What is a teachable moment? It's learning through family. That's what Boys Town provides to tens of thousands of children and parents everyday. And that's what we'll focus on here. Stories of those who we've seen succeed, and ideas on how to help bring Teachable Moments to your home and family, too.

Tag Archives: Teens

Home » Posts tagged "Teens"

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Daniel Daly, Boys Town Psychologist

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Teens are more stressed and anxious, but they don’t know why. Here’s how parents can help.

Article courtesy of The Washington Post.  The teenage years can be tough, marked with physical and emotional changes, new choices and responsibilities, and evolving relationships with the people who surround us. But a recent report shows that hormones aren’t the only thing troubling the teen years; young people are increasingly showing a general inability to identify the source of their angst and pain. These results have serious implications for those who care for kids. A review of more than 830,000 calls, text messages, ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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The Bus That Travels without Moving

This 1952 Flxible Visicoach transports its passengers back to an era when integrated schools such as Boys Town experienced many difficulties when taking their athletic teams on the road to compete. Now housed permanently in the Boys Town Hall of History, this old bus serves as an important reminder of Father Flanagan’s progressive views on equality and fairness. Watch the video below to take a trip back in time.

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Greg Snyder, Ph. D. | Boys Town Staff Psychologist

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Vaping and E-cigarettes – A Healthy Alternative to Smoking?

At first blush, it seems like a positive step: A former cigarette smoker switches to vaping, or using an e-cigarette. It seems good because the person is no longer inhaling the smoke from burning tobacco leaves and the associated additives — something the U.S. Surgeon General (and common sense) tells us is bad. Then consider the fact that cigarette smoking by teens is at an all-time low. So, good news, right? Not necessarily. While teen smoking is indeed at record lows, ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Boys Town Partnership with Lincoln Electric Helps Forge Bright Future for Grads

Thanks to Josh Temple — television host, licensed contractor and vocal Boys Town supporter — and his friends at Lincoln Electric, young men and women who are learning to weld at Boys Town’s Career Readiness Center are now using the latest high-tech equipment and gear. Since its founding 100 years ago, Boys Town has supported trade education for youth, at various times teaching carpentry, farming, machining and other skills as part of Father Flanagan’s vision to give at-risk youth every opportunity ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Raising Compassionate Children

Compassion literally means "to suffer together." Emotional researchers describe compassion as the feelings and motivation that arise in us when we are confronted by the suffering of others. Most young children have an innate sense of compassion, but the development of this important feeling must be nurtured if it is to survive into adulthood. This is where parents come in. So, how do you go about raising a compassionate child? The most important way is by allowing your child to routinely experience compassion ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

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4 Tips To Help Your Teens Make Good Clothing Choices This Summer

This article was originally published on momaha.com. Hot weather is here! It’s time to dress for informal events like camp, ballgames and visits to the pool, as well as more formal occasions like weddings. Parents often cringe at what their kids choose to wear — and in the summer, there’s no outerwear to cover up a fashion faux pas. Here are some tips for helping your kids dress so they’re happy and you aren’t scandalized every time they walk out the door. 1. ...

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Boys Town Contributer

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Are Your Teens Ready for Prom?

Little else conjures up as much simultaneous horror and excitement in both teens and their parents as going to prom. It’s an adolescent rite of passage that dates to the late 19th century, and it’s been a social and economic minefield from the very beginning. Thankfully, the parenting experts at Boys Town have a few words of advice on the subject. The ‘Promposal’ This is something that has taken off in recent years, and it can range from cute and fun to ...

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Dr. Reznicek, Superintendent, Boys Town High School

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Countering Bullying in the Boys Town Schools

Who are bullies?  What leads these individuals to bullying? These are often students who have witnessed physical or verbal aggression in their own homes.  They have seen other people push or hit children or adults.  A bully is often a physically strong individual.  A bully may or may not be popular with their peer group.  Bullies generally have trouble following rules.  They show little concern for the feelings of others.  And, sadly, many bullies do not understand how wrong their ...

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By Connie J. Schnoes, Boys Town Psychologist and Behavioral Expert

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Sleep Problems in Anxious or Worried Teens

Any event that causes a person to feel that their safety or their life or the lives of others are at serious risk is considered a traumatic event. The resulting response manifests in many ways — emotionally, psychologically and/or physically. Teenagers are already experiencing a wide range of emotions, so if your teen experiences a traumatic event, his/her response may seem overwhelming to both of you. Anxiety, depression and anger are common reactions to trauma, and for teenagers, any or all ...

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Superintendent

Dr. Reznicek, Boys Town High School

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Preparing for a Real-World Future

Graduating from high school can often evoke both a sense of elation and uncertainty. We’ve made it . . . now what? At Boys Town, we try our best to remove that uncertainty from the equation. Our kids typically go on to college or the military or into the workforce, prepared to reach their potential – whatever that may be. For those not on the college or military tracks, entering the workforce is the primary goal. For these students, Boys Town offers a ...

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Allix Catlett, Director, Summer Enrichment Program 

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Youth Learn, Grow, and Contribute Through New Summer Enrichment Program

Boys Town for many years has provided our youth with opportunities to learn and grow over the summer months. In the past, the kids were involved in a program that was lovingly referred to as “Summer Work.” The boys and girls learned job-related skills by lending a hand in the Horticulture, Garden, and Farm Departments, helping to beautify the campus by planting flowers and completing landscaping projects. They also maintained a large garden, harvesting and selling vegetables at a Farmer’s ...

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Joey and Heather Butler, Boys Town Family-Teachers

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Jennifer’s Journey to Leadership, Self-Confidence and Success

Jennifer came to Boys Town as a junior in high school. When she moved into our Boys Town Family Home, she was quiet and very reserved. Toward the end of her junior year, she began to step out of her comfort zone and step into a leadership role on campus. That new role included being chosen to represent Boys Town youth at the Blue Water Bash, a fundraising event to support Boys Town’s Okoboji Camp in Iowa. Every summer, Boys Town ...

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Father Steven Boes, President and Executive Director, Boys Town

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Steering Your Teen Toward Safe Driving

Most parents see it as a blessing when their teen can finally start driving. They love the thought of not having to play chauffeur anymore, and welcome the convenience of having someone who can drive to the store for a few groceries or give a younger sibling a ride to school. What parents must realize, however, is that the biggest threat to the safety of a teen with a driver’s license is sitting right in their own driveway. Consider these sobering statistics: In ...

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Boys Town Contributor 

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Getting Your Parenting Skills on Track

Ever have one of those days? You know, when it seems as if you’ve failed as a parent. You’re not alone. Raising kids is one of the most difficult jobs on the planet, and whether you’re dealing with a tantrum-throwing toddler or an “I know everything” teen, you are occasionally going to need support. Everyone does. Luckily, the child behavior experts at Boys Town have seen some of the most difficult parenting situations imaginable. They’ve worked with virtually every issue in ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Setting Rules to Survive Your Stay-at-Home Teen

Your teenager is graduating from high school! What a great accomplishment! As a parent, you’re feeling pride and happiness – and maybe a little bit of apprehension about your teen’s plans for the upcoming summer. If your adolescent child will be living at home until college starts in the fall or until he or she begins a job and moves out, that apprehension level might be somewhere between nervous and panicky. Here’s the rub:  How do you parent a child who is still ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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The Perils of the “Perfect” Prom

Prom season is right around the corner, and there’s nothing quite like a high school formal to send everyone into hysterics as they search for perfection—the perfect dress, the perfect date, the perfect hair, the perfect shoes, the perfect ride, the perfect dinner, the perfect after party, etc. Girls can obsess (for months) over finding a one-of-a-kind dress, with accessories to match everything from their hair to their heels. Boys can work hard to find dates, and once found, worry how they’re ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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This “Promposal” Thing is Getting Out of Hand

Remember when prom was just a dance? Sure, it was an important school activity and it was a big deal to muster up the courage to ask someone to be your date. Maybe you didn’t ask anyone and went stag or with a group of friends. Or maybe you just didn’t go at all. Regardless, it was still just a dance. These days, getting asked to the prom has become the social media event of the season, with outlandish “promposal” videos ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Thoughts of a Self-Harming Teen

As Boys Town counselors, we deal with the issue of self-harm on an almost daily basis. In result, we gain a unique insight into why teens engage in an activity that seems so unfathomable to parents. The following are actual statements made by teens whom at one point in their lives, engaged in self-harm: “Why sit, and wait, and dwell on your feelings, when in less than two minutes you could let them out, and then go on with your day?” “I'm worried ...

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 Boys Town Contributor

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4 More Bully-Prone Apps Your Kids Should Avoid

Portions of content found at foreverymom.com A while back, we listed eight computer and mobile apps that pose potential dangers for kids because they can be used for bullying or stalking.  These apps are still potential threats when it comes to the safety of your kids. But as is so common with everything Internet-related, new apps spring up all the time. That’s why it is so important that parents remain vigilant and keep abreast of all the latest social media platforms being used ...

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Dr. Tanya Martin, Director of Special Education and Transition Services at Boys Town High School

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What Did You Just Say?

Have you ever been riding in the car and had your children utter words or phrases that make you think, “What did they just say?” Every generation has its vocabulary of slang; it’s one of those things that sets the youngsters apart from their parents. Tweens and teens enjoy the secrecy of their own “private” slang language, thinking that parents and adults are too “uncool” to understand what the kids are talking about. So if you feel you have been left behind ...

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Alesia Montgomery, Boys Town National Training

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Dating Teen Safe

This article first appeared on Boys Town National Training in February 2015.   We have all seen the giddy teenage girl at the mall with her boyfriend with hearts floating above her head. Unfortunately, this is just as common as seeing a brooding young man who thinks his life is over because things didn’t work out. Dating relationships can be a great experience for teens, allowing them to learn skills to stay healthy in a relationship. As adults it is important that we teach kids how to ...

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Kristen Hallstrom, Manager of Boys Town National Hotline

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Teens and Self-Harm

At the hotline we deal with victims of self-harm every day. The majority of adults we speak to think the idea of deliberately hurting yourself to achieve relief from guilt or stress is unthinkable. But to a teen, self-harm is easy. It’s fast. It’s always available. And for a young person dealing with the pressures of everyday teenage life in 21st century America, it can be a tempting solution. As one 13-year-old explains, “Why sit, and wait, and dwell on ...

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By Dan Daly, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Director of Youth Care at Boys Town

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Ensuring Quality Residential Care for Kids Is Our Top Priority

Throughout Boys Town’s history, one of our most important guiding principles has been to always do what is in the best interests of children or families so they have the greatest opportunity to find healing and success. This is why we developed our Integrated Continuum of Care®. The Continuum includes in-home and community-based programs that allow more children to get the help they need while remaining with their families (whenever possible) or during short-term stays in foster care. Still, Boys Town ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son and six and one-year-old daughters

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Let Them Know What’s Expected of Them This Summer (They’ll Thank You for It Later)

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. Summer is here. And while your kids are likely looking forward to sleeping in and lounging around, you’re probably greeting the thought with some trepidation. After all, unless you’re a teacher, summer doesn’t really change your daily life. You don’t get ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager
Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

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4 Tips to Help You – and Your Senior – Survive Graduation

This article was first published on Momaha on May 21, 2015. http://www.omaha.com/momaha/tips-to-help-you-and-your-senior-survive-graduation/article_81501410-fd99-11e4-8059-0b9233b66128.html It’s graduation time! Everywhere, parents of high school seniors are in high preparation mode, getting ready for ceremonies, parties and visits from family members. High school graduation is a big accomplishment and rite of passage (for kids and parents alike!) – and well worth celebrating. Here are some tips for maintaining your sanity (and your graduating senior’s safety) during this season. Communicate! 1. Get in touch with your child’s school and do one ...

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Boys Town Contributor, father of twins

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Newly Independent College Kids Returning Home for Summer Break

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. College is where kids explore their new-found freedom. But when they come back home, the old house rules still apply… This past year, we packed up both our kids for college. It was a major undertaking of both timing and logistics ...

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Chris Miller, Boys Town National Admissions

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Boys Town Admissions: Finding the Kids Who Need Our Help

Boys Town is a place where kids get second chances and learn how to make good choices. At Boys Town Admissions, we work every day to find boys and girls who are ready to turn their lives around and experience success in school, at home and in their community. Our residential program at Boys Town is made up a diverse population of youngsters who come here from all over the country. Some have gotten into trouble with the law and have ...

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Coach Kevin Kush, Boys Town Football Coach and Teacher

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Tom Brady & the Pats: Not Competing With Character

On January 18 of this year, the New England Patriots faced off against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game. By the time the final whistle blew, the Patriots had overwhelmed the Colts 45-7. Of course we now know that for the first half at least, Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was playing with slightly underinflated balls. The prevailing thought being that this was done intentionally to make the balls easier to catch in the bitter cold of open-air Gillette Stadium. Whether ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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8 Bully-Prone Apps Your Kids Should Avoid

Bullying has been around as long as there have been kids. And not just the hold-you-upside-down-for-your-lunch-money kind of bullying, either. Whispers in the hallways. Notes passed from desk to desk. Psychological bullying has been around from the beginning too. Unfortunately, along with the explosion in social media, this type of emotional torture has also increased exponentially in recent years. And since most kids have smartphones and tablets these days, their avenues for receiving and dishing out mental torment have increased too. So ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Father of four teenagers: ages 13,15,17 and 18

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My View from the Passenger Seat – Teaching My Teen to Drive

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. Ask any adult about their most vivid memories of being fifteen years old, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear about their first day of high school; their first love (and inevitable first heartbreak)… and the first time they sat in ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager
Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

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Managing Prom Expectations

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com Prom season is right around the corner. Nothing can create a rift between parents and their daughters quite like that annual rite of passage. There’s nothing like a high school formal to push every possible teenage dating issue to the forefront, sending everyone into hysterics as they search for perfection — the perfect dress, the perfect date, the perfect hair, the perfect shoes, the perfect ride, the perfect dinner, the perfect after ...

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Cicely Faulkner-Truitt
Mother of 9-year-old son

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Getting Kids to Help around the House

This post first appeared on Momaha.com. Photo courtesy of Momaha.com.  This morning I stumbled upon a strange pile of pajama pants, lotion and deodorant in the middle of my living room floor that my son knows should not be there. He is like most kids, he understands that there are chores that he is required to do around the house. He also knows that if he sits quietly enough, I will likely forget to tell him to do them. However, he has no clue ...

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Karen, Guest Blogger

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Nick and Karen’s Story: An Update

This post is an update to the story we first brought to you about Karen and her son Nick.  Something to Brighten Your Day Today, as I sit here writing, we are celebrating Nick's 20th birthday. It's hard for me to believe that he's turned 20 years old. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. I've learned a lot over these 20 years thanks to the boy that I call my "Sonshine." Nothing could have prepared me for ...

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Boys Town Contributor

Mother of a 6-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son

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Self-Harm is Something You Should Know About

March is Self-Harm Awareness Month. Approximately one in eight people engages in some form of self-harm behavior, and the problem currently is more widespread than it has been for decades. Fortunately, I have not had any direct exposure to or first-hand experience with self-harm. I never had a friend in school who hurt himself or herself and I don’t have friends with kids who have hurt themselves, so it’s something that is fairly foreign to me. However, I do have two ...