Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect On A Woman's Life

COMING SOON February 2011:

Tornado Warning - A must read for all teens and parents 

By Elin Stebbins Waldal

Parents, teens, and survivors are lucky that Elin Stebbins Waldal has the courage to share her own harrowing experience with teen dating violence. At 17 she unwittingly fell in love with an abusive man. Tornado Warning is the true, honest portrait of how he whittled her down--with words, hands, and weapons--from a confident teen to the shadow of a woman. But Stebbins Waldal offers more. Interwoven with her real-life journal, she reflects on how this relationship has affected her since, and how she is working to protect her teenagers from succumbing to a similar experience. Provocative and healing, Tornado Warning is a must-read for parents, women, and anyone who has suffered at the hands of a loved one.

About the Author

Elin Stebbins Waldal is a writer, speaker, and founder of girls kNOw more, an organization whose mission is to help build confidence in middle-school-age girls. Elin is the Love Is Not Abuse Coalition State Action Leader for California, which advocates for legislation that will require teen dating abuse curriculum in all middle schools, high schools, and colleges. She is a frequent guest on the radio show. She is also a regular presenter for Laura's House, an Orange County resource for victims of domestic violence. She was recognized with an Honorable Mention Award in the World of Difference Category by The San Diego County Office of Education for speaking and educating high school students. Additionally, she is a California-state-certified domestic violence advocate. She has contributed to The Courage Network, Safe World for Women, and The Women on the Verge on-line periodicals and also serves as a San Diego Examiner reporter on the subject of teen dating violence. Elin lives in Southern California with her husband, three children, and their family dog.

Pre-order today!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Social Santa: Safe Networking for Your Kids - YOURSPHERE IS HERE

Internet safety has become a top concern for parents with kids online today.  Between cyberbullying, stalkers, and Internet predators, parents need to be on top of their game when it comes to allowing their kids to surf online.

As the holidays are here, more kids will find social networking sites and meet vitual friends, or are they digital strangers?  Start your holidays off right by signing them up for an exciting social networking experience with lots of interesting topics, games and peers that make safety their number one priority.

Yoursphere is here and it is FREE.

It's your sphere and make it your own!

School is out, free time is building and many kids are at home looking for things to do.  Get them involved in constuctive fun and learning about new people and cultures - join Yoursphere today.  Meet friends, chat and play with new friends.

Yoursphere prides themselves on carefully verifying all new members and their parents.  They have added new games, contests and even have sphere designs for your child's unique interests.  Is there a particular sport your child loves?  Find others with the same passion.  Check out all the great choices - click here.  There is something for everyone!

With Yoursphere your child can even earn cool prizes while having fun.

Finally - a space 'in space' that you can feel good about your children surfing in!

Learn more about Yoursphere.  Sign your child up today to begin their Holiday Season with friends and fun!

Hey parents, don't forget to bookmark Yoursphere for Parents!  It will keep you up-to-date with today's ever changing digital world!  Click here.

Watch the video of the dedicated founder, Mary Kay Hoal, of Yoursphere, and learn more about online safety.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer children!

Read more.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PACT360: Community Education on Drug Use Prevention

Working together with key community stakeholders focused on prevention, treatment, health care, education and law enforcement, The Partnership at developed a series of research-based, multimedia community education programs designed specifically to inform parents about today’s drug and alcohol landscape, equip them to be more effective in dealing with these issues and help them raise healthy teens.

PACT360 contains five key programs – Meth360®, Parents360, Youth360, Latino360 and Padres360 – and is designed to complement and not supplant existing local prevention efforts. All five programs can be customized with local statistics, real-person stories and events and first-hand experiences of the presenters, to reflect the unique needs and issues of the community. This multi-dimensional approach highlights the powerful impact local efforts can have on individual families and communities.
How communities put into practice the PACT360 programs is wide-ranging from implementation into probation programs to community development plans to individual efforts by local community service organizations that address the needs of parents and youth, parent teacher organizations and community watch groups. Communities across the country have used the PACT360 programs in numerous ways to reach parents and teens, and most importantly, the various uses of the program underscores the importance of community partners working together to bring these issues to the forefront.
Visit and find out how to get started today!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Teens and Gift Cards: Don't Let them Go To Waste

Most everyone knows that right behind find that perfect gift for the person that has everything, a teenager can be just as difficult to buy for.

Different from the the person that has everything (they usually have money too), a teen will love the cold cash!  Forget the gift cards, rip-up the checks, and good old fashion cash is gold to them.

There is a thought process many parents have that our teens will not be responsible with the cash.  That may be true, however do you realize how many gift cards are not used or not used to their full value?  A lot!
Although gift cards are definitely an easier gift to give, especially now that you can purchase them in most grocery stores and department stores such as Walmart, be sure the recipient will use the entire card - a little reminder doesn't hurt.

One of the more frequent issues teens have with gift cards is remembering to use them.  How many have you found when cleaning your teens bedroom - or better yet, their car if they have one?
A recent Associated Press (AP) article had excellent advice when it comes to teens and those gift cards.

According to the AP:

Conventional wisdom holds that gift cards are the perfect present for picky teens. But not all teens agree.

Reasons include logistical hassles in using the cards, lack of interest in the store or brand, a preference for cash, or even a wish for something personal. Often the cards pile up unused, but some teens sell them for a portion of their face value or even create a black market and trade them for lunch money.

The answer - when it comes to gifts for your teens? Talk to your teens - find out what they really want, what they need and what they will use.  At the end of the day, like everything else when it comes to your teen - it is about communication!

Talk to your teens before you spend the cash.

Read more.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The 10 Coolest Toys of 2010

Even if you're an adult, you have to appreciate the vast array of neat new toys that hit the shelves during 2010. In the past, single items like the Chatty Cathy, Cabbage Patch Kids, Transformers, Tickle Me Elmo or Furby were all the rage. As toymakers have evolved, they've produced higher quantities of even cooler items, making it more difficult for kids to decide what they really want as special occasions approach. As you peruse the aisles of your local toy store or browse around online, be on the lookout for the following items. Each one has incited the gimmes from kids across the country.

Hasbro's FurReal Friends starting at $29.95
FurReal GoGo My Walkin' Pup: The FurReal GoGo My Walkin' Pup is perfect for kids who've had a puppy on their wish list but aren't quite ready for the real deal just yet. Kids can become dog-owners-in-training, as the pup responds to sound and motion by barking, panting and whining. She loves to be taken for walks, so she comes with a leash that enables her walker to control her movements. The only potential obstacle that accompanies adopting the pup is keeping her soft white fur clean.

Spy Net: Secret Mission Video Watch: Almost two decades ago, the Talkboy was the leading toy for young spies. Today, it's the Spy Net: Secret Mission Video Watch, which comes equipped with playback video, audio and photos. Parents and children alike are amazed by its capabilities: it can secretly record up to 20 minutes of video and four hours of audio, and capture up to 2000 pictures. The full-color 1.4-inch TFT screen allows users to watch live playback and recorded videos. After a mini-James Bond or Harriet the Spy has discovered all of the secrets of their neighborhood, he or she can download video spy missions from

Nerf N-Strike Recon CS-6 Dart Blaster: Warriors-in-training who've made the New Year's resolution to dominate every Nerf battle in 2011 ought to give the Nerf N-Strike Recon CS-6 Dart Blaster a shot. Shooters can assemble their own blaster with the use of five interchangeable parts, snapping them onto the Tactical Rail in an effort to gain an advantage over their dart-tag enemies. A flip-up sight and a dual-mode light beam with red-dot accuracy ensure that all shots are precise during the day or night. Be sure to stock up on darts if you plan to make this purchase.

Fushigi Magic Gravity Ball: The Fushigi Magic Gravity Ball is a toy for teens and grownups who are dedicated to mastering the skill of juggling, specifically contact juggling. The operator who correctly uses the ball is able to create an illusion that defies gravity, making it appear as though the ball is moving and floating on its own. This is caused by the combination of hand and body isolations and movements along with the ball's reflectiveness. Once the skill is learned, engaging in the activity regularly can serve to clear the mind and promote relaxation, which is a nice added benefit. Click here for YouTube Video.

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle: Elaborate LEGO sets have long been among the coolest toys around — the most recent of which, the Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle, is on par with some of brand's biggest hits, including the Skull's Eye Schooner and Royal Knight's Castle. Kids who are both LEGO collectors and Harry Potter fanatics are sure to enjoy this 1,290 piece set that features Harry Potter, Hermione Grange, Lord Voldemort, Albus Dumbledore and several other prominent characters. The castle notably features Dumbledore's office and Gryffindor common room. Even if you don't care for the book or movie series, you'll be amazed by its details.
Beyblade Metal Fusion Super Vortex Battle Set: An updated and enhanced version of the game Battling Tops, the Beyblade Metal Fusion Super Vortex Battle Set comes with new rules and a new element of fun. The ripcord powered launch-able tops are now customizable, so competitors can build one they deem best fit to defeat their opponent in the Beystadium battle arena. Players must determine the best combinations of tip types, wheel shapes, spin direction and height in order to increase their chances of victory. Battles require strategy and adherence to rules that ensure fairness. It's a fun game for kids who enjoy the thrill of contact sports but also like to use their minds every once in a while.

Fisher-Price Dance Star Mickey: Dance Star Mickey follows in the tradition of previous life-like television and movie characters who have captured the fancy of young children. Like Tickle Me Elmo, this Mickey does exactly what his title indicates, turning into a dance star after his foot is pressed. Kids have a blast as they participate in six different songs and dances, including Latin techno, the moonwalk and disco. Mickey even leads two interactive games when the kids are tired of groovin'. It's likely to become one of those toys that emerges from the closet years from now, serving as a reminder of the height of your child's cuteness.

Barbie Glam Vacation House: Although the Barbie Glam Vacation House first hit the shelves in late 2009, it has remained one of the most popular toys of 2010. Days of fun are provided in the two-story, six-room house that consists of a living room, kitchen, breakfast bar, bedroom, bathroom and patio; also included are a couch, bed and blender. Amateur interior decorators enjoy adorning the inside with decorative pieces such as tiki lights and a chandelier. Parents appreciate that it can be folded and replaced, so it doesn't have to perpetually occupy a large amount of space. All things considered, this is an essential item for the latest generation of Barbie lovers.

Vtech Kidizoom Digital Camera: A mini-photographer can practice their craft with an eye-catching Vtech Kidizoom Digital Camera. This ideal first camera is extremely durable and highly functional. It can handle the wear and tear that any young child's favorite toy experiences while continuing to provide quality photos with its 64MB of built-in memory. What's more, a built-in photo editor can add 12 fun frames and stamps, or two kaleidoscope effects. Its big buttons and 1.8-inch color LCD screen ensure it's easy to use, so parents whose children can't keep their hands off the complicated family camera have found a solution.

Watch videos of these cool gadgets and toys: Click here.

You can order these items from Amazon - most with free shipping and no sales tax! Click here!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Wonderland in St. Augustine

From toddlers to teens to young adults to parents and grandparents - St. Augustine's Winter Wonderland has family fun for everyone!

It is difficult to find things to do with your teens today, but as the St. Augustine Amphitheatre has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland, there is a plenty of exciting and festive events and activities for all ages.

From ice skating to bounce houses to the Elf Village and even snow, your family - inlcuding your teenagers, will feel the excitement of the holiday season.  Doing it as a family is just a bonus!

Here are the hours for this season's Winter Wonderland:

November 19th – December 17th:
Monday – Thursday:     4:00pm-10:00pm
Friday:                          4:00pm-11:00pm
Saturday:                     12:00pm-11:00pm*
Sunday:                        12:00pm-10:00pm*

December 18th – January 2nd:
Sunday – Thursday:      12:00pm-10:00pm*
Friday & Saturday:       12:00pm-11:00pm*

*Select activities open during evening hours only

Admission into Winter Wonderland is FREE!!

Learn more at and make your family plans now.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent's Guide to Becoming Bilingual

What are you to do when your cheerful, friendly family members morph overnight into sarcastic, sullen, teens? 
How can you get through to these hormonally challenged strangers when all you get in return are sighs and eyerolls? 

Thankfully, this book reveals the groundbreaking strategies you can use to maintain good communication, healthy interaction, and strong connections to your teen, no matter how rocky the road to puberty becomes. You'll learn how to:
  • Let your teens help set the rules--and the consequences for breaking them
  • Realize that "me, me, me!" is actually age-appropriate
  • Put honesty above all else
  • Try not to criticize, judge, or become angry
Based on the latest research, this book works as a Rosetta Stone to help you hear what your kids are really saying--and makes sure nothing is lost in translation!


Barbara R. Greenberg, PhD has a doctorate in clinical psychology from SUNY at Stony Brook, and is the clinical director of Four Winds Hospital in New York, where she takes care of an inpatient adolescent unit, and maintains a private practice.

Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder, PsyD has a doctorate in school/clinical child psychology from the University of Virginia and is presently the clinical director for the Child and Adolescent Outpatient programs at Four Winds Hospital in New York.

Order on Amazon today!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dear Lilly: From Father to Daughter: The Truth about Life, Love, and the World We Live In

Dear Lilly

By Peter Greyson

A father offers his advice, opinions, and the many useful stories gleaned from his past experiences in order to help his beloved daughter not only survive, but thrive in the dangerous and unpredictable world of young adulthood.

From the pen of a former abused child, drug addict, womanizing frat boy, and suicidal depressive, comes forth the emotionally stirring account of a young man's battle with crippling inner demons and his eventual road to enlightenment. Peter Greyson calls upon his wisdom as both father and school teacher to gently lead teenage girls through a maze of truth, deception, and adolescent uncertainty. Greyson's literary style sparkles with a youthful enthusiasm that will capture your heart and provide boundless inspiration.

Dear Lilly is a survival guide that offers the brutally honest male perspective to young women struggling for answers to life's deepest questions. Topics include:
  • Boys lie
  • What every guy wants from his girlfriend
  • Tales from the drug world
  • Everybody hurts
  • High school exposed 
Order today on Amazon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CarCheckup and your teens

CarCheckup provides a service that will help you monitor your teen's driving habits.

Our device simply plugs into the teen's car (usually under the steering wheel) and records data as the car is driven.

At the end of the day or week, bring the device inside and plug it into your computer with the built-in USB arm. Log into your personal account and easily download the data and review it with your teen.

Together, you can review summaries and graphs of each of your teen's trips allowing you to see:
  •  Highest Speed and RPM
  •  Distance and Duration of Trip Traveled
  •  Time Driven in Different Speed Bands
  •  Hard and Extreme Braking and Acceleration
  •  Graphs of Each Trip Showing Speed or RPM
  •  If the check engine light is on, we can even tell you why! 
Read more.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Admongo: Are your kids ad-savvy?

It is that time of the year again. Whether it is your mailbox full of colorful fliers, or your television enticing your kids with ads that are created to build excitement, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, has created the Admongo campaign to help teach kids about advertising.

Advertising is a multi-million dollar business. Truthful advertising provides benefits to consumers and competition. It gives consumers the information they need to make better-informed purchasing and product use decisions. It also gives companies an incentive to modify their products to provide features that customers want. By contrast, false advertising interferes with decision-making and hinders competition.

Tweens and teens have their own money to spend, and parents report that children play an important role in family buying decisions. Because kids are an important part of the marketplace, they often are the targets of advertising and marketing programs. The result is that American kids see ads wherever they go.

An example of what you can learn from Admongo:

Must-have: The technique of portraying a product or services as something that consumers must have to be happy, popular, or satisfied. Critical thinking questions: What can this product really do for me?
Shopping online or off, learning young about marketing and advertising can save you a lot of money and time.

Learn more and share with your kids at

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Joys of Christmas 2010

The Joys of Christmas 2010 is a great way to start, no matter what faith you are, believing in the spirit of the holidays is the start of bonding with your friends, families and teens!

The Joys of Christmas 2010 will bring you closer to friends and family, and help you maintain a strong connection with God this Christmas, with its meditations from your favorite Guideposts editors for both personal and family devotional time. Sections on faith, family, recipes, home and giving will offer practical solutions to your holiday challenges and help keep Christmas simple and meaningful.

If you would like to order your copy of The Joys of Christmas 2010, click here.

In May 2010, a new study released by The Barna Group indicated surveyed teens put career and international travel aspirations ahead of faith, marriage and parenting.  This is the perfect time of the year to turn that around.  Having a foundation in life is part of molding a strong future.

The Joys of Christmas 2010 may be the tool you need to spark your teen in a spiritual direction!
6 Ways The Joys of Christmas can help you connect with your family, and your faith this Christmas:
  1. Before opening presents on Christmas morning, recite one of the devotionals
  2. Read aloud one of the wonderful Christmas stories to your family while sitting around the tree
  3. Make a game with children of memorizing one of the Christmas poems
  4. Count down the days until Christmas with the Advent Calendar
  5. Share one of the delicious holiday recipes
  6. Keep holiday costs down with homemade decorations
Read more and order today.