Archive for September, 2010

30
Sep
10

Why Won’t They Talk To Me?!

Chances are you have tried to talk to your teen about something and were met with a blank stare and a door slam. What is with this phenomenon? Is there something about teens that make them so adverse to telling us how their day went, who their friends are, and who this week’s crush is? Not exactly. They want to tell you what happened in Biology, who Rob is asking to prom, and who they hope will ask them. If you feel like you have asked those questions until you were blue in the face and are met with that deer in the headlights look that teens are so known for-then maybe you are not asking the right way. How would you feel if you walked in to work and your boss asked you about an important project you had been working on, and as soon as you began to talk he began reading his email and mumbled “mmhmm” occasionally. You would feel pretty upset wouldn’t you? Well, your teen may be feeling the same way. If you say “How was school today?” and in the same breath begin cooking dinner, reading the mail, and wiping down the counters-you are no better than that boss. Your teen wants you to mean it when you ask them about their lives,and that means stopping everything and listening. Good listening can be hard when you have got half a million things to do and 20 minutes to do them. But, if you are truly invested in having a relationship with your teen, you have to give them your undivided attention when they want to share something with you. Try taking ten minutes a day and giving it to them to talk about their lives. Go some place quiet, leave the cell phones on the counter, and truly listen. Ask questions, nod your head, make eye contact. These little things let your teen know that you care about what they have to say and they will be much more likely to venture information, problems, and issues when they come up on their own. Soon enough, you won’t need to set aside time, it will come naturally to stop whatever is going on and listen.

To sum it all up:

Your teen wants to tell you about their lives.

They may feel like you are not listening or don’t care because of your actions.

Setting aside time to listen everyday can open up communication.

Make eye contact, ask questions, nod your head. This lets them know that you are really listening.

~Kate McHugh, Driven Intern

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15
Sep
10

Could My Teen Be In A Violent Dating Relationship?

1 in every 3 Teen Dating Relationships is Violent

Over 90% of the injuries in Dating Violence occur to the woman in the relationship

92% of teenage rape victims know their attackers

What Is Dating Violence?

Physical Abuse

pushing or shoving

slapping, hitting, kicking

hitting with an object

threats with weapons

forcing sexual relations

Verbal Abuse

name calling

threats

belittling

put-downs

Characteristics  of Abusers

Jealous or possessive

Controlling, bossy, gives orders, makes all decisions

Scary-uses threats to get you to do something

Violent-history of fighting, loses temper quickly, brags about mistreating others

Pressures sex, thinks of women as sex objects, gets too serious about relationship too fast

Abuses drugs or alcohol

Blames victim for mistreatment

History of bad relationships

Family and Friends are concerned about safety of partner in the relationship

Prevention

-Pay Your Own Way

Give your child money for their dating activities, and make sure they have emergency cash on them.

-Be Able to Leave

Know who your child will be traveling with, and arrange to be available to pick them up if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable with their date

-Assert Yourself

Encourage your child to be themselves in their dating relationships. If you notice a shift in your child around their significant other, this can be a warning sign that they do not have the freedom to express opinions around their partner

-Get to Know Their Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Any one who wants to date your child should be respectful of your questions and desires to get to know them. If they are resistant to this, this can be a red flag.

-Decrease Interaction Time

Encourage your child to continue doing activities that he/she enjoys and not to quit them to spend more time with their boyfriend/girlfriend. Activities outside of the relationship helps promote a healthy relationship.

-Keep Your Friends

Girls may stop spending time with their friends unless a boyfriend/girlfriend is busy. This is harmful in an abusive situation because they lose a network of people who be there as a support for them.

Resources

Berks Women In Crisis

610-372-9540 ENGLISH

610-372-7463-SPANISH

http://www.berkswomenincrisis.org

07
Sep
10

Facebook-Your Teen’s Friend or Foe?

“Get off the computer and come down for dinner!” “Put that phone down and look at me when I am speaking to you!” It seems that teenagers these days are glued to their information connection. As parents, you want to safeguard them from danger while allowing them to flourish and grow into functional human beings.  How do you strike a balance between the two? Tough conundrum .

 For teens, Facebook and the like are probably a vital part of your child’s social life. It may seem hard to understand as a parent where the thrill lies or how they can spend hours interacting through the online world. These outlets however are a wonderful way for your teen to interact with the world and establish their identity. As parents, it is your job to make sure they are being safe in doing so. We have all seen horror stories on the news about girls being snatched after meeting older men online. These numbers continue to grow as more and more people use the internet to communicate with one another. Parents need to be mindful of their child’s online activity while maintaining a level of privacy. Talk with your teen about online safety, on a continual basis. Assure them that you understand their need for autonomy but you are still the parent and set ground rules for Facebook. Some parents require their child to be their friend on Facebook, whilst others ask for their child’s password. The discussion should be an open one between teen and parent.

~Kate MacHugh, Intern for Driven