler.

I don’t get made though. They come by their champion eye-rolling skills naturally. I’ve been known to roll my own eyes quite frequently — an unfortunate habit leftover from my own teen years. But, being the recipient of a serious eye rolling while I’m talking to my children annoys the p*ss out of me. In my book, it’s as disrespectful as walking away when I’m talking to you. It’s the nonverbal expression of: “You’re so annoying. I’m not listening to you!”

READ ALSO: Toddler Selective Hearing Syndrome

I get that it’s the sort of rebellious behavior one might expect from their tween or teen but now, even preschoolers are doing it. I know this is just one of those awesome hormonally fueled ways that my daughters are trying to exert their independence and test my boundaries but I hate it. As a parent, I need to figure out a way to get respect without hurling insults or being intentionally hurtful. We need to be the change we want to see in the world — so, if I don’t want to get eyes rolled at me, I need to first and foremost stop rolling my eyes. To get respect, you have to give respect. Yes, even to toddler and teens and all ages in between.

Maybe your toddler or teen is just unhappy or frustrated and eye rolling is his or her way of expressing that. Maybe it’s not personal at all. Either way, if it’s bothering you, it’s worth being discussed. Don’t get sidetracked by the rudeness and don’t engage in the same behavior. I know it’s difficult to ignore being ignored.

Try these tips to help guide you in how to get respect from a toddler and how to get your teen to stop rolling their eyes at you.

Expect respect

If you accept rudeness, you’ll get it. Parents who refuse to tolerate rude behavior tend to have kids who aren’t rude. Decide what’s most important to you. Let the house rules be known, and then hold your child accountable.

Choose your battles

You can’t punish your tween every time your child misbehaves. If you try, you will spend all of your time frustrated and yelling. Soon, you will drive yourself crazy — and your child will just start tuning you out. Instead, decide what you’re willing to tolerate and what you’re willing to overlook.

Out of bounds

Warn your kids when they are nearing intolerable behavior. For example, I count to three in Spanish, and my daughters know when I get to one, they have crossed a line. This will let you warn them without embarrassing them. It’s a private mom-and-child code that leaves them with some dignity.

Don’t get down on their level

When my girls roll their eyes at me, my instant reaction is to roll mine back — but how is that helpful? It solves nothing, demonstrates just how immature I am and sets a bad example. So, no matter how hard it is, try to take the high road when disciplining your child. Remember, you are an adult — behave like one.

READ ALSO: When Mom’s Stop Being Nice and Start Being Honest

How do you get your child to stop talking back or rolling their eyes? What is your way to get respect from your teen?

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Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

I’m a Chicago girl and there is nothing I love more than sharing my hometown with my daughters. I love taking my children to visit my family and introducing them to the city I love. It’s nice because while I’m figuring out all the best things to do in Chicago with teens and kids, I get to play tourist.

Chicago is one of my favorite cities but when you live somewhere you never play tourist because you.live.there. When you’re young, you’re like no way, I’m not wasting my time because you think you’ll always be there. Everything tourists come to Chicago to see, we saw on field trips a zillion times with school. You couldn’t pay us enough to go willingly.

READ ALSO: Chicago Ten Things to do Before You Die

But then you grow up and you realize OMG, all of these amazing museums, art galleries, Planetariums, Zoos, Aquariums and theater were right her and I took it all for granted. You realize that there are amazing things to do, food to eat and different cultures all around and you took it all for granted. But no more.

Here is a list of things to do in Chicago during the Winter months

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The Museum of Science and Industry

During the winter months, November through January, Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light is displayed. Explore rich holiday traditions from around the globe while creating your own traditions with loved ones in Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light.

It began in 1942 with a single tree. Today, the Museum’s beloved annual celebration features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. On the weekends, you can also enjoy live holiday performances. It’s the one-of-a-kind experience that brings a whole world of holiday joy under one roof.

READ ALSO: Spring Break Make It Yourself at MSI

This has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. This year, I took my parents and my daughters and it was truly magical. My only piece of advice, it is very busy over the holiday break between Christmas and New Year.

Also, if you are going during a busy season or when a popular exhibit is at the museum, be sure to get tickets for the exhibits that you want to see. There are some free exhibits that are very popular and so tickets are given on first come first serve basis, plot your plan and get your tickets as soon as you get there so you don’t miss anything.

Free admission days: The Museum of Science and Industry is free for Illinois residents with valid ID on the following dates in 2019: January 7–10, 14–17, 21–24, 28–31, February 4–7, 11–14, 19–21, 25–28

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Shedd Aquarium

If you are looking for a leisurely day to spend with children of all ages, the Shedd Aquarium is perfect. You are inside from the elements, whether it be the sweltering heat of the summer or the brutal cold of Chicago winters, and children (and adults alike) love the serene beauty that surrounds you.

Discover Aquatic Animals from around the World. You can purchase tickets online and save time. Encounter Penguins. Meet Beluga Whales. Award Winning Exhibits. Hands-On Activities. Watch Shark Feedings. Shows: Shark Feeding Tour, Behind-the-Scenes Tour, Beluga Encounter, Penguin Encounter. Our favorite was the Dolphin show and the Beluga Whales. It’s a great day of exciting aquatic fun.

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Don’t forget about the free admission days January 17-21, February 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-28 more will be added to the shed aquarium page free admissions page at a later day. Check back frequently because it’s a great deal.

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Field Museum

Who can forget the iconic shots of Kevin Bacon in She’s Having a Baby at the Field Museum? If your child or teen is into history at all, Field Museum is the place to visit. Even if they aren’t, I think the FIeld Museum could convince them to be. The Field Museum fuels a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture. It’s where real science, dinosaurs, and world-class exhibits inspire fun for all. My girls and nephew loved the mummies exhibit, Sue the T-Rex and Maximo the Titanosaur.

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There are Free Admission Days, which is free basic admission for Illinois residents with proof of residency. Discounted passes are available in person and cannot be purchased online in advance.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago, located in Millennium Park, is a hub for summertime festivals like Lollapalooza, the Blues Festival, and Taste of Chicago but it’s really a great place to visit during the winter months as well. There are many pieces to be adored and to give your family something to think about Wood’s American Gothic, Matisse’s Bathers By a River, Monet’s Water Lilies, Rivera’s Weaver and even Renoir’s Two Sisters. There are O’Keefe, Toulouse-Lautrec and Warhols. All these I remember seeing as a child. But even among the Dali’s and Van Goghs, the piece I love the most is Picasso’s The Old Guitarist. Those artwork are probably only allowed to be shipped and prepped by topnotch art handlers to safeguard their authenticity. Having a place to go and share these pieces with my daughters, feels a little bit like going to church at the Sistine Chapel. We are overcome with awe and wonder. The art Institute is a must visit when you’re in Chicago.

Just like all the other amazing museums in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago has free admission days.

Adler Planetarium

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium and a premier resource for inspiring the next generation of space explorers and bonus, it is right next door to the Shedd Aquarium so you can make a day of it with the kids. If your child is interested in astronomy or space in general, how it works, what’s out there, or just connecting the constellations in the night sky, they will love the Adler Planetarium.

Countless galaxies, unfathomable distances, exploding stars, diamond planets, black holes, there’s no way around it, space is freaking awesome! Come learn more at the Adler Planetarium during our Illinois Resident Discount Days—where Illinois residents receive FREE General Admission to the museum. General Admission provides access to all exhibitions and experiences (excluding the historic Atwood Sphere Experience and sky shows.*) 2019 Illinois Resident Discount Days

January 21-22, 29-31
February 5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 26-28
April 2-4, 9-11
June 3-5, 10-13
September 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
October 7-9, 14-16
November 8, 11
December 2-3, 7, 12-13

Navy Pier

If you’ve never been to Navy Pier, make sure to visit on your next trip to Chicago. Originally completed in 1916 as part of Daniel Burnham’s plan for Chicago, Navy Pier is an iconic city landmark inspiring discovery and wonder. Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million visitors have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. As Navy Pier enters its second century, the venue is evolving into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.

There is so much to do at Navy Pier. There are restaurants, art, shopping, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and even rides. Navy Pier is home to one of Chicago’s most iconic attractions: the magnificent Centennial Wheel, offering soaring views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. And let’s not forget about the Pepsi Wave Swinger, carousel and more. Honestly, there is so much to do…just add teens and instant good time.

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Medieval Times Schaumburg

If you’ve never been to a Medieval Times, you are missing out. I always wanted to go but never made the drive ase I said, when you live in Chicago, you don’t do the touristy things). A couple of years ago, I found myself at a work event with my family and guess where we ended up? Medieval Times. We loved it so much, this past holiday season when I was home visiting my parents, we took them to Medieval times in Schaumburg (just north of the city) and they loved it and so did my kids.

For the first time in Medieval Times 35-year history, a woman is in charge. All hail Queen Dona Maria Isabella. Enjoy an electrifying show featuring heroic knights on spirited horses displaying the astounding athletic feats and thrilling swordplay that have become hallmarks of this unique entertainment experience. Enjoy a “hands-on” feast as the dynamic performance unfolds before you. A sweeping musical score and brilliant lights provide a fabulous backdrop for this spellbinding experience that blurs the boundary between fairy tale and spectacle!

Yes, there is a blue knight and a red knight and you eat with your hands but so is everybody else and it was magical and splendid and I can’t wait to go again. There is a 2-hour medieval jousting tournament, 6 competing knights with real weapons, beautiful horses and a live flight of the royal falcon. Medieval Times is like nothing else you’ve ever experienced.

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Save BIG 40% off adults and teens & 20% off kids. Use code HOL4020. Valid for shows through 1/31/2019. Restrictions apply.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel, broadway in chicagoBroadway in Chicago

If you love the theater, Broadway in Chicago is the place to be. Hamilton, anyone? The theater district is vibrant and located within walking distance of so many great restaurants and entertainment opportunities, including the Joffrey ballet. There is no shortage of things to see and places to be while experiencing Broadway on Chicago. There is a constant assortment of plays and musicals to see on the stage, something for everyone, even the most discerning critics.

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There are so many more things, these are just a few and the list gets longer during the warmer months. What is your favorite thing to do, see and eat in Chicago? The best part is that all of these places are great for just adults too.

READ ALSO: The Aladdin Experience

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What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago with teens or kids?

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Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Need to Know, teen slang words, slang words, parents guide, teens, mom of teens, teenagers, slang for dummies

Ok moms of tweens and teens, I didn’t forget about you. I’ve scoured the internet to compile a comprehensive parents guide to teen slang words. Ever feel like your teens and tweens are talking another language? Well, you’re not crazy, they are. They are talking slang and the meanings have changed just to keep us on our toes. Please don’t out yourself as being out of the know and have your kid tell you to skurt skurt.

My girls and I have a pretty open relationship. They still like me on most days. Though that is not my main concern in parenting, I’d love it if one day we could be friends but for now, I’m their mom. There’s always been a comradery between us that transcended the parent/child relationship. I did that on purpose because I didn’t have that as a child.

There was a strict division between parents and children and while I completely believe that I am my daughters’ mom first and their “friend” second, I want them to trust me and, if possible, feel comfortable not hiding things from me. Teens feel weird about all the changes like they can’t tell us things and then they start to shut down and begin to hide things from us.

READ ALSO: The Ever Changing Rules and Regulations of being a Teen Girl

That’s not to say that I’m not the mean mom on the daily but everything I do, like you, is out of love and in the hopes of raising good human beings. I sit through all the Dobre Brothers, Yoga Challenges and Beauty tutorial YouTube videos with them just so we can have conversations that I can actually understand. Just so I can know how they are doing. Because the important things are peppered in with all the daily stuff. It’s our job as parents to pay attention.

The other day, after watching a YouTube video about slang kids are using these days, I realized that maybe not all moms and dads of teens know what the heck their kids are saying when they are talking or texting. They speak in code you know? Not that I’m an expert but, unlike most parents who don’t actually work in social media, I do know some things. Add to the mix that I am a giant child myself and my daughters have taught me some words I should know for 2019. FYI, fleek is no longer on fleek so keep that phrase out of your mouth.

Here is the Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Need to Know

 Adulting – To grow up and act responsibly

 AF – An acronym for “as fuck”

Almosts- Someone you came close to dating but it never became official

Awk/ Awks – Awkward

Basic – Only interested in mainstream, popular things

Beef- Argument

Beat – To have a full face of makeup

Blessed – Feeling fortunate

Bounce – Leaving suddenly

Bougie – Someone from a higher class

BRB- Be Right Back

Bruh – Another way of saying “seriously?”

Cancel – The rejection of a person, place or thing

Canceled – To reject something because it’s no longer trendy or it’s become too ratchet.

Can’t even – Used to describe someone you cannot handle

Catfishing– pretending t be someone else on social media

Clap back – A comeback filled with attitude

Clout Chaser = someone who tries to latch on to other, more popular people

Clout Demon = a wannabe

Cray – Crazy

Cringey– awkward, uncomfortable, cringe-worthy

Dad – A role model

Dank – Really cool

Dead – When someone is euphorically happy

Dead A–= To be completely and honestly serious

Dime = rating of attractiveness, 10/10

Down in the DM = direct messaging someone privately, usually to hook up

Drip, Drippin = flashy, ostentatious

Extra – Over the top, dramatic behavior

Fam – A group of friends who feels more like family

Finesse – To smooth things out

Fleeky– Amazing

FOMO – Fear of missing out

F2F = face to face, meeting in person

Gassed – When someone has had one too many compliments and is full of themselves

Ghost – When you completely disappear after hanging out and showing interest

Girlfriend tax– The amount of food taken by your female significant other, after you asked her if she was hungry and she insisted she wasn’t.

Glow-Up = an incredible transformation

GMT – Getting me tight / getting upset

Goals – A way of subtly expressing that you’re jealous; Goals = a lifestyle to strive for

GOAT – Greatest of all time

Gucci – Good or cool; Good / doing well / feeling fine

Hangry – When you are angry because you are so hungry

High-key – Straight up truth; a lot, wanting everyone to know something

Hit a lick = to steal something

Hundo P – 100 percent certain

Hunty – Equivalent of friend but said with attitude

IRL – In real life

It’s lit = cool, awesome, great

I’m weak = something so funny it made you weak

JOMO – Joy of missing out

Kickback = a casual get together

KMS/KYS = kill myself, kill yourself, used sarcastically

Lean = an intoxicating drink made using soda and cough syrup

Lit – Amazing

Mom – The most responsible friend in the group

Netflix and chill – Hooking up

OMG – An abbreviation for “oh my gosh” or “oh my God!”

OP = out of pocket, used when something is extreme or offensive

OTP – One true pairing

Phubbing – Snubbing someone to pay attention to your phone instead

Ratchet – Trashy

Receipts – Evidence of a person’s hypocrisy, often pulled from past social media or text conversations

Rides – Sneakers or shoes

 Salty – Acting upset or bitter

Saucy = feisty or sassy

Savage = wild or harsh

Savage – Petty

Shade-Trash Talk

Shipping – Wanting two people to date

Shook – Confused or in utter disbelief

Sic – Something that is cool

Sipping/Sips Tea– Minding your own business

Spilling the Tea– Gossipping

Skurt – Go away

Slay – Killing it / Succeeding

SMH – Shaking my head

Snatched – Looks good, fierce, fashionable. Snatched is the new fleek.

Snack– Cute= tasty treat you’d like to eat; the people version

Spilling Tea – Gossiping

Squad – Closest group of friends

Stan – A combination of stalker and fan

Straight Fire – Hot, popular or trendy

Suh – A shortened version of what’s up

Sus – When someone is acting suspicious or shady

Swerve – Get out of the way

Swol – Someone who works out

TBH – To be honest

Tea -Gossip

TFW – That feeling when

Thicc – Someone with curves

Thirst trap – A sexy photograph or flirtatious message posted on social media

Thirsty – Trying to get attention; horny

Throwing shade – Making a subtly mean comment about someone

Trill – True and real

Trolls – Someone who purposely tries to provoke others

Turnt – Hype for a party

V – very

Weak – Laughing so hard that you can hardly breathe

Wig snatched – Exposing someone to reveal the truth

Wig = when something crazy or unexpected (good) happens

WOAT– Worst of All Time

Woke – Being aware of current affairs

Yaas – An enthusiastic way of saying yes, or as my girls say, Yaas queen.

Yeet – A way to show excitement or agree

YOLO – You only live once

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Need to Know, teen slang words, slang words, parents guide, teens, mom of teens, teenagers, slang for dummies

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words that Describes People or Relationships

OK, parents pay attention. You know relationships are so important during the teens years. Friends are our lifelines and boys, well, the day rises and sets around them when we are first crushing. Our teens find out about themselves through these relationships. They are rocky and scary and unexplored territory.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Pt.1

Did you know they have a whole slang language for these relationships? They do. I guess we did too. Remember being someone’s “lady”, “boo” or “girl”? Well, move over bacon there is something leaner.

Here are some teen slang words used to describe people or relationships. There is some overlap for the above list.

  • Bae – “Before anyone else” and is often used to describe a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • BF/GF – Boyfriend or girlfriend
  • BFF – Best friends forever
  • Bruh – Same as “bro”
  • Creeper – Someone who is socially awkward or tends to have stalker tendencies
  • Curve – Romantic rejection
  • Emo – Emotional or a drama queen
  • Hater or h8er – Someone who hates everything, even their friends
  • n00b – A person who doesn’t want to learn
  • Ship – Short for ‘relationship’
  • Squad – A group of girls that hang out together regularly
  • Tight – In a close relationship
  • Wanksta – A person trying to act tough, but who isn’t really pulling it off

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words the Compound Version

Yes, this is a thing and we’ve all heard it. Hangry and chillaxin. TBH, I thought I invented Hangry back when I was a teen but perhaps I was mistaken.

Teens often create shortcuts by combining two words together. To understand what they mean, you need to know the definition of each word. Here are some examples of compound teen slang:

  • Chillaxin – Chillin’ and relaxing.
  • Crashy – Crazy and trashy
  • Hangry – Hungry and angry
  • Requestion – Request and a question
  • Tope – Tight and dope

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Should Pay Attention To

Be on the lookout for these slang words which could indicate your teen is bullying someone or that getting bullied by someone:

  • Bye Felicia – A disrespectful way to dismiss someone who is unimportant
  • CD9 – Code 9, parents are here
  • POS – Parents over shoulder (often used when texting to warn friends that mom or dad is reading) I thought it meant Piece of Sh*t.
  • Throw Shade – Give someone a dirty look
  • Tool – Refers to someone who is stupid or a geek

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Should Definitely Keep an Eye Out For

I am so thankful that social media wasn’t around when I was a tween and teen. When I think of all the stupid things I did that could have been captured and lived on in infamy, I cringe. I was naïve and dumb and did a lot of dumb things; made a lot of mistakes. By most standards, I was a good kid and I still did some really dangerous, thoughtless things.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Pt.2

Social media, text messaging, and online dating can lead to sexual conversations over the computer. And if you’re not sure what to look out for, you might not even notice what your teen is saying right under your nose. Sneaky little boogers.

Drug conversations are also something you need to be aware of. Here are some teen slang words that may indicate your teen is being pressured or experimenting with sex, drugs and alcohol.

  • CU46 – See you for sex
  • GNOC – Get naked on camera
  • Molly – MDMA, a dangerous party drug
  • NIFOC – Naked in front of the computer
  • Netflix and Chill – Used as a front for inviting someone over to make out (or maybe more)
  • Smash – Casual sex
  • Turnt Up – To be high or drunk
  • Tweaking= high, usually on amphetamines
  • Zip Ghost – Someone who is high on marijuana and having a hard time functioning
  • Dexing – Abusing cough syrup
  • Crunk – Getting high and drunk at the same time
  • X – Ecstasy
  • 53X – Sex
  • WTTP – Want to trade photos?
  • LMIRL – Let’s meet in real life

Not going to lie, I check my kids’ phones every night. They are still pretty young. We’re at the beginning and I’d rather be a smother than be sorry. I’m totally upfront about it so I’m not invading their privacy all sneaky squirrel. They know I check their phones. This is not to be nosey, this is to make sure they are safe.

Sometimes kids wander into unfamiliar territory and, believe it or not, they want someone to put the brakes on because then they can hide behind their “mean mom” saying no, rather than having to tell someone that they don’t want to do something because they feel uneasy or too young. I’m fine with being the bad guy.

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Need to Know, teen slang words, slang words, parents guide, teens, mom of teens, teenagers, slang for dummiesI made this Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words so we can understand and communicate with our teens.

I’m sure you already know this, but some parents don’t, beware of Finsta accounts on Insta. You know, you think that you are watching your kid’s account but really you are only watching the one they want you to see. They’ve got 2 more that you have no idea exist and they are doing crazy sh*t like having full on conversations full of innuendo with strangers and taking pictures half naked with suggestive faces and captions. The point is that teens these days are so smart and tech savvy but they are still young and naïve to how the world works so it is our job to keep them safe not give them enough social media rope to hang themselves.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Pt.3

Another good idea, check out Gryphon. It’s a smart home device that allows you to monitor, block, and even turn off the internet on your child’s device, all from your phone. (Yup, you can turn off their internet during dinner time, homework time, etc. so you no longer have to nag them to put down their devices). I like to turn off the Internet when the girls are supposed to be in bed because I don’t want them up getting into trouble. I’ve noticed that kids seem to get a little braver when they have sleepovers and are staying up. This is when prank calls and text take place. I get it. We used to do it but we didn’t have sexting and the Internet. It wasn’t forever, just for a while. I need to think of their future and their safety even when they aren’t. Sometimes we need to save our kids from themselves.

Are there any words that I forgot on the Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words or that you have heard your kid use and need an explanation

 

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kixteen period proof panties, The Ever Changing Rules and Regulations of Being a Teen Girl

My oldest is 13-years-old. Where did the time go? They are growing up faster than I feel like I can let go. Pretty soon, they are going to have to pry themselves from my cold dead hands. Then they’ll still probably have to break them in order for me to release, I’m just holding on that hard.

But the Big Guy, for as liberal as he pretends to be, is going to have an even harder time than me. He’s actually told the girls that they can’t date until they are 18 and he.was.serious. I just laughed. I told him that’s what my dad said too but I started dating when I was 15. I just didn’t tell my dad. That’s not what I want for our girls so we’re all easing into it.

READ ALSO: My Daughter Loves Me

The kids at school are all pairing up. 13-years-old, for me, is a bit young to be paired up BUT I do remember being that age and having crushes. In fact, I think somewhere in 8th grade is where I lost my mind and went completely boy crazy. At least that is what my 8th-grade diary would have me believe.  #SoEmbarassing

Bella’s always been too involved with ballet to have time to care about boys. But recently, there has been KJ Apa, Cole Sprouse and Robert Pattinson screensavers where there once was unicorns. But apparently, this is the case for the entire eighth-grade girl population.

A couple weeks ago she was homesick and instead of binge watching funny fails on Youtube she binge-watched the entire Twilight series and can’t stop talking Jacob’s chest. Kiss/Kill/Marry is the new favorite pastime with the girls.

I just watch and listen and let them know that it’s all normal. I don’t encourage or discourage. I simply pay attention and try to guide them through these confusing times of hormones and puberty.

There have been a couple boys and I can tell by my daughter’s sheepish smile and sparkly eyes that these boys are as good as KJ Apa and Cole Sprouse. But I don’t push. I don’t want them to feel like I’m pushing them to like boys (or girls) but I also don’t want them to feel like I am holding them back. I want them to know that as long as they respect themselves and aren’t cruel to anyone, it’s their choice to make. It’s a natural part of growing up.

Obviously, they are too young to actually date anyone but I can’t stop them from growing up. I can’t stop them from having feelings or wanting to get to know someone better. I can only encourage them to do it in a respectful, honest and dignified way.

A few weeks ago, when I picked Bella up from school, she excitedly recounted the day’s events which to my surprise involved a certain young man who knows how to use his words. It was a dress-up day and this boy, very sweetly pulled up his pant legs to reveal to my daughter a pair of socks with hearts on them. Then, he says, “I wore these just for you, Bella.”

She turned 50 shades of red and changed the subject. I know this because it’s exactly what she did when she told me about it. She’s shy, especially in this situation. What new teen wouldn’t be? Though I’m not quite ready for this next phase, the story was very sweet.

She’s starting to embrace becoming a teen and all which that entails; the good, the bad and the terrible. She’s even looking forward to high school when just this past summer, she wasn’t. She really is growing up so fast.

I’d like to think it has something to do with our style of parenting; let them know your love is unconditional and you will always be there to listen with understanding ears and an open heart but really, I think we just got lucky with a couple of good girls.

READ ALSO: Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon

Just a few months ago, puberty was barely on the horizon, off in the not so far distance. But that milestone has come and gone. We’ve got puberty covered. Thanks to lots of reading, lots of remembering my own teen years, lots of understanding and Knixteen’s period proof underwear and bras. Things are different from when I was 13-years-old.

Apparently, the teen years are a roller coaster of emotions and feelings and parents and kids alike are strapped in for the duration. All we can do is hold on to one another and try to enjoy the ride together. Never stop talking and more importantly, never stop listening. You never know what you might hear or what they might need you to say.

I know these sweet moments of blushing and sparkly eyes are just the beginning of what will become her long, complicated and beautiful story. I just hope she writes it down somewhere so when she’s a mom, she can look back and remember she was once at the beginning when things were confusing and new and scary and that will help her have the patience and courage and love it takes to get back on that roller coaster with her own daughter.

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the conjuring, Best Horror movies, teen horror movies, best horror movies streaming, Best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies, Halloween, the Exorcist, Amityville horror, carrie, poltergeist, texas chainsaw massacre, nightmare on elm street, Friday the 13th, When a stranger calls

I’ve been waiting for his moment for 13 years; the moment that I could watch horror movies with my daughters. I’ve been into the horror genre since I was about 7-years-old. It was the early 80’s and parenting was different back then. I’ve compiled this list of the best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies.

Ok, I’ll back up because I know that there is no world where I would allow my 7-year-old to watch horror movies. I had an aunt who was 17 when I was 7 and she would let me read her horror novels and even took me to see Friday the 13th in the movie theater. If you think that’s bad, she took my brother too, who was 5-years-old. If it makes it any better, she was married with a baby. She’d swap her baby for two of my mom’s kids. That was irresponsible babysitting swapping of the early 80’s.

I tried it and I loved it. Soon I was watching horror movies all the times. I was renting videotapes of horror movies for sleepovers.  I read all the Steven King books before I watched the movies.

READ ALSO: Most Bingeworthy Halloween Shows to get Your Fright On

Anyways, I still love the horror genre and can be found watching horror movies from June through November. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

Until this year, going into the Halloween Store scared my oldest so badly, she’d cry when the animatronics would activate. I figured I was doomed to a life of streaming horror movies after the kids went to sleep but this year, that all changed. My oldest asked to watch horror movies with me. A horror fans dream come true.

At first, I was leery because you all remember my girls co-slept? I totally don’t want them back in my bed long term. It feels like I just got them out. She seemed serious and really wanted to try it so we started with some silly ones. One night after being terrified of clowns for the past year from the promo for IT by Stephen King last year, Bella asked if I’d watch it with her.

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I said sure because, full disclosure, I don’t find IT scary. I find it more silly and funny like Ghoulies or Gremlins. Clowns don’t scare me. We watched the new IT and it’s been popcorn and teen horror movies ever since. In fact, we just took her and her bestie to see The Nun when it came out.

Here are my best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies.

1.Friday the 13th  1980 Rated-R

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child’s drowning.

Basically, this horror movie is a tale of the ultimate helicopter mom. These counselors let her son drown. I find it completely acceptable that she’d go all crazy bear mom on them. In her mind, if they weren’t so busy making out and were watching the kids, her Jason would still be alive.

Let that be a lesson folks. In fact, I told my daughter ( teachable moment), “That’s why when you babysit, you pay attention to the kid you’re babysitting and don’t answer the phone.” Which brings me to the next movie.

2. When a Stranger Calls 1979 Rated-R

A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.

This movie really used to freak me out because obviously anytime you would babysit in the 80’s your stupid friends would call the house line and breathe heavy and ask you, “Have you checked on the children?” It was completely freaky and anytime I watch this movie, if the phone rings, I still jump.

*Also, if you like this one, be sure to watch the horror movie Black Christmas ( 1974).

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3. Halloween 1978 Rated- R

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Halloween, the original, is definitely one of my favorite horror movies of all time. I love the music. I love the idea. I love the cheesy screaming and gasping. I love the whole concept of a horror film about a child who is capable of such depravity. It is creepy.

All that being said, I hate most of the sequels. Stand-alone, some of them are interesting and funny but they don’t follow the story and they just seem absurd. Though I am looking forward to the latest installment with Jamie Lee Curtis.

If we are being honest, I totally love the 2 Halloween remakes made by Rob Zombie. The story is more cohesive and makes more sense.

4. The Omen 1976 Rated-R

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil’s own son?

The Omen is an interesting take on horror because it insinuates that even something as innocent as a child could be the anti-christ. It’s also scary to think that a child could be so malevolent that he would attempt to murder his own mother.

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5. Carrie 1976 Rated-R

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

This movie is completely different than any other horror movie because it’s basically about a fundamentalist Christian girl who has telekinesis. That in itself wouldn’t be so scary except she is relentlessly bullied by everyone in her life, including her mother.  The girl reaches a breaking point and instead of killing herself, she goes crazy on everyone else. I think of it more as a cautionary tale than a horror movie. It was a great teachable moment to remind my girls that this is why we don’t make fun of people.

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6. The Exorcist 1973 Rated-R

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Not going to lie, I am Catholic so possession horror is really the only kind of horror that scares me. The Exorcist terrified me because she was just a kid and she got possessed, meaning demons do not discriminate. I found her vulgarity, spider walking and head spinning vomiting to be particularly terrifying.

If you want to see a more contemporary possession that will truly haunt you ( but I would not recommend for your teens because it actually terrified me and I haven’t been able to watch it again) watch The Conjuring. The whole series is scary but the original Conjuring is still the one I find the most frightening.

READ ALSO: The True Story Behind my Ghost Photo

7. Poltergeist 1982 Rated-PG

A family’s home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

This is a good movie to introduce your teen to the horror genre because it is very PG. If you are afraid of clowns and televisions, it might keep you up at night but really it’s very mild. Of course, a little girl is imprisoned into another dimension via her tv so that was a little disturbing.

The creepiest thing about the whole movie was the fact that the house was built on a burial ground and apparently, no one bothered to move the bodies. Yikes. Buyer beware.

8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 Rated- NR

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

This is one of the most macabre horror movies, I’ve ever watched. I don’t know if it’s the fact that the Leatherface character is based on the serial killer, Ed Gein, the fact that they preface it by saying its a true story or just how creepy it is to think that something not supernatural but just evil could actually happen. Another good teachable moment for your teens.

I know one thing it taught me to never pick up hitchhikers, never go wandering off in Texas and always wear gym shoes so that I can run away from maniacs with chainsaws.

9. Nightmare on Elm Street 1984 Rated-R 

The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

Firstly, a teenaged Johnny Depp is in this horror movie so you have to watch it.  This is the perfect horror movie for teens because it is their age demographic. It was unique too in that it made us believe that the horrors we dream of in our nightmares could actually come true. It also made us feel isolated because no matter who the teens told, none of the adults seemed to believe them.

I don’t know about you but if I thought a burnt dude with daggers for fingers could attack and kill me while being a pervert in my nightmares and I could wake up dead, I’d be afraid to go to sleep too.

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10. The Amityville Horror 1979 Rated-R

Newlyweds move into a large house where a mass murder was committed, and experience strange manifestations which drive them away.

This is the ultimate buyer beware story. Newlywed couple knowingly buys a house where a mass murder was committed because the price was so great. Unfortunately for them, it was too good to be true and the house came with a demon.

READ ALSO: The Walking Dead Season Premiere Gave me PTSD

Dad gets possessed. Mom is seeing things. The priest comes to bless the house and almost doesn’t live to tell the tale. The boys are maimed. The little girl is hanging with a demon pig and even the dog is being assaulted. The whole thing is a sh*t show but it’s scary because it was also touted as a “true story”.

 These are my best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies.

This is the list we started with because they’re classics. They are scary but they don’t have the special effects and gore of some of the newer ones. I feel like introducing teens to horror movies should be like lowering yourself into a warm bath, not too fast and not too sudden so no one gets hurt.

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Also, it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyways, watch the movies with your kids. Don’t let them watch them alone. You need to be there for moral support, to explain some of the themes and possibly the lingo back in the day.

Do you watch horror movies with your teens? What are your favorite teen horror movies?

 

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