Showing posts from October, 2009

Sue Scheff: Outrageous School Policies: What Parents Can Do

Has “zero tolerance” gone too far? I hear from parents regularly and I must admit, although I completely understand safety of our children is always a priority, some of the suspensions or incidents that land immature young students in alternative school situations, can be troubling – debatable at least. I believe each incident should be reviewed individually, however at the same time we do need policies in effect. This is another time parents need to be involved. Be an educated parent, you could save your child from being placed in a not so good situation.

By Bob Ross

There was a lesson to be learned recently in the case of Zachary Christie, a 6-year-old first-grader in Delaware who earlier this month brought a camping utensil along with his lunch. The tool included a folding fork and knife—the reason Zachary took it out during lunch time at Downes Elementary School in Newark last month.

Unfortunately for Zachary, that favorite camping utensil also included a folded …

Magnolia Christian School formerly Carolina Springs Academy Alert

Read update on December 10, 2010.  Click here.

Are you at your wit's end and desperately searching the Internet for help for your out of control teen? Is your child a good teen making some very bad choices? Failing in school? Underachieving? Defiant? Runaway? Teen drug use? Teen drinking?

Are you considering a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), Therapeutic Boarding School (TBS), Emotional Growth Program, Behavioral Modification Program, Wilderness Program, etc?

As a Parent Advocate, I founded my organization after struggling with my own teenage daughter. My story has been widely read and published by Health Communications, Inc - original home of Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.

My daughter was harmed at Carolina Springs Academy. I won a court battle in 2004 proving my allegations against World Wide Association of Speciality Programs (WWASPS - the umbrella that Carolina Springs Academy fell under) and what they did to my daughter and the deception I endured.

It has been bro…

Sue Scheff: Hiding Drugs From Parents

Wake up parents and read this critical article if you suspect your teen is using drugs.
One of the most important parts of this article is the opening your lines of communication with your child. Are you noticing a change in behavior? Withdrawn? Depressed? Changing peer groups? Becoming secretive? Be an educated parent - you will have a safer teen.
Source: Connect with Kids
Hiding Drugs from Parents
“The car is a big one. A lot of kids will hide it in the car now because they think the parents aren’t going to go through the car.”

– Heather Hayes, Licensed Drug Counselor

Inside a highlighter or tube of lipstick, stuffed into the back of a clock radio or hidden between a mattress and box springs- teens have a million clever ways to hide both their drugs and their drug use.

Chris, 24, would use a toilet paper tube lined with a dryer sheet to hide the smell of marijuana from his parents. He says, "All you have to do is blow out the smoke through there, and it scents the smoke so it doesn&#…

Sue Scheff: Holiday Safety Tips for you and your Teens

As we are now approaching the holidays, many people will be in malls or shopping plazas. It is time to review some tips to insure you and your family’s safety.
Be sure to go over these with teenagers and caregivers.

•When parking your vehicle to go shopping, remember where you parked it! Write it down if you have to. This can save you time and frustration after a long day of shopping.
•Always park in a well lit and well traveled area.
•Have your keys in your hand when approaching your vehicle.
•Before entering your vehicle, scan the interior of your car to be sure no one is hiding inside. Check to see if you are being followed. Always be alert.
•When storing items purchased at stores, place them out of sight in a locked trunk.
•Do not leave your purse, wallet, or cellular telephone in view; always LOCK VEHICLE, while driving or leaving your vehicle parked, even when in your own driveway.
•Don’t resist if someone tries to take any of your belongings. Don’t chase someone who robs you, they may …

Sue Scheff: Stop Teen Violence and Bullying

Last week the horrific story of the fifteen year old, Michael Brewer, who was doused in alcohol and set on fire by other teens! The story literally stunned our community. According to the Miami Herald, the doctors say he is making significant progress. The five teens are charged with aggravated battery in the attack earlier this month at a Broward County apartment complex. Authorities say they were retaliating in a quickly escalating dispute over a video game.

Recently Michael Brewer's parents have sent a letter of thanks (via CBS News) to everyone for their prayers, donations and support. Read here.

Ross Ellis founded one of the leading organizations to help STOMPOUTBULLYING in combination with Love Our Children USA has offered some excellent advice and tips for parents, educators and everyone working with children today.

1. Bullying hurts and being a victim of any kind of bullying feels really bad. And it’s important for you to know two things: You’re NOT alone and It’s NOT your fa…

Sue Scheff: Last Minute College Application Tips

It is that time of year again when many High School teens seniors are applying to colleges. Are you running behind? Struggling to get through the application process? Here are some last minute college application tips from Peterson's Guide.
Applications are highly evolved documents, based on numerous admission deans asking themselves if they're asking you the right questions. For that reason, how you fill out an application is almost as important as the information you include. In other words, follow directions!

Review the requirements
Applying to college typically involves a fair amount of paperwork. So before you hit the post office or hit send, take a long last look at your application.
If you're applying electronically, did you type carefully and check your spelling? If you're applying on paper, was your application filled out neatly?
Did you take shortcuts? A partially completed application is a clear signal that you are not an eager applicant.
Did you send too much in…

Sue Scheff: Is Penmanship becoming Extinct?

When I read this article it got me thinking, how often are our kids actually handwriting? Will this hinder them in the future, or is it the future? Years ago many of us hand wrote our essays and reports, today it is all about the keyboard. I think back to taking typing classes, never realizing how important that class would be. Did I mention that was in High School? Today it starts much earlier.

Source: Connect with Kids

Is Penmanship Extinct?

“If your handwriting is barely legible, it makes them think that you are not really an organized person.”

– Adam, 17 years old

Many tech-savvy teens use a keyboard far more often than a pencil with the result that their handwriting is virtually illegible. In fact, some argue that handwriting is becoming obsolete. Maybe one day it will be but, in the meantime, there are finals, midterms, and essays on college entrance exams.

Many tech-savvy teens say they use a keyboard far more often than a pencil – sending text messages, typing essays and taking note…

Sue Scheff: Teaching gratitude even on Halloween?

MommyPerks founder, Shara Lawrence-Weiss, recently posted an excellent article on the upcoming event called Halloween! O-kay, I have never been a big fan of this holiday (so to speak), however I know the kids love it and look forward to it. Shara has a great positive twist to Halloween that helps teach our kids about appreciation and gratitude.
By Shara Lawrence-Weiss
I am a big believer in the need to teach our children/students a heart of gratitude. As with most things, modeling this behavior is the most effective way to teach it.

We can model gratitude simply by saying "thank you" or by offering hugs, a touch on the arm, an appreciative and genuine word, etc. We can also make a point to teach thankfulness and gratitude by offering our kids/students activities that promote these concepts.
Having spent much of my youth growing up in Australia, I was not aware of any Halloween traditions until our family moved to the States. My parents resear…

Sue Scheff: Kids and Dealing with Breast Cancer

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Kidlutions is offering an excellent source to help your kids if they are dealing with a loved one with cancer with KidTalkCards (TM). Help your kids to talk about Breast Cancer. Source: Kidlutions

Each year, thousands of individuals will be diagnosed with breast cancer. We recognize that breast cancer patients do not exist in a vacuum. They are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, granddaughters, aunts, sisters and friends.

A cancer diagnosis can put families in a tailspin. Keeping track of treatment and appointments, medications and emotions can be tough for adults. At Kidlutions™, we know how difficult it can be for children, too. We know the questions, worries and concerns that go through kids' heads when a family member receives a diagnosis of cancer, becasue we have helped many of them in our practice.

Here's What You Get: KidTalkCards™ : Dealing with Breast Cancer, can help you ask the right questions to get kids talking about what's on…

Sue Scheff: Clinical Research - Promoting Good Health

Here is something to think about. I was asked to post this information and encourage my readers to learn more about Clinical Research today and the the positive results that have been occurring.

Did you know that in recent years 8 out of 10 children have conquered their cancer, as opposed to only 2 out of 10 in 1960? And approximately 2 million children are saved each year due to receiving their Pneumonia shots? These victories are all due to advancements in medicine made possible by clinical research. Clinical Research introduces you to a new resource that provides important facts about clinical research, encourages more people to become champions of clinical research and builds excitement for the promise of tomorrow’s medicines! Sponsored by Quintiles, presents easy-to-use, comprehensive information for those who have little or no understanding of clinical research and the value it brings to healthcare.
With a few clicks, patients/parents who visit ht…

Sue Scheff: Dangers of Chat Rooms

Does your child, teen or do you venture into “Chat Rooms” online? Chat rooms are among the riskiest places on the Net for children and teens. Most Internet Predators are lingering waiting for their next victim in a variety of chat rooms. Don’t allow it to be your child.

As a Parent Advocate, I encourage all parents to take the steps to educate your children about cyber safety with a strong emphasis on chat room safety. October is National Cyber Safety Awareness Month, which is a reason for you to set aside time to sit with your kids and discuss what lurks online.
Here are some great Chat Room safety tips from Connect Safely to share with your family:
Remember that what you say in a chat room or instant messaging session is live -- you can't take it back or delete it later.
1. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want the public to know — this includes your full name, your address, phone number of other personal information.
2. Don't get together with someone you meet in a chat room. If …

Sue Scheff: Teens helping teens and putting a smile on a child's face

There is nothing funny about the word cancer, and I recall Gilda Radner stated something similar to that in her book, “It’s Aways Something” which chronicled her battle with cancer.
Cancer has touched many lives. Whether you are a survivor of cancer, know someone battling it, or have lost someone to this disease, cancer is not a welcome guest in our lives. Unfortunately we don’t have control over all aspects of our ever changing life.

What can we do to help those that are suffering? Especially young children that are struggling with different forms of cancer such as Leukemia or other causes of hair loss. We need to give them hope and a sense of normalcy. These kids want to reach their teens, and hoping someday they will be going to college, have a family and so much more we take for granted.

You don’t have to have deep pockets to help. You don’t even have to write a check! All you need is hair! Do you or your kids have 10 inches or hair or more? Maybe you can work towards this and encour…

Sue Scheff: Stop Medicine Abuse - National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

As a Parent Advocate, I am frequently asked to post current events that can help you be an educated parent and raise safer children. Today’s generation of teens as well as the challenges of parenting can be overwhelming.
I recently posted an article on The Examiner about the dangers of Inhalant Abuse. These are items that can be found in your home and kids today have learned how to use them to ”get high.”
Today we are talking about cough medicine abuse. One of several parents is sharing her story with us. Please take the time to learn more about this growing trend. As with inhalants, these items can be easily located in your home and simply purchased at your local stores.
Posted with permission from Mom, Misty Fetko:
My name is Misty Fetko. I am a registered nurse, mom of two, and the newest member of the Five Moms: Stopping Cough Medicine Abuse campaign. As I have been told, you have been one of the biggest allies of the Stop Medicine Abuse program, and I speak for everyone who’s been i…

Sue Scheff: Teen Drug Prevention - Inhalant Abuse

Learn more about Inhalant use and your teens

Inhalant abuse is a growing problem that many parents are not aware of. We are cautious of drug abuse and alcohol consumption, however huffing, sniffing, dusting, bagging and the use of inhalants is not a frequent discussion.

Why is inhalant abuse to important to learn about? Because many of the products teens are using today to get high through inhalants, are located in your home. Many are household items such as nail polish remover, paint thinner, correction fluid, lighters, gasoline and many more.
As a Parent Advocate, I am constantly reminding parents that keeping your lines of communication open with your teens can help prevent drug use and other negative behavior that can stem from peer pressure, depression, etc.

Here are some talking tips to open your dialogue with your teen today:


• Ask your pre-teen or teenager if he or she knows about Inhalant Abuse or is aware of other kids abusing products.
• Reinforce peer resista…

Sue Scheff: Cell Phones and your teens and kids - What is the right age for them to have one?

Sarah Newton and Lisa Warner have an amazing Blog, FINK (Family Interaction Nurtures Kids, which offers up-to-date advice, articles and resources for raising kid in today's world!Here is a recent post that I thought many parents can relate to and learn from. When is the right age to get your child a mobile phone? By Sarah Newton I get asked this question a lot and to me it is so immotive and difficult to answer as each child and each family is different. And my opinion may differ from yours. There are so many things to consider.

1. Why does she want one or why do you want her to have one? Most girls will start asking for a phone when they move up to secondary school ( 12 years old) the phone becomes a social thing and a status symbol to them. Boys tends to be a bit later when they want to communicate with girls. Any requests before this time will simply be just because they like the look of them and can generally be disregarded. Most parents will buy their children one before this s…

Sue Scheff: Bullying and the fear of going to school

During this STOMPOUTBULYING Awareness week, we need to recognize that some kids and teens are afraid to attend school. Bullying can be harsh and cause emotional harm to your kids. As a parent, we need to take steps to learn more about bullying and how it affects our children. Is your child the bully? Be proactive and get involved. Don't allow kids to hurt others with malicious words. Stick and stones will hurt you, and so will words.

Source: Connect with Kids
Scared to go to School
“We know that there’s a sense that kids have, that frequently when somebody does engage in bullying nothing happens. That’s sometimes because it’s viewed as, ‘this is just what kids do’ or it’s just not recognized as bullying or something out of the ordinary that should not be accepted.”
– Joel Meyers, Ph.D, psychologist

A new national poll on children’s health finds that only a quarter of American parents would give their child’s school an “A” in preventing bullying and school violence. In fact, every day i…

Sue Scheff: Kids Are Heroes - Help Support these young Kids making a difference in many lives

As a parent advocate, I know how important it is to not only help parents, but to encourage kids/teens. Kids Are Heroes is an amazing organization helping to recognize kids that are making a difference. Take a moment to learn about Alaina. Can you help her to help others? Re-printed with permission from Kids Are Heroes. My last post [Gabe O'Neill] described our biggest event of the year which is Kids Are Heroes Day 2009. This year we are inviting all the kids from around the US and Canada to participate. Some of them would love to come but it is difficult for them financially. Here is an email I received from Alaina Podmorow, founder of “Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan”. (See her profile here on

Dear MaryMargaret and Gabe,

It’s me Alaina, the founder of Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan. I received your invitation to participate in the “Kids are Heroes” day on October 24th of this year and would absolutely love to be involved. I love the ide…

Sue Scheff: Preparing Your Sophomore for College Applications

It may seem early for you to start preparing your teen for college applications, however you will soon learn it is a tedious and important process! Take the time to be sure you have all your needed classes, credits and more. Source:

Preparing Your Sophomore for College Applications

by Lisa Mendelman

A marathon. A gauntlet. The Indy 500. There is no shortage of metaphors to describe the college application process. As a high schooler, these images can be daunting, if not downright scary. But, to add a new – and perhaps more heartening – metaphor to the mix, try this on for size: a skyscraper.

Freshman year is all about laying the foundation, comprised of strong academic coursework, time management, and organization. Building upon these general life skills, sophomore year is the time to widen the basis of support. Now is the time to expand the focus to the external factors that impact the college application process – extracurriculars and summer activities, for example.

But whe…

Sue Scheff: Internet Things Your Child Should NEVER Know

October is National Cyber Safety Awareness Month. It is a perfect time to review some great tips for parents, teens, kids, small business owners and everyone. The Internet today is our new information highway.
It is important that we are educated on the power of the Internet as well as the pitfalls of it. The World Wide Web has been considered an educational tool, however like with many things in life; there can be a dark side.
Take the time to become aware of tips to keep you and your family safe in cyberspace.
I will be bringing tips through this month from different sources; all are targeted to helping you be more secure while online.
Here is some advice from Nurse Practitioner Schools:
Internet Things Your Child Should Never Know
Strangers online are okay. Remind them that a stranger on the internet should be treated like a stranger in real life. If ignoring them doesn’t work, they should tell a parent. Check out NetSmartz for more.
Posting a picture is okay in certain situations. Even …