Teenagers: Managing Highly Demanding Work with High Demands

Teenagers are still growing and are having increasing demands which are difficult to meet. They face a lot of challenges from school, peers, and sports but are equipped with confidence. Parents think teenagers have it all easy but they need more support and understanding now than ever.


High school kids have daily home work that takes three to four hours every day. The advanced and honors courses leave little room for outside fun. Teenagers manage the tests, grades, ACT, SAT, activities, and so on. To meet their demands, teenagers start working as soon as they are eligible. Volunteering in a related interested field is expected at this age. Through volunteering, high school kids are able to explore the study and work choices.


The frontal lobe of the teenagers is still developing. Teenagers are highly susceptible to schizophrenia and other issues.Their perception of situations and problem solving methods are different than adults. Healthy diet, exercise, and more sleep is recommended for overall well being. Social, physical, emotional, and mental health is crucial for teenagers. Any out of school activity costs a lot but there is risk of developing obesity at this age and related complications may arise due to the sedentary lifestyle. Smart phone addiction goes often unrecognized in teenagers.

Peer Pressure

Teenagers face drugs, alcohol, dating, and other situations in daily lives. Increased rates of depression and suicide among teenagers are due to the constant pressure. Cyber-bullying and online crimes on teenagers are getting out of control. They are exposed unimaginable sex and terrorist videos that are available openly on the Internet. Cyber crimes and under age charges can be filed in case of sharing nude photos.


Dating is common in high school and kids are highly anticipating for this in elementary and middle schools. Many end up marrying their high school partners for life long. However, nowadays due to the unlimited exposure, there is high occurrences of teenage pregnancies which hinders their education, work, and lifestyle. Children are exploring their sexuality and identifying their preferences. They are experimenting and knowing their limits. Too much sharing on Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, live videos, unlimited selfies, and so on take a huge toll on time and efforts. The cost of the dates also is an additional expense for the family! Some do earn through chores and part time jobs.


If you have a teenager at home, probably you have come across all the high-end demands. Smartphone, car, laptop, events, branded gear, allowance, and what not. They have to have the stuff to get along with their friends. ‘All are doing it’ and ‘All have it’ are some of the phrases parents get to hear.


Smartphone for a teenager costs $1000 or more and it needs yearly upgrade! Carrier bill of teenagers with unlimited data costs about $100 a month. High-end earbuds to listen to the music which cost another $150. Monthly music memberships for Spotify and Netflix add another $50. If your high school kid is a gamer, they will need monthly memberships, gaming systems, game remotes, and compatible head phones add another $1000.  If you have a fashion favorite at home, clothing, seasonal attire, and accessories cost another $500 per month (minimum).


Finding a correct match for the courses teenagers wish to study and the college offering them is not decided until they join.  They are applying to colleges and scholarship and writing related essays. The application fees of the colleges and the college visits itself may add up to significant amount.

Managing all 

Teenagers are working their best to meet the work and increasing pressures. Stress management is possible through yoga, meditation, and social and physical activities. The outbursts and yelling are a way to get the stress out. Understanding the kids nature while respecting their growth is needed during their developing years. Helping teenagers take the right decisions and reminding them of the basic rules and life goals keeps them focused.

The challenges faced by current generation are never heard before and they are working hard to get ahead in the competition of study and life! Parents must show their support and encouragement while negotiating their demands.

Visiting a New Born Baby

Visiting a new born baby may be exciting for you and the parents as well. But be prepared and do not be surprised if you do not even get to look at the baby during your visit.


Any new born in the family or friends may tempt you to go visit them. Dropping by is just rude and it is always better to take an appointment to get the suitable time for the new parents. Ask if the parents need any thing to be brought along from the store and may offer to get it.

Remember that the new parents are overwhelmed with the baby and the delivery process. The taking care of the baby and adjusting to the routines is a new effort for the parents. They might be already busy with the doctor appointments for the baby and mother. So, it is better to ask for a suitable time.

What to take

You may take some baby gifts or clothes. You can ask if they prefer some brands or products. It is always good to take some sweets and flowers. Food is appreciated and the new parents do not mind the extra delicacies you bring. Consider their allergies and diet restrictions. They may take some time off from cooking of you take some lunch, dinner or snacks with you.

It would be nice if you take a gift to the siblings or a pet so that they may not feel left out during your visit.

What to talk

Sometimes, the parents are so exhausted that they may not be able to focus on your personal stuff. It is better to discuss about how cute the baby is or about the baby’s resemblance. It is suggested to listen to the parents rather than bragging about your own delivery and child birth. That may be a conversation starter but during your visit you can focus on their stories.

Commenting too much on the baby may be considered a bad omen for the baby in some customs. So, it is better to be neutral. Offer to clean your hands and feet before touching the baby. If the baby or mother is sleeping, let them take their time of rest. If it is time for baby’s feeding, you can excuse yourself politely.

In all, the visit can be pleasant for you and the family if you are prepared and avoid any embarrassment. Let me know how your experience went. 🙂


Gifted Child

Every parent feels that their child is exceptional and gifted. There is no other star in the world than your own child. But, gifted children have a different kinds of capabilities and requirements which must be identified and hence can enhance the child’s learning and performance.

In the highly competitive world, is it just enough if your child gets good grades, or do you think they have to work hard to shine and exceed expectations in the standardized tests and teacher expectations. It is easier said than done. How are the gifted children identified and what are the parameters.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act defines a gifted child as – ” Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities”.


Here are some of the characteristics of gifted children:

  1. Ability to read at an early age and develop independent learning
  2. Asking why and how rather than taking granted
  3. Having large vocabulary and expression of the ideas
  4. High energy levels in academics
  5. Exceptional skill in music, art, sports, or any other activity
  6. Extremely curious about objects and topics
  7. Breaking complex material and systematic analysis
  8. Elaborate thinking and thrive on problem solving
  9. Handle tasks in efficient manner
  10. Understand their own abilities and capabilities
The National Association For Gifted Children (NAGC) defines gifted children as -“Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains.  Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system ( mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills ( painting, dance, sports).”

Schools use standardized testing to determine the gifted children apart from classroom assessment. Students scoring 90 percentile in the tests or exceeds expectations in the state wide or nation wide tests. NUMATS is also used to determine students with exceptional abilities and achievements.


Once the gifted child is identified, the child must be treated with extra care and special attention. They my feel bored easily in class rooms if they are not challenged accordingly. They may also feel left out and are vulnerable. Here are some strategies that can be used with gifted children:

  1. Challenge them to achieve more
  2. Let them know that it is ok to perform above standards
  3. Put them in to special programs which have curriculum prepared to suit them
  4. Promote positive environment and encourage learning
  5. Set up high standards and appropriate coaching so they can achieve the goals

Parents and teachers can work with the gifted children and challenge their minds for a better performance. Appropriate training and counselling is required to make them successful. Underachievement is also a common trend in gifted children due to lack of proper identification and training.

Note that the government does not provide any additional funding for the public schools to nurture the gifted children. Schools formulate funds to take care of the special programs.

Is your child gifted? What steps have you taken to meet your child’s learning demands.

Arguing in front of Kids

We don’t often realize that the kids have grown up and what not to do when they are around. Arguing parents is one of the conditions which most kids confront in their childhood and may have created unnecessary thoughts. Most parents argue without actually realizing and some argue to prove their power in front of the kids. While negotiating and settling matters softly will prove as a good example to your child rather than calling names, insulting your partner, or hurting.

Arguing Couples

Most couples or in any relationship arguing is natural. Wife and husband do argue quite a few times. Be it a petty issue such as a messy toilet or a major financial issue, couples do tend to argue with each other. Sometimes, the arguments go over the board and result in screaming, yelling, pushing, physical attacks, calling names, swearing, and what  not.

Such powerful arguments do not necessarily result in divorce or a settlement for that matter. Arguments do not really produce results or a common agreement. They just increase the tension in the relationship.

Arguing in front of the kids

OK, we all grew up watching our parents argue. Didn’t we turn up alright? Perhaps, Yes or No. But, how are we making sure how our kids are going to tackle it in a proper manner. Avoiding arguments in front of the kids may not be possible all together. Sometimes, we do not really mean what we say to each other while we argue. But, the kids may take it in a real sense. Their small minds may stay confused who is right or whom to take sides with.

Some kids may undergo severe shock or depression when they confront arguing parents. They may get scared that their parents might hurt each other which they do not want. Often, they may find it amusing and may wait for a chance to use it back on parents. 🙂 Be mindful that how we behave in front of them may lay guidelines for them to behave with others.

Watch out

If you are caught arguing in front of the kids, apologize and say that you really don’t mean it. Sometimes, due to emotions, adults do forget the rules of fighting and set up a bad example. You can promote healthy argument by:

  1. Respecting your partner
  2. Facing your spouse while talking
  3. Making your point clear while listening
  4. Not involving in any other task while talking
  5. Repeating what the spouse said as an example
  6. Talking softly as you would talk in front of your neighbors
  7. Restating your expectations
  8. Agreeing or proposing an action plan for the resolution

Most of the things may seem ideal and unattainable, but there is  no harm in practicing once in a while. 🙂

Only child? – No more selfish, spoiled and lonely

I was criticized by most friends and well wishers for my decision to have a single child. The myth that the only child will be selfish, spoiled and lonely is no longer true as the percentage of single child is on the rise. Blame it on the recession or the decreased fertility rate, the onlies are on the rise. The TIME magazine published a recent article on only child, which represents many interesting facts.

Why more?

Most parents chose to have a second child as they love the first child more and have another one. Most quote that the second child will support the first one. The experience of growing up with siblings and sharing cannot be known in single child families. The onlies rely more on friends and cousins for a similar experience. Also, they may not experience the sibling rivalry too. 🙂

Further, the responsibility of taking care of oldage parents can be shared in multiple child families. While the onlies can depend on spouse and friends for taking care of parents. The more kids in the family means more happiness and more support, but it also implies  more responsibilities. 🙂

Why only?

Nuclear families and career-oriented women have limited themselves for a single child. The capability of a couple  to take care of more children changes from one to another. Some can handle and manage more while some cannot. I think marriage is not only for raising children, but for mutual happiness.

According to a recent study, 46% married couples chose to have two as the ideal limit. China has a single child policy due to economic and population problems. Though the law of single child has been relaxed and couples can have more children, most still prefer to have single child.

Why  not only?

Some parents decide to give a long break between children while some may chose shorter breaks. Sometimes, if the gap is less between children, parents can miss the fun of watching the older child, who is still young, while taking care of the younger one.

While some only children have the burden of satisfying their parents expectations. Some only children suffer more attention and depend on parents. Some have more anger built in them and try to rebel.

While Granville Stanley Hall, the popular child psychologist, thinks that only child is a disease in itself. He describes only child as deficient on social side, petted, indulged, humored and spoiled. Alternately, Susan Newman, a social psychologist defines only child as the new traditional family.

Popular onlies

Three-tons family is on the rise. Parents can form informal groups to entertain their only child and foster the growth. The future of any child, single or multiple, entirely depends on how they grow and the values they adopt. I think that a child’s success entirely depends on hard work and discipline in life.

Franklin Roosevelt, Cary Grant, John Updike, Condeleezza Rice, Lance Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Chelsea Clinton, Elvis Presley are some of the successful and popular only children. Now, I see some hope. 🙂

Why is it Important to Quit Smoking and Alcohol?

We all know that smoking and alcohol reduce our life span and increase health hazards. We are aware that we are decreasing body immunity and increasing heart attack risks. But, are we aware of what our kids are learning when they watch us practicing these habits?

Parents Influence

Parents influence us in all areas throughout our lives. According to the studies published in Pediatrics Journal, children are less likely to become established smokers if their parents strongly disapprove. But, when we are practicing smoking, we are sending them unconscious signlas that it is OK and you may approve them in future.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) 2009, parental disapproval of drug use plays a strong role in turning back drug use. So, it is essential that we practice the habits only which we want them to continue.

Children are learning at school not to practice drugs, smoking and alcohol. They learn about the unhealthy habits through counselling sessions. Yet, when they come back home, parents engage in bad habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption, they get confused. Drug abuse prevention starts at home with parents.

Quit Smoking and Alcohol

According to Smoking Statistics, one out of every five people smoke. And according to Alcohol Statistics, one out of every thirteen people drink alcohol. The effects of these two habits on personal and work life are disastrous. Some people may argue that anyways we are going to die, why not enjoy the life. But, this kind of attitude toward life is not healthy.

While will power plays a vital role in quitting alcohol and smoking, you could use some external help if needed. Apart from the cost and health benefits, quitting helps in overall well being of the family and society. The amount which one spends on bad habits and associated hospital expenses could be donated to a child in need. 🙂