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Teen Life

Back to School Tips: Internet Safety for Kids by Myla Pilao Now that the fall has sprung, children of all ages have returned to school for the new year. The use of digital technology and the Internet is a normal part of life for children now, at home — but increasingly in school as well. And while long-term trends had already formed, the COVID-19 pandemic saw such changes go into overdrive, with children across Canada spending an average of six hours a day of screen time every day, and some children even spending up to 13 hours per day on screens.     Life in front of a screen According to a recent survey, two-thirds of parents allow their children to use the Internet independently, and over 70 percent have admitted to their children engaging in risky online behaviour. With the increasing daily use of digital technology, it's critical for parents to integrate digital literacy and cyber hygiene into their child’s learning process. The Internet is a powerful tool offering a multitude of positive benefits, but it also has its risks. It is up to individuals to practice safe browsing habits that protect them and their families from malicious actors. This will enable them to enjoy all the positive opportunities that the Internet has to offer. To help improve kids’ safety and awareness online, Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity solutions company, launched the Cyber Academy, which offers 7–10-year-olds a series of video-based lessons and learning materials designed to upgrade children’s digital literacy skills in a way that’s meaningful and engaging. The Cyber Academy consists of Internet safety lessons that focus on passwords, two-factor authentication, security and privacy among others. These free 10-15 minute lessons can be delivered on-demand and are available to teachers in the classroom or a guardian at home. This tool is also available in eleven different languages including Czech, Deutsch, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Chinese and Arabic. Trend Micro’s Myla Pilao, Director of Technology Marketing and an avid advocate for the safety of children online, has shared a few tips for parents to keep in mind:   Have conversations about online safety in today’s digital world Encourage your kids to ask questions. Make them feel safe to share if someone or something online makes them feel uncomfortable   Practice Digital Empathy teaching kids to be kind to others online and offline is essential. Respecting others’ boundaries and privacy will make them recognize when someone is trespassing on theirs.   Teach children about privacy and password

Back-to-School Survival Kit by Rachel Naud   It's back-to-school time!  Teens everywhere may be dreading the start of another year, but we've got some good news: it's easier than ever to make your teen's back-to-school experience enjoyable! Check out our list of essential items that will help make the transition into the new school year easier for both you and them.   For Taking Notes   Remember during university days and not wanting to write or jot notes in your textbooks so you could keep them pristine and sell them afterwards? Post-it® Notes are perfect for this job! They are handy for making study notes as well as jotting down quick ideas and tasks to help keep you organized.     These Post-it® Super Sticky Notes have two times the sticking power compared to the original Post-it® Notes. They’ll not only stick to most flat surfaces but also come off easily and cleanly! And, of course, who doesn’t love the fun new colours they’ve launched this year?    For Scratch-Free Dorm Rooms     If you have a university student moving into a dorm, they’ll want to keep Scotch® Wall-Safe Tape on hand. In most dorms, you're not allowed to nail anything to the walls. This tape is ideal for displaying posters, photos, and more. As an added bonus, Scotch® Magic™ Tape is invisible, which makes it perfect for school projects, crafts, or simply mending torn pages!    For Managing Finances   Does your teen have expensive taste and you want to teach them how to effectively manage their money? Get them started with Hero Financials and teach them financial literacy. It’s a reliable tool that helps tweens and teens understand and manage money efficiently and effectively. Your kids don't need a new bank account! Just sign up at herofinancials.com, and you can load money on it and use a variety of features, including a budgeting tool, recurring allowances, and block lists, to help them budget for what matters most to them. It comes with a physical SideKick Mastercard, which can be used anywhere a prepaid Mastercard is accepted in-store or online. Hero has some incentives going on at the moment for new signups, so make sure to visit Hero Financials to check it out.     For Easy Organization     Want to teach your teen the art of time management? The Echo Show 15 has widgets that are Alexa-powered to help keep your teen on track with shared calendars, personal sticky notes, to-do lists, shopping lists, and assigned reminders. Not only that, but they

Back-to-School Top 5 Picks by Rachel Naud It’s that time of year!  Whether you have a middle school, high school, or university student in your house, every student will want some cool essentials to start the back-to-school season off right!   For a Bright and Fun School Year It is hard not to shop at Staples Canada when it comes to back-to-school shopping since they offer many noteworthy products that are not only great for working and learning but are also very fun! With all the tools kids need to work and learn—notebooks, calculators, lunch bags and more—the bright colours make this Pep Rally line a favourite because, let's face it, if your kids love their tools, they will be more excited to learn.   All of these items are available exclusively at Staples stores in Canada, or you can order them online at staples.ca!   For Organizing Toiletries   University students moving into dorms will need some cool bathroom essentials. Bed, Bath & Beyond has everything you need—whether you’re looking for storage solutions or fun décor. Their Simply Essential line has plush towels, flip-flops (a must for any dorm-dweller) and a tote to make storing and carrying their bathroom essentials easy.     You can shop all these items at Bed, Bath & Beyond in-store or online and if you sign up for the Savings Pass, you can get 20% off while earning points towards future purchases! Also, if your child is moving to a different city, you can shop the app or store and use the Pack & Hold program and they’ll have the order ready to pick up near the campus!   For that rewarding study rest     The Endy Weighted Blanket is engineered to promote a sensation of calm and relaxation. This reduces feelings of anxiety, guaranteeing a good night’s rest.  It features a balanced weight that distributes equal pressure across your body. This provides maximum comfort, movement minimization and deeper sleep. Weighing 15 lbs, this personal-sized blanket will envelop you like a warm, soothing hug. This is amazing for power naps and deep sleep, alike!     For a fun, informative, and worry-free academic year     If you’re worried about your teen’s exposure to the Internet, this Fire 7 Kids tablet’s web browser comes with built-in controls designed to help filter out inappropriate sites and let parents add or block specific websites at any time. Your teen can also send announcements and make voice and video calls over wifi to approved contacts with an Alexa-enabled device or app.    For those

5 Ways to Have Philly Fun With Your Teen By Rosalind Stefanac   If you’re looking for a walkable American city filled with history, fantastic food and fun, Philadelphia will not disappoint. With some of the most historic sites in U.S. history—and plenty of places to “hang”— Philly proved to be a perfect blend of learning and adventure for a recent weekend with my teenage son.   Where to stay   Stay downtown for easy walking access to a multitude of parks and free historic sites, such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (where the U.S. Constitution was created), and the infamous Rocky (Balboa) steps and statue (more on that below). We loved the atmosphere at the iconic Notary Hotel, which is located in Philadelphia’s former city hall — a building that dates back to 1926—and features all the modern amenities, including a 24-hour gym and a fully stocked tuck shop for late-night snacking. It’s also a block away from the Reading Terminal Market, a food bazaar sure to please every appetite.   What to eat   You can’t not try a Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia. We walked the aisles of the Reading Terminal Market to find these delicious sandwiches topped with thinly sliced steak, caramelized onion, and melted provolone cheese. With more than 80 other merchants there, we also filled up on soft pretzels, tacos, cannolis, cookies and donuts made fresh before our eyes. Open at 8 a.m., the market is a great place for breakfast too. For a memorable dinner, a Mexican-inspired feast at the funky Condesa was also a big hit with my teen (and me).   What to do   #1: Philly fun at Franklin Square As one of the city’s original open space squares, it centres around a 180-year-old fountain and classic carousel and hosts a variety of events throughout the year. While there we explored the Philadelphia Lantern Festival with more than 30 brilliant displays illuminated by tens of thousands of LED lights and plenty of cool photo ops. #2: Take a segway tour Philly offers some fantastic tours by foot, bike, bus and boat, but we opted to see the city’s most iconic spots via Segway with Philly Tour Hub. Following a brief training session, this mode of transport proved to be an exhilarating way to tour a variety of Philly neighbourhoods. If you’ve never ridden a Segway before, go for the shorter, 60-minute tour to avoid sore legs from all that balancing. #3: Channel the champ Burn off some steam by running

7 Ways to Combat Mental Health Problems in Teen Boys by Arianne Granada     Talking about mental health with teen boys may be especially tricky because of their age and the way their brains are developing—especially if they're in the middle of a growth spurt. Unlike girls, who tend to talk about their emotions and ask for help, boys are often uncomfortable with these types of conversations because society makes it seem emotionally risky to demonstrate vulnerability. As parents, it is important that we help our teen boys to speak up about mental health issues. We should encourage them to talk to a friend or family member about their feelings and emotional issues ranging from stress at home and school to depression or anxiety. We chatted with Cassandra Simms, a psychiatrist who specializes in an all-boys residential treatment program at Embark Behavioral Health based in Chandler, Arizona, about how to help young men navigate through life with self-awareness and confidence.   #1 Unlearn the stigma  Mental health is still pretty taboo. We’re getting better about it, but for a long time, there has been a stigma around it being something to be ashamed of. This is often transferred down to our boys in society; they think they're weak if they aren't tough and don’t express their feelings. So it's important that we, as adults, don't make them feel ashamed of their emotions. Allowing them to express themselves encourages mental health awareness and makes a big difference in the long run.   Understanding their language Sometimes the kid you’re talking to is just going to be defiant, or they’re going to be resistant to saying anything or they just shut down. Regardless of how long it takes, make sure you let them know you still want to talk to them. They'll realize that pushing away isn't working, and that makes you gain their trust that you're not going to abandon them despite their behaviour. Make sure that you pass that first wall so you can make it to the other side. Using their words when they talk about mental health issues is important so that they know you listen rather than using something you learned from a textbook. I had a young patient who was a baseball player once who described depression as a water-logged ball. As we would talk about it, I would ask “How are you feeling, how’s that ball? Is it water-logged or not?" Because it gives you an idea of

Our Top Picks: 5 Summertime Essentials by Rachel Naud   How do you plan on spending your summer? Whether you’re staying close to home, exploring the great outdoors or hosting some summer barbecues, we have some items that will help you survive the year’s hottest season.   Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron If you want to put the magic back into summer for your kids, the Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron is the perfect activity for them. It’s all about potion-making so your kids can take turns being magicians at family barbecues and backyard parties. Let your little star wow the crowd! The toy comes with a spell book, all the magic ingredients and a special wand to mix the potion and make a cute furry friend that comes out of a cloud of real mist — which will be an element of surprise for everyone! The Magic Mixie comes with different modes of play, reacts to your touch and responds to your wand. It even comes with 50+ sounds and reactions so your kids can play with magic over and over again! Beyond Burger Barbecue burger night is definitely a crowd favourite. Just in time for summer BBQ season, Beyond Meat has launched an even juicier version of its game-changing line called Beyond Burger. Available in grocery stores and restaurants across Canada, the Beyond Burger has the meat-like taste, flavour and texture of a real burger. Beyond Burger is made with simple, plant-based ingredients, containing no cholesterol, GMOs, soy or gluten, offering a tasty, better-for-you plant-based protein option perfect for your summer BBQ. It’s such an easy way to incorporate plant-based protein into barbecue night! Coleman Canada If you're hitting the great outdoors, you'll want to invest in some high-quality gear that will last and bring memories for years to come. When it comes to camping equipment, Coleman Canada is a camper’s go-to. They have everything you need to make the most out of summer—whether you’re camping, day-tripping or staycationing in the yard! They're definitely on top of our summertime essentials checklist. Sportflex Backpack Soft Cooler The Sportflex Backpack Soft Cooler has a 4-way stretch pocket at the front to offer maximum storage and easy access to phones, keys and snacks. It comes with padded adjustable shoulder straps and breathable mesh for comfortable carrying. One of its best features is it's insulated to keep food and drinks cold for up to 24 hours. Contigo Tumblers It's important to stay hydrated throughout the day, which makes these re-fillable water bottles

8 Grad Gifts for Her by Arianne Granada   Graduation season is upon us, and just like you, we are on the lookout for the perfect graduation gift.  To your daughter, this ceremony also commemorates her transition toward the next phase of her life. This special milestone encapsulates all your grad’s academic accomplishments in the last four years. Show some appreciation by giving your grad a thoughtful gift that will last a lifetime.  We’ve rounded up eight unique graduation gifts that would make this milestone even more memorable.   $5-$25: Books With summer break coming up, your teen is bound to have a lot of unstructured days—with most of her time spent outdoors. It still won’t hurt to give her something to do during her downtime.    There is no better way to jumpstart a productive summer than by giving a book as a graduation gift for her. One of today’s bestsellers, The Hate U Give, is a page-turning fiction that sheds light on social issues such as racial injustice and police brutality.   $25-$70: Personalized Gifts from Bed, Bath & Beyond Nothing beats a thoughtful gift that comes from the heart. What better way to commemorate your grad's milestone than with a personalized gift? From embroidered names to custom-made frames, go extra with these bespoke gifts from Bed Bath & Beyond.   Personalized Graduation Teddy Bear ($47.99)  This plush teddy bear is an ideal personalized gift for the high school or college graduate. You can have your graduate’s first name and/or class year embroidered in gold thread across the front of the teddy bear’s gown.    "Class Of

5 Tips to Raise a Resilient Teen By June Rousso, Ph.D.   Teens today are faced with so much rapid change along with everyday academic and social demands. All of these demands can be very stressful at times. Our bodies naturally react to stress with a fight, flight or freeze reaction. However, we also can use our thoughts and emotions to develop resilience and better manage stress. This is where resilience comes in. But how to build it? Here are some tips for parents guided by the words of teens themselves from ChildResilient.org, a student-run non-profit organization born out of the pandemic.   Tip #1: Encourage a strong sense of self in your teen. If you have a sense of who you are, you can easily direct yourself towards and away from situations — even toxic ones. As parents, give more choices when you can, and encourage your child not to be influenced by social conformity. While it is natural to want to be liked by others, it's also important to live by your own will. Let them learn to think independently, regardless of the good and bad opinions of others. Help foster resilience as well as build your teen's self-confidence by encouraging this kind of independent thinking.   Tip #2: Don’t dwell on the past, especially the bad life experiences. While you never want to dismiss your child’s feelings, dwelling on the past prevents building up the strength to move forward in life. Children, especially teens, can be so sensitive to how they might have been judged in the past. Past opinions don’t matter and they need to learn to do things for themselves. Strengthen your teen's sense of self by teaching them not to be swayed by public opinion. With ongoing emotional reactions to stress — such as depression and anxiety — it is important to remind your child that these feelings are not all of who they are, which helps to keep your teen resilient.   Tip #3: Explain that making social comparisons is natural, but overdoing it hinders being a resilient teen. When we compare ourselves to others, we usually come out on the short end of the stick or take on an arrogant attitude of feeling better. Communicating that there will always be people with more of something in some way is one message, but teens can also learn that these same people can serve as role models and be inspirational. At the same time, despite the social comparisons,

Paula Jiven Explores Musicality in The Duality in Me By Tanishq Desai     Swedish rising pop sensation, Paula Jiven is kicking the doors down with her radiant creation of original pop music on her debut EP, The Duality In Me, out May 6th. Curating a sonic world that is truly her own, Paula steps out of one phase of life and into another by discovering her sound and sharing the creation process behind songs that she’s been writing since she was 13. Now, the singer/songwriter is ready to reveal her multidimensional musicality to the world with her dreamy pop synth moment.    At the age of 13, you performed at Sweden’s Got Talent and got a Golden Buzzer from the judges. What was the build-up like from the moment a young Paula Jiven picked up a violin on SGT and getting a golden buzzer? “So yes I started playing violin at the age of three, and at that point, it was more so just something for fun. I had so much fun practicing how to play, and ooh I got better, but for many years it was just something that I did like how other kids played football. And I guess at some point it started becoming more of a form of an expression. I started singing as an art form, and by the time I was on Sweden’s Got Talent, I was writing my own songs but I was not ready to release them in any way." "It was so scary, even playing them for my own family. But I did that show because I wanted to get into the music industry and I wanted to be able to build some contacts. Get my name out there and that’s kind of what happened with that golden buzzer. I honestly blacked out when that happened, of course, I was so happy and excited like yeah we finally did that. But usually, on these artistic journeys, it’s not all about the moments, it’s about the build-up to it. When it happened I was just like okay good, that worked out, next step and I think we need to see more of that in the creative industry like I did that. ”   Since then you have been very careful in selecting the writers and producers you work with on your music, is there a specific process that you apply when you pick collaborators for your projects? “Basically, I’ll do sessions. And