Friday, August 23, 2013

Not Worth The Risk- Teen Alcohol Abuse, what can we do?

My head spins as I read the collection of percentages quoted and stated about teen alcohol use. 25% of kids under the age of 14 experiment with alcohol; 50% of kids will satisfy their curiosity of alcohol; 21% of kids are given alcohol by their parents; 11% of alcohol in the U.S. is consumed by underage kids; 56% of current underage drinkers (ages 12-20) reported that their last use of alcohol occurred in someone else's home; 30% reported that it occurred in their own home. I've never been that good at math, but it doesn't take a mathematical genius to understand percentages and risk. 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Why Kids Need a Job

Teen JobsExcuse me for a moment while I boast, but in fourth grade I discovered that I had a knack for selling stuff. You know those candy bar drives schools put on to raise money? Every student was saddled with an inventory of 2 cases of inexpensive chocolate and charged with hawking what they could to neighbors, friends, and family. It was a ritual despised by parents and kids alike. But when I saw the prizes I could win by selling these mediocre treats I was inspired to do whatever it would take to make my candy campaign successful. So I hatched a plan to offer free samples of the chocolate bars to potential customers, and then charge a little bit more for the candy bars to make up the difference. At the end of the drive, I had managed to sell sixty cases of chocolate bars! Not bad for a ten-year-old kid! But before my head swells too big, let me admit that I've also had a few failures in my work career. I've even been fired from a job. It sure didn't feel good, but the lessons I've learned have stuck with me.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Growing up ADD

ADHDStop fidgeting! Pay attention! Calm down!

I heard these phrases a lot growing up. That's because I had (and still have) ADD. It stands for Attention Deficit Disorder.While I might quibble about the "disorder" part of the definition, I definitely agree that there's a deficit in my attention span! As a kid, it was incredibly hard for me to sit through school, focus on homework, or stay on task for longer than fifteen minutes. I give my parents credit; raising me was no easy assignment. I'm sure there were times they wanted to strap me down just so I'd stop being so squirrely!

When Parents are to Controlling

When parents are to controllingYour teenage daughter wakes up one Saturday morning with a plan. She decides to make the whole family waffles, so she gets out the flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, butter and some vanilla extract, and goes to work. The problem is that your daughter is not quite a culinary chef. In fact, toast and cereal are her only specialties up to this point. As you stumble into the kitchen looking for a bit of morning coffee, you notice the flour on the counters, egg yolk dripping from the table, and smoke pouring from the waffle iron. That's when your parental instincts kick into overdrive and you turn to your daughter-playing-cook and say, "You're doing this wrong," or "That's not how you mix the batter," or even "I'll take over from here." Discouraged and frustrated, your daughter leaves the kitchen saying, "I quit!" resolved to never try her hand at baking again.

What makes girls different ?

what makes girls differentDaughters. When they're born, you can't imagine loving anything more than the sweet, beautiful, bundle of joy in your arms. From tea parties to soccer games, you realize at once that little girls are something special.
Then they become teens.
One day you're tucking your little girl into bed with stories of princesses and heroes, and the next minute there's a young woman coming down the stairs, and you don't even recognize her. Maybe it's a change in attitude. Or perhaps it's a complete shift in personality. To help your little girl become a responsible and happy woman, you'll need to understand what's happening in the life of your adolescent daughter.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Training Teens to be Leaders

Training Teens to be LeadersYou know what they say; behind every great leader stands a proud parent. But great leaders don't just happen. People who stand tall on their own two feet are often the result of a family who poured into their lives and helped them develop the necessary skills to take charge and bring others with them. But I'm sure there are some parents who will say, "Hey Mark, my teen will never be a leader! He can't run his own life, let alone guide anyone else's." But before we jump into "never" situations, perhaps it would help to clarify what we are talking about.

What is a Leader?
Sure, your son or daughter might not be the type to run a country or occupy the corner office, but these types of professions and occupations don't encompass all that it means to be a leader. You don't have to have an impressive title or an official position to be a leader. Instead, leaders are those who have learned to govern themselves. They're not mindless followers. Leaders are secure in what they know is right and will walk in that truth regardless of whether others come along. Leaders can be fun, but they also gain respect. Those around them understand that this is someone they can trust and perhaps look up too. That's the type of person we want our sons and daughters to become. Studies show that kids who exhibit leadership qualities are less likely to participate in substance abuse, pre-marital sex, school delinquency, and self-harm. Training your teen to become a leader not only builds character, but it protects your child from the destructive forces that can veer them off course.

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