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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.

Prioritizing early education

Pensacola Today – Shannon Nickinson

“The students in Emily Ellis’ VPK class at Lincoln Park Primary School are as warm and bubbly as any crop of 4- and 5-year-olds you are likely to meet, quick with a hug and big on teamwork as they work to “keep the Earth clean” raking dead leaves and checking on the new Earth Day planter boxes. Making sure they are excited about learning and prepared for kindergarten next year is more than Ellis’ job. It is critical to the success of the entire Pensacola community. In a county where 66.2 percent of last year’s kindergarteners were considered ready for kindergarten based on state evaluation standards, their success in the future is ours. That is why Lincoln Park’s Principal Cassandra Smith has worked hard to make professional development an important part of her VPK teachers’ work. Smith has five pre-K classes at her school of just under 200 students.”(more)

Here’s What A Constantly Plugged-In Life Is Doing To Kids’ Bodies

The Huffington Post – Jessica Samakow & Lori Leibovich

“It’s estimated that children ages 8 to 18 spend an average of seven hours a day behind screens…While it would be impossible to rid your kids’ lives of technology completely — and you wouldn’t want to, because of its many joys and benefits — parents can take a few measures to help prevent its negative mental and physical side effects. Here are some ways screens may be harming your kids’ bodies and what you can do about it:” (more)

Study Finds Many Preteens Have High Cholesterol

ABC News – MARILYNN MARCHIONE

“There’s fresh evidence that a lot of young people could be headed for heart trouble. A large study of preteens in Texas found that about one-third of them had borderline or high cholesterol when tested during routine physical exams.”(more)