By: Jessica Bickford
Notebook paper… check!
Endless stacks of back to school forms… check!
Plans and lists are being made…but the real question facing families with school aged children is: “How are you helping prepare your child for the stress that a new year can bring?”
While there is no formal checklist for this, I’ve compiled some snippets from some of Healthy Lamoille Valley’s go-to resource websites. We hope you check them out and talk about them as a family!
Parentupvt.org – Learn which students are most at risk of substance misuse, how to prevent misuse, and how to respond if you think your child might be trying alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs.
“We all know how important fitting in is when you’re a teenager. And drinking or drugs can seem like an easy way to make new friends and find a place in a new school. Teens can also feel pressured if they’re looking to fit into a group of kids who are drinking or using drugs. And some teens who’ve always been seen as “the good one” may even try to use drinking or drugs to change their image.
That’s why it’s so important to talk to your child and monitor your child’s behaviors, friends, and activities regularly—especially during times of transition.”
Ryanpatrickhalligan.org – Practical suggestions relating to technology and cyberbullying. John Halligan came to Bishop Marshall and Stowe schools last spring to share Ryan’s story with students and parents. If you couldn’t make it, you can now rent John’s parent presentation at this site as well.
“If your child is under 13, you do have the option to have these accounts deleted since most of these services have an age and parental consent requirement per the Federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
- Have them share with you all their user account names and passwords.
- Make certain they never have and will never share their passwords with anyone, even a friend. Explain the risk of someone impersonating them and ruining their reputation
- Remove the technology (cells phones, tablets, iPods, computers) from the bedroom, specifically, when it is time to sleep.”
Teens.drugabuse.gov – It’s important to give your kids resources as well. This one is designed for teens, but also has links for parents including researched based scientific facts about various drugs.
“Another teen from Croatan High School in North Carolina submitted:
My best friend of 7 years has smoked cigarettes, smoked marijuana, and tried other drugs since she was 11. She has dealt with social services, law enforcement, and was sent to a foster home for 3 months. She has been back home for a month and says she’s going to change. I love her and don’t want her to go back down the same road again, but she doesn’t want to hear it when I talk to her about drugs. How can I help her?”
Healthvermont.gov – State, county, and school district data helps you to know what struggles and strengths your student encounters daily. Many of Lamoille Valley’s Middle and High Schools have student “Getting to Y” groups looking at this data and planning ways to help their classmates who may be struggling.
“The YRBS was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1990 to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disease, injury and social problems among youth. These behaviors, often established during childhood and early adolescence, include:
- Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
- Physical activity
- Weight status
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol and other drug use
- Sexual behaviors
The survey is part of a larger effort to help communities increase the resiliency of young people by reducing high risk behaviors and promoting healthy behaviors. Vermont collects student responses every two years from nearly every high school and middle school in the state.”
Was this information helpful? Do you have other resources you’d like to share? Share in the comments section below or message the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.