Healthy Foods from A to Z Getting your teens interested in eating a healthier diet
What Real Teens Are Saying About Sex Parents want to believe-no, they need to believe-that their teenager isnâ€™t part of those statistics
Parenting Teens for a Living Shiloh Christian Childrenâ€™s Home
Savvy Shopping few other shopping tricks to stretch your teen shopping budget
The Tie Between Self-Esteem & Being Physically Fit Interview with Renee Temple
Education Standardized TestsWhat Parents Need to Know
What to Do When Your Teen Has an Unreasonable Teacher
Food Healthy Foods from A to Z
Articles We Have a Teenage Daughter who is Married…& not Pregnant
How Well Do You Know Your Teen’s Friends
Why Your Teenager Should Have a Job
Do not Major in the Minors
"Few things are more Quote satisfying than seeing your of the Month children have teenagers of their own." - Doug Larson
Research What Real Teens are Saying About Sex
Parenting Teens for a Living
Savvy Shopping for your Teens
Interview The Tie Between Self-Esteem & Being Physically Fit
Standardized Tests -What Parents Need to Know
Chances are you remember taking “achievement tests” way back when you were in elementary school. But by the time you got to high school, the only standardized tests you heard anything about were the ACT and SAT. But that was then…and this is now. The No Child Left BehindAct of 2002 mandates that any public school receiving federal funding (that would be all) must give students in Grades 2 or 3 through Grade 8 yearly standardized tests in English, science, math, and history/social studies. Once a child reaches high school, they are tested using SOL (standards of learning) tests after they complete specific courses in each of these areas of study. What standardized tests tell us The tests your children and high school students take are meant to measure much more than their comprehension level. The results of standardized tests are used to do these things: • Measure a school’s commitment to education and the teacher’s ability to teach the required curriculum standards to their students • Help determine the amount parentingteens.com parentingteens.com
Education of funding given to schools for students whose educational needs go beyond the traditional classroom • Determine the success of various school programs • Detect weaknesses in curriculum • Detect students who need specialized teaching Who sets the bar The standards of learning for all age levels of SOL tests are set by the federal department of education. While each student’s score is recorded and of some value to teachers and parents, the school’s overall score is what officials are really looking at. The power of the standardized test score Test scores are used to determine the amount of funding schools are eligible for. They are also used to rank or grade schools. Schools that fall below the set standards lose funding and accreditation. What a school’s grade means to you In most school districts, the school your child attends is based upon the geography of your home. But if your child’s school doesn’t make the grade and loses accreditation and/or funding, you have the right to enroll them in another school. Your district cannot require you to send your child to a school that is less “qualified” than another in your district. The grade your child’s school makes on its standardized tests scores will also have some bearing on how colleges view students who come from that
school (especially when looking at scholarship “material”). And if you’ve looked at the cost of college tuition, you know how important this is. How much stock you should put in your child’s scores It depends. Your child’s standardized test scores will tell you how well your child did compared with everyone else in his school taking the test and how well your child does compared with other students his age on a national level. But…how well your child does depends on the following: • His “testability” -some kids just don’t do well on tests in general • His attitude-some teens view these tests as a waste of time • His mental clarity-make sure your teens get plenty of rest and are eating a healthy diet Being aware of how your child tests and how she approaches the SOLs should give you some idea of what to expect. But don’t worry-the results of these tests shouldn’t give you cause for concern as long as her traditional grades in school are average or above. And then there’s the “BIG ONE” The pros and cons of standardized testing and the emphasis placed on them has, is, and always will be a subject of a fair amount of controversy. But the standardized tests that aren’t really up for too much debate are the ACT and SAT. These college entrance exams are imperative to your teen’s college education. parentingteens.com
standardized tests in... Engli
sc ience m at h y r o t his Your teen’s ACT or SAT score will determine • Colleges and universities your teen will be accepted into-most schools require a minimum test score (these vary) to be admitted • Scholarships available through private entities and specific school programs • Entrance into majors/programs in certain schools
Here’s where you can go For more information on standardized tests and the ACT or SAT, you can visit any of the following websites: http://www.projectappleseed.org/standardtest.html http://www.act.org/products/k-12-act-test/ http://www.collegeboard.org/ http://sat.collegeboard.org/home
As a parent, there are a few things you can do to help your teen prepare for taking the ACT or SAT. You can encourage (even require) him to take the pre-test practices and classes offered through most high schools and on line. You can also help him study by being available for assistance and encouragement.
What to Do
When Your Teen Has an Unreasonable Teacher Teaching is, without a doubt, a noble profession. But let’s face it-there are some teachers in the classroom that just shouldn’t be there. But when they are, and your teen is in their class, you need to know how to deal with the situation so that your teen’s grades, education and opinions about school are not negatively affected.
So what makes a “bad”teacher? We’ll take a closer look at that in a minute. But first let’s look at what DOESN’T make a “bad teacher”… • A teacher who isn’t willing to overlook missed assignments due to athletics and other extra-curricular activities. Did you get the word “extra”? That means they are in addition to the REQUIRED curriculum. • A teacher who expects her students to be attentive, respectful and cooperative in class. • A teacher who doesn’t give a student special favors because she (the student) thinksshe deserves it. • A teacher who doesn’t try to become his/her students’ friend. Teachers can be respected, revered and loved by their students without trying to be one of them. Teachers who are committed to teaching and reaching students will do so professionally, personably and in ways that will complement the various learning styles of their students. In other words, they will use a variety of methods (lecture, hands-on, visual aids, etc.) to enable students to “get it.” Blessed and fortunate is the student who goes through his educational career having individuals such as these standing at the head of the class.
But not all students are that fortunate. There are some teachers out there that don’t need to be in the classroom. Thankfully these are few and far between, but nevertheless they do exist. Why these individuals are in the classroom is the number one question asked by parents. The answers: • These individuals are tired and suffering from burnout. They have spent years in the classroom and are hanging around for the retirement they have worked so hard for (and deserve). • These individuals may be unable to separate their personal lives from their professional lives. • These individuals may have entered the profession for the wrong reasons and feel stuck. • These individuals may be naturally domineering and controlling. • These individuals may feel overwhelmed with the lack of disrespect of the students in their classes. • These individuals may be facing parentingteens.com parentingteens.com
Education difficult circumstances in administration and/or discord between staff members. So what’s a parent to do? There are several things a parent can (and should) do. But there are also a few things you shouldn’t do-we’ll cover those first. • First and foremost, don’t jump to conclusions. When your teen comes in saying that Mrs. T is a jerk – she is unreasonable and harsh, and she doesn’t like him - don’t automatically take your teen’s word for it. No, your teen isn’t necessarily untruthful, but we all know they tend to be overly dramatic at times or a bit clouded in their judgment. • Ask questions. Ask your teen why she feels a teacher is unreasonable and doing a poor job. But be specific-ask for specific examples rather than accept general or blanket answers. • Meet the teacher in person. While parent portals and websites are great, there’s still nothing like a face-to-face meeting to really be able to get a feel for what another person is like. When you meet with the teacher, though, it is imperative that you do not mention your child’s displeasure with the class assignment. Instead, ask the teacher about his teaching style, his approach to discipline, andhis likes and dislikes about teaching. • Talk to other parents in a non-accusatory or gossipy way. Simply ask parents whose teens are older than yours how their teens felt about a particular teacher and why.
• Continue to communicate with your teen about the situation. If his complaints remain consistent and specific, action will likely need to be taken. Action…should you take any Once you have determined that there is indeed a justifiable reason to be concerned about the quality of the teacher in your teen’s classroom, there are a number of things you can do-starting with the least confrontational. And remember…it is your job to champion for your teen-don’t put your teen in the position of trying to rectify a negative situation. The first thing you should do is talk to the teacher in a non-accusatory fashion. Simply state that your student seems a bit less enthusiastic about the class and ask the teacher if she has noticed this. If so, ask her why she thinks this so and what can be done about it. You should be able to pick up on the teacher’s attitude toward your teen and her attitude toward teaching as a whole. If you feel satisfied with the solutions you reach, give it a chance to happen. If this fixes things…great. If not, further action will be needed. The “further action” needed should start with a conversation with either the teacher or the principal of the school (depending on the severity of the problem). If the problem is more of a personality conflict between the teacher and your teen, a follow-up parentingteens.com
Education conversation with the teacher is in order. Again, don’t be confrontational-acknowledge the fact that there is obviously some tension and ask for her cooperation in relieving this tension for the sake of your child’s education. Don’t lay blame solely on the teacher, because in situations such as this, it is rarely only the teacher’s fault. If the teacher refuses to be cooperative or take ownership of his role in the situation, however, a trip to the principal’s office is in order. It’s not only his job to oversee the discipline of the students but also to ensure the quality of the education students receive. Involving the principal gives you the benefit of having a mediator. This solution is often useful: helping all involved parties to have the perspective of an unbiased person. As a last resort (when all other attempts to rectify the situation have failed), you have the option of going to your school’s administrator or board of directors. Doing so will often attract the attention of many, however, so be prepared for questions, looks, and even negative publicity. Motives and attitude Before embarking on the journey of questioning and possibly even battling a teacher, you need to feel in your heart and soul that you are doing so for the right reasons: • The teacher is truly showing bias against your child
• The teacher is failing in his responsibilities to the students under his instruction • The teacher is allowing and possibly even encouraging improper behavior And the right attitude: • Keeping the incident private • Not allowing your student to talk to others about the incident • Not allowing your student to adopt the attitude of “don’t mess with me” • Not making the incident the focus of your life • Reminding yourself daily of the reason for getting involved and maintaining that perspective-that it’s for the benefit of your teen as well as others
For the most part, the teachers in our educational system are dedicated individuals who have a sincere love for their students and a strong desire to enrich their lives through education. Appreciate those who play such an important role in the life of your teen-and let them know how grateful you are for their dedication.
Healthy Foods from
The year 2013 is still new. That means there is still plenty of time to make 2013 the year of a healthier you…a healthier family. Easier said than done, though, right? Not really. By simply sticking with the basics of the alphabet, you and your family can become healthier in no time. That’s right-it’s as simple as
A, B, C…all the way to Z!
Food Apples, asparagus, almonds, avocados
Broccoli, bananas, bell peppers, beets, beef, beans, blueberries
Carrots, cinnamon, chicken,celery, cheese, cucumbers, cherries
Garlic, grapefruit, green beans, garbanzo beans
Fish, flaxseed, figs
(fresh fruit & veggie juices with little or no sugar added)
Honeydew melon, honey
Kiwi, kidney beans
Lemon, lamb lettuce (different varietiesespecially arugula) Nuts, nectarines
Pineapple, pumpkin seeds, potatoes, prunes, pork, peppermint, peas
Raisins, raspberries, rye Tomatoes, tuna, turkey, tofu
Walnuts, watermelon, whole wheat, water
Spinach, sweet potatoes, strawberries, salmon, strawberries, sunflower seeds, soybeans, squash
Ugli fruit (a citrus fruit from Jamaica)
Food These power foods are filled with essential vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and other dietary needs such as fiber. Filling your diet with these foods gives your body the fuel and nutrients it needs to function to the best of its ability. Our bodies are intricate machines. They are designed to function in a precise manner, each part designed to do its own special thing. So what happens when you deprive your body of what it needs? It doesn’t function properly, that’s what. Think of it like this...you can’t use diesel fuel in place of gasoline or interchange hand cream and toothpaste just because they both come in a tube. In other words… it only makes sense to give your body what it needs if you have any expectations of being in optimal condition. The question is how? No matter what else you have to cut from your morning schedule, breakfast shouldn’t be in that mix. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, but equally important to eating breakfast is what you eat. Breakfast should be protein-packed, high in fiber and low in sugar. Lunch should be filled with fresh fruits and veggies with a serving each of dairy and lean meat. Round off your three squares a day with a dinner of protein, veggies and some good fat to keep you satisfied for the evening. As for snacks…two or three low-calorie snacks a day are a great idea-just as long
as they aren’t sugar-laden and full of empty calories. And don’t forget the good fats-nuts, olives, olive oil and dairy. That’s right-dairy isn’t a no-no. The calcium and fat-burning aspects you get from dairy products make sensible servings of dairy one of a healthy eater’s best friends. Sounds great…but how do I convince my teenagers? Getting your teens interested in eating a healthier diet may not be as difficult as you think. Teens know the value of eating a healthy diet. They hear it in health class, in PE class, in the magazines they read, and even on the television and internet. Teens are extremely conscientious about their bodies-they will likely be eager to make positive changes. But since they aren’t the ones doing the grocery shopping, meal planning or the cooking (nuking a bag of popcorn or leftover mac-n-cheese doesn’t count as cooking), it’s up to you to provide them with the healthy foods they need. If you have it in the fridge…they will eat it.
We Have a Teenage Daughter who is Married… & not Pregnant
My husband John and I are the parents of four happily married children-one of whom is 17. That’s right, you heard me-17. Emma and Dwight (their real names-we have nothing to hide) have been best friends and sweethearts since they were old enough to know what the word “sweetheart” means. They have stood by one another through some extremely difficult times. They have laughed together, cried together, grown in their faith together and grown as individuals together and apart. Dwight, who is two years older than Emma, had planned on being a Marine since he was a little boy. He had no desire to waiver from that
goal, but the reasons for doing so altered themselves. He knew a career in the Marines would be a secure and honorable way to provide for Emma and the family they wanted to someday have. When Dwight left for boot camp, Emma was at a very vulnerable stage in her life. She was recovering from an eating disorder and was feeling a bit insecure and anxious about being separated from Dwight. Would he change? Would he forget their love? Could she be strong enough to get through this nearly four-month separation? No worries there. Even though their only means of communication was handwritten letters, Dwight constantly parentingteens.com parentingteens.com
Article assured Emma that the strength it took to get through boot camp came from his faith and from knowing what he was doing was preparing him to be able to give her their future. About halfway through Dwight’s absences, Emma came to her dad and me, telling us that she wanted to do whatever it took to graduate from high school early so that she and Dwight could be married. Now remember, this is our 16-year-old daughter. Most parents would have scoffed and said, sure-when donkeys fly. But John and I couldn’t really do that. You see, John and I were also high school sweethearts. We’ve been together since we were in junior high…32 years ago. We weren’t married until after we’d graduated, but still…who were we to tell her she didn’t know what she was talking about? Besides, Dwight had been a part of our family for so long. You would have had to be blind, deaf and mute to not see they were the real thing. John and I told Emma we’d discuss it and get back with her. In that time I checked to see what it would take to graduate early. I wasn’t even sure it would be possible, so I thought that would probably give us our answer. Wrong. It was possible, but it wouldn’t be easy. She’d have to work night and day-literally completing two years of school in one. She’d have to go to school all day and come home to another full schedule of classes on line.
John and I continued to pray and discuss the situation. As for those hand-written letters, Emma wasn’t the only person Dwight wrote to during his absence. He regularly wrote to John and me as well. His letters (one in particular), combined with Emma’s steadfast maturity and determination to do whatever it took, gave John and me the peace of mind we needed. We would give not only our permission, but our blessing for their marriage. Emma didn’t tell Dwight of our decision-not in a letter, anyway. She wanted to tell him in person. The plan was for Emma, John and me to go to California for his graduation from boot camp and to bring him home for his short leave before continuing his training and military career: making a cross-country road trip of it. So after driving halfway across the country and spending nearly three months apart, they were reunited-a joyful occasion in and of itself - but when she told Dwight of our decision, the excitement and gratitude couldn’t have been any greater. parentingteens.com
Article The plan was for Emma to start school that fall-doing both traditional and on-line classes-while Dwight was in California training. Emma would graduate in May, Dwight would return for a June wedding, and off they would go to California to live happily ever after. Good plan. But the government had a few things to say about that plan. Well, really one word…Afghanistan. When Dwight got word just after Thanksgiving that he would be going to Afghanistan in April, they asked our permission to move the wedding up. It was extremely important to them to be married before he left. Their reasons came from both the heart and the mind. One of the major contingencies in giving our permission and blessing to Emma and Dwight was that Emma would graduate from high school before the wedding. If the wedding was moved up, that wouldn’t be the case. In fact, Emma would have to miss school for her honeymoon. This was not an easy choice to make. On one hand, Emma was working herself to the ground with her schooling. She was taking difficult classes in both venues and maintaining a 3.6 GPA. On the other hand, she was 16 years old. On one hand,Dwight wanted to do just one more thing to provide for Emma during his absence (the benefits of insurance, housing, pay, and so forth). On the other hand, Emma was 16 and still in high school.
On one hand, there was less than three months’ difference between having the wedding in March and having it in June-as originally planned. On the other hand, Emma was 16 and more than a few people thought we were certifiably insane. It didn’t take long for John and me to decide to give our consent. While we hoped and prayed nothing would happen to our future son in-law, a young man we love as our own, we didn’t want to deny him and Emma the chance to live their dream. We did so on the conditions that after their honeymoon Emma would stay with us and finish school and then live with us until Dwight returned from Afghanistan. They readily agreed. Dwight would be leaving within days of their wedding anyway, so leaving Emma with us was much easier than leaving her alone in California. The March wedding was absolutely beautiful. The day could have been blustery cold in our part of the country, but it wasn’t. It was sunny and mild, a day filled with love, joy and happiness. The church was packed with family and friends wishing these special young newlyweds a lifetime of love. That was ten months ago. Dwight’s tour of duty lasted only six months, so they are now living in California blissfully happy and thankful to be husband and wife. Dwight is happy in his job in the Marine Corps, Emma is pursuing her education in sonography, and they are parentingteens.com
What do you think?
Would you ever consider allowing your teen to marry? Why or why not?
active in their church and are looking forward to the day when they have a family of their own. What we did was highly unusual, unconventional and to many… unbelievable. We know that. Trust me when I say we’ve heard all the questions and rude comments. What kind of parents were we? Did we really think this was legit? Why would we allow something like this unless she was pregnant? Even our three older children (all of whom are also married) thought we were crazy. They love Dwight and Emma with all their hearts and were all great with the June wedding. But March? She hadn’t even graduated from high school! Our answer to all the questions was,“We just know it’s right.” And once the wedding had taken place, so did everyone else.
For weeks afterwards I was receiving emails and phone calls telling me the most distinctive element of the wedding was the fact that Dwight and Emma’s devotion to one another was almost palpable, that they’d never been to a wedding where the couple was so connected and in tune to one another. As for what the future holds…who can know? But one thing I am sure of is that even though our daughter was a teen bride…was married before she even graduated from high school…and is a Marine wife living halfway across the country and is undoubtedly the youngest wife on base, she and her husband are completely committed to one another, have better communication skills than most people twice their age, and have a love that is mature beyond their years. parentingteens.com
How Well Do You Know
Your Teen’s Friends
Back in the 70s there was a campaign that was intended to help parents be better connected with their teens. It went something like this… “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your kids are?” And “It’s midnight. Do you know where your kids are?”
- Jade Robinson
Knowing where your children are, what they’re doing, and whom they are with is your job. In fact, these are non-negotiable pieces of information that you, as a parent, have the right to know. And the best place to start is by knowing who it is your teen calls “friend.” Knowing your teen’s friends requires you to • Communicate with your teens-listening to them talk about their friends. Know names and faces. • Make your home a place where your teens feel comfortable bringing their friends. Make sure their friends feel comfortable and welcome.
• Make sure your teens clue their friends in on the rules, guidelines and expectations of your home. • Spend some time with your teens and their friends. • Know who their parents are. You don’t have to socialize with them or make them your best friends, but you need to know who they are and where they live and have at least a little insight as to what their parenting style is. Don’t try to be their peer When spending time with your teen and their friends, it is important that you distinguish yourself between being their peer and being an adult who can be trusted and parentingteens.com parentingteens.com
Article depended on and who will hold them accountable and always have their best interests at heart (even when they don’t). You can do this by • Playing board games, pool, ping-pong…something that will allow personalities to come out in a fun way. • Fix a meal for your teen, his/her date and their friends prior to a school dance. Serve them like they would be served in a restaurant. You’ll enjoy being privy to the conversations going on around the table. • Enlist the help of your teen and their friends in doing larger projects around the yard and house. Working alongside a group of teens will allow you to teach skills, share conversation, and accomplish something together. • Be present at school and athletic events. Seeing your kids and their friends doing “their thing” and cheering them on sends a loud and clear message that you care, that you are interested, and that you believe in their abilities. • Let your kids and their friends know you can be trusted to talk to. Let them know that you will always listen completely before speaking and will not betray their trust. They do need to know, however, that if there is any illegal activity they may be involved in or if there are life and death issues, you will need them to trust you to get them the help they need. There are also some things you shouldn’t do when connecting with your
teens and their friends. You should never • Stalk their Facebook page. You can be their Facebook friend, but refrain from commenting on every post (now and then is fine), scrutinizing every picture, or questioning the motive or hidden agenda behind every remark. • Try to be one of them. Don’t talk in their “language” (but know what it means). Don’t dress like they dress or try to be one of the group. You can be the responsible adult they trust, look to, learn from, and respect. • Don’t try to replace the parents of your child’s friends. You would be offended if another parent tried to do that to you. In fact, you need to encourage your young friends to show respect to their parents. NOTE: In the event that the home situation is abusive or unsafe in another way, it is acceptable to provide an atmosphere of security. Letting a child (no matter how old he is) know he is loveable, special and valued is never wrong. • Don’t try to win them over by being the enabler. Being a friend to your teen and her friends isn’t about adding to your collection of friends. It’s about being a mentor, being a living, breathing example of what responsibility, integrity, honor and adulthood looks like. It’s about helping these wonderful, terrible, confident, scared and hopeful young soon-to-be adults get there as painlessly as possible. parentingteens.com
Why Your Teenager Should Have a Job
Twelve and 14-year-old J and J (for privacy’s sake) are fortunate enough to be part of a wealthy family. Their parents are both professionals who make six-figure incomes. They want for nothing…nothing but responsibility, compassion, humility and appreciation for what they have. Unfortunately J and J aren’t in the minority. Oh, sure, they may be in the economic minority, but very few children and teenagers today understand what it is like to work for something, to appreciate the sacrifice or cost to parents to provide for them, or to know what it is to work for what they want. Instead, we are living in a world filled with the disease of entitlement with a generation of young people who believe things are owed to them. Is that how you want your teens to enter the real world? Is that how you want them to spend what is left of their teen years? J and J’s parents think they’re doing right by their kids. They don’t want them to have to work. They want them to enjoy their youth. Even though this sounds admirable, J and J’s parents (and all those other parents, too) are taking much parentingteens.com parentingteens.com
Article more from their children than they are giving them. They are robbing them of knowing how to care for themselves andhow to relate to people of all backgrounds, as well as ofexperiencing the satisfaction that comes with success rather than having everything handed to them and of gaining valuable life skills. Don’t let this happen to your teenager. Give her the opportunity to grow and to learn about life. Give her the opportunity to know what it is to earn both failure and success. Give her the privilege of having a job. Allowing your teens to have a part-time job is one of the best things you can do for them to prepare them for real life. By allowing them to have a part-time job, you will be providing them with these benefits: • The opportunity to develop their people skills outside their peer group. Working in the public sector, your teen will come into contact with a variety of people and groups. Learning how to communicate and coexist with different groups of people is invaluable for life as an adult. • The opportunity to learn to take orders from someone other than you and their teachers. • The opportunity to learn money-management skills. Over 75% of college students have credit cards. Of those young people, 20 percent (18 to 24-year-olds) say they have credit card hardships. And the average credit card debt of a college graduate is $20,000 (not including student loans). Helping your teen learn to
manage hismoney while you still have the opportunity to keep a close eye on hisspending habits will only serve to hisgood later in life. • The opportunity to take responsibility. J and J aren’t required to clean their rooms, fold their laundry, do the dishes (they don’t even have to load the dishwasher), or take out the trash. One time 14-year-old J was asked to help dig a hole to plant a tree and didn’t even know how to hold a shovel. Responsible teens make for responsible adults. Parents who think their teens are suddenly going to become responsible when they go off to college or get a job after living the life of ease are living in LaLa Land. • An outlet for their time and energy. Teens who have after-school and/or weekend jobs are less likely to get into trouble. • A boost to their self-confidence and self-esteem. Earning money of their own, having responsibility and earning the respect of their employers is huge to anyone…including your teen. • The ability to investigate their interests-possibly even helping them to decide what career path to take. What kind of job should my teen have There are a number of things your teens can do to earn extra money. In smaller towns and rural areas, you may have to get a bit more creative, but the opportunities are there if they (your teens) are willing to look. parentingteens.com
Article Some of the possibilities include • Retail – although some retailers will be unable to hire those under 18 due to insurance and liability laws • The local movie theater • Babysitting – after-school care for elementary-aged children is a great way for teens to earn money. It’s only a few hours a day and gives them the opportunity to mentor younger children • Tutoring - scores of parents with young children enjoy the help of teens who are accomplished in math, Spanish, etc. • Yard work-a bit more seasonal, but still possible • Party assistant - responsible teens can sell their services to young parents to aid and assist at birthday parties. They can be in charge of games, clean-up and so forth. • Pet sitting and walking • Working in daycare facilities • Fast food • Farm hands • Cleaning jobs (houses or businesses) • If your teen is a talented artist or craftsman, she can sell hercreations online and in local gift shops and boutiques • Computer classes for the elderly-teaching senior citizens how to send and receive pictures from their grandchildren and to communicate on Facebook What sort of restrictions should there be Besides the obvious child labor laws that are in place, you should place the following restrictions on your teen
and his/her job: • School must come first. You need to keep an extra careful eye on your teen’s grades, school attendance and class participation. • Some jobs are unsafe and inappropriate for a teen. If your teen is working for a family or individual, make sure these people are law-abiding and reputable and won’t take advantage of your teen. • Late night hours. Don’t allow your teen to be out past her normal curfew except under occasional special circumstances. Teens who work parttime are better prepared to enter college and the real world, where they have to manage their own time and money. They are also generally more confident. So the question to you is this…why wouldn’t you want your teens to be prepared and confident? parentingteens.com
Don’t Major in the Minors No, not baseball-parenting your teenager. Throughout your child’s teenage years, you are going to have more opportunities to argue and fight with your teen than there are people in China. But you don’t want to do that, do you? Of course not. And neither does your teen. The key, then, is to decide which arguments or battles are worth pursuing and which ones aren’t. In other words-you don’t want to major in the minors. parentingteens.com
Article Minors No, not the underage kind. The minors we are talking about here are the arguments and disagreements that aren’t really worth haggling over, the ones in which the outcome won’t really make a difference next week…next month…a year from now. Minors are those things that you don’t like or understand but that don’t cause any real harm to your teen or anyone else. Sometimes these minors my cause you to feel embarrassed or think everyone is thinking ill of your teen because of the way he looks, but remember…you can’t judge a book by its cover. Case in point: Matt stands over six foot tall and weighs in at about 280 pounds. He’s a top-notch chemical engineer whose hobby is body building. He is an honest, intelligent young man; he is also a devoted husband and serves faithfully in his church. He was just as conscientious during his college years, too. But some people wouldn’t have believed it by looking at him. You see, Matt dyed his blond hair a different color nearly every week-alternating between orange, blue, green, yellow, purple and red. Each Sunday when Matt and his girlfriend Becky (now his wife) came into church, it was fun to see what color his hair would be. Some of the minors you need to let go of include these: • Hairstyles/hair colors. As long as their hair is not hiding their eyes (which prevents them from making eye contact and being a safe driver), it’s not that big
of a deal. Besides, give it a few months or even a year, and it will most likely end up being refashioned into something completely opposite. • A few extra piercings. It is completely within reason to set a limit as long as they are underage and living under your roof, but it’s not the end of the world. • Music. As long as the lyrics aren’t violent, sexually explicit or condoning illegal acts, let it go. Not everyone can have great taste (that’s code for being a die-hard rock and roll fan). • Clothing styles. Again, as long as the clothes your teen wants to wear aren’t suggestive, dirty or go against school dress codes, let it go. • Room cleanliness. As long as it doesn’t smell and present a health hazard to your home or the neighborhood…. • School work. Okay, so this one is a little tricky, but here’s the deal…. If at this point in your teen’s life you are having to remind, hound, nag and prod her to do her homework, your teen is seriously lacking in the responsibility and self-discipline departments. And at this stage in life, no amount of nagging and prodding is going to do any good. You need to let go and let her suffer the consequences of her actions. • Career choices. The fact that you’ve always dreamed of handing the family business over to your teen doesn’t mean that is what he wants. Or maybe you feel he needs to attend your alma mater, but he has another school in mind. It is his life, remember. Just like you made your parentingteens.com
Article choices, you need to allow your teen to make his. Really? Just let it go? Essentially, yes. Just let it go. You may have to bite your tongue or sit on your hands more than you want to, but ask yourself the following questions: • Is what my teen doing illegal or a danger to him/herself or anyone else? • How did your parents handle these situations? How did you feel about their handling of these situations? • Will “putting your foot down” and demanding change or compliance make a difference in the outcome of her life? No, really, will it? • Why don’t you like what your teen is doing? Does it embarrass you? Is it disrespectful and truly offensive or just annoying? Let your honest answers to these questions serve as a ruler for measuring which “battles” you choose to pursue. Majors Majors are those things that really do matter. Majors are defiant, disrespectful, dangerous and possibly life-altering acts. These are the “biggies” -the actions that, as a parent, you cannot allow to be a part of your teen’s life...or of the dynamics of your family. Majors include these items: • Drug use • Alcohol use-alcohol may be legal, but underage drinking never is • Bullying or stalking • Violent or sexually explicit music, movies or video games • Lying, stealing and cheating
• Sexual promiscuity or teen pregnancy • Defiance of family rules & expectations • Disrespect for those in authority (the law, teachers, etc.) • Unsafe driving • Physical and/or mental abuse of anyone or anything • Inflicting harm on themselves via cutting, starving or binging/purging (i.e., eating disorders) or other similarly dangerous acts It’s often difficult for parents to admit their teens are caught up in activities or behaviors that can be classified as majors. But it happens-it happens to the best families. If it happens to your family, don’t be so proud or embarrassed that you ignore the problem thinking either a) your teen would never do such a thing or b) it’s just a phase that will pass if you don’t make a big deal out of it. Major issues need to be handledwith love but also with firm and unwavering resolve. It may not be easy, but focus on the fact that dealing with the problem effectively is for the good of your teen and your family. Once last thought… By not majoring in the minors, your teen will be less apt to tune you out when you speak. A parent who gives their teens the freedom to experience life in the “minor leagues” is a parent who will likely have fewer majors to deal with and a parent whose teens are more likely to listen and communicate openly and honestly. It’s a classic case of “less is more.”
What Real Teens
Are Saying About Sex
percent of teens between the ages of 13 & 8 have sex with more than one partner during their teen years Most of these teens admit to having more than one sex partner in a year!
Other statistics on teenage sex include the fact that the use of birth control pills by teenage girls hasnâ€™t risen over 1 or 2 percent over the 15 years.
Not surprisingly, teenage pregnancy has risen in some areas of the country over that same period of time.
Research These statistics aren’t something parents of teens like to see. In fact, they’re downright scary. Parents want to believe-no, they need to believe-that their teenager isn’t part of those statistics. Every parent wants to believe that their teen is one of the 25 percent. But three out of four parents reading this right now are living in a fantasy land. What do teens think about sex Okay, now that you’ve stopped laughing at what seems to be such a ridiculous question, let’s take a look at what today’s teens have to say when asked that very question. Why not? It’s not like it’s anything bad. Everybody has sex. I don’t know what the big deal is.~Jonah I wish everyone would just get the _______ out of my business. It’s my body and I’ll do what I want to do.~Korynn
When I was in junior high, our youth minister did this lesson on sex. He spit in a glass of soda, stirred it around and asked who wanted a drink. Of course no one did, but he said that’s what it’s like when you have sex with more than one person. It really made an impression on me. I really like-maybe even love my girlfriend, but I’m going to wait until I get married.~Seth My older sister is a slut. She had an abortion and then got pregnant again. By the time she had the baby, she had another boyfriend. Are you kidding me? I don’t care if I ever have a boyfriend, ever have sex or a kid. From what I can see, sex is nothing but trouble. ~Lacey I want a wife someday who I don’t have to worry is comparing me to someone else when we’re having sex. I want a wife who is a virgin on our wedding night because I know I will be.~Weston
Worrying about sex before marriage is so old school. So you have sex-as long as you’re careful it’s not a big deal. Besides, the first time I had sex it hurt like hell. So the way I see it-getting a little practice before you get married will make things better on your honeymoon.~Grayce parentingteens.com
Research I think you should do what you want. If you want to have sex, then do. But if you don’t want to, then no one should make you feel bad for waiting. It’s as much of a personal choice as anything else.~Shaina My mom got pregnant with me in high school. All I know about my dad is that his name is Michael…or Jacob…or Josh. No thanks! I know she loves me, but she’s talked about the “what if ’s” more than once. I don’t want to take that chance. I don’t know that I think sex before marriage is wrong, but I know it’s wrong for me.~Caleb I had sex when I was 15. I really wish I hadn’t done it because I’m a different person now. I wish more than anything I was completely pure for the guy I marry someday. You’re so immature when you’re 15 even though you think you know it all. I’m 19 now and oh, how I wish I could take that night back.~Katy You can call me old-fashioned. You can call me a prude. You can call me whatever you want-but I believe we’re supposed to save ourselves for marriage and that we’re supposed to only have sex with the person we marry. I don’t know how anyone can think it’s okay or right or good. Look at what a mess it makes of everyone’s life: unplanned pregnancies, diseases, people talking about you.~Cassie My boyfriend and I didn’t mean to have sex. We just got carried away. It happened once and then twice and then I was pregnant. My boyfriend wanted to do the right thing-he said he’d marry me and be the best father he could possibly be, but I could tell he was scared to death. So was I. About a week after we told our parents I had a miscarriage. I hate to say this, but it was kind of a relief. I didn’t want to be a mom. I have my whole life ahead of me. You think it won’t happen to you-but it can and it does. My advice is don’t have sex until you are ready to deal with the emotional and physical consequences. Oh, and by the way…my boyfriend and I broke up a few days after I miscarried. We’d been together for almost three years but the stress was just too much. Girls…don’t do it-it’s just not worth it.~Sarah I’ve done just about every girl I’ve gone out with. What’s the big deal? What else is there to do on a date?.~Cody
If we weren’t supposed to have sex, we wouldn’t the parts or the feelings.~Alicia parentingteens.com
That’s quite a variety of thoughts and opinions, isn’t it? Where do you think your teen’s opinion fits into the mix? Do you know? Do you want to know? You need to know. You also need to know why your teens feel the way they do. Why teens have sex…or not Okay, another somewhat obvious question, but keep reading. Teenagers may not have the best judgment, but they do have minds of their own and think for themselves. They even have standards. Some are much looser or weaker than others, but they have standards just the same. For the most part, a teen’s standards are based largely on how he is raised. The old saying that you live what you learn is pretty “spot-on.”Yes, the whole rebellion “thing” is alive and kicking, but somewhere under that exterior is a child who is mirroring his home life. Teens who are raised in a home where a relationship with God is valued and lived will usually (not always) adopt the same standards for themselves. When strong moral standards and faith-based belief is absent in the home, teens look in other places for their standards: • Their friends • Media-whatever will make them cool, popular or accepted • Peer pressure from their partners (the old “if you love me” routine) • Reality television-the shows that portray teen pregnancy as glamorous (they get their own TV show, don’t they?) is about as far from reality as it gets • A way of life-some teens are secondand third-generation teen moms
Now what Now that you’ve seen for yourself what teens are saying, it’s time for you to get real with your teen. Ask her how she feels. Tell her you are there to help her sort out her emotions and thoughts. Tell her what you thought and experienced as a teen in regards to sex. That’s right-be honest with your teen about your teenage years. If your story isn’t something you’re proud of, you don’t necessarily have to go into detail, but you should tell her how you felt about the choices you made, why you made them, how they affected you, and how you feel about them now. By sharing your life-reminding your teen that you’ve been where she’s at – you will help her feel less like she is being grilled and drilled and more like you are really interested in being there for her. Don’t be upset or disappointed if she doesn’t respond well (or at all). Just let her know that as her parent, this is something you feel the two of you need to talk about. This is where sharing your story is particularly helpful. Once she sees you open up,she will be much more likely to do the same. Whatever your stance is on teen sex, it is important that your teen knows that sex is life-changing, an emotional act as much or more than a physical act, and that giving herself sexually is something that is hers and only hers to give. parentingteens.com
Parenting Teens for a Living Nestled in the rural community of Kahoka, Missouri is Shiloh Christian Childrenâ€™s Home. The home is supported solely by donations from people who want to partner with the people at Shiloh to provide a Godly home to children who are in need of loving, consistent and solid parenting and a secure environment.
For the past 15 years, Kenny and Beth Penfield have served as homeparents at Shiloh. Throughout this time, Kenny and Beth have opened their hearts and lives in an effort to show teens as well as younger children what a home really is and what is possible when you love others and yourself the way God intends us to love.
Research Parentingteens.com spoke with Beth about their lives as homeparents and what it’s like to love teens that aren’t always very loveable. My husband and I worked with children in the youth group of the church we attended before we were married. After we married, my husband, who was a youth minister, was always extremely concerned about the kids that didn’t get what they needed spiritually, emotionally, or physically at home. We both were. Little did we know, this was God’s way of giving us a little clue as to what lay ahead…a fairly long distance down the road. While in Indiana serving as youth ministers, we worked with a minister who later became director of Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch. It meant nothing to us at the time, however. In fact, we left Indiana a short time later and spent the next ten years in Kenny’s hometown in Missouri working in retail, serving as volunteer youth leaders, and having a family of our own. But something was missing. We missed being in full-time ministry. During one of the many times I was pouring my heart out to God in prayer, asking for direction for our family, God gave me the word “Shiloh.” It was on a road sign for a small town as we were driving down the road, but when I saw it, I knew. We both knew. Shiloh was where we belonged. That was 15 years ago. Even though we knew it was what we were supposed to do, it wasn’t completely easy.For one
thing, we thought we had our house sold before we left, but it fell through. We also had three children of our own ranging from preschool to junior high. But through it all, every time we’d get nervous, God gave peace. We felt he was asking us to give him one year to allow him to show us what he had in mind. He did. One year to the day that we began our ministry at Shiloh, our house sold. It was a kind of a seal of approval and confirmation on what we had begun to do. We were going to be spending the next however many years as homeparents. PT: What criteria do you use for selecting the children that come to your home at Shiloh? The children we welcome to Shiloh go through a process which begins at our main office. This is usually in the form of a phone call between our directorship and the parent/guardian of the child and their concern for their child. They also fill out an extensive application containing questions and medical/school releases so we can learn more about the child. A counseling team reviews the application and discusses which home setting might best fit each individual child. For instance, a home filled with teenage girls would not be a good fit for a parentingteens.com
Research teenage boy who has been dealing with sexual issues. The file is then passed on to a set of homeparents to review. Homeparents then set a time to have the child and the parent/guardian visit their home. This time is spent learning a bit more about the child and their current home situation as well as the concerns and goals the parent/guardian has for the child. The child is also shown around site and introduced to other staff/homeparents. After the interview, homeparents and parents/guardians have five days to discuss, pray about, and decide if the child will be coming to Shiloh. Some of the things taken into consideration are the number of children in the home already, the child’s issues and how they will affect the other children already living there, and the child’s emotional/physical needs. PT: Do you find it more or less difficult when the biological family remains somewhat involved? Why or why not? Throughout our fifteen 15 years here at Shiloh, we’ve had over 60 children in our home, so we’ve had children whose parents or guardians have been very involved and some we never hear from. It can be a help if there is open communication between the homeparents and parent/guardian-especially if they are open to suggestions/guidance in dealing with issues with their child and are willing to make changes as needed in the home environment for reunification.
But if the home situation does not change and the child does (which is almost always the case), involvement with the parents or guardian can have a negative effect. We have had divorced parents who try to keep the child “on their side” in their letters and conversations…parents who make promises [like]“when you change this_________________, you can come home,” but don’t keep their promise. Sometimes a marriage needs repair in order to make the couple happier, healthier parents. The separation, if handled right on both ends with each getting counseling/guidance/change needed, can be effective for healing. But each child…each situation is unique. PT: How do you overcome feelings of not connecting with a certain child? Or does that happen? When a child arrives in our home, we can set up all the right environments – safe boundaries, parental involvement, introducing them to God in daily life, a bed of their own, etc. - but to no avail. They usually come into our home with a wall built around them. They have trust issues and are suspicious. They just don’t understand how living here will be any different than living at home. Through time, hard work, lots of love, patience and prayer, though, most of the kids come around. They realize that what we have to offer is genuine and sincere and they let those walls fall down. Unfortunately, there is the occasional child who refuses to budge. They don’t parentingteens.com
Research want to connect with anyone or share any part of themselves with anyone. As a result, we are forced to let them return home before they are ready. For instance, we had a girl who kept running away from us and, in actuality, trying to run from her problems. We’re not a prison or lock-down facility. It just wasn’t going to happen, so we had to send her back home. That’s hard-knowing we wanted to do more for her. Accepting that it is not in our hands is a humbling experience, and the parental feeling of failure often tugs at our hearts, but we’ve learned to trust in His wisdom, not ours and pray for intervention from someone else. PT: What are your goals for the children that come into your home? Short range and long range? Each child comes into the home with a variety of short and long-term goals. Short term may involve learning how to respect authority, follow directions, make eye contact, not lie, complete homework rather than hiding it, etc. Long-term may be to become a truth-teller, better study skills, overcome addictions, graduate from high school, learn to express feelings verbally rather than acting out physically and being cooperative and accountable for their actions. PT: What happens to the children when they leave your home? Each child comes for a variety of reasons and each returns for the same. We ask that parents or guardians allow their child to be with us for a minimum of a year, but time here depends on
their personal situation as well as their life back home. We have had 15of “our” children graduate from high school while they lived here. Their future is determined in part by the amount of encouragement they get from their parents or guardians, their determination, and the changes they’ve made in their lives while they live here. Some of our graduates returned to their hometown and found jobs and some have married and are now raising families of their own. Some go on to college-one has received her master’s in biology and works in a cancer research program at Mayo. We try to remain in contact with them via Facebook, snail mail and even visits back to the house. We want them to know they can call whenever and that though they may not live here any parentingteens.com
Research longer, they remain in our hearts as family. Our biological son is getting married this spring and one of the girls who lived with us several years ago has already bought a bus ticket to come for his wedding. She lived with us for eight years-she grew up with him. They could have been fraternal twins the way they acted. PT: If they go to their family, how successful are they at retaining what they get from you all when they return to their original surroundings? Success is a relative word. Success may be the girl who realized she wanted more in life and did not end up a teenage mom at 13 like her mother did. Or it may be getting through the week without physically fighting. Success is also determined by what life is like back home. We’ve seen the most “success” when parents are willing to adapt their parenting skills to what the child needs most. This is especially evident when a child has come to us from a home with few or no boundaries. When they return, they know what it is to feel the security and safety of boundaries and rules. One of “our”girls returned home her junior year of high school. She called me crying, saying she wished her guardian
would just say “no” sometimes. Not saying “no” sent the message that her guardian didn’t care about her. Fortunately in her case, she met a young lady who became a great accountability person for her and she called us one day saying “Ma! I get it! All you guys tried to teach me! I get it!” PT: If they leave because they are of age, what usually happens? Do they “make it?” I wish I could say 100 percent“make it”...unfortunately I can’t. What we try to do here is correct or re-train 10 to 15 years of messed up thinking. It may work well while in our secure environment but as they say “in the real world” they often have a difficult time putting their new skills to use. Some fail terribly...some do okay…and some fall but pick themselves back up and learn from their mistakes. PT: What would you say arethe most satisfying and most difficult things about your ministry? The most satisfying aspect of our ministry at this point is hearing from many of our former kids who are now raising families of their own. As we post pictures of family activities we are doing now, they will write things like “I miss that!” or comment on a favorite memory of theirs. Some have also shared with us how they have restored their relationship with their own parents so their child can have grandparents. The most difficult aspect is to have a child leave-especially if they are returning home before they are really parentingteens.com
Research ready or the home is ready and unresolved issues are going with them. The momma part of me loves them enough to let them go but still battles the “what if” syndrome of what if I had tried this or that with them. PT: What would you say to parents who are faced with raising a child who is deeply troubled? Raising children is not an easy task by any means…for a married couple in a traditional family, let alone those with stepchildren, single parents, foster children or raising a grandchild. Communication with your child is a must…create an atmosphere of being there for your child…at their activities, at meals, at home. It’s okay to say no to your child, before the trouble begins.
Set boundaries and be consistent in following through with them. Set the standard and realize you and your child will make mistakes and learn and grow from them…together. For those raising a deeply troubled child, seek help. If they won’t talk with you, find a Christian counselor/role model they can share with. Don’t throw out countless warnings or threats (if you don’t stop…I’ll call the cops/you’ll go to such and such home/etc.). Raising a difficult or rebellious child takes tough love…often it means taking a step back or separating from the situation for a time of healing and training for you both. Remember you are the parent, not your child’s best friend, and he is counting on you.
If you are in need of counseling or help for your family, you can contact Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch at www.shilohranch.org.
Savvy Shopping for your Teens While not all teenagers are shopaholics, there is no denying the fact that your teenager needs clothing, shoes and possibly athletic uniforms or clothing not provided by the school.
Now while there is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping at big-box discount stores, it’s not fair to automatically assume they will have the best prices. Nor is it fair to think that buying name-brand always assures you of better quality. So…that leaves you with finding the happy medium. Well, that and a few other shopping tricks to stretch your teen shopping budget. How to shop The first rule of shopping for a teen is to not buy anything she will wear in public without her approval. It’s only fair, you know. Would you let her shop for you without your approval? The second rule of shopping for a teen is setting a budget and sticking with it. Your teen needs to know upfront how much is in his clothing budget. He should (within reason) be allowed to spend it as he sees fit, but if he wants anything more, he needs to be responsible for covering the cost. EXAMPLE: My son wanted a jacket-but not just any jacket. He wanted one that cost nearly $100. With four kids to buy for, that was a bit of a stretch for us. We came to an agreement-we would pay half. And you know what? When we parentingteens.com parentingteens.com 35
Research went to buy the jacket, he decided he didn’t want it badly enough to spend his money on it. We ended up finding one that cost less than the $50 we had agreed to pay. We saved money, and my son learned a valuable lesson in the value of money and spending wisely. o with your younger teens. They’re not quite mature enough to know if things are well made, fit properly and are a wise purchase. As for your older teens…if you trust their judgment, let them go. But if you are fortunate enough to have the same type of relationship I have with my daughters, you’ll be able to enjoy shopping together…and for both to come home with a few new fun things to wear. Don’t forget to shop using discount codes and coupons and reward points on credit cards. WARNING: Only use your credit card IF you can and will pay the balance in full each month. Carrying a balance costs you enough in interest to expand your budget in other areas. Where to shop Chances are your teens already have their favorite stores in the mall or websites. But it never hurts to scout out a few new ones. Plus, if you live in a small town or rural community, your retail choices may be severely limited. In these instances, online shopping or trips to the city will likely constitute your shopping experiences. The following online sites are safe, proven and definite favorites of teens everywhere. • www.modcloth.com girls clothing and accessories
• www.eastbay.com athletic clothing, equipment and shoes for all types of sports and casual wear for both sexes • www.amazon.com what can’t you get off Amazon? • www.zulily.com this site has something for everyone-the deals change every two to four days, but the discounts are deep, and the brands are both world-famous and hidden gems • Most major manufacturers allow you to purchase online. These include FOREVER 21, JCPENNEY, AEROPOSTALE, AMERICAN EAGLE, dELiA*s, H&M, and oh so many more. When new isn’t necessary There are a few instances when new just isn’t necessary, the main one being formal wear for school dances. No one wears these dresses more than once or twice. Shopping resale shops is completely acceptable for such events. If your daughter is worried she’ll show up in her friend’s last year’s dress or the one her boyfriend’s older sister wore a couple years ago to her senior prom, visit a resale shop in a nearby community. OR…shop retail clearance racks after season. THE DEB is an especially good choice for shopping for clearance formal wear. Two of my daughters purchased exquisite dresses there for a mere $18 each!!!! Other nearly-new items you can purchase includesports equipment, jeans (who doesn’t love a soft, not-too-worn pair of jeans) and costumes for school plays or costume parties. parentingteens.com
The Tie Between Self-Esteem &
Being Physically Fit
When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you look good. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds when you are a teenager-especially if you are a teenager who just isn’t into sports, exercise and all that “ jazz.” Do you have a teen in your home who dreads gym class? Do you have a teen in your home whose passion lies in speech, drama, art, music or in deciphering mathematical theories? That’s fabulous! But a healthy body makes for a healthy mind. That’s why Renee Temple, physical education teacher and coach at Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri, is so passionate about gearing her class time to focus on team effort and group participation rather than letting the star athletes lead the class - leaving the athletic wallflowers looking on in a) disgust or b) longing. parentingteens.com
Interview Renee, first of all, thank you for taking the time during your busy basketball season to share your thoughts with Parentingteens. Secondly, how do you structure your classes so that everyone gets a chance to participate without being put on the spot or made to feel uncomfortable? PT:
I structure my classes in such a way that the focus is on fitness, not competition. I set the expectations and guidelines for my class upfront. In my class it’s all about wellness and fitness-not athletic ability. I structure the class so that no one person dominates. I make sure everyone is respected and feels comfortable about contributing. PT: Do
you feel students who are highly self-conscious and completely non-athletic should be “forced” to participate in team competitions-even in class? Wouldn’t more individual sports such as swimming, archery, bowling and such be better suited for these kids? If the student signs up for the class, they are expected to participate and give it their best shot. Their “best shot” may never be THE best, but that’s fine. Not everyone’s best is always going to be THE best in any subject. We offer more individual sport-oriented classes if they want
to take them. But if everyone in class is following the expectations and guidelines, it’s not a problem. The education requirements for high school graduation don’t include many credits in PE. Do you agree with this? Or do you feel more required PE would help to decrease the rising obesity rate in teens and other health problems we are seeing? PT:
Right now students are required to take PE three times. Yes, I would like to see that raised to four. It would only serve to make our students healthier. Health and wellness-that’s what it is all about. What advice do you have for other PE teachers in regard to making everyone feel as though their class is “an equal opportunity employer?” PT:
I would advise teachers to make their curriculum both fair and attainable. Develop a set of goals that can be attained in stages. Teachers can also give students goals to work on at home. It is also important to keep your class neutral. Don’t let the athletes in the class dominate everything. And favoritism…don’t show it. Don’t even hint at it. We know funding for schools is a critical issue these days. If that were not the case, however, what PT:
parentingteens.com parentingteens.com 38
Interview NOTE: Renee Temple has been with the Springfield school system for 25 years, serving as a physical education teacher, girlsâ€™ basketball coach, and middle school track coach.
would you like to see implemented in your school (or all schools) to help with physical fitness for all students? I would love to see equipment that would allow the kids to work out at their own pace before and after school. Having the space and equipment to offer this gym-type atmosphere puts the emphasis on wellness and self-care. It would be great! PT: We
all know that even though kids spend the majority of their day in school, what they learn has to go beyond those doors. This is especially true with physical
education. What would you say to parents to enable them to build on what their teens are getting from your class-or any PE class, for that matter? Parents need to encourage their kids to be well-healthy. Being healthy is about so much more than being athletic. Itâ€™s about eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, being emotionally and spiritually healthy and about having positive relationships. When parents focus on overall health instead of being competitive, their children will feel better about themselves and their physical abilities. parentingteens.com
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