Tag Archives: 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex

Study: Teens who are ‘sexting’ more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior

17 Sep

Moi wrote in What parents need to know about ‘texting’:                                     Parents must talk to their children about the appropriate use of technology.                                                                                              Jessica Citizen (Tecca) has a very parent-friendly Time article, 92 Teen Text Terms Decoded for Confused Parents:

These days, teens are texting more than ever, but the advent of QWERTY smartphone keyboards, predictive text, autocorrect, and the removal of message character limits should allow young social butterflies the opportunity to type full, real words. However, the confusing shorthand continues to live on anyway. With the help of Twitter, the microblogging site that still limits each post to a mere 140 characters, abbreviated slang appears to be here to stay. http://techland.time.com/2012/05/03/92-teen-text-terms-decoded-for-confused-parents/#ixzz1tvyDjnEp

Citizen includes a list of the most popular terms in her article.

For those who are unable or unwilling to set and observe personal boundaries, Apple just may bail you out. Alexia Tsotsis is reporting at Tech Crunch, Apple Patents Anti-Sexting Device So, for the stupid and truly clueless, looks like Apple is about to come to your rescue. Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information about Talking About “Sexting” is excellent.

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Aretha Franklin had it right when girlfriend belted out, “Respect.”

In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.

~Jane Haddam

https://drwilda.com/2012/05/04/what-parents-need-to-know-about-texting/

Laura Mc Mullen writes in the Health Buzz article, Sexting Teens More Likely to Have Risky Sex:

Study: One in Seven Los Angeles Teens Has Sexted

Sexting is once again linked to risky sexual behavior among teens in a study released today in the journal Pediatrics. One out of every seven Los Angeles teenagers surveyed for the study has sent a sexually-explicit text or photo, the study revealed, and those “sexters” are more likely to be engaging in unsafe sex, as in unprotected or under the influence. “What we really wanted to know is, is there a link between sexting and taking risks with your body? And the answer is a pretty resounding ‘yes,'” Eric Rice, sudy author and assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, told Reuters. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/09/17/health-buzz-sexting-teens-more-likely-to-have-risky-sex

Citation:

Sexually Explicit Cell Phone Messaging Associated With Sexual Risk Among Adolescents

  1. Eric Rice, PhDa,
  2. Harmony Rhoades, PhDa,
  3. Hailey Winetrobe, MPHa,
  4. Monica Sanchez, MAb,
  5. Jorge Montoya, PhDc,
  6. Aaron Plant, MPHc, and
  7. Timothy Kordic, MAd

+ Author Affiliations

  1. aSchool of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California;
  2. bDepartment of Psychology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts;
  3. cSentient Research, Los Angeles, California; and
  4. dLos Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California
    Abstract
    OBJECTIVES: Sexting (sending/receiving sexually explicit texts and images via cell phone) may be associated with sexual health consequences among adolescents. However, to date, no published data from a probability-based sample has examined associations between sexting and sexual activity.
    METHODS: A probability sample of 1839 students was collected alongside the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Los Angeles high schools. Logistic regressions were used to assess the correlates of sexting behavior and associations between sexting and sexual risk-taking.
    RESULTS: Fifteen percent of adolescents with cell phone access reported sexting, and 54% reported knowing someone who had sent a sext. Adolescents whose peers sexted were more likely to sext themselves (odds ratio [OR] = 16.87, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.62–29.59). Adolescents who themselves sexted were more likely to report being sexually active (OR = 7.17, 95% CI: 5.01–10.25). Nonheterosexual students were more likely to report sexting (OR = 2.74, 95% CI: 1.86–4.04), sexual activity (OR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.07–2.15), and unprotected sex at last sexual encounter (OR = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.17–2.89).
    CONCLUSIONS: Sexting, rather than functioning as an alternative to “real world” sexual risk behavior, appears to be part of a cluster of risky sexual behaviors among adolescents. We recommend that clinicians discuss sexting as an adolescent-friendly way of engaging patients in conversations about sexual activity, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy. We further recommend that discussion about sexting and its associated risk behavior be included in school-based sexual health curricula.

Key Words:

Abbreviations:

CI —
confidence interval
LAUSD —
Los Angeles Unified School District
LGBTQ —
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/unsure
OR —
odds ratio
STIs —
sexually transmitted infections
YRBS —
Youth Risk Behavior Survey
  • Accepted May 21, 2012.
  • Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/09/12/peds.2012-0021.abstract

Moi wrote in Talking to your teen about risky behaviors:

Many parents want tips about how to talk with their kids about risky behaviors and whether they should spy on their children.

Perhaps the best advice comes from Carleton Kendrick in the Family Education article, Spying on Kids

Staying connected

So how do you make sure your teens are on the straight and narrow? You can’t. And don’t think you can forbid them to experiment with risky behavior. That’s what they’re good at during this stage, along with testing your limits. You can help them stay healthy, safe, and secure by doing the following:

  • Keep communicating with your teens, even if they don’t seem to be listening. Talk about topics that interest them.

  • Respect and ask their opinions.

  • Give them privacy. That doesn’t mean you can’t knock on their door when you want to talk.

  • Set limits on their behavior based on your values and principles. They will grudgingly respect you for this.

  • Continually tell them and show them you believe in who they are rather than what they accomplish.

  • Seek professional help if your teen’s abnormal behaviors last more than three weeks.

A 1997 landmark adolescent health study, which interviewed over 12,000 teenagers, concluded that the single greatest protection against high-risk teenage behavior, like substance abuse and suicide, is a strong emotional connection to a parent. Tough as it may be, you should always try to connect with them. And leave the spying to James Bond. It will only drive away the children you wish to bring closer.

In truth, a close relationship with your child will probably be more effective than spying. Put down that Blackberry, iPhone, and Droid and try connecting with your child. You should not only know who your children’s friends are, but you should know the parents of your children’s friends. Many parents have the house where all the kids hang out because they want to know what is going on with their kids. Often parents volunteer to chauffeur kids because that gives them the opportunity to listen to what kids are talking about. It is important to know the values of the families of your kid’s friends. Do they furnish liquor to underage kids, for example?  How do they feel about teen sex and is their house the place where kids meet for sex?Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex, Drugs & Alcohol  which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

So, in answer to the question should you spy on your Kids? Depends on the child. Some children are more susceptible to peer pressure and impulsive behavior than others. They will require more and possibly more intrusive direction. Others really are free range children and have the resources and judgment to make good decisions in a variety of circumstances. Even within a family there will be different needs and abilities. The difficulty for parents is to make the appropriate judgments and still give each child the feeling that they have been treated fairly. Still, for some kids, it is not out of line for parents to be snoops, they just might save the child and themselves a lot of heartache. https://drwilda.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Resources:

Sexting Information: What every parent should know about sexting.                                                                                                                                     http://www.noslang.com/sexting.php

Social Networking and Internet Safety Information for Parents: Sexting                                                                                                                                     http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/sexting/

Teen Sexting Tips                                                                                 http://www.safeteens.com/teen-sexting-tips/

Related:

New study about ‘sexting’ and teens                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/new-study-about-sexting-and-teens/

Sexting’ during school hours                                                           https://drwilda.com/2012/08/05/sexting-during-school-hours/

CDC report: Contraceptive use among teens                             https://drwilda.com/2012/07/24/cdc-report-contraceptive-use-among-teens/

Title IX also mandates access to education for pregnant students                                                                     https://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/title-ix-also-mandates-access-to-education-for-pregnant-students/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Talking to your teen about risky behaviors

7 Jun

In No one is perfect: People sometimes fail, moi said:

There are no perfect people, no one has a perfect life and everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, children do not come with instruction manuals, which give specific instructions about how to relate to that particular child. Further, for many situations there is no one and only way to resolve a problem. What people can do is learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Craig Playstead has assembled a top ten list of mistakes made by parents and they should be used as a starting point in thinking about your parenting style and your family’s dynamic.

1)            Spoiling kids 

2)            Inadequate discipline

3)            Failing to get involved at school

4)            Praising mediocrity

5)            Not giving kids enough responsibility

6)            Not being a good spouse

7)            Setting unreal expectations

8)            Not teaching kids to fend for themselves

9)            Pushing trends on kids

10)           Not following through

Playstead also has some comments about stage parents.

Let kids be kids. Parents shouldn’t push their trends or adult outlook on life on their kids. Just because it was your life’s dream to marry a rich guy doesn’t mean we need to see your 4-year-old daughter in a “Future Trophy Wife” t-shirt. The same goes for the double ear piercing—that’s what you want, not them. Teaching kids about your passions is great, but let them grow up to be who they are. And yes, this goes for you pathetic stage parents as well. It’s hard enough for kids to figure out who they are in the world without you trying to turn them into what you couldn’t be.

Paul Tough has written a very thoughtful New York Times piece about the importance of failure in developing character, not characters.

In What If the Secret to Success Is Failure? Tough writes:

Dominic Randolph can seem a little out of place at Riverdale Country School — which is odd, because he’s the headmaster. Riverdale is one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools, with a 104-year-old campus that looks down grandly on Van Cortlandt Park from the top of a steep hill in the richest part of the Bronx. On the discussion boards of UrbanBaby.com, worked-up moms from the Upper East Side argue over whether Riverdale sends enough seniors to Harvard, Yale and Princeton to be considered truly “TT” (top-tier, in UrbanBabyese), or whether it is more accurately labeled “2T” (second-tier), but it is, certainly, part of the city’s private-school elite, a place members of the establishment send their kids to learn to be members of the establishment. Tuition starts at $38,500 a year, and that’s for prekindergarten.

Randolph, by contrast, comes across as an iconoclast, a disrupter, even a bit of an eccentric. He dresses for work every day in a black suit with a narrow tie, and the outfit, plus his cool demeanor and sweep of graying hair, makes you wonder, when you first meet him, if he might have played sax in a ska band in the ’80s. (The English accent helps.) He is a big thinker, always chasing new ideas, and a conversation with him can feel like a one-man TED conference, dotted with references to the latest work by behavioral psychologists and management gurus and design theorists. When he became headmaster in 2007, he swapped offices with his secretary, giving her the reclusive inner sanctum where previous headmasters sat and remodeling the small outer reception area into his own open-concept work space, its walls covered with whiteboard paint on which he sketches ideas and slogans. One day when I visited, one wall was bare except for a white sheet of paper. On it was printed a single black question mark.

For the headmaster of an intensely competitive school, Randolph, who is 49, is surprisingly skeptical about many of the basic elements of a contemporary high-stakes American education. He did away with Advanced Placement classes in the high school soon after he arrived at Riverdale; he encourages his teachers to limit the homework they assign; and he says that the standardized tests that Riverdale and other private schools require for admission to kindergarten and to middle school are “a patently unfair system” because they evaluate students almost entirely by I.Q. “This push on tests,” he told me, “is missing out on some serious parts of what it means to be a successful human.”

The most critical missing piece, Randolph explained as we sat in his office last fall, is characterthose essential traits of mind and habit that were drilled into him at boarding school in England and that also have deep roots in American history. “Whether it’s the pioneer in the Conestoga wagon or someone coming here in the 1920s from southern Italy, there was this idea in America that if you worked hard and you showed real grit, that you could be successful,” he said. “Strangely, we’ve now forgotten that. People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SAT’s, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed, to be honest. I don’t think they’ve grown the capacities to be able to handle that….”

Whatever the dream you feel you didn’t realize, remember that was your dream, it may not be your child’s dream. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/no-one-is-perfect-people-sometimes-fail/ Still, parents must talk to their children about life risks.

David Beasley is reporting in the Reuters article, One-third of U.S. teens report texting while driving: CDC:

A new federal study shows dramatic improvement in the driving habits of U.S. high school students, but texting by teenagers behind the wheel is a concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.

One in three high school students reported they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous 30 days, according to the centers’ 2011 youth risk behavior survey of 15,000 high school students.

The percentage of those who had texted or emailed while driving was higher for upper classmen, with nearly 43 percent of 11th graders and 58 percent of 12th graders saying they had done so in the past month. This is the first time texting questions were included in this survey.

“Texting or emailing while driving a car can have deadly consequences,” said Howell Wechsler, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.

The CDC did not have statistics on how many teens are killed annually from accidents caused by texting or emailing.

In 2010, auto accidents killed 3,115 teens aged 13-19, the CDC said. That was down 44 percent over the past decade, but auto accidents remain the leading cause of teen deaths.

The centers said the survey revealed more teenagers are wearing seatbelts and fewer are driving after drinking.

Over two decades, the percentage of high school students who never or rarely wore a seatbelt declined from 26 percent to 8 percent, the CDC said.

In 2011, only 8 percent of students said they had driven a car within the past 30 days when they had been drinking alcohol, compared to 17 percent in 1997. The percentage of students who rode with a driver who had been drinking during the previous 30 days dropped from 40 percent to 24 percent…

Nearly 40 percent of students said they had at least one alcoholic drink in the previous 30 days….

http://news.yahoo.com/one-third-u-teens-report-texting-while-driving-221543484–sector.html;_ylt=AsxzGlM8pNbQr9cKMiVPFctPXs8F;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0aGZqaDlwBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBVU1NGIEVkdWNhdGlvblNTRgRwa2cDNTFkZDYzMDUtZjNmZS0zZjgwLWI0NjMtZmQyZjFlOWE3MDFiBHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzg0NDJhMjUxLWIwZWUtMTFlMS1iYjlmLWNhMjM4ODFmOGVjNQ–;_ylg=X3oDMTFlamZvM2ZlBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAMEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3

Many parents want tips about how to talk with their kids about risky behaviors and whether they should spy on their children.

Perhaps the best advice comes from Carleton Kendrick in the Family Education article, Spying on Kids

Staying connected

So how do you make sure your teens are on the straight and narrow? You can’t. And don’t think you can forbid them to experiment with risky behavior. That’s what they’re good at during this stage, along with testing your limits. You can help them stay healthy, safe, and secure by doing the following:

  • Keep communicating with your teens, even if they don’t seem to be listening. Talk about topics that interest them.
  • Respect and ask their opinions.
  • Give them privacy. That doesn’t mean you can’t knock on their door when you want to talk.
  • Set limits on their behavior based on your values and principles. They will grudgingly respect you for this.
  • Continually tell them and show them you believe in who they are rather than what they accomplish.
  • Seek professional help if your teen’s abnormal behaviors last more than three weeks.

A 1997 landmark adolescent health study, which interviewed over 12,000 teenagers, concluded that the single greatest protection against high-risk teenage behavior, like substance abuse and suicide, is a strong emotional connection to a parent. Tough as it may be, you should always try to connect with them. And leave the spying to James Bond. It will only drive away the children you wish to bring closer.

In truth, a close relationship with your child will probably be more effective than spying. Put down that Blackberry, iPhone, and Droid and try connecting with your child. You should not only know who your children’s friends are, but you should know the parents of your children’s friends. Many parents have the house where all the kids hang out because they want to know what is going on with their kids. Often parents volunteer to chauffeur kids because that gives them the opportunity to listen to what kids are talking about. It is important to know the values of the families of your kid’s friends. Do they furnish liquor to underage kids, for example?  How do they feel about teen sex and is their house the place where kids meet for sex?Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex, Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

So, in answer to the question should you spy on your Kids? Depends on the child. Some children are more susceptible to peer pressure and impulsive behavior than others. They will require more and possibly more intrusive direction. Others really are free range children and have the resources and judgment to make good decisions in a variety of circumstances. Even within a family there will be different needs and abilities. The difficulty for parents is to make the appropriate judgments and still give each child the feeling that they have been treated fairly. Still, for some kids, it is not out of line for parents to be snoops, they just might save the child and themselves a lot of heartache.

Related:

What parents need to know about ‘texting’                  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/what-parents-need-to-know-about-texting/

Children and swearing                                                     https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/children-and-swearing/

Does what is worn in school matter?                  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/does-what-is-worn-in-school-matter/

Teen dating violence on the rise                       https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/teen-dating-violence-on-the-rise/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

WOW: Massachusetts school district to give condoms to 12-year-olds

19 Mar

Increasingly, this culture is taking decisions about values away from the family. Cara Pallone of the Statesman Journal of Oregon has written an article about a Halloween incident which describes the cultural divide which currently exists in this culture. On the one hand, are the Sex and The City mavens who advocate sex with anything with a pulse. On the other hand, are those who espouse what is commonly described as traditional values and who advocate a bit more restraint. Pallone reports in the article, Condoms for Halloween Trick-Or-Treaters

Some teenage trick-or-treaters received condoms in their bags on Halloween night in Silverton.

For the couple who handed out the prophylactics, the act was a community service, health education and a message of pregnancy prevention.

For the father of one 14-year-old girl who got them, the act was an intrusion of family privacy and a violation of his right to raise his daughter as he wishes…..

Is providing condoms to teenagers a pragmatic strategy to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, or is it an unintended signal that promotes promiscuity? Or did the Harrises just overstep?

“It is hard for me as a parent to imagine any justification for giving children condoms without parents’ consent,” Côté said. “It’s inappropriate. I want to deal in my own house with my own children.”

Parents must be involved in the discussion of sex with their children and discuss THEIR values long before the culture has the chance to co-op the children. Moi routinely posts the number of Planned Parenthood at the blog along with information about the vacuous and troubled lives of Sex and the City aficionados and troubled pop tarts like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. Kids need to know that much of the life style glamorized in the media often comes at a very high personal cost.

Hopefully incidents like this will prompt parents to have discussions about sex and values at an age appropriate time for their child. Parents have an absolute right to instill THEIR values into THEIR children as long as they are not abusive or neglectful.

In answer to the question of whether handing out condoms to kids on Halloween was OK?

Dr. Wilda says NO. This is a discussion for the child’s family.

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, Condoms For 12-Year-Olds: Springfield Massachusetts School Committee Approves Contraceptive Policy:

A Massachusetts school has taken its first step toward giving students as young as 12 free access to condoms at school.

The Springfield School Committee voted 5-1 Thursday in favor of the “Comprehensive Reproductive Health Policy,” which aims to promote safe sex, prevent sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy.

Under the proposed program, students would be able to acquire condoms from school nurses and high-school based clinics, according to The Republican. Those who receive the contraceptive would be counseled on abstinence and proper storage and use.

The district would notify parents of the program before it takes effect, allowing them to opt out if they don’t want their children to participate. The proposal requires a second vote of approval to be implemented.

The sole dissenting vote came from committee member Peter Murphy, who said he’s not comfortable with providing condoms to 12-year-olds when the legal age of consent in Massachusetts is 16, according to The Inquisitr.

Springfield’s teen birth rate has increased to make it the fourth-highest in the state in 2009, The Republican reports.

Springfield’s move counters a number of political efforts on sex education across the country. The Wisconsin State Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill that would impose abstinence-only sex ed in schools. The proposal also requires that sex ed courses discuss parental responsibility and the socioeconomic benefits of marriage.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/condoms-for-12-year-olds-_n_1354621.html?ref=education

Parents must have THAT discussion about sex earlier and earlier.

Moi wrote about the need for parents to talk to their children about sex in Teaching kids that babies are not delivered by UPS https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/teaching-kids-that-babies-are-not-delivered-by-ups/ Parents and guardians must have age-appropriate conversations with their children and communicate not only their values, but information about sex and the risks of sexual activity. Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex,Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

1. Talk early and talk often about sex. Teens are thinking about sex from early adolescence and they’re very nervous about it,” explains Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW, Executive Director, Answer, a national sexuality education organization based at Rutgers University.  “They get a lot of misinformation about sex and what it’s supposed to be like. And as a result they think that if they take drugs, if they drink, that’s going to make them feel less nervous.”

Take this quiz to sharpen your talking skills.

2. Take a moment. What if your teen asks a question that shocks you? Dr. Schroeder suggests saying, “‘You know, that’s a great question.or ‘I gotta tell you, I’m not sure if you’re being serious right now but I need a minute.‘” Then regain your composure and return to the conversation.

Learn how to handle personal questions from your teen like: “How old were you when you first had sex?” and “Have you ever used drugs?”

3. Be the source of accurate information. Beyond many school health classes, teens have lots of questions about drugs, pregnancy, condoms, abstinence and oral sex.

Find out what one mom discovered when she sat in on her daughter’s sex ed class.

4. Explain the consequences. Since teen brains aren’t wired yet for consequential thinking and impulse control, it’s important to have frank discussions with your teens about the ramifications of unprotected sex and the importance of using condoms to prevent the spread of STDs, HIV and unwanted pregnancy.

Find out how to guide your child toward healthy risks instead of dangerous ones.

5. Help your child figure out what’s right and wrong. Teens need — and want– limits.  When it comes to things like sexuality, drugs and alcohol, they want to know what the rules and consequences are.

6. Use teachable moments. Watch TV shows (like “16 and Pregnant,”  “Teen Mom,” “Jersey Shore” and “Greek”), movies, commercials, magazine ads and the news with your teen and ask “What did you think about that?” “What did you notice about how these characters interacted?”  “What did you think about the decisions they made?” For us, one of the best ways to talk about a number of heavy topics was to take a drive — that way we weren’t face-to-face.

7.  Explain yourself. Teens need to hear your rationale and why you feel the way you do. One approach is to talk about sex, drugs and alcohol in the context of your family’s values and beliefs.

One of the most challenging moments for me was when my daughters brought up the subject of intercourse.  I explained that my hope was they would not do it until they were in a committed, mutually caring relationship and that it would be a choice, not an attempt to hold onto a relationship and that it would be mutually satisfying.

8. Talk about “sexting.” Texting sexual images and messages is more prevalent than you may think. Read more.

9. Remember how you felt. I know when I started puberty I had many thoughts, feelings and questions that weren’t discussed in my family. Things like body changes, feelings of attraction, acne, weight gain, emotional confusion and the desire to push your parents away.  I wanted to help my daughters avoid that confusion.  I wanted them to understand early on that puberty is a hardwired, biological change that happens to all humans so they become interested in sex for the purposes of procreation. It’s natural to have impulses and feelings that are part and parcel to puberty. Teens don’t have control over these feelings and impulses, but they do have control over whether they act on them.

10. Persevere. Dr. Schroeder warns that your teenager may not want to talk — he or she may shrug and walk away. “Adolescents are supposed to behave in that way when inside what they’re really saying is ‘Keep talking to me about this. I need to know what you think. I’m trying to figure this out for myself as a teenager and if I don’t get messages from you, then I’m not going to know how to do this,’” she explains.

Parents not only have the right, but the duty to communicate their values to their children.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Underage drinking costs society big-time

16 Feb

KING5 News reported in the story Teens Who Use Social Media Most Likely to Drink and Use Drugs, Study says

A new study finds teenagers who use social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are most likely to drink and use drugs compared to teens who avoid the social networks.

About 70 percent of teens say they use social networking sites every day. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University surveys teens every year in an attempt to track drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. This year, questions about social media were added.

The study states that teens that use social networking sites are twice as likely to use marijuana, three times as likely to drink alcohol, and five times as likely to use tobacco.

Some experts say kids see images of teens drinking and using drugs online, which takes the shock value out of bad behavior and leads some to think it’s what everyone is doing.

There are signs which may indicate that your child has a substance abuse problem.

How Can You Recognize the Signs of Substance Abuse?

Parents provides general signs of substance abuse and also gives specific signs of alcohol abuse, and several different drugs, narcotics, and inhalants. The general warning signs are:

·         Changes in friends

·         Negative changes in schoolwork, missing school, or declining grades

·         Increased secrecy about possessions or activities

·         Use of incense, room deodorant, or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odors

·         Subtle changes in conversations with friends, e.g. more secretive, using “coded” language

·         Change in clothing choices: new fascination with clothes that highlight drug use

·         Increase in borrowing money

·         Evidence of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, etc.

·         Evidence of use of inhalant products (such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, common household products); Rags and paper bags are sometimes used as accessories

·         Bottles of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils

·         New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol

·         Missing prescription drugs—especially narcotics and mood stabilizers

Remember, these are very general signs, specific drugs, narcotics, and other substances may have different signs, it is important to read the specific signs. Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex,Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

Huffington Post reports in the article, 

It’s no surprise that underage drinking is common in the U.S. In a 2009 study by the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, 42 percent of high school students reported having consumed alcohol in the previous month. But what some might find shocking is the high cost of drinking-related hospitalizations.

Underage drinking takes a toll not only on teens’ health and wellness, but also on treatment facilities. A Mayo Clinic study published today found that the total cost of hospitalizations for underage drinking is an estimated $755 million per year.

According to researchers, of the 40,000 young people aged 15-20 hospitalized in 2008, 79 percent were intoxicated when they arrived at the hospital.

The average age of alcohol-related hospitalizations was 18, and 61 percent of young people hospitalized for drinking were male. The highest number of incidences occurred in the Northeast and Midwest, while the lowest frequency was in the South.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/15/underage-drinking-on-the-_n_1279336.html?ref=email_share

Here is the citation for the Mayo Clinic study:

Journal of Adolescent Health

Hospitalization for Underage Drinkers in the United States

Received 28 April 2011; accepted 21 October 2011. published online 15 February 2012.
Corrected Proof

Hazelton.Org has some good reasons parents should not provide alcohol to children and the reasons can be summed up with the thought, someone has  to be the adult.      

Parents are poor role models if they reinforce the idea that alcohol and other drug use is a necessary and accepted way to entertain at parties. Kids need to know how to have fun without alcohol. Parents need to talk with their children about alcohol before hosting a party. They can be responsible hosts by setting a no-alcohol rule. Provine suggested that parents greet kids at the door, make certain that no uninvited guests are allowed in, check in on the party frequently, and not allow guests to come and go. Parents should never leave the party unattended….

The situation that most frequently results in problems is when parties are held while parents are away for the weekend, said Johnson. The word travels fast about such parties, and before you know it the party is out of control, with hundreds of uninvited guests.

Rules and expectations need to be clearly spelled out with young people before drinking opportunities present themselves. Young people need to be prepared to say no to alcohol in advance of drinking opportunities. Parents need to help them choose parties where there will be no alcohol. Parents need to deliver a clear message: Alcohol and other drug use of any kind is not acceptable.   

The fact that a parent has to assume the role of their child’s friend says a lot  about their lack of maturity and judgment. Unfortunately, for some children, mom and dad are growing up right along side them.

Assuming you are not one of those ill-advised parents who supply their child with alcohol or drugs like marijuana in an attempt to be hip or cool, suspicions that your child may have a substance abuse problem are a concern. Confirmation that your child has a substance abuse problem can be heartbreaking. Even children whose parents have seemingly done everything right can become involved with drugs. The best defense is knowledge about your child, your child’s friends, and your child’s activities. You need to be aware of what is influencing your child

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Teaching kids that babies are not delivered by UPS

22 Jan

It is time for some speak the truth, get down discussion. An acquaintance who practices family law told me this story about paternity. A young man left Seattle one summer to fish in Alaska. He worked on a processing boat with 30 or40 others. He had sex with this young woman. He returned to Seattle and then got a call from her saying she was pregnant. He had been raised in a responsible home and wanted to do the right thing for this child. His mother intervened and demanded a paternity test. To make a long story, short. He wasn’t the father. In the process of looking out for this kid’s interests, my acquaintance had all the men on the boat tested and none of the other “partners” was the father. Any man that doesn’t have a paternity test is a fool.

If you are a slut, doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female you probably shouldn’t be a parent.

How to tell if you are a slut?

  1. If you are a woman and your sex life is like the Jack in the Box 24-hour drive through, always open and available. Girlfriend, you’re a slut.
  1. If you are a guy and you have more hoes than Swiss cheese has holes. Dude, you need to get tested for just about everything and you are a slut. 

Humans have free will and are allowed to choose how they want to live. What you do not have the right to do is to inflict your lifestyle on a child. So, the responsible thing for you to do is go to Planned Parenthood or some other outlet and get birth control for yourself and the society which will have to live with your poor choices. Many religious folks are shocked because I am mentioning birth control, but most sluts have few religious inklings or they wouldn’t be sluts. A better option for both sexes, if this lifestyle is a permanent option, is permanent birth control to lessen a contraception failure. People absolutely have the right to choose their particular lifestyle. You simply have no right to bring a child into your mess of a life. I observe people all the time and I have yet to observe a really happy slut. Seems that the lifestyle is devoid of true emotional connection and is empty. If you do find yourself pregnant, please consider adoption.

Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to Planned Parenthood or some other agency, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that, you are playing Russian Roulette with the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption.

Why the rant? Live Science reports in the article, 1 in 6 Teen Moms Say They Didn’t Believe They Could Get Pregnant:

Half of teen mothers say they were not using birth control when they got pregnant, and a new report outlines the reasons teens give for not doing so.

Of teen moms who reported not using birth control, 31 percent said they did not believe they could get pregnant at the time. To decrease teen birth rates, teens need factual information about the conditions under which pregnancy can occur, along with public health efforts aimed at reducing or delaying teens’ sexual activities, according to the report released today by researchers for the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Others gave various reasons for not using birth control — 24 percent said their partner did not want to use contraception, 13 percent said they had trouble getting birth control, 9 percent said they experienced side effects from using contraception and 8 percent said they thought their sex partner was sterile. Twenty-two percent of the teens said they did not mind getting pregnant.

Health care providers and parents can work to prevent teen pregnancy by increasing teens’ motivation to avoid pregnancy; providing access to contraception and encouraging the use of more effective methods, and strengthening the skills of teens to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners….

Research has shown that teens who report using birth control do not use it consistently, the report noted. One survey found that among sexually active teens who reported using condoms, only 52 percent said they used a condom every time they had sex.

The rates of not using birth control did not vary among teens of different racial groups — whether white, black or Hispanic, about half the teens reported not using birth control when they became pregnant.

There were some differences among the groups in terms of the reasons teens gave for not using birth control. Forty-two percent of Hispanic teens reported not using contraception because they did not think they could get pregnant at the time, whereas 32 percent of black teens gave that reason and 27 percent of white teens did.

Previous research has shown that 17 percent of all sexually active teens report not using birth control when they last had sex….

About 400,000 U.S. teens ages 15 to 19 give birth each year, which gives the United States the highest teen birth rate in the developed world, according to the report.

Teen mothers are more likely than others to drop out of school, and infants born to teens are more likely to have low birth weight, putting them at risk for a number of health conditions, and lower academic achievement, according to the report.
http://news.yahoo.com/1-6-teen-moms-didnt-believe-could-pregnant-202403188.html

Parents and guardians must have age-appropriate conversations with their children and communicate not only their values, but information about sex and the risks of sexual activity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a plethora of information about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

19 Million

STDs are one of the most critical health challenges facing the nation today. CDC estimates that there are 19 million new infections every year in the United States.

$17 Billion

STDs cost the U.S. health care system $17 billion every year—and cost individuals even more in immediate and life-long health consequences.

CDC’s surveillance report includes data on the three STDs that physicians are required to report to local or state public health authorities—gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis—which represent only a fraction of the true burden of STDs. Some common STDs, like human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital herpes, are not required to be reported.

The latest CDC data show troubling trends in three treatable STDs:

  • Gonorrhea: While reported rates are at historically low levels, cases increased slightly from last year and more than 300,000 cases were reported in 2010. There are also signs from other CDC surveillance systems that the disease may become resistant to the only available treatment option.
  • Chlamydia: Case reports have been increasing steadily over the past 20 years, and in 2010, 1.3 million chlamydia cases were reported. While the increase is due to expanded screening efforts, and not to an actual increase in the number of people with chlamydia, a majority of infections still go undiagnosed. Less than half of sexually active young women are screened annually as recommended by CDC.
  • Syphilis: The overall syphilis rate decreased for the first time in a decade, and is down 1.6 percent since 2009. However, the rate among young black men has increased dramatically over the past five years (134 percent). Other CDC data also show a significant increase in syphilis among young black men who have sex with men (MSM), suggesting that new infections among MSM are driving the increase in young black men. The finding is particularly concerning as there has also been a sharp increase in HIV infections among this population.

For more detailed data on each disease, see the Snapshot and Table.

Less than half of people who should be screened receive recommended STD screening services

Undetected and untreated STDs can increase a person’s risk for HIV and cause other serious health consequences, such as infertility. STD screening can help detect disease early and, when combined with treatment, is one of the most effective tools available to protect one’s health and prevent the spread of STDs to others.

STDs in the United States: A Look Beyond the Data

STDs primarily affect young people, but the health consequences can last a lifetime

Young people represent 25 percent of the sexually experienced population in the United States, but account for nearly half of new STDs. The long-lasting health effects are particularly serious for young people:

  • Untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia can silently steal a young woman’s chance to have her own children later in life. Each year, untreated STDs cause at least 24,000 women in the U.S. to become infertile.
  • Untreated syphilis can lead to serious long-term complications, including brain, cardiovascular, and organ damage. Syphilis in pregnant women can also result in congenital syphilis (syphilis among infants), which can cause stillbirth, death soon after birth, and physical deformity and neurological complications in children who survive. Untreated syphilis in pregnant women results in infant death in up to 40 percent of cases.
  • Studies suggest that people with gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis are at increased risk for HIV. Given the increase in both syphilis and HIV among young black gay and bisexual men, it is particularly urgent to diagnose and treat both diseases.

A range of factors place some populations at greater risk for STDs

STDs affect people of all races, ages, and sexual orientations, though some individuals experience greater challenges in protecting their health. When individual risk behaviors are combined with barriers to quality health information and STD prevention services, the risk of infection increases. While everyone should have the opportunity to make choices that allow them to live healthy lives regardless of their income, education, or racial/ethnic background, the reality is that if an individual lacks resources or has difficult living conditions, the journey to health and wellness can be harder. Even with similar levels of individual risk, African Americans and Latinos sometimes face barriers that contribute to increased rates of STDs and are more affected by these diseases than whites.                                   http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats10/trends.htm                                                                                                 See, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sexually_transmitted_diseases/article_em.htm

Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex, Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

1. Talk early and talk often about sex. “Teens are thinking about sex from early adolescence and they’re very nervous about it,” explains Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW, Executive Director, Answer, a national sexuality education organization based at Rutgers University.  “They get a lot of misinformation about sex and what it’s supposed to be like. And as a result they think that if they take drugs, if they drink, that’s going to make them feel less nervous.”

Take this quiz to sharpen your talking skills.

2. Take a moment. What if your teen asks a question that shocks you? Dr. Schroeder suggests saying, “‘You know, that’s a great question.‘ or ‘I gotta tell you, I’m not sure if you’re being serious right now but I need a minute.‘” Then regain your composure and return to the conversation.

Learn how to handle personal questions from your teen like: “How old were you when you first had sex?” and “Have you ever used drugs?”

3. Be the source of accurate information. Beyond many school health classes, teens have lots of questions about drugs, pregnancy, condoms, abstinence and oral sex.

Find out what one mom discovered when she sat in on her daughter’s sex ed class.

4. Explain the consequences. Since teen brains aren’t wired yet for consequential thinking and impulse control, it’s important to have frank discussions with your teens about the ramifications of unprotected sex and the importance of using condoms to prevent the spread of STDs, HIV and unwanted pregnancy.

Find out how to guide your child toward healthy risks instead of dangerous ones.

5. Help your child figure out what’s right and wrong. Teens need — and want– limits.  When it comes to things like sexuality, drugs and alcohol, they want to know what the rules and consequences are.

6. Use teachable moments. Watch TV shows (like “16 and Pregnant,”  “Teen Mom,” “Jersey Shore” and “Greek”), movies, commercials, magazine ads and the news with your teen and ask “What did you think about that?” “What did you notice about how these characters interacted?”  “What did you think about the decisions they made?” For us, one of the best ways to talk about a number of heavy topics was to take a drive — that way we weren’t face-to-face.

7.  Explain yourself. Teens need to hear your rationale and why you feel the way you do. One approach is to talk about sex, drugs and alcohol in the context of your family’s values and beliefs.

One of the most challenging moments for me was when my daughters brought up the subject of intercourse.  I explained that my hope was they would not do it until they were in a committed, mutually caring relationship and that it would be a choice, not an attempt to hold onto a relationship and that it would be mutually satisfying.

8. Talk about “sexting.” Texting sexual images and messages is more prevalent than you may think. Read more.

9. Remember how you felt. I know when I started puberty I had many thoughts, feelings and questions that weren’t discussed in my family. Things like body changes, feelings of attraction, acne, weight gain, emotional confusion and the desire to push your parents away.  I wanted to help my daughters avoid that confusion.  I wanted them to understand early on that puberty is a hardwired, biological change that happens to all humans so they become interested in sex for the purposes of procreation. It’s natural to have impulses and feelings that are part and parcel to puberty. Teens don’t have control over these feelings and impulses, but they do have control over whether they act on them.

10. Persevere. Dr. Schroeder warns that your teenager may not want to talk — he or she may shrug and walk away. “Adolescents are supposed to behave in that way when inside what they’re really saying is ‘Keep talking to me about this. I need to know what you think. I’m trying to figure this out for myself as a teenager and if I don’t get messages from you, then I’m not going to know how to do this,’” she explains.

Parents not only have the right, but the duty to communicate their values to their children.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©