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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 PRINTED BY
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The Midland-based Community Alliance 4 Youth Success is dedicated to preventing teen substance abuse. The Alliance has adopted the Developmental Assets Framework as the foundation for its prevention efforts. Preventing alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use is no easy task, but the Alliance has demonstrated that when all sectors of the community come together, social change happens.
ABOUT THE LEGACY CENTER The Legacy Center for Community Success was established in 2004 to identify outside-the-classroom barriers to learning and development and collaborate with other organizations to provide interventions that allow children, youth, and families to flourish and thrive. Below are the Center’s program areas: LITERACY SERVICES: One-on-one tutoring in reading, spelling, math, and English as a Second Language enables people of all ages to reach their full potential. MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION SERVICES: Since its inception, the Center has helped local nonprofit organizations establish outcomes and evaluate their programs to determine whether and to what extent the program is effective in achieving its objectives. The results derived from these projects allow our partners to make program adjustments, retain or increase funding, assess community impact, engage collaborators, and gain favorable public recognition. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: We support initiatives and programs that ensure area youth excel and become productive members of society. The Center has adopted the concept of Developmental Assets, which immunizes youth against risk-taking behaviors. We also coordinate the activities of the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success, a group of local community leaders who are dedicated to preventing teen substance abuse.
f you’re like me, you’re not ready for summer to be over. But we can’t do anything about that, so focused our efforts on creating a great back-toschool issue that we hope will help you ease back into your fall schedule. I just love our feature article! There is no magic wand to guarantee a smooth transition from summertime freedom to classroom structure, but we can help kids start off the school year successfully by JENNIFER HERONEMA preparing them for the changes ahead. A few weeks ago, we surveyed parents to determine their perspectives about youth risk-taking behaviors and their knowledge of Developmental Assets. Early results indicate that approximately 40 percent of parents who took the survey were not familiar with Developmental Assets. So, it appears we have work to do! Developmental Assets have always been highlighted in the magazine through pictures (Assets in Action, pages 12-13), but we’ve decided to ramp it up a bit. Starting with this issue, we will highlight one of the asset categories (Support, Empowerment, Boundaries & Expectations, Constructive Use of Time, Commitment to Learning, Positive Values, Social Competencies and Positive Identity) in each of the next eight issues. Developmental Assets are important, and scientifically proven, to help kids develop into healthy, caring and responsible adults. I hope you’ll read and refer to these articles often, as our kids are too important to disregard practices that are demonstrated to work. Speaking of ideas that have worked, we’ve dedicated this issue’s “Confessions From the Kitchen Table” article to advice from moms. I find that some of my best advice comes from those in the trenches. I hope you’ll find something helpful that you can use to make your life easier. Another article I’m excited about is the one on restorative justice. It seems we get so caught up in making everything right for our kids that we forget that they need to learn important lessons that allow them to grow up and make wise and healthy choices. Restorative justice teaches them that their actions have consequences, without using punishment. Wishing you a fun and successful school year!
Follow The Legacy Center w w w.tlc4cs.org w w w.facebook.com/tlc4cs Follow the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success w w w.drugfreemidland.org
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
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Teen Read Week Grades 6–12 October 9–15 Celebrate Teen Read Week at the Library by identifying scrambled book covers.
Snack & Yak Teen Book Club Grades 6–9 Wednesday, October 26, 4:00pm–5:00pm Read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and then join us for a book discussion and snacks. Registration Required.
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“We provide peer support for children, teens and their families grieving a death using creativity and low and high energy play to connect, express and grow.” www.childrensgriefglbr.org
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STAY WITH THAT PERSON LISTEN, REALLY LISTEN GET THEM TO HELP OR CALL SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP NEVER KEEP A SECRET ABOUT SUICIDE. IT IS BETTER TO LOSE A FRIEND THAN FOR A FRIEND TO LOSE THEIR LIFE.
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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 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
BULLOCK CREEK MIDDLE SCHOOL, 8TH GRADE
Cole is an honor roll student at Bullock Creek Middle School, and he works hard to remain on the honor roll. According to his teachers, he is a wonderful student to have in class. His favorite subjects are math and history, but he does well in all subject areas. Cole is a good example for others because he works hard at school and at home. He helps his family with chores on their livestock farm. Cole has won several awards at various livestock expos and has traveled to other states to show and sell his steer. After school, he would like to pursue a degree in agriculture and own a farm of his own.
HERBERT HENRY DOW HIGH SCHOOL, 9TH GRADE
Lillian was a student leader at Jefferson Middle School for the last three years. She was involved in academics, athletics, and student leadership. Lillian has participated in many sports at Jefferson and was the student council president last year. She is passionate about helping others, whether at school or in the community. As a student leader, she helped run assemblies and announcements over the school public address system. Lillian represents all the characteristics of a quality student and is always striving to do more. We’re certain that her leadership will continue throughout her high school career. Thank you, Lillian, for giving back to the students and staff at Jefferson Middle School.
MIDLAND HIGH SCHOOL, 12TH GRADE
Austin is a well-rounded student who excels in academics, music, sports and leadership activities. He is the trumpet section leader of the Symphonic Band and a Varsity Soccer Team Captain. He has won awards in Business Professionals of America, Science Olympiad, and the Nickless Innovation Award Competition and participates in the MHS Programming Club. As if this isn’t enough to keep him busy, Austin also gives back to his community through youth organizations. He is president of the Midland County Youth Action Council and the Midland County Youth Leadership steering committee, and he participates in his church youth group. Good luck in your senior year, Austin!
CAREER AND COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK, COORDINATOR
Val assumed this position in 2014, after spending 33 years working in education. Her enthusiasm and tireless energy have resulted in new initiatives helping all students enroll and complete post-secondary training, whether a technical skill or a traditional four-year degree. With a special focus on first-generation and low-income students, Midland County is off to a great start with college advisors in the local high schools, FAFSA completion workshops, college application weeks, college visits, and more. While the Midland County CCAN utilizes a collective impact model, it takes an exceptional leader to move things forward, and Val provides just that kind of leadership.
Midland Community Center
The Midland Community Center was founded Jan. 14, 1919, in conjunction with the very first bowling alley in Midland. The center quickly became a trend-setter, and other sports and pastimes were gradually introduced to the community, including basketball, handball, volleyball, table tennis, archery, tennis, and softball. Fast forward nearly 100 years, and you’ll find that the center has become one of the premier wellness and recreation centers in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The center recently wrapped up another summer of half-day, full-day and residence camps - serving more than 2,000 children. The fall program schedule is available at www.greatermidland.org.
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We are seeking volunteers for our Midland Mentors program at the Juvenile Care Center. As few as two hours a week can make a huge difference in a teen’s life. No experience necessary. Training provided.
40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS
FAmily DiScovEry DAyS
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.
For more information contact: Sue Landis, Program Director firstname.lastname@example.org (989) 837-6255 www.midlandkidsfirst.org
Turn the page to learn more! www.tlc4cs.org
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.
Incoming freshmen participate in Northwood’s 2016 Educational Success Program
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
More than 100 youth attend a summer pool party Siblings raise money to send foster kids to camp
Dow High football players support local youth football program
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 submit the information through http://tlc4cs.org/assets-in-action/ with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.
Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.
26 Kids learn to share grief as a way to heal
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.
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.
A graduate of the Midland Chamber’s Young Entrepreneur’s Academy A library volunteer paints faces and encourages reading
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.
10th graders go to college for Career Exploration Day
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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The number of pieces of wood in a violin. www.strangefacts.com
The number of slices of pizza consumed each second in the U.S. www.funfactz.com
The length in inches of a giraffe’s tongue (so it can clean its ears). www.strangefacts.com
The number in miles of DNA contained in the human body. www.funfactz.com
The length of time in minutes the shortest war lasted (between Zanzibar and England in 1896). www.funfactz.com
At MPC we believe that YOU ARE SPECIAL and we would like to invite you to one of our youth programs designed specifically with YOU in mind. In these groups we encourage SHARING life stories with one another, GROWING our faith as individuals in a safe environment, and LIVING THE GOOD NEWS of Jesus together. Visit mempres.org for more information.
1310 Ashman Street I Midland, Michigan I 989-835-6759 I mempres.org
Helping Families Grow and Thrive Preschool for three- and four-year-olds at four locations Childcare for children ages 12 and under After-school and summer programs for youth and teens Summer food program from the USDA for youth ages 18 and under Dow College Opportunity Program to support and mentor high school students Parent education and social services Community computer lab with Internet access Call us for details at 989.832.3256, or visit WMFC.org Located at 4011 West Isabella Rd. (M-20) 14 miles west of Downtown Midland
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. ■
THE LEGACY CENTER It’s All a Matter of Perspective By JENNIFER HERONEMA When The Dow Chemical Company announced its workforce reductions back in June, a lot of memories came flooding back, along with feelings I thought had been buried long ago.
The Legacy Center and making a difference in the lives of thousands of Midland County youth. I never could have imagined I’d be doing this kind of work, but it’s extremely rewarding. I’ve brought my communications and business skills You see, I was one of thousands whose job was to The Legacy Center, and it has really paid off. eliminated due to corporate downsizing back in This magazine is a prime example of that. 2008-2009. I saw it coming, but I didn’t want to admit it. I was a high performer, my job was The best advice I can give someone who has important, and it couldn’t possibly happen to experienced job loss is “When life gives you me. Then, it did. lemons, make lemonade!” This isn't my original quote, but it fits this situation perfectly. First, I became angry. Despite what people say, this was personal. It affected my livelihood, as For those people who don’t know how to well as my relationships with family, friends, approach someone who has lost their job, co-workers and just about everyone I knew. Then, I became fearful. What was I going to tell my kids? Where was I going to find another job? Would we have to move? I hadn’t updated my resume in nearly a decade, and the job market had changed significantly. As indignant as I was, I knew I had to get past the immediate situation and set a course for the future. First, I had to talk with my kids.
Telling them was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, because I felt like I had let them down somehow. Honestly, the best thing I could do was reassure them that this was just a bump in the road, and our family was going to be fine.
here are a few hints:
1. Don’t avoid them. Reach out. One of the biggest losses in a situation like this is “human connection.” 2. Avoid saying that they are better off outside the company. That’s simply not true, at least in the short term. 3. Be a good listener, and let them work through their anger and frustration. This will take time, so don’t abandon them prematurely. 4. Take their lead with regard to
Kids are resilient—much more than we give discussing what’s going on at work, them credit for. So it didn’t take them long to especially if your employer was theirs. realize the benefits of having mom around more often. In retrospect, I’m content with trading a higher income for the ability to take a more active role in my kids’ lives. They grow up too Jennifer Heronema is President & CEO of The Legacy Center for Community Success. She can be fast, and you can’t get that time back. reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Fast forward seven years, and I find myself information about The Legacy Center, visit our midway through my fifth year at the helm of website at www.tlc4cs.org.
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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.* ■
WHAT IF... EVERYONE HAD SOMEONE THEY COULD TURN TO?
Nearly 1 in 7 area youth report being sad or depressed and 14% have attempted suicide. impactmidland.org
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
Save the Date Youth Mental Health & Wellness: A Town Hall Conversation
Join us as mental health professionals provide parents with strategies to: Help kids cope with anxiety and stress Identify potentially serious behaviors, and Access locally available resources Tuesday, October 4, 2016 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Towsley Auditorium MidMichigan Medical Offices—Midland 4009 Orchard Drive
Free event. No registration required.
Dear Parents: In May, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration finalized new rules extending its regulatory authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, cigars and pipe tobacco. The new rules, which became effective August 8, 2016, include the following provisions aimed at restricting youth access:
Not allowing products to be sold to persons under the age of 18 years (both in person and online); Requiring age verification by photo identification; Not allowing the selling of covered tobacco products in vending machines (unless in an adult-only facility; and Not allowing the distribution of free samples
As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap. All of this is creating a new generation of Americans who are at risk of addiction. This is an important step in the fight for a tobaccofree generation. We encourage encourage you you to to discuss discuss with with your your children children the the risks risks associated associated with with using using tobacco, tobacco, We alcohol and and other other drugs. drugs. Show Show them them you you care! care! alcohol
www.drugfreemidland.org An affiliate affiliate of of The The Legacy Legacy Center Center An
The Legacy Center for Community Success 3200 James Savage Road, Suite 5 Midland, MI 48642
Prevent Injuries and Get Back in the Game Quicker
In addition to injury prevention, the WellSport program is designed to help expedite the assessment, referral and treatment of athletes with strains, sprains, contusions, fractures, joint injuries and concussions. Program goals § Prevent injuries through education and training.
§ Help athletes of all ages achieve their highest potential and prevent illness and injury through comprehensive sports physicals.
MidMichigan Medical Offices Campus Ridge 1 4401 Campus Ridge Drive, Midland
§ Help injured athletes get back in the game as safely and quickly as possible. § Manage medical conditions that can affect performance, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weight or arthritis. § Promote the use of “exercise as medicine” to maximize health and wellness. For more information, visit www.midmichigan.org/wellsport.
MidMichigan Health Park - Mt. Pleasant 4851 E. Pickard Street, Mt. Pleasant To make an appointment, call (989) 837-9350.