Teens


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Source: iVillage

Karen Springen

The findings may not come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s been through grade school. Still, the numbers are depressing. A new study to be published in the June issue of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal Pediatrics reports that obese grade-school kids are 63 percent more likely to be bullied than those of average or below average weight, regardless of their gender, race, or social skills.

Of course, bullying isn’t limited to overweight children, as the tragic case of Phoebe Prince proved: The slim teen committed suicide earlier this year in South Hadley, Mass. after enduring repeated taunts by a group of female classmates. But overweight and obese kids are a particularly vulnerable population to bullies, and a growing one. Obesity rates among kids continue to climb, to more than 16 percent of 10- to 17-year-olds, according to the most recent government estimates. Yet it’s often difficult for parents to recognize the problem, as victims may remain mum about bullying because they’re ashamed or because they think they deserve it, say experts. (The Pediatrics study, which involved 821 boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 11, found a quarter of the study kids reported being bullied, while mothers reported 45 percent of them had been bullied.) “The victim of bullying typically experiences intense shame,” says child psychiatrist Elizabeth Berger, author of Raising Kids with Character.

So how can you spot the warning signs and prevent long-term damage? Here’s how to tell if your child is a victim— and how to best respond. (more…)

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Source: Times Online

Caroline Scott

The three teenagers sitting round my kitchen table eating pizza refer to themselves as the Specials, a defensive reference to the special educational support they get at school. As in: “Er, no, sorry, we can’t clear up after ourselves ’cos we’re special.” They think this is hysterically funny and fall about laughing.

Max and Nick are dyslexic, Max so profoundly affected that even his friends can’t understand his texts. Nick says that when his mother read his GCSE geography coursework, she cried. Poor woman. I know how this feels.

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The Best Mischief and Mayhem

The Twits by Roald Dahl; Diary Of A Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney; The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong; The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend.

The Best Weepies

Watership Down by Richard Adams; The Truth About Leo by David Yelland; Two Weeks With The Queen by Morris Gleitzman; Charlotte’s Web by EB White.

The Best To Cuddle Up With

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle; The Bog Baby by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward; Peepo! by Janet and Allan Ahlberg; Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd (more…)

Antisocial networking?

Source: The New York Times – Hilary Stout

Photo:  Erik S. Lesser for The New York Times
Andy Wilson, 11, left, and his brother Evan, 14, go on Facebook in their treehouse in Atlanta.

“HEY, you’re a dork,” said the girl to the boy with a smile. “Just wanted you to know.”

“Thanks!” said the boy.

“Just kidding,” said the girl with another smile. “You’re only slightly dorky, but other than that, you’re pretty normal — sometimes.”

They both laughed.

“See you tomorrow,” said the boy.

“O.K., see you,” said the girl.

It was a pretty typical pre-teen exchange, one familiar through the generations. Except this one had a distinctly 2010 twist. It was conducted on Facebook. The smiles were colons with brackets. The laughs were typed ha ha’s. “O.K.” was just “K” and “See you” was rendered as “c ya.”

Children used to actually talk to their friends. Those hours spent on the family princess phone or hanging out with pals in the neighborhood after school vanished long ago. But now, even chatting on cellphones or via e-mail (through which you can at least converse in paragraphs) is passé. For today’s teenagers and preteens, the give and take of friendship seems to be conducted increasingly in the abbreviated snatches of cellphone texts and instant messages, or through the very public forum of Facebook walls and MySpace bulletins. (Andy Wilson, the 11-year-old boy involved in the banter above, has 418 Facebook friends.) (more…)