Stumbling but Determined: Talking with My Own Boys About Sexual Health & Consent, Kelly Hendrickson, R.N.

Stumbling but Determined: Talking with My Own Boys About Sexual Health & Consent, Kelly Hendrickson, R.N.

As a health care provider working in reproductive health for 23 years, I am surprised at how difficult it is for me to discuss sexual health and sexuality with my boys. Even with access to current research, professional mentors, clinical practice and Google, I find myself floundering to adopt the right approach.

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It's Time for a Cyber Safety Tune-Up

It's Time for a Cyber Safety Tune-Up

Kids are back in school. Maybe your child, or their classmates, have a brand new phone. At the beginning of every school year, there tends to be a lot of bullying and other problematic behavior happening online. For this reason, at the beginning of every school year, I suggest parents do a cyber safety tune-up of their child's digital safety. Whether you have already done some of the suggestions below, or you are new to your child's digital world, cyber safety is an on-going conversation and these issues deserve our attention. As parents, we need to stay engaged in our children's lives and the digital world is a big part of it.

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Vaping - Facts for Teens

Vaping - Facts for Teens

How can parents and schools combat this trend? For one thing, we can connect our students with the real facts about the chemicals and nicotine that are in most e-cigarettes and in JUULs, a popular stealth vape device. Edutopia reported that a recent survey by the Truth Initiative found that 63 percent of 15- to 24-year-old previous 30-day users surveyed did not know that vapor pods, which come in hundreds of kid-friendly flavors like gummy worms, cotton candy, and unicorn puke, contain highly addictive nicotine—a single pod containing 200 puffs can have just as much as a pack of Marlboros or Camels. 

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Summer: Time to Unplug and Reconnect, by Laura Short McIntire

Summer: Time to Unplug and Reconnect, by Laura Short McIntire

As parents or caregivers, we all want to enjoy a meaningful connection with our kids. Interestingly, research now provides proof that maintaining and nurturing this bond is one of the most significant protective factors when it comes to our children's long-term social and emotional wellness. According to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, “The single most common factor for children who develop resilience (the ability to overcome serious hardship) is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult.”

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The Power of Relationships, by Jennifer Elledge (Barber), MPH, CHES

The Power of Relationships, by Jennifer Elledge (Barber), MPH, CHES

Growing up is getting harder and harder these days, and it’s happening a lot sooner than it once did. Parents want and need to talk to their kids about life topics like self-esteem and confidence, friendship, safety, peer pressure, sex, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and healthy relationships. We need to be sure to have meaningful conversations like these often and spend quality time together. As parents know, this is easier said than done. Below are some specific evidence-based reasons to try to establish a positive connection and meaningful communication with your teen, and strategies that will help you succeed. 

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Helping Youth Develop Healthy Coping Skills: Families Connected Mindfulness Workshop Series

Helping Youth Develop Healthy Coping Skills: Families Connected Mindfulness Workshop Series

The workshop instructor, Kimberly Digilio can relate to the pressure that today's youth experience. She shares that, “Growing up, I was never very kind to myself. I worked incredibly hard and achieved many successes but never took the time to celebrate them." For Kim, meditation was the key. "Meditation changed the way I saw myself in the world around me, and it taught me to accept the highs and lows in my life with more compassion and less judgment.” Our hope is that all youth can find that self-compassion and perspective. 

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ADD and My Kid, Part 2: After the Diagnosis—Concerns About Self-medicating

ADD and My Kid, Part 2: After the Diagnosis—Concerns About Self-medicating

After my oldest daughter was diagnosed with ADHD her freshman year of high school, I began to worry—and for good reason. She was fourteen and I’d witnessed what happened when someone self-medicated through high school and beyond. My adopted brother, who was four years older than me, had ADHD growing up. I watched my parents worry about him from the time he started grade school. They'd get calls from his teachers complaining that he’d disrupted class or had a hard time focusing that day. His report cards reflected his struggles, and when Mom and Dad would talk to him about that, he’d have outbursts—sometimes unable to control his emotions. 

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Our Kids and Opioids: It's Time to Talk

Our Kids and Opioids: It's Time to Talk

“Let’s stop judging. Please don’t say ‘not my kid.’ Please listen,” said Howorth to over 60 attendees at a panel titled “Our Kids and Opioids: It’s Time to Talk.” Joining Mayor Howorth were Cynthia Strand, a Manhattan Beach mom who lost her son to opioid addiction and Dr. Moe Gelbart, executive director of the Torrance Memorial Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment. 

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My Brother's Struggle with Opioid Addiction...My Struggle with Parenting, By Franca Stadvec

My Brother's Struggle with Opioid Addiction...My Struggle with Parenting, By Franca Stadvec

My youngest brother became a stoner by his junior year in high school. By his senior year of college, he was a heroin addict. I will not bore you with my family history, but basically, great family, great parents, grew up in an affluent area.There did not appear to be any reason that my brother would become a heroin addict, none. But he did.

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