Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sue Scheff: Michael Fertik (CEO and Founder of Reputation Defender) Gives 2010 Social Media Predictions



This week CEO and Founder of Reputation Defender, Michael Fertik gives some fantastic 2010 Social Media Predictions that can help you help your future - technically.


In many ways, 2009 was a banner year for social media. While pioneering sites like Friendster were forced to finally cut their losses and sell, others, like Facebook, eclipsed 350 million users, setting a new precedent for social networking websites. With its 140 character “tweets,” Twitter brought micro-blogging to the masses, becoming one of the most talked about new companies in the world in the process.


Will social media continue to expand in 2010? Most experts agree that social media is more than just a fad, and will continue to be an integral part of our lives in the years to come. Perhaps nowhere will the importance of social media be felt than in the area of personal branding and online reputation management.

Recently, in a guest column for ZDNet, ReptuationDefender CEO Michael Fertik shared his social media predictions for the new year, and why he believes that 2010 will be the year of “Atomic Branding.” Check out Michael’s insights here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sue Scheff: Knit for Kids - Start a Trend in 2010 - Helping Needy Children with Stitches of Love


The holidays are wrapping up, but there are still many needy children. Guideposts has been around many years and when they introduced Knit for Kids, it developed into a worldwide epidemic of people, family, friends and more coming together to knit sweaters for needy children. Homemade sweaters from the heart inspires you to reach out and put a smile on a child's face.

If you haven't heard of this fantastic organization take the time to find out how you can help. Knitting and crocheting is for all ages. What a great idea for something you all can do as a family. Yes, boys can knit and/or crochet and they can also help box them up to ship to World Vision.

Do you have an elderly family member in an assisted living home? Nursing home? Share this opportunity with them, and soon you will have smiles not only on the children's faces, but on the faces of people giving. It is a wonderful way to be needed and a special way to give back.

Do you have a teen that is creative? Are you creative? Start a trend in 2010 and challenge each other to see how many sweaters each can do.

Giving feels so good, and giving to children in need has that extra tingle to it.

Learn more at http://www.knitforkids.org/ . They have the easy patterns for both knitting and crocheting.

You have told us that your participation in this program has been a labor of love. Many of you have said that every stitch represents a prayer for the child who will wear the sweater. And you have also told us that your own lives have been changed as result of the program. Retirees, members of church groups, gatherings of friends, prisoners, men as well as women, all have been energized and uplifted by knowing that they are doing something for needy children.

For this New Year's Resolution, make it a goal to give back. It feels so good!

Also on Examiner.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: New Year's With Your Teens - Twisting in the New Year


Parenting teens is not always easy, but being involved in their lives can help build your relationship with them and have fun at the same time!

What is on your schedule to ring in the New Year? What plans do your teens have? One thing is for sure, most teenagers want to celebrate and have fun, just like many adults plan on doing. However, for teens we need to find fun things that are age appropriate yet give them a sense of grown-up style!

The twist: Finding the fun that everyone will enjoy! Here are some ideas for your teens and family to bring in a safe and healthy New Year.

What’s in that punch? Teenage drinking should never be allowed, but you can create fancy drinks with blenders without the alcohol content. Spice up the Shirley Temples with a variety of juices. Let your teens create a drink – have fun experimenting with different sodas and juices!

Board games are boring! Are they? Find a game everyone can participate in. Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit and of course, Twister is always good for a few laughs! Especially as the teens will laugh at the adult attempting to move their bodies in ways that are not as easy as they used to be.

Go ahead, have a party! Teens love to be surrounded with their friends. Invite a few over, have a movie marathon, get some great food, create those Virgin drinks and be part of their fun. Surprise them by even getting the music they like and attempt to break out your moves.

Dancing! Like a dancing machine, show your teens you are no square, teach them your generation of moves! Do the Hustle! The fun won’t end and this will be a New Year’s Eve they won’t forget. By the way, don’t forget to film (video) it!

Ring in 2010 with a bit of the eighty’s, you and your teens will have a blast going into the past and paving out the future! Enjoy, stay safe and be healthy!

Forget how to Hustle – watch the video!

Also on the Examiner.

Parenting 2010 Resolutions.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sue Scheff: Games You Don't Want Your Teens to Play



The Choking Game is a very serious concern for parents and teens. If you are not familiar with this ‘game’ take a few minutes to learn more. G.A.S.P. – Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play website has some valuable information you can’t afford to ignore.

What is the Choking Game?

It’s not a game at all-just an act of suffocating on purpose.

Adolescents cut off the flow of blood to the brain, in exchange for a few seconds of feeling lightheaded. Some strangle themselves with a belt, a rope or their bare hands; others push on their chest or hyperventilate.

When they release the pressure, blood that was blocked up floods the brain all at once. This sets off a warm and fuzzy feeling, which is just the brain dying, thousands of cells at a time.

Why are kids doing this?

Some do it for the high, which can become addictive. Others do it because it’s “cool” and risky. Most kids who have died from this were active, intelligent, stable children who thought this was a safe alternative to drugs and alcohol. Most children have no concept of their own mortality-they truly believe nothing can hurt them.

What are the warning signs?

•Any suspicious mark on the side of the neck, sometimes hidden by a turtleneck, scarf or permanently turned-up collar.
•Changes in personality, such as overtly aggressive or agitated.
•Any kind of strap, rope or belt lying around near the child for no clear reason-and attempts to elude questions about such objects.
•Headaches (sometimes excruciatingly bad ones), loss of concentration, flushed face.
•Bloodshot eyes or any other noticeable signs of eye stress.
•A thud in the bedroom or against a wall-meaning a fall in cases of solitary practice.
•Any questions about the effects, sensations or dangers of strangulation.

Learn more at G.A.S.P. and watch the one minute PSA. Be an educated parent – you will have a safer teen.

More on Examiner.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sue Scheff: Merry Christmas! Inspiring Teens and Kids of 2009


Last August I wrote an article about Teens that Inspire. I was astounded at how many people read this article since so many are always drawn to negative news. As 2009 comes to an end, I am thrilled I was able to interview most of these teens and kids (yes, starting at 9 years-old) and shared with you some of their passion for what they do and how they are changing the world one day at a time.

This list is in alphabetical order and I also want to recognize Kids Are Heroes. This organization has many more wonderful kids that are reaching out and stretching boundaries to make positive changes. My list is a small one in comparison to the many that are out there, however these teens/kids have truly inspired me in 2009. Please review the slideshow to meet them all in person!

Click here to the list and learn about these amazing teens and kids that are making a difference!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sue Scheff: Who are your kids mingling with online?


It is school break, holiday time, and more kids, especially teens, are surfing in cyberspace. The breaking story of the parents in the UK posing as their daughter to catch predator is an example of the dangers that lurk online.

Chat rooms are one of the riskiest places our kids can mingle in. It is difficult to monitor all their cyber time, so the best solution is to educate them. First, parents need to be educated. Reminder to parents: Order your FREE booklet on Cyber safety from the FTC today.

Here are some Chat Room Safety Tips for Teens:

Source: Assembly of Words

1. Never enter into private chats or private chat rooms with people you don't know. Most kids know about stranger danger and are taught not to talk to, or give personal details to strangers in the street. The same rules apply, don't do it with strangers online either.

2. Think before you send a message. Once a message is out there, there is no way to get it back so think before you send the message and be careful about what you let others know about you.

3. Be careful of who you trust or think you know. Online predators specifically target chat rooms as most kids feel safe as they are in the comfort of their own home. Just because you have seen someone's profile, they are still a stranger.

4. Always use a nickname on your personal profile and don't include any personal details.

5. Log out if you, in any way, feel uncomfortable and make sure you tell a parent or adult immediately.

6. Stay in control. Never give out personal details in chat rooms, it doesn't matter how well you think you know them. This includes your name, nickname, address, phone number, password details, email addresses etc. If they are a friend, get their home email address(not an online one) or phone number and communicate personal details that way.

7. Learn how to block and/or ignore people.

8. Never meet anyone you have met in a chat room in person. If you must meet someone in person make sure you discuss it with an adult so that they can make sure its in a public area and with an adult present.

9. Learn how to save parts of your chat room conversations you may want to show your parents or report to the authorities.

10. Look out for your friends. Never use their information instead of yours and make sure they follow the same guidelines. Let your parents know if you think your friend is in trouble or out of their depth.

11. Know how to report any suspicious behavior to your chat room provider and tell your parents. Things like inappropriate comments, asking for personal information, talking about things that make you uncomfortable should all be taken seriously. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed of any inappropriate behavior online, it is not uncommon and it is not your fault, so please tell an adult.

If teens and kids follow these simple steps they will significantly reduce any potential chat room dangers for themselves.

Be sure to be ready for 2010 by making a resolution to learn more about Internet safety and your family.

Parenting 2010 - Getting ahead of your kids technically! T.A.L.K.

Also on Examiner.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parenting Resolutions with Solutions - Being an Educated Parent


Here we are with the final quarter of Dr. Michele Borba's brilliant expertise with parenting issues. Her largest book to date, BIG Book of Parenting Solutions, has become one of the most requested parenting books. Not only are parents buying this book, many grandparents, daycare providers, coaches, teachers and anyone that works with today's kids are holding this book hostage as their direct guide to success.

Michele Borba Has Answers to Parents Everyday Challenges & Worries

101 topics the author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions can address


SPECIAL NEEDS
77. Attention Deficit
78. Autism Spectrum Disorder
79. Depressed
80. Eating Disorders
81. Gifted
82. Learning Disabilities
83. Overweight

DAY TO DAY

84, Bathroom Battles
85. Boredom
86. Chores
87. Communicating
88. Disorganized
89. Money
90. Moving
91. Overscheduled
92. Pets
93. Picky Eater
94. Safety
95. Sleepless
96. Traveling

ELECTRONICS

97. Cell Phone
98. Cyberbullying
99. Internet Safety
100.TV Addiction
101.Video Games

There you are - 101 topics of parenting children today! Watch the short video and meet Michele Borba!

Did you miss the first three parts? Go back. <<<<<

Reminder: Parenting Resolutions 2010 - Getting Ahead of your kids with technology
Reminder: Parenting Wrap-up for 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sue Scheff: Cybercrime TV to Present World Congress on School Cyber Threats


Cybercrime TV is inviting experts to address 600 policy makers at the International School Safety Convention in Denver, Colorado, April 22-23, 2010, as part of a special session on cyber threats faced by schools, students,teachers, and parents.

Washington, DC December 21, 2009 – Cybercrime TV http://www.cybercrime.tv/   is inviting experts to address 600 policy makers at the International School Safety Convention in Denver, Colorado, April 22-23, 2010, as part of a special session on cyber threats faced by schools, students, teachers, and parents.

The program chair for the session is Andy Purdy, former U.S. Department of Homeland Security cyber head, and founder of Cybercrime TV. High-definition television highlights of the proceedings will be distributed to media outlets worldwide. Cybercrime TV will also produce with participating speakers print materials and interactive presentations.

Purdy expects topics to include cyber security, cyber bullying, sexting, illegal file sharing, online predators, privacy issues, and potential threats to “middle-mile” broadband projects that connect schools to community responders.

Purdy is particularly interested in announcements about new initiatives that can impact legislation and national investment in securing schools.

Purdy’s invitation extends to book authors, filmmakers, documentary producers, researchers, lawmakers, community leaders, and technology developers.

Participants can use the website, Cybercrime.TV, to prepare for the convention and build a community of interest around their themes. The site offers registered members a variety of online tools for collaborating on video and multimedia presentations, as well as private workspaces for connecting with convention attendees.

The International School Safety Convention will take up 12 meeting spaces on the Denver campus of Johnson &Wales University College of Business. The 2-day event is being organized by international school safety leader Michael Dorn for the Denver-based groups, School Safety Partners (http://www.schoolsafetypartners.org/  ) and the Foundation for the Prevention of School Violence.

Attendees will be primarily high-level decision makers responsible for major school safety funding, business leaders interested in public-private partnerships, and members of the school construction community.

Within the convention, the main feature will be the innovative World Congress on School Safety, which will include Purdy’s session on school cyber threats. The fast pace of the agenda is designed to optimize group problemsolving.

Speakers will have a brief period of time in the Jared Polis Auditorium to present their views before a review panel and the general assembly, followed by questions and answers. They will then proceed to an adjoining conference room to continue their discussions with members of the media and other attendees.

In addition, speakers may take part in presentations covering all aspects of school safety prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery, scheduled in 2 more conference spaces.

The convention will be immediately followed by a 30-day television distribution window, during which broadcast video will be distributed to journalists, television news producers, and online and mobile news video providers at more than 25,000 news organizations on all continents.

Experts interested in participating in Purdy’s school cyber threats session are welcome to register at Cybercrime.TV and provide a brief profile.

###
Also on Examiner.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sue Scheff: Pareting Resolutions with Solutions and Answers


Big Book of Parenting Solutions by Dr. Michele Borba has become one of the most popular parenting books to own. Why? It is simple, and seriously very simple to read, comprehend and easy to go straight to the topic you need to learn about without having to sift through a lot of pages. This book is like a Betty Crocker Cookbook – all indexed – easy to read and understand recipes (parenting recipes for raising kids today) as well as easy to use tabs to take you instantly to where you want to be.

Michele Borba Has Answers to Parents Everyday Challenges & Worries


101 topics the author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions can address:

FAMILY
1. Adopted
2. Divorce
3. Middle Child
4. New Baby
5. Oldest Child
6. Only Child
7. Sibling Rivalry
8. Twins and Multiples
9. Youngest Child

BEHAVIOR
10. Argues
11. Back Talk
12. Biting
13. Bossy
14. Brags
15. Defiant
16. Demanding
17. Hooked on Rewards
18. Impulsive
19. Indecisive
20. Swears
21. Tantrums
22. Time-Out
23. Whining
24. Won’t Listen
25. Yelling


Parenting in 2010 starts with Big Book of Parenting Solutions! Did you miss the sneak peek inside this fantastic book? Click here for the 10-part series!

Check out the next 25 topics >>>>>

Resolution Reminder: Parenting 2010 – Getting ten steps ahead of your kids with technology.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sue Scheff: Encouraging Troubled Teens to Give Back


Some teens that are struggling today, making not so good choices and simply going down a negative road can stem from feelings of low self worth. Building a teen back up to make better choices can start by encouraging them to get involved in helping others.

In many instances teens will gravitate to animals such as dogs or cats. Contact and visit your local Humane Society. Learn how your teen can get involved in helping animals. Contact your local Food Pantry, Assisted Living Homes or Nursing Homes, find out if they are in need of volunteers. Helping others inspires teens to feel good about themselves and the satisfaction that they are making a difference in lives can change their life.

Recently Connect With Kids reported about how troubled teens volunteering is spreading and how the change is growing through many at risk teens:

According to the latest Harris Poll 56 percent of teens are out in their communities volunteering and some of them are the most unlikely of teens.

For bad grades, for fighting or for using alcohol or drugs - these teens have all been kicked out of school and sent to volunteer at this food pantry.

Nearly all say they thought they'd hate it. "And it's actually, really, really fun," 16-year-old Lashika says.

"It makes me feel like I'm doing something important with my time," 20-year-old Jana agrees. "That I'm helping other people out and that they're getting what they need."

And that's the point, the experts say. Helping others helps these teens understand how important they are.

"I mean, we've had people who come in here, and they literally are crying. You know, 'thank you so much,' and hugging these kids' necks," says Deborah Swank, executive director of Hearts to Nourish Hope. "It makes a big difference, and it makes them see themselves differently - ;Well, you know if I could do this, maybe I can do something else.' If these troubled teens get so much out of giving, maybe other teens can, too. The first thing they have to learn is what a lot of people say but not many believe: Each one of us can make a difference.

"It's an overwhelming problem - what can one person do, what can my child do - and it's important to teach them that there are ways that one person can make a difference," Swank says.

"It makes you happier. You know, helping people out brings something out in you that you usually wouldn't feel," 15-year-old Tristan says.

"If a child lives with sharing," Dorothy Law Nolte writes, "[he or she] learns about generosity." Research shows parents can do a better job when it comes to teaching their children about kindness, generosity and caring for others.

Go back and read about how you can help your teen make a difference.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sue Scheff: What are you teens doing this holiday break?


School will be out for the holidays and there will be a lot of idle time for teens. Do you know have plans for them? At this time of the year, as well as at spring break, I hear from many parents that are struggling with their good teens making not so good choices. By the time they call Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, it has usually escalated to a decision many parents don’t want to make. Should they consider a residential therapy school?


Before it reaches the point of having to make a call for help, let’s look at some options you can encourage your teens to do to keep constructively busy during their holiday time-off. Hanging out is not always a bad thing, however it can be when it leads to negative activity and behavior.

Having this time-out can is also an opportunity to do things as a family. Spending more time together helps open up the lines of communication.

1. Let’s see what movies are playing. The kids love to hang at theaters, but try to find movies you all can see and make it a family event! Right now there are many movies playing that the entire family can enjoy such as Blind Side, Nine, Meet the Morgan’s, Invictus (for teens and parents) and of course the upcoming blockbuster – Avartar. Remember, students can get discount tickets at most theaters. The most important part of this activity is you are doing it together!

2. Volunteering at a local Nursing Home, Humane Society, Soup Kitchen etc. This is a fantastic way to help your teens feel needed and give back. Take the initiative and visit these places and get your teen excited about giving back.

3. Reach out to neighbors that may need your help. Encourage your teens to meet the neighbors, wash cars, mow the lawn (we are in Florida), shovel snow (for those Northerners), walk their dogs or even just spend some time with them. Maybe they need help wrapping gifts. It is a perfect time to reach out and give from your heart.

4. Do you know how many teens actually love culinary arts? Yes, encourage your teen to find new recipes and learn to cook dinner for the family. This can also be a family affair. Take the challenge with new recipes. Who knows, you may have the next Top Chef in your home!

For more ideas including T.A.L.K. >>>>> CLICK HERE

Also on Examiner.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sue Scheff: Games Your Kids Should NEVER Play


The Choking Game is a very serious concern for parents and teens. If you are not familiar with this 'game' take a few minutes to learn more. G.A.S.P. - Games Adolescents Shouldn't Play website has some valuable information you can't afford to ignore.

What is the Choking Game?

It's not a game at all-just an act of suffocating on purpose.


Adolescents cut off the flow of blood to the brain, in exchange for a few seconds of feeling lightheaded. Some strangle themselves with a belt, a rope or their bare hands; others push on their chest or hyperventilate.

When they release the pressure, blood that was blocked up floods the brain all at once. This sets off a warm and fuzzy feeling, which is just the brain dying, thousands of cells at a time.

Why are kids doing this?

Some do it for the high, which can become addictive. Others do it because it's "cool" and risky. Most kids who have died from this were active, intelligent, stable children who thought this was a safe alternative to drugs and alcohol. Most children have no concept of their own mortality-they truly believe nothing can hurt them.

What are the warning signs?

•Any suspicious mark on the side of the neck, sometimes hidden by a turtleneck, scarf or permanently turned-up collar.
•Changes in personality, such as overtly aggressive or agitated.
•Any kind of strap, rope or belt lying around near the child for no clear reason-and attempts to elude questions about such objects.
•Headaches (sometimes excruciatingly bad ones), loss of concentration, flushed face.
•Bloodshot eyes or any other noticeable signs of eye stress.
•A thud in the bedroom or against a wall-meaning a fall in cases of solitary practice.
•Any questions about the effects, sensations or dangers of strangulation.


Learn more at G.A.S.P. and watch the one minute PSA. Be an educated parent - you will have a safer teen.

More on Examiner.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parenting 2010 - Get Educated Online!


Part 1 of a 5 part series for a "virtual make-over" in 2010!

As quickly as the holiday's have come upon us, New Year's is literally weeks away. What will your resolution be as a parent?

Parenting teens today is extremely challenging. With all the technology, cell phones, i-Phones, i-Pods, and much more, how can parents keep up?

As many times as we hear we need to be ten steps ahead of our kids technically, it seems almost impossible.

Here is part one of a five part series. As a parent you need to consider this New Year's resolution and take the time to make a difference in your child's life - technically speaking right now.

"Time" is the key word, and you never know what you will learn from your child in this process. This is a resolution every parent needs to consider, and honestly can't afford to ignore in today's hi-tech society.

Part 1 - Sit down with your child, and especially those with teens, and review each others social networking sites. Is there questionable photo's there? Are there words that are less than appropriate? Are there friends that may not be the best to associate with?

Explain why the photo's are not appropriate.

Talk to your child about why certain language is questionable and people may see you in a false light.

Give examples why a certain person may not be the best to associate with.

Children and teens need to understand what the post today can haunt them tomorrow. Teens need to understand the consequences of college recruiters that will Google you and may exclude you from consideration due to a questionable online presence. Children need to understand that they are vulnerable to Internet Predators and how to block contact from potential monsters that lurk online.

Part 2 - New Year's Resolution for parents: Create a family Blog for you and your teens.
Part 3 - Learn to monitor your children and teens online.
Part 4 - Books, resources and services to help educate parents online.
Part 5 - T.A.L.K. - opening the lines of communcation - both online and off.

References for parents to review: Social Web Tips for Teens, Chatroom Safety Tips, Cell Phone Safety Tips, Social Web Tips for Parents

Don't forget to subscribe to my articles to be alerted when updated information on parenting and Internet Safety is posted.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sue Scheff: The Choking Game


The Choking Game is a very serious concern for parents and teens. If you are not familiar with this 'game' take a few minutes to learn more. G.A.S.P. - Games Adolescents Shouldn't Play website has some valuable information you can't afford to ignore.


What is the Choking Game?

It's not a game at all-just an act of suffocating on purpose.

Adolescents cut off the flow of blood to the brain, in exchange for a few seconds of feeling lightheaded. Some strangle themselves with a belt, a rope or their bare hands; others push on their chest or hyperventilate.

When they release the pressure, blood that was blocked up floods the brain all at once. This sets off a warm and fuzzy feeling, which is just the brain dying, thousands of cells at a time.

Why are kids doing this?

Some do it for the high, which can become addictive. Others do it because it's "cool" and risky. Most kids who have died from this were active, intelligent, stable children who thought this was a safe alternative to drugs and alcohol. Most children have no concept of their own mortality-they truly believe nothing can hurt them.

What are the warning signs?

•Any suspicious mark on the side of the neck, sometimes hidden by a turtleneck, scarf or permanently turned-up collar.

•Changes in personality, such as overtly aggressive or agitated.

•Any kind of strap, rope or belt lying around near the child for no clear reason-and attempts to elude questions about such objects.

•Headaches (sometimes excruciatingly bad ones), loss of concentration, flushed face.

•Bloodshot eyes or any other noticeable signs of eye stress.

•A thud in the bedroom or against a wall-meaning a fall in cases of solitary practice.

•Any questions about the effects, sensations or dangers of strangulation.

Learn more at G.A.S.P. and watch the one minute PSA. Be an educated parent - you will have a safer teen.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sue Scheff: Challenging your kids to be smarter consumers online


Keeping our kids safe in cyberspace has become one of the top priorities for parents. Net Cetera was launched by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) for parents. Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online, OnGuard Online gives adults practical tips to help kids navigate the online world.


Recently YouAreHere: Where Kids Learn to be Smarter Consumers was created for kids as a compliment to Net Cetera in continuing to help you keep your kids safe online. This FTC website teaches your kids about privacy and fraud.

The site takes visitors to a virtual mall, where they can play games, watch short animated films, and interact with customers and store owners. As they explore areas of the mall, visitors learn how advertising affects them, how to protect their privacy and avoid identity theft, how to spot and avoid frauds and scams, and how they benefit when businesses compete. For parents and teachers , the site has detailed fact sheets with ideas for related activities.
The activities and resources on this site are free to use. The site is intended for students in 5th-8th grade.

Take the time to be an educated parent. You will have safer and smarter kids!

Subscribe to receive more articles on parenting and Internet safety.
Also on Examiner.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sue Scheff: Books that give back!


Cartoonist and author, Tom Wilson, also known as Ziggy, is generously contributing 100% of his royalties to LIVESTRONG in memory of his wife, Susan. She passed away of breast cancer on November 18, 2000.

From today until Susan's birthday, January, 19, 2010 when you order any books from Health Communications, Inc. (HCI) through this affiliate link, http://zigzagging.hcibooks.com/ a percentage will be donated to LIVESTRONG.

Health Communications Inc. offers a wonderful library of self-help books, inspirational books, Memoirs and so much more. HCI is the original home of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and is now continuing their heartfelt generosity to LIVESTRONG.

I am privileged that HCI is also my publisher and able to add my books to the list that will be giving back.

Check out the slideshow for a few of the titles and explore HCI's website. Be sure to enter HCI through http://zigzagging.hcibooks.com/ to order the books. It is holiday time and books make a perfect gift for everyone! From children to grandparents, you will find the perfect title to fit your holiday list!

Also on Examiner.com

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sue Scheff: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving


What an important message for this time of the year, and truly, all year round. Take the time to be an educated parent, have safer teens and potentially save a life.

Did you know that in 2008, nearly 12,000 drivers or motorcycle riders died in alcohol-related crashes? That’s one person every 40 minutes. Many people are under the misconception that you would have to be “falling down drunk” to be too impaired to drive safely. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Last year alone, during the winter holiday season, 420 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. You can’t help but wonder if those lives could have been saved if people thought twice before getting behind the wheel.

With the holidays approaching, it’s important that drivers be reminded about the dangers of buzzed driving. Who knows, it could save a life.

The National Highway Safety and Traffic Association (NHTSA) and the Ad Council are continuing their efforts with their PSA campaign called “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.” The buzzed driver is one who drinks and drives, but does not consider himself a hazard on the roadway because “only a few” drinks are consumed. The campaign hopes to educate people that consuming even a few drinks can impair driving and that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”

During the holiday season help keep “buzzed” drivers off the road. Learn about the dangers of buzzed driving, share a story or experience you might have had with buzzed driving and follow them on Twitter @buzzeddriving ) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/buzzeddrivingisdrunkdriving ) to get the latest updates and news from NHTSA.

You can also visit the website (http://buzzeddriving.adcouncil.org/ ) where readers can sign a pledge not to drive buzzed, play an interactive game to help them understand how drinking can impair driving, and hear personal stories from people who have driven buzzed.
WATCH 30 SECOND PSA VIDEO - CLICK HERE.

Be an educated parent – have a safer teen and holiday season.
Also on Examiner.com

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sue Scheff: Give The Gift of Virtual Presence


Skip the holiday presents - give the gift of virtual presence!
The who:


* Help jump-start your potential college applicant/application.
* Out of work? Learn to promote your skills online.
* Professional or small business owner? Learn to own and manage your virtual image.


The why:


•53% of Americans Google each other. Pew Internet & American Life

•26% of college admissions officers use search engines to research candidates. University of Massachusetts Center for Market Research

•64% of teens say that most teens do things online that they wouldn’t want their parents to know about. anti-drug.com

•77% of executive recruiters use search engines to research applicants. CareerBuilder

The how:

Tip 1: Check out your social networking sites. If there is information or photo’s on there you wouldn’t share with your grandparents, chances are they shouldn’t be on the Internet. Keep it clean!

Tip 2: Sign up for personal branding services. This is free. Services such as Naymz, Ziggs, LinkedIn and LookUpPage offer free online profile set-ups. Take the time to create your cyber resume. It is important to own your own name and your own background.

Tip 3: Create your own Blog. There are many free Blog sites such as Blogspot and WordPress. Take the time to let your potential college or employer see that you are enthusiastic about your interests and motivated to be all you can be. If you are a professional or business owner, let your future and current clientele see that you are up-to-date and knowledgeable about your products and services. [For example http://www.suescheff.blogspot.com/ and http://www.suescheff.wordpress.com/]

Tip 4: Create Google Alerts for your name, business name and nicknames. This is free. Find out when, how and why your name is being use online. This vital for small businesses especially. If there is a disgruntled client or customer, you want to know and hopefully can rectify the situation before it gets worse.

Here are three tips that have limited fees:

Tip 5: Buy your own URL with your name. For example mine is http://www.suescheff.com/ . This can be as little as $7.99 a year through GoDaddy. Build yourself a small website and share with people surfing and researching the web about yourself.

Tip 6: Place your name. Literally you can give the gift of PLACE YOUR NAME with a professional service for as little as $49.95 one time fee. Let them position your name in the search engines, write a press release for you and more. All for one low fee.

Tip 7: Hire an online management service. Although there are many to choose from today, my personal experience is with ReputationDefender. If you know someone that is struggling with online slime, or simply needs a virtual presence or “online make-over“ and doesn’t have the time or the computer savvy to create their cyber image, consider giving them a gift of relief with an online management service. PS: This is also a great gift to give yourself. In my opinion and experience, Reputation Defender is the pioneer of online reputation management services and number one in my book. (I am not a paid sponsor for them and I don’t receive any referral fees from them) I am simply a satisfied client. Costs vary according to your needs. Visit http://www.reputationdefender.com/ for their many services, as well as NameGrab, their latest addition.

Do you want more tips and practical guidance to help maintain your cyber profile? Don’t forget to purchase Google Bomb, The Untold Story of the $11.3M Verdict That Changed the Way We Use the Internet (Health Communications, Inc. August 2009). This book makes the perfect gift for everyone and anyone that uses the Internet, owns a business, has a reputation to protect, applying to schools, looking for jobs and more.
No one is immune to having their Internet image ruined. So for this holiday season, give a present that gives you or the recipient a ‘presence’.

Remember it can take 20 years to build up a solid reputation and today it can take 20 minutes of a few vicious keystrokes and a click of the mouse, and those 20 years are history.
Also visit my Examiner articles on this subject – Part 1 and Part 2

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sue Scheff: Holiday Stress and Depression


Caron Institute released a new study regarding how the stress and challenges of the holidays can effect people. With today's struggling economy and job loss on the rise, many people are feeling the blues during this holiday season. Take moment to learn about ways to cope if you are having a difficult time.

Here is a portion of their survey: As Economy Slowly Recovers, New Study Shows Americans Expect Much Higher Stress Levels This Holiday Season than Last Year....
The survey, "Holiday Stress Index" was commissioned by Breakthrough at Caron and conducted by Harris Interactive. This online omnibus poll was based on a nationwide sample of 2,173 adults in the U.S. aged eighteen years and over. Based upon survey findings and the institution's vast experience with this issue, a package of free educational materials and tips was developed and can be viewed at http://www.breakthroughatcaron.org/.


In general, 90% of the respondents said they experience some level of stress and/or anxiety about the holiday season. However this year more than a third (38 percent) said they expect to feel more stress and anxiety this holiday season due to the current economy."One problem is that we have gotten away from the most important part of the holiday season - the connection with those we love," said Ann W. Smith, Executive Director of Breakthrough at Caron. "People think that spending money and buying gifts is a substitute for intimacy. Ironically, our study indicates that, given a choice, most would prefer family intimacy and connection as opposed to material goods."Family Conflict at the HolidaysSeventy-seven percent of respondents who attend family holiday gatherings said their family experiences conflict during holiday gatherings.
The reasons why people continue to spend time with family during the holidays despite conflict included:

50% because they still want a connection to their family even though they have problems

28% work hard to make their family feel good so things will go more smoothly
25% keep hoping their family will change for the better


Visit Caron at http://www.caron.org/ and learn more.

Click here to subscribe to my articles.

Also on Examiner.com

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teens Drop Sports


This is a very interesting article. As a mother that had a daughter that was extremely into sports, I can relate to the stress and time it can take on a teen. However, it has to be the teens decision to participate or not to. As parents, we need to understand and know when too much is too much, or when our teen's withdrawal is maybe going in a negative direction. Take the time to be an educated parent and learn about your teens and their goals.
Teens Drop Sports

“The pressure really becomes too much, and after a while they really become kind of disillusioned with the entire sports scene---and get tired of it and finally say, 'That's it for me.'”

– Richard Winer, MD, Psychiatrist

In the middle of the frenzy of basketball, hockey and football seasons, this may be a good time to report on an alarming trend noted by the National Alliance for Youth Sports. When kids turn 13 years old age, most of them drop out of sports. And some of them are just burned out.

Katie, Brittany, and Laura all used to be athletes--- and they all decided to quit.

Brittany, who's now 15-years-old says, "I used to play soccer and basketball. Basketball I just got burned out and soccer the same way. I've been playing since I was like six and seven."

According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, 73 percent of kids drop organized sports by age 13. Why?

16-year-old Katie says, "As it went on it got like really competitive and stuff, and I'm not exactly the most competitive person ever."

They practiced every day and had games every weekend. In the end they had little time for anything else. Dr. Richard Winer, a psychiatrist in metro-Atlanta says, "The pressure really becomes too much, and after a while they really become disillusioned with the entire sports scene, and get tired of it and finally say, 'That's it for me.'"

Katie says, "You like feel pressured to do your best all the time. And when you mess up you feel like you've screwed up the entire team."

But experts fear if kids drop sports, they'll miss the benefits: being on a team, exercise, feeling more connected to their school. 17-year old Laura says, "I also miss being like really in shape."

So what should you do if your child wants to quit the team? Dr. Winer says, "One of the things that you might want to look at is a different sport. Sometimes kids just get burned out on one sport."

Laura says, "If it wasn't as much of a time commitment it would still be really awesome if you could do some sort of recreational league, if it was an hour a week, or one game per week or something."

The girls now try out for the school plays. Their advice to parents about sports: "It's not like life or death situations. It's just a game," says Katie.

Experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that medical, physical, cognitive and psychosocial components of children's development should be considered to evaluate the readiness of young athletes for intensive athletic training and competition. Consider the following:

■Medical – The issue of preadolescent participation in competitive athletics is complex, and from a medical perspective, there appear to be both benefits, as well as potential drawbacks. Apparent advantages include physiological training/health benefits from participation in a "lifetime" sport, as well as enhanced motor/skill development. Research has demonstrated there are adverse physiological consequences from intense physical training, including delayed menarche and an increased risk of overuse injuries to immature musculoskeletal systems. Repetitive motion can cause premature closure of long bone growth plates and stress fractures are more common in juveniles than adults.

■Physical – Generally, young athletes grow and develop normally. As a result of regular physical activity, they demonstrate superior heart function, some gains in isomatic strength, enhanced neurological adaptations and improved body composition compared to their non-athletic peers. However, with the trend toward highly competitive athletics at a younger age, there is the potential hazard of an increasing number of sport-specific and overuse injuries of the immature skeletal and neuromuscular systems caused by many ambitious coaches' tendencies to over-train children for competition. The ability to learn motor skills and the rate at which a child progresses in mastering these skills differ with each child. Young athletes should not be forced to practice and perform motor drills that are too advanced for their level of physical development.
■Cognitive – A distinguishing feature of pre-adolescence is a child's strong, self-centered view, which facilitates individual performance, but complicates participation in team sports. Young children have difficulty understanding that a team is composed of interdependent positions that must simultaneously respond to one another and opposing players' movements. Children can successfully cope with activities that allow them sufficient time to get ready. They more easily respond to a fixed object of static environment in situations that permit them to move at their own rates of speed, time and readiness.

■Psychosocial – Generally, younger children experience less anxiety (feeling of distress) about casual sports participation (e.g., playground) because they have not become as aware as older children of the competitive nature of these situations. However, younger athletes experience more trait anxiety than older athletes do in structured sport settings in which competition is explicit. Important competitive events, because of an emphasis on winning, put so much pressure on children that some of them drop out of playing sports. Research suggests that for young children, high performance scores may have more to do with heredity and maturity than personal accomplishment. Some children may not be successful competitors simply because of their inadequate maturity level. Repeated failures may have a detrimental psychological effect on developing young athletes and result in low self-esteem, depression, excessive anxiety, burnout, serious injuries and re-injuries. As a result, these athletes who might be very talented, could withdraw from sports before they reach their potential and without further attempting to return to a particular sport.

Tips for Parents

All the above conclusions indicate that children cannot and should not play an adult version of a game. The nature of the game must be modified to match young athletes' cognitive abilities. According to experts at the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), children's main motives to participate in sports and compete are:

■To have fun;
■To improve skills;
■To be with friends; and
■To improve health and fitness.
In addition, experts at the AVCA say some of the major reasons for sports dropouts are:

■Overemphasis on winning;
■Not having fun;
■Stress of competition; and
■Disliking the coach.

According to experts at the University of Toronto, parents and coaches often attribute a child's overtraining to the child's enthusiasm and love for the sport. While some children may have extraordinary abilities and high athletic aptitudes, their parents and coaches must still take responsibility in exercising appropriate control and timely advice to these young athletes. Self-deception on the part of the parents, as well as the personal and financial sacrifices endured by many of these families, may well increase the stress on the child.

References
■American Academy of Pediatrics
■American Volleyball Coaches Association
■University of Toronto

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sue Scheff: Cyber Tragedy - Parents, stop, read, listen, learn and TALK!


Another teen tragedy that involves sexting, bullying and the horrific end to a young beautiful life. (Photo of Hope Witsell, from Edmund D. Fountain, St. Petersburg Times).

According to the St. Petersburg Times, 13 year old Hope Witsell was a typical teen however suffering from inner turmoil that lead to the end of her life. Hope was taunted by ugly and harassing insults which resulted from a nude photo of herself that was spread via text also known as 'sexting'. Although meant for her boyfriend only, this photo soon went viral and school officials suspended her. She was convinced that tons of people secretly hated her according to her journal.


The St. Petersburg Times also noted: A 2009 Harris online poll shows that one in five teens admits to having sent naked pictures of themselves or others over a cell phone. But even that number may be low.

This is another horrific story that we can learn from. The question is, why is it taking these tragedies to wake us up? Here are some tips to help you help your child/teen with online and cell phone safety. Please know that Love Our Children USA and STOMP Out Bullying is also available for more critical information to keep your children safe.

Parents, TALK to your kids! There has never been a more urgent time to open up those lines of communications with your kids and teens.

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Also on Examiner.com

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sue Scheff: Wall Street Journal Shares my Story


I was thrilled to be part of Columnist Elizabeth Bernstein's articlein the Wall Street Journal - The Dark Side of 'Webtribution'. She also listed my tips to help protect yourself online as well as wrote a fantastic column about what keystrokes can do to lives!


Click here to read her article dated 12/01/09.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sue Scheff: Holiday safety for you and your teens on Cyber Monday


Ross Ellis, founder of Love Our Children USA and STOMP Out Bullying is a dedicated and devoted crusader to help protect children in our country.

Recently she wrote a fantastic and timely article to help protect you and your teens during this holiday season. Cyber Monday is a very busy time online. Here are some great tips by Ross Ellis – and as a Parent Advocate, I believe everyone needs to take the time to learn more about keeping you and your family safe in cyberspace!

Cyber Monday is 6 days away, for those online shoppers who want a great deal on their holiday gifts.

61% of consumers are shopping online and that includes teens shopping online as well.
Here’s what you can do to ensure online safety:

• Talk to your teens about online safety and how to avoid these online Cyber Monday scams
• Be sure you know what sites your teens are shopping on
• Make sure the web site is legitimate before inputting your credit card info
• Make sure the site provides full contact info. It should list the company’s street address, phone number and e-mail address. You can find this in the “Contact Us” or “About Us” pages. Check out their return policy or privacy policy, for a mailing address.

Check out the privacy policy. Look for a link at the bottom of the home page that says “Privacy Policy” or for a link on the “About Us” or FAQ pages. Read the policy to find out whether the company shares customer info with third parties and whether you can opt out. Look for a trust e-seal, which means the privacy policy is solid.

• See what BBB.org says. Look for the BBB Online Reliability Program seal on a site’s home page. (Clicking on the seal should take you directly to BBB.org). Or go to www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business- Reviews and search by the company name or URL. Look for a rating of “satisfactory” or a grade of at least C-. Some smaller sites aren’t listed, and plenty of excellent sites aren’t yet accredited.

• If the site looks sketchy, contact www.ripoffreport.com and http://www.complaintsboard.com/.
If you have a bad experience you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org/us. You can also report your bad experience to the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, at http://www.onguardonline.gov/or if you are the victim of an internet crime contact Internet Crime Complaint Center, backed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at http://www.ic3.gov/

According to Consumer Reports, cybercriminals have bilked $8 billion from consumers in the past two years. As shoppers open their wallets and their Internet browsers for Cyber Monday deals there’s an increase in scams. Especially the 12 scams of Christmas.
Don’t click links in e-mails, which can easily redirect you to false or misleading websites. If you create a new account to buy something use a unique password with letters and symbols, rather than using the same password for all of your log-ins.
Be sure your security software is updated!

Discuss Cyber Monday safety rules with your teen and have fun shopping safely!

Want to know more? Visit http://www.loveourchildrenusa.org/If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my page by going here and clicking the Subscribe Button at the top of the page.

Also on Examiner

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: Priceless Family Gifts


Did you take part in Black Friday? Many people set their alarm clocks for those 4:00am sales. Everyone is looking for a bargain.

In a year that has been less than financially friendly to many families, these early morning sales can help them make a difference in giving their child that special gift they asked for.

During this time of year, it is also time to think about so many gifts that won't cost you money, however will be priceless in their value.

Here are some ideas:

Your time. It is that simple, your children crave your attention and would love to have more time with you. Can you make a promise to take more time out of your schedule and give it to your child? Learn about "Family Time Out" all year round.

Volunteer with your family. There is nothing more fulfilling than giving back to those with less. Contact your local Goodwill, Red Cross or Salvation Army. Find out where the homeless shelters or soup kitchens are in your area - take a day to donate your time to others as a family. Learn more about Volunteering in your community.

Clean out your closets! What does this mean? Do you have old toys, yet in good condition, or games that maybe you only used once or twice? Do you have clothes you no longer wear however are still like new? Donate! Everyone take the time to give up what they don't use and find a place to donate to needy families. Bikes are always a hot and needed item.

Does your grocery store offer buy one get one free? In Florida, Publix offers this almost everyday on many items. Give that item to a local food bank. Again, it is all about giving to those with less and doing this together will teach your children to be less materialistic and more about the true meaning of the holidays - to give.

Spirituality. Maybe you are not religious, maybe you were at one time or maybe you are. Whatever category you fall into, maybe it is time to find visit a new church or synagogue. Trying new experiences can be enlightening and you never know who you may meet or what you might learn.

Picture Time! Yes, of course you can take photo's but to have more fun, drag out those boxes from your childhood, home movies from years (decades) ago as well as your child's photo's from birth to today! Your kids, even teens love this - and there is nothing like laughing and memories to bring in a new year and celebrate the love of family.

Remember the holidays are about giving and as parents we need to set the example for our children.


Reminder: Holiday Safety Tips
Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sue Scheff: Giving Back to your Community


Pay it forward and feel good!

Did you miss part one? Click here.

Part 2:

6. Tell us how VolunteerSpot can help others.We do all the busy work behind coordinating volunteers and save more time for meaningful work. Our simple online tool eliminates the need for clipboard sign up sheets, reply-all email, Excel spreadsheets and phone tag. For example, it takes more than 200 parent volunteers to put on a school carnival http://www.volunteerspot.com/ebooks/Carnivals/ That’s a lot of coordination! we make it easy for each class’s parents to sign up to staff a booth or concessions stand saving carnival organizers a week of work! This video gives a quick tour of our sign up tool: http://www.volunteerspot.com/video/

7. The holiday season is around the corner, do you find it gets busier or do you feel that many people are simply too busy to volunteer?I believe that the holidays bring out the best in everyone. There is an influx of new volunteers at community kitchens and charities that gather toys, food and clothing for families in need. To promote local seasonal service, we’ve launched a Giving Tree Giveaway sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation. Plan a holiday service activity on VolunteerSpot and Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in a fire-damaged national forest in your honor. Learn more at www.VolunteerSpot.com/GivingTree

8. What are the benefits of volunteering? How can we create more awareness about the benefits of volunteering?Volunteering feels GREAT, and studies show helping others actually improves your mood and helps you live longer! Volunteering is also a wonderful way to strengthen your resume, build new professional skills and network within your community. For families, volunteering together builds meaningful communication opportunities and perspective. Kids who volunteer with their families are more likely to volunteer as adults, and that’s good for all our communities!

9. Are there age limits? Do you recommend teens get involved?People of all ages and backgrounds can volunteer – from preschoolers participating in food drives to grandparents rocking babies in the hospital. Service provides an ideal opportunity for teens to explore new interests and passions. If a teen is interested in green causes, consider volunteering at a recycling center, or an Earth Day festival. Curious about a career as a vet? Volunteer at the animal shelter or wildlife preserve. Love children? Join a mentoring program or coach at an after-school sports league in a low-income neighborhood. Teens also bring very useful technical skills to understaffed nonprofits – like helping them find outreach groups on MySpace, Facebook, Ning and Twitter. Shooting YouTube Videos and updating websites – all of these are super helpful skill that most volunteer groups need lots more of.

10. Please share with us anything more you would like people to know about VolunteerSpot?VolunteerSpot is really really easy to use and saves so much time! If you know someone faced with coordinating a group of people for your booster club, league, neighborhood association, congregation or nonprofit, please let them know about us! VolunteerSpot, DOING GOOD just got easier! http://www.volunteerspot.com/

Follow VolunteerSpot on Twitter @VolunteerSpot

Visit VolunteerSpot Blog for updates!
Reminder: Holiday Safety Tips
Article for Holiday Jobs and Volunteering for Teens.
Part 1 - click here.

Also on Examiner.com

Midwest Academy - Learn more

Are you a parent with an at risk teen, considering a residential treatment center? Maybe a therapeutic boarding school? Do you have a good kid that is making some not so good choices? Are you at your wit's end? Please read my earlier post on a variety of programs including Midwest Academy. ALERT for parents - especially at your wit's end.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sue Scheff: LYING - Why do Teens Lie?


Part 10 of my sneak peek inside the BIG Book of Parenting Solutions, written by parenting expert, Dr. Michele Borba, brings us to a topic that I hear about frequently - LYING. Why do our kids lie to us? What is the motivation? Where did they learn this habit from? Is there really a difference between a white lie and not a white lie? Let's explore this subject. There is an entire chapter on lying starting on page 173.

Red Flags

Lies, exaggerates, or stretches the truth; can no longer be trusted; deceives out of habit
Pay Attention to This!

An occasional fib is nothing to worry about, but if your child develops a habit of lying, it could be a sign of some deeper problem or, in rarer situations, Conduct Disorder. Seek the help of a mental help professional for these reoccurring symptoms: stealing, lying, fighting, destroying property, truancy, deliberate infraction of rules, bullying and cruelty, or showing no sadness or remorse when confronted with the mistruth. See also Bullying, page 332, and Steals, page 218.

ONE SIMPLE SOLUTION (of many listed in this book)

Use Moral Questions to Stretch Your Child's Honesty Quotient

Asking the right questions when your child bends the truth can be import tool for stretching your child's honesty quotient. Here are a few questions to get you started:

"Did you tell the truth?"
"Was that the right thing to do?"
"Why do you think I'm concerned?"
"If everybody in the family [class] always lied, what would happen?"
"If you don't follow through on your word, what will happen to my trust in you?"
"How would you feel if I lied to you? How do you think I feel to be lied to?"
"Why is lying wrong?"

The change you are aiming for is for your child to finally grasp that lying breaks down trust. It will take time, so use those teachable moments to help your child understand the value of honesty.

Order The BIG BOOK of Parenting Solutions today! Whether it is for yourself or as a gift, you won't be disappointed.

Also on Examiner.com

Cross Creek Academy

Are you a parent with an at risk teen, considering a residential treatment center? Maybe a therapeutic boarding school? Do you have a good kid that is making some not so good choices? Are you at your wit's end? Please read my earlier post on a variety of programs including CrossCreekAcademy. ALERT for parents - especially at your wit's end.

Red River Academy

Are you a parent with an at risk teen, considering a residential treatment center? Maybe a therapeutic boarding school? Do you have a good kid that is making some not so good choices? Are you at your wit's end? Please read my earlier post on a variety of programs including RedRiverAcademy. ALERT for parents - especially at your wit's end.

Horizon Academy Learn More

Are you a parent with an at risk teen, considering a residential treatment center? Maybe a therapeutic boarding school? Do you have a good kid that is making some not so good choices? Are you at your wit's end? Please read my earlier post on a variety of programs including Horizon Academy. ALERT for parents - especially at your wit's end.

Sue Scheff: Helping Your Teen With Homework


Parenting teens can be challenging, and helping the to understand the importance of completing their homework is critical in their high school years. Here are some great tips from OneToughJob.org.

Source: OneToughJob

In general, just when grades are becoming more important, school and homework may not be your teen’s top priority. Teens spend more and more time with friends and may become involved in extracurricular activities. Try to find a balance between respecting their desire to establish their independence and continuing to show an interest in and support their education, even though they may not always want or need it.

Ways to work with your teen

Prioritize and make a schedule. Teens have a lot of things going on in their lives and often a lot of stress, so sit down with your teen and talk about scheduling social events, after school activities, free time and homework. Though teens are capable of choosing when to do their homework, you can ensure they have enough time in their busy schedules to get it done!. This will help your teen learn how to manage his time, show him that homework and school need to be a priority, and keep you involved in your teen’s life.

Find a good place to set up shop. Unlike your elementary school child who liked to do her homework at the kitchen table so you were nearby, your teen may rather retreat to their privacy of her own room. Wherever your teen ends up, make sure it is comfortable for her, well lit and free of distractions such as television and the telephone. Be sure to check in with your teen so you know she is staying on task.

Provide support and encouragement. You may not need to be as involved in your teen’s homework as you were when he was in elementary school; however, you should be there to support your teen in the process. Make yourself available for questions and help by going over the instructions with your teen before he begins, let him share his ideas with your and offer feedback, or offer to review his work when she is finished.

Homework and the Internet. Your teen will most likely have homework assignments that require research of some kind on the Internet, or she may be able to use a website for homework help if she is struggling with something. The Internet can be a wonderful resource; however, there is plenty of inappropriate material on the Internet as well so please see our information on this website regarding Internet Safety.

Study groups. Study groups are often a good strategy for middle or high school students. Your teen may benefit from studying with one or two classmates; however, make sure the group is using the time to study. If you have questions about study groups or how to help your teen form a study group, speak with the school and they may have some recommendations.

Talk to the teacher. If your teen seems to be having trouble with a particular subject or type of assignment, make an appointment to speak with his teacher about it. If your teen is struggling with a particular subject, it may indicate a learning difference. His teacher and the school may be able to make arrangements for extra help in the form of a tutor—the earlier your child gets the help he needs, the better.

Keep the lines of communication open. You should be regularly talking with your teen about her homework and school. Anytime you have questions or concerns you should speak with your teen’s teachers and other school staff if necessary, such as guidance counselors, principals, etc. By doing this you will stay involved in your teen’s life and her education, model good communication, and continue to make a connection between home and school.