Visit http://www.pe4life.org/ for more great information.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Visit http://www.pe4life.org/ for more great information.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Source: D.A.R.E. Official Website
This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.
D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation’s school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world.
D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Here are a few Blogs on Parenting that could help you help your child:
Van's Mom - Exploring and dealing with an ADHD and ODD daughter.
Tangerine Times - Myrna's parenting tips on the sweet and sour times of teens.
Phil's Blog - Why physical education is so critical to children today in highly techy times.
Inhalant Abuse Blog - Parents educate other parents on the dangers of many home products.
Love Our Children Blog - Helping keep today's children safe.
Sarah Maria's Blog - Learning to increase your self image to make better choices. (For parents and teens!)
Lori Hanson's Blog - Holistic solutions for a eating disorders.
ADD/ADHD Blog - ADDitude Magazine offers many parent Blogs on ADD/ADHD and more.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Teen Gangs and Teen Cults
Gangs prey on the weak child that yearns to fit in with a false illusion they are accepted into the “cool crowd”. With most Gangs as with Teen Cults, they can convince your child that joining “their Gang or Cult” will make them a “well-liked and popular” teen as well as one that others may fear. This gives the teen a false sense of superiority. Remember, many of today’s teens that are acting out negatively are suffering with extremely low self confidence. This feeling of power that they believe a gang or cult has can boost their esteem; however they are blinded to the fact that is dangerous. This is how desperate some teens are to fit in.
In reality, it is a downward spiral that can result in damage both emotionally and psychically. We have found Teen Gangs and Teen Cults are sometimes hard to detect.
They disguise themselves to impress the most intelligent of parents. We have witnessed Gang members who will present themselves as the “good kid from the good family” and you would not suspect their true colors.
If you suspect your child is involved in any Gang Activities or any Cults, please seek local therapy* and encourage your child to communicate. This is when the lines of communication need to be wide open. Sometimes this is so hard, and that is when an objective person is always beneficial. Teen Gangs and Teen Cults are to be taken very seriously. A child that is involved in a gang can affect the entire family and their safety. Take this very seriously if you suspect your child is participating in gang activity or cult association.
Need help - visit www.helpyourteens.com
Monday, January 12, 2009
Source: Connect with Kids
Expectations are a very important tool in trying to improve performance. If you don’t set goals, you won’t feel bad, but neither will you achieve high goals.”
– Randall Flanery, Ph.D., psychologist
Nationally, 70 percent of students graduate on time with a high school diploma. That leaves 30 percent struggling to finish and often dropping out of school. Many school districts have found innovative ways to keep these kids in class.
Kids fall behind in school for lots of reasons.
“I was never paying attention in class because I was just distracted, hanging around with friends,” says Jose, 17.
“More than half the time I’d still be stuck, like ‘wait a minute, I still don’t’ understand this.’ And when I’d go home and do the homework I couldn’t do it because I couldn’t understand the material,” says Jennifer Smith, 18.
If they fall too far behind, some kids will just give up.
“I was just waiting to turn 16, get out of high school, and I don’t know from there,” says Jose.
A study from Columbia University has confirmed an idea that many school districts have been experimenting with for years: if you challenge potential dropouts with tougher class work, they’re not only more likely to graduate, but to go on to college as well. Experts say it’s all about setting expectations.
“Expectations are a very important tool in trying to improve performance. If you don’t set goals, you won’t feel bad, but neither will you achieve high goals,” says Randall Flanery, Ph.D., psychologist.
“It does not take a long time before these kids see they are making good grades, they’re going on college field trips. You see a lot of incentives there. They are doing fun things so it is okay to be smart. They have the potential and they just really need that boost,” says Barbara Smith, eastern division director, AVID Program.
Expectations and incentives give students who really want it a second chance.
“Now I’m actually trying to graduate, to go to college — at least a technical school … and get a little degree in something,” says Jose.
“Just keep at it. Like the old saying, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,’” says Smith.
Tips for Parents
Schools need to establish relationships with various health and social agencies in their communities so students with disciplinary problems who require assistance are readily referred and communication lines between these agencies and schools are established. (The American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP)
Students and their families should be encouraged by school staff members to access health care and social services.
A full assessment for social, medical, and mental health problems by a pediatrician (or other providers of care for children and youth) is recommended for all school-referred students who have been suspended or expelled. The evaluation should be designed to ascertain factors that may underlie the student’s behaviors and health risks and to provide a recommendation on how a child may better adapt to his or her school environment. (AAP)
Matters related to safety and supervision should be explored with parents whenever their child is barred from attending school. This includes but is not limited to screening parents by history for presence of household guns. (AAP)
Pediatricians should advocate to the local school district on behalf of the child so that he or she is reintroduced into a supportive and supervised school environment. (AAP)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Friday, January 9, 2009
– Andy Lord, American Cancer Society
Two years ago, when Ashley was 17, her mother discovered cigarettes in her daughter’s coat pocket.
“My reaction of course was total shock,” says Ashley’s mother, Sylvia Haney.
Ashley recalls, “And she’s like, ‘What is this? Cigarettes!’ And she’s like, ‘Why are you smoking?’”
But instead of giving her daughter a long lecture, Haney had her join an anti-smoking program called “Youth in Charge.”
“It’s a youth empowerment group [that] lets other youth know the dangers of big tobacco companies, and the manipulation and lies of the big tobacco companies,” says Ashley.
Research has shown that teen smokers who get involved in an anti-smoking program like the one Ashley joined are nearly 40 percent more likely to quit, compared to teens who only received lectures.
“You can lecture, but I can guarantee you it’s going to go in one ear and out the other,” says Ashley.
Experts say the key is to have kids do their own research, find out on their own about the dangers of tobacco, so they learn it firsthand and can tell other kids.
And when they do that, “they draw their own conclusions,” says Andy Lord, with the American Cancer Society. “And at the end of the day when kids draw their own conclusions, they do have ownership of that information. They do feel a revelation, and they do in turn want to go and share that with other folks.”
Ashley adds, “Smoking or using tobacco can kill more than AIDS and HIV, auto accidents, illicit drugs, murders, rapes and suicides combined. I don’t know why you’d want to do it.”
Experts say parents can contact their branch of the American Cancer Society to find a youth anti-tobacco program in their area. For many teens, it is worth discovering. The group’s effect on Ashley was profound.
“Most definitely I will not pick up another cigarette,” she says.
Tips for Parents
Approximately 80 percent of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18.
More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they make as adolescents – the decision to smoke cigarettes.
An estimated 2.1 million people began smoking on a daily basis in 1997. More than half of these new smokers were younger than 18. This boils down to every day, 3,000 young people under the age of 18 becoming regular smokers.
Nearly all first uses of tobacco occur before high school graduation.
Most young people who smoke are addicted to nicotine and report that they want to quit but are unable to do so.
Tobacco is often the first drug used by young people who use alcohol and illegal drugs.
Among young people, those with poorer grades and lower self-image are most likely to begin using tobacco.
Over the past decade, there has been virtually no decline in smoking rates among the general teen population. Among black adolescents, however, smoking has declined dramatically.
Young people who come from low-income families and have fewer than two adults living in their household are especially at risk for becoming smokers.
Encourage your child to join an anti-smoking group and support him/her in kicking the habit. If you are currently a smoker, you should also try to stop. Children look to their parents for support and strength; taking the anti-smoking journey alongside your child can be a huge benefit. In addition to attending the meetings, The Foundation for a Smoke-Free America offers these suggestions:
Develop deep-breathing techniques. Every time you want a cigarette, do the following three times: Inhale the deepest breath of air you can and then, very slowly, exhale. Purse your lips so that the air must come out slowly. As you exhale, close your eyes, and let your chin gradually drop to your chest. Visualize all the tension leaving your body, slowly draining out of your fingers and toes -- just flowing on out. This technique will be your greatest weapon during the strong cravings smokers feel during the first few days of quitting.
During the first week, drink lots of water and healthy fluids to flush out the nicotine and other toxins from your body.
Remember that the urge to smoke only lasts a few minutes, and then it will pass. The urges gradually become further and further apart as the days go by.
Do your very best to stay away from alcohol, sugar and coffee the first week (or longer) as these tend to stimulate the desire for a cigarette. Also, avoid fatty foods, as your metabolism may slow down a bit without the nicotine, and you may gain weight even if you eat the same amount as before quitting. Discipline regarding your diet is extra important now.
Nibble on low calorie foods like celery, apples and carrots. Chew gum or suck on cinnamon sticks.
Stretch out your meals. Eat slowly and pause between bites.
After dinner, instead of a cigarette, treat yourself to a cup of mint tea or a peppermint candy.
Go to a gym, exercise, and/or sit in the steam of a hot shower. Change your normal routine – take a walk or even jog around the block or in a local park. Get a massage. Pamper yourself.
Ask for support from coworkers, friends and family members. Ask for their tolerance. Let them know you're quitting, and that you might be edgy or grumpy for a few days. If you don't ask for support, you certainly won't get any. If you do, you'll be surprised how much it can help.
Ask friends and family members not to smoke in your presence. Don't be afraid to ask. This is more important than you may realize.
On your “quit day,” remove all ashtrays and destroy all your cigarettes, so you have nothing to smoke.
If you need someone to talk to, call the National Cancer Institute's Smoking Quitline at 1-877-44U-Quit. Proactive counseling services by trained personnel are provided in sessions both before and after quitting smoking.
Find a chat room online, with people trying to quit smoking. It can be a great source of support, much like a Nicotine Anonymous meeting, but online.
Attend your anti-smoking meetings. If there are no meetings in your city, try calling (800) 642-0666, or check the Nicotine Anonymous website link below. There you can also find out how to start your own meeting. It's truly therapeutic to see how other quitters are doing as they strive to stop smoking.
Write down ten good things about being a nonsmoker and ten bad things about smoking.
Don't pretend smoking wasn't enjoyable. Quitting smoking can be like losing a good friend – and it's okay to grieve the loss. Feel that grief.
Several times a day, quietly repeat to yourself the affirmation, "I am a nonsmoker." Many quitters see themselves as smokers who are just not smoking for the moment. They have a self-image as smokers who still want a cigarette. Silently repeating the affirmation "I am a nonsmoker" will help you change your view of yourself. Even if it seems silly to you, this is actually useful.
Here is perhaps the most valuable information among these points: During the period that begins a few weeks after quitting, the urge to smoke will subside considerably. However, it's vital to understand that from time to time, you will still be suddenly overwhelmed with a desire for "just one cigarette." This will happen unexpectedly, during moments of stress, whether negative stress or positive (at a party, or on vacation). Be prepared to resist this unexpected urge, because succumbing to that "one cigarette" will lead you directly back to smoking. Remember the following secret: during these surprise attacks, do your deep breathing and hold on for five minutes; the urge will pass.
Do not try to go it alone. Get help, and plenty of it.
American Cancer Society
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Foundation for a Smoke-Free America
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Offers 10 Parenting Quick Tips for 2009
1. Communication: Keeping the lines of communication of your child should be a priority with all parents. It is important to let your kids know you are always there for them no matter what the subject is. If there is a subject you are not comfortable with, please be sure your child has someone they can open up to. I believe that when kids keep things bottled up, it can be when negative behaviors can start to grow.
2. Knowing your Children’s Friends: This is critical, in my opinion. Who are your kids hanging out with? Doing their homework with? If they are spending a lot of time at a friends house, go out of your way to call the parent introduce yourself. Especially if they are spending the night at a friends house, it important to take time to call the parents or meet them. This can give you a feeling of security knowing where your child is and who they are with.
3. Know your Child’s Teachers – Keep track of their attendance at school: Take time to meet each teacher and be sure they have your contact information and you have theirs if there are any concerns regarding your child. In the same respect, take time to meet your child’s Guidance Counselor.
4. Keep your Child Involved: Whether it is sports, music, drama, dance, and school clubs such as chess, government, school newspaper or different committees such as prom, dances and other school activities. Keeping your child busy can keep them out of trouble. If you can find your child’s passion – whether it is football, soccer, gymnastics, dance, music – that can help keep them focused and hopefully keep them on track in school.
5. Learn about Internet Social Networking: In today’s Cyber generation this has to be a priority. Parents need to help educate their kids on Cyber Safety – think before they post, help them to understand what they put up today, may haunt them tomorrow. Don’t get involved with strangers and especially don’t talk about sex with strangers. Avoid meeting in person the people you meet online without you being there. On the same note – cell phone and texting – don’t allow your child to freely give out their cell numbers and never post them online. Parents should consider ReputationDefender/MyChild to further help protect their children online.
6. Encourage your teen to get a job or volunteer: In today’s generation I think we need to instill responsibility and accountability. This can start early by encouraging your teen to either get a job or volunteer, especially during the summer. Again, it is about keeping them busy, however at the same time teaching them responsibility. I always tell parents to try to encourage their teens to get jobs at Summer Camps, Nursing Homes, ASPCA, Humane Society or places where they are giving to others or helping animals. It can truly build self esteem to help others.
7. Make Time for your Child: This sounds very simple and almost obvious, but with today’s busy schedule of usually both parents working full time or single parent households, it is important to put time aside weekly (if not daily at dinner) for one on one time or family time. Today life is all about electronics (cell phones, Ipods, Blackberry’s, computers, etc) that the personal touch of actually being together has diminished.
8. When Safety trumps privacy: If you suspect your teen is using drugs, or other suspicious behaviors (lying, defiance, disrespectful, etc) it is time to start asking questions – and even “snooping” – I know there are two sides to this coin, and that is why I specifically mentioned “if you suspect” things are not right – in these cases – safety for your child takes precedence over invading their privacy. Remember – we are the parent and we are accountable and responsible for our child.
9. Are you considering outside treatment for your child? Residential Therapy is a huge step, and not a step that is taken lightly. Do your homework! When your child’s behavior escalates to a level of belligerence, defiance, substance abuse or God forbid gang relations – it may be time to seek outside help. Don’t be ashamed of this – put your child’s future first and take steps to get the help he/she needs – immediately, but take your time to find the right placement. Read Wit’s End! for more information. Take a moment to read a recent News Articles from the Miami Herald on Wit’s End and Sun-Sentinel - Rescuing Your Troubled Teens.
10. Be a parent FIRST: There are parents that want to be their child’s friend and that is great – but remember you are a parent first. Set boundaries – believe it not kids want limits (and most importantly – need them). Never threaten consequences you don’t plan on following through with.