Category Archives: teenagers

Prom Dress For My Teen

I think and feel I am more excited than my daughter who will experience her first prom in her new school. She did not have any soiree nor prom party in her British school before but in the new school, she will have the chance to attend in all regality, dance with her friends and simply enjoy the last few days in high school. If only we have the dress…

Well, this is where the internet becomes very useful for mothers like myself. I don’t have to search far and wide for the best prom dress for my teen. I thank the myriad of websites offering beautiful prom dresses because I now have a choice. My daughter can also peruse the site with me as we decide which one to buy for her. One site that stands out is the dressfirst.com.

Dressfirst.com is a one-stop shop not only for prom dresses but also wedding gowns and other formal wear for ladies. I like the site so much because the dresses are really beautiful, the designs are not outdated or too old-fashioned and the colors cater to the younger demographic as well. I am surprised to find many styles and cut that my daughter and I love. It even made me reminisce my prom day many moons ago and wondered why designers that time did not think of the current styles and designs that we have now in this generation.

The site has plenty to offer. My daughter and I had plenty of choices. The prom dresses we chose are mostly floor-length. My daughter prefers the asymmetrical type and I agree with her as the designs are youthful and fun. I think, whatever the dress she chooses for the big prom day will make her pretty.

Here are some of the beautiful prom dresses we picked from the myriad of choices available in dressfirst.com. You can filter your selections too on the left side bar so it will yield results according to your preference.

So, if your teen is also attending prom and you would like her to look her best, check out dressfirst.com. The price is reasonable and also offering free shipping  for all dresses. Now that’s a pretty dress with a great deal!
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Pink Bedrooms For Girls Who Love Pink

I am of the girly-girly type of person so it is not a surprise why I love pink. It doesn’t matter whether it’s light pink, pastel pink, hot pink and even fuschia. I just love pink.

I grew up having my own bedroom so I had the rein in designing it. I obviously had the walls painted light pink, my closets in picket fence white and the bedsheets in majestic hot mess of pink! I love pink and I have an overdose of it.

So, when I had a daughter, I bought her pink stuff, covered her beds with pink sheets and color-coordinate in her stuff with pink. My husband would always kid that my daughter sometimes would look like a walking Pepto Bismol! hahaha.

Anyway, I just want to share these beautiful rooms to you if you are like me who loves pink or if you have little misses around who wants to have pink stuff and pink themed rooms. These pictures below are great source of “pink bedroom ideas” which I got from browsing Google images. Credit goes to the owners of the pictures.

Take a look at these gorgeous bedrooms with awesome pinkness! And who knows, you might just incorporate one in your home for your little miss or maybe for your teen daughter who is as girly as can be.

 

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Humanity And Technology

Are you not surprised by how fast technology has robbed us of our regular nuisances and even activities that we actually need to be considered as social beings?

During my time, which was not too long ago, we do not have these high-tech appliances, gaming consoles, portable gadgets and other electronics which make life so easy for the youth of today. We had it hard and labouros instead.

I always tell my daughter whenever she breaks out in rants and complaints about how hard her assignments were or how difficult to complete a certain task, about my generation and how we did things back then. I would always brag that her generation would never last a “second” in my generation. And why is that? Here are some reasons why:

Completing a certain project entailed a lot of hard work, plenty of “cartolina” and art papers and colored pencils and starch paste and tons of creativity. We did not have smart boards to present our presentations. We used papers glued together to make big poster-size murals or presentations.

When we need to research on a subject matter, we had to either ask our parents to drive us to the public library which was kilometres away. And when we reach the library, the work was just about to begin. First we would go to the index catalogue area where long tables with cabinets consisting of tiny drawers, the size of a 5×6 index cards were kept. They were arranged alphabetically and coded so we would write the codes down and proceed to the place or floor where the shelf was located. And once we find the shelf, the work did not stop there. We had to search from the top rack down or vice-versa or check on the tiny codes written on the spine of the books. We were lucky if the books were arranged accordingly but it was like finding needle in a haystack. Then we had to write down our research on pads of papers. Our simple assignment or report would require 8 to 16 man-hours to complete with so many books to read and notes to write.  Now, kids have computers as early as 1! I had my first computer when I was about to graduate in college and even then, it was still the big and chunky monitor with green or orange fonts on the screen. The youth of today could easily get the answers to their topics at the tip of their fingertips. And yet, they still complain!

If we wanted to see, play or even talk to our friends, we practically have to lift our butts off the chair, reach for the door,  open the gates and walk! Yes, we walked all the time, most of the time that was why we barely got sick then. We were fit as early as 1 year old! We would go to our friends’ houses, rang their doorbells and ask their parents if we could play in the nearby playground. Back then, safety was not a concern because kids were treated as kids. We could play non-stop until late afternoon and we were safe. If you belong to the middle class or rich families then you could call your friend and chit chat. Only few had phones then. We had our phone installed when I was about 8.

We were active bunch of kids. We rode the bike, climbed trees, did cartwheels on the grassy playground, ran with our pets, walked to school, enjoyed camping, trekked hills, helped our parents and elders with household chores, did our assignments regularly, slept around 7 p.m., watched TV only with the supervision of adults and timed, heard mass regularly, and played, played, played. We had so much fun growing up in the 70s!

Media was not harsh. Not much violence were shown and definitely not much sleazy films were allowed on theaters. These shenanigans only came out in the 90s onwards and since then, everything spiraled out of control. Even small kids these days have been exposed to violence and malicious contents. Kids are being robbed of their innocence. And during our time, we were innocent until way past our teens.

We paid respects to our elders. We would always address them with “sir,” “madame,” or use our Tagalog word “po” at the end of each sentence when talking to our parents and adults.

We wrote long mails to our families and friends who lived far away. We didn’t have this email thing then. We knew every mailman who came and the schedule of their arrival so we would all wait patiently near the gate to greet our friendly mailman.  He would delight on the sight of three smiling kids with some dogs around, waiting for their parcels or letters from favorite family members and friends. What a joy!

We are all God-fearing and we hold that close to our hearts until now. Today’s generation is very diversified with deviant beliefs being thrown on other people’s faith and faces.  It’s not that sacred anymore…

Those are just few of the examples of how it was like living in the 70s. It was fun. It was happy until technology came and changed the symbiosis of life.

I think, Albert Einstein said it best, “It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.” Although he said it in connection with the atom bomb he created, it still is relevant to how technology has changed humanity. I just hope it doesn’t make humans devoid of values and faith.

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Explaining Sensitive Matters to My Daughter

I knew the time would come when my daughter would ask me sensitive questions like “how are babies made?” and “what is reproductive system?” or “what is pre-marital sex?” I mentally prepared myself to those kinds of questions even before she could ask me. However, no matter how you psych yourself and mentally rehearse the response you would give your children when they get too curious, you are still left a bit flustered and at a loss for words.

When my daughter was only 5, she already gave me my first acid test on the sensitive questions I try to avoid. She actually asked how she was made. Even if I already braced myself to the inevitable, I stuttered as I responded. But, I didn’t sugar coat my explanation to her by using misleading terms like “flower” for the vagina and “birdie” for the penis. I explained to her how a baby was made using the actual medical terminologies. I grabbed a medical book and showed her the cross-cut version of a reproductive system. I thought it was the only way to introduce her to the real meaning of life. So, at the age of 5, she knew how a baby was made but for prudent parents out there, before you cast your stones at me, hear me out. I had to be honest with my daughter. I don’t want her growing up with malice when it comes to human sexuality and the anatomical composition of the human reproductive system. It’s bad enough that we live in a place where sex is regarded as taboo. So, you can just imagine how my daughter’s Science book looks like. It’s very emaciated because the Educational Ministry in the UAE rips all subjects pertaining to human sexuality and reproductive system. Don’t they realize that kids are smart and can actually check the internet for information? Duh! So, those are my reasons for being honest to my daughter.

Another helpful factor which contributed to explain how these sensitive matters work is to take her to a cultural immersion trip to Europe. We all know that the Western culture is very relaxed when it comes to sexuality. They are quite open and unashamed to express their passion unlike the conservative countries in the Far East. I always give my daughter few minutes “briefing” about the culture of the country we are going to visit. So when we visited France when she was 8, I told her that people there were so passionate so it would be common to see people kissing and groping each other in public places. And I told her not to make faces and say nothing. If she was a bit uncomfortable, she could look away or we would go the other direction. True enough, right in the middle of the park and in broad daylight near the Eiffel Tower, we saw couples kissing passionately and groping each other in public. I observed my daughter’s reaction and I must say, I was very proud of her. She just walked past the couples without saying a word.

I cannot fully say that I have made myself immune to these sensitive questions. I thought we were over them until the other day. Out of the blue she blurted, “Ma, what is pre-marital sex and out of wedlock mean?” Well, as always, I would pause and think because I wanted my explanation to be as scientific and truthful as possible. So, I told her.

I feel that being truthful to your kids will make their approach to these sensitive matters more mature and without malice. I am not saying you have to show them graphic illustration of how things work but try not to cover something natural with flowery words.

We now live in the modern times. Even if we conceal other matters to our children, they will still find them out one way or the other. I don’t want my daughter to find things out on her own and from other people because I cannot control what others will tell her. Media also play a vital role in our kids’ lives. No matter what we do to keep the sensitive issues out of the picture, the media will blurt them like vomit on TV, internet, print, music videos and even on the songs. So, might as well be truthful to them when they begin to ask these things.

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Talking to Your Teens

I have the privilege of experiencing a first-hand account of teen angst. I am still thankful because my daughter’s raging hormones are still controllable. However, this emotional journey with her is anything but pleasant in many instances. But as a parent, I am learning enormously in every angle of the situation we are in, be it at home or in public. Understanding and compassion is the key.

It has become a bit of a challenge to discuss things with my 13-year old (going on 30! Just like the proverbial saying.) lately. She is in Manila right now for her summer vacation. My husband and I call her every week to check up on her activities and how she is doing in general. We normally hear grunts, uhmmms, and ehhhhhhs. Just sounds which I cannot decipher if they hold any meaning at all or it’s teen-speak that we have to decode. We’re lucky if we get a decent phrase out of her. But like I mentioned earlier, understanding and compassion is the key.

Most parents will jump at that opportunity to shout or reprimand their teens but my husband and I decided to tread the road less traveled – being more patient and understanding. So, the next call went like this:
Me: Hi princess! We miss you so much and Millie barks to say hi. How’s everything there?
Daughter: Fine. (At the back of my mind…”Wow, that’s one WORD! Ok Ria, keep going, keep asking questions so you don’t end up hearing grunts and sound effects).
Me: I bought you some Aeropostale shirts and they’re all for you.
Daughter: *Shrieks with delight*  (Well, it did sound like she was so happy). Really Ma? As in only for me? You didn’t buy anything for yourself? (My mental head was brimming with glee. She was actually saying more than one word which is now leading to sentences. Thumbs up! ).
Me: (Still reeling with joy because I have engaged her in a decent conversation already) Yes baby! All for you. I didn’t buy anything for myself, just for you and Papa because I love you that much.
Daughter: Awww! Yey! I have new shirts!
Me: I’m sure you’ll love them because they have nice prints of the places we went to in New York!
Daughter: Oh wow!

Okay, the rest of the conversation went from shirts to her stories about my mom visiting her in my in-laws’ house to her getting bored at home because it was raining and so on and so forth.

I guess I may have just cracked my daughter’s teen-angst wall a bit to have her talk to me for more than 5 minutes. Here are some tips that I want to share to all you parents with teens out there.

  • I think the first thing we have to consider is to understand what they are going through. Next, try to be emphatic and offer a listening ear.
  • Don’t ask with a commanding voice because that will push them in their dark corner. I stopped raising my voice at her whenever I wanted to get a decent response. I noticed when I do that, she tends to shy away. I realized that I have just made it worse.
  • I offer her reminders about how I and her Papa grew up as teens. Sharing our stories made her realize that part of being a teenager is experiencing what she is going through at the moment.
  • I strike a conversation about her interests. My daughter loves Aeropostale stuff and animes so I tend to talk about that with her. Then I try to inject some topics about travel, her dreams, and her plans for the future. There comes a point where she will even ask me a question or two. That means she listened to my story too.
  • Always maintain a cool head. My husband and I are guilty for raising our voices at her one too many times. In the end, it didn’t make us feel good. Also, it just made the emotional gap between the parents and the teen wider.

Well, I am sure other parents out there have more tricks up their sleeves. Feel free to share them to other parents who are having trouble talking to their teenagers. Leave a comment here and let’s all learn from this adventurous ride with our teens.

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