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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Topic: Social Circle

Jun 14

Selfies and Self-Worth

Posted By iamincontrol | June 14, 2018

It is okay to want to be liked by your friends and receive likes on Facebook or Instagram posts. But the more time we spend on social media, the more our expectations of life change. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you need to shut down all of your accounts this minute! Try cutting back on social media time by:

  • Be mindful of the amount of time you’re spending on social media and try to limit the time each day. Once you get used to less screen time, the less you actually want it.
  • Consider what makes you happy that isn’t based in an online post. Reading a book, cooking a healthy meal, playing a game or making art are all good ways to reduce your time online.
  • Keep your phone away when spending time with friends and loved ones. They will appreciate you focusing your time and energy on them and not your screen.
  • No one’s self-worth should be based on how other people perceive you or your life! Nobody’s life is perfect – keep living your life and not someone’s idea of what you should do.

If you are wondering how other people like you are handling cutting down on social media, visit https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/sep/21/does-quitting-social-media-make-you-happier-yes-say-young-people-doing-it.

May 22

Toxic Friendships

Posted By iamincontrol | May 22, 2018

Friends are usually the people you tell everything to. They are the ones you can’t wait to see at school every day. But sometimes you get a friend that you don’t look forward to seeing. Someone who makes you feel bad about yourself or has you worried about what you might say. This is someone who might be a toxic friend.

I once had a friend who I did everything with. We were taking the same classes and we liked the same things. Sometimes I would get excited and tell her about a good test grade I got. If she got a better one she’d always tell me that and if she didn’t she would change the subject or tell me not to brag. It wasn’t until I started hanging out with other people that I could tell what the friend was doing wasn’t nice.

A toxic friend might:

  • Tell your secrets to other friends
  • Always change the subject back to them
  • Try to get you to not hangout with other people
  • Call you a bad friend if you don’t do what they want
  • Be overly competitive

If a friend of yours fits what’s above, there are things you can do. If they share your secrets, start telling them less. Try to start spending more time with other friends. It might be hard to find the courage, but you can talk to your friend and tell them how they are making you feel. They might not notice they are doing it. You don’t have to end your whole friendship.

Checkout tips on how to deal with a toxic friend here: https://au.reachout.com/articles/dealing-with-a-toxic-friendship

May 8

Managing Social Anxiety

Posted By iamincontrol | May 8, 2018

Social anxiety can prevent us from doing cool and exciting things because being around people makes us nervous. Common acts that trigger this type of anxiety include talking on the phone, giving a presentation, asking a stranger for directions, or going to a party and meeting new people. These feelings are normal and they can be controlled with a few simple tips:

  1. Practice what you can say before you do the anxiety-triggering thing. If you’re going to party where you won’t know many people, pre-plan a few ice breaker questions or jokes you can tell.
  2. Make goals. While staying at home may seem most appealing to you, try to push yourself to get out every once in awhile. Common goals could be: go to one football game this season, find an event outside of school to attend once a month or join a club. Goals need to be realistic and attainable.
  3. Find friends. Find friends that enjoy the same things as you AND friends that push you to do new things. It’s important to have both.
  4. Accept yourself. If you suffer from this type of anxiety, you may simply not enjoy things as much as other people. While you should still get out and do new and fun things, recognize that social interaction just isn’t your favorite activity and that’s okay.

For more tips on how to manage social anxiety, visit: https://teens.webmd.com/features/tips_for_managing_social_anxiety#1

Apr 26

Appropriate Online Conduct

Posted By iamincontrol | April 26, 2018

So much of our lives are virtual nowadays. From social media, to shopping, to learning, we use the internet for everything! Check out these tips to stay safe online:

  1. Make your accounts private. Check your privacy settings, you may be showing people more than you think you are.
  2. Don’t overshare. This includes tagging your location on Instagram or having your friends be able to see where you are via Snapchat. Never post photos where your or a friends driver’s license, address, social security number and more are visible.
  3. Make strong passwords. And don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. You can use a password manager, an encrypted database, that can create and help you remember passwords. For more help creating a strong password, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcgSIBEkKHg.
  4. When shopping online, use a guest account. Meaning, DON’T make an account and have your information, including debit and credit card numbers, saved by the website.
  5. Don’t say anything on the internet you wouldn’t want others to read. Things posted on the internet last forever. Even when your account is private or you make a closed group, posts that are mean, offensive or vulgar can be screenshot and shared. This can cause real life consequences with school, work, family or friends.

For more tips on how to stay safe on the internet, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrln8nyVBLU

Apr 19

Think or Dare

Posted By iamincontrol | April 19, 2018

Do you enjoy watching YouTube challenges? You know, the ones where people eat ghost peppers or see how long they can rub an eraser on their skin? Have you ever tried any? While these videos can be entertaining to watch and perhaps try with your friends, they are not all created equal. Some are harmless fun while others are dangerous and can have lifelong effects. The most important thing to do before trying any challenge is to think it through. What ways can this go wrong?

There are plenty of challenges that are both fun AND safe. Here are some examples:

  1. Mannequin Challenge
  2. Whisper Challenge
  3. Try Not to Laugh Challenge
  4. Disney Challenge
  5. Speed Drawing Challenge
  6. No Thumbs Challenge
  7. Pancake Art Challenge
  8. What’s That Smell Challenge
Mar 13

Managing Social Anxiety

Posted By iamincontrol | March 13, 2018

Social anxiety can prevent us from doing cool and exciting things because being around people makes us nervous. Common acts that trigger this type of anxiety include talking on the phone, asking a stranger for directions, meeting new people or giving a presentation. These feelings are normal and they can be controlled with a few simple tips:

  1. Practice what you can say before you do the anxiety-triggering thing. If it’s a phone call, map out how the conversation will likely go in your head. If you’re going to party where you won’t know many people, pre-plan a few ice breaker questions or jokes you can tell.
  2. Make goals. While staying at home may seem most appealing to you, try to push yourself to get out every once in awhile.
  3. Find friends. Find friends that enjoy the same things as you AND friends that push you to do new things. It’s important to have both. Having a bestie that only wants to stay in watch Netflix can be comforting, but you might be preventing each other from branching out. On the flip side, having a super outgoing friend who only wants to do social activities can make you feel weird for not wanting to do those things
  4. Accept yourself. If you suffer from this type of anxiety, you may simply not enjoy things as much as other people. While you should still get out and do new and fun things, recognize that social interaction just isn’t your favorite activity and that’s okay.

For more tips on how to manage social anxiety, visit: https://teens.webmd.com/features/tips_for_managing_social_anxiety#1

Mar 1

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Posted By iamincontrol | March 1, 2018

March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Just how “aware” are you? Even if you know someone with cerebral palsy), you may not know all there is to know about it. Here are some facts about cerebral palsy”:

  1. Cerebral palsy is a brain condition that affects the body’s ability to move. This can result in jerky and uncoordinated movement, loss of muscle tone, as well as poor posture and balance.
  2. There are several types of cerebral palsy making their effect on people different. For example, some people with cerebral palsy can walk; some cannot. Some people with cerebral palsy can talk; some cannot.
  3. The causes of cerebral palsy are not completely understood. It can result from a brain injury or abnormal brain development.
  4. Cerebral palsy can affect a person’s intellectual abilities, but usually does not. Cognitive effects are only seen in 30-50% of people. Never assume someone with cerebral palsy has an intellectual disability!
  5. There is no cure for cerebral palsy. Medicines and therapy can help with the symptoms, but this can be a problem for those who cannot afford it.

The most important thing to know about cerebral palsy, it that cerebral palsy does not define the people who have it. People with cerebral palsy want to be treated like everyone else. Don’t just listen to me, though; listen to Zach Anner’s “Top 10 Things I Wish People Knew About Cerebral Palsy”, a hilarious YouTube star known for his Wednesday Workouts such as this.

Feb 20

What to do When a Friends Tells You that They’ve Been Sexually Abused

Posted By iamincontrol | February 20, 2018

Sometimes bad things happen to people, even the people we care about. If a friend tells you that they’ve been sexually abused, it is important to know how to handle it. Here are a few basic steps to being a good friend in those moments:

  1. Believe them. It will mean so much to that person by simply saying “I believe you”. It will be so comforting to your friend. The easiest, and most important, thing you can do is believe them when they tell you.
  2. Support them. For some victims, telling a trusted friend is all that they want to do. For others, they want to report it to the police. For some, they would like to talk to professional counselors. In whatever your friend chooses, support them.. Sometimes victims can change their minds. At first, they might want to report it to the police and then in a few days they may change their minds. To be the best friend you can be, you should support them in their decisions.
  3. Take care of yourself. Hearing the trauma that someone else went through can be triggering for you. If hearing about what a friend went through brings back memories of an experience you had- get help. Even if you have not gone through sexual abuse, it may be a good idea for you to get counseling. It is important to remember that you cannot take care of your friends without first taking care of yourself.

Hearing about a traumatizing experience a friend went through can be hard. It is important to remember these three steps to help maintain a positive relationship with that person and take care of yourself. To learn more about how to deal with this type of situation: https://www.rainn.org/articles/tips-talking-survivors-sexual-assault

Feb 1

How to go to Prom without Breaking the Bank

Posted By iamincontrol | February 1, 2018

Whether you’re in middle school or a senior in high school, I bet you’re already thinking about prom. Read one bloggers story and their tips on how to save for prom no matter how old you are:

A single mom raised me. She barely had enough money to pay the bills, which meant she did not have extra money for other things. Most of the time I was able to still participate in the activities I wanted without making my mom feel bad for not being able to give me money for things. When I got to high school there was one time where not having money became an issue: Prom. For prom you have to pay for a dress or suit, a prom ticket, and maybe dinner.

Here are a few money tips for Prom:

  • Start saving NOW!
  • You do not need an expensive dress/tux to look good and feel special.
  • Many places have programs where people donate prom gowns. See if your school or community has one!
  • Fellas- do not feel like you have to pay for everything for your date.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to friends and family members. Even if they don’t have money to give they may have great tips on where to find cheaper dresses, tuxes, accessories, and stuff like that.

I got help from family and friends. My family helped me buy my prom ticket and the rest I paid for with money I saved. Do not let money keep you from this experience or any other activities you are interested in.

 

Check out this link for more ideas on how to save money for prom:

Dec 14

Implicit Bias

Posted By iamincontrol | December 14, 2017

What is implicit bias/implicit association?

Our brains naturally categorize people to make it easier to make sense of the world and to be able to process information quickly. If we had to get to know people before we could make generalizations about them, we would get to know them better, but it would also take up a lot of mental energy. Instead, we associate the category a person belongs to with some ideas.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is that these assumptions are often based on stereotypes. For example, we might see a pair of random college students and assume that the female student is majoring in Education and the male student is majoring in Accounting. While this may or may not be true, it is probably based on the stereotype that men are better at math than women. Even if we don’t directly think “men are better at math than women,” the association between men and math and women and humanities is a strong stereotype that our brains have absorbed.

Why should I learn about my own biases?

Everyone has an implicit bias towards one thing or another. The problem is when we act on those biases without considering that we might be biased first. No one likes to be seen as a stereotype, so realizing that we may be judging another person based only on who we think that they are makes it harder to get to know and get along with others.

How do I know what my biases are?

Harvard has done a lot of research for Project Implicit and has many tests to find out how strongly biased people are on a wide range of topics. You can find the implicit bias tests here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html.