Parent of Teens? Bookmark these sites

The teenage years are busy ones for parents - especially if there are siblings in the house. If you've ever found yourself in need of a dose of inspiration for a gift, meal or activity; up for good laugh, or simply wanting quick info to help with decision making, chances are the Internet or social media have been your saving grace.

What’s out there to help a busy parent of a teenager with all of the above and more? Check out this list of fun online resources we’ve found and get up to speed on sites that can save you time - or become new places where you spend your time!

For shopping, gift ideas, decorating and more: 

CoolMomPicks - It’s worth the venture off of Pinterest to hop over to this site. There’s a bit of something for everyone on Cool Mom Picks. It's a good place to hit for ideas, shopping or plain fun reading. This shopping blog for parents features products, concepts and styles that stand out and are sure to please. It's also covers categories such good, DIY, beauty, tips & tricks, and more. Everything you need to stay current and discover cool ideas for you and your kids.

For new dinner ideas with easy-to-follow recipes: 

Tasty - Buzzfeed’s Tasty is a field of dreams for any parent wanting to switch up the dinner menu routine. Or breakfast. Or dessert. (There’s even a section for comfort foods.) Viewed by millions, Tasty features fast and friendly videos of food ideas and easy-to-follow recipes. They are everywhere on social media, so chances are your teen has already experienced a craving after a seeing a video or two. Trying out these recipes is a great way to get your teen away from screen time and do something productive in the kitchen. They’re simple enough for the novice chef to have a go at helping with dinner prep or baking a new dessert to try. For some extra fun, check out Proper Tasty, the company’s Facebook channel for the British crowd in search of comfort recipes and delights.

For monitoring your kid’s social media activity and tips/education about digital responsibility and online safety: 

DijiWise - DijiWise is an app coming to market that gives parents a real-time view into their child's activity on social media networks such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It takes the wonder and mystery out of what your kids are doing online or in apps on their phone, and gives you peace of mind while prompting conversations when needed. The company’s website also features Parent Central, a hub for content and resources for parents - especially parents of teens - to help navigate the notion of “digital parenting,” provide insights into apps and social networks popular with kids, encourage education about online safety and responsibility, or simply discover fun and informational topics about all things parenting.

For beginning the college search: 

Peterson’s - Choosing a college or university is one of the most important choices a teenager can make. The Internet is a natural gateway for parents and students beginning the college search, but can quickly become overwhelming with the amount of choices and information. Peterson’s is a well-organized website that is a good starting point to identify schools for undergrad, graduate, or online programs. It has a database of more than 50,000 accredited schools and 5,000 scholarships, which simplifies exploring schools and might even inspire careers or opportunities. The site’s information about college prep and entry exams may also be of interest to your high school student.

For finding an online community of like-minded parents experiencing the same things you (or who can help prepare you for things to come!): 

CafeMom - There’s something to be gained from a community of parents who are “in this together” that you’re less apt to find from Instagram posts and Facebook comments. CafeMom is the meeting place for moms, new and experienced. The site features fresh lifestyle and parenting articles, as well as hubs for videos and seeking or sharing advice. A popular function of Cafe Mom is its online community, with groups and conversations that appeal to any parent. Check it out, you might discover that the Tween Titan or Moms of Tweens groups are a good fit for you.