Saturday, June 30, 2012

How Young Girls Are Being Over-Sexualized Online: 3 Tips to Help

The Internet is contributing to the over-sexualization of our daughters. Dr. Albert Bandura, a leading psychologist states, “Must human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.” Our girls are observing a lot online and not all of it is good. They are young and there is a lot of peer pressure and a huge audience watching. Get up to speed and learn about these risks and the new pressures they are facing.

Here are 3 Top things that you need to know:

1. Realize that our kids are like wet cement, with a web address and one click, our kids are seeing things that leave impressions that can stay for a life time. Everyday FB pages are inundated with young teen age girls posing sexually and making facebook comments that would make a sailor blush!
2. Know that we are letting our kids play in traffic. The information super highways with billboard pages that scream, “Because sex sells, that’s what you have to advertise”. On top of this, kids are giving a thumbs up “like” to these sexual comments and pictures and no one’s watching. It’s so sad to see young girls attempting to behave in this manner, believing that the more sexual they behave the more “grown” they are. Little girls are no longer princess in the eyes of society, now they have become pin ups for people to “Like”…and that is sad and disturbing.
3. Be mindful what your kids’ eyes are seeing. You can’t un-see something. The eyes often referred to as the windows to the soul. Repeated viewing of sexual content on the internet has the risk of corrupting our kids into thinking that this is “normal” and then attempting to follow to the norm and mimic that behavior. Kids are posting and reposting what they have just learned. The difference is, she is 12 years old and the guy who just liked her post is someone else’s child or an adult.

As parents, we need to protect our kids from the psychological harm of oncoming mental traffic as much as we need to protect them the bodily harm of oncoming physical traffic. It just makes sense.

This post is a contributed by Parenting Today’s Kids.  An educational and resourceful website with many informational articles to help you and your kids navigate through today’s technology safely.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Teen Internet Addiction: Warnings Signs and Tips

When Logout is the hardest button to click!

Does your teen's life revolve around Facebook?

The Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen in Norway has found that Facebook addiction is real, and younger Facebook users, including teens, are the most susceptible to addiction.

Facebook addiction, like any addiction, has noticeably detrimental effects. It interferes with a person’s day-to-day life and causes him or her to neglect responsibilities. For your teen, this could mean that Facebook dependence could interfere with academic performance and have a negative impact on your child’s relationships with family members and friends. With some research linking excessive social media use to depression in teens, Facebook addiction could even take a toll on your teen’s mental health.

The researchers at the University of Bergen have developed a Facebook addiction scale that helps determine whether someone is unhealthily dependent on Facebook.

Here are some of the warning signs that could indicate that your teen is addicted to Facebook, according to their research:

1. Your teen spends an excessive amount of time on Facebook and plans his or her day around using the social media site.
2. Your son or daughter's Facebook use has steadily increased since he or she began using the website.
3. Facebook seems to be a means of escaping from the pressures of everyday life for your teen.
4. When Facebook time is limited, your child becomes agitated and upset.
5. Homework and studying takes a backseat to Facebook, and your child's grades suffer. His or her dreams of getting into an Ivy League college have fallen by the wayside. Facebook is now your teen's top priority.

Since Facebook addiction is a relatively recent phenomenon, there isn't much research that indicates how to treat it. Researchers have been aware of internet addiction, which is similar in many respects to Facebook addiction, for a while.

If you want to help treat your son or daughter's Facebook addiction, you might want to try out some of these strategies, which are based on the findings of internet addiction researchers at the University of California, San Francisco:

1. Sit down with your teen and come up with a list of all of his or her favorite activities that aren't related to Facebook. Take the list out whenever your child has some free time, and encourage him or her to take part in the activities on the list.
2. Set time limits for your teen's internet use. If your teen's only able to spend forty-five minutes on the computer each evening, it'll be rather difficult for him or her to stay addicted to Facebook. If you try out this strategy, you can expect that your teen won't be very happy at first. Just remember that you're the parent, you're in control, and you're doing what's best for your child.
3. Reward your teen for decreased Facebook use. Each week or month your child uses Facebook appropriately, reward him or her with a book, movie, mp3, trip to the museum, or other incentive. This will help encourage healthy internet habits and encourage interest in other forms of entertainment that are separate from Facebook.
4. If your teen's Facebook addiction is particularly worrisome, consider therapy and medication options. Certain types of medication have worked wonders for people with internet addiction. Talk to your family doctor about treatment in the form of medication, and consider setting up an appointment for your teen to meet with a therapist.

Facebook addiction is a real problem. If you think your teen is dependent on Facebook, it's your job to be proactive about it and nip the dependence in the bud. The life of a teenager should be exciting and full of opportunities. So, don't let any sort of addiction hinder your child's growth into a healthy and happy adult.
Contributor:  Nadia Jones is an education blogger for She enjoys writing on topics of education reform, education news, and online learning platforms. Outside of the blogging world, Nadia volunteers her time at an after school program for a local middle school and plays pitcher for her adult softball team. She welcomes your comments and questions at

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Teen Help Programs - Helping Parents Searching for Residential Treatment Centers

School is about over, the grades are in and you realize that your teen has failed some courses.

You also have realized they really don't care much about their education at all!

Unfortunately I hear this more and more from parents today.  We have extremely intelligent children capable of getting A's and not working up to their academic potential.  What is going on?

Teens that would rather either just get a GED or some that want to quit school all together!  Years ago that wouldn't even cross our minds -but today these kids don't recognize the importance of an education.

Especially in today's financial world.

Some parents are also dealing with their smoking marijuana.  Some just brush it under the table and say that it is the same as when the were kids.  Well, it isn't.  Pot today can be far more lethal than it was generations prior.

Whether you are  parent that is feeling hostage in their own home or a parent that feels their teen is heading down a dark path, you now have determined you need outside help there are steps that every parents needs to take.

I always tell parents that they need to exhaust all local avenues.  Short of your teen being 17+ years old, (since at that age you only have 12 months to do something - and do it quickly) - you have options to start with.

Local therapy, support groups, community centers, youth groups and youth pastors, sometimes sending your teens to live with a relative, changing schools.... these are all options that may work.  Sadly - many times they don't - which is when you have to face it is time for residential therapy.

As you get online you have to be so careful of all these wonderful, colorful websites - tearful testimonials - slick sales reps and toll free numbers to God knows where.  Remember, this is your child you are searching for, not a car.

I created Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc (P.U.R.E.) exactly for parents in need - parents that have reached their wit's end and don't know where to turn.   On my site you will even find helpful hints in researching schools and programs and questions to ask.

I urge parents to read my story - when I struggled with my own teen daughter and the mistakes I made.

Remember, this is a major financial and emotional decision - take  your time and make an educated decision.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

90% of Teens Admit to Multi-Tasking While Driving

Summer is here! Safety is a priority!

While most people may assume that teens driving in the thick of winter – when it’s dark, cold and wet – would be more dangerous than driving on sunny, warm days, a recent study from AAA states it is actually the summer months that are the most dangerous. In fact, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers.

Teens are spending much more time in the car during June, July and August – since they’re out of school and traveling with friends more often,” said Shannon Lara, senior manager, marketing communications for Honeywell Friction Materials. “Sadly – on July 4 alone – an average of 28 teenagers die in motor vehicle crashes.”

Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety, a campaign aimed at educating parents and teens on safe driving and vehicle care, is launching its third video to help bring attention to this dangerous driving season, and alleviate potential problems by making parents and teens aware of three key risk factors that could affect their summer driving.

1. Teens are more likely to speed and tailgate, yet they do not react as quickly as a more experienced driver. A Honeywell Friction Materials study also suggests teens are driving vehicles that average at least 10 years or older and may have a badly worn braking system if not properly maintained. That means new drivers are potentially relying on outdated brakes, along with inexperienced skills, to stop their vehicles.
2. Teens are less likely to wear their seatbelts. According to Honeywell’s survey, even though 90 percent of parents have talked to their teens about the importance of wearing a seatbelt, these young drivers are not following through. Yet having to stop suddenly at 30 miles per hour would have the same impact as if a teen fell three stories out of a building.
3. Teens admit to doing multiple tasks while driving. Distractions – in the form of both mobile devices and other passengers – are probably the most dangerous risk factor as they account for more than 80 percent of all crashes, according to AAA.

During summer, there is no shortage of teens driving together – but Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety suggests parents limit the number of passengers in their teen’s vehicle, as data from AAA reveals that having one teen passenger could double a young driver’s risk of getting into a fatal crash, while having three or more quadruples their risk.

“Helping teens and parents become more aware of how dangerous these risk factors are is key to curbing the number of accidents and crashes,” said Lara. “That’s why we will continue to promote safe driving habits that start before teens even turn the key.

Visit Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety on Facebook or YouTube for the latest educational video and for more useful tips and information on being a safe teen driver.

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