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.
As children move towards the last few years of elementary school, and especially as they move into high school, many become less and less likely to tell a parent or other adult if they are being bullied or are in over their heads with a peer issue. Often this is because they feel that telling an adult won't help or even that it might make the situation worse.
"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.
As you gain distance from the early days of babies and toddlers, preschool and elementary school, from this place above the trees you can finally see. Like that mama bird sitting up high in the tree, you stand now as a humble mom of 17 years, better able to discern where you've been and where you're going.
From my earliest moments as a new mother, I'd longed for my daughter to experience the same enjoyment from reading and falling into a good book that I'd felt in my youth. I pictured us walking in tandem in our mutual appreciation for stories, unpacking plots and characters for each other as we bonded in conversation.
At Kids Help Phone, hundreds of kids contact us each year about sexting. Most teens make contact because they're feeling pressure to sext, or someone has shared a sext without their consent. A very large proportion of the calls are initiated after teens have already taken a sexting action and they're in crisis mode, or in desperate need of advice.
The kids are growing up, and as they do so, drifting away. Their independence is greater than their need. I think back to those days when I was smothered in children. When I knew every moment of their day. When our lives were so entwined it was difficult to see where one started and the other left off. When they were a part of me, and I was a part of them.
By helping their children recognize their inner qualities and focusing on their accomplishments, parents help to teach kids that what is really important about them has nothing to do with their size, shape, or weight. This creates an environment that promotes self-acceptance and positive self-esteem.
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.
You've heard of the recent attacks on women's healthcare in the States, but in Canada, we're feeling the impact too. For 50 years, Planned Parenthood Ottawa has been there for our community, providing unbiased counselling, education, advice and support. But it's become increasingly hard to do our work. Planned Parenthood is under attack, by people who oppose healthcare for women and the trans community, who don't want youth to get the education they need, and who dedicate themselves to cutting our funding every way they can.
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.