Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gay Teens: Teen Sexuality and Facts about Gay Marriage

We are living in a new culture and a generation that many parents and even more grandparents have a difficult time understanding.

Teen sexuality is a topic that needs to be addressed.  Being comfortable in one’s own sexuality is by no means propaganda for homophobic megalomaniacs; it means, quite simply, knowing exactly what you want, how you want it, and when you want it.  However some parents and people have a hard time accepting this.  If your teen is gay, don't be ashamed, be an educated parent.  Learn all you can about lifestyles, even if they are not what you agree with.

Gay marriage is an extremely controversial topic. There are very strong feelings on both sides of the issue. It is an issue that entangles legal rights and religious beliefs, always a volatile mix. This article will list ten facts that are commonly given as reasons for gay marriage.
  1. Divorce protection. Married couples who decide to end their relationship must do so through the court system. This protects the two parties from inequitable division of assets and liabilities that have been held jointly. This protection is not available to unmarried gay couples or unmarried heterosexual couples, though they can certainly enter into contractual agreements in regards to their relationships that would provide the same or better protection to their rights.
  2. Bereavement leave.  Whether it is paid or unpaid, almost every employer allows for time off from work for the bereavement of your spouse or other close family members. Couples, whether gay or straight, who do not have a marriage certificate, are dependent upon the compassion of their employers to provide them a similar benefit, should their life partner die.
  3. Survivor benefits. Social security and many pension plans provide survivor benefits to surviving spouses, another benefit not available to unmarried couples.
  4. Tax benefits.  There are many different tax benefits that are offered to married couples, such as filing jointly, that a gay couple does not have access to without marriage. Again, the same is true for unmarried heterosexuals.
  5. Insurance benefits. Although this has changed with a few employers and insurance companies, most insurance benefits that are available to an employee’s spouse or family members are not available to an employee’s life partner.
  6. Sick leave to care for a partner. State and federal laws provide protection for worker’s jobs when they need to take time off to care for family members for medical reasons. Without the benefit of marriage, these laws do not provide the same protection for unmarried couples.
  7. Stability of relationships. There are those who would argue that entering into a marriage relationship that is recognized legally, and by society in general, would bring greater stability to some gay couples. With the high rate of divorce and marriage conflict among heterosexual couples, this argument would imply that the same would not apply to gay couples, which seems unlikely.
  8. Validation of family unit. This reason for gay marriage is much more societal than the ones that relate to monetary and legal benefits listed above. Proponents of gay marriage would argue that a legal and recognized marriage would legitimize their family unit in the eyes of society, which would be emotionally beneficial to a gay couple and any children in the household. The truth to this can only be theorized, as with any other major change to the norm of society.
  9. Relational ties to extended family.  Conventional marriage relationships become easily translated into inlaws, aunts and uncles. Non-married couples can be left without these inclusive family titles that have always come via marriage. With the increase of heterosexual couples that have chosen not to marry, this issue, again, is not exclusive to gay couples.
  10. Cultural change.  When all the reasons for gay marriage are brought together, they boil down to this one. Proponents for gay marriage believe that there needs to be a change in how modern society views and relates to homosexuals. Legalizing gay marriage is considered to be a major step in bringing about that change. It is also the reason why those who do not feel that homosexuality is acceptable, for religious or other reasons, take such a strong stand against it.
The affect of the legalization of gay marriage on society is something that can only be speculated at. First of all, no one knows how many gay couples would choose to enter into a marriage relationship, if it were available. The initial influx into the marriage ranks might be large to begin with, but whether or not the trend would continue is hard to judge. The financial impact of such a major shift in private and governmental benefits cannot be accurately calculated, but it would certainly be significant, as would the impact on society in general. The legalization of gay marriage, as shown above, would be a major cultural change that affects many more lives than the gay community itself. The debate over this issue will not be quickly or easily settled, nor should it be.

Source: Top Dating Sites

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Defiant Teens? Troubled Teens? Open the Lines of Communication

A special guest writer, Robbie Wilson, as asked me to share an article he recently wrote for my readers.  As a Parent Advocate for parents of struggling teens and an Author, I applaud Robbie’s understanding of today’s teens and how parents react to them.

How to deal with a rebellious teenager
By Robbie White

No matter how you brought up your offspring, whether you are an affluent family from a quiet suburb or whether your teenager has had a difficult upbringing, a rebellious teen can crop up in any family. Maybe there is a deep seated memory of a North American truck, pulling into the driveway preparing to move your family across the country. Whatever the case may be, there is a solution.

Are you a power-happy parent who loves the control of being a mother or father? Or do you have a high powered career which takes up the majority of your time? Either way, your child could be screaming out for your attention. That boyfriend you dislike, the mess of their bedroom, the fact that you just feel like screaming at them when they continually miss school all boil down to one factor – they want to be noticed.

I hear you shout, ‘well, what can I do?’ Simple, give them the attention they deserve after all they are your children. You have to be frank, not just give in by giving them what they want, do something together and try to build a relationship. Try and find a hobby that you can take part in together, when I was younger I was a rebellious teen – always in trouble at school, always breaking things and getting up to mischief around the house.

My dad started taking an interest in my favorite hobby, football; he started taking me to training and watched my games on the weekend. Instantly, we had something to relate to, a thirty year age gap quashed because we are both interested in the same thing.

It’s time to get involved and talk to your teenager about their problems, the reason for their rebellion could be boredom. You have life experience on your side, try to point them in the right direction, you were a teenager once – your honesty and your interest will play huge dividends in the future. If your son or daughter can open up to you, talk to you about their issues, you are half way there – good luck!

Contact Robbie at  at Professional Intern.
Thanks to Robbie for sharing his story!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

10 Signs of Verbal Abuse in a Relationship

Many people are involved in abusive relationships that don’t create any physical scars or bruises. The abuse they suffer is just as real and just as destructive to their well-being. Verbal abuse can damage a person emotionally when they must live with it in their home on a continuous basis. Because it is ‘just words’ it is often not recognized as being abuse ,by either the victim or those around them. Men are victims of this type of abuse, just as women are. Here are ten signs of verbal abuse in a relationship.

  1. Name calling – Derogatory name calling, such as stupid, dummy, idiot or other such demeaning terms should not be considered a normal part of a relationship. Even when a person is angry, this type of language is not necessary and shows an extreme lack of respect for the other person and should be considered abusive.
  2. Cursing – Many people curse when they get upset. That is not uncommon. However, when the cursing is directed at another person and is combined with some of the other signs listed here, it can also be a sign of verbal abuse.
  3. Shouting – Again, raising a persons voice in anger is not uncommon. But if one person in a relationship is continually raising their voice in anger towards the other one, it may be a sign that they use their voice to intimidate that other party.
  4. Put downs – Continual criticism, and a refusal to acknowledge positive achievements, can be another aspect of verbal abuse. Everyone is in need of affirmation of their value and worth to those around them, to some degree.
  5. Threats – Being verbally threatened can be as frightening as having those threats carried out. Verbal abusers often will threaten their victims with physical harm, embarrassment, restrictions on their finances, harm to others and retaliation in a variety of other forms.
  6. Blame – Abusers will often blame their victims for their actions. ‘If you wouldn’t be so stupid.’ ‘If you wouldn’t have done that.’ Every person is responsible for their own choices and actions. In an abusive situation, the abuser will always find an excuse to continue their behavior, no matter how much the victim tries to perfect their own.
  7. Lack of courtesy – Ignoring common courtesies within a relationship can also be a sign of abuse. An abuser may not feel it is necessary to make requests, but instead gives orders to the other person. The manners they display with others may be lacking when it comes to that indivdual.
  8. Low self-esteem – There are signs that can be seen in the victim, as well. A low self-esteem is a natural result of abuse, in any form. The victim often does not see themselves as deserving better treatment.
  9. Timidity – Victims of verbal abuse will often appear timid and hesitant to speak up or ask questions. The slightest raising of your voice may cause them to cower or bring tears to their eyes. They are used to being intimidated and controlled by another person’s voice.
  10. Fear of failure – Since victims of abuse are often told it is their failures that bring on the abuse, they have a great fear of failure. New circumstances and learning opportunities are often seen simply as risks of failure, which could lead to the abuse they try so desperately to avoid.
Source:  Best Dating Sites

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bike Safety for Teens and Kids

Summer biking, saving gas!
If you have you will notice more people riding bikes, and they aren't just the local college students.  With the gas prices rising, more people are getting out their bikes.

Bike safety is usually targeted at parents with children, but with more people taking to the double wheels, it is a great reminder for everyone!

Some things to remember ... 
  • Bikes are not toys, they are vehicles, just like cars and trucks.
  • You are a "driver" when you ride in the street.
  • Each year, thousands of children are seriously injured from bike, skates, and skateboard falls and crashes that could have been prevented.
Rules For Safe Biking
  • Ride a bike that is the right size for you.
  • Check that the wheels aren't loose and your brakes work before each ride.
  • Restrict cycling to sidewalks, paths and driveways until children show how well they can ride and observe basic rules of the road (usually around age 9).
  • STOP before riding out into traffic from a driveway, sidewalk, alley, or parking lot. Look left, right, and left again. When there's no traffic, enter roadway.
  • Ride on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic.
  • Obey all stop signs and red lights. Children should walk, not ride, through busy intersections.
  • Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left at intersections.
  • Do not ride in the wrong direction on one way streets.
  • Use proper hand signals to indicate turns.
  • Ride single file.
  • Give the right of way to pedestrians.
  • Carry no passengers (except on approved baby seats).
  • Wear a helmet EVERY time you ride your bike, roller skate, roller blade or skateboard. Helmets should fit comfortably and not move around on the head. Only buy helmets that are SNELL and/or ANSI approved.
Remember parents, you need to set the example!