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RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS

PARENT ATHLETE COACH

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INSIDE GRADUATION MATTERS PARENTING MYSTERY UNRAVELLED REAL KNOWLEDGE FOR COLLEGE


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MARCH 2012

2 9 10 11 12 18 18 22

FEATURES

4 6 14 20

From the Director Faces in the Crowd Face It! Our Time is Over 40 Developmental Assets Assets in Action Q&A By the Numbers Media Literacy: Reading Media

Relationship Dynamics Parent>Athlete<Coach Graduation Matters Montana Unraveling One of the Great Mysteries of Parenting Real Knowledge for College

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COVER PHOTO BY Wandering Albatross Photography

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FROMTHE

Director

ON THE COVER

t was a Saturday morning

This cover features Coach Kevin VanDyke along with Nicholas Kunz and Isaac Romero from Helena Wrestling Club. This issue is laced with content highlighting different aspects of sportsmanship, and Helena Wrestling Club is one of many local organizations that infuse these principals throughout their program. As an organization involving youth from ages five through high school, Helena Wrestling Club focuses on skill development beyond the physical to include character building, self-confidence, respect, courage, commitment and self-control. The handshake, a symbol of good sportsmanship, is taught explicitly to the students and conversation occurs with each wrestler about the importance of this symbol.

2 MARCH 2012 | YC MAGAZINE | youthconnectionscoalition.org

when my two boys decided to break out the board games and play Battleship. After much instruction, my youngest finally had his pieces in place and was ready for battle. I sat back to let the boys play. Midway through the game, I became DRENDA quite aware of my youngest son’s NIEMANN agitation when he was not able to sink his brother’s battleships as he watched his ships fall victim to his brother’s strategies. What was supposed to be a fun Saturday morning game quickly became a conflict full of tears, disappointment and frustration. A research study conducted at the University of Nevada resulted in an understanding that cooperative games motivate more cooperative behavior and less aggression and, conversely, competitive games increase aggressive behavior and decrease cooperation. I saw this study come alive in my living room as the boys engaged in a competitive game of Battleship. Cooperative games emphasize participation, challenge, and fun rather than defeating someone. Cooperative games are cooperative because they encourage team-work, creative thinking, problem solving, and helping players realize everyone can win. Many competitive games can be adapted to be more cooperative by following these basic rules: `Everyone plays. The games are structured so everyone can join in. `No one gets hurt – emotionally or physically. `Everyone has fun. `Everyone wins. Encouraging my boys to engage in play that is not about winning and losing has reduced the amount of tension and conflict, allowing for more smiles and giggles on those lazy Saturday mornings. 

DRENDA NIEMANN, Director email: dniemann@helena.k12.mt.us phone: (406) 324-1032 Front Street Learning Center


GOT QUESTIONS? 211 has answers

In Helena, Youth Connections, in partnership with Safe Schools/Healthy Students, is striving for a safe and supportive community where we are hopeful about the future. Through 211, all individuals and families now have access to the resources needed to feel safe and supported. 211 is an easy-to-remember telephone number (free from land lines and cell phones) and website that connects people to important community services. 211 can also be used to obtain information about recreational opportunities and activities in and around Helena. Thanks to the City of Helena Parks and Recreation Department, there are many options for individual and family activities! (search: Helena Activities) Last year over 10,000 people in the Great Falls area were helped by using 211 to find services for everything from swimming lessons to energy assistance and mental health. Whether you are a service provider looking to help a client or parent seeking information for yourself or your family, 211 has the information you need. Dial 211 or click onto www.montana211.org to get connected and get answers.

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COACH'S PERSPECTIVE

ATHLETE’S PERSPECTIVE

By Robert J. Veroulis Fellowship of Christian Athletes

By Callan Blossom

T

P

he visual of a three-legged stool is no more apparent than the relationship between a coach, his player and the player’s family. Our goal at Fellowship of Christian Athletes is to provide the tools to allow each person in the relationship to have a positive and reinforcing voice to make communication flow and to strengthen each person. We see the coach’s role as a disciplinarian and teacher who provides structure in a loving and caring environment that encourages the growth of his or her player, not only as an athlete, but as a student, a member of society and a family member. Coaches have a unique opportunity to help mold the character of their athletes to be role models on and off the court or field. Their relationship with referees, upset parents and unruly fans can go a long way in showing the community that athletics is not always about winning but about handling yourself with the utmost respect regardless of the situation. The coach’s role in this relationship can bridge a gap at home by expressing to the players the need to show respect to adults in the community and to their parents. They can give the players a different perspective because they have their undivided attention in an activity that the athlete is passionate about. The coach is there not only to push a player to a level they wouldn’t reach on their own, but to help reinforce the importance of truth, honor and respect. In a 2008 Child Trends Databank survey, athletes report healthier eating habits, increased parental support and decreased anxiety and depression. The national study also has shown a positive association between participation in school sports and lower rates of tobacco, drug and alcohol use. The coach is instrumental in reinforcing the importance of healthy choices with respect to hygiene, nutrition, sleep habits and abstinence from drugs and alcohol because of an outlined set of expectations and consequences. A coach can stress that one person’s decision can impact the whole team. A coach is an added line of accountability to the student. One study, The Impact of High School Sports on Values and Ethics of High School Athletes by the Josephson Institute on Ethics in February 2007, noted the vast majority of high school athletes say their coaches “consistently set a good example of ethics and character” (90%) and that their current coach “wants them to do the ethically right thing no matter what the cost” (91%). 

arents, coach, athlete. Often each disagrees about practice, about what you the athlete should compete in, about what you need to do to get yourself ready to practice, and even about how you should compete. Sometimes an athlete can start to feel like a puppet with strings attached to many different people, all with different dances in mind. It gets a bit stressful at times. I have been to many basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball and you-name-it ball games. At almost every one fo these games, I hear parents yelling at their child, “Go left! Now right! Don’t do that! Keep your head up!” ...Whoa! All this time the coach is probably telling them something completely different. Who do we listen to? Children are raised to listen to their parents first, but shouldn’t they be listening to their coach? All athletes hear their parents, trust me. However, I’m sorry to break it to you parents, but your helpful hints are not always so helpful. Your athlete (and coach) almost always know more about the game than you. Let your son or daughter play, enjoy watching and acept that they will make mistakes. Making mistakes is the best way to learn! Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t cheer them on during the game. Cheer all you want! Feel free to pick up those dusty pom-poms and spew encouragement. After the game you can also offer tips (a few), opinions (a few), congratulations for competing and most of all unconditional love. Most importantly, support your athlete and just as importantly, support your athlete’s teammates. As for the coach, give us helpful advice but remember that too much information can send us into a spiral of confusion. Competition time is not for learning how to, it’s about delivering. We should learn most of what we need to know during practice. Let the athlete learn from their own experience. Each of us can learn from others and we learn best when the advice is taught, not yelled. People learn from mistakes, especially adolescents. We learn from playing, from parental tips and support, and we can learn from the coach. However, we can’t learn from getting it all at once from all sides. That is just too many people pulling the puppet strings. 

Callan is a junior at Helena High School where she ha has participated in both club soccer and swimming..

“Coach says” is a phrase that is synonymous with sports. Ask any adult athlete and he or she can recite many things one of their coaches said from as far back as junior high. youthconnectionscoalition.org

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GRADUATIO DUATIO

MATTE

A

s State Superintendent of the Office of Public Instruction, I get to travel our beautiful state and meet with hard working educators, DENISE JUNEAU students, and their families to talk about how, working together, we can continue to improve schools so every Montana student has access to a great public school education. Montana has great schools and great teachers. Our students consistently outperform students from other states in math, English and science. However, we know that too many students are dropping out of school. Nearly 2,000 Montana students drop out of school each year. I believe we need to set an expectation that every Montana student graduates from high school. In order for our young people to compete in the 21st Century global economy, a high school diploma, at minimum, is necessary.

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Graduation Matters Montana is a statewide effort to ensure Montana’s public schools graduate more students prepared for college and careers. Local communities throughout Montana are coming together to design and implement local strategies to keep students engaged and on-time to graduate. To date, more than one-half of Montana high school students have a Graduation Matters initiative in their town. For Graduation Matters Montana to be successful, families need to be involved. Here is some information that is helpful for families:

`E

NCOURAGE THE STUDENTS IN YOUR

FAMILY TO TAKE THE PLEDGE TO

GRADUATE

Members of a Student Advisory Board created last year to advise on issues related to Graduation Matters Montana suggested we launch an “I Pledge to Graduate” initiative. Students commit to graduating from high school, identify their personal reason why it is important, and have a caring adult witness their pledge. Students can pledge on-line at http:// graduationmatters.mt.gov, or participate in a school “I Pledge to Graduate” event. Be sure to encourage your children to take

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the pledge; the OPI has partnered with Optimum Cable to provide incentives, and there are monthly drawings for iPods and gas cards for students who take the pledge.

`S

TART OR JOIN A LOCAL GRADUATION

MATTERS MONTANA EFFORT

Get involved in Graduation Matters Helena where the school district and the community are working together to support student achievement through programs like service learning and many more. If your child attends another district, contact the school to see if it is a Graduation Matters school, and if they are not, ask how you can help start a local initiative.

`P

LAN FOR THE FUTURE

Here in Montana we are fortunate to have many programs and services to help you plan for the future college or career path your child chooses. You can find a list of resources and links on our Graduation Matters Montana website. Talk with your child about the credit requirements for graduating (available on our website) and about their plans after they graduate. Encourage them to explore career and college options (including two-year


ON

MONTANA

colleges and certificate programs) that excite and inspire them to stay in school.

`G

ET INVOLVED IN YOUR CHILD’S

EDUCATION

There are many ways to stay involved with your child’s education, and research shows that students do better when their parents are involved. Here are a few ideas: Ask your child about their homework and about what they learned in school today. Make a point of introducing yourself to the teacher, and give them insights into your child or share concerns you have. Many schools want parents as volunteers: ask your school office how to volunteer. Find out when the parentteacher organization meets, and attend a meeting to see how to get involved.

`M

AKE A DIFFERENCE

Local community organizations often work in partnership with schools to make sure students have supportive adults and services available to them. Check out your local community’s after-school programs or youth organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the YMCA for activities and opportunities to give your time and/or resources.

Making a difference can also be as simple as checking in on other parents or caregivers who are going through difficult times and offering to bring by a dinner, take their kids to the park, or help with other daily tasks. You can make even more of a difference by encouraging other people to get involved in these activities, too.

`M

AKE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE A PRIORITY

Parents can play a critical role in helping set the expectation starting in kindergarten that school attendance is vital to future success in school. Research shows that excessive absences can impact a student’s ability to do their best in school. Make school attendance a priority by helping students get to school on time every day.  - Denise Juneau, State Superintendent

WHAT YOU CAN DO To help parents and caregivers support their students’ graduation, we created a tool-kit, planning tools and resources. This information and more are available on our website: http://graduationmatters.mt.gov or please contact Deborah Halliday, Policy Advisor, Community Learning Partnerships, at 444-3559 or dhalliday@mt.gov.

GET INVOLVED IN HELENA To get involved in the Graduation Matters initiative in Helena or to volunteer in the schools, please contact the Youth Connections office by calling 324-1083 or email dniemann@helena.k12.mt.us.

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Check out who’s standing out in our community. IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE? Please email cmcneil@helena.k12.mt.us and tell us why this individual has stood out in your crowd.

Austin Dunlap

FACES IN THE CROWD

HELENA HIGH SCHOOL, 9TH GRADE

Austin was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Philadelphia Positive. He has since been through extensive treatment and tests. For the last 18 months, Austin has been living in the hospital or in his room at home so he isn’t around germs. Through it all, Austin has had an amazing attitude during his treatments - fighting for his life as a teenager. Austin always has a smile on his face and a great personality, even during the bad times. Through it all Austin has been an amazing inspiration to his family, students at his school and the community.

Jackson Keller

HELENA MIDDLE SCHOOL, 6TH GRADE

Jackson exemplifies what it means to be a leader at Helena Middle School through his positive choices on a personal level and within the school environment. He is consistently displaying simple gestures of genuineness and kindness toward others. As a student, Jackson has a wonderful work ethic and strives to do his best at all times. Jackson demonstrates great respect for himself and others by being an individual and accepting others for who they are. He has great humility to give of himself to help others and support collaborative action in the classroom and as a school community member.

Turea Venner

WARREN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 5TH GRADE

Turea is a 5th grade student at Warren Elementary who truly loves school and works very hard in all of her subjects. Turea has been a leader in preventing bullying at Warren School. Not only does she not participate in any kind of bullying, she encourages her classmates to prevent it as well! She especially has a kind heart with special needs children. She loves to be around them and often says she learns so much from them! Outside of school, Turea is a part of the HAC Mustangs junior competitive cheer team, and is also in six dance classes a week at Diane’s Dance Works.

Wendy Brenden

4-H VOLUNTEER LEADER

Wendy has served as the volunteer leader for the 4-H Dog Project for many years, spending hours each month organizing workshops for dog obedience, showmanship, agility and herding. Additionally, Wendy serves as President of the Lewis & Clark County 4-H Foundation which she helped start two years ago to help the group improve, recruit new members, communicate to stakeholders and form a positive mission for the future. Wendy is truly an asset to the 4-H organization and through her efforts we continue to improve our program and impact the lives of youth in Lewis & Clark County.

ExplorationWorks! This school year ExplorationWorks has taken the initiative to engage with area elementary schools to bring fun-filled learning to Helena’s students. Dr. Liz Gundersen’s enthusiasm for exciting opportunities offered through the museum has led to the creation of the new ExplorationWorks School Night events. With her guidance, these school nights have brought hundreds of Helena families together to explore the exhibits.

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face it! - By Terri Wright, Associate Director Helena Family YMCA

y earliest sports memory was watching my parents participate in a charity basketball game against the Los Angeles Rams. I went to the game but I was more interested in jumping off the bleachers onto the mats than I was with the outcome of the game. The following summer my parents signed me up for T-ball, and the only thing I remember from that experience was the heat and the T-shirt we wore. Since then I’ve participated in more sporting events than I count. I’ve been a player, an NCAA assistant coach, a high school coach, a competitive travel team coach, a state champion, an MVP, an AllAmerican, a bench-warmer, a starter, a team captain, a rookie, a semi-professional, a rec league player, a city-champ, an administrator, a fan, a referee, and now a sports parent.

Along the way I’ve experienced success and failure, frustration and satisfaction. Watching our children experience the world of sports can be an emotional roller coaster. Just envision ABC’s Wide World of Sports and “the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat” montage. Let’s face it, we all want what is best for our children and we all want our children to win. But this desire shouldn’t make us check our senses at the door. Rather we need to remind ourselves that we had our chance on the playing field, our time is over and now we have to sit back and allow our children to experience for themselves what sports participation is all about. Problem is, it’s harder for some of us than others. If you really want your child to love sports the way you do, the best thing you can do is let them try everything and let them tell you when they have had enough or when they want a bigger challenge. The number one reason kids give for participating in sports is because it’s fun. And the number one reason kids give for wanting to quit is because it’s no longer fun. So how do we keep sports fun for our kids, without pressuring them to the point where they burn out? The YMCA offers these tips to parents: Encourage your child to play sports, but don’t pressure. Let your child choose to play – and quit – if he or she wants. Understand what your child wants from sports, and provide a supportive atmosphere for achieving these goals. Set limits on your child’s participation. Don’t make sports everything in your child’s life, make it a part of life.

Make sure the coach is qualified to guide your child through the sports experience. Keep winning in perspective, and help your child do the same. Help your child set challenging but realistic performance goals rather than “winning the game.” Help your child understand the valuable lessons sports can teach. Help your child meet responsibilities to the team and to the coach. Turn you child over to the coach at practices and games – don’t meddle or coach from the sidelines. Supply the coach with information on any allergies or special health conditions your child has. Above all, be involved, but not too involved. Healthy involvement is usually welcomed by both the coach and your son or daughter. No coach wants to be – or should be – second guessed by parents on the sidelines. In youth sports, like exercise, you know you are too involved if you cannot carry on a normal conversation with the person next to you.  Signs you may be too involved: You are overly concerned with the outcome of the game. You spend a lot of time talking with the coach about the game plan, player skill levels, and the way she or he conducts practices and/or coaches games. Your son or daughter has stopped enjoying the sport or has asked you to stop coming to practices or games. You require your son or daughter to take extra practice or specialize too early.

Want to be involved in your child’s sports activities? Volunteer to coordinate the snacks, car pool, sweep the gym floor, keep time or score, or referee.


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40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS

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40 Developmental Assets are essential qualities of life that help young people thrive, do well in school, and avoid risky behavior. Youth Connections utilizes the 40 Developmental Assets Framework to guide the work we do in promoting positive youth development. The 40 Assets model was developed by the Minneapolis-based Search Institute based on extensive research. Just as we are coached to diversify our financial assets so that all our eggs are not in one basket, the strength that the 40 Assets model can build in our youth comes through diversity. In a nutshell, the more of the 40 Assets youth possess, the more likely they are to exhibit positive behaviors and attitudes (such as good health and school success) and the less likely they are to exhibit risky behaviors (such as drug use and promiscuity). Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that simple: if we want to empower and protect our children, building the 40 Assets in our youth is a great way to start. Look over the list of Assets on the following page and think about what Assets may be lacking in our community and what Assets you can help build in our young people. Do what you can do with the knowledge that even through helping build one asset in one child, you are increasing the chances that child will grow up safe and successful. Through our combined efforts Helena will continue to be a place where Great Kids Make Great Communities.

turn the page to learn more!

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assets in action 5

40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS

EXTERNAL ASSETS SUPPORT 1. Family support: Family life provides high levels of love and support. 2. Positive family communication: Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s). 3. Other adult relationships: Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults. 4. Caring neighborhood: Young person experiences caring neighbors. 5. Caring school climate: School provides a caring, encouraging environment. 6. Parent involvement in school: Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.

EMPOWERMENT 7. Community values youth: Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth. 8. Youth as resources: Young people are given useful roles in the community. 9. Service to others: Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week. 10. Safety: Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.

8

BOUNDARIES & EXPECTATIONS

15

11. Family boundaries: Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts. 12. School boundaries: School provides clear rules and consequences. 13. Neighborhood boundaries: Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior. 14. Adult role models: Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior. 15. Positive peer influence: Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior. 16. High expectations: Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME

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17. Creative activities: Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts. 18. Youth programs: Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in the community. 19. Religious community: Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution. 20. Time at home: Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.


If you or your child would like to submit a picture that represents one of the 40 Developmental Assets, please email cmcneil@helena.k12.mt.us with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.

Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.

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INTERNAL ASSETS COMMITMENT TO LEARNING 21. Achievement motivation: Young person is motivated to do well in school. 22. School engagement: Young person is actively engaged in learning. 23. Homework: Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day. 24. Bonding to school: Young person cares about her or his school. 25. Reading for pleasure: Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

POSITIVE VALUES 26. Caring: Young person places high value on helping other people. 27. Equality and social justice: Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty. 28. Integrity: Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs. 29. Honesty: Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.” 30. Responsibility: Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility. 31. Restraint: Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.

6

SOCIAL COMPETENCIES 32. Planning and decision making: Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices. 33. Interpersonal competence: Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills. 34. Cultural competence: Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds. 35. Resistance skills: Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations. 36. Peaceful conflict resolution: Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.

22

POSITIVE IDENTITY 37. Personal power: Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.” 38. Self-esteem: Young person reports having a high self-esteem. 39. Sense of purpose: Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.” 40. Positive view of personal future: Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

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UNRAVELING ONE OF THE

GREAT MYSTERIES

OF PARENTING - By Janice E. Gabe, LCSW, CADAC Adolescent, Young Adult and Family Therapist

Why Do Our Teens Not Fear Us? Parents look at me in state of utter confusion as they ask this question. The question is typically followed by a declaration that, “I would have been scared to death to pull that on my parents,” or “I would have never talked to my mother like that!” The answer to this question is actually quite simple. We did not raise our children to fear us. Most of today’s parents would proudly acknowledge that we have always put our children first. We have assumed many roles in their childhood: chauffeur, cheerleader, coach, team mom, social secretary, playmate, tutor, party planner. We spend our days scheduling play dates and running our children and their friends

from one recreational activity to another. We have logged countless hours in the car taking them to practices, games and performances. We sacrifice so they can have luxuries. We allow their activities to dominate our calendars. We make it our mission to assure they are happy. All of this is done with one goal in mind: we want to enjoy our children. We want to have fun with them. Our children spend a great deal of time with us. They test us, and know how to push our buttons. They know us well. We are not a mystery to them. They do not fear us because they are familiar with us. They don’t wonder what we will do; they can accurately predict what we will do. Most of today’s parents would agree that we have not raised our children as we were raised. Our parents did not consider it their job to entertain us, and they certainly did not feel obligated to be at our beck and call to fulfill our every whim. My parents had seven children and trust me, they did not feel in any way obligated to schedule play dates. We spent time together as a family, but it was generally understood that we were responsible for entertaining ourselves. During summers and on weekends my mother would “shoo” us out of the house with instructions to not come home before dinner. I was never particularly fond of the great outdoors, so I would try to sneak back in and find

the doors locked. Although I loved my parents, I never quite knew what to make of them. I was not familiar with them and they definitely were a mystery to me. As a result, I was never quite sure how far to push or what they might do if I crossed the line. I vividly remember thinking, “If I do this, my parents will kill me!” I know I never was successful in my attempts to engage my parents in lengthy discussions (i.e. arguments). I often joke that most of us had parents who would not explain crap to us and we, therefore, explain the crap out of everything. I am not saying that one parenting style is better than the other. I am simply stating that they are different. We cannot raise our children to be familiar and comfortable with us and expect them to fear us. Our kids do not need to fear us. They just need to learn early that while we enjoy them and love to play with them, we also are not afraid to set boundaries and follow through with consequences. While their happiness is important to us, it will not “kill us” if they are angry or disagree. We are willing to make sacrifices for them but expect them to be respectful and giving in return. In the end, it is more work to parent if our children don’t fear us, but the relationship payoffs are great. They do not need to fear us in order for us to parent effectively. 

If you are interested in unraveling more mysteries of parenting, come join us for Janice’s presentation on April 18, 2012. For information on her most recent book “Confident Parenting in a Complex World”, visit www.newperspectives-indy.com.


SAVE THE DATE

Is It Adolescence or Something More? OPEN PARENT NIGHT AT ST. PETERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S HOSPITAL

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Janice will explain the developmental process of growing up through early, middle and late adolescence. The goal is to provide parents with tools to differentiate between healthy adolescent behaviors and behaviors that may indicate that something more is going on. This workshop will also provide updated information about adolescent brain development.


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Interested in Enrolling Your Child? Please Contact: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Helena (406)442-7479 bbbs@bbbs-helena.org www.bbbs-helena.org

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Thanks to Youth Connections for all you do for our community!

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Q A Q. Please help! My parents keep embarrassing me at my games because they’re always yelling at me and the coach. What should I do?

BY THE

NUMBERS

15

Sound travels fifteen times faster through steel than through air.

A. Parents please read this quote:

2

“The toughest thing kids have to face is the unfulfilled lives of their parents.” – John W. Gardiner

The sound of a tiger’s roar can travel a distance of up to two miles.

You have the most important role of being the parent so let the coaches coach, let the officials officiate and let the kids play. In this way everyone is doing their specialty. JIM: Activities Administrator

A. Find a time to talk to your parents about how you are feeling. You could say to them, “I am extremely proud that you support

12.6

Number of miles a typist’s fingers travel on an average work day.

me in my athletics. However, you need to release me to the game that I love and allow me and my teammates to play the game without added pressure and criticism. Please don’t allow your pride for me and our team get in the way of you enjoying me playing the sports that we love.” JUSTIN: Athlete, Coach and Parent of Athletes

A. I would suggest sitting down and talking to your parents about the yelling. Let them know that this embarrasses you. Maybe suggest that although they may get caught up in the

1,000,000 Gallons of fresh water that can be ruined by one gallon of used motor oil.

80%

Percentage of your brain that is water.

game, yelling is not going to accomplish anything. If they do need to tell you something, ask them to wait until after the game when you are home, or at least until it can be done privately and constructively. If they cannot control their emotions, you could ask your parent to sit farther away. DONNA & JAY: Parents of Student Athletes

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The skin on your lips is two hundred times more sensitive than your fingertips.

If you have a question that you would like our help with, please send it to QandA@youthconnectionscoalition.org. We cannot guarantee all questions will be published however we will do our best to respond to all submissions. YC MAGAZINE

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REAL

KNOWLEDGE

FOR COLLEGE - By Kelly Parsley, Wellness Educator Carroll College

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ineteen years ago my husband and I brought twins into the world, and although delivery was rough, the rest was pretty simple: all we needed was a bunch of diapers, blessed sleep, and a lot of love. This past year we sent those twins out into the world via college and the transition has been much more complicated. While babies need hugs and milk, kids leaving home for the first time need much more. Here are some of the things we learned that make this transition run smoothly:

TRAVEL SKILLS Recent graduates need packing skills (suitcases can only hold so much and most people don’t need twelve hoodies) and basic road side knowledge like how to change a tire, turn on the hazard lights, and set flairs. Your child may also need air travel skills from booking tickets and checking bags to dealing with the TSA line: shoes off, liquids out, lap tops unpacked, and ID and tickets in hand for the security agents. Learning to navigate large airports is a skill that can be taught anytime the family travels.

FINANCIAL LITERACY Now is a perfect time to teach teens about rental agreements and dorm contracts; how loans and interest rates work; how debit and credit cards work and how to track purchases and avoid unnecessary fees. Parents can also help students understand FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and how it works.

once they are eighteen, teens are considered adults. Acknowledge this truth to your child, and explain to them when heading to college it is their responsibility to manage the details of their lives: tracking college applications, financial aid requests, dorm room deposits, roommate selections, meal plan options, course registration, and medical records submissions.

MORAL COMPASS Truth be told, most of us take a lifetime developing a strong moral compass, but as young people are developing a sense for who they are, remember that “sense” is often defined by what their parents’ expectations of them have been. For years you have had expectations for them with regard to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and sexual behavior, and they will carry that with them when they leave home. This is a great time to reinforce those expectations, and open a dialogue about peer pressure, experimentation, and not only the freedoms that come with independence, but the responsibilities that come with it as well. Watching our twins move out into the world has been thrilling and hard, but given our several discussions about these topics, we know that we have prepared them as best we can for that world. Our only hope now is they are using these tools wisely. Ultimately, parents know what our kids really need in order to succeed no matter what life throws at them: eight hours of blessed sleep, love, and lots of hugs. 

SELF-CARE TOOLS Now is a good time to remind students about how to take care of themselves: which medications usually work for a cold; how to find a doctor, book an appointment, use the insurance card, and pick up a prescription. Encourage kids to program basic safety numbers into their phones like area law enforcement, taxi service, and campus security when they head to college.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS Life beyond mom and dad’s home sometimes involves several roommates, the ability to settle disputes over dirty dishes and loud music can be more valuable than gold. Parents can help teens by reminding them that they don’t have to be the “police” for every skirmish, and that using non-blaming, “I” statements (I feel scared when the door stays unlocked all day) can communicate concern without fueling blame games.

tips for mom and dad `Remember, by law, schools are required to contact only students with regard to grades and other information. Discuss with your child your expectations about sharing school information. `Learn how to use Facebook, texting, and Skype.

JOB SKILLS While most students know the best source of money is work, the current market is horrible for young people seeking employment. Parents can help kids gain an advantage by talking to them about strong job skills — suggesting the best places to look for jobs via the internet, classifieds, or the work/study offices. They can also help their young adult understand how to fill out W2 or I9 forms, how to build strong resumes, practice tough interview questions, and how to find appropriate clothing for the job interviews.

`Remember, while this move is big, it is not unlike all the other times you’ve helped them through transitions — from grade school to middle school, Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, passengers to drivers — this can be scary but also fun!

“LIFE” MANAGEMENT TOOLS Most eighteen-year-olds are very used to having mom and dad manage “life” details for them, but

`Explore websites of interesting schools.

`Study for the ACT/SAT.

`Use College Navigator to help locate schools that have your study of interest. `Visit the Student Assistance Foundation for help in completing the FAFSA application.

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MEDIA LITERACY

DRUG FREE ACTION ALLIANCE

2012 BIG BOWL VOTE

AMERICA’S YOUTH HAVE VOTED!

ielsen reports that a record-breaking 111.3 million viewers watched this year’s Super Bowl. Also, according to Nielsen, about half of those viewers likely tuned in more for the highpriced commercials ($3.5 million per 30 second slot) than the game itself. While snacks beat out beverages and a candy treat took top spot, alcohol once again surfaced as a Big Bowl Vote favorite, appealing to both middle and high school students. What does this mean? Research reveals that young people are drawn to advertising that features animal and people characters, tells a story and makes them laugh. If the target demographic for M&M’s is middle and high school aged youth, the advertiser was right on mark. What tween/teen wouldn’t appreciate a comedic chocolate character, who breaks into dance to, “I’m sexy and I know it,” a song that is all the rage among youth right now? But what about the cute little rescue pup who fetches beer for his owner’s pool party guests? Wouldn’t the obviously savvy advertisers surely realize this too would be appealing to underage Americans? Of course they did. Does this mean more kids will now start drinking alcohol because they liked the ad? Maybe. According to a study where researchers investigated alcohol advertising to learn what makes it attractive to youth; the alcohol ads

that young people found to be appealing were more likely to elicit responses from them saying they wanted to purchase the brand and products advertised. We also know that the more youth are exposed to alcohol advertising, the more likely they are to drink (drink to excess and drink more often). Research clearly indicates that while parents and peers have significant influence on a child’s decision to drink, so too does alcohol advertising and marketing. “Though the Super Bowl itself is likely gone from most young people’s thoughts, the commercials will linger on, as they continue to pop up on our televisions and computers for months to come,” says Marcie Seidel, Drug Free Action Alliance Executive Director. “While we cannot possibly shield our children from every alcohol advertisement, we can make it a Teachable Moment, by helping them to decode the message through Media Literacy.” Whether they are tuning in to their favorite TV show, listening to their iPod or socializing online, youth are flooded with a mix of media messages every day. Simply put, Media Literacy is the ability to read between the lines to recognize the influence of media messages. Children who are media literate can look and listen with a critical eye and ear, helping them to make healthier lifestyle choices and avoid the pressures fueled by media messages to drink, smoke or use other drugs.

PARENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO TRY THIS:

Watch any TV show with your tween/teen. When the commercials come on, ask your child to pay close attention, then pose these questions to help decode the message: »Who do you think created this commercial? »What techniques did they use to get your attention? »What do they want you to do after seeing their message? »Would this be a healthy choice for you? »Do you think your health and safety are important to the ad sponsor? »How do you feel about it now? Another great opportunity for a similar conversation is in the car with a captive audience. When an advertisement comes on the radio, listen together and then break it down to figure out the real message. It doesn’t have to be an alcohol advertisement to be a learning experience. The key is to teach your child that no matter the product being promoted, there is an advertiser with an intended message. It is up to your child to think critically to interpret that message and apply it to his/her life appropriately. 

the results

For additional information and resources, please visit Drug Free Action Alliance at www.DrugFreeActionAlliance.org.

DYK

Hippo milk is pink.

DID YOU KNOW?

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Squirrels forget where they hide about half of their nuts.

A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won’t.


TOP 10 FAVORITE COMMERCIALS MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS (6TH-8TH GRADE) 1. M&M’S: JUST MY SHELL 2. DORITOS: DOG BURIES CAT 3. DORITOS: SLING SHOT BABY 4. BUD LIGHT: RESCUE DOG WEGO 5. SKECHERS: DOG RACE 6. COCA-COLA: FINGERS CROSSED 7. COCA-COLA: NICE CATCH 8. CHEVY: APOCALYPSE 9. VW: DOG STRIKES BACK 10. DANNON: JOHN STAMOS

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS (9TH-12TH GRADE) 1. M&M’S: JUST MY SHELL 2. DORITOS: DOG BURIES CAT 3. DORITOS: SLING SHOT BABY 4. BUD LIGHT: RESCUE DOG WEGO 5. SKECHERS: DOG RACE 6. CHEVY: APOCALYPSE 7. VW: DOG STRIKES BACK 8. DANNON: JOHN STAMOS 9. E*TRADE: FATHERHOOD 10. COCA-COLA: NICE CATCH

TOP 10 MOST RECALLED COMMERCIALS MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS (6TH-8TH GRADE)

1. DORITOS 2. M&M’S 3. BUD LIGHT 4. COCA-COLA 5. PEPSI 6. CHEVY 7. NFL 8. MOVIE TRAILERS 9. GODADDY.COM 10. E*TRADE

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS (9TH-12TH GRADE)

1. DORITOS 2. BUD LIGHT 3. M&M’S 4. COCA-COLA 5. CHEVY 6. PEPSI 7. SKECHERS 8. E*TRADE 9. VW 10. GODADDY.COM

Sources: DFAA Big Bowl Vote, Nielsen Company, Center for Media Literacy. M.J. Chen, J.W. Grube, M. Bersamin, E. Waiters, and D.B. Keefe, “Alcohol Advertising: What Makes It Attractive to Youth?,” Journal of Health Communication, 2005. youthconnectionscoalition.org

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Timothy C. Ballweber, D.D.S., M.S. L I M I T E D T O O RT H O D O N T I C S F O R C H I L D R E N A N D A D U LT S

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For boys and girls, indoor and outdoor play, ages 4-12, $3.99 and up

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G N I N WAR S N G I S

o of someone whk may be at ris e of suicic

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SAVE A LIFE If you see the signs, ask the person, “Are you suicidal?” Offer hope, don’t leave them alone, and tell others Take the person to the nearest ER, call the police, take them to a health care professional or Call the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline at

> Increase in hostility > Difficulty concentrating > Decline in personal hygiene > Abrupt change in personality > Giving away prized possessions > Previous suicide attempts > Increase in drug or alcohol use > Flat affect or depressed mood > Inability to tolerate frustration > Withdrawal and rebelliousness > Sleep disturbance, either too much or too little > Overall sense of sadness and hopelessness > Eating disturbance, either weight gain or loss > Unusually long grief reaction (varies with different youth) > Overall sense of sadness and hopelessness > Decrease in academic performance > Isolating and choosing to spend time alone > Recent family or relational disruption

1-800-273-TALK (8255) www.prc.mt.gov/suicideprevention


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Youth Connections March 2012