“Megan is glued to her phone texting her boyfriend and ‘bestie’. I wish I knew how to get her to cut back.”
“I haven’t figured out a good way to limit iPod/computer time yet. Sometimes I allow them an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. Then the next day, I let them play all day. I’m not consistent with it. What drives me really crazy is when we are doing something together and all of the sudden one disappears and goes to play Minecraft without me knowing (I think he/she is heading to the bathroom).”
Do these statements sound as if they’re describing your family?
It has been a few weeks since school ended and children are home for the summer. How many of them, however, are glued to their cell phones or computers?
While most children and teens enjoy using their cell phones and computers for playing games and connecting with others via social media and can do so responsibly, engaging too frequently in these types of activities—in which use becomes obsessive—may be more harmful than just being an annoying habit. “Process addictions,” such as rampant overuse of cell phones and the Internet, are becoming of increased concern because of possible health risks. Some countries in Asia, in fact, are labeling these addictions as some of their nations’ most significant public health risks.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 24.7 million children live apart from their biological fathers; many have little or no contact with them at all. The consequences of this statistic are overwhelming, considering that children lacking a father figure in their lives are at an increased risk of mental illness, behavioral issues, poverty, suicide, and substance abuse, and they are 20 times more likely to get in trouble with the law.
But there is still hope for these young people. There are men in our communities and extended families who have been filling in that gap by mentoring and “fathering” those who need it most. Several students who have been involved with Diakon Youth Services shared their stories of how someone took time to be a father figure and have a life-changing effect on their lives.
It was 10 a.m. on a summer day around this time last year.
I am standing in the tomato patch at Cumberland Crossings, a Diakon senior living community in Carlisle, Pa. Next to me are Denzel, a student from Diakon’s Center Point Day Treatment Program, and Elena, an intern from Dickinson College.
I reach my hand into the tomato plant in front of me to grab a ripe cherry tomato hidden under some branches, but my hand encounters something along the stem soft and squishy. I pull the branch down to take a better look and find a tomato horn worm.
Corey Carothers is the executive director of Diakon Youth Services. He is married to Kelly and they have two children (and one on the way!). Corey also was a chef challenger in this week’s Dining with Diakon – Central Pennsylvania. Last year, he and youth services colleague Anthony Stukes won the 2013 Chef Challenge by raising over $12,000! Corey is committed to the mission at Diakon and goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist youths on a regular basis. Kelly is right beside him as a huge support. We asked them to share some thoughts with us ….
I am a high school senior and intend to graduate in 2014. Before we can walk to graduate and receive a high school diploma in my school, we must complete a senior project. The project may include anything from job shadowing someone for 30 hours, doing 30 hours of community service, or some sort of internship.