Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Door of Hope for Teens

There is help, only a call away.
Door of Hope 4 Teens is a Christian-based free counseling resource for young women and teens who struggle with self-injury. We provide help via a toll free support line, instant messaging, e-mail and a local youth group. Our team of counselors rotate around set posted hours to pray, encourage, help and direct young people towards recovery through the saving knowledge and power of Jesus Christ.

Our aim is to get teens the help they need in their local communities. This help may come in the form of linking young people with a local church or para-church organization which will help the young people overcome self injury on an ongoing basis.  Door of Hope will call for you and contact local pastors and youth pastors in order to involve you with a church and/or youth group.  We believe the local church is what God has ordained to help people. Likewise, Door of Hope provides referrals to hospital and mental heath professionals in your local area to help those who need crisis intervention and medical treatment.

Door of Hope 4 Teens provides additional help by mailing out at no cost to you: Bibles, books and media resources to help teens better understand self-injury and to help them learn healthy Godly coping mechanisms to overcome their struggle.

Door of Hope 4 Teens gathers young people for spiritual retreats, youth meetings, and seminars to help young people on a more personal one-on-one level.  On a case by case basis, Door of Hope may help in providing transportation costs, housing, food, and other related costs to get people to these meetings.

Are you looking for private residential therapy?  Visit www.helpyourteens.com.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mistakes Parents Make with Teens

Parenting books - so many to choose from!

It is probably one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs there is.  Although there are many times you have to look hard for those rewards, as they can become hidden during those teen-hood and pre-teen times, you will eventually see them.

WebMD put together five mistakes that parents make with teens and tweens.  As second semester is progressing, there are many parents struggling with their kids to understand the importance of finishing school and doing well in it.  As with many adolescents, they see their social life is more of their priority.

Teen Parenting Mistake # 1: Expect the Worst
Teenagers get a bad rap, says Richard Lerner, PhD, director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University. Many parents approach raising teenagers as an ordeal, believing they can only watch helplessly as their lovable children transform into unpredictable monsters. Expecting the worst sets parents and teens up for several unhappy, unsatisfying years together.

Teen Parenting Mistake #2: Read Too Many Parenting Books
Rather than trusting their instincts, many parents turn to outside experts for advice on how to raise teens. “Parents can tie themselves into knots trying to follow the advice they read in books,” says Robert Evans, EdD, executive director of the Human Relations Service, Wellesley, Mass., and author of Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with the Crisis in Child Rearing.

“Books become a problem when parents use them to replace their own innate skills,” Evans tells WebMD. “If the recommendations and their personal style don’t fit, parents wind up more anxious and less confident with their own children.
Use books (and articles like this) to get perspective on confusing behavior and then put them down. Spend the extra time talking with your spouse and children, getting clear about what matters most to you and your family.
Teen Parenting Mistake #3: Sweat the Small Stuff
Maybe you don’t like your daughter’s haircut or choice of clothes. Or perhaps she didn’t get the part in the play you know she deserves. Before you intervene, look at the big picture. If a certain mode of self-expression or set of events does not put your child at risk, give her the leeway to make age-appropriate decisions and live with the results.

Teen Parenting Mistake # 4: Ignore the Big Stuff
If you suspect your child is using alcohol or drugs, do not look the other way. Parents should address suspected drug or alcohol use right away, before it escalates into a bigger problem, says Amelia M. Arria, PhD, director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

The years when kids are between 13 and 18 years old are an essential time for parents to stay involved,” Arria tells WebMD. Parents might consider teen drinking a rite of passage because they drank when they were that age. “But the stakes are higher now,” she says.

More drugs are available today, illegal drugs and legal medications. For example, cough remedies with DXM (dextromethorphan) have become a new drug of choice for some teens. DXM is easy to get and teens and parents alike underrate its potential dangers. Studies show that between 7% and 10% of U.S. teens have reported abusing cough medicine to get high. Although safe when used as directed, DXM can cause hallucinations and disassociations similar to PCP or ketamine (Special K) when used in excessive amounts, as well as rapid heartbeat, unconsciousness, stomach pain, and vomiting.

Watch for unexplained changes in your teen’s behavior, appearance, academic performance, and friends. If you find empty cough medicine packaging in your child’s trash or backpack, if bottles of medicine go missing from your cabinet, or if you find unfamiliar pills, pipes, rolling papers, or matches, your child could be abusing drugs. Take these signs seriously and get involved. Safeguard all the medicines you have: Know which products are in your home and how much medication is in each package or bottle.

Mistake #5: Rule With an Iron Fist, or Kid Gloves
Some parents, sensing a loss of control over their teens’ behavior, crack down every time their child steps out of line. Every day brings a new punishment. The home becomes a war zone. By contrast, other parents avoid all conflict for fear their teens will push them away. They put being a cool parent ahead of setting limits and enforcing rules. For these parents, discipline is a dirty word.

To read the complete report by Joanne Barker, visit www.webmd.com.

It is very easy for outsiders to judge and give advice about raising our teens.  Remember, each family is unique and each child is different.  Although some people believe in the tough love approach, it is diffcult to employ when your teens are still minors.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Summer Jobs: Get Your Applications In Now!

The time is now to apply.
Is your teenager ready to get a job this summer?

The time is now to get your applications in and schedule your interviews.  Summer camp is a tradition for many families.  Whether you are involved in day camp programs or sleep away camps, it is a great time to make new friends and have lots of fun.

Part of that fun is generated by the staff of the camps.  Have you considered working at a summer camp?  What activities are your favorite?  Find a camp that has your interests and you may find your dream summer job.
Since 1999, MySummers has proved to be a great resource for applicants looking to work at a summer camp. Working as a camp counselor and watching the kids have fun is very rewarding. Campers always remember their counselors, and the impact that each counselor has had on their lives. For future teachers, camp jobs are a great way to gain experience working with and living with children.

To get started, sign up for MySummers and find out what jobs are open throughout the East Coast. Applicants must be 18 years or older by August 1st and a High School graduate.  Some teen programs go into different countries; Canada, Europe, Australia, Central America, the Caribbean & Virgin Islands, and more.  What an opportunity!

Learn more at www.MySummers.com.

Are you looking for a summer camp for your child? Visit www.CampFinders.com.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

School Loans, Educational Loans and Debt: Informational Blogs and Resources

Guest Blogger, Julia Watson, prepared this fantastic, informational and educational list of Blogs that can help give you advice when you are overwhelmed with student loans.
Are you strapped with student loans?

Going to college, whether online or off, close to home or in a foreign country, can be an exciting, enlightening and ultimately life-changing experience. While it may be well worth it in the long run, it comes at a high cost to many students, and debt after graduation can be crippling for those who don’t have high paying jobs or who cannot find work at all. Finding a way to manage your finances and battle down that debt is a common struggle, so why not share in it with others who are where you are and who’ve come out on the other side? Here are some great blogs that will help you learn about debt reduction, pay off your debts and become a more financially savvy adult.

These blogs will teach you the basics of managing your finances.
  1. Engineer Your Finances: Want some great advice on how to structure your financial situation so that you’ll be financially secure instead of in tons of debt? Give this blog a read, or two.
  2. I Will Teach You to Be Rich: One of the most popular PF blogs on the web, this blog will show you how to make the best use of your income.
  3. Get Rich Slowly: It’s not going to happen overnight, so learn how to make your finances work for you the slow and steady way.
  4. MintLife Blog: While using a site like Mint can help you really keep track of your finances, you don’t have to use it to appreciate the great advice offered on this blog.
  5. Realm of Prosperity: Who doesn’t want to be prosperous? On this blog, you’ll get financial advice geared towards young adults.
  6. Bargaineering: From saving to smart spending, check out this blog for all your financial advice needs.
  7. Consumerism Commentary: Don’t be stupid when it comes to spending your money. Learn how to spend smart, save and plan for the future on this blog.
  8. Independent Beginnings: Being out on your own and managing your own finances can be tricky. This blog offers help for young people in need of personal finance advice.
For Students and Recent Grads
Geared towards those who’ve just emerged from school or who are due to graduate soon, these finance blogs deal with a wide range of grad finance issues.
  1. Studentnomics: This blog is all about helping young people like yourself pay off their students debts, save their money and enjoy living life in the real world.
  2. The Frugal Law Student: Anyone with crushing school debt can understand the concerns of this law student struggling to save and make ends meet.
  3. 20 Something Finance: As you enter your 20s, you’ll learn more than a few things about personal finance. This blog is there to help you along the way.
  4. Poorer Than You: Check out this site for posts on financial issues that affect students and young grads, like school debt, building net worth and much more.
  5. Money Under 30: There are some money issues that are a lot more important to fresh grads and twenty-somethings than those over 30. Learn more about them on this site.
  6. Grad Money Matters: Your education may have helped get you a job, but it doesn’t guarantee smarts when it comes to money. Learn more about financial issues that all grads should be worried about here.
  7. Green Panda Treehouse: The financial articles on this blog are geared towards money issues that new grads face, from finding a first post-college job to paying off those horrible school debts.
Debt Blogs
Through these blogs you’ll find the information and inspiration you need to help pay off your student debts.
  1. No Debt Plan: These bloggers share how they’re working their way out of debt and into financial security.
  2. Stop Buying Crap: Want to focus on getting your school debts paid off? This blog could offer the solution.
  3. Man Vs. Debt: Even with kids, this young dad shows that it is possible to pay off even huge amounts of debt.
  4. Debt Free Adventure: If you’re unsure how to even begin paying off debts, give this blog a read. It offers pointers on everything you’ll need to know to get rid of debt and get on your feet.
  5. Single Guy Money: If you’re like many college grads, you’re single, have your first job and not much practice managing your money. This blogger shares your struggle, so read on to see how he got through.
  6. The Simple Dollar: The articles on this blog are easy to understand and can help you learn how to save more and pay off your debts before doing anything else.
  7. Debt Hater: Hate your debt? So does this blogger. Learn what measures they’re taking to battle debts and how you can follow suit.
These bloggers prove that paying off your debt really can be done, and they’ll show you how.
  1. TeacHer Finance: Teachers don’t make big bucks, but even on a limited budget this young teacher is trying to power through paying back her debts.
  2. My Money Blog: This blogger is working towards financial security bit by bit, and you can follow along here.
  3. Budgets are Sexy: Learn why creating a budget, however boring it sounds, can really be a boon for your finances. Don’t think so? This blogger shows off just how it’s helped.
Loan Blogs
Learn more about student loans, from consolidation to payment options, on these sites.
  1. Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy: This blogger supports helping students and the economy at the same time by forgiving loan debt.
  2. Student Loan Blog:From finding a job post-college to understanding your loan repayment, this blog has loads to offer debt-saddled students.
  3. The Credit Blog: Loans are a form of credit, and you need to learn all you can about them to best pay them off.
  4. Financial Aid News Blog: This financial aid news site offers not only information about programs to help you pay back your debt, but helpful information you might not find elsewhere.
  5. College Loan Consultant: Learn more about what kinds of loans are out there, how to repay them, and what kind of tax breaks you can get from this site.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Helping Your School: Box Tops for Education

I don’t have kids in school anymore but I certainly collect these box tops!  My niece hands them in monthly to help her school.  If you don’t have a friend or relative to pass them on to, many local libraries are collecting them.

Don’t let this opportunity to give back to our community pass you by.

If you have kids in school or have a relative with students in school (private or public) are you involved with “Box Tops for Education?”

It is so easy and the best part is, you probably have many of the items/products in your pantry today!  Have you noticed the little “Box Top for Education” pink logo (see photo on sidebar)?  Cut it off and give them to someone that is collecting them for their school.

When you join Box Tops, you’ll be able to track your school’s progress on the way to their earnings goal – all in real time. See the numbers for your school, as well as how you compare to other schools in your state, and in the nation.  This is an opportunity for you to make a difference and help your child to understand that working as a community you can make positive changes.

America’s Schools have earned over $320,000,000 since 1996.

There are always new products being added as participants in Box Tops.  Click here for a complete listing.

You don’t know anyone in your neighborhood collecting Box Tops?  All branches of the St. Johns County Public Library System are drop off locations for Boxtops for Education for schools in their communities! Please join them in supporting education for the kids of St. Johns County by saving Boxtops from these products and simply dropping them off at your SJCPLS branch library!

Let’s be a part of our community.  Clip your wait to building and enhancing our children’s future in education.

Watch the video for more information.

Read more.