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Teen Help Blog

Best (And Not-so-usual) Hobbies to Inculcate in Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on March 27, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

Most kids and teens have very particular hobbies and extracurricular interests. Some love to read, others love sports. Then there are the avid gamers, the skateboarders and the writers. The list could go on and on, because every kid is different.

There are many interests that parents don’t align with youth but that provide an educational outlet or a unique perspective on the world. For parents looking to round out their child’s interests and encourage an extracurricular avenue that diverts from the norm—in a good way—here are a few unconventional hobbies to introduce into the lives of kids:

  1. Chess. While many associate chess with a proclivity towards math and academia, chess is simply a game of skill and strategy. Chess teaches problem solving and hones planning skills. A player must always anticipate an opponent’s next move and be able to visualize the moves on the board.
  2. Astronomy. Not to be confused with astrology—e.g. horoscopes! Studying the stars, constellations and viewing planets through a telescope helps teach kids about the vastness of our universe. Seeing the depths of space and viewing the many celestial bodies of the universe also help teens understand that we are all part of a larger picture.
  3. Gardening. We live in a fast-paced society and so many families have to rush through a drive-through on the way to the next game, meeting or recital. Planting a garden allows teens and all members of the family to appreciate how our food is grown and harvested. Growing produce also provides clean food while teaching self-sufficiency. To make the endeavor a bit more fun for teens, pick a creative theme for your garden.
  4. Improv. Public speaking is an important skill that can be learned but never taught. Encourage kids to overcome the fear of the public through improv classes and performances. Improv teaches the ability to problem solve and uses imagination. Plus, it’s ok to laugh if you make a mistake.
  5. Role-playing games. Much like improv, games like Dungeons and Dragons encourage an ability to think skillfully. They also encourage imaginative ideas and foster creativity.
  6. Archery. For teens that maybe aren’t athletically inclined but who still want to participate in a sport, pursue archery. The game requires stealth, skill and helps work on hand-eye coordination. Goals can be individualized per each player. Plus, a bow and arrow is absolutely en vogue…thanks to Katniss Everdeen.
  7. Creative fandom. For the teen who loves Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things or any popular franchise, encourage creative expressions of their fandom. Professional make-up artists have celebrated their own obsessive fandom by creating television show themed palettes, brush sets and other cosmetics collections. There are no limits to fandom creativity.
  8. Cosplay and Costumes. For the budding fashion designer, encourage cosplay. Have teens create costumes of their favorite characters to pay homage to a particular show, series or genre. Get really creative by mixing and mashing up characters…like a Jack Skellington Ewok!
  9. Sewing. While sewing has fallen out of popularity, learning how to sew is a fun and useful skill. Those interested in a career in fashion design should know their way around a sewing machine. And learning to quilt and embroider also takes the knowledge up a notch.
  10. Treasure hunting. No, this isn’t about finding a lost treasure…but teaching teens the value of thrift. Thrift store hobbyists have a knack of finding incredible treasures at fantastic prices. And thrifting also is a way to teach teens to be cautious and responsible with their money.

Encourage teens to adopt an out-of-the-ordinary hobby to add an extraordinary element of creativity to their lives. Find a new and unique hobby that speaks to their personality. Unique extracurricular activities help teens seen the world in a diverse light and allows them to branch out of their comfort zones.

Contributor: Amy Williams, a journalist and former social worker passionate about parenting and education. You can follow Amy on Twitter.

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Tips for Helping Teens With Homework

Posted by Sue Scheff on March 21, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

Parenting tips abound for raising teenagers, but often these strategies overlook the importance of teaching our children how to study or take advantage of the educational opportunities that come their way. As our sons and daughters make their way through the school system, they will inevitably be faced with homework. For most families, homework is a touchy subject that often leads to arguments, tears, and slamming doors.

Although we can’t take that calculus test for them, we can help by offering homework support so they can succeed today and tomorrow.

Listed below are eight ways we can embrace homework to help our kids prepare for their future:

Remain calm. Take a deep breath and focus on helping a teen. If we get upset, flustered, or judgmental we won’t be any good to our kids. If we are overwhelmed, we can bet our children are, too.

Help them prioritize. There will be days when the piles of work and chapters to be read seem unending, but we can help our children see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some teens respond better to finishing small easy tasks first so they can focus solely on more complicated assignments later. However, other students perform better when they knock out the harder work first. We know our children and can help them prioritize their assignments so they can stay on top of their courses.

Create an area ideal for studying and working on projects. Teens often want to listen to music, watch videos, or lay in their room while doing homework. Unfortunately, this can be distracting and prevent them from being productive. Help them stay on task by creating a comfortable work space with proper lighting and easy access to supplies. Even though we might not be able to find the cosine and tangent of a triangle, we can ensure they have sharpened pencils and erasers at their fingertips.

Seek help from the Internet. Today’s teens might be taking advanced courses and even college credit classes. For many of us, that means our sons and daughters are working with complicated theories and equations. It’s alright to admit we don’t know all the answers, but we can help them locate the proper resources to solve the problems. Look online for reputable sites or videos from professional teachers that explain concepts and model the proper techniques. A good site to consider is Khan Academy or scroll through the education section on YouTube. Sometimes it just takes a different explanation or perspective to help a child grasp new ideas.

Don’t work harder, work smarter. Take advantage of quiz sites like Kahoot! or Quizlet to help review for tests and make studying a little more fun. Use different fonts, like Comic Sans, when reading typed notes or go “old school” by writing notes out on paper to help with comprehension and memory.


Take small breaks. Homework can be overwhelming, especially if a teen is tired or frustrated. After extended periods of focused work, revitalize a teen with a short recess. Encourage them to get up, stretch, or take a mental breather for five to ten minutes. The key to using breaks is that they should have a clear beginning and ending to keep kids productive.

Get them organized. Most teens need help learning to organize and prioritize. Their rooms are a mess, their lockers are stuffed with papers, and nobody knows what is lurking in their cars. As our kids become more independent, they will need to learn how to keep track of assignments and schedules. Buy them a planner, install a scheduling calendar on their phones, or teach them how to track their commitments on a computer to make this job easier. Once they are organized, they can realistically look ahead and plan accordingly. Hopefully, this eliminates last minute projects or late nights.

It’s okay to let them fail. Unfortunately, if we are constantly stepping in and solving their problems, we are only setting them up for a serious reality check when they head out on their own when a college scholarship or employment is on the line. As a parent, it is hard to sit back and let your child crash and burn. However, teens need to fail every now and then so they can learn how to get back up. Thankfully, we can be there to dust them off and brainstorm ways to avoid a similar scenario in the future.

How do you support your teen when it comes to homework and learning study habits?

Contributor: Amy Williams, a journalist and former social worker passionate about parenting and education. You can follow Amy on Twitter.

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Racism: How Is It Affecting the Views of Teenagers Today?

Posted by Sue Scheff on March 10, 2017  /   Posted in Mental Health, Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

We are living in an era where the color of your skin holds more significance than what is in your heart. People don’t care about what kind of person you are after finding out that you’re a Muslim.

Racism is spreading like cancer throughout the world. People often forget that they are all the same; no matter what family they belong to, what color their skin is or what God they worship. If one day we could rise above all the petty things like color, creed or language and start judging people on the basis of who they truly are, that will be the day we will be able to call ourselves civilized.

Unfortunately, that is far from reality. These days, young children get bullied because they’re black; adults have to deal with colleagues who criticize them only because they’re Muslims, people getting ragged in the subways and streets only because they’re disabled. Most of you are probably shocked by this; however, this is the reality. Racism has become a huge part of our lives – Such a big part that if we see a few children surrounding a black child, we don’t do anything about it. One thing we never realize is that Racism is the only thing that could kill a living person. They could be walking and talking normally, but from the inside, their self-respect is crushed and their conscious weighs down from all the hatred.

We’ve compiled a list of things that could happen when an individual faces more than a few racial comments every day…

Severe Stress and Depression

It’s more than obvious that a person who is teased every single day by colleagues, co-workers, class mates, etc. will be depressed. They will absolutely despise every single thing about the place they have to go to every day of the week. Honestly, any of these things are enough to ruin anyone’s day. If you’re one of the people that teased someone for being a Hindu, then you probably should stop, because you’re probably the reason they are distressed for the rest of the day.

Lowered Morale and Self-Esteemed

This is no hidden fact that a person who laughed at twenty times in the day would lose confidence in themselves. It can demoralize them and can reduce their capability to work. All of you are probably familiar with Martin Luther King. He is the reason black people have the rights that they do today. Martin Luther King realized the fact that if America keeps on usurping the rights of black people, they will end up with a half broken and battered nation. This would, ultimately, start a war – A war that will take place inside America. From this, you can easily realize the effects that racism has on someone’s consciousness.

Suicides

There have been hundreds of cases when a teen that was abused at school ends up committing suicide. Even though there are a very small amount of cases of adults committing suicide, their frustration is no less than teenagers. Insults over insults are enough to ruin someone’s day. However, when the insults are directed to someone’s color, creed or religion, this might push someone to the extent of committing suicide.

How is Racism Hurting the Minds of Teens?

So, what happens when teens witness racism all day long? Does a Christian kid become happy when someone mocks a Muslim? Does a white child feels amused when someone laughs at a black teen? The answer is Yes. Our society has become one where racism is no longer considered death to social life, however, people enjoy it. Think about it yourself, when was the last time you stood up for someone being teased? We are living in a world where racism makes people feel a false sense of superiority as compared to the minorities – and it is needless to say, this isn’t playing well for teens.

How Can Parents Keep Children Safe From Racism?

Whether your child is a racist, or if they are being mocked by someone else, as a parent, it is your duty to protect them from either one. The best way to protect your children would be to use Parental Monitoring Applications. They are able to monitor all of your child’s conversations on their Smartphone, and you can know if your child is cyberbullying someone. You could use their own device’s camera and microphone and see if they aren’t getting bullied by someone at school. Hence, making sure that you protect your children from the disease that is racism itself… 

Author Bio: 

Nicki is a working mum writing blogs to help fellow mums use technological apparatus to make parenting easier in today’s era. Her work on cell phone tracking software has received great appreciation from a reader. To know more about her follow on twitter @nickimarie222

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What Career Path Is Your Teen Considering?

Posted by Sue Scheff on March 02, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Summer Jobs, Teen Help

Do you remember the dread you felt as a kid when an adult asked what you wanted to be when you grew up?

CareerBuilder research shows that nearly 1 in 4 high school students pick their career based on something they saw on TV or in a movie, and 33 percent of full-time workers regret the college major they chose. In conjunction with Find Your Calling month, an initiative that empowers students to pick a career based on their interests, CareerBuilder is releasing a series of studies with surprising insights into labor market and hiring trends. Today’s release focuses on top occupations for younger workers.

CHICAGO and ATLANTA – March 2, 2017 – What do I want to do with my life? It is one of the most pressing and often overwhelming questions for America’s youth —and CareerBuilder is working to help them find the answer. Today, CareerBuilder launched Find Your Calling Month, a nationwide initiative taking place throughout March that encourages students to discover possible career and education paths and get them excited about the future.

 

CareerBuilder research shows that nearly 1 in 4 high school students pick their career based on something they saw on TV or in a movie1, and that 33 percent of full-time workers regret the college major they chose.2 As college debt rises, the skills gap widens and a significant number of workers fall prone to unemployment or underemployment, it is important to start educating students early about their options. 

 

CareerBuilder’s month-long initiative centers around its free national website FindYourCalling.com, which enables students to instantly view a wide range of careers based on their individual interests. Students can see job growth projections, salary ranges, companies hiring, educational programs and more, and can easily share that information on social media to get their friends to discover their own career paths as well. The initiative also enlists schools throughout the country to host Find Your Calling days and encourages parents and businesses to participate.

 

In conjunction with Find Your Calling month, CareerBuilder is releasing a series of studies that provide surprising insights into labor market and hiring trends. Today’s release focuses on top occupations for younger workers based on jobs that are growing quickly, pay a good wage and have a solid concentration of workers ages 19 to 24.

“There is a world of opportunity open to younger workers in business, technical and creative fields,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “When choosing a potential career, you want to ask yourself two questions: 1) What am I passionate about? and 2) Does data show that this occupation is growing and pays well? The more informed you are about your options and what it takes to get to where you want to be, the better the outcome.”

The study is based on data from Emsi, CareerBuilder’s labor market analysis arm, which pulls information from nearly 100 national, state and local employment resources.

1 CareerBuilder’s nationwide survey of 210 high school seniors conducted by Harris Poll, June 2015
2 CareerBuilder’s nationwide survey of 2,851 full-time workers conducted by Harris Poll, June 2016

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is a global, end-to-end human capital solutions company focused on helping employers find, hire and manage great talent. Combining advertising, software and services, CareerBuilder leads the industry in recruiting solutions, employment screening and human capital management. It also operates top job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

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New Report on Teens and Marijuana

Posted by Sue Scheff on February 28, 2017  /   Posted in Mental Health, Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

With the legalization of marijuana in many states, more parents are struggling with teen drug use.

Many states have recently made significant changes to their legislation making recreational and/or medical marijuana use by adults legal. Although these laws, for the most part, have not targeted the adolescent population, they have created an environment in which marijuana increasingly is seen as acceptable, safe, and therapeutic. – American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

AAP points to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health(PDF), which found a decrease in the percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who said they believe there is a “great risk” in smoking marijuana once a month or one to two times per week.

Read the entire article here.

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Animals Helping Teens in Crisis: Depression, Drugs, Bullying

Posted by Sue Scheff on February 16, 2017  /   Posted in Mental Health, Parenting Teens, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

Who doesn’t feel happier, a little less stressed and much better overall after cuddling with a furry feline purring on our lap? What about the adrenaline rush we experience after playing with a playful, little terrier and that feeling of joy while we’re interacting with them?

We’ve seen many examples in hospitals and senior care facilities when these animals provide friendship, love and comfort to those who are aging and ill. This interaction brightens their spirit and aids in an overall healing process. But do these pets offer the same type of benefits to a much younger crowd, especially teenagers who may be struggling with depression, drug addiction or other difficulties that often comes along with the struggles of dealing with adolescence? Does this type of interaction actually work?

How Does This Type Of Animal Connection Actually Work?

Providers of these programs looked into a hypothesis that suggests our continued connection, interest and interaction with animals stems from ancient history. It’s believed that during this distant past, we received and witnessed certain signals from wild animals warning of us of possible impending doom.

During these ancient times, it’s suggested we eventually began to pay more attention to wildlife that were showing us predictions of unforeseen weather patterns, the rising and falling of tides and other indications that we were oblivious to without much knowledge of these events. As we continued to watch and interpret their behaviors, this led us to a unique trust and eventual bond  associated with them.

Repeatedly recognizing and interpreting these signs, we began to become more dependent upon them. We intensely watching them for these types of reactions that exhibited a “fight or flight” type of mentality. Other times, we witnessed them being safe and secure, depending upon the circumstance, and our dependence, interaction and love for them continued to grow and flourish. Eventually, we came to domesticate them, invite them into our lives and connect with them further.

Using This Type Of Knowledge Today

The ultimate goal of today’s animal-assistance programs use interaction with these loving and intuitive creatures to help strengthen a teenager’s ability to communicate, bond and interact with pets rather than people. With an animal’s unique gift of unconditional love, in return these pets don’t judge kids or otherwise put them into an uncomfortable position where they may feel threatened or isolated. Instead, it gives them a sense of a safer environment that builds their trust and develops a bond they may not feel otherwise.

Contributor:  Amy Williams, a journalist and former social worker passionate about parenting and education.

You can follow Amy on Twitter.

 

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A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Teen Drivers in 2017

Posted by Sue Scheff on January 20, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

It’s 2017, and iPhones are everywhere. As a result, distracted driving is the talk of the town. According to some sources, it’s even more dangerous than drinking and driving, which is on the decline. However, it’s also important to remember the dangers that drinking and driving pose to our teenagers.

Distracted driving kills 8 people per day, while drinking and driving kills an average of 24 people per day. It gets worse. According to the Center for Disease Control, teenagers are 17 times more likely to die from an accident when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% (the legal limit for adults). Now for the good news. Since 1991, the number of teens who admit to drinking and driving has decreased by 51%. The Center for Disease Control attributes this decline to four factors:

  1. Minimal Legal Drinking Age:
  2. Zero Tolerance
  3. Graduated Driver Licensing:
  4. Parental Involvement

Minimal Legal Drinking Age laws restrict alcohol consumption for all individuals under 21, while Zero Tolerance laws make it illegal for minors to drive with any blood alcohol content. These laws are present in all 50 states. Graduated Driver’s Licensing laws grant additional driving privileges as drivers gain experience. These programs include provisional licenses and learner’s permits. They are also present in all fifty states, but they differ widely. Click here for a guide to GDL programs in every state.

Parental Involvement is the biggest the biggest variable by far. So, how can you keep your teenager safe on the road? First, you need to accept that your child may drink. You also need to assure them that you will be there for them if and when they run into trouble. This could mean paying for an Uber, ordering a cab, or picking them up. The goal is to dissuade your teenager from drinking and driving by offering a better alternative: judgement-free help.

You can also help them build good habits while they earn their learner’s permit. A driving contract is a perfect way to establish guidelines and encourage good driving habits. An effective driving contract should include guidelines for your child, but it should also describe the consequences for breaking those guidelines. Your contract could include some of the following guidelines:

  • Never drink and drive
  • Never text and drive
  • Always wear a seat belt
  • Always obey speed limits
  • Only drive between the hours of 6:00 AM and 12:00 PM
  • Only drive with a maximum of one (1) other teenager

Possible consequences might include grounding, additional chores, or the inability to drive for a set time. Guidelines and consequences will differ for every family. Just make sure to communicate openly with your spouse and your child as you draft a contract that you can all agree on.

If your budget has room for a car, you can also purchase a teen-friendly vehicle. Used cars will give you the most bang for your buck, especially because many teenagers will crash within their first month on the road. If you’re going shopping, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a comprehensive guide to purchasing a vehicle for your teenager. Here are a few of the takeaways:

Above all, the most important thing you can do is to model safe behavior. If your child sees you talking on the phone, driving under the influence, or driving recklessly, they’ll learn from you. As you continue into 2017, remember that you are the biggest influence on your teen’s safety. Drinking and driving is already on the decline. Keep it up, and we will eventually eliminate DUI. Distracted driving, you’re next.

Contributor: Jayson Goetz is a young writer whose work primarily focuses on educating readers about the effects of science and technology on today’s society.

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The Connection Between Online Safety and Teen Medicine Abuse

Posted by Sue Scheff on January 19, 2017  /   Posted in Internet Safety, Parenting Teens, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

By Anita Brikman

As parents of teenagers, we know that it’s not unusual for teens to spend time online chatting with friends, visiting social networking sites, following sports or celebrities and – hopefully – doing their homework. While this might not seem worrisome, the digital world is a space where anyone can say anything, and teenagers don’t always evaluate whether the information they are exposed to is true or false. There are many dangers lurking online, including websites that promote how to abuse over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine to achieve a “high.” In fact, there are online communities in which users share and glorify their medicine abuse experiences, which may influence teens to engage in this dangerous activity.

It’s impossible to be aware of all your teen’s online activities, but you can help reduce the risk of your teen being exposed to the promotion of OTC cough medicine abuse by taking the following actions:

Educate yourself on the issue:

It is important to first understand the dangers and warning signs of OTC cough medicine abuse. Look out for pro-drug sites that promote and provide instructions for the abuse of dextromethorphan (DXM), the active ingredient in many OTC cough medicines. These sites spread false information about DXM, leading teens to believe it is safer to abuse than illicit drugs. Stay alert for internet orders, the arrival of unexpected packages and unexplained payments.

Educate yourself on the space:

Teens are quick adopters of new platforms and technology, which can make it difficult to keep up with their online lives. You can better recognize dangerous online communities by knowing what platforms your teen is using as well as how these platforms are used. You can learn more about the number of websites and online communities that promote OTC medicine abuse here.

Talk to your teen about internet safety:

Once you have a firm grasp on the issue of medicine abuse, visit and discuss websites like WhatIsDXM.com, drugfree.org and StopMedicineAbuse.org with your teen. This way, your teen has the facts about substance abuse and knows where to access credible information. Teens who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are 50% less likely to use drugs. Having regular conversations with your teen can make a big difference.

Connect with your teen online:

Follow and connect with your teen on social media. They may not be open to this initially, but they might be more accepting to the idea if you assure them that you’ll respect their space. This will also open up an opportunity for you to model good online behavior to you teen.

Spread the word:

Share what you learned about OTC medicine abuse with other parents and members of your community. This will enable others to have these important conversations with their teens and, in turn, ensure that more teens are practicing safe behavior online.

Even though it might not seem like it, teenagers look to their parents for support and guidance. Setting up guidelines around what behavior is and is not acceptable online will help ensure your teen is being smart and safe no matter what new media comes along.

Contributor: Anita Brikman joined the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) in 2016 and leads the association’s communications and public affairs functions. As a member of the senior management team, she is responsible for establishing and directing the organization’s communications strategies and goals. Anita is passionate about healthcare issues, with over two decades of experience as a news anchor and health reporter in major television markets – making medicine abuse awareness and prevention efforts important to her. She is also the mother of three teenagers. Join the conversation by following Stop Medicine Abuse on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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How to Prepare Your Teen for Bad Weather Driving Conditions

Posted by Sue Scheff on January 18, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

Winter weather can make driving dangerous for even the most experienced drivers, so it’s no wonder, as a parent, you’re concerned about putting your teenager behind the wheel in less than ideal conditions. And there’s good reason for concern: Bad weather plays a role in 22 percent of total car crashes and at least 15 percent of crash fatalities. Safe winter driving is possible with preparation and practice.

If your teen has no experience navigating wintery roads, keep them off the road until you can give them some practice in a controlled environment, like an empty parking. Practice will help them get a feel for the car’s steering, gripping and braking on slick pavement so they will better understand how to adjust when they’re on the open road. In addition to hands-on driving experience, here are five ways to prepare your teen for winter driving.

1. Keep a Cold Weather Emergency Kit in the Car

Help your teen create an emergency kit that they can keep in the car. Items might include blankets, flashlight, flare, jumper cables, snacks and water, a small shovel, portable phone charger and hand warmers. Additionally, make sure they have the number to a roadside assistance service programmed into their phone.

2. Remove All Snow from the Car Before Driving

Teens in a hurry might be inclined to just scrape snow off the windows and get on the road. But that’s not guaranteed to safeguard them from visibility. Instead, encourage your teen to remove all snow on their vehicle’s exterior before driving. Headlights and taillights also need to be visible to other drivers and can play a crucial role when conditions take a turn for the worse. Furthermore, left behind snow on the hood and roof can fly off and hinder visibility for your teen and other drivers. Finally, have them check that the exhaust pipe is clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Perform a Thorough Maintenance Check

Routine maintenance becomes more important in poor weather. Have your teen check their fluids before driving, ensuring, in particular, that their windshield wiper fluid is topped off. Likewise, make sure the vehicle’s tires are properly inflated and in good condition. If the tread looks worn, consider replacing the tires altogether. Low tread or bald tires are especially dangerous on slick roads.

4. Ensure the Gas Tank is at least Half Full

Most teens will let their gas tanks run until they are completely empty, but stress the importance of a full tank when winter weather conditions are bad. That’s because there’s always the possibility of being caught in stopped traffic, or worse, getting stranded during bad weather. With that in mind, instruct your teen to always keep their gas tank above half in the winter.

5. Review Other Important Winter Driving Tips

  • Increase your following distance: When on the road, especially in icy conditions and during inclement weather, remind your teen to give cars in front of them more than enough space to allow for extra braking distance and skidding.
  • Decrease speed: Driving at slower-than-normal speeds may be necessary, because stopping, accelerating and turning all take longer in the snow. Also, keep in mind that other traffic will be moving slower than usual.
  • Watch for stopped vehicles: Be on the lookout for stranded cars, slow-moving snow plows and emergency vehicles.
  • Watch for ice on bridges: Bridges, shaded areas and overpasses will freeze before other parts of the road. Thus, these areas are more prone for accidents, so make sure to travel slowly through these areas.
  • Avoid using cruise control: It should be commonsense, but steer clear of using cruise control when the roads are wet to prevent sliding.
  • Keep your headlights on: Always keep your headlights on, even during the daytime, so other drivers can see you.

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3 Tips to Prevent Your Teenager from Commiting Theft

Posted by Sue Scheff on January 17, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

This is probably hard to admit, but yesterday you caught your teenager red-handed taking money out of your purse. To add insult to injury, you are pretty sure this was not the first time they helped themselves to some of your hard-earned cash.

While it’s hard to believe your own flesh and blood is stealing from you, it’s not something that should be taken lightly. To nip this problem in the bud, and prevent it from blossoming into a full-blown issue that involves late-night calls from the police, check out these surefire tips:

Different Ages, Different Tactics

Young children can sometimes have difficulty understanding what does and what does not constitute stealing. Teenagers should know from right or wrong, but maybe you have younger children and have noticed them taking things that do not belong to them.

As Parents.com notes, young children can be taught to never take something from another person without asking first, and that it’s not OK to help themselves to money from a purse or wallet — even if they are used to being handed money now and then.

Teaching them not to steal must be done with a combination of patience and age-appropriate punishments. A 4-year-old who takes a dollar out of your wallet, for example, shouldn’t be able to watch their favorite show on TV that night. On the other hand, tweens and teens usually have the ability to understand that stealing is wrong, so they should face greater consequences.

Determine Why They’re Stealing

Kids and teens steal from family members for a wide variety of reasons. As Kids Health notes, school-age kids who take their siblings’ iPod or gift cards might not have the self-control needed to stop themselves. Tweens and teens may steal because it gives them a rush, or because they have seen their friends do it and they want to try it, too.

Meanwhile, some teens steal because they are rebelling against you and other adults, or because they are angry about something and want attention. In other cases, older kids steal because they cannot afford what they either need or want; sadly, in some cases, this may be alcohol or drugs. Stealing has also been linked to stress, and it can also be a cry for help.

What to Do Next

First, try to determine how often your kid has stolen something. A one-time money grab from your purse is definitely not OK, but it’s not the same as on-going and frequent stealing that has added up to hundreds of dollars, if not more. But no matter how often your tween or teen has taken something that’s not theirs, remind them that stealing is still a crime and that they must be held accountable.

As Empowering Parents notes, while you might be tempted to try to excuse your teenager’s actions based on their rebellious nature or sullen attitude, stealing is much more about breaking the law than someone’s personal feelings or problems. If you catch your child taking money from your wallet, they must pay it back, either by doing extra chores or missing out on allowance.

Teens who steal more than once may need professional help. This can come either from a family counselor or therapist, a religious leader like a minister or rabbi, or a school counselor. To set your mind at ease and help you rebuild trust with your teenager, consider installing a security camera inside your home.

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