Tween and Teenagers
Extreme Teen Behavior: There's a Lot More Than Sexting Going on
Remember all the dumb stuff you did as a teenager? You know, everything from excessive drinking to dangerous driving to anything else your dumb friends could think of because you all felt invincible. Well, teenagers are still out there and still coming up with really crazy ways to endanger their lives and their futures.
Young people have taken alcohol consumption to a whole new, disgusting level. Last year, a University of Tennessee student went to the hospital with severe alcohol poisoning after allegedly "butt chugging." Instead of doing an old school beer bong, with butt chugging, you insert a tube into your butt which allows for a quicker buzz. I thought the point of drinking was to give you some liquid courage to flirt with that cute girl from your Biology 101 class. Why exactly would she be interested in some guy with a tube up his rectum?! Gross.
And if you're not gagging yet, there's more. How about reports of alcohol soaked tampons as a way to get drunk? Or "vodka eyeballing." This is when teens apparently poor vodka directly into their eyes. I don't recommend this if you are a big fan of your vision. And other teens have gone to the hospital after drinking hand sanitizer. It almost seems quaint and old fashioned now to ask your older sibling to buy you a case of Bud.
But it's not just alcohol. Young adults are sexting, sending graphic photos and using apps like Snapchat which allows them to send explicit photos and videos that allegedly disappear within a few seconds. But haven't we all learned that nothing really disappears on the internet. Plus, what if the person receiving a racy photo takes a screenshot before it disappears? So not worth the risk. Especially because I'm assuming some of these teens might smarten up one day and want to work for high level companies that might (make that definitely) check out their online activities.
And then there are young adults who engage in other reckless behavior like car surfing or competing to see who can stuff the most marshmallows in their mouths. Both can be deadly.
So what can parents do to keep their kids safe? One Florida mom says, open communication is the key.
"I know in my school district, the kids are lectured in school and attend seminars on the dangers of sexting, cyber-bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, and although I believe it is extremely helpful, the best defense is to have numerous open, honest talks with the kids. I try to let my kids know they can always come talk to me and share everything - and it will never leave our home. And that they will always be loved, unconditionally."
Parents also take no chances, using computer security settings to block certain websites like Chatroulette which allows for users to chat online with anyone anonymously. Parents also monitor their children's emails, texts and Facebook accounts.
Marinka of Motherhood in NYC talks to her 14-year-old about dangerous teen behaviors like car surfing but still worries.
"What's scary is that I remember being a teen and the sense of immortality that comes with it. The sense of wanting to try anything once. That's what keeps me up at night."