Showing posts from November, 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!
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

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

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 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: 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?

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

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
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…

Sue Scheff: 10 Commons Myths of Suicide

Holiday’s are known as joyful time of the year, however it is also a time we hear more about suicide. Holidays can also bring on sadness and depression to those that are suffering with a loss or simply unhappy in life. It is important we understand warnings signs.
Carolyn Friedman, is working on her Masters and recently wrote an excellent article on “10 Common Myths About Suicide.” She asked me to share it with my readers. Take the time to read and learn more. You never know when you may need this knowledge.
Suicide remains a serious epidemic that transcends socioeconomic, age, racial, religious, mental health, and gender/sexual identity boundaries. While studies do show that some groups stand at a higher risk of suicide than others – usually those already prone to social marginalization – the sad reality is that this mindset holds the potential to strike anyone, anywhere, at any point in life. Due to the mixed messages flailing about regarding the condition, it becomes progressively mo…

Magnolia Christian School LEARN MORE - Lisa Irvine

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 Magnolia Christian School.

Sue Scheff: Defiant Teens

Part 7 of my sneak peek into Dr. Michele Borba's world! Actually into her BIG BOOK of Parenting Solutions, we will explore a characteristic in teens and children I hear from parents a lot - DEFIANCE!
Labels, labels and more labels. Today we will talk about a common label "ODD" also known as Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Red Flags
Constantly resists your simplest requests, questions authority, pushes every limit; is blatantly disrespectful, noncompliant.
Turn to pages 76-85 and be prepared to learn all you ever wanted to know about defiant behavior. This includes signs and symptoms, how to change and why to change, and most important early intervention as well as detailed steps to help you be an educated parent. Michele Borba offers great advice and resources to help you help your child.

Could Your Child Have Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)?

Although all children will display a defiant streak and try pushing the limits every now and then, when such behaviors persist for …

Sue Scheff: VolunteerSpot - Tis the Season!

It is always better to give than it is to receive. We hear that a lot and for good reason. It is true!

This is such an important topic, there will be two parts to this article. VolunteerSpot is a fantastic organization designed to help you give back to your community. There are no more excuses! During this holiday season, take the time to learn more about your neighborhood and what their needs are.
The founder of VolunteerSpot, Karen Bantuveris, recently took time to answer questions about her mission and hopefully will give you inspiration to take steps to help others this holiday season and all year round!
Part 1:
1. Why and when did you start VolunteerSpot? I'm a working mom and when my daughter entered school I knew I wanted to be active in the classroom and with her Scout troop, etc. I wanted to quickly and easily schedule my volunteer commitments with the rest of my business calendar, but my inbox kept filling up with back and forth emails over how many cupcakes to bring to t…

Sue Scheff: Ungrateful Teens and Children

As part of my continuing series of Dr. Michele Borba’s insights and sneak peeks inside her Big Book of Parenting Solutions, we will review signs and symptoms of an ungrateful child.

•Bad manners: needs constant reminders to say thank you or show his appreciation
•Envy: wants what others have, envies others’ possessions
•Lack of appreciation: takes for granted your daily kind and thoughtful gestures
•Huge sense of entitlement: feels he deserves to have luxuries or privileges•Dissatisfaction: always seems to want “more,” better,” or “new”
•Materialism: values only material things, brand names, or the “latest”
•Self-centeredness: is unwilling to reciprocate with gifts or kind acts to others
•Ungraciousness: acts disappointed with presents, blurts out “I didn’t want this”
•Thoughtlessness: doesn’t consider other person’s feelings or the thought or effort that went into her gesture


Step 1. Early Prevention
•Model gratitude. Kids learn by seeing others display appreciation in everyday, u…

Sue Scheff: Obsessive Complusive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a topic we are hearing more about. As a parent, we need to be aware of the signs to determine if your child may have tendencies and if so, to address them early. Recently, Connect with Kids posted an informational article with great parenting tips and resources about OCD.

Source: Connect with Kids

Research is beginning to indicate that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a function of abnormal brain activity, not a result of a bad home life or learned childhood attitudes or behaviors. It has also shown that for every 100 people, two or three suffer from this disorder. Consider the following statistics developed by experts at the Child Development Institute:

About 2.3 percent of the U.S. population ages 18 to 54 – approximately 3.3 million Americans – have OCD in a given year.
OCD affects men and women equally.
OCD typically begins during adolescence or early childhood; at least one-third of the cases of adult OCD began in childhood.
OCD costs the U.…

Sue Scheff: Movie Etiquette - Teen Behavior in the Theater

Do you know what your teen does at the movies? Movie Etiquette - talk to your teens.

As a frequent movie goer, I must say if parents could see how their teens are acting in public, they would be more than humiliated. I am not saying my teens were perfect, I am almost afraid to ask them at this point (they are young adults now). I will take it a step further and say I don’t remember my generation having this much lack of respect for others, especially those in authority.

Then I was thinking, I am sure their parents don’t know and maybe if they did, they would speak with their kids about this behavior. With this, I am going to share with you some less than appropriate behaviour I have witnessed, and hoping that parents reading this will sit down and talk with their teens about what happens when they go to the theatre.

At $10.00 and up now for an average movie ticket price, I am confident that most of us would like to enjoy the movie – and the parents paying for their teens to attend, I am …

Sue Scheff: The High Price of Bullying - Florida teens tried as adults

After one of the most horrific acts of violence by teens in South Florida, which left 15-year old Michael Brewer with burns over two thirds of his body, 3 of the 5 teenagers accused of this despicable crime will be tried as adults.

This is a strong and solid message by Broward Circuit Judge Lee Seidman. What type of child or teen does this unconscionable act to another person? It is very disturbing to believe this type of violence exists and that bullying can reach a level of nearly killing another person.
Should minors be charged as adults? In some instances, such as this one, many believe that to be true. This crime was so heinous that adults have a hard time comprehending how anyone could do this to another person.
As a parent we need to take the time to talk with our children about this incident. Open up your lines of communication, talk about bullying, discuss consequences and answer their questions and concerns honestly.
Neighbors 4 Neighbors has created the Michael Brewer Fund to …

Sue Scheff: Parenting in the Digital Age

I created my organization, Parents Universal Resource Experts in 2001. Many parents contact us for assistance when they are at their wit’s end with their teenager. Parenting has so many more challenges since 2001, with the ever expanding technology that seems almost impossbile to keep up with.

Now bullying has escalated to cyberbullying. Texting has created sexting. For parents, teachers and most adults, we are struggling to keep up. Today I speak a lot about protecting your teens online – what they post today, can haunt them tomorrow. More and more colleges are using Search Engines to research their candidates, do you know what Google is saying about your potential college applicant?
ReputationDefender is the original online reputation management services, and since 2006 they have been helping people learn about their virtual presence. I personally have retained them, and find them to be priceless. Their service to protect your children is also priceless – take a moment to read their r…

Sue Scheff: Cyberstalking and Internet Defamation Documentary - Don't Miss It!

For everyone and anyone that is reading this, you use the Internet. I recently watch the most compelling and disturbing documentary. I almost feel like Oprah when I say – you have to watch this! I have never been so moved to anger, rage, and other emotions that we are now confronted with because of monsters that lurk online.

My recent book, Google Bomb, is the tip of the iceberg after watching this film. The victims, and now crusaders, in this film contacted me after hearing about my book and my own experiences.

Many people that have read my book say they have nightmares if they read it before going to bed. I never really understood that. Until I watched this documentary and lived it through other’s lives. My story is horrible, what I endured, however since I was so enmeshed in surviving on a daily basis, I didn’t realize how traumatic it was.

I know many of you have limited time. Watch this 50 minute film in segments if you have to, but watch it.

The title is “Stalkers” however I would p…

Sue Scheff: Kids Who Hide Their Illiteracy

Source: Connect with Kids
Kids Who Hide Their Illiteracy
“You always found a way to get out of it, and you got further and further behind 'cause you weren't understanding what you were reading.”

– Chad, 18 years old

One in 7 American ... 32 million ... can't read according to a new study released by the U.S. Department of Education. And some among those millions are hiding their illiteracy from their family, friends and their teachers.

They can't read, but they're brilliant at keeping it a secret.

Chad, 18, was one of them. He remembers the embarrassment he felt in the 5th grade. "When I had to stand up in front of class or read out loud, for like, English, I couldn't do it," he says.

Chad was reading at a 2nd grade level. Yet, year after year, he was promoted to the next grade. How did he do it?

"[I] kind of, like, disappeared," he explains. "Went into the corner, I always kept my head down when we had to read."

Experts say kids are brilli…

Sue Scheff: Bullying in Schools

Its seems that bullying is a growing and stinging problem. Years ago we remember being teased or made fun of, but today it seems bullying has become more vicious and malicious. We now know that sticks and stones can break your bones - but words CAN hurt you! The emotional damage can sting a lot longer than a physical injury.

Take the time to be an educated parent. Here is a timely article from Connect with Kids with some great tips and resources.

Source: Connect With Kids

Bullying in Schools

“It's a big world out there... there's not just one group of kids, there's not just one girl who you need to be friends with. Your life doesn't end if you move away from the group you're having trouble with and make friends somewhere else.”

– Stacey DeWitt, President, Connect with Kids, Inc.

Online bullying has gotten a lot of attention lately, but a new study by the U.S. Justice Department and the C-D-C shows that the old fashioned kind of bullying hasn't gone away. According to…