Friday, December 31, 2010

Power of Parents and Teen Drinking

The day has arrived when many are getting ready to bring in the new year and have plans to do it in their own way.  Many include alcohol a way to celebrate, and as although underage drinking is illegal, it is a fact many teens will be drinking.

As a parent, what can you do?  Communication is always key, reminding them of the dangers of drinking and driving and the fact that buzzed driving is drunk driving.  Parents may want to be in denial that their teen would consume alcohol or other substances that impair them, but remember, never say never.  Always be proactive, never stop talking about it.

AAA Auto Club South and Anheuser-Busch, Inc. are joining hands to provide “Tow to Go” to provide a confidential ride home and tow, free of charge, to anyone who may have had too much to drink by calling 1-800-AAA-HELP (4357) in Florida (including Jacksonville) and Georgia.  Print this out and give it to a loved one that is going out tonight.

According to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) someone is killed in a drunk driving crash every 50 minutes; someone is injured almost every minute.  Join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
FACT: Drivers 15 to 20 years old have nearly 20-percent more fatal car crashes than any other age group.

Remind your teens:
  • “No drinking alcohol.”
  • “Buckle up.”
  • “Slow down and respect the speed limit.”
  • “No phone calls or text messaging.”
  • “Here’s how to recognize danger on the road...”
Communication can never stop, even when your teen is tired of hearing of it, never stop.  Unfortunately it only takes one tragic accident to wake-up a teenager to realize that drunk driving or buzzed driving can kill and all the lives will be changed forever.

Watch the video.

Happy 2011, end 2010 on a safe and healthy note!

Read more.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Teen Drinking - Being Buzzed is Drunk Driving

New Year's Eve is upon us and whether you are planning on going out or staying home it is important to know and  understand that buzzed driving is drunk driving.  They kill equally and destroy families in the same way.

Last year, an average of 62 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes each day over the New Year’s holiday.  Don't become a statistic and don't cause one.

Show your support to end buzzed driving by pledging to make good decisions by not driving under the influence of alcohol. Take the time to share the pledge with others and with your help, we can end buzzed driving.

I'm going to be smart; I won't drive while buzzed. 

Even just one too many drinks can impair my driving and lead to devastating consequences. It's just not worth it. Buzzed driving is drunk driving so I'm going to make sure I make responsible choices that don't endanger myself and others. - Sue Scheff
Isn't it time you took the pledge?

Teenage and underage drinking is a serious concern.  Teens admit one of the main reasons they drink alcohol is to reduce stress.  Far less emphasis was placed on peer pressure surrounding drinking.  In most instances, teens are getting alcohol from older siblings and more often than not are getting away with drinking in their parents’ home without adults recognizing the problem.

As New Year's Eve is approaching, there usually is more opportunity for teens to be able to access alcohol.  Be proactive - talk to your teenager about the dangers of drinking and driving.  We know we will never be able to control what our teens are doing all the time, but we can continue to talk to them about the consequences of substance abuse and driving.

In St. Johns County get your teens involved in PACT (Prevention Advocacy Prevention Teamwork) and learn more about being part of a proactive community to help prevent substance abuse.

Learn more about Buzzed Driving Ad Council Campaign - follow them on Twitter and join them on Facebook.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jealously and Envy and your Teens

Jealousy isn't only an emotion that teens will experience, many adults have jealous or envious moments in their life.

However when jealousy starts to prevent your own happiness and causes you emotional distress, it may be the time to look deeper into what is causing this.

Teens will usually experience jealousy with their peers - whether it is a friend that has a family of means, or a popular teen that was blessed with the looks of a supermodel, jealousy and envy can become a point of contention and sadness.

Many people feel jealous from time to time. Jealousy is easy to deal with, once you understand what it's teaching you.  This can be complicated, however it can also be a learning experience that will end up benefiting you or your teen.

A recent study in the journal Developmental Psychology found that adolescents who experience low self-esteem and extreme loneliness tend to worry that friendships are threatened by others, causing jealousy that can lead to aggressive behavior. The researchers found that intimacy (in this case through friendship) begets vulnerability, resulting in jealousy and aggression.

The study also reinforced current beliefs about females being more jealous than males.

While it may never be possible to completely avoid having jealous feelings, experts do believe it is possible to control jealous behavior.

To learn more about how to handle jealously and your teens, visit Discovery Health.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Troubled Teens during the Holidays

Parenting is probably one of the hardest jobs there is.

During the holidays the added stress can cause contention as well as family disputes.

However if you are dealing with an at-risk teenager, a teen that was already struggling down a negative path - maybe experimenting with drugs or hanging with a less than desirable peer group or has failed their first semester of school, holiday times can be more strenuous.

Dealing with troubled teens at any time of the year is not easy, it is a challenge.  Dealing with troubled teens during the holidays can be double the trouble.  With time off from school, many families have both parents working with limited supervision at home which leaves many teens on their own.  Have you checked your medicine cabinets lately?

Parents' Universal Resource Experts, founded in Broward County, has been helping families with teens in trouble for almost a decade.  One of the common threads is during the holidays when teens start to escalate with their issues, and parents will go deep into denial hoping to get through the holidays.

What they don't seem to understand is that teenager is crying out for help and prolonging this help can only make things worse - whether it ends up in a legal battle or otherwise, if you are debating an intervention with your teens, don't hestitate because it is the holiday.  There will be many more holidays in the future and the sooner you get your teen help, the sooner your family will be on the road to healing.

Being a parent in denial is also being selfish.  This is not about the parent - it is about the teen.  There will be plenty of time for blame and/or shame later, the immediate issue is getting your teen help.

Ask yourself:
  • Is your teen escalating out of control?
  • Is your teen becoming more and more defiant and disrespectful?
  • Is your teen manipulative? Running your household?
  • Are you hostage in your own home by your teen's negative behavior?
  • Is your teen angry, violent or rage outbursts?
  • Is your teen verbally abusive?
  • Is your teen rebellious, destructive and withdrawn?
  • Is your teen aggressive towards others or animals?
  • Is your teen using drugs and/or alcohol?
  • Does your teen belong to a gang?
  • Do they frequently runaway or leave home for extended periods of time?
  • Has their appearance changed - piercing, tattoo's, inappropriate clothing?
  • Has your teen stopped participating in sports, clubs, church and family functions?  Have they become withdrawn from society?
Be an educated parent - don't let the holidays prolong you from getting your teen the help they may need.

Need parent choices?  Click here.
Helpful hints when looking for residential therapy: Click here.
Visit for more information.

Read more.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Teen Drug Use: Parents360 Help - Be an Educated Parent

Facts about drug and alcohol use amongst teenagers:
  • The average age of first use is 13 years old
  • Every day 4,000 teens try an illicit drug for the first time
  • Every day 2,500 teens abuse a prescription drug for the first time
The good news is that parents – and other caring adults – do matter, and can make a difference. Parents360 increases parents’ understanding and confidence in preventing and addressing drug and alcohol issues.
So many times we hear parents claim their teen would not do drugs, it is their friends.  At the same time, don't we preach to our kids we are who we hang out with?  

Parenting is challenging - however it is a challenge we never can give up on. continues their campaign to educate parents, teachers, communities and kids about the dangers of substance abuse.  In addition to their Above the Influence campaign, they also added PACT360 which offers community education and research based assistance to schools, parents and communities to help prevent drug abuse.

When a parent stays in denial with "not my kid", it will not only be destructive for your child, it can destroy entire families.

Parents360 (Parents: You Matter) is a community education program that engages parents through an awareness-building presentation, called Parents: You Matter. The presentation provides parents and other caring adults with valuable insights into why kids use, how parents can start the dialogue, and what steps to take if they suspect or know their child is using. It underscores the need for parents to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and to be the go-to source when their children have questions.
With the holidays here, more teens have free time at home.  Do you know what substances that could be potentially lethal are in your home?  Take the time to learn more and more important, take the time to talk to your teens today.

Communication is the key to prevention.  Education is substance to prevention!

Source: The Partnership at

Follow Parents360 on Twitter and join them on Facebook. Get involved today!

Are you considering residential therapy for your teen?  Take the time to do your research - visit Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc.  This organization helps educate and guide parents to find safe and quality schools and programs and first opened in Broward County.  They are a long standing member of the Better Business Bureau now in North Florida also.

Read more.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Teen Drinking: Be Above The Influence

During this festive season of holiday parties, luncheons and dinners, some adult may over-indulge.  Whether it is food or drinking, going over your usually limit with treats is common when celebrating.
However, when it comes to your teens, you need to be an example to them.  Holiday cheer can be fun without the high intake of alcohol.

Alcohol Facts:
What is It?

Alcohol is created when grains, fruits, or vegetables are fermented, a process that uses yeast or bacteria to change the sugars in the food into alcohol. Alcohol has different forms and can be used as a cleaner or antiseptic; however the kind of alcohol that people drink is ethanol, which is a sedative. When alcohol is consumed, it's absorbed into a person's bloodstream. From there, it affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), which controls virtually all body functions. Alcohol actually blocks some of the messages trying to get to the brain. This alters a person's perceptions, emotions, movement, vision, and hearing.

The younger you are when you start drinking, the greater your chance of becoming addicted to alcohol at some point in your life. More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become alcoholics.

Take a moment to learn more about Above The Influence, and share it with your teens.  Because when it comes to our kids, whether they are young adults or tweens - the earlier you start the discussion  of the dangers of substance abuse, the more likely your child will not use drugs.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy's Above the Influence Campaign is a resource for teens, parents, and teachers. With drug facts, real teen stories, and interactive content, the website can help concerned adults work with teens to help them stay above the influence of their peers who use drugs.

Take the time to do your research - visit Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc.  This organization helps educate and guide parents to find safe and quality schools and programs and first opened in Broward County.  They are a long standing member of the Better Business Bureau now in North Florida also.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens!

Read more.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Teen Gift Ideas - Cash or Gift Cards?

Most everyone knows that right behind find that perfect gift for the person that has everything, a teenager can be just as difficult to buy for.

Different from the the person that has everything (they usually have money too), a teen will love the cold cash!  Forget the gift cards, rip-up the checks, and good old fashion cash is gold to them.

There is a thought process many parents have that our teens will not be responsible with the cash.  That may be true, however do you realize how many gift cards are not used or not used to their full value?  A lot!
Although gift cards are definitely an easier gift to give, especially now that you can purchase them in most grocery stores and department stores such as Walmart, be sure the recipient will use the entire card - a little reminder doesn't hurt.

One of the more frequent issues teens have with gift cards is remembering to use them.  How many have you found when cleaning your teens bedroom - or better yet, their car if they have one?

A recent Associated Press (AP) article had excellent advice when it comes to teens and those gift cards.

According to the AP:

Conventional wisdom holds that gift cards are the perfect present for picky teens. But not all teens agree.

Reasons include logistical hassles in using the cards, lack of interest in the store or brand, a preference for cash, or even a wish for something personal. Often the cards pile up unused, but some teens sell them for a portion of their face value or even create a black market and trade them for lunch money.

The answer - when it comes to gifts for your teens? Talk to your teens - find out what they really want, what they need and what they will use.  At the end of the day, like everything else when it comes to your teen - it is about communication!

Talk to your teens before you spend the cash.

Read more.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Magnolia Christian School: Parent ALERT - Teen Help Program

Being bullied into silence. Not me.
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 Specialty 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 brought to my attention that Carolina Springs Academy lost their license and re-opened with a new name in 2009 - "Magnolia Christian School".  As they closed again in June of 2010, rumors lingered about whether they were housing teens at the owners home.  Now we are hearing they are re-opening again in early 2011 and their target is me!  (Don't I feel special).  Why are they so afraid of my story - they sued me to get it down, they lost - then started a smear campaign online - and I won again - this time over $11M jury verdict for damages they did to me.

This time Magnolia Christian School will be classified as a Christian boarding school, making it exempt from state licensing and staffing rules.  Now why don't they want to be regulated by the state?  Is this in the best interest of your child?

It is my own opinion that if you are considering this "school" for your family, you may want to do your homework and also read my story. I understand not much has changed except the name. Although my story was in 2000, sadly I still receive calls and emails from parents and former students that have claimed abuse and fraud today.

See Below for an updated list of possible affiliation with the same organization that harmed my daughter.

As of December 2010 it is believed that WWASP aka WWASPS or Premier Educational Systems LLC has affiliations with the following:

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (CLOSED)
Bell Academy, CA (CLOSED)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC (License revoked, re-opened as Magnolia Hills Christian)
Casa By the Sea, Mexico (CLOSED)
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA (CLOSED)
**Discovery - Mexico (see below)
El Dorado, Costa Rica - 90 Day Boot Camp
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS (CLOSED)
Horizon Academy, NV
Jane Hawley - Lifelines Family Services
Kathy Allred - Lifelines Sales Representative
Lisa Irvin - Helpmyteen and Teens in Crisis (Will use Lisa Irvine at times too)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Magnolia Christian School, SC - formerly Carolina Springs Academy (RE-OPENING 2011)
Mark Peterson - Teen Help Sales Representative
Majestic Ranch, UT
MENTOR School, Costa Rica
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide - Promotes and markets these programs
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy, (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (CLOSED)
Sherri Schwartzman - Lifelines Sales Representative
Sky View Academy, NV (allegedly closed?)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT (CLOSED) Rumors they have re-opened in another location of MT.
Sunset Bay Academy, CA
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis - Lisa Irvin
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Youth Foundation, Inc. LaVerkin Utah
Sunset Bay Academy, Oceanside, CA - rumors of short term program there.

**There is reason to believe a program in Mexico is now open - parents need to be aware of this. It is believed they may have re-opened Casa By the Sea location with another name - possibly Discovery. We have heard that Jade Robinson is running this program - he was formerly at Horizon Academy, Bell Academy (closed) and Casa by the Sea (closed).

In addition to the legal battle with WWASP, P.U.R.E. and founder Sue Scheff won an unprecedented $11.3 million jury verdict for Internet defamation and Invasion of Privacy. Despite being vindicated, many of the attacks on P.U.R.E. continue out of malice and spite.

Full Disclosure: The sales reps will discredit me as a disgruntled parent. When someone harms your child and dupes you, you tend to become disgruntled. However I have proven my allegations in court - and sadly continue to receive emails and calls from victims of this organization (2010).

It is being told to me that Magnolia Christian School is going full steam ahead to start a smear campaign on me - again.  Bringing up only the sides of the legal end they want you to hear - not the whole story that won both my cases.

If you are seeking help for your teen - just do your own research, where there is smoke - fire is about to burn.  Take your time - and don't wait until you reach your wit's end!

Related articles:  Alleged animal abuse - horrific findings after they closed the program.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Teen Driving: Car CheckUp Before You Go

As many schools will be off for the holiday break, and many more college students will be driving home, have they taken the time to be sure their car is ready for the road?

We get busy with our shopping, packing, cooking, party planning - but do you take the same diligence with your automobile?

FACT: A growing body of research indicates that close parental management of teen drivers can lead to less risky driving behavior, fewer traffic tickets, and fewer crashes.
FACT: In 2008, about 3,500 teens in the United States aged 15-19 were killed in motor-vehicle crashes.
FACT: Just like reviewing a school report card for good grades, using the CarCheckup system will allow your teen to prove that they are a safe and responsible driver.
FACT:  Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations.
FACT:  In 2008, half of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight and 56% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. (Christmas falls ona Saturday this year).
FACT: 63% of teenage passenger deaths in 2008 occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager. Among deaths of passengers of all ages, 19% occurred when a teenager was driving.
FACT: Not only are good grades great for your future, they can also save a lot of money on insurance premiums.

Know Before You Go: Car Checkup is a resource that many parents of teen drivers should review and consider.

Learning to drive a car is only part of being a responsible driver.  Parents need to teach their teens about how to handle auto issues such as when the check the engine light comes on.  How to change a tire as well as keeping your car maintained to avoid freeway breakdowns.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!

Read more.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cyberbullying and Cyberstalkers: Don't Engage

Whether you are a teen or an adult, the effects of a cyber stalker or cyberbully can be emotionally devastating. For adults, especially professionals and business owners, it can be financially destructive.

As a victim and survivor of a cyber stalker, as well as the target of cyberbullies, I know firsthand how difficult and stressful it can be.

Initially you are shocked – wondering who these people are? Why are they doing this? In many situations, you don’t even know the perpetrator, but they certainly believe they know you!

In 2006 in Broward County Florida, a landmark case for Internet Defamation and Invasion of Privacy. It was a jury verdict of over $11M for damages done to my organization, Parents’ Universal Resource Experts and myself. (

I was literally bombarded with what are called “Google bombs” – and worse than that, they would attack my friends. My friends would try to fight back and the more you debate these people (stalkers/bullies) the more they engage and it can go from bad to worse within a matter of a few minutes of keystrokes.

With stalkers/bullies, you will never win – Yes, I was vindicated in a court of law, but did that remove all the slime that was online? It didn’t – and I continually have to spend time explaining these unfortunate people that have nothing better to do with their lives but to hurt others. They no longer hurt me – I only feel terrible for others that have to listen to their ranting.

When you can’t beat someone legally, the next best step today is taking it to the wild west of the Internet! Yes, the next thing I realized I was being slammed online. Called a child abuser, kidnapper, Ed-con, exploited families, a crook, and worse. Some comments even got sexual and disgusting. As my family and friends were reading this – I was mortified. I had to take legal action. The rest is history – as I won again in a jury trial for damages of over $11M.

Here we are in 2010 and cyber stalkers are still working hard at hurting people – but what I have learned from my experience is what others need to know when they are stalked.

• Never fuel it or engage in it – you will only fire it up. The stalker/bully wants to get a reaction, as hard as it is, don’t do it.
• If you can, block him/her and report them to the moderator of the forum (ie: Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot, Google etc.)
• If you attempt to tell your side of the story, even when it is the truth, you will never win. These people are determined to destroy you – no matter how blue the sky is, they will always be more determined it is green.
• Remember, when reading their crap, it is 99.9% twisted truths or outright lies. They may tell you to go and read X, Y, and Z – but neglect to tell you to read A, B and C – which completes the story. (For example, my stalker likes to tell people to read my trial transcripts – almost 1000 pages – and they direct you to certain page numbers, but unless you read the whole trial – you won’t understand those few pages, and I may look very bad – afterall, isn’t that the job of opposing counsel?) What would happen if you only heard one side of a case in trial? No one would hear the entire story.
• What motivates these stalkers and bullies? That is a million dollar question. Depending on who they are, in many cases they simply enjoy hurting others. In my case I believe these are seriously deranged people that want all residential programs closed. They don’t understand that many parents are only doing what is best for their teen. Yes, I chose a bad program -but I have taken my mistakes and turned them around to help others.
• Ignoring them is the best form of defense you have. Again, it can be extremely difficult, but remember, the more you try to tell your story, the more they will distort it. You will never win. It is just a matter of time and unfortunately for someone else, they will move on to another target.

There are lots of great online resources with more information on bullying:
Learn more about my story and how to protect your teens and yourself in and watch my appearance on Rachael Ray Show and ABC News 20/20 at and

Read more.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Parenting ADHD and Teen Depression

It is true – most parents are aware of ADD/ADHD from the time their child is a toddler and someone is making statements about your child being possibly ADD/ADHD.  It is a label that is used quite frequently, and as a parent of an ADHD son, I am familiar with it.  However, I do believe it is over-used too.  A new study is linking ADHD with adolescent depression.  This is a very interesting article that Connect with Kids just posted.

Source: Connect with Kids

“I try to do something, but I can’t because of the ADD, and it frustrates me. Then that makes me very nervous and anxious and that goes to the anxiety. And then when I get like that, I’ll go ‘Oh my god! I can’t do anything! I can’t do anything!’ And that leads to the depression.”
– Ariel, 20

New research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry shows that children with ADHD are at an increased risk for depression and suicidal thoughts — and very well may need treatment for both. This reinforces the belief that parents and educators of even young children with ADHD should pay close attention to their child’s behavior.

Twenty-year-old Ariel has been living both with anxiety and depression since the eighth grade. She says, “It got so bad where I just slept all day, I didn’t get out of bed, I didn’t do anything.”

That is in addition to attention deficit disorder. Ariel says, “I was already upset and depressed about the fact that I had ADD and had to take medications for that. When I found out I had two more things, I was like, ‘Oh my God! What’s going on?’”

Research from Harvard University shows girls with attention deficit are 19 times more likely to be depressed…and 15 times more likely to have bi-polar disorder than other girls.

Dr. Richard Winer, an Atlanta-area psychiatrist, says, “There is a very high likelihood that there will be something else besides ADHD going on, probably at least a 70 percent chance if not more.”

Why is one person so likely to have several disorders? Researchers say the conditions are genetically linked…and tend to aggravate each other.

Ariel says, “I try to do something, but I can’t because of the ADD, and it frustrates me. Then that makes me very nervous and anxious and that goes to the anxiety. And then when I get like that, I’ll go ‘Oh my god! I can’t do anything! I can’t do anything!’ And that leads to the depression.”

Experts say girls like Ariel often need one medication for ADHD and another for depression.

Dr. Winer says, “I generally will try to treat ADHD first if I think there is also mild to moderate depression alongside. If the depression appears to be extremely severe in nature, then that takes precedence over treating ADHD in terms of what do you treat first.”

Ariel often skips her medication. She says it’s a crutch, but it does work. Her mom Arlene says, “She started taking some anti-depressants, and all of a sudden she was back to the way she had been six months earlier.”
Another study out of Harvard University shows boys with ADHD are also at risk for having another mental health problem, but the statistics are slightly less dramatic than they are for girls.

What We Need To Know

Many parents seem to be ignoring medical advice when it comes to treating their child’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A study conducted at New York University reveals that of 500 parents whose children have ADHD, 45 percent say behavioral therapy has been recommended, but less than one-quarter (21 percent) say that their child actually participates in it. In addition, 89 percent of parents with an ADHD child say medication has been prescribed for their child to help manage symptoms, but only 55 percent report their child is taking medication.

The study also included the following findings:
  • More than twice as many parents of children with ADHD (43 percent) than parents of children without ADHD (18 percent) believe their child is likely to be picked on at school.
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of parents of ADHD children say their child is likely to have difficulty getting along with other neighborhood children (compared to 18 percent of parents of children without ADHD).
  • Seventy-two percent of parents of ADHD children report their child has trouble getting along with siblings or other family members, compared to 53 percent of parents of children without ADHD.
  • Less than half (48 percent) of parents of children with ADHD say their child adapts easily to new situations, compared to 84 percent of parents of children without ADHD.
  • According to their parents, children with ADHD are half as likely to have many good friends (18 percent vs. 36 percent) and are less likely to play with a group of friends (38 percent vs. 50 percent), compared to children without ADHD.
If you believe your child may have ADHD, keep an eye out for the following symptoms listed by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:
  • Has trouble paying attention
  • Shows no attention to details and makes careless mistakes
  • Easily distracted
  • Loses school supplies and forgets to turn in homework
  • Has trouble finishing class work and homework
  • Has trouble listening
  • Has trouble following multiple adult commands
  • Blurts out answers
  • Demonstrates impatience
  • Fidgets or squirms
  • Leaves seat and runs about or climbs excessively
  • Seems “on the go”
  • Talks too much and has difficulty playing quietly
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others
Depression is not limited to kids with ADHD, although having ADHD may lead to depression in some cases. According to the Mental Health America, depression among teenagers is increasing at “an alarming rate.” Experts say as many as one in five teens suffers from clinical depression at some time during their teenage years. Depression can take several forms, including bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression). Depression can be difficult to diagnose in teens because adults often expect teens to be moody, and they often are. But depression is more than typical moodiness.
The following symptoms may indicate depression, particularly when they last for more than two weeks:
  • Poor performance in school
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Sadness and hopelessness
  • Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
  • Anger and rage
  • Overreaction to criticism
  • Feelings of being unable to satisfy ideals
  • Poor self-esteem or guilt
  • Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Substance abuse
  • Problems with authority
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
It is extremely important that depressed teens receive prompt, professional treatment. Depression is serious and, if left untreated, can worsen to the point of becoming life threatening. If depressed teens refuse treatment, it may be necessary for family members or other concerned adults to seek professional advice. Contact your local mental health association or a school counselor for suggestions on treatment.
Some of the most common and effective ways to treat depression in adolescents are:
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy – Helps teens change negative patterns of thinking and behaving; several studies support the effectiveness of this treatment
  • Psychotherapy – Provides teens an opportunity to explore events and feelings that are painful or troubling to them; psychotherapy also teaches them coping skills
  • Interpersonal therapy – Focuses on how to develop healthier relationships at home and at school
  • Medication – Relieves some symptoms of depression and is often prescribed along with therapy


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Teen Drug Use: Not My Kid - Is it?

Parent denial is probably one of the most common threads many teens have while they are smoking a joint or popping a pill - even downing the cough syrup.  Many parents think their teen is not the bad child - it is the ones they are hanging with - or simply doesn't exist.

Being a parent in denial doesn't help anyone, not even the parent.  Since eventually it does catch up with you and you find yourself dealing with a teen that is escalating out of control.

With the holidays here, there will be more free time for our teens.  Will they be home alone?  Are you familiar with over the counter (OTC) drug abuse?  Get informed, stay informed and talk to your teens.

Teens who learn a lot about the dangers of drugs from their parents are half as likely to abuse drugs.
For three years Five Moms has taken on the fight of spreading awareness and educating parents, schools and communities.  One of the moms asked to have her message passed on:

My name is Christy Crandell. I am a mother of two, drug awareness advocate, and member of the Five Moms campaign to stop cough medicine abuse. When my son, Ryan, was 18-years-old, he was arrested for armed robbery while high on over-the-counter cough medicine. Shocked doesn’t even begin to describe how my husband and I felt after his arrest – although there were warning signs, Ryan had a huge heart and I never thought something like this would happen in my family.

I joined the Five Moms campaign to show parents across the country that it’s never okay to think “not my kid.” I want parents to understand that this type of denial can lead to tragedy, and that cough medicine abuse has real, life-altering consequences. (Watch video for Christy's story)

For parents, here are some tips to learn more:
  • Order free copies of the educational brochure, Preventing Teen Cough Medicine Abuse, for parents to distribute the next time you know you’ll be in a social situation with other concerned parents.
  • The next time your child has a doctor’s appointment, bring in a few fact sheets for the physician and the other doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, etc., at the practice.
  • Print out this page the next time you have a scheduled meeting with a teacher or anyone from your child’s school.
  • Send an e-mail to your friends and neighbors using the tell-a-friend tool, available in both English and Spanish.
  • Join other concerned parents by signing up for the e-newsletter.
  • Visit with your teen and go through the real-life stories of teens who have abused cough medicine and learn the true dangers of abuse.
  • Download the brochure, Preventing Teen Medicine Abuse from Home to Homeroom, a publication from and the National Association of School Nurses.
Be an educated parent - you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Struggling Teens - Teen Help - Parent Resources

When it comes to parenting your teenagers it is never too late or too often to talk about the dangers of drug use.

Many parents will ignore the warning signs or make excuses for them, but when reality hits home that your teen is using drugs, it is critical you get involved.  Communication is always key to prevention, however there are times when your teen is no longer listening.  It doesn’t mean you stop talking.

Intervention starts at home. If you suspect drug use, talk to your teen.  If they admit to using drugs, and are determined not to quit or even tell you they can quit if they want, take it to the next level.  Seek out local adolescent therapy or counseling.  In some cases this will be a brickwall but in other situations it can be the beginning of understanding why your teen is turning to substance abuse.

If your teen escalates to a level that is uncontrollable, or simply defiant to all your rules and boundaries – and most importantly, putting your family or themselves at risk - it may be time to think about residential therapy.  Remember, safety matters, and we are talking about the safety and health of your family.

What happens if you suspect that your teen is already using alcohol and drugs? What do you say to them? 

The conversation is the same: parents need to tell their kids that drug and alcohol use by teens is not allowed in your family. The issue won’t go away until you do something. You will simply have to acknowledge that your teen has a problem — your teen is using drugs and that won’t get any better until you take action on your teen’s behalf. It is OK to ask for help. In fact, getting help may make it easier for you to have the conversation.

Practice the conversation ahead of time. You may have to have a couple of “practice runs.” These conversations are not easy but they are worthwhile. Talking it over with your spouse/partner beforehand will help you keep a level head and speak to the issue. (Review some key talking points and practice these sample conversations beforehand.) – Source: Parents: The Anti-Drug

Are you considering residential therapy, contact Parents’ Universal Resource Experts for more infomation on this major decision.  It is about the safety of your family and your teenager.  Order Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Teen that Inspires: Teddy Bears for Needy Children

Jason O'Neill
A very popular article on Examiner is about Teens that Inspire. Especially at holiday time it is always nice to hear "good news."

Here is an open letter from one of the many teens that inspire, Jason O'Neill:

Time is running out. December 4th is the deadline to donate to give teddy bears to kids at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA this Christmas.

Last year, with the help of people around the world, I raised $5,130 which enabled me to buy 1800 teddy bears for the kids.

I was hoping to top that amount this year but we have a long way to go in a short amount of time. If you are able to donate, every dollar counts. 100% of the money raised goes toward buying the bears. I use my own money for shipping, PayPal transaction fees, and any other miscellaneous expenses.

With any amount donated, your name will be added to my website fundraiser page. Thank you to those who helped last year and who have already donated this year. Everything is appreciated.

Thank you,

Jason O’Neill

15-year-old Entrepreneur, Speaker, and Author

Learn more click here.

So who is Jason?

Since I started my business in 2005, I have been donating to help other kids. The first charity I chose was HUGS Foster Family Agency in Temecula where we live. The money I donated went directly to whatever the kids needed

In 2008, I heard about Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. They are part of the Children's Miracle Network . I've been lucky and have never been hospitalized so I can only imagine what it must be like, especially for a kid. So I started a program with the hospital to help out. I take some of my money and buy toys, games, books, etc. and put together gift/activity bags for the kids in the hospital. I delivered my first donation of 25 bags at the end of the third quarter. The kids got notebooks, crayons, stuffed animals, and of course, some of my Pencil Bugs products.

Each quarter, I've tried to do something different. Click the links below to read highlights of my quarterly donations. Every time, it's a whole new fun experience. I never realized how much fun it could be to go shopping for toys and things for other kids. We do most of our shopping at Target to get the best deals so I can buy more things for the kids. It's pretty funny going through the store with a shopping cart full of stuff that's obviously not all for me. If people give me a weird look, I politely tell them that I donate toys to a children's hospital. That usually changes the look on their face and sometimes even starts a conversation .

If anyone is interested in helping out my project for the hospital, please contact me. The hospital is expanding with new construction so when that's done, they will be able to help a lot more kids.

Encourage your teen and your community to get involved. Giving feels so good!

Read more and watch slideshow.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fraud: Understanding How it Works

With the expanding Internet we hear more about identity theft and fraud.  Teaching our teens about the dangers of identity theft as well as how to protect their private information is part of parenting.

Fraud Facts:
  • Your bank will never email or call you for your account number.  Talk to your teen about not giving out their account numbers, PIN's or their social security number.
  • Don't wire money to people you don't know.  With the growing social networks and online shopping, teens have to beware of all scams that can involve wire transfers.
  • Check out the company with the Better Business Bureau.  Although there may be many businesses that are not members, you can do a simply Internet Search to detect if there are any valid issues against a business. 
  • There are no legitimate jobs that involve reshipping items or financial instruments from you home.
  • Foreign lotteries are illegal in teh U.S. You can't win money no matter what they say to you.
  • Check your monthly bank statements and credit card statements for charges you don't recognize.
  • Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once a year from
Source: Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC, the nation's consumer protection agency, works hard to prevent fraud and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid it.  To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Be an educated parent and pass it on to your teen!

Read more.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Teen Sex: Remaining a Virgin in College

Believe it or not, some teens do in fact want to remain virgins until marriage. If you are part of this group and have managed to survive high school with your virginity still intact, then you have completed a huge accomplishment. But you will learn early on that during college you will be faced with a variety of different challenges that might make your vow of celibacy hard to keep. But there are some easy and practical ways that you can remain a virgin in college.

The first thing you need to do is know your limits. If you wish to remain a virgin, this doesn't mean that you have to cast off the opposite sex indefinitely, but you do need to be open about your desire to remain a virgin and set your limits. As cliché as it may sound, many lose their virginities because they were "caught up in the heat of the moment." So it's best not to put yourself into a situation that could jeopardize your virginity. For example, if you have no intentions of surpassing passionate kissing (or whatever your limit may be) let your partner know and make sure that it never truly gets past that point.  Know your limits and stick to them. If your boyfriend/girlfriend or date becomes agitated with your limits, then it's probably best you send them on their way and find someone else who is understanding. And there are people out there who are understanding, don't doubt that. 

Another way to remain a virgin in college is to avoid temptations like alcohol. All too often males and females lose their virginities with a one night stand because they were drunk.  Not only do they lose something in an instant they've worked their whole lives to keep, but drunken sex is also a common way people contract STDs and get pregnant (they tend to forget about using contraceptives). Avoiding temptations doesn't necessarily mean you can't have fun and go to parties, but you can either not consume alcoholic drinks all together, or at least make sure you drink responsibility.  Limit yourself to one or two, nursing them rather than "chugging," and eat a good meal beforehand.  

Lastly, don't make having sex, or rather not having sex, a goal. This is because if you constantly have it on your brain, it will become an active part of your thinking process. Once it's a part of your thinking process, you will either have to constantly resist the urge or you will let it take over your life—potentially sabotaging a wonderful relationship for fear that you will be pressured into having sex. Instead of worrying about having sex or not having sex, immerse yourself in your other interests and your school work. When your mind is stimulated and satisfied in other ways, you will become less interested in sex.

This guest post is contributed by Kate Willson, who writes on the topics of top online colleges.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: .

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bullying: 10 Ways Parents Can Prevent Bullying

Recent events have revealed just how rampant and cruel the bullying problem has become. The days of letting kids work things out by themselves or encouraging them to hash things out by the playground are long gone, as these strategies are proving to be much more dangerous than they once were. One thing is certain — parents play a huge role in the school bullying solution. Whether your kid is the aggressor or the victim, your words and support may be the most important tools in solving the problem. Here are 10 ways parents can prevent bullying:
  1. Talk to Your Kids: You may talk to your kids about homework, grades and school activities every day, but there are bigger issues happening in school that deserve to be discussed, as well. Bullying is a serious topic that parents and kids seem to skirt over far too often. An effective way to prevent bullying is to talk to your children about bullying. Depending on your relationship with your child and their willingness to share, you may have to wait until they approach you instead of prying information out of them. It takes a great deal of courage for your child to tell you that he or she is being bullied, so it’s important that you take it seriously and keep your emotions in check. Reiterate to your child that you want to help end the bullying and prevent it from happening again. Don’t hold back from asking your son or daughter who was involved, how it happened, and where each bullying incident has taken place. The more details you can obtain about the bullying episodes, the greater the chance of putting an end to the abuse when you contact school officials.
  2. Listen to Your Kids: Once you’ve established an open line of communication with your child, it’s so important that you listen intently to what he or she is saying. Listen to the details of your child’s bullying episodes so you can report these facts to school officials. Bullying is a sensitive subject for both the child and parent. You may be tempted to lash out at the bully’s parents or give the school a piece of your mind, but this irrational behavior could make matters worse. Before jumping to action, allow your child to share his or her experiences and simply listen. If your kid hasn’t opened up about being bullied or bullying others, give them a chance to tell you first, but always keep your ears open for anything that’s out of the norm or worrisome.
  3. Look for Signs: Children of all ages have a way of keeping things from their parents, especially when they are being bullied. Your son or daughter may hold back from telling you because they are embarrassed, don’t want to be a "tattletale" or are afraid that you might intervene and make it worse. If you think something could be wrong but your child’s lips are sealed, you should be on the lookout for signs of bullying. You may not necessarily see your child crying or sulking, but there are almost always signs that something is wrong. Victims of bullying often display signs of depression, loneliness and feel sick more than ever. Be observant of any unusual behavior, attitude changes and avoidance of social activities, and gently approach your child about these issues to see if bullying is the cause.
  4. Stop Bullying in Progress: Many adults stay out of bullying incidents because they want kids to work it out together. The problem is kids usually don’t work things out and the bullying only continues to get worse when left alone. Parents can’t be afraid to stop bullying incidents in progress and break things up. Even children can prevent or stop bullying incidents in progress by verbally or physically defending the victim and displaying their moral engagement. Intervening in a bullying incident gives parents a chance to set things straight with both children and protect the victim from further harm. Most bullying incidents take place after school, so a parent might be able to observe a confrontation at this time. Parents should encourage their kids to stop bullying in progress, whether they interject or get a school official to. No one should turn their back on a bullying incident. Period.
  5. Do Not Encourage Physical Retaliation: Never encourage physical retaliation as a means to prevent bullying. No matter how mad you are that your child has been bullied, you can’t fight abuse with abuse. Not only does fighting completely contradict this moral lesson, but it could also get your son or daughter suspended, expelled or make the situation worse. Teach your child to ignore bullies and walk away before anyone gets physical, then report the event to a school official or someone of authority.
  6. Contact School Officials: One surefire way to prevent bullying is to bring it to the school’s attention. Parents should contact school officials, such as teachers, principals and school counselors and give them factual information about the bullying events. It’s important to emphasize that you expect the bullying to stop and will work closely with the school staff to find a solution for your child and other victims of bullying. School officials will contact the parents of the child who was bullying to make them aware of the issue and set up parent-teacher conferences if need be.
  7. Help Your Child be Resilient: As you work with your child and school officials to put an end to the bullying incidents, you can help your child become more resilient to bullying. Shifting their attention towards something positive will help them overcome the emotional effects of being bullied. You should encourage your kids to develop new talents or participate in positive activities, such as art, sports or music to highlight their positive attributes and help them make new friends outside of class.
  8. Teach Moral Values and Give Love at Home: As a parent, you have a direct influence on your child’s social behavior, beliefs and treatment of others. Children who bully generally come from homes that lack warmth, supervision and parent involvement, and emphasize harsh, physical discipline and bullying. It’s never too late for parents to teach moral values and ethical behavior to their kids. Children should feel safe and loved in their home, and there should always be open lines of communication between parents and their children. In order to prevent bullying, you can’t allow bullying in your household either.
  9. Set Clear Rules in Your House: If your son or daughter bullies other children, you need to take this issue very seriously and nip it in the bud before it worsens. Parents of bullies should take an active role to stop bullying and prevent it. One way to curb bullying is to set clear rules in your house and make it clear that bullying will not be tolerated under any circumstances. In addition, teach children about genuine empathy and help them understand the impact of their behavior.
  10. Join or Start a Bullying Prevention Group: Parents can stay involved in the school’s efforts to prevent bullying and take a proactive stance on this serious issue. You can do so by joining or starting a bullying prevention group that puts this real life issue into perspective for parents. No one person can stop bullying alone, nor should it be the sole responsibility of a school official. Parents, teachers, principals, administrators and counselors should work together to prevent bullying at schools. They can meet to discuss bullying issues at the school and report incidents, as well as plan bullying prevention rules, policies and activities that will make a difference in the culture of the school.
Source:  Criminal Justice Guide

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teen Depression: Most Recover but almost half have a recurrance

Teen depression is a serious concern that can lead to tragic results if not treated.  According to a new study from Duke/John Hopkins University, nearly half of teens who suffer a severe episode are back in depression within a few years of their initial recovery.  Also noted in this new study finds that depression affects an estimated 6 percent of U.S. teen girls and nearly as many teen boys.

Nearly all (96 percent) of the 196 teenagers in the study either improved or fully recovered after an initial depressive episode, but 47 percent had one or more subsequent depressive episodes in an average of two years.

As the holidays approach, it is a time that suicides among adults and teens will increase.
It is critical to be aware of your teenagers feelings and activities. 

For reasons that are not clearly understood, girls were more likely to have repeated bouts of depression, with nearly 60 percent of them suffering subsequent depressive episodes after recovery, compared to 33 percent of the boys.

Some common warning signs of teen depression:
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits (eating and sleeping too much or too little)
  • Significant change in weight (loss or gain)
  • Often misses school and/or shows bad school performance
  • Reclusive, withdrawing from friends or family members
  • Quick to show anger/rage
  • General restlessness or anxiety
  • Overreacts to criticism, even constructive
  • Seems very self conscious, guilty
  • Unusual problems with authority
  • No longer partakes in or enjoys activities and events they once loved
  • Indecision, lack of concentration, or forgetfulness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Frequent health complaints despite being healthy
  • Lack of motivation and enthusiasm for every day life
  • Drug/alcohol abuse
  • Mentions or thoughts of suicide
Some common causes of teen depression:
  • Significant life events like the death of a family member or close friend, parents divorce or split, breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or moving to a new school/area.
  • Emotional/Physical neglect, being separated from a nurturer, abuse, damage to self esteem.
  • Many changes happening too quickly can cause depression. For some teens, any major change at one time can trigger symptoms.
  • Stress, especially in cases where the teen has little or no emotional support from parents, other family members, or friends.
  • Past traumatic events or experiences like sexual abuse, general abuse, or other major experiences often harbor deep within a child and emerge in the teen years. Most children are unable to process these types of events when they happen, but of course, they remember them. As they age, the events/experiences become clearer and they gain new understanding.
  • Changes associated with puberty often cause emotions labeled as depression.
  • Abuse of drugs or other substances can cause changes in the brainÕs chemistry, in many cases, causing some types of depression.
  • Some medical conditions such as hypothyroidism are believed to affect hormone and mood balance. Physical pain that is chronic can also trigger depression. In many cases, depression caused by medical conditions disappears when medical attention is sought and treatment occurs.
  • Depression is a genetic disorder, and teens with family members who have suffered from depression have a higher chance of developing it themselves.
If you suspect your teen is suffering with saddness and depression, reach out and get help.  Don't ignore the signs or just brush it off as typical teenage phase, which it could be, but your teens safety and health come first.

Broward Prevention offers a vast amount of resources to assist you further.  If your teens has escalated to a point that their life or your family is at-risk, you may need to consider residential therapy.  Visit for more information.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Read more.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Teen Help: It's Never Too Late to Talk to Your Teens About the Dangers of Drug Use

When it comes to parenting your teenagers it is never too late or too often to talk about the dangers of drug use.

Many parents will ignore the warning signs or make excuses for them, but when reality hits home that your teen is using drugs, it is critical you get involved.  Communication is always key to prevention, however there are times when your teen is no longer listening.  It doesn't mean you stop talking.

Intervention starts at home.  If you suspect drug use, talk to your teen.  If they admit to using drugs, and are determined not to quit or even tell you they can quit if they want, take it to the next level.  Seek out local adolescent therapy or counseling.  In some cases this will be a brickwall but in other situations it can be the beginning of understanding why your teen is turning to substance abuse.

If your teen escalates to a level that is uncontrollable, or simply defiant to all your rules and boundaries - and most importantly, putting your family or themselves at risk - it may be time to think about residential therapy.  Remember, safety matters, and we are talking about the safety and health of your family.

What happens if you suspect that your teen is already using alcohol and drugs? What do you say to them? The conversation is the same: parents need to tell their kids that drug and alcohol use by teens is not allowed in your family. The issue won't go away until you do something. You will simply have to acknowledge that your teen has a problem — your teen is using drugs and that won't get any better until you take action on your teen's behalf. It is OK to ask for help. In fact, getting help may make it easier for you to have the conversation.

Practice the conversation ahead of time. You may have to have a couple of “practice runs.” These conversations are not easy but they are worthwhile. Talking it over with your spouse/partner beforehand will help you keep a level head and speak to the issue. (Review some key talking points and practice these sample conversations beforehand.) - Source: Parents: The Anti-Drug

Are you considering residential therapy, contact Parents' Universal Resource Experts for more infomation on this major decision.  It is about the safety of your family and your teenager.  Order Wit's End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen.

 Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Read more.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Parentings Teens: Start the Day Off Right - 8 Meaningful Tips

Experts all over agree that starting a day with a healthy meal, whether it is cereal, oatmeal, eggs, toast or other foods - with a splash of juice, can give you a jumpstart to a good day!

Mornings are one of the busiest times for families, but a happy, healthy start can set the tone for the day ahead.  Parenting expert and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, Dr. Michele Borba offers simple solutions to help families step back from the morning chaos and make their mornings more meaningful.
  1. Rise and Shine:  Wake your kids with a mantra that is unique to them and their activities. If your child has a big baseball game, wake them up with their mitt on your hand or by singing “take me out to the ballgame.”  Even including a fun routine for younger children, such as sock puppets, can make waking up more enjoyable and special.
  2.  Race to Get Ready:Challenge your kids to a “race to get ready.” Set a time goal for each child, if they get dressed and ready for school within the allotted time, they win! You can throw in extra motivation if needed, like picking out the next movie for movie night. 
  3. Create a Homework Catcher: Create a special spot by the front door designated to hold frequently-lost and forgotten items, like homework and school notes.  This can be as simple as a bulletin board with tacks.
  4.  Take Advantage of the Rush: Keep a map of the world, engaging puzzles or fun books in the car that will spark conversation during rush hour. 
  5. Create a Tradition:Create a special good-bye ritual with your kids that won’t take any extra time from your busy morning, such as a fun handshake, hug or saying that you repeat each morning, or even a sweet message left on a sticky note in your kids’ lunchboxes. 
  6. Share the Headlines: Reading newspaper stories out loud to each other will give you the chance to engage with your children, work on their reading skills and teach them about current issues. Focusing on positive stories also will help everyone head out of the door with the right mindset to take on the day.
  7.  Fuel the Day:Instead of rushing out the door, talk to your kids as you pour a glass of nutrient-rich 100 percent orange juice together while you pack a healthy breakfast to go. 
  8. Unplug: A simple way to connect is by designating time in your family’s normal morning routine as “unplugged time” – without turning on the television, computer or video games. Start with just 10 minutes and gradually work your way up to more unplugged mornings. 
To learn more about Dr. Michele Borba’s meaningful morning tips, visit or the Florida Orange Juice Facebook page.

The Department of Citrus in Lakeland, FL is promoting health and wellness by offering The Morning Squeeze Contest.  Learn more - click here.

Read more.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teens that Are Making a Difference: A Year Later

Last year one of the most popular Examiner articles was Teens that Inspire.  

As the holidays approach, it is a time for giving, sharing, volunteering and being part of your community to those in need.  Each of these teens continue to grow their passion of helping others and are an inspiration to many more.

In no particular order, here are some quick updates:

Danielle Herb
Danielle Herb, FL: Just turning 16 years old, Danielle has had a difficult year with her health, but that hasn't stopped her positive and outgoing spirit to care about others.  After being diagnosed with with RSD/CRPS, Danielle fought back through extensive rehab (see video on sidebar), had to learn to walk again, yet was determined to get back to her horses and what her passion is - helping others. Learn more about her recovery and her mission at her website Drop Your Reins and don't forget to join her Facebook Fan Page.

Cati Grant, CA:  Now at 17 years old, she is the Teen Ambassador for Love Our Children USA and STOMP Out Bullying.  Her voice to stop bullying and cyberbullying was heard all the way to the Dr. Phil stage in October 2010.  One of her first national appearances, it is clear Cati, of Cati Cares, is not slowing down and continuing her passion to put a stop to bullying and create awareness to bullying prevention is full speed ahead. Follow Cati on Twitter.

Cati Grant
Lane Sutton, MA: 13 years old, this young entrepeneur is also hiting the national spotlight with his critiques for kids for movies, restaurants, games, camps, books, activities and more on his website,  Just recently Lane was featured in a CNN article as one of their "intriguing people".  All vendors, with the holidays coming, do you have a product for Lane to review?  Follow Lane on Twitter.

Joni Poole, GA:  At 19 years old, Joni hasn't stopped being a voice against sexual violence.  She founded Sexual Abuse, Assault, and Rape Awareness (S.A.A.R.A.). Joni continues to  work with thousands of individuals. Together they create support systems and promote awareness of sexual abuse, assault and rape awareness.

Lane Sutton
Jaylen Arnold, FL:  Although only 10 years old now, Jaylen is on the fast and furious track to continue educating kids and everyone about the pain of bullying.  He continues with his mantra, Bullying No More!  This year he hit the media blitz with special on The Discovery Health Channel. This special on Tourette's Syndrome - "Tourette's Uncovered."  Jaylen Arnold was one of four children that will be featured. Follow Jaylen on Twitter.

Zack Gonzalez
Zack Gonzalez, CA:  Zack is a 17 year old advocate for autism, comedian, author, teen-social entrepreneur, talk-show host, and philanthropist. Last year he published his first book, Saving Deets, A Family's Journey with Autism, is complimented by Zack's official website promoting autism awarness. Follow Zack on Twitter.

Jason O'Neill
Jason O'Neill, CA: Just turning 15 years old, Jason has had year that many adult may never experience.  He has released his first book, "Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur", which is based on his success of his Pencil Bugs.  Jason is also dedicated to giving back to kids, especially those in need.  Again this holiday season, 2010 is going to be a Very Beary Christmas for kids at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, California. Last year, with the help of many people, Jason raised over $5000.00 he donated via cute, cuddly stuffed animals to children that may not be having a Christmas.

There are many more inspiring teens and if you have someone that you believes needs to be featured for their services in their community or inspiring others, please email me or leave it in comments below.

Congratulations to all these wonderful kids that are continuing to make a difference.  Be sure to watch the slideshow to see how much they have all grown and visit their updated websites!

A great way to enter the holiday season in a positive and good news direction.

Watch the slide show of these inspiring teens and read more.