When Obsession Turns to Stalking
Points for Parents and Grandparents
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Sportsmanship Siblings Without Rivalry Four Aces is Not a Winning Hand! When Obsession Turns to Stalking Fostering Resilience
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 PRINTED BY
PRODUCED IN CONJUNCTION WITH
TO ADVERTISE OR CONTRIBUTE Barb Swierzbin: (989) 496-1425 email@example.com
COVER PHOTO BY David Smith
About the legacy center The Legacy Center for Community Success (TLC) was established in 2004 to identify outside-the-classroom barriers to learning and development and to collaborate with other organizations to provide interventions that allow all children, youth and families to flourish and thrive. TLC has five areas of focus: Literacy Services: We provide free and confidential tutoring in reading, spelling, math and English as a Second Language so that people of all ages can reach their full potential. Early Childhood Development: Our Preschool Tool Totes are a cost-effective intervention designed to reduce the readiness gap experienced by many at-risk children when they enter kindergarten. Youth Development: We support initiatives and programs that ensure area youth excel and become productive members of society. TLC has adopted the concept of Developmental Assets, which we believe immunize youth against risk-taking behavior. TLC coordinates the activities of the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success, a group of local community leaders who are focused on preventing teen substance abuse. Healthy Families: Whether it’s developing parenting programs, working with youth-serving organizations to build Developmental Assets or adapting the concept of Developmental Assets for use with the senior population, we continue to focus on positive outcomes. Evaluation Services: Evaluation of program outcomes is one of our core competencies. While many organizations are proficient in assessing their activities, many are requesting assistance in understanding and measuring the benefits for participants in their programs both during and following program activities.
Follow us: The Legacy Center w w w.tlc4cs.org w w w.facebook.com/tlc4cs
f you’re like me, you never thought July would get here. But here we are in the midst of another beautiful Michigan summer. At The Legacy Center, we talk a lot about Developmental Assets, because we believe they are the essential building blocks that enable our teens to become happy, healthy, thriving adults. Each issue of YC lists all 40 Assets, jennifer heronema and most of the articles offer tips for building Assets. In the Sportsmanship article, we talk about the real value of youth sports. It’s not about creating the next pro athlete. It’s about building good character, team work, expectations, self-esteem and, yes, athletic skills. Many of us have siblings, so we have first-hand experience with sibling rivalry. It’s important for kids to work it out on their own (somewhere else), so try not to get caught up in the chaos. Abuse, neglect and exposure to other traumatic stressors can negatively impact a person’s health as an adult. The best solution is to avoid these situations, but that’s not always possible. Assets can play an important role in overcoming adversity. In today’s cyber-friendly world, our teens are texting, tweeting, following and “liking” online, rather than carrying on face-to-face conversations. This isn’t going to change, so talk to your teen early about appropriate behavior. Recently, we asked parents what they would do if they had the chance to go back and raise their kids again. Although we can’t have a do over, we can take a step back and remember what’s really important. October will commence our second year of publishing Youth Connections. I’d like to thank all the parents, counselors, and countless others who have provided feedback. I’d like to thank the public schools for partnering with us to distribute the magazine. And finally, I’d like to thank the area nonprofits (and Dow Corning) for supporting the magazine by advertising. Every advertising dollar we receive is applied to production costs, and The Legacy Center covers the difference. This has been a wonderful experience, and we look forward to another great year of YC Magazine!
Community Alliance 4 Youth Success w w w.drugfreemidland.org w w w.facebook.com/ca4ys The Legacy center for Community success Jennifer Heronema, President/CEO (989) 496-1425 firstname.lastname@example.org 3200 James Savage Rd, Ste 5 Midland, MI 48642
Homestead Sunday Every Sunday May 24-Sept 6
1-5 pm | FREE! | All Ages
Exploration Days We provide a healing environment through peer support to children, teens and their families who are grieving a death
Mon-Sat 8 am-5 pm Sun & holidays 12-5 pm All Ages | FREE!
The river & iTS CriTTerS Wed, July 8-Mon, July 20 miChigan’S PreCiouS Few Wed, July 22-Mon, Aug 3 naTural DeFenSeS Wed, Aug 5-Mon, Aug 17 a SPiDer’S worlD Wed, Aug 19-Mon, Aug 31
Sat, Oct 3 | 10 am-4 pm 19th Century Autumn Traditions
Blacksmithing • Threshing Grain • Cider Making Woodworking • Music • Children’s Games Crafts • Food Concessions and much more! 15 miles of trails | Visitor Center open 7 days a week FREE Admission | FREE Wi-fi
400 S. Badour Rd., Midland | 989.631.0830
Orientation & Studio Training Discover how to shoot, edit, produce and direct a TV show, and have fun! Second Saturdays — Choose one. September 12, October 10, November 14 10:00am–1:00pm, $45. Ages 12 & up (Adults, too!)
Call 837-3474 • www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/mctv www.tlc4cs.org
The game of life isn’t all child’s play. It starts out of curiosity. A cigarette after school. Sneaking one of dad’s beers. The game keeps you hopping. Needing to try more. You leap forward to liquor. It is getting easier to jump to the next. Marijuana. OxyContin. Heroin. Where will it end?
Looking for volunteers, ages 6th grade+, to help with our after-school programs! Contact Ranee Tessin to learn more: email@example.com www.messiahondemand.com
Memorial Presbyterian Church Youth Ministry Grades 6-12
If your drug or alcohol use has you worried where you’ll land, call us. We understand this risky game, and can help you land safely. For confidential help, please call 631 -0241.
Kyle Kuipers, Director firstname.lastname@example.org www.mempres.org “Service is Our Mission”
Grace A. Dow Memorial Library Thank you, Teen Volunteers! A special thank you to the teens who are spending time volunteering with us this summer. What's cooler than being cool? Having a Library Card. GET YOURS TODAY! September is Library Card sign-up Month. Teen Lock-In Friday, September 11, 8:00–11:00 pm, Grades 6–8 Games, Music, food and FUN! Permission slips required. www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/library
Youth Services: 837-3466
Parents and Children:
what’s YOUR love language?
The kitchen table 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.
You can submit your story at: email@example.com
will never forget the first time I felt truly unappreciated by my three-year-old. Yes, the same one that up until that point had put me on a pedestal. She was the one who would run towards me when I walked through the door with her arms wide open, a twinkle in her eyes while yelling, “MAMMAAAA!” She was the one that would twirl my hair in her fingers when I rocked her at bedtime. The same one who loved to brush my hair and put make up on me… After returning from a work trip, I carefully placed the t-shirt and stuffed animal I brought her right by her bed where she was sure to find them first thing when she awoke. It was like waiting up for Santa that night as I watched in anticipation for her little eyes to perk open, see her gift, and scream with excitement at her treasure. The response I got far from fulfilled my fantasy. “Mom, is that for me?” she asked as she zoomed in on the prize. “Yes, honey, I bought that especially for you because I missed you.” “But Mom, I don’t like pink.” I was shocked. How could a child be so unappreciative? I was speechless. Recently I finished reading the book, The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary D. Chapman. That book unlocked the mystery of my daughter’s seemingly inappropriate response to that gift giving experience. In the book, the author outlines the five ways in which children prefer to have love and affection expressed. For some, getting gifts
is the way they know someone loves them. Receiving a special surprise shows they were thought of and makes them feel special. For others, spending quality time together helps them know the other truly cares for them. Yet others prefer physical touch including hugs, snuggles, twirling hair ... Then there are those who see acts of service as a sign of love – AKA when my husband takes his Saturday to work on the list of household chores I have been wanting him to tackle. And finally, there are those who ... I flashed back to the hugs, hair twirling, snuggles before bed, hair brushing, and incident known in our house as the “t-shirt situation,” and everything clicked for me. My daughter’s love language was clearly about physical touch, so when I brought her a gift, it didn’t resonate with her because I wasn’t speaking her language. I might as well have been talking to her in Greek. What she really wanted was for me to lay in bed with her and snuggle her upon my return, not bring her a t-shirt. As parents we show our love to our kids in lots of ways. But, after reading the book, I learned how to translate my love for my daughter into her language, and how to translate her actions towards me. At age 11, she still comes out of her room at least three times to get hugs at bedtime. It isn’t her procrastinating, but rather it is her way of telling me how much she loves me. ■
Sportsm Points for Parents and Grandparents to Keep
By DAVID SMITH, CEO, YMCA
manship in Mind About Youth Recreation Sports
Continued from page 7
We should all be more interested in developing children’s character through sport hen I was growing up, I was a great baseball player and our team should have won the state championship. So as a parent, I put the ball in my son’s and my daughter’s hands and coached the heck out of them, making sure they could win the state championship. There are only two problems with that …. First, I was really a very average player, and second, my kids didn’t have the same dream of winning a state championship. It was my dream, and I should have let them have their own dreams. In the end it all worked out pretty well, I’m glad to say, and I’ve learned more about keeping my cool as a coach and parent, and keeping things in perspective as a parent. It’s handy to have a set of rules for being a parent, grandparent or any kind of supporter of youth activities – so here are some points for parents and grandparents to keep in mind about youth recreation sports (or ballet, choir, band, chess club ...): Everyone Plays During the season everyone should receive equal practice and game time. My son sat out substantial parts of games that I coached. He understood that he wouldn’t receive special treatment and accepted it. Safety First Coaches and parents should make sure the equipment and facilities are safe, and remember to teach the sport as prescribed so that the skills taught are appropriate for a child’s developmental level. Fair Play Fair play is about playing by the rules – and more. It’s about parents, players, and coaches showing respect for all who are involved in youth sports. It’s about being a positive role model of good sportsmanship, and guiding players to do the same. Positive Competition Competition is a positive process when the pursuit of winning is kept in the right perspective. The right perspective is when adults
make decisions that put the best interests of ALL children above winning the contest. Learning to compete is important for children, and learning to cooperate in a competitive world is an essential lesson of life. Family Involvement Youth sports encourages parents to be involved appropriately, along with their child’s participation in sport programs. In addition to being helpful as volunteer coaches, officials, and timekeepers, parents should be at practices and games to support the child’s participation. Sport for Fun Sports are naturally fun for most children. They love the challenge of mastering the skills of the game, of playing with their friends, and of competing with their peers. Sometimes when adults become too involved in children’s sport, they over-organize and dominate the activity to the point of destroying children’s enjoyment of the sport. If we take the fun out of sport, we are in danger of our children taking themselves out of sport. Remember that these sports are for the kids; we need to let them have fun. Youth sports should also be a great experience for parents because kids learn more than just how to play the game well. Children learn the rules and etiquette of the game, receive fitness and health tips, and learn how to develop good character and sportsmanship. These core values will be important throughout their lives! Kids who enjoy themselves are more likely to stay involved in sport, thereby maintaining an active lifestyle and lowering the chances for obesity and other related health problems. We should all be more interested in developing children’s character through sport than in developing a few highly skilled players. It’s not about creating the next Lebron James, Mia Hamm, or even making sure your child earns a place on the varsity team. It’s about kids being kids, kids having fun, kids staying healthy, and adult volunteers working together to make our community great. ■
RECOVERING YOUTH FUTURES
Since you first held that tiny bundle in your arms, you’ve wanted to protect your child from harm. Why stop now? Misuse of alcohol and controlled substances could harm your child’s health, impair judgment and even lead to criminal charges. The time to intervene is
Call today to schedule a free, one-on-one evaluation. 989∙832∙6855
A substance use evaluation & treatment program for Midland County youth
On June 2nd, your community foundation awarded over $460,000 to 188 local students for post-secondary education. Special thanks to the donors and fundholders who made it all possible. 2015/2016 high school seniors & college students: Apply beginning December 1, 2015!
Check out who’s standing out in our community. IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE? Please visit our website http://tlc4cs.org/faces-in-the-crowd/ and tell us why this individual has stood out in your crowd.
FACES IN THE CROWD
COLEMAN JR./SR. HIGH SCHOOL, 8TH GRADE
Danielle is actively involved in her school. She was the 8th grade class representative for the 2014/15 school year, and she will continue this role as a Freshman in the fall. Her favorite classes are Algebra & Technology, and she enjoys her Physical Education & Art classes, as well. She is one of only nine 8th graders who were selected to take Algebra I. Danielle is also a student-athlete, participating in basketball & track. She loves to run and to be outdoors; she also enjoys camping. The Maier & Associates Charitable Foundation gave Danielle the Kids Who Care Award for her school. She received the award at the 8th grade Completion Ceremony.
2015 BULLOCK CREEK HIGH SCHOOL graduate
Jake is a natural leader. He started his own lawn care business in 2009 and has been mowing and trimming ever since. Jake was part of the BlitzCreek Robotics team as field engineering team leader and team co-captain. He also was a student council member and eventually student council executive president. In 2014, he became a member of Great Lakes Bay Region Youth Leadership Institute. Jake also has volunteered for Camp Neyati, Women’s Shelter, First Ward Community Center and Community Alliance 4 Youth Success. He graduated in May and is enrolled in the nursing program at Northern Michigan University. Congratulations, Jake, and best wishes for a successful future!
2015 BULLOCK CREEK HIGH SCHOOL graduate
Jon has excelled in several classes, including Physics, Chemistry, Algebra 2 and Trig/Pre-Calculus. In 2014, Jon participated in an internship program at Saginaw Valley State University in which he worked with Dr. Kyle Cissell to develop and test a paper-based fluidic device to test water quality. Jon has volunteered at Camp Neyati, the community wide baby shower and the annual Dow Run/Walk. He was scout team leader for the Bullock Creek robotics team and served on the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success youth committee for two years. Jon will be attending Michigan Technological University in the fall with the intention of receiving a degree in Environmental Engineering. Best wishes to you, Jon, and congratulations on your achievements!
PROGRAM DIRECTOR, ROCK GROUNDED AND UNPLUGGED
Lacey loves hanging out with kids of all ages. She loves teaching new games, getting everyone involved and building relationships. She has successfully managed teen programs at the YMCA in Maine, at Springhill Camps in Michigan, and The ROCK. She has grown The ROCK Grounded (afterschool program) from 3,480 to 27,000 annual visits in three years. Lacey is a little crazy and very real. She builds real relationships with teens and has a life-long impact on their lives. When asked what she likes about her job, Lacey stated: “It is very rewarding to provide opportunities for [teens] to make good life-choices and create new friendships.”
Midland County 4H
More than 1,000 youth participate in the Midland County 4H program every year. Most of them are members of a 4H Club, which provide volunteers and youth with unlimited opportunities for learning, relationship building and fun. They can be single project clubs, afterschool clubs, in-school clubs or community clubs. The remaining youth participate in special interest or short-term programs, like National Youth Science Day, 4H Summer Camp – Camp Neyati and 4H Exploration Days. The Legacy Center recently completed year two of a three-year evaluation of the program, and we’re pleased to report that they are, indeed, building Developmental Assets in local youth. To learn more about the Midland program, visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/county/info/midland.
Looking for a new volunteer opportunity? The Legacy Center has a waiting list of students who need help to improve their reading skills.
Call us today to reserve your space in our Barton tutor training session. August 18 & 20 from 9 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2 p.m.
You can make a difference! Call us Today! (989) 496-1425 www.tlc4cs.org
RUN FOR FUN. WALK FOR CHANGE. LIVE UNITED.
SEPTEMBER 12 @ 3PM $20 INDIVIDUAL/$50 FAMILY
40 developmental assets
Needed: Volunteer Tutors
40 Developmental Assets are essential qualities of life that help young people thrive, do well in school, and avoid risky behavior. Youth Connections utilizes the 40 Developmental Assets Framework to guide the work we do in promoting positive youth development. The 40 Assets model was developed by the Minneapolis-based Search Institute based on extensive research. Just as we are coached to diversify our financial assets so that all our eggs are not in one basket, the strength that the 40 Assets model can build in our youth comes through diversity. In a nutshell, the more of the 40 Assets youth possess, the more likely they are to exhibit positive behaviors and attitudes (such as good health and school success) and the less likely they are to exhibit risky behaviors (such as drug use and promiscuity). Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that simple: if we want to empower and protect our children, building the 40 Assets in our youth is a great way to start. Look over the list of Assets on the following page and think about what Assets may be lacking in our community and what Assets you can help build in our young people. Do what you can do with the knowledge that even through helping build one asset in one child, you are increasing the chances that child will grow up safe and successful. Through our combined efforts, we will continue to be a place where Great Kids Make Great Communities.
CHANGING LI V
CHANGING COM ES.
Turn the page to learn more! www.tlc4cs.org
assets in action
40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS
Youth from Blessed Sacrament Parish make breakfast for church members.
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.
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.
Teens participate in a lock-in at Grace A. Dow Library.
Boundaries & Expectations
Youth invite neighbors to the annual crawfish boil.
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
Big Brothers Big Sisters participates in Teaming Up with YOUth.
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 submit the information through our website at http://tlc4cs.org/assets-in-action/with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.
Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.
23 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.
High school students help elementary students with homework after school.
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.
Bullock Creek Middle School students get ready to perform.
A proud recipient of a Midland Area Community Foundation scholarship.
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.
Youth from Memorial Presbyterian Church prepare meals for homebound neighbors.
Siblings without rivalry By KATHLEEN GAZY, CLC, Parent Educator, Florence Crittenton Community Outreach Center
How often during the course of the week do you hear your kids yelling something like, “No fair! That’s mine! Leave me alone! I’m telling!”? Many of us may be raising our hands to admit, “That’s my life!” We might be wondering why this is even happening. The simplest answer is: We have more than one child!
ere is another answer: sibling rivalry is often spurred on by our children’s subconscious need for connection with us. If they are feeling disconnected, they may settle for the attention they get from fighting with siblings. Negative attention is better than no attention at all. This is one reason parents need to be careful not to get pulled into the fray. If we enter into their arguments and attempt to solve the conflict, we may risk creating more long term problems. Children may begin to believe that we will always be there to rescue them from conflict, which may cause them to act out more. We also run the risk of appearing to favor one child over another; if a child believes this, it can cause more resentment and continued rivalry. So what should we do? Well, unless the children are endangering or harming one another, avoid getting involved. Do your best not to get caught up in their emotion, and gently encourage them to resolve the crisis themselves. Calmly ask them to take their argument elsewhere, or stay away from each other until they have calmed down. What a gift we give our children when we model calm behavior and allow them to learn how to work things out on their own. If we do find it necessary to get involved, here are some guidelines: » Tell them, “I am happy to help you work through this situation
once you have had some time away from each other and have calmed down.” Problem solving isn’t possible when our kids are overwhelmed with their own emotions. » Avoid making decisions for them. Work with them and help them find possible choices they can agree upon. If children are fighting over the only game control, are there creative and satisfying ways they can take turns? A schedule or a timer? Is there another activity they can both do together? » Stay far away from the “blame game”. Teach your children that this kind of thinking is unproductive; anyone who is involved is partly responsible. After children have solved their problems, or gone their separate ways, this is a great time for us to do some reflection on our own. If one of the major underlying causes of sibling rivalry is because our children feel they aren’t getting enough of our attention, we may need to ask ourselves some uncomfortable questions: Is it possible that we aren’t giving our kids the undivided attention that their actions may be crying out for? Have we been spending more time away from home? Are we focusing more on other people, or our own daily needs? Children may grow even more resentful towards each other if they feel they aren’t getting enough attention from parents. Giving separate attention is vital; yet it can be difficult to
find the time to spend one-onone with each child. However, even just 10 to 15 minutes a day of undivided attention can go a long way in filling our children’s emotional needs. Here are some simple ideas for meeting these needs in our children: » When our kids do something delightful, TELL THEM! Make the most out of these moments. Research shows that our children need to experience our delight in them; it is a key element to feeling secure. » Eliminate distractions. When our children attempt to talk to us we need to make a point of putting away our iPad and cell phone. » Carve out special times. If it is affordable you can take a child out to lunch or to a movie. You can also make the most out of creating a bedtime ritual, picking up a child from school, making dinner or doing a project together. » Make the most of those golden moments. When children confide in us or share their feelings, just listen. These are moments to build on by avoiding judgment or rushing in to fix or lecture. Just enjoy the uniqueness of your child. When we consistently model these ways of being in relationship, our children will grow up knowing they are valued and connected, and we teach our children skills that will help them throughout their lives. ■
Four ACEs Is Not A Winning Hand! By TODD GARRISON, Childwise Institute
ure, you can sit at a poker table and get pretty excited if you’re holding four aces. You’d probably bet a lot of money on what you think is a winning hand. If you did win, you’d be telling everyone you know how great it was to have four aces! Well, it’s not always great to have four aces. Let me give you a new definition of what aces are… adverse childhood experiences (ACE). Childhood abuse, neglect, and exposure to other traumatic stressors are ACEs, so the more you have, the worse it can be. Most of us have had some type of adverse childhood experience. Almost two thirds of the study participants (more than 17,000 people) had at least one ACE on a scale of zero to 10. Implications of ACEs for you and me can be serious, but even more so for our children. The ACE Study, which comes out of a collaboration between Kaiser Permanente and Centers for Disease Control, uncovered a stunning link between childhood trauma and chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems. This includes heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases, depression, violence, being a
victim of violence, substance abuse, and suicide. The study’s researchers developed this ACE scoring system to explain a person’s risk for chronic disease. It’s kind of like a cholesterol score for childhood toxic stress. One point is assigned for each type of trauma experience during childhood. The higher your ACE score, the higher your risk of health and social problems. Trauma is defined as exposure to physical abuse or neglect, emotional abuse or neglect, sexual abuse, or substance abuse in the home, just to name a few. There seems to be a tipping point at four ACEs. The odds of negative health and social outcomes increase dramatically with four ACEs. See? It’s not always good to have four aces! Take the ACE survey. It may open your eyes as to why you feel or act the way you do. It may provide some relief to know you are not alone. You can find a survey here: www. WhatsYourACEscore.com. When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012, it was devastating. The cost to the U.S. was over $60 million! But because they had an early warning system, literally thousands of lives were saved and serious injuries were
avoided. The ACE Study is an early warning system for us in regards to our children and their future. Because we now have scientific data linking ACEs to chronic illness, negative social behaviors, and even early death, we have an amazing opportunity to reduce and avoid ACEs in our children. Our children can live healthier lives just because parents, teachers, judges, healthcare workers, social workers, friends and neighbors become aware of ACEs and work to avoid them. The cost of ACEs is incredibly high when you consider hospital visits, medications, long-term care, criminal behavior, drug and alcohol addictions, prison, etc. On the positive side, children with reduced ACEs are more likely to graduate high school, stay healthy, be productive in the workforce, pay taxes, be good neighbors, and become good parents themselves. If by chance you think that the ACE Study was yet another study involving inner-city poor people, take note: the study’s participants were 17,400 mostly white, middle and upper-middle class college-educated people with good jobs and great health care. They all belonged to the
Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization. The study has also been done in countries all around the world with the same results. There is a link between negative childhood experiences and all sorts of health and emotional issues as adults. These experiences affect how children’s brains develop, which affects them the rest of their lives. The news is not all bad. Dr. Robert Anda, co-principal investigator of the ACE Study, says, “Adversity is not destiny.” Just because you have ACEs, or even a lot of them, it doesn’t mean your life is destined for failure. However, ACEs are serious issues, and we must do all we can to assure our children have the best possible futures because the well-being of our children is the most important thing on earth. Yes, there are very important issues in our world that need solutions. But, if our children are not healthy physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, these vital solutions won’t come forth. It is in the hands and hearts of our children that the world’s solutions lie. Learn more about the ACE Study and tell your family, friends, neighbors and peers. It’s that important! ■
Take the ACE survey. It may open your eyes as to why you feel or act the way you do. It may provide some relief to know you are not alone. You can find a survey here:
adversity is not destiny www.tlc4cs.org
Q. As a teenager, what would I like
my parents to know? (Our staff asked
this question to a high school student doing an internship with us. This is what she shared.)
Everyone has a unique relationship with their parents. Some approach situations very openly, while others prefer to stay behind closed doors. To put it in perspective, my relationship with my parents appears to have the door wide open but I stand in the doorway. They can check it out a little bit, but I refuse to let them in. This is a comfortable medium for me. Aside from school and basic interests, I want my parents to know my true motives. For anyone with a similar relationship with their family, adult figures seem to think you’re up to something. I can understand I guess; it’s hard to trust someone when they won’t trust you completely, but I’m tired of being falsely accused. Even when confronted about it, I give them the truth but I feel as if they don’t believe me. I am not perfect, and tell the occasional lie. In my defense, it can be hard to be truthful when your parents belittle your actions. We all know that disdained expression, the same one your peers give you when they’re judging all they see about you in that moment. The slightly pursed lip, raised eyebrows, a sprinkle of aggravation in their eyes... I believe my parents should know the positive influences and behaviors my friends put on me. It’s hard for your parents to trust you when they do not trust your friends. I also believe it is really important for parents to listen to what their teen or child has to say. I’m sure I’m not the only one whose parents act as if I have no idea what I’m talking about. Because I have not experienced what they have, they believe the things I say, especially in an argument, are not valuable. To all you parents out there, keep an open mind. We may or may not know what we are talking about; hearing the words come from our own mouth helps us. I’m sure every adult does the same thing. Just because we’re younger than you or less experienced in some fields does not mean we cannot form our own opinion. Let us speak. Just having someone we truly trust listen to what we have to say means so much. Give constructive criticism rather than damaging feedback. Most of the time it is better to sit down and chat about it rather than yell.
The average number of weeks in a person’s lifetime, in a developed country, spent waiting at red lights. www.makemegenius.com/cool-facts/funny-mind-blowing-facts
The number of bones in the adult human body. There are 300 in children (as they grow, some of the bones fuse together). www.buzzle.com/articles/fun-facts-for-kids.html
Current world record for the number of tennis balls held in a dog’s mouth. www.makemegenius.com/cool-facts/funny-mind-blowing-facts
Celery has negative calories! It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with. www.buzzle.com/articles/fun-facts-for-kids.html
Have a question?
email: firstname.lastname@example.org We cannot guarantee all questions will be published; however, we will do our best to respond to all questions submitted.
The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is ‘uncopyrightable.’ www.timmystutor.com/blog1.php/http-archive-ely-anglican-org-education
THE LEGACY CENTER
If Given a Do-Over, I Would... By PAM SINGER
The Legacy Center recently posed a question to parents: “What would you do differently if you could raise your children again?” Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, and there are many legitimate reasons why parents have done things the way they have. However, this is what some said they’d do differently if they had a “do-over”: Teach them to think for themselves… “I would let them work through more things on their own, instead of immediately rushing in to save the day or give advice.”
“I would have balanced my work/home time “I wouldn’t say ‘no’ without thinking how better when they were younger.” significant a ‘yes’ would be. I would give them “I would own fewer TVs and personal more opportunities to gain confidence.” electronics and played more board games.” Help them feel good about themselves… “I would eat more dinners together.” “I would listen more. It’s hard because as a “I would not worry about time going fast. I parent you know you have all the answers.” would not worry that she was no longer a “I would balance time better. Too much baby, no longer a little girl…every stage of her sports, not enough work experience.” life is an absolute blessing and joy.” “I would spend more time reinforcing the good and less time being critical.” “I would not compare them. It does not matter who talks first, walks first, takes the most honors courses.” “I would exert less pressure to excel.” Treasure time together… “I would treasure more of the small things. I would extend their bedtime for a few more stories. I would truly treasure each moment.”
“I would be more flexible in their schedules.” Healthy Expectations… “I would have defined cell phone rules.” “I wouldn’t have allowed them to drink so many soft drinks.” The most popular response to this question was about treasuring time together. Sometimes we need to step back and gain a little perspective on what is most important in our lives. It’s not too late.
Content Provided Especially for Your Community | www.tlc4cs.org
When Obsession Turns to Stalking By KATIE WAAYENBERG, Outreach and Education Coordinator, The Friendship Center, Helena, Mont.
hen I think of dating, I think of a nice dinner, maybe a movie, and the occasional hour-long (or more) phone conversation followed by the anticipation of the next encounter. I’m not sure why I have that image because that’s not the reality in our current cyber-friendly dating world. Our teens are texting, tweeting, following, and ‘liking’ online, rather than carrying on faceto-face conversations. Dating at any age is challenging, and now social media makes it all the harder. Teens now not only have arguments with their boyfriend or girlfriend while their hormones are raging, they now have arguments that are broadcast to thousands in just seconds over the internet. People can virtually see when they start a relationship, when things are going good, when they’re going not-so-good, and when they go terribly wrong. They no longer go to school and let their friends in on how they broke up with their significant other, because people already found out about it seconds after it happened. Gone are the days of hiding all the nasty things that were said, because they were just plastered all over the internet for all to see. So, what happens when the phone is never silenced, when the updates on your child’s newsfeed rise from a few to a few hundred and when the hashtags get a little too racy? Your child might be dealing with digital abuse. What is digital abuse? As defined by www. loveisrespect.org - digital dating abuse is
the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. That’s when what used to be our ‘old school’ days of face-to-face stalking becomes cyber stalking, which is controlling and potentially becoming abusive behavior in a dating relationship. Our teens are watching more and more television where this type of behavior is accepted, and they are reflecting it into their own relationships. It is becoming increasingly difficult for them to realize that this is not okay behavior; after all, this is what they have grown up with online. It’s what they have become comfortable with. If a teen’s significant other is sending negative, threatening messages, tweets, DMs, or other messages online, or uses social media as a way to keep ‘tabs’ on their partner, puts that person down in status updates, sends unwanted pictures, pressures them to send explicit photos or videos, or looks through their phone, there is a good possibility that they are in an abusive dating relationship. So what can parents and guardians do? First of all, get involved. Get on social media; don’t run from it. It’s here – and it’s not going anywhere. Teens convince themselves that they have hidden everything they have ever posted online but chances are you can find it. Follow their social media posts. Even though it may feel uncomfortable, keeping an eye on what children are doing online will give you a better understanding of what they are going through and how to connect with them.
Learn the acronyms that kids are using. LOL and TTYL may seem silly to adults, but these acronyms are used as real conversation by youth. Use the ‘friend’ method. Instead of directly asking your young person about a possible unhealthy relationship, use their friends’ situations to open a conversation. Better yet, use celebrity examples to discuss what they should do about it and how to avoid such situations. Kids are much more open to the idea of talking about all the bad choices other people could potentially be making, rather than themselves. Now isn’t the time to protest the electronic world. Communicate on their level. Perhaps texting is their main comfort communication. If this is how they want to communicate about dating issues, then this is how you may need to communicate. With an issue this large, sometimes communicating with our kids at their comfort level is the best way to provide help and helpful resources. Research has found that one out of every four teens feels they have been digitally abused or harassed. Social media and technology have only pushed abuse rates up. Talk to your teen and talk soon. Old patterns are hard to break and this is teenage reality. This is what teenagers are comfortable with, and how they are comfortable behaving. Parents who care may need to make their teenagers uncomfortable for a little while, before their adult lives become terribly uncomfortable-mentally, physically and even digitally. ■
What can parents and guardians do? First of all, get involved. Get on social media; don’t run from it, it’s here-and it’s not going anywhere.
Preschool (3 & 4 year-olds, 5 sites) Childcare (0-12) After School Programs & Summer Programs (youth & teens) Summer Food Program (18 & under, through USDA) Dow College Opportunity Program (high school students) Parent Education and Social Services Community Computer Lab with internet access
Find out more at 832-3256 or visit us at wmfc.org 4011 West Isabella Road
MIDLAND AREA YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE
2015 Youth Football Registration Registration and Equipment Pickup
6-8 pm â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MAYFL Equipment Shed (behind Dow High School) Regular registrations: Late registrations: Tuesday, June 30 Sunday, July 19 Wednesday, July 8 Sunday, July 26 Thursday, July 16
Find us on Facebook: Facebook.com/ MidlandAreaYouthFootball
For full registration details and online registration, visit www.mayfl.org Prep Division
First-year players only. No 7-year-olds.
(2nd year players)
Tackle-to-tackle: *9 year-old preps >115 lb **All players >150 lb 8th-grade participation: Players must weigh <80 lb
Players age determined as of September 1, 2015. The MAYFL reserves the right to place players according to their ability to ensure fair and safe play.
Registration Fees: 1st Player 2nd Player 3rd or more
Family Discount Rates (on-time) $105 $80 $55
Late Registration (after July 16) $125 $125 $125
Registration fee includes a personalized team jersey and rental of all equipment. Family discount rates do not apply to late registrations (after July 16).
Fostering Resilience By KENNETH GINSBURG, M.D., M.S. Ed, Reprinted with permission
Children will be strong when the important adults in their lives believe in them unconditionally and hold them to high expectations. This means all of us, not just parents, but coaches, teachers, neighbors, and other family members. igh expectations’ does not refer to demanding high grades or athletic excellence, although it is reasonable to expect a good effort. Rather, it is about always expecting them to live up to the core values and essential goodness that is known to lie within them. Families, schools and communities can prepare children and teens to thrive through both good and challenging times. Children and teens who have the seven crucial “Cs” – competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control – will be prepared to bounce back from challenges and excel in life. What are those 7Cs and how do we know if we are planting them in our children? Competence is the ability or know-how to handle situations effectively and is learned through actual experience. Children can’t become competent without first developing a set of skills that allows them to trust their judgments, make responsible choices, and face difficult situations. When we notice what young people are doing right and give them opportunities to develop important skills, they feel competent. We undermine competence when we don’t allow them to recover by themselves after a fall. Questions we can ask ourselves: » Do I help my child focus on his strengths and build on them? » Do I notice what she does well, or do I focus on her mistakes? » As I try to protect him, do I mistakenly send the message, “I don’t think you can handle this”? CoNFIDENCe is the solid belief in one’s own abilities. Children gain this by demonstrating their competence in real situations. Confidence is not warm-and-fuzzy self-esteem that supposedly results from telling kids they’re special. Children who experience their own competence and know they are safe and protected develop a deep-seated security that promotes the confidence to face and cope with challenges. When we as parents support children in finding their own islands of competence and building on them, we help kids to gain enough confidence to try new ventures and trust their abilities to make sound choices. Children need this to be able to navigate the world, think outside the box, and recover from challenges. Are we helping our kids be confident?
Character is the fundamental sense of right and wrong to ensure children are prepared to make smart choices, contribute to the world, and become stable adults. Children with character enjoy a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. They are more comfortable sticking to their own values and demonstrating a caring attitude towards others. Am I instilling character in my child? » Do I help my child understand how his behaviors affect other people in good and bad ways? » Do I allow her to consider right versus wrong and look beyond immediate satisfaction or selfish needs? » Do I express how I think of others’ needs when I make decisions or take actions? Contribution by children gives them a sense of purpose, which in turn can motivate them. It is a powerful lesson when children realize that the world is a better place because they are in it. Teens who contribute to their communities will be surrounded by reinforcing thank yous instead of the low expectations and condemnation so many teens endure. » Do I teach the important value of serving others? Do I model generosity with my time and money? » Do I create opportunities for each child to contribute in some specific way? » Do I make it clear to my child that I believe he can improve the world? Coping skills may protect children from unsafe and worrisome behavior. Those who learn to cope well with stress are better prepared to overcome life’s challenges. Questions to ask ourselves: » Do I help her understand the difference between a real crisis and something that just feels like an emergency? » Do I allow him enough time for imaginative play? Do I recognize that fantasy and play are childhood’s tools to solve problems? » Do I recognize that for many young people, risk behaviors are attempts to relieve stress and pain?
» Do I help her recognize what she has done right or well? » Do I praise him enough? Do I praise him honestly and about specific achievements, or do I give such watered down praise that it doesn’t seem true? » When I need to correct her do I focus only on what she’s doing wrong, or do I remind her that she is capable of doing well?
Control allows children to realize they have the ability to do what it takes to bounce back. If parents make all the decisions, children are denied opportunities to learn control. A resilient child knows that he has internal control. By his choices and actions, he determines the results. He knows he can make a difference, which further promotes his competence and confidence.
Connections with other people, schools and communities offer children the security that allows them to stand on their own and develop creative solutions. It develops strong values and prevents them from seeking destructive options. Family is the central force in any child’s life, but connections to civic, educational, religious, and athletic groups can also increase a young person’s sense of belonging to a wider world and being safe within it. How connected is my child to the broader world?
» Do I help my child understand that life’s events are not purely random and most things happen as a direct result of someone’s actions and choices? » Do I help my child understand that she is not responsible for many of the bad circumstances in her life (such as parents’ separation or divorce)? » Do I reward demonstrated responsibility with increased privileges?
» Do we build a sense of physical safety and emotional security within our home? » Do I allow my child to have and express all types of emotions, or do I suppress unpleasant feelings? » Do we address conflict within our family and work to resolve problems rather than let them fester?
What we do to model healthy resilience strategies for our children is more important than anything we say about them. Our goal as parents needs to be preparing children to be happy, healthy adults. Giving them tools to handle stress may make them less likely to turn to dangerous fixes to relieve that stress. Resilience may be the greatest gift we could foster in our child. ■
Additional information on the 7Cs can be found in Dr. Ginsburg’s book Building Resilience in Children and Teens. www.tlc4cs.org
SAVE THE DATE Town Hall Meeting for Parents About E-Cigarettes and Youth
E-Cigarette use among teens tripled in 2014, from 4.5% to 13.4%, and odds are that your teen will be pressured to try them. Studies show that e-cigs may be serving as an entry point to tobacco use for teens who otherwise would not smoke. The ability to do tricks, as well as flavors like grape and bubble gum, are driving their popularity. To learn more, join us on: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. H Hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Indigo Ballroom Midland, Mich.
of| www.tlc4cs.org MAGAZINE 24 July 2015An| YCaffiliate The Legacy Center for Community Success
The event is free, but advance registration is required at www.drugfreemidland.org.
Big Idea? W
e help teens turn their big ideas into actual companies, teaching them the skills they need to succeed in business - and in life. Students ages 11-18 launch their own real businesses, gain access to entrepreneurs and business professionals, pitch to investors for funding and gain valuable skills along the way.
YEA! Midland runs from November 2015 through May 2016. The class is filling fast, apply now! For more information or for an application, visit www.macc.org, or contact YEA! Program Manager Tina Lynch at: email@example.com or (989) 839-9522 x 211.
CLASSES BEGIN IN
The Legacy Center for Community Success 3200 James Savage Road, Suite 5 Midland, MI 48642
Promote Health and Safety Schedule Your Sports Physical Today
he primary goal of a sports physical is to promote health and safety of athletes. Ideally, you should complete your sports physical at least six weeks before your sport is scheduled to begin. This allows adequate time to evaluate and address any concerns, without delaying your participation. If you have a primary care provider, you are encouraged to have your sports physical with your own provider, ideally as part of an annual checkup. If you do not have a primary care provider or your provider is not available you can get a sports-specific, office-based physical at the following locations for a discounted rate of $25.
Offered on a walk-in basis
Offered by appointment
• • • • • •
Midland - 3009 N. Saginaw Road (989) 633-1350 Alma - 321 E. Warwick Drive (989) 466-3332 Clare - 700 W. Fifth Street (989) 386-9911 Freeland - 5694 Midland Road (989) 695-4999 Gladwin - 609 Quarter Street (989) 246-9430 West Branch - 640 Court Street (M-30) (989) 345-8130
• Midland 4401 Campus Ridge Drive, Suite C2000 (989) 837-9350 • Mt. Pleasant 4851 E. Pickard Street (989) 837-9350