Tag Archives: teens

Enjoy free family fun with a movie night at the Haleiwa gym. All are welcome to join this event sponsored by the Waialua Community Association.

Click for more info: https://www.khon2.com

The Hōkūlani Project offers an amazing opportunity for all incoming 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders who are interested in developing skills that will help them pursue their dreams in college or career after high school. All students chosen will get to participate in a year-long, culturally responsive science and internship program with other high school students from Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island.

To apply to become a Hōkūlani student scholar click here

Youth Action Alliance Hawaii (YAAH) is a free virtual program for Hawaii high school students seeking to be civically engaged, take action to address issues in their community, and possess a global understanding of how those issues connect Hawaii with the rest of the world. The program represents a collaboration between three like-minded non-profit organizations – Ceeds of Peace, HawaiiKidsCAN, and the Pacific & Asian Affairs Council – that believe young people are vital to tackling the challenges we face as a society. Each organization will draw on their strengths to oversee a different aspect of the program: global awareness, civic engagement, advocacy training, and community action.

If you are interested please apply here: https://docs.google.com

Involvement in community or extracurricular activities provides terrific opportunities for your teen to develop skills, expand their interests, and stay healthy. There are many different kinds of activities available through their school or the community. Sports, dance, art, music, clubs or summer camps are just a few of the ways you child can expand their world and increase engagement with others. Talk to your teen about their interests and see how you can get them involved.

Extracurricular activities provide the opportunity to meet other teens and make new friendships. It can help your teen to interact with other peers similar in age who they might not otherwise engage with. Learning to get along with other peers from different backgrounds is a key social skill that will help your child throughout their life. It can also teach your teen to work well with others in the group settings and how to be part of a team. It’s a great way to build their confidence! Participating in community or after school activities allows teens to build different life skills.

Teens who participate in extracurricular activities tend to do better academically and will help them when applying for college. It also gives your child something to look forward to on a daily basis, teaches responsibility, develops organizational skills. Teens have the opportunity to learn how to balance their school work load with the other activities going on in their life. For some school-based activities, your child will be required to maintain a certain GPA level. As a parent, you can also require your teen to maintain good grades as a prerequisite for the community-based programs they enjoy. Using different extracurricular activities as motivation to do well in school can help your teen’s grades to improve. As a result your teen will be more disciplined and have better time management skills then other teens.

The final benefit of having your teen participate in extracurricular activities is it can help keep them out of trouble. The more time your teen spends being involved in positive activities, the less time they have to get into mischief. Teens that play sports or are part of a club or organization are also less likely to use drugs and alcohol then those not involved. Teens are mentored by and often find a positive role model in the adults that lead such activities. It is always good for a teen to have someone outside their family to look up to. Keeping your teen involved in the community will help them grow up to be responsible and engaged adults.

There has been a lot of discussion about the influence of social media on relationships, school, and mental health. The impacts of engaging in social media has undoubtedly changed parenting and posed many challenges for today’s teens and parents. It’s estimated that 75% of teens in America today have at least one social media profile. The questions most parents ask are, what is the impact and how can I mitigate the negative effects of my teenager’s social media use.

In a time where it seems impossible to not be part of the internet, social media and the fast moving pace of the world, parents have a real and valid concern. Recent studies have shown that the dominant concerns for parents of teens using social media are:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Sexting
  • Divulging too much information online
  • “Facebook” or “Instagram” depression

Parents can become educated on the advantages and disadvantages of social media. It has also been recommended that parents engage in social media themselves to give themselves a better understanding of what the cyber world looks like and what teenagers are doing there. It is essential that parents monitor their teen’s social media usage and use open discussions with their adolescents about the reality of what can happen on the internet. There are online courses for parents to know the warning signs of the above mentioned concerns and how and where to get their teen help if they need it.

Like every other challenge faced of raising teens, the digital world is one that can be met and overcome with the opportunity to learn proper etiquette and behaviors that can foster a healthy environment online and on social media.

It’s become an all too familiar sight – someone, somewhere, blowing a thick cloud of smoke out of what looks like a fancy pen. E-cigarettes are becoming popular among teenagers as well as adults. Teenagers are now using e-cigs more than commonly than they are cigarettes. Teenagers often think that vaping is safe and there is little to no side effects that come from vaping. It’s important for parents to understand what e-cigs are, why so many teens are using them, and the negative effect they have on the teenage body.

What are e-cigs?

First, let’s take a look into what an e-cigarette actually is and how they work. E-cigarettes are an electronic device that has a heating element that heats a liquid to the point where it vaporizes.  Here in Hawaii you must be 21 years old to buy e-cigarettes or e-liquid. The devices are often powered by a battery and can either be single use or can be reusable. The reusable one is more popular because it has many uses before it needs to be replace. E-liquid is the liquid that vaporizes and creates the smoke effect. E-liquid often contains nicotine and comes in many different flavors and types. E-cigarettes come in various shapes, sizes and colors, making them easy to hide and difficult for parents identify them.

Why teens are using e-cigs

Teens have started to use e-cigs more now than other forms of smoking tobacco. A few terms your teen may be using when referring to e-cigs include vape, vaping, mods, dripping, e-juice or liquid. E-cigs seems to have become increasingly popular among teens for several reasons.

First, many teens believe that there are little to no side effects from using e-cigs which is not the case. Teens believe e-cigs to be a healthier alternative to cigarettes. This idea is promoted through advertisements and social media. Youth are also inundated with ads about e-cigarettes. Advertisers know how to target kids, particularly on social media. According to the CDC, more than 2/3 of teens see e-cigarette ads. Research also indicates that teens who use e-cigs are more likely to start smoking. The infographic below, from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, shows the prevalence of e-cig ads and the impact on youth.

Advertisers, and young people themselves, create articles and videos targeting teens with vaping techniques and “smoke” tricks. E-cigs fluids also come in different flavors that appeal to teenagers, including fruity, tropical or sweet mixtures. With innocuous sounding names like Mint Chocolate, Cherry Crush, and Banana, e-cigs are marketed in a way that appeals to youth. E-cig ads use all the same tricks that cigarette companies did previously – using themes of independence and rebellion, cartoon images, and celebrity promoters.

When teen use e-cigs they are less like to be detected by adult because there is no distinct odor or residual odor on their clothes after vaping unlike cigarettes. Teens take advantage of this and even use e-cigs in home without being detected. E-cigs are relatively cheap and many can be ordered online without proof of ID which makes it easy for teens to get their hands on one.

Negative health impacts of e-cigs

What effect do e-cigarettes have on a developing teenage body and brain? Although there is nothing burning in an e-cigs like normal cigarettes there still are carcinogens being produced from the heating of the liquid. Some e-fluids have dangerous chemicals and high levels nicotine. Additionally inhaling the e-cig vapors can cause problems in the lungs and there are other health concerns. Nicotine found in e-cigs is highly addicting just as normal cigarettes and teens will be likely to use more often if they become addicted. Furthermore, nicotine has been known to cause harm to developing brains of adolescents.

How parents can help

As a parent set a good example for your teenager, try not to smoke cigarettes or e-cigs in front of your child.  Let them know that there are harmful side effects that come from using e-cigs and that they are not safe products. Talk to them about all dangerous substance and give advice on how to refuse if being offered. Be proactive if you discover your teen is using e-cigs and help them stop vaping.

It’s has come to that time and age when your teen has the desire to join the work force. Or maybe you’d like to teach them more responsibility by getting a part-time job to help prepare them for the real world. Getting a new and first job may be nerve wrecking for your teen, but also exciting.  Having your support and guidance will help.

Here are some tips in how you can help your teen achieve their first job:

  1. Find their interest. Have a conversation with your teen and get a better understanding of what they are looking for in a job. Help your teen to make a list of the things they enjoy, don’t enjoy, their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you both to identify what type of work will be best and most enjoyable for your teen. This will also teach your teen to be more self-aware of the person they are becoming.
  2. Job search. Once their job interest has been decided, support your teen in the job search process, being that it’s their first job. Help them to look online, in the newspaper, asking friends and colleagues, or walking around the mall to see where they are hiring as those might be unadvertised opportunities. If a friend or colleague has put in a word for you and your teen, educate you teen explaining to him or her that they are reflecting those who recommend them so that they can put in their best effort and be respectful.
  3. Out of the Box Thinking. If your teen is unsuccessful in getting a job, help them to create other ways they can get a job through self-employment or becoming an entrepreneur. Maybe they are good in baby-sitting, yard work, house cleaning, cleaning/detailing cars, grocery shopping or walking a pet. Start small and help your teen to advertise their work in the neighborhood. Figure out pricing by calling businesses to see what they charge. Also be sure to educate your child on taxes and getting a license for starting their own business.
  4. Job Applications and Resumes. Your teen may already have learned in school on how to fill out a job application and creating a resume. However, offer them to help create and edit their resume if they need to. Read over their application to make sure that they have filled out the form properly.
  5. Practice Interviewing. Go online and look up questions that are common to ask in interviews. Help them prepare answers to the questions and then role pay. Practicing will help create confidence in your teen to have a successful interview. Throw in questions that your teen is unaware of to help them to think and develop answers on the spot.
  6. Don’t Micromanage. The goal in the job search for your teen is to help guide them through the process, to learn and grow; not doing everything for them. Remember that it is your teen’s job search and not your own. Let them know that you are there for support and that they can ask for your help, but to encourage them to do this independently, as employers look for those who can do work on their own. Catch yourself and make sure you aren’t micromanaging your teen through the job search.
  7. Thank You and Follow-Ups. Encourage your teen to send out a thank you, even if they didn’t get the position. This will help to show that they are respectful and appreciative. Encourage them to also follow-up with the jobs they already interviewed for, to show interest and also to know whether or not they should apply for another job.
  8. Job safety. You might not like the job your teen wants or got hired for. However, the main thing is that they are safe with whatever employment they end up choosing. It’s important that your teen feel safe in their work environment and you know that they are safe as well.

Seeing your teen being molded into an adult can be a scary and exciting experience, especially helping them to get their first job. Every teen is different. The job process could be fairly smooth for one and chaotic for another.  As the parent, utilize these tips and make sure to adjust to your teen so that their experience with the job search will be one they will learn and grow from.

There was a time when middle and high students were required to take courses about basic life skills. Increasingly, schools are dropping these classes, leaving parents to help guide their child through these important practices. At times, parents find it hard with their busy schedules to teach their teen basic life skills. Here are 5 everyday life skills that every teenager should learn.

Managing Money

In today’s world of easy credit and financial marketing, it’s important to teach your teen how to budget and manage money. There are many different ways you can teach your adolescent this very important skill. If your teen has a job, have them break down monthly expenses and work out a plan on how they will budget until their next pay check. If your teen does not have a job, create a mock scenario or have your teen do chores around the house to earn money. Also, teach them how to save money for unexpected expenses. Helping them understand how bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and interest work can prepare them for the challenges of adulthood.

Cooking and Making Healthy Food Choices

As they get older, your teen will need to be able to cook on their own and make healthy food choices. Every teenager should know the very basics when it comes to cooking, but you will also need to teach them how to use the oven, stovetop, and microwave properly and safely. As your adolescent becomes more comfortable with being in the kitchen, have them help you cook whole meals. Finally, teach them how to prepare some of their favorite meals from start to finish. One fun activity is to let your teenager make you a meal all by themselves with little or no help. If they gain confidence in the kitchen, have them make a meal once a week for the entire family. Be sure to explain to your teen how to make healthy food choices and how to plan meals ahead of time.


A teenager needs to know how to clean every room in the house. Perhaps your adolescent is used to picking up his or her room, but how about house? Have your teen clean a different part of the house every week along with their room. Teach them what to use and how to clean properly. In addition, make your teen responsible for doing their own laundry every week and teach them the proper way to use the machines. When your teenager moves out, they will at least know how what needs to be done to keep up a home. Whether they do it or not is a different issue.

Time Management

Another life skill you should teach your teenager is how to manage their time and plan ahead. It’s important to begin developing this life skill by middle school. This will help your teenager get organized, prioritize what need to get done, and prepare academically and for their future. Having time management skills will help your teen build self- reliance and reduce stress.

Home Maintenance

The final life skill you should teach your teenager is basic home maintenance skills. Teaching your teen how to turn off the main water supply, unclog a sink or toilet, check the electrical breaker, what to do in an emergency situation, and how to properly use the fire extinguisher is essential for upkeep and safety. It’s also helpful to go over the use of tools and basic woodworking skills.

Preparing for adulthood is more than finishing school and embarking on a job. It’s also about learning how to live independently and managing your life successfully. As a parent, you can help make the transition to adulthood successful by helping your child develop these skills well before they leave the house.