Children can be our greatest source of joy, but if they venture into alcohol or drugs during this critical period of brain development, their happy future may take a nosedive, and your nightmare begins.
45% of kids who start drinking at age 13 will become alcohol dependent. And 67% of those who drink before age 15 will go on to use hard drugs. 85% of crimes in Canada can be linked to alcohol or drug misuse. It’s quite unfortunate that addictions cost our country billions of dollars every year.
As teen alcohol use increases so do delinquency, depression, school failure, teen pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome. Tragically, one in every 12 children in North America now lives with an addicted parent. This isn’t fun for parents or kids, but there’s a wonderful and simple solution.
Research shows parents who are trained in bonding, setting boundaries and monitoring kids’ activities, can prevent most teen alcohol and drug abuse, enabling the kids to grow up addiction free, with a bright future ahead of them.
This is important news because Canadian Center on Substance Abuse and Addiction concluded that a child who gets through age 20 without smoking, drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs, usually won’t ever do so. Addiction then is primarily an adolescent problem that can be prevented, but how do we learn these skills?
Here is an exciting new strengthening youth and families program article with research proven skills to promote happy families, healthy brains and drug and alcohol-free kids.
Parenting is a tough job, especially when kids push back. Families program holds family classes to provide those skills. In a worldwide survey of youth alcohol prevention programs conducted at Oxford University, it was shown to be 50% more effective than the next best program.
A ten-year follow-up study proved that the Strengthening Families program skills are the key to prevention. This program will help your family become happier and help your children develop pro-social behaviors and eliminate the negative, antisocial behaviors that harm family and society.
The real trained youth and family therapists visit homes of troubled families and teach important life skills to youth and their parents. They graciously have donated their time for this project. They can also enlist some friends to help them portray tough family situations and help them learn new skills. Don’t be discouraged if some family members resist coming at first, just make it fun and rewarding, and soon they will join you.
(Source: PSU EPISCenter)
The Power In Strengthening Youth and Families Program
What if the program trained your parents to notice the nice things you do, and you’re trained you to talk nicely to your parents so you can get more out of what you want in life? Would you like that? The power in the Strengthening Families program is that it empowers parents and youths.
Enrolling in this program will help you in many ways. You’re going to learn some important task that will be useful all the rest of your lives. You’ll learn how your brain develops, how to make it more powerful, how to talk to your parents/kids. You’ll get more of what we want, how to say no to harmful things and still keep your friends and family life happier.
Our family is the most important thing to us and are our major source of happiness. When the family works, we feel loved, happy and safe. Everything we have come from our family. So, what can you give back to your family to say thanks? You are going to learn how to give them in a way that will benefit you.
Even more, you will learn of our infinite worth, and even though you’ll meet people from different backgrounds, you’ll realize that such things don’t determine your worth. What you choose is what make your life. What we give back to society is all that matters for all of us because we’re of equal and infinite worth.
Cooperation, Chores, and Good Cheer
You can begin the wonderful lessons in which at the end of each lesson, you’ll be given a small easy-to-do practice assignment. You can download and print each lesson companion materials and tracking sheets at the comfort of your home.
As you help your children develop pro-social skills, your job as a parent will be so much easier. You’ll reduce arguing and stress thus increasing the love and kindness in your home. This will lead to a strong, happy family and gives kids a more stable loving place to grow up. Most important, the skills your family learns in this program, will empower your children to remain addiction free.
Just as there are research proven skills to raise thoughtful, responsible children, there are research proven skills to promote a happy marriage. You’ll find them scattered throughout their different lessons.
When we practice these skills, our marriage relationship improves and our ability to love and feel emotionally connected to our spouse increases, which actually, boosts our immune system. These strong bonds will not only help us become happier and healthier but will also help us weather the storms of adversity that every family experiences at times.
It will be worth the effort because your kids are in the process of creating a masterpiece; their brains. The skills they learn in any Canadian youth and family programs, will help them form their character and give them the ability to solve problems experience true joy and success in life.
Promoting a Healthy Brain During Your Training Program
Your brain is involved in everything you do. How you think, how you feel, how you act, how you get along with other people. When your brain works right, you work right and when your brain has trouble you have trouble in your life. Therefore, learning how to love and take care of your brain is the first step to being successful in everything you do.
Following are three activities that promote a healthy brain during your training programs.
- Think positive thoughts
- Eat pleasant family dinners together
- Implement “my time” (this means 10 to 15 minutes of one-on-one playtime daily with each child)
What’s the Big Deal About Eating Family Dinners Together
Eating dinner together makes children feel happy and bonded. In a study of what makes people happy, 1,000 volunteers were asked to record what they were doing in intervals at that moment and rank their level of happiness. The results showed that eating a meal with family or close friends scored the highest level of happiness.
Kids who eat dinner with their families five to seven times a week are thirty-three percent less likely to use alcohol or harmful drugs, especially if they include positive conversation as part of the meal.
To encourage pleasant dinner conversation, a good Canadian youth and family program can provide you with a dinner conversation jar handout with a list of fun questions to put in the jar. You just pick one or two a night to discuss while you eat with your family.
You can change the slips weekly to focus on a lesson. Another aspect to create positive feelings during dinner is to invite your kids to share any kind deed or tiny act of goodness they did that day. This includes a smile, a kind word or a helping hand. Compliment them on that. Sharing the good they did and being recognized for it helps kids feel happy. It also trains them to notice other’s needs and develop empathy.
My Time Family Program
Set a goal to spend 10 to 15 minutes of individual one-on-one playtime with each child every day. The rules are simple. Your child gets to pick the game or activity, and the parent refrains from offering any criticism or suggestions. You simply relax, make positive comments and enjoy spending a few moments together.
Help your child make a list of games that you can play in 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the list into strips and put them in a jar. Each night let your child pull one out and just do it. For games that an adult could easily win give your child, Head Start points to even out the playing.
Most youth and family program professionals consider one-on-one play time so essential to a child’s mental health. Regularly having fun together as husband and wife are also important because it promotes good feelings. Make time for weekly fun dates and inexpensive activities you can do together and write them on slips of paper and put them in a jar. Once a week, pull out a slip and have fun doing it.
What’s Up with Stopping the ANTs
ANTs stand for automatic negative thoughts. The thoughts that come into your mind and automatically ruin your day. Our behavior is often a result of erroneous thoughts or what I call an automatic negative thought. You’ll be taught that the thoughts we have about a person create neurochemicals in our brain that affect how we feel toward him or her.
If we want to have better feelings towards our partners, we need to banish critical negative thoughts and focus on their good qualities and hold them in high regard. What is so amazing is that with repeated and reinforced practice, the skills you learn in youth and family program lessons can become your new automatic responses.
Why You Should Practice Program Lessons
The wonderful thing about the human brain is that it can change and grow whenever you learn new things. The age between 12 and 21 is an important peak time of change. In fact, this period of brain development is so important that different Institutes of Mental Health concluded that teens through their choices and actions have the power to direct the development of their brains. Their choices are laying the neural foundations for the rest of their lives.
Everything you think, feel and do is governed by your brain. Your brain communicates through 100 billion nerve cells called neurons that send and receive chemical messages.
A neuron looks a little like a tree with branches called dendrites that are covered with receptors. These receptors receive chemical messages and pass them along to other neurons. Unused branches are pruned off and disappear, but when you learn new skills, your brain grows new branches and new receptors.
Here is how it works. If a thought, feeling or action is often repeated, the sending neuron releases a larger amount of chemical each time. The receiving neuron grows new branches and more receptors to receive the larger chemical message.
Soon, the behavior becomes automatic and subconscious with every single experience, especially if it is intensely emotional. New connections are formed in the brain, and they become a part of you and make you who you are.
It’s like adding new software so your supercomputer brain can do more things. That’s why a beginner can barely play a few notes on the piano, but by choosing to practice over and over can end up a concert pianist. All that practice rewired the physical structure of their brain so that playing became automatic.
What You Learn From Canadian Youth and Family Programs
Since the adolescent brain is very different than the adult brain, it is much more vulnerable to being harmed and permanently altered by alcohol and drugs. You need to make choices that will leave your brain healthy, powerful, your dreams wide open and lead you to happy relationships and a lifetime of success.
The first thing that you’ll get to learn in a Canadian youth and family program is to protect your brain. Brain injuries have changed people’s whole lives, and nobody knows it. Stop poisoning your brain by using harmful drugs and alcohol.
Good nutrition is also essential for your brain. You are what you eat. If you have a fast-food diet, you will have a fast-food mind. Make sure you get enough sleep because less than six hours a night has been associated with low overall blood flow to the brain and a lot of teenagers don’t get enough sleep. Physical exercise is essential because it boosts blood flow.
Mental exercise is also important because as you learn new things, your brain makes new connections. You’ll also be taught that your brain is like a muscle and the more you use it, the more active it gets. These are very simple things that all of us can do to keep our brain healthy.
When your brain works right, you work right as well. Besides being brain smart, these programs want you to believe in your dreams and goals. Believe you can help make your family life better believe in your ability to make a positive difference in life when you learn new skills and make good choices.
Here is A List of Youth and Family Programs in Canada:
1. Kapown Treatment Centre- Grouard (Alberta)
(888) 751-3921- http://www.kapown.ca/
2. Mission Services Opportunity Centers-196 Wentworth, St N Hamilton (Ontario)
3. Nenqayni Youth and Family Program- Williams Lake (British Columbia)
4. Behavioral Health Foundation INC-35 Digue Avenue Winnipeg (Manitoba)
5. Centre Walgwan- 85 School Street, Maria (Quebec)
6. Pine Lodge Treatment Center- 211 Otterloo Street Indian Head (Saskatchewan)
7. Charles J Andrew Center- North West River Sheshatshiu (Newfoundland & Labrador)
If you stick with these programs, you will learn the skills needed to have a happier family and a more prosperous life. Don’t be discouraged if you’ve tried in the past and failed. This time it can work, and you’re going to love it. When you finish the program course, and you practice the skills and do the easy homework, you are going to feel more love and have a happier family.
Who wouldn’t want that, so go for it?