If I am being completely honest, there is a teeny-tiny bit of me that thinks it should be okay. Seeing how my girl has grown up and become a young adult is rather poignant. To the outside world, I realize that it is different. Provocative Halloween costumes look sexy on her, as the costumes are intended.
Having a good start to the school year can set the tone for many months to come. It is always a difficult transition for teenagers to head back to school after summer. Now that the first few days of back to school frenzy are behind us, it's a good time to set the foundation for a positive school year for students.
For parents with children away at university, it can be a giant leap of faith to step back and let their young adult children be independent, and know that they will be okay. Most young adults transition to university without difficulty and take charge of this new independent phase of their lives with motivation to do well and the skills to navigate their academic and social lives. But for some young adults, the stress of being on their own to manage the academic and social demands of university life may be a breaking point that heralds or worsens mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression.
June can be the month when students are immersed in the world of carefree parties, peers and possibilities. The festivities surrounding grade 12 graduation events tend to be an exercise in pushing boundaries, creating memories and grasping the moment. This is all very exciting for the youth involved, and somewhat terrifying for the parents of these youth.
Since teenage brains are literally neurobiologically different from adults, coupled with their fluctuating hormones, the way they process information also differs greatly from how we may process the very same things. This creates a situation where, when told not to wear something deemed inappropriate for that particular environment, while an adult may understand that it is simply a fashion issue within that specific circumstance, a teenager may perceive it on a chemical level as a personal threat to their entire identity and independence. As a result, they can become fiercely protective and hypersensitive to any potential threats made to their autonomy and are more likely to push the limits in response.
Developing independence is part of growing up, and it's something that young people should be encouraged to develop at every age. Safety should always be a priority for parents, but kids' maturity should also be taken into consideration as well. When you show young people that you trust them, it helps kids to trust themselves.
As parents, we have an obligation to counter the messages and images that our children are bombarded with, particularly now. If we don't put a stop to it, we're destined to have a whole generation that is not only insecure, but psychologically scarred as well. Here are some tips to help your tween/teen.
You'd never know it to look at me, but more than 40 years ago I started a global movement. After seeing the devastating images on T.V. of children starving in Ethiopia, my heart was broken. My friends and I didn't think we could do anything, and casually proposed the idea at our young people's group of doing something and having it be a weekend event where we went hungry.
There's good news and bad news about smoking. Recent statistics reveal that consumption rates are at record lows and appear to be dropping even further. And, as those rates fall, the menace of second-hand smoke also recedes. But these positive developments come at a time when new evidence warns that cigarettes are even more hazardous than we have thought. So to end smoking and the many costs it imposes on this continent, let alone elsewhere in the world, much remains to be done.
It's okay to let your kids fall, so they can learn how it feels to get back up on their own. Failure in middle school or high school has a much less drastic effect on their long-term success than failure in their first job, when you're not there to help them. If you never let your kids fail, then they won't know how to innovate and grow.
Despite being a tech-savvy Gen Y'er who lives online, sometimes I read an article that makes me feel like I'm being relegated to some "too old to be hip" corner of the internet where only Clint Eastwood and baby boomers hang out. The most glaring instance was an October article in Quartz about the rise of social payments app.
It's fair to say that many teens love getting something for nothing. Free candy? It fits the bill. And every October 31, they fail to disappoint, showing up at the door, thrusting a bag in the direction of unwitting participants, sometimes without even uttering the agreed request -- sometimes, the words "Trick or Treat" aren't even mentioned.
The heavy academic pressures so common today raise back-to-school stress like never before -- and it's not just high school seniors or university students who are feeling it right now. Parents can do a lot to help ease their children's anxieties around school. The key is to really listen, and let your child open up about their fears.
While using a phone in the bathroom isn't technically dangerous, it is of course extremely unhygienic... and more than a little off-putting. Texting and driving is extremely dangerous, and doing it in front of your teenager doubles the danger, as they see our behaviour as normal and potentially mimic it when they start driving.
For young people of all ages, school's an opportunity to form new relationships with peers and teachers, develop new skills through extracurricular activities, and discover new interests. But school can also be a source of stress, anxiety, and pressure for many young people, and it's a topic that kids and teens bring to Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors throughout the year, even during summer holidays.
While some are horrified by the overtly sexual movies and TV shows consumed by today's youth, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health has a slightly different stance. Shira Taylor, a doctoral candidate at the School's Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, is taking to the stage to educate young adults about sex.