Tag: teens

What to Do if a Friend or Family Member Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem

In 2014, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration concluded that approximately 22 million people suffered from a substance abuse disorder. In 2016, that number dropped by only 1 million. The same study found that 8.2 million of those people also suffer from a mental health disorder for both years. While living with addiction is hard, knowing someone with that addiction can be even harder. You want to help them, but feel that your voice will fall on deaf ears; especially, if they are your peers or family members. The right strategy will not only give you the confidence you need to speak up but will also save their life.

Be Well Informed

Before taking the plunge into a deep conversation, you should thoroughly know your topic. Many websites will give you in-depth information on the causes and effects of addiction. For example, the SAMHSA.gov website offers yearly data reports on substance abuse. The site also provides material on how to get help for someone who suffers from substance abuse and mental health disorders. In most cases, the addiction is used to hide depression, self-esteem disorders, and other mental health issues that are being suppressed by your friend or family member. You can also call a rehab facility and discuss your concerns with a professional without having to commit to anything. After you have studied on the subject, approach your loved one when they are not under the influence of their addiction. Explain to them how you feel and reassure them that they are not alone in the journey.

Be a Positive Support System

While the urge to take your friend or family member straight to a rehab center or AA/NA meeting is strong, sometimes the best therapy is knowing that you are there for them in their darkest hour. The most frustrating part of addiction for both you and your loved one is understanding the addiction recovery process. Recovering from addiction is different for each person. There will be times of anger, resentment, and withdrawal from your loved one. There will be times where they will mess up. Be patient with them and remember each day is a new day. Of course, if you do have to take them to a rehab center, be sure and maintain that same positivity. Their quality of life in the rehab center is just as important to their treatment as the therapy. Remember, addiction is just a disease, and you are just visiting a sick friend or family member.

When someone has an addiction, that person is not the only person who is affected by the habit. You have suffered the emotional rollercoaster of their addiction. While they are in a rehab center or meeting, take that time to go to Al-Anon meetings. These meetings are structured to help you understand their sufferings and help you learn how to deal with the recovery. Furthermore, plan events to distract your friend or family member during these hard times you know they are weak. The road to recovery might be a long journey, but in the end, their life is worth the trip.

Resources:

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/

https://www.samhsa.gov/

http://www.midwestinstituteforaddiction.org/

5 Stupid Things Teens Do That They Might Not Realize Are Crimes

Remember that house you toilet-papered with your friends last Halloween? Or maybe the nude photos you sent to your boyfriend? How about mooning that annoying teacher in the school parking lot? All potential crimes. These are the top 5 stupid things that we see teenagers doing that are potential crimes with real, punishable consequences. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these activities are “harmless” or “something everybody does in high school.” You don’t want to find yourself in court.

#1: Mooning

This might be one of the oldest, dumbest pranks—so you’d think it would be considered harmless. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Today, mooning is considered indecent exposure, which is a kind of “lewd act”. Lewd acts are illegal because of the exposure of genitals. Summit Defense explains that “For example, if a woman ‘flashes’ her breasts at her boyfriend in a [public area], and her intention is to sexually excite herself or her boyfriend, then she could be charged with committing a lewd act in a public place. It would also be an offense for a man in a car to flash his buttocks – usually referred to as ‘mooning’ – at a lady driving another car with the intention of offending her.” Whether or not you intend to sexually harass someone, the case can be made that sexually offending someone was your goal. As a result, a criminal case can be made against you for indecent exposure. Public indecency is considered a type of sex crime, and it isn’t worth the risk for a gag.

#2: Toilet Papering and Egging

Halloween prank or not, technically, toilet-papering and egging someone’s home is a crime. If the police are called, the crime will be considered “vandalism” or “criminal mischief.” In both cases, fines and potential jail time are on the table. In fact, in 2015 a story broke about 13 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 who were arrested and charged for egging cars and houses. Skip this prank; come up with something more original and something that isn’t going to land you in trouble with the law.

#3: Sending Nudes

This one is straightforward: sending nudes as a teenager is considered criminal. Why? As someone who is under the age of eighteen, your nude photo is considered to be child pornography. Sexting laws vary by state, but all states agree that it is a crime to own or possess a “sexually explicit image of a minor.” It is also a crime to photograph and send a “sexually explicit image of a minor”, because it is considered the creation and distribution of child pornography. This cannot be emphasized enough: do not sext your boyfriend or girlfriend. Do not ask your boyfriend or girlfriend for nudes. Both acts are a criminal offense, and if charged and convicted, you will be required to register as a sex offender. The consequences of breaking this law will follow you for the rest of your life. It’s never worth it.

#4: Hazing

College hazing stories have taken over the internet. We see stories every year with new sorority and fraternity pledges who have succumbed to injuries from these initiation activities. Teenagers and high schoolers are also on board with the hazing trend, especially teens involved in clubs or sports teams. Maybe you pulled down someone’s pants at school, or forced them to eat something disgusting, or beat up someone who wanted to join your club. Maybe you taunted someone or sent threatening messages. If you are bullying someone as a form of “hazing,” what you are doing is criminal. Hazing classmates, whether or not the victim goes along with it, is a criminal offense.

#5: Stealing

This last one might seem obvious, but many teenagers think they can get away with stealing from grocery stores and supermarkets and retailers. They try to swipe a pair of shoes, a tube of lipstick, or a candy bar. Maybe you might feel like the price isn’t fair; maybe your friends are doing it; maybe you’re tempted because it’s a rush of excitement. But the few moments of thrill you might get from shoplifting aren’t worth the price of being caught. It doesn’t matter how big or small or cheap or expensive the stolen item is; stealing is stealing and it can land you in court with a criminal charge PLUS getting a hefty bill from the store’s lawyers for damages. Being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony for stealing will affect your chances at getting hired for a job that you want, and for getting into the colleges you’re applying for. And here’s one last thing to consider—according to NASP,shoplifting affects more than the offender. It overburdens the police and the courts, adds to a store’s security expenses, costs consumers more for goods, costs communities lost dollars in sales taxes and hurts children and families.” Shoplifting hurts everyone. Find another way to entertain yourself and get that thrill you’re seeking.

Living as a teenager is stressful and dealing with peer pressure can be daunting, but don’t give in. If your friends are engaging in any of this behavior, remind yourself of the potential consequences. Fines, jail time, and criminal records are not worth the few minutes of fun. Be adventurous and take chances, but not with these activities.

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 Deal With the Aftermath of a Car Accident

By now your driver’s ed teacher has scared you with all the teen car accident statistics out there. You know that you are likely to experience an accident sometime before adulthood. Although the period following a traffic accident is likely to be characterized by confusion and shock, dealing with the aftermath will require that you keep a level head. This will help you to remember your responsibilities as well as to protect your rights. If you have prior knowledge of what you should do, you will be more prepared to handle the situation.

Check for Any Injuries

Immediately after a car accident, it is important to prioritize your health as well as that of other people at the scene. This means checking for any visible injuries, confusion and odd behaviors. Since it is not easy to spot internal injuries, you should ensure that everyone involved in the accidents gets checked.

Keep Yourself and Others Safe

Once you have established that no one has sustained serious injuries, you should consider moving to a safer place. In the event that you are not able to get out of your car, you should turn on the hazard lights and keep your seatbelt fastened. Whenever possible, it is advisable to move the vehicle to a position where it will not block traffic.

Take Pictures and Video

It is advisable to start video recording immediately after the accident. Document EVERYTHING. Take both pictures and video if need be. You do not need ANY permission from the other driver if you are in a public place to record anything and everything in the scene. Video is even better, because if the other party admits guilt when speaking, you can present that to the insurance company and attorneys to help win your case in the event of a lawsuit. If any witnesses took video or pictures, ask them to send them to you.

If There is Significant Damage or Injuries, Call the Police

After making sure that everyone is safe, you can choose to call the police. This would be particularly important in situations where there are serious personal injuries, your car has been seriously damaged or the other driver is not willing to cooperate. The law enforcement agencies will assess the situation, make their notes as well as gather details such as pictures of the damaged vehicles and photos of the scene. The resultant police report will come in handy in case your parents decide to seek compensation.

Exchange Information With the Other Driver

You should remember to exchange information with the other driver before leaving the scene. Besides getting their name, phone number, license plate number, address and vehicle make and model, you should also exchange insurance information. All these details will be helpful during the claim process, making your parents’ lives easier. You’re in deep enough as it is; the last thing you need is annoyed parents on top of it all.
If the damage is small, you may be able to settle with the other driver and avoid involving insurance companies. Try to work out a deal for getting any damaged repaired with your parents involvement.

Call Your Parents’ Insurance Company

For anything beyond small damage, your parents should make a point of calling your insurance company as soon as they can. Often they will need to consult with a lawyer in order to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company. By reporting immediately and giving your side of the story, this will increase the chances of the claim being successful and getting the compensation you deserve.

If you believe that the other party was at fault, you have the right to file a claim. This will ensure that you get fair compensation to cover you medical expenses as well the costs of repairing or replacing your property.

References

Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

Car Accident Key Questions

Teens and Insurance After Accidents

6 Ways to Make Bank While Still in High School

Many famous entrepreneurs got their start at an early age. They often cite starting a service based business or online shop as their first venture. Even if you aren’t aiming to become a CEO in the near future, earning some extra cash on the side can allow you to save for items or experiences without relying on your parents. Parents may be inclined to veto certain purchases or outings, but they are generally more likely to support their children’s choices if the student has shown discipline and maturity in earning and saving responsibly.

There aren’t as many options for high school students to earn as there are for college graduates working full-time, but don’t let that discourage you. There are also many opportunities available for high school students that aren’t readily taken on by adults.

Sales

When brainstorming business ideas, make sure you are adhering to all school rules and laws. Selling gum, candy or baked goods is a common suggestion for teens who want to make money. However, many schools have policies in place that prevent anyone besides the school from selling food on campus. In some cases, you won’t get in trouble, but your parents can be held responsible. Networking with family and friends and selling security cameras or MLM products such as doTERRA oils or Mary Kay products can be highly lucrative.

House and Property Care

High school students are very capable of doing most household tasks like cooking and cleaning. In many families, each member is expected to perform certain chores without pay. But it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can pick up more than your assigned share in order to make some extra cash. With your parents’ permission, you can also offer these services to neighbors. You can also add services like mowing lawns, helping with household technology (setting up new purchases, troubleshooting computers, etc), and driving errands (if you have a license).

Academics

You can profit from the work you do in your own classes. You can offer tutoring in classes you have already completed and done well in. You can also sell notes and study guides you have created (just make sure they don’t break any academic rules your school has). You can make multiply your business by offering these services to groups.

Use Your Skills

Think about what you enjoy and what you’re good at. This could be typing or computer activities, art, etc. Think of how you can profit from these skills and/or do a little research to see what you come up with. Many online sites will pay on a per-job basis for things like transcription (listening to an audio file and typing what you hear), translation, data entry (for example, re-typing a page of text that has been scanned from handwritten notes or a pdf), and more. You can generate sales by making a website or contributing to a blog that already exists.

Retail / Food

Part-time jobs like dishwashing and folding clothes are common for people who are still in school. These jobs tend to pay less per hour than other opportunities mentioned in this article and they can be stressful since you are working for a real company. However, the benefits are a steady paycheck without having to set-up your own client base or online shop, as well as a solid role to add to your resume.

Work for Someone You Know

Chances are, someone you know has a business they could use some help with. It could be a friend, a family member, a friend’s parent or a parent’s friend. By looking within your own social network, you may find an opportunity that no one else knows about. Working at a real company can give you great insight into what type of work you may or may not like to take on after high school.

If you’re like me, you crave independence. Your age doesn’t need to be an obstacle to getting a head start on your financial success. Financial coach Chris Hogan says “There’s no present like time.” The sooner you can start raking in the dough, the sooner you can learn how that process works, which will set you up for decades to come.

Want to Make a Difference? Best Organizations for Teens to Make an Impact in the Community

Many teens today want to make a positive impact in their community. There are a variety of causes to choose from for people who want to make a difference. Here are some of the best charitable organizations to help you make an impact in your community.

American Red Cross

With all of the weather issues that the United States has had recently, working with the American Red Cross is a great option. This is a charity that truly cares about the lives of other people. Not only will this charity get supplies to your community, but they will work diligently on your behalf as well.

The American Red Cross has a strong online presence. You can learn all about the charity online and can even donate money online. If you are interested in helping others, the American Red Cross is a great solution for you.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

One of the biggest issues in many communities is that children do not have great role models to look up to. This is a major issue that results in children acting out in order to get attention. There are various charities that work with children in order to help them in the future.

One of the best options for many people is youth mentoring with Big Brother Big Sister. This is a company that has made a positive impact on thousands of communities around the country. When you are a youth mentor, you will spend time with children every week and work on their goals for the future. Making an impact in your community has never been easier.

Many of the children are from poor families. Many of these families only have one parent in the home who has to work to provide for the children. You can make a positive impact simply by spending time with these children and talking to them about their issues.

United Way

The United Way is another charity that is doing a lot of great work in the local area. This is a charity that focuses on helping children in a local community through sports activities. For many children and teens, sports are a great way to release their frustration about situations they have in life.

Many studies show that children who have access to community help will perform better in school and in life. Spending your time with these charities is a great investment to help others.

How to Be Safe and Healthy as a Sexually Active Teen

If you’re a teenager and have decided to enter into a sexual relationship, you have to make sure you and your partner are safe. The consequences of unprotected sex are lifelong and can be devastating. There are several steps you can take to prevent unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and other incidences. Keep reading for some important information on how to say as safe as possible as a sexually active teen.

You Can Say No

One of the most important things to remember is never to let someone force you to do anything you don’t want to. All sexual acts should be consensual. If your partner is pressuring or forcing you to do anything against your will, remember you have the right to say no. Talk things out, and see if you can’t reach a compromise. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, speak up. It might be the only way they’ll know.

Be Honest

Talk to your partner before you engage in any sexual activity. Ask them if they have ever had unprotected sex, or if they have any sexually transmitted diseases you should know about. Be open and honest. Even if one of you has an STD, there are steps you can take to prevent it from spreading.

Know the Risks

First, you both need to understand that there is no method of protection that is 100% effective. You still take on the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases no matter which method of protection you choose. If you are not willing to talk about this with your partner, it is an indication that you may not be ready for a sexual relationship.

Using Birth Control

If you do decide to become sexually active, females may want to consider using oral contraceptives. They are highly effective against pregnancy when used correctly, and can be obtained from a doctor or clinic. Even with oral contraceptives, the male partner should always use a condom to prevent the spread of disease. Make sure both partners know how to use a condom properly. Incorrect use can cause the condom to fail. A counselor can explain proper use. You can also visit an STD testing service for information on how to use condoms effectively.

Plan B

In the event that your birth control fails, you can get emergency contraceptives without a prescription and also without parental consent. These also must be taken properly and within 72 hours of sexual activity to be effective.

Don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor, school counselor, or any other trusted adult for advice prior to becoming sexually active. You can enjoy safe sex as a teen if you know the proper precautions to take. Be responsible, and use the proper resources at your disposal to stay safe and healthy.

Texting and Driving Will Probably Kill You

We’ve all had times in our lives when we’ve felt invincible – catching the winning touchdown pass, receiving a first kiss, or acing the math midterm you’ve been stressing about for weeks. Unfortunately, some of us tend to feel invincible even when we’re very, very not.

According to textinganddrivingsafety.com, nearly 1,600,000 people were involved in accidents caused by a distracted driver. By the time you read this, someone else will have been hit because someone was texting and driving. If you’re reading this in the car, on your phone, for God’s sake put the phone down and focus on the road. Otherwise, read on.

In the Blink of An Eye

We all love social media – except for that one weird libertarian friend who wears a Snowden shirt and tries not to have any digital footprint. Adults tend to overblow the consequences of so-called tech addiction, without fully appreciating technology’s positive influence in society. But when you are in control of a one-ton hunk of metal hurtling down the road at 88 feet per second, your parents aren’t being dramatic – they’re right! Even when you’re going slow, even when you think there’s nobody around, even when you’re looking back at the road, by the time you look down and then back up again, it is too late.

In the time it takes you to take your eyes off the road and look at the screen for three seconds, your car has traveled 264 feet. If the person in front of you slows down suddenly, it will take your brain an additional 3-4 seconds to apply the brakes, according to Safe Drive Training. That is about 6-8 seconds too late and you probably never saw it coming.

What Happens Next?

The consequences of texting and driving can ruin your life. If you are not hurt, the very least that will happen is that you will get a ticket. You will have to replace or repair your car. Your insurance rates will go up as much as 4 times. Brauns Law lists these potential consequences of accidents: severe injuries, brain drama, spinal cord damage, amputations, internal injuries, extended medical treatment or surgical needs, the need for long-term care, problems with medical insurance, and car replacement and maintenance problems.

And that’s assuming no one else is hurt, and this is what should really scare you! The CDC says that distracted driving kills 9 Americans and Injures 1,000 Americans every day. Not only would you have to live with that, but you could even face manslaughter charges in some instances! That is scary, and all because you could not wait to check your phone until you could pull over someplace safe.

It Can Wait

I know that it is easy to think that it is Ok to look at the phone for just a second, but if you really care about your friends, it is time to stick together and make sure that someone you care about does not become the next victim. It is time for texting and driving to become something only losers do, because in the end, everyone who does it loses. If you think it is important, think again, it can wait.

How to Talk to Modern Teens About Drug Safety

Drug use is an important topic, and all teenagers need to know about dangerous substances and how to avoid them. Drugs have just been named the number one killer of people under 50 in the US. It is a horrible situation, and not helped by images of rappers constantly blowing marijuana smoke or Coachella-bound hippie girls popping Molly on Instagram.

Any teenager can give in to peer pressure and even well-behaved teens may encounter drugs when they are around their peers. Parents know that drugs have several harmful side effects. But before starting the conversation, parents need to know how to talk to their teens about drugs. Here are some modern things you may need to know before monologuing about drugs alone.

Discuss the Negative Side Effects

Teenagers see drugs at parties, but they may not be aware of the negative consequences that come with taking them. Teens need to know that even legal  drugs are dangerous. Some of the health side effects may be irreversible, let alone the mental effects. At school, your teen might only hear good things about drugs from their peers. Show your teenager pictures of people who have been addicted for some time and talk about the ways in which lives can be uprooted by addiction. Your teenager also needs to know that drugs will impair their ability to make good decisions.

Do Not Underestimate Peer Pressure

Parents should not underestimate peer pressure. Strong-willed teenagers can be easily influenced by their friends. Most teenagers have a desire to fit in with their peers. Instead of giving into peer pressure, your teen should make new friends. Point out your teen’s accomplishments. Let him know that they have a bright future. Don’t drive them away from friends, but instead point out alternative options that could be a better use of their time.

If possible, monitor your child’s phone messages to discover negative influences.

Give Your Child Solutions

Despite your best efforts, your child might give into peer pressure. They need to know how to get home safely if under the influence of drugs. Let your kids know that they can call you in an emergency. They should not drive when they are mentally impaired and your teen should understand that their safety is paramount in a bad situation. Be open about having them call, no matter what bad decisions might have been made.

Have More Than One Conversation

The initial conversation about drugs should not be the only one you have on the topic. According to Recovery In Tune, a Florida Treatment Program, addicts usually aren’t well-educated, and if they were, weren’t aware of all the potential dangers before becoming addicted. You should encourage your kids to talk to you about their day. You can ask questions about your child’s friends and activities while you are eating dinner. Your kids are likely to open up to you when they know you are available to them.

In addition to talking with your teens about drugs, you can spend more quality time with them. Family outings are a great way to keep your teen safe. If your teen wants to have a wild party, you should consider hosting the party. When you are the host, you can make sure your teenager is safe while he is having a good time with their friends.