Saturday, May 31, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Expert (Sue Scheff) Is Your Child In Trouble?

Is Your Child in Trouble?

This article from the American Chronicle by Genae-Valecia Hinesman lists and details several signs that parents should watch out for, as they may indicate problems in your child's life. Many of these signals are also applicable for inhalant abuse, but this is a great article to read for any parent.

1. Erratic Behavior

"As young people carve out their own individuality separate from that of their parents´, and seek an answer to the proverbial question, "Who AM I?" they could clash more frequently with those around them. They may be happy one minute and sullen the next. Even this is normal. However, if your child starts reacting violently, either at home or at school, clearly something is seriously wrong."

2. Loss of Coordination, Glazed Eyes, Slurred Speech

"Without question, only two things can explain these symptoms. The first is that the person in question has suffered a stroke or a seizure. The second is that this person is inebriated. Both situations require immediate action. If your child is intoxicated, your first duty is to keep them from leaving the house until sober, for their own safety and the safety of others.

Once they are coherent, find out what they were taking and where they obtained it. If they were found unconscious, and taken to a hospital, medical testing will be able to provide a toxicology report. Encourage them to seek help, if addicted, and at least undergo counseling to learn how to avoid future dependency. Help in any way you can, but let them know that they must want to help themselves, in order to successfully change for the better."

3. Persistant Sadness and Withdrawel from Others

"Any child showing these signs for more than two weeks without interruption is clearly depressed. A change in eating habits and/or grooming has probably also been noticed. If so, something, or a combination of things, has triggered these changes. Your job is to find out what."

4. Honor Student to Dropout

"If your consistently top-notch student suddenly loses interest in school with grades in two or more classes plummeting, take heed! Straight A´s simply don´t turn into D´s overnight. Sit down with him or her and find out what´s happening in your child´s life.

Whatever it happens to be, let him or her know that you´re willing not only to help, but to listen as well. Refuse to accept "Leave me alone!" or "Nothing!" as acceptable answers. If they won´t talk to you, find another trusted adult with whom they will talk. Seek professional help if they need it."

5. Drastic Social Changes

"Friends and companions can and sometimes should, change a bit by the time your child leaves high school. Nevertheless, if your child´s associates suddenly are vastly different in negative ways from those they used to spend time with, this is usually a very bad sign. It´s even more telling if they now avoid or shun their old friends for no readily apparent reason."

6. Finding Unusual Possessions

"Discovering drugs, whether prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal narcotics that you had no idea that your child was using calls for immediate address. The same can be said for condoms, birth control devices, cigarettes, alcohol, and drug paraphernalia of any kind.

Recently, even glue, industrial products, and cleaning supplies have been used as inhalants (known among teens as "huffing") by kids seeking to get "high"-- often with fatal results. Finding these in your child´s room, pockets, or belongings is just as serious as finding a weapon. More than a red flag, this is a screaming siren!"

7. Legal Troubles

"Finally, if your child has been arrested at least once, this is clear indication that the situation is rapidly careening beyond the scope of your reach. By the time law enforcement becomes involved two or more times, your child has become society´s problem and the courts will soon decide his or her future.

Repeated run-ins with legal authorities can never be overlooked as "just a phase". There may still be hope, but only if drastic measures are taken and your child still cares enough to save himself or herself. Only so many chances are given to legal offenders. Don´t let time run out. Intervene while you still can."

These are all excellent points and can be of help to parents who ask, "is my kid abusing inhalants?" The warning signs are often subtle, but they are there.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) The Emotional Lives of Adolescents

Building a Bridge Between Dependence and Autonomy

Author: Alexandra DeGeorge, Psy.D.

Although adolescence was once believed to be a time of rebellion and tumult, we now know that this developmental stage is calmer than previously assumed. The "rebellion" often seen in teens is likely due to the increased physical, cognitive and social changes that occur in development. During this period, parents may feel as if their teen has turned into another person. Teenagers are often described as "moody," "irritable," "argumentative," "indecisive" and "consumed with oneself." The once docile school-aged child is now snapping back to her parents when she isn't able to wear a particular outfit to school.
The child who listened and agreed with his father's reasoning for the way things work in the world is suddenly questioning his father's explanations and values. Still at other times, your adolescent appears understanding and accepting of your advice. Typical experiences include both of these extremes, vacillating between occasions where your teen reaches out and requests your support with occasions where your opinions are rejected. Family conflict that ensues commonly centers on everyday issues.
For example, you may be likely to argue with your teen over the clothing he chooses, amount of time she spends on the computer, or setting a curfew.Why the observable differences in your child? Throughout this phase of development, a bridge is forming between childhood and adulthood. The teen begins to develop independence and autonomy while also remaining reliant on the family. The period of adolescence is fraught with many changes, and as we look at them in context, we begin to understand the responses that typify teenage behavior.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sue Scheff: Understanding The Teen Years: A Parents Guide to Surviving The Teen Years

Source: The Nemours Foundation

You've lived through 2 AM feedings, toddler temper tantrums, and the but-I-don't-want-to-go-to-school-today blues. So why is the word "teenager" causing you so much anxiety?
When you consider that the teen years are a period of intense growth, not only physically but morally and intellectually, it's understandable that it's a time of confusion and upheaval for many families.

Despite some adults' negative perceptions about teens, they are often energetic, thoughtful, and idealistic, with a deep interest in what's fair and right. So, although it can be a period of conflict between parent and child, the teen years are also a time to help children grow into the distinct individuals they will become.

Understanding the Teen Years

So when, exactly, does adolescence start? The message to send your kid is: Everybody's different. There are early bloomers, late arrivals, speedy developers, and slow-but-steady growers. In other words, there's a wide range of what's considered normal.

But it's important to make a (somewhat artificial) distinction between puberty and adolescence. Most of us think of puberty as the development of adult sexual characteristics: breasts, menstrual periods, pubic hair, and facial hair. These are certainly the most visible signs of impending adulthood, but children between the ages of 10 and 14 (or even younger) can also be going through a bunch of changes that aren't readily seen from the outside. These are the changes of adolescence.

Many kids announce the onset of adolescence with a dramatic change in behavior around their parents. They're starting to separate from Mom and Dad and to become more independent. At the same time, kids this age are increasingly aware of how others, especially their peers, see them and they're desperately trying to fit in.

Kids often start "trying on" different looks and identities, and they become acutely aware of how they differ from their peers, which can result in episodes of distress and conflict with parents.

Butting Heads

One of the common stereotypes of adolescence is the rebellious, wild teen continually at odds with Mom and Dad. Although that extreme may be the case for some kids and this is a time of emotional ups and downs, that stereotype certainly is not representative of most teens.
But the primary goal of the teen years is to achieve independence. For this to occur, teens will start pulling away from their parents - especially the parent whom they're the closest to. This can come across as teens always seeming to have different opinions than their parents or not wanting to be around their parents in the same way they used to.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

(Sue Scheff) A Cry for Help - Teens Self-Cutting

“For some reason, when I’d get depressed, I would just take a razor and I’d cut little slits in my arm. I don’t know why I did it.”

– Melissa, 19

At thirteen, Melissa Gerjoi tried to kill herself.

“I just wanted to do something, something that would just totally stop everything,” Melissa, now 19, recounts.

She later realized she didn’t want to die; she wanted to get rid of the pain.

“For some reason, when I’d get depressed, I would just take a razor and I’d cut little slits in my arm,” she says. “And I don’t know why I did it, and I don’t know why it was any consolation whatsoever.”

It was after her father died in a car crash that Melissa started cutting herself. It was her way of coping.

“Sometimes kids are engaging in this behavior as a way of converting their intense emotional pain into the more tolerable physical pain,” explains Dr. Leslie Apfelbaum, a child psychologist.
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, in the year 2005, nearly half a million people were treated in emergency rooms for self-inflicted wounds. More of them were teenagers than any other age group. Experts say most aren’t trying to die, they’re crying out for help.
“We actually call it suicidal gestures,” says Dr. Apfelbaum. “…a way of asking for help without actually doing something too harmful.”

A change in behavior, as well as long sleeves and baggy clothes to hide scars, are clues your child may be hurting themselves. Professional therapy can help unlock the emotional pain.
Family support and time away at boarding school helped Melissa pull her life back together and stop the vicious cycle of self-inflicted pain.

“I sort of stopped my life and went on and started a new one,” she says. “I mean, I totally turned around and changed into a different person.”

Tips for Parents

Self-Injury May Be Path to Suicide
What exactly constitutes self-injury? According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), self-injury is the act of deliberately destroying body tissue – at times to change a way of feeling. Lately it has become a popular among adolescents, and its forms may include the following:
Picking and pulling skin and hair
Head banging
Excessive tattooing
Excessive body piercing

The AACAP says that teens engage in self-mutilation in order to take risks, to rebel, to reject their parents’ values, to state their individuality or merely to be accepted by their peers. Others, however, may injure themselves out of desperation or anger to seek attention, to show their hopelessness and worthlessness or because they have suicidal thoughts. Some young children may resort to self-injurious acts from time to time but often grow out of it. Children with mental retardation and/or autism may also show these behaviors, which may persist into adulthood. And children who have been abused or abandoned may self-mutilate.

The Self-Harm Alliance cites the following factors that may contribute to a teen’s reasons for self-harming:

Loss of a loved one
Physical abuse, such as domestic violence
Sexual abuse, such as rape or child abuse
Verbal abuse, such as bullying
Childhood neglect from one or both parents
Physical Illness or disability
Loss of freedom
Relationship problems

If your child or adolescent is engaging in self-harm, the AACAP says it is important to talk to your child about respecting and valuing his or her body. You can also help your teen to avoid hurting himself or herself by teaching him or her the following skills:
To accept reality and find ways to make the present moment more tolerable
To identify feelings and talk them out rather than acting on them
To distract himself or herself from feelings of self-harm (counting to 10, waiting 15 minutes, saying “NO!” or “STOP!,” practicing breathing exercises, journaling, drawing, thinking about positive images, using ice and rubber bands, etc.)
To stop, think and evaluate the pros and cons of self-injury
To soothe himself or herself in a positive, non-injurious way
To practice positive stress management
To develop better social skills

You should have your child evaluated by a mental health professional to identify and treat the underlying causes of self-injury. A child and adolescent psychiatrist can also diagnose and treat any serious psychiatric disorders that may accompany your child’s self-injurious behavior.
The most severe cases of self-injury result in suicide. The CDC estimates about 32,000 people commit suicide every year in the United States. It is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-old. The National Association of School Psychologists cites the following signs indicating that your child’s self-injurious behavior may be escalating to suicide:

Suicide notes: These notes are a very real sign of danger and should be taken seriously.
Threats: Threats may be direct statements (“I want to die” or “I am going to kill myself”) or, unfortunately, indirect comments (“The world would be better without me” and “Nobody will miss me anyway”). Among teens, indirect clues could be offered through joking or through comments in school assignments, particularly creative writing or artwork.

“Masked” depression: Sometimes risk-taking behaviors can include acts of aggression, gunplay and alcohol or substance abuse.

Final arrangements: This behavior may take many forms, such as giving away prized possessions like jewelry, clothing, journals or pictures.

Continued efforts to hurt oneself: Common self-destructive behaviors include running into traffic, jumping from heights and scratching, cutting or marking the body.

Changes in physical habits and appearance: Changes include an inability to sleep or sleeping all of the time, sudden weight gain or loss and disinterest in appearance or hygiene.

If one or more of these signs occurs, talk to your child about your concerns and seek professional help when the concerns persist. With support from family and professional treatment, your child can heal and return to a more healthy path of development.

As a parent, you can help prevent teen suicide in the following ways, according to PROMINA Health System:

Know the warning signs and when to get a professional assessment.

Learn who your child is, how he or she feels and what he or she thinks by being more involved in his or her life.

Improve and enhance adult supervision and socialization and monitor the feelings, thoughts and behaviors of your child.

Emphasize honest communication and sharing.

Emphasize honest cooperation with authority and systems, such as school, church, work or rules at home.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Association of School Psychologists
PROMINA Health System
Self-Harm Alliance

(Sue Scheff) Behavior Therapy for Children with ADHD

Seven parenting strategies guaranteed to improve the behavior of your child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD).

The fundamentals of behavior therapy are easy to understand and implement, even without the help of a therapist. Have you ever given your child a time-out for talking back — or a “heads-up” before taking him someplace that is likely to challenge his self-control? Then you already have a sense of how behavior therapy works.

“A lot of behavior modification is just common-sense parenting,” says William Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., director of the Center for Children and Families at the State University of New York at Buffalo. “The problem is that none of us were trained how to be good parents, and none of us expected to have children who needed parents with great parenting skills and patience.”

The basic idea is to set specific rules governing your child’s behavior (nothing vague or too broad), and to enforce your rules consistently, with positive consequences for following them and negative consequences for infractions. Dr. Pelham suggests these seven strategies:
1. Make sure your child understands the rules.

Telling a child to “do this” or to “avoid doing that” is not enough. To ensure that your child knows the rules cold, create lists and post them around the house. For example, you might draw up a list detailing the specific things your child must do to get ready for school.
Make sure the rules are worded clearly. Go over the rules to make sure he understands, and review them as necessary. Stick with the routines until your child has them down.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

(Sue Scheff) Safeguarding Teenage Drivers with ADD

By ADDitude Magazine

Young motorists with ADD need to be extra careful on the road. Here's how they can drive safely.

Motorists with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) - especially teens - need to be extra careful on the road.

Here's how to help them minimize distractions and stay safe.

Pick a safe car. Larger cars offer greater protection in the event of an accident.

Help your teen with ADD learn to drive. Practice sessions should cover a variety of situations.

Ask that he drive with an adult for at least his first 500 miles behind the wheel.

Don't let your teen drive at night. Most fatal crashes involving young drivers occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.

Don't let your teenager chauffeur other teens.

Remind your teen that he must wear a seat belt at all times ...and that he must never drive after drinking or using drugs.

For more on keeping teenagers safe behind the wheel, see AD/HD & Driving: A Guide for Parents of Teens with AD/HD, by J. Marlene Snyder, Ph.D. (Whitefish Consultants, 2001).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sue Scheff: Talking To Your Kids About Drugs

As a parent advocate, this is one of the most important conversations you should have your kids today - opening the lines of communication can sometimes be difficult, but we never give up.

Just as you inoculate your children against illnesses like measles, you can help "immunize" them against drug use by giving them the facts before they're in a risky situation.When kids don't feel comfortable talking to parents, they're likely to seek answers elsewhere, even if their sources are unreliable. Kids who aren't properly informed are at greater risk of engaging in unsafe behaviors and experimenting with drugs.

Sue Scheff: Inhalant Abuse - WARNING SIGNS for Parents

Inhalant Abuse is a lesser-known form of substance abuse, but is no less dangerous than other forms.The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service has reported that more than 2.1 million children in America experiment with some form of an inhalant each year and the Centers for Disease Control lists inhalants as second only to marijuana for illicit drug use among youth.

However, parents aren't talking to their children about this deadly issue. According to the Alliance for Consumer Education's research study, Inhalant Abuse falls behind alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use by nearly 50% in terms of parental knowledge and concern. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that 18 percent of all eighth graders have used inhalants, but nine out of 10 parents are unaware or deny that their children have abused inhalants. Many parents are not aware that inhalant users can die the first time they try Inhalants.

Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome is caused in one of two ways. First, Inhalants force the heart to beat rapidly and erratically until the user goes into cardiac arrest. Second, the fumes from an Inhalant enter a user's lungs and central nervous system. By lowering oxygen levels enough, the user is unable to breathe and suffocates. Regular abuse of these substances can result in serious harm to vital organs including the brain, heart, kidneys and liver.

Even if the user doesn't die, Inhalants can still affect the body. Most Inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication with initial excitement, then drowsiness, disinhibition, lightheadedness and agitation. Short-term effects include headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, severe mood swings and violent behavior, slurred speech, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, nausea, hearing loss, limb spasms, fatigue, and lack of coordination. Long- term effects include central nervous system or brain damage. Serious effects include damage to the liver, heart, kidneys, blood oxygen level depletion, unconsciousness and death.

Studies show that strong parental involvement in a child's life makes the child less likely to use Inhalants. Know the warning signs or behavior patterns to watch for and take the time to educate yourself about the issue so that you can talk to your children about inhalants.

Click here for entire article and warning signs

Sunday, May 25, 2008

(Sue Scheff) Children Who Bully

Bullying among children is aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Typically, it is repeated over time. Bullying can take many forms such as hitting or punching (physical bullying); teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying); intimidation through gestures or social exclusion (nonverbal bullying or emotional bullying); and sending insulting messages by e-mail (cyberbullying).

There is no one single cause of bullying among children. Rather, individual, family, peer, school, and community factors can place a child or youth at risk for bullying his or her peers.

Characteristics of children who bully

Children who bully their peers regularly (i.e., those who admit to bullying more than occasionally) tend to:

Be impulsive, hot-headed, dominant;
Be easily frustrated;
Lack empathy;
Have difficulty following rules; and
View violence in a positive way.
Boys who bully tend to be physically stronger than other children.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Carolina Springs Academy, Darrington Academy, Midwest Academy, Red River Academy, Royal Gorge Academy, Lisa Irvin, etc....

Are you considering any of the following programs for your child? Take a moment to read my experiences - as well as my book where you can hear my daughter's experiences for the first time - order today at .

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework!
Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS
Horizon Academy, NV
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Royal Gorge Academy, CO
Sky View Academy, NV
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Youth Education, Inc. LaVerkin UT
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica

Sue Scheff: Helping ADHD Children with Impulse Control: Smart Discipline

Help children with ADHD think before they act by establishing clear expectations, positive incentives, and predictable consequences for good or bad behavior at school and home.
For children with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) ruled by their impulses, calling out in class or pushing to the front of the line comes naturally. These kids live in the moment, undeterred by rules or consequences. Even when they are rude or unruly, they may not recognize that their behavior is disturbing to others.

Lack of impulse control may be the most difficult ADD symptom to change. Medication can help, but kids also need clear expectations, positive incentives, and predictable consequences if they are to learn to regulate their behavior.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Teens and Dating

Tips for Parents and Professionals

Author: Kate Fogarty Source: University of Florida IFAS Extension

Romantic Feelings of Teens: A Natural Process

Teens face strong pressures to date, as well as get involved in a romantic relationship1. A romantic relationship is one that invloves feelings of attraction–physical and friendship. In fact, over half of teens in the United States report dating regularly (casual dates with one or more partners at different times) whereas a third claim to have a steady dating (exclusive) partner2. Young teens usually hang out with peers who are the same gender as they are. As they reach the mid-teen years (age 14-15 years), they start having relationships with peers of the opposite sex3. Such relationships are likely to be friendships and/or physical attractions. Although most romantic relationships among 12- to 14-year-olds last less than 5 months, by age 16 relationships last an average of 2 years4. In the early teen years dating is more superficial–for fun and recreation, status among peers, and exploring attractiveness/sexuality. In the older teen years youth are looking for intimacy, companionship, affection, and social support.

Sue Scheff: Understanding Teen Decision Making

What was he thinking? How could she? If you find yourself wondering what your teen was thinking, the answer may be “not much.” Kids often make snap judgments based on impulse, especially when situations come up quickly, leaving teens with little time to sort through the pros and cons.

Some of those hasty decisions may involve cheating in school; skipping class; using alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs; going somewhere or being with someone that you do not approve of; or driving too fast. But the consequences can include losing your trust, letting down friends, getting into trouble, hurting education and job prospects, causing illness or injury, or leading to other reckless behavior.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs, Sex, and Alcohol

These are subjects you’ll want to talk about with your children before there is a problem. As a family, you can establish boundaries and consequences and come to a common understanding of what is acceptable.Sex: According to Advocates for Youth, statistics indicate that children who talk to their parents about sex are less likely to engage in high-risk behavior, such as having sex without condoms.

70.6% of teens who reported they didn’t feel comfortable talking to their parents had sex by age 17-19. That compares to 57.9% of teens who reported a close relationship.

It’s true. Not talking to your children about sex isn’t that likely to keep them from doing it. But the opposite is also true. Talking to them about it, isn’t more likely to have them engaging in sexual activity. If it means having sexually active children behaving maturely, talking things out can only help keep our kids safer.

If you think your child is already having sex, chat with them about it. Don’t get angry, but approach it in a calm and reasonable manner. Talk to them about your experiences and be honest. If your child has a boyfriend/girlfriend and things seem to be getting serious, start the conversation if you haven’t already. Above all, make sure they are being safe.

Drugs & Alcohol: Many professionals agree that when parents talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol, those discussions are very likely to shape the child’s attitude about those subjects.

Before you talk to your kids - educate yourself. Check with your local school, library or even look online for the straight facts about drugs and alcohol. Simply telling your kids, “Drugs and alcohol are dangerous,” isn’t going to be as efficient as truly illustrating the very real dangers of substance abuse. Try not to lecture, listen to what your kids have to say and really talk about the issues.

As always, keep it casual. If you spend time with your teenagers and keep the lines of communication open, bringing up the subject is much easier.

Signs of Drug & Alcohol Use: Look out for these tell-tale signs that your child might be using drugs or alcohol:

• Loss of interest in family and other usual activities.
• Not living up to responsibilities.
• Verbally or physical abusiveness.
• Coming home late.
• Increased dishonesty.
• Declining grades.
• Severe mood swings.
• Big change in sleeping patterns..

Understand that a lot of the above signs, especially near the top of the list, could mean a multitude things. Teenagers who are depressed can act in similar ways. When approaching your child, don’t be accusatory. Try to connect with them and see what’s really happening in their lives.

Additional Resources:

Teen Addiction

This anthology presents an examination of the causes of teen addiction and various proposals to reduce or solve the problem, as well as the personal narratives of teens struggling to overcome their addictions.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

(Sue Scheff) Keeping your Profile Clean

Since winning an unprecedented jury verdict of over $11M for Internet Defamation and Invasion of Privacy, more and more people are learning about the valuable services of companies like ReputationDefender.

In today's CyberWorld - it only takes a few keystrokes to potentially ruin lives and businesses. I will continue to be a voice to help others and help promote Internet Safety.

(Sue Scheff) Teenage Gambling Addiction

More and more parents are contacting us with this latest trend among teens: Teenage Gambling Addition. Read more at

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ADHD and Heart Problems by Connect with Kids

By Connect with Kids

Approximately 2.5 million American children are on stimulant medication for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) -- medication that, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), could potentially trigger heart problems. That’s why the American Heart Association has a new recommendation.

Read the entire article here.

(Sue Scheff) Resources on Inhalant Abuse

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) As a parent advocate, more and more parents need to learn about the dangers of inhalant abuse in our country with our kids. It is just as important as drug use and other substances teens are abusing.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dozier Internet Law: MySpace Hacking Indictment Well-Supported

By John W. Dozier (Super Lawyer in the Law of the Internet)

The federal prosecutors in California obviously did their legal research before asking the grand jury to indict under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the suicide case. I don't like the statute's seemingly over-broad reach. I've criticized the statute in the past for the very same reasons some of the free speech liberal commentators object all over the airwaves today. The difference, however, is that I don't pretend to make the law mean what I would like for it to mean. It is what it is. And, as it is written, the prosecutors believe they are right, I think they are right, and the 9th Circuit does too!

Wonder if the prosecutors read my blog entry from last June about Dozier Internet Law and our view on the law of hacking? And I wonder how many of these law professors and talking heads on TV have ever tried a hacking or unauthorized access case? Maybe the prosecutors are new to this, maybe they aren't. But at least they did their legal research. Commentators, particularly the "free speechers" expressing outrage over the indictment, should be so diligent. There's at least one law professor so outraged he is offering his legal services for free. A little research, Mr. Professor, may be in order.

Here's why:

California is in the 9th Circuit. I suggest anyone interested in commenting on the case who also wants to sound somewhat knowledgeable read the Middleton v. US case decided by the 9th Circuit. I suspect the prosecutors will use this case to argue that unauthorized access causing damage or loss has already been recognized as a crime in the 9th Circuit. Lay on top of that decision another 9th Circuit case, Creative Computing v., which Dozier Internet Law argued before the 9th Circuit, and you can see that the rationale the prosecutors are using has already been established in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a couple of decisions. The trial court HAS TO follow this case law from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals! Anywhere else in the country and they would not have a trial court bound by this precedent. Smart prosecutors, I would say.

Visit the Dozier Internet Law Hacking page on our site and you can see that our interpretation has always been that such access in violation of a user agreement or terms of use violates not only the CFAA but also many, many state computer crime laws. For those who think that the CFAA applies only to damage to a computer, read the code sections again. And for those who believe that a damage or loss could not include personal injury or death, view the expansive definition of "loss". How could this statute evolve since its passage in the late 1990s to be so inclusive today? 9/11 and the Patriot Act, frankly. You can research the changes that were made to the law, review the legislative history, and read the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act from top to bottom. You may even want to re-read the Dozier Internet Law Hacker Blog Entry from last June in which I made the same points the prosecutor will likely be relying upon, and described a criminal hacking trial for which I was lead counsel in which the Judge also found that violating a terms of use is unauthorized access (won on other grounds).

No, this is not an unprecedented case. The FBI and Department of Justice recently raided our client's offices in Florida based on an alleged website user agreement violation. Another FBI investigation targeted a client for doing the same thing in Northern California. The concepts may seem novel or unique to those feigning expertise in this area of the law. But, the indictment is likely well grounded in law, and I am not surprised at all that the prosecutors brought charges under the CFAA. Particularly in California and the 9th Circuit.

The lesson, of course, is that those contracts you agree to online are binding, and those abusing a website and joining the world of online scofflaws had better watch out. I still don't like the statutes that associate hackers with non-malicious unauthorized access. But, no matter how hard the left wing, free speech commentators try, they can't change the law. They see it as they want it to be. We see it as it is. And it is what it is! Ask the 9th Circuit.

Sue Scheff: Can Children Outgrow ADHD?

Parents of children with attention deficit disorder often wonder if their kids will stay on ADD drugs for life. A medical expert explains.

I recently diagnosed eight-year-old Aidan with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). When I met with his parents to explain the disorder, each time I described a symptom, his mother exclaimed, “That’s me!” or “I’ve been like that all my life, too.” At the end of the appointment, she asked me if she should be evaluated, as well.

As an adult, Aidan’s mother had jumped from job to job, and had difficulty meeting household demands. As a child, she had struggled through school, often getting into trouble and getting poor grades. After a thorough evaluation of her chronic and pervasive history of hyperactivity, distractibility, and other symptoms of ADHD, she was diagnosed by a psychiatrist who works with adults.

Krysten Moore, Miss 2007 New Jersey Teen International Bullying Prevention Spokesperson for Love Our Children USA

Krysten Moore is 2007 Miss Teen International of New Jersey continues to be a voice to help protects kids from cyberbullying. As a once victim of cyberbullying, she fought back and went on to rise above it all. Today Krysten's voice is heard in the many lectures she has given and recently she was on The Cyber Savvy Show with Erika-Marie Geiss. Listen here.
I meet Krysten when we were both on The Rachael Ray show and was extremely impressed with her maturity and dedication to help others.
This week (May 21st) on The Cyber Savvy Show, Michael Fertik from Reputation Defender will be on.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sue Scheff: Deliberate Misuse of Inhalers Found in 1/4 of Teens

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff):As a parent advocate, I am learning more and more about inhalant abuse and parents need to be aware of this type of way that kids are getting high today and potentially deadly. Read this article and learn more.


We've had a few questions on the message board in the past months about teens potentially using their asthma medication to get high. One poster's friend had a daughter whose inhaler recently needed to be refilled every week when it normally was only refilled every two or three months. Another's stepson was misusing his asthma medication and "has been eating this pills as if they are M&Ms!"
The University of Michigan News Service featured an article about a new study looking at the prevalence of inhaler abuse in teenagers. The study in question was performed by researchers at the U of M using 723 adolescents in thirty-two treatment facilities. The study reports that "nearly one out of four teens who use an asthma inhaler say their intent is to get high".

The lead author of the study, Brian Perron, declared that their findings "indicate that inhaler misuse for the purposes of becoming intoxicated is both widespread and may justifiably be regarded as a form of substance abuse in many cases."

The study also found that teens that abuse inhalers are more likely to abuse other drugs as well as have higher levels of distress. They were also more "prone to suicidal thoughts and attempts than youths who did not misuse their inhalers to get high."

From a survey of the study participants, "about 27 percent of youths who had been prescribed an inhaler used it excessively. In addition, one-third of all youths in the sample had used an asthma inhaler without a prescription."
So why would teens abuse their inhalers? What are the effects? The inhaler abusers said that they experienced positive feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and an increase in confidence.

The negative effects were "feeling more dizzy, headaches, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, and confusion."

The most common misusers of their asthma inhalers were females and Caucasians.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dozier Internet Law: MySpace Hacking Indictment Well Supported

Cyberbullying is finally be recognized! This was a long time coming and how sad that it took the death of an innocent young girl to help make a movement towards change.
As a victim and survivor of Cyber harassment, you don't have to be a child to be harassed and bullied online - it is happening to all ages. The case of Megan Meier is nothing short of tragic and brings cyberbullying to a new level of extreme concern.
I received emails and calls daily from victims of Cyber Slander and Internet Abuse, this is a growing and expanding problem that needs to be addressed, this new bill is only the beginning. After winning an unprecedented jury verdict for damages of what was done to me on the Internet of over $11.M - I continue to be a voice for those that are being harassed and help others with their potential cases. When the jury read through the many posts of slanderous and defamatory comments posted online about my family, my organization and myself - they were appalled. They told my attorney and myself they set the verdict high to send a message - you can't use your keypad as a weapon to harm others.
John W. Dozier, Jr., AV rated and Preeminent "Super Lawyer" in the law of the Internet, founder of award winning, venture backed e-commerce companies beginning in February of 1994, and President of Dozier Internet Law, offers his conservative, pro-business perspective.

(Sue Scheff) Parents Helping To Stop Bullying and School Violence

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff): Love our Children USA offers help for kids and parents today with all the issues they face. Bullying, cyberbullying and school violence is part of what our children may face. Learn more here.

Sue Scheff and Parents Universal Resource Experts: Parenting Your Kids Can Be Challenging

Connect with Kids is a comprehensive website that offers parenting articles, helpful tips for parents, parent forums and more. They also offer Parenting DVD's on a variety of subjects that affect our kids today. Whether it is Troubled Teens or how to raise successful kids - there is probably a DVD that can help you better understand the issues surrounding our kids today.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy 21st Birthday to A Remarkable Young Adult and Upcoming Young Author

Kristin Stattel is an amazing young adult that has been through the darkest of times after losing her mother to cancer when Kristin was only 14 years old and then being placed in several schools and programs while she tried to sort out her feelings of grief.

She boldly admits she has had her share of troubles, but rising above them all in her new and inspiring book - "It's All Good" that will touch the hearts of teens and adults alike.

Kristin is pictured here with my book which she felt has inspired her to open up and write her own story with the desire to help others, as Wit's End does- helping others through my own experiences.

Although Kristin has suffered in some "not-so-good" programs, as my daughter did, she believes without intervention her life, she may not be where she is today. In the end, the right program was found and gave Kristin the strength and courage to become the wonderful young adult she is today.

I believe people will be amazed with her writing and ability to bring you into her life and make you feel good and live life to the best it can be. Her constant in life is no matter what is happening is "It's All Good!"

Personally, Kristin is a very special person that has endured more than most adults have in a lifetime as well as overcome many obstacles that could have destroyed her. However she has prevailed with a positive outlook and an upbeat personality that continues to give to everyone that comes into her life.

Happy 21st Birthday Kristin!

Sue Scheff, Parents Universal Resource Experts: Cutting Back on Sugar to Treat Symptoms in Children

Simple changes in diet, like cutting back on snacks with sugar, could bring out the sweeter side this holiday season in your child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD).
Chances are, you’ve had the following chat with the doctor of your child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) — probably just before the holidays: “Every time Johnny eats lots of sugary foods, his symptoms of ADHD worsen, and he becomes irritable and hyper. I dread this season because Johnny turns it into unhappy days for everyone.”

Your doctor leans back in his leather chair and says, “What your child eats has nothing to do with his behavior! There is no research that supports this idea.”

Click here for the entire article.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

(Sue Scheff) Texting While Driving

Parents Universal Resource Experts, Sue Scheff - Today parenting a teenager has many more concerns - drinking and driving is a major concern, and now we have to add texting and driving or talking on cell phones while driving. Here is a tipsheet parents need to review if they have a teenage driver in their house.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parenting Includes Watching Your Child's Diet (Easier said than done)

Junk Food Commercials

By Connect with Kids

The number of overweight kids in the U.S. has doubled since 1980, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Some blame the long, inactive hours that children spend watching TV, but new research suggests the reason may be less about how much television children are watching and more about what they're watching. Click here for Tip Sheet for Parents.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sue Scheff- Parents Universal Resource Experts - Huffing Freon

As a parent advocate (Sue Scheff) I think there needs to be more awareness on inhalant use of today's kids. Huffing Freon can be so accessible to kids today - especially since I am in Florida - I think parents need to take time and learn more. is a good place to start. Read More.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) ADHD Symptom Checklist

Do you have ADD? Use this checklist to understand common ADHD symptoms and test your own behavior before seeking an ADHD diagnosis.

You may have attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) if you notice the following symptoms persisting for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and immature. If you suspect that you have ADD or ADHD, contact your medical health-care professional...
At least six of the following ADHD symptoms often apply:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sue Scheff - Happy Mother's Day!

Parents' Universal Resource Experts wishes all the mothers, grandmothers and others that are like mother's to someone - a very happy and wonderful Mother's Day!

Sue Scheff: Standing Up for Your Child’s Educational Rights

Learn your child’s educational rights to get him the support he needs in the classroom.

In an ideal world, teachers and school administrators would be as eager as parents to see that children with ADD get what they need to succeed in school. Unfortunately, teachers are pressed for time as never before, and school districts are strapped for cash. So it’s up to parents to make sure that their kids get the extra support they need.

“The federal government requires schools to provide special services to kids with ADD and other disabilities, but the school systems themselves bear much of the cost of these services,” says Susan Luger, director of The Children’s Advisory Group in New York City. “Though they’ll never admit it, this gives the schools an incentive to deny these services. The process of obtaining services has become much more legalistic over the past 10 years.”

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sue Scheff: i-SAFE Help Keep You Safe Online

i-SAFE Inc. is the worldwide leader in Internet safety education. Founded in 1998 and endorsed by the U.S. Congress, i-SAFE is a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting the online experiences of youth everywhere. i-SAFE incorporates classroom curriculum with dynamic community outreach to empower students, teachers, parents, law enforcement, and concerned adults to make the Internet a safer place. Please join us today in the fight to safeguard our children’s online experience.

Click here for more information.

Sue Scheff: Top 10 Questions about ADHD Medications... Answered!

Wondering about ADHD medications? Expert answers to common questions about ADD drugs and treatment.

1. How can I tell if my child really needs ADHD medications?

Experts agree that medication should be considered for any child whose symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) interfere with his social, emotional, or academic life. Behavioral therapy and other non-drug treatments can be helpful for controlling ADHD symptoms, but, in most cases, experts say, these approaches are not powerful enough to replace medication.

"If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and is struggling, he probably needs medication," says Stephen Copps, M.D., an ADHD specialist in Macon, Georgia. "Medication is the cornerstone of therapy. It's appropriate for most children with diagnosable ADHD. It is not a last resort."

Of course, it's essential that your child's diagnosis of ADHD is a reliable one. ADHD-like symptoms can be caused by a range of disorders, including anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In some cases, a child's symptoms arise from the frustration associated with having to struggle with a learning disorder.

Make sure the doctor uses the diagnostic criteria spelled out in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, commonly referred to as the DSM-IV. The doctor should get input from your child’s teacher as well as from you, his parents.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - is a website that offers parents a wide variety of information for parent from toddlers to teens!

Check it out and learn more about parenting your individual child.

What is is an online resource for parents with kids in preschool through grade 12.On our site you can:

Search over 4,000 reference articles from the best and most authoritative sources across the web. From the NYU Child Study Center to the Autism Society of America, Reading is Fundamental to Stanford University School of Education, our Reference Desk brings the best information from the most trusted universities, professional associations, non-profit institutes, and government agencies together in one place.

Browse our online magazine for hundreds of ideas that take learning beyond the classroom and into your family’s everyday life. We cover topics across the parental spectrum-- from practicing fractions by baking cookies, to how to deal with ADHD, bullying, to navigating the parent-teacher conference.

Explore virtual neighborhoods where parents with similar interests or challenges connect to trade advice and share their experiences with one another—whether it’s about dyslexia or dioramas.

Sue Scheff: ReputationDefender Launches A New Service

Since signing up with ReputationDefender after winning my $11.3M jury verdict for damages done to me on the Internet, I have proudly spoken out about this priceless service. Even winning my unprecedented case, it didn't eliminate the horrific, malicious defamatory statements online about me.
I retained ReputationDefender and was amazed at how they were able to have my Online image match up with my in person reputation. In a matter of months, my Online Profile was back to normal and I felt like a new person.
Now they have launched their latest service ReputationDefender MyEdge which is a personal PR for the web for you! Now everyone is able to maintain their reputations and most importantly promote themselves and regain their reputation online.
Lastly, I continue to encourage parents to review/sign up for ReputationDefender/MyChild to help maintain their child's privacy online especially in the growing social networks.
I am not a spokesperson for ReputationDefender and I am not in anyway reciprocated for my endorsement of them - I am simply a person that has used this service and believe they are priceless and truly believe everyone needs to protect themselves online today.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sue Scheff - The Cyber Savvy Show with Erika-Marie Geiss

What a fantastic show to promote Cyber-Safety. Last night I had the opportunity to be interviewed with Erika-Marie Geiss. It was a great introduction to my book - Wit's End! - although we wanted to do more on Cyber Safety, time ran out! But don't miss next Wednesday night when the CEO of Reputation Defender, Michael Fertik, will be her guest. A must for all parents concerned about their children's safety online.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Teens Drinking and Driving

It’s hard to get teens to really listen when adults talk to them about the dangers of drinking and driving. Your kids will listen to Shattered. The program features true stories from real teens whose lives were drastically changed as a result of drunk driving. Watch and learn together, and suddenly the pressure is off your own children as they relate to the kids onscreen. You won't be talking at your children... you'll be talking with them.

“I didn't think I’d ever be one of these people, you know, that drinks and drives and hurts people, but I am.” – Jayme Webb, her story, in Shattered

Shattered is a no-sugar-coated, heart-wrenching program, with facts and tips from experts to help parents and teens avoid the risks of drinking and driving.

“As teenagers, we always think we are invincible and nothing bad is ever going to happen to us,” says Whitney, 16. But bad things do happen. Nearly 3,000 teenagers die each year due to alcohol-related car accidents. It is the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds.
Comes with a free Family Viewing Guide with myth-busters about alcohol’s effects, sobering up, peer pressure, and resources to help you create a driving contract you’re your teens.

Sue Scheff: Parenting Children with ADHD

As a parent of an ADHD child, I know the struggles and frustrations I had endured as well as the rewards. Now there are so many new resources. ADDitude Magazine and websites offers volumes of fantastic and educational information for parent of ADD ADHD kids.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sue Scheff - Feingold Association of the United States - Helping Parents

Many learning and behavior problems begin in your grocery cart!

Did you know that the brand of ice cream, cookie, and potato chip you select could have a direct effect on the behavior, health, and ability to learn for you or your children?

Click here for more information.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parent Connect - Online Program Allows Parents to Tracks Kids' Grades Step by Step

A new online program called Parent Connect allows parents to check their children's grades step by step — long before a report card is printed.

But is the technological advance an ace for students and teachers or a hindrance that allows helicopter parents to hover?

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Websites Helping Parents Keep Their Kids Safe Online

Internet Safety Websites to help educate parents to protect their children from Internet Predators:

For more information on Internet Predators and Teens - Dateline Series - To Catch a Predator. Check your local listings.

Reputation Defender / My Child -- Know what's online about your child before it can hurt them.

Sue Scheff: Home Drug Tests for your Teen (Help Prevent Drug Addiction)

Parents are the #1 Reason Kids Don’t Do Drugs….

Test with HairConfirm Drug Test for a 90 Day Drug History Report!

Click on the link above if you are a parent that suspects your child is using drugs. Knowing early could prevent drug addiction.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sue Scheff: What is Inhalant Abuse?

After receiving a heartwarming email from a parent that lost her precious son at a very young age to inhalant abuse (sniffing/huffing air freshener), as a parent advocate, I believe I have to continue to bring this awareness to all parents of teens and pre-teens. Many talk to their kids about the dangers of drug use, but please include inhalant use - you could save a life.
Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of common products found in homes and communities with the purpose of "getting high." Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. Inhalant Abuse is a lesser recognized form of substance abuse, but it is no less dangerous. Inhalants are addictive and are considered to be "gateway" drugs because children often progress from inhalants to illegal drug and alcohol abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.

Inhalation is referred to as huffing, sniffing, dusting or bagging and generally occurs through the nose or mouth. Huffing is when a chemically soaked rag is held to the face or stuffed in the mouth and the substance is inhaled. Sniffing can be done directly from containers, plastic bags, clothing or rags saturated with a substance or from the product directly. With Bagging, substances are sprayed or deposited into a plastic or paper bag and the vapors are inhaled. This method can result in suffocation because a bag is placed over the individual's head, cutting off the supply of oxygen.

Other methods used include placing inhalants on sleeves, collars, or other items of clothing that are sniffed over a period of time. Fumes are discharged into soda cans and inhaled from the can or balloons are filled with nitrous oxide and the vapors are inhaled. Heating volatile substances and inhaling the vapors emitted is another form of inhalation. All of these methods are potentially harmful or deadly. Experts estimate that there are several hundred deaths each year from Inhalant Abuse, although under-reporting is still a problem.

What Products Can be Abused?

There are more than a 1,400 products which are potentially dangerous when inhaled, such as typewriter correction fluid, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, propane, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, and glue. Most are common products that can be found in the home, garage, office, school or as close as the local convenience store. The best advice for consumers is to read the labels before using a product to ensure the proper method is observed. It is also recommended that parents discuss the product labels with their children at age-appropriate times. The following list represents categories of products that are commonly abused.

Click here for a list of abusable products.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Home Drug Testing for Teens

Parents are the #1 Reason Kids Don't Do Drugs.... Test with HairConfirm Drug Test for a 90 Day Drug History Report!

Sue Scheff - Love Our Children USA - A Great Site for Kids

Every year over 3 million children are victims of violence and almost 1.8 million are abducted. Nearly 600,000 children live in foster care. Every day 1 out of 7 kids and teens are approached online by predators.

I was on The Rachael Ray Show with Kysten Moore who is a spokesperson for Love Our Children USA as well as Miss Teen New Jersey International 2007. Krysten is a mentor for so many kids out there that are being cyber harassed and more. I was in awe of her maturity and the inspiration she gives to many.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parenting ADHD Children: Advice from Moms

By ADDitude Magazine

Moms' advice for parenting ADHD children, creating an ADD-friendly household and smoothing out daily rough spots

It’s the stuff attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) days are made of: You’re trying to get your daughter to finish her homework, but she insists on doing cartwheels across the living room. Or you’ve already had two big dustups with your son — and it’s only 9 a.m.

Click Here for Entire Article.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Flunk Personal Finance by Connect with Kids

“It’s easy for these students to get the credit, go and buy a stereo, go and buy a television, go buy all this stuff that they want, and then all of sudden, they’re in a lot of debt.”

– Carol Pizza, economics teacher

Teenagers in the U.S. spend more than $150 billion a year, according to Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU), an organization that tracks teenage consumer behavior and attitudes. Yet, how much do teens today understand about basic finances such as saving, investing and borrowing? Not much, according to a new national survey.

In the survey, teens were asked several questions about money, including: If you lose your credit card, what’s your liability? Here’s how some high school students answered:

”One thousand dollars,” Blake guesses -- incorrectly.

”Five hundred dollars,” guesses David. Wrong again.

But Lauren answers correctly: “Fifty dollars.”

Next question: where will money grow the most over 18 years?

Lauren asks, “Savings account?”

Denise agrees: “Savings account.”

They are both wrong; Kelly gets it right: “Stocks.”

In a recent national survey, more than 6,000 12TH graders were tested, and they answered more than half of the questions incorrectly. College students also took the test this year, and they answered 38 percent of the questions incorrectly. Experts say that what teens don’t know about money can hurt them.

Carol Pizza, an economics teacher, explains, “It’s easy for these students to get the credit, go and buy a stereo, go and buy a television, go buy all this stuff that they want, and then all of sudden, they’re in a lot of debt.”

Pizza says parents can teach their kids about debt, bills and balancing a budget by giving them hands-on experience with the family finances.

“They need to encourage their child to help them with their bank statement every month, reconciling their checking account. Just let them be more involved; let your child know more about your finances, know how much your mortgage is a month.”

Pizza also suggests giving teens a credit card, but with strict spending limits, so they learn how easy and painless credit cards can be -- until they get the bill.

“We’re getting to the point where we’re almost in college and we’re going to be getting our credit cards,” says David, a high school student, “and if you get into a lot of debt then your parents are going to have to pay and you’re going have to pay, too, and it’s not going to be a good situation.”

Tips for Parents

Several factors, including the media, peers and personal successes and failures, influence children’s attitudes about work, money, spending and saving. But according to the National Council on Economic Education, parents exert the most influence on children’s ability to make sound financial decisions. Children need to see their parents practice sound money management – saving, budgeting and making rational (instead of impulsive) decisions about purchases. The Americans for Consumer Education and Competition suggests the following tips to help improve your child’s financial fitness:

Start financial education early by giving your child a weekly allowance.
Discuss the difference between “must have” purchases, such as school supplies, and “would like to have” purchases, such as a new video game.

Discuss family financial matters (family budget, routine shopping, purchase of a new car or home, planning a vacation, paying for college, etc.) with your child.

Discuss with your child his or her options when he or she receives a monetary gift (saving, investing, giving to charity, etc.).

Incorporate the media (newspaper articles, television, etc.) as a tool to educate your child about financial matters.

Work with your teen to develop a realistic budget. Set long- and short-term financial goals and the plans for achieving them.

Explain the advantages of waiting to make a purchase today, such as the latest gaming system, to save for another desired item, like a car or college education, tomorrow.

Promote shopping around before making purchases. This step generally assures a better deal and discourages impulse buying.

Use financial (checking account, credit card, etc.) statement reviews as a teaching aid to evaluate spending habits, promote sound financial practices and to instill fraud review practices.
Stress the importance of safeguarding personal and financial data, such as Social Security, personal identification (PIN) numbers and credit card information, as a means of preventing frauds like identity theft.

Foster charitable giving by urging your teen to donate some percentage of his/her allowance, however small, to the organization(s) of his or her choice.

The Americans for Consumer Education and Competition
National Council on Economic Education


As a parent advocate (Sue Scheff) this tip sheet and information is fantastic to help us to explain to our kids about money, credits cards and more. has many great articles and DVD's to help parents with all ages of children today.