Each month PAD compiles the latest news, evidence and resources about parenting, teen development, and alcohol and other drugs into a single blog post. Have something to add? Please let us know!
- Kids Help Phone has launched a new dating section on their website with information, discussion forums, quizzes and the ability to ask counselors questions. The latest issue of In Focus offers parents and caregivers tips for talking about dating with the teens in your life. Research has shown that young people trust their parents to give them accurate information, and therefore parents can play an important role in offering guidance around dating and relationships. The tips cover everything from relationship red flags to helping teens cope with rejection.
- University students and student journalists from across Canada explored the use of “study drugs” on campus by interviewing their peers. The interviews revealed that some students use concentration enhancing prescription medication (that was not prescribed to them) to help cope with academic pressures and non-academic commitments like internships or volunteering. Student experiences and thoughts are captured in two different news articles: Students reaching for ADHD drugs to deal with academic stress and 16-page paper, two pills, three hours: Students talk about study drugs. The articles reference this study.
- The Youth Smoking Survey is national survey that monitors tobacco use in children in grades 6-12. Overall results from 2011 were positive, showing that youth smoking rates in Ontario are the lowest in history. However, new analysis of study data reveals a negative trend could be emerging with the use of flavoured tobacco products. More than half of high school students who used tobacco said they tried candy-flavoured products – meaning flavoured products appeal to youth and may act as an entry level access point into the smoking industry. A number of community organizations are seeking stricter accessibility around these products.
- I Say / You Say: How to have an open, two-way dialogue with your teen helps parents to get their teens to particpate in a discussion about alcohol and other drugs. This one-page document has tips to setup the conversation and eight examples of questions to help get it started.
- To honour Cyber Security Month, MediaSmarts (a Canadian centre for digital and media literacy), launched a series of online resources dedicated to digital citizenship. Stay on the Path: Teaching Kids to be Safe and Ethical Online is a new program for parents (and teachers) to teach teens how to be ethical, empathetic, engaged and empowered both online and offline. The series include a 25-minute self-directed tutorial that examines the moral dilemmas that youth may face in their online activities. The tutorial also offers strategies for parents to help support youth in ethical decision-making. The series also includes tip sheets for parents and a four-lesson unit on search skills and critical thinking.