February 23, 2012
We look forward to hearing from you =)
Teens are available to chat with you Monday-Friday from 4-9pm or you can call our number at 1-877-968-8491
Spring Break is about a month away, but it is never too early to start thinking and planning! This blog post is directed at those high school or college students that are planning to travel during Spring Break, especially out of the country. Whether this is your first time or hundredth time traveling alone (okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration but you get the point!) it is important to do your research so that you can be safe and ready. That means you are going to have to do more than just pack your bags in order to be fully prepared for your trip. It would be good to read over this blog post with your parent(s)!
The following information is from: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/813907/spring-break-safety-travel-tips-for-teens-college-kids-1
Ever since Natalee Holloway disappeared during her celebratory high school graduation trip to Aruba in 2005, it is natural for parents to balk at their child’s desire to travel either domestically or internationally. These safety tips will ease your mind and help your son or daughter have fun safely on their spring break.
Many people are unaware that Natalee Holloway and her travelmates had several chaperones on their adventure… and even that wasn’t enough to avoid such a tragedy. You can’t take precautions after the fact. Whether or not your child will have chaperones on their spring break, it’s crucial to arm your teen or college-aged student with knowledge so they can protect themselves, no matter what happens.
Follow these spring break travel safety tips from experts so that you can have some peace of mind and your child can get their kicks the smart way.
Booking the trip
Your child’s spring break begins before they actually get in a plane, train or automobile. Many people choose to make their own travel arrangements, but sometimes it’s easier to book a trip with a tour operator. Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com, says, “Make sure you choose a reputable company with experience running trips to the area you wish to visit.”
Banas offers the following suggestions:
Do the research
For some kids, this spring break journey may be their first big trip. But even if your child is a seasoned traveler, it’s important to learn as much as possible about the destination before departure. Every country’s laws, customs and standards for safety and healthy differ, says Banas.
“Learn about the local people’s cultural beliefs. Women especially should be aware of cultural attitudes regarding dress and behavior to avoid harassment or worse,” says Banas. She also suggests that it’s wise to learn at least a few words or phrases in the local language. “Learning how to say ‘help’ or ‘police’ or ‘I need a doctor’ may prove invaluable later on.”
More tips from Banas
Protect your health. Steve Dasseos, president of Trip Insurance Store, advises that you learn as much as you can about your health insurance policies before your child travels to a foreign country, including if your child will have coverage outside of the U.S. and how much you would have to pay out of pocket for medical treatment.
Packing for spring break is about more than taking the right clothes and toiletries. “What you bring and what you leave behind can make a big difference,” says Banas, who also suggests the following:
Forget the bling
What should your child do upon arrival at their spring break destination?
Once your child has actually departed for their spring break trip, they’re on their own. While specific safety tips vary from one destination to another, Banas says, some general precautions apply for trips anywhere. Even if your child tells you they already know what they’re getting into, she suggests reviewing the following precautions and safety measures with them – every little reminder helps.
Stick with friends you know and trust. Never go out alone or leave a safe place with strangers. Even if you meet people or locals on your trip and they seem friendly, they might not have the best intentions. While indoors, also be careful of going into closed spaces such as elevators and stairwells by yourself.
Be a Stranger: Don’t give out personal information, or tell strangers what hotel you’re staying in or where you’re going.
Go with your gut. Be aware of your surroundings. If you feel like something is amiss, trust your instincts. If you’re being followed, the Office of International Education at the University of Richmond suggests, “Step into a store or other safe place and wait to see if the person you think is following has passed. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask someone to double-check for you to see if all is safe. Display confidence. By looking and acting as if you know where you’re going, you may be able to ward off some potential danger.”
Stay safe in your hotel room. A spring break safety tip sheet from Longwood University recommends the following: “Ensure there is a peep hole in the door and that the dead bolt and other locks are in good working order. Never open your door to anyone you do not know. If the person states they work for the hotel, call the front desk and confirm this before allowing them entry.”
Choose transportation wisely. Use recommended shuttle services or buses to get around. Only use reputable, licensed taxi services.
February is Dating Violence Awareness Month
Check out this website to get more information and find out what you can do to help!
Are you unsure of whether your relationship is healthy or not?
You may be in an abusive relationship if your partner:
- Monitors what you’re doing all the time
- Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful all the time
- Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family
- Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school
- Gets very angry during and after drinking alcohol or using drugs
- Controls how you spend your money
- Controls your use of needed medicines
- Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
- Humiliates you in front of others
- Destroys your property or things that you care about
- Threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets
- Hurts you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
- Uses (or threatens to use) a weapon against you
- Forces you to have sex against your will
- Controls your birth control or insists that you get pregnant
- Blames you for his or her violent outbursts
- Threatens to harm himself or herself when upset with you
- Says things like, “If I can’t have you then no one can.”
Signs of an UNHEALTHY relationship:
- Focusing all your energy on your partner
- Dropping friends and family or activities you enjoy
- Feeling pressured or controlled a lot
- Having more bad times in the relationship than good
- Feeling sad or scared when with your partner
Signs of a HEALTHY relationship:
- Having more good times in the relationship than bad
- Having a life outside the relationship, with your own friends and activities
- Making decisions together, with each partner compromising at times
- Dealing with conflicts by talking honestly
- Feeling comfortable and able to be yourself
- Feeling able to take care of yourself
- Feeling like your partner supports you
This information came from womenshealth.gov, a project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.
hi my name is kayla my friend showed me this site cause she waz worried bout me. she said if i emailed u guys u would be able 2 help. i have been mildly depressed since i was in the 5th grade lately it has gotten a lot worse cause of school i dont know what to do please help ive tried every thing please help me i dont know what to do any more… ,-_-, please if ur still reading this please write me back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! please…
We are so glad you reached out to us and asked for help. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to your problems with depression. Depression is definitely a serious problem that you can’t solve alone, and it is great that you have a supportive friend that helped you contact us.
It’s especially hard to have depression worsened by school – you have to be there 5 days a week, so there is probably no good opportunity for an escape. Perhaps if there is a specific issue with school that is bothering you, you could try talking to a school counselor to find a solution.
As for non-school related depression, there are lots of things you can do. For one thing, if you need immediate support, you can call us at 1-877-968-8491. We can give you resources for counseling or other things in your area if you need that, or just give you someone to talk to. Our teen call workers are available 4-9 PM on weekdays, but we have other workers 24-7, so we’ll never miss a call from you.
If you aren’t comfortable talking on the phone, there are a few other things you can do when you feel depressed. If you find it hard to cope when you’re depressed, for example, you might want to read this article one of our volunteers wrote on coping strategies: http://oregonyouthline.org/829/coping-strategies/ It’s just some basic things, but even if you don’t like the suggestions, it’s a good way to start thinking about what would work for you personally. Basically, you can just do something that relaxes you and makes you feel happy. Whatever works for you and is healthy is good.
Most of all, just remember to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally – eat well, sleep well, give yourself breaks when you need them. And again, call us if you need someone to talk to.
February 13, 2012
We are having some long lasting issues with our chat software, but we are working hard to get it back up and running as soon as possible. We are so sorry for the inconvenience, and we encourage you to either call us at 1-877-968-8491 or send us an email by going to the “Ask a Question” section on our page (if you give us your email address we can respond to your question, otherwise we post the answers in the “Read Your Answer” section). Thank you for your understanding!
February 9, 2012
Planned Parenthood has an awesome section called “Info for Teens” which includes important and accurate information on sex, relationships, pregnancy, LGBTQ resources, and more! Check it out if you have some important questions that need answered but don’t feel comfortable asking someone about it. For example, who would be the best person to come out to and what would be the best way to do this?
Check it out here: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/info-for-teens/