Wednesday, April 26, 2017

YAB Teens are talking about trends and concerns with teen substance use and their experience with the YAB.

What is concerning you most right now with teen substance use?

A lot of kids binge drink and don’t realize how dangerous it is.

I think it’s concerning that some Parents know about it, but are passive or even seem to encourage it.

The carelessness of making the choice to drink or use drugs and the lack of awareness for the consequences.

How easy it is to get a hold of alcohol, drugs and other substances.

The super high use of Juuls and the amount of vaping going on.

The fact that kids are using alcohol, drugs and vapes so commonly and don’t really see an issue with it.

What do you think needs to be done about it?

Find and present them with statistics and stories of how dangerous binge drinking is.

I think the consequences should be different (and enforced) because for the most part, they can easily bypass the current ones.

Talk to and educate Parents.

Get more Parents involved!

Find a way to stop the distribution of drugs and make it harder for teens to have access.

Bring attention to the consequences of vaping.

More support, education and awareness for social media/on-line pressures.

We often talk about the stress and pressure teens are feeling from Parents, School and each other.  What do you need OR what will help teens better cope and handle the stress and pressure?

We need an outlet to let out the stress like a sport or club that kids can do for fun.  Kids that aren’t on Varsity or in NHS or Leadership…. need an outlet too.

I think that teens need to be exposed to different coping mechanisms because not everyone has access to help/support.  And not everyone responds well to one method.

Parents shouldn’t give their children as many expectations.  Let them choose their path.

How do you handle peer pressure when in a situation where other were drinking or smoking?
I don’t let other people affect my choices because if they are my friends, then they will respect my decisions.

Personally, I am not susceptible to peer pressure because I am aware of the consequences and I always think ahead.

I’ve gotten myself out of it by walking away or have left a party early.  I didn’t really say much, I just left.

I have just said that I wasn’t interested.

What are your thoughts on Prom and Graduation?  These are definitely seen as “party times”.  High School should be celebrated but what can be done to make these safer and less pressure on everyone?
They are “big” events that create life long memories…. But I think drinking and partying negatively impact those memories.

I think the schools could do a better job of spreading and encouraging a healthy message about these events.

I think Parents should lock up their alcohol and if they are hosting a party at their house actually monitor the kids.
What do you think is unique about the Youth Action Board?
It is a group of teens from the same area that feel the need and want to create alternative activities that don’t involve drugs or drinking.

The YAB has really helped open my mind and I’m more aware of what is going on in my community.

The YAB is unique because it lets young people have a voice and makes them more aware of what’s really happening.

They get stuff done. 

I have gotten the knowledge and connections to improve my community.

It is a great space to share how we feel.  I feel I’ve gotten a safe space to be, and I feel like I’m not alone in my convictions and concerns.



BBCC and the YAB are dedicated to providing resources to students and parents for the mental health and wellness of our teens.  We take a positive, thoughtful approach in prevention, intervention and overall support where you need it most.  The YAB is a great resource to tap into the teen mind and voice and provides an open and inclusive point of view on how to handle life in these exciting and challenging times.

Friday, February 24, 2017

YAB Teens on stress, pressure, anxiety AND What WE NEED to KNOW about Parent/Adult/Community awareness and engagement with teens in dealing with all of it.

We hear it all the time… “They just don’t understand.”

So…. what do you wish they knew?

Parents should realize how much pressure we are already have, we just need their support.

We want to be able to make our own decisions, not just what our parents want us to do.

I wish they knew about the real strengths and weaknesses of their kids… and not just what they perceive  or want them to be.

I wish parents understood teenage circumstances so that they could be more understanding of our situations.

I wish they would be more responsible themselves and then realize that their children are NOT Angels… then at times can be little devils.

I wish they knew that things are going on, and instead of trying to protect and shield us from everything, that they would discuss with us the facts, the consequences and give good reasons why NOT to get into those things.

I wish my parents knew that although I’m stressed and busy, I am fine.  I really do like a busy life.

I wish they were more aware of what goes on when they aren’t home and how some kids have parties and do drugs with their friends they aren’t home.

That teenagers (especially for those that are first born) never got a full warning of how complicated our lives would become.  Stress is the worst part about a high school and it makes going to school extremely challenging.

What do you wish they would ask you OR NOT ask you?

I wish they would ask how they could help you and not criticize what we are doing.

I wish they would ask me about my homework and then let me talk about my day if I feel like it.

I wish my parents would not ALWAYS ask me who I am with and where I am going.

I wish they would ask us what we learned…. AND about our friends and the choices they are making.

I wish they would ask me what may have stressed me out that day.

I wish they would NOT CONSTANTLY bug me to do my homework, or ask if I need help.  I think they should wait for their kids to ask them for help, or just try to offer help from time to time – but not constantly.

When is a good time for your parent to talk to you OR NOT talk to you?

It is a good time to talk to me when we are driving somewhere together in a car, over dinner or any other time than when I am obviously occupied.

Anytime, we should answer you… just talk to us.

I think letting your kid start the conversation is the best way to get an open and honest dialogue.

A good time to talk to me is usually on weekends.

A good time to talk is right after practice or school, or longer car rides together.  Bad times are when I am relaxing or doing homework.

Driving in a car, or traveling.  When we are relaxing, or trying to…. there’s a higher chance the kids will be annoyed because their time to relax was interrupted.

It is not a good time to talk on a school night when there is a lot of homework, tests the next day because these conversations get really fleshed out and take a lot of time.  Weekend dinners are normally a good time to talk.

It is not a good time to talk to me immediately after school or before school about my grades.  I am CONSTANTLY thinking about grades and I don’t like to think about them at 7:AM or right after I get home from school.

A good time to talk to me is when I’m relatively unstressed, and when my schedule is less busy, not when I come home from somewhere or when I’m about to leave.

How should your parents or other adults talk to you in a way that they are NOT talking to you now?

I wish they would ask me more specific questions about school and homework… not just how my day went.

I wish parents weren’t so condescending or talk to you as if you don’t know what you think.  I wish they eased more into conversations.

Try to allow your child to start the conversation if you’ve already had the conversation multiple times before.  Also, try to be understanding and not judge their choices… but make sure they know if it goes against your values, that it’s not an OK idea or choice.

Parents should help teens make choices but ultimately teens should feel empowered enough to make their own decisions.

How can Parents better understand Social Media and what you’re doing or NOT doing on it?

They can ask and allow me to explain OR get involved and try to understand the activity on social media isn’t bad.

Give them some privacy.  You can follow them and check in once in a while.  Do NOT stalk their friends, that can make both your child and their friends uncomfortable.

I don’t think a lot of parents know how nasty social media can get and how some kids can get in trouble with colleges just by posting a picture or something they might not think is bad or inappropriate.

I think that they should understand that everyone is connected, so everyone sees everything.

What do you want them to hear from you that they don’t seem to hear?

When I try explain or answer them, who I am hanging out with, my friends OR when I try to tell them how difficult things are for me.

Sometimes we are in uncomfortable situations, but we don’t know how to approach you without making you mad or disappointed.

What do Parents NOT get?

How everything works and appears from MY teenage perspective.

Parents don’t get that we can’t be perfect.   And, sometimes we just need a break.

We ALL make mistakes, and WE should be the one ones fixing them when we make them.

Parents don’t get that kids aren’t always trying to do bad things when they go out.  Going to a football game really can mean to go a football game.

Parents don’t get that it is a trend to abuse drugs at parties and that any teen could make a bad decision to drink or use drugs.

They don’t understand the social pressure and school pressure we face every day.

What is the difference between strict and being concerned?

Strict is overbearing and a form of being concerned but with lots of restrictions.

Strict is being overbearing, controlling their kids’ lives.  Concerned is being there when needed.

Allow for mistakes, but talk to your child, and keep talking to them.

Strict is when parents won’t let you do certain things like leave the house or go out with friends and being concerned is letting you have freedom but making sure that you are safe.

Being concerned is just checking that things are okay.  Being strict is not allowing kids to do something even with unwarranted reason.

Teens should have freedom BUT you as parents, adults, schools and the community should always be aware of their safety.

Being strict is putting a lot more pressure on kids than being concerned.  Being strict is less about the emotional health, being concerned is.

Strict is making assumptions and enforcing rules without asking.  Concerned is asking what we think, feel and talking about how we act.

Strict is enforcing without listening.  Concerned is listening and supporting after listening.

What and who are you most concerned with right now?  How can we (Parents, Schools, the Community) support you?

I’m most concerned with soccer and school… getting into college.  I need more encouragement, not pressure.

School, tests…. Everything is overwhelming.

Standardized test scores and grades... c just be supportive and encouraging.

From what I see, Parents sometimes are the ones allowing these things (teen drinking and partying) to happen.

I’m concerned about the abuse of prescription drugs and how parents don’t know that teens are taking way too much of a dosage in a single day.

I am concerned about suicidal teens and teens that don’t feel supported by their parents and teens that don’t feel comfortable with their home life.  There are more than any of us are aware.

I am most concerned about my future.  School, teachers, etc.… could put less pressure on me to get into the BEST college.  Parent could help me by letting me make my own decisions.





BBCC is dedicated to providing resources to students and parents in the mental health and wellness of our teens.  We look to support you in prevention intervention and overall support where you need it most.  The YAB is a great resource to tap into the teen mind, voice and is an open and inclusive point of view on how to handle life in these exciting and challenging times.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

YAB Teens on keeping it real, the teen experience, the holidays and share their new year resolutions.

People just don’t understand …

People don’t realize just how many of us teens don’t want to do drugs and party.  Sometimes when I talk to people they think I don’t care about global issues or that I don’t think about the world around me or my privilege.  I think about these things extensively, but I don’t feel I am given even a chance to express this or that I can change anything in the world.

Teens, you have options and opportunity and things are never set in stone.  Friends don’t necessarily stay the same, and family doesn’t stay the same…. You just must learn to adapt.

The level of pressure that teens today are under.  Whether it’s parents, friends, teachers or coaches, many people in our lives expect a lot from us.  I think they tend to forget that we have other responsibilities and that we are still learning how to handle it all.

How hard it is to remain sober in this type of society – with the pressures we face.  Social media dictates our everyday actions and moral values.  It takes work to be who you are or who you want to be.

High school is very hard when you are juggling school work, sports, extracurriculars and friends.  I think the key is to find the time for yourself to relax and take a break from the madness of school.

That paths change and that there are alternative paths to being successful and achieving your goals.  There is so much more time left and you don’t always need to rush things.

There is a lot of pressure on us to succeed and to do well at everything; grades, college… it is just a lot to handle.

What do you want to share about your teen experience?

I want to share that I don’t understand the motivation to party and don’t find it fun or see the point.  I’ve seen a lot of negative outcomes from drinking and doing drugs and I have a passion for making a positive difference.

What do people think or judge about teens that just isn’t true?

That smart people don’t want to have fun... or fun people aren’t smart.  We need to stop putting people in boxes.  Let them all be who they are.

People seem to think that we teens aren’t aware enough to participate in “grown-up” conversations.  What I think the case is, is that we can offer a new perspective.

They think we’re stubborn and don’t want to learn things from other people.

That not everyone drinks or parties as a teenager.  It’s okay to do your own thing. 

What are you looking forward to over the Holidays?

I’m looking forward to just being free of assignments and to just experience things and be present without the added stress of school.

I can’t wait to spend time with my family and friends!  I am traveling overseas with my school.  I love the human warmth and joy everywhere I go this time of year J

Spending time with my crazy, loud family J  and seeing my friends from my hometown.

I am looking forward to the break from school, work and stress.  And, being with family and friends J

I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and eating some good comfort food from the south J

What are your New Year resolutions?

To be okay with myself and improve my lifestyle for my own well-being.

To jump back into my healthy routine, strengthen relationships, and  to mediate and attend church more.

To stay focused and to manage my time well.

To try to be better to myself and those around me by being more positive and capable of letting go of the past.

To be happy, healthy and less stressed J


Thursday, November 3, 2016

YAB Teens on partying trends; what, how, why….. AND how to handle the pressure.

Q. What are the trends in teen partying?  Are teens partying more or less in the summer?  During the school year?  On weekends?  During the week?  At school related events?  
Teens Answer:
  • I think partying has become popular year round.  A lot of partying stems off of school events like dances and sports events.  More people attend those events and are looking for something fun and daring to do after.
  • People at my school party a lot more during the summer – at concerts and music festivals.  On weekends is when people typically party during the school year.
  • Teens party a lot more during the summer – sometimes almost every day of the week.  During the school year, people party on the weekends, and at school events – especially Friday night football games.  Teens are partying before the game, are “lit” at the game, and then it continues at the after parties.
Q. Where do teens typically party?
Teens Answer:
  • I see people smoking weed in cars or out in the woods – although that’s just small numbers of people.  I also think that kids sometimes party at school or just before games/dances.  Other than that, people and parents do host parties at their houses.
  • A lot of kids put alcohol in their cars for “pre-partying”.  There are a lot of home parties where the parents are fully aware of what’s happening but would rather have all the drinking contained.
  • Teens mostly party at homes and most parents are aware and allow the drinking to happen in their house.
  • I am aware of lots of kids smoking weed in cars.
Q.  Why do you think teens are choosing to party – since they probably know it’s wrong and illegal?  Do you think they think of their goals?  Values?
Teens Answer:
  • I know kids who choose to party because of the pressure of school -- they want to just have some “fun” once a week.  Some have goals, but I don’t think that affects if someone drinks or not.
  • I think it’s all about social status.  The higher up the ladder you are the more you feel you have to act a certain way – party and drink.
  • I think teens feel that drinking is the only way to have fun.  They also want to fit-in with what everyone else is doing.
  • Some teens do it for popularity, some do it because of peer pressure.  They all have goals and values except they think doing these things isn’t a big deal or they don’t think it will affect them.
  • I think a lot of teens choose to party because they are bored and looking for fulfillment.
Q.  What do you think drives teens to drink and drug more often – to the point of a problem?
Teens Answer:
  • I think drinking and drug use becomes a problem when it stops being just a social thing and they start drinking or using drugs by themselves out of necessity…. to escape the pressure.
  • Peer pressure.  People say it’s not real, but it is.  People don’t want to be left out or looked at differently by their friends.
  • Addiction -- they like how it feels and feel like they need to.  And peer pressure – they feel like it will bring t them closer to their friends.

Q. How do you handle peer pressure if you’re at a party or in a situation where there is partying going on?
Teens Answer:
·         I think teens should be able to just say “No” Or use athletics, grades or other things important to you as an excuse.
·         I just say “No thanks.”  But honestly from what I see, most of the time people end up succumbing to the pressure. 
·         I know I don’t want to drink – I don’t see the point or fun in doing it.  If other people around me want to drink I won’t judge them, but I never let it affect me or pressure me.
·         In my opinion, peer pressure is an internal force instead of something forced upon students.  It is easy for me to turn down offers because I know no one cares if I don’t.
Q. We are hearing just how much stress and pressure teens are feeling.  Like they are so overwhelmed and think they cannot make a mistake.  So then, how do you handle the stress, pressure and your anxiety?  Do you feel you have resources and/or support or someone to go to?  If not, what else can be done to better support you?
Teens Answer:
·         When I’m stressed, I sit down and do something I love – like my art.
·         If I am stressed I try working it out with exercise – that helps and it is good for you.  Also, taking time away from school and homework to hang out with my friends helps me.
·         I feel like things are becoming so competitive and this just stresses us out.  But I do feel we have support – through our friends, adults and counselors.
·         I try to take some time for myself and I find or designate time to relax.  I also talk to my friends who can relate to my situation.
·         I feel like I can talk to my parents about any problems I’m having.  I think more teens could open to their parents, counselors or adults, but they don’t think they can.
·         If I’m feeling stressed about school I try to remind myself that it’s not as big of a deal as it seems and there’s always an alternative.  It’s important for teens to know that they are not alone in your stress, pressures and problems.

#teenstalkingaboutthetrends  #Peoplelistenup!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Summer is winding down but the YAB teens have not. Check out what we've been talking about....

YAB’s talk and answer questions on teen trends, access, effective messages, dealing with stress, and what Parents need to know….

Q. What do think is the biggest problem today with youth substance use?  
Teens Answer:
  • Teenagers are NOT aware of the consequences that alcohol and smoking does to their health.
  • I think drinking is one of the biggest issues.  It is very prevelant at most parties, both big and small
Q. How do teens get access to alcohol?  Weed?
Teens Answer:
  • Older siblings, friends, facke I.D.’s.  Also some parents support drinking and provide it.
  • Teens get alcohol through connections; (someone knows a guy who knows a guy), parents (at home sometimes they know and sometimes they don’t), and older siblings.
  • Teens get weed through connections, and surprisingly, some parents have week and provide it.
Q.  What do you think is an effective message/deterrant for teens to NOT drink or use drugs?
Teens Answer:
  • I think more messages and education that communicates the consequences of drug and alcohol use is needed.
Q.  What is the easiest way for you to stick to your values?
Teens Answer:
  • Remembering your goals is the best way. If you have a plan to achieve your goals, it will be obvious what you can and cannot do in order to succeed.  You will know your values when you search inside yourself and you will stick to them if you truly know it is what you need and want to succeed.
Q. How do you handle stress, pressure and anxiety?  Do you feel you/teens have resources or someone to go to?
Teens Answer:

  •  I do not feel schools do an efficient job at giving us resources or a place to go with our issues OR with showing us alternatives to NOT being perfect.

  •  I try to remember and remind myself that life will go on if I make a mistake.  That and a nice cup of tea helps me calm down. 
  •   I try to read a lot of books to relax.  I also like to sleep when I can, because I normally do not remember what I was stressed about before a nap J

  •  I can handle the stress and pressure as long as I know it’s worth it.  I always look forward to what I will achieve after I get through stressful times.

Q. What do Parents need to know about teens today?  How can Parents handle things better?
Teens Answer:

  • I think Parents should be reminded NOT to support underage drinking by hosting parties and providing or looking the other way when it happens.

  •  Parents need to know the statistics about teen drinking and drug use.  Parents must know that their kids are not perfect and that they may actually be involved in things they should not be.  Parents can also be more understanding and try to be part of the solution not the problem.

  • We don’t try to make mistakes.  We aren’t going to parties to get drunk or get MIP’s deliberately, but when we are put in those situations we do need support and reminders to be able to call our Parents and get their help….. without getting into trouble.  Staying calm in those moments is important… discipline can come later.

  • Parents need to keep an open mind regarding what kids should be able to do and not do.  Maybe back off a little when it’s not a big issue? Kids can be obsessed with a TV show or a sport.  Loving things that are safe should be OK. 

  • Parents need to know that there is a chance their own kid drinks or does drugs no matter how innocent they may seem.  Parents need to make sure they are cautious about that and monitor their actions.