If you’re a parent or other caregiver of teens, you likely have had “stranger danger” talks with them. Those types of stranger danger safety conversations, though critical for little ones, tend to decrease as our kids get older. Child safety experts say however, that those age-appropriate type safety talks are critical for older children as well and need to continue into and throughout their teenage years.
Even if you haven’t heard of 13 Reasons Why, don’t assume your pre-teen or teen hasn’t, and do approach this as if he/she may have caught some, several or all 13 episodes. The controversy surrounding this show is the subject matter and how it is being addressed, including depression, bullying, emotional abuse, substance abuse, sexual assault and suicide – and the viewing audience – as this series is the latest buzz in middle and high schools across the nation.
What do nail polish, deodorant spray, permanent markers and correction fluid all have in common? They are all items we would expect to find in our children’s bedroom or study area, right? They certainly are not products that would signal a red flag or cause us to question their use - nor should they necessarily. However, each of these items are also common “inhalants” with the potential to harm.
If our pancreas has a chemical imbalance, we seek treatment. If our kidneys are not physiologically working right, we seek treatment. When our most complex organ, the brain, is not physiologically working right or has a chemical imbalance, for some reason we ignore or hide it. May is Mental Health Month; an opportunity to break the negative stigma that surrounds mental illness and promote the well-being of the whole individual.
Communication is key to prevention and essential in building and sustaining a positive relationship with our children, students, youth group members, athletes, etc. While it is vital to have ongoing conversations on the topic of alcohol and other drugs with them, it is equally important to talk about the everyday things happening in their lives.