Spice up your marriage, peer pressure and teens

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by SHANIQUA MANNING / NWCN

NWCN.com

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 16 at 10:40 AM

Make your marriage sizzle

Valentine's Day has come and gone. So how do you keep that romantic spark going all year long?

With jobs and kids, it's so easy to put your relationship on the back burner. But it's important for parents to reconnect. Julie Ogata from ParentMap Magazine says it actually impacts your physical health.

"When you're in a good relationship, your immune system functions better, your creative thinking is improved and your mental health is more stable," she said. "The second thing, the quality of your relationship is crucial for your child's development. Studies show children who live with happy, connected parents can develop better social relationships on their own because they're seeing it in their parents."

Julie says the number one advice is to have date nights! Give yourself permission to send the kids off to a sitter and put your relationship first. Also maintain your hobbies either alone or as a couple. And remember little romantic gestures can go a long way.

Finally, she says don't compare relationships. It doesn't matter what other couples do as long as your family is happy.

When good kids make bad choices

Peer pressure comes on strong in the teen years. A recent study shows teenagers take risks they wouldn't otherwise take when they think a friend is watching.

Researchers at Temple University followed kids playing video games. Those who thought their friends were watching from another room crashed their video game cars 60% more than kids who thought they were playing alone.

The young teens were hooked up to MRI machines which showed the pleasure centers of their brains lit up when they took more risks. Researchers think it helps to explain why adolescents make bad choices when they're with their friends that they wouldn't make when they're alone.

Helping your children build up their self esteem will empower them to stand up to peer pressure. Check out this interview with Dr. Vickie, The Parenting Professor, for some ideas on how to raise your teen’s self esteem.

Tune in to Northwest Families Wednesday mornings at 10 and Thursday mornings at 8. You can also check us out on Facebook.

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