By NICK CHILES
When it comes to our children and sugar, a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics contains some revelations that may surprise you: Older children consume more sugar than younger ones do, boys consume more than girls, and white children consume more than black or Mexican-American children.
But all these populations have one thing in common: they all consume too much sugar.
At a time when the medical community is growing increasingly alarmed by the epidemic of childhood obesity sweeping the country—and a related jump in the cases of type 2 diabetes among children—this sugar news is something that all parents need to focus on. Read more…
By NICK CHILES
Should you allow your teenager to have sex in your house? This was a question posed by Clutch and like many, if not most, parents, my initial answer was a loud and resounding, “Aw, hell nah!” It’s about respect, about honoring the rules and the sanctity of the home, and, especially if you have younger, impressionable siblings lurking in the house, it’s about setting the right example.
But having actually brought a male child through those rough teen years, I know that the actual answer, like most things, is a bit more complicated. As anybody out there who has ever been in the presence of a teen knows all too well, teenagers are some sneaky little so-and-sos. You try to the best of your ability to set boundaries, to lay down rules, to monitor their behavior, but the average teenager envisions your rules as the obstacles set down by the enemy. That means the rules actually establish exactly the things the teenager wants to do as much as possible. If my parent says this behavior is bad, then that’s precisely what I want to do with my evening. If my parent says this behavior is okay, then it must not be bad enough. Read more…
For Teenagers, a “Graduated” Driver’s License Saves Lives—and Saves Parents from a Nervous Breakdown
By NICK CHILES
The state of New Jersey is currently debating a bill that would create “graduated licenses” for teenagers, which add more safeguards and restrictions to the process of acquiring a license for 16-year-old drivers. While there is some opposition in New Jersey, these measures have been passed in many other states around the country, including Georgia, where I live, and let me tell you, they make a huge difference for parents. I am an unequivocal supporter of anything that makes teenagers more cautious and conscientious when they get behind the wheel.
First of all, you can’t argue with the statistics. A story in the New York Times, quoting numbers provided by the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition, says that with teenage drivers, a single passenger raises the risk of a crash by 50 percent and doubles the risk of a driver dying in a crash; three passengers increase the risk of a crash by 200 percent. Most graduated license laws, such as the one we have here in Georgia, prohibit 16-year-olds from driving with another teenager in the car for at least six months. In the second six months after they get the license, teens can’t have more than one other teen in the car. A year after the license, teens still aren’t supposed to have more than three other teens in the car. Read more…
BY NICK CHILES
In these incredibly difficult times, we can easily find our families dealing with stressors that perhaps we didn’t have to confront a few years ago. Financial problems can bring a whole lot of other troubles along with them—marriage and relationship conflicts, family tensions, divorce, abuse, addiction. But the director of the Yale Stress Center advises that we need to try to protect our children from stress as much as possible because they will become more likely to carry it into adulthood. Read more…
NEW BOOK FROM NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER, “SCHOOL, WHY AM I HERE?” EXPLAINS PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF SCHOOL TO TEENS
— Informs students on how the subjects they study in school will benefit them in the real-world. —
Nationwide(BlackNews.com) — C.B. Schooler, a 2008 National NAACP Image Award-winning author, has recently released a new book explaining the practical application of school to teens entitled, School, Why Am I Here? Unraveling the Mysteries of an Education and Strengthening America’s Future.
C.B. Schooler, effectively explains to young readers why they must voluntarily choose to take their education seriously by illustrating the practical marketplace application of studying: History, Language Arts, Art, Math, Science, and playing sports. Students who read this book will:
* Understand they must be a willing participant in their education
* Realize that the ultimate goal of school is to transform them into a producer, not just land a job
* Discover the importance of not missing school days
* Analyze the consequences behind the grading system Read more…
By Denene Millner
Me: Mommy? We learned about periods in health class today. The teacher said we should get this kit. It comes with books and pads and stuff.
My mom: Okay.
Uh, huh. That was the end of the conversation. She ordered the kit for me — it came with three books about puberty and an assortment of pads and tampons — and when it arrived, she handed it to me and we never talked about periods again. I was 13 when I finally got mine; I was at my uncle’s house on a weekend visit, and spent half of Saturday and most of Sunday with wads of toilet tissue stuffed in my panties, too embarrassed to ask my uncle for help, and later, too embarrassed to tell my mother about it. My mom didn’t find out, either, until after she realized I’d used up all the pads in my kit.
She was hurt. I could tell from the look in her eyes. Read more…
By Denene Millner