Giving Teens a Voice

AL Educational Tech Conf

Students from Birmingham, Alabama

Session 1: Birmingham, Alabama, June 18, 1999

8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

Students were from seven high schools in the Birmingham area.  The schools are predominately public, suburban:  Five are public, two are private.

Participants

Daniel P.

Sunday V.

Caleigh R.

Rich T.

Brooke F.

Lyndsay M.

Taylor J.

Evan F.

Sarah F.

Zach H.

Dan C.

Brian T.

David O.

Katie M.

Sarah C.

Charlie C.

Mark S.

 

 

 

About the process:  The students entered the Think Tank area, selected the computer of their choice and worked through an exercise to gain familiarity in using the computer tools.  Then they engaged in some electronic brainstorming exercises concerning several questions. The facilitator was careful to avoid any comments or suggestions that might introduce any bias or prejudice in their responses.

They considered two questions:

(1) “In a teenager's life, at home, at school, at church, at work, or just hanging with friends, what are things that people say or do that tear you down, discourage, irritate, aggravate, or frustrate you in ways that might ultimately lead to violent behavior?”

(2) “In a teenager's life, at home, at school, at church, at work, or just hanging with friends, what are things that people say or do that build you up, encourage, promote, make you proud or make you want to be a better person?”

In approximately 10 minutes, the students generated over 100 responses to each question.  They then prioritized and selected their top responses to each question. Only the top 6 responses to question 1 and the top 7 responses to question 2 were selected for further discussion by the students. (The top selected Positive Influences and Negative Influences appear in the following table.)

Positive Influences in the Lives of Teenagers

Positive Influences

As expressed by the teenagers:

Jesus Christ

“Jesus Christ”

Morality and Ethics

“Good Morals and Ethics”

Unconditional Love

“having someone love unconditionally”

Parents as Role Models

“parents setting examples”

Supportive Parents

 “supportive parents”

Friendship and Having Close
Personal Friends

“having 'true' friends”

 
 

Negative Influences in the Lives of Teenagers

Negative Influences

As expressed by the teenagers:

Not Knowing God

 “Not knowing God”

Parental Neglect

 “Neglectful parenting”

Lack of Discipline

 “Lack of discipline”

Lack of Love and Acceptance

“feeling of not being loved at home”

Rejection by Peers

“being outcast by peers”

Sin

“Sin”

Lack of Respect

“lack of respect for others”

Rejection by Peers II

"rejection from peers"

 

After they had brainstormed about the questions, prioritized the results and picked their top ranked items, they were then asked to describe ways to: (1) enhance the positive influences and; (2) diminish the negative influences.

The results of this concluding exercise are presented here … just as they were produced by the students. No attempt has been made to editorialize or to modify their remarks in any way. Furthermore, the material has not been edited for spelling or grammar, and students were instructed to focus on content rather than form. The reader is reminded that the “topics”, as reflected in the table above, were prioritized and selected by the students. The “comments”, as reflected below, are presented in the order they were produced by the students, without prioritization.

Recommendations for Ways to Enhance Positive Influences and to Diminish Negative Influences

Participant Instructions

          POSITIVE and NEGATIVE INFLUENCES - Both Can Impact Violent Behavior

Recommend ways to enhance good behavior and to decrease violence among teenagers. Positive influences - Comment on ways to maximize these topics
Negative influences - Comment on ways to minimize these topics.
Double-click on a topic to open it. Click 'submit' after each idea.

POSITIVE INFLUENCES (Ways to enhance)
 

Jesus Christ

This can be a positive influence for some, but for others it may not. People who are of other religions or believe in other things can feel like an outcast. In my opinion, God should be referred to as more of an influence

Even if a person is not Christian, they must have some kind of faith. It is faith that keeps people from doing terrible things. Christians feel that if they are violent they will be letting both God and Jesus Christ down, and therefore at least think twice before doing something bad.

One way that I have seen this positive influence at work is through one on one mentoring or discipleship. When someone takes time to teach you how Jesus Christ has worked in their life, it biulds your confidence and it is a direct testimony to the Lord. Christian mentoring has changed lives right before my eyes.

Jesus Christ isthe one constant positive influence and he should be included in all aspects of life including school. Teens need this positive influence that is constant and will never let them down when parents and teachers ultimately will at some point

He is a superstar that helps, it's true!

Jesus Christ, the ultimate role model and definitely someone that almost anyone can look up to with only the slightest knowledge of his doings. Encourage others to visit your church in order to understand what HE has in store for you. Apply Jesus Christ to your everyday lifestyle, whether it be the type of music you listen to or even the places you go or 'hang out.'
 

Good Morals and Ethics

Teach morals in the classroom, for example, read out of books like the "book of virtues" to kindergarteers. Have inspirational posters covering the walls, and teach about principles of good citizenship. Reward people for helping and understanding others.

Teachers as well as parents need to give kids a more solid foundation of ethics and moral behavior. Schools should have ethics classes where they can teach kids about ethics in the workplace and in life.

This has to be reflected by the parents to be effective.

I think that one thing that needs to be done is that prayer needs to be put back in school. All public schools are required to have a moment of silence that the begining of the day but it is never really silent. I go to a public school and I think that these things could really help. I thinkt that the Ten Commandments need to be put back in the schools. I am praying that the legislation will pass and it will be able to happen.

Parents, teachers, church leaders and friends all need to be good examples of morals and ethics because these are the people that teens look up to and are influenced by

these are all good and well, but one must have unconditional ethics and impecable morrals! God's word is the sole source of these morrals annd ethics so we must all study with a ferver never seen before that we may be like David and hide God's word in oure hearts and be protected in his hand of soverignty.

morals and ethics are responsible hor helping teens to make several decisions in their life no matter how big or small they are. parents and teachers should be supportive of teaching good morals and ethics. this will lead to good decisions

having someone love unconditionally

Children and teenagers need love desperately. Without love, they are isolated and feel unwanted. If a person does not receive the proper love at home, then it must come from friends or other family.

have teachers use positive examples in the classroom. When problems arise, have the teachers explain that no matter what the student has done, there are still people there forthem. Try to talk to the teenagers, and let them know that their teachers care. School is the only thing constant in the lives of teenagers, so it seems to be the only place where that unconditioal love can originate.So the schools must show that people care,because all students can get it there. Offertimes for teachers to talk withkids.

have teachers smile in the hallway, and tell the students they care. Require teachers to attend workshops that teach unconcitional acceptance.

Teens want their friends' approval very much. When someone is denied love they become prone to loneliness and depression. They need to be taught that actions alone shouldn't determine love. Unconditional love is the best thing a friend can give.

people that experience love are more likely to show love to other people. if a teenager feels like they will be loved no matter if they succeed or if they fail then they will be more willing to try and achieve their goals. However if teens are always afraid to step out and be different than eventually they will become frustrated. we should all try and foster an environment that allows people to be who they are. and above all, we should try to love everyone even if we dont necessarily get along with them

having and knowing that someone loves you unconditionaly can turn your world upside down (in a good way, that is). Everyone needs this. it can be given by an admirer, teacher, family member, etc...it is very important. and if you are willing to show this love to someone, then in return they may be able to do the same...and this can lead to a positive and happy life.

parents setting examples

offer workshops sponsored by community and civic organizations that show parets how to set positive examples for their children. When parents are arrested for a crime, require self-help sessions that educate what the effects of their actions can be on their children and their community.

parents are the people who have the most influence in a teenagers life. The way that teens were raised by their parents affects what they believe, how they act, and how they treat other people. If parents raise their children to know what is right and what is wrong then teens will act accordingly. whether its what time you come home at night or what kind ofmorals you have, your parents influence every aspect of your life

I believe that parents are the foundation of their children's raising. If parents do not set positive examples, then the children are likely to follow in their ways. Parents must first set their own priorities so that their children can follow likewise.

Parents need to set good behavioral examples for their kids. All kids learn first from their envirnment, or their parents. If this envirnment is not positive, then it will effect the child's behavior.

A person's ideas, values, and beliefs are all set in his or her early years. A parent's behavior is crucial to a teen's behavior. Parents have a great responsibility for shaping their children's actions.

my parents have had the biggest influence of anybody that i have come in contact with. they have taught me what is right and wrong and what is good and bad. i think that if more parents got involved in there childrens' lives, and set good example's for their children, then alot of the violenve would be resolved. most peope, if abused when a child, follow along the same path as their parents. we need to prevent stuff like that.

supportive parents

having supportive parents is very important and this can really help someone through life.

Your parents should be more than supportive. They need to be there period! Although peers influence teenagers more than their parents, who do you think the kids go to when there confused? Kids believe their friends, but in the long run we know who has the real answers, our parents.

the school system should stop taking the responsibility of raising a kid. schools are to educate, parents are to raise children. most pparents will rise to the occasion if the government will stop trying to do there jobs

Supportive parents allow their children to feel confident in the decision that they make. The parents will often times provide suggestions, but in the end they leave the decision with you, and support you no matter what decision you make.

supportive parents are very important in the life of a teen. parents that continually support their children make them feel loved and accepted. if kids feel loved and accepted they are more likely to act in a positve toward others. they will have less haterd and be less likely to kill others.

having "true" friends

Having friends is the most important part of a teenagers life. But having true friends that actually care about you and look out for you are the key to that. Peer influence, whether it's negative or positive, is the number one influenece for a teenagers reactions.

Many people in school try to be as popular as possible, but do not have time to spend with so many people to get to know them better. Have as many friends as you like, but have a close net group,perhaps a youth group, where you feel comfortable talking about your feelings.

having true friends that care is important. If you don't have friends then this is what can lead to violence. Friends help you through the good and bad times. They are there for you and you can depend on them.

Friends are the most important thing in a teenager's life and without friends, most kids feel they have nothing. Without friends, kids can be in a very unstable mindset because they have noone to rely on when they need someone to talk to.

Surround yourself with encouraging friends that will love you for yourself and not who you may try to be. For example, join a church or get involved in scouting or a youth group that will fulfill your time doing constructive rather than destructive activities.

what is a true freind? it is someone who will tell you when you've screwed up, and then help you make things right. it is also someone who rejoices in your success with you. everyone else is an acquaintance.

A true friend is one who is faithful in good and bad times. When things are hard it is easier to slip into depression and, possibly, violence. A supportive, loving friend is helpful in times like these.
 

NEGATIVE INFLUENCES (Ways to decrease)

not knowing God
 

People are raised to believe what they believe. I believe in God and i feel that i "know God". But for some people, they don't believe in God. This may be unfortunate, but its the way soe people live.

Knowing God and Jesus Christ are very positive influences in the lives of people in general but just because someone doesn't know God in the christian form, as is stressed in our votes, doesn't mean they don't have a positive influnce somewhat in that form. For instance, other religions have positive influences. Religion in general needs to be marked as a positive influence.

by having unique teen-lead ministries, they can reach out to their peers who may not know God. sometimes the regular ministry stuff may become boring and over our heads, and a more laid back approach to outreach programs migh be more successful

I must be the voice of reason. We all seem to agree that the answer to probles of violence is getting back to the fundamental beliefs of this nation-- a strong faith in God. However, we cannot legislate religion and faith. This getting people to know God must be a persoal endeavor that each of us undertakes on a persoal basis. the state can do nothing concerning religion, we mustdo that on our own. We, the leaders of tomorrow, must teach people about our God,and then the violence will cease.

even though its not a problem at my school, a lot of teenagers dont know God because there is no kind of religious influence in the public schools. I do have prayer at my school and even though many students take it for granted i think it is a big help at letting the students know that they are not alone and that God is always with them. I think that there should be some way for students to express their religious beliefs at school but without infringing on others

when people do not know God they try to fill their life with things that can never satisfy them. They often turn to negative influences to fill them. Christian groups and churches need to reach out in schools and communities to make others feel accepted and loved.

Being actively involved in a church and youth group helps you to get to know God. Jesus is someone who will love you unconditionally which will be a positive influence on your life and help you to respect others and yourself.

the root of every problem is the sinfullness of man. violence in any form is simply a unrestrained manifestation of that evil nature. not knowing God means that there is no reason why that nature should be restrained.

I belive that everyone should have the opportunity to hear about Christ. Religion of any kind should not be pressed upon kids but they should be exposed to it. I think that God should be a part of the classroom because it is an important decision that everyone has to make at some point in their life.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE IS IN THE CONSTITUTIION. YOU CAN NOT TEACH RELIGION AT SCHOOL---NOT IN THE CLASSSROOM. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW.but we,as teenagers can lead groups and have meetings before school to teach people about our savior.

The wages of sin is death and that is where this country is going without the God and the positive teachings that have been written in the Bible.

it is not inthe constituition

neglectful parenting

Parents not being in a child's life or having interests in their children can lead their child to feeling very uncomfortable. When a child is being raised, they should be nourished with plenty of love and happiness, otherwise this can lead to discomfort and the thought that they don't count

Parents should be involved in their child's everyday life. They should be involved and interested in what is going on with their child in his or her school and be aquainted with thier child's teachers. Parental involvement in school would boost their child's confidence in their school endeavors greatly. Not only should they be involved with their child on a deep personsal level from day 1, they should know their child well enough to forsee potential problems and be able to talk it out or take action. A child who is loved and accepted at home will be much more unlikely to completely go against that love and acceptance by getting involved in violence.

people are running headlong in to sex without realizing the realities of their actions. Sex was designed by God as a means of procreation and enjoyment for married(opposite sex) couples. So when a child is viewed as a contraceptive failure and not a blessing from God they are neglectful in their duties set forth by scripture.

i think that it is important for parents to understand that they are responsible for their children and how they behave. Parents want to allow the blame to be put in the children but, in reality, the children don't know that they are doing anything wrong unless they are told. This instruction must come from the home and it must be consistent. I'm not saying that children shouldn't be held responsible for their actions but the parents can't not take any responsibility themselves. The children usually are going to be whoever the parents raised them to be. If the parents don't take the time to raise their children then the children use their undeveloped sence of right and wrong for making decisions.

Maybe not so much as "neglectful" parenting, but rather no reinforcement. No reinforcement, either positive or negative, will not correct problems. Most problems will more than likely begin in the home, therefore the parents must be there to discipline, support, encourage, and provide.

I think that parents play a HUGE role in childrens life. Many times, the parents know what is going on with the child but they will not take the time to talk to the child or get help for the child. In the recent school shottings, the parents had some type of warning. They new that something was going on with their child. I don't think that you can live in a house with someone and not know what is going on.

parents must get involved with their kids.if there is not a parent at home after school a child is going to get into trouble,theres no doubt about it. parents must get involved.if they don't, the schools will continue to have shootings. because the kids will learn about violence while thier parents ae at work.parents need to know who ther kids friends are, and what they are watching.personally i thonk that violence starts at home with the PARENTS.

Teachers, not only parents, should not be neglectful. Too often, teachers don't take time to notice individuals and invest time in them. That is what teaching is supposed to be all about! I am in full support of the system one of the Colorado schools has started where every student in the school meets in a small group each morning with one or two teachers. These groups are assigned and make it easy for students to get to know at least one teacher in the school on an intimate level where they would feel comfortable coming to them if something was wrong. The groups can be large or small, maybe 8 to 10 students. This way, teachers would have no choice but to NOT neglect individual needs of students.

lack of discipline

I think that one of the biggest problems is children getting away with whatever they want. I think that the parents need to know that it is ok to discipline their children. Many people are afraid to spank their child because they feel that it will be considered abuse.

teens who are not disciplined properly in the home at a young age are taught that there is no consequence for their actions. Children who are disciplined early learn valuable lessons that help them later in life.

Schools need to focus more on discipline, not necessarily on the punishment of affences, but more on the way kids should behave in public. Show them ways to discipline themselves in their work and in life.

there needs to be definite consequenses for violent actions. teachers and administration should be given more authority to discipline students without being worried about courts and lawsuits

Early on in any child's life, the parents must ensure that the child learns not only discipline, but also ethics, and must understand what is right from wrong. The child must also understand why they were punished, or else they will do it again.

One problem with discipline is that teachers will not discipline students at school. If someone gets in a fight at school, they will be suspended for a day and then come back. I don't thinkt that this is helping the problem. Something needs to be done where the students will be punished for their actions.

the disicpline at school should be inforced alot more.if someone brings a gun to school they should not be suspended they should be exspelld.guns do not belong in schools.

teens and kids should be punished for there actions. if they are not punished at a young age they grow up thinking that you can do bad things and not get punished for it.

Discipline, or the lack there of, will be determined from early childhood by the parents. If the parents allow a child to get away with small things as an infant, the child will learn to test the limits that the parents have set form him. If the parents do not discipline him when he breaks the limits then he will continue to do it even when he is a teenager.

feeling of not being loved at home

parents need to show their children that they love them. Though most kids have a feeling that their parents love them, there still is a need to show it, through words or actions, either way.

Parents need to understand that children want attention and someone to listen to them. Kids want their parents to be their best friends and they want to be able to go to them with problems but if the parents don't show an interest or have he time then the kids will turn elswhere. If the kids don't turn to Christ then they will keep looking for satisfaction in other things of the world without ever being satified or feeling loved.

being outcast by peers

As seen in the case in Colorado, teens who are outcasts tend to be more prone to violence. Teens value their friends' opinions of them more than anything else. Teens should try to be more accepting to others who don't look or act like they do. Rejection can be the hardest thing to deal with for a teenager.

This is a major point and is very relevant to what has been happening in schools today. Most of the violent acts at schools have been caused by kids who have been considered outcasts my their peers. This is a very hurtful thing. Kids need to be more open to others kids and be more accepting of other beliefs and interests.

Teens need to accept each other for who they are and the good qualities which are in all people. these good qualities may be hard to find but they are there People need to accept each other on these qualities rather than what they look like or what brand clothes they wear.

when people are outcasted by their peers they look for places to fit in. the place where they are usually accepted is not always the place where they get the best influence. in those groups they develop violent behaviors. students involved in many school groups need to reach out to individuals that feel outcasted so they will not turn to violence to express how they feel.

being outcasted can lead to many different things. if you are outcasted in highschool, etc, then you may be able to grow from this and learn how to "ignore" this or how to "accept" IT... or better yet..how to improve. This can also help people to find their true friends and who they can trust. But, in most cases..being an outcast is horrible. It can make a person hate life and hate others. We have to be careful and one of the most important sayings "treat others as you would want to be treated."

This doesn't really belong in any category but if you would look up and notice that violence isn't just now occuring then you would realize that we will never get past it. You think these things are just now happening in the bronx or L.A. They are not! Even in Birmingham we have had school shootings and disruptions and it has been stifled by the media and closed up fast. It's just recently that people are saying things, and pardon the black-white intervention, but it is racial. People didn't start realizing what was going on until it startd happening to their white kids and their white kids started doing it. HOw people in here are black...NONE! One more thing, and I hope the governor gete this, truly I do. Why get the honor students and good children in here?

sin

sin......Some dwell in the fact that they have sinned. Hopefully, most people wil be able to forgive themselves and have others forgive them so that they will not think of sinning as such a neg. influence. Sinning can help some people to grow. It will help them to learn that they have done wrong and to be cautious not to do it again.

If someone has a true relationship with God then they should know that sins are forgiven. However in other religions they are not as fortunate and that needs to be looked into, not that the only problems are coming from people of other religions.

sin is the root of all evil!!! Upon mankinds fall in to sin he has no choice but to sin! Through the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ we have means of atonement and propitiation of our sin. We must all repent of Sin and ask Jesus into our hearts, to be our LORD as well as Savior!!!!!!

In most cases, doing the right thing is the hardest thing, and sinning is the most fun. Without faith, as well as ethics, most teenagers do not even think twice before sinning. Youth groups could help this, as well as the community reaching out to do good things.

lack of respect for others

many teenagers today think that the world revolves around their life and their things. they dont take into consideration the needs and wants of other people. As a result, people are willing to do anything, even completely walk all over someone else, to get what they want. This kind of disrespect causes feelings of resentment and a lack of trust.

Anyone who is willing to act violently against another person suffers from a lack of respect for other people. Not only do they not respect authority, but they also do not respect the sanctity of human life. This lack of respect is introduced first through movies and music. They do not realize the seriousness of their actions.

The lack of respect, both for others and for one's self, is a result of societies view of life. In our generation our society has obtained a devalued look at life in general and has become too acceting of killing and violence.I think that the media and the entertainment world should focus more on the value of life and not how to end it.

teach kids that no one is superior. Openly discuss differences inh the classroom...this is the only thing that all teenagers share,school.So we canuse our schools as an avenue to educate. We can teach and celebrate differences by having multicultural programs. Teach about the worth of everyone,and teach that even though we may disagree,WE MUST LISTEN TO EVERYONE, AND HAVE THAT RESPECT. Haveschools showthat respect to their students, and in turn we canbuild a society thatr respects itself

people need to learn how to respect other people and their beliefs. This whole "If you don't accept my opinion, then blah blah blah," is a very negative and demeaning attittude that can cause a whole lot of violent behavior.

rejection from peers

there is no worse feeling than that of feeling alone and feeling that no one cares about you. rejection from peers can cause feelings of depression, loneliness, or even violence. I dont necessarily know how to solve this problem, but i do think that we have to realize its significance in school violence.

In all schools there are cliques. In some ways cliques are very good, but they can also isolate teenagers. Many groups are also enemies to eachother. When people are rejected from a certain group, they become depressed. Everyone needs a sense of belonging, and this is partly the school's responsibility, but the responsibility is also shared with the community. Rec centers could even provide kids with a sense of belonging.

I don't know how you can prevent people from rejecting others but I think that if you start at an early age and teach people that no matter what the other people are like, it is not right to make fun of others. I think that being rejected and having people make fun of you can leave life long scars. I think that this is one of the biggest factors of school violance.

it hurts a lot

ALL SCHOOLS HAVE THE POPULAR GROUP BUT YOU SHOULD NEVER FEEL LEFT OUT

you can't make people like someone, but youcan be the one to reach out and make the difference


Students from Huntsville, Alabama

 

Session 2: Birmingham, Alabama, June 18, 1999

10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Participants from five high schools in the Huntsville-Madison, Alabama area. Schools are predominately public, suburban and urban.
 
 

Jessika B.

Sophia M.

Roshelle L.

Brianne R

Laura L.

Dana S.

Heather S.

Rachel L.

Jonathan S.

Nicole A.

Crystal A.

Nathan A.

Terrance B.

Bianca W.

Kelly H.

Revé S.

 

About the process:  The students entered the Think Tank area, selected the computer of their choice and worked through an exercise to gain familiarity in using the computer tools.  Then they engaged in some electronic brainstorming exercises concerning several questions. The facilitator was careful to avoid any comments or suggestions that might introduce any bias or prejudice in their responses.

 

They considered two questions:

(1) “In a teenager's life, at home, at school, at church, at work, or just hanging with friends, what are things that people say or do that tear you down, discourage, irritate, aggravate, or frustrate you in ways that might ultimately lead to violent behavior?”

(2) “In a teenager's life, at home, at school, at church, at work, or just hanging with friends, what are things that people say or do that build you up, encourage, promote, make you proud or make you want to be a better person?”

In approximately 10 minutes, the students generated over 100 responses to each question.  They then prioritized and selected their top responses to each question. Only the top 6 responses to question 1 and the top 7 responses to question 2 were selected for further discussion by the students. (The top selected Positive Influences and Negative Influences appear in the following table.)
 
 

Positive Influences in the Lives of Teenagers

 

Positive Influences

As expressed by the Teenagers

Religion

"faith in the Lord"

Supportive Parents

"support from my parents"

Being loved and accepted

"make you feel wanted"

Positive alternative activities

"having somewhere to go without
getting into trouble"

Learn to Praise Others

"Praising others on accomplishments"

Get Involved

"get involved"

Friends

"a good friend"

 

Negative Influences in the Lives of Teenagers

Negative Influences

As expressed by the Teenagers

Parental Neglect

"no parent involvement"

Drugs

"drugs"

Discrimination

"discrimination on race"

Rejection

"constant rejection"

Rejection for Individuality

"some people dislike others
for their individuality"

Self Esteem

"low self esteem"

 

After they had brainstormed about the questions, prioritized the results and picked their top ranked items, they were then asked to describe ways to: (1) enhance the positive influences and; (2) diminish the negative influences.

The results of this concluding exercise are presented here … just as they were produced by the students. No attempt has been made to editorialize or to modify their remarks in any way. Furthermore, the material has not been edited for spelling or grammar, and students were instructed to focus on content rather than form. The reader is reminded that the “topics”, as reflected in the table above, were prioritized and selected by the students. The “comments”, as reflected below, are presented in the order they were produced by the students, without prioritization.

Recommendations for Ways to Enhance Positive Influences and to Diminish Negative Influences

Participant Instructions

          POSITIVE and NEGATIVE INFLUENCES - Both Can Impact Violent Behavior

Recommend ways to enhance good behavior and to decrease violence among teenagers. Positive influences - Comment on ways to maximize these topics
Negative influences - Comment on ways to minimize these topics.
Double-click on a topic to open it. Click 'submit' after each idea.
 

POSITIVE INFLUENCES  (ways to increase)
 

faith in the Lord

if more people would seek faith in the lord, i believe that there would be less violence.

although religion is a positive step towards correcting violence sometimes others might be offended by other peoples religions.

People need to go back to the way things were. Like when Bible was a class in school and everyone followed the Ten Commandments. If everyone was on the same path then there would be no violence

I believe that having faith in something gives us a purpose in life. It makes us feel better. Have morals.

Give thanks to the Lord, from whom all blessings flow. If one accomplishes this goal then their self will definatly be lifted

Having faith in GOD is one of the hardest things we will ever do. Yes you will struggle and have hard times, but GOD made a promise to his people that he would never, ever forsake them or leave in their time of need. GOD promises to always be there for us at any time, and things may not always work out the way we want them to, GOD always has uor best interest in mind. So trust in GOD always and he will make the best of any situation , no matter what it is.

if more people would look to the lord for leadership and answers, they would find that problems are not or don't have to be settled with violence

The Lord is a posiitive part of everyones life and he should be first everything you do should be with in the Lord,for he is merccyful :)

there are many different religions, I can't help that, but if everyone would just forget Satan then they might get on the right track, because Satan is the only reason we do these sinful things. We were born sinners, no one taught us how to hit or steal, we knew how. If we are saved, we go to heavan.

support from my parents

Parents have a stronger influence on us than they think. They should learn to talk to us not down to us so that we can acept their advice

My parents have always been there for me, and always beeen really supportive, so as a result , I am very confident, responsible, happy, and kind. Other kids whose parents have not been there or have not been supportive are waaaaaay more likely to do drugs, be violent, rude, and quick to judge others, and even have lower grades.

Support from the two most influential people in a teens life can mean the difference between a troubled teen and a well developede citizen and participant in society.

It is the parents place and duty to support their kids in any situation to help them in any way possibe as long as it does not harm the child or anyone else but parent must realize when thigs have gone too far

make you feel wanted

learn to encourage people

everyone is special, and should be treated that way and told that every day, alll the time!

People need to feel the need to be needed. IF you feel you aren't needed then you won't care if you do something wrong.

having somewhere to go without getting into trouble

Whenever i would want to go to the park with friends the cops or some other authority figure comes up to you and asks you what you are doing there. Even when you aren't doing anylthing bad. They assume just because we are teenagers we are up to trouble

If teens today had someplace to go to expel their energy that they have into something constructive, then maybe we wouldn't have so much teen pregnancy or violence

Praising others on accomplismishments

As much as teens want to be praised they should learn to praise others. This way the cycle can continue back to them.

I dont know how important it is to express the fact that teenagers need to help themselves and each other praising your self is a wonderful way to let people know that you are great at what you do what ever it may be, and to also let them know as well they are wonderful at what they do even if it is just being a good friend always let people know you appreciate what they do and they do it well :)

get involved

focus your time on being envolved with your school

or neighbor, instead of violence

Getting involved with extra activities after school is good, as long as they are positive, for instance the Teen Think Tank is very positive for teens that are growing up with everyday issuse concerns and problems, you always have some one to talk to that is obviously intersted in the same things you are, getting involved in other activites wether its volunteer work, or a part time job after school is anoher way to help find solutions to everyday problems, and issues. : )

There are bunches and bunches of clubs and organizations out here. Just pick the right one for you and go from there. For example, right in your own school there are things like drama, swim, cheerleading, dance, tennis, key, debate, foriegn language, just to name a few. You could also get involved in ways that would make you feel like a better person such as, volunteer work at a hostpital or museum.

get involved in the community, or someone else's life, beacause the world is not going to change unless you do. It creates self=esteem

A good friend

I think that is in important to have good friends who you can trust and depend on at all times. Good friends help you through everything and are fun to be around. If I didn't have the friends I have now I would not be here!

Finding a good friend is hard to do, good friends will all ways be there for you, they sre the ones who will all ways be there for you and know all of your problems, they will always help you to make good decisions or help you to choose whats best for you

Nothing every beatsa good friend beit male or female. Someone to talk to is always a plus

Good friends are important. Teenagers should look for strong friendships as much as they look for partners in a relationship.

Good friends are the best. Don't trust anyone unless they have proven themselves worthy of your inner thoughts. Having a good friend eliminates all thoughts of insecurity because you know that they are not looking down on you

not only have a good friend, but also be a good friend, remember we need our friends as much as they need us

I think it is very important to have good friends because there is always a time when you need to talk to someone about something and you dont want to talk to a parent, that is when a good friend comes into play.
 
 
 
 

NEGATIVE INFLUENCES  (ways to decrease)

no parent involvement

a parent that is not present

When both parents are present, not necessarily living together, kids are more successful.

families should spend more time together

Parents should slow down, if they think they are too busy, and take time to look around, and see what their kids are doing. Then they should try to get involved or understand, and listen to thei r kids.

you children my be your angels but if concerned friends of your teen alert you of a situation please look into it and not ignore and and say ,"that is not my child".

we need more parental involvement with teens because teens have so many presuures these days and parents have much experience in helping there kids. the less parental involvement the more the kids will get involved in dangerous situations due to being naive.

you can get a little bit more envolvment from parents by, sitting down with them and discussing why you feel they are not envolved and by giving some ways to channge that.

some parents tend to get caught up in their work and don't take time to be with their kids. this past year schools parted the seas even more by giving unexcused absences to those who went to take your kid to school day.

Parents play an important role in their childs life. After a break up with your girl friend or boy friend who ia always there to make you feel better and understand that everything happend for a reason? Your parents. Never doubt anything your parents say!

some parents need to WAKE UP and realize they actually have children... some teens when they were younger didn't get the attention that they require in orderto a have a healthy persona.

Somtimes parents have to work more than one job so they dont have time to spend with their kids. If parents could maby read to them or eat lunch with them somtime it would make the child feel better. but most of the time the parents are tired and short tempered with them so they start to do things to make their parents notice them. I see this happening in my house. the works so much that she doesnt have time so the kids make her take time by gettig into stuff.

drugs

If a person is under thte influence of illegal substances who knows what they are capable of

parents should be more involved in their childrens lives

There should be required courses about drugs iin schools, that go in-depth so that kids cansee what they are really doing to their bodies when they get high

drugs promise no future and kids still turn to them. all it causes is aggravation and anger. Start a slogan that drugs promise nothing in life.

learn to say no to anyone,and you'll feel alot better

about yourself

People get addicted, that is a fact, but if there weren't any drugs to get addicted to there wouldn't be any problem.

I understand how it feels to be pressured into doing something wrong and how hard it is to do the right thing. Kids need someone they can run to when thing aren't going right

teens should be surverly punished for drug use and was be sent to rehab until he/she is an adult

discrimination on race

not having so much diversity in schools. try to have an equal percentage of ethnic backgrounds

Have programs that teach about everyone's history and ways to accept each other

have unity programs in schools, like Teaching Tolerance

children should be taught at early ages to accept everyone equally, despite their ethnic background

discrimination should be condoned at every level in life and should be ilgeal

constant rejection

learn to get along

when you are rejected all of the time, your self-esteem lowers and you don't produce a very good image of yourself, this leads to feeling out of place and sometimes suicide.

if a teacher or someone sees a student or peer whom is recluse.... jsut talk to them and see what is going on and even if they say 'nothing' pursue the conversastion and show intrest in their well being.

try to realize that everything happens for a reason, either for the present or the future

In school or church, get to know one another better, even through the guidance of a leader. Do unity activities. This will reduce rejection, because people will see the common bond inside, instead of the outside.

being rejected also refers to being the outsider. We need to make the point that we are all human and no one is more special than the other. we are all different. Start having more gatherings at school and discuss with the students about this topic.

some people are "outcasts", but most of the time it isn't because they want to be, if there were a place were kids who all have at least one thing in common could come together, then the kids wouldn't feel constant rejection.

Constant rejection takes away peoples self esteem. Making them feel unimportant. Worthless people do terrible things.

To many teens are rejeted from groups, soroties, fertertinetis and stuff. We need a group that anyone can join at any time.

many individuals today donot get the attention they DESERVE...they needto be loved purely for WHO THE ARE! I fnot for them then do it for people who care about you!!

some people dislike others for their individuality

all people have individual desires and needs... teeenagers need to be able to express themselves in such a manner that is completely unique, yet there are inhibitors from parents, other adults, other teens, and law inforcement officers.... teen voilence would stop if teens were able to dress and express themselves freley w/o comments from the peanut gallery. It all comes fromm accepting otherss individuality regardless of HOW they look.

learn to except the fact that everyone is different and

you shouldn't want to hate someone because they

aren't just like you, or your friends

This may be true but is mostly due to peer pressure. People are taught to hate other people.

Make sure that people are aware of the fact that people are just people. People with the same purpose and some some tend to express themselves in a way the is not like the 'norm' but that doesnt make it less right

teens should be allowed to express themselves more freely. you can't always base one's personality and thoughts on how they dress.

some people at my school show their individuality through the way they dress and act, if we could ignore their outer appearance and get to know them better, then the world would be a better place.

Accept them. If you can't accept someone else for their individuality then how can you accept yourself for being who you are.

Learn to accept it. If you can't accept someone for their indivuality then how can you accept yourself for being who you are.

low self esteem

have teachers pick out the students with low self esteem and take them to the counseler to talk, or give them more opportunities to do things they enjoy.

Low self esteem , in my opinion, comes from within. Yes, outside forces do influence it but people have to have the power to reject and discard negative comments. It may be hard at first but, after a while, it sort of becomes a habit. I also feel like people with low self esteem should try to fix their problem. Maybe they could go on a diet or get a job so they can afford the coll things they want or sometimes it doesnt even take that much, they could just tell themselves that they are a good person and that everybody has faults.

maybe have a place where people could go to learn about themselves, and realize that they are okay.

Whenever you see a pearson who might be suffering from low self- esteeem, Ifeel we should always compliment them in some way andalways encourage them, and never give them any reason to belive that they are not as good as anyone else.

we often forget about teens true feeling thinking that there life is just so easy but it's as hard and stressful as a adult's. We need peer counseling and teachers to be trained on making kids feel goodin class.

you have to have confidence in yourself before others can have confidence in you

never let anyone drag you down, no matter what anyone says everyone is a someone

Low self esteem is a major problem. I admit some people use the claim to get attention, but it is a concern for alot of teens. When you get picked on or you are teased you can say that it didn't bother you but no matter how much you try to convince yourself that it didn' hurt, there is always that space in the back of you head that holds all of the negative comments. It eats away at you until you explode, which causes the violence that we see in schools today