Sunday March 9, 2014
Although there's been a lot of talk about the risks associated with older women having children, there's new research showing that children born to older fathers are more likely to have mental health and academic problems. The study, "Parental Age at Childbearing and Offspring Psychiatric and Academic Morbidity," was published in JAMA Psychiatry last month.
The research found that fathers age 45 and over had children were at a heightened risk for many developmental, mental health and acadmic issues compared to fathers between the ages of 20 and 24. A child born to a 45-year-old father was 2.5 times more likely to have autism, 25 times more likely to have bipolar disorder, 13 times more likely to have ADHD and 2.5 times more likely to exhibit suicidal behavior or to develop substance abuse problems. Researchers also found that children with older fathers were more likely to fail a grade and to experience poor academic achievement.
This certainly isn't good news in a society where many parents are putting off having children until later in life. The study doesn't draw conclusions about why older fathers are more likely to have children with more mental health and academic problems.
Obviously, a father's age is only one of many factors that can lead to mental health and academic issues. But, it's certainly is something for parents to consider.
Friday March 7, 2014
In homes across the world, the evening hours are filled with high school students scrambling to complete homework assignments. For some families, the process goes smoothly with very little problems. But for many other families, homework battles ensue. And it's no wonder why.
According to a poll conducted by the University of Phoenix, teachers report that the average high school student is given 3.5 hours of homework every single night. For students involved in after school activities like sports, this can be a serious burden. Not to mention how difficult this can be for teens who have part-time jobs.
And if the average is 3.5 hours, I know there are plenty of teens who work a little slower than their peers. New concepts don't come to them as quickly and completing an assignment can take twice as long. It's no wonder some of these students feel anxious and overwhelmed each school day.
Of course, there are also students who get their work done in a timely fashion. Perhaps, they even do their homework during study halls and bring very little work home.
If you encounter difficulties getting your teen to do his homework, it's important to work together to develop a helpful plan. Unfortunately, I see teens all the time who fall behind on their work and aren't able to get caught up on their own. Often, they just keep avoiding their work until it's too late to address the problem.
Stay involved in your teen's academics so that you can be sure that there won't be any serious academic problems. If your teen behaves responsibly, you'll know you can take a step back and give him more freedom with getting his work done.
Wednesday March 5, 2014
There are a lot of recent reports out lately that document how teens aren't academically ready for college. Many states have declared that their students are behind in reading or math and several colleges have come forward saying that students just aren't prepared for the rigors of college.
Perhaps, more important that a student's academic abilities, however, is their emotional maturity. I think many teens enter into college without the emotional and behavioral skills they need to be successful. Despite the best academic skills in the world, students who lack basic life skills may struggle and eventually fail out of college.
Just because a teen turns 18 or graduates from school, it doesn't mean he's ready to handle the freedom that comes with college. In college, there's no one standing over a students' shoulders to ensure that they're getting their work done or to talk to them about their attendance issues. College requires self-discipline.
Before you send your child off to college, it's important to make sure your teen has all the life skills necessary to handle higher education. Knowing how to do complex math problems and understanding how to do your laundry isn't enough. Teens need social skills, emotional regulations skills and other life skills to deal with the stress and independence that college offers.
10 Life Skills Teens Need to be Successful in College
Monday March 3, 2014
I think it's a little crazy that we expect 17 and 18 year old kids to make a decision about what they want to do for their rest of their lives. Most teens have very little knowledge about what types of jobs even exist, let alone any experience that would help them recognize whether or not a particular job would be a good match for them.
The good news is, today's workforce changes so rapidly that most people entering the workplace will have more options than ever before. Where generations past often worked one or two jobs for their entire lives, today's workers are changing jobs many times before they reach retirement age.
Also, there are a lot of options when it comes to what to do with a career. Someone who majors in nursing, for example, could work in a variety of settings - hospitals, schools, nursing homes, in people's homes, or even in jails. And a nurse who gets tired of giving direct patient care could likely change careers rather easily. A nurse could teach classes, take an administrative position, or even work for an insurance company.
It's important to consider these types of opportunities when talking with your teen about career options. Help your teen explore a variety of options and opportunities. Learn more about career planning with high school students to find out how to help your teen search for a career.