Being a teenager can have many ups and downs, some of which can make it difficult for you to make sense of as a parent. If your teen has been exhibiting a change in mood and you are not sure if they are depressed, here are some things you should know.
What's the Difference?
While most teenagers can seem rather moody and typically want to isolate themselves, these are some of the most common behaviors exhibited by teenagers. However, if you notice any drastic changes in your child's behavior, you should pay close attention to make sure there isn't an underlying issue going on. According to the Transformation Treatment Center, common signs of depression in teenagers are a rise in school truancy, declining grades, unusual emotional sensitivity or volatility, new involvement in alcohol or drug use, an unusual avoidance of social contact, or the appearance of "cutting" or other self-harming behaviors. If you find that your teen has turned to drugs as a form of coping treatment centers can help them overcome their addiction while promoting mental health as well.
What to Expect During the Teen Years
As your child becomes older, it is perfectly normal for them to prefer spending time with their friends over you. Although you might feel hurt by this, your teenager is just expanding their social circle and is becoming more independent, which means they'll be less dependent on you and the family for emotional support. During this time, you may also notice that your child's mood is becoming more irritable and they tend to be restless or even lethargic at times.
LoveToKnow reminds us that before you go dialing the depression hotline, remember that your teenager is going through lots of hormonal changes, and their mood and energy levels will be affected. But if you notice that your teen is isolating themselves from everyone and is extremely irritable for no apparent reason, you may want to keep a closer eye on them to make sure everything is okay.
Total Personality Changes
DiscoverPlace teaches that while a change in mood is to be expected when your teen is becoming an adolescent, a total personality shift may be a sign of something more serious. If your child has always been very bubbly, outgoing, and happy yet is now totally withdrawn, never smiles, and acting very angry, there may be a deeper issue.
Just because your teen is moody doesn't mean they are depressed; however, when you notice drastic changes in behavior, you should take heed. If your gut is gnawing at you, don't just write off the moodiness as growing pains because it could be deeper than that.
Teens need their sleep! Click here to learn how to overcome Sleep Deprivation!
Obtaining a driver's license signals a new road to independence for teenagers. Parents often worry about their kids when they get behind the wheel of a car. What about a motorcycle? Many teens also want to hop on a bike and take off. While you may be concerned, there are steps you can take to best prepare your child to get their motorcycle license.
Before anyone can become a licensed driver, they usually must practice with a permit. Requirements vary from state to state, but the consensus is that applicants must at least be between 14 to 17 years old and able to pass the specified tests. The main tests include a DDS knowledge exam, a road skills test, and a vision exam. Your state may also require you to sign on your child’s behalf.
While you may not always need a permit, there are some advantages to having one. For example, holding a learning permit gives your teenager the time they need to master the skills of driving a motorcycle. Always check with your state's DMV before letting your teen hop on a bike.
Training and Safety Courses
Before your teen gets on a motorcycle, it's a great idea to enroll them in a training and safety class. It's critical that they learn everything they can before embarking on their journey. Courses vary from location to location, but they typically teach the same material. Students will have classes in things such as shifting gears, navigating, and braking while enrolled in their course. Motorcycle accidents are prevalent, so always practice defensive maneuvers. With roughly 88,000 motorcycle accidents in the U.S. in 2015, it's pretty clear that riding a motorcycle can be incredibly dangerous, something that can be at least somewhat mitigated by taking training and safety courses.
Obtaining a License
Once your teenager has spent the necessary time to learn the basics of driving a motorcycle, it's time to get that license. The typical requirements are about the same as getting a permit; they'll have to be able to pass the necessary tests to prove they're competent at driving. The applicant will also have to pay a fee for their license to be valid. Once approved, their license will show "M" class, proving that they're a registered motorcycle driver.
While your teenager is learning, stress the importance of being patient. As you know, your teen always needs to be cognizant of what's happening around them. You're a great parent to help your child get that license they want so badly, so enjoy the ride.
Did your teen pass their driving test? We recommend reading this article before investing in a new or used vehicle.
If you're buying a car for your teen, safety is probably your highest priority. After all, teenagers aren't exactly known for their driving prowess. However, other considerations, such as your budget and the vehicle's reliability, are important too. Before you turn over a set of car keys to your family's newest driver, take the following considerations into account.
It's Probably Going to Break
Like it or not, the car you buy for your teen is probably going to break. If you're like many parents and buy your teen a low-cost car with a lot of miles on it, it'll simply be more likely to break down due to age. Furthermore, teenagers are usually harder on cars than more experienced drivers. They tend to brake harder, accelerate more quickly and disregard necessary maintenance tasks. Teaching your teen how to maintain their car will help extend the vehicle's life, but you should expect breakdowns and plan accordingly. There are some cars that are safer for teens, but you should still encourage safe driving.
Consider the Upfront Expenses
Knowing the upfront expenses of buying a car for your teenager will help you budget and prepare financially. First, decide whether to pay for the car upfront or to take out a loan. Then, consider having your teen pay for part of the cost of the vehicle. Not only will this take a little financial strain off you, but it'll build a sense of responsibility in your child. Finally, don't forget to budget for car insurance. Adding a teen driver to your insurance is likely to increase your premiums considerably.
Find the Right Car
The car you want for your teen is probably different than the one you want for yourself. To encourage safe driving, look for cars that don't emphasize horsepower, and keep in mind that larger cars are typically safer than compacts. Newer cars generally come with more safety features than older models, but they also come with heftier price tags.
Handing over the car keys to a new driver is a big deal regardless of how prepared you feel or how responsible your teenager is. Adequately preparing yourself and your child for this milestone will give your entire family peace of mind. Know that the car you choose is likely to break down, establish a budget, and take your time finding the right vehicle for your new driver.
(BPT) - Headlines filled with news of opioid abuse, overdoses and reports that 90 percent of addictions start in the teen years could make any parent worry. Yet parents remain conflicted about opioids: While more than half express concern their child may be at risk for opioid addiction, nearly two-thirds believe opioids are more effective at managing their child’s pain after surgery or a broken bone than non-prescription medication or other alternatives, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
“The survey results shed light on the country’s conflicted relationship with and understanding of opioids,” said ASA President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA. “Opioids may not always be the best option. It really depends on the type of surgery and how long they are required. It is important for parents to know that there are many alternatives available that are as — or more — safe and effective for pain management.”
During Physician Anesthesiologists Week (Jan. 27 to Feb. 2), ASA wants parents to know that a physician anesthesiologist can create an individualized plan to best address patients’ pain based on the condition or type of surgery and decrease the risk of opioid misuse and addiction.
Parents aren’t asking about effective alternatives
While opioids can help with pain management for a few days after surgery or injury, there are effective alternatives that do not have the side effects and risks of opioids. But the survey results suggest parents often don’t ask about alternatives, or aren’t aware of the range of options.
* 59 percent said they would talk to their physician about pain management options, but only 37 percent of those whose children were prescribed opioids actually did.
* 88 percent recognized non-opioid, over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and aspirin, are used to effectively help treat pain. However, few were aware the same applies to other non-opioid options, including steroids (23 percent), antidepressants (9 percent) and anti-seizure medications (7 percent).
Beyond medications, a number of non-drug therapies can help with ongoing pain, including nerve blocks, physical therapy, biofeedback, meditation, virtual reality, massage and acupuncture.
Parents are unaware that safe storage and proper disposal are key
More than half of people who misuse prescribed opioids get them from a friend or relative. That’s why safe storage and proper disposal of the drugs are important to help curb the epidemic.
* Only 50 percent said they stored or would store opioids in a safe and secure place.
* 60 percent of those whose children took opioids said they needed fewer than were prescribed and had leftover medication. But only 39 percent of all parents disposed or would dispose of leftover opioids as recommended, including taking them to a local pharmacy or health clinic, flushing them down the toilet or mixing them with dirt, kitty litter or coffee grounds before throwing them away.
* 61 percent correctly identified the ideal method of disposing leftover opioids, which involves taking them to a collection center at a local police station or drug disposal program at a pharmacy or health clinic.
Parents understand importance of communication
When a child is prescribed opioids, parents need to have an open and honest discussion about the potential side effects and risks — not only with the child taking the medication, but other family members as well.
* 74 percent said they have talked to their child about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter medications and 20 percent said they intend to have the conversation.
* 89 percent of those whose children have been prescribed opioids said they’ve had those discussions.
* 91 percent said they are confident their children know that prescribed and over-the-counter medications can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs.
Parents recognize naloxone saves lives
Naloxone (Narcan) is a lifesaving medication administered via nasal spray or injection that rapidly reverses the effects of an overdose. It’s important to know about naloxone because anyone who uses opioids may be at risk for an overdose.
* 71 percent agreed that having naloxone on hand is the same as having other life-saving medication available for people who suffer from conditions such as allergies, asthma or diabetes.
* 80 percent said they would be more comfortable having it at home if their child or another family member was taking opioids.
* 92 percent thought all first responders should carry it.
The 17-question Engine Caravan Omnibus Survey was conducted online Nov. 25 to Dec. 2, 2018, among 1,007 parents of children ages 13-24, one-third of whom had been prescribed opioids.
Visit ASA’s website for information about all aspects of pain management and to access an opioid overdose resuscitation card that provides guidance on symptoms of an overdose and how to help.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 53,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring that physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care that every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Like ASA on Facebook; follow ASALifeline on Twitter
(BPT) - Senior year: It's a time to finish college applications, solidify friendships and look forward to the freedom and the responsibility that come once that final bell rings. A lot of feelings surface during that final year, especially for parents. While your son or daughter might be overjoyed to finally fly the coop and live independently, you'll probably be dealing with your own mix of emotions, and you'll want to be sure they're ready to begin college in the fall.
For families with a child headed to college, senior year is best thought of as a transition year. Plan ahead to make sure your family stays on track.
To help you and your child with a successful transition, here's the essential list of landmarks on the road that will take your child from a senior in high school to a freshman in college.
1. Apply yourself in the fall
The journey to college begins early, and by the fall of senior year in high school, your child should be in full transition mode. They should be finishing campus visits and finalizing the list of colleges where they want to apply. Make sure they've spoken with admission counselors, thoroughly researched schools they're interested in and have everything they need to complete their college applications.
Keep tabs on important deadlines and stay organized to avoid missing any critical due dates. For example, will they want to apply early decision or early action? If so, make sure you have weighed how this could impact your financial plan for college.
2. Focus on financial aid from the start
For many parents, one of the biggest anxieties around college is the cost. Don't forget that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens on Oct. 1, and some aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Make sure you submit the form as soon as it's available.
Because everyone has different needs, figuring out how to finance your child's education requires some research.
At College Ave Student Loans, you can find private loan options for parents and students. Even if you're not ready to take a loan out yet, parents and students can try out the fast and easy pre-qualification tools to find out if their credit pre-qualifies for a loan, and what interest rates they could expect, all without impacting their credit scores. Calculators are also available to help you explore your options and see how you can customize the loan payments to fit your budget.
3. Spring time is decision time
Early in the spring, your child will start to receive their first acceptance letters. Once they've heard from all of the schools where they applied, they'll have a big decision to make.
They need to do more than just decide which school to attend; they'll also need to send in a deposit, complete their housing form and accept financial aid packages.
A crucial step in this process is comparing award letters from the colleges where your child has been accepted. In reading these letters, pay close attention to how schools list the total costs. For instance, some schools will subtract the awarded loan amount from the total cost of attendance, while others will not. This could make the net cost of some schools appear less than others when in reality they are not, so take your time reading the documents.
4. Tie up everything in the summer
Before they head to campus, you and your children should create a budget to keep tabs on college bills. This will help you to stay on track financially and set the right expectations about how they need to manage their money.
You can help your soon-to-be freshman by working with them to outline a monthly budget that will take into account expected and unexpected expenses. Take a look at their financial aid packages and any income they might be earning and block out the monthly mandatory expenses. Then decide how much money they can spend on things like entertainment.
If you find that scholarships, grants and federal aid don't cover everything, private loans could be one solution for some college-bound students.
For parents and students, senior year is an exciting period. Knowing what steps to take and staying ahead of financial matters with useful tools like the ones at College Ave Student Loans can help make the transition easier for everyone.
Rushing out the door for another busy day of hitting the books can mean important things get left behind. Keeping a ready supply of everyday essentials in a backpack or locker can help ease the stress of a forgotten item. Be prepared for whatever a busy school day may bring by stocking up on these necessities.
Ease School Day Stress
Must-haves for lockers and backpacks
(Family Features) Rushing out the door for another busy day of hitting the books can mean important things get left behind. Keeping a ready supply of everyday essentials in a backpack or locker can help ease the stress of a forgotten item.
Whether it’s rehearsing for the school play, gearing up for athletic practices or just spending time after class with friends, teens seem to always be on the go. In order for teens to focus on their fun extracurricular activities, rather than the stresses of remembering everything they need, it’s important to keep a few items on-hand.
Be prepared for whatever a busy school day may bring by stocking up on these necessities:
Backup school supplies. You may have a favorite pen that you use every day, but if it goes missing, be sure you’re still prepared for class with a ready stash of extras. Same goes for note-taking paper in case you leave a notebook at home. Take inventory of the things you use every day and add an extra just in case something goes missing or gets left behind.
Personal care essentials. There are few things worse to realize you forgot than hygiene supplies. Keep a backup supply of items like deodorant available for days when you really need them. It’s also a good idea to keep a brush or comb handy. If you’re prone to oil, some dry shampoo can help, and for longer locks, don’t forget extra elastic ties.
Spot treatment. Acne seems to make its appearance on its own time, and it’s never a good time. With solutions like the OXY On-The-Go Acne Stick, there’s no need to waste precious minutes on treatment. The stick is conveniently packaged in a slim, solid form, so it provides a portable, bathroom-free solution that can easily be placed in a small bag or backpack. Because it goes on clear via a handy mess-free applicator, you can spot-treat at any time. Learn more at oxyskincare.com.
Organization apps. Whether you’re more of a write-it-down or key-it-in person, keeping track of the details in your life can help you be sure you stay on track with practice schedules, homework deadlines and other important information. You probably never leave your phone too far behind, but try and occasionally use it in a productive manner with an app you’ll easily remember to update.
Spare change. A small stash of cash (say $5) is a good idea to keep on hand for any number of after-school activities. It could also certainly come in handy for a minor “emergency,” like forgotten lunch money or leaving your water bottle at home.
Forgetting things on a busy morning is bound to happen, but if you prepare for the inevitable you can keep a simple mistake from ruining the day.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
(BPT) - For most teens, high school is an exciting time, one that offers the opportunity to set their own path and make some of their own decisions. However, with this added independence comes additional responsibility, especially regarding money.
Today teens are spending $260 billion a year in the U.S., yet only 17 states require completion of at least one financial literary course for high school graduation.
"So many teens don't realize how important saving is," says Angel Carter, an Atlanta teen who was selected by Boys & Girls Clubs of America to serve as national ambassador for its financial education program called Money Matters: Make it Count, created in collaboration with Charles Schwab Foundation. "They don't understand the importance of saving for their future needs and tracking or prioritizing their purchases."
Taking part in this program had a profound impact on Carter, along with more than 725,000 other Club teens who have completed Money Matters. And because April is Financial Literacy Month, now is the perfect time for Carter to offer a few tips she learned to help others manage their money.
* There's no such thing as "too young" or "too much." Because of the way compound interest works, the earlier you begin to save, the less of a burden it is. For example, regularly saving 10 percent of your income is a good savings goal if you're in your 20s or younger; however, if you wait until your 30s to start saving, that number increases to 20 percent in order to reach the same long-term goal. And if you wait till your 40s, it goes up to 30 percent. So it's better to start putting money away as early as possible. Talk to your parents or another adult you trust about setting up a savings account, and how much you should regularly set aside.
* Recognize needs vs. wants. Being smart about money doesn't mean you can't enjoy life, or do fun things with your hard-earned cash; but it does mean you need to plan for them. An easy rule of thumb is to figure out how much you need to set aside in order to meet your expenses, including savings, every month. Anything left over is for having fun. It might seem contradictory, but knowing ahead of time how much spending money you have available helps you know when you can comfortably say "yes," and when you're better off passing on an event or an impulse purchase.
* Know where your money goes. It may not be particularly fun, but tracking where and how you spend money is just one of those healthy habits that's good for you, like eating spinach and exercising. You can record this information with a notebook or an app, but just remember to log your purchases, including all those "small" ones. Being aware of every dollar you spend will help you understand yourself and your spending habits - and can help you find ways to reduce your spending and save even more.
* Credit is like social media. You know how parents and teachers are always telling you to watch what you post on social media channels, because someday you're going to have to apply for a job? Good credit is to your future purchasing what a clean social media history is to job applications: it takes time and commitment to build, and only moments to lose. A good credit score and a history of responsible spending give you options, which is priceless when you want to buy or lease a car, or apply for an apartment or even buy a house later on. How do you build good credit? Manage your checking account carefully, always pay your bills on time, and if you do choose to get a credit card, never charge more than you can afford to pay off in full every month.
* Keep it real. In today's economy, managing money responsibly is a tall order, but it is possible, especially if you take control! Think about the kind of lifestyle you want to live, and figure out how much it takes to support yourself in those circumstances. Once you've done that, it's simply a matter of solving for "x." One good way to be astute about finances is to look for a financial education program geared for teens, one that covers budgeting, goal setting, and planning for the future. Some programs, like Money Matters, even offer virtual reality games to practice for the real world without real-life risk.
These tips are just a few Carter learned through the Money Matters program at her local Boys & Girls Club. A new component of the program, the digital game $ky, is now available to all teens. The game challenges teens to navigate financial decisions in a fresh, fun way that will keep them thinking prudently about their finances not only in April but in the months and years ahead.
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