Posts

Showing posts from 2009

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

Image
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.

Source: Reputation Defender Blog

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 Ferti…

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

Image
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 …

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

Image
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…

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

Image
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 al…

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

Image
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!

Sue Scheff: Who are your kids mingling with online?

Image
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 a…

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

Image
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 …

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

Image
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, onl…

Sue Scheff: Pareting Resolutions with Solutions and Answers

Image
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. Y…

Sue Scheff: Encouraging Troubled Teens to Give Back

Image
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 grad…

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

Image
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 ma…

Sue Scheff: Games Your Kids Should NEVER Play

Image
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 …

Sue Scheff: Parenting 2010 - Get Educated Online!

Image
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 …

Sue Scheff: The Choking Game

Image
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 …

Sue Scheff: Challenging your kids to be smarter consumers online

Image
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 …

Sue Scheff: Books that give back!

Image
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 …

Sue Scheff: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Image
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 Drivin…

Sue Scheff: Give The Gift of Virtual Presence

Image
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

Sue Scheff: Holiday Stress and Depression

Image
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/o…

Sue Scheff: Teens Drop Sports

Image
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. Source: Connect with Kids 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 bu…

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

Image
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 ti…

Sue Scheff: Wall Street Journal Shares my Story

Image
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.

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

Image
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!
Dated: November 25, 2009
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…

Sue Scheff: Priceless Family Gifts

Image
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 oth…

Sue Scheff: Giving Back to your Community

Image
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, …

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.

Sue Scheff: LYING - Why do Teens Lie?

Image
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 …

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

Image
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…