6 Signs of a Suicidal Student: Quick Reference

I should have seen it coming but it was just my first few month as a youth pastor. Shari had called me after youth to tell me that she often had thoughts about killing herself. She told me that the feelings come and go but weren’t so serious now.

The calls kept coming and a fear continued to grow in me that if I didn’t take her calls that maybe she would make an attempt. Then the horrible call came, “She is killing herself! A drunk frightened teen was screaming in the phone. She had smashed a bottle and was cutting her thighs, neck and chest with the glass.

It probably wouldn’t have gone to this point if I could have read the signs.

The Six Signs That Social Media is becoming Anti-Social Media in Your Home

Most of the time I like my smart phone, laptop, and using Netflix to avoid annoying commercials. What I don’t like is when social media gets in the way at home. The more I look at it, and the more I read what the research is saying, I realize that despite all of the great stuff about tech,  it is already doing a lot of damage to society.

Here are the 6 signs that digital and social media are harming your home, or your kids…

2 Things We Must Teach Our Students About Sex & Dating

My guess is that the vast majority of youth ministries teach about relationships and sex during the month of February.  If it is not February, then it is some other time of the year.  So why am I telling you that you must teach on them if you are already doing it? What I am wondering is if we are doing it wrong.  When you look at the statistics and the dysfunction of our students have we missed the mark? Now, this is not supposed to be a guilt trip but it’s more of me asking questions about how we address these issues.

The two question we need to ask are…

You Need to See This and 3 Ways to End Bullying

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting too much after seeing so many youth productions in the past 3 decades but after watching this I was blown away by the original score, the humor, and the honesty by the students.

Finally a high quality, original production for youth groups addresses in a funny yet dramatic way, gripping issues like bullying, depression, peer pressure and redemption.

To read more about it, get the link to watch the video and to contact the Jeremy the youth pastor who wrote, directed, and produced this video click here:

Watch the video

Contact Pastor Jeremy  pastorjgifford@gmail.com

3 Strategies to End Bullying

These 3 Simple Stress Solutions Can Work for You

Photo Credit: francisco_osorio via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: francisco_osorio via Compfight cc

Stress is damaging and contagious. Our kids are affected by it. Parents of teens are about as stressed as you can get. Not only are we stressed over conflicts with our kids, we are also dealing with the health issues of our parents. Somewhere in there is our personal stress about money, work, the future, and our own health concerns.

This has been so true for me over the past few months that I had to take some intentional steps to get some relief. It worked!  I really hope that these will work for you too.

not just your son’s problem

A growing number of women are addicted to internet pornography. They admit that this addiction began in their teen years. So as much as we are alarmed with the amount of male students regularly viewing pornography, the rate of teenage girls looking at sexual images and videos is increasing rapidly.

Studies show that explicit material is accessed on phones, so it is increasingly difficult to monitor and control. Rather than turning a blind eye, hoping this will not be a problem for girls, there are at least three things that parents can do.

Three New Dating Dangers: What Parents Can Do

Digital kids have embraced new ways of relating that should make every parent think twice about the changing rules in the dating game. Face Time, Face Book, Snap Chat, Skype, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Texting create possibilities in relationships that weren’t a concern even just ten years ago. Now they are, and we should probably be talking to our teens about each of them…

3 Crucial Ways to Help Kids Who Cut

CTV news in Canada reports “recent statistics show an unprecedented spike in ER visits for kids in mental health crises in Ottawa. In 2012-13, it reported that 2,900 children and teens under 18 sought help — up 64 per cent since 2009-10.”

A similar spike in self harm is reported in America. Many youth pastors I talk to, are at their wits end. Just before I got up to speak at a youth event a while back, they brought a girl up to the front. She had fresh bandages from her wrist to her elbows. They were anxious for me to  help. I prayed with tears but inside I knew that there were also things her family and youth workers would need to do for her.

I am not the expert on this but I’d like to share with you 3 critical ways we can help that I am learning from experts.