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Posts Tagged ‘teen

Tonight, @katiecouric discusses teen dating violence.  Nearly 30 percent of teenagers say that they have experienced teen dating violence, according to a survey by the Liz Claiborne and Family Violence Prevention Fund.  Katie Couric takes an in depth look at this serious and troubling issue.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, eating dinner together as a family every night keeps the doors of communication open between parents and children.  Furthermore, family dinners are also a perfect opportunity for moms and dads to teach children about eating healthy and making good food choices.
“Although hectic schedules have made family dinners a thing of the past, there is compelling evidence that sitting down at a table to share a meal is an ideal environment for family interaction,” said Laura Olson, vice president of education for Kiddie Academy International.  “In addition to discussing the school-related events, dinnertime is the perfect time to talk about healthy eating topics, such as the five food groups and the importance of having different colors of food on your plate.”
Olson notes that families should aim to sit down to a meal most nights of the week for a minimum of 30 minutes.  A home-cooked meal is not necessarily required; families can connect just fine over takeout served at the family dinner table.  For those parents wondering how they can make the most of family dinners, Olson offers the following tips:

  • Be curious – Showing an interest in a child’s likes and dislikes can result in the child feeling appreciated, respected and emotionally secure.  Ultimately, the child experiences a surge in self-confidence, which can positively shape his or her developmental progress in the classroom.
  • Get creative with conversation – Lively dialog is crucial to getting your kids to listen and share, so have all family members tell their favorite part or biggest challenge of the day.  Not only will this give everyone a glimpse into each other’s routine, but it will also help kids expand their vocabulary with new and intriguing words.
  • Be specific in your questions – Instead of just inquiring about the day at school, ask about a particular book the child may be reading or an art project he or she may be crafting.  This will help the child foster ideas and opinions about the assignment that he or she may not have previously considered.
  • Let kids plan the menu – Getting children involved in the planning aspect of dinner gets them accustomed to thinking ahead and following step-by-step directions.  Additionally, cooking is a great way to have them practice their math skills, such as adding fractions.

For more information about Kiddie Academy, visit

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There’s only five days until Christmas, and if you’re a last-minute shopper then look no further.  Here are some marvelous gifts for the mom, sister, daughter, grandmother or best friend in your life, under $50:

Hyp-Yoga Audio Class CDs ($14.99/each or $49.99/all five) – Help your loved ones live better with an at-home program that works!! For stress reduction, weight loss, quitting smoking, etc, Hyp-Yoga opens up the body and calms the mind with expansive, full-body poses and deep breathwork, making the gentle hypnosis (on topic of choice) that follows incredibly effective. The Hyp-Yoga Audio Class CDs each include 10 minutes of yoga poses (with pictures included for guidance), followed by a hypnosis session. There are 5 CD editions: Freedom from Emotional Eating, Sleeping Better, Learning to Flow (Stress Prevention), Increased Energy, and Living in the Present Moment. For purchasing information, click here.

Meltology self-heating spa mitts ($30/2 pair) and socks ($30/2 paris) – It’s like Botox for your hands and feet!  Soyaffin™ serum drenches hands and feet with long lasting moisture protection to lock in results for younger looking hands.  Natural, moist heat helps lotions absorb deeper than ever, while Soyaffin™ Serum inside the liners leaves your hands and feet feeling relaxed and pampered.  To learn more about  Meltology products, click here.

Yak Pak Nobu Hobo bag ($45) – The Nobu bag is the biggest hobo offered in the Yak Pak collection, with the Megu coming in right behind it.  The Sabrina is a more petite version of the hobo and also comes with an adjustable tied shoulder strap.  Ranging from just $25- $45, all the hobos are made with a soft cotton twill exterior and a shiny satin interior and come in a plethora of stylish prints that are classic to the Yak Pak look.  To find a retailer near you, click here.

Vanitymark Dr. KISS ($12) – This hydrating lip balm (in a cute pill case) has a natural tint thanks to a pinch of the ingredient found in the mood lipsticks of our past. Kukui Nut Oil and Vitamins A, C & E give a healthy, antioxidant-full and moisturizing hug to keep lips soft and smooth, and sweet vanilla and peppermint give this lip balm a yummy taste and minty zing. Great for anyone who likes their lips!  To find a retailer near you, click here.

On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries ($18) – A political gardening handbook that calls up images of Mao Tse-tung and Che Guevara.  The focus is on illicit activities, where individuals are inspired to enhance their communities by reclaiming garbage-strewn vacant lots, empty flower boxes, and neglected street-side strips of dirt.  Click here to purchase the book.

Photo by binababy12

Photo by binababy12

Kids have headed back to school and parents everywhere are about to be confronted with a wild new set of fears and mind-boggling situations that they may not feel properly equipped to handle.
What is the best thing to say to your children about the swine flu?  Unemployed parents? Money problems? Cell phones? What about rampant sexuality on TV and elsewhere?
A new book by seven top family parenting experts, Parenting By Strengths, helps parents cope with the most challenging situations. Here are some of the ideas they offer to guide the conversations with your children on the topics of the day:
Swine Flu:
With the ever present real time media coverage and aggressive prevention at school, children will be coming home worried and confused about the risk of illness. Talk with them and let them open up and express their concerns.  Ask them about what they are worried about specifically. Then teach them about the different types of flu and tell them specifically what precautions the school and your family are taking to be safe. Make a game of washing hands, keeping things cleaner than ever, keeping healthy and working as a team. Make sure they are equipped with a hand sanitizer and that they use it frequently. Tell them not to share foods and drinks, especially with friends who are sick. Without nagging and with a bit of humor, review the importance of staying healthy with good eating, hygiene and sleeping habits!

Job Loss and Money Problems
Tell the truth.  Tell your kids that there won’t be as many presents this holiday season.  Tell them that your family budget is really strained right now. (Delete this next sentence: fewer presents said 3 times in this paragraph.) Yes. It’s reasonable to tell your children that you have less money this year, so there will be fewer presents. The key is to reassure them that you love them, that your family is safe and that their basic needs will be met. There will be fewer presents, however, and everyone can chip in to cut down on costs.
When framed in a positive way this is an opportunity to teach your children how to save money and spend wisely.  Have your child make gifts, teach your children how to shop clearance aisles first, go to second-hand or dollar stores, do product comparisons, shop from a list to avoid impulse buys and use coupon sites.
Limit TV and Cell Phones for School Success
Get with it! Today’s technology is ever-changing and will never be as innate to us parents as it is to our children.  Nonetheless, it is crucial for parents to be aware and stay informed about what your children are watching on TV, the music they listen to, and how they use the Internet and cell phones.  Create a set of rules that identify proper use and the consequences of improper use.  Go over the rules and get the child to sign on the dotted line. 
Take control! Look over your TV channels and your computers and use your power to block unwanted channels and Internet sites from your children’s use.  There are many tools available to help. It’s perfectly reasonable to set limits around cell phone and TV use. Have a basket in the kitchen where the cell phone is “checked in.” During homework time, meal time, family activities and bedtime, the cell phone is checked in to avoid distractions. You should also model this behavior unless your work requires that you are reachable 24/7. If his/her grades are bad enough, you can also keep the cell phone Mon-Fri until the child’s grades improve.
Be savvy!  Don’t assume other parents have the same rules you do—share your limits before your child plays at another child’s home.
Sexy Halloween Costumes 
Children need reliable, accurate information from trusted adults to handle the messages about sexuality they receive on a daily basis from media sources and peers. For parents with young girls, especially, Halloween can mean going through racks of costumes with short skirts, bare midriffs, and laced up heels. Use these teachable moments to discuss your values and limits around costumes. For older children, have a talk about how companies use sex to sell products. It’s important to talk with kids about all aspects of sexuality—the positives, the marketing, and how to avoid abuse. Keep the conversation and lines of communication open. Teach your values, and give your children reliable, accurate information about the many ways sexuality messages enter their lives.

(Evan Vucci/AP Photo)
(Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

Today the Supreme Court ruled that a school’s strip search of then-13-year-old Arizona teen, Savana Redding, was unconstitutional.  The strip search for painkillers violated the girl’s constitutional rights, despite the school district’s zero-tolerance policy for drugs.

Apparently Redding had been summoned from her middle school classroom and was asked to strip down to her underwear so school officials could search for prescription strength ibuprofen.

The ruling could redefine student privacy rights and set new parameters for school officials seeking out dangerous contraband such as drugs, weapons or alcohol.

teen driving tipsWith summer revving its engine, classes ending and summer jobs starting, it’s a great time of year for teenagers.
However, between driving to work, taking road trips and joyriding without care, teens are on the road a lot more in the summer months. It is no surprise, then, that data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows an annual spike in traffic accidents, injuries and deaths among young people in the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
As teens start cruising around this summer, it is important for parents to remind them how to stay safe behind the wheel.  Below are a few quick tips for parents of teen drivers from

  • Create a driving contract for your teen, and be prepared to stick to it. A driving contract is a great way to let teens know that driving is both a privilege and a serious responsibility. It also establishes clear expectations about driving for your teen: always wear a seat belt, never get into a vehicle with someone who’s been drinking, etc. A customizable contract template is available at
  • Choose an ICE contact. All drivers should designate an emergency contact in the address book of their cell phones under the name “ICE” — In Case of Emergency. Emergency workers in many towns check for an ICE contact in cell phones.
  • Set a good example. Practice what you preach. When parents run red and yellow lights, speed down the highway at 75 miles per hour, weave in and out of traffic, ride the bumper of the car in front of them and exhibit signs of road rage, they are telling teens that rules don’t count — and this can be fatal. Be a role model for your teen.

For more parent tips, visit

A New York teen girl, 17, vanishes after walk on the beach during spring break at Myrtle Beach. Where is Brittanee Marie Drexel?  Watch Nancy’s interview with Brittanee’s mom:

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