Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘teens’

This weekend was certainly an eye-opener for me regarding teen activities when parents aren’t around.  I work with youth all of the time, I am the parent of 6 children-three of which are adults and three are under the age of 18.  I took my younger three children, plus 3 ten year old girls to the movies with my husband to celebrate the 10th birthday of my youngest child.  I took them to a family movie-a PG movie.  It should have been safe right?  Wrong!

The movie was fine…don’t get me wrong here…the problem was a couple of audience members.  We were seated in the back of the small theater because of the size of our group…there were 8 of us.  We were spread out because the teens didnt want to sit with mom and dad (of course) and the girls didn’t want to sit with the teen boys (of course) and so we took up the end seats of three rows.  A group of three teens approached my  teen boys, who happened to be in the last row in the back, and asked them if they would mind moving down to the end the line.   They did move with no fuss.  There were two girls and a boy; no parental guidance, I might add.

As the movie began, so did the engines of one of those girls and the boy.   Right from the get go, it was obvious why they wanted my sons to move farther down the line and to the inside wall of the theater.  They were not interested in the movie shall we say.  They were there for one reason only…even though they had a chaperone…a female of about the same age.  What age is that, you may ask?  Well, they appeared to be all of about 12 or 13…at the most 14 years of age.   Understand what I am saying here…they were approximately two to four years older than the birthday girl and her friends. (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

       Maybe I am naive, I don’t think that I am…but, truly I try to think well of others unless they give me a rather royal reason not to.  Tonight , I am more than a little annoyed at a few teenagers.  I stopped off at the local library and was perusing the books in the upper level when i overheard a conversation between some teens and a female newcomer.  One of the two males told one of the females to go over to another young male teen who was quite some distance away from them up near the counter.

      The male told the pretty young female to go ask the less attractive, and clearly not a member of their particular cliche, whether he stole “Jake’s” skateboard.  Understand that this is winter here…and, the boy clearly challenged the young woman to go harass the other young man.  Which she promptly did with a malicious smile on her formerly pretty face.  You could hear the young man stand his ground and say No, he didn’t take it.  You could also hear his hurt and embarassment.  When the young woman came back she held out her hand, into which the teen male poured change; as the young woman said, see I told you I would do it!

          I do not know any of these teens.  I turned to go check out my books when i heard the teen boys tell a younger boy (possible sibling) to go ask him again if he took “Jake’s” skateboard.  The young man being harassed cried out…I said NO I didn’t take his skateboard.  The young sibling came back to the two other teen boys and said…what did you tell me to do that for; after he saw the two teens laughing hysterically.

           At this point, i fully realized that it wasn’t some longstanding issue with a missing skateboard in which the teens suspected the other young man of stealing.  It was clearly some cruel twisted bullies who were getting their jollies out of publically humiliating someone who they believed deserved to be treated that way.   This made me very upset.

            Not only did these two young teens use other people to do their dirty work, they subjected every person within hearing distance into being some kind of accomplices just because we overheard it; and, if we did not intervene then we were just as guilty as them; in my eyes.  They were clearly enjoying the misery of another human being; misery that they caused with their cruelty.

            I am not normally a person who likes to draw attention to myself in public situations…but my spirit would not be quiet.  I felt someone had to address what they were doing.  I told them that they were being very rude and that it was time to grow up.  They lowered their eyes and quickly seperated.  Did I do enough; will it change their behavior?  Probably not.  However, in my heart…if i had walked away and kept quiet about what they were doing…then, I would not have had peace in my heart. 

        Why do some people feel such need to hurt, humiliate and tear down another person?  Who are they to decide who is acceptable and who is not?  How sad is it that these young people felt perfectly safe and secure doing what they were doing without fear of being challenged? 

             Personal integrity is important…never forget that.  Never forget that coming to the aid of another person is a compassionate thing to do and there is not enough compassion in the world.  Pretend that compassion is an unending well (it truly is)…and dip into it often.    Peace and love from one person to another; God bless!

        

Read Full Post »

       Minnesota has had a couple of miserable examples of appropriate teenaged behaviors.  First, there is the case of Nicole Beecroft who was 17 years old in April 2007 when she gave birth to a live baby girl, on the floor of the laundry room, in the home that she shared with her parents.  They did not know that she was pregnant.  Not only did she hide her pregnancy; but, prosecutors alleged that she planned the death of her baby before it was born.  She stabbed her newborn daughter 135 times in the abdomen, chest and neck.  The baby bled to death; and that is when, Nicole Beecroft disposed of her child in the garbage can outside of her home. 

       A judge ruled on December 1, 2008 that Nicole Beecroft was guilty of 1st degree murder and will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.  What would possess a woman to not only kill her child but to do so in such an extremely violent way?  Why not give the child up for adoption?  Why not let the father raise the child?  Why not reach out to a parent, a teacher, clergy, counselor, neighbor or a friend? What was the reason behind stabbing an innocent, straight out of the womb infant? 

        Then today, there are reports that 8 Minnesota teenagers are facing charges of terrorizing and abusing nursing home patients.  The nursing home patients suffer from dementia and alzheimers disease.  The accused are minors, except for two young women, they all worked as part time aides at the nursing home.  They are accused of crimes such as spitting on the patients, physical assault, poking at them, and sexual contact with vulnerable adults.  These are serious charges and yet, they may only face 1 year in prison, and or, a fine of up to $300,000 if they are actually convicted.  I am sure that those who had alleged sexual contact will also have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives.  Do you think those punishments are appropriate; if indeed, they are convicted of the crimes?  Are the punishments severe enough for the alleged behaviors?

         Where is the respect for children or for our elderly citizens?  Where is the respect for life?  In general, society has allowed our nation’s children to do what they want, with very little consequences.  When things go awry; many people find others to blame…there is very little accountability for those who go the wrong way. 

        Minnesota does not have a monopoly on violent or abusive teens; every state has such horror stories; that doesn’t make it ok.  Who is going to be the next vulnerable person?  What kind of depraved behavior is going to surface next?   We are raising a whole generation of human beings who have individuals who are either are unwilling, or incapable, of caring about other people in any normal kind of compassionate way! 

        The question is…what are we as a society going to do about it?  We had better figure out a way to understand these type of situations and change the course of these behaviors…otherwise, those most vulnerable, the elderly and the children, will be at substantial risk.  Those people at risk could be your loved ones; or possibly, even yourself! 

Read Full Post »

My good friend, Ken McArthur is standing in a circus tent today
asking 2,000 people to spread a message of hope to teenagers who
don’t think that life is worth living.

I think it’s a great message of hope for anyone and would love to
see all of my readers think about spreading it today.

Here’s Ken’s simple message for for giving hope (and maybe saving
someone’s life!):

G – Greet and meet: talk to others, smile, say hello, ask
someone how they are doing

I – Involve yourself and others: find a cause you can support,
volunteer, pledge resources. Get the people around you
involved, especially if you see someone beginning to
withdraw. Invite them to participate in some activity, to
“get out” of their comfort zone

V – Validate others: tell others that they matter – especially
family members and friends that you tend to see daily but
may take for granted, give genuine complements

E – Empathize: be a listening ear, take time to be fully
present, don’t try to solve – just acknowledge someone’s
feeling/hurts.

Spread this message today!

Read Full Post »

      Anyone who has lost someone to death realizes just how precious life is.  Anyone who has lost someone, due to suicide, realizes what a waste of precious life, suicide is.  No one wants to talk about the horror of suicide; there is no way, to make the subject easy to discuss.  When the media does a story on suicide…it seems that there is an increase in suicides attempts that take place.  It is a careful balance to bring awareness to a terrible tragedy that affects so very many people; and yet, not give it so much attention that it plants seeds in the minds of those who are most vulnerable.  Here is a site that can shed some light on the subject:  http://www.suicidology.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=2

         This week is National Suicide Prevention Week.  It is important to bring the message of hope and restoration.  Hurting people need to have a reason to live; they need to know that someone cares and is listening to them.  Those same people need human intervention to help them when they are vulnerable.   It is crucial to educate the public on ways to observe and interact with individuals who are struggling in their life and may be at risk for a suicide attempt.  People experiencing loss, loneliness, physical or mental health problems, financial problems, depression or isolation are at risk.   Every life has value and is worth saving!  Won’t you take a few minutes to learn more?

        There is a team of committed people who are working very hard to educate and bring awareness to the public about the issue of suicide prevention.  The team is called Ken McArthur’s Impact Action Team; and they are trying to communicate the importance of teen suicide prevention.  Here is a glimpse into the combined efforts of the Impact Action Team : http://speakupsavelives.org/general/speak-up-save-lives-message-to-be-broadcast-live-to-15-million-people-wednesday-morning-at-730-am-on-comcast-cn8  Check out their message and their goals…witness the impact that individuals can have by joining together with like-minded people.  Have you been affected by suicide during your lifetime?  If you could do ONE thing to help prevent a suicide, what would it be?  Speak up…someone who needs to know could be listening! 

       

       

Read Full Post »

       There was a recent news story that did much to anger those who work with women who have been “date raped”.   Helen Mirren, a British actress, who won awards last year for her portrayal of the Queen, did an interview with GQ in which she claimed to have been raped several times, many years ago, when she was a student.  Helen is 63 years old now. 

         The reason some people have been upset with Helen, over that interview, is that she seemed to down play the experiences.  She said there was no extreme violence, she was not hit…but rather, was locked in a room and made to have sex.  She did not file charges in those incidents.  She also said that if a man and a woman were about to get intimate and the woman changed her mind, and the man continued; that was indeed rape.  However, in that circumstance; she didn’t feel that a woman could then turn around and take that man to court for it.  Those are highly controversial remarks when taken individually or out of context.  To some people…those comments smack of judgementalism…that those situations aren’t worthy of prosecution of a person who sexually assaults another.  Those comments appear inflammatory to many folks.

         Most people are clear that if a stranger attacks another person and forces sexual relations…then that is rape.  It is true enough…it is.  But there are other forms of rape as well that aren’t as clearly defined for some people. (more…)

Read Full Post »

          Suicide is not a pleasant subject.  It is a word that makes most people cringe.  People who have lost a loved one to suicide cringe too; they have more of a reason to be disturbed by the word.  Most of us don’t stop to think about suicide death on a daily basis…but maybe we should.  For those directly affected by a suicide…it is an especially difficult thing, to grieve…because there are so many added things to work through. 

          Loss is one thing; that is bad enough…but, add to that… justifiable feelings of abandonment, anger, denial, financial distress, shame, isolation, shock and even rage for being rejected by the loved one; for something as unknown and final as death, many times without any warning that suicide was being considered. 

           It is a hard subject to talk about because studies often have shown a correlation to discussions about suicide and the rates of suicides that have increased after say a media interview or article that is published in a large viewership.  So how do you address such a terrible thing as suicide without taking the risk of an outbreak of suicides?  I am not sure…but i do know…that listing some of the signs or risk factors is important…because it is possible to at least become aware of some signals that may alert friends or family to a person who is contemplating taking their own life. 

            Some of the obvious signs are:  sudden changes in personality or behaviors, drug or alcohol use, life changes such as loss of job or marriage, verbal comments such as life isn’t worth living…, depression, neglecting personal well-being or appearance, loss of interest in things the person previously enjoyed, extreme mood swings, sleeping excessively, giving away precious things, avoiding close friends or family, isolating themselves, gaining or loosing noticeable weight without trying, lack of effort at school or job, listless, a feeling of hopelessness or failure, lots of negative or sad comments, focussing on negative circumstances and obsessing about them.

             There are times when people are more at risk than others, for some it is during their teenaged years if they struggle with acceptance and sometimes depression, for others it is in middle age when possible sudden life changes are perceived as failures or loss such as divorce or forclosure, the elderly are often at risk of suicide because of health issues, isolation from friends and family and many times because of financial issues.   It is important to remember that some medications carry the risk of increased thoughts of suicide…so talk to your doctor about these issues if there is any concern at all.

            All ages and sexes are at risk of a potential suicide.  People must get better at listening to each other; and, they need to stay connected by communication on a regular basis.  No one wants to think of friends or family doing the unthinkable; but, it can happen to anyone. 

            Many people try to respect people’s privacy and back off when in fact, it is at these times that they are needed more than ever.  Fear of not knowing what to say or do is common.  When in doubt…it is always best to contact a professional.    Here is a national hotline to contact if you or someone you know is dealing with the idea or fear of suicide:   1-800-273-TALK.
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

                The impact of suicide is long lasting on those survivors who are left behind.  Every life that can be saved is a gift…every person has value.  We must begin to find ways to open the opportunities to share with one another the hurts and disappointments in life and find ways of overcoming the effects of those things in our lives and in the lives of people that we care about.  Do you know someone who was able to turn the corner and avoid the tempation of suicide?  How did they do it?  Do they share with others about their experience?  Many people in schools, nursing homes, and professionals in your local communities could benefit from that knowledge so that they can help others.  How can those experiences benefit others?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »