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Parenting Teens -- An Information Resource for Parents of Teenagers

What is “Emo?”

“Emo is a fad, a musical form, a fashion sense, a subculture and a lifestyle.  The name comes from the musical genre called “emotive hardcore.”  The term Emo itself is usually seen as being short for “emotional.”  The people in this lifestyle are usually in their early teens through the early twenties.  The are most easily identified by their fashion, consisting of black clothes, straight black hair, usually covering one eye, black framed glasses, tight, usually dark clothing, makeup is common, but not required, in both sexes, and gender roles seem somewhat blurred, and great deal of androgyny being indicated.    Emo music often speaks of emotional pain, self-injury, suicide, hopelessness, and death.  Writing poetry is often a common trait among “emos.”  The poetry often touches on the same themes as the music.  There are, of course, variations, as there are in any fad, but the main themes remain. 

The emo fad seems to be a bit different in several very important ways.  The emo subculture, in its glorification of self-injury, seems to have caused an epidemic of self-injury.” 

The Choking Game:

Parents, Be Alert to Increasingly-Popular Risky Behavior 

“Between 400 and 500 kids a year die from this game…And that doesn’t count those that just have serious injuries and have to get tracheotomies, or they have strokes, or that have memory loss, that have other neurological impairments secondary to asphyxiation.”
Dr. Phil McGraw

The media, school officials and parents are only now becoming aware of a surge in dangerous behavior that young people call “The Choking Game,” “the pass-out game,” “the tingling game,” “space monkey,” and a variety of other names. Children playing the “game” cut off oxygen to their brains with bags, belts, ropes or their bare hands. Sometimes the “game” is played alone, at other times in groups. The activity seems to be most popular among middle-school-aged children. The danger includes heart attacks, strokes, permanent brain damage, and death. Incidents have been reported from Seattle and Tacoma to small, rural communities.

Parents should be on the lookout for several signs that their child may be participating in this activity:  Unusual marks, bruises or pinpoint blood spots on the neck, or blood spots on the eye and inside of the eyelid, bloodshot eyes, complaints about headaches, ropes or scarves or belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs or found knotted on the floor; increased hostility, and closed doors.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact your child's guidance counselor. 

New Video Game:  The makers of "Grand Theft Auto" will be releasing a new game called Bully in 2006.  It is reported that among other things this game teaches its players how to bully other students and teachers.  While promoting school violence through a game is legal, we ask parents to consider the following when making purchasing decisions.

Some of the effects of playing violent video games include:

  1. Studies show that these games can desensitize children to violence and its consequences.  
  2. We are raising a generation of children who associate horrific violence with pleasure and excitement.  
  3. Children used to be passive observers of screen violence, now they are initiating the violence.
  4. The effects of video violence can include increased aggression and fear among children.  
  5. Realism is important to the gaming industry.  The graphics are very realistic.

A possible alternative is a board game being developed called "Isolation" that teaches about bullying and how to handle it.

From: Randel Consulting, Inc. Newsletter                






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