Did you know that teenage girls (more so than teenage boys) are likely to engage in underage drinking? The most recent data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) found that 66 percent of female high school students had “ever drunk alcohol” compared to 62 percent of male high school students.
Researchers aren’t entirely sure why teenage girls tend to drink more than boys. Some hypothesize that since girls typically reach puberty sooner, they “might” engage in risky behavior (like drinking) earlier as well. There’s also evidence to suggest that teenage girls are more susceptible to alcohol-related messages. For example, advertisers target girls with bright colored magazine ads showing beautiful models in amazing clothing drinking and glamorizing the use of alcohol.
What can you do about it?
1. Lock It Up
Remember, teenagers find it easy to access alcohol when it’s readily available in their homes. Research has shown that two out of three teenagers say it is easy to get alcohol from their homes without their parents knowing about it. As a precautionary step, I’d suggest keeping your liquor cabinet locked.
Research has shown that two out of three teenagers say it is easy to get alcohol from their homes without their parents knowing about it.
Also, brain science can be helpful here. At 17, your daughter’s frontal lobe — which is the region that handles restraint — hasn’t fully formed. We now know the human brain does not finish developing until sometime in our 20s. If your daughter can’t yet make the right choice about alcohol, then locking the cabinet helps her by ensuring the alcohol is out of her easy reach.
2. Explain Your Concerns
I’d also recommend an extended, calm conversation about the severity of her actions. What if she or another teenager ended up in the hospital? Or in a car accident? Help her see the potential consequences to her actions.
To read more from this article, click HERE.
Teens Stealing Alcohol from Parents, by Dr Carol (Your Teen Magazine)
Can’t fall asleep?
Sometimes it’s hard for teens to wind down by the end of the day. Between school, sports,
tutors, friends and homework—their brains are constantly on overdrive. No wonder many teens complain of waking up tired in the AM. They aren’t getting the proper rest they need. Think about it. People teach us how to drive, how to cook, how to study…so why don’t people teach us how to sleep? The solution is a sleep ritual.
Here are a few tips to help you sleep.
- Limit your screen time. Not just at night, but during the day. Opt for going outside, reading, or relaxing without a smart phone or tablet near by. It helps your brain wind down.
- An hour before bed, begin what I like to call the “sleep ritual”. Put away all school books, notebooks, homework, etc., and pack your backpack for the next day. Then, put the bag out of sight, ready for the morning.
- Shut all computers, smart phones, and video games off. The key here is no bright lights distracting you.
- Pull down your bed covers, then lower the lights in your room. This triggers your brain that sleep is coming. (*Low music is optional.)
- Take a warm shower in low light or no light. Slow down your mind in the shower by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on your breathe. The warm water helps produce oxytocin, which help us relax and preps us for sleep.
- After the shower, keep your eyes cast downward. This limits the visual distractions that cue your brain to be active again. After leaving the shower, so straight to your room. Do not interact with family, or get distracted by sounds.
- Once you enter your room, shut off the low light (and music if it’s not on a timer) and go to bed. Chances are you will fall a sleep faster and sleep more soundly.
1) Watching tv in bed is the worse! It doesn’t trigger sleep and inevitably you will keep waking up when the actions on the screen shift in volume. This disrupts your entire sleep cycle.
2) We sleep best in cool environments. So, if you have a habit of keeping socks on before bed or loading on the covers, think about changing that habit. Chances are you kick off the socks in the night and wake up from being over heated. Open a window as well.
3) Drink a glass of water before bed. It hydrates the brain and helps with it’s “self-cleaning” process. You will wake up more rested.
4) If you are a light sleeper, sleep with ear plugs. The average person wakes up far more during the night than they realize. Just because you can’t remember waking up, doesn’t mean that you didn’t.
Introducing Girls to Code
As a VP at Hackbright Academy, (the leading coding school for women) people always ask, “What is the best age to introduce my daughter to code?” My answer.… “As soon as possible!” The same goes for all the STEM sciences (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math.) It’s never to early to introduce a child to something new. The next question they ask is always– How?
Every child is different, but why not expose them to “all things science” early on in a fun way. There are: science museums, science based board games and video games, science based TV shows, experiments you can watch on Youtube, great tutorials by Khan academy, coding camps for kids, and the list goes on. The earlier any child is exposed to something new, the more it opens their eyes to possibility. It makes them curious about the world. First hand exposure is always a great tool and it provides a safe environment for children to ask questions if they are a bit shy.
The other day I passed a dad and daughter on the street. They were crouched down on the sidewalk looking at something. (I’d say the daughter was about 7 years old.) Once I got closer, I could see that they were inspecting an acorn. A very large and lonely acorn that seemed out of place on such a busy city street. Where did it come from? The dad was talking about what an acorn is, what it does, the shell, how it will spout, etc. He was also taking the time to answer all his daughter’s questions. It was a wonderful exchange and teachable moment that they were both clearly enjoying. He didn’t rush by the acorn on the sidewalk, he stopped and took notice of his daughter’s curiosity. He used the opportunity to teach her about nature. This type of time and patience helps ignite curiously in kids. So, introduce your child to code (or any science) when you are ready to dive in and be part of the conversation with them. If they see that you are engaged and curious then they will be too.
If you need help identifying some great resources for your child, just reach out!