Choices - Impacting the Lives of Teenagers

Every day, from the time we wake, we begin to make choices. While most choices, like what we wear or what we have for breakfast, may have little impact on our life, other choices, made in an instant, may have life-long consequences.

Talk to your teens and find out the choices they are faced with daily.

Running Away:

According to the National Runaway Switchboard, 1 in 7 children between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away at least once in their lifetime.

Dating Violence:

About 1 in 3 high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship (Bureau of Justice Special report: intimate Partner Violence, May 2000).

Internet Safety:

The Internet is the fastest growing tool being used by sexual predators. Encourage young people to make wise choices and identify some of the lies and tricks predators might use to lure them away from safety (an FBI report states there is a “100% chance” of a child meeting a predator in a chat room).

Substance Abuse:

Wade thought he made a wise choice. He had joined his friends for a party at a lake house. Wade had too much to drink. He slept in his car and then thought he was ready to drive home safely. He was wrong. Wade and his car were found in a lake 17 days later.

Positive Choices:

Remind teens that good habits, like being home at a set time, can actually save their life. One teen saved her own life, not by the actions taken on the fateful day she was attacked, but the actions taken for the 18 years that preceded it. When she disappeared during a school activity, the report was taken seriously. Her mother could readily say it was out of character for her. This young woman was home when she said she would be, went where she said she was going and communicated reliably with her mother. So when she was reported missing her family and law enforcement responded immediately by searching. She had been assaulted and left for dead. She was able to survive because the community, law enforcement and family responded so quickly! It is a powerful reminder that everyday choices can impact your life and your safety when you least expect it.

Teens today are smart, strong and ready to take on the world. We want to give them information that is relevant.