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Category: Family Support

Strengthen The Youth Through Music And Arts

December 20, 2019 • Kelly Montgomery

 

Source: tmlink.org

 

Adolescence is the second infanthood. During these years, people are like a sponge absorbing everything they observe and experience, and as parents, we must make sure our children only learn the positive things around them. With all negativity seen and felt around including school and social media, we need to pay close attention to all their activities, making sure they are healthy ones.

The minds of adolescents are fragile during these years. They are trying to figure out their interests, skills, and identity. Music and arts are among the few healthy hobbies that our children can do. “There is a growing body of research that supports how music nurtures children’s success at school and in life. A study in the journal Social Science Quarterly, Adolescents Involved with Music Do Better in School, found that music also had positive effects on reading and math,” wrote Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD.

Encourage them to engage in school activities involving music and arts.

 

School Activities They Can Join:

Music

  • Choir

Schools have a choir that sings during special occasions and gatherings. It is composed of students who are skilled in singing. They get to compete with other schools and showcase their talent.

 

  • Music Club

Clubs are available for students who are interested in developing new interests or skills. They don’t have to be excellent. It is a club for all the students who have the same interest, and it’s a perfect tool to develop their social skills at the same time.

 

  • Musical Instrument Classes

Whether your child is excellent or just wants to learn to play music using guitar, drums, violin, etc., support him by providing him with an instrument of his choice. Encourage him to join a musical instrument class so that he can develop his skills.

Masha Godkin, PsyD, LMFT, said, “Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory.”

 

  • School DJ

If your child just likes music but doesn’t show any interest in singing or playing an instrument, he can audition for the school DJ where he’d be able to play the music of famous singers and musicians for his schoolmates.

 

Arts

  • Drawing

Some children are skilled that they never stopped learning to create beautiful drawing ever since they held a pencil when they were three. If your child has a talent for making masterpieces using pen, ink, charcoal, crayons, and colored pencils, encourage him to join clubs that showcase and develop his talent.

 

  • Painting

Painting is an art of expressing one’s interpretation of his feelings or the situation of the world in general. It uses different colors of paints and paintbrushes. Encourage your child to join a club that teaches different techniques in creating masterpieces.

 

  • Handicrafts

Handicrafts is an art of making useful things through the use of ideas and creativity. Fans, hats, accessories, slippers, shirts, and bags are a few examples of stuff that can be handmade. It takes a keen eye to create something magnificent. It is a perfect art for children aspiring to be fashion or interior designers.

 

  • School Paper

The school paper is an excellent tool for students who are skilled in writing or journaling.  The art of creative and effective communication is rare, and if you see your child possessing this skill, encourage him to join the school paper. It could be a stepping stone towards his success in media and communications.

 

  • School Decorations

School events and gatherings are not complete without the decorations. A team of creative students brainstorms to come up with an impressive theme that will direct the flow of the event. The level of thinking and decision making of the students are tested to make the school decorations powerful enough to make a statement to their fellow students.

 

Source: tmlink.org

 

The talents and skills of the youth should be developed and nourished at a young age. Being able to master their craft is a healthy way to express themselves and build self-esteem. “Art enhances self-knowledge and self-expression. When we’re creating art, we are making decisions about what we like,” wrote Katie Willard Virant MSW, JD, LCSW. “Not only are we tuning in to ourselves when we create art, but we also are expressing ourselves by making an external representation of our internal world.”

At this stage of their lives, they often have problems with their identity, and music and arts are instruments in helping the youth avoid or overcome adolescent behavioral issues such as alcohol and substance abuse, bullying, school dropout, teenage pregnancy, truancy, and violence.

Categories: Family Support

Raising My Daughter And Her Daughter

December 13, 2019 • Kelly Montgomery

Source: cdn2.momjunction.com

It’s hard raising a child, let alone having no one but yourself. I am a single parent of my beautiful 16-year-old Andy. Her dad left us right before she was born, so it’s only the two of us ever since. I had her when I was 16, and now, she is going to be a mom herself. Andy is seven months pregnant, and the doctor said it’s a girl. I know we should be celebrating life, but there’s a part of me that breaks every time I think about what she will go through.

Finish reading “Raising My Daughter And Her Daughter

Categories: Family Support

Preventing School Drop-Outs: Parents and School Initiatives

November 22, 2019 • Kelly Montgomery

Source: health.mil

Education is a fundamental right of every person that provides capital towards success. For some, it has become a bleak undertaking. Despite the importance of education towards having a better life, there are still people who chose to let go of school and settled for whatever life may bring them.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

School dropout is merely a statistical term that represents the decline of students getting the benefits of the educational system. But what lies behind school dropouts are the risk factors that cause its occurrence. Several researchers have presented the elements that relate to the phenomena. In 2007, a study revealed that students who are dropping out of school mostly come from low socio-economic class, showing poor school performance, disinterest in school activities, and less presence in school premises. But more than the identification of the risk factors is the prevention that may alleviate the increasing incidence of school dropout.

Confronting the high school dropout problem requires commitment from the parents and the school administration. This problem should not be handled and solved by one group only. In fact, this needs joint effort and collaboration of all the persons and organizations that are responsible for the success and well-being of the student. As such, some evidenced-based initiatives are encouraged to be practiced by other schools to ensure that their students are not falling out of the system. Some of these initiatives include:

Source: sciencecommons.org

  • A quality early childhood education
  • Giving attention to the social and emotional learning of the child
  • Monitoring of student’s attendance and school performance in academics
  • Following up with students who are lagging and providing intensive coaching
  • Adopting a positive school climate, and
  • Hands-on relationship with parents, families, and communities.

It All Begins In The Home

Society dictates that home is the first school for children, and parents are their primary teachers. This has not changed since the concept of family as a unit has emanated even from the dawn of man.

Everything starts at home; the extent of encouragement for learning that the parents can give their children is the most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school. When there is constant quality communication within the family, a reasonable expectation for their child’s education and future career has been grounded. Parents become involved in their child’s education, and success is more likely to happen. Hence, family involvement plays a vital role in a successful school completion of every student. Parents should take the extra mile to impose early childhood education to their child as this may start to develop the interest of their child in the idea of going to school. The parents are the primary key players in preparing the child to embrace the importance of education.

“Help your children find relevance for school learning by providing context and connecting it to personal meaning. Help them discover how what they are learning at school is relevant to their lives and their worlds,” writes Judy Willis M.D.

The school as such, plays a significant responsibility in this undertaking, once a child starts schooling as most of his time is entirely spent in school. This is how much of a challenge for a school to be in charge of the future of every student. And this task is to help every student earn a degree and use it towards their journey for a better life.

“Unfortunately, our educational culture assumes that we don’t teach enough curriculum and don’t demand enough of children. Children learn to pass tests, not love learning,” writes William R. Klemm Ph.D.

But with the increasing occurrence of dropouts, an extra challenge has been laid on the educational system. The school’s initiative through its teachers will help solve this pressing problem. Robertson, Smith, & Rinka (2016) mentioned ways on how the school can take action in decreasing dropout rate:

  • Telling the story. There is no better way of making students realize the value of education than presenting the real-life scenarios of those students who opted to forgo for their studies.
  • Give students a place to be. This only means providing an environment conducive to learning, free from bullying and rejections, by doing this, every student will find their reason to stay.
  • Provide career and technical education as well as using technology to engage students. These provide excitement in learning and will increase the interest of students to finish their studies as they will soon develop a career path and know where they are going to.
  • Providing multiple career pathways and starting a mentoring program will help students to explore their capabilities and abilities because every student has their way of learning.

Preventing dropouts requires a proactive involvement between parents and the school and most importantly the students. Giving the students every reason why education is essential will make them realize the value of it.

“[M]ost teens not only shouldn’t drop out of high school but should continue in a structured program, whether collegethe military, or an apprenticeship,” writes Marty Nemko Ph.D.

Source: mcrc.marines.mil

 

Reference:

Amos, Christopher Nicholas, “The Relationship Between School Leadership and Graduation Coach Interventions in Rural and Urban Settings” (2012). Dissertations. 484. http://aquila.usm.edu/dissertations/484

Robertson, J. S., Smith, R. W., & Rinka, J. (2016). How Did Successful High Schools Improve Their Graduation Rates?. Journal of At-Risk Issues19(1), 10-18.

 

Categories: Family Support

How To Know If You Need Online Therapy

November 15, 2019 • Kelly Montgomery

The latest in the field of mental health is online therapy, which is also commonly known as e-counseling or teletherapy. From the name itself, it can be implied that this method of dealing with mental illness uses the latest advancements in technology. The online therapist and patient or client need to meet in a virtual environment. All sessions are made online through the use of instant messages, electronic mails, and online conference or real-time chat exchanges.

Source: pixabay.com

Finish reading “How To Know If You Need Online Therapy

Categories: Family Support

Fundamental Rules In Handling Bad-Mannered Teens

October 18, 2019 • Kelly Montgomery

Source: fairchild.af.mil

Witnessing and hearing news about teens berating and bullying helpless people without any sign of guilt or remorse is disheartening. This goes to show that this pervasive and atrocious behavior, which creates disrespectful and rude teens, has indulged its way into this generation and is somehow getting worse.

With the increasing number of kids who parade ill behavior, how can you, as parents, save them from becoming another person’s antagonist?

Finish reading “Fundamental Rules In Handling Bad-Mannered Teens

Categories: Family Support

The Pornography Talk: Uncomfortable But Necessary

October 11, 2019 • Kelly Montgomery

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Confronting your teens about pornography is as hard as talking about where babies come from or how they are conceived. With the massive availability of online adult content coupled with the fact that teenagers, mostly those who are between the ages of 12 until 18, are intensely curious, parents are eventually bound to have the dreadful and uncomfortable “porn talk” with their kids.

Finish reading “The Pornography Talk: Uncomfortable But Necessary

Categories: Family Support

Helping Children Who Are Abused And Neglected – Part 2

September 23, 2019 • Kelly Montgomery

Source: pixabay.com

What You Should Look For

An emotionally abused child tends to be very afraid or anxious about doing something wrong. They are also usually either very aggressive or very passive. And they are not close to their parent or guardian.

Victims of physical abuse usually have frequent and unexplained injuries or wounds. They are also hyper-aware of their surroundings, and they tend to flinch at the sudden movements of other people. They are usually afraid to go home. And they regularly wear clothing that hides the physical marks.

Neglected children are usually unsupervised and may be found playing in unsafe locations. They often do not bathe and wear soiled clothing. They are typically late or absent from school.

According to Leon F Seltzer, PhD, “In several respects, neglect can be more difficult to spot than abuse. If a child is being denied love, affection, or comfort by their caregivers, it’s not as though he or she wears a placard signaling this void. More often than not, neglect isn’t as public, direct, or blatant as abuse. So it usually appears less blameworthy.”

Children who are victims of sexual abuse would exhibit knowledge of sexual acts or seductive behavior that children their age do not usually know. They would avoid at all costs a specific person. They typically are very shy about changing clothes in front of other people. They might have trouble walking or sitting. And if the abuser is a family member, they would run away from home. A pregnant child or a child with STD is usually a victim of sexual abuse.

Source: pixabay.com

Who Are At Risk?

Children living in a home with domestic violence are at a high risk of being abused and neglected. Children whose parents are alcoholics or drug addicts are also in great danger of being abused. Parents with mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or depression may neglect their children. Some parents do not have proper parenting skills, and this could lead to an abusive situation for their children. And some parents were abused when they were young who think that the abusive behavior they experienced is the only way of being a parent. And parents who are stressed out may be unable to emotionally and physically care for their children.

Are You Abusive?

When the abuser is yourself, it is challenging to recognize the fact that you are abusing and neglecting your children. One sign that you’re abusive is if you find that your anger is spiraling out of control and you’re angrier and angrier at your children. You may also be neglecting your child if you find that you do not want to spend time with your child. Another sign that you are neglecting your child is if you are unable to meet your child’s daily needs. And you should listen when someone expresses their concern to you.

Freeing Yourself From The Cycle Of Abuse

First of all, you should understand what normal childhood behavior is. For example, it is normal for a newborn baby to cry. You could learn new parenting skills from parenting classes, from books, and from other parents. You should also learn to control your emotions. You should try to remain healthy and get enough sleep so that you won’t be irritable. And it is also advisable to seek professional help, especially if breaking the cycle of abuse is difficult.

What You Can Do

“For a child, feeling numb is a defense, used to cope with dysfunctional dynamics at home. Going emotionally numb helps to screen out the yelling, hurtful comments, scenes of domestic violence, abuse, and/or manage the experiences associated with poverty,” said Teresa Gil, PhD.

When dealing with an abused or neglected child be calm and supportive. Do not show disgust or shock at what they say. And do not interrogate them or ask leading questions. Allow the child to tell their story in their own words. Make sure to remind the child that they did nothing wrong. And if you believe that you or the child is in danger, contact the appropriate authorities.

Source: pexels.com

Do Not Remain Silent

You mustn’t remain silent if you think a child is being abused or neglected. Some people may feel that what is happening is a private family matter. That thinking is wrong. Some people may worry that the child will be separated from their home. This does not always happen. And you need not worry about the abuser knowing who you are because reporting abuse and neglect are anonymous.

Susanne Babbel, MFT, PhD, wrote, “Community support is a vital tool in preventing child abuse and the PTSD that can result from it. If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from child abuse, please report it to your local Child Protection Services — or the police, if a child is in immediate danger.”

Categories: Family Support

Helping Children Who Are Abused And Neglected – Part 1

September 16, 2019 • Kelly Montgomery

Source: pixabay.comSource: pixabay.com

How can you tell if a child is being abused or is neglected? Know the warning signs and help a child in need.

Child Abuse And Neglect: What Is It?

It is not limited to physical or violent abuse. It can be sexual or emotional. It can also take the form of neglect. Because these forms of violence do not leave any visible marks, people tend to not help in these situations.

It is not true that only evil individuals abuse children. Some parents do not even know they’re abusive. They were probably abused as children themselves by their parents and think that is the proper way a parent should act. Others may be suffering from mental or emotional disorders or are abusive when under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

“Trauma for these children wasn’t a single-incident trauma; they had experienced multiple traumas that had been ongoing their entire lives,” wrote Deborah Chelette-Wilson, LPC, NCC. “They come from families of intergenerational abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, neglect, physical and sexual abuse, frequent moves, absent fathers, mothers who were depressed or had to work two or three jobs, poverty, and emotionally-absent caregivers.”

It is also not true that abusive behavior can only be found among low-income families or neighborhoods. Children of different racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds can be abused and neglected.

Unfortunately, most abusers are the child’s relatives or someone close to the child, although sometimes the abuser is someone the child does not know.

Leon F Seltzer, PhD, added, “Although child neglect embodies many variations, all pertain to caretakers’ failing to provide a child with age-appropriate care. In short, the child is deprived of the basic necessities that would enable them to thrive.”

Fortunately, many abused children survive their ordeal and grow up to become excellent, nurturing, and protective parents. Sadly, some abused children fall into a vicious cycle and unknowingly abuse their children.

Source: pixabay.com

What Happens to an Abused And Neglected Child?

Abused kids tend to not trust other people or not know who to trust. As they grow older, they are unable to maintain a relationship or continually enter unhealthy relationships.

Abused children tend to feel worthless. As adults, they do not strive for success, believing they do not deserve such fortune. Victims of sexual abuse usually suffer under the impression that they are damaged.

Victims of abuse tend to bottle up their emotions, and this often results in feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger. They may even try to drown their feelings using alcoholic drinks or illegal drugs.

Source: pixabay.com

What Are the Different Kinds of Child Abuse?

There different types of child abuse. A prevalent type is child neglect. In this type, the child is not given basic needs, such as food and clothing, or is not adequately supervised.

Another type of child abuse is physical abuse. It involves physically harming the child. Some parents who physically abuse their children claim that they are merely disciplining their child. Discipline can be distinguished from physical abuse by the presence in physical mistreatment of unpredictability (the child does not know what actions will lead to a physical attack), anger, and the use of fear.

Emotional abuse involves the use of hurtful words to humiliate and bully the child. It can also include ignoring the child or not showing any affection.

There is also emotional neglect. According to Jonice Webb, PhD, “Because Childhood Emotional Neglect is so very common, so are emotionally neglectful parents. And since emotionally neglectful parents are so common, so are emotionally neglected children. It’s because these children grow up to be parents. The cycle continues, and on and on it goes, passing down through generations until someone finally sees what’s happening and calls a halt to its insidious process.”

Children can also be sexually abused. It should be noted that sexual abuse can happen even when there is no physical contact. Making a child watch sexual situations or view pornographic materials are forms of sexual abuse.

There will be more concerns and issues to be discussed on next week’s blog about children who were abused or neglected.

Until then, thank you!

Categories: Family Support

3 All-Time Favorite Longboards That May Get Your Teenager Into The Sport And Out Of Trouble

June 30, 2019 • Kelly Montgomery

Has your teenage kid been getting in or causing trouble more often these days, to the point that you don’t whether you should meet a therapist or your child?

It is hard to claim that I know the feeling because my babies are far from being teenagers, but I am aware that my parents have had the same experience. Yes, courtesy of my brother and me when we were much younger. I am personally not proud of the fact that most of my mom and dad’s premature wrinkles have come from always worrying whenever the two of us are out. However, we have changed since then, you know. We have decided to straighten out our acts and be more responsible as two kids who will become adults and parents someday.

3-all-time-favorite-longboards-that-may-get-your-teenager-into-the-sport-and-out-of-trouble-1
Source: commons.wikimedia.org

That decision has come after a common friend has introduced us to longboarding. Although it is not as popular as skateboarding, I have always loved how both of my feet can be on the board without my toes or heels hanging out of it. It feels more stable than the regular board as well, which makes it easy to use even for beginners.

In case you want your kids to learn longboarding and make them want to get out of trouble as well, here are the three all-time favorite longboards you should check out.

Quest Super Cruiser Artisan Bamboo Longboard Skateboard (44-Inch)

For the past four months that my brother has been using the Quest Super Cruiser Artisan Bamboo Longboard Skateboard, I can say with utmost confidence that every single thing about this longboard is undoubtedly and irrevocably cool.

The abstract lines attached to it and the single letter Q make it so different from other boards. Its deck has the strength of maple and the flexibility of bamboo. The trucks, which are made out of aluminum, are quite rugged. They are well-working for rocky terrains. The wheels are high-quality polyurethane wheels, and they get dirty, but they almost do not get any scratch.

3-all-time-favorite-longboards-that-may-get-your-teenager-into-the-sport-and-out-of-trouble-2
Source: publicdomainpictures.net

Specifications:

Deck: 44 inches by 10 inches by 5.5 inches

Wood for Deck: Multi-ply Hardwood Maple and Artisan Bamboo

Design for Deck: Original Abstract Graphics

Trucks: 7 inches, Rugged Aluminum Trucks

Wheels: 70 mm, Durable PU Wheels

Atom Pintail Longboard

Going down the steep slopes in my area is my favorite pastime, and the best way for me to be able to do it is by riding my Atom Pintail Longboard every chance that I get.

What person in his or her right mind will not think of using the Atom Pintail Longboard when it has a summery feel to it? Besides, there is no need to worry about wheel bites because this is a pintail skateboard. Meaning, it is specifically created to avoid such things.

Its bearings are just perfect for someone who likes speedy rides. Its aluminum trucks can be ridden on rainy days, and the black grip tape that is made out of aluminum oxide can cover the whole top of it. This is the reason why leaning forward to gather more speed is not a big problem at all

The wheels are very efficient that the bumps and potholes do not pose a challenge for me.

3-all-time-favorite-longboards-that-may-get-your-teenager-into-the-sport-and-out-of-trouble-3
Source: pexels.com

Specifications:

Deck: 39 inches by 9.4 inches

Weight for Deck: 4 pounds

Wood for Deck: Stiff Maple Laminate Deck

Design for Deck: PHT Graphic Material

Shape: Classical Pintail

Grip: 80 Grit Aluminum Oxide Grip Tape

Trucks: Standard Skate, Polished Aluminum Trucks

Bearings: 22 mm, ABEC 5 Bearings

Wheels: 65 mm/ 78A Urethane Wheels

Total Weight of the Longboard: 7.3 pounds

Trucks Specifications:

Hanger: Die Cast Aluminum Hanger

Axle: 8.5 inches, Base Chromoly Axle

Kingpins: 0.375-inch Chromoly Kingpins

Suspension: 90A-HR

Wheels Specification:

Hubs: Polycarbonate Hubs

Sector 9 Peru 44″ Bamboo Complete Longboard

Downhill riding is what makes my blood boil in the right way, but I also know the risks that I will have to face if I do not make use an excellent and durable longboard for it. I am on that state of mind when my brother suggested to look for the kind of longboard that I want. To be honest, up to now, I am still thanking him for reminding me to visit an online store to find it. If not for it, I may not have a Sector 9 Peru 44” Bamboo Complete Longboard resting on my bedside table now.

The whole deck looks superb because the primary graphic at the bottom of the deck that says “Sector 9” is mimicked at the top part in a smaller size. Because it is fully made out of bamboo, it is very flexible and somewhat lighter than the others.

3-all-time-favorite-longboards-that-may-get-your-teenager-into-the-sport-and-out-of-trouble-4
Source: commons.wikimedia.org

With my other boards, I always have to be cautious as there is no means for me to control its speed, but with this longboard that has a slightly cambered deck, I only have to move my body on either left or right to be able to control or maintain the speed that I am going at while I am riding down a terrain.

The shock pads are working perfectly that I feel almost nothing even when there are nasty bumps on my way. The soft, big wheels help me to be able to achieve a smooth ride too.

Specifications:

Deck: 44 inches by 9.75 inches

Wood for Deck: 7-ply Vertically Laminated Bamboo

Design for Deck: Aesthetic Graphics

Style of Deck: Slightly Cambered

Grip: Clear Grip Tape

Bearings: PDP ABEC 5 Bearings

Pads: 0.5-inch Sector 9 Recycled Plastic Shock Pads

Trucks: 10 inches, Silver Gullwing Chargers Trucks

Wheels: 75 mm/ 75A, Red Top Shelf Wheels

Wheels Specification:

Center Set Wheels

 

Don’t wait forever before you introduce your kids to longboarding. Cheers!

Categories: Family Support