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Some Parenting Tools from Positive Discipline (newsletters from Naomi Drew)
Silent Signals: Parents often talk too much. They lecture, they scold. Sometimes they even scream and yell. When parents talk too much, children often shut down and stop listening. Then parents wonder, Why does everything I say seem to go in one ear and out the other? Try a silent (secret) signal. (young kids love the secret part especially when they have helped create it.) Ex. One mom took time to train with her four year old son about interrupting. During a calm time, they decided on a secret signal and then they practiced. When mom is talking to someone else, her son squeezes her hand to let her know he wants to say something. She puts her hand on his shoulder to let him know she will finish as soon as she can and listen. Her son seldom interrupted after that. Be creative with older children and teens. Agree on something together that will help reduce conflict that surrounds an issue like having family come to dinner when called. This is a good way to create respect for each other and create a loving connection. Stop, Breath, Chill: When you or a child or teen gets angry over something, it may help to just stop for a moment, take a few deeps breaths and take another moment do decide on how to act. Stop, Breath, Chill is an easy way to reduce automatic reactions that could and usually do cause friction and angry outbursts. Stop, Breath, Chill is a calming tool and it helps to give you greater control over your reactions.

Volume 6

Issue 11 Misuse of alcohol and other drugs can lead to depression because these substances affect the bodys chemical balance. Based on concerns about potential liver damage from overdoses of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, Johnson and Johnson announced that the company plans to lower the maximum dose for Extra Strength Tylenol from 4,000 mg 3,000 mg. daily. A study has found that many songs popular with teens include references to alcohol, and some of these references are brand specific. Alcohol references are most common in rap, R&B and hip hop. Painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs cause more drug-related deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. Home medicine cabinets have become the new drug dealers. Each day, nearly 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time and a majority of those pills are known to come from family and friends, including the medicine cabinet.

November 2011

A New Parent Helpline: ( )

When parents find out their teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, the familys immediate focus is generally on getting help for the teen. But parents are often in great need of help themselves. They may need advice on what to say to their teen, how to evaluate whether he or she needs professional treatment and where to find the appropriate substance abuse treatment program if one is needed. The Parents Toll-Free Helpline, 1 855 DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373) is staffed by clinical social workers with practical experience in substance abuse prevention and treatment. Parents may need a counselor to walk them through exactly what they will say to their teenager when they suspect substance abuse. If they have not already done so, parents need to establish rules about alcohol and other drugs, and consequences for breaking those rules. Parents may also need help figuring out whether their adolescent should get professional assessment.
(Ken Winters, PhD U of Minnesota)

A Counselor can help parents with intervention techniques and how to start conversations with their teens about difficult issues.

Sleep is essential to good health!

Here are a few things that may help getting a good nights sleep: Set a regular bedtime. Going to bed at the same time each night signals to your body that its time to sleep. Waking up at the same time every day can also help establish sleep patterns. Try to stick as closely as you can to a schedule, even on weekends. Exercise regularly. But try not to exercise right before bed as it can rev you up and make it harder to fall asleep. Finish exercising at least 3 hours before bedtime. Avoid Stimulants. Dont drink beverages with caffeine, such as soda and coffee, after 4 PM Nicotine is also a stimulant so quitting, if you smoke, will help you sleep better. Drinking alcohol in the eve ning can also cause a person to be restless and wake up during the night. Relax your mind. Avoid violent, scary, or action movies or television right before bed anything that might set your mind and heart racing. Reading books with involved or active plots may also keep you from falling or staying asleep. Keep the lights low. Light signals the brain that its time to wake up. Stay away from bright lights including computer screens. Dont nap too much. Naps of more than 30 minutes during the day may keep you from falling asleep later. (

Moms on Drugs: A new epidemic? (Andrea Barbalich from Parents Magazine 11/11)
The Use of prescription drugs is exploding. More than 18 million women ages 26 and older reported using prescription medications for unintended uses in 2008. This is almost a million more than in 2007. The drugs include sedatives like Xanax, stimulants like Ritalin, and opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin-opioids being the biggest problem, according to Stephen Ross, MD from New York University. A 2010 study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found the number of people who were admitted to treatment centers for narcotic-painkiller addiction increased a staggering 400 percent from 1998 to 2008. The number of fatal overdoses involving these drugs more than tripled during a similar time period. There is a big demand for drugs. Patients go to the doctor in pain and expect to walk out with a prescription. The giant supply and heavy demand also makes it simple for moms to share their meds. Nearly 29 percent of women reported borrowing or sharing prescriptions according to a survey conducted by the centers for Disease Control and Oak Ridge Institute. People incorrectly assume that because these meds are prescribed by a doctor they are not as dangerous or lethal as illegal dugs. They are wrong. Prescription drugs taken incorrectly, or by a person they were not prescribed for can be addictive and deadly.