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 annualcreditreport.com.
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 ftc.gov 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.

By-line:
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: katewillson2@gmail.com .

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 www.helpyourteens.com 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 www.floridajuice.com 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, KidCriticUSA.com.  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.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Paying it Forward: Get involved in your community

It's official!  Krantz Dental Care of Mandarin (Jacksonville) has done it again!

Doubling their intake from last year, Krantz Dental Care of Mandarin, collected a new record of 1,400 pounds of Halloween candy for our troops serving overseas.  “It’s a win-win situation,” says Dr. Alan Krantz.  “We get to promote a healthy Halloween for children, while at the same time, are able to let our troops know we are thinking of them.  Some of the children even wrote notes to be included with the candy—it was extremely touching to read their messages.”

All last week, children brought in their candy to Krantz Dental Care and received $1 for every pound.  In addition, Krantz Dental Care donated an additional $1 to Feed a Needy Neighbor, a Jacksonville program that helps local families.  Local schools got involved this year with Durbin Creek Elementary, Pine Forest Elementary and Creekside High School collecting 650, 62 and 85 pounds, respectfully.  Nice, big checks went to each of those schools and Feed a Needy Neighbor received a check last week for $1,440 from Krantz Dental Care.  Also part of this promotion, was free dental exams for those families who participated in this annual event.

Located at 12058 San Jose Blvd., Suite #102, Dr. Alan Krantz can serve all of your family’s dental needs.  “We have practiced in Jacksonville for 16 years and it has always been important to us to give back to our community.  It is a priority for us,” said Business Manager Adria Krantz.  For more information, visit their website at www.krantzdentalcare.com.

Are you new to the area, or looking for a new dentist?  Krantz Dental Care offers free exams for new patients. This includes an exam, x-rays as needed, and an oral cancer screening.  For kids it also includes a braces evaluation.  Click here for more information.

Congratulations to everyone that donated and to Krantz Dental Care who has proven again, it is better to give!


As the holidays are approaching, find a way to pay it forward to someone that needs that extra help. Encourage your teens to get out and get involved in their community, it also promotes their self-esteem to give back.

Read more.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bullying: Reactions from all sides

Hunter Perkins - Accused of Bullying Commits Suicide
Is there another side of bullying?  Has our country overacted in some instances?

On October 11th, life ended for 16 year-old prep-school student Hunter Perkins of Virginia.  He shot himself in his basement.  Teen suicide. We hear of it, probably too often, however it is sometimes connected to a teen being a victim of bullying.  Just last month we heard of the tragic suicide of Tyler Clementi after his classmate sent a viral video of Tyler's private life on the Internet.

Hunter Perkins attended The Groten School, which is considered an elite school.  He was accused of creating sexually demeaning comics about another student with two other boys.  Walter Perkins, his father, in no way condoned this behavior but feels the school overeacted when they asked him to withdraw his son from the school.

According to the Boston Herald, Mr. Perkins said: 'I was going to see that he had sensitivity training. I didn’t feel he deserved the death penalty.'

He also says Hunter had been on antidepressants and saw a psychaitrist hours before his death.  Walter Perkins feels since this incident was on the heels of the Rutger's University suicide of Tyler Clementi, that The Groten School went too far with their punishment of asking Hunter Parker to withdraw from the school.  (Watch video)

Bullying, teasing, harassing, cyberbullying, suicide, depression, emotional scarring and death.  There is only one side and it is the side of educating our communities, schools, teachers, parents and students about all sides of bullying.  Whether your child is the bully or being bullied - education is the key to prevention.  Teach tolerance. Teach acceptance.  Teach kindness.

In St. Johns County parents can visit PACT Prevention Coalition for local resources. (Prevention, Advocacy, Choices, Teamwork).

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Teen Drug Use: Heroin Addicts Starting Younger and Can Start with Marijuana

Parents in denial.  Teens and heroin, a deadly combination.

Dealers making it easier to smoke, cheaper to purchase, and more potent to be an addict faster.  Heroin is dangerous and deadly and it is a growing concern and trend today.


20/20 ABC News featured an excellent report on this topic.  The New Face of a Heroin Addict, which followed the lives of three average all-American families and their addict. (Watch segment on sidebar).
Since 2007, the number of heroin users in the U.S. has nearly doubled, and half of all first-time users are younger than 26 years old, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
This 20/20 ABC News segment should be an episode that every parent with a young teen should stop and watch.  It clearly shows that no one is immune to becoming an addict - especially a heroin addict.

Parents that belive their teen is "only smoking pot," listen to these stories - most start out that way.
As the one addict explains, she was quickly addicted after only a very short time.  She thought she was smoking hash, that ended up being heroin, which is highly addictive in comparison to hash.  So this mistake has literally created a junkie.

Look for signs of drug use:
  • Violent outbursts, disrespectful behavior
  • Poor or dropping grades
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Skin abrasions, track marks
  • Missing curfew, running away, truancy
  • Bloodshot eyes, distinct "skunky" odor on clothing and skin
  • Missing jewelry money
  • New friends
  • Depression, apathy, withdrawal
  • Reckless behavior
Do you suspect your teen is using drugs?  Don't be a parent in denial - you are only prolonging your teen getting help and you are actually enabling them to continue this deadly behavior.

When you think, not my kid, think again.  Addiction can happen to anyone - no matter what their background is or their economic status, addiction kills.

If you are concerned your teen is using drugs, be a responsible parent.  If they are under the age of 18 years-old, you can legally get them help without their consent.  Once they are 18 years-old or older, they have to be at a point they want to get help.

Residential therapy is a booming business for many desperate parents seeking help for their at-risk teens, especially when they are at their wit's end.

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. They are a long standing member of the Better Business Bureau.


Stop making excuses and start be a proactive parent.

Read more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

5 Things Your Kis Should Know About their Online Reputation

Recently, Readers Digest posted an excellent article by Michael Fertik, CEO and founder of ReputationDefender. It is a subject I am very much passionate about - and for full disclosure, I am also a long time client and fan of ReputationDefender. 

At the Internet is growing and expanding at record speed - keeping up can be almost impossible!  However it is imperative you do your best to be in touch with your virtual reputation - and protect your kids, especially your teens that will be applying to colleges and looking for employment.

From Readers Digest:

As cyberbullying becomes more and more prevalent in the news and in our children's lives it's important to talk to your kids about their online reputation, especially on social networks, and how it can affect their real lives. Here are 5 basic tips to guide your child as they navigate the Internet:

1. If it’s Online, Consider it Public Information
There’s no way to guarantee that what you post online will stay where you intend it to be viewed. People hack Facebook accounts, friends share private messages, and companies change their privacy policies. Before your child posts a picture, types a wall post, or sends a message, they should consider if what they are sharing is "public information" -- would they want their principal, grandma, or college admissions reviewers to see it? If not, they shouldn't post it.

2. Your Internet Persona Stays With You Forever
The Internet has a very hard time forgetting and is far more like a “permanent tattoo” then we may realize. Today, and even more so in the future, college recruiters look up information about prospective applicants. Fast forward to the day when your child graduates. Hiring managers and recruiters will look at their online reputations before deciding whether to hire. So be wise – Internet mistakes stay around.

3. Practice Good Privacy
Privacy settings aren’t a perfect solution, but they do provide a certain level of protection for social media users. If your child is on a social networking website, make sure he or she knows how to keep updates from public view and max out privacy settings. Sometimes it helps for parents to use the same website, so that you can familiarize yourself with the controls. Additionally, a free tool from ReputationDefender.com, called PrivacyDefender.net, can actually set the privacy settings for you and your child with just two clicks.

4. Your Actions Online Affect Others
Many teens operate under the assumption that anything and everything is okay to share with their online friends. For example, a teen may write, "I wish my Dad would quit his job! He says he hates his job and his boss." While that may seem like an innocuous rant to the teen, if word spread to the father’s boss, that parent might be in trouble. Teens have to learn that what they share online does not only affect them, but that decisions on the Web can have consequences for others.

5. Keep Personal Information Private
One of the cruelest forms of cyberbullying occurs when a bully hijacks another student’s account, locks them out, and then pretends to be the victim. By the time your child has regained control of their account (if ever), their name and reputation could be smeared across the Internet.
To help ensure that your child never has their information stolen, teach the importance of keeping personal information (such as their full birth date, phone number, and address) out of their social networking profile. Additionally, work with your child on creating a strong password that no one else would be able to guess. Some specific tips include using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Another good option is making a mnemonic phrase into a password. For example, “I, John Brown, was born at 5:00 in the AM” becomes “IJBwb@5itAM."

Michael Fertik is the CEO and founder of ReputationDefender.com, a pioneer and global leader in the emerging field of online reputation and privacy management. ReputationDefender helps prevent Internet stalking, identity theft/impersonation and other online threats through its technology, allowing people from professionals to parents the ability to monitor and manage what is said and found online.
From readersdigest.com