Great American Smokeout November 21st

My Hand My Reason is this year’s campaign!

Did you know about SWAT?

Students Working Against Tobacco!

SWAT is Florida’s statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. They are a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future. There’s a group of people on one side selling a product (cigarettes, cigars, hookah, chewing tobacco and more) that some teens are using. Those products are highly addictive and many teens that begin using them are never able to quit. On the other side, groups like SWAT and Tobacco Free Florida, are working to make sure as many teens as possible never start using tobacco.  Learn more!

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Building Self-Confidence In Your Teenager

SelfWorthHelp! My teen is hanging with the wrong crowd!

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.

Source: Babysitting Jobs

11 Facts about teens and self esteem are listed on DoSomething.org and are very interesting including:

  • 78% of girls with low self-esteem admit that it is hard to feel good in school when you do not feel good about how you look (compared to 54% of girls with high self-esteem).
  • Teenage boys can be prone to obsessive exercising, binge eating, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, steroid abuse and diet aid abuse.
  • One of the main factors in teen promiscuity is self-esteem. When a teen has little or no self-confidence, he or she will use sex as a means to build confidence.

Do you feel your tween or teen is struggling with low self worth, starting to go down a negative path. Don’t let it escalate. Be proactive and reach out for help. Finding a local adolescent therapist can sometimes help. If it has gone too far, you may have come to a point where residential therapy is the answer. You can visit www.helpyourteens.com.

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World NO Tobacco Day 2012

Tobacco Free Initiative! (TFI)

On 31st May each year World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce consumption.

World No Tobacco Day 2012 will educate policy-makers and the general public about the tobacco industry’s nefarious and harmful tactics.

Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death.  As a parent you can be a role model and an example to others.

Does your teen smoke?

No one needs a reminder that smoking is bad for you, but here are some key facts about tobacco:

  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  • Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of whom more than 5 million are users and ex users and more than 600 000 are nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless urgent action is taken, the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030.
  • Nearly 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Consumption of tobacco products is increasing globally, though it is decreasing in some high-income and upper middle-income countries.

Many kids or teens start smoking due to peer pressure.  It is important that parents talk to their kids early about the risks of smoking and all substance use.

Communication is key to prevention. 

Tobacco Free Florida Quitline is a tremendous resource and hotline for both parents and teens to help you and your child kick this habit.

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Learn more about WHO and TFI click here.

Road to Recovery March 2012

You may know someone that needs the road to recovery, but unless they ask for directions it is likely they are not ready to get on the road.

Road to Recovery March 2012 is here!

We know that almost 1 in 10 Americans struggle with a substance abuse disorder and 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness.  Treatment and recovery are a pathway forward.

The National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) campaign offers help and hope not only for individuals receiving recovery services and in recovery but also for families, loved ones, and friends. The benefits of treatment and recovery-oriented services and supports in behavioral health ripple out across entire communities throughout our Nation, proving there are effective treatments and that people do recover.

As the Road to Recovery series kicks off its 12th season, this episode will highlight the many accomplishments of the 2011 Recovery Month campaign and look forward to a successful September 2012 Recovery Month.

Please visit http://www.recoverymonth.govfor more information.Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

National Drug Facts Week: Help Stop Teen Drug Use

Shatter the Myths!

National Drug Facts Week is Monday, October 31st through Sunday, November 6th, 2011.

Why do people and teens smoke when they know it is bad for them?

Maybe they smoke because they can’t stop. People start smoking for different reasons,but most keep doing it because of one reason—they are addicted to nicotine.

DID YOU KNOW? Research says that teens who see a lot of smoking in movies are more likely to start smoking themselves. Sometimes characters smoke to look edgy and rebellious; but sometimes it’s justabout “product placement” — the tobacco industry trying to get into your head and your pockets.

Teen Drinking:

FACT:  More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become alcoholics.

Teen Prescription Drug Use:

FACT:  In 2007, prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

Want to learn more FACTS about teens and substance use?  Download Shatter the Myths.

Be an educated parent – you will have safer and healthier teens.

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Teen Drug Prevention: Red Ribbon Campaign

Did you know:  Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

SAMHSA invites you to participate in the 26th annual Red Ribbon Week.

Red Ribbon Week—the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the Nation—is a way for people and communities to unite and take a visible stand against drugs. This year’s theme, “It’s Up to Me To Be Drug Free,” reminds us that we each share individual responsibility in creating a drug-free environment.

WHAT IS RED RIBBON WEEK?

It is an ideal way for people and communities to unite and take a visible stand against drugs. Show your personal commitment to a drug-free lifestyle through the symbol of the Red Ribbon, October 23 – 31st.

WHY?

The Red Ribbon Campaign was started when drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena  in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a DRUG-FREE AMERICA.

WHO?

The National Family Partnership is the national sponsor of the Red Ribbon Campaign. We are helping citizens across the state come together to keep children, families and communities safe, healthy and drug-free, through parent training, networking and sponsoring the National Red Ribbon Campaign.

WHY SUPPORT THE NATIONAL THEME?

A theme unifies each year’s campaign and helps to broadcast one message creating a tipping point to change behavior.

HOW?

Plan a Red Ribbon celebration. Order and display Red Ribbon materials with the National Red Ribbon Theme.  Proceeds from the sale of Red Ribbon theme merchandise helps support prevention programs across America. Order  for your family, students, staff, patients, employees and customers and encourage them to wear the Red Ribbon symbol  during Red Ribbon Week, October 23rd-31st.

Sponsored by National Family Partnership.

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Pregnant Teens in School: Know Your Rights

Teen pregnancy is a subject that can be sensitive to some parents.

Through the many resources available in Broward County, teenage pregnancies have been  decreasing. According to National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy there have been more than 354,000 teen births in Florida, between 1991 and 2004, costing taxpayers a total of  8.1 billion dollars. In September 2006 report by Guttnacher Institute, Florida ranked 6th in a nationwide study with 97 per 1,000 pregnancies in women between ages of 15-19. (Broward County Teen Pregnancy Help).

National Women’s Law Center will be hosting a free conference call.

Know Your Rights: A Conference Call for Pregnant and Parenting Students!

Wednesday, August 10, 3pm Eastern

Pregnant and parenting students have a right to equal educational opportunities! Interested? Get more information about protections for students against discrimination.

Expert Speakers will include:

  • Lara S. Kaufmann, Senior Counsel, National Women’s Law Center
  • Jeanette Pai-Espinosa, President, National Crittenton Foundation

Are you:

  • A student who is pregnant or has been pregnant while attending school, whether at the high school or post-secondary level?
  • A member of the school community who wants to ensure that pregnant and parenting students do not experience discrimination but instead stay in school and succeed?
  • Someone who works with students or advocates for young mothers’ rights?

Whether you’re a student, guardian, educator, counselor, or community member, our experts on Title IX can help answer your questions. To register, please complete the form.

Be an educated parent, you will have healthier teens.

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