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Parent Update helping your family win

Adolescence: A Season of Pressure By Doug Fields

On the outside, most young people seem happy-go-lucky, but inside each adolescent is a complex network of potentially explosive pressures. Adolescents with a strong parental and social support system are the least likely to experience the painful effects of the pressures they face. When parents become aware of the typical sources of pressure that kids face, they are better able to provide their kids encouragement and support. Here are five common pressures adolescents face: 1. The Pressure to be Perfect. Teens repeatedly talk about their parents wanting them to be perfect, particularly in in the areas of behavior and school. No kid is perfect and when they fall short of their parents’ expectations, they feel more pressure. 2. The Pressure to Succeed. The pressure to succeed elicits the attitude that life is a perpetual performance. To fail is to feel stupid. When kids fail, they fear that others will reject them.

Distance to Ideal College A recent Princeton Review survey found that 52% of parents said the ideal college choice for their child would be one that is less than 250 miles from home. Not surprisingly, 61% of students said their ideal college would be more than 250 miles from home. Students (14%) outnumbered parents two-to-one in saying they’d choose a college more than 1,000 miles from home.

3. The Pressure to Conform. Kids find it extremely uncomfortable to be different from their peers; so, they work hard to fit in and be accepted by one of the subcultures on their school campus. 4. The Pressure from Body Changes. Since consistent change is part of the developing adolescent body, teenagers are in a continual state of stress over what’s happening or what’s not happening. 5. The Pressure from Emotions. Adolescence is a time of emotional development. For many teens, the strength and frequency of their emotions is much like having new emotions altogether. They are often not sure where the emotions have come from, and they are equally unsure what to do with them. Pressure is simply going to be part of the adolescent experience. Learning to process pressure and stress is actually an important part of preparing kids to face the pressures and stresses of adulthood. Rather than trying to eradicate all pressure, the wise course for parents is to help kids manage and moderate the pressures they face so that they do not become overwhelmed as they journey toward adulthood.

Parent Update

coming alongside your family

All content provided by HomeWord. HomeWord is a non-profit organization that is committed to Confident Parents, Strong Marriages, Empowered Kids & Healthy Leaders. They have 3 FREE newsletters (daily devotional, weekly culture brief, & a monthly parent newsletter) you can sign up for at

Social Media 101:

Teens and Social Media Use By

The broad reach of teen social networking According to Pew Internet & American Life Project’s “Report on Teens, Social Media, and Privacy,” released in May 2013, fully 95% of kids ages 12-17 use the Internet. Eighty-one percent of online teens use some form of social media. Sixty-seven percent of teen social media users visit social sites daily, and 42% visit several times a day. Facebook is still the #1 social network for teens, but it’s fading While 94% of teen social media users say they have a Facebook profile, and 81% say that Facebook is social site they use most often, it appears that Facebook’s teen appeal is fading. According to the Pew report, “Many teens expressed a waning enthusiasm for Facebook.” Teens complain of too many adults on the site, advertising, and too much drama interacting with friends.

Advice for parents who allow kids to use Facebook and Twitter

Teen Twitter use is increasing significantly Teens largely ignored Twitter when it first appeared and those who used it found it chiefly as a way to stay current with celebrities. In 2009, only 8% of teens used Twitter. Today, the number of teens using Twitter has increased to 24%.

1. Set the expectation that you will friend (Facebook) or Follow (Twitter) your teenager on their social media account. This requires you to establish your own Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Why teens are migrating to Twitter The reasoning starts with fewer adults on Twitter than Facebook. While 67% of online adults have Facebook profiles, only 16% are on Twitter. Further, Twitter’s platform and character limit (140 characters) allows kids to express their thoughts, feelings, and what they are doing without the drama that Facebook’s platform of longer posts, endless comments, and “likes” allows.

2. Facebook: Use profile privacy settings to limit who can access your teen’s content.

book review

3. Twitter: Set Tweet privacy setting to “Protect my Tweets.” This requires your teen to approve everyone who follows them, and then only displays tweets to those who have been approved. Without taking this step, anyone can follow your teen, and all tweets are available to the public. Make sure your teen approves you as a follower.

Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers by Jim Burns

Review by Jake Kircher

The teenage years can be some of the most stressful times in a child's life as they try to figure out their identity and begin making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. It would be very easy to argue that although the time is stressful for the child, it is probably even more stressful and frustrating for parents. Although there are a number of resources available for parents about raising teenagers, Jim Burn's book Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers definitely rises to the top. From his years of working with and studying adolescents, coupled with the years he spent navigating his own children through their teenage years, Teenology provides some fantastic insights, wisdom and advice communicated in a straightforward, easy-to-apply format. Tackling a wide variety of issues that arise during the teenage years, Burns covers issues such as the developmental stages of adolescence, correcting behavior and teaching healthy sexuality. Beyond the larger issues of teenage development and parenting advice, the second half of the book provides a fantastic and direct look into specific problems many teens face.


Kmart “Big Gas Savings” Commercial

Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” commercial was a huge success this past spring, garnering over 19 million YouTube views, so what could they come up with for a sequel? Now we know: “Big Gas Savings” – a commercial offering a 30-cent savings per gallon of gas for Kmart club members. The advert focuses on people standing around Kmart gas pumps touting the wonders of receiving a big discount on gas. Woman: “Thirty cents a gallon? That’s a really big gas discount.” Husband to Wife: “Honey, this solves your big gas problem.” Wife to Husband: “It totally solves my big gas problem.” Son: “Dad, look at that big gas truck.” Mom: “And big gas man.” Boy: “Hello big gas man.” Kmart’s ad campaign scores points for being clever, while coming oh-so-close to the edge of using outright profanity. The campaign created a lot of media buzz, with most reports praising the commercials as edgy and funny. It’s likely that you and your family have seen one or both of the commercials. If you haven’t done so yet, have a family discussion. Here a few potential discussion questions: 1. What are your impressions about the commercial(s)? 2. Do you feel there is anything wrong for a company to use this type of play-on-words to advertise their products? 3. At what point does advertising cross the line between being culturally appropriate and inappropriate? Does the line change for followers of Christ? Why or why not?

Helping Your Kids Deal With Peer Pressure

By Jim Burns

One of the most difficult issues for

Your kids’ choice of friends makes all

effects of peer pressure. A person

parents of teenagers is the frighten-

the difference. It’s not likely that even

who understands that he or she is

ing reality of peer pressure. No kid is

the most talented young leader will

loved by God will not be as motivated

exempt from it, regardless of age.

be able to sway friends who don’t

to conform to peer pressure and is

Still, not all peer pressure is negative. Positive peer pressure can be just as powerful as negative peer pressure. The issue boils down to whether or not kids will take the initiative to set the bar for positive attitudes and behaviors, leading others to follow–or whether they will them-

share similar values. So, how can you help your kids make the most out of positive peer pressure? Remind them that they are uniquely special in God’s eyes. Help your kids understand that God loves them for who they are, not for how

much more likely to be a positive influence on others. Remember to be proactive in this important role. Getting kids connected with the wisdom in Proverbs is one of the great legacies parents can provide. When dealing with the issues of peer pressure, these verses will give you a

selves be followers, conforming to

they look or what they do. A healthy

good head start: Proverbs 22:24-25

the attitudes and behaviors of those

self-image goes a long way in

and Proverbs 27:17.

around them.

protecting kids from the negative

Back-To-School Checklist By

Here’s a checklist for parents to use in the run-up to the new school year that can help make your home less “back-to-stress” and more “back-to-school.” Academics: Encourage your children to do their best, learn all they can, and do the best they can do. Intervene when they do not, and affirm them when they live up to their academic potential. Anxiety: It’s normal for students to feel stress over the upcoming school year. Make your home a calming, secure environment and reassure kids that their feelings are normal. Calendar: Create a family calendar helps everyone keep up-to-date on what’s going on and to help avoid scheduling conflicts. Connect: Establish connections with school faculty, administrators, and staff who can help with your questions and provide direction for school-related issues as they arise. Diet: Establish expectations for a healthy diet for your student. Think through breakfast and lunch preparation responsibilities. Family Dinners: Set a schedule for regular family dinnertimes during the school year. This will help maintain family connections and allows for staying current with what’s going on in each other’s lives. Homework: Establish expectations for your child regarding daily homework. Create a reasonable homework routine that allows for completion of daily assignments.

A Connected World Six-degrees of separation is so old-school. It used to be the rule-of-thumb about the average number of acquaintances separating any two people in the world. The Internet, and specifically social networking, has put a nail in the adage’s coffin. Research done a few years ago reduced the degrees of separation down to 4.74. It’s likely less than that now. It’s a small, small world.

Physical Activity: Plan now to ensure your child has opportunities for regular, adequate exercise. Scheduling: Remember the adage, no one can do everything. Help your kids set reasonable activity levels for participation in sports, clubs, and extracurricular activities. Set a Positive Tone: Start talking positively about the new school year: classes, friends, and activities. Create positive anticipation. Shopping: Get an early start by taking advantage of back-to-school sales now and to avoid the stress of shopping at the last minute. Sleep: Adjust bed and wake-up times to create healthy school-year sleep patterns before the first day of school. Transportation: If traveling by school or public bus, be sure to confirm bus stops and schedules. If carpooling, remember to connect and confirm schedules with the other parents involved.

Parent Update

coming alongside your family

All content provided by HomeWord. HomeWord is a non-profit organization that is committed to Confident Parents, Strong Marriages, Empowered Kids & Healthy Leaders. They have 3 FREE newsletters (daily devotional, weekly culture brief, & a monthly parent newsletter) you can sign up for at

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