Friday, October 28, 2011

Teen Drug Prevention: National Drug Fact Week

Shatter the Myths!

National Drug Facts Week is Monday, October 31st through Sunday, November 6th, 2011.

Why do people and teens smoke when they know it is bad for them?

Maybe they smoke because they can’t stop. People start smoking for different reasons,but most keep doing it because of one reason—they are addicted to nicotine.

DID YOU KNOW? Research says that teens who see a lot of smoking in movies are more likely to start smoking themselves. Sometimes characters smoke to look edgy and rebellious; but sometimes it’s justabout “product placement” — the tobacco industry trying to get into your head and your pockets.

Teen Drinking:

FACT:  More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become alcoholics.

Teen Prescription Drug Use:

FACT:  In 2007, prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

Want to learn more FACTS about teens and substance use?  Download Shatter the Myths.

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

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Red Ribbon Campaign: Preventing Teen Drug Use

Did you know:

Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations. 

Take the pledge:

Take the Red Ribbon Pledge now and be a part of the creation of a drug free America.

What's the Pledge about?

  1. As parents, we will talk to our children about the dangers of drug abuse.
  2. We will set clear rules for our children about not using drugs.
  3. We will set a good example for our children by not using illegal drugs or medicine without a prescription.
  4. We will monitor our children's behavior and enforce appropriate consequences, so that our rules are respected.
  5. We will encourage family and friends to follow the same guidelines to keep children safe from substance abuse.
I pledge to set guidelines to help children grow up safe, healthy and drug-free. - Click here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Teen peer pressure: What will your teen do?

Teen peer pressure is a serious concern.
If your teen has a choice of their childhood friend or a less desirable group of friends (in an effort to fit into a group that they believe are cool) - who would they choose?  Their BFF or EX?

What path will your teen choose?

National Drug Facts Week is Monday, October 31st through Sunday, November 6th, 2011.
Sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Drug Facts Week is an annual official health observance designed to shatter the myths and spread the facts about drug abuse and addiction.
National Drug Facts Week (NDFW) is a health observance week for teens that aims to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse.

Through community-‐based events and activities on the Web, on TV, and through contests, NIDA is working to encourage teens to get factual answers from scientific experts about drugs and drug abuse. Download the NDFW Info Sheet!

PeerX: RX abuse is drug abuse.

Over and over again parents will say that it isn't their kid, it is the peer group they are hanging with.


Isn't it your teen making the choice to be with them?

Until parents move out of denial, it is almost impossible to get your teen help.  Not only is it the teen that has to admit they have a problem, the parents have to face the fact that their child is making some very poor choices.  As with many parents, they are afraid of the stigma - afraid of what family or friends will think, but what about your teens future?  Doesn't that take priority?

Are you ignoring teen drug use signs?

Check out 10 quick tips to help prevent teen drug use: Click here.

Do you have a teen that you suspect is using drugs? Have you exhausted all your local resources? Take the time to learn about residential therapy, visit Each teen and family are unique, there are many teen help programs, knowing how to locate the one best for you can be a challenge, however Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, can help, starting with a free consultation.

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Be an educated parent, you will have healthier teens.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

College Admissions: Early Decision and Early Action

Early decision - may secure your first choice school.
Do you have a high school senior?
Are they in the middle of applying to colleges?
Do they have a favorite - first choice?
Have they considered early decision or early action?

Many parents are not aware of the early decision option if your teen has a strong desire for a specific college and believe they are a perfect candidate for them.

What is early decision and early action?  There are slight differences you and your teen need to understand.

You should understand the differences between early decision and early action before sending in your applications. Keep in mind that the rules may vary somewhat by college. Check with your counselor to make sure you understand your rights and obligations.

Below are some important facts about the types of early-application plan.

Early decision plans are binding. You agree to attend the college if it accepts you and offers an adequate financial aid package. Although you can apply to only one college for early decision, you may apply to other colleges through the regular admission process. If you're accepted by your first-choice college early, you must withdraw all other applications.

Early action plans are similar to early decision plans, but are not binding. If you’ve been accepted, you can choose to commit to the college immediately, or wait until the spring. Under these plans, you may also apply early action to other colleges. Usually, you have until the late spring to let the college know your decision.

Single-choice early action is a new option offered by a few colleges. This plan works the same way as other early action plans, but candidates may not apply early (either early action or early decision) to any other college. You can still apply to other colleges under regular decision plans and are not required to give your final answer to the early-application college until the regular decision deadline.

If you find a college that you're sure is right for you, consider applying early. Early decision and early action plans allow you to apply early (usually in November) and get an admission decision from the college well before the usual spring notification date. You know by December or January whether you've been accepted at your first-choice college.

Sometimes, students who apply under these plans have a better chance of acceptance than they would through the regular admission process. These plans are also good for colleges because they get students who really want to go to the college to commit early in the process.

Source: College Board

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Troubled Teens: How to find safe and sound teen help

Are you at your wit's end?
Summer is over – school is into their first quarter and your teen’s behavior is only escalating!  You are soon driven to your wit’s end!

When a parent is reaching their wit’s end, they are most at risk for making mistakes – mistakes that can cost them financially as well as emotionally.

 Good kids – bad choices:  Where did my innocent toddler go?

 When therapy isn’t working
  • This is not a science, in most cases when a belligerent, defiant and entitled teen is faced with a therapist or counselor, they will either close up like a clam, or tell the most amusing stories – which can be called – manipulation.
  • Did you know it was your fault?  It really isn’t, but in some cases the teen can actually convince a therapist that it is the parents that have the problem, not them.  Again, another example of manipulation.
  • Are you ready for a residential program?
  • Have you exhausted all your local options?
  • How do you know if you truly need a residential boarding school/program?
How to be a perfect parent
  • There is no such thing as a perfect parent; however there is such a thing as being an educated parent.  This is not about book smarts or academics; it is about first hand experiences from parents that have been where you are.
  • Becoming an educated parent in the teen help industry is possible with time and due diligence.
Blame Game
  • Not my kid, it is the kids he/she is hanging with.
  • My child was caught with pot, but he swears it was his friend’s.
  • It’s the schools fault.
  • If I only had sent him to another school.
  • If I only had given into the cell phone.
  • His grandparents spoil him rotten.
  • When safety trumps privacy. When is it appropriate to read your teen’s journal, text messages, emails, social networking sites etc?
The differences between Boot Camps – Wilderness – TBS – RTC – Click here.

Making sure your teen is not out of their element – Click here.

How to make the calls to parent references – Click here.

  • If you could change one thing about the program, what would it be?
  • Be sure to get references of the same gender and age.  Important to compare apples to apples.
  • Can always get off the list by asking the parent if they know of any other parents they can talk to.
Will my teen hate me? – NO – initially, they may have a lot of anger and resentment – but choosing the right program that fits your teen’s individual needs should stimulate them in a positive direction.
Order today!

Order today!
You are not alone!!!!  Learn more about the possibility of sending your teen to residential therapy by ordering, Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control-Teen.

By not doing anything, you are not being a responsible parent – there may come a time – when that one hour once a week is simply not enough to make significant positive changes.

Get a free consultation today at

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Are you ready for the first Parent-Teacher Conference?

It was only a short time ago parents were scrambling to get school supplies and their kids ready for a new school year.

Now the time is nearing for parents.

Parent teacher conferences are usually set for October.  

Are you ready?

Here are some tips to help you get the most from your time with your child's teachers.

Before the conference:
  • Check grades and teacher expectations. Many schools post student’s grades on their Student Information System. So review your child’s past work. There’s no reason to get caught off guard.
  • Jot questions and prioritize concerns. Take a few minutes to jot down questions for the teacher. Take those with you so you won’t forget to ask. Also, don’t forget to ask your kid if there is anything the teacher might tell you that you don’t know. (It’s always best to not be surprised.)  
  • Meet your needs. If you need extra set of “ears” to be with you, you feel intimidated, or worry the teacher may use jargon you don’t understand, bring a friend (a neighbor, relative, older child). If you need a translator (language or sign), call the school to arrange one. Let the teacher know before the conference if you are in a contentious divorce or if your partner requests to come to the conference separately.
  • Block time. The teacher has scheduled only a set amount of time, so you will want to use every second wisely and not be distracted. Arrange a baby sitter for a younger child and allow ample time to get there.
Here are the four areas of learning to discuss during the conference:
  • Academic: Find out what your child’s strongest and weakest subjects are, how he compares to the other students and if he is keeping up with the workload. You might ask: “If you were to evaluate my child now, what would his grade and average test score be in each subject? "If the teacher uses educational terms that you’re not familiar with, ask for a simpler explanation. Ask to see specific examples of any academic problem so you know how to help or if a tutor might be helpful.
  • Social: Find out how your childgets along with others. Let the teacher know of any bullying or repeated peer rejection and create a safety plan. Ask for recommendations for a new friend if there are social problems.
  • Behavior: Find out how your child behaves around peers and adults and if he is showing up on time and prepared to learn. If there are behavior issues, get specifics: what the behavior looks like, the teacher’s discipline approach, any triggers or patterns (when and where the behavior usually happens), and how it is being resolved.
  • Emotional/health: Find out how your child is coping. Explain any home issues that could affect your child’s learning performance (a divorce, deployment, illness of a relative) and any serious allergies, sleep problems, medication, counseling or other health-related issues that the teacher should know about.
If your child is having any kind of problem in one or more of those four learning areas, then discuss strategies you and the teacher can do to help your child by creating common goals. Discuss how you will you know if things are improving or declining and if there's no improvement, ask what our “next step” will be and how the teacher would like to be contacted.

After your conference:
Go home, share what you learned with your child and parenting partner, and then commit to doing what you discussed. If you see that your child continues to struggle or you do not see improvement in a few weeks, or things get worse, call for another conference. If you still don’t get help, then it’s time to seek the help of the principal, vice-principal or counselor.

Parents, what are your parent- teacher conference experiences? Do you have any tips of your own to share?  Please leave them in the comments.

Special contributor: Michele Borba, Parenting Expert and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What did teens do BEFORE cell phones?

How many parents have seen their kids go crazy looking for their cell phone?
How many parents are paying for cell phone services for their kids or teens?
How many parents try to limit their teen's cell phone time?
How many parents are finally learning to text to communicate with their teenager?

Just another example of how parenting has become more challenging than generations prior.  Exactly what did we do when there weren't any cell phones?

Sometimes, it appears that cell phones have become a required accessory attached to every kid and teenager that you see in public. You see them being used for calls, text messaging, music listening, and game playing, virtually everywhere that kids are found.So, how did kids survive without cell phones in the 80′s?

10 ways kids survived without cell phones: 

  1. Notes in Class. Kids in the 1980s may have been one of the last generations to have to rely on passing notes to communicate with each other during class.
  2. Pay Phones. Though they are rarely seen in public places today, coin operated pay phones were available on virtually every street corner and in most public buildings. If a kid needed a ride, or otherwise wanted to make a phone call while out and about, it was going to cost them a quarter.
  3. Home Computers. When personal computers first began to be common in homes, kids were some of the first to begin finding new ways to use them for fun. There were few games available for early home computers, but they were perfect tools for role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, which were extremely popular with the young people of that era.
  4. Video Game Arcades. In the 1980s, video game arcades became widespread, and functioned as gathering places for kids and teenagers. Games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders kept kids feeding quarters into the machines.
  5. Walkman. The Sony Walkman was introduced in 1979, and it changed the way people, especially kids and teenagers, listened to music. By the early 1980s, young people wearing lightweight headphones and bobbing their heads to music had become a common sight in public places. Kids could have their music with them at all times, without annoying people around them.
  6. MTV. In the early 1980s, MTV debuted, and kids everywhere gathered in front of the television to watch and listen to music videos. MTV literally changed the way the music business operated, as videos became a required part of virtually every new music release.
  7. Game Consoles. Atari, Sega, and Nintendo became household names in the 1980s, and the first stores devoted completely to electronic game cartridges and accessories began to appear. During this period, many homes began to have at least one television that was devoted completely to video games.
  8. Game Watches. It may sound a bit hokey to today’s kids, but the introduction of Game Watches by Nelsonic Industries was a huge step in the evolution of gaming. Game watch combined a timepiece with an electronic game, was worn on a wrist like a watch, and could be played anywhere.
  9. Game and Watch. The Game and Watch from Nintendo was a handheld device that, like the Game Watch above, combined a timepiece and a video game. The early versions were made to play only one game, but later versions allowed the user to play various games on one unit.
  10. Teen lines. Many homes in the 80′s had more than one phone line for their land line phone. Often times, the second line was referred to as the ‘teen’ line. If they wanted to call their friends, they used the their land line at home to call their friend on their friend’s home phone.
It may be hard for young people today to imagine, but life in the 1980s without cell phones was not only survivable, it was an exciting time of innovation, and many of the applications that kids use on their cell phones today were born during that decade.

Source:  Landline Phone Service

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Are you a "Helicopter Parent"?

What is a helicopter parent, you ask?

These are the parents that won’t let their kid out in the front yard to play without constant supervision. They won’t take a nap and risk their twelve year old being home ‘alone’. They are constantly hovering over their children and micromanaging their every move. How can you tell if you’re a helicopter parent?

Well, you know you’re a helicopter parent when…
  1. You know the risks are incredibly high – Part of the problem is that with wall-to-wall Internet and cable news, every missing child case gets so much airtime that it’s not surprising even normal parental paranoia can be amplified. Know the real risks.
  2. You are afraid your child will literally die if left unsupervised – Mortality rates from all causes, including disease and accidents, for American children are lower now than they were 25 years ago. According to Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group, between 1980 and 2003 death rates dropped by 44 percent for children ages five to 14 and 32 percent for teens aged 15 to 19.
  3. Your child cannot leave your sight or they will be kidnapped – Nationwide, stranger abductions are extremely rare; there’s a one-in-a-million chance a child will be taken by a stranger, according to the Justice Department. That’s right, a one-in-a-million chance. Think about it.
  4. Your child cannot leave your sight or they will be sexually abused – 90 percent of sexual abuse cases are committed by someone the child knows. A family member, a friend, a teacher. You can only do so much. Prepare your child, yes, but don’t smother them. And really, do they need more to be afraid of in life?
  5. You always know what they should be doing – Many middle-class parents have gotten used to managing their children’s time and shuttling them to various enriching activities, so the idea of letting them out on their own can seem like a risk. Children need to be able to create their own activities and schedule; after all, you won’t be around to tell them what to do next when they’re thirty. Let them learn now, it’ll only get harder later.
  6. You know that no responsible parent leaves a child home alone – The After School Alliance finds that more than 14 million kids ages five to 17 are responsible for taking care of themselves after school. Only 6.5 million kids participate in organized programs. Try short times at first. A few minutes at a neighbor’s house, maybe a short milk run. See how they do.
  7. You know children are not safe on public transit – “Many children who have working parents have to take the subway or bus to get to school. Many do this by themselves because they have no other way to get to their schools,” says Dr. Richard Gallagher. Don’t wait until they have to; teach them early the rules of the road and how to be safe.
  8. You know that all children are irresponsible – It all depends on developmental issues, maturity, and the psychological and emotional makeup of that child. Several factors must be taken into account, such as the ability to follow parent guidelines, the child’s level of comfort in handling situations, and a child’s general judgment. But how will they know what they can do if you never let them do anything?
  9. You know it is more dangerous now than it was when you were their age – Even with more traffic and fewer sidewalks, modern parents do have one advantage their parents didn’t: the cell phone. Being able to check in with a child anytime goes a long way toward relieving parental worry. Tell them to call you when they get there. If they haven’t done so within a reasonable period of time, call them. They’ll get the message and feel more independent. Some phones even come with GPS tracking, so you can make sure they stay on the right path.
  10. You follow your children and their friends around on Halloween - In your minivan. Enough said. This doesn’t just apply to Halloween. If your child is with a responsible group of friends and they are walking/biking/busing somewhere, don’t follow them. You are undermining their reputation with their friends and making them resentful. Learn when to back off and relax and you’ll both be happier.
 So, there you go. Ten signs that you’re well on the road to driving your children, and yourself, insane. Relax. Children today are safer than ever. Just make sure they know what to do in case of emergency. You will be surprised at how reasonable and responsible your children can be. And you are teaching them a valuable lesson- how to take care of themselves.

Source:  Nanny Pro

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