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.
Busy parents eagerly anticipate the day when their children can be trusted to stay safe on their own. It frees parents up to stay a little longer at work, head to an appointment or go for dinner. But when is a good time to start leaving your child home alone? Ultimately the decision comes down to when you think your child is ready for this responsibility.
Ask any avid drug user the difference between 'molly' and 'ecstasy' and they will most likely tell you that 'molly is pure MDMA' and ecstasy was more known to be cut with other substances. In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth. And herein lies the problem. Unless you are an accomplished chemist, 'pure' MDMA is a myth.
While the house party that was recently broken up by police in Brampton had some expensive -- and terrifying -- lessons for the families involved, they're teachable moments for the rest of us. So, here's a checklist of what to ask your teen before they hit the party circuit this weekend or this summer.
Given the state of the world and the tasks of the next generation, our survival depends on how we parent our children right now. We need to focus on the values we are encouraging for our children, and questioning whether or not our individual actions are helping our kids become the environmental stewards the world desperately needs.
I've had a weirdly emotional reaction to Pete Seeger's death. Like, way more intense than I would have imagined. I abandoned him when I grew what I thought was a more sophisticated taste in music; his stuff started to seem too plain, too openly earnest, too babyish. Today, though, I've been listening to his songs non-stop, and nearly every single one of them has made my eyes well up.
Ask any high school teacher you know: there are certain questions from parents that come up time and time again during parent-teacher interviews. The most common ones are usually marks related, but English teachers will tell you that parents also want to know how they can foster the joy of reading in teens who claim to "hate" books and wouldn't read one if their lives depended on it.