Category: Teen Life

Where to Look for Help with an Unplanned Teen Pregnancy

If you’re facing an unplanned teen pregnancy, you are not alone. Women between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth to 229,715 babies in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the teen pregnancy rate has been decreasing in recent years, many teens still face an unplanned pregnancy every year, and it can be a terrifying, lonely experience. But for these teens, help is available.

Counseling Services

Image Credit: Guardian Angel Adoptions

Many teens aren’t sure what they want to do when they first learn they are pregnant. Many church-affiliated organizations may offer counseling at little to no cost. Ask for information about all your options, including the pros and cons of each.

Teen Parenting

Support centers exist for mothers want to keep their babies, including support groups, parenting classes, and things like baby clothes, diapers, and infant car seats. Some hospitals offer support groups, childbirth classes and parenting classes specifically for teens, too. Finally, many high schools now offer special services for teen parents. Ask your guidance counselor.

Adoption Services

Image Credit: Syda Productions

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, you can contact your state’s adoption services for more information, or go through private companies that help you navigate the process. Every state has an agency with a name like the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Social Services that has a department that handles adoptions.

Pregnancy is intimidating, especially if you’re facing it alone. But help is available, and you should feel confident that you can still have an abundant, rewarding life. Pregnancy is the start of a new life, not the end of yours. There is help and there is hope. Never forget that!

Why legal marijuana isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Hi, I’m Kevin Bryce and this is a story about my journey with weed. I’ve had many highs, but many more lows, when it comes to smoking pot. Back in 2011, I fell in with a bad crowd that ultimately led to becoming a huge weed addict. It got to the point where I couldn’t even sleep at night due to my addiction – it was a total dependency. It had completely taken over my life. At the time I had a very low hour job in Walmart, a very high maintenance girlfriend, and rent to pay for.

My addiction to weed became so bad that at this time that I must have had my mother pay rent for about 6 months of every year for 4 years due to my lack of finances. I had brainwashed myself to believe that the weed wasn’t my problem and that all of the problems in my life were to do with me being ‘unlucky’ and that my time to shine would eventually come.

It didn’t.

Looking 5 years on – I’m in the exact same position this time but with a different girlfriend (with a relationship that’s falling apart) and I’m smoking about double the amount I was years ago. At this point, I must have been smoking about 6-8 blunts during the day and hit a bong for hours in the evening. The worse my life got, the bigger the hole I dug myself became. I started to become totally reliant on this drug that was ruining my ability to achieve my dreams of being a web designer / internet marketer.

In early 2016 I took a trip to a conference in Orlando, FL which was a congregation of Internet Marketers. I only went because one of my close buddies pretty much forced me to go. One of the speakers on stage spoke about a man who was trying to ‘fly’ (essentially referring to his start to success) and had to climb to the top of a mountain to do so. Very often he’d climb all the way to the top, jump off to try to glide, and fail. But this man was special because no matter how many times he jumped off the mountain and hurt himself, he always pushed himself back to the top. He never stopped.

The speaker made us see that the man who keeps climbing sorts out his problems from the falls. The man who pushes back up the hill when he’s very sure that he’ll not even glide this time, and keeps trying, is the man who achieves great things.

It hit me hard. What had I been doing for the last 6 years of my life? I was sitting at the bottom of this mountain blaming everyone else for my problems.

When I got home, I knew what I had to do. If I wanted to achieve my dream of being a successful web designer / internet marketer – I had to get rid of the one thing stopping me from doing that – marijuana.

I began researching online and I found this course which I commonly talk about on my website, How to Stop Smoking Pot. The course took me through a full and painful detox process which allowed me to eventually stop. The process of getting rid of a weed addiction that I had for a number of years is one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do. But its worth it. We have a teen pot resource as well.

My advice to anyone reading this is not to bother with it recreational cannabis, legal or otherwise. Unless you’re an aspiring weed flavor tester – leave it alone. It’s expensive, addictive and it doesn’t allow you to work at your optimal performance. Everyone has dreams and I missed out on years of my life where I wasn’t able to achieve my dreams due to a drug that only flushed those away with every puff.

Proudly, I’m now at a stage where I’m working on my ambitions to be an internet marketer / web designer with my how to stop smoking pot resource. If you are struggling with a weed addiction yourself, or you know someone else who is, get them to check out my website as I have a huge amount of information on the experiences that I went through when quitting.

Getting high didn’t solve any of my problems, I was just deluding myself. Get help if you are on marijuana – or better yet never start.


The previous was a guest post by Kevin Bryce. To submit your own guest post, contact info@teenswannaknow.com

X Plan for Teenagers Provides Life Saving Ways Out of a Dangerous Situation

Teenagers find themselves in a variety of dangerous situations. It’s nothing new. Drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity — and now Tide Pods! The teen years are notorious for risky behavior, experimentation, and as a result, accidents. Quite often, those accidents lead to death.

The saving grace is that more and more teenagers are deciding to break out of this stereotype of risky behaviors. The problem with this is that excusing yourself from the activities of friends can cause social ridicule. The last thing a kid wants is to be outcast from his or her only social group for saying “no.”

X Plan

The X Plan provides a way out of that social ridicule. Teacher, speaker, and lay minister Bert Fulks has devised a plan to help kids save face while also saving their lives.

If you are a teenager, and you find yourself in a sticky situation, you simply send a text.

Text your parents with the letter X, and your parents then know to call you. You simply answer the phone, and your parents will say that they need you home immediately for some family emergency, and that they’ll be over to pick you up in five minutes.

Apologize to your friends, let them know a family emergency has arisen, and get the heck outta there.

Why It Works

The X plan is a life-saving strategy not only for the obvious reason – that you get to save face and get out of a scary situation at the same time. This is of course the face of the situation. The real genius behind the plan is that it gets inside of a teenage head.

Here’s the thing: the social pressure placed on kids is enormous. It can be debilitating to the point of convincing kids that what their friends want is what they want too. In fact, kids may find themselves encouraging and reinforcing bad behavior just because they think it is what the entire group wants.

Mob Mentality

Individuals become emboldened in a group. One person may come up with a crazy plan he or she never would have acted out on alone. But because he or she is in a group setting, the idea becomes a spoken thought, the thought becomes an action, and the action leads to a reality, which leads to… accidents.

The X Plan provides a release valve for the mob. Over time, kids can feel safer and safer using an exit strategy like the X Plan. If teenagers believe they have options, if that becomes the reality in their heads, then they are less likely to give in to the mob. In the end, this can prevent many harsh tragedies from occurring.

Use It

So if you are a teenager, all you have to do is know the X Plan exists, and be sure you tell your parents about it. And if you are a parent, talk to your kid about this. It could save lives.


The above was  guest post from Aron James, founder of StubblePatrol.com.  Stubble Patrol is a site on male grooming. He loves to write about his personal experiences.  He feels that his tips and tactics will help his readers to enhance their level of self-confidence and their overall appeal. Changing your overall look can do wonders for anyone, so be sure to visit his site soon.

Five Important Life Lessons Going to the Dentist Taught Us

Sometimes, as teenagers, we might not fully grasp the importance of taking care of our teeth and visiting the dentist. For many teens, visiting the dentist can even be an overwhelming experience. Although dentists have our best interests at heart, they can be intimidating to anyone who doesn’t understand why they are there. As we grow older, we learn about the value of good dental health and regular dental checkups.

It is essential for parents to teach their children the significance of oral hygiene and to visit the dentist. To learn more about what going to the dentist has shown us, continue reading.

It’s Not As Scary As It Seems

Many children are frightened of going to the dentist. It’s not hard to see why, as dentists often seem threatening with their scary tools, gadgets, and strange noises. As we get older, we realize that for the most part, the dental office isn’t such a frightening place. They keep our mouths and teeth healthy and looking presentable, and often give us a free toothbrush at the end of our checkup.

It Is Important To Brush

The dentist teaches us from a very early age that brushing and flossing are crucial. Good oral hygiene prevents plaque, cavities, and gum disease. The less dental problems and conditions we have, the less we need to see the dentist. Kids should be taught the importance of dental hygiene to ensure that they remain healthy, as well as to prevent the need for more dental visits in the future.

Everyone Needs To Go To The Dentist

Although visiting the dentist can be intimidating, it is a part of life that everyone must participate in. Even with good oral hygiene, we still need to have our teeth cleaned, and our mouths looked over. Dental visits are necessary for everyone and prevent the occurrence of many harmful conditions.

According to ABC Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, “our goal is to equip each child with the tools they need to maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime.”

Too Much Sugar Leads To Cavities

Everyone loves sugar. It is almost a daily part of our diet. The dentist teaches us that indulging in too much sugar can wreak havoc on our teeth. Cavities form when bacteria and sugar build up on the teeth and eventually destroy the enamel. From a very early age, kids should be taught that excessive sugar intake can lead to unhealthy teeth and gums.

Cavities Aren’t The End Of The World

Even with brushing and flossing, some of us will inevitably end up with cavities. This diagnosis can be a scary thought for a child, but parents should teach their kids that treating cavities and other ailments are not as painful as it seems. Getting a filling to prevent a cavity will usually hurt less than needing a root canal or other procedure because the cavity was not resolved. It is always best for kids to be open and honest about any dental issues they may be having so that they can receive the proper treatment.

If your child is struggling with the thought of going to the dentist, they are not alone. Teaching your kids the importance of oral health and visiting a dentist is a good way to instill life lessons about the value of a healthy mouth. Your child will eventually learn to appreciate the dentist as much as you do.

 

Six Summer Jobs You Won’t Find at the Mall

For teenagers, getting a job for extra cash during the summer is considered part of growing up. A summer job is a great opportunity to earn extra cash and gain valuable skills that are applicable to the real world and hopefully future careers. In fact, many businesses are looking for seasonal workers to lend a hand in stocking shelves, bagging groceries, or providing customer support. If you want to branch out from the regular teen work, here are a few summer job options to consider this year.

Becoming a Neighborhood House Sitter

If parents are out for the night, they will need someone to watch over the kids or any pets the family has. Teenagers often take advantage or babysitting gigs, house-sitting, and similar work. You’ll have to know how to prepare a few meals, take care of regular cleaning and home maintenance. You may be asked to watch the pets or take them out for a walk occasionally. Advertise your services at local community or neighborhood bulletins or social media sites.

 

Working as a Summer Camp Counselor

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts both host summer camps for kids, full of fun activities such as roasting marshmallows or learning different first aid and survival skills. As a camp counselor you can help teach basic survival skills or creative arts and crafts to children, so they have a memorable summer, even when their parents are not around. Make sure to invest in a good camping blanket to stay cozy and warm.

 

Working Part-Time as a Barista

Many cafes are looking for part-time servers to mix drinks during the peak summer season at local restaurants or resorts. Teenagers can learn to provide customer service by taking orders and maintaining a positive attitude while they serve food or drinks. Here you can also learn valuable retail skills like working a cash register or organizing backroom supplies.

 

Landscaping or Mowing Lawns

If a neighbor doesn’t have the time to mow the lawn, they often pay teenagers to do it for them. Teens might also water the garden, plant seeds, paint the fence, or pour fertilizer onto wilting plants. Learning outdoor and yard skills are great not just for everyday life, but for future jobs as well. If you don’t want to do the dirty work, you can also find lots of summer sales jobs, getting people pest control, sprinkler work, and other outdoor work.

 

Administrative Assistant Job

Office jobs are a dime a dozen. Most companies and hospitals require someone to be at the front desk to greet customers or help them book an appointment with a busy specialist. Their responsibilities include answering phone calls, filing legal paperwork, or inputting data using Excel spreadsheets. If you know how to do a few basics on the computer and are already organized, these kinds of part-time reception work could be perfect for spring boarding into office work after school.

 

Teenagers have to think outside the box if they want to find a summer job. They can design T-shirts, build a website, or even work at the local gas station. There are many part-time jobs available for inexperienced high schoolers, but the ones mentioned before are definitely a great start.

How to Teach Teens Vehicle-Ownership Responsibility

The day your child becomes a vehicle owner is going to be a glorious day for them but will probably be a frightening day for you. You’ll worry a great deal about whether your child is responsible enough and ready for vehicle ownership. But there are things you can do to help prepare them. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your teen is ready when the time comes.

Make Them Pay

The very first lesson you can teach your teen about being a responsible car owner is the lesson of cost. In the end, a teen will appreciate the car more if they have to work and contribute to it. Even if you only make them pay $500 of the overall coast of the car, they will understand how to work hard and pay for something so essential to daily life.

 

Introduce Them to the Local Mechanic

Introducing your teen to the local mechanic will start them on the path of better caretaking of their own vehicle. You can have your teen take it in for maintenance tasks like oil changes or spark plug wire replacements. Here they’ll get used to seeing and doing things that are necessary to keep the car running well. Those car-healthy habits will carry over into adulthood and will extend the life of every vehicle they own.

 

Clean the Car

Taking the car to get regular repairs is only half of proper caretaking. Your teen also needs to partake in cleaning the interior and exterior, so it will be better preserved and look less aged. You can talk to them about the importance of keeping up with the cosmetics and having an organized interior. This also helps them get to know the vehicle and where important things inside it are, like the spare tire, chains, or first aid kit.

 

Give Them the Manual

The last tip is extremely valuable. Get your teen an owner’s manual so they can learn the ins and outs of the car. You may find they become highly interested in repairs and having a part in overall maintenance. There’s something about working on one’s own car that gives that person a sense of pride.

 

Take all the steps mentioned above to give your child the best advantage at being a responsible vehicle owner. You can decrease the amount of worry that you experience if you follow that advice.

How to Organize Your Gear Before Boarding the Boat

Organization is the key to become successful in anything, even something as simple as packing for a fishing trip can be made better by good organization. It might be tempting to throw a few things into your tackle box right before you head out of the door, but take a few minutes, or maybe the day before to properly prepare yourself for the trip. What you keep within your tackle box is up to you, and there is not a set list as to what needs to be in your tackle box at all times. However, we do recommend a few things to guide you on your way to a highly successful fishing trip.

Preparation

One of the most important things you should know before packing is how long you will be gone and what type of fish you will be fishing for. Knowing these two things will affect the amount of gear you pack, and the type of gear required. Maybe you’ll be saltwater fishing, ice fishing, or simply fly-fishing. Look up the location and weather and prepare your outfit, type of boots, and coat. After arriving you’ll probably be carrying your gear and tackle box with you so be sure it is lightweight and able to be moved easily.

 

The Gear

Excess is not always a good thing, especially when packing, but you should have an excess of a few things. Be sure your fishing rods are working and that you have the right ones for the job. Bring the right kinds of baits, but don’t overstuff your box with types you won’t need during the trip.

 

A Small Wallet

When you are fishing on a boat all day long, you want to keep things light and easygoing. Having a bulky wallet in your pockets can be tiring and carrying around a huge jacket or case full of personal items can get annoying. A light wallet that keeps all your necessary belongings, cards, fishing license, ID and money compact and small will help you focus on fishing and remain comfortable.

 

Fishing Line

You never want to run out of fishing line, which is why we recommend packing extra. Remember the part where we talked about knowing what you will be fishing for? That is important here, as it will impact the type of line that you pack. Getting a specific subscription tackle box for your preferred fishing style can help to keep you stocked each time you go out on the water.

 

Hooks

Although you will have a clue as to what type of fish you will be fishing for, it is best to pack a few different types of hook. This small addition to your tackle box will impact your options should anything change during your trip.

 

Now that you have properly prepared and gathered the right gear for your fishing trip, consider how you will arrange everything for maximum space. Extra space will allow you to pack extra snacks or an extra beer or two. However, do not try too hard to become an expert in packing. Remember that fishing is supposed to be all fun!

Steps Anyone Can Take to Feel Prepared for College Courses

College courses can be a unique challenge, especially if you’ve never taken one before. Whether you’re just out of high school and moving onto secondary education, or an adult furthering their education later in life, here are five tips you can follow to feel prepared and ace those courses!

Tip #1: Time-Management Skills

Take the time now, before you get fully immersed in the college experience, to sharpen your time-management skills. A major part of the anxiety and stress of college courses is the workload. Balancing any given class’s material with other courses’, as well as your personal life is essential. Buy a calendar and start using it. Set reminders on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. It might take a bit of refining to find what system works for you, but once you know what is due when, you’ll have a better idea for how to plan the rest of your week, month, and year. Allot yourself enough time, daily, to complete your assignments and still have personal time.

 

Tip #2: Focus on Technical Skills

Being comfortable working with technology is so important to college readiness. Find out what programs and applications your courses will be using and become familiar with them now. If you are taking an online course, you should review what programs and software might be needed for each course. You should also practice typing and making accurate searches online to reduce research time. As the lines between technology and the traditional college experience blur, this will become ever more important not only in school, but in most professions.

 

Tip #3: Establish Prerequisites

Making sure you have the necessary requirements to succeed in any given college course is a great way to feel prepared. It would be unwise to attempt a rigorous course without the building blocks needed for succeed. If you’re still in high school, this is not the time to slack off! Work hard and make sure you’re ready for the more challenging courses you’ll take. If you’re an adult and haven’t been to school for many years, make sure you’re brushing up on your core foundations as well. If you are starting a specialized course or degree, be sure you have the background and prerequisite classes ready to go.

 

Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Social Skills

Social skills, or soft skills, are how you will navigate with other people you interact with in school and in work. Being able to communicate effectively with your professors and fellow students, leadership skills, and the ability to collaborate are very important.

 

Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself

Above all else, you have to take care of yourself. Do things that make you happy, be around people that make you happy. Take necessary time to refocus on your goals after a failure or setback. Get enough sleep and give yourself the important vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy. And, be confident. You made it this far, don’t stop now.

4 Things You Should Never Do When You’re Home Alone

4 Things You Should Never Do When You're Home Alone

The day has finally come: your parents trust you to stay home alone! As exciting as this newfound freedom can be (like raiding that “secret” hiding place where all the good snacks are!), there are a few things you should definitely not do.

Post to social media

If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or other social media account, don’t let slip that your parents aren’t home in your next status update. By posting a status revealing you are home alone, you make yourself vulnerable to predators and other unsavory characters who may do you harm. Along these same lines, avoid using tagging or mapping applications which declare your home’s location when you post.

Tell a caller that your parents aren’t home

Most kids are taught this lesson from a young age: If your parents are unable to come to the phone, don’t tell the caller that they’re not around. You may be older now, but it’s still good to remember this lesson when you’re home alone.

Chances are that you have a cell phone, and most people will call you on that number if they want to reach you. As with social media, don’t tell the caller that your parents aren’t home. If the home phone rings, tell the caller that your parents “aren’t available at the moment.” Lie if you need to — say that they’re in the shower, on their cell phone, or changing your baby sibling’s diaper. If you’re not comfortable picking up the phone, it’s okay to let it go to voicemail too.

Open the door to strangers

If there is an appointment to repair anything, this will be scheduled for when an adult is present. If the person at the door say they’re a member of the police or other emergency personnel, use the peephole to look for their badge. Most home security systems have some kind of doorbell camera or at peephole so you can do this without exposing yourself. If you can’t see one, don’t open the door. If they say they’re here to deliver a package, let them leave it on the porch.

Investigate strange noises

Remember what happens to characters in horror movies who go to investigate the strange noise: it’s nothing good. If you hear something unusual going on outside, suppress your curiosity. If you show your face in a window, it can inspire action against you. If there is someone trying to break into your home, this can also put you at risk. The safest thing to do is to call the police if you think there’s something suspicious going on.


Finally, doors and windows should be locked, and your home security system should be armed while you’re home alone. It may seem like overkill, but by following some basic safety rules, you can feel safe and enjoy yourself while the parents aren’t around. But *do* watch Home Alone. Always watch Home Alone.

 

Featured image source: NME.com

Think You Have an STD? Don’t Panic

Think You Have an STD? Don't Panic

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can happen to anyone who is sexually active, and depending on the disease, they can have different symptoms — or even none at all.  Here are the top 4 most common STDs and how they can be resolved.

Think You Have an STD? Don't Panic

Gonorrhea

The symptoms of gonorrhea include burning during urination, a discharge that is white, yellow, or green coming from the penis, and painful or swollen testicles. Women with gonorrhea may experience increased vaginal discharge and bleeding between their menstrual periods.

A doctor can diagnose gonorrhea with a urine test or a swab of the oral area if that is where symptoms are present. Gonorrhea is a curable STD and can be treated by a physician. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you be seen by a physician for treatment.

Syphilis

This one used to be quite common, but is less common now due to improved hygiene practices. It is spread via direct contact with a syphilis sore during sexual contact. The primary sores of syphilis are usually found around the genitals. They are round, firm, and painless. Secondary syphilis infection symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, mild fever, and a skin rash.

If left untreated, the outward symptoms of syphilis will fade, but severe damage can be done internally. A blood test is used to diagnose syphilis. Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics prescribed by your physician.

Chlamydia

Most people with chlamydia do not exhibit any symptoms. For those who do have symptoms, they include abnormal vaginal discharge, burning while urinating, penile discharge, and pain and swelling in the testicles.

Like gonorrhea, chlamydia is curable. Chlamydia can be diagnosed through a urine test. Your physician may also take a swab of the vaginal area to diagnose this STD. If you think you have this STD, a doctor will be able to prescribe medication to treat the infection.

Herpes

Herpes is characterized by outbreaks of sores in the oral or genital area. The virus that causes herpes in and around the mouth may or may not have been contracted sexually. However, it is possible to contract genital herpes through contact with someone who has oral herpes. Not everyone who has herpes will have sores and it is possible to spread the virus without the presence of sores.

A doctor will diagnose herpes by the appearance of the sores. Herpes is not curable but is treatable with antiviral medications.

Getting treatment

Even when they think they have an STD, many people — especially teens — will try to hide it and avoid getting treatment. They may not be able to afford it, be worried about “getting in trouble,” or might assume that the disease will resolve on its own.

If you think that you have an STD, don’t put it off. There are many private free STD testing facilities across the US to help you get healthy again. These are advantageous because “at free STD testing centers, whether you book an appointment or not, it’s likely you will be required to sit in a waiting room with other patients who all know why you’re there. Depending on the clinic, your information may not be kept private. Private STD service providers ensure your health information is kept private and confidential…from the time you place and order…to receiving your results.” (Safer STD Testing)

If you are diagnosed with an STD, it is important to contact any previous sexual partners so that they can also get tested. Many times, STDs exhibit no symptoms, but can cause damage to your reproductive organs if left untreated.

Read more on this subject: How to Be Safe and Healthy as a Sexually Active Teen