Gina Carroll

Gina Carroll is an author and freelance writer. She is currently a featured blogger at Chron.com, with Tortured by Teenagers: Parenting Adolescents with Gina Carroll; and Examiner.com as the Houston Parenting Teens Examiner. In addition, she has been posting on her site, ThinkActParent.com, since 2004.

Her articles on family life and parenting have appeared in such periodicals as the Houston Chronicle, Texas Family Magazine, the Suzuki Journal and Palo Alto Weekly’s The Almanac.
Ms. Carroll is also a popular speaker, facilitator and instructor of topics related to the high school-to-college transition and relationships for teens.

She is an alumna of Stanford University and U.C.L.A. Law School, and currently lives with her husband and five children in Houston, Texas.

Facebook as a Parenting Punishment Tool: Good Idea?

Denise Abbott's decision to publicly discipline her daughter on Facebook sets a precedent to be public about their issues. Technically, her 13-year-old Ava set this precedent when she first disrespected her mother online, but Denise followed suit. If the experts who say that modeling proper behavior is the best way to teach children life skills, like discretion and respect, then arguably Abbott's choice of discipline may have inadvertently reinforced her daughter's behavior instead of curbed it. Kind of like spanking a child to punish him for hitting, or screaming at a child for throwing a tantrum....more
@Johann7 Your comment has really given me food for thought. You are right. There is an accepted ...more

A Bully Is As A Bully Does: Is This A Bully or a Crush Gone Bad?

What happens when the bully is a girl and the target is a boy? What if the bully, in pursuit of her crush on a boy, is a relentless harasser -- a girl who won’t take no for an answer? She doesn’t mean to be a bully. And no one views her this way, not even the boy. No one sees her as the bully she that is, except me, the boy’s mother, of course.Already tricky waters, bullying often defies easy answers and cookie-cutter responses. And when you add a twisted gender-romance component, the complications multiply....more
You are so right! This is definitely a case of bulling but the Anti-bulling policies really ...more

New Study Says School Lunches Harboring Harmful Bacteria

School lunches are the bane of my existence. My middle schooler and I are always in a constant tug of war over whether or not he should buy lunch at school (ick, I say) or make his own at home (yuck, he says). And once I have wrangled him into making his lunch at home, we argue about what is acceptable for packing. Needless to say, I end up with the task of making the lunch because doing the right thing nutritionally for lunch every day is hard.  ...more
I think there are a couple of points that are very valid in this study. Firstly, I have been ...more

Checking the Race Box: Should College Applicants Play All of Their Race Cards?

College applications give students plenty to fret about. The applications’ race and ethnicity questions should be one of the easy sections, just boxes to check. But evidently, they are not. And even though this short portion of all college applications is optional, it is causing applicants, especially multi-racial students, angst and agonizing indecision....more
DNA may offer a more accurate definition.  Example: Mitochondrial DNA results would be the most ...more

Grad Commencement 2011: What's All This Talk About Failure?

A quick scan of the star-studded 2011 college commencement key-note speaker line-up discloses an interesting trend. Seems like everybody wants to talk about failure. Usually commencement speeches are all positivity and light. They tend to be about how new graduates have the world in their hands; how anything is possible; how they, the freshly educated and trialed-by-fire scholars, must move on to be the new world leaders. So why, in Heaven's name, would so many of the aged and sage graduation key-noters dwell on things gone wrong? How is it that suddenly failure is a good thing?...more

Along with humor and engaging audiences, it's a challenge to offer a diverse audience a message ...more

College Admissions On Facebook: Not All Bad News

It’s been a very busy college admissions year in our household. I have a high school senior and a gap year kid, both applying to college, while I have been busily promoting my book about how to use social media to booster college admissions....more

Yes, Susie.
And they need to keep in mind that cleaning up their social media for college is ...more

Month of Awesome Women: Melanie Lawson

When you have a famous friend, it feels weird and tricky to write about her. You want to tell the world how remarkable she is, but you want to stay away from disclosing your confidences. You don’t want to venture anywhere near that area occupied by tabloid snitches and 5-minutes-of-famers who trade their secrets at the expense of loved ones. No auditioning for reality show material here… just a friend who wants the world to know how much her friend totally rocks. ...more

I don't know Ms. Lawson personally but have always enjoyed watching her anchor the local news. ...more

Florida State Rep. Stargel's Bill Requires Parents to Make the Grade

“Accountability” has been a hot buzz word in education policy for years now. In several states across the country, teachers have had to contend with legislation that ties their salaries and advancement to student performance. And administrators too have had to answer for student test scores and graduation rates.  Now, in Florida at least, parents may have to face the a-word, too! ...more
I feel that lack of parental involvement constitutes negligence and parents should be jailed. My ...more

"Scared Straight!" After All These Years: Bad Policy, but Good TV?

Remember Scared Straight!, the original 1978 documentary directed by Arnold Shapiro and narrated by Peter Falk? This documentary was a groundbreaking television special about a group of young and cocky juvenile law offenders who, as part of a juvenile rehabilitation program, got to come face-to-face with hardened criminals who told them about the harsh realities of prison life … in the most graphic of terms. Inmates in a New Jersey jail, some lifers, didn’t just describe their prison lives for the youngsters. They also screamed at, threatened, berated and belittled them, all in an effort to scare them straight. ...more

"Geeking Up" Pants is One School's Solution to the Baggy Pants Situation

Saggy pants cause a perennial holiday debate in our household. When the college-aged and young adult men come home with their baggy pants, this years old discussion begins anew. ...more
I'm really surprised that the parents haven't complained - most often they are the parents are ...more