Showing posts from January, 2010

Sue Scheff: Anger Management and Your Teens

"I don't care what you say I am doing what I want to do! I hate you and you just don't want me to have fun!"

"All my friends are allowed to stay out late; you are mean and want to ruin my life!"

"You have no idea how I feel and you are only making it worse!"

When a difficult teen is out of control, they only can hear themselves and what they want. It is usually their way or no way! There are so many factors that can contribute to these feelings. The feelings are very real and should be addressed as soon as you see that your child is starting to run the household. Teen anger may lead to teen rage and teen violence which can soon destroy a family.

A local therapist can help your family diagnosis what is causing the negative behavior patterns. Conduct Disorder or Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) is some of the many causes to this harmful and stressful behavior. Many times you will find a need for a positive and safe program either local or outside…

Sue Scheff: Who are your teens hanging with?

Last fall Dr. Michele Borba, TODAY Show Contributor, released her largest book ever! The BIG Book of Parenting Solutions - 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries.

In a 10 part series on Examiner, I explored only a tiny fraction of what BBPS (BIG Book of Parenting Solutions). Parenting Resolutions with Solutions is a 4 part series that shared 101 topics that are covered in BBPS.

Today the topic is bad friends (social scene section). Turn to page 315 and learn about how your kids are choosing friends and why. Find out the problem, the red flags, and why sometimes change is necessary. You will also find solutions!

Here are some signs and symptoms that your child may be choosing less than a desirable peer group.

Secretiveness. Your child becomes very secretive, locks his room, and covers up what he is doing. Changes in appearance. Your child starts wearing "provocative" attire, wants only pricey or name-brand items, has a complete change in hairstyle, or star…

Sue Scheff: Do Mean Girls Grow Up to be Mean Women?

Part 2 with guest Jane Balvanz, educator and Female Friend Expert.

If you missed part 1, go back.

Do Mean Girls Grow Up to Be Mean Women?

I want to answer that question with a resounding, "No," but I can't. I can't answer it affirmatively, either. We humans all try on the roles of Bully, Bystander, and Target like costumes at some point in our lives. We decide what serves us best. No one wants to think herself or himself a bully; some of us are, though. A plethora of literature exists telling us how to deal with adult bullies: bully bosses, difficult people, and abusive partners.

Children Live What They Learn (and They Know More Than We Think)

Adults play a huge role in children's lives, and parents are their most important teachers. Children absorb the parts of us we're proud of as well as the parts we wish not to reveal. If any girls were watching this Twitter war (and I bet some were), they would have witnessed prime examples of grownups bullying.

When we …

Sue Scheff: Teen Sex Games (Rainbow and Snap) - Be an educated parent

This is a sensitive subject and many will be appalled and disgusted, however as a parent, it is about being educated. Knowing what can be happening in your neighborhood, in your schools, or even in your own home - is your responsibility as a parent to stay in touch with your children and their lives.

"Rainbow Party" by Paul Ruditis, is written as fiction, however has a powerful message that many will be shocked to hear about. This rainbow party is not about homosexuals coming out, it is about sex and your teens. It is, in fact, an oral-sex party in which each girl wears a different color lipstick. In theory, after the girls perform oral sex on the boys, they would be left with rainbows around their penises.

Many parents have the sex talk with their kids. Many schools offer sex education. There are also many resources, websites and books that can help educate your teens to be better prepared when they do decide to have sex. But have you talked to your teens about the dangers …

Sue Scheff: Running, walking, jogging, biking - Do it as a family

More and more we are seeing people (adults and teens) running, jogging and sweating. Although running is not for everyone, it is a great activity that not only can keep you healthy, it can also be a family activity. Whether you make is a Saturday and Sunday habit, or evening or early morning (before or after school and work), doing it as a family can help promote your relationship with your teen and children.

Starting running can be tough, but stick it out, it will be worth it. In Broward County, Runners Depot Training Team started in 2000 and since then has grown tremendously. More and more people are taking an interest in being and staying healthy. Every Saturday at the Town Center in Weston, as many as 60 runners meet as they venture a 10-20 mile run. Sun-Sentinel recently reported on their group, Early risers on the run in Weston.

Running is beneficial to you in many aspects of your life. Whether it is for your heath, heart, losing weight, stress relief, meeting other people in yo…

Magnolia Christian School, Due West SC - Lisa Irvine - HelpMyTeen

Learn more about Magnolia Christian School (formerly Carolina Springs Academy - which you may want to Google) since although the name has changed, it is believed the majority of staff has remained. 

Who am I?  I am, what the sales reps for programs like Magnolia Christian School call me - a disgruntled parent.  However what they aren't tell you is I defeated them in a jury trial - proving my story what what happened to my daughter there, as well as many others, was not posted falsely.  Read my story here.

Sue Scheff: Gossip - Can it be good?

What an interesting article this week on Connect with Kids.  Gossip can be good in some ways and extremely hurtful in other ways.  Where is the balance?  Be an educated parent, read this educational article.

Source: Connect with Kids

Gossip Is Good
“It lets people really know each other, and know about what's going on in their lives. And that enables people to feel safe. It makes them feel a sense of belonging.”

– Wendy Simonds, PhD, sociology

The Tiger Woods scandal sparked discussions about personal image and adultery on news stations and at dinner tables across the country. But are these discussions useful or just gossip? Some experts say they can be both.

"Did you see the outfit she had on?" friends Zuri and Meimi laugh.

It's often irresistible and painful. "[It] ruins friendships, ruins lives, messes people's reputations, hurt's people's feelings," seventeen-year-old Zuri says.

"I'm normally the one who starts and spreads the gossi…

Sue Scheff: Teens and Money - Teach Your Teens to Budget Now

During these difficult times, many families are struggling to pay their monthly expenses. Some parents have lost their jobs, some families have lost their homes and there are those that are on the edge of both. Living from paycheck to paycheck and raising a family has become more challenging.

What can our teens learn from this? How can they be prepared financially for the future? As savvy as our teens are today with the information highway, called the Internet, many are still clueless about finances, budgeting, and saving money. offers excellent parenting tips and advice.

As parents, we understand the importance of literacy. We sit for hours reading with our children. However, children must be "literate" about money matters, too.

Learning how to think about money and manage it wisely is an equally important life skill. We must patiently help our kids "sound out" the many ways to control money. Our kids will learn by doing. Some lessons will be thrilling.…

Sue Scheff: How to cope when your kids are growing up so fast

Parenting, parenting and more parenting. As much as we rush through our days to get to all the activities, school, homework and more, it seems like it was only yesterday we were changing diapers or teaching our child to ride a bike. Today's generation has new issues and trying times as well as keeping up with parenting, we have to keep up with technology and so much more.

How to Cope When Your Kids Grow Up So Fast:

It's a tough job being a parent - there are no rules or policies and you have to follow your heart at times and your head at others. And with today's kids, it's very difficult to do the right thing because they don't seem like children at all, even though they've barely lived 10 years. They're growing up faster than they should - not their bodies, but their brains, mentality, and emotional psyche. They know much more than they should, and they're quick to learn and absorb; and even though this is a good thing when it comes to positive aspects l…

Sue Scheff: Teen Pregnancy Pact

Parenting years ago and having a teen get pregnant was, in many families, humiliating and shameful to the family. Today teens are having babies and some are not considering the consequences, or maybe are considering them however don't realize the "real life" situation rather than what they read.

January 23rd, Saturday night, Lifetime Network will premier, "The Pregnancy Pact" at 9:00pm ET. Inspired by a true story, this movie depicts a fictional pregnancy pact between a group of teenagers. The film explores the costs of teen pregnancy and was prompted by the news reports from June 2008. Time Magazine ran a story about this pregnancy pact in a school where the teen pregnancies rose to 18 girls.

The discussion of birth control is started by the school nurse who tries to convince the school to provide contraception to students to address the pregnancy epidemic but is met with great opposition from the school and community.

According to the National Campaign to Pre…

Sue Scheff: Teen Groundation - Taking Your Punishment to Facebook

In a recent New York Times article, 15 year-old Tess Chapin of Sunnyside, Queens (New York), started a campaign on Facebook to convince her parents to remove her punishment. She was grounded for 5 weeks for missing her curfew by one hour and most importantly, drinking at a party. If you missed the first part, she is only 15 years-old, drinking is illegal for minors. Missing her curfew is blatant disrespect for her parents and their boundaries.

Besides the fact that her parent's were probably worried sick, teenage drinking is prohibited, as well as the fact that Tess is very fortunate something worse didn't happen to her (such has someone putting a drug in her drink). It is commendable that Tess is being diplomatic about her mission, however part of being a responsible parent is considered "parenting" - especially following through with consequences.

Will Tess succeed? It seems unlikely. The fact that this brings more awareness to parents being proactive in sticking …

Sue Scheff: Should Parents Read Their Teens Emails and Text Messages?

Recently we read about whether parents should read their child's diary or journal. With the advances of technology, we need to take this a step further: Should you read their emails or text messages?

Again we can go back to "when safety trumps privacy."

Our teens deserve to be trusted unless they give us reason to suspect something is wrong. Is their behavior changing? Here is a review of some warning signs (many are the same to determine if you should read their diaries).

Is your teen becoming very secretive? Sure, teens do like their privacy, however if you have a "gut feeling" something is deeper than a secret, you may have to cross that line. Is your teen becoming withdrawn? Again, teens will develop some attitudes of not wanting to be with adults, however when it becomes extreme, it may be time to cross that line. Is your teen changing peer groups? And this is not into a better one, however to one that is less than desirable? You will again attempt to talk …

Sue Scheff: Teen Smoking on the Decrease

Are we finally seeing peer pressure in a positive direction? A new government survey finds that more kids are smoking marijuana, abusing prescription drugs and using smokeless tobacco than a decade ago. But there is one area of abuse that is going down dramatically- cigarettes.

There can be many factors for this, and it would be nice to know if kids are just telling kids that smoking is not cool. Other reasons could be the accessibility has become more difficult. Either way, it is a good news that smoking cigarettes among kids are decreasing.

Here is a recent article that outlines tips for parents and more indepth look at this new trend.

Fewer Kids Smoking

Source: Connect with Kids

“Maybe because their friends are telling them not to smoke. Maybe its peer pressure in a good way.”

– Caroline, 17 years old

A new government survey finds that more kids are smoking marijuana, abusing prescription drugs and using smokeless tobacco than a decade ago. But there is one area of abuse that is goi…

Sue Scheff: Teens and Your Neighborhood

Where do you live? Many of us live in places we truly love and most of live where we can financially afford. Sometimes these are good areas, sometimes they are not, but as long as you have your family and make it your priority, the real estate location is not a priority.

A misconception is that more troubled teens come from "bad" neighborhoods, maybe that is true, however that doesn't eliminate the fact there are also troubled teens in very good neighborhoods and A rated schools.

Most important is that you don't become a product of your environment as much as you insure your family is kept together with good morals.

Being an educated parent can help you and your kids have a better life wherever you live. Teach respect, empower your children with dignity and integrity no matter what neighborhood they come from. Teach them responsibility and accountability for their own actions.

Encourage your teens to volunteer, get a job, start a group to help others or simply reach …

Sue Scheff: Do Reform Schools Still Exist?

How many times have we heard a child, usually a troubled teen, will be sent to "reform school?" What exactly is a reform school? Are they still running? Did they ever truly reform a child?

Years ago this expression of "reform school" was used as a threat and in some cases carried out by parents. Today we have learned (or hopefully have learned) that beating a child into submission rarely changes them for the better. This is strictly hypothetically speaking, not literally beating, however making the conditions extremely unbearable.

Programs such as "boot camps" can, in my opinion and what I have discovered, can actually build more anger and resentment within a child. That anger and resentment can be targeted at the person that sent them there: The parent.

If you find you are having difficulties with your teenager, and have discovered it has escalated to a point where you can no longer live with it, consider options that can help your teen, not harm him/her…

Sue Scheff: Physical Education and your teens

Let's face it, more and more kids today are engrossed with their computers and cell phones. Less are participating in physical activity. Years ago a game of kick-ball in the neighborhood was a weekly or even daily event afterschool. Today with the fear of our kids being kidnapped or the kids simply more interested in their technology, teens and kids are not getting enough exercise.

Parents it is time to speak up. PE 4 Life is an organization that can help you bring more psychical education into your school district and your community.

Do you realize that schools have devalued and cut physical education to the point that the majority of children get one day of PE per week? Children today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents for the first time in one hundred years because of the epidemic of obesity, according to Dr. William Klish, Professor of Pediatrics and Head of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine. Lack of PE at school is a disservice to your ch…

Sue Scheff: School Safety TV invites champions to reach out worldwide

Global television initiative to be launched at the International School Safety Convention, April 22-23, 2010, in Denver

School Safety TV, a new cause-related television channel, is inviting leaders, innovators and goodwill ambassadors to join a series of public appeals to be broadcast globally to support programs that help protect students, teachers, and schools everywhere.

The series of televised appeals and mini-documentaries will be launched at the International School Safety Convention, April 22-23, 2010, in Denver, Colorado. Television production and editing facilities will be provided free of charge to spokespersons and delegates from the United States and around the world.

Online registration for television participants is now open at  for a limited time.

Also invited are persons of integrity who are widely recognized in the worlds of art, entertainment, sports, science, and literature, and who are interested in drawing attention to programs of their…

Sue Scheff: The Housewives of Cyber County - Parenting Online

Some people are hooked on the "housewives" series, whether they are in New York, California, New Jersey or Georgia, viewers will tune in to watch these train wrecks (in my opinion).

We need parents, whether they are housewives or house husbands, to take as much time tuning into cyber safety and their children. Imagine there was Cyber County USA - who would be watching? Would you be?

There are many things in life that we can just squeak by doing, but parenting isn't one of them. Parenting today is more challenging than generations prior. We can talk about Penguin Parenting, the contrast from years ago verses today and there are many similarities, however with the arrival of cyberspace, parenting has become a speeding train that we need to keep up with.

SuperMom and SuperDad today are usually both working full-time, and even more children are being raised in a single parent home. This doesn't excuse taking the time to get in touch with your kids both online and off.


Sue Scheff: Should teachers befriend students on social networking sites?

As today's generation is definitely the surf the waves of cyberspace, where do we draw the line? Should teachers befriend their students? Should student befriend their teachers?

With the growth of Facebook while MySpace is still alive more and more people are signing up for social networking. Whether you Twitter or Facebook, chances are you will run into your kids and your kids may run into their teachers - virtually speaking.

As parents should be the monitor for their child's online safety; Should the teacher be part of their off-line - off-campus life?

Although there may be some teachers that are comfortable with befriending their students, many would prefer to keep their private lives just that - private.

Teachers, as well as many others that either own a business or are employed, like to keep their business lives separate. However there are many that prefer the mix. Depending on your personal comfort level, you will know where you fit in. Learning to respect each others…

Sue Scheff: Myths of Bullying - Be an educated parent

As school is back in, some kids dread walking the hallways or riding the bus. Bullying is a growing and serious problem among kids and teens. Years ago, the cliché "sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you," couldn't be more wrong.

Words can not only hurt you, they can emotionally scar you for a very long time. Stop BULLYING Now offers a vast amount of information to help educate parents, teachers, and kids about the affects of bullying.

Let's start with the ten myths about bullying:

1. Bullying is the same thing as conflict.

Wrong. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Often, bullying is repeated over time.

Conflict involves antagonism among two or more people. Whereas any two people can have a conflict (or a disagreement or a fight), bullying only occurs where there is a power imbalance-where one child has a hard time defending himself or herself. Why is the difference between bullying and conflic…


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? What do you know about Boot Camps?  Are you at your wit's end? Please read my earlier post on Magnolia Christian School.  Read my story.

Sue Scheff: Troubled Teens - Are you considering residential therapy?

As the school begins back in session in many areas of the country, some parents experienced some difficult times with their teenagers during the holiday break. Many of this behavior only escalated with the extended "free" time, as other parents were hoping and praying things would get better as their teen spends more time with their family.

Some families planned out of town vacations, removing the teen from the environment that they believe is causing the negative behavior. Some parents believed that simply being home and with the festive holidays their teens will slowly come back to their childhood selves.

For those that have reached a point of seeking outside help, this can be one of the most difficult decisions a parent can make. It will come after seeking all local resources, even trying to have your teen live with another family member, however unfortunately, you can change environments, but it usually won't change whatever issue is causing the negative behavior.


Sue Scheff: 14 year old Making a HUGE Difference - Inspiring teen!

Most 14 year-olds are playing sports, listening to their music, going to movies and simply hanging with their friends. A smaller number of 14 year-olds are thinking about what they want to be when they grow up, or what college they want to attend.

Then there is Jason O'Neill with 14 years of dreaming, creating and succeeding! Yes, at 14 years old Jason already has started his own business and created an organization that gives back! During this past holiday season, Jason O'Neill made it his mission to give 250 bears to children at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, CA. (See photo's in slideshow).

With the support and generosity from people all over the world, not only did Jason meet his goal, he exceeded it by delivering 1800 bears! Did I mention at 14 years-old he already received his first college scholarship? Yes, he was awarded Kohl's Kids Who Care scholarship.

I could go on and on about this young entrepreneur, author, philanthropist and first and foremo…

Sue Scheff: Stop Teenage Smoking

New Year brings a new law in Florida. A new "fire-safe" cigarette law requires cigarettes to burn out when not in active use. Fires started by cigarettes kill more than 700 people and injure another 3,000 each year.

If you are a parent of a teenager, or younger child, that you suspect is smoking, you may want them to be aware of the new Florida law. This may be a way to open the lines of communication with your kids about smoking and the dangers of it. If you are a parent or an adult that smokes, of course, the new law applies to everyone.

Why do teens smoke? There are a variety of reasons:

Fit in with a peer group Peer pressure It's cool You like it Everyone is doing it It calms you down Etc.....
No matter what the reason is, the fact still remains it is bad for you. Once you have started, quitting becomes very difficult. The good news is, you can quit. Smoking, like many addictions, are not easy to give up.

Quitting Smoking:

Quitting smoking is possible. Every year, 2 m…

Sue Scheff: INHALE Intelligence on Inhalants - Be an educated parent

The National Inhalant Prevention Coalition Awareness will help you learn about Inhalant Abuse. As 2010 rolls in shortly, start now in being an educated parent on this very serious issue teens are trying.

Did you know:

One on five students in America has used an inhalant to get high by the time he or she reaches the eighth grade. Parents don't know that inhalants, cheap, legal and accessible products, are as popular among middle school students as marijuana. Even fewer know the deadly effects the poisons in these products have on the brain and body when they are inhaled or "huffed." It's like playing Russian Roulette. The user can die the 1st, 10th or 100th time a product is misused as an inhalant. - National Inhalant Prevention Coalition

Inhalant abuse is a serious concern especially since these products are easily accessible as well as common household products. They're all over your house. They're in your child's school. In fact, you probably picked some…