Youth Connections - Helena - June 2016

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Protect Teen Drivers

JUNE 2016





» No Reason to Lose Sleep » Parents Who Host Lose the Most » Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks: Are They Safe for Kids?

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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 the person to the nearest eR, call the police, take them to > take a health care professional or > Call the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

JUNE 2016


6 Preparing for a Successful Summer 14 No Reason to Lose Sleep 16 Parents Who Host Lose the Most Drinks vs. Energy Drinks: 20 Sports Are They Safe for Kids? Teen Drivers: Give Them 23 Protect the Rules of the Road


2 From the Director 5 The Kitchen Table 10 Faces in the Crowd 11 40 Developmental Assets 12 Assets in Action 18 Q&A and By the Numbers BROUGHT TO YOU BY




Coleen Smith: (406) 324-1032

COVER PHOTO BY Jill Amsk Photography



| June 2016



Jessica just finished her sophomore year. She enjoys competing in dance, especially hip-hop. She also competes on the cross country team. She is an excellent artist. In her spare time she holds a part-time job and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

ABOUT YOUTH CONNECTIONS Youth Connections is a coalition of over 1100 community members representing parents, educators, churches, youthserving organizations, businesses, and more who want to make Helena a healthy and supportive place for kids and families. Youth Connections recognizes the need to reduce negative behaviors including substance use and violence while also working to increase positive opportunities and mental wellness for all our local kids. So how do we do that? We know there is no silver bullet to making communities great, and so we do LOTS of things that we know make communities better. We support agencies and businesses who offer youth activities because we know kids who are involved in positive activities aren’t involved in negative ones. We support student mentoring relationships because research shows it helps kids stay in school and be successful. We also know that when kids know better, they do better, so we support classroom education in the areas of bullying prevention and substance use prevention. Youth Connections also understands we must support the adults in kids’ lives and therefore we provide training, education, networks, and collaborative opportunities for parents and professionals to connect with others who care about kids. Youth Connections is well known for its quarterly publication, YC Magazine, a resource for parents and the entire community. These are just some of the projects we’re working on to serve our mission of engaging our community to create environments where youth thrive and succeed. For a comprehensive list of activities, services, and ways you can get involved, please visit our website at


June 2016




Director FROM THE

nce again the magazine committee has assembled a great collection of articles just in time for summer. I want to thank them for their work in ideas, writing, and researching photos – Carolynn Bright with SAF, Kelly Ackerman with Compass Consulting, and now Glenna Wortman-Obie from Intermountain. Summer is a time where kids start COLEEN to experiment with alcohol and drugs. SMITH There is less parental supervision during the day while mom/dad are at work, and camping and hanging out at the lake give kids opportunities to socialize more, often completely unsupervised. Parents are the NUMBER ONE reason kids choose not to drink. It’s important to talk early and talk often. Our website and Facebook page (Youth Connections) has a lot of resources to help parents. There are also some great free apps. Talk They Hear You is one. There are tips on building skills, showing disapproval, and showing you’re attentive. Sounds logical, but sometimes we as parents need help. There is no manual on raising drug-free kids, but there are apps and resources that can certainly help. We chose the article on sleep because it really is something that can help kids – mentally and physically. Summer tends to encourage later nights. Who wants to go to bed at 10 if it’s still light outside? It’s important to keep in mind that there is no making up for lost sleep and quality is just as important as quantity. Many experts say remove all technology from the bedroom – for kids AND parents. I had one parent say after reading our article on blue light several issues ago, they quit letting their toddler watch TV right before bed and the results were amazing. It was easier to get him to bed and he had much more restful sleep. Summer is a time for great opportunities to make lasting memories with our kids. Enjoy this precious time – it goes by so very fast.

CAN’T GET ENOUGH GREAT RESOURCES? FOLLOW US: Twitter: @Youthconx Facebook (for parents): Youth Connections Facebook (for kids): Find Your Spot

COLEEN SMITH, YC DIRECTOR Phone: (406) 324-1032

Home and community based intervention services for children with developmental delays or disabilities birth through age 18.

high school students has or will be in an abusive relationship

LEARN THE WARNING SIGNS Drop in grades Sudden personality/mood changes Unexplained bruises or injuries Loss of interest in activities or friends Supporting families to promote development in their young children with special needs.


the friendship center

Working to End domEstic and sExual ViolEncE

1212 Helena Avenue • Helena, MT 59601 406 443 7370 •

(406) 442-6800 24 hours 1430 Sanders, Helena

helena orthodontics affordable care in a comfortable, fun environment

Special thanks to Youth Connections for all you do for the youth of our community!




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Are braces in your child’s future? Schedule your complimentary exam today. We offer a wide range of treatment options including traditional braces, clear braces and Invisalign.

Jeffrey C. Foster DMD, ABO Daniel R. Fiehrer DDS, MS

Jeffrey C. Foster DMD

Beautiful Smiles... a World of Possibilities!

900 N Last Chance Gulch, Ste 101 442.0288



| June 2016


Career Training Institute Youth Programs 347 North Last Chance Gulch Helena, MT Are you between 16 and 24 and need help finishing school, going to college or getting a job? CTI’s youth services include:

          

Assessment and basic skills testing Goal setting Career exploration and planning Academic support Paid work experience, including summer jobs Job search assistance Life skills and work readiness Computer skills training Planning for college or apprenticeships Guidance and advocacy To qualify, individuals must meet income guidelines and have an additional challenge to employment or educational success. CTI serves Broadwater, Jefferson and Lewis & Clark counties. Call 443-0800 for more information.

Uptown Tunes Thursdays at the Great Northern Town Center amphitheatre. Enjoy a delicious lunch from food vendors or bring your own! 11:30 am to 1:30 pm JUNE


2 Jake Ryan & Big Sky Vibe 9 Lost Sols

4 Scott Williams 11 Nann Parrett

16 Lost Sols

18 Caroline Carey

23 Connie Heiser

25 TBD

30 Max Hay

JULY 7 Coffee Can Stash 14 Phil and Trudy Edgeley 21 MSK Project 28 Daniel Horton

Call 406-461-9147 for more information

Thursdays in the Great Northern Town Center H


June 2016




CONFESSIONS FROM THE KITCHEN TABLE hhhhhhhhh…the lazy days of summer. I can remember sitting in my desk at school, counting down the days, hours, and even minutes until that final bell rang and my time became my own. My kids were no different. My daughter — the social child — looked forward to sports camps, sleepovers, trips to the swimming pool, and hanging out with her friends. My son — the intellectual one — spent weeks anticipating simply not being at school. Either way, the last day of school was always an event. As a working parent, I didn’t necessarily look forward to the end of the school year. After all, what was I going to do with my children when I left the house each day to earn a living? When they were younger, it was easier because they went to the school district-coordinated summer program. I dropped them off. I picked them up at the end of the day. However, the older they got, the harder it became to keep everyone happy. The social child liked sports, so soccer and volleyball camps, along with swimming lessons, were usually on tap. Then came invitations from friends for trips to the water park or a movie. Throw in sleepovers, adding some extra children to haul around, and my head would be spinning. Now, consider the intellectual child. My son didn’t like sports, so these types of activities were completely out of the question. Swimming was acceptable to a certain extent, but don’t push it. His true

interest was science, learning about robotics, bugs, flight, and whatever else he could cram into his brain. This meant finding programs through the local children’s museum and gifted and talented channels. Friends, you ask? That was significantly less of a factor in this situation — often to my great annoyance. Most parents have been in my position. Everyone is going in different directions — how do you juggle all the activities and keep your job? Compromise, of course! Intellectual child, I know you don’t like sports, but you’re going to take swimming lessons. Social child, I know Lego robots aren’t your thing, but exercising your brain won’t hurt you! After all, it was easier to shuttle everyone to the same place than try to coordinate drop-offs and pickups in a variety of locations and times. Genius! Or not. As much as I tried to coordinate my kids’ activities, they would rally to participate in the sports and classes that I had tried to pare down in order to simplify our scheduling. In order to nurture their individual strengths, I would agree to adding additional activities to their already busy schedule. As a result, my children’s summer activities were enviably diverse, but the effort took its toll. How did I know enough was enough? I wish I could say I picked up on it right away, but I didn’t. As I look back now, after reading several articles about the behaviors of an over-scheduled child, the signs were there. At first, I noticed the general grumpiness.

Mornings were tougher than before. The kids who had jumped out of bed, excited to take on the day’s activities were moving slower, grumbling about tummy aches and other minor difficulties. Then, there was the instant crash as soon as they buckled themselves into the car in the evening after I finished with work. It’s not a bad thing for children to be worn out after a busy day, but they should at least be able to stay awake long enough to make a little small talk with Mom! What made it painfully obvious that my kids were over-scheduled was when they began to complain about the activities that they had fought so hard to include in their summer plans. That was the final straw for this over-scheduled and frustrated mom. Hindsight is 20/20, and when I look back, the answer to my conundrum was obvious. In subsequent summers, my offspring were allowed to lobby for their selected activities and then I made the final determination. That decision was based on my schedule, their responsibilities and obligations, available funds, the prospect for car-pooling, and above all, the availability for free time to just do nothing! I’m not going to say this strategy made my life easier, but it did provide for happier kids. My advice to parents — you can’t satisfy everyone all the time. Do your best. Be realistic in your expectations. And remember, summer gets easier when they learn how to drive!. ■

YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR STORY AT: For many of us the kitchen table represents the typical family experience. We have laughed while having family game night. We have cried over our children’s choices. We have blown out the candles on many cakes. We have argued our way out of doing the dishes. We have struggled through those “three more bites.” We have learned hard lessons and celebrated many deserved successes. One thing is for sure though – if our kitchen tables could talk, there would be plenty of stories! So often it is in relating to others’ stories that we realize there isn’t always one answer, or even a right answer. Parenting is hard work! If you have a story of lessons learned, we invite you to share it with our readers. Sometimes, knowing we aren’t the only ones struggling to find the answer is all the help we need.



| June 2016


preparing for a

SUCCES SUMMER By KELLY ACKERMAN, Parenting with Love and Logic Trainer


June 2016





The final bell rings. Kids descend onto the school campus full of excitement and delight as the lazy days of summer have just begun! A relief fills kids and parents alike as the demands of a strict school and activity schedule comes to an end. vision of pure leisure fills the heads of all who have longed for summer to arrive. However, a great sense of dread also looms. Most adults do not experience summer vacation quite like their kids. A bit of worry sets in while thinking about what kids will do with all their time that was once occupied by a set schedule. In fact, there is a valid reason to be concerned. Adolescents’ brains are undergoing major changes and are wired for risk. As well, with summer, the supervision of adults decreases while leisure time increases. Summer is a time when risky behaviors are on the rise. Kids are more likely to experiment with alcohol, drugs, and sexual activity during this time. In addition, research has shown that peer influence is one of the greatest predictors of risky behavior. Yet, parental involvement remains a strong force in the decisions our children make (including who they spend time with). However, there is a balance between the exhaustion of being a hovering helicopter parent who never allows a child enough freedom to make a mistake and rescues them from any type of consequence should one arise, and the disillusionment of being a drill sergeant who barks orders and demands to fill every waking moment free time with work and business in order to ensure complete obedience to parental rules through the summer. Finding the balance of being a consultant to our young children can be challenging, but provides the rewards of raising responsible kids who learn to make healthy choices despite the occasional mistake. Within this parental balance it continued on page 9



June 2016


• Hurting themselves • Suicide – thinking or talking about it. • Drugs, alcohol, or misusing prescription drugs. • Unsafe sexually or at risk of sexual assault/abuse • Aggressive or violent behavior • Breaking the law • Rules or directions - not following • Intense conflict or disruption in the family/home • Abuse or neglect – showing signs of • Running away • Isolating or withdrawing from friends, family, or normal interests • Panicky or overly fearful behavior

24-hour response line (406) 461-2382 (calls will be returned within 24 hours) Caution: If you are experiencing a true emergency (immediate danger of harm to self or others),

Founded in 1895, Crowley Fleck PLLP is one of the oldest and largest law firms in our region. The firm has over 150 lawyers practicing from 11 offices in 3 states, including Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula, Montana; Bismarck and Williston, North Dakota; and Casper, Cheyenne, and Sheridan, Wyoming. We proudly serve clients in the areas of commercial and insurance defense litigation, natural resources, mining and energy law, healthcare, commercial transactions, banking and finance, creditor’s rights, real estate, tax, estate planning and administration, intellectual property, employment law, governmental affairs and lobbying.

call 911.

2016 SUMMER RECREATION Visit us online at: Call us at: 447-8463

Kay’s Kids Summer Youth Program FREE drop in program for youth ages 6 - 13! June 13 - August 12 (No July 4th) Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 3 PM Barney Park ~ Lincoln Park ~ Memorial Park **Join us for sports, games, crafts, educational activities & more!**

Swing & Splash Sports Camp For youth entering grades 5 - 8 in the fall of 2016! Weeklong sessions running June 20 - August 12 Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 5:30 PM Resident: $170 Non Resident: $175 Alternating weeks of golf and tennis lessons + swim lessons, crafts & more!


June 2016




Helena Parks and Recreation Last Chance Splash

Last Chance Splash Waterpark & Pool ~ 1203 N. Last Chance Gulch

Open June 20 - August 20 Open Swim: Monday - Friday: 12:15 - 7 PM Saturday/Sunday: 1 - 5 PM Water Activities: Exercise Classes, Water Polo, Lap Swim & more! Swim Lessons: exact classes, prices, times & dates on our website!

Tennis Lessons Session 1: June 20 - July 14 (No July 4th) Session 2: July 25 - August 18 Monday - Thursday For more info visit our website!

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is important to set the bar of expectations high, make a plan with your child’s involvement, and include regular, quality family time. Though our culture often tells us that adolescents prefer to be left on their own in order to identify themselves as individuals who despise their parents, research demonstrates that our children do much better with loving, active parental involvement. This involvement includes establishing enforceable limits. As summer approaches, it is important to communicate these expectations while allowing our children the freedom to make choices about how they spend their time. It is including our children in the plan, allowing them choices while establishing expectations, where loving limits can be set with children who begin to understand that they have a say in how their time will be structured. This sharing of control during times when our children are not argumentative helps to alleviate power struggles between parents and children. While creating the summer plan, include household contributions, family time, summer camps, and free time so that realistic expectations can be formed. Although the life of a child includes breaks from school that are unlike that of most adult careers, it is reasonable to include “work” as part of the daily and weekly expectation. For instance, the Love and Logic Institute frequently encourages children, including adolescents, to be held responsible for contributions to the family. Contributions are a part of life that continue throughout one’s lifespan. Knowing how to manage a household is an important life lesson and teaches responsibility and respect that is useful in all areas of life. When children are not given household tasks and held accountable for them, they come to believe that they deserve to be waited on and if something doesn’t get done, they could

not possibly be responsible. Within the structure of summer, discuss with children what contributions need to be done as a whole, and invite them to choose a reasonable amount of work that can be expected. As well, cover time frames (daily or weekly) for when you can anticipate that the work will be completed without parental reminders. Falling into the habit of reminding and nagging sets the course for parent-child disputes, robbing both parents

Make sure to cover the basics: who, what, when, where, why and how. As a parent, it is not intrusive to know these things, it is imperative for adolescents to know that they are loved enough that their parents care about who they are with and how they are spending their time. Make reasonable check in expectations, set limits around spending time with friends only in public places in the presence of other adults, and stay in contact with other parents.

Though our culture often tells us that adolescents prefer to be left on their own in order to identify themselves as individuals who despise their parents, research demonstrates that our children do much better with loving, active parental involvement. and children the opportunity for an enjoyable summer. Therefore, parents should be ready to implement accountability and consequences should the work not be completed as agreed upon. However, we all know that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!” Some children may have camps and activities planned to help fill their days which are great ways to keep our kids safe and accountable. Again, including children who are old enough to be home alone in the conversation about camp selection is an important part of remaining a consultant rather than a drill sergeant. Sometimes parents can overschedule activities and find that summer was more exhausting than the demands of school! Still, many families cannot afford to keep children occupied in camps the entire summer. These families should not feel guilty as experiencing some time alone allows for independent choices. During these times, have daily and weekly conversations about what the child’s plans are.

Though some may think this is intrusive and over-protective, it sends an important message of love and concern to children and to other parents. Sometimes, while making a plan with your child and establishing high expectations, Love and Logic finds it helpful to write a letter to each child at the beginning of summer. In it, express things such as how exciting summer time is, the fun they will have at their activities, and the great anticipation you feel as your family vacation approaches. As well, simple positive statements can demonstrate high expectations without sounding like demands. Convey the trust you have by acknowledging that the friends who make poor choices about alcohol, drugs, sex and other risky behaviors are lucky to have a friend who shows them how to make good choices. Recognize the difficulties present when facing peer pressure and the importance of having a specific plan. Give your child permission to use you as the scapegoat in

any situation. Also impart your confidence that you know your child is capable of living with the consequences that are a result of their decisions this summer. It is wise to follow up this letter with a conversation to allow your child to express his/her plan for facing peer pressure. Remember, it is important not to dictate the plan, but allow your children to create individual plans that are most comfortable and reasonable for them. This increases the likelihood that they will actually follow the through. Keep in mind that even a well-planned summer will have its challenges. Take those opportunities when the children have made a poor decision to allow the consequence to do the teaching. Expressing empathy while upholding the consequence allows for the lessons to be quickly learned without the need to argue. In fact, arguing and lecturing will make you the target of anger instead of the poor choice. Empathy keeps you on the side of the child regardless of what consequences are faced. Most importantly, plan some great family time this summer. Secure adolescents truly crave family time despite popular opinion. Most of this time can be simply planned around weekend hikes, evening walks, outside movies, and the ever-important family meal. During these connection opportunities, ask about the day, the joys and challenges, and about future plans for the rest of the summer. Refrain from turning this time into lectures or “good advice.” Instead listen attentively, share joy, and offer empathy in times of struggles. Your family may even consider establishing a new tradition or trying something none of you have done before. Of course, family time may include a highly anticipated vacation as well. Wise parents will include their kids in making some limited decisions about the trip in order to share control. Then, remember to enjoy those precious moments during the lazy days of summer! ■



| June 2016


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

Erica Howeth



Erica’s teacher, Mrs. Casne-Fetz, nominated Erica for Faces because “she is simply a neat kid.” She is outgoing and kind to classroom volunteers. She loves to watch the way Erica learns and the effort she puts into every subject area. Erica does Sylvan after school and this extra tutoring has given her lots of confidence in her reading. She is excelling in school now! In her spare time she enjoys playing with her two brothers and one sister. Erica’s favorite subjects are art, math, and now reading. She is looking forward to seeing her dad this summer.

Levi Long


He is a committed ski racer on the Great Divide Ski Team, loving the exhilaration he experiences as he flashes down the mountain. He loves anything outdoors including mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and the thrill of a great hunt. What makes Levi truly incredible are his astoundingly mature character traits. Levi’s group of friends are endless as he includes himself and others in whatever social situation presents itself. He includes those who may feel they are outsiders and welcomes the newcomer at any time. In the face of adversity, Levi demonstrates a maturity and wit that are far beyond his years. There is no doubt that the future of this kind-hearted and compassionate young man are endless!

Anna Fischer


Anna is an outgoing 18-year-old young woman whose passions include sports, animals, and physical fitness. An outdoor enthusiast, she enjoys hunting deer and elk with her dad, fishing, and spending time on the water. She started competing in softball, basketball, and soccer at an early age and played softball throughout her high school years. She is currently focusing her efforts on body building. She was appointed by Governor Bullock to serve a two-year term on the Youth Justice Advisory Council for the Montana Board of Crime Control. Because she enjoys people and values good health, Anna is pursuing a career in nursing.

Tracie Kiesel


Tracie is committed to keeping the roadways safe for our families. She is a Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Trainer and volunteers her time to provide trainings. She is the tri-county Buckle up coordinator, helping families make sure their child’s safety seats are installed correctly to keep kiddos safe. She is on the DUI Task Force in Lewis & Clark and Broadwater counties working to keep our roadways safe from people who drive under the influence. She is also the Coordinator of the Alive at 25 class, that trains teens in safe driving. Thank you, Tracie, for all you do to keep area families safe on the roads!

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks


We would like to honor Montana Wild­– Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. They provide educational programming and activities for kids, families, and teachers throughout the school year and from all over the state. They provide classes for kids like fly tying, making their own lures, and wilderness walks training­– all helping kids be safe and enjoy healthy, fun activities in Montana. Their fantastic facility is available at no charge. The ACEs training is held there as well as the No Child Hungry movie series. It’s a great community gathering place where they are always happy to educate kids and adults on a variety of topics. Thank you, Montana Wild, for all you do for the community!


June 2016






Kids can lose up to 2 1/2 months of learning in the summer. Stay ahead of the curve with Sylvan's summer sessions! Summer sessions are filling up fast. Call today!

We offer math, reading, writing, study skills, and many FUN camps: robotics, coding (game design), and engineering. Ask about our NEW Algebra Edge program!

Sylvan Learning Butte

Sylvan Learning Helena




Keep Baby Safe in the Sun Infants 0-6 months:

Keep baby out of direct sunlight. Baby’s skin is too sensitive for sunscreen. Plan outdoor time before 10 AM & after 4 PM. Dress in wide-brimmed hat and clothes that cover arms and legs, even while in the water.

Babies 6-12 months:

Continue with the above practices. It’s now safe to use zinc oxide sunscreen (at least SPF 30). Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside.


Make this summer

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). It’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!



| June 2016


assets in action



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.

Kiddos sharing and taking turns at YMCA




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.

BOUNDARIES & EXPECTATIONS Parents helping make Kessler Carnival a success

HMS students volunteering at The Friendship Center

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.


Tiernan Dancers entertaining crowds on St. Patrick’s Day

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June 2016




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 with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.

Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.


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.

Middle school students learning to play chess



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.


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.

4H members assembling food baskets

Aaron and Anna recording underage drinking radio spot

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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.

Middle school students volunteering at a Peers Dance



| June 2016


No Reason to Lose Sleep By DANIEL CHAMPER, LCPC


June 2016




eadened eyes stare. Pasty skin shimmers. Colorless tongues drool. Listless arms dangle. Guttural sounds emit. Rancid odors waft. Zombies? Not likely. There are many more believable explanations for all of these ghastly signs. Would you care to guess along with me? Teenagers? Parents of newborns? New night shift employees? Single parents working three jobs? If you have ever been in any of these situations then you most likely can (somewhat) humorously conjure up memories in which you resembled the description listed above. But what do all of these life situations have in common? The common link for all of the aforementioned circumstances and descriptions is sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is commonly defined as the condition of not achieving adequate restful sleep. Symptoms of sleep deprivation are many. The list includes irritability, impaired judgment, slower reaction times, increased depression, inability to focus, weakened immune system, and on and on. We live in a culture of constant technological stimulation and are constantly confronted with the idea that success has a direct positive correlation with personal drive and industry. We text, type, and tweet. We crush candies and binge watch 80’s sitcoms late into the night. We allow work to follow us into the once sacred space of our living rooms and kitchens. Teenagers and adolescents, who formerly found relief from the pressure of social engagement in their bedrooms,

have found these sanctuaries invaded by technological socialization throughout the evening and into the wee hours of the morning. This trend is often compounded by mounting pressure to perform and excel in the academic, vocational, and extracurricular arenas. In short, we live in a society custom built for restricted sleep habits. The topic of sleep is vast, and science is still attempting to learn all it can about an

recommended throughout the health community. Another concept related to sleep that has emerged alongside the increased use of technology is the idea of sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to the quality of sleep that one receives. This quality can be negatively affected by stimulation close to bed time. Sleep hygiene can decline as a result of many different activities. Increased aerobic activity, technological and

Teenagers and adolescents, who formerly found relief from the pressure of social engagement in their bedrooms, have found these sanctuaries invaded by technological socialization throughout the evening and into the wee hours of the morning. immensely complex subject. As a result, we continue to learn more and more about the positive and negative effects that sleep has on our waking lives. According to a recent study completed by Alexandra Agostini, from the Centre for Sleep Research at the University of South Australia, sleep deprivation has a snowballing nature. She also found that for teenagers and adolescents, this “sleep debt” cannot be fully paid by sleeping in on the weekends. And, we all know that many teenagers and adolescents rarely receive the 9 to 10 hours of nightly sleep that is widely

light-related stimulation, increased anxiety and constant thoughts all contribute to poor sleep quality. Basically, anything that rouses physiological or psychological activation within 30 to 45 minutes of sleep can have an adverse effect on the quality of sleep that one receives. And so it appears that we are about to head into the murky waters of the age old debate over quality versus quantity. Wrong. When it comes to sleep, both quality and quantity are equally important. Much of this is not news. The zombie-like creatures that shuffle into our mirrors, kitchens, and classrooms each

morning make us painfully aware of the lack of sleep that our society receives. Energy drinks and coffee mugs the size of a flower pot are simply symptom reducers that make it possible to function at a fraction of our potential. Change must be intentional and supported. We cannot simply will ourselves and our children to better sleep habits and routines. So where do we start? First, we must evaluate the extent of the problem. Track the number of (quality) hours of sleep you or your child receives each day for a period of at least a month. Then, set a goal. You will never increase the quality of your rest if your goal is simply “better.” Be specific with your goal (including a time or date for achievement). Be sure to set this expectation with your child in a clear and collaborative manner. Next, identify all factors that negatively affect the quality and/or quantity of sleep that is received. Remember to consider activity level, technology use, social pressures, and anxious or racing thoughts that you or your child may experience within an hour of your target bed time. Finally, get to work (AKA rest). If these steps are followed yet positive results are not experienced, seek medical attention for yourself or your child as there are many sleep disorders that can be treated by your primary care provider. Zombies have taken over television, movies, and video games. With a little bit of knowledge and effort in the area of sleep management, we can keep them from taking over our homes, schools, and places of employment. ■

Daniel Champer is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who currently serves as the clinical manager of School Based Services for Intermountain. Daniel provides clinical leadership and oversight to teams of mental health professionals who provide therapeutic services in public school settings.



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parents who host

LOSE THE MOST By LINDA COLLINS, Prevention Specialist

popular 12th grader went out and purchased a beautiful prom dress, got her hair done, had her date pick her up, took pictures, and posted them to Facebook. She and her date left her parents’ house seemingly headed to make great high school memories…only they didn’t have tickets to the prom and in fact, had no intention of even going. Instead they headed to a friend’s house for a party hosted by that friend’s parents. Unfortunately in an effort to the be “the cool parent” or using excuses like, “I did it when I was a teen and I turned out just fine” or “they’re going to do it anyway, so they may as well do it at home,” these adults are breaking the law. What these adults don’t understand is the liability they’re putting themselves in, not to mention the message they’re sending their kids and the potential danger they’re putting not only their children in, but other children as well. Research shows teens who drink alcohol are more likely to:  Use other drugs like marijuana or prescription drugs.  Get poor grades. Children who use alcohol have higher rates of academic problems and poor school performance compared with non-drinkers.  Suffer injury or death. In 2009 an estimated 949,000 crimes such as rape, robbery, and assault were attributed nationally to underage drinking.  Engage in sexual activity. Young people who use alcohol are more likely to be sexually active at earlier ages, to have sexual intercourse more often, and to have unprotected sex.  Have health problems. Young people who drink are more likely to have health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, and are more likely to be injured in sports. Besides the health risks, there are liability issues as well. There are two general types


June 2016




of liability that may apply to those who host underage drinking parties. First, state-imposed liability involves a statutory prohibition that is enforced by the state, generally through criminal proceedings that can lead to fines or imprisonment. The second, social host liability, involves an action by a private party seeking monetary damages for injuries that result from permitting underage drinking on the host’s premises. (To find out specific state laws, visit Ultimately, it is against the law to purchase alcohol for kids under the age of 21. It’s not a stretch to say that the majority of parents don’t want other adults buying booze for their child. In the above case, the parents didn’t know the kids were headed to a party, but what should parents do if their child is invited to a party?  Call the parents of the home the party is hosted and ask if there is going to be an adult present to supervise the entire time.  Confirm alcohol or other drugs will not be allowed and offer to help supervise.  Verify the address of the party and then check that is where your child is the night of the party.  Plan transportation with your teenager.  Know how they will get to the party and home again.  Arrange for an emergency ride if something happens and they need another ride home, from you, a family friend etc.  Discuss the dangers of getting into a car with someone who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs. If you find out your teenager has been to a party where alcohol or drugs were present, it is important to discuss the situation with the parents who were hosting the party. Share your information with other parents so everyone is informed of the potential danger of letting their children go to a party there. Consider informing the police of the violations.

DISPELLING THE MYTHS MYTH: “It’s safer if they drink at home, at least they’re not driving.” FACT: There are health risks of introducing alcohol to the developing brain. Children’s minds and bodies are still growing so alcohol has a greater effect on their judgement and health. MYTH: “If they are at home I can regulate the amount they drink.” FACT: Kids whose parents provide alcohol are more likely to:  Drink more often  Drink more heavily  Get in traffic crashes  Participate in thefts According to the CDC, teens that start drinking regularly before the age of 15 are four to five times more likely to have alcoholrelated issues as an adult. This can include relationship problems, employment issues, social issues, not just alcoholism. MYTH: “They can’t get in trouble at home.” FACT: Drinking increases the opportunity for risky behaviors, like sexual assault, drug experimentation, and violence. MYTH: “It’s only one party.” FACT: Children who come from a family with a history of alcoholism are at an increased risk for becoming an alcoholic. That one drink may set off a waterfall of issues. JUST SAY NO ­­— TO HOSTING Hosting underage parties sends the message to kids that we expect them to drink, and not only is it against the law, but we as adults/ parents are going to help them do it. With all of the possibilities of negative consequences for kids, why would caring parents host an underage party? And who would really want to shoulder all that responsibility? Play it safe and host alcohol-free parties. There will be lots of time after they turn 21 when there will be celebrations where alcohol can be consumed responsibly… and legally. ■



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Q. My daughter wants to be tan before our vacation; is using a tanning bed that bad?



Consider these statistics: Individuals who have used tanning beds 10 or more times in their lives have a 34 percent increased risk of developing melanoma compared to those who have never used tanning beds. More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking. Tan skin is damaged skin. The UV rays that make us tan have been proven to cause skin cancer, just like cigarette smoke. Tanning booths are even worse than UV exposure from the sun. That’s because indoor tanning booths pump up the amount of UVA radiation so you don’t burn as easily. The result is a much higher dose of UV radiation, putting you at an even greater risk for getting cancer! Tanning even a little puts you at a significantly higher risk for developing skin cancer, 67 percent to be exact. That’s why more and more states are banning the use of tanning beds. Even places like Brazil and Australia are banning indoor tanning beds. Some skin cancers are easy to see and detect early. But, melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, can pop up anywhere on your body making early detection very difficult. How many times have you seen the back of your scalp or behind your ears? And, the UV exposure you get as young person will catch up to your later on in the form of wrinkles and “old age spots”, not to mention the scars you may have on your nose or legs from having a skin cancer surgically removed. Tan skin used to make us think we looked healthy. But if you look at celebrities like Kristen Stewart, you will see that more and more celebrities are going with their natural skin tone. The bad news about tanning is out. Tan skin is now being thought of as “old skin” and pale skin is a sign of youth and beauty. Embrace it! Go with it! Natural pale you is so much better than tan wrinkled you! But if you are still stuck on looking tan there are other healthier ways to achieve this look. Sunless tanning products and spray tanning are both great ways to darken your skin tone without exposing your skin to cancer causing rays.

The height in feet of the tallest wave.


The miles per hour a raindrop falls.


The additional years a man will live if he kisses his wife in the morning.


The number of licks to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop.

800,000 The number of fan letters Mickey Mouse received in 1933.

Lindsay McCarthy, DNC, FNP-C

HAVE A QUESTION? We cannot guarantee all questions will be published; however, we will do our best to respond to all questions submitted.


June 2016





The acres of pizza average Americans eat every day.

SUMMER CAMPS! We have been working with Helena area famlies for more than a decade; offering an array of services to help local children in crisis and to help keep families whole.

OUR SERVICES Child and Family Counseling · Family Support · Youth in Crisis Facilitation · Foster Care and Adoption | 443-4730

• Full day camps for ages 3 and up include community outings, outdoor fun, park and pool play • Half day preschool and pre-K camps for ages 3-5 • Half day skills camps for tumbling, cheer, gymnastics and ninja sport for ages 6 and up • Low instructor-camper ratio and snacks provided at every camp

Preschool and After School programs now enrolling for 2016-17 school year!

Details & Registration: (406) 442-06782 • 3340McHugh Ln



CAMP CHILD 75th ANNIVERSARY & BBQ JUNE 18TH $35 Adults, $25 Kids 6-12, 5 & under Free Celebrate 75 years of Camp Child & experience “camp-in-a-day” complete with camp activities, songs, campfire, t-shirt, lunch & marshmallows! Camp alumni are encouraged to attend!



Register at or call 442-9622 Helena Family YMCA • 1200 N Last Chance Gulch • 406.442.9622 •



| June 2016






June 2016




Many of our children and adolescents are drinking sports drinks and energy drinks. The American College of Toxicology reports that 31 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds regularly consume energy drinks. Do youth know the difference between sports drinks and energy drinks? Why do they drink them? Are energy drinks safe for children and adolescents?

ost youth may not know that sports drinks and energy drinks are not the same. Sports drinks contain carbohydrates, and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium and often other sweeteners and preservatives. They are used by athletes for rehydrating after very intensive or prolonged physical activity especially in warm weather. However, for children and the typical athlete participating in routine physical activity, the potential contribution to dental decay and the unnecessary calories from these drinks, make them a poor alternative to water. Although energy drinks may contain some of the same ingredients as sports drinks, they also contain a stimulant, typically caffeine. The amount of caffeine in these drinks can exceed 200mg, which is the equivalent to more than 5 or 6 cans of the most popular sodas or 2.5 shots of typical espresso. In addition, many contain guarana, a caffeine containing plant extract. One gram of guarana is about 40mg of caffeine and often, this additional caffeine is not included in the total caffeine accounted for on the nutrition label. Regarding labels, if a drink is marketed as a dietary supplement, it is not regulated by the FDA and thus, not required to have a nutrition facts label. And although many energy drinks do disclose how much caffeine is contained in their beverage, even those approved by the FDA are not required to do so. Thus, labeling makes it confusing even for adults to know exactly how much caffeine is being consumed in one drink. Many energy drinks also contain other additives, amino acids, protein, vitamins and minerals. The proposed benefits of most of these have not been supported by clinical trials in children and adolescents, and most have limited scientific evidence supporting their use even

in adults. A balanced diet will easily provide the necessary protein, vitamins and minerals necessary for good health. Our youth drink energy drinks because they are marketed to improve concentration, decrease fatigue, replace fluid and electrolytes, boost energy and optimize athletic performance. A young athlete that is unaware of the difference between sports drinks and energy drinks may unintentionally use an energy drink assuming they are simply rehydrating and replacing electrolytes. Adolescents use energy drinks to study late, to get going in the morning, or to stay awake when they become drowsy during the day. They also mix energy drinks with alcohol to be more awake or party longer while intoxicated. This dangerous combination masks the effects of alcohol and has resulted in many ER visits and even deaths. Finally, our youth might reach for an energy drink because they see their parents, siblings or peers drinking them. Regardless of the reason, energy drinks are not a healthy or safe beverage option for children and adolescents. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, energy drinks have no therapeutic benefit and there is concern for potentially serious adverse effects in association with energy drink use. A few of the more obvious adverse physical effects of caffeine on children and teens include insomnia, jitteriness, heart palpitations, and increased blood pressure. In addition, children and adolescents can experience caffeine withdrawal effects, such as fatigue, mental fogginess, irritability and headache, even after short-term high dose use. Children with underlying medical conditions such as seizures, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, mood disorders and heart, kidney, or liver disease are at increased

risk for adverse effects. There have been studies demonstrating the connection between excessive caffeine consumption and seizures, stroke and sudden death. Regular use of energy drinks can result in high blood pressure, heart palpitations, worsening of anxiety symptoms, chronic sleep deprivation and even dehydration. All of these may then result in extensive medical evaluations. In addition, the ingredients in energy drinks may potentially interact with prescribed medications, including ADHD medications and anti-depressants, and thus increase the risk for adverse effects. Caffeine may also affect a youth’s future choices by its affect on the developing child’s reward and addiction center of the brain. One study of 7th graders showed that those with increased caffeine consumption were more likely to be using tobacco and alcohol one year later. Although sports drinks do not contain caffeine and thus the concerns for the above adverse health affects, they do contain calories that are unnecessary for the typical child and adolescent. From a dental perspective, the sugar and acidity of both types of drinks has been associated with cavities and enamel erosion. Furthermore, given the epidemic of overweight and obese children, the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics is to eliminate such calorie containing beverages and encourage a well balanced diet. Energy drinks should not be consumed by children and adolescents because of their potential health risks. The most concerning adverse effects are related to the stimulants they contain. Our youth can be encouraged to eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and develop good sleep hygiene and they will likely achieve the same proposed benefits of sports drinks and energy drinks. â–



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L’ S





S T.

C A M P 2 016 UN





JUNE 20-23, 2016 5:30-8:15 PM Tell Me the Stories of Jesus.

Summer Camp begins with dinner at Children 5:30 PM for all children attending and entering K-5th Grade their families. After dinner the chilare encouraged dren will enjoy activities. Parents to attend. have an optional opportunity to attend a class from 6:30-8 PM To register June 20, Talking God With contact Lynn Van Nice Kids and/or June 22, Kid at 442-5643 or go to Communication. A $10 donation toward the cost of materials and food is appreciated. St. Paul’s UMC 512 Logan Street Helena, MT 59601

Distinctly Helena.

Uniquely Downtown.


406.447.1535 |


June 2016




PROTECT TEEN DRIVERS: Give Them the Rules of the Road By TRACIE KIESEL, Tri-County Buckle Up Coordinator

id you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens aged 15-19 in America? In 2013 alone, 2,614 passenger vehicle teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes. Parents can change those numbers by talking to their teens about road risks. To provide parents with the tools, resources, and words they need to keep their teens safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has teamed up with state/local highway safety and law enforcement organizations on the teen driver safety campaign “5 to Drive.”.The education and awareness campaign identifies the five most important rules all teen drivers need to follow.

the teen driver was also unrestrained, the number of all passengers unrestrained increased to almost 90 percent.

1. No Drinking and Driving. Compared with other age groups, teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes, even though they’re too young to legally buy or possess alcohol. Nationally in 2013, almost one out of five of the teen drivers (15 to 19 years old) who were involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.

5. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.

2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. Teens aren’t buckling up, and neither are their passengers. In 2013, 64 percent of all the young (13- to 19-year-old) passengers of teen drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes weren’t restrained. When

Starting a conversation about the risks teens will face on the road isn’t just smart, it’s necessary. This campaign helps parents give their teens the tools they need to drive safely. For more information: ■

3. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. In 2013, among teen drivers involved in fatal crashes, 11 percent were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group had the highest proportion of drivers distracted by phone use. That same year 318 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver. 4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. In 2013, almost onethird of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.



| June 2016


RMDC, Inc. Head Start is enrolling for fall! Head Start is a quality preschool program serving income-qualified children ages 3-5 and their families at no cost.

Call 457-7308 for information about eligibility for children of all abilities and disabilities in Helena, East Helena, Townsend, Boulder and Whitehall.

KEEP YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME AND COMMERCIAL TOBACCO OUT OF YOUR BODY. Using tobacco hurts atheletic performance and causes:

“Strong families, successful children.”

• • • •

Fatigue Muscle Weakness Coughing & Wheezing Poor Circulation

• • • •

Strain on Your Heart Poor Performance Shortness of Breath Greater Risk of Broken Bones

Lewis and Clark Public Health 1930 Ninth Avenue, Helena MT 406-457-8900

Visit for more info.

For the community that believes in itself, there’s a bank that does, too. At U.S. Bank, we’re dedicated to helping improve the lives of those in our community, because when people come together with a common goal, the impossible suddenly becomes possible. Our support means funding and volunteering in the programs and organizations that make our community a better place to live. visit a branch | 800.USBANKS (872.2657) | Proud to support Youth Connections

US Bank Helena 302 N Last Chance Gulch | Helena, MT 59601 406.447.5215

Credit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC ©2015 U.S. Bank


June 2016




Youth Connections 1025 N Rodney Helena, MT 59601


a free event for the entire family also sponsored by:

Saturday, August 13 8:30 a.m. – Noon Centennial Park and Great Northern Town Center: One-mile fun run starts 9 a.m. Health & wellness fair Free T-shirt gets kids complimentary admission to the Great Northern Carousel, Exploration Works and the YMCA pool!

register by August 5th at

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