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teen

Pushing Back Morning Start Time

Now that school has started, are your teenagers complaining about having to get up so EARLY for their first class of the day? Well, America’s pediatricians may be on their side.

 

According to Fox News, the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that delaying the start of the school day until at least 8:30 a.m. would help teens get the sleep they need.

 

The lack of enough sleep has been linked with poor health, bad grades, car crashes and other problems. The pediatricians say teens are especially at risk, and that for them, “chronic sleep loss has increasingly become the norm.”

 

Studies have found that most U.S. students in middle school and high school don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, which is 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours on school nights. Most high school seniors get an average of less than seven hours per night.

 

According to government figures, more than 40 percent of the nation’s public high schools start classes before 8 a.m. And school bus pickup times typically mean kids have to get up before dawn if they want to take the bus.

 

So what about simply having school get out later in the day? Kristen Amundson with the National Association of State Boards of Education says that would be costly.

 

That’s because school buses often make multiple runs each day for older and younger students.   She adds that a later dismissal time would impact after-school sports and cut into the time allowed for homework and after-school jobs,

 

Uh, maybe I’m missing something here, but why not simply make your kid go to BED earlier? If you turn off all electronics at 9PM—including mobile technology, you may be amazed at how quickly your teen falls asleep!

 

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

plane

Good News: Teen Flies Around The World

 

A 19-year-old American attempting to become the youngest person ever to fly around the world solo reached India Thursday, more than a month into his aerial odyssey.  Matt Guthmiller, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), smiled and flashed a thumbs-up after he landed his single-engined Beechcraft A36 Bonanza aircraft in the city of Nagpur in western Maharashtra state early Thursday.  The bespectacled teen is set to cover 29,000 miles during his month-long journey, making 25 stops across 14 countries.  He hopes to set a Guinness World Record by landing on July 8 in California, when he will be 16 days younger than Ryan Campbell of Australia, the current record holder.  Click here to learn more about this amazingly ambitious teen!

 

stress

Anxious Adolescent

You work hard and have so much stress and pressure to deal with. Oh, to be a kid again where life is so carefree… Actually, you kids may be struggling even more than you are.

In a new study, forty percent of teens said they suffered from irritability or anger, while almost as many felt anxiety, depression, or sadness. The main culprit: stress.

And this stress can destroy a child’s ability to keep up in school, have healthy relationships, and avoid substance abuse. Plus, stress damages physical health through loss of sleep or poor eating habits. It’s a destructive domino effect many parents aren’t even aware of.

Teens need your help. Stay tuned to your child’s moods, academic performance, and changes in behavior—and talk to them about stress.  Encourage them to pray, exercise, journal, and find healthy ways to make adolescence less anxious.

Stronger Families. Stronger Communities. I’m Dr. Walt Larimore for Shine dot FM.

You can read additional blogs by Dr. Larimore on this topic here. Just scroll down the home page to find and click on the article in which you’re interested. In addition, you can see Dr. Walt’s twice-daily devotional, Morning Glory, Evening Grace, here. Last, but not least, limited numbers of autographed copies of Dr. Walt’s books are available here.

Listen to today’s audio here.

waiter

Good News: Seniors Prank It Forward

 

Last year, seniors at Combs High School started a food fight as part of a school prank.  The prank ended with seniors involved in the prank being banned from graduation ceremonies.  It’s a much different story with seniors from the class of 2014 who have decided to “prank it forward”.  Seniors at Combs High School in the San Tan Valley are preparing to graduate Thursday, and they have pulled a senior prank that will not soon be forgotten.  This group of seniors organized a plan called “prank it forward” to raise money for a server at a nearby Olive Garden who needed help with medical bills.  As they paid for lunch they left him a cash tip of $510; it was money raised from students over the past week and a half, and it was caught on camera.  Watch this amazing video here.  Way to go seniors!

 

bobyimage

Teenagers: Body Image & Drunk Driving

This week I found a couple of youth culture stories that I wanted to pass along to parents.

As you know, a great deal of attention has been paid to how entertainment impacts girls’ perceptions of their body image. But movies and magazines can have an unhealthy impact on boys, too.

The latest example of that influence is connected to the recent movie 300: Rise of an Empire. When the original film, 300, came out, an exercise regimen called the 300 workout swept through health clubs—reportedly based on techniques the movie’s stars used to get bulked up for their roles.

And what impact do those images have on impressionable young males?  Time.com reporter Eliana Dockterman says “Ripped male bodies that grace our movie screens have boys thinking they’re inadequate.”

She cites research indicating that a quarter of men today think they’re underweight, and more than half say they feel insecure about their bodies at least once a week.

Some guys spend unhealthy amounts of time working out, use unregulated substances to pack on muscle and even resort to steroids.

Dr. Alison Field, a professor of pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital says “Instead of wanting to [do] something unhealthy to get smaller, they’re using unhealthy means to get larger.”

And here’s another study parents should be aware of. Teens who have ridden with drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are far more likely to drive while impaired themselves,

Researchers followed students from 10th through 12th grade.  They found that found that if they’d previously ridden with an intoxicated or drug-using driver, they were about 120 times more likely to drive while impaired.

For some practical advice on talking to your kids about this issue, visit the website of Mothers Against Drunk Driving at madd.org.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Cutting

Teen Girls Are Cutting & Legalized Marijuana

Teen girls are cutting themselves in record numbers—and sometimes they are doing it with their friends!

A new study out of New Zealand found that nearly 22% of 13- to 16-year old girls surveyed admitted to cutting.

Dr. Shelly James at Massey University says although the number was shocking, that’s not really what caught her attention.

She says the common perception is that cutters are isolated, unpopular outcasts.  But in reality, the cutters were just as likely to be among the most popular kids in school.

Her study also found that many girls had actually self-harmed in front of other people—or actually that girls had engaged in cutting together.

Dr. James says “Approximately 23% of self-harming kids had harmed in front of other people, and nearly 12% had actually harmed in conjunction with another person, so they had harmed together….that was staggering to me.”

In other news, according to the Pew Research Center’s latest poll, 52% of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. It marks the first time a majority of those polled have been pro-pot.

Also, fewer and fewer Americans believe that smoking marijuana is a moral issue.

Today, just 32% believe it’s morally wrong, compared with 50% just seven years ago.

So what does the bible say about using marijuana?  Well, although it doesn’t specifically address it, it does command us to show self-control (Titus 1:8) and to “have a clear mind in every situation” (2 Timothy 4:5).

If you’re a parent and would like to get some solid facts on marijuana and your kids, go to drugfree.org.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

beer

Hard Drinking College Students May Be Damaging Their DNA

Weekends spent drinking and partying may seem like harmless fun for young adults, but new research has revealed that this level of alcohol consumption may actually damage their DNA.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse states that around four out of five college students in the US drink alcohol, and almost 2,000 college students die each year as a result of unintentional alcohol-related injuries.

According to Medical News Today, researchers in Mexico set out to analyze the oxidative damage caused by drinking alcohol in young, healthy people.  Oxidative damage is considered damage to proteins, membranes and DNA.

For the study, researchers recruited individuals between the ages of 18 and 23, who were then split into two groups.  One group was required to drink an average of 1.5 liters of alcohol each weekend, and the other group did not drink any alcohol.

The researchers found the drinkers had twice as much oxidative damage to their cell membranes compared to the non-drinkers.

By the way, if you’re the parent of a teenager, here’s something you should know.

The American Medical Association has found that a large percentage of teens who drink get the booze from their own parents.

25 percent of parents surveyed admitted to allowing their child to drink under their supervision.

And get this–One out of 12 parents said that they allowed their child’s friends to drink in their own home—often serving the alcohol themselves.

So even if you set a healthy example in your home, it’s anybody’s guess what may happen when your son or daughter visits a friend’s home.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

TeenMobile

The Impact of Mobile Technology on Teens and Young Adults

What impact is mobile technology having on teens and young adults?

According to a new study from Kent State University, the more time college students spend talking, texting, Facebooking or surfing the Internet on their smartphones, the more likely they are to be anxious, unhappy and get lower grades.

Plugged In.com reports on the research, in which students kept a record of their mobile phone use.  They also took psychological tests designed to measure anxiety and life satisfaction.

Andrew Lepp, the co-author of the study says “The lower frequency users use their phone to keep in touch, check the Web and update Facebook but they can put it away and get on with other tasks.”

“But the higher users are not able to control it and are glued to the cellphone. They need to unplug and find some personal time where they can disconnect from the network.”

Dr. Lepp says we all need time to be alone with our thought and recover from the daily stresses of life in a way that doesn’t involve electronic media.

Meanwhile, some teenagers are sleeping with their cellphones—and sending texts during the night without any memory of it the next morning.

Dr. Gerald Rosen, who leads the pediatric sleep disorders program at Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota, believes teens are being conditioned to respond to their phones almost like a mother responds to her baby.

He says “If you’re a mother, you awaken to the sound of your child crying.  Even if it’s not a loud noise, it will trigger an awakening. That’s essentially what’s happening with lots of kids with their phones.”

Dr. Rosen also believes there are deeper problems to explore when anyone is so attached to a piece of technology that they have to sleep with it.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Christianfriends

New Year’s Advice for Christian Parents

As we get ready to kick off a new year, here’s a question for you:  do you want your kids to grow up with a strong, vibrant, Christian faith?

If so, you’ll need to be intentional about building healthy, lasting relationships with other Christian families.

When I was growing up, we knew our neighbors.  My parents watched out for the other kids in the neighborhood and the other parents on the block watched out for us.

If my brother and I were doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing and someone spotted us, my parents would get a call from one of those neighbors.

I believe my brother referred to them as “snitches” or “narcs.”  ;-]

But today, the sad truth is that in most suburban neighborhoods we DON’T know our neighbors—or at least we don’t know many of them.

Neighbors come home at the end of the day and the garage door goes up, the car pulls in, and the garage door goes down.

In our disconnected world we need to be deliberate about building solid relationships with other Christian parents who share our values regarding things like entertainment, internet use, drug and alcohol use and sexual purity.

By the way, new research has found that if teenagers have other Christian adults in their life who care about them—in addition to their mom and dad—they are much LESS likely to abandon their faith when they go off to college.

Drs. Chap Clark and Kara Powell at the Fuller Youth Institute recommend that in addition to their parents, every Christian teen should have 5 other adults in their life who will commit to building relationships with them.

These adults can pray for that young person, be a listening ear during times of conflict, and reinforce the values held by the teen’s own parents.

To learn more about this research, go to stickyfaith.org.  I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.