5 Dangerous Trends Facing Kids Today

Peer Pressure

peerpressure

What it is?
Peer pressure is when friends confront another friend and try to convince him or her to take part in questionable activities. Adolescence is a time of growth and change.  Your teen is trying to create his or her own identity, independent from you. This is why most parents report that there are increases in their child’s rebellious behavior during this time. In school, your teen may hang out with kids whom they hope to emulate. They can sometimes be desperate to fit into certain groups and will do just anything to feel accepted by these peers.

Alcohol
•    Children who first try alcohol do so around 13 years of age
•    Over 32% do so before the age of 13
Drugs
•    Marijuana use among kids risen 275%
•    95% HAVE USED COCAINE
•    Over 30% are offered or sold drugs in school
Smoking
•    25% of teens smoke regularly (3.1 million nationwide)
•    50% of kids, ages 12-17, feel pressured into sex (Kaiser Foundation)
•    The Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that 4 million sexually transmitted diseases infect teens each year

Action:
Martial arts training instills self-discipline and stresses avoiding dangerous situations.

Low Self-Esteem

selfesteem

•    Girl’s self-esteem peaks at age 9 then nose dives
•    By age 15, depressed girls out number boys 2 to 1
•    Low self esteem creates feelings of helplessness and depression

American Academy of Pediatrics:
Low self-esteem leads to impaired academic performance, underachievement, substance abuse problems and issues regarding social behavior.

Actions:
•    Create a positive environment and a win/win scenario
•    Celebrate their unique qualities, traits, and talents, thereby instilling pride and self respect
•    Spotlight in class through belt and stripe recognition
•    Discuss and note their growth and progress through their martial arts training

Bullying

bullying

•    Pennsylvania Ranks #4 in U.S. (#1 CA, #2 NY, #3 IL)
•    23% of elementary students are bullied 1-3 times per month
•    More than 50% of incidents go unreported
•    14% were severe in nature

Emotional Reactions
•    A feeling of loneliness and trouble making friends
•    Poor academic performance and substance abuse
•    100,000 kids carry guns to school
•    87% of student shootings are “payback”

Action:
Use and implement a three step process to develop:
1)    Focus – Utilize eye-contact as a diffuser
2)    Confidence – To assert authority
3)    Effective personal defense skills

Sexual Assault

assualt

•    2/3 of sex offenders in prison attacked a child
•    60% of these are on parole
•    Half women raped are under 18
•    90% knew their attacker
•    68% happened at home, or the home of a friend, relative or neighbor.

Actions:
•    Learn effective personal protection skills
•    Schedule supervised play dates
•    Raise awareness of the issue
•    Educate the child on methods of dealing with potential attackers

Childhood Obesity

obesity

•    60% of adults considered obese
•    13% of children considered obese (9 million children)
•    Obesity has tripled since the 1960s
•    75% of parents don’t notice obesity within their children
•    Health risks include: diabetes, high blood pressure

Food advertisers target kids
•    In 1980, 5 billion dollars was spent on marketing of this nature
•    Today advertisers spend nearly 500 million
•    Unhealthy choices are made more appealing through toys and movie/cartoon themes
•    Lure with Movie themes
•    Ronald McDonald has become more well known than Santa Clause
•    The “Golden Arches” has become more recognizable than the Christian Cross
•    School lunches are often full of salt, sugars and saturated fats
•    There is an overall lack of education in respect to proper diet
•    There is an overall decrease in physical activity
•    Older kids often eat poorly away from home

Actions:
•    Educate children on proper diet and exercise
•    Make healthy choices
•    Exercise regularly