The Best Way To File Taxes For Teenagers

The best way to file taxes for teenagers... is to make them do it themselves.  We have a 15 year old and a 19 year old and we are helping a 21 year old.  This is how each teen filed their taxes.


I don't know about yall, but I didn't file my own taxes until I was married and we were on our own.  We had a MILLION W-2's and mileage deduction and car depreciation.  It's amazing how we really did live on both of us working $8 an hour almost full-time jobs, but we definitely couldn't afford the luxuries, like Wal-Mart tax professionals.  So that became my part time job at home - as it took WEEKS to get our taxes filed the first time.

Thankfully, years of practice has made this much easier to handle.  We want that same confidence for our teens, so as soon as they start getting a W-2 we have them start filing their taxes.


We knew Mateo, our almost 16 year old (*gulp*) didn't need to file his taxes, as he...

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Morning Routines for Teens

This week we are talking about creating the self-care habit of a good morning routine.


To me a morning routine means you have your head and heart in the right place as you start your day.

Now hear me, I am an adult and I *JUST* started doing any kind of a morning routine a little over a month ago- besides blindly making coffee. ;)  I was totally inspired by Rachel Hollis and the journal she has created, Jay Papasan and Gary Keller's book The ONE Thing and a little bit of summer camp. :)

Because this is already showing a change in my heart and day, we are about to start having our teens do this in the morning, and including it in our Learning to Balance month inside the LIFE 101 PRO Subscription.


We have created this worksheet to help. There are 4 sections:

  • Goals they are working towards
  • Scripture and/or thought of the day
  • 5 things they are thankful for today
  • 2-3 things they want to accomplish today

In Chronicles 29:19, King David asks the...

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Create SMART Goals: Help Your Teen Accomplish Tasks On Purpose AND In Record Time

There are goals and then there are SMART GOALS.

It is NEVER a bad to time to create goals and a plan to accomplish them. Want to change the world?  Want to change ANYTHING?!   I first learned about using the SMART system to create goals from Michael Hyatt.

To create S.M.A.R.T. goals means to create goals that are:


Be CLEAR about what you want to accomplish.


How can you measure this goal?  I like to start with where I am and create a path that will get you to that goal.  Other people like to start at the end and work their way backward.  Whichever way helps you create measurable steps for your goal – do it!


Accomplishing ANYTHING takes action, so just consider this part of the process of creating your awesomeness.  Take each step you created on your path and create an action plan for it.


Create rewards for every time you complete an action step.


Lastly, put deadlines on each step of your...

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What Is Your Teen's Love Language?

Do you ever feel like you are constantly giving, Giving, GIVING love to your teen and for the life of you they are not getting it?! Of course, it could be because they are having a bad day, week, month. BUT another reason could be because you are not speaking your teen's love language.

You might be wondering... well, what’s a "love language"?

I first heard the term love language from author, Gary Chapman.  He defines it as “the way people speak and understand emotional love.”

One of the best things you can do for your ENTIRE FAMILY is learn all your love languages. 

You would think that by being around each other all the time would make it obvious what love language we each are… in fact, I assumed that. I thought what ever way I gave and received love was how EVERYONE received love… spoiler alert: I was TOTALLY WRONG!

There are actually FIVE love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical...

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Pushing Past The COMFORT ZONE

Working through creating goals can be daunting. 

However, it doesn't have to be.  In fact, sometimes creating new goals is a matter of finding clarity on what you are truly striving for. 

I think the hard part, especially for us adults, is creating a real vision of what we STILL hope to accomplish in life.  I know, for me, unless I push myself to see a bigger picture, it is easy for me to settle right where I am at.  In my comfort zone.  And be happy. Right.There.

It is when I realize I have gone a while and not done one things that scares me, that I know I am DEFINITELY slipping into a comfort zone. 

So, why the strong push to get OUT of the comfort zone?

Because friends, I am certain God is not through with me yet.  And if I want to grow and become all He wants me to be, I better not get too cozy. 

It's funny, but recently, Hannah has been working through Praxis. (BTW, there is a review to come on that program soon.) As she is coming...

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What is a Gap Year Program?

I learned a new word a few years ago: Gap Year.  Have you heard of it?  And no, it is not a year where you only wear Gap clothes. LOL... I am SUCH A MOM! :)

It is what some parents offer their teens the year after their senior year of high school. 

Introduction to GAP YEAR

Instead of going straight to college, there are camps and facilities offering a one-year program to give your child a year out in the world, but not in school or having to head straight to working the 9-5.

They focus on creating learning environments.  Some gap year programs focus on leadership training, others focus on exploring a country, while still others give you experience in the field you think you will be heading into.  Prices range from $1,200 for the year to as high as $40,000 - all include room and board as well.

Does this sound like your 16-18 year old teen?

They want to spread those wings a bit before committing to the direction they want to head for their life?

If so, then, I...

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Creating Moments that Matter - Life Skills for Teens


Today’s life skill for your teen is to: help create a fun moment over the Christmas season, instead of just being a participant.

For my teens, it was creating a time for decorating gingerbread houses with the cousins.

Looking back over my life, some of my favorite Christmas moments were made while decorating gingerbread houses or sugar cookies with my friends and family.  I have continued the tradition by having these moments each year for my kids as well.

This year, I am passing the torch to my teens, and they are coordinating our family moment of decorating a gingerbread house. 

Helping your teen grow these muscles will help them handle projects that require more than one step and following through the tasks assigned to them.

They are buying kits, so actually creating and baking the house is taken off the list.   I think everyone's first year doing gingerbread houses should be with a kit.  It lightens the load and they are quite affordable...

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A Teen’s Guide to Hosting a Christmas Party

Hosting a Christmas Party doesn’t have to be complicated.  I mean it really does boil down to an organized time hanging out with your favorite peeps, right?!  However, sometimes throwing the word “party” into the mix can make the gathering a little more stressful for the host. 

A great life skill to have when heading into the real world is how to host a party.  With that in mind, we’d love to walk you through some simple questions to answer that will help get your party organized and hopeful take some of the stress out of planning a Christmas Party. You’ve got this!

A Teen’s Guide to Hosting a Christmas Party

What day and time do you want the party to take place?

  • Friday or Saturday night are good choices because your guests can sleep in the next day.
  • A Thursday night or Saturday morning might be a good choice too, as calendars can get pretty full with events in December.

How long do you want the event to last?

  • Most parties...
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The 2018 Teen Kindness Challenge

We choose kindness.

The media wants to tell me that we all hate each other and that their is only "us" and "them". Well, we, the Dickey Clan - the precious redhead family behind Life 101 Pro, decided we can do better than that. We are choosing not to focus on any sides. We are choosing kindness.

For where there is kindness, there is love.
Where there is kindness, there is grace.
Where there is kindness, there is hope.
We choose kindness.

How does the 2018 Teen Kindness Challenge work?

For the month of November, your teen will be encouraged to do an act of kindness every day.  Feel free to join them in their activities as well.  Some are super simple. Some are super cute.  We think you and your teens will enjoy doing them all! :)

Imagine all our families using concentrated effort to share kindness every day for the month of November?! 

And GUYS! The more the merrier!! So, CLICK HERE to find out more details and to sign up for it!  Then grab your teen! Grab their...

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Were YOU ready for adulthood?

Were YOU ready when it came time for YOU to become an adult?

Were any of us?  I know I know I wasn't!  You know, married at 19 and ready to take on the world.  As we began stumbling through adulthood, we never even saw those first curve balls coming. 

No one taught us the things we REALLY needed to know to live confident and successful lives. Our education gave us knowledge, but it didn't teach us life skills --- like what the invisible workplace expectations were or how to manage money and  why that's important.

Sometimes life just gets in the way!

So many parents have such great intentions  - many of y'all are using our blog posts for your curriculum for the life skills class.  (BTW - that is totally fine with us! The more teens that get these skills the BETTER!)  However, sometimes life gets in the way and those necessary courses for the transcript take priority and those life skills for adulthood get bumped back a year and  another...

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