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Help with Teenagers
Cyber Bullying
Our kids are completely immersed in technology these days, with a majority of their communication coming through text messaging, instant messaging and social networking sites. This constant contact via technology also allows school bullies to hound victims 24 hours a day and invite others to pile on.

A recent teen suicide in Missouri, which was a result of bullying through a MySpace page, illuminates this phenomenon.

The victim's neighbor and associated schoolmates posed as a teenage boy who was interested in the girl but suddenly turned on her via the MySpace page. While the resulting suicide in this case is not common, incidences of using technology to bully others have been on the rise as evidenced by recent statistics

Warning Signs
How can you tell if your child is being subjected to cyber bullying? Parents completely out of the loop with a child's technology usage can find it hard to detect when something of this nature may be occurring. Generally speaking, behavioral changes accompany attacks. Not any of these signs on its own is an indicator; however, more than one could warrant a discussion with your child:
  • Appearing upset after internet use
  • Being afraid of leaving the house, especially to go to school
  • Being secretive about internet activity
  • Changing attitude, dress or habits
  • Clearing the screen when parents enter the room
  • Crying for no apparent reason
  • Getting behind in school work
  • Having headaches, stomachaches or a lack of appetite
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Hesitating to get online
  • Spending unusually long hours on the computer 

Teens with motorcycles have had tragic endings in the past. Before you allow your child to purchase a motorcycle, do a simple web search. Enter the words "teen" and "motorcycle" in a search engine. The results will be shocking. There are times to be a friend and times to be a parent. Be the parent!

Teens & Drugs
The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign's website contains a comprehensive listing of popular drugs to abuse and their effects on the brain and body.

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