Category: Growing Up

Five Things All Parents Should Tell Their Teen About Driving

Did your teen recently get a learner’s permit or a driver’s license? If so, you may be worried about your teen’s safety whenever he or she gets behind the wheel.  After all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that auto accidents are the leading cause of death among teens. You can help your teen to drive safe and avoid accidents by talking with him or her about these five points:

1. Knowledge is power.

Make sure that your teen takes a driver’s education course. The course will instruct your teen about the rules of the road and about defensive driving techniques such as constantly scanning the road for risks or hazards. You should reinforce what your teen learns in the course when you ride along with your teen.

2. Hang up the phone.

Distracted driving is highly dangerous, especially when it involves the use of phones. You should make sure to discuss any laws in your state that prohibit texting and driving or which ban or greatly restrict any use of electronic devices by teens while they are driving. You should also talk with your teen about avoiding many other potential distractions such as eating, drinking, putting on makeup, playing with the radio or interacting with passengers.

3. Slow down.

In a AAA survey, driving instructors identified speeding as one of the top mistakes which teens make when they are learning how to drive. Statistics show that speeding actually plays a role in roughly one-third of all fatal teen crashes. For this reason, you should make sure that your teen understands the importance of following the posted speed limit and going only as fast as traffic, road and weather conditions allow.


4. Don’t drink and drive.

You should make sure that your teen understands the dangers of impaired driving. Your teen should know that consuming alcohol or using controlled substance great affects a person’s judgment and ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Additionally, many states have a “zero tolerance” law that prohibits teens from driving if they have any amount of alcohol in their system. Your teen should understand the serious consequences that he or she faces if the teen is charged with a violation of that law.

5. Use caution in severe weather.

Teens need to realize that they must adjust their driving when they encounter harsh weather conditions such as rain, fog, ice and snow. You should talk to your teen about using lights, windshield wipers, hazard lights and the defroster in certain types of weather conditions. You should make sure that your teen knows that there is nothing wrong with slowing down when they are driving through conditions that cut down on visibility and makes the roads slick.

In addition to these five topics, you should tell your teen to always wear a seat belt and make sure that all of his or her passengers are buckled up. Wearing a seat belt cannot prevent an accident. However, it can save lives if a crash occurs.

3 Tips for Safe Summer Driving

Summer is finally here, and summer fun has just begun! Driving around and enjoying the warm summer breeze with your friends and family makes for some great times, but it can turn into a tragic nightmare in seconds if safe driving is not implemented and practiced. To make this summer enjoyable and unforgettable, here are three tips for safe summer driving.

Make Sure the Vehicle is in Good Condition

The summer heat can cause many problems in your vehicle. According to Did You Know Cars, some of these summer vehicle problems include things like tire bursts, engine overheating, and worn shock absorbers (these keep your car driving smoothly over bumps and dips in the road). Before going out for a summer drive, consider checking your vehicle’s tires, air conditioning, brakes, engine, oil and shock absorbers to make sure it is working properly. You can also go to your family’s trusted car mechanic to make a basic vehicle check-up before hitting the road.

Choose Your Passengers Carefully

Passengers, although fun to have along for the ride, can also be a distraction for a driver. According to Dolman Law, one additional teen passenger increases the risk of a fatal crash by 44 percent, while three additional teen passengers can increase it by as much as 300 percent. Choose passengers that know the risks of obnoxious passengers and who understand that you, the driver, are in charge during the whole trip. If a passenger becomes reckless and distracting, stop at the nearest location, calmly get their attention, and explain your discomfort as well the dangers of the distraction that they are causing.

Use Seatbelts

Seatbelts are installed in every car for a reason: to keep people inside cars safe. In the case that an accident occurs, a seatbelt is there to prevent most small injuries and some severe injuries. In order to Virtual Drive, to wear a seatbelt properly, the strap should be across your chest (not behind your backpack or under your arm), and the lap belt should be placed above your hips and under your belly. Make sure that you and any passengers always wear a seatbelt when riding in a car, even for short trips, and always check to see if they are wearing theirs correctly.

It is essential for both drivers and passengers to be informed of how to reduce their chances of getting into a car accident. Being in an accident is something that no one wants to have happen when on their summer vacation. So this summer, make sure that you enjoy endless fun and adventure with your friends and family by practicing safe summer driving.

What Teens Should Look for in a Starter Car

Buying your first car is an exciting milestone for any teenager. While it is tempting to gravitate toward cars that are flashy and fun, it is more important to put the image of your vehicle aside and focus on other factors. When looking for your first vehicle, you will want to consider that you are an inexperienced driver. Here are three things that teens should look for in a starter car.

Don’t buy starter car that looks like this haha.

The Cost

This is not the time in life to go after your dream car. Your budget should be the primary consideration when shopping for a vehicle. Before heading out to test drive cars, make sure that you have a firm budget in mind so that you are not tempted to spend more than you have. When figuring out your budget, be sure to look beyond the initial purchase of the vehicle. You also need to consider annual registration, maintenance costs, gas mileage, and average repair costs. Lastly, you need to factor in insurance premiums. Vehicles that are more expensive are also going to cost significantly more to insure, adding to the total cost of ownership.

Safety

Taking your hard-earned money and purchasing a lemon of a vehicle would be a huge disappointment. There are more than a few things to consider when it comes to evaluating how safe the model is. In addition to the age of the vehicle, you need to look for signs of damage that would indicate that it has been involved in a serious collision. There are two major vehicle safety rating services that can help you to ascertain how safe your options are compared to each other.

Practicality

As a teenager, you need a practical vehicle that will get you from point A to point B. What you do not need is a sports car, large family SUV, or any other kind of vehicle that does not suit your current lifestyle. While you do not necessarily want the smallest car on the roads, you also do not need the biggest. A safe commuter car or a small SUV is your best bet when looking for a vehicle to fit your needs as a teenager.

By doing your research and choosing carefully, you can ensure that you select the best vehicle to meet your personal preferences and needs. Purchasing the right vehicle will help you to enjoy this special season in life.
If you enjoyed this article, check out this other article on how to deal with insurance if you get into a car accident!

3 Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Car Accident

As a teen driver, you might have discovered that your insurance rates are higher than your parents’. The primary reason for that has to do with experience. In the view of insurance companies, you haven’t driven long enough and therefore are more likely to be involved in an accident. Using that fact as a basis for setting premium prices isn’t a guarantee that the insurance company will be forthcoming with a benefits claim. They will be doing all they can to avoid paying out on that claim. That is why you need to be prepared to deal with insurance companies after a car accident in a way that is beneficial for your cause. Here are three tips to help you know how to deal with insurance companies if you get into a car accident.

Do Not Post on Social Media

After you file an insurance claim, you need to go on a self-imposed social media blackout. Next to recovering from actual injuries, this might be the hardest thing you have to do. The reason is that the insurance companies can use any of your postings as evidence against you. If you post vacation pictures or even a selfie from your favorite eatery, then you could be telling the insurance companies that you’re doing fine. That means your claims of suffering from an injury aren’t all that you’ve made them out to be.

Be Very Careful About What You Say

At some point, you will have to provide your version of the accident. This is information that the insurance adjuster will need to process the claim. It’s important to not say things that can be left to an insurance adjuster’s interpretation. For instance, you should never admit to guilt even if you think you were partially responsible for the accident. The best response to questions is “yes” or “no” without adding anything. Don’t assume the insurance adjuster is on your side even if they are your carrier. They all want to make a profit for the company and that can only happen if they deny claims.

Don’t Accept the First Offer

At some point in the claims process, the insurance company might make you a settlement offer. You shouldn’t automatically accept that first offer until you’ve thought things through. That offer might cover your immediate medical bills, but what about future bills? Will you need ongoing physical therapy? There is also the issue of lost wages to consider. How much more time might you miss from work because of the accident injury? Keep in mind, that an insurance company’s first offer is typically the lowest amount that they are willing to pay, but it might not be the only amount that they can offer.

All of these issues about dealing with an insurance company can be handled by working with an experienced attorney. They can be the person to answer questions and negotiate on your behalf. When dealing with an insurance company is it sometimes better to let an attorney do all the talking. By following these tips, you will be better prepared to deal with insurance companies when the occasion arises.

The Externship Advantage for Teens

jobs for teenagers

Unlike a formal internship, an externship allows a teenage student to gain valuable work experience over a shorter, fixed period of time. Because externships are generally shorter in length, you’ll have more flexibility in fitting these valuable experiences into your busy schedule. Here are three benefits of making an externship part of your overall educational experience.

jobs for teenagers

Explore Your Interests

As a teenager, you should not be expected to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life. An externship will give you the opportunity to explore your interests without committing to a full-time job. Some externships are designed to deliver a multitude of opportunities to interact with a myriad of people in different departments. Others allow you to closely follow the daily work of one professional in a specific field. This will help you to discern if that field of endeavor is compatible with your interests, your studies and your skills. Because externships are short in length, you get a taste of a discipline or occupation without having to commit to it on a long-term basis.

Shadowing Experts

Externships allow participants to meet professionals and begin to network with people who can help them get a job later. Shadowing experts gives you a good glimpse of the day-to-day work life of the professionals in your desired field. A good externship will also provide multiple learning opportunities, helping you to hone your skills and talents in a low-pressure situation. This type of hands-on learning cannot be replicated in a classroom, making an externship an advantageous part of any education.

Form a Strong Work Ethic

An externship gives a young person a glimpse into what life in the adult working world is like. This experience can help teens to form a strong work ethic as they learn ways to be more productive and efficient with their time. Externships instill responsibility, personal integrity and commitment to colleagues. This type of work experience teaches students how to be dependable and reliable while working as part of a team to achieve goals. The soft skills gained in an externship will translate to any further field of study, making it a good use of your time and effort as you strive to reach your career goals.

The right externship can help you to develop new skills, make important networking connections and cultivate the soft skills needed to be successful in any endeavor. The experience will put you ahead of the competition and pay off big dividends down the road.

How to Find People with Shared Interests to You

how to meet people

If you look at the friends you have today, how many of them have the same interests or hobbies as you? It’s likely that there are more than a few. That’s because making friends is generally the result of participation in a social activity where there’s a mutual interest.

Depending on where you live and what you’re interested in, it may be difficult to connect with like-minded people. We know that having a social circle is important. It gives you people to trust and rely on during times of need and someone to share your successes with, especially if your interests revolve around things like exercise, sports, and eating well.

Fortunately, modern technology has made it easier than ever for us to find and connect with people that have the same interests. Let’s take a look at the best tools to use for this purpose.

how to meet people

Meetup

As the name would suggest, Meetup is an app that allows you to connect with others who share similar interests through groups in your area. You can search for your own hobbies or browse through the wide variety of categories available depending on where you live.

There are groups for just about everything. From outdoor activities such as hiking to computer programming and gaming. There are also educational groups that focus on topics such as public speaking, entrepreneurship, and reading. There are often groups available simply for those who want to socialize, where you can head out for coffee or a movie.

Emenator

Emenator is a unique kind of social platform that allows you to connect with people that have similar interests. Whether it’s art, sports, music, gaming or anything else you can imagine, Emenator has a diverse and inclusive community for you to connect with. The Groups & Gatherings feature is perfect for finding like-minded people in your area.

Even if you don’t want to head out and meet anyone yet, the community offers chats, groups, messaging and video options that allow you to socialize online. If you’re into art or design, Emenator’s approach to content ensures that the images you share preserve their original quality, further adding to the authentic experience.

GroupSpaces

Just like Meetup, GroupSpaces allows you to find communities in your area based on a category or search term of your choice. However, it also allows you to find groups within communities that you’re already a part of such as churches and colleges. This might just help you find familiar faces who you never knew shared the same interests.

WeGoDo

This iOS app features groups that are focused on a certain hobby or activity such as hiking, running and exploration. There’s also a news feed with local offers, recommendations, and curated content based on your interests.

Conclusion

Aside from social meetup apps, you could join local groups in your school and find people through them that share your interests. It’s more than likely that there’s at least one group of people nearby who love the same things you do. You just have to head out and find them — just make sure your parents know what you are doing and approve!

3 Important Facts About Drug Rehab

teen drug abuse

If you are a teenager and you have been struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you need to understand that your brain is still developing. The more damage you do to your brain while it’s still developing, the more permanent the damage will be. Not only must you do everything in your power to quit, but you must have the support from friends and family members to get you through this challenging time of your life.

teen drug abuse

“Just Stop” isn’t Enough

The longer a drug is used, the harder it will be to come off of it. With adults, it has a lot to do with the many years of drug abuse and the toll it takes on the mind and body. With teenagers, it has a lot to do with the still-developing brain being trained at such an early age to tolerate this abuse and adapt to it. Your brain needs to be re-trained to accept a different reality from now on. Addiction doesn’t just happen; it’s based on emotional and psychological problems and you will need to deal with these. Your friends can help if they are not using themselves. However, remember that your peers are in the same age group as you and they need direction too. You will have to learn to accept responsibility for your actions and strive to make positive changes in your daily habits.

Cold Turkey isn’t Always Best

Some addictions, including cigarette smoking, can safely be stopped abruptly without any risks to your health. Other addictions, like alcoholism and prescription drug addiction, take more careful effort to manage during the quitting stages. Withdrawal symptoms from drugs like alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines can cause panic attacks, seizures, rapid heartbeats and even cardiac arrest. The mental confusion associated with quitting these kinds of drugs can also be very dangerous. Deep breathing exercises, meditation and going on long walks can help with withdrawal symptoms that aren’t too severe. Medically managed detoxification makes treatment safer for those experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.

Avoiding Relapses

Experiencing a relapse can definitely be part of the healing process for many, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Once you have found a daily routine that works for you, stick to it and improve upon it. If you still have friends that use after you have decided to quit, avoid them like the plague. They will have to understand that you no longer fit into their dynamic. Spend time exercising, eating healthy foods and getting to know yourself better.

Loving yourself will give you the power to continue on the road to recovery. You should want the best for yourself, and that should never involve drug use. Making new friends that share your new beliefs can make a world of difference and keep you focused on making positive changes in your life. From there, make sure you choose the right treatment program that gives you the best chance of long-term success.

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3 Career Paths for People Who Care About the Environment

protect the environment

For teens who are considering a future career that concerns caring for the environment, we’ve covered three career paths that are very relevant to this subject.

protect the environment

Conservation Scientist

A career path like a conservation scientist will include the monitoring of forestry and conservation activities. By complying with government regulations as a conservation scientist, it helps your organization establish plans for the management of the lands and forest resources. Supervising activities of other forestry and conservation workers is part of the role.

Civil Engineer

While civil engineers are part of the hard sciences, they can also provide significant contributions to their environment. Civil engineers can build as well as reinforce dams and levees to protect many large and small towns and cities from catastrophes involving water. Moreover, civil engineers who focus on transportation can make an impact in many ways. Civil engineers work with others to ensure that their designs are environmentally safe and efficient. While many of these positions require bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering or general engineering, there is a lot of demand for these positions. Civil engineers can also work in areas that are rebuilding from natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and other natural disasters.

Park Ranger

A park ranger looks after many elements of the park or land. Indeed, the role is very diverse, but park rangers are generally responsible for protecting America’s state and national parks. Those who are considering this job in the future should be aware that a park ranger helps to protect the ecosystems, the natural resources, and the wildlife that dwell within these national parks. And since many people can visit the 418-plus national park sites located in the US, park rangers may serve as environmental experts, park historians, law enforcement officers, or as a combination of those three roles. The good news is that the national park sites extend to US territories like the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa.

National Seashores, which make up 10 of these national park sites, National Preserves, which make up 19 of these national park sites, and National Rivers are just some of the places that teens can research further. There is plenty of information available online about each of these special categories that are classified under the umbrella of the US National Park system.

In conclusion, these three potential career paths are ones for young people to keep in mind who want to help preserve and protect the earth’s natural resources.

 

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Do You Enjoy Working with People? Look into These 4 Career Paths

teen career choices

In our day-to-day lives, there are a lot of individuals out there who enjoy working with people. If, for whatever reason, you have a personality type where you enjoy these activities, then you should take heart in the fact there are many occupations out there that would be a great fit for you. Consider some of these options:

teen career choices

Consulting

There is no question that a consultant job is a great position to have if you enjoy working with people and helping them be an asset to an organization. Consulting.com explains that the pay is decent, and consultant positions come in all different shapes and sizes. One of their main focuses has always been to provide an exterior, objective point of view for spotting gaps and weaknesses within an organization. One of the first things to understand with any consulting position is that there will be a rigorous interview process with any consulting firm. However, don’t be afraid to showcase your personality in your interviews. Your fellow consultants will want someone they can picture working with on a daily basis.

Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology definitely is a field that holds a lot of appeal for many different kinds of people. For one thing, it’s a great field if you like helping others. Maryville University explains that a degree in this field can have you work as a social service specialist or a correctional treatment specialist. A forensic psychologist will assist others by first of all evaluating prisoners and their behaviors. This assists the prison and society at large by assisting in the reform of the criminals. Forensic psychologists also help the legal system by determining whether a suspect is fit for trial or by advising law enforcement personnel on the likely behavioral tendencies of various criminals.

Family Therapist

Naturally, a family therapist will expose themselves to a broad cross-section of people in their day-to-day practice. They are primarily concerned with helping families solve many of the challenges they might be facing. Careers in Psychology explains that during therapy sessions, talking is usually the job of the family members rather than the therapist. A marriage and family therapist will often do more listening than talking during these meetings. The therapist will also watch the members of a family closely for non-verbal body language, or clues to where certain problems may lie. A family therapist has to concurrently relatable and diplomatic. So yes, they definitely have to be a solid people person.

Dental Hygienist

You definitely have to be a people person in order to become a dental hygienist. First of all, they must not only communicate thoroughly with a dentist but they also need to make all of their patients feel as safe and comfortable as possible. Complete Mobile Dentistry explains that dental hygienists don’t require that much schooling, make great money, and have flexible hours, but they also sometimes have to deal with upset patients, the job can sometimes be repetitive, and there aren’t many ways to branch out from this field.  

These and many other career paths are great options for those who enjoy working with and helping people. Look into one of them today!

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What It Means to Be an Older Sibling

responsibilities of older siblings

If you are an older sibling, you probably know that younger brothers or sisters naturally look up to their older family members. While this can sometimes seem like a nuisance, it can be an opportunity for you to have a profound effect on your immediate environment. As an older sibling, you have the power to lead and provide support in many ways.

responsibilities of older siblings

Responsibility Changes a Person

Older siblings can have a lot of advantages over their younger siblings, especially if they are the firstborn over multiple siblings. There can also be plenty of challenges that he or she might have to deal with. Globe Life Insurance explains, “almost immediately, older siblings can be saddled with more responsibilities that he or she will find hard to get out of. This is especially true when it’s within families that cannot afford to pay for any kind of childcare.”

This means that, when mom and dad are not home, older siblings are often in charge once they get to a certain age. They are responsible for the safety and emotional comfort of their younger siblings. It might also mean having to help with household duties, which might include cleaning up when your younger siblings make a mess or cooking family meals.

The Power of a Role Model

Whether older siblings like it or not, their younger siblings will copy and emulate their behavior and attitudes. A role model can shape a person’s character, and this can have a decisive effect on that person’s ability to succeed later on in life. Older siblings are more likely to take the position of a type of substitute parent during many troublesome situations.

Boys and girls who are older siblings will be faced with different challenges when it comes to setting a good example. For example, Potty Genius explains, “having a male role model, such as an older brother, makes potty training go much faster and easier for boys.” Older sisters might have more complex issues to deal with. Being a female can be challenging, especially in today’s world. An older sister can guide her younger sibling to carry herself with dignity and counsel her on possibly upsetting issues, such as receiving her first period.

Accepting Responsibility with Enthusiasm

Being a sibling means you may not receive all the attention you could want. However, as an older sibling, you can be the one to bring the joys and rewards of having an older brother or sister. The Odyssey explains, “oldest siblings have a sense of responsibility at a young age to teach their younger siblings all the ‘important stuff’ in life. And they usually believe their older siblings unquestioningly. They also get the opportunity to see their siblings grow up in front of them.” Human beings need other human beings to stay mentally healthy and well rounded. You may find more joy in your situation if you accept it and take pleasure in this. It can be surprisingly fulfilling to be the support that your younger siblings need.