Teen Teen Health

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    Dori, the author, at the same age as her daughter nowIf I had a dollar for all the times I’d heard mention of how the father of a newborn daughter is going to have to get a shotgun to someday ward off the boys -- I’d be a zillionaire.

    It’s almost as if there’s this programmed script we can’t let go of that dictates the desire in us to keep our daughters pure, virginal, and untouched by any kind of sexual encounter.

    My 16-year-old daughter, who looks like a cross between Sofia Vergara and Lana Del Rey, would beg to differ. And I would fully support her on this.

    More from The Stir: Sofia Vergara Celebrates a Big Birthday

    I don’t know about you, but the last time I looked, the Victorian age was over. What on earth is it about daughters that make us assume that we should want their potential suitors dead?

    I, for one, feel differently.

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    As a parent and as a person, I love rules. The more rules, the better. Rules help us maintain order, keep places clean and safe, and prevent us from giving in to our wonderful, selfish desires. Rules, rules, rules!

    But even a rule-abiding citizen such as myself believes we've gone completely cuckoo in the name of rules and, in the process, some of us have lost all common sense. Case in point: a diabetic teen was reportedly kicked out of a drive-in movie theater in New Jersey because he committed a cardinal sin. He was found with candy -- sweets that his parents say he needs in order to maintain his blood sugar level.

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    What would you do if you walked into your home, turned on your television, and found some X-rated films? Immediately call the cops on your 15-year-old son for watching porn, maybe? Well, that's exactly what one South Carolina mother did when she returned home to find sex scenes on the living room television. Her teenage son was in his room at the time, but Chavonda Gallman immediately ushered her 2-year-old daughter and real estate client out of the house and called 911.

    According to a report, the teen "has been having behavioral issues," and mom wanted to document his "behavior" and the fact that her 2-year-old had been exposed to porn when the TV was switched on.

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    Kids can be really mean. I'm talking about my kid, your kid, your neighbor's kid -- all kids. But they're also KIDS, and when parents take it upon themselves to discipline every individual in the world who hurts their child's feelings, well, most of us know how that's going to work out.

    Rebecca Carranza-Molina, 44, and Jose Aldred Molina, 56, obviously love their 13-year-old child very much and feel incredibly protective of him. They want to shelter him from the pain in the world so badly that they're willing to risk going to jail for their son's feelings. The couple has been arrested and face child endangerment and false imprisonment charges for kidnapping a 13-year-old boy who made their son cry. They allegedly kept him at their home until he agreed to apologize to their child.

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    Listen up, parents! If you've ever wanted to know whether or not your teen is smuggling some illegal substances in the house or want to track down your child's stash, here's your chance. You can now hire a drug sniffing dog to visit your home and uncover any narcotics that might be hidden.

    Ron Robichaud, a former dog trainer and the founder of Discreet Intervention, is making headlines this week for his offer to come to your home with his trusted dog, Ben, to locate drugs your child may be hiding. Just prepare yourself for what Ben might find.

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    I write this post knowing full well I'm going to take a lot of heat for it. That plenty of more forgiving folks are going to remind me that a child of 14 or 15 doesn't think about the consequences of his actions. That, in this technologically advanced age, it's impossible to predict how far a viral video will travel. That kids will be kids and kids will always make fun of other kids and parents need to just deal with it and teach their children to toughen up.

    But those excuses are the reason why we continue to hear heartbreaking stories like this one. They are the reason why a 14-year-old boy named Matthew Burdette chose to kill himself rather than deal with the humiliation of being a laughing stock -- not just at his school, but at schools all over California -- after an embarrassing video of him that another classmate filmed in secret spread like wildfire.

    There's one person to blame for this, and teen or not, he deserves to be punished to the full extent the law allows.

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    A 16-year-old boy died this weekend in California after doing something a lot of other teens probably wouldn't think twice about: standing on a bus.

    Mason Zisette was just one of several teens under the age of 18 who was traveling with adult chaperones on a double-decker Starline Tours bus that had been chartered to attend a private birthday party for one of the young passengers at a venue south of Manhattan Beach. As the bus made its way down the San Diego Freeway at 45 miles per hour, Zisette -- who was seated on the roofless top deck -- reportedly stood up on his seat to dance. He was facing the opposite direction of the freeway signs and had no idea what horrible thing was about to happen.

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    There is no greater grief or horror for parents than the loss of a child. But one musical therapist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is helping parents cope with their loss by commemorating their children in song. Brian Schreck, who has been working with parents and their sick children, records the child's heartbeat and later sets it to their favorite music, leaving their parents with a beautiful tune that they can enjoy forever.

    The lovely beat of the heart, set alongside a calm composition, is a simple melody, but one that parents will appreciate. Margaret and Jeremy Bennett lost their son, Dylan, earlier this year. Schreck recorded Dylan's heartbeat while he was in the intensive care unit and later gifted the parents with the music:

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    The story you're about to read probably isn't going to shock you because it may sound far too familiar -- and that fact alone says something pretty frightening about our society. A 16-year-old girl from North Carolina reportedly hid her entire pregnancy from her parents, gave birth in her home -- again, under everyone's noses -- and then buried the baby girl in the backyard.

    The details of this case are still emerging and some facts, including whether the baby was born alive or not, are unclear. But if your feelings for this teen border on sadness more than anger, you're not alone.

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    Not so long ago, coffee was strictly an adults-only beverage -- one most kids and teens wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. But thanks to the abundance of super-sweet caffeine drinks, energy drinks, and sodas sold at markets, gas stations, and trendy cafes, more young people are finding it pretty tempting to down 1 or 10 cold and frothy mocha drinks.

    We can't blame them -- these drinks taste like dessert and are extremely appealing to young taste buds. But given their popularity and sweetness, it's sometimes easy to forget that the caffeine contained in these treats is bad for our kids' health. And, according to a recent study, the effect of caffeine is even worse for boys.

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