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The Teen Popularity Handbook cover If you like our website content, you’ll love this book!

It is the only book of its kind. It is the handbook of how to be a popular teen, teaching you how to develop the skills to be successful in high school and beyond. Every teen, parent, grandparent, etc, needs this book.

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From the back of the book:

Any teen can become popular!

When you’re popular, life is exciting. Popular people are surrounded by close friends, fans, and secret admirers. They have the skills to form meaningful romantic relationships and rarely get bullied, because they have the confidence to stand up for themselves and others.

Wouldn’t it feel great to give a class presentation without anxiety? To have the confidence and right words to ask that special someone to the dance? Or to be able to read your crush’s body language to know what he or she really thinks about you?

How would your life change if you replaced your feelings of loneliness, awkwardness, and frustration with happiness and self-confidence?

But…Can you be popular? Yes! Popular teens think and act in ways that make them loved and admired. This book reveals these scientifically-backed “popularity secrets” and makes learning and applying them in your life fun and easy.

Don’t worry, The Teen Popularity Handbook isn’t going to turn you into a bully or “mean girl,” but a confident, fun, and well-liked teen everyone wants to get to know. Also, since studies show that popular high-schoolers earn more money later in life than unpopular teens, the benefits of being popular never end. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start your exciting transformation into a popular teen right now!

280 pages. 

Order today in paperback and Kindle!

Four Tips To Get Your Teachers To Like You

Teacher and student together

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I taught high school for over five years, so when it comes to teachers and teens, I have a pretty unique perspective. I write for a website for teens, but have also been on the other side of the desk. Now, I’m going to share my tips to win over your teachers and get them to like you (or at least get on their good side). You don’t have to start liking them. But, these tips will at least help you get along with them. Remember, it is to your advantage to have your teachers like you, since when people like you, they treat you better and give you the benefit of the doubt more often.

Tip One: Teachers Are People Too (And Need Empathy)

They may yell at you, annoy you, get you trouble, and stop you from having fun, but your teachers are actually people too, with feelings and all. Anything you deal with on a daily basis, from letdowns to stress to family and friend problems, your teacher has been there and done that too. And, they may actually be going through it at that very moment. Believe it or not, teachers have a lot of stress on them: state standards, a jerk principal, a spouse at home they may not like, etc. So, when you talk to your teachers, keep in mind that they’re not perfect and have the same issues that you do (and maybe even some more). So, have a little empathy for them. You expect empathy from them (for example, you want them to understand you had a super stressful day so your homework wasn’t finished), so remember to give them a little as well.

Tip Two: Affirm Them

Teachers are bashed a lot these days. Parents get angry, superintendents blame them for poor test results, and the media calls them lazy. Also, teachers don’t make much money compared to their friends in business jobs. Plus, students aren’t always terribly happy to be in their classroom. It can make for a depressing environment, especially after years and years of dealing with this.

Also, I can tell you that teachers are rarely thanked or affirmed. So, affirm and thank your teachers occasionally. You don’t have to suck up or be teacher’s pet. Just say something like “that was actually a cool assignment” or “you really helped me understand algebra a little better.” Even a more superficial comment about their clothing can make them feel better. It’ll go along way towards getting the teacher to like you.

Tip Three: Take An Interest In Them

Is your whole life about math or science? Probably not! Well the same is true of your science and math (and all other) teachers. Your teacher has a host of interests outside of school, just like you. This includes hobbies, families, friends, and talents. If you want to win over your teachers, find out what these are and take an interest in them. Most teachers will be happy to talk about their lives because no one usually asks! As a plus, it may get them off topic for awhile.

Tip Four: Recognize You Might Be Wrong

Teachers aren’t always right when it comes to discipline or grades. When I was a teacher the arrogance of some other teachers really bothered me. However, most of the time your teacher likely knows what is going on. If you’ve gotten in trouble, then man (or woman) up and apologize. When I taught teens, I respected students who fessed up and apologized when they were wrong, rather than those who dragged out the process and lied to my face over and over again. There are times you will be doing the wrong thing. While you don’t have to go and confess your wrongdoings to your teacher, if you’re caught, then own up.

These tips will help you win over your teacher and get along better with them. While it may be “cool” with some kids to have the teacher hate them, it’s certainly not very smart! If you’re going to be with someone every day for nine months, you’d better make sure they like you!

Homecoming: Don’t Fear The Dance Floor!

Dancing TeensThis is the final installment of our Homecoming Survival Guide, newly updated for 2016. Here are tips to deal with one of the biggest stressors of all (especially for guys): the dancing.

Homecoming generally centers around the actual dance. So, even if you’re mainly interested in what comes before (the dinner) or afterwards (like a party), if you plan on showing up with a date and looking your best, then you had better give some thought to the dance itself.

Don’t immediately rule out dancing, even if you can’t dance or don’t think you like it. Your date may really want to dance. Also, you’re going to a dance, so you may want to participate at least a little. Whatever you decide, here are a few tips to help you through the dancing part of Homecoming.

Learn How To Dance

It may help to actually learn how to dance before you go to Homecoming. While dancing lessons may be out of the picture, you can at least pick up some tips from a friend who is good at it. Even if you have no rhythm, you can probably learn a few basic moves in advance.

Believe it or not, there is actually a science on how guys should dance.

Watch Others

If you don’t have the time or desire to learn how to dance beforehand, then watch others at the actual dance. Do what they do. Basic dancing isn’t too difficult and can be learned quickly just by observing. See what others are doing and just go along with it as best you can.

Pick And Choose When To Dance

I had a friend who thought he could dance with the best and jumped in with some really good dancers. He couldn’t keep up and looked foolish. If your dancing skills are weak, just stay with your date, your group of friends, or other people who share your ability level. Personally, I used to sit out the fast dances and do the slower ones. Those were not only easier, but also more fun since I could get closer to the girls anyway!

Don’t Dance

If you truly can’t dance or genuinely don’t want to dance, you can just hang out near the food, talk to your friends, and let your personality shine in other ways. But, check with your date first! She may not like you taking her to dance and not actually dancing with her.

Be Humorous

If you’re the class clown, then maybe you can make light of your bad dancing. However, make sure everyone is laughing with you and not at you!

Whatever you decide about dancing or whatever your abilities make sure to be yourself. Have confidence, be cool and relaxed, and, above all, when it comes to dancing ability (or lack of it), be willing to laugh at yourself.

Homecoming Survival Guide Series

Part One: To Go or Not To Go?
Part Two: Get A Date!
Part Three: Dress for Success
Part Four: Don’t Fear the Dance Floor

Homecoming: How To Dress For Success

Suit and TieYou’re going to Homecoming, you have your date (or you’re comfortable about going alone), but now the real stress is beginning. What are you going to wear? And, for the girls, the hair and makeup enter into the picture. Homecoming can be stressful. But, don’t fear, we can help!

Because guys and girls have different needs, we’re going to address them separately. However, first we want to look at issues of dress and appearance that apply to both sexes.

For Guys and Girls

Don’t Stress About Cost

There is a lot of pressure for teens to buy expensive dresses and outfits for Homecoming. When I was in high school years ago, Homecoming was a chance to dress up, but it was more on the level of going to a job interview or a fancy party. Now, it’s turned into a smaller version of the Prom. That means that the cost now mirrors that of Prom too.

We live in a time of greater economic distress. Many families have less money and your parents, even if they want to, may not have the resources to pay hundreds of dollars for an outfit. If you have a limited budget, relax. Here are a few ways to survive:

Find bargains

Check the internet and local stores. Look for coupons. Buy something that is used, but still looks good (and costs less). Be creative about finding outfits that aren’t expensive. With the internet, your options are limitless.

Rock Something Cheaper

If you look amazing, then you can make a dress or suit look amazing. Those ugly girls with more money don’t look as beautiful as a pretty girl in a cheap dress. Ask any guy: most guys would rather go to homecoming with a pretty girl in sweatpants than an ugly one in a fancy dress. The same is true of women. They would much rather date a charming and hot guy dressed sharply and cheaply, than a boring and ugly guy dressed better. If your outfit is less expensive, then make up for it in other ways: lose a few pounds, do something exciting with your hair, add a flair, etc.

Be Confident In What You Can Afford

Even if you have a secondhand outfit that cost you twenty bucks, be confident and cool about your situation. Don’t let comments from other people or your situation bring you down. Keep your head high and have fun.

Dress For Your Personality

Although I give some tips below, let your outfit reflect your unique personality in some way. Don’t be too outrageous, but let your unique self shine through. If you’re edgy, be edgy. If you’re funny, be quirky. You get the point.

For Guys

Get Some Advice

Women typically know more about fashion than we do. Don’t hesitate to seek their advice. Enlist your mom, your girlfriend, your sister, or another female friend to help with picking an outfit. They can make sure it matches and that it looks good on you. This will make sure you look as “put together” as possible.

Be Classy

Teen males often hate to dress up. However, every now and then, it’s a good thing to look your best. In fact, over and over again girls report loving guys who are dressed really nice (dress shirt, dress pants, nice watch, etc). See it as a chance to impress people you wouldn’t normally impress. You can keep your usual style, but make it as classy and dressy as possible.

Groom

A lot of guys aren’t too good in the grooming department, but women love well-groomed guys. Your homecoming date is no exception. Make sure to trim your nails, brush your hair if it is ratty, trim any excess hair in places you don’t want it (like your nose), and make sure you have a general “put together” look.

Watch The Hygiene

While this isn’t related to dress per se, make sure you take care of proper hygiene. It will likely be warm in the gym at the dance, so make sure you wear a good deodorant, and spray some cologne. Also make sure to shower (obviously…but for some teen guys a reminder is always good), brush your teeth, etc. Women are much more attuned to smell than are guys, and trust me, they will notice if you are aren’t hygienic, and it is a huge turn off.

For Girls

Don’t Overdo It

Just because it’s Homecoming doesn’t mean you should go overboard on the makeup and the hair. Natural is beautiful too. If your date isn’t going to recognize you, then re-think your choices! The result will be everyone will just talk about how ridiculous you look behind your back. Is that right? No. It is stupid. But, it still might happen.

Leave Something to the Imagination

Dresses are getting shorter, but here is some advice from a male perspective: those dresses don’t get you any respect. Don’t let yourself be an object. You can be stylish and sexy, but still leave something to the imagination. And, with all the other girls revealing too much, you might actually get more of the good kind of attention by revealing less.

Hopefully, you have less anxiety and stress about your clothing now. Dress for success, look your best, and have a great time.

Homecoming Survival Guide Series

Part One: To Go or Not To Go?
Part Two: Get A Date!
Part Three: Dress for Success
Part Four: Don’t Fear the Dance Floor

Homecoming: Get A Date!

Couples Kissing Graphic

“Image courtesy of Idea Go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

OK, you’re going to Homecoming. Next, you’ll have to determine if you want to bring a date. In most cases, it’s expected. However, if you don’t have a date, it’s not the end of the world. Today’s Homecoming Survival Guide will look at how to get a date…and how to handle it if you can’t get one.

If You Want A Date

If you have a steady boyfriend or girlfriend, then the date aspect of Homecoming is no problem. However, if you are single, then it becomes more difficult. If you’ve never really dated at all, then finding a girl or guy for Homecoming seems like an impossible task. While nothing is guaranteed, below are a few tips to get yourself a date. Because the dating game is different for guys and girls, I’ve divided my tips into three different sections: for guys, for girls, and for both.

For Guys

Just Ask…But See Below

Our culture says that asking for a date is your job (not the girl’s). So, if you want a girl to go to Homecoming with you, you’re going to have to man up. You can’t wait for the girl to ask. So, you’ll have to get the nerve to approach her.

But Build Some Rapport Too

Guys are attracted to girls primarily visually. In other words, a guy can see a girl from afar, barely know her, and still want to take her to a dance, date her, etc. However, women are different. They judge a guy based on personality far more. So, when a guy they barely know randomly asks them out it can be creepy or off-putting, unless they have a huge crush on that guy. So, before you “just ask,” get to know her a little. Make some conversation. Flirt. Then, when you ask her to homecoming a few weeks later, it will seem natural and she will be prepped.

Be Creative

If you’re nervous about just going up and asking her, then find a funny and clever way to do it instead. Use social media, ask her with a poster, send her on a scavenger hunt, etc. If you can get her thinking you’re unique, creative, funny, and a little edgy, she’ll probably be more likely to say yes. However, make sure you know the girl at least likes you first (even as an acquaintance) before you try something creative or it could backfire immensely. You don’t want to be the guy who was rejected publicly. If you have any doubt, don’t make a huge show of asking her out, or you’ll look ridiculous.

For Girls

Be Available

The guy has the job of asking you out, but you still have to let him know you’re available (not only in your schedule, but also as a willing partner). Playing hard to get will simply show most guys you don’t like them, especially since the thought of asking you out is likely terrifying them to begin with. Instead, subtly let him know you want to go with him. You can do this in a few ways:

  • Drop hints (guys can be socially dense, so keep dropping)
  • Have your friends let him know
  • Don’t be “anti-homecoming” (In other words, let him and others know you are interested in going).

For Guys and Girls

Use Your Networks

If you have friends, then use them to get dates. Don’t appear desperate, but let your friends help you know who is single and looking. They can even put in a good word about you with guys or girls you may like. Let your friends drop hints. Don’t try to go it alone.

Go With A Friend

If it comes down to the wire, then ask a friend to be your date. It’s better to have a non-romantic date then no date at all. You get the chance to dress up, go to dinner with someone you like, and have a companion for the night. Just don’t expect too much more because friendships rarely turn romantic. Although, you never know!

If You Can’t Find A Date

If you can’t find a date but you still want to go, then just do it. It’s OK and lots of people have fun without a guy or girl with them. However, to make the most of Homecoming you should still:

Find a Group

Go with a group of friends so you’re not alone. You’ll be happier to be with friends. Also, if you are truly alone at Homecoming, it could make you look creepy or unpopular.

Avoid the Date Aspects of Homecoming

Don’t be the weirdo doing the romantic stuff alone. In other words, don’t get your photo taken by yourself, etc. Be cool and confident about going alone, but don’t try to insert yourself in the couples activities. I knew a guy in high school who tried this. He got old very quickly. Participate in group activities, but don’t barge in when the couples are “being romantic.”

Try To Get With Other Single People

If you know other people don’t have dates, then hang out with them during the more couples-oriented events. If you know there are girls or guys who are there alone, then ask them to dance or hang out with you. It never hurts and you may actually leave with a date!

So, whether you have a date or don’t, Homecoming can still be a fun and enjoyable experience. Stay tuned tomorrow for part three of our survival guide. There we tackle issues related to clothing and dressing up.

Homecoming Survival Guide Series

Part One: To Go or Not To Go?
Part Two: Get A Date!
Part Three: Dress for Success
Part Four: Don’t Fear the Dance Floor

To Guys: Girls Don’t Owe You A Date

angry girl

Image courtesy of anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I was in high school, I really liked a girl. I was really nice to her, even to the point of buying her things and letting her use my locker on the first floor (she had one all the way on the third floor). After about a month of being really kind and generous to her, I asked her out. She said “no.”

I was outraged. I was so nice to her! What was she thinking?? She owed me a date!

Well, she actually didn’t owe me a date, or anything else for that matter. We didn’t have some sort of agreement. And, giving a girl stuff doesn’t mean that she had any obligation to date me anyway. So, for all the guys reading this: girls don’t owe you a date. I know it might be common sense, but let me explain a little more just in case.

Some guys take the dating strategy that being friends with a girl will lead to more down the line. Typically these guys are in what is called “the friend zone.” They want to date a girl but are only friends. They think that this strategy of befriending girls or being extra nice to them will lead to dating them later on. And there are times when this can work. But, by and large it doesn’t. And, when it doesn’t work, a guy needs to realize a couple of things.

First, if you are a girl’s friend, then she likely sees you for what you say you are: a friend and nothing more. Second, just because you’re her friend doesn’t mean she’s obligated to date you at some point. If you’re straight you wouldn’t date you guy friends under the same circumstances because to date someone requires attraction. Your female friends most likely feel that way about you too: they aren’t attracted to you, or they wouldn’t be just your friend. It is possible a girl could harbor a secret crush, but unless you are seeing a lot of signs of that, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

So, if you’re friends with a girl or you’re nice to her or whatever the circumstance, do your best with her and be cool. But, if you do anything for a female, do it because you want to, not because you’re trying to bribe her or earn a date. Girls don’t owe you a date, just like you are under no obligation to date the girls you know.

The Homecoming Survival Guide

Blurred LeafEvery year in mid September through October, the world starts thinking of trees changing colors, the cooling of the air, and the coming of Halloween. However, for many high school students, something else enters their mind: Homecoming (and the stress and planning related to it)!

Homecoming, as the name implies, was originally created to be a time for the school’s graduates to come and visit their former school.

However, for most high school teens today, the weekend is almost entirely about their social life. While every school is different, most places have a Homecoming football game (or another sport). A lot of them also have a king and queen contest, and maybe even a bonfire. However, the social highlight of the Homecoming season for most teenagers is the dance.

The dance and other festivities are a lot of fun for many teens. It is a time to be social, enjoy a little romance, and have some fun. But, for perhaps many more teens, it can be awful as they worry about dates, dresses, dancing ability (or lack of it), and a host of other issues.

However, you don’t have to get so stressed out. Our Homecoming Survival Guide will help you with some of the biggest stressors of Homecoming. These tips will help you enjoy the event and lose the anxiety.

We are updating these for 2016, so be sure to check them out!

Homecoming Survival Guide Series

Part One: To Go or Not To Go?
Part Two: Get A Date!
Part Three: Dress for Success
Part Four: Don’t Fear the Dance Floor
Also Check out: Asking A Girl Out To Homecoming – Don’t Over Think It