Sunday, January 29, 2012

lol....OMG!: What Every Student Needs to Know About Online Reputation Management, Digital Citizenship and Cyberbullying

By Matt Ivester

The ease with which digital content can be shared online, in addition to its many benefits, has created a host of problems for today’s high school and college students. All too often, students are uploading, updating, posting and publishing without giving a second thought to who might see their content or how it might be perceived.

lol…OMG! provides a cautionary look at the many ways that today’s students are experiencing the unanticipated negative consequences of their digital decisions – from lost job opportunities and denied college and graduate school admissions to full-blown national scandals.

It also examines how technology is allowing students to bully one another in new and disturbing ways, and why students are often crueler online than in person. By using real-life case studies and offering actionable strategies and best practices, this book empowers students to clean up and maintain a positive online presence, and to become responsible digital citizens.

Order today on Amazon!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dear Dr. Wes: Real Life Advice for Teens

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This is a unique book of advice and commentary for teenagers, co-written by teenagers. It combines Dr. Wes Crenshaw’s nineteen years of clinical experience as a board certified family psychologist with the natural wisdom and empathy of eight really sharp sixteen- to eighteen-year-olds, each of whom spent a year writing for the Double Take advice column.

Though humorous and entertaining in tone, the book offers serious, honest and practical advice on real world issues including: sex, contraception, pregnancy, sexual identity, mental health, cutting, falling in love, breaking up, friendship, divorce, the future, conflict with parents, teen technology, suicide, foster care, school success and failure, fear and hope, and all the other issues you wake up and face each day in the middle and high school years. Most of the advice was written in response to letters sent to ask, many written by teenagers themselves.

The rest were written on topics selected by the authors based on teen trends and current events. In addition to specific suggestions on each problem, the authors share their thoughts on how the world influences your generation, and vice versa.  Order this book today on Amazon.

Be sure to have your parents check out: Dear Dr. Wes: Real Life Advice for Parents of Teens.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Education Matters

Call me “Ed Matters.” I am a professional educator, literacy tutor, and education advocate for students with mental health concerns and other disabilities. My background includes three years’ teaching experience; a B.A. in English; an M.A. in Instruction; an A.A.S. in legal studies; volunteer work in the legal and public service arena; a brief stint in higher education administration; professional development in the areas of mental health and disabilities, including training in LSCI and CPI, involvement with MACMH as a family catalyst, and training from Heather Forbes (Beyond Consequences) and Bryan Post (BC and Post Institute). I am also a member of my local district’s PBIS committee.

I try to stay informed regarding legal issues affecting education and have completed coursework in school law; I keep abreast of issues regarding children’s mental health in general, especially concerning pediatric bipolar disorder and autism spectrum disorders, and I am informed regarding PBIS and mental health issues in the school. As I am located in Minnesota, I am most familiar with what is happening in my state and am most certainly not an expert on everything. There will likely be a “Midwestern flavor” to the blog with most information coming from surrounding states.

While my primary focus here will be regarding promising practices for schools especially in the areas of mental health, PBIS, and literacy–the areas in which I am most qualified to comment–I will provide some legal updates; links to interesting articles, and I am open to and will include discussion on a variety of topics involving education. The primary purpose is to inform; however, debate is encouraged, and I do have my own biases. I hope this space will become a well-visited and useful resource.

One disclaimer: While I have substantive legal training with extensive experience researching and writing legal briefs, I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advice. Any advice given is not intended to be construed as professional legal advice or a substitute for seeking counsel from a licensed attorney.

You can follow Ed on Twitter and his Blog.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Be Brave....for those hurt by another

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“Every single person on the planet has to be brave at least once in their life, no matter who they are, how old they are, or how strong they are.  Being brave is about having the courage to do the best thing, even when it’s hard and especially when you’re scared to do it."  from 'Be Brave'.

‘Be Brave’ is a book of encouragement, understanding, learning to trust and bravery.  The book explains to readers (suggested ages 8 yrs +) that if they have been hurt by another person at some time in their lives, they may experience a wide range of thoughts, emotions and behaviours that can be very difficult to manage.  The book explains that although these reactions maybe scary, they are normal when someone has been hurt this way. 

Using simple language and concepts, children (and adults) are able to relate to the thoughts, feelings and emotions being described.  ‘Be Brave’ doesn’t specify the trauma type thus allowing the reader to apply their own feelings and reactions to the text and their particular set of circumstances. 

‘Be Brave’ speaks to the reader directly as they consciously and unconsciously apply their own experiences to the narrative.  Readers see themselves being described in the text and become more aware of some of their own emotions and behaviours that have resulted from experiences where they have been hurt.  The book then directly applies understanding to their situation and helps them to realise that although it takes a lot of courage to seek help, they can do it if they are brave enough. This is the central message. 

Obviously, there are many different ways to get help in a given situation, so ‘Be Brave’ assists the reader by helping them understand that there are various avenues for them to take to find the help they need and at the same time as encouraging them to do this, applies constant understanding and empathy for the reader’s individual situation.

‘Be Brave’ is a very unique book and should be in the hands of every child, parent, teacher, carer and school counsellor, as well as children's mentors, therapists, psychologists and medical professionals.  It is also beautifully and sensitively illustrated by Kat Chadwick.

“This book has the potential to empower many people, both children and adults, to finally disclose secrets that may have paralysed them for years and allow them to start on their own journey of healing and recovery. Highly recommended” - Anne Macdonald, Clinical Psychologist

For more information visit and for sales inquiries please contact the publisher Jojo Publishing

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Humanist Approach to Happiness

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The Humanist Approach to Happiness was written as a way to encourage young people to think about and discuss their personal ethics and values in the context of every day decision making. In other words, how can they be the best most ethical person they can be. 

How can and why should they be ethical with their friends? What values should they be considering when they are deciding whether or not to try drugs and to drink alcohol? How and why should we be ethical while dating, and breaking up? How can we apply our values to ourselves when we are grieving? And most importantly, why all this matters.

The best way to use this book is to read a chapter and discuss it's contents with your child. What do you agree with? What advice do you disagree with and why? The best way to prepare your child to think through ethical dilemnas on their own is to encourage them to think for themselves by asking them questions and playing devil's advocate with them. Remember, you and your child don't have to agree with what is in the book. It is only a starting point for your discussions about how you as their parent have chosen to live your life and how your child might want to start thinking about how they want to live theirs. 

The overarching theme of the book is that your actions have consequences, so choose your actions wisely. The primary question you and your child should be asking is, what do I think the consequences of my actions will be in any given situation and do I want that consequence or not? What could I do different to get a better outcome?

To learn more and to read what other parents and experts are saying about the book visit:

You can follow author Jennifer Hancock on Twitter and order your copy today from Amazon!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Teen Talk: Adolescent Counseling Services

Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to empower teens and their families in our community to realize their emotional and social potential through counseling and preventive education, launched the “Teen Talk” blog in December 2008.  This blog was created to provide a resource and education piece for parents and community members about teen mental health.

Other education resources available from ACS include the booklet, “99 Tips for Talking With Your Teenager.”  First published in 2006, 99 Tips is a guide for improving communication and building positive relationships with adolescents. You can request a complimentary copy of the booklet or download an electronic copy in English or Spanish.

Since 1975, ACS has helped over 35,000 teenagers and families in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, offering a range of services that include counseling, substance abuse treatment and preventive education in the community.

Follow them on Twitter and be sure to follow their Teen Talk Blog!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Notes on Parenting

Notes on Parenting Blog

This blog is dedicated to providing insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults. We attempt to integrate both research and experience-based information into our posts. This blog is written for all parents, although some posts may reflect the values of the authors. We invite all to comment and become involved in the discussions about our posts.

Learn more at about parenting kids from toddlers to teens!

You can follow them on Twitter and join them on Facebook.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stop Child Abuse and Sex Crimes

Stacey Honowitz
"Sex crimes know no boundaries. It's black, it's white, it's Catholic, it's Jewish." - Stacey Honowitz

Stacey Honowitz has been a prosecutor for 24 years in the Broward State Attorneys Office, and has indicted, and tried many high profile cases involving all aspects of child sexual abuse, and physical abuse as well as all adult rape cases. As a prosecutor she realizes that the most important aspect of the job is being able to communicate to the children the notion that "it's not their fault", and they should feel comfortable talking to both investigators and prosecutors about the sexual abuse.

When it comes to the adult rape cases, she strives to let victims know that coming forward and following through will benefit them long term, and being in this field of the law you take on a duel role, as both an advocate and a therapist The role is not only to punish to the fullest extent of the law, but to able to comfort the child during a difficult time in their lives. More importantly Stacey enjoys being on the lecture circuit, sharing her knowledge of sex crimes, navigating the criminal justice systems, investigating sex crimes and prosecuting in the courtroom. Her lectures also focus on "how to talk to your children" and the importance of frank and open discussions between parents and children about possible sex crimes and what to do if they ever become victims. 

Stacey is available for speaking engagements focusing on Child Sex Crimes, how to discuss sex abuse with your children, adult rape cases, investigations for child pornography, navigating the criminal justice system and the medias role in high profile cases.  Contact her - click here.

As the fastest growing crime in the country, Child Sexual Abuse is a national problem. "My Privates are Private" and "Genius with a Penis: Don't Touch" aim to help parents educate their children in a fun and comfortable way.  Both books Stacey Honowitz authored to help educate parents, teachers and children to better understand this ugly crime that is despicable.

Stacey Honowitz has appeared regularly on CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, FOX News as a Legal Analyst and has been featured on Dateline NBC, CBS News 48 Hours, and Good Morning.