Why Do Teens Have Behavior Problems – Should Parents Provide Help?

Before you give up on your child’s misbehavior and think there’s nothing else you can do read this article and begin with a clear plan that is sure to help with Parent and child behavior issues. Why do teens have behavior problems and how can the parents help?

We apply an alarming amount of energy, financial resources, and time in the overwhelming task of managing inappropriate behaviors of children. Sadly the behavior of teen’s conduct in our nation has parents confused and it doesn’t stop there.

It’s no secret that juvenile delinquency as reported by The U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation; who reports that “crime in the United States” is a growing problem for our nation. The solution to this ever rising detriment to our society begins years before the adolescent makes his/her first appearance in the juvenile detention facility. The report claims Violent crimes to be at 1,408, Aggravated assault 856, Property crimes at an alarming 9,843, Our teens rack up burglaries at a whopping 2,179, Larceny-theft 6,569, and motor vehicle theft at 1,096.

The report takes into account Crimes and Crime Rates by Type of Offense, Crimes and Crime Rates by Type and Area, Crime Rates by Type–Selected Large Cities, Murder Victims–Circumstances and Weapons Used or Cause of Death, Murder Victims by Age, Sex, and Race, Homicide Trends, Fraud and Identity Theft–Consumer Complaints, Hate Crimes–Number of Incidents, Offenses, Victims, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted.

As you review the types of crimes listed above, this list no parent wants to see their child apart of. In this series of articles, I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about teen behavior problems and what should be done to curb this trend at an early age.

Behavior management is effective, to be used by parents, educators, and child care providers to bring children up respectful and well mannered children not perfect, but certainly we want to do everything we can to keep our child off the list presented above, you want see your children become productive members of society. Parent and child behavior issues and strategies should be designed to foster appropriate behavior in children. Parents as well as educators can use these strategies successfully to promote desirable behaviors that are acceptable.

There is an ever increasing need to determine the root of the disruptive conduct in our home and classrooms, because failure to do so results in a loss in time of task for everyone involved, for the child at home, and as a student or students participating in the disruption and the whole class as well. Each time your child’s teacher has to stop teaching in order to censure the student, record the incident in the teacher’s log book, contact the school counselor or administrative if needed, contact the parent, valuable instructional time which can never be given back is lost.

Children who exhibit negative behavior issues at home create stress, anxiety, and emotional discord that affect every member of the family and at school in the classroom. Upcoming articles will reference a specific area of concern and present various management strategies for you as the parent to focus your energy towards. You may use them collectively or focus on a single strategy that addresses a particular concern.

There are no implied or miracle overnight cures, the problems developed over time, as the reverse is applied it will take a little time to unravel the attitude your child has gotten wrapped up in.

You accepted this responsibility, this charge when you decided to become a parent. You do not need a degree in higher education or physiology to experience success when applying this strategy to address parent and child behavior issues. There is little if any expense involved when using any of these techniques. And you will observe in time a change with an increase in appropriate behaviors and a decrease in undesirable ones, it is possible to be seen in a relative short time period. All teenagers are prawn to have negative behavior problems at some time. Are there any perfect children?

What Kinds Of People Target Children On The Internet?

We’ve all been hearing about pedophiles who make victims of children on the internet, and with the Dateline NBC series titled To Catch a Predator, millions of Americans actually viewed some of these predators.

When we think of a predator, we often think of a reclusive, “redneck” sort of person, toothless, wearing a muscle shirt (sometimes called a “wife-beater”) while typing rapidly online; all the while pretending to be a 15 year old boy. However, that was not the type of person America witnessed entering the homes set up as sting operations by Dateline and law enforcement.

There was the baby faced unemployed man who, one day after being caught by law enforcement, was caught committing the same, exact cyber crime using a McDonald’s WiFi system the very next day! Even Chris Hanson of Dateline NBC couldn’t hide his incredulity on camera as the man emerged from the fast food lobby after his online actions had been watched by law enforcement.

Then, there was the young man who had been married exactly two months. Two months of marriage, and he felt he had to pursue an under aged girl for sex online!!

Then, there was the rabbi. A clergyman; a man of the cloth. A person who holds the highest respect within the Jewish community and beyond. That man is now serving a prison sentence for his crime.

There have been other news sources that reported crimes that were committed after an adult and a child met online. In Danbury Connecticut, a sixth grade girl was killed by a man she had originally met online, and whom she had met up with on several occasions for sex.

Also in Connecticut, not very far from the first crime, a 16 year old girl was raped by a man who she met on an internet chatroom.

In Western Washington, an admitted pedophile created an “instruction manual” of sorts for pedophile. From Fox News:

A Web site created by a pedophile is a virtual “how-to” manual, complete with the best places in western Washington state to see little girls, and tips on how to avoid getting caught by the police.

This man has pictures of little girls from the area; children who have not given permission to be photographed. Neither have their parents given this man permission to post pictures of their vulnerable children online. Police cannot do anything to stop this man because he has not officially committed a crime. Yet, his website has pictures of local children on it. A website DESIGNED for pedophiles.

Parents, it is my opinion that you MUST take action that will protect your child from becoming the next statistic. If you haven’t already warned them not to give out personal information such as addresses and telephone numbers, do it today. View their profiles on networking sites such as MySpace, and look at their buddy lists. Ask to see what sites they frequent and ask what they like about those sites. Ask the hard questions, too; has anyone ever approached you on an internet site and said or done something that made you feel uncomfortable?

I am committed to keeping children and teens safe from online dangers. Not only is there information for parents on my website, but there is a message board forum for parents, educators, and other interested parties to discuss what can be done to keep kids safe online, as well as a place to post stories about steps your family has taken to keep your own children safe online. I’ve also included a page of news stories that show what can and does happen to children from people they have encountered on the Internet. Another feature of my site is a partnership with others who have websites designed for online safety for children. Among these is CyberAngels, and KidsBeSafeOnline.

Anyone with information for parents or educators on how to keep kids safe online, or anyone who would like to see information about online safety is free to visit my site. Come and chat, post your story, or simply take a look at the information.

Cops Vs The Mentally Ill

Several of my family members and friends are employed by law-enforcement. On the other hand, having spent a better part of my life in the arts, several of my close friends and loved ones have had bouts of mental illness. (The arty types are more sensitive and high strung and typically have more instances of mental problems than other groups.)

Since I am concerned for the welfare of both sides and having no interest in seeing either side win (whatever that means) I can better address the controversy without personal feelings or prejudices becoming an issue.

So let’s get ready to rumble!

First we must logically and without preconceived notions, look at what the police were hired to do. Simply put, their job is to be the first line of defense against criminals.


By definition criminals are people who, willingly and knowingly, break the law for personal gain with no regard for the pain and suffering they cause their victims.

Now let’s look at the mentally ill. One of the facts of mental illness is that the brains of the people suffering from it are malfunctioning and sending them incorrect information. We should not blame them for this anymore than we would blame a person with an extremely high fever for hallucinating. A perfect example is people with phobias. Because your brain is functioning properly, you cannot understand why a seemingly ‘normal’ person would become nearly catatonic with fear at the sight of a spider, or being trapped in an elevator, or being on the roof of a tall building. People with phobias don’t understand it either but in those instances their brain reads these circumstances as life threatening and throws the body into a panic.

I’ll give you an example. Imagine you are relaxing during a flight home from some tropical paradise. You’re looking out the widow, watching the world below go by when suddenly, there’s an explosion and you see the wing buckle, then snap off. The oxygen masks drop down and the plane suddenly plummets at an ever increasing speed. People are flying out of their seats. The ground below is rushing toward you, people are screaming. Your heart is pounding, you can’t think, you want to run but there’s nowhere to go. You’re going to die, you’re going to die, you’re going to die!

Can you think of any scenario more horrifying?

Well, my friends, that very feeling is what claustrophobics go through when they get stuck in an elevator.

Clearly, people who are mentally ill are not criminals. But since the brains of the seriously mentally ill are sending them seriously wrong information, their actions often are.

Which brings us to the subject of police brutality against them. Typically people who join law-enforcement have some college education, some military background and enough self confidence and courage to believe they can confront criminals in dangerous situations and win the day. They are trained how and when to confront criminals, how to secure a perimeter, how to get hostages to safety and how, when necessary, to use lethal force.

What they are not trained for and what they cannot be trained for is how to anticipate the actions of a psychotic. Any psychiatrist or specialist in psychiatric disorders will tell you that because you cannot know what a mentally ill person’s brain is telling them, there is no way a police officer or anyone for that matter can prepare themselves for what the psychotic might do. They may appear docile and ready to surrender one moment and charge at you with butcher knife the next.

And if a medically trained and licensed psychiatrist, a person who has spent their entire career studying mental illness cannot figure out how to get a dangerous psychotic to surrender peacefully, then what chance does the average police officer have? Therefore for the protection of both sides, the responsibility of apprehending them should be taken out of the hands of the police and turned over to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

In these situations the police would be called in to determine whether the person is a criminal. In this case let’s say a person is wielding a samurai sword and chasing people down 5th Avenue declaring that the teen-age mutant ninja turtles are harboring members of AL-Qaida. Seeing that this person is clearly suffering from mental illness, the cops call for an ambulance then walk away and let the EMT’s handle it.

This way as the person lops off heads and punts them into trashcans, the paramedics can focus on reasoning with him and appealing to his humanity and the cops can go back to focusing on their real job, fighting crime.

This is truly a win-win situation. With the police prevented from engaging violent lunatics, the police brutality law-suits would dry up. They would not longer have to risk their lives dealing with psychopaths and the only downside would be the brutal slayings of innocent people whose only crime was being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Besides, their murderers aren’t bad people. They’re sick people who aren’t responsible for their actions. And they can’t be blamed for not taking their meds because again, they’re not responsible for their actions. And you can’t jail them because that would be a terrible thing to do to someone whose only crime is being sick.

Now here’s something to ponder.

You’ve all heard of Typhoid Mary. Irish immigrant and a typhoid carrier who became a cook and spread the disease killing many of the members of the families she worked for. She was eventually apprehended and placed in a leper colony called Little Brother Island off the coast of the Bronx. For 5 years she fought for her freedom, denying she was a carrier because she herself had never been sick. Finally she was released on the condition she never work as a cook again. She agreed.

Several years later she was apprehended following a major typhoid outbreak and multiple deaths at Sloan Maternity Hospital where she worked as a cook under an alias. She was sent back to Little Brother Island and remained there until her death in 1935.

Imagine doing that to a person whose only crime was being sick!

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo – Amish Crime Fiction – Vanishing Teens, Sex, and Murder

Bestselling author, Linda Castillo, released Gone Missing, her fourth crime fiction novel featuring formerly Amish woman, Kate Burkholder, on June 19. Castillo’s trademark talent is exposing the flaws of the often perceived, Simon-pure Amish community.

Kate, 33, is chief of police in the small town of Painters Mill, Ohio. Raised Amish, she left the order at eighteen to live as an Englischer. Fate produced a career in criminal justice, and a return to her hometown, despite being excommunicated from the church.

John Tomasetti, is an agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation in Cleveland. He asks Kate to consult on two cases involving missing Amish teenage girls, both from towns within a one hundred mile radius.

Kate seizes the opportunity to expand her professional comfort zone, ultimately anticipating the time she’ll spend with Tomasetti. The two have become part-time lovers; and as a reader, you wonder where their relationship is headed; “The long-distance aspect of our relationship has worked well for us. We’re too independent for anything too cozy. But I know that no matter how hard we try to keep things simple, relationships have a way of becoming complicated.”

The couple met a year-and-a-half ago while working on the Slaughterhouse Murders case, and each bares their own pain. Kate is haunted by the memory of being raped at 14: “I learned at a formative age that even on perfect, sunny days, bad things happen.” Tomasetti is scarred by the murder of his wife and two young daughters three years ago.

Are the Amish teen mysteries somehow connected? Could they be related to rumspringa?

Rumspringa is the time when Amish teens explore English ways of life and adults look the other way, before they join the church. It’s an exciting period of personal discovery and growth. Self-expression includes listening to music and dressing trendy. Some adolescents take it to the extreme, experimenting with alcohol, drugs, and sex. At least eighty percent of Amish teens return to the order and become baptized.

Kate’s fluency in Pennsylvania Dutch is an investigative asset when dealing with the Amish; and most are taken aback when she speaks in their tongue: “Guder mariye,” I say, bowing my head in respect as I bid them good morning.”

Consumed with the missing Amish teens investigation, Kate receives numerous calls from Painters Mill mayor, Augie Brock. His son Bradford, 17, was recently arrested for possession of weed, a meth pipe, and assaulting an officer. The mayor is determined to have Kate drop the charges, insisting Bradford will be ruined if convicted.

Castillo appeared at the Kent State University-Geauga County Campus June 25 during her Gone Missing book tour. She described traveling to Fredericktown, Ohio, her brother-in-law’s birthplace, in 2004. Already an accomplished romance writer, it was there she became inspired to juxtaposition the bucolic lifestyle of the Amish against brutal crime. Because, as she says, “Nobody’s perfect, not even the Amish.”

In Gone Missing, Castillo continues the series’ characters’ self-exploration and growth. If you’ve read Castillo’s previous books featuring Kate Burkholder, you’ve undoubtedly been waiting for her next adventure. If you’re new to Castillo’s narratives, dive in with Gone Missing. Three other entertaining, mysteries await your discovery.

For all things Amish, visit Amish America at: http://amishamerica.com/about.

Curfew Laws: Why You Need to Know Where Your Child Is

Many parents today remember a time when the 10 p.m. news began with a question for viewers: “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your child is?”

It’s a good question when you consider what often happens at night: vandalism, underage drinking, drive-by shootings. That’s why more than 500 U.S. cities, including La Crosse, Wis., have curfew laws on the books.

Curfew laws are ostensibly designed to prevent crime, though there’s no definitive research to demonstrate that they do so. Many believe their real value is in giving law enforcement officers the ability to stop and question teens about what they may be doing in the middle of the night. If teens don’t have a legitimate reason for being out and about, officers then can take some action to get kids home.

In any case, it is a law currently on the local books, and if you have children and want to avoid penalties, you need to understand it. You’ll find slight differences among municipalities in the region; here is how it works in La Crosse.

For ages 15 to 17, curfew begins at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, it’s 12:30 a.m. During summer months (defined as June 1 through August 31), it’s 12:30 a.m. all week.

For ages 12 to 14, curfew begins at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, it’s 11 p.m. During the summer, curfew begins at 11 p.m. all week.

For ages 11 and under, curfew is at 10 p.m. at all times.

Exceptions are made in certain situations, including when kids are:

  • running an emergency errand for their parents;
  • working or traveling home from work;
  • are returning home by the most direct route from another private home;
  • going to or from school activities;
  • are with a parent, guardian or other adult having legal custody.

If your child is found violating curfew laws, police will write a citation carrying a penalty of $101. To contest a citation or the fine in La Crosse, families go before the municipal court. The judge there has some discretion and may order community service in lieu of the fee.

In any case, when you consider the trouble that kids can encounter on the streets at night, whether through their own making or as innocent victims, adhering to curfew laws can give your child an added measure of safety-and you more peace of mind.