All Entries For teen

Is Your Teen Starting School in a Sleep Haze?

If your teens are like mine, they love to stay up late, are difficult to get up in the morning, and would sleep until noon if you let them. That is what teens do, especially when they are growing. Teens often make difficult choices and trade-offs when trying to allocate time among school, work, extra-curricular activities, friends and family. Many times those choices are at the expense of sleep.
Studies suggest teens need at least nine hours of sleep each night; however, many are only getting around seven hours a night on average. When sleep is limited on school nights, students can go to school too sleepy to learn. Having trouble staying awake increases the chances of missing important information being taught while also risking the loss of a teacher's respect.
A recent study published online in the journal Child Development reports that teens who stay up late to cram for tests tend to do poorly on the test they studied for because of sleep-related academic problems. Researchers also found that the problem compounds over time as academic rigor increases. Now that teens are back to school, will late-night studying to stay on top of their tough academic schedule sabotage their success? Here are some keys to help your student make the most of their study time and their sleep.
Posted 9/17/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 13 comments   10,634 views
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How Do We Raise Morally Healthy Children?

You may have heard the recent news about a school bus aide who was tormented to the point of tears by a group of middle school students. The appalling encounter was caught on video and went viral on YouTube. News stories, internet videos and even thousands of dollars of sympathy donations are among the reactions of shocked Americans across the country.  The questions are rampant:  How could the tormenters behave that way?  How does a person sit idly while victimized?  Could the bus aide have done anything to stop the boys?  What did the parents do (or not do) to raise boys that would behave that way?

At some point, all of us have been the victim of someone’s bad judgment, whether it be a comment or glare because of our age, weight, or some physical feature.  It is wrong, but we cannot escape it.  Why are we compelled to hurt other people?  Even worse, why do some take pleasure in hurting others? 

Posted 6/28/2012  2:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 49 comments   19,610 views
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How to Talk to Your Kids About the News

Crime. Recession. Terrorism. Tsunamis. In our digital age, the news—much of it big, scary and confusing—is everywhere, all the time. And whether it's on television or radio, in print or online, tweens and teens are constantly exposed to disturbing stories, images and videos that can cause them to view the planet as a threatening, terrifying place. "On the one hand, we want our kids to know what's going on around them," says Michael Brody, M.D., chair of the television and media committee for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "Problem is, the news is not rated. A lot of it is sensational, horror-story stuff, which means parents need to put things in perspective." Learn how to talk to your kids about current events, from natural disasters to politics to war, with these smart strategies. You'll calm their fears and help them make better sense of those screaming headlines. Plus, it's a starting point for a deeper, ongoing dialogue that will expand their minds and get them thinking about their role and responsibility in the real world. 
Posted 6/19/2012  10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 4 comments   10,254 views
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'Of Course It's True--I Read It on the Internet!'

A few weeks ago, I was asked to talk to an eighth-grade health class about food and nutrition.  During the school day, there were five periods of eighth grade health; each class contained about 25 students.  I have worked with this age group before and was well aware of the diverse reactions I would encounter among typical 13 and 14 year olds.  I knew that some would be very much interested in the topic, some would be defensive and defiant, others rude, and some just ''too cool'' to comment.  But off I went, with my plastic food models, portion plates and sugar test tubes.
However, the reactions I experienced throughout the day were not what I expected. To make my point, here are just a few examples. (Trust me; the full list is much longer.)
Posted 5/24/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 27 comments   11,648 views
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Calling All Teens: How To Change Your Life This Summer

The teen years aren’t easy, usually neither for the teens nor the parents!  I don’t know anyone who survived them unscathed.  Between hormones, homework and the ''Heathers'', most teenagers have experienced pangs of insecurity and inadequacy at some point in time.  And for those teens who are struggling with being overweight or obese, those insecure feelings can become strong, with impacts on physical health as well as social and emotional wellbeing. 

There is no shortage of advice out there for teens who are concerned about their weight.  From diet pills to cover stories on popular magazines, to fad diets, to celebrities promoting products, it can be hard to navigate what works and what’s dangerous.  Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for lifelong health – like the tortoise and the hare, remember that ''slow and steady wins the race''.
Posted 5/9/2012  2:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments   9,951 views
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Why You Should Drag Your Reluctant Teen to the Dinner Table

I have a teenage son.  He is your typical high-schooler; he has his driving permit, participates in some school sports, and plays in the high school band.  He is striving for complete independence from his parents, yet is secretly still glad to have mom and dad around most of the time.  He often hangs out with his friends in my basement, playing pool, air-hockey, and euchre.  My husband and I have nick-named them the ''basement boys.''
So a few weeks ago, three of the ''basement boys'' decided to arrive on my front doorstep at 4:30 pm.  Their plan was to capture my son, eat at the local pizza place and then head to the basketball game.  I, on the other hand, had a better idea and invited them to stay for dinner and then go to the game.  Luckily, I had prepared a large pot of soup and had enough to feed the crew.  They agreed to stay for our evening meal. 
Posted 3/22/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Becky Hand : 23 comments   8,709 views
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