SexZeeNation- By Zee Adamu O’Shaugnessy

How to talk about sex without alienating your Teen

Oftentimes, your teen may seem unapproachable or extremely uncomfortable when talking to you about personal issues such as sex and sexuality. Here is a list of advice you may want to consider that can help prevent estranging your teen in the process:

Be clear about your values.values
Before you speak with your child about sexuality, think about what your values are. What do you believe? What does your faith tradition say? It is important to give your children factual information – and to be very specific about how your beliefs either agree with or differ from science.

Talk about facts vs. beliefs.factVSbelief
Sometimes, factual information can challenge a personal belief or what a faith community believes. This can provide an opportunity to make sure that your child both has accurate information and hears what your values are relating to it. It also provides an opportunity to explain that there are different beliefs in the community, that people are allowed to disagree with each other, and that differing views should be respected – as long as those views are based on ethics, responsibility, justice, equality, and nonviolence.

Practice what you preach…practice
Young people often find it confusing when parents talk about a value regarding sexuality and then act in a way that does not support that value. Some common values about sexuality and relationships that most people support include honesty, equality, responsibility, and respect for differences. Acting on your values and being a good role model are powerful messages for your children. On the other hand, your beliefs will not seem very important or valuable to your children if they don’t see you respect and abide by them yourself.

… But don’t preach.preach
Have a conversation with your children – don’t talk at them. Find out what they think and how they feel about sexuality and relationships. Then you will be able to share information and respond to questions in ways that will resonate with the belief system they are developing for themselves.

Encourage a sense of pride.pride
All children deserve to be wanted and loved, and parents can reinforce this message. Let them know you are interested in what they think and how they feel about any topic, whether it is sexuality, school, religion, the future, or whatever. When your children share feelings with you, praise them for it. Correct misinformation gently, and reinforce your values whenever possible.

Keep the conversation going.conversation
Too often, parents think they need to wait until they collect enough information and energy to be prepared to have “THE TALK” with their children. However, sexuality is a part of every person’s life from the moment he or she is born. It is important, therefore, to start the conversation early, and to make it clear to your children that you are always willing to talk about sexuality – whenever questions come up for them, or when a “teachable moment” occurs.

Keep your sense of humor!humor
Sexuality, in most of its aspects, can be a joyful topic for discussion in the family. Remember to keep your sense of humor throughout conversations with your child – the conversation doesn’t have to be tense and uncomfortable unless you make it that way.
Things to Remember and Other Tips

Things to Remember and Other Tips

Here is an additional list of some important things to remember throughout your interactions with your teen regarding the topic of sex. This list includes some additional tips and advice not covered in the previous sections.

  1. Teens need accurate information and decision-making skills to help protect them from: the pressure to have sex, unintended pregnancy, and contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
  2. If talking with your teen about sex is difficult for you, admit it.
  3. Don’t make the conversation tense; keep your sense of humor.
  4. Use the media (example: TV, movies, magazines, and articles) as well as real-life situations (example: a friend’s pregnancy) to begin talking about sex.
  5. Share your values regarding sex, but accept that your teen may choose to have sex despite these values.
  6. Asking questions about sex does not automatically mean that your teen is thinking about having sex. Don’t make assumptions.
  7. Ask your teen what they want to know about sex. If you don’t know the answer, admit it. Find the answers together.
  8. Talk with your teen about reasons to wait to have sex. Remind your teen that they can choose to wait (abstain) even if they have had sex before.
  9. Reassure your teen that not everyone is having sex, and that it is okay to be a virgin. The decision to become sexually active is too important to be based on what other people think or do.
  10. Talk with your teen about ways to handle pressure from others to have sex.
  11. To feel comfortable talking openly with you, your teen needs to know that you will not punish him or her for being honest.
  12. Leave age-appropriate articles or books about teenage sexuality around your home. Teens will pick them up on their own to read them (See the Additional Resources Section).
  13. Your first talk with your teen regarding sex should not be your last! Talk with your teen about sex on an ongoing basis. Let your teen know that you are always open and willing to talk about any questions or concerns they may have about sex.

Source:

Parenting Teens and Preteens

The Big Myth About Teenage Anxiety

Relax: The digital age is not wrecking your kid’s brain.

CreditCreditErik Carter

We hear a lot these days that modern digital technology is rewiring the brains of our teenagers, making them anxious, worried and unable to focus.

Don’t panic; things are really not this dire.

Despite news reports to the contrary, there is little evidence of an epidemic of anxiety disorders in teenagers. This is for the simple reason that the last comprehensive and representative survey of psychiatric disorders among American youth was conducted more than a decade ago, according to Kathleen Ries Merikangas, chief of the Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health.

There are a few surveys reporting increased anxiety in adolescents, but these are based on self-reported measures — from kids or their parents — which tend to overestimate the rates of disorders because they detect mild symptoms, not clinically significant syndromes.

So what’s behind the idea that teenagers are increasingly worried and nervous? One possibility is that these stories are the leading edge of a wave of anxiety disorders that has yet to be captured in epidemiological surveys. Or maybe anxiety rates have risen, but only in the select demographic groups — the privileged ones — that receive a lot of media attention.

But it’s more likely that the epidemic is simply a myth. The more interesting question is why it has been so widely accepted as fact.

One reason, I believe, is that parents have bought into the idea that digital technology — smartphones, video games and the like — are neurobiologically and psychologically toxic. If you believe this, it seems intuitive that the generations growing up with these ubiquitous technologies are destined to suffer from psychological problems. But this dubious notion comes from a handful of studies with serious limitations.

Some studies report an association between increased time spent on electronic communication and screens and lower levels of psychological well-being. The problem is that they show only correlation. It is entirely possible that teenagers who are more anxious and unhappy to start with are more drawn to smartphones to deflect their negative emotions than their better-adjusted peers.

Another group of studies use M.R.I. to examine the brains of young people who are “addicted” to internet video games, and report various structural and functional differences. For example, one study reported that a group of 17 teenagers with online gaming “addiction” had microstructural changes in various brain regions compared with a control group.

 

But, once again, these studies cannot tell us whether the brain abnormalities are the result of excessive internet use, or a pre-existing risk factor for it.

What about the claim that smartphones can be literally addicting, like illicit drugs? This appears to be based on a few M.R.I. studies that show that kids with online gaming “addiction” have enhanced activation in their brain’s reward pathway when shown gaming images.

No surprise there. If I scan your brain while showing you whatever it is that turns you on — sex, chocolate or money, say — your reward pathway will light up like a Christmas tree. But that hardly means you are addicted to these things.

The real question is whether digital technology can produce the enduring changes in the brain that addictive drugs do. There is little evidence that this is the case. And while an alcoholic deprived of his drink can go into life-threatening withdrawal, I have yet to see an adolescent in the emergency room with smartphone withdrawal — just a sullen teenager who wants his device back.

Considering all this, why do so many parents still insist that their teenager has a problem with anxiety? I fear that it reflects a cultural shift toward pathologizing everyday levels of distress.

There is a difference between an anxiety disorder and everyday anxiety. The first impairs people’s ability to function because they suffer from excessive anxiety even when there is little or nothing to be anxious about. The second is a perfectly normal and rational response to real stress. Teenagers — and people of all ages — will and should feel anxious occasionally.

Some would argue that young people today are more worried because the world is now in a more parlous state, what with intense competition for college and the lingering effects of the Great Recession, among other factors. Sure, but then that anxiety is an appropriate response to life’s challenges — not a disorder.

 

Of course this is anecdotal, but as a psychiatrist, I haven’t seen an increase in the number of patients suffering from true anxiety disorders, who need therapy and often medication to keep their affliction in check. What I have noticed is that more of my young patients worry a lot about things that don’t seem so serious, and then worry about their worry.

A few patients in their early 20s, for example, were under a lot of stress at work, and were alarmed by a few nights of poor sleep. None of them were clinically depressed, yet they were convinced that their insomnia would seriously impair their work or make them physically sick. All were surprised and easily reassured when I told them there was little cause for concern. Why, I wondered, didn’t they know this without me?

I got a clue when, for the first time a few years ago, I received a phone call from the mother of a teenage patient. She was concerned that her son was unhappy in the wake of a breakup with his girlfriend and asked me to call him to “check on him.”

Since there was nothing more than a vague worry about his unhappiness — a perfectly normal response to romantic disappointment — I told her that he could always contact me if he needed to.

Since then, I have received similar calls from parents worried about their teenagers’ ability to handle everyday adversity — for example, underperforming on a high-stakes exam or failing to get a summer job.

These well-meaning parents are conveying to their kids that their emotional responses to difficult but ordinary experiences are not to be taken in stride, but viewed as something needing clinical attention.

The truth is that our brains are both more resilient and more resistant to change than we think. The myth of an epidemic of anxiety disorder rooted in a generation’s overexposure to digital technology reveals an exaggerated idea about just how open to influence our brains really are.

 

Yes, our brain has evolved to learn and extract critical information from the environment, but there are limits to neuroplasticity. Even when we are young and impressionable, our brains have molecular and structural brakes that control the degree to which they can be rewired by experience (and these tighten as we age).

This is a good thing; without these limits, we would be at risk of overwriting — and losing — accumulated knowledge that is critical to our survival, to say nothing of our identity.

It’s good to keep in mind that the advent of new technology typically provokes medical and moral panic. Remember all those warnings that TV would cause brain rot? Never happened. The notion that the brain is a tabula rasa that can be easily transformed by digital technology is, as yet, the stuff of science fiction.

So don’t assume that there’s something wrong with your kid every time he’s anxious or upset. Our teenagers — and their brains — are up to the challenges of modern life.

 

Richard A. Friedman is a professor of clinical psychiatry and the director of the psychopharmacology clinic at the Weill Cornell Medical College, and a contributing opinion writer.

This Is Why You Should Take Your Kids To The Park After School

Getting out and about in the great outdoors could give your kids a head start in school, according to a new study.

The research looked at the working memory of almost 5,000 children in different urban areas of England and found those who lived in places with more green spaces performed better than those who did not.

The researchers raised the possibility that children from richer families may typically live in leafier areas and may also have better access to education. But they found socioeconomic status did not actually make a difference, as green space appeared to improve children’s memory regardless of their family wealth.

MSTUDIOIMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES

The research, published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology, looked at the spatial working memory of junior school children. Spatial working memory is responsible for recalling information about our environment and is known to be linked to academic achievement.

Children in the study completed computerised tasks measuring their ability to retain visual information and to manipulate remembered items in working memory. The researchers then analysed these results against data detailing the availability of green space in their area.

“Our findings suggest a positive role of greenspace in cognitive functioning. Spatial working memory is an important cognitive ability that is strongly related with academic achievement in children, particularly mathematics performance,” said study author Dr Eirini Flouri, of University College London.

“If the association we established between neighborhood greenspace and children’s spatial working memory is causal, then our findings can be used to inform decisions about both education and urban planning.”

By Rachel Moss

A Third Of Mums Think They Are Better Parents Than Their Partner

A third of women consider themselves to be a better parent than their partner, according to new research from YouGov, while a third of men think they are a worse parent than their partner.

Around half of all the parents surveyed who were raising a child with a partner said they think they and their co-parent are both equally good (54% of men, 53% of women).

But 34% of women felt they were better at parenting than their partner, while 32% of men said they considered their partner to be the better parent. The survey included both heterosexual and same-sex parents.

Only 6% of women felt their partners were better, and similarly, just 6% of men believe themselves a better parent than their partner.

The survey of 1,000 parents with kids under 18 found that anxiety is high among parents of both genders – over two thirds said they worry either “very often” or “often” about how well they are raising their children.

Yet the majority of both mums and dads actually consider themselves to be “good” parents.

YOUGOV

Mums were more likely than dads to worry about how well they were parenting, and the more highly people rated their parenting skills, the less likely they were to worry.

Among self-reported “excellent” fathers, 56% worry very or quite frequently, compared to 60% of “excellent” mothers.

YOUGOV

Six in ten (58%) of all parents who consider their parenting to be “excellent” say they worry “very often” or “quite often” – a percentage that rises to to 71% among self-described “good” parents and 76% among those believing their child-rearing skills are “average”.

The majority of mums and dads (55%) consider themselves to be “good” parents. One in eight (13%) go even further, calling themselves “excellent” parents, while a quarter (26%) feel that they are only “average” parents.

Ben Glanville, Head of YouGov Omnibus UK said: “Our data confirms how fretful parents can be when it comes to how they are raising their children.

“Generally, it is positive situation, with the majority of mums and dads rating themselves as good parents.

“A notable part of the study is the number of fathers that say their partner is the ‘better’ parent, and the percentage of mothers that say that they themselves are.”

By Brogan Driscoll

Mum’s Heart-Wrenching Poem About Childhood Cancer And Chemo Will Bring You To Tears

‘It’s crying in the shower, because you have to be

SAM WIGGINS:Talisein, 7, just finished 
chemotherapy treatment for a rare form of cancer.

 

A mum has written a poignant poem about what life is like when your child has cancer, which has helped other parents feel less alone in their struggles.

Sam Wiggins, 39, from Somerset, wrote the piece when her son Talisein was undergoing chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer called langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) which he was diagnosed with in 2017.

“He was six when he was diagnosed, he’s now seven,” Sam told HuffPost UK. “He is an identical twin, so he’s had to spend lots of time away from his twin, who until he became poorly, he had never been apart from.”

The mum-of-seven, who works part-time at Co-op and runs her own business making weighted blankets and special needs clothing, shared the poem in a support group on Facebook and swiftly found it resonated with other parents.

“Being told your child has cancer is the worst thing I think a parent can ever be told,” she said. “Second to there’s nothing they can do.”

SAM WIGGINS
Sam (right) with her son Talisein after finishing chemotherapy.

In the poem she talks about rubbing her son’s legs at midnight because the chemotherapy made them hurt, and holding a bowl for him while he was sick – another brutal side effect of treatment.

 

Commenting on the post, which was shared almost 500 times, Jim Bassi uploaded a photo of his child and wrote: “Thank you for summing up the experience so well.”

Cheryl Wilde wrote: “I see you…. I was you. My warrior lost the battle after seven years fighting.”

Talisein underwent a year of chemotherapy and steroid treatments, and spent a lot of time in hospital with infections. “During his admissions we met lots of other families going through a cancer diagnosis with their children,” Sam explained. “Sadly over the last year I have followed lots of beautiful warriors, and said goodbye to far too many.”

Her son recently finished chemotherapy and got to ring a bell in hospital to mark the occasion. Sam said he’s “doing really well” at the moment, despite not knowing whether the treatment has worked.

“He is due his first post treatment scan later this month, when we will find out if his LCH is still stable, or if it has grown, and he needs more chemo. LCH is a bit of a tricky one as you never get remission from it, its either active or inactive.”

She added: “I have seven children, so the last year has been very difficult trying to juggle childcare, hospital, home and work. But we made it, and he’s well, so I’m happy.”

 

POETIC JUSTICE 86-By Mshinaram Warigon Ahrey

OBILOR MY SON

Obilor my son
The first one to bless my loins
Obilor, the sun
I hoped you’d hold fast to your loins
Indeed I was a teen, nary an adult
When youthful exuberance
Took me to the maiden of John Holt
I returned home in a prance
Nine months later, you were born
The village was scandalized
Because I was in Christ Reborn
So, my name was bastardized

Obilor my only son
To the unwary, we could pass as brothers
I begot you, my son
When I was fifteen,the last of my brothers
And my mother raised you
With the discipline of the military
I had high hopes for you
I wanted you in the revered Gentry

Alas, Obilor my son
You were a chip off the old block
A vicious circle done
Sure, the fates feasted on the clock
I am only twenty nine
Already a grandfather
Obilor, the son of mine
At fifteen is too a father

The girl I want to marry has picked a race
She did outrun the mythical Atlantha
She said she’d be a bride with young face
Not a grandma from Georgia’s Atlanta
I scratch my head, which isn’t yet grey
My tongue is heavy like a dead stone
I am in a quagmire, needing to pray
Should I expiate my sin and atone?

Or should I be proud and drink bourguignon?
®©William Warigon2018.Pic.Credit:Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Kissing babies on the lips could cause them dental problems: Scientists warn pecks and smooches can lead to cavities

It has long been regarded a sign of affection and a form of bonding.

But research suggests kissing your baby on the lips can actually give them cavities.

Finnish scientists warned just a peck, or a smooch, can spread harmful bacteria from parent to baby.

Even sharing spoons can raise the risk of dental problems, as bacteria that causes cavities can be passed on in saliva.

The latest study confirms mounting evidence that stretches back decades to show that kissing babies can damage their teeth.

Finnish scientists warned just a peck, or even sharing a spoon, can spread harmful bacteria from parent to baby

Researchers at the University of Oulo, led by Jorma Virtanen, published their findings in the journal BioMed Central Oral Health.

They quizzed 313 mothers about their thoughts on their health knowledge and their behaviours, such as sharing a spoon with their child.

They were also asked about how often they brush their teeth, smoking habits, age and level of education. These can alter someone’s risk of cavities.

The scientists were concerned as the results showed 38 per cent of mothers kissed their child on the lips and 14 per cent shared a spoon with their child.

However, 11 per cent were under the belief that oral bacteria cannot be transmitted from mother to child.

They called for further awareness to be given to new parents to advise them on how to avoid sharing bad bacteria with their children.

WHY DOES KISSING CHILDREN LEAD TO TEETH ROT?

Parents often kiss their children to show signs of affection but one dentist claimed in February that doing so runs a major health risk.

Dr Michael Chong, a pediatric dental specialist from the Gold Coast, said mothers and fathers with active dental decay could risk passing on their bacteria to their children.

‘The damaging and non-damaging bacteria is spread through the transfer of saliva, and is most likely to pass to infants around or even before the time of baby teeth erupting,’ he told The Sunday Mail.

It comes after an Australian dentist last month re-iterated the widespread warnings over the dangers of giving youngsters a peck.

Dr Michael Chong, who practices on the Gold Coast, stressed parents should get a check-up for any cavities before they do so.

He said that if parents unknowingly have cavities themselves, they risk passing on their damaging oral bacteria to their children.

Dr Chong also suggested parents avoid blowing on their child’s food to cool it down. And he said tasting a meal to check the temperature should be avoided.

Other common mummy-hacks to steer clear of include pre-chewing baby’s food, and cleaning dummies by sucking on them before handing them to bub, he said.

Kissing a baby on the lips doesn’t just raise the risk of oral cavities, however.

A heartbroken couple revealed last summer that their 18-day-old baby daughter died after she contracted herpes through a kiss.

Shane and Nicole Sifrit, from Iowa, said their daughter was infected with meningitis HSV-1, which is caused by the herpes virus, also responsible for cold sores.

Culled from Mailonline