6 WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR TEEN Many of us have made the resolution to do better. To have more meaningful relationships with our teens and to connect with them on a higher level. If you want to make this year the best ever with your teen, here are six things you can do. By Brooke Martin LISTEN Teens have their hearts and minds pulled in different directions from daily pressures and worldly influences. The art of listening is a gift that heals wounds, loves unconditionally, and ignites creativity in the one being heard. Think about it. What kind of person do we lean into when we are trying to sort out problems in life? Generally, we gravitate to the open-hearted, non-judgmental and unsolicited people in our lives. The ones who listen, truly listen. Why is the art of listening so powerful? We can help our teens discover who they are by creating a safe space where they can pour out their thoughts and perspectives of life, tell their stories, and unload disappointments. MONITOR DIGITAL DEVICES Strap in parents! Teens today are the first generation of "screenagers," which means we are the first generation to parent screenagers. This is not an easy task! As a mother of three teenagers, the digital device battles flooded our home for a good two years until I finally grew a backbone and buckled down. As a result, my kids are happier, less stressed, and there is more peace in our home! Teenagers are turning to devices to cope with normal hard emotions instead of learning healthy coping skills in life. The average teenager in the U.S. spends nine hours a day of screen time. Studies show teens who spend over three hours a day are much more likely to have depression, anxiety, feel fatigued and chronic stress. The iPod was released in 2007 and Instagram was released in 2010. In the U.S., from 2007-2015 the suicide rate in girls doubled and increased 30 per cent in boys. Suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst all teenagers in the U.S. and is the No. 1 leading cause of death in teenage girls. How can we make improvements? SELF-CHECK. Our kids model our behaviour. Are we on our phones during dinner? Do we set our own time restrictions? Do we turn to social media (or video gaming) to cope with hard emotions instead of healthy coping skills? Be transparent with your teen in your own personal
5 Ways to Get Festive with the HP Sprocket Printer The HP Sprocket Printer is one of the season’s hottest gifts for teens. And, while it’s perfect for printing photos and sharing with friends, there is more you can do with the HP Sprocket Printer than just print and share photos. For the ultimate in festive fun, here is 5 ways you can spread the holiday cheer with your HP Sprocket Printer. Sweet Treats. If you’re gifting a jar of your famous shortbread or Christmas bark to friends and family, use your HP Printer Sprocket to make a very personal label! Maybe it’s a picture of your bestie enjoying your treats? Or perhaps it’s a snapshot of the two of you together? Either way, they’ll be sure to love the package as much as what is inside. String it up. Whether you’re decorating for a party or want to add some flair to your bedroom, the HP Sprocket LED String Light Clips lets you deck your halls with memories of friends and family throughout the holidays! Throughout the year, you can swap out the photos each season! Put together a holiday bullet journal. Bullet journals are the latest trend wherein practicality meets creativity. Part To-Do Lists, Part Planner and Part Diary, these all-in-one organizers are ideal for keeping your tasks on track while writing down your deepest thoughts or sharing life’s happy moments. A reminder of an upcoming New Year’s Eve party can be heightened with photos printed from your HP Sprocket Printer of all the fun you had at the party once you get home! Map it out. Are you travelling over the holidays? Tape a map to your wall and print out photos from your journeys. Dot the map with memories of skiing in the West Coast or sipping frosty mocktails poolside in Cancun. Better than any passport stamp, your HP Sprocket Printer photos will brighten your map while taking you down memory lane every time you look at it. Tag. You’re it. Need a creative tag to put on a hostess gift? Or meeting up to exchange gifts with friends on Boxing Day? Instead of sticking a generic tag on a present, print out a photo of the two of you and attach it to the gift for a personalized festive touch.
My Favourite Shops to Find Fun Gifts for Teens By Rachel Naud When Interac challenged me to shop local, it was a challenge I gladly accepted! Part of the reason I love living in Toronto is the array of independent shops and boutiques in every area. When searching for some fun gifts for teens, I certainly didn't have to travel far! Here are some of my favourite spots where I discovered fun finds and gift ideas. Yellow House Gallery & Framing This contemporary art gallery and custom framing shop in the Upper Beaches of Toronto showcases local, regional and international emerging artists and focuses on original works and limited edition prints. I picked up a super cool graffiti-inspired custom painting, perfect for any teen! (Or myself, really!) Tertulia This independent coffee shop is new to the Riverside area. Inside, the vibe is quaint and contemporary. I went for the gourmet chocolates and caramels but I stayed for the London Fog! Best in the city! The Nooks Located in Toronto’s East End on “The Danny,” The Nooks sells hand-crafted and curated gifts, made by local artisans. The perfect place to get that one-of-a-kind gift! I found some cool necklaces! Good Neighbour This funky find is a one-stop shop for everyone on your list. This little house turned gift emporium serves up everything from house & home and bath & body items to men’s and women’s clothing and winter accessories. iQLiving Located in the heart of Greektown, I adore the kitchen accessories and cookware in this shop, especially the Orla Kiely line. It’s got a retro vibe that I love!
Teens can be the trickiest people to buy for because they can also be the pickiest! With trends, coming and going every day, finding that perfect gift can be daunting. But don’t worry. Rachel Naud, the editor of INBETWEEN magazine, has got you covered with a selection of gifts any teen would love to receive this Christmas. New England Patriots Toque, $27.99, nflshop.ca The perfect stocking stuffer, this New England Patriots toque will keep their heads warm this winter while letting them show their pride for their favourite team! 2nd Edition HP Sprocket Printer, $159.99, hp.ca If your teen is into tech and loves to take selfies and photos with their friends (basically every teen out there!), you’ll win major cool parent points with this 2nd Edition HP Sprocket Printer. It’s about the size of a cell phone, so they can take it with them when they’re hanging out with their friends, and up to three devices can connect to one printer so they can all get in on the fun when they’re all together! Once connected with the app, they can have fun customizing their photos with colourful filters, frames, text and stickers! Afterward, they can also use the pint-size pictures to decorate their spaces or share with friends and spread some holiday cheer. Dermalogica Smooth Skin Favourites, $47, dermalogica.ca The teenage years is an ideal time to get into a skincare routine because it sets them up to learn how to properly care for their skin, which is especially important when they’re often going through hormonal changes that can cause acne. And during the winter, when the weather is dry and cold, you want to really pamper your skin, which is why this Dermalogica Gift Set is great. It includes everything they will need to cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate their skin and give them a glowing complexion for the New Year! Hidden Gems Bath Bomb, $49.99, shopatshowcase.com Being a teen is stressful and taking hot baths is a great way to de-stress and more importantly unplug! While every teen knows about bath bombs, these Hidden Gems are extra special! Inside they’ll find an extra special surprise — a piece of jewelry! And the really fun part about it? The jewelry inside can be worth up to $5,000! E310 Explorian Series Vitamix, $419.95, vitamix.ca This gift is perfect for that athletic teen that is always up early and out the door for those early morning practices or games. Or
5 Reasons Why Young Girls Should Pursue Careers in STEM fields Have you ever wanted to pursue a career in a STEM field, but thought you weren’t good enough? Sahana Srinivasan would most likely tell you to squash those fears and encourage you to pursue your passions. Born in Houston, Texas and with a thirst for the performing arts, Sahana has many talents like singing, acting, playing piano as well as drawing and writing. She’s been in a couple of hit movies and shorts like Space Warriors, Tied and Spin Cycle and is now the host of a Netflix show called Brainchild. The show explores the science behind different phenomena like social media, germs, space, dreams and even superheroes. Each episode features multiple experiments and lots of facts about each subject so you’re not only learning a lot, but also developing an interest to learn more about it. Even though Srinivasan is a performer, she realizes how young girls often hold themselves back from pursuing careers that are male-dominated, particularly STEM fields. She sat down with INBETWEEN to share five reasons why she thinks young girls should pursue careers in STEM fields. Getting Rid of the Stereotype It’s not uncommon for women to feel as though they shouldn’t be in STEM fields because they don’t belong there. In fact, women not only strive in these fields but also make breakthroughs. “Now it’s less obvious than it used to be. Instead of outright stating that women can’t become scientists —you'll hear mathematicians or scientists in hypothetical scenarios referred to as he instead of she” says Srinivasan. “Images you see in the media of scientists, doctors, and engineers are often represented by male figures. We need to change the misconception and show that women are just as capable, passionate, and intelligent when it comes to math, science and engineering.” Busting the myth There’s also a misconception that people who are more creative can’t enter STEM fields or that being creative hinders the ability to understand science, engineering or math. “There’s also the myth that possessing creativity and artfulness won’t help you get into STEM fields,” says Srinivasan. “Fields like computer science and coding rely heavily on your creative talents. The recent branch of STEM, STEAM, in which the A stands for “art,” emphasizes the importance of art and creativity in involvement with math and science. STEAM-related careers include an architect, graphic designer, sound engineer, and much more.” Closing the Gap Through hard work
How Instagram Led to one Tween's Passion Project My tween helped both of us to find inspiration through Instagram. It all started when Penny got an iPhone. My stepdaughter was nine at the time, which may seem young for a phone of any kind, but my husband and I had decided, back when she was eight, to start her with a BlackBerry Bold, as a way to keep in touch with her when she wasn’t with us. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 debuted in 2011; getting one in 2016 is not exactly a tween’s dream. Its only purpose is for talking. Texting is nearly impossible and forget about apps or games. So there was no real worry about her spending too much time on it. When she was at her mom’s house she could call us to say good morning and we could call her to say goodnight. She said “Thanks” with very little enthusiasm when we gave it to her for her birthday. My stepson, who is two years older, had about the same level of enthusiasm when he got a similar BlackBerry Bold when he turned eight. But she knew the drill. Don’t lose or break the retro phone, and when you’re nine you’ll get upgraded. And she did it. So a year-and-a-half later she scored my old iPhone 5S in rose gold. And with it, she had access to the world of Instagram, Snapchat and every other app out there. Within minutes she asked if she could get an Instagram account. Initially, we said no. We were already aware of our friends’ opinions about our decision to allow our kids to have phones so young, and we were conscious of the pressure it can put on other parents when their kids come home from school saying that other kids in their class have phones. Trust me, I get it. And if my stepkids lived with us full-time, we definitely wouldn’t give them phones. My son, who is four, is certainly not getting a phone when he’s seven, or eight, or nine, or even 10. But if you are divorced, and even a day goes by where you don’t see your kids, then you get it. The phone was our lifeline to Penny. But the apps? That, we weren’t sure about. And yet, neither of us wanted to ban it. I follow the theory of “everything in moderation” in both my own life and parenting and social
Kandi Burruss Always Means Business! How the reality star juggles motherhood, marriage and managing more than a few businesses Kandi Burruss’ social media profile seems to grow every single week. At the time of writing, she had gained 100,000 followers on Instagram in just one week, bringing her follower count to 5.8 million. She also has 1.8 million followers on Twitter and 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, all of which clearly point to Kandi’s incredible work ethic and determination to make her dreams a reality. It was during the ‘90s that her career kicked off, when she started a girl group called XSCAPE. Since then, she’s had albums that have gone platinum, has written the songs “No Scrubs” for TLC, and “Bills, Bills, Bills” for Destiny’s Child, and in 2009, Kandi joined The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which launched her into a new level of stardom and has made her a household name. She runs her own businesses, is a full-time reality TV star, and is raising her 22-year-old stepdaughter, Kaela Tucker, 16-year-old daughter, Riley, and her two-year-old son, Ace. At only 42 years old, Burruss has established an empire for herself, is in a loving relationship with her husband, Todd and has also done everything in her power to be as involved in her kids’ lives as much as possible. She sat down with INBETWEEN to talk about the 11th season of The Real Housewives, regulating social media for her teen, and how she keeps her newest business venture, Kandi Koated Beauty, hustling. THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA It’s not unusual for a Real Housewives series to continue for more than 10 seasons – especially when you factor in the plethora of life-changing events that are too large or drama-filled to cover within just one show. Burruss has seen great success with The Kandi Factory and Kandi’s Wedding spinoffs, with the latter bringing in huge ratings for Bravo. The 11th season is currently airing and brings with it the same flair from previous seasons, but with a little more emotion. “It’s more focused on real-life stories and situations that people are going through,” says Burruss. “We’re trying to support each other a bit more and pay attention to what’s happening in each other’s lives.” It’s no secret that Kandi has had to butt heads with other stars on the show, like NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak, but more recently, she’s also had to handle comments that have been
4 Ways To Help Your Teen Get Enough Sleep Even though the kids are back in school, it can still be hard for them to get into a proper sleep routine. After a summer of late nights, a lot of teens may have gotten used to sleeping in and are now finding it difficult to wake up for school so early in the morning. Though this may seem like rebellious behaviour, there is an actual scientific reason behind this. Sleep Phase Delay Sleeping patterns for teenagers are hormonally influenced because the hormonal response to the 24-hour light/dark exposure that influences circadian rhythm (an internal 24-hour clock running in the background of your brain that cycles between alertness and sleepiness) is altered. Adolescents then proceed to physiologically want to stay awake later at night and remain sleeping late in the daytime. The scientific reason behind changing sleep patterns is called Sleep Phase Delay. It means that a child that used to fall asleep at 9 p.m. doesn’t start to feel tired until 10:30 or 11 p.m. Sleep expert Amy Marasco from Goodnight Sleep Site (a service committed to helping families get better sleep) says that adolescents show higher levels of alertness at 8 p.m. than most adults, and even more so at 10 p.m. “Further investigation revealed that the adolescent body’s release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin is delayed during the sleep phase delay portion of adolescence, making it harder for teens to fall asleep on their own,” says Marasco. Sleepiness a Serious Threat A technical report done by The American Academy of Paediatrics talks about how chronic sleep loss is a serious threat to teenagers that can contribute to obesity, mental health issues and drowsy driving. The report revealed that as students get older, sleep durations decline. Students in America, Germany, Northern Taiwan, and India dropped to less than eight hours of sleep for high-school aged students; so, it isn’t just a problem within North America. How Many Hours Should Your Teen Be Sleeping? Sleep is important to growing teens as appropriate sleep is required in order for their bodies and minds to function at their best.“The recommended amount of sleep for a teen is 9 ¼ hours which is much more sleep than the average 7-7 ¼ hours teens are currently getting,” says Marasco. Getting a proper amount of sleep will also help them fight off illness and keep up with academics, part-time jobs and family obligations. 4
Depressed and Dying Teen suicide is rising at alarming rates. In fact, according to a recent survey, 13.6 per cent of surveyed high school students in the US and a whopping 46 per cent of surveyed high school students in Canada have created a plan to die. Here’s how to spot the signs of depression and suicidal thoughts in your teens, so you can get them help before it’s too late. By Dr. Allison Forti Every day, we turn on the news or log on to our social media and see stories of teen suicide. Our children are killing themselves more and more every day. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates of teen suicide have steadily risen in the U.S. since 2007 from 9.7 deaths per 100,000 to 13.15 deaths per 100,000 for ages 15-24. This alarming trend also reveals increases in suicidal ideation and behaviour. According to the latest Youth Risk Behaviour Survey, which is conducted every two years during the spring semester and provides data representative of Grade 9 through Grade 12 students in public and private schools throughout the United States, 31.5 per cent of high school students reported persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness daily for two or more weeks over the past year. The same survey revealed 17.2 per cent of high school students have considered suicide, 13.6 per cent have created a plan for suicide, and 2.4 per cent have actually injured themselves in suicide attempts. In Canada, our teens are faring no better. Kids Help Phone surveyed 1,319 teens aged 13 to 18 across the country. The finding were published in a report called “Teens Talk 2016,” and included this alarming statistic — 22 per cent of those who responded, seriously considered attempting suicide in the last 12 months. Moreover, 46 per cent had formulated a plan with girls (67 per cent) being twice as likely as boys (33 per cent) to consider taking their own lives. Being aware of the signs of suicidal ideation may help parents protect their teens. Teens most at risk for suicide are those with a past history of substance abuse and mental illness (e.g., depression). If you think your teen might be depressed, it’s important to get him or her the help she or he needs. Here are eight signs to look