Endless Love that isn’t so endless

Films are the window to youth culture

Endless Love If you ever wanted to know whether we live in child-centric culture and feel the constant need to protect our children, you need look no further than the recent Endless Love film.

When I learnt that they were doing a remake of Endless Love, I was jumping up a down at the prospect of introducing my daughter to a film that had such an impact on me as a child. In fact, I think I blame this film for not finding the love of my life until I was in my 30’s. The original film, released in 1981, was a tragic love story that showed so well the loss of innocence and the devastating effect that can have on a family, which can last a lifetime. It was a film that made you really think and brought up so many questions about real love and it’s all-consuming power.

It is in essence the story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair, made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart.

So as soon as the film came out, I rushed my daughter to the cinema, telling her all about the story and what was so good about it. The remake was reworked by Joshua Saran of ‘Gossip Girl’ fame and while I expected it to be different, I didn’t expect it to be so different.  While a good film I was left saying, “What?!” My daughter was left saying, “That was a good film”. And while it was, it was so different and lacked all the things that made the first one so devastating. I quickly ran out and bought the original, so she could see how good it was.  And never before have I seen, in such graphic detail, how we protect our young people nowadays!

There were things in the first film that I expected to be different, for example the whole family including the parents taking drugs together at parties, the blatant way the young lovers flaunt in front of their parents that they are sleeping together; I mean, we couldn’t let our children see that could we? That early 80’s attitude would never be acceptable nowadays!

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Social Media and Substance Use

Bio: The following is a guest post by Saint Jude Retreats, a non-12 step non-treatment alternative to traditional drug and alcohol rehab. The program concentrates on self-directed positive neuroplastic change and positive self-change as an alternative to traditional alcohol and drug treatment.

Social Media and Substance Use

college students and alcoholThere are currently over 1.2 billion Facebook users and, according to the Pew Internet Project, an estimated 93% of teens are using the Internet and are using some social networking and media site. [1, 2] Among teens and even pre-teens between the ages of 12 and 17, Facebook and Myspace are the two most popular networking sites to visit, where teens are sharing content, photos, and videos for friends and peers alike to see. [3] The question is: would an overexposure to alcohol and drug related content on social media sites cause teens to engage in these behaviors more frequently?

During the adolescent years, children are not only trying to discover themselves but are experiencing an intense period of mental, physical, and emotional growth. It’s no surprise then that during the maturation stage, from childhood to young adult, teens often experiment with alcohol and drugs. Teens who experiment with drugs and alcohol are not necessarily addicted to them. There are many reasons why a teenager may decide to drink, smoke, or even do drugs. Teens see these behaviors as risky, as an act of rebellion, or are just curious as to what a substance will feel like to them. [3] While viewing these drinking and drug use behaviors on social media may spark their interest and curiosity, studies have found that Facebook use is not related to the cause of drinking or smoking behaviors.[4]

Alcohol is widely available and promoted through our society by social networking sites. [3] Teens who are actively using Facebook or other social media sites, such as Youtube, Twitter, or Instagram, are viewing substance use as something that is a “normal” behavior that is part of the maturity process into becoming a young adult. Teens may also have the perception that more of their peers are partying than they are.

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3 Things to Do if Your Teen Wants to Join the Military

Military badgesWith the U.S. military promising “top-notch training and career opportunities” as just the tip of the benefits iceberg that comes with military service, it’s easy to see how joining the armed forces can be alluring, especially to a teen who may think he has no other prospects. Some parents may feel pride when their teen announces that he or she wants to join the military, while others might have an immediate, negative reaction. Personal feelings aside, however, the dangerous circumstances military forces have to face causes anxiety for any parent.

When your teen announces their plans to join the military, the best thing you can do is become supportive. If your teen is 17 or older, they are old enough to enlist in any branch: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. At that age, your child will soon become an adult who can legally make his or her own decisions without your permission. Keep the communication lines open so that any advice you do offer will be accepted and hopefully considered, instead of being rejected offhand simply because you’re the parent.

Find the Facts

According to the U.S. Military website, many of the top reasons teens give for joining are exaggerated. They’ve heard about the G.I. Bill and think that all educational costs of college will be covered. Some think it’s easier to enlist than to look for and land a job. Others are under the impression that they’ll get to travel the world on Uncle Sam’s dime. As with most misconceptions, there is a grain of truth somewhere in there, but your teen should know the actual facts before they sign up. Ask them what their reasons are for enlisting, and then go with them to the local recruiter’s office to find out how close their perceptions are to the truth. It will be easier to be supportive if you know that your teen is fairly realistic in his or her expectations.

Discuss Alternatives

Whether or not your teen is accurate in his or her reasoning for joining the military, you can still offer alternatives. It’s not unreasonable to ask that they at least consider other options, especially if your teen is one whose never been quite sure what they want out of life. Advise them to take an aptitude test. The results may surprise you both, and they can provide a starting point for an alternative plan. For example, if it turns out your teen has a flair for numbers and finance or an entrepreneurial inclination, you could suggest that your teen look into an associate’s degree in business management. Even if they can’t stand the idea of a college campus, there are programs, such as those offered by Penn Foster, that your teen can take online to earn a degree in a relatively short period of time.

Be There

Part of being supportive is being there for your teen no matter what the outcome of their military aspirations. You may have to check your emotions and personal opinions at the door, and give them as happy a send off as possible when they go away to boot camp. You’ll still have to keep your opinions to yourself if the military rejects your teen. Military.com reports that most American teens don’t qualify to join their ranks. Contrary to what many people think, the military won’t take everyone who wants to enlist. They do have fitness, health and educational standards that all recruits must meet. Body art like tattoos can even be a reason the military might not accept a kid’s enlistment application if they are on his neck, conflict with military standards, are offensive, or refer to gang membership. Whatever the results, whatever the reasons, let your teen know you’ll always love them and be there for them.

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