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Take Action



· Decide what you can do. Find out which parts of the situation you have the power to change, manage, or influence for the better. Think of actions you can take to improve any part of your stressful situation. For example: I can talk to the guy who sits next to me in social studies class. I'll ask if he'll share notes and study with me. That could help me make a new friendplus catch up in social studies.

· Get support. Find someone to talk to about your situation. Ask for help or advice. Be with people who believe in you, make you laugh, and help you feel good about yourself. Sometimes just a listening ear helps a lot. It helps you know that someone understands and cares about what you're going through.

· Care for yourself. Take especially good care of yourself when stress in your life is high. Be sure to eat nutritious foods and minimize junk food. Get daily exercise and enough sleep. Do something every day that helps you relax — whether it's yoga, a soothing bath (soothing = producing feelings of comfort or relief ▪ a soothing bath/cream/massage ▪ soothing words ▪ The music had a soothing effect on the baby), cooking, playing with your pet, taking a walk, listening to music, or playing your guitar.

Stressful situations can test our strength, for sure. Whatever you're facing, it can help you think through the situation, accept the emotions you feel, keep a positive attitude, focus your efforts on what you can influence, get support, and care for yourself. All these things can help you cope with your situation, minimize the stress and its effects on you — and help you come through feeling strong and confident.

 

Text 3. My Friend Is Talking About Running Away: What Should I Do?

 

Many people who decide to run away imagine a life that's exciting and glamorous. They think it is not the kind of life they get. Life for runaway teens is hard, and they often end up homeless, stealing, or even selling drugs in an effort to make money. Every year in the US, more than 5,000 runaway teens die, either from assault, illness, or suicide.

People tend to run away for a lot of reasons: abuse (whether it's physical, emotional, or sexual), family problems, or problems with school or their friends. Some run away because of alcohol or drug abuse — their own or a family member's. Others run away to be with someone.

Talk with your friend about what's bothering him or her and put your heads together to find better — and more constructive — solutions. At the same time, speak with an adult you trust as soon as possible, and tell him or her that your friend is talking seriously about running away. If you don't feel comfortable telling your parents, other adults in your life might be able to help out: a teacher, a school counselor, your family doctor, or a religious leader, for example.

A trusted adult may be able to help your friend understand that there are better alternatives to running away. If your friend is still serious about taking to the road, make sure he or she has the number of the National Runaway Switchboard: (800) 786-2929). This number for runaway teens in need is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The service will even help runaway teens contact people back home.

A final note: If your friend does run away, or if you haven't seen him or her in a few days and you think that's what's happened, take action immediately. Talk to a trusted adult and explain that you believe your friend ran away. Don't be shy about sharing any information about where your friend might be going, and don't wait in hopes that he or she might come back after a few days. Your friend's life could depend on it — the sooner it is reported, the more likely your friend will be found safe.

Text 4. Why Do I Fight With My Parents So Much?

 

The clothes you wear. The food you eat. The color of your bedroom walls. Where you go and how you get there. The people you hang with. What time you go to bed.

What do these things have in common, you're asking? They're just a few examples of the many hundreds of things that your parents controlled for you when you were a child. As a kid, you didn't have a say in very much that went on; your parents made decisions about everything from the cereal you ate in the morning to the pajamas you wore at night. And it's a good thing, too — kids need this kind of protection and assistance because they aren't mature enough to take care of themselves and make careful decisions on their own.

But eventually, kids grow up and become teens. And part of being a teen is developing your own identity (identity = the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others) — one that is different from your parents'. It's totally normal for teens to create their ownopinions, thoughts, and values about life; it's what prepares them for adulthood.

But as you change and grow into this new person who makes his or her own decisions, your parents may have a difficult time adjusting. They aren't used to the new you yet — they only know you as the kid who had everything decided for you and didn't mind. (to adjust = to change in order to work or do better in a new situation ▪ Going to a new school can be difficult, but the kids will eventually adjust. ▪ The kids will eventually adjust to the new school. ▪ Our eyes gradually adjusted to the darkness of the cave. ▪ It's hard to adjust to the idea that she's gone. ▪ It's hard to adjust myself to the idea that she's gone.

In most families, it's this adjustment that can cause a lot of fighting between teens and parents. You want to cover your walls with posters; they don't understand why you don't like your kiddie wallpaper anymore. You think it's OK to hang at the shopping mall every day after school; they would rather that you play a sport.

Clashes like these are very common between teens and parents — teens get angry because they feel parents don't respect them and aren't giving them space to do what they like, and parents get angry because they aren't used to not being in control or they disagree with the teens' decisions.

(to clash = to be in a situation in which you are fighting or disagreeing : to come into conflict with someone ▪ Police and protesters clashed yesterday. a clash = A): a short fight between groups of people ▪ Hundreds were killed in ethnic clashes in the region last month. ▪ Clashes broke out between the police and protesters. ▪ Several protesters were injured in a recent clash with the police. B): an argument or disagreement between people ▪ a clash between the two leaders ▪ The company has had many clashes with environmentalists.

It's easy for feelings to get very hurt when there are conflicts like these. And more complicated issues — like the types of friends you have or your attitudes about sex and partying — can cause even bigger arguments, because your parents will always be intent on protecting you and keeping you safe, no matter how old you are. complicated = hard to understand, explain, or deal with ▪ The game's rules are too complicated. ▪ a complicated situation ▪ a very complicated issue ▪ The machine has a complicated design. ▪ a complicated plan ▪ a complicated mathematical formula




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