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Good News: Teen Flies Around The World

 

A 19-year-old American attempting to become the youngest person ever to fly around the world solo reached India Thursday, more than a month into his aerial odyssey.  Matt Guthmiller, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), smiled and flashed a thumbs-up after he landed his single-engined Beechcraft A36 Bonanza aircraft in the city of Nagpur in western Maharashtra state early Thursday.  The bespectacled teen is set to cover 29,000 miles during his month-long journey, making 25 stops across 14 countries.  He hopes to set a Guinness World Record by landing on July 8 in California, when he will be 16 days younger than Ryan Campbell of Australia, the current record holder.  Click here to learn more about this amazingly ambitious teen!

Good News: Salutatorian Speech Challenges Administrators

 

Brooks Hamby, a senior at BUHS, had his speech denied three times by the high school administration for expressing his Christian faith.  See how he responds here.

 

Good News: Powerful Story Of Forgiveness

 

A devastated mother embraced her daughter’s killer in court this week, a moment of forgiveness amid personal anguish.  Jordyn Howe pleaded guilty in court Tuesday for the 2012 shooting death of his friend, Lourdes “Jina” Guzman-DeJesus, 13. Jordyn had brought his stepfather’s gun on the school bus, firing it once at the ground.  Nothing happened.  He pointed the weapon at Jina — and this time, when he pulled the trigger, the gun fired, killing her.  Jordyn, now 16, confessed immediately to the crime, pleading guilty to three charges — including manslaughter with a deadly weapon.  He faced up to 22 months in prison, and Ady DeJesus (Jina’s mom) initially demanded a harsh punishment.  But after she met with the teen and a judge, she came up with a different plea deal, and the court agreed. Jordyn will spend one year in a juvenile detention center and will also spend time touring Florida with Ady, talking about the dangers of guns.  Watch this touching moment of forgiveness here.

 

Eraser Challenge

A dangerous trend called the “Eraser Challenge” is causing concern for parents and doctors.

WRIC-TV in Richmond, Virginia recently ran a story on the game, and quoted physicians who said it could have serious negative effects on the teens who play it.

The game involves taking an eraser and rubbing it back and forth on your skin, reciting the alphabet until you get to the end.  The challenge is to see who can do it the longest.

Staci Thomas is a mom of a teenager and was shocked when she found out her son’s scars were from an eraser.  He came home with deep cuts on the back of his hand, and it took her a while to get him to admit what he had done.

It turned out that Staci’s son had been playing the eraser challenge with friends.

Stacy says “The thought never crossed my mind that you could inflict such harm with an eraser.”

The Eraser Challenge is being played by kids across the country.

Pediatrician David Arkin says “You’re going to often wind up with some disfigurement and some scarring. The scarring is going to permanent from these things.”

Dr. Arkin says the game could be much more dangerous and harmful than teens realize.

He says it can lead to a serious infection and points out that blood-borne infections like HIV could potentially be spread by the game.

Dr. Arkin advises parents of teens and pre-teens to talk to their kids about the dangers of playing the game.

To learn more about dangerous teen fads, go to GreatSchools.org and enter “teen trends” in the search engine.

I’m Dr. Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Good News: Seniors Prank It Forward

 

Last year, seniors at Combs High School started a food fight as part of a school prank.  The prank ended with seniors involved in the prank being banned from graduation ceremonies.  It’s a much different story with seniors from the class of 2014 who have decided to “prank it forward”.  Seniors at Combs High School in the San Tan Valley are preparing to graduate Thursday, and they have pulled a senior prank that will not soon be forgotten.  This group of seniors organized a plan called “prank it forward” to raise money for a server at a nearby Olive Garden who needed help with medical bills.  As they paid for lunch they left him a cash tip of $510; it was money raised from students over the past week and a half, and it was caught on camera.  Watch this amazing video here.  Way to go seniors!

 

Is Your Teen Suffering From Depression?

Could a simple pencil and paper test diagnose depression in teens?

A few minutes spent filling out a widely accepted mental health assessment in a doctor’s waiting room could make a big difference for some teenagers suffering from depression.

Medical News.net is reporting on the research conducted by Sharolyn Dihigo, an assistant professor at The University of Texas.

Dr. Dihago is also a nurse practitioner, and she wanted to find out whether nurse practitioners and others in primary care settings should add a mental health screening when a teenager comes in for a checkup.

She found that a simple paper test called a CES-DC would be a reliable, quick way of determining whether the practitioner should refer a teen for counseling.

Nationally, it’s estimated that five to 20 percent of adolescents suffer from depression, but many don’t receive the treatment they need.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and teenagers be screened for mental health problems in primary care.

Dr. Dihago says “Getting teens treatment when they need it is essential and has potentially life-saving benefits.”

She points out that providing this test while a family waits for their appointment can overcome a teen’s hesitation to talk about feelings that are linked to depression.

The good news is that if the test detects depression, the physician or nurse practitioner can help the teen get the treatment that he or she needs

By the way, in case you’re wondering, “CES-DC” is short for Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children.  It’s free and doesn’t require extra training for the person who administers the screening.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Teen Girls Are Cutting & Legalized Marijuana

Teen girls are cutting themselves in record numbers—and sometimes they are doing it with their friends!

A new study out of New Zealand found that nearly 22% of 13- to 16-year old girls surveyed admitted to cutting.

Dr. Shelly James at Massey University says although the number was shocking, that’s not really what caught her attention.

She says the common perception is that cutters are isolated, unpopular outcasts.  But in reality, the cutters were just as likely to be among the most popular kids in school.

Her study also found that many girls had actually self-harmed in front of other people—or actually that girls had engaged in cutting together.

Dr. James says “Approximately 23% of self-harming kids had harmed in front of other people, and nearly 12% had actually harmed in conjunction with another person, so they had harmed together….that was staggering to me.”

In other news, according to the Pew Research Center’s latest poll, 52% of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. It marks the first time a majority of those polled have been pro-pot.

Also, fewer and fewer Americans believe that smoking marijuana is a moral issue.

Today, just 32% believe it’s morally wrong, compared with 50% just seven years ago.

So what does the bible say about using marijuana?  Well, although it doesn’t specifically address it, it does command us to show self-control (Titus 1:8) and to “have a clear mind in every situation” (2 Timothy 4:5).

If you’re a parent and would like to get some solid facts on marijuana and your kids, go to drugfree.org.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Hard Drinking College Students May Be Damaging Their DNA

Weekends spent drinking and partying may seem like harmless fun for young adults, but new research has revealed that this level of alcohol consumption may actually damage their DNA.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse states that around four out of five college students in the US drink alcohol, and almost 2,000 college students die each year as a result of unintentional alcohol-related injuries.

According to Medical News Today, researchers in Mexico set out to analyze the oxidative damage caused by drinking alcohol in young, healthy people.  Oxidative damage is considered damage to proteins, membranes and DNA.

For the study, researchers recruited individuals between the ages of 18 and 23, who were then split into two groups.  One group was required to drink an average of 1.5 liters of alcohol each weekend, and the other group did not drink any alcohol.

The researchers found the drinkers had twice as much oxidative damage to their cell membranes compared to the non-drinkers.

By the way, if you’re the parent of a teenager, here’s something you should know.

The American Medical Association has found that a large percentage of teens who drink get the booze from their own parents.

25 percent of parents surveyed admitted to allowing their child to drink under their supervision.

And get this–One out of 12 parents said that they allowed their child’s friends to drink in their own home—often serving the alcohol themselves.

So even if you set a healthy example in your home, it’s anybody’s guess what may happen when your son or daughter visits a friend’s home.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

The Impact of Mobile Technology on Teens and Young Adults

What impact is mobile technology having on teens and young adults?

According to a new study from Kent State University, the more time college students spend talking, texting, Facebooking or surfing the Internet on their smartphones, the more likely they are to be anxious, unhappy and get lower grades.

Plugged In.com reports on the research, in which students kept a record of their mobile phone use.  They also took psychological tests designed to measure anxiety and life satisfaction.

Andrew Lepp, the co-author of the study says “The lower frequency users use their phone to keep in touch, check the Web and update Facebook but they can put it away and get on with other tasks.”

“But the higher users are not able to control it and are glued to the cellphone. They need to unplug and find some personal time where they can disconnect from the network.”

Dr. Lepp says we all need time to be alone with our thought and recover from the daily stresses of life in a way that doesn’t involve electronic media.

Meanwhile, some teenagers are sleeping with their cellphones—and sending texts during the night without any memory of it the next morning.

Dr. Gerald Rosen, who leads the pediatric sleep disorders program at Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota, believes teens are being conditioned to respond to their phones almost like a mother responds to her baby.

He says “If you’re a mother, you awaken to the sound of your child crying.  Even if it’s not a loud noise, it will trigger an awakening. That’s essentially what’s happening with lots of kids with their phones.”

Dr. Rosen also believes there are deeper problems to explore when anyone is so attached to a piece of technology that they have to sleep with it.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

One of the Best Gifts You Can Give Your Kids in 2014

Happy New Year!  If you’re a parent, here’s one of the best New Years’ resolutions you can make.  It’s giving your kids your TIME.

A few years ago, some so-called parenting experts who told us that our kids really need is QUALITY time, not QUANTITY time.

I’m convinced they came up with that slogan to make overworked, overcommitted parents feel better about themselves.  They also wanted them to feel less guilty about sticking their kids in daycare from sunrise to sunset.

But the reality is you can’t have QUALITY time without QUANTITY time.  Quality time only occurs in the context of QUANTITY time.

For some of us, that means we need to take a hard look at our schedules.  We may need to cut back on some of the activities we enjoy or that we think are so important.

And yes, that might even mean cutting back on ministry activities, if they are interfering with our ability to be available to our kids.

And just because you are PHYSICALLY present, doesn’t mean you are truly present.  Technology and entertainment are big culprits in that area.

Research shows that in the average American home, the TV is on 49 hours per week.  But sadly, the average parent only spends 39 MINUTES per week in meaningful conversation with their kids.

And how much time are you spending on Facebook these days?  In a recent survey of social media users, more than 40% of women referred to themselves “Facebook addicts.”

For more advice on spending quality AND quantity time with your kids, go to focusonthefamily.com.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.