Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Do you speak teen?

With school starting back up, our teens will be out and about and on the move once again. Catching up with what is going on in their lives will become a thing of the past as they run from school to soccer practice to band concert to ice cream with a friend and on to study “dates”. If you think you know your teen’s world you may want to think again.

mnE Ps dnt bleev der is a gNR8N d/c b/t em n thr teen. (Text Message Translation: Many parents don’t believe there is a generation disconnect between them and their teen.) How much do parents really know about their teen’s world? Especially as teens adapt to new technologies so quickly?

Test Your Knowledge about Teen Life and Lingo:

1. What do “space cakes” and “skittles” have in common?

  • They are popular snacks
  • They are sold in many convenience stores
  • They are harmless-sounding names for drugs
  • They are sold as high-energy drinks and contain high doses of caffeine

2. Who have the media dubbed as “prosti-tots”?

  • Teenage girls who date older guys to get drugs
  • Scantily dressed teenage girls who emulate young, wild celebrities
  • Teens who bring more than one date to a party
  • Drug dealers who are known to deal to children

3. What is a “poke”?

  • Making fun of someone over text messaging
  • A new term for a teen’s car
  • An online form of flirtation on a social networking web site
  • A rude way to get someone’s attention in class

**Find The Answers at www.theantidrug.com/parentchronicles **

Teens may be a hard study, but knowing more about their world and the influences around them will help you connect better with your teen.

Research shows that parental monitoring is effective in reducing risky behaviors among teenagers. In fact, teens who are not regularly monitored by their parents are four times more likely to use illicit drugs1. And while 80% of parents believe that alcohol and marijuana are not available at the parties their teens attend, 50% of teen partygoers attend parties where alcohol, drugs or both are available2.

There is good news. The majority of teens still report that their parents – not their peers or the media – have the biggest influence on their decision to stay away from alcohol or drugs. Visit www.TheAntiDrug.com/parentchronicles to learn more about how parents like you are bridging the gap with their teens and helping to keep them drug free.

Action Items for Parents of Teens: These tasks take you a step closer to bridging the generation gap with your teen. To learn more about how parents like you are connecting better with their teens, try these action items.

  • Pick up your teen’s mp3 player and go to the “top 25 most played” section. Listen for references to alcohol, drugs, or other risky behaviors. Then talk with your teen about what you heard.
  • Visit social networking sites like MYSpace.com, and browse the profiles of teens your child’s age to see what they say, what their interests are and what they are doing online.
  • Can you name your teen’s favorite TV show? Watch it with him or her and discuss story lines.
  • Go to a video sharing web site and type in “smoking weed.” Watch some of the videos. Did you know that your teen might be exposed to these images?

1Metzler, Rusby, and Biglan. Community builders for success: monitoring after school activities. Oregon Research Institute. 1999

2The National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XI: Teens and Parents. The nationa Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. August 2006.

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