Teenagers deal with all sorts of pressures and self esteems issues, and their appearance are high on that list; so, what do you do when they say their smile isn't as bright and white as they want it to be? As parents, we strive to help our kids feel better about themselves; but before you buy those whitening strips or make that teeth whitening appointment, you should sink your teeth into the facts, first.
It's not unusual to find a group of teenagers sitting quietly, all of them with their heads looking down, shoulders slumped, as they silently tap away at their smartphones. Many of them are texting each other (some sitting right across from them), catching up on social media or watching YouTube videos.
Throughout the teen years, vulnerabilities crop up. That, in turn, makes them susceptible to controlling friends. To identify negative relationships your teen needs to clearly understand the attributes of possessiveness, isolation and jealousy. These are strategies used by others to control a person.
For parents, the healthy relationship boundaries talk is a topic that can be revisited many times during the teen years. They need to understand what it means to have boundaries. Take the time with your teen to explain emotional and physical personal space, dealing with privacy, and what to do when someone crosses a boundary.
It may just be a sweet coincidence that October is both Dental Hygiene Month and Halloween but with Halloween just around the corner, your little ghosts and goblins are eager to hit the candy jackpot. But what else can be spookier than creepy crawlies and witches? Rotting teeth from too much sugar and dental plaque.
Teens need to feel connected to their parents if they're going to open up to them, but it's harder these days for teens to connect. Social media makes it easier to be isolated and disconnected from parents and peers, as teens can opt to plug in to their technology and stay plugged in, rather than build real-life relationships.
Parents need to walk that fine line between allowing their teens to fail and make mistakes, so that they can learn from these experiences, and keeping them from being self-destructive or self-defeating. It's important that teens see that their actions have consequences and learn from their own experiences what works for them and what doesn't work. The parents' role is to make sure that the consequences to their teen aren't so severe that there's no coming back.
"A hug is like a boomerang. You get it back right away." This is true 90 per cent of the time. But 10 per cent of the time, it's not true -- especially when you're trying to hug a reluctant teen as you drop them off at their friend's house or at school, and even sometimes when you're alone in the house with them.
If you are hiring summer students, have teenagers slouching around the house, or you are a forward-thinking CEO, you are spending some time thinking about Gen Z. The follow-on generation to the Millennials is something of an unknown to most. The biggest question: how they are going to perform in the workforce?
The biggest complaint I hear from teenagers is that we don't take them seriously. The teens of Attawapiskat have made a list of what they have in their community, their community and social assets if you will. Things like a gym, a Healing Lodge, and a school. They have also made another list: 'What we need.' Notice the list was not titled what we want. Need. These children need a Fitness Centre; it was the first thing on their list. The second was a Track and Field facility. More Sports, a Youth Camp and a clean Swimming Pool. We need to listen now, and give them what they need before it's too late.
Over the five years I spent seeking treatment, my family and I encountered a seemingly endless series of obstacles -- from programs that couldn't accommodate me, to waiting lists that lasted much longer than my desire to get clean -- all of which combined to feel like the treatment system was designed for me to fail.
I got a text from my teen at 8:52 yesterday morning. It was that text; the one you read about in news reports that usually come from the U.S. It doesn't come from one of your own children. The ones you promised yourself you would always protect. "Lockdown at school," then "Someone pulled a knife." Not much to go on, but enough to send that infamous chill down your spine. I wasn't far from school, so I raced over, my muddy dog still in the back seat, dreading what I knew I would find.
This news story is a sickening one: Talk of women being allegedly blindsided with punches to the head in the name of foreplay, of them allegedly bashed against cement walls, of courageous women agreeing to press sexual-assault charges only to be ridiculed on the witness stand. What, on earth, do I tell my intelligent and social-justice-minded daughter about this?