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What Parents Want for their Kids

 

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When I would ask new parents what they wanted for their kids I would get a few awkward seconds of blank faces. I judged that these parents were so busy producing and nurturing their children they hadn’t given much thought to the subject. But the same parents usually recovered to tell me, “I guess we want our child to be happy.”

Wow, think of that! Not riches or status or achievement, but happiness. Perhaps these parents were telling me that happiness is independent of riches, status or achievement. And doesn’t that reflect a general feeling in our society? We all know some rich and famous people who are miserable. But happiness, that nebulous mental state, appears to be where we would like our kids to be. We all know when we’re happy and conversely when we’re not. And we all know children who appear to be happy and others who we describe as “troubled.”

The secret wish of parents during pregnancy is that they have healthy children without birth defects to disrupt a normal life.  There’s always a breath of relief when a physically healthy baby is born. Step One: a success. Such parents usually mark their blessing, then forget about their past worry and move on.  Now for Step Two: to see if the child is not impaired mentally. And that usually takes more time. If steps one and two provide disappointing results, generally the parents are so consumed with health issues that the more distant goal of life happiness is removed from their equation.

Only after attending to diapers, pediatricians and what seems to be an endless litany of parental duties is there time to think about the future. And when parents eventually turn their attentions to the future this issue of happiness comes to their minds. The big question then is — is happiness just a foggy concept or a real state of mind that can be achieved, and if so, how? And equally important can parents play a role making happiness a reality for their kids?

People who haven’t given this idea much thought will probably be naysayers. But those who have, I would suggest, will be more proactive. What makes parenting of human babies so much fun is that it isn’t like salmon eggs hatching a river and letting  the salmon fry just go their own way. Quite the contrary, nurturing human parents play an essential role in bringing up their kids. And they can teach many life skills.

They probably can’t teach them to be happy, but they can set the conditions in which they will grow into happy individuals.

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About Roger E. Herst

Roger E. Herst, author of “A Simple Formula for Raising Happy Children” (rogerherst.com), is an ordained Reform rabbi with MBA and doctorate degrees. A father and grandfather, Herst regularly engages with parents in the form of Platonic dialogue – a cooperative Q-&-A approach meant to stimulate critical thinking – to yield logic-based solutions for raising happy children.

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Teens and Drugs: Don’t Look the Other Way

 

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Many people use prescription drugs for relief from chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Unfortunately, many people abuse these drugs and then find themselves addicted. Some of these abusers take more than the prescribed dosage. But, more often than not, the abuse comes from people who do not have a prescription at all.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, of the number of abusers, teens and young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 rank the highest. In a single year, 2014, over 1,700 died of an overdose. This figure does not include young adults that required medical treatment or a hospital stay. If you see a change in your child’s behavior take notice and act without delay. The sooner he/she gets help at a recovery clinic, the more likely positive changes will be permanent. Pinnacle Peak Recovery, an Arizona drug rehab program lists a number of programs that use proven treatment modalities like CBT, DBT, EMDR, and Experiential Therapy that can help your teen if they have an addiction problem.

Drug abuse is on the rise. And for teens, the probability of having someone approach them is more common than you think. Dealers are in middle schools, high schools, and colleges, often disguised as friends. And what they’re pushing often originally comes from a pharmacy shelf. Of these prescription drugs, the most common on the streets are opioid pain relievers, ADHD and anti-anxiety drugs. The reason they are so available in colleges is that students are under a lot of pressure to get good grades. The ADHD drugs help them to focus, making studying easier. The problem is that they soon begin to rely on them for daily use.

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Teens and young adults want to fit in with their peers. If approached at school or a party, many will try them just to look cool. Some may never take a pill again, but others now contact the person who introduced them to get more. Despite your best efforts, any child can find themselves addicted. This is a serious matter. They are taking something their body doesn’t need and may lead to serious consequences down the road.

If you suspect your child may have a problem with drugs, don’t ignore it. Take the time to sit with them and discuss the dangers of using these types of medicines. If they admit that they have tried but are not using, keep an eye on them. If you observe changes in their behavior, grades and appearance these may all be cause for alarm. Since prescription drugs are only safe when monitored by a doctor, teens and adults are at risk.

If you discover that your teen has a drug problem get them help fast. Along with rehab, you should also keep your child in counseling to uncover the underlying reason for the abuse. While some do it just to experiment and get high, others do it to avoid their life. Getting the proper help can mean the difference between a life of dependency and a bright future.

You love your children and want the best for them. But, sometimes despite your efforts, they get into trouble. A child hooked on drugs could lead to deadly consequences. This is a growing problem across the United States. It’s not partial to any economic or social group. Educating your teen before they reach puberty is a step in the right direction. Keeping them busy with sports and after-school programs will also help. It may just give them the confidence they need to say no to drugs.

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Talking to kids about important subjects

 

Teenagers

Being a parent is tough. Let’s face it – it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. As your children get older there are more and more issues you need to address.

When I think back on my childhood I think I had it easier than today’s children. Although I experienced peer pressure and bullying as a youth, it’s nothing compared to what today’s children face.

Social media, technology and video games play a big role in children’s live these days. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong were tame compared to Call of Duty, Minecraft and Assassin’s Creed.

Social media, in my eyes, is the worst when it comes to children and teens. It gives people around the globe instant access to a child. That is scary!

As a mom I am always there for my children to help address any questions or concerns they might have. Sometimes it’s not that easy to find the way to talk to them about important issues. Either that or you need to find a way to reinforce what you teach your children.

When my kids were little I would look for books that addressed the same issues we discussed. It wasn’t to use with my children INSTEAD of talking to them about it but rather to reinforce what life lessons I taught them.

You can also find television programs that help teach children about valuable life lessons. In fact, Netflix has plenty of shows you can access right now (if you are a member of course) that address issues and questions that children up to teens face. Here are just a few examples.

For little kids…

The Hive

Sibling Rivalry
Watch Ep. S1E1: Babee’s Room

Buzzbee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and Dad must explain to Buzzbee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.

Veggie Tales

Responsibility
Watch Ep. S1E1: Puppies & Guppies/ Sorry We’re Closed Today

Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.

Puffin Rock

Following the Rules
Watch Ep. S1E6: Stormy Weather/ Baba’s Adventure/ Rock Music

Mama tells Oona and Baba to stay close with a storm approaching. After ignoring her advice, Oona and Baba get stuck in a seagull nest during the heavy thunderstorms.

For big kids...

Puss in Boots

Self-Love
Watch Ep. 113: Star

After Dulcinea feels like no one in the group needs her help, she tries to use a newly-discovered wishing star to show her worth — but fails — showing her that presence alone has lit up her friends’ lives all along.

Project Mc2

Teamwork
Watch Ep. 103: Smart is the New Cool

After McKeyla insists she works better alone, she learns that four is better than one when her friends jump in to help her rescue the Prince from a botched space mission.

Fuller House

Peer Pressure
Watch Ep. 106: The Legend of El Explosivo

After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko’s house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friends.

For teens…

Girl Meets World

Social Media FOMO
Watch Ep. 102: Girl Meets Boy

Cory challenges his class to unplug from their phones for a week. When Riley and her crush Lucas sit down to talk face-to-face, personal stories bring them closer.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Self Improvement
Watch Ep. 104: Kimmy Goes to the Doctor!

Kimmy quickly realizes that she can’t fix her problems by simply “Buhbreezing” them away – real change comes from the inside.

Degrassi

Body Image
Watch Ep. 101: #BootyCall

According to the kids of Degrassi Community School, butts are the new boobs. But Shay’s realization that “brains are the new butts” can speak to a number of body image insecurities.

My daughter has said to me numerous times how Degrassi addresses a lot of teen issues. I have noticed that with the show Girl Meets World too. They address a variety of issues such as girls fighting over the same guy (it happens all the time), going to a new school, absentee parents and so much more.

You can even find movies on Netflix that drive home valuable life lessons.

Have you ever used another medium such as a television show, movie or book to help reinforce valuable life lessons? Feel free to share your thought and experiences on this matter. I always love to hear from readers.

FYI… here is what is new on Netflix this month.

New on Netflix

If you would like to learn more about Netlfix simply visit Netflix.com. You can also check them out on social media.

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Kimberly

*I have partnered with Netflix to bring you this information. I have received free service and promotional products in exchange for my participation. There is no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Why strict parenting is bad for your kids?

 

Dicipline

What kind of a parent you are? A soft one? Or hard? Or a mix of both? No matter in which category you belong to, one thing is sure that, being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world. It comes with the great responsibility of raising a kid, instilling good virtues and taking care of him or her physical and emotional growth.

In between all this, a parent has to discipline the kid and make him/her understand the virtues of good behavior. After all, every parent wants a well-behaved and obedient kid. In a sense, you do all this by adopting a parenting style – some take to soft parenting while some resort to strict parenting and harsh discipline. So, is strict parenting justified or beneficial?

No, this may make the kid polite and obedient but only temporarily. This kind of parenting style gives advantages but only of instant type. There are many theories that caution parents against authoritative parenting as it does some serious harms to the psyche of the kids. In a way, strict parenting is something you must not resort for many reasons.

Let’s look why strict parenting is not justified:

  • Kids raised through strict parenting develop low self-esteem and inferiority complex. Such kids live with a conception that their opinion does not matter at all.
  • Such kids develop low self-worth as their entire purpose remain focused around showing good behavior only as this is the only route for them to be feel accepted.
  • Kids raise through authoritative parenting styles often lack trust in people and for them, affections shown by others never appear anything more than a hidden motive.
  • Such kids gradually lose the will to go with gut feeling or intuition as they have been controlled to become passive.
  • Such kids have fear of new experimentation or lack enthusiasm for trying out something new, as from the childhood, they have been told to not go out of the box of always live within a box.
  • Such kids come with a preconceived notions of the world around and have biased about the ways of the world, which somewhat limits their thought process.
  • They grow up suppressing feelings, which over time, give them an emotionally detached façade.
  • Their experience makes them averse to positive feelings or affections and they never take such emotions seriously.
  • For having gone through punishment strategy, they develop shame and self-guilt and view people from the lens of good or bad only.
  • Such kids develop an attraction towards power and in this, they get the recipe or develop the habit of lording over others.
  • Kids who are raised this way are more likely to bully others into submission than the rest.
  • Strict parenting leaves behind a hierarchical behavior pattern where kids deem it necessary to present oneself as inferior to authorities.

In a nutshell, we can see how adopting strict parenting is a sure-shot recipe of disaster. It may bring some short-term rewards but its impact lasts long and in some cases, can haunt one to the grave. So, it’s important to understand your kid and their requirements and handle them with great care.

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About the author:

Ian Alam is a blogger & writer from UK who specializes in writing about health & Fitness topics. He works with Jump In, which is counted among one of the Best  Trampoline Park London, UK. 

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The 6 Dangers Teens Face on the MeetMe App

 

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TeenSafe, one of the most popular parental monitoring technology service, is developing a guide on everything parents need to know about MeetMe, one of the hundreds of apps teens use for socializing that have the potential to become dangerous.

In fact, in 2014 the San Francisco city attorney sued MeetMe  after three separate sex-crime cases that stemmed from conversations started on the app occurred in California.

MeetMe differentiates itself from other social networks because it introduces people to new friends instead of connecting them to existing ones.

Below are some quick facts about MeetMe and the dangers teens may face by simply logging on.

What are the dangers of MeetMe?

  • Members can be introduced to other users located nearby — You will be able to see profile pictures, basic information and choose to message MeetMe. Users can also browse through the newsfeed of people nearby.
  • Widely considered to be a dating app to find people nearby —There are games available for users to play that feed into the dating app reputation, including the Blind Date game, where users are asked to answer questions to be introduced to a match.
  • “Ask Me” feature — Anonymous questions can be sent to users, which are not monitored or censored, so the content can sometimes turn explicit.
  • No profile information is verified — Predators can easily pose as teens to befriend and lure other teens to meet in person. The fact that MeetMe matches users based on location elevates the possible danger.
  • Automatic public privacy settings – Unless teens log in to their accounts and manually change their privacy settings, the app will automatically have everything set up to be public, meaning any MeetMe user in the area will be able to view your photos and information.
  • Private messaging and photo exchange – These features introduce the possibility that your teen could be cyberbullied based on his or her looks, values, or comments made on the app, leading to low self-esteem and emotional stress.

 The Numbers Behind MeetMe

  • There are more than one million daily active users on MeetMe.
  • In 2012, MeetMe was named one of the 25 most trafficked websites.
  • There is a minimum age limit of 13 on MeetMe, however since this is nearly impossible for the app to verify, it does not stop younger users from joining.
  • There are over 100 million MeetMe users.
  • About 25% of these users are between the ages of 13 and 17.
  • MeetMe was named as one of the 6 adult dating apps that teens are using too much by The Huffington Post.

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*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of my site readers. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do no necessarily reflect my own. 

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National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week – January 25 – 31, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of National Institute on Drug Abuse for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Did you know that it’s National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week?. It’s an annual, week long (January 25 – 31, 2016) observance that unites teenagers and scientific experts to help SHATTER THE MYTHS about substance abuse and addiction. The event is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health.

I was unaware that National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) has been going on annually since 2010.

Since National Drug and Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) began in 2010, its community based programs and events have increased dramatically with more than 1,500+ events held last January (2015) across the country. The events help to bring together teenagers and scientists to discuss the myths about drug and alcohol that teenagers hear about from their friends, social media, movie, television and music. These events are a safe place for teens to ask questions about drug and alcohol use, without judgment or lectures.

As a parent to two teenagers, I know first hand what types of thing they are hearing about drugs and alcohol from their friends, classmates and the worse culprit – social media. My daughter and I have conversations all the time about marijuana (specifically) and alcohol. Sadly she has friends who use (and abuse) marijuana and alcohol on a regular basis. She seems to feel that marijuana is perfectly harmless, and that it only gives you a feeling of euphoria for a little while, then it goes away. While that may be true in some cases, there ARE negative side effects to using pot. She’s only going by what she’s heard and what her pot smoking friends tell her.

This is a perfect example of one of the myths that need to be shattered. Alcohol is another “issue” we discuss on a regular basis. Most of my daughter’s friends drink when they go to parties, which is why we DON’T let her go to them. I don’t want her put in that kind of a situation. She knows about peer pressure, and she’s not as “strong” as she thinks and we (my husband and I) worry that in the wrong situation she will cave in and drink, even though she knows she’s not allowed to.

It scares me when I think about all the myths about drug and alcohol use that teenagers are bombarded with on a daily basis. They THINK they know the truth – but they don’t.

Take the IQ Challenge!
NIDA created the “National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge” for both teens and adults to test their knowledge about drugs. It’s a quick quiz with only 12 questions. Parents can also use the IQ Challenge to segue into a conversation with their teen about drugs and alcohol.
I would like to think that I am knowledgeable about drugs and alcohol, so I was surprised by how many answers on the IQ Challenge that I got wrong. I had my teenage daughter take the quiz too and she got more wrong answers than I did. There are also a few that she felt were inaccurate but I told her these answers are based on facts, so that really surprised her. Hopefully it’s an “eye opener” for her.
From one parent to another, I urge you to take the quiz for yourself and have your ‘tween and teen take it as well, then discuss the answers. There is no wrong time to discuss drug and alcohol with your children – except AFTER they are caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
You can also use the “Family Checkup” resource to help you with the skills you need to keep your children drug-free.
If you know a teen who is abusing drugs and need help please visit this resource – What to do if your teen has a problem with drugs.
Are you the parent of a teen or soon to be teen? Have you had talks with your child about drug and alcohol?
Kimberly

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