Let’s talk about sex

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As excuse to growing sex issues mainly teenage pregnancies, health officials in the past have laid the blame on the gap between parents and children and their failure to discuss sex education.

Generations have changed hands, the teen some two decades ago is now a parent. The information age via the cyber highway has also changed the way many perceive the issue.

Sex education basics may be covered in health class if the school prefers to teach it. In Fiji, to deal with the issue, the Ministry of Education had introduced a subject called Family Life, it seems that schools have the option to teach it or not.

Excerpt from Shalveen Chand’s article in the Fiji Times– read more

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More than just Friday night fun: socially active teens are physically healthier

 

Teenage social butterflies have always enjoyed slumber parties and Friday night fun.

Now, researchers say, socially active teens, like their older counterparts, are healthier than their loner peers in key areas such as weight, blood pressure, and stress hormone levels.

The friendships we make in our teen years are just as essential for our well-being as the social connections we make late in life, a new study finds.

Excerpt from Meghan Holihan’s article in Today– Read more

John’s Story

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Now that he was sixteen, John tired of the family swim and little kids splashing around. Yet he wasn’t quite ready for the school swim team. One morning he decided to get up early and try the lap swim at the YMCA for a while to see if his swimming improved.

The pool held six lanes when all the lane markers were in place. The center lanes were the most desirable due to fewer waves bouncing off the walls. Also, the current from the water filter return was strongest in the outside lanes and made it feel like you were swimming upstream half the time. For those reasons, swimmers usually chose the lane closest to the center if they could with two exceptions. The oldest swimmer, a woman who looked to be in her sixties, always tried for an outside lane in order to hang onto the wall when she got tired. A large expressionless man, seeming to be about the same age, stood in an outside lane and splashed around rather than actually swimming. He stood looking at the others in the pool and his face did not suggest what he might be thinking. He eventually left without even wetting his shoulders or head.

If all the lanes were full, swimmers tried different strategies. Some talked with the lifeguard, pretending they were not anxious to swim. Others performed seemingly endless warm-up exercises as if preparing for an Olympic competition. Still others tried to make eye contact with an established swimmer, seeking an invitation to share a lane. Swimmers who were in the habit of sharing their lanes were invited to share with those already swimming.

Flipper, at least John called him Flipper, was different. His head had only a trimmed, extremely thin dusting of silver hair which stopped two inches above his ears. The top of his head was bald. He wore the briefest of swim suits, and seemed proud of his barrel chest giving way to his rounded belly. He scanned the lanes for an opening. He would immediately move to any of the center four lanes if open. If only the outside lanes were open, he stood near the shower room door or sat sideways on a starting platform. He made no pretense of passing time with the lifeguard or warming up his muscles. He continued scanning the center lanes until someone left, leaving the outside lanes open for as long as twenty minutes. He never made a move to share a lane with one of the other swimmers since he would not wish to share his lane once he was in it.

There was nothing exceptional about his backstroke. His butterfly and side stroke were  also unremarkable. Ah, but his crawl! Even here his right arm, torso and legs all behaved properly. His left arm, however, made a loud slap each time it entered the water. In addition to the sound was the cascade of water into the next lane, leaving a passing swimmer with the feeling of swimming in the rain.

Why? Was he mad about something? It would be difficult to summon the same intensity of anger each morning leading to such a consistent splash. Did he need swimming lessons? He swam smoothly enough with his other swim strokes and appeared comfortable in the water. Had he suffered a stroke? He walked without difficulty, swam evenly when not in the crawl and did not slur what few words he spoke. Not finding any acceptable explanation, John decided to think of him as Flipper, giving rise to a vague feeling of unexplained hostility inside him.

John finally mentioned his swimming experience to his friend Andy who seemed to know just about everything about people. Andy scratched his head a while and finally asked John who Flipper reminded him of. No one came to mind immediately. He couldn’t think of anyone else who annoyed him quite so much in or out of the water.

The next day in the pool, as he was splashed by Flipper, it hit him. It was Flipper’s bald head and his acting aloof and better than everyone else which got to him. He remembered something from when he was younger.

It happened in sixth grade. John had taken the bus across town with his brother every week for swimming lessons at a private club.  He wanted to learn to swim very badly. He struggled with keeping his head under water without holding his nose and learning to dive without being afraid he would clunk his head on the bottom of the pool.

Swim lessons continued into the fall. A Halloween party was scheduled and John went with his brother. He dressed as an Indian, complete with war paint, buckskin shirt and makeshift bow and arrow. The party was fun- bobbing for apples, drinking cider, eating donuts, and playing games.

After the party John and his brother were waiting out front for their parents to pick them up. The sugar and the lively party had made everyone a little rowdy. Kids were climbing on the building face, chasing each other around and generally acting goofy. Then he appeared. Flipper’s predecessor emerged from the building in his official capacity to warn them for the third time to wait quietly. His patience was wearing thin as was the ability of the waiting kids to do anything quietly.

As the man turned to re-enter the building, John blurted out in his Indian role, “Ugh. Me scalp ’im. Oops. Nothing to scalp!” He didn’t realize he had said this loud enough for the man to hear. He not only heard but, from John’s costume, easily located the source of the offending comment. He was soon in John’s face, his own face and balding head beet red with indignation. John was banned from the building and was never to show such disrespect to anyone again.

John had great difficulty explaining to his parents his sudden loss of interest in swimming after that. He always seemed to have something else to do. He never did return to the building, but did learn to swim better and also learned to be more careful about his comments, particularly about bald men. Now that he made the connection, he wondered if Flipper would bother him as much the next time they were in the pool together.

Excerpt from Make the Best of Your Teen Years- 105 Ways to Do It

Over 300 Facebook Friends can Increase Stress and Depression in Teens

Over 300 Facebook Friends can Increase Stress and Depression in Teens

In the study, researchers enrolled 88 teenagers aged between 12 and 17 and asked them to fill out a few questionnaires about their Facebook use, such as how many friends they now have, how often did they logged in, how did they interact with the platform in terms of self-promotion and what did they do to support their friends online.

Excerpt from Abel Hampton’s article in Bills Insider- Read more

Teen challenges police officer to Nae Nae dance-off – and is floored by her moves

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A routine call to break up a fight ended in a different routine all together for this Washington police officer.

After being called to reports of a punch up, the officer spotted 17-year-old Aaliya Taylor dancing to Silento’s Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) .

But the teen told NBC Washington that what the officer said next left her “in shock”.

Excerpt from Ross Logan’s article and videos in The Mirror- Read and view more.

Namaste Hornets find way to ‘de-stress’ during lunch: Students enjoy Yoga Club’s positive, relaxing environment

Namaste Hornets find way to 'de-stress' during lunch: Students enjoy Yoga Club's positive, relaxing environment

Stretch your body and relax your mind. The HHS Yoga Club focuses on providing a time for students to relax, de-stress and decompress during lunchtime.

“High school can be stressful both for students and for teachers,” Yoga Club sponsor Karen Tymniak said. “The goal of Yoga Club is pretty much to just give students a place to come and relax.”

Excerpt from Lexie Smith’s Article in The Huntsville Item- Read more

What Do You Like Best about Yourself?

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Teens like a wide variety of things about themselves. Being able to entertain friends or having a nice personality come to mind for several of the teens I talked with. If you are fun to be around, you will be popular and never lacking for company. Did you ever wonder what makes you attractive to others? It’s not so much what you look like. Being very pretty or handsome might even make others jealous.

A researcher in the nineteen sixties studied what people look for in a friend. The number one quality is being able to listen. If you can keep your mouth shut when you need to, hear what someone is saying, and understand how that person feels, you will be very much in demand. As Amy puts it, “I have the ability to put myself in others’ shoes.”

Some see their sense of themselves as their best quality. Ellie says, “I know who I am and stick with my values.” This is not always easy to do. You have to think about what’s important to you and decide that what you believe in is more important than making others happy.

Did you know it’s impossible to keep everyone happy? No matter what you do, there will be some people who like what you do and others who don’t. If you follow your own sense of values, you will attract friends who respect what you believe in. You probably wouldn’t enjoy the company of others who don’t share your values anyway.

Can you imagine having a friend who changes his or her mind all the time? Maybe you have a friend like this. You never know what to expect and probably wouldn’t be able to count on that person for anything important. Being consistent in your values makes it easier for you to decide what to do when something really important happens. It also helps your friends know what to expect from you. Consistency is probably the most important quality of a good friend after being a good listener.

Other teens like their physical qualities such as their appearance or sports ability. As with personality, these might be just as much a reason for others to be jealous as to like you. However, what is important is that your physical appearance or sports ability might give you some confidence which you might not otherwise have. Your self confidence just might attract others more than your special abilities or appearance.

Sometimes it is not so easy to choose one quality you like best about yourself. Punkman sees his grades and willingness to help others who need him as tied for his best qualities. This is not surprising. Most teens have several things they like about themselves. Did you know it’s easier to think of things you don’t like about yourself than things you do like? When I asked teens and adults in counseling to make two lists, the list of dislikes is usually longer than the list of likes. Maybe people tend to take their good qualities for granted.

Excerpt from Make the Best of Your Teen Years- 105 Ways to Do It