Tag Archive: teens


Grip on that Self Esteem

What is self esteem? Self Esteem reflects a person’s overall evaluation of appraisal of his or her own worth.

This article was birthed out of a discussion I had with someone. They approached me with a question that I did not see coming. The person asked: “Am I attractive?” This question was never asked to seal the individual’s convictions of his/her level of attractiveness. Instead it was asked because I think this individual was insecure about it.

What was intriguing about this situation was that the individual who asked the question personally, I thought they were crazy. Because they are attractive, not even average – above it. The person has attractive skin tone, quality hair, great features, and a wonderful personality to go with all of that. If you are looking someone to settle down with they would be on your list because they lead a balanced life and is incredibly smart. One can imagine my shock. After the conversation ended I thought deeply that there is a bigger issue here. Many times we hear of young girls and boys being insecure, more so girls. Many times as well the media, internet, advertising and magazines are blamed for glamorizing images that are not Main Street.

People who find that they are insecure about anything; it typically becomes a major issue hindering emotional growth among other things.

Improving your self worth is no easy feat especially when you have reached certain levels. However, I believe with certain steps, tips, guidelines whatever a therapist may call it, they can be helped.

  1. Find things to love about yourself

This is critical because if we do not find something to love and adore within ourselves someone will point out one and it may not be all that good. As young people we are embedded in the latest gadgets, technology, and media that we forget the human side of our lives. We need to take time out from all those phones, televisions and internet to have personal time for ourselves. We may not see the importance but can we start looking in the mirror and loving what we see. Be in awe. The fact is, the celebrities who we think have a perfect life and who we look up to also find themselves being insecure about many things.

  1. Surround yourself with positive thinking people.

I think this one is mostly underestimated because we think sometimes we can combat negative people. Newsflash, most times we can’t! If you surround yourself with people who watch their calories to the tee, always pointing out other people’s faults, always degrading others, finding imperfections on their body etc. you might want to change your circle of friends. Surround yourself with people who appreciate and celebrate their lives, people who in a moment will encourage you than fight or tear you down.

  1. Challenge yourself

This will be a task. If you are like me, then you do not have a huge following of friends. J Nothing wrong with that, just treasure the ones you have today. I would tell you to challenge yourself. Test your abilities to find and appreciate things that you will begin to love about yourself. For example: if you hate your weight, get out there and do something about it. Do not try quick fixes; buying tighter fitting clothing to make you look smaller or liposuction. That will not work. Sign up for a gym or work out at home. Yes! Bring the gym home. You do not need a personal trainer. Be cost effective and find videos on Youtube that will challenge you to fight your weight.

  1. Celebrate you!

To overcome your insecurities you must begin to celebrate what have kept you down. I am sure you have seen those public service advertisements on television that have expressed people living under $1 a day, or something to that effect. We have homes to live in, access to the internet, clean air to breathe, food to eat and all these things. To be burdened down with our insecurities are not worth our time. Get out there and celebrate your uniqueness and change what you can change naturally. We have one life to live and living it sad, insecure and bewildered is not an option.

Love your life today and live your best life now! Go!

Growing up too slow or too fast!

My parents constantly reminds me of their childhood experiences reminiscing how wonderful, peaceful and meek it was. Many children played and some are still playing with dolls. There are many lessons however that can be learnt from playing with dolls. Technology has advanced tremendously. Dolls are not only soft baby-like toys they have taken on other roles. We have seen dolls talk, show emotions and respond to the children that use them. But are we ready for children to breastfeed these toys?

It is a sad day in our history when inventors can develop a doll that has the ability to respond to breastfeeding by small children. Nothing in the world can justify this kind of technology. The Spanish manufacturer Berjuan must pull this product from the market immediately and people especially parents must begin to stand up and make their voices heard. We cannot allow a profit making entity who does not care about the future of their own society misguide the rest of us. We must allow our children to enjoy their childhood. They are being robbed daily of their childhoods by what we allow them to watch on television, the music that is so widespread and degrading. We have robbed them of their innocence, abusing their bodies and now we want to teach them to act like adults. It is not right. I hope countries like globally will never accept this product in their markets. We blame so many other people and factors for how our children are behaving and when we see the real reason pointing back at us, we appear to be blind.

I do not have a problem with our children playing with dolls, I endorse it. I believe there are so many lessons that our young ones can learn by embracing a doll. They learn that they are not alone in this world and people need love and affection and they learn how to communicate; some even love teaching from playing with dolls. I do not believe young kids think of having sex when they play with dolls. They don’t. They think of being kind to others and ensuring the dolls are safe by protecting it.

What lessons do we really want our children to get? Do we want them to grow up fast and add to the myriad of problems the adults have caused? Can you imagine a young child breastfeeding a doll? That child’s psychology immediately changes and they begin to think and feel like they are adults. I do believe that these are some of the things we have forced on our kids and have caused us not able to really control them. I have worked with children on projects before and some feel they can speak and behave anyway in public disrespecting leaders and undermining those in charge. These kids who will play with ‘Bebe Gloton’ or ‘greedy baby’ will be affected in some way negatively. We have sexualised this world so much that young kids today are engaging more in sexual activities and we are divided on how to solve these problems which we created. We have forced them to act like adults in a child’s body and it confuses them so much.

There should be a ban on this product now. When will this cycle end? I can’t wait till a business develops a doll that will have sexual intercourse with the female doll. Would our eyes be opened then? Oh I hear the defence already….They need to know!

Have you ever been in an enclosed area and smell the fumes from someone smoking? Doesn’t it annoy you? It must be weird being annoyed by a smell. I am upset, agitated, and infuriated when I smell a smoker and the smoke from their activities. I cannot fathom why someone would smoke their way to their death beds. We have heard of the many side-effects and ramifications for smoking cigarettes. For crying out loud go far far away and kill yourself with the fumes. Why make the rest of the world suffer in your unhealthy agony? I cannot imagine what goes on in the lungs and inside the body as they inject those crazy chemicals in.

Obama the Savior

Obama the Savior

My heart goes out though to all of the many addicts to smoking. I really blame them for their conditions and addiction to cigarettes and wish that they would change their lifestyle to a healthier one. Many families are being separated by those family members who smoke for a lifetime and end up dying from complications. There are however, solutions and many alternatives smokers can make to live their lives better.

In America alone 46 million people light a cigar. We have heard many times of the disadvantages for smoking but the information does not move smokers to stop killing themselves silently. They are addicted and so drawn and warped into smoking that they cannot and sometimes find it hard to end a life addicted to its contents. One would think businesses would stop making cigarettes so harmful to the body. No. They are manufactured and marketed to entice the innocent. Many young people are becoming addicted to smoking and the trend must be stopped. How many young people should die because of this addictive substance? Worldwide between 80,000 and 100,000 kids will start smoking everyday. No public service announcement can save those kids. Parents should become involved in parenting once again and ensure that their young children are not being killed early.

I have not felt the urge to smoke, never. I wonder what would prompt someone to light a cigar then. Of course, we can blame society, the culture and all the other factors that motivate our actions. I think our culture has a lot to do with this nasty trend. In Jamaica and many other parts of the world it is acceptable if a teen smokes in public. He/She is seen as unique, special, cool, fun, exciting the list goes on. What if we had generated a culture where we speak out against killing our hearts and our bodies? The price we pay to provide health care to these lunatics who are walking dead bodies waiting to happen must end now.

Side Effects of Smoking Cigarettes

  • Tobacco contributes to many cancers.
  • Smoking causes heart disease.
  • Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which lead to heart attack.
  • Smoking is a slow way to die.
  • Smoking causes heart attacks and strokes.
  • Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.
  • Causes impotence in men.

The list goes on but I decided just to highlight those.

I want people to realize the dangers of smoking and their lives. We are having a heated discussion on health care reform in the US. The fact is people must take personal responsibility for their lives and take steps to live a healthy lifestyle. In 1998 alone, USA spent $72.7 billion on people with health care problems associated with smoking. We are in 2009 that cost would never be decreased but increased. We are setting up ourselves for a huge problem with heart issues and strokes hitting younger people if we create a culture where smoking is accepted. I agree when any government that comes down hard on smokers. They must be taxed to the point where they cannot afford the product. Then we will see this horrendous habit by millions changed.

Can someone tell Obama to make this a teachable moment? He is for crying out loud, spewing fumes into the White house on a regular basis. He must be confronted and a team used to stop his addiction to smoking. If he doesn’t……..Oh my God!

F_317522_c6KHZ1f7HreolYV5FYUQNSGhVw1gLnThe recent campaign by the Ministry of Health in Jamaica with the tagline ‘Pinch, leave an inch, roll’ has come under fire from certain sectors of the society. Esther Tyson, principal of Ardenne High School in Kingston, Jamaica wrote an article in the Sunday Gleaner condemning the campaign calling for serious adjustments to the message. Her new tagline for the campaign would state ‘value self, value others; self-control and true love waits.’

We live in a society that is over sexualised with not only images but also heavily present in our music. The fact remains that our young people are having unprotected sex and the Ministry of Health recognizes this.  Any campaign that is geared towards educating and influencing the use of condoms with the youth must be embraced. The youth globally not only unique in Jamaica are faced with choices daily and most times the values we would ideally want our youth to accept are ignored upon. Societies today are not projecting the conservative values we are told of. Instead, young individuals are bombarded with the acceptable behaviours of promiscuity and unsafe sexual habits.

The Jamaican society has been characterized as a Christian one. However, one would think the church would be vocal on certain issues but on the contrast they are numb and quiet leaving a sector of society to be leaders teaching our children that unprotected sex is real love. Our youth today has taken that message as gospel preaching it to those who they come in contact with, developing a culture where we have accepted sexual activities among young individuals as a norm.

How do we now combat this problem? The advertising campaign suggested by Esther Tyson to promote value self cannot work. Young individuals are battling low self-esteems, no confidence within themselves and a society where they are searching for role models. Valuing Others? Jamaica is currently one of the murder capitals of the world. We have no respect for life or anyone’s life in this country. True love? If a research should be conducted I am positive the percentage would be high of children born out of wedlock. Therefore the campaign that Tyson suggests is nonsensical, and cannot work in this society. The fact is, the campaign suggested by Tyson would be looked down upon and revamped to change its message simply because it would not be current.

The Ministry of Health’s campaign was spot on. Recognizing that young people today are participating in activities like this, arming them with the correct information can only assist. The campaign teamed up with popular show Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall and it was a perfect match because the target audience were fans of the popular show.

It is a pity that Tyson reminds me of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin as a conservative believes that sex should be solely between married couples. However, Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin got pregnant at only 17 years of age. Sarah Palin as a republican politician has been preaching for all her political life of the sacredness of sex and marriage; when in her own household her daughter was ignoring this message. Esther Tyson serves as principal of Ardenne High School, a top school in Kingston, Jamaica. One would think she would have on the ground experience of what is happening to our youth today. However, Tyson still chants from her high seat that the campaign should be ‘value self, value others; self-control and true love waits.’ One thing is for sure, her students are chanting a different message of ‘Pinch, leave an inch, roll.’

It is time we accept the world we live in presently and start accepting the truth. We live in a society where sorry to say sexual promiscuity is a current trend which is very attractive to our young people. We need more innovative campaigns that will challenge stats quo and be different. After all we are in 2009 and not the 1960’s.

Corve DaCosta