teenagers Tag

teenage fun — skateboarding at sunset

The teenage brain: how dopamine spurs risk taking

I can still remember the kitchen conversation as my brothers excitedly hatched the plan with their friends. “Yes! Let’s do it!” was the consensus as five teenage boys raced out the front door with their skateboards. Ten minutes later a neighbor was on the phone asking if my parents knew that there were teenagers, including their two sons, skate boarding down twenty fourth street tethered by rope to a car.

Later, as my parents grilled my brothers with, “What were you thinking?!” my brothers looked fairly disinterested in the lecture. Reminding them of the potential for broken bones or worse brought the familiar rolling of the eyes.READ MORE

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YFLC Group of students laughing together in front of a youth frontiers banner

I will lead.

“I am a leader.” On paper, it’s a simple phrase. Spoken aloud by hundreds of 11th-grade students from schools across an entire community, it’s deeply moving.

At any Youth Frontiers Leadership Conference (YFLC), the air reverberates with these declarations of character. All students in attendance are there because an educator saw leadership qualities within them. But they are also there for greater reasons: to connect with students they may otherwise only encounter through competition, to build positive relationships, and to develop strategies for improving their schools at this key time in their high school careers.READ MORE

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quote saying: if we're going to find our way back to each other, we have to understand and know empathy. brene brown

Empathy: how to raise kids who care

By Erin Walsh, Mind Retreat Facilitator; Mind Positive Parenting

“I’d like you to close your eyes,” I often say at workshops that I facilitate across the country. “Now visualize the kind of adults you hope your children become.”

I add that I am not interested in them conjuring up logistical visions, for example, where they hope their children go to school or the kind of job they hope they get. Instead, I ask them to think about the character traits they hope their children have as adults.

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Upcoming summer road trip? Follow these tips!

As the school year comes to a close and you start planning weekend trips or family vacations, we wanted to share a few fun tips from our travel experts – or at the very least, our Retreat Staff who spend close to half the retreat season on the road! While few people love sitting in a van for six hours to drive to locations like Madison and Omaha, our Retreat Staff have mastered the art of successful road trips. We interviewed our staff to get some professional insights and the following are just a few suggestions before you pack up the car and go this summer:READ MORE

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Books, Blogs and Teens: Encouraging Readers

“My son used to love reading when he was a little guy,” a mom recently lamented. “Now I honestly can’t remember the last time he read for fun.”
 

This parent isn’t alone in expressing concern about her child’s waning interest in reading as he grows older. The latest reports point to steep drops in literary reading and reading for pleasure among 15 to 24-year-olds in the United States. In addition to a marked decline over the last couple of decades, recent data shows that reading for fun drops precipitously from childhood to the teenage years.READ MORE

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The Boat Strategy

By Josh Johnson, Youth Frontiers Retreat Director and Youth Corps Manager

My wife and I are often considered the “progressive” or “cool” parents by our daughter’s friends. For example, we let our 15-year-old daughter, Reese, get a nose ring. It wasn’t a difficult choice to make, but to be honest, it wasn’t a choice I was completely thrilled with either. I knew the very moment that Reese displayed that little hole in her nose that the backlash would begin. I imagined walking through the high school during conferences, hearing another kid tell her parents, “Reese’s parents let her get a nose ring, can I get one?!” The parent would quickly declare “no” and shoot my wife and me a dirty look.READ MORE

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Acting with Wisdom

While I was out at a shopping mall recently, I saw a young mother tell her four-year-old, “You’re acting like a child.” I wanted to say, “Excuse me, your child is a child,” As a father, I can understand her perspective. Parenting would be so much easier if children acted less like children.
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