Many of today's seniors are also grandparents who either live under the same roof as their grandchildren, take care of them on a regular basis, or are frequently visited by them. Kids and teenagers today are faced with many challenges that may be unfamiliar to seniors. Many grandparents are in a position to offer guidance to their grandchildren. The Essex District Attorney's Office has designed a program - Teens Today: Issues Facing Your Adolescent Grandchildren - which available to senior centers, libraries and other groups and covers the following topics.
- Alcohol is the primary "drug" abused by young people.
- New research on the human brain indicates that alcohol exposure at a young age does more damage than previously thought.
- Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem among young people.
- TIPS: Don't serve alcohol to young people and don't allow your grandchild to have access to your home when you are not there. Keep all prescription medications in a secure location (i.e., not in the medicine or kitchen cabinet). Discard all expired or unused medications
- Constant access to friends and dating partners through digital technology (cell phones, computers) has created more opportunities to bullying and dating abuse.
- Young people (and all people) are more likely to reveal personal information in a public way that could hurt them through social networking and other online forums.
- TIPS: Make sure that any computer your grandchildren is using in your home is centrally located so that you can easily view what they are doing and check to see they are on appropriate websites. Never let your grandchildren use your name, address, phone number or any other personal information on the computer. Do not provide your computer password to your grandchildren.
- Bullying situations can be more damaging to young people because there is no longer a refuge due to cell phones, computers, etc.
- Dating relationships can escalate to abuse and violence and is more prevalent today.
Today's grandchildren are tomorrow's leaders. Let's make sure we keep them, and ourselves, safe. If you would like to host a presentation of the Teens Today program, please contact the Main Office at 978-745-6610.