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.
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.
Maybe it's the shape-shifting cake in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or the weird knight, or that damn cat. I just can't say. But here's what I do know: I've read numerous fantasy books that, in my humble opinion, are far more enjoyable than slogging through innocent Alice's "amazing" adventures.
Why, in a time when we have more information available to us than ever, when WHO member states have adopted "a historic" resolution to address violence against women and girls, and when consent is being introduced into school curricula in some Canadian provinces, does violence against women still remain largely hidden?
If you and your teen aren't comfortable talking about sexting, talk to them about online safety by reminding them not to share personal information online -- like their real name, age, or phone number, or any other identifying information such as where they live, or the name of their high school. This includes anything that might show up in the background of a photo. And make sure they understand that there can be a risk in talking to strangers online -- not everyone is who they might seem.
As a blogger of Young Adult literature and a professional book reviewer, I read a lot. There are tons of great books out there if you are looking to purchase your teen a gift of the literary sort (and of reasonable cost). The following are my top picks for 2014, based on quality and overall likeability.
In case you haven't heard, Calvin Klein is the latest clothing company to come out with a campaign that has a lot of people extremely pissed off. The campaign is called, "Perfectly Fit" and it features model Myla Dalbesio modeling what Calvin Klein is calling their "plus sized" underwear. It should come as no surprise that 27-year-old Myla is not what most people would consider anything even close to plus sized. I suppose I understand the outrage in principal, but why are people still so shocked when a company that is known for promoting one kind of beauty continues to do just that? Frankly, if Calvin Klein wanted to do something seriously shocking, they would use a model who was older than 25 years old and wore a size bigger than a four.
Anxiety is the number one mental health concern for children. Our children are growing up in a highly anxious world, surrounded by a massive amount of stimulation and information. Here are some practical and important tips to assist you with grounding your children in this anxious world, and helping them develop their self regulation capabilities.
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.
Parents often think that they have to have an immediate answer or solution at their fingertips, but sometimes all a kid needs is to be heard. When we listen to young people without interrupting, it helps them feel understood and it validates their feelings by making them feel less alone in whatever they may be coping with.
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.