In today’s dynamic classrooms, the teaching and learning process is becoming more nuanced, more seamless, and it flows back and forth from students to teachers.
In today’s dynamic classrooms, the teaching and learning process is becoming more nuanced, more seamless, and it flows back and forth from students to teachers.
“Peer pressure is not always bad. It can be very good. It can be encouraging. Sometimes a person may not want to choose hi-risk behaviors and may not want to do the wrong thing because they know their friends aren’t into that.”
– Dr. Marilyn Billingsly, pediatrician
It’s conventional wisdom that peer pressure is a powerful force in the lives of kids, especially teenagers. A new University study reminds us that while peer pressure can push kids into risky behavior, it can also help kids do the right thing.
Alex Shillinger is in court facing drug charges. He says he was “worn down” by peer pressure to try marijuana.
“There were constantly people telling me, ‘Come on, just try it, just one time, it’ll be fine,’” says Alex, 18.
On the other hand, because of peer pressure, Ambra says she’s never done drugs or alcohol or had sex.
“Being around people like that, just like myself, it keeps me motivated,” says Ambra, 17.
Peers can be powerful influences, for both goodandbad behavior. A new study from the University of Southern California found that kids were less likely to use drugs if they were in a substance abuse program taught by other kids.
“Peer pressure is not always bad. It can be very good. It can be encouraging. Sometimes a person may not want to choose hi-risk behaviors and may not want to do the wrong thing because they know their friends aren’t into that,” says Dr. Marilyn Billingsly, pediatrician.
Of course, it depends on the friends — and parents have little control over that.
“I think it makes it even more important for parents to know their kids’ friends and the parents of their kids friends and monitor what’s going on with the group of friends,” Dr. Carol Drummond, Ph.D., psychologist.
If you suspect that one of your child’s friends isusing drugs, experts say to make your views on drugs loud and clear and tell your child you’re worried.
“Sometimes your kid will come back and say, ‘Listen, Mom, I know he’s drinking, doing drugs; I am not doing that.’ But at least you’ve gotten a chance to plant that message that you’ve got worries. You’ve got to watch your own child. And if you feel like you have some concern that your child is making bad decisions, then you need to act aggressively,” says Dr. Judy Wolman, Ph.D., psychologist.
Adolescence can be a very turbulent and difficult time, even for the most well-adjusted child. Depression strikes teenagers and adults alike, and can have far-reaching implications when kids suffer from emotional difficulties that they aren’t sure how to manage. After noticing the signs of depression in your teen and helping him to get the treatment he needs, understanding the root of his depression can help to make the situation more manageable for everyone involved.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list of all causes of teen depression, these ten situations can be very common contributing factors to depression.
It’s important that you speak to a medical professional or your teen’s doctor about any concerns you have regarding his emotional wellbeing, especially if you suspect that he’s suffering from depression. Depression is a very real affliction that requires treatment, and is not something that should be addressed without the assistance of a doctor. Your general practitioner or pediatrician should be able to help you determine the best course of action if your child is suffering from depression, including referrals to a specialist or medication.
Have you ever wanted to bottle up a child’s energy?
Does your teen need to do more than text or use social media?
Yes, they will stop moving when there is a screen in front of their faces. It could be a TV screen or a computer screen but if they can see it they immediately assume a seated position and time will be lost. So even the most active children can have moments of lazy times in front of the TV or playing a video game. This becomes a problem if you would not recognize your child standing up or without that glazed look he gets while staring at the TV.
Sedentary activities can be allowed if they are monitored and do not become a lifestyle. In today’s world of video games, iPods, Tablets, and texting we see more kids preferring to exercise their fingers over their bodies. As parents we need to encourage a healthy way to stay active and burn off excess fat and calories before it becomes a problem.
Since children naturally have a ton of energy and love to play then engaging them in physical activity should not be too difficult. It is recommended that a child get 60 minutes of moderately intense exercise a day.
The one hour can be split up in half or quarters but the main goal is to make them sweat for more than not cleaning their rooms for at least 60 minutes daily. This alone can have a tremendous effect on keep their weight now and keeping them healthy.
Ways to keep your child active:
There are plenty of ways to keep moving. It seems so many try to calm their child down or have them satisfied by video games and TV. This will not give children the physical activity or mental stimulation they need to live a healthy life. A lot of that pent up frustration and fidgety behavior is an active kid just waiting to throw a football or go on a nature walk.
Make this a family activity and everybody wins. Families who are active have active children. With a rise in childhood obesity it is essential that we find activities the children enjoy. One of the best ways to encourage an activity is by making it a family sport or activity.
Everyone in the family will benefit from working out together.
During your children’s teenage years you’ll likely encounter a period of time when it seems like you have nothing in common with each other and carrying on conversations is akin to climbing Mt. Everest. This is heavily influenced by the fact that teenagers and the adults who care for them are very different creatures and are at very different points in their lives. Understanding those differences will help open the lines of communication between you and the teen in your life.
Check out these ideas for ways to get teens talking:
Teens are mysterious creatures. They seem to move from child to young adult almost overnight. Parents of teens frequently find themselves irritated by the things they say and the way they act. You may be trying to make sense of the chaos of adolescence, but it can be a mistake to judge them too quickly.
Here are a few myths about teenagers and how to be sure you dispel them.
My teen doesn’t care about my feelings. The words your teen uses might lead you to feel unloved by him, however, the truth is that he does care about you a great deal. Children from around age 11 and up are going through many changes. Some are physical in nature, but there are also many emotional shifts. Your child is growing up, learning a lot and realizing that at some point he is going to have to live a life apart from you. He is attempting to assert his independence from you and is at times unsure of how to do this appropriately. He will attempt many things, including talking back and disregarding your feelings. Your teen actually cares a great deal about your feelings and is looking for reassurance that it is ok for him to separate from you in some ways. While it may not be acceptable for him to talk to you in a disrespectful way, it’s important to talk to and treat your teen like an adult as much as you can. How do you respond to other adults when they say hurtful things to you?
My teenager is lazy. While some teens have better work ethic than others, the adjective “lazy” is not an accurate description of most teens. When motivated, a teen can do amazing things; even a teen who plays video games for too many hours a day can be inspired to do amazing things. The key term here is motivation. Finding what motivates your teen is important, and may be the only way to get him to get off the couch and help around the house. The best way to motivate a teen is to give him ownership of the project. If you expect him to help keep the house clean, then he needs to feel that he has a vested interest in the home. Letting him have input on where furniture goes, what carpet is picked out or what color the walls are can go further in investing your child in the home than you think. There is nothing wrong with offering incentives for your child to complete tasks, whether monetary or relationship based. However, nagging and hounding your teen will NOT create motivation.
My teen never listens to my advice. Teenagers are going though many changes and are trying to find their identity outside of their parents view. Your teen is most likely listening to you, but greatly wants to gain an independent life. He is afraid that following your advice will lead him to being dependent on you for a long time. Parents of teens have to walk a very thin line between giving advice and telling the child what to do. If your teen is still coming to you for advice, count yourself lucky, because that often stops at some point in the adolescent years too. When your child tells you a story or shares an issue he is facing, do not jump in and tell him how to fix the problem. Step back and just listen, ask questions to clarify and then validate the feelings he might be having about the situation. Once he has finished the story, you can ask him if he wants your advice. He may say no, in which case you thank him for telling you and let him know you are there if he wants to talk about it further. If he says he wants your advice, give it with caution, understanding the best way for him to learn is if he helps to come up with the solution. Because of this, aiding your child through questions can be the most helpful. Once the advice is given, it is his hands. He needs to be given the freedom to choose what he will do with your suggestions.
My teen does not want to spend time with me anymore. While it is very true that as your child gets older he will spend less and less time with you, it is far from the truth that your teen does not want to spend time with you. Most teens have more activities outside of the home as they get older and their interests change drastically, sometimes from one day to the next. The way they talk might even change. All these adjustments mean that you will understand him less and less each day. It is not that he wants to spend less time with you; it is that he perceives there are fewer things he has in common with you. Making an effort to understand the culture and how it changes from day to day can greatly improve the time you spend together because you will have more in common with him. The truth is that he still craves the time he gets to spend with his mom or dad, but realizes often unconsciously that he needs to pull away from you too.
It is too late to build good communication habits in my teen. It is never too late to teach and model healthy communication habits. You may feel that the habits both you and your child have are already ingrained in your mind and will never change, but that simply is not true. It takes small but measurable changes in your behavior to effectively help your teen communicate better. Your teen is likely looking for someone to work to understand him, even if that person never fully can.
Raising a teenager can be a maddening adventure, but it can also be touching. To see the child that was once so little and helpless becoming an adult can be overwhelming. Sometimes parents want to hold onto the little child they once knew. Unfortunately, attempting to hold on by treating the young adult like you did when he was little can cause a great deal of friction between you both. It is a difficult process to communicate with a teenager, but when done with respect and understanding it can be a less frustrating phase.
Source: Go Nannies
You probably see and hear a lot about alcohol—from TV, movies, music, and your friends. But what are the real facts about underage alcohol use?
Myth Alcohol isn’t as harmful as other drugs.
FACT Alcohol increases your risk for many deadly diseases, such as cancer. Drinking too much alcohol too quickly can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can kill you.
Myth Drinking is a good way to loosen up at parties.
FACT Drinking is a dumb way to loosen up. It can make you act silly, say things you shouldn’t say, and do things you wouldn’t normally do (like get into fights).
Myth Drinking alcohol will make me cool.
FACT There’s nothing cool about stumbling around, passing out, or puking on yourself. Drinking alcohol also can cause bad breath and weight gain.
Myth All of the other kids drink alcohol. I need to drink to fit in.
FACT If you really want to fit in, stay sober. Most young people don’t drink alcohol. Research shows that more than 70 percent of youth age 12 to 20 haven’t had a drink in the past month.1
Myth I can sober up quickly by taking a cold shower or drinking coffee.
FACT On average, it takes 2 to 3 hours for a single drink to leave the body. Nothing can speed up the process, not even drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, or “walking it off.”
Myth Adults drink, so kids should be able to drink too.
FACT A young person’s brain and body are still growing. Drinking alcohol can cause learning problems or lead to adult alcoholism. People who begin drinking by age 15 are five times more likely to abuse or become dependent on alcohol than those who begin drinking after age 20.2
Myth Beer and wine are safer than liquor.
FACT Alcohol is alcohol. It can cause you problems no matter how you consume it. One 12-ounce bottle of beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine (about a half cup) has as much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. Alcopops—sweet drinks laced with malt liquor—often contain more alcohol than beer!
Myth I can drink alcohol and not have any problems.
FACT If you’re under 21, drinking alcohol is a big problem: It’s illegal. If caught, you may have to pay a fine, perform community service, or take alcohol awareness classes. Kids who drink also are more likely to get poor grades in school and are at higher risk for being a crime victim.
Parents, teens, educators need to take the time to learn more about teen dating abuse.
Sexual abuse refers to any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do. It can also refer to behavior that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including oral sex, rape or restricting access to birth control and condoms.Some examples of sexual assault and abuse are:
If you have been sexually assaulted, first get to a safe place away from the attacker. You may be scared, angry and confused, but remember the abuse was in no way your fault. You have options. You can:
Remember there is always help. For more information or to find out about available resources in your area, chat with a peer advocate.
Source: Love is Respect
Separating from parents and keeping more and more of their thoughts and feelings to themselves is a natural stage kids go through, but that doesn’t make any less difficult for parents to endure. It also doesn’t have to be the natural progression of the parent/child relationship.
It takes some extra time and effort, but you can stay close to your child. Here are some ways to keep the lines of communication open.
Avoid questions that start with why. It’s often surprising how regularly we question rather than converse with kids. Kids often get defensive as soon as they hear the word “why.” Instead of opening up the lines of communication, asking questions like “Why did you do that?” can make the child feel like there’s a right and wrong answer, even when it’s asked with a genuine interest. Instead, ask questions that will encourage your child to share his thoughts, feelings and motivations.
Ask open ended questions. We often ask questions looking for specific information. Wonderful things can happen when we don’t have a specific agenda and instead welcome wherever the conversation may lead. Questions like “What was the best part of your day?” or “What was the funniest thing that happened today?” make kids think outside the box and often gives you a great jumping off place for a deeper conversation.
Resist the urge to offer advice or solutions. Whenever a parent learns that her child is struggling with a problem, even a small one, her first instinct is to jump in and offer advice and a solution. Even when you offer your child great suggestions, jumping into a problem solving mode often turns the conversation into what feels like a lecture. When your child is facing a problem or struggling with how to handle a tough situation, use that opportunity to connect. Ask her about how she sees things, how she feels about what’s happening, what she sees as her choices, and what she thinks the results of those choices would be. By creating a safe space for your child to work through her thoughts and feelings, you’re strengthening your relationship and helping your child develop valuable critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Talk on their timetable. Sometimes it seems that kids want to talk at the worst possible moments. Your daughter wants to give you all the details of an argument she had with her best friend when you’re trying to finish a big presentation for work. Your son wants to ask you about joining the hockey team when you’re rushing to help your 6th grader finish a science project that’s due the next day. You only have so much time and energy, and often there is just not enough of it to go around. Unfortunately, as children get older the times when they initiate a meaningful conversation get fewer and fewer, so take advantage of the opportunities you’re given whenever possible. If you have to postpone a conversation, let your child know why and pick a specific time to finish the conversation.
Plan time to connect. Your child is much more likely to open up to you when connection and conversation are an integrated part of your relationship. From an early age, spend one on one time with your child on a regular basis. This is a great way to get to know your child outside the hustle and bustle of family life and it gives you the chance to create special memories together. That regular one on one time early on can make it much easier to continue to connect as they get older.
Take advantage of small windows of time. Not every conversation needs to be a sit down, face to face talk. In fact, many of the best conversations won’t be. Take advantage of the time you and your child spend in the car driving to and from activities, getting ready for bed, cooking dinner over the weekend, or shopping for school clothes. Talking while involved in another activity creates a no pressure environment to talk with each other. Of course it’s important to carve out time when you’re focused on each other as well, however, in between those times try to take advantage of the many chances you have every day to connect and talk.
It’s important to both you and your child to connect and talk with each other. Although the parent/child relationship naturally changes as your child gets older, you can still have a close connection through the years.
Source: Babysitting Jobs
When a teen threatens to runaway or actually does, it can be a parent’s nightmare. It seems a teenager doesn’t seem to realize that holidays are supposed to be a time of joy.
The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that up to 2.8 million children and teens run away from home each year. Many return home within the first 24 hours, but there are still a staggering number that never make it home.
Here are some tips for parents:
Building the Foundation for a Healthy Teen & Parent Relationship
Building a good foundation increases the potential for a good relationship.
Do’s and Don’ts For Parents With Teenagers
If only it was this simple. Here are some effective tips for dealing with your teenager.
What To Do If Your Child Runs Away From Home
What should I do if my child runs away from home?
More Runaway Prevention Tips For Parents
The more tips the better when it comes to parenting.
Setting Goals & Expectations
Give kids a map and maybe, just maybe they’ll find their way.
What To Do When Your Child Returns Home
What should I do when my child comes back?
The Challenges of Raising a Teen
Normal adolescent rebellion or something more serious?
Basic Parenting Tips
Good parenting is a combination of role modeling, teaching and friendship.
Do as I say AND as I do
Nothing erodes the delicate parent/teen relationship faster than for a child to hear one thing and see another.
Tips for Parents: Have Fun!
Learning life’s lessons doesn’t always have to be serious. Lighten up and have some fun.
Step-parenting adds another dimension, particularly when your blended family includes biological and step-children.
Parents Matter: Tips for Raising Teenagers
Parents of teenagers may have the toughest job around.
Set Guidelines for Good Behavior
Setting rules and guidelines for the children in your care helps them learn safe, healthy and socially acceptable behavior.
Navigating through life isn’t easy, but with parents acting as guideposts the trip is a little easier.
Signs My Teen Might Be Thinking About Running Away From Home
Find out what you should be looking for.
Guidelines for Parents with Kids in Cyberspace
Know what your kids are doing on line. Talk, be open, educate yourself, and check it out.
Courtesy of National Runaway Switchboard.