Trilogy of Teenage Life

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Don't forget! 

Chicago's First Ladybug Bash is THIS Thursday, April 7th. I can personally promise that it's going to be an incredibly fun night filled with nonstop entertainment. 

Buy your tickets here: http://projectladybug.ticketleap.com/ladybugbash/

Plus, don't miss Dina Manzo and Atia on NBC's 'The Talk' tonight at 7:00 PM.

Today, my friend Judy Luczak is guest blogging for me and providing us a glimpse into the lives of today's teenagers. Happily married for 20 years, she's
the mother of two great teens, daughter Taylor (17) and son Alex (15), and she's worn
many hats - Girl Scout Leader, Coach and part of the Cheering Section during sports
and various extracurricular events.

When Laura asked for guest bloggers I said to myself, heck I can do that. I'm a mom and moms can do anything, right?  So I started thinking about my two teenage children and the stories I share about them to others...yes, I can see their eyes rolling now as I write.

Teenagers often get a bad rap, and while that may be true for some, the majority are great kids just trying to figure out what many of us have yet to master like, how to be yourself and still fit in and how to juggle it all.

My daughter Taylor is a Junior in high school, and with that comes the angst and pressure of college visits, deciding what she wants to do, and keeping up with her classes, athletics and a social life - all while texting to every friend she has.  I have sometimes wondered how she and her friends do it. I have also wondered if she and her friends know how to relax and have fun.

My son Alex is a Freshman in high school and in addition to being known as "Taylor's little brother", it has been a whole new experience for him.  Like most teenage boys, when it comes to things he not interested in, he lacks motivation. For example, when tasked with writing about Romeo and Juliet he said,

Did you know what truly motivated Romeo was Stupidity? Seriously, who does these things for a girl? And why did the Friar have to meddle in their lives?  If the Friar had just minded his own business, no one would have died and they would have just stayed miserable like every other teenager in the world.

Yes, Alex has a certain "approach" to life that keeps one wondering and on their toes. Oh, and no, he doesn't have a girlfriend, nor the desire to change his Facebook relationship status anytime soon.

Interestingly, it's not just Taylor and Alex that bring so much laughter, stress and frustration to our lives, it's their friends too.

Most recently we were watching the John Hughes "Trilogy of Teenage Life", as I like to call it - The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles - and while most of my generation can quote lines from those movies verbatim, there are definitely a few scenes I don't remember. I don't know if it's the result of "blocked omissions" or just "parenthood", but either way I don't recommend watching them with your younger children.

All the same, it reminded me of how hard it was when I was a teenager, and confirmed how much harder it is today. "You'd think we would have evolved after 30 years; yet, the high school years are still the same", I said to Taylor and she responded in agreement, "Mom, that's still how it is."

The pressures are all there: What store do you shop at? What type of cell phone you have? What classes and clubs you are involved in? What colleges are you applying to? What's your Facebook status?

Kids today are under a microscope and not just because they post every thought on Facebook but because we've molded them to be that way. We, as parents, have scheduled them since birth - from daycare to play dates to sports. They are used to always being on the go and on a strict schedule; it all feels so formal.

I miss the old days when people just showed up to casually hang out.

But then again, I see my kids who are connecting via Xbox Live, texting, email and Facebook - the new way to virtually "hang out". I definitely think downtime is good for kids, but perhaps in order for them to know when they can take time to "zone", they have to know when they're busy.

My Next Blog > "Dina Manzo Thanks Chicago For An Amazing First Ladybug Bash"

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  • Great entry! Thanks!

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