Sunday, November 25, 2012

Teen Runaways: Tips if your teenager is threatening to runaway

"I hate you, I am out of here!"

Parents of teenagers have heard this probably more than we realize, especially over the holiday time when stress levels can be on the rise.

The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that up to 2.8 million children and teens run away from home each year. Many return home within the first 24 hours, but there are still a staggering number that never make it home.

If your child is threatening to run away, here are 10 things to consider.
  1. Assess the Actual Risk – An older child with serious behavioral problems is significantly more likely to run away than an angry elementary school student. Try to determine if there’s an actual risk, or if your child is simply making threats out of an inability to properly express themselves.
  2. Create an Environment Conducive to Talking – Kids that don’t feel as if they can be honest and open with their parents often feel as if there’s no one at home who can help them. Creating an environment that helps your child feel comfortable and respected is one of the best ways to get to the root of and to prevent problems.
  3. Ask Them How They Can Make Their Situation Better – When your child calms down enough to speak rationally, ask them what other steps they could take to improve the situation they’d like to run away from. Often, verbalizing their problems and actively looking for alternative solutions will ease the powerlessness that they feel and help them think more clearly.
  4. Focus On Causes, Not Threats – Though threats of running away should never be treated lightly, it’s best to focus on finding out the cause of your child’s distress before tackling the resulting threats.
  5. Speak to Your Pediatrician – If you genuinely feel that your child is at risk of running away, your pediatrician or family doctor can refer you to a therapist or counselor who can help you monitor your child and uncover the underlying issue.
  6. Stay Calm – Though threats of running away are very upsetting to any parent, it’s important not to let anger or hysterical emotion come to the surface during a conversation with your child, especially a teenager. Teens are often uncomfortable with these displays and may feel an even stronger urge to escape the pressure.
  7. Never Call Their Bluff – Offering to help your child pack or calling their bluff only serves to make them feel unwanted, which could elevate what was an idle threat to a point where they feel obligated to leave.
  8. Acknowledge That You Can’t Stop Them – A sense of powerlessness and an idea that living on their own will help them regain that lost power is often a large part of the appeal of running away. By acknowledging that you can’t stop your child from running away if they’re determined to, but that you desperately want them to stay, can help them feel as if a bit of power has been restored.
  9. Explore Other Options – Kids that want to run away because of bullying or harassment at school may be so desperate to escape the torment that they’ll go to any lengths. If this is the case with your child, it might be a good idea to seriously discuss options like homeschooling or even moving to another school district.
  10. Understand That Threats Are a Plea For Help – When kids threaten to run away, they’re doing so because they want to be stopped. Cluing parents in on plans to flee opens the door for serious preventative measures, and kids know that. Without marginalizing your child’s threats to leave, focus on the help they’re seeking.
Children that run away from home and never return are often victims of sex trafficking, drug abuse and other dangers. Letting your child know that they are loved and wanted, and that you will do everything in your power to help them through a difficult time, can keep them from this dangerous fate.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Teen Medicine Abuse: Safeguard My Meds

Statistics show that 70% of people 12 years-old and older who abused prescription pain relievers say they got them from a friend or relative.

Where will you be for the holidays?
Grandparents? An aunt's? Friends?

Most homes have medicine cabinets - and most medicine cabinets have prescription drugs in them.
The holiday season is upon us and with family dinners, parties and get-togethers, you can usually expect more visitors in your home. But did you know unused and easily accessible medicines have the potential to be misused and abused by anyone entering your home – including teens and young adults?

Yet many people don’t realize the personal responsibility that comes with having prescription medicine in the home. That's why the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma launched the Safeguard My Meds program.

Here are a few simple, yet important steps that can be taken to protect prescription medicine.

· A locked storage container should be kept for prescription medicines at greater risk of being abused – such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and depressants. These medicines are targets for theft by anyone who enters your home, so extra precautions should be taken.
· Keep track of your medications with the Medicine Inventory Sheet. Take inventory of your prescription medicines at least twice a year, such as when you change your clocks in the spring and fall.
· Learn more about the safe storage and disposal of prescription medicine by Downloading the Brochure and by visiting
· Take the Personal Responsibility Pledge and commit to doing your part to safeguard and keep prescription medicine out of the wrong hands. Take the pledge!

Have a safe, healthy and fun holiday!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Peer Pressure: Parenting Tips to Help Teens Deal with Peer Pressure

Frequently we hear how a teen used to be such a nice kid until they started hanging out with so-and-so. Yes, the wrong crowd. Everyone knows about the wrong crowd.

We’re surrounded by peer pressure every day in a variety of different ways, from the unknown forces of the media to our friends and family. Although a parent can’t erase peer pressure from her child’s life, she can give her the tools she needs to stay strong in the face of it and make decisions based on what’s best for her.

Here are a few tools to help you teach your child about peer pressure.

Talk to your child about the influences of the media. Every time you turn on the TV, pick up a magazine, read a billboard, go on Facebook or Twitter, or surf the web there are people trying to get you to take the action they want you to take or think the way they want you to think. Many people don’t recognize these forces as peer pressure because they’ve become such an engrained part of our lives; however, the media greatly influences our ideas and choices. Talking with children about these influences can help kids see things with a critical mind and allow them to make smarter, more objective decisions.
Be a good role model. If your child sees you rush out to buy the latest fashion, stand in line for hours to land the latest gadget, or try the latest fad diet because everyone else on the block is singing its praises, she’s much more likely to fall prey to the same peer influences. Let your child see you making decisions based on what’s best for you and the situation, even when it’s not necessarily the popular choice.
Talk to your child about the people and things that influence him. Conversation is one of the most powerful tools you have in helping your child withstand peer pressure. Talk with your child about what choices his friends are making, the choices he’s facing, the factors that influence him, and how he makes decisions about what to do and what not to do. Giving him a safe place to explore his thoughts and feelings will help him make well thought out decisions. It will also allow him to make up his mind about what to do in a tough situation before he’s actually in the tough situation. Working through his choices ahead of time gives him the confidence to act in accordance with his beliefs and values.
Involve your child in a community that supports your values. Although you can’t insulate your child from peer pressure, you can stack the deck in your favor by surrounding your child with people that can help her make good choices. Your local church, Boys and Girls Club, Boy and Girl Scouts, and community programs are all great places to find like-minded families. Your child will still be pressured to do things that are not in her best interest, but it’s a lot easier to say no when others are saying no alongside you.
Help your child develop a strong sense of self. Children with high self-esteem and a positive self-image have a much easier time resisting peer pressure. Those things don’t develop overnight, so plant the seeds of self-esteem and self-image when your child is young and cultivate them as your child grows.
Help your child avoid troublesome situations. Sometimes peer pressure can be avoided simply by avoiding a certain person or taking control of a situation. If your child’s classmate is known for rallying friends to pick on younger kids, stop meeting him and his mom at the local park. Instead, foster a friendship between your child and a kinder classmate. If your child’s new neighbor friend spends hours watching R rated movies while he’s home alone after-school, insist they play at your house where you can monitor their TV choices. If you’re worried about your daughter being out late with her older boyfriend, impose an early curfew but allow the boyfriend to stay and visit.
Be supportive. Making good choices in the face of peer pressure is tough. It can be a very emotional struggle for many kids. Be the person your child can confide in, can count on, and can ask for advice.
Don’t expect perfection. Your child will make mistakes. She will hang out with the wrong people. She will make bad choices. How you react when those things happen will have a big impact on how she handles similar situations in the future. Your goal is to help her learn from her mistakes, help her learn how to make a better choice next time, and help her correct her course when she realizes that she’s going in the wrong direction.

A parent can’t protect her child from peer pressure, but she can help her make decisions based on what’s best for her and not simply on what everyone else is doing.

Source: Go Nannies

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