Posted in Teen

What are the underlying causes of Violence in our Schools?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today and I’m talking about something that is near and dear to all our hearts. I’m talking about violence in our schools. We’ve been back to school for about a month now and we’ve gotten back into the school year routine.

I have to confess I got the idea for this topic from this website. http://www.securitydegreehub.com/securing-schools/

It’s a great site to visit to learn about the history of violence in our schools, but it also shows the steps school and government administrations are taking to crack down on this violence.

However, it leaves me the question, what is the underlying cause of all this violence?  Of course, I started doing some research and according to this site. http://www.crf-usa.org/school-violence/causes-of-school-violence.html

Violent incidents in our schools have increased from seventy one percent to eighty-one percent over a five-year period. (1999-2004). This study was conducted in 2006.

This article also went further and stated some of the underlying causes of this violence.

Family Environment Even though society expects the family to model and reinforce positive behaviors, it makes it extremely difficult to do so. For example, both parents usually have to work, making it difficult for parents to spend quality time with their children. In addition, there are more single parent households now than ever before and more teen mothers. These two factors alone contribute to the fact that children are not getting their emotional needs met, which causes frustration and anxiety. And this can lead to violence.

Community Environment Studies show that most youth violence occurs between the hours of 3 PM and 7 PM. This is the time when many teens are unsupervised, especially if both parents work. If a community doesn’t offer any after school programs, this can lead to boredom, frustration, and violence as well.

Another interesting tidbit is school size also reflects violence. There are more incidences of violence in larger schools than in smaller ones. Again, for more information on this, click this link: http://www.crf-usa.org/school-violence/causes-of-school-violence.html

Cyber Abuse This occurs when bullies use electronic media to taunt, insult, or threaten their peers. With all the cyber bullying that occurs the result is more violence in our schools.

Access to Weapons Studies have shown that 35% of all homes with teens under the age of eighteen have a firearm and many teens can acquire a weapon illegally very easily.

So there you have it. Some of the underlying causes of School Violence. Now that we know the causes, is there anything we can do about it?

What I see as a solution is parental involvement. The more involved a parent is with their teens the more likely they’ll discuss things that are bothering them. The parent can help them deal with the frustration and anxiety that they may be feeling.  However, what can a single parent do when they’re strapped for time and cash? Especially when many single parents are responsible for more than one child. I would recommend reaching out to the Big Brother Big Sister organization. They are always willing to help a family in need. Here’s their link: http://www.bbbs.org/site/c.9iILI3NGKhK6F/b.5962335/k.BE16/Home.htm

If a community doesn’t have an after school program and the teen isn’t interested in sports, maybe he or she could get an after school job or volunteer in some way. To check out volunteer opportunities in your area, click on this link. http://volunteennation.org/

As far as the access to weapons, the governmental agencies are trying to crack down on the illegal purchase of firearms and they are making strides in this area. Click this link to learn more:  http://www.securitydegreehub.com/securing-schools/

Thanks for reading my post today! If you have any ideas on how to end violence in our schools, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

****I’d like to thank the following websites for providing some of the information in this post.

http://www.securitydegreehub.com/securing-schools/

http://www.crf-usa.org/school-violence/causes-of-school-violence.html

Advertisements
Posted in Children's Event, Fund Raiser

Raising Spirits with Reading

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today sharing with you a program that I’m involved with. It’s called “Raising Spirits with Reading” and it’s a Fundraising Campaign for the Children at DeVos Children’s Hospital. Below is a letter that explains everything.

Raising Spirits with Reading Fundraising Campaign

 

October 1o, 2013

Dear Fellow Community Member-

There is no better way to brighten a child’s day than by engaging them in a book!  Help us bring smiles to their faces and take them on a magical adventure by donating to our cause!

The money raised will be used to purchase age appropriate books for every child at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital.  If we surpass our funding needs we will be purchasing additional books to donate to the children’s hospital for future patients.

Any amount donated is greatly appreciated!  T-shirts for all volunteers will be made and worn the day of the event.

  • Businesses that donate $250 or more will have their company name and logo put on the back of the event shirts.
  • Individuals that donate $75 or more will have their name put on the back of the event shirt.
  • All that donate will be thanked on Traveler’s Trunk Publishing’s website (www.travelerstrunkpublishing.com)

Please submit company logos and/or the name you would like placed on the T-shirt to the following:

Traveler’s Trunk Publishing

c/o Amanda Litz

15071 Hanna Ave NE

Cedar Springs, MI  49319

amanda@travelerstrunkpublishing.com

All donations must be received no later than Saturday, October 19th to ensure books are received on time.  Donations of cash or check can be mailed to the address above.  Credit card donations and further information can be obtained on the following web page:

https://www.youcaring.com/other/raising-spirits-with-reading/83266

Thank you in advance for your support in helping to bring smiles and stories to hospitalized children!

Sincerely,

Rachel Newton

Traveler’s Trunk Publishing

rd_newton@hotmail.com

(616)723-5256

There’s also a fund raising event on Wednesday October 16th at Buffalo Wild Wings located at 3050 Alpine Ave. in Walker, Mi. Please come down for a snack or dinner. 20% of the proceeds collected using a special voucher which you can get from me (I’ll e-mail it to you) will go to this cause.

Thanks so much for your consideration!

Posted in Writing

The Publishing Dilemma

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m taking a break from talking about teen issues and discussing something a little more personal today. I’m in such an energized mood because I’m working on my Coming of Age novel and I’m really enjoying it. I love my main character! I’m sure every writer has a manuscript that she’s just so in tune with that she can’t put it down.

I’m worried about myself when I get it completed. Will I feel a sense of loss? I hope not. To avoid that feeling, the idea for the sequel’s already brewing in my little brain. 🙂

My beta readers are enjoying this story too. That’s always a good sign when they’re asking for more chapters. As I write, I wonder if I should go the agent route or small press route.

If I choose the agent path, it will take longer and there’s no guarantee they’ll sell the manuscript. If I go the small press route the manuscript will be published faster, but I will be responsible for most of the marketing of the book. Which isn’t a problem for me, but having a major publisher help with the marketing is always a plus.

As I feverishly work on my story, this question bounces around in my brain. One day I’m leaning one way and the other day the next. Sigh. Then of course, there’s self-publishing.

I considered this option for a long time, and I haven’t ruled it out. However, I feel that I need a large following to make this option successful and since I’m writing for an older age group than my previous novels. I don’t feel that I have enough of a following to choose self-publishing yet.

What I like about self-publishing is that I get to see where most of my sales are coming from. That type of information is invaluable when you’re trying to market your books. That’s one of the major advantages of this choice.

You also get to see how you’re doing on a daily basis. I’m one that likes to check my numbers so I can tweak my marketing plan as I go. That’s hard to do when you have to wait three months for your results. 🙂

I would love some input from fellow authors out there. Have any of you gone the self-publishing route and built a following that way, or is there a stigma still attached to self-publishing?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. If you could share your opinion, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Posted in Health, Teen

Teens and Body Image Issues

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m working on a Coming of Age Novel, I’m excited about this one, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. The story delves into the complexity of relationships whether it’s a friendship, mother/daughter relationship, or mentor/trainee relationship.

As I was writing this story, I started thinking about teens and all the issues they face during the teen years. As parents, we have to remember teens are experiencing many of their feelings for the first time and they haven’t learned how to deal with them yet. Some of these feelings can be very powerful and overwhelming.

An area that seems to cause so much trouble, especially for young girls, is the area of body image. During the teen years, a girl’s body goes through many changes. These changes can trigger feelings of insecurity.

The unfortunate thing about these feelings is that teens don’t know how to cope with them, and many get into the habit of comparing their body with the bodies of their peers. In my opinion, this leads them down the destructive path of comparison and competition.

This is unhealthy because it can lead to eating disorders and other unhealthy behaviors. I remember my own experiences as a teen. I ran cross-country in high school and so I was relatively skinny. Quite a few of my peers would tell me I was too skinny. I was sensitive so I took these comments to heart and started to have negative feelings about my thinness. Until one day, I was at lunch with my friends and the conversation turned to dieting and diet pills. I noticed the girls who were telling me I was too skinny were taking diet pills to squash their appetite. I didn’t voice this to anyone, but I remember thinking, if I’m too skinny why are you taking diet pills? As you can see it’s not just the overweight girls who struggle, the thin ones do too.

Many people blame the media for causing this body image issue because they promote airbrushed bodies and faces. However, studies show it’s not these images that cause the issues; it’s the comparison and competition among peers that cause it. See this article for further info:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/body-image-issues-for-you_n_2590719.html

As teen relationships move to the internet arena, studies have found that young girls who use social media sites are more prone to negative body image, anorexia, and bulimia.

Many young girls will post images of themselves and according to this article from Huffington Post; forty-one percent of women from the ages of 18-24 retouch their photos before posting them to social media sites. To read the article, click on this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/body-image-issues-for-you_n_2590719.html

In my opinion, we as parents need to help our girls develop an appreciation for their bodies before they start changing. We need to compliment them on how strong and capable they are. We need to direct their focus on how important it is to be healthy and not on how they look.

For example, when I focused on how good I felt after a run, I didn’t worry about whether I was too skinny or not. I just felt good. I was healthy and I ate what sounded good at the time. If that was a double cheeseburger and fries, so be it. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. If you have any memories or tips you’d like to share about promoting a healthy body image please do! I’d love to read them.

For related articles please click the links below:

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/is-your-teen-bulimic-find-out-the-warning-signs-and-treatment/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/anorexia-nervosa/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/hello-everyone/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/please-welcome-back-laura-yochelson-anorexia-nervosa-survivor/