Teenage Suicide

Hello my friends. This is Len Mooney, author of Adventures in Single Parenting and creator of the web site SingleParenting.us and welcome to this video. Today I want to talk about a topic that’s very tragic and very important and that is suicide amongst teenagers or teenage suicide.  It may shock you to know that approximately once every two hours in the United States, a person between the ages of 15 and 24 accomplishes the ultimate act of killing themselves.
5000 Teenage Suicides per Year in the US alone

Approximately 5,000… and I’m going to say teenagers even though technically, of course, a 24 year old is not a teenager, but 15 to 24 year olds, approximately 5,000 kill themselves every year in the United States alone and there’s a lot more around the world. So there are approximately 5000 cases of teenage suicide each year in the United States alone. Now this is an incredible number and we as parents need to really be aware of what goes on.

Some Signs To Look For

Teenagers are especially vulnerable, they’re in a very difficult period of their time and they’re emotionally unstable. They’re brain isn’t completely developed yet. They haven’t developed all the life-coping skills that they’re going to need and hopefully have later on in life. It can be easy for them to reach the conclusion, especially with peer pressure, bullying, sextortion, and all the other things that can go on, it could be easy for them to reach the conclusion that they’re life isn’t worth living and they want to do something about it. Unfortunately, as I said, about 5,000 of them manage to do something about it every year.

Well first off, let’s start with what are some of the signs that a teenager may be contemplating suicide? Well, irritability obviously, depression, drug and alcohol use, any other mental disorders, bipolar, for example, making comments about not wanting to be around or not going to be around much longer, giving away possessions, stopping doing things that they normally like to do. Usually, teenagers will hint, they’ll let you know that something is going on and lots of times, and I’m going to admit that I was a little guilty of this at one point, lots of times we tend to think when they say something like, “Awe, I’m just going to go kill myself.” we think that they’re trying to just get attention and we brush it off.

Yes, They Need Attention

Well yes, they are trying to get attention. They’re sending a message and it is a deep message and an important message and the message is, “Not only am I trying to get attention, I really desperately need attention because I’m not feeling good about myself. I need help.” Well this is the time to step up to the plate rather than brush it off, to take it very seriously, to wrap your arms around that kid and say, “Honey, what’s bothering you? Let’s talk.” If necessary, intervene. Now, I’ve given you a couple links right below this video and in the written blog.

There’s one link to a Huffington Post article and another link to a list of signs and symptoms of suicide and suicide prevention and plus a phone number, a National Suicide Prevention hotline, that you could jump on the phone and call if you have a teen or know of a teen who you think might be contemplating suicide or might be in trouble. Suicide is a preventable thing and what it requires is for us to really take it seriously if we have a teenager who seems to be stressed.

By the way, divorce causes stress in all kids and especially teens . The suicide rate is elevated in divorced households especially amongst males. So this is something to be taken very seriously and my wish for you is, as always, is that your children grow up happy and healthy and are positive contributors to society and take a look at them, keep them safe. This is Len. sherrirhodesrte88.blogspot.com . That’s all for today. Bye for now.

Finding Help

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen.htm

 Children with divorced parents are at an increased risk of suicidal thoughts, with boys especially vulnerable to the effects of marital breakups according to the Huffington Post article listed below

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/24/divorce-and-suicidal-idea_n_812456.html

 Teen Suicide Awareness: Statistics

How real is the problem of youth suicide? Here are the numbers:

  • EVERY YEAR there are approximately 10 youth suicides      for every 100,000 youth.
  • EVERY DAY there are approximately 11 youth suicides.
  • EVERY 2 HOURS AND 11 MINUTES a person under the age of      25 completes suicide

How pervasive is the problem of youth suicide? Here’s a brief review of what national data tell us:

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens.
  • Suicide is second leading cause of death in colleges.
  • For every suicide completion, there are between 50 and      200 attempts.
  • CDC Youth Risk Survey: 8.5% of students in grades 9-12      reported a suicide attempt in the past year.
  • 25% of high-school students report suicide ideation.
  • The suicide attempt rate is increasing for youths ages      10-14.
  • Suicide had the same risk and protective factors as      other problem behaviors, such as drugs, violence, and risky sexual      activities.
  • While a single suicide is a tragedy, it is estimated      that for every adolescent who completes suicide, there are between 50 and      200 suicide attempts.
  • A recent survey of high-school students found that      almost 1 in 5 had seriously considered suicide; more than 1 in 6 had made      plans to attempt suicide; and more than 1 in 12 had made a suicide attempt      in the past year.

More Suicide Prevention and Awareness Resources

a psychological disorder, especially depression, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and drug use (in fact, approximately 95% of people who die by suicide have a psychological disorder at the time of death)

feelings of distress, irritability, or agitation

feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness that often accompany depression

a previous suicide attempt

a family history of depression or suicide

emotional, physical, or sexual abuse

lack of a support network, poor relationships with parents or peers, and feelings of social isolation

dealing with bisexuality or homosexuality in an unsupportive family or community or hostile school environment

talk about suicide or death in general

give hints that they might not be around anymore

talk about feeling hopeless or feeling guilty

pull away from friends or family

write songs, poems, or letters about death, separation, and loss

start giving away treasured possessions to siblings or friends

lose the desire to take part in favorite things or activities

have trouble concentrating or thinking clearly

experience changes in eating or sleeping habits

engage in risk-taking behaviors

lose interest in school or sports

(800) SUICIDE

 

 

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Sexploitation or Sextortion and Teens

Hello my friends. This is Len Mooney, author of Adventures in Single Parenting and creator of the website singleparenting.us, and welcome to this video. Today I’m sitting in my RV. I’m in Campland by the Bay in San Diego, if any of you know where that is. And it’s a pretty nice day out there. The sun is out now, just finally came out. It’s been overcast most of the day. It’s warming up, and it’s just beautiful. We’re right on Mission Bay in San Diego.
Today I’d like to talk to you about a topic that just came to my attention recently, and it’s called sexploitation or sextortion and it affects teens. It’s affecting a lot of teens, many more than you might imagine in the country, and it’s something that you need to be aware of.

Information About Sexting 

 In a prior video, or blog post, I talked about sexting and the second edition of my book, “Adventures in Single Parenting”, is about to be published and it has a chapter on sexting in it. Plus, my short Teens and Sex book which is available on Kindle has a chapter on sexting. So there are several sources that you can go to from me to learn more about sexting if you don’t know what it is.  Sexting is the act of sending nude or explicit or compromising photos electronically usually using smart phones.

Sextortion May Start With a Male Friend

 Well there’s a whole new arena to this thing called sexting. In some cases, it comes from a boyfriend who convinces the girl to send him a nude or compromised picture of herself and then exploits her by telling her if she doesn’t send more pictures or perhaps engage in other activities with him that he will publish those pictures on Facebook, Pinterest, wherever. And of course, she doesn’t want to, pardon the pun, expose herself, so she sometimes complies with requests. And the request may also come from his friends to send more pictures.

 Predators are Stalking Kids

 But the more insidious one is coming from predators online who are able to track down people who send or text compromising photos of themselves and extort them, and in some cases extort them for pornography, for personal reasons, et cetera. In the text below this video and in the text on my website I’ve given you a couple links to go to, one to an examiner.com article that talks about this situation and another to a list of recent headlines that talks about sextortion or sexploitation. It’s a serious thing, and we really need to be aware of it as parents and make sure our kids don’t get into the middle of it. And of course, if our kids do inadvertently get into it, they’re, in many cases, embarrassed or ashamed or afraid to come tell us, so it gets worse and worse and worse for the kid, especially if it’s a professional online who’s tracking them down.

 Have a Cell Phone Contract

Now I’m a firm believer that every teenager who has a smart phone should also have a contract in place with their parents about what they are and are not allowed to do with that smart phone, and this is something that really needs to be discussed. And so I’ve also included a link to an example smart phone contract that you can have in place with your teenager and I highly recommend it.

Monitor Cell Phone Use

Well, just be aware that this exists. You are the parent. Monitor your teenager’s cell phone use. Take a look at their picture files. Take a look at their sent messages and their inbox and be sure there isn’t something going on here that you want to be involved in. And remind your teenagers that anything they do with their smart phone and put that message or a photo out to the world, that’s there forever. It’s not going to go away easily, and especially if it ends up on, say, Facebook, or some other social media.

Share this with Every Parent You Know

Well that’s all for today. If you like this video or consider it to be worthwhile, and I hope you do, share it with a friend. Go visit my website. The link is given to you. And I’ve also given you links below to my other video on sexting as well as to my books. I hope you find this information useful, and as usual my wish for you is that your children grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive members of society. We’ll talk again. This is Len. Bye for now.

Further Information

Examiner.com article

http://www.examiner.com/article/sextortion-alert-dangerous-teen-sexploitation

Latest headlines

http://www.examiner.com/topic/sextortion

Sample cell phone contract

http://tweenparenting.about.com/od/tweenculture/a/Parent-Child-Cell-Phone-Contracts.htm

Miss Teen USA  Sextortion Aug 2013

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/teen-usa-opens-sextortion-plot-gave-nightmares-article-1.1440884

 

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Single Parent Dating

Hello my friends, this is Len Mooney, author of “Adventures in Single Parenting” and creator of the website, SingleParenting.us. Welcome to this video.

Once again I’m on the deck of my house in Mexico, actually to be exact for those of you who know, I’m one kilometer north of Puerto Nuevo. I can look over there, and I can see the restaurants from Puerto Nuevo. You can see the ocean behind me. There’s a fishing boat out there probably fishing for lobster for Puerto Nuevo. That’s what they do.

Today’s topic is dating, single parent dating. Wow, that’s a tough one. So you’ve been single for a while, maybe a long while. You’ve been raising your kids. You’ve got things pretty well stabilized. The house is running the way you want it to for the most part. The kids are behaving. They’re doing well in school. Y Tou’ve got your finances in order, and you’re sitting down going, “Ah, I sort of miss having the opposite sex around. What do I want to do about that?”

So you’re afraid. You’re actually afraid to go out there and start dating again. You don’t know what to expect, and you’re concerned about your kids. You don’t want to just get online and hook up with some . . . let’s just say some unpleasant person who is going to cause you trouble. How do you go about it? Well the first thing is in today’s day and age the Internet really can help you. It can be your friend, but you’ve got to be really careful. I would highly recommend that you do start with the Internet, but you only start with very, very reputable sites that do a very good job of screening who the people are that are members of the site.

eHarmony.com comes to mind. Match.com comes to mind, and there are several others I don’t mean to pick on those two, but there are lots of really good sites.  And so you can get a pretty decent idea of what someone is like before you ever jump out there and meet them in person. The other thing to do is to be very honest about what you’re looking for. If you want somebody who sails, put that out there. Tell them you want somebody who sails. If you want somebody who is 50, put it out there. What do you want? So you have a better chance of finding somebody whose interests match yours if you’re very honest about what you’re looking for.

I did meet a really good lady on match.com one time. We hit it off, and we had a very pleasant time. So it was a very good experience. Now, the big problem that I find is the kids. After all, we’re single parents because we’re single and we have kids. And if we’re going to date other single parents, there’s a very good chance they’re going to have kids. And the problem that I find is it didn’t matter. My kids and her kids didn’t get along. There was always, at least, one kid in the group that didn’t get along with the other kid. “Mommy, Joey is a brat. Dad, Shelly’s out. She’s out.”

So some of the problems that we ran into, that I ran into dating, really circled around the kids and their feelings. So there are several things that I would say to you. One is if you’re going to date, talk to your kids about it first. Tell them that you want to date. Tell them why. Crazaberamer . And the first thing you’re going to get back is, “Mommy, why don’t you just date Daddy?” Once again, they’re always trying to get you back together with your spouse or “Dad, can’t you just go date mom?”

I got that a lot. So you’ve got to talk to your kids and explain to them, “Hey, no, I don’t want to date your mom. It’s just not going to work out. And I do want to date and I am going to be going out again, but I’m only going to pick nice people. I promise you that anybody that you meet you’re going to like.” And like I said before though, the big challenge that I found is the kids. T”he Brady Bunch works very well on television. It never worked very well for me in real life. So that was the biggest challenge I had was trying to figure out how to get all the kids to get along with each other.

Well, that’s all for today. If you find this video interesting, share it with a friend, click like and go visit my website. There’s more information out there and other blog posts about dating. This is Len, my wish for you is that your children grow up happy, healthy, and are positive contributors to society. We’ll talk again. Bye for now.

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