Tag Archives: top ten list of mistakes made by parents

Study: Teenagers take risks to earn peer approval

29 May

 

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 talks about facing up to failure, but he is not talking about per se risky behavior.    https://drwilda.com/2011/12/06/no-one-is-perfect-people-sometimes-fail/

 

Sarah D. Sparks writes in the Education Week article, Teenagers Are Wired for Peer Approval, Study Says:

 

 

In an ongoing series of studies, Temple University researchers Laurence Steinberg and Jason M. Chein and their colleagues have found that teenagers take more risks and are more sensitive to potential rewards when they think peers are watching them—even if they consciously believe they aren’t affected by peer pressure.

 

“Although it’s very, very tempting to assign consciousness to teenagers’ motivations and behavior—to say they are doing something because ‘they don’t understand the consequences,’ ‘they think they are invincible,’ ‘they want to impress their friends’—what we think we’re finding is [risk-taking] has a much more biological basis to it,” said Mr. Chein, the director of Temple University’s Neurocognition Lab.

 

In studies discussed in the April special issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science on “the teenage brain,” the Temple researchers found 14- to 16-year-olds take significantly more risks, and are more responsive to potential rewards, when other teenagers are around than when they are by themselves.

 

“In the same way a young child is developing in the context of her family environment, a middle schooler and high schooler is developing in the context of peers,” said Kevin M. King, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle, who was not part of the Temple research.

 

“There are huge changes in the social environment,” he said. “[Adolescents] are going from one classroom to many, from parents’ making all the early friendship choices to making [their] own.”

 

Focused on Rewards

 

And that new freedom to make their own choices comes just when students start taking more risks in the company of peers.

 

Mr. Steinberg, a psychology professor at Temple, and Mr. Chein presented study participants with a game in which a player was shown a card labeled with a number between one and nine, and had to guess whether the next card would be higher or lower, with players told before some rounds that they would receive a reward or no reward for a correct guess.

 

The game was rigged: A computer randomly ensured each player guessed right exactly half the time. The participants played under functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, which measures electrical activity in the brain, allowing the researchers to gauge how much players were responding to the possibility of rewards.

 

Both adults and adolescents had more brain activity for a potential reward than for none, but teenagers showed significantly higher response to potential rewards when they were told (untruthfully) that another teenager was watching from another room. Adults, by contrast, showed no change when told of being watched.

 

The findings build on a 2009 study by Mr. Steinberg that found, among 14- to 16-year-olds, younger teenagers took twice as many risks in a timed driving simulation when with peers than when tested alone. Older teenagers took 50 percent more risks when doing the simulation course with friends than alone.

 

Channeling Peer Power

 

In a study of binge drinking, Mr. King found adolescents who are deciding to drink weigh negative effects such as having a hangover or getting in a fight less than they weigh perceived social benefits, such as increased confidence and the ability to speak with others.

 

Both the Temple and University of Washington researchers are separately exploring interventions to help teenagers take a step back mentally in social situations, turning an emotional decision into a more rational one….

 

Related Stories

 

 

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/05/22/32peers.h32.html?tkn=PTVFBCFZch6sOyARMfoB9mGdbVai%2F1DepwoM&cmp=clp-edweek

 

 

Citation:

 

The Teenage Brain Peer Influences on Adolescent Decision Making

 

  1. Dustin Albert1,2,3

  2. Jason Chein4

  3. Laurence Steinberg4

 

  1. 1Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University
  2. 2Social Science Research Institute, Duke University
  3. 3Center for Developmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  4. 4Department of Psychology, Temple University

 

  1. Laurence Steinberg, Temple University, Weiss Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19122 E-mail: lds@temple.edu

 

Abstract

Research efforts to account for elevated risk behavior among adolescents have arrived at an exciting new stage. Moving beyond laboratory studies of age differences in risk perception and reasoning, new approaches have shifted their focus to the influence of social and emotional factors on adolescent decision making. We review recent research suggesting that adolescent risk-taking propensity derives in part from a maturational gap between early adolescent remodeling of the brain’s socioemotional reward system and a gradual, prolonged strengthening of the cognitive-control system. Research has suggested that in adolescence, a time when individuals spend an increasing amount of time with their peers, peer-related stimuli may sensitize the reward system to respond to the reward value of risky behavior. As the cognitive-control system gradually matures over the course of the teenage years, adolescents grow in their capacity to coordinate affect and cognition and to exercise self-regulation, even in emotionally arousing situations. These capacities are reflected in gradual growth in the capacity to resist peer influence.

 

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/

 

 

Where information leads to Hope. ©  Dr. Wilda.com

 

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

 

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                           http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/

 

 

Mayo Clinic study: You can’t shield children from all risks

17 Mar

Moi wrote in No one is perfect: People sometimes fail:

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.com/2011/12/06/no-one-is-perfect-people-sometimes-fail/

U.S. News reports on a recent Mayo Clinic study in Avoiding Scary Situations May Leave Kids More Anxious: Study:

– Children who avoid scary situations are more likely to have anxiety, according to researchers who developed a new way to assess avoidance behavior in youngsters.

The Mayo Clinic study included more than 800 children, aged 7 to 18, and used two eight-question surveys, one for parents and one for children.

The parents’ survey asks about their children’s tendencies to avoid scary situations. For example: “When your child is scared or worried about something, does he or she ask to do it later?”

The children’s survey asks them to describe their avoidance habits. For example: “When I feel scared or worried about something, I try not to go near it.”

Children who tried to avoid scary situations at the start of the study were more likely than other children to have anxiety a year later, according to the study published online March 4 in the journal Behavior Therapy. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/03/15/avoiding-scary-situations-may-leave-kids-more-anxious-study

Here is the Mayo Clinic press release:

Children Who Avoid Scary Situations Likelier to Have Anxiety, Mayo Clinic Research Finds

Monday, March 11, 2013

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Children who avoid situations they find scary are likely to have anxiety a Mayo Clinic study of more than 800 children ages 7 to 18 found. The study published this month in Behavior Therapy presents a new method of measuring avoidance behavior in young children.

The researchers developed two eight-question surveys: the Children’s Avoidance Measure Parent Report and the Children’s Avoidance Measure Self Report. The questionnaires ask details about children’s avoidance tendencies, for instance, in addressing parents, “When your child is scared or worried about something, does he or she ask to do it later?” It also asks children to describe their passive avoidance habits. For example: “When I feel scared or worried about something, I try not to go near it.”

One of the most surprising findings was that measuring avoidance could also predict children’s development of anxiety. Children who participated in the study showed stable anxiety scores after a year had passed, but those who described avoidance behaviors at the onset tended to be more anxious a year later.

“This new approach may enable us to identify kids who are at risk for an anxiety disorder,” says lead author Stephen Whiteside, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist with the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. “And further, because cognitive behavior therapy focuses on decreasing avoidance behaviors, our approach may also provide a means to evaluate whether current treatment strategies work they we think they do.”

In 25 anxious children surveyed following cognitive behavior therapy that slowly exposed children to the situations that caused fear, the avoidance scores from surveys of their parents declined by half. This likely indicates that part of the reason they’re getting better is that they’re no longer avoiding things, Dr. Whiteside says.

“Even after controlling for their baseline anxiety, those who avoided had more anxiety than kids who didn’t avoid,” Dr. Whiteside says. “That was consistent with the model of how anxiety disorders develop. Kids who avoid fearful situations don’t have the opportunity to face their fears and don’t learn that their fears are manageable.”

Most children experience fears of one kind or another, but for some children those fears become heightened as part of an anxiety disorder. When children begin to avoid scary situations, anxiety disorders can become particularly disabling, preventing participation in everyday activities. Even though several methods exist to gauge children’s fearful thinking and symptoms like feeling nervous, clinicians have had few tools until now to measure avoidance behaviors.

Dr. Whiteside is the developer of the Mayo Clinic Anxiety Coach, an iPhone app that helps individuals learn about anxiety, gauge and manage their symptoms, and make lists of activities to help them face their fears. The study was funded by Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology.

###

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit MayoClinic.com or MayoClinic.org/news.

Journalists can become a member of the Mayo Clinic News Network for the latest health, science and research news and access to video, audio, text and graphic elements that can be downloaded or embedded.

Citation:

Behavior Therapy

Available online 4 March 2013

In Press, Accepted ManuscriptNote to users

Development of child- and parent-report measures of behavioral avoidance related to childhood anxiety disorders

  • a Mayo Clinic
  • b University of Missouri, Kansas City
  • c University of Missouri

Purchase $31.50

Abstract

The current report describes three studies conducted to develop 8-item child- and parent-report measures to further the understanding of the role of behavioral avoidance in the development, maintenance and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders. Participants included both clinical (N=463; ages 8 to 12) and community (N=421; ages 7 to 18) samples of children and their parents from primarily Caucasian intact families. Follow-up data were collected from 104 families in the community sample. Overall, the measures were internally consistent and related to anxiety, distress, and alternative measures of avoidance in both samples. Parent report of children’s behavioral avoidance evidenced the strongest psychometric properties, differentiated among clinical and community populations, and most importantly, predicted children’s anxiety at least eight months later over and above initial anxiety ratings. Moreover, decreases in avoidance were associated with successful exposure therapy. These results are consistent with the role of behavioral avoidance in the development of anxiety and provide a efficient tool for assessing the role avoidance in clinical and research settings.

Highlights

Avoidance is theorized to contribute to childhood anxiety disorders. ► We developed child- and parent-report measures of behavioral avoidance. ► Both measures demonstrated good psychometric properties. ► Parent-report predicted changes in child anxiety over a one-year period. ► Avoidance decreased with successful treatment.

Moi wrote in You call your kid prince or princess, society calls them ‘brat’:

Here is today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Urban Dictionary defines brat:

1.A really annoying person.
2.A person that is spoiled rotten.
3.An annoying child that wants something that no one will get for him/her. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=brat

Most folks have had the experience of shopping in a store like Target and observing a child acting out or screaming at the top of his or her lungs. Another chance for observation of family interaction is dining out at a restaurant when children may act out. Without knowing the history, it is difficult to assess the root cause. Still, an observation of how the parent(s) deal with the tantrum is instructive about who is in control and where the power resides in a family. It appears that in many families the parents are reluctant to be parents and to teach their children appropriate behavior, boundaries, and manners.

http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/you-call-your-kid-prince-or-princess-society-calls-them-brat/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                 Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                           http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/

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 ©