Sunday, November 27, 2011

Maturation Clinic-Advise for Parents with Pre-Teens

So it's a little crazy that I have a fifth grader who is old enough to go to the maturation clinic.  What is crazy is it doesn't seem like that long ago that I was a fifth grader going to the clinic with my mom at Woods Cross Elementary School.  I remember going to the library with all the girls and meeting in the well loved "Kiva" for our clinic that we all so embarrassed about.  The clinic at my kids school was very well done.  The Bear River Health Department sent representative to talk to parents before the children joined us.  I really liked the information that was presented to the parents, I wanted share some things I found helpful to me.
Make sure your growing pre-adolesent is getting 9-10 hours of sleep.  Brain cells replenish during sleep.  Brain connections are strengthened.  Some ideas to help:

  • Take time before they lay down to share how their day was.  This will help them relive their day out loud rather then in their brain in bed.  This helps them wind down.
  • Turn in all cell phones to parents room or a central basket on the kitchen counter to charge up.  
  • Set up a bed routine and try to stick with it-going to bed about the same time every night
  • Don't watch TV or movies right before bed.

The rest of the presentation was on drug and alcohol prevention.
In the Sharps Survey taken by Utah Teens in 2011.  Teens are saying that parents have the most influence on their decision making.  More then their friends or other adult role models.
Teens who are using drugs, and alcohol were asked how they perceived their parents felt about them being involved in substance abuse.  Here is an example of the question,  How wrong do your parents feel it would be for you to smoke marijuana?  They choice of answers were:  Very wrong, wrong, a little bit wrong, or not wrong at all.  The results of these questions showed that, if parents have a clear and strong standards against substance abuse and communicate that to their children the chances their children will get involved is very small.  It's time to talk to children about it earlier.  Parents should talk to their children before they are 10 years old about the importance of staying away from drugs and alcohol.
Children are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol if they feel loved and valued by their parents.  Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Talking and Listening to your children is a major key to the psychological, physical and spiritual grown of your child.
  • Comment and recognize your child's positive attributes
  • Spend time with your child
  • Help your child identify healthy ways they can cope with stress or depression such as music, sports, art, or exercise.  
  • Parents need to show the child love no matter what the child has done--unconditional love.
  • Eat Dinner Together.  
  • Teens also said they feel validated when their parents hug them--but not in front of friends.  Do it before bed or before they leave for school.  Let your child initiate the release of hug.  They may need a longer hug.

For more information on Drug and Alcohol Prevention and help go to