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Text, tweet, email, call—what do parents want in school communications?

E-School News – Meris Stansbury

“When it comes to school communications, parents today want more information from their children’s teachers and schools, but they also want that information to be timely, targeted, and personalized to their children or their interest areas. The latest data from Speak Up Research Project gives insights on school-to-home communications. In “Text, Twitter, Email, Call—What Do Parents Say About School Communications?” Dr. Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow, shared these insights from parents, educators, and administrators, and discussed takeaways from the research.”(more)

How to talk to your kids about opioids

Medical X-Press – Margie Skeer

“By now, most people are aware of the enormity of the opioid epidemic. In 2015, over 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose – more from opioid pain relievers than heroin. Just because someone experiments with opioids doesn’t mean that he or he will become addicted. However, there’s risk with any opioid use, even when it’s medically warranted. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency classifies opioids as a Schedule II drug, a substance with medically accepted use but a high potential for abuse.”(more)

Love and communication important during teen years

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Parents and teenagers live in different worlds with different pressures and perspectives, so communication between adolescents and parents can be strained. Here are a few strategies you can use to minimize conflicts during this challenging time.

Use humor.
Humor is an effective communication tool, because it breaks down barriers and commands attention. Disguised as fun, humor can be used to teach, introduce new ideas, share beliefs, and implant knowledge.

Listen.
Perspective and practice make a big difference. The way an adult perceives a problem is often very different from the way a teen views the same issue. What seems like a life catastrophe to 16-year-old may seem insignificant to a 40-year-old.

As a result, teenagers often have things to say to adults, but get frustrated because they do not feel like they can express their concerns and feelings. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher who was born in the 1st Century, might well have been instructing 21st Century parents when he said, “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

Keep it short.
Teens are perceptive and smart, so a few words go a long way. No one wants to feel like they are being lectured, so it is best to say it once.

Compliment.
The way we speak can often result in the outcomes we are trying to avoid. Comments and instructions couched in negative language, with excessive use of words like “don’t”, “never”, and “no” may lead to poor behavior. Instead try to focus on the positive things your teen does.

Prepare and Allow.
It is easy to view your kids as younger than they are. As teens age, they need more responsibility. Adults who continually enforce rules that do not acknowledge demonstrated capacity for independent and responsible behavior, can alienate teens.

Wait.
If it isn’t an immediate health or safety issue, it is sometimes better to wait for the right moment to discuss a problem rather than force a discussion at a poor time.

Connect.
Your kids internalize and interpret everything you do. They read your face, posture, voice, and stance. They subconsciously search for physical cues to what you really feel about them. Make sure they know they are loved, respected, and appreciated.

Even though the transition from child to adult can be challenging, love and open communication can make the journey easier for everyone.

How Frightened Parents Are Talking To Their Kids About The Manchester Attack

The Huffington Post – Caroline Bologna

“Following the suicide bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, people around the world have expressed their horror at the senseless violence, condolences for the victims’ loved ones and fears the future. Given that so many of the concert attendees were teens and kids with their parents, this tragedy has particularly hit home for parents. Among the first victims confirmed dead are 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and 18-year-old Georgina Callander. A U.K. ambulance official reported that the 59 injured victims include 12 children under age of 16, and parents are still desperately searching for their missing kids.”(more)

Sneaky teen texting codes: what they mean, when to worry

USA Today – Jennifer Jolly

“If your teen has a smartphone, chances are they spend several hours a day on text and social media. If you ever look at what they’re actually doing on there, you’ll likely see a lot of innocent “Snapstreaking,” some funny Buzzfeed videos and a bunch of letters and numbers that look like some kind of modern-day shorthand… While most of these terms are completely innocent, some child safety experts warn there can be more than meets the eye with texting codes. Some strange texting lingo might double as code for suicidal thoughts, bullying, sex and drugs.”(more)

How to nurture better communication with your children

The Telegraph – Linda Blair

“Every parent hopes their children will want to talk to them, to share their hopes and dreams and to seek comfort, reassurance and advice. When can we start making that happen? The answer is that it’s never too early. From the moment they’re born, babies will try to communicate with their carers. Spend lots of face-to face time with your baby so they feel safe and wanted.”(more)