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Family/Relationships - Teens
05/13/2010
IconWhat's the problem with kids today?' The answer to that is easy:' THEIR PARENTS!According to the Fresno Bee , five high school seniors cut down two trees on their campus as a "senior prank."' School officials expelled the students and transferred them to a continuation school to finish out their senior year.The students (all seniors and football players) cut down two Southern Live Oak trees, with ten-inch trunks.' The trees were about 14 years old and nearly 20 feet high.' The damage was estimated to be between $7,500 and $14,000.' The boys said this was a prank meant to deprive junior classmates of shade.Stupid, stupid, stupid.....but they are all "jock heroes," probably way too used to inflated estimations of their own value and power.The school did exactly the right thing.The parents did exactly the wrong thing.' They said that the school "overreacted," and they got attorneys involved to get their kids back in the school.' The school is standing firm.' Good for them. "To hire attorneys," as one of my listeners wrote to me, "teaches these kids that they can get away with 'pranks' and that they do not have to respect the law or be accountable for such behavior to school officials.' It will be interesting to see how these youngsters turn out as they mature.' Will they be good citizens?' Will they raise their children similarly to how they were raised?' Will their views change on how their own parents handled this life lesson?' It remains to be seen.' I do hope our community doesn't read about them again later on down the line after they've robbed a store or beaten someone up and again hired an attorney to defend their actions." That point, in particular, is why (when people call and tell me that they have "x" number of "beautiful" children) I tell them I don't care if they have pretty or ugly kids.' I only care that they have decent kids, because the well being of all of us depends on that. More >>

Tags: BullyingEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensParentingPersonal ResponsibilitySchoolTeens
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05/13/2010
IconOn Monday, I wrote about the event in Massachusetts that you've all heard about by now.' Several South Hadley, Massachusetts high school students are being tried on felony charges for the harassment of a high school freshman which led to her suicide.' It was worse than harassment - it was persecution, both physical and mental, and in the full view of other students and teachers.' No one did anything to stop them, not even fellow students.' Disgusting, really.What I want you parents to do is to teach your children to stand between evil and the innocent , even if they risk being ostracized or worse.' It is only when people stop just standing by that evil will be squelched.'My son came home from middle school one day to say he was in trouble because he was in a fight.' I asked what happened.' He told me that some kid was picking on another kid and it got physical.' I asked him what happened then?' He said that he got into it with the bully.' I asked him who won.' He looked down at his shoes and muttered "I did."I gave him high fives, made his favorite dinner, and sent my husband in to the school the next day to make it clear to the principal that we expected the bully (and not our son) to be punished.' I sent my husband, because he is more laid back than I (if you get my drift).We can have a million court cases and school suspensions. But it is only when parents teach their children to intervene that these bullies will be brought to their knees. They count on the cowardice of your children for their freedom to torment.' Tell your children to band together if necessary and do the right thing. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenEducationFamily/Relationships - TeensMental HealthParentingSchoolSocial IssuesSuicideTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconThere is a precedent-setting action being taken by the District Attorney in South Hadley, Massachusetts.' A high school freshman, Phoebe Prince, new in town from Ireland, was harassed by a pack of older teens.' This was school bullying taken to the extreme:' she was subject to threats and physical abuse, and unfortunately, this young girl hanged herself when she could no longer tolerate the terror.Criminal charges ranging from statutory rape to stalking and civil rights violations have been filed against the teenagers (two boys and four girls).Unfortunately, the criminal charges stop there.' I would add that teachers, the principal and the administration should be subject to criminal charges as well or a civil lawsuit, because the bullying was common knowledge for months, and the girl's mother twice complained to school staffers.' Some bullying was even witnessed by teachers.' It's time to rise up and counter this vicious free-for-all going on in our schools.Where do the kids get the gall to do this?' From everything around them!'Watch "reality" television.' It's all about being mean and out of control.' Even American Idol has so-called "judges" who insult people on national television.' Watch music videos and listen to mean/hostile lyrics with out-of-control sexually aggressive scenes.' What happened to the heartsick love songs of the 1950s?Watch television or listen to most radio with people shouting angrily at each other, accusing each other of racism and such simply for having a different opinion or point of view.' Dominating people by humiliation is what we do for entertainment in our society.' "Lord of the Flies"-type behavior from our children should not be a surprise.' What is a surprise is that adults and parents stand by, afraid of their own children and handcuffed by political correctness, where vile behavior now becomes protected speech.'That whole town of South Hadley, Massachusetts should be ashamed.' Phoebe's parents should have taken her out of that school the same way I tell parents in step-families to leave with their children when the spouse or the spouse's children become abusive.' The school should have thrown those brats out on their ears, worrying later about whether or not their parents would sue.If you're thinking "Well, no one could know that she would kill herself," you should know that according to one source, "one of the girls posted on Phoebe's Facebook page right after her suicide:' 'Accomplished.'"They tormented her to death on purpose.This is our next generation? More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceEducationFamily/Relationships - TeensMental HealthSchoolSocial IssuesSuicideTeensValues
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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamily/Relationships - TeensTeensValues
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Tags: BudgetCliff EnnicoFamily/Relationships - TeensMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingStay-at-Home MomTeensWork from Home
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Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - TeensParentingTeens
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05/13/2010
IconThe Hartford Courant recently published an essay by Justin Verrier on a Connecticut female teenage swimmer. "After swimming laps at a recent practice in the Glastonbury High School pool, Rachel Grusse told her coach, Suzi Hoyt, her shoulder felt sore.' Hoyt responded as she always does to such concerns by her swimmers, instructing Grusse to put on flippers and 'kick for a little while' to rest her arms.' 'I just looked up at her and told her, Um...I don't think I can do that, Grusse said, smiling." Remember the word smiling .' When Grusse was 16 months old, it was discovered that she was born without a spleen, and she contracted a form of bacterial pneumonia that cut off the blood flow to her extremities, which resulted in the cutting off of her legs at the base of her knees, as well as the last joint of her fingers.Now, many teenage girls with just a few pimples would hide in their bedrooms, but not Rachel.' With the help of prosthetic legs, she has participated in all types of sports, including soccer and, most recently, wheelchair basketball, but swimming is her passion.' Since she has to rely on her upper body for swimming, she does a lot of upper body strengthening, like...walking on her hands!Her comment? "I've just heard some people say that I'm an example to other kids.' But to me, I don't feel like I'm any different. I'm just doing what I can, and doing the best that I can. " She swims against "normal" swimmers and rarely wins, but she loves the sport anyway.She swims against others who are disabled and often places, but not always, and she loves the sport anyway.'Since she has no memory of having had legs, for her, it is kind of "normal" - the real amazing quality of hers is her attitude to just do what she can and do the best that she can .Disabled or not, that is the winning attitude in life that ultimately brings you happiness.' She does what she loves and does the best she can at it.' Period.' There is a lesson in that for everyone. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourageFamily/Relationships - TeensMental HealthSuicideTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconNot long ago, I posted a video on my YouTube Channel addressing whether it was ever too late to be a stay-at-home mom. I got the following response to that video from a listener, and she's my "guest blogger" for today, especially because this is the week a lot of parents send their kids back to school: Dear Dr. Laura:I have always been at home with my kids, who are now 11, 14, and 16. I am so thankful that I am still home with them, and feel it's just as important now as it was when they were little. Since I am home, all the kids come over here. I have the benefit of knowing my kids' friends and their parents well, and knowing where my kids are and who they are with. This has been especially important during the summer, when many kids spend long hours unsupervised. I knew my 16 year old was not out drinking or getting in trouble, because he was right here. We went swimming together one day, and talked about his plans for college and how he felt about the upcoming school year-another one of those precious and important conversations I would have missed if I wasn't here.During the school year, it's during the first 15 minutes after they get home that I hear all about their day, their troubles and their triumphs. I would miss that if I were at work. I am the mom who can pick up friends, work in the classroom, bake last minute cookies, and make a costume for drama, because I am home.The older they get, the more I realize how short our time is with them, and the more thankful I am for every minute. I enjoy my teens much more now than I did when they were little, and I am grateful every day that I will not miss their last year as children. And yes, you better believe that both I and the kids thank my wonderful husband that Mom is able to be at home during this critical time.Thanks for standing up for those of us who are at home doing "nothing" all day with our older kids.Lynn More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSAHM stay at home momStay-At-Home-MomsTeens
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05/13/2010
IconA now 17-year-old boy from Thousand Oaks, California recently sailed, by himself, some 28,000 miles in one year on a 36-foot sailboat.' Zac Sunderland was 16 when he left Marina del Rey harbor in June, 2008.The Associated Press writer was a bit snarky, I think, when writing: "But the shaggy-haired Thousand Oaks native might not hold the record of being the youngest person to sail around the world alone for long.' British sailor Mike Perham is a few months younger than Sunderland, and is sailing a bigger, faster boat." If I were Zac's mother, this would have annoyed me.' I'm not his mother, but it annoys me .' Assuming she or he wants to keep a scrapbook commemorating his sailing exploits, what a snarky thing to have included. "A few months...a bigger, faster boat." So what?Here is a 16 (now 17) year old kid who, instead of partying, abusing drugs, alcohol or hanging out with silly girls, instead of spending hours on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or whatever, instead of hanging in his room sullen, instead of causing trouble at school, instead of driving too fast in the car he shouldn't have been given in the first place, instead of a lot of typical teenage boy activities, took on a challenge that was to test his ability to discipline himself, live austerely, deal with unpredictable weather and seas, survive loneliness and fear, and fix equipment failures when warranted.Shoving up his nose in print that someone else trying it is younger and has a better boat, shows, in my opinion, a complete ignorance of the difficulties and challenges he had to face.' It is remarkable for such a young person to brave all the elements of wind and sea to take an incredible journey on his own.' I am sure he now has a healthy respect for nature, life and himself.' I am sure he won't hesitate to face many other challenges on land.' I am sure he won't be abusing himself or substances to get a "rush."' I am sure he's a fine young man who should be an inspiration to other teens.' You are never too young to have a dream and go for it.I'm sure his mom is very proud.' She should be! More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourageFamily/Relationships - TeensHobbiesPersonal ResponsibilitySailingTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconI have a friend who is temporarily without a computer, so I've been texting him.' I've found myself using the letter "u" for "you," and "r" for "are," but other than that, I try to use the English language the way it was meant to be spoken and written.I've complained quite often about how this text messaging thing is completely out of hand, and how your children should not be able to use such technology as it occupies way too much of their time without depth and without development of language skills.' Quite the contrary - spelling and syntax and content are out the window when it comes to these mindless exchanges.' Additionally, people of all ages are so focused on that little gadget that they ignore their responsibilities as well as their environment.Numerous states have had to implement bans on texting while driving - that's how utterly stupid people can get.' Text-related injuries and deaths are not limited to the vehicular variety.' In 2008, the state of Illinois proposed legislation that would make texting and walking (with or without gum) illegal!' Pedestrians who ridiculed the idea might now need to reconsider their stance.A 15 year old girl on Staten Island was obliviously thumbing away when she disappeared into an open manhole, falling five feet, scraping her back and arms, and landing in a pile of mush.' The workers were off getting cones and markers to barricade the opening, so it was a potential hazard.' However, if this teen were actually looking where she was going, not a thing would have happened to her.' Of course, her parents are going to sue.' Well, why not?' Your daughter behaves stupidly, so naturally you're going to look around for someone to sue.' Money versus common sense.' Oh well.If I were a purse snatcher or predator, I'd keep my eyes open for texting women who are moving through life without any awareness of their surroundings:' whether people, entities, or holes in the ground.' They make easy prey.I keep wondering...what if we looked at everyone's text messages over a 24 hour period of their life?' Would we find anything important being discussed?' I doubt it.' More likely, we'd just find them attempting to create a mini-universe to live in, where meaningless discourse makes them feel important or connected - or provides an activity where they avoid dealing with real life issues.What if this teen had stepped on a baby?' What if she had tripped over an elderly person who had then fallen?' What if she walked right into the hands of a kidnapper?' What if she didn't see a person doing harm to another (so she couldn't provide witness testimony to help the police)?' I could go on and on....but you get the idea.Yes, the manhole should not have been left unattended - those guys should all be fired.' Yes, she should have been looking where she was going.' That's just plain common sense.' This would have been a preventable accident if the men had done their jobs properly, and if this girl had shown better judgment. More >>

Tags: AttitudeFamily/Relationships - TeensPersonal ResponsibilitySocial IssuesTeensValues
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