Wednesday, December 4, 2013
This is a common statement from parents when their child is starting down a negative road.
Your child’s self-esteem is an important part of his self-image. It helps him feel he’s worthwhile just as he is and helps him feel good about his choices and decisions. A healthy self esteem doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s something that is nurtured and grown throughout a lifetime, and something that the important people in his life have a chance to help cultivate.
Here are some tips for boosting your child’s self-esteem.
Give your child choices throughout the day. A big part of healthy self-esteem is feeling capable. Offering your child choices about what outfit to wear, what to have for a snack or for lunch, or if he should pick up the play room before or after going to the park will give your child practice making good choices. When offering young children choices, the key is being comfortable with whatever the child chooses. The goal is to help him think about both sides and make a decision that he feels will best satisfy his needs.
Avoid generic praise. Parents want kids to feel good about the things they do and to encourage them to repeat the types of behavior they value. So parents often say things like “Great job!” after everything from finishing vegetables at dinner to putting socks on in the morning to going down the slide at the park. While generic congratulations feel good to a child for a short time, after too many times it becomes meaningless. In fact, congratulating a child for things that don’t require real effort can make a child lose trust in the parent’s honesty.
Use specific praise generously. It’s helpful to a child’s self-esteem to hear from parents and other adults about their accomplishments, both big and small. Instead of using generic praise, let your child know how much you admire and appreciate his specific behavior. Phrases like “I appreciate your help in picking up the play room this afternoon. It means we have more time at the park!” or “Eating your vegetables will help your body grow strong and healthy. I love your willingness to try new things.” or “I’m so proud of how you climbed to the top of the tower. That took strong arms and great balance!” will help your child feel good about his abilities and choices.
Avoid negative labels. Most of the way we communicate with others is based in lifelong habits. Unfortunately some unhealthy habits may find their way into your parenting or caregiving vocabulary. Labeling a child as being mean, lazy, uncoordinated or hyperactive, or calling him a whiner, liar or babyish can negatively affect his self-esteem. Children are sensitive to what the people they love think about them and words can have a huge effect. Choose your words carefully and talk about challenging behaviors or traits in positive terms.
Become a great listener. Giving your child your full attention and truly listening to what he is saying and how he feels is an immediate self-esteem booster. When you turn off your phone, the TV and the computer and fully engage with your child it shows him that you really care about him and that you’re interested in what he has to say. That kind of undivided attention is rarer than it should be these days and will make your child feel valued and loved.
Model healthy self-esteem. Your child looks to you for clues about how to think, act and feel. Make sure you’re sending the right message. Invest in developing your own healthy self-esteem and you’ll be on your way to helping your child develop it too. Have a positive body image, be confident about your abilities, and don’t let petty criticisms from the outside world make you feel bad about yourself and your choices. If you struggle with esteem issues, talk about them with your child in an age appropriate way and show him the steps you’re taking to develop a healthy self-esteem. Showing your child that you’re not perfect, but that you’re working towards being better, gives him the freedom to accept his flaws too.
Teach problem solving skills. Teaching your child how to objectively assess a situation, brainstorm solutions, and put a plan into action is a proactive way of building self-esteem. Children who feel able to handle challenging situations, who recognize that when they get knocked down they can get right back up and try again, and who are confident that every problem has a solution have a strong sense of self-esteem.
Self-esteem is an important part of a child’s healthy emotional development. It acts like a suit of armor for your child, protecting him from many of the bumps and bruises that come with everyday life. It also gives him a strong foundation to build life skills on.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
|Does your teen listen to you?|
Consider these suggestions when dealing with the following temperaments on a day-to-day basis:
• Flexible and affable. These teens live on the sunny side of the street. They are generally agreeable and tend not to take things personally.
Appreciate their good nature and let them know that you do. It’s unfair and risky not to give them your very best parenting just because they are less likely to get angry or become sullen.
• Sensitive. These teens often take awhile to adjust to anything new. They like routine and knowing what is going to happen when. They may not appreciate teasing or certain kinds of humor.
Give these teens plenty of advance warning when a change is about to happen. Take a little extra time to explain things to them. If you hurt their feelings, apologize.
• Challenging. These teens can be critical, especially of their parents. Their first reaction is often a negative one, and they seem to enjoy arguing for its own sake.
These teens dislike rules, so set only a few that speak to your top priorities. Model a good example for them. Don’t return criticisms with criticism of your own. Let them know you always love them, even though you may not love their behavior.
Copyright © 2013 Parent Institute
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
It is important to keep your kids busy in constructive and positive ways. Bored teens can sometimes lead to trouble. Teen Shoplifting, vandelism and more may haunt your homes – be an educated parent, take the time to create activities for the entire family.
For many kids, adolescence is a trying phase of life. Body changes, school pressures, and personality changes can be very overwhelming to your teen when occurring all at once. Because of these pressures, adolescents can be more susceptible to things like peer pressure. Whether it’s out of a desire to fit in or stand out, your normally levelheaded teen can be easily pressured into committing dangerous and illegal acts they might never otherwise consider.
Sometimes, these activities are relatively harmless, and can include things like dying their hair a bold color, or cutting a class or two. But often, many teens find the desire to fit in so strong they are willing to compromise their own morals to be part of the ‘in’ crowd. They may be more likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol, or commit other criminal activities, all for the sake of ‘fitting in’.
Though there are many dangers your teen may encounter, this site deals specifically with teenagers and criminal activity, like shoplifting, vandalism, and violent crime. Teens can partake in these activities for many reasons- peer pressure being just one of a long list of possibilities.
Click here for my website on Teen Mischief.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Does Your Teenage Boy or Girl Show Weight Loss, Increased Body Hair, Acne? How to Spot the Signs of an Eating Disorder
Is your teen losing weight, suffering from severe acne, hiding food, or fasting? Could it be Anorexia or Bulimia? Causes, symptoms and treatment discussed.
Is your teen losing weight, suffering skin problems like severe acne, hiding food, binging, vomiting or fasting? He or she might have an eating disorder.
Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia are serious eating disorders that have severe health impacts, sometimes even causing death in teens as young as eleven or twelve.
Weight loss, over-excercising, teenage acne,counting calories, depression and distorted body image, binging or uncontrolled eating, vomiting, and hiding food. These are just some of the symptoms. There are many others.
Symptoms of Anorexia:
- Weight loss-15% below the ideal weight for her age and height.
- Being obsessive about counting calories and eating fat-free foods.
- A fear of gaining weight.
- Being cagey about eating habits.
- Obsessive and compulsive or excessive exercising.
- Abusing laxatives or diuretics.
- Mood and emotional problems like depression or anxiety.
- A severely distorted self and body image.
- Loss of bone mass.
- Absence of menstrual periods.
- Low body temperature.
- Death-from dehydration, heart failure or other causes.
The main symptom of Anorexia Nervosa is a marked fear of being fat and obsessions about being and becoming thin. This usually translates into intense and secretive efforts to avoid food. No matter how thin an anorexic girl or by becomes they will still see themselves as fat. Ultimately the person will starve themselves, and use exercise and laxatives to aid this process.
Unfortunately attempting to force an anorexic teen to eat will likely end in failure and might even make the problem worse. This is because the disorder isn’t really about food or weight. Some patients become obsessed with other health concerns like teenage acne, hair care, or how they dress and behave.
Anorexia is more than just a desire to look good or be accepted. Teens with these diseases are looking for more than just a perfect body. Anorexia is a complex psychological disorder that is linked to severe depression and low self-esteem.
Symptoms of Bulimia:
- Uncontrollable eating (binge eating).
- Dieting, fasting and vomiting as weight control measures.
- Visiting the bathroom often after eating –usually to purge.
- Heartburn, indigestion or sore throat.
- Being obsessive about body weight.
- Mood changes and depression.
- Hoarding or hiding food.
- Dental changes such as loss of enamel, cavities and abrasions –due to frequent vomiting.
- Dehydration and electrolyte loss.
- Bowel, kidney and liver damage.
- Irregular heartbeat and possible cardiac arrest.
Teens with bulimia eat very large amounts of food and then induce vomiting to remove the food from their bodies. They are not comfortable or happy with their self and body image.
Most appear to be of normal weight, which can make the disorder difficult to spot, but some are underweight or overweight. Some sufferers also abuse drugs and alcohol. Bear in mind that many obese people have binge eating disorder but this is not the same as Bulimia.
Who gets Anorexia and Bulimia?
Around 75% of girls are not happy about their weight or feel they are too fat. Anorexia occurs only in 1% of girls worldwide. Do bear in mind that while eating disorders are more common in girls they also affect teen boys.
About 90% of sufferers are girls between 12 and 25 (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill). Fewer than 10% are boys or men. It is more prevalent in groups that value slim physiques such as athletes, dancers or models. As already mentioned eating disorders may be masked in seeking treatment for teenage acne, skin problems, tooth decay etc. just as an adult might.
What causes eating disorders?
It is not known exactly why one person will develop an eating disorder and another won’t. In two thirds of cases dieting can trigger the disease, but this is not the only important trigger mechanism. Most girls and boys with eating disorders have low self and body image or co-existing emotional disorders like anxiety and depression.
How dangerous are eating disorders?
The effects of both Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia can be very damaging to the general health. They can even cause death. Diuretics (water pills), laxatives, and weight loss pills can be very damaging to the body’s organs. Syrup of ipecac is often used to induce vomiting and is also deadly if used in excess. Very low body weight on its own offers some life-threatening complications.
Some effects are minor such as skin, hair problems and back acne, for which treatment might be sought. Most teenagers do not need any type of diet, except a healthy one. If your teen is overweight good eating habits and exercise is usually all that is needed to bring the problem under control.
The body mass index (BMI) of a teen is more important than calorie and pound counting. A body mass index below the 5th percentile for the child’s age and sex can be considered underweight. Consult BMI tables for more information.
How to help your teen cope with an eating disorder:
Teens can be helped to avoid falling prey to unhealthy obsessions with food or weight by learning early on to associate healthy eating with good health and self-love. Avoid excessive focus on weight within the family and place the emphasis on lifestyle changes not dieting.
If you suspect that your teen has an eating disorder, use “I” statements and make sure he or she understands that you are concerned not judging. It is important to LISTEN. The average teen finds it hard to share emotions, and these teens are especially blocked or sensitive.
In Anorexia nervosa it is very important that some weight is regained as soon as possible so this should be an important goal of treatment. To do this, teens will need to overcome fears and perceptions in a therapeutic setting. In most cases any eating disorder is best dealt with at a clinic or facility especially tailored for this.
Concerned parents can call the National Eating Disorders Association’s Toll-Free Information and Referral HelpLine at 1-800-931-2237.
If you uncover that your child does have an eating disorder he or she needs to be evaluated as soon as possible. Eating disorders need to be properly diagnosed by medical and psychiatric professionals. They always need medical attention.
The National Institute of Mental Health has an online brochure on eating disorders that discusses current research.
Eating Disorders by KidsHealth will also provide parents with information.
Guest post by Joanna Curtis
Guest post by Joanna Curtis
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
When we were growing up there were bullies. Nobody liked to be bullied, but it was a fact of life that you had to deal with kids that weren’t very nice. Now, schools are so anti-bullying that anything that even slightly seems like bullying is taken very seriously. At least when we were growing up they didn’t have Facebook to upload embarrassing videos to that would ruin a person’s life.
Check out 10 ways technology makes bullying worse.
- Facebook: Embarrassing pictures and videos can be uploaded to Facebook in a matter of a few seconds and ruin someone’s life forever. Kids do not understand the damage that something like that can do to a person. People have actually committed suicide because of events like these.
- Cell phones: Growing up we did not have cell phones. Kids these days have the ability to take pictures at a moment’s notice and sometimes not in the most appropriate places. Nude pictures of students in the shower or in the locker room have also caused suicides.
- Texting: Kids can bully by texting now. They can text everyone else at the same time something bad or embarrassing about someone else. They can also send pictures over their phone to everyone on their contact list. Bullying like this can make someone’s life miserable.
- Flip cameras: These cameras are used to shoot quick videos at close range and can be uploaded to the Internet. Kids that want to bully just have to take embarrassing videos of a student and share them with everyone. Or a video can be sent to a parent as well that would get them grounded or in trouble.
- You Tube: A lot of good things have happened to people by posting a video on You Tube, but a lot of bad stuff has happened too. People love to be the first one to dish the dirt on someone else. They witness a fight they grab their cell phone and upload it to You Tube. Or they set someone up and post what they think is a funny video to You Tube, but it’s actually very embarrassing. People don’t think they are bullying when they do this stuff, but they really are.
- Gaming systems: Many online gaming systems allow conversations between the players. Teens have reported that someone pretending to be them said mean things or embarrassing things to another person. This kind of bullying is hard to stop and hard to track. It does however cause a lot of problems for today’s teens.
- Blogs: There are teens that create blogs that post the latest gossip about people and will say nasty things about people. Teens feel that they are anonymous and that no one can tell who is doing the bullying, but there are ways to track down who’s doing it and there are some big consequences. If the bullying leads to a suicide the teen who is behind the bullying can be brought up on charges and sent to jail. Lesser sentences are losing privileges to use a computer for 2 years. Try doing your homework without a computer these days.
- Chat sites: Other sites online have chat rooms where teens can go and chat with their friends online. People can go into these chat rooms and make up a user name and start saying bad things about kids in that chat room. Many times there is a chat room that the students frequent because all their friends go there so when someone bullies in a chat room a lot of that kid’s peer group could be reading it.
- E-mail: Bullies steal identities and will sign into an e-mail account and send damaging e-mails pretending to be that teen. Inappropriate messages to a female teacher or a nasty message to the principal are all things that can really get that child in trouble and they didn’t do anything. Remind your child to keep passwords absolutely private.
- Instant messaging: Bullies will try to send nasty instant messages threatening to do something to a teen when they see them next. Or tell them that they are going to make sure that they don’t get something they want at school like a part in the play or a solo in choir. Bullying can take many forms even if it’s just telling someone that they did a terrible job on their audition or they overheard someone important say that they did a terrible job. Anything like that is going to put undue stress on that child. Make sure that your child is aware and being safe.
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Friday, September 27, 2013
Prepare for Steep Expenses
The Consumerist extensively details how senior year can be the most expensive time of parenthood. There are endless investments to be made, and every single one of them appears to be dire. No amount of preparation can buffer the impact of steep charges, so it is crucial for parents to prepare for those expenses as early as possible. It’s not impossible for senior year to require more than $10,000 of extra expenditures. This spending is distributed across school portraits, yearbook purchases, prom, senior trips, class rings and testing costs. (And that doesn’t even count college application fees.)
Start College Applications Early
Summer is an excellent time to take advantage of universities that allow applications to be tendered early. This prevents in-depth forms from being compounded with the stress of schoolwork during the academic year. Parents should structure a calendar that gives them time to collaborate with their teenager about future plans. Help your college-bound child discern between his interests to make sure they end up going to the right institution of higher learning. To avoid excessive payments, applications should be initially sent to schools at the top of the list. Working together with a teenager bolsters their confidence in transitioning to the next stage of their life. U.S. News and World Report has more strategies for pursuing this process.
Keep Track of Extracurricular Activities
Academic resumes are bolstered by extra school participation, but some extracurricular activities are more valuable than other ones. Core studies should not be sacrificed for the sake of a frivolous after-school group. Parents can monitor their children’s academic commitments to help them fine-tune their approach to education as their schedules become more demanding. Ensure that stable transportation is available for important events, and make sure they have the freedom to experiment with their interests.
Follow Examination Schedules
Sharing a calendar can keep parents mentally attuned to the fast-paced needs of their high school senior. To help your child succeed, avoid planning distractions (nights out, family dinners, etc.) before big tests, and help enforce studying habits during these final days. Parents can keep their teenagers from becoming lost in piles of homework.
Emphasize Social Engagements
Don’t let your kid drown in the work, though. One of the biggest regrets seniors can have is failing to savor the social aspects of being young. This Huffington Post columnist talks about the importance of reveling in childhood friendships as youth comes to a close. After graduation, everyone is going to go down a different path, and this is the last chance for your senior to see many of his friends. Don’t forget that. If he appears to be overworked, then your best option is to encourage increased socialization. Spending time with friends will alleviate the pressures being externally placed on him.
Plan Graduation Parties in Advance
High expectations can incentivize focus during the final months of a high school experience. It also provides a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for stressed out teenagers. This is the ultimate act of support, but don’t let the promise of a party or reward become a stress in its own right. A balanced strategy of positive reinforcement will help your child gradually achieve goals.
Avoid Excessive Interference
Even if the notion seems counterintuitive, it is actually important to trust a teenager’s instincts sometimes. Your child has made it this far, and he’s about to have to go a lot farther on his own, so it’s time to start letting go of the wheel. Listening is a vital skill for parents to practice at this stage of their child’s development. Often, teenagers just need more compassion. Giving them emotional support is preferable to inundating them with advice, but if your child asks, don’t be afraid to share your wisdom. The most important thing to remember is that he needs to be able to chart his own course. Do all you can do, and then be ready to let go.
Source: Babysitting Jobs
Friday, September 20, 2013
Friday, September 6, 2013
Tattoos are permanent, so spur of the moment decisions to get a tattoo are never a good idea. Even when the decision has been made for quite some time, there may still be good reasons to reconsider.
Here are ten of the ways that people use to try and convince someone not to get a tattoo.
- Pain – There is pain involved in getting a tattoo. How much pain will depend on where it is located on the body, the size of the tattoo and the pain tolerance level of the person receiving the tattoo. If the person has a low pain tolerance, emphasizing the pain involved in the process, and the time needed to complete the tattoo can sometimes be enough to get them to change their mind.
- Cost – Tattoos are not inexpensive, especially at the best shops. In addition, the cost of having one removed if you should change your mind about it in the future will be even more costly. Is a little bit of colored skin really worth that much money?
- Social impact – Not everyone has an appreciation for the art of tattooing. Your tattoo may negatively impact future relationships, both personal and in the employment/business arena. The cost of that is impossible to gauge.
- Bad results – What if it doesn’t turn out looking like you expected it too? Not everyone is happy with the results they receive from a tattoo artist. It doesn’t grow out like a bad haircut.
- Personality changes – What is appealing to you now may not be in 5, 10 or 20 years. Everyone’s personality continues to evolve with their life experience and level of maturity. What you will be like in the future is impossible to predict.
- Lifestyle changes – A tattoo may fit perfectly with your current lifestyle, but just as with personality, lifestyles change. Having to deal with trying to cover or explain the ‘fashion’ of your past could be something you’d rather avoid.
- Body changes – Ten years could mean adding or losing twenty pounds or more. With those changes in weight, the look of a tattoo is going to change too, in a negative way.
- Infection – In spite of precautions, infections do still occur. That can mean medical costs and disfigurement of the tattoo. Do you really want to risk that?
- Disease – It is possible to transfer incurable diseases like Hepatitis C with tattoo needles. You’re trusting in the word of your tattooist that the needles are sterile. In addition, tattoo ink is not regulated by the FDA. You have no idea what might be in that stuff that is going into your skin.
- Aged tattoos – Show them some pictures of people who have carried their tattoos on their body for a lifetime that are no longer colorful or appealing on their 70-80 year old bodies. Is that what they want to look like when they’re a grandparent?
Source: Best Dating Sites
Tattoo laws for teens under 18 vary from state to state, and in some cases even from city to city. According to Florida Tatto Laws:
(3) No body of a minor shall be tattooed without the written notarized consent of the parent or legal guardian.
Be an educated parent, you will have healthier teens.