Tags: Infographic, Internet safety, kids, Teens
Posts Tagged “Teens”
Nov 14 2012
It is bad enough that I have anxiety attacks at the thought of my daughters driving alone but throw in factors like drunk driving and texting and I just want to keep them at home safe and sound. I know that’s unrealistic though, as every parent of teenagers can tell you. We talk and we talk about the risks, the dangers, then we close our eyes and pray like mad that all the talks have somehow sunk in.
I ran across this video on facebook, courtesy of Waking Circle with this notation:
Share this video with everyone you know. It’s not only the kids who need reminding, even adults who should know better have been caught texting while driving. No phone call or text message can be so important that it can’t wait until you’ve stopped the car.
Tags: driving, drunk driving, safety, Teens, texting
“It won’t be one of mine”. That’s what one mother said about her child being bullied. That’s what we all say too, but even when we do everything right, what assurances do we have that the same thing won’t happen to our children? It’s a cruel world they are living in. The boundaries that hemmed us in when we were younger are now blurred and even more so when you throw in the anonymity afforded by technology. Some kids (and some adults too) are emboldened when they think they can hide behind aliases and anonymous personas on the internet or through texting.
Growing up and being a teen is hard enough without adding bullying into the mix. It seems that we hear more and more cases of young kids taking their own lives because of alleged bullying. Just today, I read about two cases. One is of a mom in Philadelphia who risks jail time to avoid subjecting her child to bullying. The other, more severe case is of a 12 year old Japanese girl who hanged herself because of bullying. After hearing of the later case, could you blame the Philadelphia mom?
It breaks my heart to hear of these cases. I feel bad for the young lives cut short. I feel bad for their parents left behind. But most of all I am terrified that it would happen to us. It’s easy to become complacent, to think that it would never happen to us. But as we all know, there are no guarantees in life, only hope. Hope that we have done enough to create a secure sense of self in our children, that we have done enough to make sure their exposure to the unpleasantness in life is at most minimal. We hope that we’ve loved them enough that they don’t need anyone elses. We hope that we’ve armed them enough to fight anything thrown at them. We hope that they are strong enough to withstand hopelessness. We hope…
But the most important thing that I hope we have imparted in our children is to not be afraid to be wrong and to not afraid to be loud. I know. Wrong and loud does not seem to be characteristics that we ought to be teaching our children. They seem more traits fit for the bullies we are fighting against. But I do believe that the people involved in just the two cases I mentioned above, the people who had knowledge of the bullying, were afraid to be wrong and were afraid to be loud and stand out. They didn’t want to be the first one to step out of line to say, ‘stop!’. They didn’t want to be labeled as loud for speaking out.
In the Japanese case, “After an initial denial, Niisato Higashi Elementary School admitted Monday she had been a frequent target of abuse by classmates.” They admitted after the fact and after a ‘survey’ has been conducted. If only just one teacher had ventured to be wrong and found a loud enough voice to say ‘Enough!’
In the Philadelphia case, there is still hope. The kids are still alive. There are still here so that administrators can still bicker whether enough documentation is available to warrant protecting these kids. If only one administrator in that school district would risk being wrong by going against protocol and instead listen to this individual case and be the one to be loud enough for them so they can attend a safer school.
When my daughters entered school, someone told us that we had better teach them to stand up for themselves. That we should teach them to take no crap. That we should teach them to hit back. It sounded right. We wouldn’t want our daughters to be anyone’s victims.
Except that I wasn’t too comfortable with teaching them to fight. Instead, we taught them to avoid being in situations where they would have to hit someone back. We told them that crap is crap and they don’t have room within themselves for crap so leave others to theirs.
We taught them to stand up for someone else who is being taken advantage of. We told them to sit with the person sitting alone. We told them to be the first to help someone up when they have fallen. We told them to be the first to offer a kind word when someone is sad and be the first to say hi when someone is new to the school.
Are our girls perfect because of what we’ve tried to tell them and teach them? Of course not. I’m sure they have had their mean moments. I am sure that they have inadvertently laughed when someone stumbled. They have probably said some unkind words about someone else. They may have even hit back when someone shoved them. That’s alright. None of us are perfect.
My hope is that when it counts, I hope that they will have the courage to be wrong. To go against their friends to stand up for someone else who can’t do it for themselves. I hope they find their voice and use it as loud as they can to speak for someone else who can’t. I hope…
Tags: bullying, children, Teens
I’m sure you all have seen this commercial.
I have gotten very good at tuning out commercials or I just switch to another channel whenever they come on. I have fallen in love with TiVo just because I can watch pretty much anything now commercial free! But I digress.
Today, this commercial is the topic of discussion at the Simple Dollar blog on his post, COMMERCIALS, KIDS AND MATERIALISM.
I usually read the Simple Dollar via email subscription so I don’t get to see all the comments. Being a parent though and this being a subject close to my heart, I knew that this post would generate some comments. So I headed to the site and I was not wrong. There was a long list of comments basically agreeing with what Trent had to say, which basically comes down to his last point being:
Absolutely! The situation may have been amusing for a TV ad but in real life, with real parents, that boy would be back home scrubbing that lame ol’ van instead of going out with his friends!
Trent’s first point is especially true when it comes to family financials: “if you’re a parent, your kids shouldn’t have any influence over your buying decisions”
I was just having this discussion with my co-worker yesterday because she saw that my daughter was driving when I got dropped off. Yes, my second daughter is practicing her driving so she can get her license. No, she won’t be getting her own car much less a brand new one like some of her friends are. Although there is a tiny part of me that feels bad we can’t afford to buy her a car new or used, that guilty feeling doesn’t last too long. She just got a job and if she chooses, she can save her earnings and maybe buy a used car. We’ll help her with the insurance, which is going to be hefty, we’ll help with the maintenance and of course we’ll be there for incidentals. However, she knows that she is in no way entitled to get a car just because she’s old enough to drive and have a license. Some of her friends feel that way; but we’ve talked about this and I am very open with her and her sisters about our financial situation.
Now if maybe I was a millionnaire and a new car would equate to me buying a new outfit, then of course I would get her a new car. What parent wouldn’t want to be able to do that for their kids?
But I happen to think that there is something to be said about having to work for the things you have. When you work for something, it is more valuable to you. You take better care of it and you are more aware of how other people may feel about their personal property.
Having your first car is definitely one of the highlights of a young person’s life, but learning about how to manage your money early on is a bigger lesson that must not be overlooked.
Tags: finances, Teens