Friday night, sipping wine, watching a movie, listening to my husband talk about work, writing this blog, telling my son how much I love him, texting my daughter telling her to come home from a friends house, telling her to be safe! Isn't a mother just grand. I think we invented the word multitask!



Are tattoos becoming a fad!

Fad: A phenomenon that becomes popular for a very short time.

Tattoo: The fad will fade, but the ink lasts forever.

Two teenagers recently told me that all the NBA players and hot rappers like Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy have tattoos. These kids think having tattoos are cool, because people they idolize have them. Everyone will not grow-up to be a pro-ball player or a rapper. What about the kid who will grow-up to be a financial advisor or a lawyer? Although it’s bad to stereotype, some people might not think it’s cool to be represented in court by a lawyer who has the word THUG LIFE tattooed on his neck or knuckles. Or some fortune 500 companies may not want to hire the young man who graduated top of his class and has an MBA from Stanford, just because of a tattoo he got when he was an adolescent. If you are going to get tattoos, here’s a word of advice: they should be tasteful and strategically located where they cannot be seen during a business merger or a job interview.

I am not against someone getting a tattoo; I am against someone under the age of 18 having one. In most states including Pennsylvania, which is where I reside, you have to be 18 years old to obtain a tattoo without parental consent. So would someone please explain how teenagers under the age of 18 are getting tattoos? For instance, my daughter who is only 13, told me that one of her classmates just got a tattoo at a tattoo party, which is where a tattoo artist comes to your house and charges half what a tattoo parlor would to tattoo your guests. They don’t ask for ID, so it’s easy for young teens to attend these events and be tattooed without parental consent. My concerns would be whether the person is licensed. Who is liable if something were to go wrong? Is the tattoo artist using sterile needles?

Teenagers getting tattoos, with or without parental permission, can lead to some serious unhappiness down the road, which is exactly where teenagers are incapable of seeing. Most teenagers are not good at setting priorities, so they don't realize that priorities change, and often with surprising regularity. Make sure your teenager is aware of the health risks involved with getting a tattoo, such as infections and blood borne diseases from unsterilized needles. Try compromising with your teenager; ask him or her to wait six months (since teenagers change their minds like the wind). If they still think they want a tattoo at that time you can revisit the idea.

Fads will come and go, so be careful in choosing permanent things that could effect your long-term goals or decisions.

Caffeine & Kids!!

Caffeine is a drug that is naturally produced in the leaves and seeds of many plants. A drug you say, if that is so, than why do so many of us take this drug.
Almost every young child & teen consumes caffeine everyday. Caffeine is in tea, coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, over-the-counter medicines, and popular energy drinks. Children and teens love soft drinks too (soda), which also contain caffeine, it’s tasty; it comes in different flavors, cola, fruit punch, orange, pineapple, and ginger ale. We drank it at bbq’s, at restaurants, we serve it at birthday parties. Some parents even allow their kids to drink a cold cup, bottle or can of it after they have played outside in the hot sun. Which is very unhealthy, because caffeine is a diuretic, which can cause constant urination, which could possibly lead to dehydration. Children need water after being outside for long periods of time.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, causing an energy boost. Some older teens will drink energy drinks, such as redbull or coffee, so that they can stay up to study for an important test or exam. This is not healthy, especially if a teen has already had a full day of school, work, and after-school activities in which they need to rest afterwards.

In it’s natural form, caffeine tastes very bitter. Which is why most people don’t drink coffee black. It’s camouflaged with lots other things to improve the taste. Like, cream & sugar. In most coffee houses, they offer coffee in many different forms, lattes w/ whip cream, cappuccinos, non-fat or low-fat, w/ soy milk etc. Sounds very tasty, but if you notice most of the camouflages have sugar. Which if consumed regularly causes childhood obesity, tooth decay, and cavities. Many parents believe that it also increases hyperactivity in children. Then why is it that the new trend is to see small children & teens in your local starbucks? If everything served in there is bad for all of us including children. I have to admit that I to will bring my children to starbucks and the bookstore cafĂ©’s as well, but we usually order some of their healthier choices. Like, the Horizon Organic Milk Box (like a juice box, but milk). I on the other hand have coffee, and lots of it.

Caffeine is usually safe in moderate amounts. Teens should try and limit caffeine consumption to 100mg per day. Drink water or sports drinks such as Gatorade after sports. Young children should have less than 100mg per day; they should also drink water or low-fat soymilk with healthy snacks like fruits and veggies.

The old wise saying goes, “if you teach your children healthy habits while young, they will continue to have healthy habits into adulthood.”


The dangers of teen driving!

Each year thousands of people die in an accident caused by distracted teen drivers. Eleven states have put a ban on texting while driving. Alcohol –related accidents among teens have dropped and distracted-driving accidents are on a rise

Nearly nine in ten teenage drivers have engaged in distracted driving behaviors such as texting or talking on a cell phone. In an on-line survey of nearly 2,000 teens ages 16-19 found that 84% were aware that distracted-driving behaviors increase their crash risk. Another distracted-driving behavior is driving with multiple people in the car. This is a distraction because passengers tend to talk loud, or adjust the radio multiple times. Also the driver may want to show off for their friends and drive above the speed limit, which can also lead to a dangerous crash or a speeding ticket.

A Parent’s worst nightmare is for their kids to turn 16 and get their drivers license. Their cell phones, the radio, or their friends who may be along for the ride can easily distract teenagers while they are driving. The good news is most teens do not pass their driving test on the first try. This allows for a little more practice on becoming a safe driver. The top 4 reasons for not passing a driving test is:

1. Trying to adjust the radio.
2. Forgetting to put on a seatbelt.
3. Answering or looking at your cell phone.
4. Not utilizing both hands on the steering wheel.

Insurance companies may increase premiums once a teenager has been added to the policy due to fact he/she has no driving experience. Once they have a good driving record after a certain time frame the premium will decrease. In Pennsylvania a teenager must have their permit for 6 months before he/she is eligible to take their driving test.

Influential people like television talk show host Oprah Winfrey, and high schools that teach drivers education have begun to educate young drivers about the dangers of such distractions. Parents should practice safe driving at all times so their teenager can see first hand how important it is to be safe.