Age Group: 15 – 18 years
Health Information: 15 – 18 years
Immunizations (from AAP)
- Annual Influenza doses
Signs of Depression
- Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or anxiousness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or gloom
- Feeling guilty, worthless, helpless
- Irritable or restless
- Losing interest in activities/hobbies that used to be enjoyable
- Decrease in energy, feeling of fatigue
- Difficulties concentrating, making decisions, and remembering details
- Changes in sleep patterns- either insomnia, waking up too early, or sleeping too much
- Changes in eating patterns- loss of appetite or eating too much
- Thought of suicide, attempts of suicide
- Aches, pains, cramps, stomach problems that are persistent and are not eliminated with treatment
Signs of Anxiety Disorders
- Constant worry accompanied by physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, difficulty swallowing, irritability, sweating, hot flashes, and trembling. (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
- Persistent and unwelcome thoughts or images. Need to engage in rituals. May need to check things repeatedly or may be obsessed with things like cleanliness. (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
- Sudden feelings of terror or panic accompanied by physical symptoms such as racing heart beat, sweating, weak/faint feeling, dizzy feeling, numbness in hands, and feeling of nausea. (Panic Disorder)
- Persistent thoughts and memories of frightening events in the past. May have sleep problems, feel detached/ numb, or be startled easily. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Persistent and intense fear that one is being watched, judged, and made fun of by others. Fear of being embarrassed in front of others. Physical symptoms can include: blushing, sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking. (Social Anxiety Disorder)
School Issues: 15 – 18 years
Map of school districts/ links to each site for calendar of school activities
Homework helping tips: (from the U.S. Department of Education, www.ed.gov)
- Let your teen set a time to do homework each night. If your teen doesn’t have enough time for homework because of other activities, encourage him or her to cut something out of the schedule.
- Turn off the TV/radio/video games/internet. Take away cell or other phones. If your household is noisy, try to have everyone participate in quiet activities during this time. If distractions can’t be avoided, the library may be a good option for your teen.
- Make sure you teen has supplies to complete homework (pencils, pens, erasers, ruler, etc.). Check with your school if you need assistance with obtaining supplies.
- Take an interest in your teen’s homework and school day. Ask about what he or she is learning and visit the school during events (parent-teacher conferences, recitals, etc.).
- Find out what your teen’s school expects from homework. Ask your teen’s teachers how you can help your child.
- Answer questions about homework if you can but don’t do your teen’s homework for him/her.
- Ask if your teen wants you to look at homework that he or she has finished.
- Help your teen stay organized.
- Talk about good school work habits (not waiting until the last minute, taking practice tests, reading directions FIRST, skipping difficult questions on tests and coming back to them at the end, etc.)
- If your teen seems frustrated, tell him or her that you KNOW he or she can do it. Ask if he or she would like help.
- Praise your teen and encourage effort
What is Bullying? (From the University of Colorado at Boulder, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Safe School Fact Sheets, Bullying Prevention: An Overview of Bullying)
Bullying is an intentional harming of another person that occurs repeatedly over time. The bully has power over the people he or she bullies. It can take many forms including:
- Physical violence
- Verbal threats or harassment (including spreading rumors)
- Indirect bullying through: intentionally leaving someone out, social isolation, obscene gestures
- Cyber-bullying (instant messages, chat rooms, myspace/facebook pages)
Signs that your child is being bullied (from US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin, National Mental Health Information Center, www.samhsa.gov)
- Your child comes home with dirty/damaged/torn clothes, books, or other property
- Your child often “loses” things and can’t explain what happened
- Your child comes home with injuries/cuts/bruises and can’t explain what cause them
- Your child’s grades decline and he or she loses interest in going to school
- Your child doesn’t spend time with peers after school and doesn’t bring classmates over to his/her house
- Your child is hesitant/scared/nervous before going to school
- Your child takes strange routes to go to and from school
- Your child seems unhappy/depressed or can have mood swings and become irritated/angry
- Your child has headaches, stomach aches, less of an appetite
- Your child’s sleep is disturbed- can have nightmares or cry during sleep
- Your child steals money or asks for extra money (this can be used to give to bullies)
What you can do if your child is being bullied (from US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin, National Mental Health Information Center, www.samhsa.gov)
- Take the situation seriously. Don’t assume that it is ok or that everyone gets bullied.
- Focus on your child. Listen to him/her, don’t blame him/her, empathize, ask questions to find out details of the situation (Who? What? How often? Where?), do NOT suggest that your child “fight back,” and don’t let your emotions take over during the next steps.
- Contact the school (through the social worker, teacher, principal, guidance counselor) and voice your concerns (don’t let emotions take over). Make sure the school takes the situation seriously too.
- Work with the school. Let the school know you want to work together with them.
- Have school personnel attempt to set up a meeting between you and the bully’s caregiver(s). Don’t contact the bully’s caregiver(s) yourself.
- Guarantee that your child is protected at school. Communicate with the school and ensure that teachers/administrators are aware of the situation and are closely monitoring it.
- Encourage your child to meet friendly classmates and to spend time with them outside of school.
- Help your child meet friends in different environments (clubs, sports, volunteering)
Signs that your child is a bully (from US Dept. or Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin, National Mental Health Information Center, www.samhsa.gov)
- Your child is often aggressive, spiteful, and disagrees with/opposes almost everything
- Your child seems to have a need to be in control and/or dominate over others
- Your child seems to manipulate others
- Your child teases, harasses, or insults others (and seems to enjoy doing it)
What you can do if your child is a bully(from US Dept. or Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin, National Mental Health Information Center, www.samhsa.gov)
- Let your child know that you take bullying seriously and that it is not acceptable.
- Make clear rules for your child and consistently follow them. Use punishments (not physical or hostile) when rules are broken.
- Praise your child when he or she is following rules.
- Find out about your child’s activities (so that you can monitor them) and spend more time with him or her.
- Encourage your child to become involved in activities that promote positive social behaviors like music, non-violent sports or clubs.
- Work with school personnel and let them know you are concerned about your child. Ensure that school personnel are not tolerating any bullying.
- Seek the help of a counselor or mental health provider if you or your child needs additional support.
Building Relationships with School Staff (from the U.S. Department of Education, www.ed.gov)
- Meet with your child’s teacher(s) early in the school year. Set an appointment to talk or stop in after school and introduce yourself.
- Let your child’s teacher(s) know if he or she is having problems with homework. Work together to figure out a plan that will work for your child.
- When meeting with or talking to your child’s teacher(s), remember that you are both working together. Approach teachers while keeping this in mind.
- Make sure that you understand what the teacher expects from you and your child. Make sure that the teacher understands what you and your child expect from him or her.
- Keep communicating with teachers throughout the year. Don’t wait for your child to get in trouble (or have a problem) to meet the teacher! If you only talk about negative things, your relationships with teachers will be negative.
Discipline Information: 15 – 18 years
(by Mary Casey-Goldstein, Kevin Haggerty, and Richard Catalano (2002). “Raising Healthy Children Navigating Independence Booster Session.” Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Talking too much. Do you get tired of hearing yourself lecture your child? If yes, chances are you are talking too much and not listening enough.
- Not developing along with our child. Parents can’t use the same techniques when their child is 10 as they did when their child was 5.
- Focusing on negative behaviors and paying attention to your child when they do something you don’t approve of. “You raise what you praise.” If you focus on the bad behaviors, those are what you will see.
- Telling children what they shouldn’t do instead of what they should do. Give your child examples of behaviors that you want them to repeat.
- Reacting to children only after they have made a mistake. Parents need to set up rules for their children before problems occur, not in response to problems that have already occurred.
- Forgetting to have fun together.
Development (Written by Virginia K. Molgaard, edited by Laura Miller, Iowa State University; University Extension, December 1993)
AODA Information: 15 – 18 years
Alcohol and other drugs (Adapted from US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, www.samhsa.gov, family guide)
Warning Signs that your child may have a problem with alcohol
- Drinking until he or she is drunk on a regular basis
- Lying about how much he or she drinks or how often he or she drinks
- If he or she believes that he or she has to drink in order to have fun
- Being hungover often
- If he or she feels worn-out, depressed or suicidal
- If he or she has experienced “black-outs” (forgetting what happened and what he or she did) while drinking
Warning Signs that your child may be abusing club drugs (Ecstasy, GHB, Ketamine, Rohypnol)
- Difficulty remembering things that he or she did or said
- Coordination problems, dizziness, fainting
- Difficulty sleeping
Warning Signs that your child may be abusing Cocaine
- Eyes are red or bloodshot
- Frequent runny nose or sniffing
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Changes in who his or her friends are
- Changes in school grades or behavior at school
- Depression, withdrawn, tired, or be unconcerned with personal appearance
- Loss of interests in friends, family, school, and/or activities that he or she used to enjoy
- A frequent need for money/stealing money
Warning Signs that your child may be abusing Hallucinogens (LSD, Mushrooms, PCP, Ecstasy)
- Distorted senses (sight, hearing, touch)
- Dilated pupils
- Anxiousness and/or paranoia
- Frequent mood swings
- Feeling of faintness
- Irrational behaviors
Warning Signs that your child may be abusing Heroin
- Impaired mental functions
- Slowed breathing
- Constricted pupils
- SIGNS OF OVERDOSE: pinpoint sized pupils, clammy skin, shallow breathing, convulsions, coma
Warning Signs that your child may be abusing Inhalants
- Speech is slurred
- Appears drunk or dizzy
- Breath odor is unusual
- Clothing smells like chemicals
- Paint stains on his or her body/face
- Red eyes and runny nose
Warning Signs that your child may be abusing Marijuana
- Appears dizzy or has trouble walking
- Eyes are red or bloodshot
- Clothing and hair smells
- Troubles remembering things that just happened (trouble with short term memory)
- Acting overly silly for no apparent reason
Warning Signs that your child may be abusing Methamphetamines
- He or she cannot sleep
- Has an increased sensitivity to noise
- Has nervous physical energy (like scratching)
- Irritable, dizzy, or confused
- Extreme anorexia
- Has tremors/convulsions
- Increase in heart rate and/or blood pressure
- He or she owns inhaling paraphernalia (razor blades, mirrors, straws)
- He or she owns injecting paraphernalia (syringes, heated spoons, tubing)
Warning Signs that your child may be abusing Steroids
- Baldness, developing breasts, impotence (for boys only)
- Facial hair growth, voice deepens, breast reduction (for girls only)
- Yellowish skin (jaundice)
- Feet or ankles are swollen
- Has Aching Joints
- Bad breath
- Large mood swings
- Nervousness and/or trembling
What parents can do (from the Surgeon General’s Guide to Action for Families)
- Get involved in your children’s lives. Be supportive and nurturing.
- While encouraging independence, set some limits for your children.
- Set clear limits and rules. Communicate these limits and rules with your children. Involve them in setting up these limits and rules.
- Enforce the rules and limits you have made.
- Set rules about alcohol and other drug use.
- Talk to your children about alcohol and other drugs. Listen to and respect your children’s opinions and feelings.
- Talk about the consequences of using alcohol and other drugs (physical, emotional, etc.)
- Explain how you feel about underage drinking and drug use. Make your own expectations about drinking/using drugs clear to your children.
- Don’t give alcohol or other drugs to your children. This will send a mixed message.
- Help your teen find activities that don’t involve drinking or other drug use.
- If you are worried that your teen is too involved in underage drinking or drug use, help them obtain professional guidance.
- Be a good role model. Don’t drink and drive (or drive a boat after drinking), and don’t drink too often or too much in front of your children. Don’t use or sell drugs (unless you have a prescription).
- Work with other parents, professionals, and school staff to help send a clear message that alcohol and other drugs can be dangerous.
- Answer questions about alcohol and other drugs. Visit www.drugabuse.gov – for suggestions. This website offers frequently asked adolescent questions about drugs and possible answers