Oct 22, 2009

Overall, two types of men a boob known as Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia is affecting some teens today. Whether you are a teen or an adult male, it can be embarrassing as people stare at your like you are some sort of a freak. Gynecomastia sometimes occurs from at the puberty stage and ceases, yet some of the older generation develop man boobs later.

Gynecomastia, when it develops in teens is not necessary related to obesity. After a few years, man boobs often disappear. Teens need to watch their weight very closely to prevent body fat from building up more to help them take control of man boobs.

Experts are not clear on the causes of gynecomastia, yet some indicators from study has shown some proof that the cause could possibly be from imbalances of sex hormones, or else too much estrogen build up. Depending on how the breast tissue responds to the hormones themselves. The appearance resulting from Gynecomastia has an extra tissue and fat around the breastbone. In men, it appears as double chest fat or puffy nipples.

Science has figured that possibly the hormones produced more estrogen and less testosterone. Chronic kidney, liver, and HIV diseases along with some others could be a cause for enlarged breast also. Steroids, food supplements, cancer treatments, spinal cord injury, and marijuana are known to increase estrogen levels.

When man boobs appear it doesn’t necessary cause physical harm, yet the condition may cause soreness around the breast area and tenderness about the nipples. The condition can be treated with certain medications to control the symptoms.

Don’t try to treat Gynecomastia on your own. See your doctor if you think you have gynecomastia. Let your doctor do his job because some medications are known to be the cause and there are some for treating them. For example, radiation treatment for prostate cancer is known for causing enlarge breast.

Surgery is usually recommended as treatment of Gynecomastia. Beware that many insurance companies will not pay for this procedure because it is considered cosmetic surgery.
Exercise is not the answer to decreasing enlarged breast tissue in some cases. More and more men are finding that it is a lost cause to exercise for decreasing this tissue. Therefore, sometimes gynecomastia surgery is the only answer.

The second type of Gynecomastia is the Pseudogynecomastia, known as the fake Gynecomastia.

Pseudogynecomastia is chest fat around the breastbone. Chest fat can be decreased with exercise on a regular basis. When you begin an exercise program; don’t stop after a few days.
In order to see sufficient results a person needs to continue the program as an on going way of life.

When exercising to reduce chest fat plan 4 days a week to exercise. On two of these days, you should work with a low intensity program. Walking and biking are a couple good ways to work out on these days. Plan at least two days to enjoy light resistance workouts, such as weights lifting or resistance machines. Seek support to encourage you with your new program. Having a partner will motivate and give you support to help you stick with your plan to reduce man boobs.

Setting goals for your new program is a great way to keep up your motivation. Make your goals short and long term to keep your goals current at all times. With goals, you’ll be able to see progress as each one is reached.

You’ll find that with goals, an exercise program to lose chest fat will help you sleep better, and your diet will improve to help you lose weight. Teenagers often find it difficult to stick with a plan, but if you are dealing with gynecomastia and teens issue then you must set goals and adhere to a plan.

Oct 14, 2009

The key to being your most beautiful self is learning how to accentuate your natural attributes so that the real you can shine through. Here are three things that you can do to love yourself just the way you are.

1. Be Confident. Projecting an attitude of confidence (not conceit) makes you more alluring and appealing. People will want to get to know you, because you'll come off as a girl who's comfortable in her own skin and who's fun to be around. Even if you feel a bit nervous, do your best to project a positive and upbeat attitude. What will happen eventually is even if you're a bit insecure, by making it a habit to think and act more confidently, in time your inner attitude will catch up with your outer persona.

2. Be Your Own Cheerleader. It's great to have people in your life who lift you up and cheer you on. But, sometimes things won't work out that way and you'll have to become your own cheerleader. How? Talk to yourself as if you were coaching a star athlete. If you were coaching a star athlete, you would not talk down to her nor would you allow negative comments to enter her space. It's sounds corny, but this tip is known to work.

3. Get Physical. Girls who participate in some form of physical activity tend to feel more confident and in control than those who do not. It's not about losing weight or burning yourself out. It's about getting your body moving so that you'll have more energy and drive, not to mention you'll probably meet new friends as well.

4. Make Up Your Mind To Be Productive, No Matter What. Seriously. You've got to decide that no matter what happens in life, how many challenges you face and how you feel on any given day that you are going to be productive. This entails: making your education your #1 priority, setting goals that will get you where you want to go and having positive values that shape the decisions you make.

5. Give The Drama A Break. Everybody thrives off of a little drama, every now and then. But if your life is one big dramatic episode, it might be well worth the effort to drop some of the drama in your life. This includes: boyfriend drama, the drama you give to your parents and the drama that comes with blowing every little thing way out of proportion. If you've be known to put the Capital D in Drama Queen, perhaps it may be time to drop the drama...at least some of it.

6. If Your Life Is Dull or Boring Do Something About It. The quickest way to get a life is to find things that you enjoy doing and develop your interests. If you've always wanted to try your hand at acting, sign up for the drama club at your school. If there's a hidden poet living inside of you, go recite your poetry at an open mike event. Or, publish your own poetry blog. If you've got an opinion that you want to share, comment on other people's blogs. You can comment on this one, if you've got some additional tips to add on how to become the director and producer of your life. The lesson here is, your life does not have to be dull or boring if you find out what interests you. Then, develop your interests.

Oct 13, 2009

You know how wonderful you are, and you know that others know how wonderful you are, but what do you do when admiration crosses over the line into jealousy? For most teens there will come a day when you realize that one of your friends is jealous – whether it be of who you are, what you’ve done or something you have – and that this jealousy is hurting your friendship. When this happens it can seem like there is nothing that you can do, but the good news is that there is. Don’t let jealousy spoil your relationships. Tackle it head on and you might be back to normal much sooner than you think.

Confront Your Friend

It can be hard to walk up to a friend and ask them what the problem is, but if you want to save your friendship you’ll have to do just that. Don’t approach them and ask why they are jealous of you (unless of course you want to appear totally conceited), just take some time alone with them and let them know that you’ve been feeling like there’s something been coming between you. If they refuse to respond, then use the opportunity to explain how you have been feeling. Chances are that something you say will strike a nerve and your friend will open up as well.

Hammer Out a Solution

When you figure out what is irking your friend, ask him or her what (s)he thinks would make the situation better. If, for example, (s)he say that (s)he feels like (s)he doesn’t get to spend any time with you because your off with your new friends from the swim team then maybe you could invite her along the next time or block off one day a week for just the two of you. Remember, though, that whatever solution you decide on should be a compromise. Don’t limit your own talents or opportunities simply because your friend is unhappy. Try instead to include him or her in your new life and see how that works out.

Practice Your Patience

Even if you do get to the bottom of your friend’s jealousy you’ll likely need to remain patient while (s)he works out his or her own emotions. Even if you can think of a compromise to help get your friendship back on track you can’t do the emotional work of getting over jealousy for your friend. There may be pot-holes in the road up ahead, and you may need to chat with your friend again. If you do, remember to stay calm and ask what is wrong. If it turns out to be the same issue, tell your friend that you feel you have been sticking to the compromise. It may be that your friend is unable to see that, or (s)he didn’t really commit to the compromise and wanted you back all to him or herself. If this is the case then there’s not much you can do about it besides reiterate your offer to meet him or her half-way. 
Even the best of friendships can be tinged by jealousy. This destructive emotion is rarely productive and can turn best friends into worst enemies. Before taking drastic action, chat with your jealous friend to see if the two of you can work out a compromise. If you can’t, be prepared to know exactly how far you will go to keep your friend – and how far you won’t.

Oct 12, 2009

If you have ever been looking for diet plans for obese,fat,overweight teenage boys, then you are in luck. Many teenage boys are overweight, even some of the more active ones. From soccer players to basketball,from football players to baseball players, overweight teenage boys can be found doing all sorts of different things. It does not matter what race they are or what types of activities they do or what all they eat for supper. Overweight teenage boys can be found from all walks of life.

Many have a stereotypical idea that all overweight teenage boys indulge in video games for hours upon end and simply do not get the proper exercise that is required in order to help maintain a healthy body weight. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Even in teenage
boys that participate in active sports, some will find themselves still being overweight. Whether they play tennis, golf, baseball, or chess, these overweight teenage boys are found in each and every niche.

Finding the right diet plans for fat ,overweight teenage boys can be extremely difficult. Even if you find the right exercise plan for the particular teenager, it might simply not be enough. One might try to resort to other methods, such as diet pills, but this is not always the best way to go. Sometimes the answer can be much simpler than to resort to buying diet pills. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as taking a combination of actions in order to help that teenager lose weight.

The first step is to ensure that the teenager is on a good, healthy diet. Remember that teenagers are always growing, and so they need more energy than you might think. This can make it hard to determine just how much is too much, but with time and patience, and a little
luck, you can usually determine what is just right for your specific teenager. Not only should you pay attention to how much is in the diet, but you must also pay attention to what is in the diet. Growing teenagers need a wide variety of nutrients. Vitamin and other weight loss supplements can help to ensure that your teenager is getting all of the vitamins and nutrients he needs, though you cannot depend entirely on them.

After having determined the right diet for your teenager, try to get him on an exercise plan that helps to ensure that he is active. If he is already involved in active sports, then this, combined with his new healthy diet, should help to ensure that your teenager begins to lose weight. It can be truly amazing how much of a difference dieting and exercise when combined can make in a teenage boy’s life, or in the lives of others. He will have more energy and be more confident in himself and his abilities. Diet plans for fat,overweight teenage boys can be the perfect way to motivate your teenager and help him feel good about himself.

Oct 8, 2009

How can we encourage our teens at school without putting them under too much pressure?

Teens are sometimes under a lot of pressure to perform well at school, and this can lead to anxiety and tension.

That's the bad news. The good news is that young people, on the whole, are getting better results year on year.

Year ten (ages 14-15) is seen by many as a watershed. If your teen gets through this year and is still motivated, enthusiastic and working well, she's more than likely to continue doing well.

For others, this is when difficulties and problems emerge.

Switching off

Some teenagers go off specific subjects; others go off school generally. If your child's struggling, you'll need to know exactly what it is she's struggling with.

If the trouble is with specific subjects, it may be she's fallen out with the teacher, is having difficulties with a part of the curriculum, or is just feeling she just can't do it.

Your teen may need help (if you know the subject, that's great; if you don't, there are lots of books available to help you get up to speed), or simply some encouragement.

How to help

If you get on well with your child, talk a lot and still enjoy each other's company, most problems will be relatively easy to overcome.

If, on the other hand, you can't discuss anything contentious without it turning into an argument, you might not be the best person to tackle the problem. Ask for help from someone your child likes and trusts, such as a teacher, relative or neighbour.

This is no time for pride, guilt or torture - the quicker the problem's resolved, the sooner your teenager can get back to her studies and you can stop worrying.

Teenagers who reject school

There are three main reasons why children skip school:

  • Something's going on, such as bullying, that makes them reluctant to attend
  • They're not coping with their subjects or they're not being stretched enough
  • Emotional worries make school seem irrelevant
It's vital to establish the cause and take steps to resolve it before your teen's future is seriously affected.

Exclusion and expulsion

Schools have the right to exclude a young person who's been in serious trouble. In most cases this is for a fixed period, such as three or five days.

The school must always phone parents, then follow up with a letter if a child is to be excluded. Letters should also be sent to the local education authority to explain why the school has enforced the exclusion.

Remember these points:

  • Parents have the right to appeal to the head teacher and governors if they don't think exclusion is fair.
  • A temporarily excluded child isn't allowed on the school premises and should be given school work to do at home.
  • Permanent exclusion - expulsion - is a last resort and is likely to follow a number of fixed exclusions. A discipline committee should meet to discuss the decision. If it agrees to the permanent exclusion, you have 15 days in which to appeal.
Exclusion from school is obviously very serious. Once a teenager is excluded she's more likely to get into further trouble, and this can be difficult to deal with.

Oct 7, 2009

Involvement in academic and athletic extracurricular activities is a big part of your teen's highschool years. It gives them a chance to express them selves by participating in one of the various programs the school or your community offers. It's true that this is an excellent way to help teens make friends with like minded peers while learning valuable social skills. However, the benefits don't stop when they walk across the stage and receive their diploma. Many students will go on to enter the work place or further their education. It is on these places that the skills they learn will give them the edge they need to make their way in an adult world.

  • Team Work: One of the biggest things employers look for in job candidates is their willingness to work as a team. Team work is often emphasized in college and universities classrooms where professors know and therefore teach it's importance in the real world. What can prepare your son or daughter more about team work than actually being part of a team. Being part of a team helps them hone the skills necessary to interact with their peers in a respectful manner.
  • Goals: As a member of a sports team or club, your child will be responsible for meeting individual or group goals. For this reason, extracurricular activities is an excellent way to help your teen learn the fundamentals of goal building, something that is necessary in the work place. Goals help the individual keep site of where they are and where they would like to be.
  • Responsibilities: As an active member of a team or club, individuals are held responsible for things like attendance and participation. When a member doesn't respect their responsibilities they will face consequences much like an adult would in the work place. Failure to be responsible can get you benched or suspended from team activities and in the workplace it could get you fired. Students who learn to take their responsibility seriously will carry that into their careers.
  • Respect for Rules: Sure you may have rules that your son or daughter must follow but it's the outside world that really teaches them the importance of following rules. Rules, much like responsibilities, can make or break a persons career. When rules are not followed on the field it will result in penalties that will effect their play. Likewise, rules in the work place must be followed to make sure the weeks end bring a pay check and not a pink slip.
  • Conflict Resolution: When two or more people work together for a common purpose there are bound to be conflicts. Since each individual sees the world through their own eyes, not everyone will approach problems the same way. This is very true when it comes to extracurricular activities. While one student may feel a particular play is the best option, another student may believe there is a better way to reach the goal. Ultimately, for the team or club to succeed there will have to be a conflict resolution. This is a very important part of work place success and therefore learning it early on can save your teen from problems in the future.
  • Resume Building: Whether it's their college application or a job resume, extracurricular activities along with academic performance will put your teen at an advantage. To employers involvement in these shows the individual was able to balance work and play. In other words, they were able to take on various projects at the same time, something that is very important in the work force.

Involvement in academic and athletic extracurricular activities is a big part of your teen's highschool years. It gives them a chance to express them selves by participating in one of the various programs the school or your community offers. It's true that this is an excellent way to help teens make friends with like minded peers while learning valuable social skills. However, the benefits don't stop when they walk across the stage and receive their diploma. Many students will go on to enter the work place or further their education. It is on these places that the skills they learn will give them the edge they need to make their way in an adult world.

  • Team Work: One of the biggest things employers look for in job candidates is their willingness to work as a team. Team work is often emphasized in college and universities classrooms where professors know and therefore teach it's importance in the real world. What can prepare your son or daughter more about team work than actually being part of a team. Being part of a team helps them hone the skills necessary to interact with their peers in a respectful manner.
  • Goals: As a member of a sports team or club, your child will be responsible for meeting individual or group goals. For this reason, extracurricular activities is an excellent way to help your teen learn the fundamentals of goal building, something that is necessary in the work place. Goals help the individual keep site of where they are and where they would like to be.
  • Responsibilities: As an active member of a team or club, individuals are held responsible for things like attendance and participation. When a member doesn't respect their responsibilities they will face consequences much like an adult would in the work place. Failure to be responsible can get you benched or suspended from team activities and in the workplace it could get you fired. Students who learn to take their responsibility seriously will carry that into their careers.
  • Respect for Rules: Sure you may have rules that your son or daughter must follow but it's the outside world that really teaches them the importance of following rules. Rules, much like responsibilities, can make or break a persons career. When rules are not followed on the field it will result in penalties that will effect their play. Likewise, rules in the work place must be followed to make sure the weeks end bring a pay check and not a pink slip.
  • Conflict Resolution: When two or more people work together for a common purpose there are bound to be conflicts. Since each individual sees the world through their own eyes, not everyone will approach problems the same way. This is very true when it comes to extracurricular activities. While one student may feel a particular play is the best option, another student may believe there is a better way to reach the goal. Ultimately, for the team or club to succeed there will have to be a conflict resolution. This is a very important part of work place success and therefore learning it early on can save your teen from problems in the future.
  • Resume Building: Whether it's their college application or a job resume, extracurricular activities along with academic performance will put your teen at an advantage. To employers involvement in these shows the individual was able to balance work and play. In other words, they were able to take on various projects at the same time, something that is very important in the work force.

Oct 6, 2009

Using drugs is a serious problem and using drugs is not the same as being addicted to drugs. In most cases addiction happens over time and after regular use. Some teens may get addicted faster than others Using any illegal drugs (sometimes called 'designer' drugs) is risky and should be avoided. There is no way of knowing what they actually contain. They may have very dangerous chemicals that can cause damage to the brain or even death and this can happen at first use and before addiction starts.
Don't react immediately! Give yourself time to calm down if you are upset, and to think through what is happening. Strong reactions due to fear are common but they don't help. Don't ridicule or lecture. Getting angry can close the door on communication and may harm your relationship with your teenager.
Don't regard this situation as a family disgrace. Recovery is possible just as it is with other illnesses.
Try to get a picture of what is happening in your child's life. Give your teenager a chance to tell you what happened, for example, 'We'd like you to give us an idea what was going on in your life.'
Find out what kinds of drugs are being used and how they are being used. The best way to find out is to ask your teenager. Discuss with him what he considers to be the benefits and consequences of using drugs. Is he clearly aware of what is likely to happen if he uses drugs, such as the effect on his family relationships, education, and future chances of getting work?
If your teenager is apprehended give him moral support but let him see that it is his responsibility. Let him deal with the consequences of his behavior, including picking up the bill, making arrangements, keeping appointments etc.
Separate the behavior from the person. You may not approve of what your teenager is doing but you still need to show your love and care.
It is important to tell your teenager that you are concerned about his wellbeing and that you will be seeking substance abuse treatment for him.
During recovery, encourage teens to engage in after-school activities with adult supervision. If they cannot participate in sports or other extracurricular school activities, part-time employment or volunteer work can build self-esteem.
Don't expect an immediate, 100-percent recovery. Like any illness, there is a period of convalescence with a brain disorder. There may be relapses and times of tension and resentment among family members.
Do offer love, support, and understanding during treatment and recovery.
Your teenager probably knows, but remind him what your values are and what you will allow in your house. This can be a tricky issue and will depend on how old your teenager is.
With older teenagers you may have to come to terms with the fact that they are making their own life choices. However, if they won't give up the drug you still have the right to say that they are not to use it at home.
Some parents tell their teenagers to give it up or they will have to leave home. If you say this, you need to be sure that it is what you really want and that you mean what you say. By saying this you may be pushing your teenager into a more risky situation.

Oct 5, 2009

It is essential that parents and other individuals that work directly with teenagers know and understand how to properly prevent teenage substance abuse. Abuse of various types of substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, prescription medications, stimulants, and even certain over-the-counter drugs is quite prevalent among the teenagers of today.

A study conducted on teens to the age of seventeen was conducted and it was found that over one million individuals in this age group have some type of dependence on substances, and another million are said to have an inclination towards addiction involving alcohol. These statistics are staggering! In this guide, you will learn how to properly prevent teenage substance abuse.

1. If you are an adult that is dedicated to the pursuit of learning how to properly prevent teenage substance abuse, it is important to know that the first step to assisting our youth is to learn the symptoms that may indicate that an issue is occurring. There are numerous signs of potential drug and alcohol abuse.

These signs may include social isolation, personality changes, a loss of interest in activities and people that once drew the attention of the teenager, weight loss, a drop in grades, and several other symptoms. You may research these symptoms online, check out books at your local library, purchase books from your local bookstore, and even consult a medical professional that works with youth that suffer from a dependency to various types of substances.

2. The next way to properly prevent teenage substance abuse is to learn as much as you possibly can about the various types of substances that teens find attractive. You should research alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, and various other types of drugs. You should learn the symptoms associated with each and other vitally important information. By learning about the drugs available today, you can potentially stop an issue that your teen may experience before it becomes an addiction.

3. It is important to take steps in your home that will deter substance abuse. Many teens find over-the-counter cough and cold medications, as well as prescription medications very appealing. They believe since the medications are legal that they do not pose a threat to their health. You can prevent the abuse of medications by keeping any and all that you have in the home locked up.

4. The next step to successfully preventing teenage substance abuse is to ensure that you educate the teenager in your life. They should be taught about the drugs on the street and in the home, and be informed of the mental and physiological dangers that may occur as a result of taking the substances in a recreational manner.

You should set clear guidelines and expectations with the teenager so that they know and completely understand that indulging in recreational drug activity is restricted, and that if it is indulged in, corrective action will be put into place. You could mention limiting their freedom, restricting their dating, or even integrating the use of a drug rehabilitation facility.

5. If you feel as if a teenager is already indulging in recreational drug use, you should seek medical assistance immediately. This is a successful strategy to decrease the possibility that teenage substance abuse will continue. This may be a difficult step, but it is a productive step.

There are many steps to properly preventing teenage substance abuse. If you follow the steps listed here, you will likely deter the teenager in your life from beginning the dangerous cycle of substance abuse.

Oct 4, 2009

We’ve come a long way from the days of “kids will be kids” or perhaps it would be more accurate to say we’ve come a long way since the days when parents were parents. There is an increasing amount of children who are ruling the roost these days. The most frightening aspect of these domineering children is their age. We’re not talking teens or even tweens. Some of these kids are barely of school age. These tiny terrors are wrecking havoc. The question is why are the parents rejecting discipline in favor of outright defiance?

It is a sad state to see parents begging children to behave. Some children are even physically striking back at their parents. Even if parents are willing to tolerate certain unacceptable behavior this is where they need to draw the line. Why are parents refusing to act like parents? In an age where expectant parents read tons of books about parenting and even attend parenting classes they still lack parenting skills. It seems like the more they strive to be better parents the more they come up lacking.

Parenting includes taking on the role of disciplinarian. More parents need to realize that. Disciplining your children doesn’t mean you don’t love them. In fact, it is just the opposite. You love your child but you must realize that children need discipline. Children can’t be allowed to run wild without any guidance. Children need to be disciplined for their own protection. If a child is allowed to play with matches, lighters or around a hot stove the chances are that he’s going to get burnt. If a child is not disciplined for hitting other children the other children may start to hit him back. If a child goes around kicking the family dog eventually the dog may bite him. Children have to be taught that behavior such as this is unacceptable.

Parents often add to behavior problems in children. I’ve heard parents make comments that are completely wrong in situations such as those mentioned above. “Look, he’s no wimp. He knows how to handle himself already,” was the comment one father made when his three-year-old son walked up and pushed another child to the ground for no reason whatsoever. “Isn’t that cute? He’s only two and already he’s got the dog listening to him,” is the comment one mother made when her toddler kicked the dog and then slapped it on the head even though the dog was lying down and not bothering anyone. Actions such as these are not cute nor should they be tolerated let alone encouraged. Maybe the parents themselves need some discipline since their way of thinking seems to be rather juvenile.

Discipline is a necessary part of effective parenting. Parents often feel that their child won’t love them if they discipline the child. But what they don’t realize is that discipline is a form of love. You discipline your child because you love him. Disciplining your child shows that you care. Of course, children don’t see it that way but in time they will. We discipline our children because they are unaware of many dangers that the world holds. They are not yet able to discern the difference between good and bad. They have feelings and emotions that they do not understand and do not know how to express appropriately. It is important that we acknowledge their feelings but we also need to provide them with guidance to be able to properly channel their emotions.

Don’t be afraid to discipline your child. Discipline does not have to mean physical punishment. You can discipline your child by setting rules, providing guidance, letting your child know what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Oct 2, 2009

Not surprisingly, the bottom line issues for parents are very different than the bottom line issues for the teen.

For the parents, the bottom line issues look something like this:

They see the kid they raised from an infant changing right before their eyes, usually getting more and more out of control. Their concerns can run through a whole range of problems - from slipping grades, bad attitudes and little or no communication all the way to depression, running away or drugs.

The bottom line is that the parents are scared, and they want their nice kid back.

Raising teenagers can be like a day at an amusement park, lots of fun but also full of ups and downs, moments with floors dropping out, twisters, laughs, screams and all. But just as you plan your amusement park agenda, mapping out a basic plan, you can do the same with many top teen issues for the most positive experience possible.

Self-Esteem & Fitting In

The teenage years are a time of internal and external growth, where teens face mixed emotions daily and bodily growth differently in nearly each individual. And a major concern among teenagers is their self-esteem; i.e. focusing on how much they feel accepted, valued and loved by others in light of all this transitional phase in their lives.

You can help by encouraging them to find things they are good at; different subjects in school, sports and other after school activities (chess, crafts, photography, etc.) Offer plenty of praise and go light on the criticism. And help them find plenty of helpful resources along the way; library books, school counselors, coaches, mentors, tutors, etc. Have your teen invite friends over often so you can meet them, too, and leave them to their game / tv room with plenty of snacks and music.

Growth (External / Internal) & Sex

Help your teens value their own appearance by offering compliments and praise for clothing choices, even if it’s simply in a t-shirts color choice. They want to experiment and wear clothing like their piers and like some adults, but do guide them in ethical and moral choices, leaving abusive language phrases off shirts, and making sure private body parts are covered.

As sexual maturity comes into play, also reflected in clothing style choices, make sure to acknowledge this stage and not run from it, especially with seductive clothing and late night outings. Take charge and remind your teen that while it’s great to want to be attractive, sex can and most often does lead to parenting and that’s a very serious issue. Make sure your teens understand your opinion on this area. And if you don’t have one yet, it may be time to get involved and take a stance. Life, lives could be at stake. So don’t leave this topic left hanging because you are uncomfortable. You may be much more uncomfortable if you do nothing.

Keep in mind, there are plenty more teenage issues for parents to deal with, some easy and some not so easy.

Oct 1, 2009

Teenage sexual activity is a major problem confronting the nation and has led to a rising incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), emotional and psychological injuries, and out-of-wedlock childbearing thus teenage pregnancies and premarital sex occurrences alarm every sector in our society particularly the church and health institutions. Substantial studies had been conducted to support this scenario. A Young Adult Fertility Survey (Yafs) disclosed that males are more into pre-marital sex than females but over the years, young women are catching up with men. The survey covered 20,000 Filipino youths aged 15 to 24 years old across the country. According to the 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) and the Demographic Research and Development Foundation, 26 percent of our Filipino youth nationwide, from ages 15 to 25 years old, admitted to having a pre-marital sex experience. What's worse is that 38 percent of our youth are already in a live-in arrangement.

The sexual revolution has ushered in a period where the average adolescent faces tremendous pressures to have sexual experiences of all kinds. Today, Pinoy teens get a higher exposure to sex from the Internet, magazines, TV shows, movies, and other media than decades ago, yet without any corresponding increase in information on how to handle the input. So kids are pretty much left to other kids for opinions and value formation when it comes to sex. Sexual misinformation is, therefore, equally shared in the group. Parents at home and teachers in school feel equally inadequate or uneasy to discuss the topic of sex with youngsters. The problem mounts because the barkada has a more profound influence than parents do, exerts pressure and expects the adolescent to conform to the rest of the them.

In our society, having sex outside marriage or before marriage is not acceptable especially that we are a Christian country where the sanctity of marriage is considered sacred be it civil or church wedding. But still a lot of people, particularly the young ones, were tempted to commit this act, discrediting the belief that sex is only for married couple and virginity is the gift one can give to her husband on the night of their wedding.

"Girls have sex to be loved, while boys love to have sex". This romantic cliché is the most obviously sleazy yet devastatingly lines ever spoken. Men telling women that having sex is just their way of expressing their love, is about as threadbare saw a spider inviting a butterfly into her parlor; while women believe that having sex is their way of proving their love to a man. They gave all in the name of love to establish the truth of reality of their love. However, the question is: what if they are not meant to be? Later on, the women realize that the damage has been done. The guilt sets in and emotion like this has a great effect in their whole life.

The knowledge of pre-marital sex among the youth has been observed to be weak as shown by the increasing rate of unwanted pregnancies, case of abortions, use of contraceptives and the spread of sexually transmitted disease. Teens have the right to know more than the bare facts of menstruation menopause, pregnancies, etc. With the right information, the youth will be more cautious with their sexual activities.

Sexual intercourse in itself is neither morally evil nor good. It is the manner on which it was use that declares its morality. Like most things in life, it has to be done in the proper place, in the proper time and in the proper circumstances. Sexual intercourse should be practiced exclusively by those who are married (opposite sexes, of course) and should always be consensual, practiced in the spirit of love, and should always be in private. This is the only proper way of doing it.

The youth must wait for the right time before engaging in sexual acts, not because of the reason that it is an immoral practice but rather of the fact the risks involved such as abortion, unwanted pregnancy, getting the sexually transmitted diseases, etc. It has also ill effects on their mental, social and psychological being. Nevertheless whatever decision one will make, he/should be ready to face the consequences of their actions.

Unprotected sexual activity in adolescence brings with it the dangers of too early or unwanted pregnancy, induced abortion often in unsafe conditions, STDs, HIV infection and AIDS. In the 1994 YAFSS II, a great number of Filipino youth aged 15-24 had been actively engaged in sexual activity. About 1.8 M boys and 670,000 girls had sexual relations already. On the average, the first sex encounter happened at the age 18. The study also points to signs that girls were forced into sexual relations due to their inability to successfully negotiate refusal of sexual intercourse when not desired and are usually confronted with the threat of abandonment by the partner.

The presence of parents and parental supervision is a key factor that could regulate the spontaneity of sexual activity among young adolescents. Other factors associated with the adolescents early sexual experience are social interactions indexed by the frequency of going out with friends.

To enable adolescents and youth to cope with these challenging world, they should be provided with accurate information on their health concerns; make health services available and accessible to them; build their skills to enable them to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life and creates a safe and supportive environment that will nurture their growth and development. The influential adults such as parents, health service providers, teachers, legislators and people in the community should also have the skills to deal with adolescent issues and concerns.

To stay away from these harmful effects teenagers must maintain standards and understand their responsibilities. Teens today need to follow the law of chastity. Chastity is "a lifestyle that brings freedom, respect, peace, and even romance - without regret; Chastity frees a couple from the selfish attitudes of using each other as objects, and makes them capable of their love. Chastity is a very difficult lifestyle. Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2337). This comes to show that chastity needs to be practiced amongst our youth today. Teenagers are prone to premarital sex, and are especially influenced by the media's casual attitude toward it. Teenagers today are bombarded with the image of premarital sex through advertising. You can not watch cable television without seeing people kissing intimately, or even having sex . Premarital sex is suggested everywhere in our society, as seen on billboards, in movies, and in magazines. Perhaps, if teenagers had more confidence, they would not be prone to, and influenced by these artificial advertisements.

There is no better way for teenagers to protect themselves from all of the dangers surrounding sex except to leave sex for marriage. Sexuality in human beings was not designed to just be okay; it was designed to be extremely good! And it is great and wonderful when we use this special gift of God in the way He intended. Sadly, many people do not respect their sexuality as they should. Through immoral sexual behavior they belittle what God intended to be a very special experience.

Sep 30, 2009

Video Game Theme- This is more of a theme for guys rather than girls although there are some teen girls into video games. A state of the art video game bedroom would include a flat screen TV on the wall with an entertainment system that of course features a game console.

Retro Theme- Retro is a theme that is popular among teens these days. Retro goes back to the culture, music, clothes and hair style of the 1960's and 1970's. When designing a room in this theme, use bright colors such as red, orange and yellow. Also tie dye and shag carpets were popular in the retro era.

Family and Friends Theme- This is more of a popular room for girls. Add photos of friends and family to one wall in the room. You can add vacation photos, prom pics, graduation, homecoming and wedding that you attended.

Mixed Martial Arts- This is the perfect theme for a boy's room. Pin up posters of your favorite martial artist. For an added touch, you can add sparring gloves or hang a punching bag in the room so you can work out in your own bedroom.

Outdoors Theme- For the teen who just can't get enough of the outside, an outdoors theme is the perfect color scheme. Use wallpaper and/or borders to reflect your favorite outdoor scenes. You can choose themes from mountain climbing, underwater exploration, wooded scenes and seashore scenes. Using earth colors such as brown and green will help make the theme more complete.

Beach/Surfer Theme- Teens who love the beach in the summer or who can't stay off the surf board need to have a beach theme. But you don't just want to hang posters of your favorite surfer or pictures of the beach. You want a tropical theme going on such as palm trees and bamboo mats or hang a couple of surfboards as wall decorations.

City Theme- If you are into big cities such as New York Coty, Paris, London or France, then you need to have a big city theme bedroom. Decorate the room with souvenirs from the big cities or paint a mural of your favorite city skyline. If you want a more of a city feel, try a loft bed.

Travel Theme- If you dream of traveling or living in another country, then a travel theme is the perfect bedroom theme. Fill your room with globes, maps, travel posters, photos and souvenirs.

So if you are feeling adventurous, then try one or more of these themes.

Teen bedroom design can be challenging but can also have it's rewards. Whether you have a girl or boy, teenagers are busy exploring their own way in the world. They are trying out different things and figuring out what works for them and what doesn't. They are also asserting their independence. What better way for them to do that than to take part in designing the room that they'll be spending a lot of time in as they complete their school years and prepare for what is ahead.

If you have a girl, chances are she's outgrown the pink or lavender colors that most likely graced her room as a young child. She's testing the waters and picking out what she likes. At this point, she probably does have a favorite color and this would be a good place to start. If you start with her favorite color and then look to the things that she's interested in when considering wall art or accessories for her room, this will bring the room together nicely. For example, if yellow is her favorite color and she's really interested in music, start with yellow paint for her walls. Choose a shade with her so that she feels she's a part of the process and that her opinion matters. When the room is painted, look for items to add to her walls that enhance her tastes. Perhaps a large musical note can be displayed on the wall or some wallpaper border with musical notes displayed throughout to line the tops of the walls.

Similarly, a boy should be given the same type of consideration as a girl when choosing the decor for his room. However, it may be a little more difficult to get him involved in the whole process, yet if you ask him to own the process by being a part of all of it; the painting and wallpapering, as well as the shopping and decorating, more willingness may evolve. Again, start with his favorite color, then take him with to choose the paint from the hardware store. When it comes time to paint his walls, ask him to help. Take him back to the store to choose the items that will be purely decorative. If he's into model boats or trains, ask him to build a few to later hang with fish line from his ceiling. Adding the feel of ownership over the project will help your young man jump in with two feet and you'll end with a room that you can both be happy about.

A blissful teenager may not result from these events, yet they won't be moody over their bedroom. It will be an area that they will enjoy being in and that will help when they need to concentrate on a school project or something along those lines. Best of all, they will have taken at least some part in the creation of the room, so they will be excited about it when it's done. Never pass up the chance to have a happy teenager, even when it means entering into a teen bedroom design project with them.

Sep 28, 2009

To assist parents increase the level, and improve the quality, of their verbal interactions with their children, here are a few suggestions.

• Keep a paper and a pencil handy and make notes of the things you hear your children talking about or expressing interest in. When you hear them discussing to their friends or to one another, make note of the things they spoke about. The topics they bring up on their own and spend time talking about provide you with the best clues available about what is of interest to them.

• Talk to your children in a very natural way. Make sure it doesn’t come across as a formal discussion.
• Don’t try to be too “hip” as you talk to children. Avoid the use of terms and language the kids use. Use terms that are most familiar to you and the most characteristic of you, but which the kids understand. Kids don’t like it when their parents try to talk like kids.

• Watch for signs that tell you you’ve talked long enough. Ordinarily, conversations with children about “just things” don’t usually last very long. For that matter, kids don’t typically spend very long talking with their friends about such things. They bounce around from topic to topic, and thing to thing, never spending much time on anything or going into much depth

• Keep the conversation dignified. Avoid gossip, profanity, off-color jokes, or turns-of-phrase that compromise your adult level of dignity and civility. Remain a cut above “just one of the guys.” Children want their parents to have class. They want their parents to be someone to look up to. The quality of your conversations with them can go a long way in establishing that image of you in your children’s eyes. An occasional, appropriate joke is a very good thing. While the family is gathered around the dinner table is a wonderful time to share a good joke and bring a little humor into the family.

• Avoid ethnic jokes or any kind of joke or story that puts another person or another people down or that evokes humor at the expense of someone else. Maintain your dignity as an adult by showing respect for other cultures. Children really appreciate that.

• Regarding jokes, appropriate, clean humor is a characteristic of low-risk families. In such families there is a lot of smiling, laughing and lots of happy times. Come to the dinner table every night with a couple of good jokes.
Children who learn good verbal skills are more likely to also have good social skills.

Whenever you ask a troubled teen as to what is their problem with their parent, more often than not you will get to hear that they are ‘not really being listened to’. Well, ‘listening’ is a tad difficult task for parents. They might also find ‘communication’ challenging. While parenting teens there are certain common measures that can ensure satisfactory results when intelligently applied.
Whenever your teen approaches you for a conversation or simply speaks to you provide them with your undivided attention. You don’t need to display your expertise in multi-tasking at that moment. Stop reading, watching TV or acting busy as you are listening to your child. Misbehavior starts the moment they begin to feel that they are not worthy of your attention.

As you listen, your attitude should be calm even if there is a major difference of opinion. Try to hear out with the intent of understanding the teenager’s point of view. If the situation calls for a ‘give and take’ approach, do not burden up your teen’s mind with preaches.

When you are parenting a troubled teen, your tone ought to be courteous as you communicate. Remember that respect inevitably cultivates respect and that is completely manifested in the manner of speech. While communicating you should keep in mind that you are communicating with an individual who happens to be your teenage child. Your positive approach will help to make the troubled teen to seek you out as his dear confidant. So a sober tone always pays dividends with an improved relationship while abruptness or gruffness will only induce further hostility.

As you try to make your communication effective, avoid judging the nature of your teen’s behavior at that moment. You may not approve it but at that moment emphasize more on the feelings involved. While parenting teens you surely need to be firm regarding the essential values but you should be flexible enough to accommodate the symbolism of the changing times.

Free expression of ideas and feelings should be permitted. Everything that happens to be our part of life is being gradually apprehended by the children during their teenage. This must be realized. While parenting teens you must also understand that the teens tend to ‘test’ their ideas regarding education, morality, money, time and marriage or relationships during communication. Even if you happen to be alarmed by their opinion, you should give them a patient hearing. Then the mutual love and respect that you have cultivated will help you to put your point in a non-aggressive and logical and plain manner.

Teens misbehave in order to express their physical, social or emotional needs which are not being met. Unlike adults, the teens are not in a stable mental establishment. They are undergoing constant evolution both on the physical and the mental plane. With reference to the Gesell Chart, they are moving from one developmental stage to the other as they deal with the respective stressors of that particular stage. They misbehave so as to let the adults know that they require their attention.

The misbehavior further increases when the environment loses its predictability. When factors like food, sleep, emotional or the intellectual stimulation is either insufficient or over-sufficient, the trouble in the teen behavior gets expressed. If the adolescent happens to be individually dealing with a conflict, an unsafe or chaotic neighborhood, a loss in the family or academic challenges, he or she is more prone to react with a negative behavior. The situation is even worse in a poor family where the parents are not equipped with necessary resources to bail them out.

This calls for a bit of introspection on the part of the parents regarding the reason they apprehend as the cause of the misbehavior. It can be that the teen is confused, hungry, scared, angry, feeling unloved or uncomfortable. Take this common instance where the adolescent misbehaves specially during vacations. Here, basically the child is over stimulated and seeks a method to vent his energy out and is not finding any appropriate option. An earnest introspection would provide alternatives which will help the parent to eliminate the said behavior.

Perhaps the most common cause of misbehavior is the feeling of being overlooked. Every child has an aggressive desire to feel loved. Teens always tend to seek the assurance that they are an important part of their parent’s lives. This craving for love and attention in turn helps them to effectively develop their self-esteem. They feel equipped to face the world. Majority of the troubled teens are found to lack the fulfillment of this important aspect of their desire.

When a teen feels discouraged, it is due to this lack of love or attention. As growing adults they tend to fluctuate from their desired sources of attention. As a child, it is always the parents and as they grow up, they begin to expect it from peers and groups too. Then at different moments they again want to come back to their parents. This sense of belonging measure up their lack of self esteem and soothes their troubled minds to a great extent.

Remember the old adage ‘Actions speak louder than words’? Well, it is perfectly applicable in this context. While parenting teens, the parent need to effectively monitor their influence or impact that has a direct correlation with their child.

Children always take cue for their behavior from what they actually see. We have a common habit of instructing our children to do something while following a different set of rules ourselves. And then if you blurt that ‘do as I say and not what I do’, it will have a negligible impact. If you promote such a practice, one day you shall surely get to hear something of this sort, ‘what is wrong if I smoke pot, my parents get stoned on alcohol every night’!

While dealing with a troubled teen, the parents need to supervise as they guide. When you find your teen misbehaving in spite of the responsibilities and the privileges that you have provided them with, you ought to understand that are unconsciously seeking directives to apprehend the limitations of their limitations and behavior. It is here that you are required to assure them with moderate and selective guidance. It is a delicate situation and your reasonable attitude will prevent an unfortunate breakdown of communication.

A troubled teen is already confused. So do not screw up the situation further by being ambivalent or partially expressive. Spell out through words and action regarding what is exactly expected of them. Encourage and appreciate their participation in the family’s decision making. This will help them in learning to realize and welcome responsibility and the necessity of accountability.

At the same time you are also required not to intrude your teen’s individuality and independence. Do not enforce your ideas, rather adopt the position of a watchful friendly bystander, who is always ready to offer help and advice but when required.
Another important aspect that one ought to remember while parenting that one should never over-react.

Parents often have this preconceived notion that their child’s adolescent period is an arduous struggle. They seem to brace up for an onslaught. This sort of attitude takes the ease out of the environment. A cool and calm attitude will not only make your child comfortable but also help you to assess their behavior with a more rational outlook. It will reduce the tendency of the parents to self-assert and draw effective trust and confidence from the teenager. This will of course ease up communication and a healthy parent-child relationship.

Once you have confirmed that your child is a troubled teen, what is the next step you should take? It is important to accept the fact that you might not be able to help your child without professional help.

Try considering the following measures:
1. Consult your teenager’s doctor –The first measure is to get a physical check up done in order to detect if there are any physical problems connected to health. Get an appointment with the doctor immediately, without delay. Hormonal changes in the body may be the main reason for all problems. Thus consulting the doctor is utmost important.

2. Consult the guidance counselor at school – Though she might not be in a position to provide the child a one-on-one counseling service, she can be of great help by telling you about the attitude and the troubling behavior of the child that the teachers and the other staff members might have taken note of. This can be of great help in finding out the child’s moods and behavior when away from home.

3. Consult a professional counselor and look for proper counseling-If you don’t know whom to approach and whom to contact, consult your pediatrician or your school’s counselor to help in contacting and providing names of recommended counselors and psychiatrists.

4. Treatment and curing centers – The counselor, therapist or psychiatrist that you may consult may feel that your teenager is too troubled and her behavior is too troubling to treat as an outpatient. In such a situation you will have to commit your teen in a treatment centre for a time period suggested by the doctors and consultants in the centre.

5. Communicate – Communicating with your child may be very difficult at this phase of their life, you need to make an intensive and determined effort to keep the lines of communication open as much as possible. This will help them to converse without hesitation. You should encourage more time to be spending with family. Go out with them. Give them your time. Show that you care. Show them that you are there beside them to love and support them. Encourage them to invite their friends for lunch or dinner. Search for new hobbies that you and your child can enjoy together.

Professional help and good communication can help your teen in this phase of life. Being a parent, you need to understand your child and give them all the love, care and support.

Sep 27, 2009

As teenagers reach there age of maturity, the body seems to be the one which takes the most obvious blows. From lower (or higher) voices, to the annoying and often humiliating issue of acne, the period of puberty is sure to be more of an hindrance than that of a bodily miracle.

Probably the most intensely studied aspect of puberty is the commonly occurring phenomenon of acne - a skin condition which results in an oily, bumpy, and often pimple spotted face. At the same time as the fashion and appearance industries are imposing high standards and perfect smiles upon our most vulnerable teenagers - the very incidence of acne can be very harmful to levels of self esteem and confidence.

But that doesn't necessarily have to be the case for long. Indeed, as the beauty industry attempts to manufacture a product for almost any ill - acne has had a lot of money spent and attention paid to it over the years. Thankfully, as a result of this - it is now a possibility to decrease the incidence, and severity of acne when it first flares up, meaning that after an initial period of treatment - the symptoms of this natural bodily process can be eliminated or reduced.

Skin Care Is The Best Option.

There are many options for when it comes to eliminating the signs of embarrassing red dots on the skin. Often, doctors will prescribe harsh drugs to stem the development and production of the leading cause of acne - high sebum levels. This sounds like a good plan at first - but the side effects of such drugs can dangerously outweigh the temporary benefits. No doubt you will have heard about a few of these, as they are readily publicized by the media.

It is for this reason that the best method of tackling acne is via skin care products. These products can be found in the supermarket, at the pharmacy, or even from online stores. Basically, they work by nourishing, repairing, and eliminating blemishes on the skin, starting from the outside. Hence, the potential side effects from such actions are limited to things such as skin rashes and irritation.

Clearly, this is a much safer option than harsh and synthetic chemical drugs. Ultimately however - it is up to you to decide which mode of repair you choose for your skin, or the skin of a loved one.

Sep 25, 2009

Eating disorders are a mental illness. They can affect women and men of all age groups, from a range of backgrounds and from different cultures. Despite an increase in the incidence and understanding of eating disorders, many people live with these disorders for a long time without treatment or a clinical diagnosis.

Female adolescents and young women are most commonly affected, but men can be also be affected by eating disorders. It is estimated that approximately one in every 100 adolescent girls will develop anorexia nervosa and approximately five in 100 adolescent girls develop bulimia.

Signs and symptoms
Some habits and behaviours are common to people with eating disorders. They include:

  • Weight loss or weight change, usually due to dieting, but sometimes from an illness or stressful situation.
  • Preoccupation with body appearance or weight.
  • Loss or disturbance of menstrual periods in females.
  • Sensitivity to cold.
  • Faintness, dizziness and fatigue.
  • Increased mood changes and irritability.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Inability to think rationally or concentrate.
  • Increased interest in preparing food for others.
  • Obsessive rituals, like only drinking out of a certain cup.
  • Wearing baggy clothes or changes in clothing style.
  • Excessive or fluctuating exercise patterns.
  • Avoidance of social situations involving food.
  • Frequent excuses not to eat.
  • Disappearance of large amounts of food.
  • Trips to the bathroom after meals.
  • Dieting.
Dieting, depression and body dissatisfaction are the most common risk factors for the onset of an eating disorder.

There is no single cause of eating disorders. It is currently agreed that eating disorders are multifactorial – that is, social, psychological and biological factors all play a part, in varying degrees, for different people.

Contributing factors may include:
Social factors
  • Media and other presentations of the ‘ideal’ shape as slim and fit.
  • Mixed messages about health and fast food.
  • Pressure to achieve and succeed.
  • Occupations or pursuits with an emphasis on body shape and size – for example, modeling or gymnastics.
Psychological factors
  • Major life changes or events such as adolescence, relationship breakdowns, childbirth, the death of a loved one, or the accumulation of many minor stressors.
  • Fear of the responsibilities of adulthood.
  • A belief that love is dependent on high achievement.
  • Poor communication between family members.
Biological factors
  • Adolescence and its associated physical changes.
  • Genetic or familial factors.
If you think you have an eating disorder
Many people have problems with their eating. If you do have an eating disorder, you have the right to get help. Remember that these disorders can be overcome.

Getting professional help and support from others is important. Recovery may be slow as you learn to approach food in a more positive way and understand the reasons for your behaviour, but the effort will be worthwhile.

Family and friends
Parents, siblings, partners, friends, extended family, work colleagues and others often experience many different feelings as they learn to cope with the effects of an eating disorder on the person, and on their own lives.

The strain of living with an eating disorder can create tensions and divisions within a family. There may be feelings of confusion, grief, anger, guilt and fear.

Family and friends can remind their loved one that the effort associated with recovery will be worthwhile for everyone. The most important thing is to show love, care and faith in the person, and seek advice at the earliest possible time.

Some suggestions for family and friends include:
  • Be honest and open about your concerns.
  • Use ‘I’ statements rather than ‘you’ statements. For example, ‘I am concerned for you because I have noticed you are not so happy at the moment’ rather than, ‘You aren’t happy at the moment’.
  • Focus on the person’s behavioural changes, rather than their weight, food consumption or physical appearance.
  • Try to take the focus off food and weight. The person with the eating disorder is already likely to be excessively focused on food and weight issues.
  • Mealtimes should not be a battleground. Frustrations and emotions need to be expressed but not at mealtimes, which are already likely to be difficult.
  • Do things as you usually would. The person with the eating disorder needs to learn to co-exist with food and other people, rather than others learning to co-exist with the eating disorder.
Treatment and recovery
Many different forms of therapy are available and it is important to remember that different approaches work for different people. Once the right approach is found, prospects of recovery are excellent. Professional help and support from others is important.

Because the disorders affect people physically and mentally, a range of health practitioners might be involved in treatment including psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, dietitians, social workers, nurses and dentists.

Things to remember
  • There is no single cause of eating disorders.
  • Dieting, depression and body dissatisfaction are common risk factors for the onset of an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders can be overcome with professional help and support from others.

Good nutrition is essential for everyone, but it’s especially important for growing teenagers. Unfortunately many Australian teenagers have an unbalanced diet. One in four adolescents buys unhealthy takeaway food every day or even a few times a day. If you eat takeaway food regularly, you are more likely to put on weight than if you eat fast food only occasionally.

Don’t despair! It doesn’t take a lot of effort to change your eating habits. A few simple changes will make a huge difference. You’ll feel better, manage your weight, improve your skin and even save money!

Junk food is poor fuel for your body
About nine in 10 teenagers eat junk food every day. This might be fizzy drinks and high-kilojoule snacks like potato chips. However, your body can’t run properly on inferior fuel. Compared to home-cooked food, junk food (which includes fast food) is almost always:

  • Higher in fat, particularly saturated fat
  • Higher in salt
  • Higher in sugar
  • Lower in fibre
  • Lower in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals
  • Served in larger portions, which means more kilojoules.
While a mid-life heart attack might seem too far away to be real, it may surprise you to know that you could have health problems already. A poor diet can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, constipation, fatigue and concentration problems – even when you’re young.

How to improve your diet without even trying
Small changes can make a big impact. Try these tips:
  • Cut back on fizzy sugary drinks. Go for sugar-free versions. Even better, drink water instead – try adding a slice of lemon, lime or orange.
  • Keep a fruit bowl stocked at home for fast and low-kilojoule snacks.
  • Eat breakfast every day so you’re less likely to snack on junk food at morning tea. A fortified breakfast cereal served with low fat milk can provide plenty of vitamins, mineral and fibre. Other fast and healthy options include yoghurt or wholemeal toast.
  • Don’t skip lunch or dinner either.
  • Help with the cooking and think up new ways to create healthy meals. Make those old family recipes lower in fat by changing the cooking method – for example, grill, stir-fry, bake, boil or microwave instead of deep frying.
  • Reduce the size of your meals.
  • Don’t add salt to your food.
  • Don’t eat high fat foods every time you visit a fast food outlet with your friends. Many of the popular fast food chains now have healthier food choices on the menu.
  • Change your meeting place. Rather than meeting up with your friends at the local takeaway shop, suggest a food outlet that serves healthier foods such as wholemeal rolls or sushi.
Change the way you think about food
There are lots of myths around about healthy food. Don’t make food choices based on false beliefs. Suggestions include:
  • Compare the prices of junk foods against the price of healthier food options to see that ‘healthy’ doesn’t have to mean ‘expensive’.
  • Experiment with different foods and recipes. You’ll soon discover that a meal cooked with fresh ingredients always leaves a limp burger or soggy chips for dead.
  • Try different ‘fast’ options like wholewheat breakfast cereal, muesli, wholemeal bread, wholegrain muffins, fruit, yoghurt or noodles. ‘Fast food’ doesn’t have to mean ‘junk food’.
  • Don’t think that your diet has to be ‘all or nothing’. Eating well doesn’t mean you must be a health food freak. A good diet allows for treats occasionally.
Change your environment
Suggestions include:
  • Lobby your school canteen for healthier food choices.
  • Ask your school canteen to include a range of low-price healthy food choices.
  • Help with the grocery shopping and opt for fewer processed foods.
  • Get involved in the kitchen at home. Browse the Better Health Channel recipe finder for inspiration – click on the ‘Quick and easy’ button if time is an issue for you and your family.
Things to remember
A teenager who eats fast food regularly is more likely to put on weight than a teenager who eats fast food only occasionally.
Many teenagers wrongly assume that healthy foods are expensive and tasteless.
Eating well doesn’t mean you must be a health food freak – a good diet allows for your favourite junk foods occasionally

Sep 24, 2009

Your breasts feel swollen and tender and may even hurt a little. Your belly is bloated, making it hard to button your favorite jeans. If you are one of the many girls who experience PMS, these are among the symptoms you may experience 7 to 10 days before your monthly period begins.

PMS symptoms generally go away as soon as your menstrual period arrives. Here are some tips to help you manage any symptoms of PMS that you may experience:

  • Get more exercise. Special chemicals in the brain are responsible for increasing pleasure and decreasing pain. These chemicals are called endorphins, and exercise helps increase them.
  • Eat less sugar and caffeine.
  • Eat less salt. If you're careful not to eat too much salt, you can help decrease water retention (bloating).
  • Relieve aches and pains with over-the-counter pills.

They Don't Have to Cramp Your Style (Too Much!)

Cramps are yet another unwelcome symptom of having your period. Some girls never get cramps; others get them only occasionally, and some unlucky gals are bothered by cramps every single period. Cramps usually begin during the first three years of your period. The good news is there are some things you can do to ease the discomfort of cramps during your period:

  • Relieve aches and pains with over-the-counter pills.
  • Try a little light exercise. Activity makes many women feel better.
  • Apply some heat. Warmth can often soothe cramps. Take a long, hot bath or place a hot water bottle or heating pad on your stomach.
  • Give yourself a gentle massage. Gently rubbing or massaging your abdomen can often relieve cramps.
  • Eat less salt. Drink more water. That "huge" feeling you get each month is caused by increased hormones that make you retain water, which in turn makes body tissue swell. So, drink more water and eat less salt. You'll help relieve bloating and headaches-and you might even feel more comfy in your favorite jeans!
  • Limit caffeine. As tough as it is to cut back on those grande, extra hot, no whip mochas, taking in less caffeine does help some women feel better.
  • Get enough sleep. It's much easier to deal with discomfort when you're not tired and cranky. Try to catch a few extra z's if you can.

If none of these ideas helps to relieve your cramps, see your doctor. He or she can make sure there aren't other causes for your symptoms, and may prescribe stronger medicine than you can buy over the counter.

Sep 23, 2009

How do you gain the respect that you know you deserve? The thing is how do you know that you deserve the respect that you think you should be getting? Respect is something that is earned, and you don't set out to just go and get respect, you get respect through the things that you do, and the actions that you take. Respect is an earned thing that you gain over time, and if people don't respect you, either they don't really care about what you do, or you haven't earned it.

So how do you go about earning the respect of other people? Well, you can do more and speak less. Those who talk a lot may get a lot of the attention, but do they really deserve all the attention that they get? The ones who come into work, and don't ask for anything other than the paycheck that they get are the ones that deserve to be respected. The people who know what they are doing, and don't try to show off all the time are the ones who earn respect.

If you think that you have earned the respect of the people around you and you don't think that you have gotten it, why not stand up for yourself? If you think that you have done enough to be respected, well then you have to step up and respect yourself first. If you don't respect yourself, and aren't proud of your own accomplishments then how do you think other people are going to feel about you? Being respected is all about carrying yourself with dignity.

Don't let people walk all over you. Just because you aren't a showboat doesn't mean that people can take your work for granted, or that you will just do what people tell you. You have to be able to make people remember what you are good for, and if you feel like you are being disrespected, don't take it, just walk away for a bit and see what happens. Do people not think that you are good enough to do your job anymore? Well take a week off, and then see how the office operates without you.

Lead by example, and let your work speak for itself. Don't feel the need to have to respond to criticism, and allow others to get into your head. If other people really could do the job that you could do, then they would be in the spot that you are in, and would be doing your job. Don't let the idle chatter of those who are jealous get in the way of you getting the respect you deserve. If you have to set someone straight, then go ahead and do so. Don't get pushed around, and let your work speak for itself, and you will get the respect that you want.

If you aren't getting the respect you feel like you deserve, you can always take your services elsewhere. Don't let your employer, or your co-workers take you for granted. It is up to you to earn the respect you feel you deserve, but if you aren't given it you can't be taken for granted either. You have to step up and take the respect that you feel you have earned, otherwise people might just walk all over you.

Sep 22, 2009

Many different types of anxiety disorders affect children and adolescents. Several types of disorders and their signs are described below:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Children and adolescents with this type of anxiety disorder engage in extreme, unrealistic worry about everyday life activities. They worry unduly about their academic performance, sporting activities, or even about being on time. Typically, these young people are very self-conscious, feel tense, and have a strong need for reassurance. They may complain about stomachaches or other discomforts that do not appear to have any physical cause.

Separation Anxiety Disorder: Children and adolescents with this type of anxiety disorder often have difficulty leaving their parents to attend school or camp, stay at a friend's house, or be alone. Often, they "cling" to parents and have trouble falling asleep. Separation anxiety disorder may be accompanied by depression, sadness, withdrawal, or fear that a family member might die. About one in every 25 children experiences separation anxiety disorder.

Phobias: Children and adolescents with phobias have unrealistic and excessive fears of certain situations or objects. Many phobias have specific names, and the disorder usually centers on animals, storms, water, heights, or situations, such as being in an enclosed space. Children and adolescents with social phobias are terrified of being criticized or judged harshly by others. Young people with phobias will try to avoid the objects and situations they fear, so the disorder can greatly restrict their lives.

Panic Disorder: Repeated "panic attacks" in children and adolescents without an apparent cause are signs of a panic disorder. Panic attacks are periods of intense fear accompanied by a pounding heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, nausea, or a feeling of imminent death. The experience is so scary that young people live in dread of another attack. Children and adolescents with the disorder may go to great lengths to avoid situations that may bring on a panic attack. They also may not want to go to school or to be separated from their parents.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder, sometimes called OCD, become trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviors. Even though they may recognize that the thoughts or behaviors appear senseless and distressing, the pattern is very hard to stop. Compulsive behaviors may include repeated hand washing, counting, or arranging and rearranging objects. About two in every 100 adolescents experience obsessive-compulsive disorder (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999).

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Children and adolescents can develop post-traumatic stress disorder after they experience a very stressful event. Such events may include experiencing physical or sexual abuse; being a victim of or witnessing violence; or living through a disaster, such as a bombing or hurricane. Young people with post-traumatic stress disorder experience the event over and over through strong memories, flashbacks, or other kinds of troublesome thoughts. As a result, they may try to avoid anything associated with the trauma. They also may overreact when startled or have difficulty sleeping.

Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders typically experience intense fear, worry, or uneasiness that can last for long periods of time and significantly affect their lives. If not treated early, anxiety disorders can lead to:
  • Repeated school absences or an inability to finish school;
  • Impaired relations with peers;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Alcohol or other drug use;
  • Problems adjusting to work situations; and
  • Anxiety disorder in adulthood.
How common are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental, emotional, and behavioral problems to occur during childhood and adolescence. About 13 of every 100 children and adolescents ages 9 to 17 experience some kind of anxiety disorder; girls are affected more than boys.1 About half of children and adolescents with anxiety disorders have a second anxiety disorder or other mental or behavioral disorder, such as depression. In addition, anxiety disorders may coexist with physical health conditions requiring treatment.

Who is at risk?

Researchers have found that the basic temperament of young people may play a role in some childhood and adolescent anxiety disorders. For example, some children tend to be very shy and restrained in unfamiliar situations, a possible sign that they are at risk for developing an anxiety disorder. Research in this area is very complex, because children's fears often change as they age.

Researchers also suggest watching for signs of anxiety disorders when children are between the ages of 6 and 8. During this time, children generally grow less afraid of the dark and imaginary creatures and become more anxious about school performance and social relationships. An excessive amount of anxiety in children this age may be a warning sign for the development of anxiety disorders later in life.

Studies suggest that children or adolescents are more likely to have an anxiety disorder if they have a parent with anxiety disorders. However, the studies do not prove whether the disorders are caused by biology, environment, or both. More data are needed to clarify whether anxiety disorders can be inherited.


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