Living the good, better, best life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.
While we do not understand why all cancers occur, there are lifestyle choices that are made during the teen years which are associated with and can increase our risk of cancer, or ill-health, throughout our lives. It appears that the teen years are one of the critical periods of growth and development because the body is growing and changing quickly and the cells are dividing rapidly. Some of the lifestyle choices that we make during these years can impact the diseases that we get in our life or, according to some current epigenetic research, for several generations of our children and grandchildren. Guiding our teens in a positive direction during these years can be very beneficial for lifelong health.
Dan Siegel MD is a Pediatric Psychiatrist and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which teaches and promotes Mindfulness Meditation. Dr Siegel is another of my Go-To-Resources as a parent and this book is one of my favorites. It is the Recommended Book of the Month for all those who have teenagers. He says that teenagers are the most courageous and creative souls on the planet and harnessing that courage and creativity in positive ways are the challenges for parents. Courage and creativity can come in the form of inventing a new product, a new idea, painting, photography, travel (the 16 year old who travels alone round the globe in a sail boat!!!). This courage can also come in other forms and calls for our awareness and guidance…cigarettes, alcohol,marijuana, drugs and heroin are pervasive in our culture.
It is important for parents to communicate with their kids about the safety surrounding these powerful substances. While the legal drinking age and cigarette use in many states is 21, most teens start drinking in high school and some will start using tobacco (cigarettes/ecigarettes/ chewing tobacco) and marijuana and these can get mixed with drugs, narcotics, and heroin. Have you talked to your teen about safety with drinking, marijuana or drugs? Have you asked them what their views are on drug use? Let them know that drugs can affect the things that are important to THEM….their looks, their driving, their energy or health and their sports activities. Let them know that even teens can have problems with addictive substances. Above all else, be a good role model for your teen about responsible drinking, driving, tobacco and drugs….this is when An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure! Have a blessed day!