Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Teen Depression: Know the Warning Signs

High school can be hard for anyone; it doesn’t matter if your teen is the captain of the cheerleading squad or the chess club.

There are many factors into teens becoming depressed like lack of self-esteem, bullies, hormones or an unfortunate event.

Here are 5 signs that your teen may be depressed:

1.  Chooses to stay home: Teens typically spend their youth hanging out with friends, going to movies and the mall or over to a friend’s house. If your teen has been choosing to stay home and without friends, this could be a sign they aren’t happy. It’s normal for a teen to go through friendship changes but if you think it is something more, talk to your teen.
2.  Change in clothing and hygiene: This could go either way, if your teen stops taking care of their appearances or they drastically become obsessed with their appearance and hygiene these could be signs your teen is depressed. Teens often use clothing and makeup to express themselves and when they start to let themselves go, it’s because they don’t care about themselves. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your teen starts to overdue the makeup, hair and clothing –it’s not just a trend, it’s a sign they are feeling the need to present themselves in a dramatic fashion to gain attention from anyone.
3.  Extreme mood swings: Yes, hormones can be the reason for mood swings but not all of it. If you teen goes from being extremely happy and then straight to sad in a matter of moments, your teen could be depressed. Depressed teens do not how to express themselves and handle pain and when they are experiencing that pain, their reactions reflect so.
4.  Grades slipping: Grade slipping is the first and easiest sign to every teacher and parent that a teen may be having difficulty, such as depression. Depression can consume one’s mind to where studying becomes hard and concentration difficult, resulting in bad grades. This is why it is important to always check your child’s progress reports and to meeting with their teachers.
5.  Loss of friends: Teens will fight with friends but tend to get over their problems fast. Your child with gain and lose friends because it is just how life works, but if you notice that your child’s closest friends are not around, something could be wrong.

It is hard to tell if a teen is depressed or not because of the growing, learning and hormones but when in doubt, talk. Talk to you teen if you see any of these signs and consult a professional for help. Depression runs deep and could take time to heal. Talk and keep an eye on your teen and remember that this too shall pass.

Special contributor: Kelsey is the editor in chief for She loves to write article and ideas that parents & nannies would be interested in hearing. She helps society on giving information about nannies through nanny services. She is a professional writer & loves writing on anything.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Teens Cheating in School

It’s no secret that students cheat. 

On exams, on papers, on projects: no matter the assignment, someone out there has figured out a way to cheat on it. And the statistics are alarming: two out of three college students admit they have cheated on homework, and 19% have cheated on exams, according to a recent study.

Whether it’s because of shifting morals or access to technology, it’s clear that cheating is as prevalent as ever. If you’re a teacher who wants to crack down on cheaters or a student who wants to take the easy way through school (shame on you!), these are the most common ways students around you are cheating.

1. Looking at someone else’s answers during an exam happens, but it’s much more common for students to copy a peer’s homework routinely. Many students don’t even see it as cheating. Not only is it unfair to the student who is actually doing the assignments and being taken advantage of, it hurts the person doing the copying as well. By copying homework, students don’t practice what they’ve learned and perform worse on exams. One study found that copying homework can cause a student to score two letter grades below those who completed their homework on an exam testing the material. Remember, practice makes perfect, and practicing cheating won’t help you in the long run.
2. Some cheaters are learning one thing: you get what you pay for. There is a world out there that honest students can’t even comprehend — the term paper market. Academic papers (and grades) are bought and sold like any other good. There are many different options for finding a term paper to turn in (besides the obvious, do-it-yourself option), some free, some a little pricey. Free term paper sites, like and, have a small selection and lower quality. Sites with papers for purchase, like and, sell term papers with a per-page price and actually earn students B’s frequently. And some wealthier students even hire someone to custom-write their essays. If you fall into any of these camps, you better cross your fingers that your professor doesn’t ask you any follow-up questions about what you’ve "written."
3. Smuggling a cheat sheet into a test is so common that you’d think teachers would’ve figured out how to spot it by now, but students keep getting more and more creative. If they would put as much time into studying as they do into imagining ways to cheat, they’d probably do just fine. Students have come up with ways to hide cheat sheets in their pen caps, wallets, ID badges, gum wrappers, Band-Aids, and basically anything you can think of. But if you’re trying this, you better be sly. It’s hard not to look suspicious when continuously checking that piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
4.Cellphones have made it much easier for students to cheat; instead of passing obvious paper notes during an exam, they can discreetly text a friend for answers. More than a third of teens with cellphones in 2009 admitted they had used them to either store information for a test or to text a friend during an exam. In the same 2009 study, researchers found that almost 25% of students didn’t even think that was cheating. Maybe if a teacher sent them a text message defining cheating it would get through to them.
5. The camera technology in cellphones has also presented a challenge to teachers and education officials. Even if a student isn’t using his cellphone to text the answers to a friend, he could easily snap a photo of the test questions and send it to a friend taking the test later or post it on the Internet. Earlier this year, California encountered this problem on a major scale regarding its high school exit exam. Hundreds of photos of the standardized test popped up on social networking sites; some were innocent, like students posing proudly with the exam booklet, while others were clearly taken for the purpose of cheating.
6. Writing papers isn’t everyone’s strong suit, but that’s not a good reason to copy and paste your writing from someone else's work. With the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find brilliant words that fit your assignment, and you can just use the handy copy-paste function to transfer paragraphs in seconds. But the Web also makes it easier for teachers to catch cheaters. A quick Google search of suspicious phrases can quickly locate sources you do not cite, and has become a favorite for discovering how much of an assignment was plagiarized.
7. Some studies find that sorority and fraternity members cheat more than other American students. This could be a result of the easily accessible test banks many fraternities and sororities maintain. The organizations keep tests from certain classes and professors on file, and current members just add to the collection as they take updated tests, different courses, or new professors. This isn’t necessarily cheating if the professor knows that his test is being distributed and changes it every term, but many courses use the same test questions for years without knowing the answers are stored in a Greek system’s test bank.

Source: Online Degree Programs

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Teens Texting and Driving: Study Shows It is Common - Unfortunately

With school opening shortly many teens will be driving for the first time to school.

A recent AT&T survey found that 97% of teens say they know that texting is dangerous. The survey also found:

· 75% of teens surveyed say that texting while driving is “common” among their friends;
· Almost all teens (89%) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less;
· And 77% of teens report seeing their parents text while driving.

Wireless provider AT&T*, seeking to bring attention to a serious road-safety problem, today urged all Americans to pledge to stop texting while driving, and then to join with others September 19th to make a lifelong commitment to never do so again.

AT&T’s “It Can Wait” public awareness campaign is focused on a simple, powerful message: No text is worth dying for. AT&T plans to spend tens of millions of dollars on the campaign in 2012 and has made it an ongoing commitment in future years.
As school opens throughout the country it is critical parents talk to their teens that are driving and even their kids that will be riding with others that are driving - texting and driving can kill. Distracted driving kills.

Take the pledge to never text and drive today! Click here.

Parent question: What type of role model are you? Do you text and drive? Do you believe an experienced driver has the ability to text and drive safely? Think again.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Over-the-Counter Medicine Abuse

OTC - Over the Counter Medicines

Drugstore medications can be dangerous!

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines like painkillers and cold medicines are generally safe when used as intended. But if your teen takes them in large doses to get high, they can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Many young people abuse cough medicines containing dextromethorphan, among other drugs. Get the facts on this disturbing trend.

1. The statistics are frightening:
Government surveys show that 3.1 million people age 12 and older have misused OTC medications in their lifetime—with nearly 4 percent of misuse among those younger than 18. Nearly 6 percent of 10th graders and roughly 5 percent of high school seniors report abusing cough or cold medicines, particularly those containing dextromethorphan.

2. Dextromethorphan goes by many names:
Pharmacists may call this medication DXM. On the street, it's also known as dex, poor man's PCP, CCC, rojo, skittles, triple C, velvet, or robo. Abusing it is often called robotripping, skittling, or dexing. You can find DXM in more than 125 over-the-counter products, including Robitussin, Vicks, and Coricidin HBP.

3. The dose makes the difference:
Fifteen or 30 milligrams of DXM three to four times daily quells adults' coughs with few side effects. Teens who abuse it sometimes take 250 to 1,500 milligrams at a time. Too much DXM and mixing it with other drugs can cause medical emergencies, such as overdose or even death.

4. Abuse leads to highs—and lows:
Depending on the dose, the effects of DXM include feeling either overexcited or lethargic. Low doses may be mildly stimulating. The more teens take, the more likely they are to experience hallucinations, euphoria, and a feeling of being outside of their own bodies.

5. The health dangers are real:
In the short term, abusing DXM can cause nausea, vomiting, numbness, abdominal pain, slurred speech, dizziness, paranoia, and increased heart rate. Long-term risks include dependence, high blood pressure, and problems breathing because of nervous system effects. Teens who abuse DXM suffer from impaired senses, which may lead to life-threatening accidents.

6. Some teens create deadly combos:
Over-the-counter products with DXM often contain other ingredients, including acetaminophen and the drug guaifenesin, which relieves congestion. These drugs have their own dangers at high doses, including liver damage and rapid heartbeat. Mixing DXM with other drugs intensifies the risks—for example, DXM can be fatal when taken with antidepressants.

7. Many teens have easy access:
Liquids, capsules, and tablets containing DXM are readily available at drugstores, supermarkets, or convenience stores—as well as in parents' medicine cabinets. Some teens order high-dose DXM powders online or visit websites that have "recipes" for more potent drug combinations.

8. DXM isn't the only drugstore danger:
Young people also misuse laxatives, emetics, and diet pills. They may begin by trying to lose weight but gradually become dependent on ingredients such as ephedrine, caffeine, and phenylpropanolamine. Like speed, these substances stimulate the central nervous system and can be fatal.

9. Abusers often leave telltale signs:
Talk with your teen regularly about the dangers of abusing OTC drugs, and watch for red flags. Be concerned if he or she takes large amounts of cold medicine. Keep an eye out for missing medicine from your own cabinet, as well as drug packaging in your child's backpack or bedroom.

10. With help, teens can stop misusing drugs:
A support team can help your family face—and overcome—OTC drug abuse. If you suspect your child has a problem, talk with a school nurse, doctor, or other health professional. Other sources of information and support include school counselors, faith leaders, other parents, and community anti-drug organizations.


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