Showing posts from September, 2008

Sue Scheff: Following the Rules by Lisa Medoff

By Lisa Medoff

Nina posted some questions about her 10-year-old daughter lying about eating and drinking in the bedroom and watching TV with the door closed. Nina wants to how she can tell if her daughter is deliberately lying or simply forgetful, as her daughter was a micro-preemie, and Nina is worried that her premature birth has affected her behavior and memory.

Nina is also wondering about the best way to encourage her daughter to tell the truth about her behavior. Her husband feels that their daughter plays both of her parents against each other, and he punishes her by saying that he is not going to take her anywhere for the summer; she won’t be allowed to go bike riding or have other interesting adventures. Nina wants to know if these are apt punishments for her daughter’s behavior.

Unfortunately for parents, there is no absolute, surefire way to determine if your child is deliberately lying or has simply forgotten the rules. Therefore, instead of spending your time trying to figu…

Sue Scheff: Teen and Adult Gossip

Source: OnTeensToday

Gossip. That’s all you seem to hear about nowadays in a crowded hallway at High School, middle school, or even a small form of it in elementary school. “She said this, he did that,and they reacted this way.” Can you hear yourself?

Everything you hear from one person to another that does not come directly from that individual is up for revamping, primping, and complete destruction from the original story. Oh, sure it’s fun to hear about an embarrassing story which happened to someone else and in some cases, it raises your own self esteem. How could she have done that? What was she thinking? I would never do anything like that. Poor kid.
The secret is that not only do kids and teenagers gossip; adults are in on the act as well.

I dare you to try to walk down town and window shop. Meander by the clothing stores, and slide into a book store. Hundreds of rows of shelves are dedicated to novels that range from romantic to tragedy. Look towards the back of the store and you’…

Sue Scheff: Middle School Drinking

Source: Connect with Kids
“We’ve approached parenting as a life-long process and this is just part of it. We’re just starting him, training him, helping him get set for the rest of his life - to make his own decisions.”
– Jon Schlanger, Jake’s father

“I’ve heard in other schools that people have been sneaking drugs into their lockers,” Jake says. He’s only ten years old, and he already knows kids who use drugs.

Experts say that today, children younger than ever are exposed to themes once reserved for adults: sex, violence, profanity - as well as drugs and alcohol.

“I think they’re pushed,” explains educator Kay Scott. “You know, pushed by music, pushed by movies, and pushed in some ways by the media.”

Experts add that parents aren’t teaching their elementary school-age kids about the dangers of alcohol.
As Dr. Michael Fishman, an addiction medicine specialist, explains, “Many of the parents are not getting involved as much with kids around education, around negative experiences they’ve had w…

Sue Scheff: Addictions and Inhalants

From the Sunshine Coast’s Health Center Blog:

Daniel Jordan raises some interesting questions in his summary of an addictions presentation byDr. Carlton Erickson, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology, and director of the Addiction Science & Research Center in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin.

What are your perspectives or thoughts on his following two points?

1. Inhalants and Addiction:“Dr. Erickson calls the likelihood that a person will become dependent on a drug its “dependence liability.” Some drugs have a dependence liability while others do not.The criteria for dependence liability is how it acts on the mesolimbic dopamine system. Caffeine, antidepressants, and newer anti-seizure medications do not have dependence liability. However, some drugs do and the following chart shows that a certain percentage of people (depending on the drug) will become dependent *:

Drug / Percentage of People Who Become DependentNicotine - 32%, Heroin - 23%, Cocaine - 17%, Al…

Sue Scheff Author's Wit's End! Advice and Resource for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen: A Mother and Daughter's True Story

With peer pressure and social influences at all-time highs, many good teens are making bad choices, placing intense emotional and financial strain on parents and families. Lack of motivation, substance abuse, negative peers and gang affiliation are just some of the common challenges facing kids today.

To help address these and other issues, parent advocate Sue Scheff has announced the release of her new book, “Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen.”

Scheff’s book chronicles her painful journey with a struggling teenage daughter and also offers advice, resources and help to mothers and fathers forced to make tough choices regarding their children.

“In the MySpace generation, kids are under more pressure than ever before,” says Scheff, author and founder of Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.), an organization that assists families with at-risk children.

“This book will be an invaluable resource and allow parents to learn from my past mistakes,” she a…

Sue Scheff: ADHD & Iron: Can Nutritional Supplements Improve Symptoms?

How to improve your child’s ADHD symptoms by increasing the iron levels in his diet.

by Laura Stevens

You make adjustments to your child’s diet every time a new study touts the health benefits of this food or that nutrient. First, you included more protein with breakfast, then you introduced omega-3 fatty acids.

Now, just as you’re savoring your successes, the latest research suggests that low levels of iron can worsen attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children with the condition.

You know how important iron is to the body, carrying oxygen to the muscles and organs. But it also plays an important role in the brain, affecting production of the key neurotransmitter, dopamine.

What does this mean to your child? Read on. We’ll help you figure out if he’s getting enough of this vital mineral.

Low Iron and ADHD

When you think of a child who is iron deficient, you envision one who is pale and tired — not a hyperactive child, bouncing off walls. Well, think again. A 2004 st…

Sue Scheff: Parents Everywhere!

I recently discovered a great website of podcasts to help educate parents on today’s kids - including teens, pre-teens and younger!

Take a peek at - If you are a parent, I am sure there is topic that will interest you!

The Parents Everywhere Network is an incredible resource of experts who provide you with the parenting tools you need every week. Subscribe to our Podcasts for free and each show will be automatically downloaded to your computer where you can listen to each episode on your computer, or copy the files to your iPod or MP3 Player. You can also listen directly from our website, where ever you see the embedded player. The shows are free, convenient and only 20 minutes long. You can listen anytime, anywhere!

Sue Scheff: Parent-Teen Sex Talk

Source: Connect with Kids

“I always get a little bit nervous because I always worry about what they might ask me about my own life.”
– Judy Crim, Mother

When 12-year-old Sean Crim has a question about sex he asks his mother. “I would probably rather get information about sex from my parents. They always tell me the truth and they’ve never really lied to me about anything,” he says.

But for his mom, talking about sex isn’t easy. “I always get a little bit nervous because I always worry about what they might ask me about my own life,” says Judy Crim.

It’s an issue for lots of parents. If your children ask about your life before marriage, how would you answer? Sean’s mom says it’s happened to her.

Judy says, “We talk about what was going on when I was a teenager, what teenagers were actively doing. And they’ll say mom did you do any of that?”

It’s an awkward question. Experts say if you are too uncomfortable…you don’t have to answer.
Leola Reis of Planned Parenthood says, “They are still the p…

SUE SCHEFF: ADDitude Magazine - ADHD Awareness Week

This is a great website and informational resource for parents with ADD/ADHD students - being an educated parent helps you to help your child! Happy ADHD Awareness Week!

As you know, this week is all about spreading attention-deficit truth and support. So, to that end, ADDitude has created a new ADHD Information Center that we hope people will use all year to...

Dispel common myths about ADHD
Fight ADHD stigmas
Explain the facts about ADHD
Find support from other ADHD adults and parents
Revel in all the great things about ADHD

We hope you will share our ADHD Information Center with your readers during this ADHD Awareness Week, and also pass along the following personal diary entry from author, ADHD spokesman and ADDitude contributor Jonathan Mooney:

"Cheers, fellow ADDers! Be proud of the gifts ADD affords you: a gusto for life, a capacity to dream large, the ability to set goals — and the energy to meet them. In being comfortable with yourself, you can change how the world perceives ADD …

Dozier Internet Law Fights Back! Has the Internet Become a Free for All? People Impersonating other?

I recently read the complaint Dozier Internet Law vs Riley and couldn't believe how low people will stoop to harm others. It is obvious Riley has a lot of time on his hands and clearly is being held accountable legally! YES - let's work toward making these people that believe their keystrokes are anonymous wake-up! Be careful - you could be served!The product of an investigation spanning the course of a year, the lawsuit sets forth in detail how Ronald J. Riley allegedly built false credentials through, among other tactics, claiming false affiliations with MIT and Harvard, creating executive positions by surreptitiously forming his own companies and organizations and appointing himself "President", "Executive Director", or "Senior Fellow", and misappropriating the identity of defunct organizations, including "The Alliance for American Innovation", a powerful lobbying group that had fulfilled its mission and had closed down. The suit alle…

Sue Scheff: Teens and Shoplifting

As a parent advocate, I hear from parents on a weekly basis and one subject matter that is always discussed at least once a week, is their child shoplifting aka - stealing! Why? The teens usually don’t have to do this, however it becomes a “cool” thing that others are doing - and peer pressure to fit in can cause your child to participate in an act they know is not right.

There have been reports that most kids don’t steal because they need to, or financial issues or need - it is simply peer pressure to fit in with a poplular (in their eyes) group of kids.

Learn More from the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention - Being an educated parent can help prevent your teen from making bad choices.

Prevent Consumer Shoplifting by Raising Awareness!80% of shoplifting offenders believe that people shoplift because they don’t fully understand the crime’s harmful effect on themselves, the victims and the community.

Help Stop Your Kids From Shoplifting - visit http://www.stopyourkidsfromshopli…

Sue Scheff: Don't Be an Asterick - Teens and Steroids

Don't Be An Asterisk. Whether it is a potential college scholarship or just helping the team win, some teens feel pressure to do whatever it takes to get an "edge", even if it means taking steroids or other illegal substances.

Hopefully the striking video and information available on the official website (link below) will educate teens and their families about performance enhancing drugs.

Check out the 30 second PSA video here:

For more information on the campaign visit:

I just received this educational information for parents to be aware of - be sure to take a minute to visit this website and a minute to watch the video. Being an educated parents helps you to help your teen!

SUE SCHEFF: Back-to-School Tips: Connecting With Your Child’s School Counselor for a Successful School Year

Part of being a proactive parent is getting involved in your child’s school life - and since school is now opened, be sure to take the time to get to know your child’s Guidance School Counselor. Here are some excellent tips offered from ASCA. Be prepared - be educated - it will help you help your teen.

Source: American School Counselor Association

Understand the expertise and responsibilities of your child’s school counselor. School counselors make a measurable impact in every student’s life, assisting with academic, career and personal/social development. Professional school counselors are trained in both educating and counseling, allowing them to function as a facilitator between parents, teachers and the student in matters concerning the student’s goals, abilities and any areas needing improvement. School counselors provide services not only to students in need, but to all students.

Meet or contact your child’s school counselor at least three times per school year. The beginning of a…

Sue Scheff: Body Image in Teens

As school is open throughout our country, teens all over will have to confront peer pressure and in many instances, it involves their body image. Do they fit in? Are they too heavy? Too thin? Parents need to be aware of their kids and how they are feeling about themselves both emotionally and psychically to help prevent peer pressure from controlling their teen's behavior.

Body Image in Teens by Sarah Maria

If you're in high school, most of your friends are probably on a diet. A recent study shows that 90% of junior and senior girls are on a diet regularly, even though only 10-15% are actually overweight.

The modeling industry also promotes the idea that you need to diet and exercise religiously. Fashion models are actually thinner than 98% of American women. An average woman stands 5'4" tall and weighs about 140 lbs, while the average fashion model is a towering 5'11" tall and weighs under 117 lbs.

In reality no amount of dieting, exercise and discipline can ear…

SOS: Stressed Out Students' Guide to Handling Peer Pressure (Stressed Out Students) by Lisa Medoff

I was just recommended this dynamic book by Dr. Lisa Medoff and can’t wait to read it! As a Parent Advocate, this can be one of the most trying times for parents as school is opening. Today with issues surrounding social networking, compounded with peer pressure - “Stressed Out Students” are at risk of making not so good choices.

Here is the recent Press Release about “SOS” - which can be purchased on Amazon today!



Lisa Medoff, PhD

In a society overloaded with media that glamorizes sex, drinking, and drugs, and where any outrageous, dangerous, humiliating thing a person does can be caught on a cell phone and posted on the internet for all to see, teens are feeling forced to succumb to peer pressure like never before. As peers become the pseudo “paparazzi,” teens need somewhere to turn for answers that give them the strength to reject the constant pressure to “fit in.”

Now Kaplan - widely respected for helping millions of students p…

Sue Scheff: National Suicide Prevention Week

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in older children and teens. And statistics show that suicide rates in teenagers are on the rise.

That makes it even more important for everyone to raise awareness of suicide prevention, especially now during National Suicide Prevention Week.

In addition to learning to recognize the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, spread the word about the availability of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -- 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Dr. Gary Nelson, Author of “A Relentless Hope” Surviving Teen Depression recently talked about this serious subject of teen suicide -
Learn more about Teen Suicide.

What Is ADHD? Diagnosis and Treatment Information

Source: ADDitude Magazine

An expert on ADHD and learning disabilities talks about the biology behind attention deficit disorder and why it's sometimes so difficult to diagnose and treat ADHD symptoms in children.
by Larry Silver, M.D.

In my 40 years as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, I have treated thousands of youngsters. With some children, I am able to make a quick evaluation about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and outline a course of treatment. With others — more often than I care to admit — I have to tell parents that it's not clear what is wrong. It's not that I lack the expertise or diagnostic skills. It's just that psychiatry isn't quite as far along as other medical specialties.

A pediatrician can do a throat culture and tell at once whether a child needs an antibiotic; appropriate treatment follows the diagnosis. In contrast, psychiatrists are often required to initiate a specific treatment and worry about clarifying the diagnosis later…

Sue Scheff: Parent Awareness When Searching for Residential Therapy Programs

Parent Awareness – Valuable Article when Searching for Schools and Programs
This is my child, where did I go wrong? Most likely you didn’t, sometimes life gives us stumbling blocks that are put there for a reason. None of us is perfect, parenting is not easy, children don’t come with manuals, and we can’t be blamed for all the bad in this world.
Parenting is probably one of the most difficult jobs to do. That, combined with working a full-time job and juggling household chores, as well as many other activities in life, can lead to turmoil in many lives. As a parent, we need to consciously make time to get to know our kids, and our kid’s friends. This can be very difficult with our schedules; however, a necessary step to be able to get to know your child and build trust.
This is my child. Good or bad, they don’t deserve abuse. If your child needs help from outside sources (Therapeutic Boarding School, Residential Treatment, etc), you need to feel confident there are safe a…

Sue Scheff: 'Pharm' Drugs and Today's Teens

Street drugs, such as pot, crack, heroin, etc…. is being replaced with pharmacy drugs kids are finding at home. Parents need to take the time to see what their medicine cabinets are holding and what prescription drugs they have at home such as pain pills from ordinary root canals - as well as medications for ADD/ADHD. Here is a great article with helpful tips for parents.

Source: Connect with Kids

“Just take whatever we had you know, not really thinking about how high I was going to get or you know, how messed up.”

– ‘James’, age 21, explaining how he and friends shared drugs during his teenage years.

“We all had different prescriptions,” says 18-year-old Laura.

“You know, percocets, valium, zanex, oxycontin,” says James, 21.

“I wanted to get as loaded as I could. Didn’t care what I was taking, how much of it,” adds Laura.

James and Laura met in rehab. Both are drug addicts who used to get high at parties. Parties where everyone brought some kind of prescription drug and passed them around, …

New Inhalant Abuse Report from SAMHSA - (The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration)

I have been very vocal in bringing awareness to Inhalant Use among teens and tweens since a wonderful parent shared her story of losing her son to this. Parents need to understand this is a growing and major concern - like drug use, kids are turning to huffing as a form of getting high. Unlike many street drugs, inhalants can be found in many homes today. Learn more at

The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) just released a new National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH) Report.

The report is entitled,” Inhalant Abuse and Major Depressive Episode Among Youth Aged 12 to 17: 2004-2006. “The 2006 NSDUH Report surveys youth 12-17 years old to assess “co-occurrence of inhalant use and Major Depressive Episode (MDE) in the past year.”

Some of the findings include:

Inhalant Use:

Past year inhalant use was almost 4 times higher among persons aged 12 to 17 than among young adults aged 18 to 25 (1.3 vs. 0.4 percent).

In 2004 to 2006, 1…

Sue Scheff presents: Becoming a part of your government and getting your teen involved

America may be the world’s most powerful democracy, but even the strongest democratic government only succeeds because of the participation of its citizens. However, the voting participation percentages of Americans are some of the worst in the world for major modern democracies. Due to this alarming fact, one of the most pressing responsibilities of good citizens is participation in the democratic process.

If you wish to become a productive citizen, Democratic participation does not end with simply voting, one must influence others to participate as well. There are many ways to get fellow community members out to the polls to vote. Luckily, the act of voting is one of the best ways to get others to vote. Leading by action is an important tool for good citizens, because we all know actions speak much louder than words.

You can also put an “I voted” sticker on your car or even offer to drive someone to a polling place to promote community voting participation. Simply sharing your knowled…

The Ballad of the Adopted Child by Jeanne Droullard

DOES your teen,

- always seem angry?
- have anger that turns into rage?
- show signs of depression, i.e., withdrawal, slipping grades?
- show disrespect to you or disrespect people in authority?
- self-protect by keeping people at a distance?
- lie, manipulate and steal?
- ever talk about his/her biological parents?
- want to find his/her biological parents?

DO you,

- feel comfortable about your teen's behavior?
- recognize signs of RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)?
- believe you must be adopted to show signs of RAD?
- understand what is meant by the Primal Wound?
- think it makes a difference at what age a child is adopted?
- understand bonding and how it can be disrupted?
- understand the fear and pain of an adoptee?
- understand adoptee' difficulty in trusting and showing love

It can be difficult to know if your adopted teen's anger is normal and within the range of typical teenage behavior. Most teenagers get angry, especially during the years when their bodies are changing and the ho…

Sue Scheff: Teen Pregnancy - Is it on the Rise?

Teenage Pregnancy

Every year approximately 750,000 teenage girls become pregnant in the United States. This is roughly 1/3 of the age group’s population, a startling fact. Worse, more than 2/3 of teens who become mother will not graduate high school. Many young teen girls that are suffering with low self worth or feelings of not being loved believe that having a baby will give them a purpose in life. Unfortunately they are not looking at the whole picture and the reality of raising a child.

These girls are not emotionally prepared to make such a major decision in their young life – yet many are in this situation. As a parent, we need to keep the lines of communication open, as hard as that is, it is necessary.

If you are parent who recently discovered that your teenage daughter is pregnant or may be pregnant, we understand your fear and pain. This is a difficult and very serious time in both of you and your daughter’s life.

No matter what happens, you and your daughter must work together …

I'ts Labor Day - Schools will be opening tomorrow - Academic Pressure

In many parts of the country schools and colleges have opened in late August and many more are opening this week. Here is a great list of parents tips to help our kids with the stress of academic pressure and help them to balance both education and social life.

Source: Connect with Kids

“You have to keep things in perspective. Academics are only a part of your life.”

– Zachary, 14

“Well, I’m getting all A’s, so that’s good,” he says.

He has won awards for academic achievement, including one for having the highest grade-point average. But what happens if someday Zachary doesn’t perform well in school?

“Part of me is always worried about that,” says his mother, Jen Yu. “Some day, when he hits that roadblock, is he gonna be able to accept it, or is it gonna be something, you know, that really bothers him a lot?”

While that may not be a problem for Zachary, yet, more and more kids are experiencing anxiety about being perfect in school.

According to the latest State of our Nation’s Youth r…