How to Discuss Teen Pregnancy With Kids

Teen pregnancy isn’t an easy topic to discuss with kids, but it’s crucial to talk about it — early and often. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the teen birth rate in the United States is nine times higher than in other developed nations. Keeping the lines of communication open can prevent your child from having to make the difficult choice between parenting, abortion and giving a baby up for adoption.

Talk to your child when the time is right, to prevent embarrassment and encourage discussion. Look for teachable moments, such as watching a TV show in which a teenage character chooses to have sex.

Encourage your child to ask questions, and answer them honestly and thoughtfully. If she knows no question is off limits and you won’t make her feel ashamed, she’ll be more likely to ask.

Explain how different types of birth control work, how much they cost, how effective they are and where to get them. Tell your teen that condoms, barrier methods such as spermicides and the morning-after pill are available over the counter, while oral contraceptives, vaginal rings, diaphragms, implants and birth control shots require a doctor’s visit. Let your teen know about health clinics in the region, or offer to schedule an appointment for her with your gynecologist.

Discuss the options for teens facing unplanned pregnancy and the pros and cons of each. Talk about surgical versus medication abortion, parenting and adoption. Tell your teen your feelings about each, but stress that the decision is ultimately an individual choice.

Let your child know there’s often a difference between how girls and boys view sexual relationships, and that girls sometimes feel pressured into sex. Stress the importance of waiting to have sex until you’re certain your partner respects you and will support you and a potential child.

Talk about your own sexual experiences as a teenager. If you became pregnant or used birth control, tell your child about your experience. Have this conversation when your child is ready; it’s appropriate to tell a teenager, but can embarrass or overwhelm a young child.

How to Help Inner City Kids

It can be easy for inner city teens to get involved with gangs and violence if they do not have adequate after school activities to go to and positive role models to look up to. According to Rainbows of Hope, a non-profit group for kids and teens, gangs are still an issue in over 90% of American cities. Many inner city schools and programs do not have the funds to provide all the resources that young people need. Often, they rely on volunteers and donations to keep inner city kids safe and productive.

Make monetary donations. If you have a hectic work schedule and don’t feel like you have the time to devote to regular volunteer work, you can always donate money to a charity. Donations from both businesses and individuals help non-profit organizations to buy things such as art supplies, sporting equipment and more for kids. Some organizations that exist to help urban youth include National Runaway, a group dedicated to helping get kids off the street or prevent teens from running away and the Boys and Girls Club of America which provides safe and fun after school activities for kids to keep them out of trouble.

Volunteer your time. Successful programs for young people can’t run without adult supervision. Use your natural talents and skills to join an organization where you feel you can be a positive influence. If you have a background in teaching, you can help teach kids to read. If you are looking for a place to start volunteering, Reading is Fundamental is a national organization to get in touch with.

Be an individual mentor. Some inner city kids come from backgrounds where they lack a role model. Organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, pair up well-rounded and kind adults with an inner city or low-income children or teens. You can bond with a young person by helping him with studies or by doing fun activities together such as playing a sport or going to the movies.

Pass on your used items. If you have kids of your own who have toys they no longer use or clothes they have out grown, give the items to a local organization. There are many underprivileged children who can benefit from these goods.

Picnic Games for Kids & Teens

A picnic is a great summer socializing event for children and teenagers. Besides enjoying the delicious foods and listening to favorite music hits, kids and teens enjoy participating in fun activities at picnics. The most popular activities are outdoor games. These games are great exercise and will provide fun summer memories for kids and teens.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a fun activity for kids and young adults in a safe outdoor setting. Create a list of things for players to find in nature such as specific types of rocks, flowers or trees. Give a copy of the list to all players. Players must mark off items as they find them. Let participants search individually or divide them into teams of two. The first person or team to find every item on the list wins the game.
To make the game more challenging, time players as they search for items. After the timer goes off, the player or team with the most items found wins the scavenger hunt.

Water Balloon Toss

A water balloon toss is a popular picnic game for kids and teens who don’t mind getting a little wet. Fill latex balloons with water. Divide participants into teams of two. Let them stand a few feet apart facing each other. Give each team a water balloon to toss back and forth. After every toss, players must take a step back. The object of the game is for players to keep tossing the balloon and stepping back until only one team is left with an intact balloon.

Outdoor Racing Games

Potato sack racing is a classic and simple picnic game for teenagers and children. Create a start and finish line several feet apart. Give each player a potato sack. Players must stand inside a potato sack and jump to the finish line. The first player to arrive at the finish wins.
Another popular picnic favorite is an egg and spoon race. Provide kids with a spoon and an egg. Kids must carefully balance the egg in the spoon while running from start to finish and back to start. The first player to successfully complete the race wins.

Other Games to Consider

Badminton and volleyball are also fun picnic games that everyone from young children to young adults will enjoy. Purchase volleyball and badminton sets from general merchandise stores and set them up a few hours before guests arrive.

How to React to Smart-Mouth Kids

Whether you are dealing with a hot-tempered 5-year-old or an obnoxious teen, reacting to smart-mouthed kids takes practice, patience and restraint. In most cases, children who act out using inappropriate tones and words are vying for your attention; whether it’s good or bad. Approaching your own smart-mouthed child doesn’t have to differ from how you would react to another child talking back. Extinguish the behavior by letting the child know his tone is unacceptable and establish consequences for foul attitudes.

Nip the behavior in the bud immediately. Don’t allow the smart-mouthed attitude to continue until you are ready to explode; address the tone and vernacular immediately, so the child knows that you aren’t going to allow for the behavior. When you identify a rude behavior or tone, stop the conversation and address the situation. Tell the child said that what she said–or how she said it– isn’t acceptable and to correct her tone or language. Calling the child out on her behavior isn’t a one-time deal. You must identify and correct the behavior every time it occurs. The child will continue to push boundaries to determine if you are truly serious about these rules.

Pick your battles. Sometimes pouncing on every remark can dilute your stance on smart-mouthed behavior and undermine your point. When it comes to teenagers, rolling eyes and sighing may become a subconscious way of life. Instead of calling your teen out on every eye roll, consistently focus on overt smart-mouthed behavior. Also, sometimes speaking to your child after the behavior occurs, instead of during, may provide more perspective on how the tone or words impact others. For example, if the kids were “trash talking” each other, pull your child aside afterward and ask him if he would have liked being spoken to in the same manner. Ask him to analyze his behavior to determine if a different approach may have been a better strategy.

Develop a signal to let your child know she is dangerously close to crossing boundaries. For older children and teens, simply raising your eyebrow or even shaking your head can bring her back into reality and let her know her behavior is becoming unacceptable. A non-verbal cue also can help the child save face in front of other kids and adults, so that the child can self-correct and maintain dignity.

Follow up with punishment. Empty threats or even violence will not deter the problem. Continuing to tell your children he won’t get to go to the party, but still letting the child go sends a clear message that you don’t really mean what you say. Also, spanking or hitting your child may only exacerbate the problem, creating a more violent individual with a bad attitude.

Instead, establish punishments and restriction scenarios and follow through. Take away privileges such as computer and T.V. time and clearly communicate how long these privileges are banned. Encourage the child to earn back privileges by demonstrating proper behavior through positive reinforcement and coaching.

How to Help Teens Read Aloud to Kids

One effective way to help teens improve their own reading skills is to have them read to younger children, reports Scholastic Parents. Not only should it improve reading fluency, it can encourage enthusiasm. In addition, younger kids get the benefits of being read to. Some techniques will help teens read aloud to kids more effectively than others.

Before the Read Aloud

Find a regular time to read aloud. You might let the teen take over a sibling’s bedtime stories a few nights a week, says Scholastic Parents. If a teen doesn’t have younger siblings, he can offer to read aloud while baby-sitting or see if the local library or elementary school has a reading buddy program.

Encourage her to choose books she’ll enjoy. Teenagers aren’t usually enthusiastic about being told what to do, so let her decide what books to read aloud. She can get suggestions from the kids she’s reading to, share favorites from her own childhood or visit the library for ideas.

Let them find things to read that aren’t books. If your teen and his younger brother love cars, let your teen read a car magazine to his sibling. Graphic novels and comic books may be too complicated for younger kids to read independently, yet both kids and teens (and some adults) are fascinated by them.

During the Read Aloud

Have teens preview the book. If your teen isn’t confident about reading aloud, encourage her to preview the reading material alone first. That way she can look up any unfamiliar words or ask how to pronounce certain names. After that, or if she is a confident reader, she can look over the book with the kids and make predictions on what it will be about, suggests the International Reading Association.

Remind teenagers to read with expression. He can try funny voices for different characters or change their tone frequently, says the International Reading Association.

Explain how to respond when kids ask questions during reading. She should know that it’s OK for children to share their thoughts during read alouds, especially if they are asking questions about or making connections to the book or magazine.