Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 31, 2011

How to Convince Your Teen to Wear Glasses

As a teenager, glasses could be an embarrassing accessory and provoke nicknames such as ‘four-eyes’. Whether the teen is worried about being called names or they just don’t like the look of glasses paired with their clothes, it is important that they are worn in order to maintain good visual health. Even visiting an optometrist cannot be enough for some teenagers to continue using their glasses, so it is best to try out different methods that may help change their mind on wearing glasses.

Investing in Stylish Glasses

One of the first things a parent should try when convincing their teenager to keep their glasses on is to help them choose out a pair. While it is likely that the parent needs to set a budget, they should allow the teen to look over the different options on their own. While the teen looks over the glasses, it can be helpful to have the optometrist help show them the pairs that will frame their features in the most flattering way. When a teenager has control over the pair of glasses they choose, it is likely that they feel more comfortable with the option selected.

Showing Pictures of Celebrities

A great way to motivate a teenager to begin wearing their glasses is by showing them famous people who also wear them. Many people write off glasses as ‘uncool’, so it can be helpful for them to see celebrities they look up to wearing a pair. A huge celebrity that is often seen wearing a pair of glasses is Johnny Depp. Another prime example for males is Kanye West and Justin Timberlake. For girls, Tina Fey and Pink both wear glasses regularly and make the look very stylish. Seeing celebrities wearing their glasses on the red carpet and during interviews can help a teenager see the cool side of wearing them.

Getting Help from a Friend

Sometimes a teenager may be rebelling against the idea of glasses simply because their parent is pushing them. Instead of going at it time and time again, it can be helpful to have another adult speak to the teen. Somebody else may help motivate the teen to wear their glasses without feeling their parent is pushing them to. This person could be a coach, teacher, friend, or other relative.

Considering the Use of Contacts

If the teenager fails to wear glasses, even after implementing all the other tips, it may be best to consider the contacts route. Speaking to an optometrist, a parent can see if their teen is a candidate for switching to contacts. There are plenty of comfortable and affordable options available if the optometrist recommends them.

Failure to wear glasses when a teenager begins having eye problems can result in bigger health issues in the future, so it is important to consider the different methods to help motivate them. Allowing them to choose their own frames, speaking to other adults, and checking out famous celebrities with glasses are all good ideas to help push the teen to wear their glasses.

This guest post was written by Sara Roberts

Sara Roberts writes for Just Eyewear, a discount eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses online retailer.

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Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 27, 2011

Special Father Son Night

Last night was a good night. It was a throwback to when my kids were a bit younger. To a time when we weren’t all scattered in different directions. It began that way though — one off to an awards dinner, another to baseball and the third hanging with friends. But later on in the evening they all began to trickle home. Then at 9 my oldest suggests we go out and shoot hoops. I jumped at the idea and immediately went out there with him before he changed his mind. After a few minutes the other two go out there and we get a game of two-on-two off the ground. We had a blast. Picks, rolls, outside shots, drives to the hoop and plenty of fouls and trash talking. Just like the old days.

After the game we all jumped into the pool to cool off. We hung out outside for a while talking and drinking iced teas. My boys opened up to me about school, friends, girlfriends. It was a special night. If you can squeeze in a night like that every now and then you stay connected and that is everything.

Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 25, 2011

My Most Recent Coming of Age Tale

I am in the final stages of revising and editing my most recent book entitled This Side of the Street. It’s about two boys who grow up in single parent households with absentee fathers. The boys are very different — one a good student, a bit awkward and socially inept… the other the opposite…cool, athletic, a natural born leader who leads his followers to trouble. As they grow up the two very different boys find themselves in situations where they ultimately help each other out. They grow closer and essentially become brothers to one another. And as they discover themselves and bits of their past their life trajectories intersect pulling them each off course and into a future neither planned for.

It is a coming-of-age tale aimed at readers on the cusp of adulthood and in many ways I wrote it for my teenage boys. I look forward to putting it out there in the very near future.

If you would like to see the books that I have already published please take a look at Ofer’s books.

Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 24, 2011

Thank You For Voting!

I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported me and my blog in the Circle of Moms blog contest. We Won!!!

I know I sent a lot of emails and at times (well, ok, all the time) I was annoying but you guys seemed to overlook all that and you voted for me and many of you voted for me daily.

> So a big thanks to my family, my friends, my neighbors and the wonderful community that I am very lucky to be living in. Thank you to my three teenage sons who, despite their embarassment that their dad blogs (in a circle of MOMS contest no less), still posted my blog on their facebook wall and enlisted their FB friends to vote for me.

So a big big thank you to all from dadinreallife

Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 23, 2011

Downside of a More Popular Blog

This blog contest I’ve entered has served to increase the visibility of my blog. Its raised my readership and followers. All good stuff. But with it comes pressure. Pressure on me to be entertaining, funny, to write something important, maybe have a message. The new and improved blog comes with a different kind of pressure on my three boys. These past couple of weeks I’ve enlisted them to help get out the vote. In turn, they’ve turned to their friends (facebook friends, schoolmates, etc) to rally support for my blog. Unfortunately, I’m not flying under their radar anymore. Whereas before the contest I could write freely about my boys and their various antics and accomplishments and everything in between. Now they are aware of the blog, they’re actually reading it and, what’s worse, so are some of their friends. As a teenage boy with a father writing about you, it can be awfully embarassing. And I get that.

So here’s the compromise. I will try to write insightful, interesting blogs about them and limit the embarrasing stuff to me. How’s that guys? Fair? If so, will you please now go back out there and get me the votes I’ve been asking for???

For those of you who have yet to vote, please hurry up, the contest ends at 5 PM on the 23rd (today!) Just go to Circle of Moms and click on the thumbs up next to “Dad in Real Life”

Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 19, 2011

How Single Dads can Save up for a Child’s College Education

Saving money can be tough in today’s economy. Bills add up, emergencies happen when you least expect them and some expenses are just downright unavoidable altogether. For a single man raising children on his own it can be a tough and stressful job to juggle the bills while also maintaining a strong family culture. To make matters even more complicated, there is also your child’s college education to take into account. Lots of people tend to put that topic on the backburner. Single parents find themselves saying, “My kid will just have to get student loans and deal with it, or my kid’s smart enough to get a scholarship!The reality of the situation is that saving money for your child’s education doesn’t have to be difficult and can make an incredible difference down the line if you start early.

Budget

To save money means to budget, to find ways to reduce your spending without affecting your current way of life. Thinking about taking your kids out for pizza and wings? Consider going to the grocery store and buying the ingredients for a pizza and making one as a family. Not only is this an activity that involves your kids, but it also saves you money in the long haul. Chances are, you’ll have enough leftovers to do it again next week— not only does this save money, but it also builds a stronger family at the same time. Pinching pennies in small ways can build up to thousands of dollars in savings over the years.

Consider the numbers: if you saved 20 dollars every week from the day your child was born until their 18th birthday, you would have $18,720 saved towards a college education—that could pay for an entire degree! Online PhD programs have helped many people save money while getting quality advanced education, and there are indeed many creative ways of getting a degree without going broke today. Education is constantly evolving and continues to become more accessible as technology changes.

Family activities

Spending fun, quality time with your children doesn’t have to be expensive. A trip to the mountains for a few days of hiking and fishing is just as memorable for a kid as a trip to Disney World. The same is true of simple afternoon activities—instead of a few hours at the arcade watching your quarters turn into dollars and eventually dissolve into action games, laser tag and pizza, try an afternoon in the park with sandwiches and a bike ride. You’d be surprised how much money you can save by finding clever, fun ways to engage your children.

Scholarships

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to front the bill for your kid’s entire college education. There are countless scholarships available today that give families unique ways to fund schooling—in fact, a ton of scholarships are devoted specifically to funding children of single parents. Take advantage of government grants, keep an eye out for private scholarships and don’t wait on looking for extra funding—lots of kids secure thousands of dollars in scholarships for college while they’re still in middle school!

If you live in a town that has lots of major universities close to it, this is great news for you. Lots of universities across the nation have inclusion programs in conjunction with high schools. Colleges often pair up with many city high schools to offer more-than-significant college funding for students with above-average GPAs. Universities in many places are looking for ways to help kids get into college—check with your child’s school counselors to see what programs are available in your area.

Need-Based Student Aid


It is important to remember that many colleges offer what is known as “need-based” financial aid packages to students who are unable to pay all of their tuition.  Programs like these require parents to report income information for a given year, from which the school then determines how much to offer the child in grants. It is possible for the child of a single parent to attend an Ivy League school and graduate with less than $5,000 in student loans.
Typically, if a college sees that you as a parent have made an effort to save money to later be invested in your child’s education, they will have no problem working with you in any way to get the rest of the funding. Even if you save up $20 dollars a month, the impression that this has on institutions of higher education is truly hard to ignore.

Just remember to save something, and save whenever possible. Thinking about going out to buy a beer or your favorite sport team’s new jersey? Put that money in the piggy bank. Lots of people build significant savings by putting their spare change in a jar each night before bed. Try different methods and be creative—there’s no such thing as an amount too small to put away for later. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned.

Goals

Having a goal in mind when saving money often makes the process much easier. Look up the average costs for college to get an idea of expenses. If you have a college in mind for your child to attend, consider the cost of the tuition and, if necessary, room and board. With the right amount of savings and outside help anything is affordable. When doing your research, keep in mind that the current economy tends to cause a general increase in prices of all kinds. According to the College Board, college costs are expected increase by at least 6 percent every year into the future, so plan wisely.
Keep these tips in mind as you move forward and as your children progress through middle school and high school. You’ll find that not only will the ideas here increase your confidence in your ability to save, but that they will also empower you to make decisions that will ultimately make your child’s potential college experience the best as possible.

Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 18, 2011

Best Parenting Blog Contest

As some of you may know, this blog was nominated as one of the best parenting blogs on the web and I have been working hard to get my fans and friends of this blog to vote so that we may win the contest (To vote please visit (Circle of Moms blog contest). I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for voting and for supporting this blog!

Regardless of the outcome of this blog contest, I want to reach out and thank all those friends who have clicked daily to help me amass close to 1000 votes (to date). Not a small task and certainly one that I am very appreciative of. It’s good to know that you live in a community with family, friends and neighbors who rally behind one of their own — even when the task is as silly as this one.

So thank you one and all and keep voting.

Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 17, 2011

Team Sports for Adults

I play soccer in a men’s league. We get together twice a week to abuse one another. I don’t mean on the field — we can hardly move in that arena. I’m talking about verbal abuse. The trash talking, the arguing, the back and forth about petty nonsense — The ball was out, no it wasn’t, it hit your hand, no it didn’t, you’re blind, you’re an idiot, and so on. We’re all pretty much in our late forties now. The legs can no longer perform the feats the brain tells them to. We think we can sprint after a long ball but after a few short yards we’re huffing it. We try and avoid contact. The days of slide tackles are long behind us. Now it’s a big warm-up before the game, apply Ben-Gay generously, yell a little on the field during play and then call it a day.

The yelling on the field is all we have left…that’s why we’re so damn good at it.

Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 13, 2011

Democracy on The Internet

So I’m alerted by an organization called the Circle of Moms that my blog dadinreallife is among 25 finalists in a blog contest about single parenting. I am all excited. I send emails to all my friends. My kids do the same. I put it on my FB wall. I start getting votes. Then yesterday I go to see how I’m doing and I see that my blog was removed from the contest. It takes us a day to get an answer — apparently I was accused of buying votes…paying people to vote for me.

I was never asked if it was true, never given a chance to defend myself and no proof was entered against me. It took 24 hours to convince the powers that be that they were mistaken, that all my votes were genuine and UNpaid for and that my blog should be restored. About ten minutes ago it was.

But I will say this was a lesson in democracy (or in this case, the lack thereof). Last I checked we were still living in America where you are innocent until proven guilty. Is the opposite true in cyber world??

I submit NOT. Now I’d love to continue lecturing on the point but I have to stop now….it’s time for me to vote for my blog again.

If you like my blog I invite you to go to http://www.circleofmoms.com/top25/single-parent and vote for me; although I will not be paying anyone for votes!

Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 13, 2011

Joy of College Acceptance!

As a follow up to my last blog, my older son also had a good week last week. He had applied for a scholarship program called the Governors School. A prestigious engineering program at Rutgrers with college credit and full room and board for an entire month…FREE. He gathered up his teacher recommendations, wrote his essays, gathered up his HS transcript…put it all together and sent it in only to find out a month later that he was wait-listed. I told him what an accomplishment that in itself was. Out of thousands of applicants across the entire state they only accepted about a hundred kids and he still had a shot.

But he also had no choice but to make alternative plans for the summer in case he did not get in. Every day he checked the mail, his email, my email…hoping for an acceptance. Yesterday, while I was in the shower, I hear screaming. I cannot tell whats going on because the words are muffled by the sound of running water. I begin screaming “Whats wrong, what’s going on!!!”

My son suddenly pulls back the shower curtain and proceeds to tell me right there and then with me standing there in all my glory (NOT) that he just got accepted. And there we are, a thrilled seventeen year-old and his naked 48 year-old father jumping up and down screaming for joy.

A good week.

Tomorrow my other son has his last soccer game of the season… let’s see what happens.

Ofer Aronskind is a single father and the author of multiple adventure books for boys. He enjoys the outdoors and loves to spend time with his 3 teenage sons

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