Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sue Scheff: November is about over - December is almost here - What are your Teens doing on their Break?


With today's economy, many parents are working full time and/or two jobs leaving many teens home alone. Many will spend their days online - however it is important to get them involved in constructive activities outside the home. This can also help build self esteem!


Is there a local Humane Society?


A local Nursing Home that needs help?


Maybe a Holiday Tree Stand that hires many teens to help carry the trees or deliver them?


Booths in malls that wrap gifts?


Jobs at movie theaters increase - check in your local area. Encourage your teen to get busy!


Keeping your teen active can help prevent them from mixing and hanging out with peers that are less than desirable and looking for trouble.


As difficult as it is, keep your lines of communication open!


They may think they need a break from the structure of school and studies, but help them to see that all these activities could be fun!


Parents, your employment is critical to feeding your family and keeping up with your mortgage or rent payments - but your parenting job is just as important to help prevent potential negative issues.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teens and Shoplifting


Holiday’s are officially here - malls are crowded - stores are busy with the holiday rush especially today on Black Friday.

It doesn’t matter your economic status, it seems some teens from all financial backgrounds will try their “hand” at shoplifting. Why? Peer pressure? Is it cool? Part of the crowd?

What constitutes shoplifting? It doesn’t have to be only stealing, shoplifting can include changing price tags (which is harder to do now with the bar scans in some stores), consuming food or drink without paying for it, leaving a restaurant without paying, wearing items out of a store (again, hoping there isn’t an alarm tag on them) - this and more will land you in legal trouble if you are caught.

Teens seem to believe it could never happen to them - however more and more I am hearing from parents that have had to deal with this.

To learn more, visit http://www.stopyourkidsfromshoplifting.com/ and get some great parenting tips such as:

Why Children Steal and Your Role in Preventing Retail Theft

Very young children sometimes take things they want without understanding why it’s wrong. Elementary school-aged children know better, but may lack enough self-control to stop themselves. Most preteens and teens shoplift as a result of social and personal pressure in their lives. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

• Feel peer pressure to shoplift
• Low self-esteem
• A cry for help or attention
• The na├»ve assumption they won’t get caught
• The belief that teen stealing is “not a big deal”
• Inability to handle temptation when faced with things they want
• The thrill involved
• Defiance or rebelliousness
• Not knowing how to work through feelings of anger, frustration, etc.
• Misconception that stores can afford the losses
• The desire to have the things that will get them “in” with a certain group of kids.
• To support a drug habit.
• To prove themselves to members of a gang.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sue Scheff: The Feingold Holiday Goodie Basket is Now Available



For parents of ADD/ADHD children, many have had tremendous success with the Feingold Program and Diet to help manage their kids. As the holidays are here, they are offering a fabulous goodie basket for your friends and family!





Holiday Goodie Basket!



Support your Feingold Association and wow your friends!A great assortment of all-natural, delicious treats in an attractive holiday gift baskets for you to enjoy or to give as gifts. For your $50 donation to FAUS, we will send a basket to the person of your choice.We have gathered our favorite Stage One & Stage Two yummies from sources around the country and will be assembling attractive gift baskets to be shipped out via Priority Mail to the locations and at the time you choose. Look for brownies, cookies, jelly beans, gummy bears, lollipops, and many other goodies and snacks.Wouldn't it be great if your relatives had lots of Feingold-acceptable treats on hand when you and your kids visit them? This is a wonderful way to introduce family, friends, neighbors and teachers to the Program, and to show them that "additive-free" means "delicious"!! Get several baskets for your friends, relatives, teachers, etc.

Sue Scheff - Parents Univeral Resource Experts


As the holidays are here parents are struggling with finding constructive ways to keep their teens busy.


Finding a part-time job, maybe working at a Christmas Tree stand or volunteering at a local Humane Society or visiting Nursing Homes.


Parents' Universal Resource Experts has helped parents with teens for over 8+ years - and if you are at your wit's end, visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/ and hopefully we can help you help your teen!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Entitlement Issues


Does your teen have Entitlement Issues?

Does your teen expect more from you than they have earned or deserve?

Many parents only want the best for their children (usually more than they had growing up), but has this actually backfired on families?

In today’s society many teens have major entitlement issues. Many parents feel that giving their teen’s material items will somehow earn them respect. Quite frankly, the opposite occurs in most families. The more we give, the more our children expect and the less they respect us. We literally lose ourselves in buying our children’s love. At the end of the day, no one wins and life is a constant battle of anger, hopelessness, and debt.

While interviewing a young teen, she was recently given a new car – brand new – felt she deserved it since her parents gave her two used ones previously. She is only 17 years old and already controlling her household and believes she was entitled to this car. She shows no appreciation or respect to her parents. Simply, she deserved it. Can you imagine owning 3 cars by the age of 17, yet never buying one? This is an extreme example, but I am sure many parents can relate.

Entitlement issues can lead to serious problems. Teaching your child respect and responsibility should be priority. Although the issues may have started to escalate, as a parent, it is never too late to take control of the situation and say “no” when your teen feels they are entitled to a frivolous item or anything that is considered a privilege.

Life is about responsibility, as parents we need to teach our children responsibility – helping our children comes natural to us, however when it becomes excessive and the child doesn’t appreciate it, it is time to step back and evaluate your situation.

Learn more at http://www.helpyourteens.com/.





Monday, November 24, 2008

Sue Scheff: Holidays are almost here - More Teens will be Driving - Take Pre-cautions - Parenting Teens


I think it is so important for parents to become informed as their young teen (in some states, as young as 15 years old) take the wheel. It is a such a major responsibility and as a parent, we need to take the responsibility very seriously. Any vehicle, driven by an adult or a teen, can be dangerous if not handled intelligently and with caution.
Safe Teen Driving Club is a website every parent should take the time to read. It has tremendous tips and information that can help you help your teen become a safe driver from the moment they receive their permit.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parenting Teens Parenting Tips

Sue Scheff – Founder of Parents’ Universal Resource Experts and Author of Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-Of-Control Teen
Offers 10 Parenting Quick Tips


1. Communication: Keeping the lines of communication of your child should be a priority with all parents. It is important to let your kids know you are always there for them no matter what the subject is. If there is a subject you are not comfortable with, please be sure your child has someone they can open up to. I believe that when kids keep things bottled up, it can be when negative behaviors can start to grow.

2. Knowing your Children’s Friends: This is critical, in my opinion. Who are your kids hanging out with? Doing their homework with? If they are spending a lot of time at a friends house, go out of your way to call the parent introduce yourself. Especially if they are spending the night at a friends house, it important to take time to call the parents or meet them. This can give you a feeling of security knowing where your child is and who they are with.


3. Know your Child’s Teachers – Keep track of their attendance at school: Take time to meet each teacher and be sure they have your contact information and you have theirs if there are any concerns regarding your child. In the same respect, take time to meet your child’s Guidance Counselor.

4. Keep your Child Involved: Whether it is sports, music, drama, dance, and school clubs such as chess, government, school newspaper or different committees such as prom, dances and other school activities. Keeping your child busy can keep them out of trouble. If you can find your child’s passion – whether it is football, soccer, gymnastics, dance, music – that can help keep them focused and hopefully keep them on track in school.


5. Learn about Internet Social Networking: In today’s Cyber generation this has to be a priority. Parents need to help educate their kids on Cyber Safety – think before they post, help them to understand what they put up today, may haunt them tomorrow. Don’t get involved with strangers and especially don’t talk about sex with strangers. Avoid meeting in person the people you meet online without you being there. On the same note – cell phone and texting – don’t allow your child to freely give out their cell numbers and never post them online. Parents should consider ReputationDefender/MyChild to further help protect their children online.

6. Encourage your teen to get a job or volunteer: In today’s generation I think we need to instill responsibility and accountability. This can start early by encouraging your teen to either get a job or volunteer, especially during the summer. Again, it is about keeping them busy, however at the same time teaching them responsibility. I always tell parents to try to encourage their teens to get jobs at Summer Camps, Nursing Homes, ASPCA, Humane Society or places where they are giving to others or helping animals. It can truly build self esteem to help others.


7. Make Time for your Child: This sounds very simple and almost obvious, but with today’s busy schedule of usually both parents working full time or single parent households, it is important to put time aside weekly (if not daily at dinner) for one on one time or family time. Today life is all about electronics (cell phones, Ipods, Blackberry’s, computers, etc) that the personal touch of actually being together has diminished.

8. When Safety trumps privacy: If you suspect your teen is using drugs, or other suspicious behaviors (lying, defiance, disrespectful, etc) it is time to start asking questions – and even “snooping” – I know there are two sides to this coin, and that is why I specifically mentioned “if you suspect” things are not right – in these cases – safety for your child takes precedence over invading their privacy. Remember – we are the parent and we are accountable and responsible for our child.


9. Are you considering outside treatment for your child? Residential Therapy is a huge step, and not a step that is taken lightly. Do your homework! When your child’s behavior escalates to a level of belligerence, defiance, substance abuse or God forbid gang relations – it may be time to seek outside help. Don’t be ashamed of this – put your child’s future first and take steps to get the help he/she needs – immediately, but take your time to find the right placement. Read Wit’s End! for more information.

10. Be a parent FIRST: There are parents that want to be their child’s friend and that is great – but remember you are a parent first. Set boundaries – believe it not kids want limits (and most importantly – need them). Never threaten consequences you don’t plan on following through with.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dozier Internet Law: Public Citizen Lawsuit Thrown Out of Court

Another victory for the Dozier Internet Law firm - Free Speech will not condone defamation or trademark infringement.

A lawsuit filed by Ronald J. Riley through his lawyers at Public Citizen against Dozier Internet Law has been summarily tossed out of Federal Court in Richmond, Virginia today. Judge Henry E. Hudson, declining to even entertain oral arguments on the points, found that Riley and Public Citizen's assertions in the lawsuit don't belong in Federal Court and are nothing more than defenses to the lawsuit Dozier Internet Law had already filed in state court against Riley.

This major setback for the litigation team at Public Citizen, and Paul Levy in particular, follows by a day or so another major loss for Public Citizen in the "Jones Day" litigation in which the Federal Court refused to even consider the arguments in the brief filed by Public Citizen, Paul Levy, and others, and found for Jones Day, and against Levy's position, by rejecting motions to dismiss the trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the mega-law firm over the use of its name online. Jones Day had earlier reportedly requested the Court to discard the Public Citizen brief on the grounds that Public Citizen's lawyers were biased.
Paul Levy, recently a labor lawyer relatively new to the online legal scene, has developed a reputation for publicly denouncing lawyers, judges, and anyone supporting legal interpretations with which he disagrees, and he continues to suffer legal setback after legal setback as his interpretations of the law are regularly rejected across the country by the Courts.

Earlier today, the Federal Court also reinstated the lawsuit filed by Dozier Internet Law against Ronald J. Riley by rejecting Levy's arguments and returning the case to State Court for further proceedings after Riley and Levy had removed it to Federal Court. Judge Henry Hudson declined to listen to oral arguments, and then stripped Riley and Public Citizen of Federal Jurisdiction.

The briefs and orders are available on the Pacer system. Although the issues were elementary and the deficiencies of the Riley and Public Citizen arguments obvious, the briefs are informative with respect to the interesting arguments and legal positions Levy continues to offer up to the online world.

http://johndozierjr.typepad.com/dozierinternetlaw/2008/11/dozier-internet-law-public-citizen-lawsuit-thrown-out-of-court.html

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sue Scheff: Teen Depression


Teenage depression is more than just bad moods or broken hearts; it is a very serious clinical illness that will affect approximately 20% of teens before they reach adulthood. Left untreated, depression can lead to difficult home situations, problems at school, drug abuse, and worse, violence toward themselves and others.


Certain young teens suffer from depression as result of situations surrounding their social or family life, but many are succeptable to the disease regardless of race, gender, income level or education. It is very important for parents to keep a watch on their teens - and to maintain a strong level of communication. Understanding the causes and warning signs of the illness can help parents prevent their teens from falling in to depression.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sue Scheff: The Ballad of The Adopted Child by Jeanne Drouillard

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 hormones can bring quick and severe mood swings. All teenagers are searching the world trying to find out who they are and what they want to become. They all want to know how the world will affect them and how they will affect the world.

If not addressed as a child, an adopted teenager has a duality of conflicts to overcome. Whether adopted as a baby or as an older child, this teenager has had a separation from the birth mother and this is a strong link that is not forgotten. Nancy Verrier calls this the Primal Wound. In the womb, Psychologists now agree that the child is very aware of the mother, how she smells, how she laughs and feels, even how she sounds. The baby has been inside the womb for nine months. This baby even realizes if it was a wanted pregnancy or an unwanted pregnancy - this baby knows. It also has an awareness of the physical, mental and emotional connection with the mother. Bonding begins before physical birth and possibly shortly after conception. Many professionals used to laugh at this idea and thought it impossible for a little baby to know and remember being separated from its birth mother. Alas, the tide has changed and the professionals now believe that this child couldn't help but know the separation from the birth mom that carried it - and this is the primal wound that stays with that child forever.

There is a story that Nancy Verrier tells in her book, "The Primal Wound" about a little girl who was adopted as a baby. She had never been told she was adopted. One night this four-year old child had a nightmare and called for her mommy. Her adopted mother went in to comfort her and held her and told her everything would be okay because "Mommy was here." The little girl said, "No, I want my other mommy." This story is not unique and other similar stories have surfaced. How did this child know?

Many adopted children develop RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). This occurs when a child, teen or adult cannot attach and trust, as they should and experience trouble developing close intimate relationships. When the child is taken away from its birth mother, even if it is put in the home of a family giving the child love, this child is confused and knows this is not the same mother it had and its trusting abilities are lessened. If the child is put into a hospital, or foster care and then moved again and again, its trusting mechanisms do not know what it means to have a consistent caregiver to take care of its constant needs, i.e. hunger, pain, etc. This makes a child angry and scared and then the cycle has already begun.

After the child is adopted, hopefully in a loving home, a decision is made by the child as to what role to play within the family. Some have so many layers of anger and rage that negative behavior is exhibited constantly. Others may decide to be a complacent and pleasing personality because they want to make sure that these new parents are not disappointed or else abandonment will follow. Another choice is not to get close to anyone because this relationship probably won't last and getting close will be painful when it ends. Several adult adoptee's I've spoken to have confirmed this behavior. The more neglect, abuse and abandonment a child suffers, the more deep-seated will be this distrust for adults or anyone in authority.

It is common for adoption issues to remain hidden until adolescence. Sometimes a child seems well adjusted and happy during the early years and then everything comes out during the teen years. It is also very common for the child to stay in denial and hide deep feelings from everyone, even themselves, and in their teen years - which is an identity search time - these feelings rise to the surface. Usually, the child knows inside that something is not right but the complexity of their feelings give them fear and they hesitate talking about these fears since they believe they can trust no one.

You DO NOT have to be adopted to have RAD. Any child who suffered a separation from their original caregiver for a period of time could have symptoms. Separation from the mother due to illness or divorce can trigger separation anxiety, and divorce can also trigger guilt if the child feels part of the cause of the divorce.

Causes of RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) and Symptoms of Attachment Disorder
Let's look a little deeper into RAD and see what some of the causes and symptoms are. I like Dr. Marcy Axness' approach when she says she is campaigning to change the name from Attachment Disorder to something like "Attachment Deprivation" because it is a failure in the RELATIONSHIP, not the child.


Causes of RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)

unwanted pregnancy
neglect
inconsistent or inadequate day care
dramatic prenatal experience (exposure to drugs/alcohol)
sudden separation from the primary caretaker (illness, death, hospitalization)
abuse (physical, emotional, mental, sexual)
adoption
frequent moves (foster care, failed adoptions)


Symptoms of Attachment Disorder:


superficially engaging and charming
indiscriminately affectionate with strangers
does not trust caregivers or adults in authority
does not develop morals; no empathy, remorse or compassion
resists all efforts to nurture or guide them
acts out negatives, provoking anger in others
lies, steals, cheats and manipulates
destructive, cruel, argumentative and hostile
extreme control problems
cruel to animals, siblings
poor peer relationships and lacks a conscience
tries to separate adults - gets them into fights - divides them
engages in hoarding or gorging on food
has a preoccupation with fire, blood and gore
Children with some of these symptoms could be at risk. If they have half or more of these symptoms, they usually are RAD to some degree and would need therapy from a qualified attachment therapist. Don't waste your time and money with other therapy because it doesn't work. Don't take your attachment child to an ordinary therapist. Usually this therapist will take time to try to win the trust of your child and then will talk to them about their problems. Attachment children DO NOT trust. That is the main problem. Also, they do not learn from discussions and talking. Attachment children learn from feeling, doing and experiencing. They need attachment therapy.

Sometime during our lives, we all cross paths with attachment disordered individuals. In business, they are the ones having trouble getting along with others, or they have a desk in the back of the room and don't mingle with others. Others can sometimes charm us or con us. They might even shock us with unbelievable cruelty. Very often these individuals grow up untreated and have no concern for other people. RAD children have learned early on that the world is unsafe and have developed unhealthy protective shells so the outside world cannot pierce it and then they feel safe. They become their own protectors and as such can turn everyone against them. Without help, they grow into dysfunctional adults.

RAD people are very controlling. They need to control in order to feel safe. Usually when they were very little children and could not control their environment, bad things happened to them. My daughter Elena is serious attachment disorder. One of her teachers used to tell me that he would watch Elena's eye movements and body language when she walked into his classroom. She would pause for a moment or two and look around the room very carefully and very deliberately. From that moment on Elena always knew exactly what was going on in any corner of the room at any moment. That is the only way she felt safe.

Usually attachment individuals have moved around from one institution to another or one foster home to another or even from relative to relative. They cannot trust that the same person will be there on any given day to gratify their needs. They learn not to trust or love and are unable to attach to anyone, causing them to be very resistant later to attachment if they are adopted. Trusting is very difficult for RAD children. Trusting means to love - and loving hurts. They have been hurt too deeply.

Parents adopting children who have experienced abuse, neglect or have been institutionalized have a long road ahead of them. When these children grow up and start exhibiting anger and then total rage, it can be quite fearful to the unsuspecting parents. These children have many layers of anger and rage, but it is based on fear that they will be abandoned again because they can't trust and believe deep down that they are not good enough for someone to love them. Their birth mom gave them away. It is amazing to hear some of these children tell you that they hoped their Moms could see them now as adults because then she would know that they didn't turn out to be such a bad kid. I've heard grown ups talk this way. This little child inside never leaves. Some of these same teens and adults still want to find their birth parents to answer questions of why they were given away. They just want to know.

My daughter Elena had been put in a program that promised me they knew all about attachment disorder but they grossly misrepresented themselves. I wasted seven months of her precious life before I had her moved into an appropriate program. This new program really acknowledges attachment disorder and in our four months I have seen a real improvement. Elena's improvement only occurred after the harm of the first program had been resolved.

I used to talk to my daughter and tell her how much I loved her and that I was going to be her "Forever Mom" and we were going to have a wonderful life and so on. Elena usually listened politely and I was so naive I just didn't know how much I was missing the mark. Talk doesn't work with Elena because she doesn't trust and doesn't believe she deserve love. What I learned to do was sneak up on her and tell her something like, "Elena, I love you so much and I'm so glad you're here with me" and then I was gone. Another time I might say, "Isn't it great, I've got you and you've got me?" And then I was gone. Just little tiny doses of love were all she could handle.

Working with an attachment child is very tough and there is not much gratification for a long time. Just when you think there is progress, the rage comes back. Yet, that doesn't' mean there isn't any progress. Progress inches in and keeps coming as long as we give these children lots of laughter, love and empathy. Don't let them drag you into an argument. They want your anger because they handle it better than love. I believe they have so much anger, turmoil and pain inside that they relate better to it. For example, Elena came home after getting a C- on a test. She didn't study and I knew it. She was almost proud when she showed me her report card and she really wanted me to get mad, why? She deals better with my anger and then it takes the responsibility for a bad grad off of her. But I didn't respond with anger. Instead when she showed me her well-earned C- I simply said, "I'm so sad for you. It must be very embarrassing getting a grade like that." Then I turned around and went back to my own life, leaving her to handle her life. Don't give them anger. That is what they want BUT give them what they really need which is laughter, love and empathy.

Remember there is always hope. Author Nancy Thomas when asked if older children could still be helped she enthusiastically answered, "Oh Yes, as long as they are still breathing - that is the only requirement." All these children need is the correct therapy - attachment therapy -- and parents who are willing to learn along with them.

Learn more: http://www.helpyourteens.com/ballad_of_adopted_child.php

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sue Scheff: About.com - Raising Teens


About.com: Teens by Denise Witmer offers a wealth of information for parents dealing with today's teens. Take a moment to learn more!


Denise D. Witmer has been a "professional parent" at the Masonic Childrens Home in Elizabethtown, Pa. She worked in the adolescent buildings from May 1988 - September 1997 and again from May 2003 - July 2006. She was very active in the teen development and independent living programs.


She is the author of the book, The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Successful Child: All You Need to Encourage Your Child to Excel at Home and School. Her advice has also been featured in US News and World Report, Better Homes and Garden's Raising Teens Magazine, and USA Today online and has been referenced in several books for parents of teens, including Surviving Ophelia.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sue Scheff: National Teen Runaway Prevention Month


I receive many calls from parents when their teens have runaway, left their home in a rage, and don't come back for hours, days, weeks! It is one of the scariest feelings a parent can have. Learn more about Runaway Prevention this month.


Welcome to the National Runaway Switchboard


Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year. Our mission at the National Runaway Switchboard is to help keep America’s runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. Our services are provided in part through funding from Family and Youth Services Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Call 1-800-RUNAWAY if you are a teenager who is thinking of running from home, if you have a friend who has run and is looking for help, or if you are a runaway ready to go home through our Home Free program.

Call if you are a teacher looking for information to pass along to your students about alternatives to running from home. Call if you care about a youth and want information on how you can help someone who may be at risk of running from home.


Our 24-hour crisis line has an experienced front-line team member ready to help you now. It’s anonymous, confidential and free. 1-800-RUNAWAY.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sue Scheff: Learn from my mistakes, Parent and Teen Help

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

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework! Learn from my mistakes - Gain from my knowledge!

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Ally Schools - Marketing Arm - Jane Hawley
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
Mark Peterson - Teen Help Marketing Arm
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)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (recently closed)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Alert - rumor is that a new program is Mexico is opening soon.
ALERT - It is also rumored that there is a short-term program in or near Oceanside, CA - which may be connected with this organization.

Visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/ for more information.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sue Scheff: The Dangers of Teen Internet Addiction


Introduction


In today's society, the Internet has made its way into almost every American home. It is a well-known fact that the web is a valuable asset for research and learning. Unfortunately, it can also be a very dangerous place for teens. With social networking sites like Myspace and Friendster, chat rooms, instant messaging, and online role-playing video games, our children are at access to almost anyone. Sue Scheff, along with Parent's Universal Resource Experts™, is tackling the dangers of the web.

Keeping tabs on our teens' online habits doesn't just keep them safe from online predators. More and more parents are becoming wary of the excessive hours their teens spend surfing the web, withdrawing from family, friends and activities they used to enjoy. Internet Addiction is a devastating problem facing far too many teens and their families. While medical professionals have done limited research on the topic, more and more are recognizing this destructive behavior and even more, the potential mental effects it can have.

Though the web is a great place for learning and can be safe for keeping in touch, it is important that families understand the potential risks and dangers to find a healthy balance between real and virtual life.

The Basics: The Dangers of Teen Internet Addiction

It’s clear that, for teenagers, spending too much time online can really deter social and educational development. The Internet world is such that there is always something new to do and to distract one from one’s responsibilities. We all do it- take ten minutes here or there to explore our favorite gossip or sports site. There is nothing wrong with using the Internet as a tool for research, news, and even entertainment. After all, the World Wide Web is the world’s most accurate, up to date resource for almost any type of information.

But as the Internet evolves and becomes more tailored to the individual, it grows increasingly easier to develop a dependency on it. This is especially true for teens- a group that tends to be susceptible to flashy graphics and easily enticed by the popularity of social networks. In a sense, the Internet is the new video game or TV show. It used to be that adolescents would sit in front of the TV for hours on end operating a remote, shooting people and racing cars. Now they surf the web. Teens are impressionable and can at times be improperly equipped to handle certain situations with a degree of reason and rationality. And although they may have good intentions, they might be at risk of coming across something inappropriate and even dangerous.

Sexual Predators

We’ve all heard the stories about children entering chat rooms who end up talking to someone older than them who may be looking for something more than merely a chat. These tales may sound far-fetched, or to some, even mundane, because of the publicity they’ve received, but as a parent it would be rather foolish to dismiss them as hearsay or as something that could never actually happen to your child. The fact is, these accounts of sexual predation are all too true and have caused some families a great deal of strain and fear. Even pre-adolescents have been known to join chat rooms. The reality is that there is no real way of knowing who might be in one at any given time. An even scarier thought is that these forums are often sexual predators’ main source of contact with young children. In fact, the popular TV show, [To Catch a Predator (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10912603/) ], employs someone to pose as a teen and entice these sex offenders. The show profiles the interactions between them all the way up until the actual meeting. Some of the situations portrayed are horrifying. If you’re the parent of a teen or pre-teen, make sure to monitor Internet activity with regards to chat rooms and educate your child on the potential dangers they present.

Sensitive Subject Matter

Human curiosity is perhaps at its peak during one’s teenage years. That curiosity is what aids teens in the growth and development process. It’s necessary for survival as an adolescent and can provide for some great discoveries and maturation. However, teen curiosity can also potentially lead a person into some questionable situations, and the Internet is a prime medium through which to quell one’s inquisitiveness. Let’s face it- teenagers are anxious to be knowledgeable about topics such as sex, drugs, and other dangerous subject matter.

Talking to your teen about these sensitive subjects before he or she has a chance to search online can be a great way to allay his or her need to surf the web for more information. The Internet might be an excellent tool for presenting interesting data, but it can also grossly misrepresent certain issues. If a teenager wants to learn about sex or drugs via the web, he or she might decide to do a search containing the words “sex” or, perhaps “marijuana.” The results your child might find may not necessarily be the type of educational, instructive material you’d hope they would receive. The Internet may be savvy, but one thing it’s not capable of doing is knowing who is using it at any given time and how to customize its settings. Talk to your children about subjects you feel are important before they have the chance to find out themselves. You never know what they might come across.

Limited Social Growth

There is no better time to experience new things and meet new people than during one’s teenage years. Getting outside, going to social gatherings, and just having a good time with friends are among some of the most productive and satisfying activities in which teenagers can engage. While the Internet can provide a degree of social interaction, online networks and connections cannot replace the benefits of in-person contact. Teen Internet Addiction is dangerous because it limits a person’s options when it comes to communication. Much of learning and growing as a teen comes from the lessons one learns through friendships, fights, disagreements, trends, popularity, etc.

The Internet has made it all too easy for teens to recoil from the pressures of adolescence and remain indoors. The lure of the web can often make it seem as though social networks and online gaming are acceptable substitutes for real life. Teens can find acceptance in chat rooms and message boards, while at school they might be complete outcasts. It’s easy for teenagers to rebuff the idea of interacting with their peers and risking rejection when the Internet can provide for a seemingly relaxed environment. Children need to know that Internet addiction and reliance on online forums will only stunt social growth and make life much more difficult in the future.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Internet dependency also inherently promotes a lifestyle that is not conducive to exercise and physical activity. Many teens tend to become so enthralled in games or chats that peeling them away from the computer can prove to be an ominous task. The entertainment the Internet can provide often trumps the option to leave the house and get exercise. Parents should encourage their teens to use the Internet for school projects and some degree of entertainment, but they should also limit the time that they are allowed to spend on the computer. Begin supporting your child’s involvement in sports teams at an early age and make outside activities fun and interesting. The earlier a child is introduced to the mental and physical benefits of outside activity, the more likely he or she is to avoid inside amusements such as the Internet, TV, and video games.

Nowadays it seems our whole lives can be conducted via the Internet. We can order, purchase, and have groceries delivered all with the click of a few buttons. We can play games, talk to people, find dates, and even attend AA meetings online. The Internet may have made our lives and their day-to-day processes exponentially easier to accomplish, but by the same token it has also increased our dependence on the advantages it can provide. The convenience it creates has been known to cause some people to recoil from outside situations, opting to conduct as much business as possible from home. We must be careful of this trend, especially with teenagers, for whom positive (and negative) social interaction help to form valuable personality and wisdom.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sue Scheff: PE4Life - How Physical Education Can Help Your Teens


Wow - what a great website I was just introduced to! Check out this page for Parent Information:


Parents are busy with a full workday, helping their children with homework, engaging their children in after school activities, and so on. This doesn't leave a whole lot of time for physical activity in your own lives.


Do you realize that schools have devalued and cut physical education to the point that the majority of children get one day of PE per week? Children today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents for the first time in one hundred years because of the epidemic of obesity, according to Dr. William Klish, Professor of Pediatrics and Head of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine. Lack of PE at school is a disservice to your child's health. Speak up. Demand that your school offers daily quality physical education. Use PE4life as a resource partner to enhance your school's PE program.


A recent study revealed that 81% of teachers and 85% of parents favor requiring students to take physical education every day at every grade level. As parents, you can rally people in your community to get involved by ordering a PE4life Community Action kit video and show it to the PTA, the school board and other community groups. The next step is to invite PE4life to make a presentation to your school leaders, bring a team of people to train at a PE4life Academy, or invite PE4life to do an in-service for your school staff. As your resource partner, PE4life can provide these and many other services to your school as you work to get children more active and healthy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sue Scheff: Palm Beach County School District passes new anti-bullying policy


Palm Beach County School District passes new anti-bullying policy
By Marc Freeman

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

November 9, 2008

School bullies tease, threaten, stalk, humiliate, steal and get physical. They spell all sorts of trouble for students and teachers. But their reign of campus terror is under assault.

The Palm Beach County School Board on Wednesday tentatively adopted its first policy targeting bullying and harassment of all types, including cyberbullying, in accordance with a new state law.

Among the requirements: prompt investigations of alleged incidents; penalties as serious as suspension and expulsion for making false accusations of bullying or retaliating against anyone reporting a genuine bullying incident; and immediate notice to the parents of the bullies and their victims.

"It's a conscientiousness-raising policy for sure," said Rick Lewis, a coordinator in the School District's Safe Schools department.

The anti-bullying measures are results of the Legislature's Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act, named for a 15-year-old Cape Coral teenager who committed suicide in 2005 after years of being bullied.

Broward County Public Schools adopted the required policy in July; all school districts in Florida are required to do the same by Dec. 1.

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a gay rights organization, persuaded Palm Beach County school officials that the new policy should include protection against bullying on the basis of one's "gender expression."

"Students should not be subjected to name-calling, threats of violence, or physical violence just because the way they dress, speak or act fails to conform to other students' perceptions of masculinity or femininity," Council President Rand Hoch said.

The policy also includes protection concerning a student or employee's race, religion, sexual orientation and other categories.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sue Scheff: Exercise Can Improve Grades


Source: Connect with Kids


“There is a connection between physical activity and learning and it is a positive one - children who are more physically fit do better academically. They concentrate better in the classroom [and] they perform better on math and reading examinations.”

– Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General

In an effort to boost test performance, many schools are taking time away from physical education and using it for more time in class.

But studies now show that rigorous physical activity can actually lead to better grades.

In Broward County, Florida, many schools are getting the message.

Fourth grade teacher Katherine Bennett takes her students out for a five-minute walk after a long lesson.

“I found that when my children start yawning and they start not paying attention, then one way I can refocus those children is to take them out for a brief, little fun walk,” she says. “And by the time we’ve got them back into the room again, they’re ready to study some more.”

In fact, according to new research from the Medical College of Georgia, kids who are active and play hard have higher levels of concentration, better organization skills and are less impulsive than kids who are sedentary.

“The area of the brain that’s involved in cognitive learning is the same area that’s stimulated by physical activity, so the two seem to work hand in hand,” explains Jackie Lund, Ph.D, President of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

Former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher agrees, “Children who are physically fit do better academically. They perform better on standardized examinations, they concentrate better, on the other hand, children who are obese are four times as likely to be depressed, very likely to be absent from school.”

What’s more, many kids say it’s easy to get distracted if you have to sit still, all day long, in school.

“After a while I just get antsy and I want to move around - cause I start to get stiff and it’s like, I want to get up and walk around,” complains 18-year-old Eric DeGreeff. “But in class you can’t really get up and walk around,”

That’s why, experts say, if your child’s school does not provide vigorous physical education, you have to speak up.

“If parents go out and demand quality physical education, where their kids are learning and they’re moving and they’re involved in activities that are going to create the next steps for a life time, then they will be heard,” says Lund.

Tips for Parents

“It is helpful to think of the brain as a muscle,” Dr. John Ratey told colleagues at a conference on “Learning and the Brain” in Boston. Dr. Ratey, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says the best way to “maximize the brain” is through exercise and movement. Emerging new research on animals and humans suggests his theory may be correct. In particular, the following two studies indicate that physical exercise may boost brain function, improve mood and increase learning:

A four-year study at Albion College in Michigan shows that children who participated in regular exercise (jumping rope, hopscotch, catching and throwing balls) significantly raised their scores on standardized mathematics tests. Teachers also reported that the exercise program helped improve the students’ social and emotional skills.
Investigators from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have found that running boosts the growth of nerve cells and improves learning and memory in adult mice. According to the study, the brains of mice that exercised had about 2.5 times more new nerve cells than sedentary mice.
Says Dr. Ratey: “Twelve minutes of exercise at 85% of your maximum heart rate is like taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin in a very holistic manner.”

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) offers the following statistics and recommendations to support that physically active children “learn better”:

Elementary school students should participate in a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate and vigorous activity every day.

Middle and high school students should participate in 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
Play is an essential part of children’s social development.

Children learn how to cooperate, compete constructively, assume leader/follower roles and resolve conflicts by interacting in play.

Only 25% of American children participate in any type of daily physical activity.

More than 300,000 deaths are caused annually by a lack of exercise and a poor diet.

How much exercise does your child need? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a “healthy level” of physical activity requires regular participation in activities that increase heart rates above resting levels. An active child plays sports, participates in physical education classes, performs regular household chores, spends recreational time outdoors and regularly travels by foot or bicycle.

The AHA offers the following guidelines for maintaining healthy physical activity in children:

Encourage regular walking, bicycling, outdoor play, the use of playgrounds and gymnasiums and interaction with other children.

Allow no more than two hours per day to watch television or videotapes.

Promote weekly participation in age-appropriate organized sports, lessons, clubs or sandlot games.

Have your child participate in daily school or day-care physical education that includes at least 20 minutes of coordinated large-muscle exercise.

Make sure your child has access to school buildings and community facilities that enable safe participation in physical activities.

Provide opportunities for physical activities that are fun, increase confidence and involve friends and peers.
Organize regular family outings that involve walking, cycling, swimming or other recreational activities.

Engage in positive role modeling for a physically active lifestyle.

Experts say it is important for parents to remember that physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

References
American Heart Association
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Medical College of Georgia
National Association for Sport and Physical Education

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sue Scheff: These Moms Know Best Website


These Moms Know Best is a website that combines parenting with great insight and ideas for moms!
As a parent, do you and your teenager have challenging mornings on school days? Are you wondering what you can do to help make your school mornings less stressful? Here are 6 tips to help you and your teenager experience a stress free school morning.