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Archive for the ‘Teens’ Category

For the last several years, public schools have undergone many different changes.  While the math and reading scores are still low, there is a crisis in public school education which goes beyond these important elements.  The things going on at your teen’s school they don’t want you to know about encompasses many things.  Let’s review some of the problems that are currently raising concerns among educators.

Gangs: Whether you realize it or not, this has become a major problem in high schools today.   In fact, there are so many different types of gangs that law enforcement can’t keep track.  They are preying on the middle schools kids and, depending upon where you live, can be identified by distinctively colored head wear.

Weapons:  While some high schools have incorporated metal detectors in high schools, this does not deter the use of weapons.  Knives and guns are confiscated on a daily basis. 

Sex:  From middle school through high school, teens are having sex every day.  Whether it occurs in the boys’ bathroom, bus, auditorium, or stairwells, it is a situation that cannot be controlled, and is on-going.

Cameras: To deter teens from cutting school, cameras have been placed in many stairwells, but unfortunately there are not enough funds to place cameras in all stairwells.  Thus, the teens know where they are and find other methods to cut classes. Remember, in most high schools that have a population of 2,000 or more, there are not enough security guards to control every exit in the school, thus teens are cutting school at all hours of the day.

Fighting:  Whether in the schoolyard or stairwells, or even within the hallways, fighting among students is a daily occurrence.  Specifically among teen girls, the number of fights per school term is astounding.  Moreover, both female and male teens sometimes take their fights to the streets.  They have these fights off school property and, in some cases, have caused serious injury to each other.

Drugs:  Depending upon your high school area, drugs are being bought and sold every day.  Although there are no statistics to support this, it is occurring and you should be made aware of it.

You may be asking: Why aren’t the schools’ administrators addressing these situations? In fact, they are…every day.  The problem stems from the fact that some teens and parents fight the administration because they feel their child has been unduly cited for wrongdoing.  Moreover, these teens and parents know the law better than we do, and sometimes use it to their advantage. 

Unless and until every parent of every teen becomes intimately involved in their teen’s education, these incidents will never cease.  Join the Parent’s Association and make your voice heard.  Demand that additional security guards and cameras are installed in every high school; in every bathroom if necessary.  The apathy that exists among certain parents is the real problem.  If the parents do not stress the importance of education to their teens, how can you expect the teen to?

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Webster’s definition of a freshman is: a 1st year student.  As a parent, you see your college freshman as much more than that…this is your baby boy or girl getting thrown out into the big, cruel world.  There are probably a myriad of emotions running through you:  excited, insecure, exhilarated and downright scared.  Keep in mind that, as your college freshman is frantically packing up his belongings to move into that dorm, he is more than likely feeling those very same emotions…times 10! Here are some tips for you to help your young adult make the transition to college:

  1. Encourage him to participate in school related activities such as intramural sports and clubs – This will help him to make friends who have the same interests and will help ease him into campus life.
  2. Send care packages – Whether it is your famous homemade cookies, a special college tee you found on sale, or just a quick card or letter to say “I’m thinking of you,” he will appreciate it to no end!  (AND, he will be the envy of his entire dorm)
  3. Keep the lines of communication open – Provide him with a calling card or cell phone so he has quick and easy access to the most comfortable place in the world…HOME.  Almost all college students have their own computers.  If your child does not have one, he will have access to the computer lab at school where he can receive a quick email from home wishing good luck on a test or an update on his sister’s winning goal in the soccer game.
  4. Teach him how to manage money – Sit down and work out an initial budget for your freshman to help him figure out expenses for the semester.  Set a weekly allowance for him to spend.  Encourage him to manage his own checking account.  Don’t come to the rescue EVERY time he needs another $20.  By TEACHING him how to budget and manage expenses (and not doing it for him), you will be giving him a great skill that will help him grow as an independent adult.
  5. Encourage sibling communication – Call, write, text message, email…these are all great methods of communication for siblings.  Being able to keep in touch will help BOTH the younger sibling and your older child make the transition to them being away from home.
  6. DON’T drop in on him unannounced – Your 18 year-old is finding out what it’s like to live on his own without mom and dad hovering.  Show him the respect that he deserves and don’t drop in, but DO make plans to come visit on a Friday or Saturday…attend a football game, stay in a nearby hotel, treat him to a nice dinner, take a tour of the school and meet some of his friends.  He will be happy to have you there and show off his new surroundings.

There will be many ups and downs this freshman year of school for you and for your child.  You know that your child is about to begin one of the best times of his life – times and experiences that he’ll never forget.  You need to be strong and supportive to help him make the transition from live-at-home teenager to that of a young independent adult.

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The time has come! Your teen has just received his license and the worry begins. Summertime is here and that means your teen will be spending more time on the road.

Here are some tips for keeping your teen safe on the road this summer and beyond:

  • Set ground rules as to when your teen can use the car. Daytime driving in the beginning, at least for the first six months; then gradually allow your teen to drive at night; but only up until a certain hour.
  • Teach by example. Don’t: drive and use a cell phone; eat while driving; tailgate or speed; invoke any road rage when driving; drink and drive.
  • Wearing seat belts is a law; therefore, follow all of the rules and regulations taught in driving school. Your teen will take note, and follow your lead.
  • Limit the areas where your teen can drive, at least until he or she has been driving for a while.
  • Do not allow any passengers in the car for at least six months. They need to understand the rules of the road, and not engage in conversation with friends. These can ultimately distract them causing an accident.
  • Ensure your car is well maintained. Check the following regularly: tires; windshield wiper fluid; water; brakes; windshield wipers, etc.
  • Accompany them as much as possible in the beginning; pointing out hazards they may come across such as potholes, construction, and the like. Mix up the routes so they become used to driving to different places.
  • Take your teen to the gas station. Teach them how to pump the gas and which type to use in your car. Teach them how to put air in the tires as well.
  • If you don’t already have one, purchase an emergency road kit, and explain each item to the teen.
  • Teach your teen how to change a tire, how to use road flares, and what to do in an emergency.

These tips for keeping your teen safe on the road this summer probably need to be mentioned often to help them remember. Another thing to point out is that while they are a safe driver, others on the road may not be.

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Before teens begin to prepare for the new school year, it is important to set boundaries beforehand so they know what is expected of them as they continue on with their high school studies.

Curfew: A specific curfew should be set on school nights and weekends, especially if there are tests involved or they haven’t caught up with homework assignments, reports, or papers. If the teen does go out with friends, the parent should be told where he or she is going, and who will be accompanying them.

Homework: A certain amount of time should be allotted to homework and studying. No TV, video games, music, telephone conversations, or any other distraction should be present when teens study and/or work on their homework assignments.

After-School Employment: There are some teens who would like to earn extra cash, and working after school for a few hours a day might be considered. However, if it interferes with school work, or they begin putting in too much overtime, an alternative arrangement has to be made so that high school studies come before anything else.

Sleepovers: If your teen asks to stay at a friend’s house on the weekend, a curfew should be set in place and the parents of the other teen should be informed as well. In addition, unless a parent is present, it is recommended that your teen not be allowed to spend the night.

Report Cards: If a teen brings home a report card that signifies he or she is not doing well in all subjects, perhaps it would be time to discuss the reasons why the grades are low and find ways they can be improved. In the course of the discussion, perhaps your teen will open up and tell you about a certain problem or issue.

The teen years are fraught with self-image problems, physical and emotional problems, and anger and frustration. It is recommended that parents keep the lines of communication open with their teens. To let them know they understand and will always be available to listen or give advice if asked.

Remembering what it was like being a teenager, some may say it was great while others may say “it was no picnic.” Either way, teens need to feel safe, yet have room to breathe and grow. Though teens would never admit that parameters are a good thing, preparing and setting boundaries for the new school year is one way in which parents can help.

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We’ve all had them…we all hate them…yeast infections. If you have managed to escape the joy of one of these in your lifetime, then consider yourself very lucky! Those of us who haven’t been so lucky…listen up! You know what a pain it is to get rid of one, so why not avoid one before it even starts?

Try these tips and you may just cut down on those nasty infections:

  • Perfumed soaps are a no-no. They don’t lather well, but they make you skin smell great. After a week or so, you notice an itch down below that you can’t seem to get rid of. Itching turns to redness which becomes inflamed almost overnight. Perfumes may be okay for the rest of the body, but they irritate the vaginal area. Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections are allowed to grow out of control when the good bacteria of the vagina are decreased by the perfume in the soaps. Use a non-deodorant soap to clean this delicate area and rinse thoroughly.
  • Avoid antibiotics when possible. Antibiotics, when taken for the full ten day course, cause vaginal yeast infections. One infection is cured, but another that is just as painful crops up. What to do? Eat yogurt. The live bacterial cultures counteract the effects of the antibiotics. As soon as your doctor prescribes an antibiotic for you, load up on the Dannon! Actually any yogurt will do. One container a day should be enough.
  • Shed the wet clothing. Fungus and other kinds of bacteria love moist, wet places on the body. They are ideal spots for growth. After a day in the pool or a hard workout at the gym, change out of those damp clothes as soon as possible. You may not feel wet in the vaginal area after a workout, but if you are sweating heavily everywhere else, you are damp there, too.
  • Tighter is not better. Tight fitting underwear and pants increase the heat in the vaginal area. There is no way for air to circulate and keep the genitals cool and dry. Loosen up, literally. Choosing cotton underwear over nylon will absorb the wetness and keep it away from the body. Pants don’t have to be baggy, but they should have room to breathe.
  • Put away that vinegar and water. Many women feel the need to cleanse their vaginal area after their menstrual period. There are several kinds of douches and sprays on the market for that purpose. My gynecologist told me that there was no need to use anything but plain soap and water to clean the vaginal area. Using a cleansing product internally upsets the acidic environment of the vagina, wiping out the natural bacteria.

Vaginal yeast infections are not life threatening, but they can interrupt your daily life. Pass these tips along to the young ladies in your household too. If they begin to follow these simple tips and incorporate them into their daily hygiene regimen, they can live their life hopefully yeast-free!

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Kids CAN Help Out With Chores!

It’s never too early to ask your kids to help you with chores around the house. You can even start as early as two years old. While children mature at different rates, you can still determine what age appropriate chores are best suited for toddlers, kids, tweens and teens. Here’s a little guide to help you:

Toddlers – These little balls of fire can certainly help you around the house. Start by giving them some of these simple tasks: making the bed; picking up their toys; feeding the family pet; helping you put laundry into the basket; or cleaning up split milk on the kitchen floor. These chores would be most suited to two and three year olds. You can teach your toddlers to do their chores by making a game out of it or singing a song while completing each task. It will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment. Yes, even at that young age.

4’s and 5’s – You can ask them to help you: set the table; dust around the house; help make cookies; help you carry grocery bags (as long as you make it light for them).

6 thru 8’s – This age can really dig into the chores by: taking care of the pet they’ve always wanted; helping you vacuum the floor; taking out the trash or folding the laundry. You can even ask them to help you prepare meals. Think of the experience they are getting at this early age.

Tweens (9-12) – This age group really has their work cut out for them. Some of the more vigorous chores can be relegated to outside work: rake the leaves; wash the car; help clean out the garage. If you need help inside the house, they can certainly help you prepare meals; dust and vacuum the house; wash dishes or clean the bathroom. Certainly they would be old enough to make their beds; clear their room of debris; organize their toys, etc…

Teens – These 13’s and up tend to pose a different problem altogether. Sometimes they are willing to help, and other times not. It depends on how you’ve raised them. If they have been helping out since they were two, you won’t have a problem. In fact, they can do almost anything you ask of them. Be sure they can manage whatever task you assign, however. If you’ve taught them well, they have the ability to prepare meals; clean the kitchen; wash windows; do the laundry; just about any indoor and outdoor chore you need.

It’s important to build your child’s self-esteem and self-worth by teaching them to be independent at a very young age. This can be accomplished with the assignments of age-appropriate chores and LOTS of guidance 🙂

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You know I always like to let you know about FREE stuff that comes my way…here’s a free teleseminar to help you help your teen:

If you’re like most parents of teens, you want to do everything you can to help your teenager be successful in high school. But do you sometimes feel frustrated because you aren’t sure how you can help? You want to help with homework, but don’t remember algebra?

Linda Hinkle, a veteran high school teacher, is hosting a free teleseminar in which she will discuss various strategies parents can use to help keep abreast of their teen’s academic progress. You will also receive her free report “The High School Journey: What to Expect From Freshman to Senior” as soon as you sign up for the teleseminar. You can sign up and see all the details at http://www.parentsguidetohighschool.com

Check it out and let me know how it goes…

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