Archive for the ‘School’ Category

HOW TO PREVENT RELATIONSHIP VIOLENCE   Leave a comment

Did you know that 30 percent of women murdered in the US are killed by their boyfriends, husbands, or exes? Or that 20 to 25 percent of college women will experience attempted or complete rape in college? Date rape, intimate violence and relationship abuse are issues that many women face every day. We talked to New Jersey-based counselor Dari Dyrness-Olsen, author of Safe Dating for College Women, about what women can do to protect themselves while dating and in a relationship. Here are her top 10 tips for staying safe.

 

10 TIPS TO PREVENT RELATIONSHIP VIOLENCE

Dari Dyrness-Olsen, MA, LPC, author of Safe Dating for College Women, is nationally known as “America’s Safe Dating Coach.” She is currently working with New Jersey legislators on passing the “Safe Dating Law” that will require all public middle and high schools to add Safe Dating Curriculum to their annual health curriculum. Dyrness-Olsen is also working with the national organization Love Is Not Abuse and other states to model what she is doing in New Jersey. Here are her 10 tips to stay safe while you’re dating.

1. Don’t buy into “love is blind”

If relationships started off abusive, then no one would ever date. Dating abuse slowly rears its ugly head over time, as the relationship progresses. Before you know it, you have fallen in love with the person who is treating you badly.

2. Know the red flags of dating abuse

Dating abuse is all about power and control over another person. Do you fight a lot? Is he mean to you? Does he put you down? Does he text you obsessively and need to know where you are, who you are with and what you are doing? Does he want you to spend all of your time with him?

3. Set the bar high

You deserve to be in a safe, healthy and loving relationship. The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. When you love yourself, you can love other people, and they can love you back in a healthy way.

4. Be aware of family dynamics

When kids grow up in abusive families, there is very good chance they will follow in their parents’ footsteps. The apple often doesn’t fall far from the tree, unless they have received professional help.

5. Never depend on a guy

The best lesson I ever learned from my parents was to never depend on anyone else to take care of me. With a divorce rate of more than 50 percent, statistics show you may well end up divorced and having to support yourself and your children. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted March 22, 2012 by sotpyouth in Bullying, Family, School

When Texting Turns to Torment   Leave a comment

When Texting Turns to Torment

From commonsensemedia.org
In CyberbullyingMobile and communicating by Caroline Knorr, on 03.01.2012

Dealing with Digital Harassment


Too much texting, too much calling. Are your kids at risk?

  • 76% of people ages 14-24 say that digital abuse is a serious problem.
  • Compared to 2009, young people in 2011 were significantly more likely to step in if they saw someone “being mean online.”
  • Some of the most frequent forms of digital harassment include people writing things online that aren’t true (26%), people writing things online that are mean (24%), and someone forwarding an IM or message that was intended to stay private (20%).
  • Digital abuse isn’t generally the act of strangers — perpetrators are usually people the victims know well.
  • (All of the above are from the 2011 AP-MTV Digital Abuse study)

Advice & Answers

 

What Is Digital Harassment?

 

Digital harassment is when kids and teens use cell phones, social networks, and other communications devices to bully, threaten, and aggressively badger someone. While it’s a form of cyberbullying, “digital harassment” is a bit different because it usually takes place between two people in a romantic relationship.

Certainly, lots of young people conduct healthy relationships and use their online and mobile lives to stay connected to each other. But not all relationships are balanced — especially with teens, whose emotional lives run at peak speeds.

Some relationships can become manipulative and controlling, and teens use the digital devices at their disposal to act out. A few texts a day can turn into a few hundred. Relentless and unreasonable demands escalate. The abuser presses for things like the other person’s passwords(so they can check up on them) and sexy photos and forces their significant other to unfriend people whom the abuser doesn’t like. They may spread lies, impersonate someone, or even resort to blackmail.

 

 

Why It Matters

 

Digital harassment has real consequences for those who’ve been targeted. A 2011 poll conducted by MTV and the Associated Press found that targets of this kind of abuse are more likely to consider dropping out of school, engage in risky behavior, and even think about suicide.

However, there’s a bright spot in all this. The survey also found that kids and teens who discover digital harassment among their friends are now more likely to intervene if they see someone being mean online than they were in 2009.

Large public-awareness campaigns — most notably MTV’s A Thin Line and The Family Violence Prevention Fund’s That’s Not Cool — are helping teens recognize when staying connected crosses the line into digital harassment. These campaigns use kids’ idols — like Justin Bieber — and entertaining videos to give teens the language they need to identify and end digital harassment.

Parents can support their teens by understanding that relationships these days are often played out both online and in public — and kids need their parents’ guidance in establishing appropriate boundaries for healthy relationships. Young love is complicated enough without the added pressure of constant access and public scrutiny. The tips below can help you help your kids navigate these murky waters so they can avoid digital drama for themselves and their friends.

 

 

Advice for Parents Read the rest of this entry »

Posted March 15, 2012 by sotpyouth in Bullying, Family, General, School, Technology

OK Boys. . . We're Burning Your Trophies. . . .   Leave a comment

Another great post from Walt Mueller‘s Blog from CPYU

So my nephew – who was a pretty decent football player himself a few years ago – texted me this morning. “Google new canaan football team burns trophies.” My nephew lives in Connecticut near New Canaan, which is how he caught wind of this crazy little story that’s a sign of the times. 

Here’s the story. . . . It seems that the New Canaan Black 8th grade football team made the playoffs. They reached the semi-finals but lost. That left them in third place. A few weeks after season’s end, the team had a little party at one player’s home. The players’ parents decided to celebrate the team’s season and success by presenting their boys with trophies. . . third place trophies. The coaches then gathered the boys up and took them and their trophies to a local park, where the coaches then proceeded to have the boys burn the trophies. All three coaches lost their jobs after the incident went public. One coach apologized, saying the message they intended to send was positive one. Residents of the town are concerned that the message that was sent was all wrong – that not finishing first is the same as failure.

As I think about this story, there are a couple of things to ponder here. As a parent of kids who were athletes and as someone who coached for years, I value a positive athletic experience. Athletics is about learning, putting forth an effort, cooperation, and having fun. I never believed that “winning is the only thing.” I know there are coaches that scream, yell, and coach for nobody but themselves. Not good.

On the other hand, we live in a world where kids are coddled, hovered over, and buffered from consequences by parents who are far too child-centered. Everybody needs to get a trophy, a pat on the back, and a “you’re awesome!” even when the effort is mediocre or sub-par. Not good as well.

So, while I don’t fault the parents in this story (I don’t really know. . . I wasn’t there nor do I know the families), it does serve as a reminder that 1)we’ve placed too high a premium on winning, and 2) we coddle our kids way too much. Both are threads running through the fabric of today’s youth culture. In this story the threads cross. . . and look what happened.

What do you think?

 

Posted December 16, 2011 by sotpyouth in Family, School, Sports

Glee Goes All the Way… Again   Leave a comment

by Jonathan McKee at TheSource4Parents.com

This week Doug Fields posted an article of mine on his blog encouraging parents to use the “pause button,” the “fast forward button”… and even the “off button” on their TV remotes as they co-view media with kids. Which button does Fox’s Glee require?

This week Glee featured two of the show’s teenage couples each losing their virginity, a homosexual couple (Kurt and Blaine), and a heterosexual couple (Finn and Rachel).

Parents that took time to even notice the show’s content this week are debating the appropriateness. The PTC is outraged (as always), and articles are beginning to emerge asking relevant questions, like this article from Time, What Teen Sex on Glee Really Teaches Kids.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Glee address the subject of teenagers losing their virginity. In the 15th episode of Season One, an episode titled “The Power of Madonna,” Glee introduced the same scenario when three couples faced the decision to lose their virginity (the episode was watched by 12.98 million American viewers and was critically acclaimed). After a dream sequence performance of Madonna’s Like a Virgin, two of these teenagers took the plunge and “went all the way” (Finn and Santana), while others didn’t (Rachel, for example). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 10, 2011 by sotpyouth in Dating, Family, Main, Music, School

Parents can help teens manage overscheduling stress –   Leave a comment

USATODAY.com By Kim Painter

Lauren Biglow, a college freshman, once was one of those high school students with crazy, stressful schedules — high-level academics mixed with sports, clubs, community service, and way too little sleep, real food or unstructured fun.

But her parents, she says, were not part of the problem.

“I would come home overflowing with stress over the fact that I had so many things to do simultaneously. And they would say, ‘This is crazy, listen to yourself. You need to take a breath, re-evaluate and decide what you need to cut down on.’ ”

Biglow says she did cut down, a bit, and ended up taking fewer Advanced Placement (AP) classes than some peers. She dropped one of her three sports. It worked out: The spring graduate of Los Altos High School, in California, is at highly regarded Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 14, 2011 by sotpyouth in Family, General, School

What if your teen is a bully?   Leave a comment

It’s the news no parent wants to hear: Their teenage daughter has been sending demeaning e-mails to another girl in her grade or that their son has been regularly harassing another boy in the hall at his school.

While it’s painful and confusing if your child is the victim of bullying, it’s also painful and confusing if your child is the one who is dishing it out. If it’s the latter, what do you do?

Let’s face it, to be confronted with the fact that your kid has been a bully is embarrassing. It’s not just a mark against your child, but a mark against you. You can just imagine what the other parents are saying.

“They always seemed like good parents. But it just goes to show you never know.”

You are mad at your kid for their behaviour, but also at how this behaviour reflects on you. To feel this way is very normal, but many kids of nice, loving parents engage in bullying behaviour. Having a kid who’s a bully does not mean that you have been a bad parent. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 11, 2011 by sotpyouth in Family, General, School

Not My Kid: Parents Severely Underestimate Teens' Drug and Alcohol Use   Leave a comment

From Remy Melina, LiveScience Staff Writer

Few parents of teens who drink or smoke pot are aware of it, suggests a new study that also finds that most parents are concerned about substance use by teenagers and believe that more than half of 10th-graders drink alcohol (just not their own 10th-grader).

Only 10 percent of parents think their own teens drank alcohol within the last year, and 5 percent believe their teens smoked marijuana in the last year, according to the latest poll by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

These low numbers severely clash with the university’s 2010 Monitoring the Future survey, in which 52 percent of surveyed 10th-graders reported drinking alcohol in the last year and 28 percent reported using marijuana within the last year. Those numbers were based on an annual survey of about 420 public and private high schools and middle schools that are selected to provide an accurate representation of U.S. students at each grade level.

“There’s a clear mismatch between what parents are reporting in terms of their children’s possible use of substances and what teenagers report themselves,” said study researcher Bernard Biermann of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He is also a medical director of the university’s Child/Adolescent Inpatient Unit.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health was administered in May to a group of 667 parents with a child between the ages of 13 and 17.

While most parents seem to assume their own kids aren’t trying alcohol or drugs, they certainly don’t think their child’s peers are as innocent. In the poll, researchers found that many parents of teens are very likely to believe that within the last year at least 60 percent of 10th-graders drank alcohol and 40 percent of 10th-graders used marijuana.

That parents are more likely to expect drug and alcohol use by other teenagers than by their own indicates a need for awareness about teenage substance use, the researchers said. They suggest parents broach the subject with their teens in a nonthreatening way and speak to them about the importance of resisting peer pressure.

“Awareness is a means of opening the door to communication. If parents acknowledge the possibility — and in fact, the likelihood — that their child may have experimented with or used alcohol or marijuana, they can begin to talk to them more about it, provide some guidance, and allow their kids to ask questions,” Biermann said in a statement.

The researchers also suggest that parents carefully monitor their kids and look for signs of substance use. They warn parents not to overreact over a single instance of substance use, and to instead use the experience as an opportunity to talk to their teen in a nonjudgmental way.

Posted September 21, 2011 by sotpyouth in Drugs/Alcohol, Family, School

Facts & Dreams

"Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet." -Victor Hugo