Hilltown Families


The first event of its kind, Goshen Rocks: Youth Arts Expo celebrates the creativity of local teens and showcases music, poetry, and visual art. This teen initiated grassroots event is empowering for all, and speaks to the resources and support offered in our community, and the immense talent of local young people!

Teen Trail Crew Work Opportunities this Summer Many teenagers do their summertime growing-up while working for minimum wage.  Structured activities (such as part-time jobs) with specific and clear expectations provide teens with more than just something to occupy their time – they learn responsibility, methods of effective communication, punctuality, reliability, and other useful real-world skills.  Important though such attributes are, most of the jobs available to teens involve spending time indoors (often… Read More

A “Posh” Life If you are an entertainment junkie as I am, you might have seen or heard about Demi Moore’s fateful night a few weeks ago. According to a released 911 call and several reports, the gorgeous movie star allegedly smoked an unknown “but legal” substance that caused her to go into convulsions. When asked about the report on a red carpet somewhere where I was not and probably will never… Read More

Next to Normal Last night I attended a benefit for our local professional theater. I smiled and laughed at dinner with my sister, her husband and friends. I rocked back and forth, even danced a little in my chair to the INCREDIBLE live music coming from the talented Cabin 3 at the front of the bar. (Okay…a shameless plug for a talented friend.) But if truth be told in the very center… Read More

Southern Berkshire Community Coalition Senior Life History Project for Teens The Southern Berkshire Community Coalition is sponsoring a unique intergenerational history project!  The Senior Life History Project pairs teens (ages 12-18) with seniors, and the pair will together create a life history project.  Together, the senior and their teen will use writing, photography, and video to tell the story of the senior’s life- the end result of which will be a scrapbook… Read More

An Ode to the Eye Roller I am a reasonable human. What I ask and expect is so small, so piddly. My familial desires are quite mundane…and yet, and yet. Each time one is voiced or expected it seems that what I’ve uttered is the most unimaginable, unintelligible, and unreasonable thought, request, plea that any human has ever put forth into the universe. Well. I’ve. Got. News. For. You. It is not… Read More

Hypochondriac Dictionary.com defines the word hypochondriac as someone who is excessively preoccupied with and worried about their health. But really I didn’t have to look up the definition. I could have told you what that meant without even turning on the computer. You see I grew up hearing that word over and over again. One of my grandmothers was afflicted with this disorder. I distinctly remember the phone ringing at all hours… Read More

The BFF 2.0 Tour: Welcome to Your Daughter’s Social World Online What is your daughter doing there, hunched in front of a computer, phone beeping to one side, mp3 player buzzing to the other, earbuds streaming music or video or the latest drama? Do you ever feel like she’s in another world, one you don’t understand, are too old for, or can’t figure out? Welcome to BFF 2.0, your daughter’s online social… Read More

College—Can I Get a Translator?? When I was in school, (although I hid it well) I realized at an early age that I had a penchant for language. ANY type of language study whether it be reading it, writing it, learning French, Latin and Spanish, came extremely easy to me. What’s more, I enjoyed it. (I hid THAT nugget as well in high school!) As I got older, I continued to study… Read More

We’re Ready! On Thursday we embark on our first trip to visit colleges with our 17 year old, Aidan. We’ll travel to Boston to check out BU, Emerson and Salem State University. By now you know that I am a tad bit (just a tad) on the high strung side. (My children are rolling their eyes at the word “tad” I am sure.) Therefore, I bet that you think since I have… Read More

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child 9:30 pm—I had just finished cleaning the dinner dishes, sweeping, and packing lunches for school the next day.   Like most moms at this time of night, my bones were weary, my muscles were weary, but my mind was weariest.  The house was as quiet as it ever gets.  Two sleeping boys in their separate quarters and a basketball game droning on in the living room, I… Read More

The Hallow of Hell For 16 years we were a one bathroom house. For 16 years, I was the sole woman trying to pee amongst three men with the bathroom couth of a drunken gorilla. In order to well…do my business in a lady like fashion I would perform a necessary ritual before sitting um…on the throne so to speak. I’d first take out a box of Lysol wipes. Standing with my… Read More

I Know I Lament Motherhood Often… I know that I lament motherhood quite often. It is just that way in my household. Those boys of mine are maddening. Their struggles encompass me. They become my own by virtue of blame or guilt or just plain ol’ desire to help. When it comes to them, I guess one could say that I tend to be pessimistic, worrying about all that COULD go wrong,… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS J.W. writes, “Has anyone yet dealt with their t(w)een aged daughters wanting to shave their legs? My 13yo daughter has recently asked if she could. At what age do you allow a responsible girl to shave her legs? And how do you address the self-image issues that surrounds this topic with them? Any advice from parents who have already gone through this ‘rites of passage’ with their daughters?” Jody… Read More

Why a Parent’s Empathy is Vital for a Bullied Girl …and Why It Often Goes Out the Window When I did the original research for Odd Girl Out, I asked every bullied girl I interviewed to tell me what she needed most from her family. The answer truly surprised me. It wasn’t having the best solutions, calling the school or trying to act like everything was okay. It was empathy. Before you… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS What do families with TEENS do when they do not want to participate in family outings or summer vacations? Do you force them along? Let them stay at home? Find outings that appeal to them? Bring along a friend? Glenda Spurling writes, “We always (usually always) have her go, memories are being made, and always let her bring a friend. Usually the same friend will go, our family members… Read More

BFF 2.0: Is Technology Making You Insecure? In the latest episode, Rachel looks at the way social networking and texting can make girls compare themselves to others.. Rachel Simmons ♦ Our Daughters: Raising Confident Girls Rachel Simmons writes our monthly column, Our Daughters: Raising Confident Girls.  Rachel is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good… Read More

BFF 2.0: Is She Really Kidding? The Problem With “Joking” Online In the latest episode of her new series on friendship and technology, Rachel talks about how “just kidding” and “no offense” can start drama online. Rachel Simmons ♦ Our Daughters: Raising Confident Girls Rachel Simmons writes our monthly column, Our Daughters: Raising Confident Girls.  Rachel is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of… Read More

Winter was Forgetting. Spring is Remembering Spring is in the air.  Yesterday every window of my home was wide open. I usually love to watch the sheers in the living room billow out with a cool breeze and gently lay back down over the windows, back and forth, over and over.  It is usually such a peaceful sight…Usually. While playing on the floor with my toddler, I could hear the annual peals… Read More

BFF 2.0: Using Status Updates to Hash Out Conflicts In the second episode of her new series, BFF 2.0, Rachel talks about using Facebook and AIM status updates to deal with friendship problems. Rachel Simmons ♦ Our Daughters: Raising Confident Girls Rachel Simmons writes our monthly column, Our Daughters: Raising Confident Girls.  Rachel is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls,… Read More

I Am Mother I am not a woman. I am not a scholar or someone with even a brain for that matter. I do not have feelings, or a master’s degree. I haven’t lived a long life or gathered wisdom. I do not have anything to offer the world except perhaps Chap Stick in the winter, and ice cream money in the summer. However, I AM a paycheck, backpack holder, note writer,… Read More

Bill Gates Would Make a Great Parent! I recently joined a blog network full of moms who write about their kids. Being new there and in order to find some connections, I started a discussion group called “Got Teens” for moms of adolescents. Pretty soon the moms started coming out of the wood work to join–mostly to commiserate with others about their teens. I have to admit at first it felt good… Read More

A Magical Fairy Princess She walked out of the school’s front door hand in hand with my son. I looked closely as they approached me and interestingly enough, she wasn’t flying, on the contrary, her feet were firmly on the ground. I offered to give her a ride, not only to get to know the girl who had enamored my boy so much that he wasn’t embarrassed to hold her hand in… Read More

Who Am I Punishing? When I was young it was the telephone, time inside, or the dreaded television punishment that had us shaking in our boots. Three measly things our parents had to choose from to use as fear tactics to get us to behave. I can still hear my mom’s voice saying things like “That room is a mess! No telephone for a week!” This punishment never affected me too much…. Read More

This Hurts Me Much More Than It Hurts You! Aidan failed his driver’s test today…for the second time. It is an interesting phenomenon the heart of a mother. It hurts just as much when your child leaves you as it does when they have what we know are minor life disappointments (but they seem HUGE to them and maybe we hurt for that reason.) My heart is broken for Aidan, as is… Read More

Give Me a D! Give Me an R! Give me an I V E! But Put Your Seatbelt on First! Late Breaking News: Aidan Wright, resident 16 year old of the Fisher household, will be taking (and hopefully passing) his driver’s license test on November 2, 2010. All drivers in the upstate New York/ Massachusetts area take note and take caution. Just sayin… Am I nervous you ask? Let me spell it… Read More

Running on Empty He runs—five to ten miles per day with his cross country team. He jumps-before and after cross country practice-on a super charged pogo stick. He flips-on a trampoline before sunrise and way after sunset. He skates, scats skedaddles—up and down the street and around the block on a skate board, on a long board, on a bike, on two feet. He never stops; not even to fuel all that… Read More

On Their Terms I know this is a column about teenage boys, but indulge me a minute while I talk to you about my 11 month old girl. I promise it will be a nice segue into a “boy tale.” My daughter Ila has been slow to develop physically. She was a preemie and so we kind of expected that she’d be delayed somehow. Cognitively she has impressed us with her massive… Read More

Submissions Welcome to Teen Voice If you’re a girl between the ages of 13-19, you can submit your writing, your art, or a description of your activism for publication in Teen Voices. Teen Voices is an intensive journalism mentoring and leadership development program for teen girls in Boston, MA whose mission is to support and educate teen girls to amplify their voices and create social change through media. Click here for more… Read More

Stereotypes Can Fuel Teen Misbehavior Drinking. Drugs. Caving into peer pressure. When parents expect their teenagers to conform to negative stereotypes, those teens are in fact more likely to do so, according to new research by professor of psychology Christy Buchanan. “Parents who believe they are simply being realistic might actually contribute to a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Buchanan, who studies adolescent development and behavior. “Negative expectations on the part of both parents… Read More