Monday, July 16

Nicole's baby and you

Okay, I'm sure I'm not the only one worried about Nicole's baby. There are the drugs, the ciggies, the alcohol, the lack of food...

I'm really hopin' all you teen readers out there don't think looking like Nicole is worth it. (And does anybody even think she looks good and not like a sickly bird?)

There was a time, when I was in my teens and dancin' (ballet) up a storm, lunch consisted of diet pop and an orange. I don't think I had full-fledged anorexia (didn't last long--I think I got too hungry), but it was pretty darn close.

I think we all make at least one big health-related mistake during our teens. The trick is realizing when things have gone too far (I think I just got too hungry) and facing the fact that what you do now could have repercussions later--even activities you think are harmless.

I've seen too many pot smokers suffer from a combination of short and long-term memory loss. I've seen too many smokers in general get cancer. I've seen drinkers get fat, depressed, and suffer from liver damage. I myself suffer from osteopaenia (next stop, osteoporosis) as a result of calcium deficiency. (My doctor told me it's the amount you ingest in your teens that's all important. Whoops.)

Yuck, I'm sounding all old and preachy--I'm probably causing some teen to pick up a ciggie just to stick it (ha-ha) to me! So tell me, wise writers and teen readers, how do we spread the living healthy message to teens? Let's explore!



Erica Orloff said...

As the mother of a 17-year-old (and three others), they can see through B.S. I think you have to live it before you can even think about talking about it. Lead by example. My kids will yell at me in a heartbeat when I stray from macrobiotics. But now my son is incorporating it into his diet. He's a typical adolescent--loves fries and pizza. But now he starts the day with oatmeal. Go figure. My baby (age 2) had to actually be PUT on a high-fat diet--all the cheese and bacon he can eat--because he ate so healthy that it was causing some problems (long story; he has had some health issues since birth). As for teens, after nagging mine for years, she is now eating much better--thanks to meeting a friend at music camp who is planning on being a nutrition major. My daughter is now making better choices--the same choices I told her to make for years, but seeing a friend embody them helped.

Gerb said...

Wow - I've been away for too long... my first thought was Nicole who? Took me a moment to sift through the tabloid section of my brain.

As for teaching teens healthy living- the one thing I don't believe in is preaching. That usually has the opposite-than-intended effect anyway. I do believe it's important to be aware of the options, the benefits and the dangers of various life choices. This applies to us older people as well as teens. It becomes doubly important when those choices affect others besides yourself - such as when you choose to drink and drive or smoke and starve yourself through a pregnancy. And the only way I know how to get this message through to anybody is education. Informed, teens (and older people) are better equipped to make important life and health-impacting decisions.

The problem is, the information is out there, but we often choose to ignore it. Skin cancer? But I like to tan. Osteoperosis? But I don't like milk. Liver damage? But I like to party... It comes down to personal choice. I guess all we can do is make sure those choices are as well-informed as they can be.

Sara Hantz said...

The trouble with teens... and to a certain extent all of us... is that we think nothing will happen to us... so it's hard to get them to understand, unless they see first hand what can happen.

I think the 'nagging' does sink in, it just takes time before our teens will act on it (or in the case of my son, a few fillings did the trick when it comes to regularly cleaning his teeth!!!)

Alyson Noel said...

Well, I’m not a mom, but my niece and nephew are staying with us at the moment for two weeks of surf camp (and one week of laying around). And since my husband and I are into eating healthy and organic, that’s pretty much all we keep in the house. I don’t think lecturing ever works (at least it never did for me!), so we just try to lead by example and offer the occasional chocolate chip cookie!

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

The only thing I can think of is showing a good example to the young ones around us. Someone they can look up to or see how healthy it might be for them too. :) :)