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TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF
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6 Take the Stress Out of Mornings 40 Developmental Assets: 14 The Boundaries and Expectations 16 Restorative Justice at Home to Talk to Your Teen 20 How About Consent 23 The Truth About Marijuana IN EVERY ISSUE
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
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ABOUT THE KENT DRUG FREE COALITION The Kent Drug Free Coalition is a coalition made up of members of the Kent community representing parents, educators, churches, youth serving organizations, businesses, local government, law enforcement and, of course, students. We are committed to education, awareness, and enforcement to reduce youth substance abuse in our vibrant community. We are also working to increase positive opportunities for our kids and families. There are many ways that we work together to make this happen. We know we can’t do it alone and rely on our many partnerships throughout the community and are continually working to grow our network. If you are interested in joining the Kent Drug Free Coalition, please do! We have a strong partnership with the Kent School District and are working with classroom teachers, counselors, administrators, and students to put programs/opportunities into place that best match the needs of each school and its students. We also work district-wide to have greater reach to our large and diverse student population. We do this to provide students with positive opportunities and connections to others at their schools. One of our leading youth directed programs is the Kent Police Youth Board. They are a wonderful group of students, grades 7–12, that volunteer their time to work on youth drug/alcohol prevention, leadership development, and overall youth health and wellness. Most members start in 7th grade and stay until they graduate! Not only do they do wonderful things for their peers, they do wonderful things for each other, as well. They form friendships they may not otherwise make, they learn from each other, and they discover how to appreciate each other’s differences. That is how they make amazing things happen. Their biggest project is the Game of Life Youth Conference, which happens each December. They host 300 of their peers and educators at a conference that focuses on many issues that our students are faced with. As a result they go back with their school teams and implement a project in their schools. We work to empower students in a positive way, so they in turn do the same thing. If you know of any students interested in the Kent Police Youth Board, please contact us! The Kent Drug Free Coalition also recognizes how important it is to work with parents. We are always looking for ways to reach parents with the knowledge that they are a huge influencer on their student’s lives. We hold town hall meetings to provide parents with information on current topics that are at the heart of what they and their students could be faced with. We also provide contacts for local resources and family opportunities. It is our goal that families feel a positive connection to our diverse Kent Community. For more information on the Kent Drug Free Coalition please go to www.kentdfc.org, or to find out more about the Kent Police Youth Board contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director FROM THE
ello, this is the Kent Drug Free Coalition’s first edition of the Youth Connections Magazine. We will continue to publish this quarterly and distribute it to our Kent residents. Our hope is that with each magazine, you will find articles that relate to you and your family; whether it be talking to your kids about drug/ alcohol prevention, developing DANA resiliency, or learning about parents RALPH and kids sporting events! This edition has some ideas for increasing parent action! We want this to open up conversation and opportunities for both you and your kids to become more involved in our schools and community. As parents, we are the number one influence on our kids to NOT use drugs/alcohol. It is imperative that we talk early and often about the consequences of underage drug/alcohol use. We also need to open doors for our children and give them experiences to volunteer, play sports or music, get involved in after school activities, or even find a job. The more activities our children are involved in, the higher the chances that they choose NOT to use drugs/alcohol. Advertisements in each edition of the magazine are local organizations or businesses that focus on youth and families. If you know of any organization or business that would be an asset to our magazine, let us know. The best part is that advertising is free! Also, we are taking nominations for the Faces In The Crowd section where students from elementary, middle, and high school are highlighted for their great work. There is also a community volunteer and local business section. Why not brag about all that is outstanding in our community. If you are interested in learning more about the Kent Drug Free Coalition or the Kent Police Youth Board, let us know! As we head into the 2016 school year, let’s work together to give our kids the best start ever! CAN’T GET ENOUGH GREAT RESOURCES? FOLLOW US: www.facebook.com/KentDrugFreeCoalition www.facebook.com/KentPoliceYouthBoard
DANA RALPH, DIRECTOR Phone: (253) 856-5712 Email: dralph@KentWA.gov
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e thought we’d assemble some pointers from moms. Hopefully someone else’s experience can make life easier for all those involved. We received a lot of good advice and weren’t able to include everything. LET KIDS RECHARGE It took my husband and I several years to discover that our son shuts down when he gets overstimulated. After a full day of classroom activities, recess, and social interactions, he needs some quiet time to recharge. The first year of school was a struggle because we’d always be excited to hear about his day when we picked him up. His short responses and lack of eye contact were perceived as rude and disrespectful. However, after we learned more about his personality, we discovered that, if given 30 minutes after school to have a snack by himself, he would recharge his batteries and be ready to reengage with the family. While we had to discuss with him that it is not ok to blatantly ignore someone when they are talking to you, it is ok to say you need a few minutes by yourself before being ready to have a discussion. NO MORE FIGHTS I got tired of my girls always fighting and yelling “shotgun!” to see who could sit in the front seat, only to continue to argue after we got in the car. I started a rule that the child who was born on the even day (28th) would ride in the front on even days, and the
child with the birthdate on an odd day (13th) would ride up front on odd days. There was never a fight again. If your children are both born on even or odd days, the rule could be first born gets odd days, and second born gets even days. If there are more than two children, I would recommend a chart. (This is for children who are old enough to ride in the front seat safely.) RELAX! Enjoy your kids being kids because they aren’t that way for long. Many parents spend time making sure everything is a lesson and all the rules they found on Pinterest are strictly being followed. They miss out on a lot of fun and also teach their kids to be uptight and stressed out. Kids do need rules and structure, but it is ok to occasionally bend those rules. One rainy day Derek and I had nothing to do, and I was at a loss at how to keep him entertained without driving me crazy, so I decided the day would be “breaking the rules day.” We stayed in pajamas all day, watched too much tv, ate junk food, didn’t worry about the laundry, or that his room was messy. We cuddled, laughed every time we “broke a rule,” made cookies together, played games, etc. It was one-and-ahalf years ago, and he still talks about it. LISTEN When we are busy, we seldom take time to actually hear what is being said. If you’re not listening, you are not giving good advice. I always made a point to listen, let my kids
vent, not judge them for how they felt, then bring reality and advice, a hug or whatever was needed. Teenage girls always need to talk to their moms. It’s usually at bedtime and often a crisis of gargantuan proportion, at least to them. Before dismissing their concerns, remember what it was like to be their age and be grateful they still want to talk, no matter what the hour. TIME, NOT TREATS Don’t reward with food. Reward with praise, smiles, and activities. To this day I still associate food with good or bad actions. My mom used to say, “If you do this, we can go for ice cream.” KEEP IT REAL I have found one of the most useful tools is the ENFORCEABLE STATEMENT. Examples of UNenforceable statements might be, “You’d better brush your teeth or you will never get dessert again!” or “Clean your room this instant!” In the end we just end up teaching our kids that our words mean nothing, when we cannot follow up on an unenforceable limit we set. Instead, I describe what I will do or allow: “I’m happy to help people with homework when I feel like I am treated with respect” or “I’ll be happy to drive you to soccer practice as soon as your room is clean.” Enforceable statements are not bribes. They are simply a statement of what we are willing to do or allow. ■
YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR STORY AT: email@example.com 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.
take the stress out
MORNIN By KATIE HARLOW, LCSW, Clinical Supervisor
Now that summer is officially over, many parents find themselves settling into the structure and dependability of the school year while also being unsure of how to help kids continue to transition smoothly back to the school year routine. ids also experience a mix of emotions and can be caught in a state of uncertainty during this time; needing the comfort of structure yet struggling to adjust to the day-to-day routine. Children with academic or mental health struggles such as anxiety related to academic performance or peer relationships may even dread returning to the environment that increases their discomfort. We know that structure and routine are important because they bring a sense of safety and dependability to our lives and solve for a common fear: that of the unknown. Developmentally appropriate structure allows children to learn to constructively regulate and manage their emotions and behaviors. Which is to say that structure should grow and change as children grow and change to best support their development. A return to the school year also means a decrease in freedom that is often given during the summer and an increase in rules, expectations, and adult control over childrenâ€™s lives. Teens especially tend to constantly be on the prowl for more freedom, and more opportunities to control their lives and environments. This time of life looks different child by child and family by family. In an ideal world, changes such as these would happen seamlessly, but here in the real world we know it often doesnâ€™t. As much as people crave the dependability of routine we tend to also be resistant to change, which can make for some frustrating and stressful mornings trying to get kids out the door and to school on time. Feeling this stress might continued on page 9
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lead to yelling at our kids or constantly prompting them to “Hurry up!” This creates a negative start to the day as everyone leaves the house feeling hurried and frustrated, plus these kind of mornings usually follow up with a nice side of parental guilt. Rather than starting mornings off this way, wouldn’t it be nice for both parents and children to start the day calm, organized and on time? Sound too good to be true? There is no magic wand to guarantee there will never be another rushed or frustrated morning, but we can help kids start their school year off successfully by identifying where they need help implementing structure and routine, and by preparing them for the changes. Begin by thinking about each child and what is usually the hang up for getting them out the door smoothly each morning. Are they slow to wake up, so end up running late each day, or do they run around the house trying to gather their belongings or practice gear so they are ready for the day? Identifying where they struggle to be prepared will help support their growth and development in becoming more independent and having more successful mornings. If a child struggles to wake up and get going in the morning, try setting multiple alarms so that he or she is able to gradually wake up with the final alarm giving a cushion of time to get ready and out the door on time. Include them in this plan so they are able to participate in identifying what will work for them and learn these skills to use as they grow older. If they never seems to know where their clothes, shoes, homework, lunch, and other items are in the mornings then think about helping them learn organizational skills. This can
be as simple as a younger child planning their clothing the night before, or more complex like teaching a teen to utilize technology in a beneficial manner; using the calendar features on their phone for example. These are all small tools to help children succeed. Teaching these skills in age appropriate ways will help kids build independence and a mastery of new skills. This also builds feelings of competence in children and supports their
getting back to school. If left unaddressed, negative emotions about school may come out as frustration or resistance to attending school in the morning, and let’s be honest, that is the least likely time that we can stop what we are doing to help them process their emotions! Having these conversations ahead of time might provide some valuable information about the child. Do they dislike their new teacher? Dread having to take a certain class or see a certain
Begin by thinking about each child and what is usually the hang up for getting them out the door smoothly each morning. Identifying where they struggle to be prepared will help support their growth and development in becoming more independent and having more successful mornings. growth and development towards increased independence as they grow older. Beginning to build in routines such as getting backpacks ready or making lunches the night before will help mornings to feel less harried and rushed by eliminating the inevitable search of the house for a lost shoe or homework folder. By gradually and consistently building in these tasks or increasing their complexity, they will become routine, which will greatly reduce the potential for power struggles within parent-child relationships as these become just normal things that the family does each day. Have a discussion with the child about their feelings around
person each day? Scared to be away from mom or dad all day? This allows the opportunity to validate their feelings and potentially problem solve with them. This can also be a great time to normalize feelings of worry they may have; it is natural and healthy to have anxiety about new experiences. Creating connecting moments when emotions are not running high help to create a sense of safety for children, as well as reinforce that mom or dad are a positive support and can also be turned to when they are struggling. As the school year progresses, conversations can naturally transition to talking about their day. Ask specific questions that
can’t be answered with a blanket “fine” or “good” such as, “who did you eat lunch with today” or “what was the best and/or worst part of your day?” We also need to consider our own emotions about the return to school. Do we have feelings of apprehension or worry for our child’s transition? If so remember that our children pick up on what we feel and how we manage our emotions and behaviors. Being able to acknowledge emotions such as anxiety or frustration and then regulate ourselves using healthy coping skills- such as deep breathing or taking a five minute break shows kids that we can experience difficult emotions and be okay with them. These skills benefit both of children and parents; it is vital that we are able to care for our own needs as well as teach these important skills to our children. Finally, keep in mind that no matter how prepared things are, there will be days that don’t go as planned; days where the alarm doesn’t go off or someone is missing a shoe; days where patience is running thin and we yell or hurry the kids out the door, and everyone leaves the house looking like thunder clouds. No one is a perfect parent. View days like this as opportunities to teach children about repair. Sit down with them that evening and talk about what didn’t go well that morning, and own up to our part in the breakdown. Teaching our children that we also make mistakes and we can take accountability for our mistakes is an extremely valuable lesson. Engaging them in problem solving and what can be done differently in the future by everyone in the house will create a sense of connection and reinforce that there is not an expectation for them to be perfect kids. ! ■
Katie Harlow is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who currently serves as a Clinical Supervisor of School Based Services for Intermountain. Katie provides clinical leadership and oversight to teams of mental health professionals who provide therapeutic services in public school settings.
Check out who’s standing out in our community. IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why this individual has stood out in your crowd.
FACES IN THE CROWD
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT
Miguel is a Scenic Hill Elementary 4th grade student in the Dual-Language program for Spanish. Between October and February, he advanced through four reading levels in the American Reading Company curriculum. In just one school year, he has overcome challenges of learning to read and write in Spanish for the first time. His teachers and family are so proud of the determination he has shown. We would like to recognize him for being a dedicated student, goal setter, and hard worker. We look forward to seeing his continued growth throughout all of his school years!
MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT
Caleigh is a 9th grade student, who was an 8th grader last year at Mill Creek Middle School. She exemplifies the school character traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship on a daily basis. She is a hard worker and is willing to help adults and kids alike and goes out of her way to be a friend to everyone. She represents young adults beautifully each day! We look forward to seeing all the positive impacts she has on her fellow students, school, and community. She is a role model for us all.
Eric cares about kids in our community. He dedicates every day to making sure they are safe and are making the right choice NOT to use drugs or alcohol. He works as a drug prevention/intervention specialist. In 2004, Eric lost his daughter Heidi in a crash that killed her and a 13-year-old boy. It was later determined that the driver of their car was high on alcohol, methamphetamine, and marijuana. Since that day, Eric has made it his mission to talk with kids and parents about the consequences of drug and alcohol use. He started a nonprofit, “Heidi’s Promise.” In addition, Eric is on the Kent Drug Free Coalition and serves as a mentor for the Kent Police Youth Board.
Kent Police Youth Board
The Kent Police Youth Board is a dedicated group of middle and senior high school students that has made it their mission to talk to their peers about leadership development, drug and alcohol prevention, as well as many other topics that impact teens. They work together as a team to put on the Game of Life Youth Conference and other youth-focused activities. You may have even seen them on the big screen at Kent Station AMC! This is a kind, generous, and great group of students! Contact email@example.com if you are interested in joining.
Kent Downtown Partnership
The Kent Downtown Partnership is an organization made up of several of the businesses in the downtown Kent area. Whether it’s a small or big business, their focus is the same: support local businesses and in turn support schools, parks, community projects, health, and safety. They are extremely active in keeping our downtown safe and a place where families want to be. One way they do this is keeping our downtown free from graffiti. If a building or structure gets tagged, they are on it and armed with paint rollers and paint, covering it quickly. We appreciate all they do for Kent!
Volunteering at an event or on a committee Mentoring a student once a week for a school year Donating money to support Hosting a student to Intern or Job Shadow at your business or place of work
To learn more or get involved, you can reach us at: 253-867-5637 | www.kent.ciswa.org Communities In Schools of Kent on FB
40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS
Communities In Schools of Kent is a local affiliate of the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization. Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. We work hand in hand with schools, the community and families to surround our students (K-12th grade) with a caring network of support to help them stay in school and succeed in life. You can be involved and help us to help the students by:
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, our community will continue to be a place where great kids make great communities.
Turn the page to learn more! YC MAGAZINE
assets in action
40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS
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.
Someone to help with a big catch
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 Youth board members teaching their peers
A coach high fives one of his players
Kent PD Officer talks with students about safety
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.
Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.
26 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.
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.
Conference participants work on team building
34 Kids learning to cook at cooking camp
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.
Young dancers show off their skills
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.
Students and teacher talk together about community
boundaries and EXPECTATIONS By KELLY ACKERMAN, Parent Educator
YC Magazine highlights 40 Developmental Assets in each issue. These assets are evidence-based to positively contribute to the development of children across their lifespan. esearch clearly shows that the more assets a young person has, the less likely they are to participate in risk-taking behaviors during adolescence including drug and alcohol use, violence, illicit drug use, and sexual activity. Sadly, the average young person has less than half of these assets according to Search Institute. This article is the first in a series to highlight the eight categories of assets in order to more fully engage families, schools, agencies, businesses, and community members in ensuring our children experience as many assets as possible. BOUNDARIES AND EXPECTATIONS This developmental asset consists of the following six aspects: 1. FAMILY BOUNDARIES 2. SCHOOL BOUNDARIES 3. NEIGHBORHOOD BOUNDARIES 4. ADULT ROLE MODELS 5. POSITIVE PEER INFLUENCE 6. HIGH EXPECTATIONS As community members, we all have a role to play in setting boundaries and expectations within our community for young people. As the old adage states, “It takes a village.” Research clearly evidences that children and adolescents thrive within the context of clear boundaries and expectations. However, it is also necessary for consistent and clear consequences to be established especially within the home and school. Control is not at the crux of this issue, as giving kids control over things that have little consequence or that allow them to make mistakes and experience consequences is part of their healthy development. However, asserting discipline in a consistent, clear, and warm fashion when boundaries have been severed is the basis for preparing children to become accountable and responsible contributing members of society.
Many studies have shown that kids who have this predictability of expectations and discipline at home and at school participate in less risk taking behaviors during adolescence than those kids whose home and school environments are erratic or unpredictable. In addition, knowing who kids are with, what they are doing and where they will be are all important for communicating that the adults in their lives care about them. Taking the time to know children’s peers personally while showing an interest in what they are doing, where they are doing it, and how long they will be doing it models a healthy demonstration of adult-child relationships. It also allows promotion of positive peer influence which over time becomes as or more important than parental influence. Adults who insist on getting to know their children’s friends have great influence over who spends time with their children as well as provides a positive influence as a role model to those same peers. Though adolescence is a time for identity seeking and allowing for time and distance between parents and children is necessary, relationship and limits continue to remain an essential building block on the road to successful growth and development. Although many of the boundaries and discipline occur in the contexts of home and school, it is also necessary for “neighbors” to be involved in monitoring young people. Children are not always within the confines of home and school where parents, teachers and administrators are watching over them. It is neighbors and adults who are willing to acknowledge young people with a warm greeting who communicate that the community is a safe and friendly place to be. In addition, taking a stand and asserting authority when children are getting out of control or instigating trouble within the neighborhood or greater community confirms that boundaries are set throughout society and upheld to aid in further positive development. As well, personal involvement with youth individually, in a group, or at a community level allows them to have adult role models. Kids learn far more from modeling than they do from lecturing or discipline. It is important that community
members be committed to being positive role models as children learn what they live. Finally, setting high expectations is clearly evidenced in encouraging kids to do well. When expectations are high within the context of boundaries and expectations, kids will strive to reach or exceed those expectations. When the bar of expectations is lowered, results are lowered as well with poor behavior choices in risky behaviors such as drinking, illicit drug use, and sexual activity. However, if the community acts together to consistently maintain high expectations, kids strive to reach those benchmarks because the message they internalize is that they are fully capable. It is important that all levels of our community work together to set and maintain these boundaries while supporting each other in universally upholding them so that our children thrive. Things we can do to support kids and create environments where they can thrive include: Set
and enforce clear, respectful, and fair values and limits
and help kids to do and be their best
a role model
kids to succeed and comfort them when they fail
more about the assets by checking out Search Institute’s website at search-institute.org
the Developmental Assets on your refrigerator or at the office
with problems and conflicts while children are still small
about your values and priorities, and live in a way that is consistent with them
When we all work together as a community including parents, teachers, coaches, neighbors, churches, and businesses, we have the ability to lay a foundation for many wonderful things to happen. ■
Kelly Ackerman is a parent educator of evidence-based practice programs.
restorative justice at home By KELLY ACKERMAN, Parent Educator
estorative justice is a theory used within the justice system that focuses on repairing the harm done through a criminal behavior. This method acknowledges that crime exceeds simply breaking a law to include the fact that further harm has been done to others or to the community. According to the Centre for Justice and Reconciliation, restorative justice includes the ideas of repair, encounter, and transformation. Repair is an acknowledgement that crime causes harm and requires specific repair. The encounter element requires the parties that are affected to communicate with the offender in order to work together to find an acceptable solution. This allows everyone to truly encounter each other and allows relationship building as well as vested interest. All parties must practice skills of forgiveness and reconciliation so that the final element of transformation can take place. Through making amends in a concrete way individuals can encounter community in a new and more positive fashion. When accountability and responsibility falls on the criminal while a chance for communication and repair to occur, true transformation can take place within the individual. This same system can be applied in the home. Research has continually proven that authoritarian parenting practices are the most effective in producing adolescents and young adults who are well prepared to enter the world independently. In authoritarian homes the demandingness is high, meaning high expectations are consistently held while limits are firmly set and upheld. However, within this highly demanding home, there is a great level of warmth. Respect for each other, use of calm tones, and responsiveness to children’s needs are clearly demonstrated. It is this warmth that
makes the difference between the positive outcomes associated with authoritarian homes and the negative outcomes that are associated with authoritative homes (high demands and low warmth). Authoritarian homes can practice restorative justice on a daily basis as kids grow up making mistakes. This can start when children are very young and test the very limits that are placed on them. When a young child decides to throw their meal on the floor, a warm parent can start with empathy using statements such as, “Oh darn it, this is such a bummer.” This allows the child to understand that the parent is on the side of the child and the process moves on to the repair and encounter phases where communication occurs. When a child is too young to adequately clean the mess, the two can do it together. There can be further recognition that when the adult helps, that requires time which may mean more repair is required. Perhaps the child can then do another job the parent now does not have the time to complete, such as wiping the table or taking dishes to the dishwasher. The conversation must remain effective while communication includes both parent and child. “Now that I have helped clean up this mess, it caused me to be late in getting the rest of the dishes done. I think you could help by either clearing all the cups or all the plates. Can I count on you to do that for me?” When all is said and done, a parent should refrain from further lecture or explanation. The repair and encounter have taken place. To end with a lecture will cause the child to be resentful toward the parent as opposed to internalizing the responsibility onto themselves where transformation is at work. Ending with a statement such as, “I am glad we could work that out together. I love you,” in addition to a hug would be most effective.
Moving toward the regularly scheduled routine without further delay will allow for a full experience where once repaired, the child can move on with life as normal. This system works for older children and teens as well, though the earlier the process is begun the more effective and productive it is. Although it is quite painful for parents to allow consequences in their children’s lives, especially outside of the home, it is far better that they learn that all actions have consequences (either positive or negative) while they are young and still under parental guidance. When a child forgets their homework at home, breaks a neighbor’s window while playing with friends, or steals a pack of gum from the store, utilizing restorative justice in the home or supporting the restorative justice system of the neighbor, teacher, or store manager is absolutely necessary for raising kids who are able to take responsibility. In these situations, it may be necessary to find a quiet place to breathe and decompress so that anger and rage do not take center stage. Anger and rage do not facilitate communication and often shut down the opportunity for learning. Repaying the neighbor for the window with cash or through agreed upon acts of service over a period of time will allow the child to experience full accountability and responsibility while maintaining a healthy relationship with the neighbor. At the same time, the parent can save their energy for positive parenting and enjoyment! Allowing children to experience restorative justice engages an internal voice within them to ask, “I wonder how this next choice will affect my life?” Children who think this way are far less likely to participate in dangerous and unwise behaviors as they grow into young adults. Therein lies the greatest parenting reward. ■
Kelly Ackerman is a parent educator of evidence-based practice programs.
Allowing children to experience restorative justice engages an internal voice within them to ask, “I wonder how this next choice will affect my life?”
Q. I heard there are some changes to the way
students apply for federal financial aid. What do I need to know to make sure my child doesn’t miss out on funding for postsecondary education?
The average number of sheets of toilet paper a person uses per day. www.strangefacts.com
A. Students accustomed to completing the Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the beginning of the calendar year may now fill out this important form in the fall. In September 2015, President Obama announced that change to the federal student aid process, along with the opportunity for families to use income information from their “prior-prior year’s” taxes to complete the FAFSA. “This is a big change and school administrators, counselors and financial aid officers are revising their processes to address the new circumstances of the FAFSA,” said Rhonda Safford, statewide coordinator of Reach Higher Montana College Goal, previously College Goal Montana. “While the change will cause some confusion in this first year, we believe it will make filling out the FAFSA easier and less stressful for families across the country.” As part of the FAFSA changes, this form – which allows students and families to access federal student aid for the 2017-18 academic year – will be available on Oct. 1, 2016 rather than on Jan. 1, 2017. This accelerated time schedule will result in new priority FAFSA filing dates at U.S. postsecondary institutions. Students should confirm priority filing dates with their respective schools. “This shift in timing better aligns with college application efforts, providing students and families with the ability to tackle both of these tasks at once rather than separately,” Safford said. In addition, she is particularly encouraged that FAFSA filers this fall will be able to use their 2015 tax information (prior-prior year) to fill out the form. “Many FAFSA filers who were trying to meet the priority filing date on the previous system were unable to take advantage of the IRS data retrieval tool because they hadn’t completed their taxes,” Safford said. “By allowing the use of tax information from the prior-prior year, more families will be able to use this tool that automatically populates information in the FAFSA.” Safford emphasizes that the FAFSA process for the 2016-17 academic year remains the same, but students and parents should keep their eyes and ears open for additional information about the changes in store for 2017-18.
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HOW TO TALK TO YOUR TEEN ABOUT
consent By ABBIE CHERMACK, Outreach and Education Coordinator, The Friendship Center
Stanford. Vanderbilt. Steubenville, Ohio. St. Paul’s Prep School. What is something all of these have in common? They were recently in the headlines for sexual assault cases and highlighted the important issue of consent.
ne in six women will be a victim of an attempted or completed rape during their lifetime; female college students between the ages of 18-24 are three times more likely to be a victim of rape. So how do we protect our children from these troubling statistics? Communication. It’s important to talk about consent with your child starting at a young age and to talk openly about sexual consent starting in middle school. Consent is much more than the old adage “No Means No”. Consent is about communication. Consent is saying yes and feeling fully comfortable with what is happening. Share with your teen that consent is an ongoing dialogue about a specific activity between two people that can be revoked at anytime. This means that consent is verbal. Just because someone hasn’t explicitly said no does not mean they’ve said yes. It is very important to ask for consent every time for every activity. This means asking questions before any activity takes place, such as “Can I hold your hand?” or “Can I kiss you?” A yes to hand-holding does not imply a yes to a kiss. By checking in with their partner, your teen can learn to ensure that consent is still being freely given and either partner can change their mind at anytime and this is okay. Sometimes starting the conversation about consent can seem daunting, especially with your teenager. If you’re struggling with how to start the conversation, an easy opener is asking “Are your friends dating?” and then exploring how your child feels about their friends’ choices. Another great way to engage your teen in conversations around healthy relationships is making the most out of teachable moments. Use the news. Sexual assault and consent are too frequently in the headlines but offer great opportunities for engaging your teen in conversation. It’s important that the conversation happens with both sons and daughters. Hearing a song on the radio or watching a tv show or movie together can offer a
great opportunity to talk about healthy relationships, trust, respect of self and others, and peer pressure. Another great way to start the conversation is to read a young adult book together. A new resource called SVYALit Project can give parents and teachers reading ideas and the information to discuss sexual violence and consent. Once the conversation is started, keep it going. Offer space for your teen to explore their own feelings and values around relationships. Talk openly about your
Recent studies have shown that teens are waiting longer to engage in sexual activity. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to continue the conversations about sex and consent. In fact, one study showed that while 85% of parents surveyed thought they were having conversations about sex ‘very often’ or ‘often’, only 41% of teens felt the same way. own values and if you have any specific expectations for them as they start to date. Recognize that you may have differences in opinion, but differences can be used as a place for a healthy debate to help your teen think critically. Learn the age of consent in your state and
relate that information to your teen. Explain that if either party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, passed out, or asleep they cannot consent to sexual activity. Sometimes your teen may not be willing to talk at the time we feel ready to talk to them. Recognize that and try again another time. They may also have questions that you can’t answer at the time. Let them know that you don’t have all the answers but you will help them explore and work through any questions they may have. Recent studies have shown that teens are waiting longer to engage in sexual activity. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to continue the conversations about sex and consent. In fact, one study showed that while 85% of parents surveyed thought they were having conversations about sex ‘very often’ or ‘often,’ only 41% of teens felt the same way. Peer pressure continues to be felt by teens. It’s important to talk about your child’s own behavior and putting themselves first. Explain that friends or partners who pressure them are not good friends. No one should do anything they don’t want to do or feel uncomfortable doing. There are many great online resources for both you and your teen to help conversations about healthy relationships, peer pressure, and consent. Loveisrespect.org and futureswithoutviolence.org are two great websites full of information for both parents and youth. Scarleteen.com is a website created for teens that covers many topics of sexuality and relationships. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (rainn.org) has information about sexual assault. If you are looking for consent specific information, consentiseverything.com has a funny video with tea as a metaphor for consent. Talk with your teen and tell them that if their partner is pressuring them to engage in activities that feel uncomfortable to them, that relationship may not be healthy. Help them know that you are there to listen to them, help them, and support them in the ways they need. ■
Kent Drug-Free Coalition is committed to
EDUCATION, awareness, and enforcement to reduce substance abuse in our vibrant community.
WHO are we?
Parents, community members, business owners, and youth all working together to achieve our mission.
We are healthy individuals and families who inspire and impact their community! We meet every third Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7:00pm at the Kent Police Department. Meetings are informal and a team setting as we plan and implement activities that focus on youth, parents, businesses and the community. We are always looking for new members, both middle/high school youth & adults.
For more information, please contact: Stacy Judd | (253) 856-5883 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Facebook! facebook.com/KentDrugFreeCoalition
THE TRUTH ABOUT MARIJUANA There is a lot of conflicting information about marijuana. Here are some facts to dispel the myths. By KENZIE ANTILA, Prevention Fellow, Prevention Resource Center
MYTH Legalizing marijuana for adults doesn’t affect kids. FACTS In past 30 days usage of marijuana by youth aged 12 to 17 years, Colorado leads all 50 states. Teen admissions to treatment for marijuana at Arapahoe House
treatment network in Colorado has increased 66% between 2011-2014.
potency marijuana include anxiety, increased irritability, muscle twitching and limb spasms. In Colorado, marijuana-based treatment programs are exceeded
only by alcohol treatment numbers, with ages 21-25 increasing the most of the last several years. Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Montana.
Marijuana-related poisonings have increased 153% for 0-5 year
MYTH Kids will be kids; it’s not that big of a deal
MYTH I did it growing up and I turned out just fine.
FACTS Marijuana use during adolescence and early adulthood results in impaired neural connectivity in several areas of the brain including the hippocampus, a critical region associated with learning and memory.
olds from 2012-2014 in Colorado.
FACTS Modern marijuana has been genetically modified to be more potent – six to 10 times higher in THC. Typical THC content of marijuana today averages between 12
to 13% compared to 3% to 4% in the 70s and 80s. States with legalization have much higher THC content averages; in Colorado, Washington and Oregon, THC content averages around 24 to 26%, but is often seen as high as 36%.
MYTH Marijuana isn’t addictive and doesn’t hurt anyone. FACTS 50% of those using high-potency marijuana daily will experience withdrawal symptoms including poor sleep, decline in appetite, possible vomiting, and stomach pain. Side effects of this high
Developmental problems associated with regular marijuana use
during adolescence include reduced IQ scores, poorer school performance, higher school dropout rates, as well as decreased attention and impaired cognitive and verbal performance.
Daily users of marijuana younger than 17 are 60% less likely to
complete high school or get a degree than those who do not use marijuana. Teens who are daily users of marijuana are seven times more likely to attempt suicide and are eight times more likely to use other drugs later in life.
Adolescents who use marijuana have a two-to-four fold increase
risk of developing psychosis.*
Youth who use marijuana heavily have up to an eight-point drop in
IQ, which has not been proven reversible.* ■
*Dose-dependent. YC MAGAZINE
Growing Green Kids FROM THE GROUND UP!
Where kids come to have a positive experience with healthy foods
M OV E
Garden-based edible education • Hands-on learning in the garden and kitchen www.growinggreenkids.net
AT KENT YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, WE WORK FOR HIM.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.kyfs.org 253-859-0300
SPEAK UP. REACH OUT. ACT NOW.
PROMOTING HEALTHY LIFESTYLES & HABITS
ity • Serve the Commun ills • Gain Leadership Sk • Be influential
CONTACT INFO Stacy Judd
Kent Police Youth Board Vision: Promote youth well-being and involvement in the community Who Are We? • Middle & senior high school students from Kent and surrounding areas • Young adults who care about our peers and community • Developing leaders with a focus on healthy choices & lives for ourselves, peers and community
Mission: Inspire youth to take positive actions and spread awareness of teen issues
What Do We Do? • Game of Life Youth Conference! • Public Service Announcements currently running at Kent Station AMC! • School leadership and choices presentations!
Values: Diversity; Respect; Leadership; Integrity; Unity; Involvement; Acceptance; Individuality
• Community based projects creating a healthy environment!
• The Youth Board is coordinated by a Public Education Specialist with the Kent Police Department For more information and to download an application, go to: facebook.com/KentPoliceYouthBoard or contact Stacy Judd.