Newsletter: December 2008

Building Healthy Relationship Skills Newsletter – December 2008

  • Impact of technology on teen relationships and brain development
  • Native American youth grant opportunity
  • Teens views of marriage
  • Beyond birds and bees
  • What students have on their holiday lists!
  • The Dibble Institute calendar

Dear Friends,Last month, Char Kamper, author of our Connections programs, alerted students and educators at Kansas State University to negative developmental impacts linked to popular student electronics like MP3 players and cell phones.She cited current brain research and reports from teachers in the field as documentation for the trend. Key points from her presentation:

  • Too much input at one time from multi-tasking can slow down the brain’s ability to link thoughts efficiently.
  • Use of electronic technologies stimulates different parts of the brain, rather than those responsible for tasks like reading and creative cognition.
  • Teens are falling short when it comes to deductive reasoning and problem solving without technical back-up.
  • Vocabulary, interpersonal communications skills, and physical exercise are suffering.

Read the entire article and learn nine great tips for parents.In addition to Char’s Connections programs, our online store includes books for teens that build the relationship skills Char considers critical. Popular selections include: “The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating”, ”100 Things Guys Need to Know”, and “A Smart Girl’s Guide to Friendship Troubles” and many more!With all warm wishes,Kay Reed Executive DirectorP.S. Would you like a teen relationship expert, like Char Kamper, to speak to your group? The Dibble Institute can customize a keynote, seminar, or workshop to meet the needs of your organization!

Native American Youth Grant OpportunityThe Administration for Children and Families has just announced the Family Preservation-Improving the Well-Being of Children Project Implementation (HHS-2009-ACF-ANA-NI-0059) grant.One of the goals of the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) Family Preservation Program Announcement (PA) is to increase the percentage of youth and young adults who have the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about healthy relationships, responsible fatherhood, and family preservation.Some of the activities eligible for funding include:

1. Projects that provide youth education in high schools, youth organizations and community centers on the value of healthy relationships and marriages. This can include education on healthy relationship skills including conflict resolution, communication and commitment. Projects should use a pre-marital education curriculum focused on youth.2. Projects that provide youth education in high schools, youth organizations and community centers on the value of responsible fatherhood and family preservation.

The Dibble Institute would be pleased to partner with your organization as you develop your logic model, select a pre-marital, youth focused, community sensitive curricula, and seek letters of support. The Love U2, Connections, and Art of Loving Well curricula work well with the grant’s healthy relationships and fatherhood objectives and, most importantly, are research based, evaluated programs that teens and teachers love!If you have questions about how The Dibble Institute can help you write a successful application, please email Joyce Huff, Director of Outreach, at

Teen views of marriageThe good news? Today’s youth hold positive views of marriage.The not-so-good news? They are increasingly interested in postponing marriage until later in life and increasingly accepting of living together.According to a new study by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

  • Teens attitudes toward marriage are generally favorable,
  • Teen attitudes towards marriage are shifting,
  • Boys’ and girls’ views differ, and
  • Shifting attitudes toward marriage among teens mirror changes in young adults’ behaviors.

Check out our new mini-course, Why Buy the Cow? and the Myths and Facts of Marriage posters and discussion guides to help you reach out to teens on the often unexplained topic of why marriage matters.

Beyond birds and bees – Sex in the media.Last month, Connect with Kids published “Sex in the Media”, based on a report from the Rand Corporation about the impact on teens of heavy sexual content in the media.  They recommend that parents watch these shows with their teens and discuss the issues raised.From The Dibble Institute’s perspective, it reminds us that teens want to talk to their parents not just about “birds and bees” but also about relationships and romance. So, when you are watching that TV show with sexual content and talking with your teen, also discuss the relationships they portray. Are they healthy? What would make them better?You can find great resources for these conversations at the Parent Portal on relationship skills from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Check it out for parent discussion guides and tips for talking with your teen!

Finally……a wish list from teens for the holidaysWhat Students Want from Teachers

  • Take Me Seriously
  • Challenge Me to Think
  • Nurture My Self-Respect
  • Show Me I Can Make A Difference
  • Let Me Do It My Way
  • Tell Me I Can Do It
  • Let Me Move At My Own Pace
  • Show Me How
  • Point me Toward My Goals
  • Make Me Feel Important
  • Build On My Interests
  • Tap My Creativity
  • Bring Out My Best Self

This wish list, created by grade K-11 youth, appeared in Educational Leadership (Nov 2008) just in time for the holidays. Each of us might want to keep these longings of young people in mind as we teach them healthy relationship skills. .

The Dibble Institute CalendarFebruary 25 – 26Arkansas Association of Family and Consumer Science ConferenceHarding University, Searcey, ARKeynote: Kay ReedFeb. 25St. Louis Healthy Marriage Initiative Florissant Valley Community Center, Florissant, MOConnections: Relationships and MarriageTraining:  Joyce Huff

The Dibble Institute, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is dedicated to promoting healthy relationships and helping teens make wise choices! All of our materials are free of political or religious bias. Visit our Website & Catalog, or call 1-800-695-7975.Our research based, best practice, developmentally appropriate programs – being taught across the country – teach students the skills and knowledge that are central to building and maintaining healthy romances and, eventually, marriages. Curricula are easily adapted to classroom, church, community, agency and youth group settings and are appropriate for Family and Consumer Science, career prep and English teachers; youth agency workers; independent living coordinators; abstinence and teen pregnancy prevention workers; camp and after school program staff; Healthy Marriage, CBAE, and Head Start grantees; youth pastors; social workers; and parents. Our activities are funded through sales of educational materials and services and through support from foundations, corporations and individuals.©2008 The Dibble Institute – Phone: 1-800-695-7975The Dibble Institute for Marriage EducationPO Box 7881Berkeley, CA 94707www.BuildingRelationshipSkills.orgrelationshipskills@dibbleinstitute.org800-695-7975P972-226-2824FThis message is in full compliance with U.S. Federal requirements for commercial email and cannot be considered as an unsolicited mass message because it includes a remove mechanism. If this was sent to you by mistake, please discard it and follow the removal information below.If you no longer wish to receive communication from us:CancelTo update your contact information:Update