Tag Archives: teencareohana

Immerse yourself in ideas and see your world in new ways through art. In MoMA’s free Massive Open Online Courses on Coursera.org, you will hear directly from artists and designers, look closely at works in our collection and exhibitions, and join a community of learners unlike any other. Enroll any time and complete courses at your own pace.

Click here to enroll now: coursera.org/moma

The Hawai`i Children’s Action Network (HCAN) has created a website that identifies resources for families, including food, child care, financial information, and COVID-19 screening sites. Utilizing both online and local Hawai’i resources, the site compiles a wealth of information to help families navigate in these difficult times.  https://covid19.hawaii-can.org/

The internet is a great technological advancement, but doesn’t come without the negative. Today bullying goes beyond physical harassment at school – it’s on a worldwide platform now. Cyberbullying is the new form of bullying.

Understanding cyberbulling

So, what is cyberbullying? It is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. With most kids using technology differently than adults do, it can be hard to understand how online bullying occurs. Starting at an early age, teens spend a significant amount of time in the digital world – playing games, sending texts, and engaging with peers on social media.

Cyberbully can involve embarrassing or private images as well as negative or hurtful language. It involves sharing information intended to cause embarrassment or humiliation. What makes cyberbullying even more difficult for teens is that content shared online is persistent, and sometimes permanent. The pervasive nature of technology reduces safe spaces for teens. Youth can be harassed, threatened, intimidated, or humiliated by peers even when they’re at home.

Cyberbullying has become pervasive because the technology makes it easy. “Faceless” bullying occurs anonymously when someone creates fake account for purposes of trolling or harassing. Unfortunately, sending a mean text, leaving that harsh comment, posting that embarrassing picture is easy, fast, and simple.

Recent studies about cyberbullying rates have found that about 1 in 4 teens have been the victim of cyberbullying and about 1 in 6 admit to have cyberbullied someone. In some studies, more than half of teens surveyed said that they’ve experienced abuse through social media. Here in Hawaii, over 20% of middle schooler reported that have experienced cyberbullying.

Impact on youth

Cyberbullying can happen anywhere and at any time of the day. If your child is experiencing cyberbullying, they may exhibit behaviors indicating there is a problem. Signs of cyberbullying may vary but can include:

  • Being emotionally upset during or after using the Internet or the phone
  • Being very secretive or protective of one’s digital life
  • Withdrawal from family members, friends, and activities
  • Avoiding school or group gatherings
  • Slipping grades and “acting out” in anger at home
  • Changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite
  • Wanting to stop using the computer or cellphone
  • Being nervous or jumpy when getting an instant message, text, or email
  • Avoiding discussions about computer or cellphone activities

If you are seeing these behaviors, talk to your child about what you’re seeing. Express your unconditional support. Take the time to listen and find out what’s happening without overreacting. If necessary, seek help. Kids sometimes feel more comfortable talking to a third party like a school counselor or mental health therapist.

What parents can do

When children are given access to devices that provide a window to the online world, it’s important the interaction is monitored. For younger kids, know their passwords, use search blocks, and be aware of what apps they use. For older adolescents, set the groundwork for safety, follow your child’s social media accounts, and encourage them to interact with their friends outside the digital sphere. You can’t fully protect your child from becoming a victim of cyberbullying, but it could minimize the opportunity. Many youth logged on their Instagram, snapchat, or twitter and chatting or sending direct messages most of the day. Sometimes kids are posting things of themselves in a manner that might be inappropriate for their age level. Staying involved in your child’s cyber world is where protecting can start. As as parent, you can set guidelines and boundaries around technology use, educate your child about online risks, and encourage them to discuss when they feel intimidated or shamed by others.

Encourage your teen to not respond to cyberbullying because by doing so it adds more fuel to the fire and may make the situation worse. But document all conversations, threatening messages, pictures, texts, etc. so it can be used as evidence with whoever the other party, school, parents, or even the police.

So what if your child is the bully?  Deal with the issue at hand, straight up, no sugar coating it. But don’t be too harsh on them. Find out the story, and what is really going on. Be firm about their actions not being okay, and the consequences that come with those actions. Try to make them see that if it was the other way around how they would feel about it. Help them see the whole picture not just their version of the story. Bullying in any form isn’t acceptable and there can be serious consequences at home, school and in the community. They might not see all the damage they are causing, help them put it into perspective. Be sure you are modeling healthy online behavior for your teens.

Overall, be there for your teen and help them grow into mature adults. Family support goes a long way as teens try to find their way in an ever-changing world. If they are struggling with things you might not know how to help with, encourage them to talk with a therapist. Bottom line, be involved in their cyber world, and in the real world.

Milk and Honey

By Rupi Kaur

This is book that has a collection of poetry that explores a variety of themes ranging from love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, migration, and revolution. Divided into four chapters, each chapter serves a different purpose, different pain, heals a different heartache.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

By Malala Yousafzai

This story is about a young woman who decided to fight for women’s right to education when this fundamental right was taken away, an inspiring young woman with an incredible story of perseverance and strength.

The Four Agreements; A Practical Guide to personal Freedom

By don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements reveals the sources of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Its message encourages to act from truth, and our own level of understanding. It’s a great book to lay down some framework for a more positive and self-aware lifestyle.

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons

By Kevin Hart

Born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and thief. His mother was strict and abusive. Through amazing insight he shares how the only thing he had control over was his response to it and how he worked hard in the face of many setbacks.

Adulting 101: #Wisdom4Life

By Josh Burnette and Pete Hardesty

Basic life skills go mostly untaught in classrooms, so graduates are on their own to figure out how to live successfully in the world. Without any guidance, where do they start?

Challenger Deep

By Neal Shusterman

An important story about a boy struggling with severe mental illness, and the poignant journey about finding oneself. It’s a journey of how we get through our daily lives in the best way we know how.

Involvement in community or extracurricular activities provides terrific opportunities for your teen to develop skills, expand their interests, and stay healthy. There are many different kinds of activities available through their school or the community. Sports, dance, art, music, clubs or summer camps are just a few of the ways you child can expand their world and increase engagement with others. Talk to your teen about their interests and see how you can get them involved.

Extracurricular activities provide the opportunity to meet other teens and make new friendships. It can help your teen to interact with other peers similar in age who they might not otherwise engage with. Learning to get along with other peers from different backgrounds is a key social skill that will help your child throughout their life. It can also teach your teen to work well with others in the group settings and how to be part of a team. It’s a great way to build their confidence! Participating in community or after school activities allows teens to build different life skills.

Teens who participate in extracurricular activities tend to do better academically and will help them when applying for college. It also gives your child something to look forward to on a daily basis, teaches responsibility, develops organizational skills. Teens have the opportunity to learn how to balance their school work load with the other activities going on in their life. For some school-based activities, your child will be required to maintain a certain GPA level. As a parent, you can also require your teen to maintain good grades as a prerequisite for the community-based programs they enjoy. Using different extracurricular activities as motivation to do well in school can help your teen’s grades to improve. As a result your teen will be more disciplined and have better time management skills then other teens.

The final benefit of having your teen participate in extracurricular activities is it can help keep them out of trouble. The more time your teen spends being involved in positive activities, the less time they have to get into mischief. Teens that play sports or are part of a club or organization are also less likely to use drugs and alcohol then those not involved. Teens are mentored by and often find a positive role model in the adults that lead such activities. It is always good for a teen to have someone outside their family to look up to. Keeping your teen involved in the community will help them grow up to be responsible and engaged adults.

There has been a lot of discussion about the influence of social media on relationships, school, and mental health. The impacts of engaging in social media has undoubtedly changed parenting and posed many challenges for today’s teens and parents. It’s estimated that 75% of teens in America today have at least one social media profile. The questions most parents ask are, what is the impact and how can I mitigate the negative effects of my teenager’s social media use.

In a time where it seems impossible to not be part of the internet, social media and the fast moving pace of the world, parents have a real and valid concern. Recent studies have shown that the dominant concerns for parents of teens using social media are:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Sexting
  • Divulging too much information online
  • “Facebook” or “Instagram” depression

Parents can become educated on the advantages and disadvantages of social media. It has also been recommended that parents engage in social media themselves to give themselves a better understanding of what the cyber world looks like and what teenagers are doing there. It is essential that parents monitor their teen’s social media usage and use open discussions with their adolescents about the reality of what can happen on the internet. There are online courses for parents to know the warning signs of the above mentioned concerns and how and where to get their teen help if they need it.

Like every other challenge faced of raising teens, the digital world is one that can be met and overcome with the opportunity to learn proper etiquette and behaviors that can foster a healthy environment online and on social media.