Archive for February, 2010

What To Do When You Don’t Like Your Teen’s Friends

There is so little you can do to truly influence your teen’s choice of friends. Sometimes, you approve of his or her choice; sometimes, you don’t. We can’t really blame parents if they often disapprove. It’s natural to be protective of our loved ones, especially given how potent peer pressure can be these days, but it is always best not to overdo it.

friendsWe all have the tendency to ‘judge a book by its cover’, as they say – just as many parents do to our teen’s friends. Just because you don’t like the way they dress does not necessarily mean you can’t possibly get along with them. There is a reason why your child is hanging out with him or her. Try your best to figure out why.

If your teen suddenly brings home with him a spiky-haired, tight-jean wearing, tattooed rocker guy and introduces him to you as his best friend, do not freak out! Take a breath. Remember that sometimes, good things come in strange packages. Try your very best not to openly judge your teen’s friends. Instead of judging, ask him questions about his friend. Simply being genuinely curious about your teen’s friends sends a message that you are interested in his life.

Parents want their children to hang-out with the right kind of people. They hate bad influences. But sometimes because of that over-protectiveness, we lose sight of the fact that people are imperfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect friend for your teen. Try your best to keep an open mind. Remember that the way you, as a parent, act around your teen’s friends plays a very big role on how your child sees you in general.

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Stay Involved Without Sabotaging Your Teen’s Social Life

Parents usually commit the mistake of being too forward with their kids. Teens usually need space of their own, and it is important to remember that they have their own personalities that need and beg to be respected. Getting involved in a very important stage of development – adolescence — is very crucial, so care must be taken.

Communication

parent-teen commnicationThe ultimate key for any success in the relationship between teen and parent is communication. Talking with your teen means you want to be involved in your teen’s life. It may only take a few minutes a day to talk to the teens in order to understand and perhaps detect potential depression problems. Listen carefully and actively, and remember that you do not need to always give advice. Often, listening is enough.

Family Trips

Family trips and get-togethers are very effective to get to know your child. Going on a family trip is a great way to establish good communication lines between you and your child.

Adult-Supervised Activities

Activities like participation in organized sports, after-school programs or youth organizations are great ways to keep track of your child’s progress without necessarily you being there all the time. A parent can monitor his child’s progress and personality by asking school administrators, teachers and peers leading the activities.

It is also important that you should make your home available in case your teen wants to invite his or her friends over. Doing activities at home is great way to know your child’s friends and have a better idea of their activities. You can get to know your teen better if you were able to observe firsthand how he is around friends.

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Teen Dating Risks Parents Need to Know

Dating has gone a really long way. From candle-lit dinners, ballroom dancing to club raves and rock concerts, the dating game has definitely changed and evolved. Here are examples of teen dating risks parents should be careful about.

teen datingGroup Dates = Stronger Peer Pressure

Dating in groups has become common these days. Although the groups themselves do not pose any trouble whatsoever, but peer pressure can be much more potent when done in groups. In these group dates, teens may be pressured to explore forbidden things like alcohol, drugs or sex. Also, teens are more courageous to try out things when with friends. It is important for the parent to take action by speaking up and talking to their teen about these issues.

Afternoon Sex Dates

Studies have showed that dating teens usually have sexual intercourse in the afternoons between 3:00PM to 6:00 PM, when their parents are still at work. They usually like to sneak around when there is lesser school or parental supervision. The best way to prevent this is to always monitor your house. Try asking your neighbors to check on your house or try changing your own schedules every now and then, if possible. Also, always remind your teen about the realities and risks of early sexual intercourse and teenage pregnancy.

Date Rape Drugs

Inform your teens with the risks of date-rape drugs. These drugs are usually mixed with the alcoholic drinks during parties when the victim is unaware. To be safe, always be with somebody you trust. Make sure you never go out to a party alone and vulnerable, and do not accept drinks from strangers.

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Teen Suicide: Dangerous Signs to Look Out For

The issues surrounding teen suicides are very complex. Suicide is rare among the early youth and steadily grows as they go into their adolescence. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the third-leading cause of death for those 15- to 24 years of age is suicide, surpassed only by homicide and accidents. It is the eighth leading cause of death for people all over the world.
depression

Teens, male or female, are at risk of suicide, although boys are more likely to commit suicide than girls. Although this is a very tragic and shocking fact, there is a way for parents to prevent this from ever happening. Parents should be wary of depression, because they are almost always connected with thoughts of death.

Here is a list of warning signs that parents should look out for:

•    Troubled romantic relationships
•    Difficulty in maintaining relationships with others
•    Lowered grades and output in school
•    Rebellious and devious behavior
•    Pulling away from friends and family members
•    Drawing, writing or talking (even jokingly) about death
•    Dramatic changes in personality
•    Appearance change
•    Sleep deprivation
•    Alcohol or drug use
•    Having a history of suicidal nature

If you notice that a teen is depressed, do not feel intimidated. Talk to him or her. Reassurance of love and trust is a powerful tool against the feeling of solitude and depression. Always remember to listen and to not judge. Never dismiss your teen’s concerns as something insignificant. If you suspect that your teen is suicidal, then you should seek professional help right away. Ask your doctor for treatment programs available. Suicidal thoughts or inclinations are a medical emergency and toodangerous to ignore.

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Managing Childhood Obesity

Obesity – it is a reality faced by more than a third of the US population. Many children are also affected by obesity, and they have a 70% chance of growing up as overweight or obese adults. Obese children have elevated health risks, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, liver disease, asthma, cancer, and osteoarthritis.

childhood obesityAside from these, childhood obesity also has psychological and social effects. Many of those with difficulty in managing their weights are often bullied by schoolmates. This may result in low self esteem, social withdrawal and depression. These manifestations, in turn, lead to more negative results, such as poor school performance, behavior problems and even potential drug abuse.

Another danger that overweight or obese teens may face is the lure of weight loss pills. While these pills may be helpful in managing weight, it is important to remember that these should be taken upon the professional advice of a doctor and its intake must be regulated and monitored.

This goes to show how important it is to properly manage our children’s meals while they are young. They need to appreciate healthy foods and enjoy physical activities. Keep them interested in active sports, and not just in watching TV or playing video games. It is also extremely important to develop our kids’ confidence while young. They need to believe in themselves and trust in their skills and capabilities. This will help them achieve better health results for themselves as well as manage peer pressures.

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Common Questions Teens Ask About Alcohol

Question: Is it really cool to drink alcohol?
Answer: Some people think it is because they thought everyone is doing it and so you need to do it as well to fit in. The truth is only less than a thrid of the teenage population do drink. This means that if we consider the choice of the majority, it is much more cooler not to drink.

alcoholQuestion: Does alcohol boost energy?
Answer: No. It is a depressant, so it naturally slows down your system and often makes you sleepy. That is why it is never safe to drink and drive. A driver’s skills are affected by the intake of alcohol.

Question: Does drinking alcohol improve sex?
Answer: The only thing that alcohol can do in relation to social situations is that it reduces inhibitions. This may make you try more interesting things while under the influence of alcohol. This does not mean, though, that sex becomes better. In reality, alcohol makes it difficult for the guys to have and keep an erection while it lowers sex drive for girls. Also, alcohol may make you forget to use a condom or influence you to proceed with sex wthout protection. This, of course, carries consequences like early pregnancy and contracting STDs.

Question: How can alcohol harm one’s body?
Answer: Significant alcohol intake may disturb sleep, thereby depriving your body of the sleep it needs to rejuvenate and recharge. Alcohol also causes nausea and vomiting. Serious diseases caused by too much drinking are cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer; pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas); hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart attacks; osteoporosis (loss of bone mass); and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (brain disorder) among others.

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