Author: inbetweenmagazineca

3 Holiday Traditions to Connect with Your Teen   By Bernardo Salcido Starting this year as a new principal at middle school has been a wild ride to say the least. I think a coworker of mine said it best though, “The days are long, and the weeks are short.” Christmas sneaks up fast every year and it is my favourite time of year. It’s a time to reflect, connect, and take care of what matters most — family. Despite all the craziness 2020 has brought, we still have an opportunity to love the ones around us. These three strategies are excellent ways to dive deeper into your relationship with your teen and enjoy some time together. Holiday lights and hot cocoa This has been a favourite tradition ever since my children were little, and it still continues to deliver smiles even now that my kids are teenagers. Make a cup of cocoa in a travel mug for each family member, drive to where you know some good light displays are located and crank the Christmas music. Bake and decorate some cookies Finding a simple sugar cookie recipe and giving it a try definitely will lead to time together and enjoyment. The act of completing a task like baking helps a teenager let down their guard and open up. Make sure to prepare some frosting in a Ziploc bag so everyone can have fun making Christmas trees and Snowflakes on the cookies. Decorate and chill Decking your place out with Christmas décor — both new and old will get everyone in the holiday spirit! Break out your decorations from years’ past and get the entire family involved. Once the decorating is finished, break out the holiday snacks and sweet treats and turn on a holiday classic like Charlie Brown or The Grinch. This will surely bring out the kid that still lives in all of us — teens and parents alike. Parent mentor, middle school principal, and author, Bernardo Salcido assists parents with strategies to connect with teenagers. Follow Bernardo’s parenting advice on these social platforms: YOUTUBE - Connecting_with_teens INSTAGRAM - @connecting_with_teens BUY BOOK - https://www.iuniverse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/807601-connecteen

How to Talk to our Girls about Sex and Pleasure   By Amy MacLachlan “Pleasure is not synonymous with sex,” says Melissa Pintor Carnagey, author of Sex Positive Talks to Have with Kids. “Pleasure is with us our entire lives. It’s a birthright. And it’s through pleasure that we come to know ourselves and the world around us.” Carnagey is the founder of Sex Positive Families, an organization devoted to teaching parents and young people how to talk about sex. Having raised three children, including a daughter who is now 21, she is seeing the positive effects of openly and intentionally teaching her kids to be proud of their bodies, to trust their intuition and that sex is a good and pleasurable thing. “When we talk about pleasure, we’re actually talking about how girls can keep themselves safe,” says Carnagey, who is also a social worker, having spent 15 years in the area of HIV and sexual health. “Teaching children about consent from a very young age and talking about how pleasure is a force in all aspects of our lives, actually prepares them for when they do have sex.” There are all too many alarming stats and stories about things like girls and body image; pressures around giving oral sex and texting naked photos; and consent and safety issues. According to Carnagey, talking openly about pleasure teaches girls to get to know their bodies and to be comfortable with what they can do. It also empowers them to voice their needs and desires — something girls often aren’t allowed to acknowledge. On the flip side, it teaches girls about personal boundaries, and to know when things don’t feel good. “By erasing pleasure from sex ed, we’re failing to prepare our young people for safer, more satisfying experiences,” she says. Teaching girls about pleasure isn’t just about sex, then. It’s about laying the groundwork for healthy relationships, with others and with themselves. But where do we start? Isn’t it awkward? What should parents say? First, relax. Second, be encouraged that honest conversations about this sort of stuff are a great opportunity to connect and build a trusting relationship with your daughter. Third, keep reading. There are ideas and tips (and lots of reasons why!) to talk to your tweens and teens about pleasure and sex. Start with self-reflection Sara Dimerman is a psychologist working with children and teens and believes that when parents struggle with talking about sex, some self-reflection might be

12 Gifts for the Teen On Your List Ask any parent who is the most difficult person to buy for on their list and they’ll most likely say it’s their teenager. With trends and fads that can come and go as fast as a winter blizzard, it can be downright dizzying to choose the right gift. That’s why, this holiday season, we handpicked some holiday gifts that any teen would love to receive this Christmas. Turn Game Night Upside Down We’re all home now more than ever and it’s easy to just dissipate to separate rooms and stare at our devices. Parents looking for ways to connect with their teens can do so with a good board game! This Upside Down Challenge from Giant Tiger is hilarious!  You wear the goggles that make everything appear upside down and then you have to complete a series of challenges like filling the water bottle or write your name! It’s so much fun! You could even up the stakes and make a fun rivalry out of it. “Winner gets out of shoveling the next storm that hits!” https://www.gianttiger.com/507239/p/507239 Get Your Zen On We’re all stressed to the max these days — parents and teens included. While many would escape to the spa for some downtime, they might not feel comfortable right now doing so. So, why not grab your teen and have an at-home spa day?  This Life Brand Charcoal Set from Shoppers Drug Mart is great for detoxifying skin and leaving your complexion looking renewed and refreshed. The set includes a charcoal cleanser, facial cleansing wipes, four facial masks, and a bonus spa headband to match. And at $15, it’s a steal!! https://www1.shoppersdrugmart.ca/ Beautify Your Skin Care Routine This year, Quo Beauty upped its holiday game. Its limited-edition holiday collection is completely revamped — it’s 100% cruelty-free and has a playful, modern look. Besides makeup, they have a ton of accessories and tools too. Some of our favourite picks include the super-soft pink headband and Satin Cat Eye Mask with embroidered lashes. They are perfect for nighttime beauty routines! And how about this cute holiday penguin blending sponge? You can find all these beautiful gifts online at shoppersdrugmart.ca Give Back If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it’s to be grateful for what we have. Let your teen help you find a charity to give back to because it really teaches them about the joy of giving back and

6 Ways to Have Fun During the Holidays on a Budget By Olha Vovk It’s official. According to a survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, half of Canadians view 2020 as the worst year ever. It’s a small wonder since according to Statistics Canada, 12.4 per cent of local paid workers aged 15 to 64 were laid-off monthly since February. And, as we’re in the thick of the second wave of Covid-19, the situation does not seem to be getting any better. But there’s good news! You can still have a festive, fun holiday season with your teens, even if you’re on a budget. Educator and counselor, Sarah Fewson, recommends focusing on balance and positive well-being during the winter holidays. “Attempt to engage in outdoor activities, fit in exercise, and do not forget to spend a few minutes a day in mindful silence to remain connected to your thoughts and feelings.” Need more ideas to spread the Christmas cheer? Cultural and developmental service worker, Diana Prokofieva offers up these tips on how you can still enjoy the festivities of the holidays on the cheap. Bring in the New Year in the Backyard If you have an adventurous nature and are not afraid of the cold, welcome New Year’s Eve outdoors. Gather your family around a bonfire in your backyard, decorate your trees and spend time roasting marshmallows, sipping hot cocoa and singing Auld Lang Side at midnight. Start a family potluck challenge Parties may be out this year, so why not try a family potluck challenge instead? Each day a new family member can prepare a dish. Zoom your extended family members, exchange recipes with your friends and post your Insta-worthy pictures of your masterpieces on the Gram. Deck Your Halls Instead of buying a Christmas tree, incorporate home plants and decorate them with decor from a dollar store or Christmas ornaments you already have at home. Before you know it, the Santa hats, twinkle lights and Christmas stockings will fill your home with festive flair. Play The “Elephant” Game The “elephant game” is another way to save money on presents. Instead of buying gifts for the whole family, consider preparing one present per person, nicely wrapped. A host puts pieces of paper with numbers into a hat and gets every participant to pull a piece from the hat to determine their order of turn. Each player then chooses whether to open a new present from the bunch or steal the gift

5 Tips to Help Kids Find Inner Peace During the Pandemic This school year looks like nothing we’ve seen before. Among the many challenges teenagers and young adults are facing in their life, a global pandemic is sure to add some stress! Conversations with your child about mindfulness will have immediate benefits to their mental well-being. It will not only help them navigate the unprecedented school year ahead, but it will also introduce healthy habits they can build on for a lifetime of inner peace. Of all the ancient and modern practices designed to wake us up, the simple practice of mindfulness has arrived at the forefront of our cultural sensibility. Over 30 years ago, when Jon Kabat-Zinn began sitting and adapting Zen Buddhist mindfulness practices to the healthcare arena at UMass Medical Center and writing Full Catastrophe Living, no one and certainly not he, could have predicted the Mindful Revolution. While so much is out of our control right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more vital than ever to focus on taking care of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This must begin with the personal responsibility of mindful living. Here are some proactive everyday tips to help your child maintain his/her mental health and find inner peace during times of unrest and uncertainty: Stay Balanced and Grounded through Self-Care Remember you’re not alone if you’re worried or anxious. Schedule self-care into your day and do at least one thing for yourself. Go for a walk, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee or tea, take a long shower or bath, etc. Tune into your breath and body regularly Simply bring your attention to your breath, noticing each inhale and exhale. At the same time, feel both feet grounded to the earth. Your breath becomes an anchor in the body to the present moment. Bringing our attention to the present helps relax the body and mind and lessen any worried or anxious thoughts you have. Express your feelings to close friends and family, don’t keep them inside Worries or anxious thoughts can seem more difficult if we keep them inside. It helps to share and express your feelings to someone you trust. Make human connection a priority for your mental health several times a week and you’ll feel less alone. Consider limiting time on social media and watching the news You’ve probably heard this before but make some positive choices for yourself about how much time you look at social media

3 Simple Money-Saving Hacks for Families with Teens Raising a teenager while also keeping an eye on your family’s finances can be a tricky balancing act. All parents want to provide their teens with the best possible opportunities and preparation for adulthood, but this can be an expensive undertaking, especially when you’re readying your young adult for college or university. Here are some easy ways for your family to get the most out of your hard-earned money and spend quality time enjoying those unique teenage years. Make higher education more affordable by applying to these easy scholarships It’s one of life’s eternal truths that higher education is expensive — really expensive. And while responsible saving and budgeting can help reduce the costs of tuition, textbooks (see below), and room and board, going to college or university is always going to be a costly decision. Although having a student loan may be inevitable, scholarships are a great way to reduce the cost of higher education. Unfortunately, many students are daunted by the idea of applying for scholarships, especially when there are long application forms and multiple essays involved. However, there are a number of excellent scholarship platforms that offer young people access to thousands of funding opportunities, no matter where they are in their education or what they hope to accomplish. There are numerous little-known scholarships that are just waiting to be awarded to the right applicant. Not only are scholarships available for academic excellence, but there are also scholarships that recognize athletic achievement, extracurricular involvement, community service, hobbies, career interests, family background and much more. Finding these scholarships might sound difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Platforms such as Bold.org have helped a growing number of students locate and apply for funding. Bold.org uses comprehensive student profiles to match applicants with the scholarships that are most relevant to them, and that they are most likely to get. Notably, Bold.org boasts a wide variety of scholarships that aren't found on any other platform. These scholarships have been donated by philanthropists and organizations focused on everything from mental health and chemical engineering to female entrepreneurs and African-American journalists. Bold.org also has a lengthy, frequently-updated list of no-essay scholarships that high school and university students can apply for in a matter of minutes, thus increasing their chances of receiving a scholarship and making their education more affordable. Save hundreds of dollars every semester by renting textbooks Textbooks are a huge expense that

iPhone SE a smart phone for back to school I held out for as long as I could, but I finally got my son his very own cellphone. Sure, he’s had hand-me-downs with no sim card, which was only good for at-home use or places where he could mooch off someone else’s wi-fi. But, until now, he’s not had his very own brand-new phone, complete with his own phone number and data plan. I admit I was worried when hearing friends talk about how their teenagers spent hundreds of dollars a month in data overages or how their kids’ faces were always buried in their phones. Was my son going to ring up a huge bill, while ignoring my pleas to watch Fuller House? Maybe. But now that he’s had a phone for a few months now, I have to admit, I wish I had done it sooner. Once we established some ground rules: no phone in the bedroom on school nights, he always has to pick it up when we call and no going over his data plan, it’s been nice to be able to contact him when he’s out of the house without relying on his friends’ phones. Choosing the right phone There’s no shortage of smartphones on the market, but after careful consideration and research, we chose the new iPhone SE for my son. Because my son is obsessed with Instagram and TikTok, a good camera was a must and the iPhone SE has the same camera as the iPhone 11. The camera includes portrait mode with all of the studio-style lighting effects, next-generation smart HDR and optical image stabilization.  It also takes amazing videos with its cinematic video stabilization in the front and rear cameras, 4K at 60fps video quality (which is broadcast quality) on the rear camera. Basically, this means his TikToks will be lit. In addition to a great camera, this phone also has the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11. This is the fastest chip in a smartphone and means the iPhone SE will be really fast and will feel fluid, whether he is launching apps, playing graphics-intensive games, or trying new augmented reality experiences. Other perks As a parent on a limited budget, the iPhone SE is one of the most reasonable smartphones on the market, starting at $599 CAD. For that price, you also get access to the Apple ecosystem (family sharing, App Store, security and privacy features, Screen Time). In addition, you’ll get a free

Life Behind the Ring Light   The Morning Show’s Carolyn Mackenzie on hosting a national show while raising tweens…. all from home By Rachel Naud Pre-pandemic, minutes before the cameras would start rolling on Global’s The Morning Show, Carolyn Mackenzie would surround herself with her team and her co-host, Jeff McArthur, in an energetic pre-show pick-me-up ritual. “Have a great show!” the team would sing together, just moments before the spotlight would shine on Mackenzie and McArthur as they would bring entertainment and news to Canadians from coast-to-coast. Now, most days Mackenzie, 45, broadcasts from her home, alone. There’s no more team to rally behind her, there’s no more makeup artist or hairstylist or pre-show cheer huddle to get those last-minute butterflies stirring. There’s just her, her ring light and a prayer that her two tweens will stay occupied and quiet so she can make it through the one-hour broadcast interruption-free. “I still do my own chant,” says Mackenzie over a phone interview from her home in Toronto. “I pump myself up. I say, ‘Ok, Carolyn. Have a good show!’” Life in the Spotlight More than 20 years ago when Mackenzie started her career as a journalist and a broadcaster, she could never imagine she would end up hosting a national show from her living room. Since graduating with honours from Carleton University and becoming a journalist, she has been awarded accolades for her work as a storyteller and a reporter. In fact, in 2005 she won an Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism for her coverage on transit inaccessibility. Today, as co-host of The Morning Show, Mackenzie produces segments, interviews celebrities, authors and lifestyle experts. She shares good news with Canadians nation-wide and has the tough job of bringing bad news to audiences. Before the pandemic, her and McArthur’s chemistry would orchestrate to create fun and informative segments, whether they were sharing fun stories about their personal life, doing a cooking demo with Chef Massimo, or sitting down for a powerful two-on-one interview with a guest tackling tough topics about racism or abuse. They competed with one another in fun quizzes; their work wife/husband rivalry leading to more laughs than questions. On Fridays, she and McArthur celebrated the end-of-week with a well-timed high five. “There actually is nothing I do not like about being a part of this show,” says Mackenzie. “It is fun. It’s creative. I love the process from beginning to end. In all my years

Teen Activist Hannah Alper Sets Sights on Changing  World Hannah Alper, a 17-year-old advocate and blogger, is out to change the world. Her work has impacted many lives through her insight on climate change, social justice and anti-bullying. She has not only written a book titled Momentus, but she also speaks at conferences and TED Talks around the world. She also recently appeared in a documentary called CitizenKid: Earth Comes First, which raises awareness of climate change issues and empowers kids to take action. “I never thought that I was too young (to become an activist), I just did it,” she said when asked about her many accomplishments as a young teen. INBETWEEN sat down with Alper to talk about her experience as a blogger, activist and motivational speaker and what she plans on doing next. In your blog and in your social media you are able to portray endless positivity. To what do you owe this enviable trait? My parents have always taught me to be a passionate and positive person. I am always called passionate, positive and optimistic. With all of the issues going on today, I could not do what I do without bringing positivity. There are so many things that we can do even though there are a lot of problems in the world. But we can be that change together. What is your biggest motivator? My parents. They have been to Washington and Kenya with me. I can talk to them about the issues I care about and share my experiences with them. I would also say that those young people that make a difference in the world also motivate me. They make me feel as if I am not alone and that there is always something you can do to make a difference. In a world where social media is on the rise and many young people are starting to gain their own voices, what would you say to young bloggers who want to make a difference? Keep going. I truly believe that social media is the biggest and best tool that we can use to change the world. If anyone is struggling with getting people to pay attention and join a movement, you need to keep going. We always need more people to share what they care about and social media is one way that we can begin that change. Social media is a truly incredible place and kids often

4 Grad Gift Ideas They'll Love Whether your son or daughter is graduating from high school or university/college, you'll want to mark and celebrate the occasion with the perfect gift! Since we’re all staying close to home these days, here are some great grad gift ideas that your teen and young adult will love and enjoy while at home. 55-inch TCL Roku TV If there’s anything we’re all doing these days, it’s binge-watching our favourite shows. I think your graduate would be thrilled with their own 55-inch TCL Roku TV! It’s super easy to set up. You just create a Roku account and set it up with your Internet and then you have all the popular streaming apps like Netflix, Prime, Disney+ and Crave, etc at your fingertips. It’s powered by the Roku OS system and actually provides access to more than 150,000 movies and TV shows from top free and paid channels, so it is easier than ever to binge-watch your favourites! And, if they’re night owls, they can watch without disturbing you because the Roku mobile app enables you to use private listening when you connect a pair of headphones to your phone! The picture itself is 4K so it’s very crisp and clear and makes binge-watching a picture-perfect experience! $400, roku.com Hamilton Beach DrinkMaster While you’re watching your favourite show, why not enjoy a homemade milkshake?! This DrinkMaster Chrome Classic from Hamilton Beach has a cool, 50s diner vibe that I love and it whips up serious delicious drinks in no time flat. You can make your favourite milkshake, but you can also make smoothies or malts too! It has two speeds and comes with this 28-ounce mixing up, which gives you plenty of room without worrying about it spilling all over.  And it looks neat on your counter too! $70, hamiltonbeach.ca 10.2-inch iPad An iPad is always a great gift, especially for graduates. This is the 10.2-inch iPad and it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family with Facetime and now, of course, Zoom. They can also use it to download their favourite apps, watch TV and movies, listen to music, and even use it as a portable tablet if they’re planning on continuing their studies in the fall. It’s great because you can easily add a Smart Keyboard, Apple Pencil and use your iCloud account to transfer work between a student’s Mac and iPhone. $429+, apple.ca The Knot Dr.