Presentation on theme: "Safeguarding Children and Building Resiliency in a Challenging World"— Presentation transcript:
1 Safeguarding Children and Building Resiliency in a Challenging World Dr. Scott PolandNova Southeastern University
2 Statistics ….The leading causes of death for children are accidents, homicide and suicideAdults have a responsibility to work on prevention at school and in homes and neighborhoodsChildren are dying in nearly record numbers
3 Recommendations for Parents Bring back the family mealDon’t let technology steal your childAvoid setting their room up to be a kingdomKnow where your child is and know their friends and their parents--Network
4 Driving and Riding in Cars Most dangerous thing your child doesApproximately 3000 teens die in car accidents every year and most were not wearing seatbeltsGraduated driving laws when enforced save livesDon’t let your teen be “INTEXTICATED”Contract for lifeIrony is you thought the phone was for safety!
5 More Recommendations Avoid putting children in the middle of divorce Importance of modeling—Gandhi quoteEnjoy your children and let them know they are the sons and daughters you always wantedMake family the priority but don’t try to be best friends with your childSeparate the deed from the “doer”Teach restitution
6 Technology a Curse or a Blessing? It Is here To Stay There is something dangerous and largely unguarded in almost every home!Children today view being connected as a birthright but it is a privilegeWhat are sexting and cyber bullying all about?
7 Question….“My child is fascinated by violent video games and plays them for hours….should I be worried?”
8 Tips for Parents Online activities are not just your child’s business Discuss online behavior with them and what information is appropriate to shareKnow the online communities and your child’s passwordBe up front that you will investigate their postings, profiles, website etc. because you care! Take Charge!
9 New Program for Monitoring Internet and Cell Phone WebSafety Searches for key words about danger and obscenity and alerts parents immediatelyAlerts parents if contact is from strangersYou can prevent teens from driving and texting and be alerted if they are speedingYou create no texting zones
10 Fathers Need To Be More Involved Reality is that “parent” is still a code word for Mom in most familiesThe supreme test of a society is can it teach men to be good fathers? Margaret MeadPositive association between father involvement and child well being and academic success
11 PROTECTIVE FACTORS Good relationships with other youth Seeks adult help when neededLack of access to suicidal meansAccess to mental health careReligiositySchool environment that encourages help seeking and promotes health
12 PROTECTIVE FACTORS Family cohesion and stability Coping and problem solving skillsPositive self worth and impulse controlPositive connections to school and extracurricular participationSuccessful academically
13 Youth Suicide Incidence Everyone must know the warning signs and not to keep a secretDon’t hesitate to get professional help for your childRemoving lethal means
14 2011 YRBSS RESULTS Surveyed 15,000 H.S students and in the last year 15.8 % considered suicide (increase from 2009)12.8% made a suicide plan (increase)7.8% made an attempt (increase)
15 U.S. Preventative Task Force 2009 Routine screening recommended for all teens 12 to 18Major depression often goes undiagnosed and untreatedBegin with a questionnaire that teens can fill out in private at the medical officeScreening should be repeated even if “no red flags”Teens at risk should get full diagnostic work up
16 WARNING SIGNS OF YOUTH SUICIDE Suicide notesThreatsSymptomatic cluesGiving away prized possessions/making a willFascination with deathExposure to suicide
17 DepressionUntreated depression can lead to substance abuse, academic failure and even suicideIt is not moodiness but a mood disorderEstimates are that by end of teen years 20% of adolescents will have suffered from depressionThe majority do not received treatment
18 Symptoms of Teen Depression: Present for more than two weeks Irritable or crankyLoss of interest in activitiesWithdrawal from friends and familyChanges in appetite and sleeping patternsPhysical agitationMaking critical comments about themselves
19 More Signs of Depression Behavior problems at schoolDrop in gradesFrequent absencesSomatic complaints and visits to school nurseSuicidal comments and fascination with death
20 Depression Is Treatable! If you think your teen is depressed get them evaluatedDepression may be related to abuse or triggered by a stressful event like divorce, loss or a break up of relationshipDepression often runs in familiesMost effective treatments involve cognitive behavioral therapy and medication
21 Bullying Repetitive and humiliating Physical and/or verbal Involves powerCyber bullying impactWhat if your child is the victim?What if your child is the bully?
22 Choking GameAverage age of participation ranges from 9-14 years of age.Behavior more common among white middle class boys not demonstrating other risk behaviorsMore information
23 Definition“The object is to cut off blood flow to the carotid artery causing the player to nearly or completely pass out, then releasing the pressure allowing the rush of blood back into the brain causing a lightheaded feeling resembling a quick high.”
24 Key Points Most youth learn about the game at school Should not be referred to as a gameAdolescents attracted to it for thrill seekingIt is not illegal like drugsParental supervision is importantSchools and communities need to provide safe outlets for adventure and thrill seeking
25 Helping ChildrenRecognize developmental levels and protect them from horrific violence on television, movies and video gamesReach do not preachSupport the school and do not prevent your child from receiving consequences because children learn from their mistakesDo not hesitate to get professional help when it is recommended
26 Resiliency Learned behavior Importance of being surrounded by caring family and friendsUtilize coping skills and vent strong emotionsKeep an optimistic view
27 Recognize that all children need: three or more significant adults in their lives in addition to parents.a sense of safety and belonging in the home, school, and community.three or more hours of organized activities weekly.adolescents need volunteer work
31 Resources Suicide Prevention Resource center www.sprc.org American Association of SuicidologyAmerican Foundation for Suicide PreventionCenters for Disease ControlNational Association of School Psychologists
32 In ConclusionBe involved in your child’s life especially outside of school! YOU ARE THE PARENT!Many of my articles are posted at