Saturday, December 29, 2012

Residential Treatment Programs: The Internet Confusion

Is your teen smoking pot?
You have about reached your wit's end, your teenager is driving you nuts over this holiday school break.

The school grades have come in only to find out that your once honor roll student is now failing.  They have announced they are no longer interested in the sport they used to love or the instrument they used to play.

Their group of friends are changing, their personality has gone from happy to withdrawn and secretive, not to mention the defiance.

Typical teen?  Maybe, but what happens when it escalates to an extreme that parents feel like they are being held hostage in their own home? What happens when a parent discovers their teen is using drugs?  Just marijuana?  Just a few beers?

Don't be a parent in denial.  Be proactive.

There will come a time when the one hour once a week of therapy just isn't working.  Your teenager is manipulating the therapist - in some cases the therapist will just continue the game, after all, it is their paycheck.  You need to, as a parent, recognize when you have come to a point when it is time to seek outside help.

In some cases once your teen is in another environment will they start opening up and revealing what is going on.  Why they are acting out in such negative ways.

Hopefully you have a therapist that will recognize that your teen needs help and can help you find residential therapy that fits your child's needs.

Remember, the Internet, as much as it is an educational tool, can also be deceiving.  Be careful of all these websites that make promises that seem too good to be true.  In most cases - they are.

Wilderness programs that will cost you an arm and a leg - plus your first born - will seem like you will have your child back in 6-9 weeks, but what they neglect to tell you is in most cases your teen has to go on to a therapeutic boarding school, which is another 12 months.  And another large chunk of money.

Not to mention your teen will have to again, share their story with another therapist, start another schedule again - and finally get back to academics since Wilderness usually lacks in education (another reason I don't care for Wilderness programs).

Need to find out more about residential therapy?  Learn from the mistakes I made.  I made a lot - but I have also learned a lot.  I am not perfect - and believe every child is different and every  family is different.  Most importantly - go with your gut.  Don't get duped like we did.

Remember, always look for the ACE factor:

A = Accredited Academics
C = Clinical (good qualified therapists)
E = Enrichment programs (these help stimulate your teen in a positive direction)

Visit www.helpyourteens.com  for more information on residential therapy. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Teen Help: Finding Help for My Teen

With the tragedy of Newtown, CT we are faced with so many unanswered questions.

The grief of the loss of life is unimaginable - when you look at the age of the children and their protectors that died doing what they were trained to do, it is simply unconscionable that anyone could do such a heinous act.

We are hearing issues of gun control combined with mental health.  At the end of the day, like teenagers using illegal drugs (and adults for that matter) if someone is determined to find a gun and shoot people, they will.

The fact is we need to get people the help they need before they get to the point of wanting to seek out guns for killing - or drugs for getting high.

Though that is an extreme example, many parents are seeking help for their struggling teen.  They are at their wit's end.  They feel like they are hostage in their own home.  After exhausting all their local resources they realize that residential treatment is their last resort - but how can they send their child away?

The real question is, how can you not?  How can you not get your teen the help they need?  In many cases your teen does need to be removed from their environment to be able to start recovery.  Being around their negative peer group and sometimes ever around their family (and this is not a personal reflection on you) but the state of mind your child is in, can bring contention that they are not able to move forward.

So what can you do?  You get online and the confusion is overwhelming with websites promising all sorts of things - marketing people scaring you into the urgency of placing asap or else..... Sticker shock of the price of getting help! Don't get scammed - it did happen to me - I created my organization so it wouldn't happen to other parents.

There is help for everyone.  If you don't have insurance for mental help, and even with insurance, there are programs that can help.  You will have to dig harder to find them.

Obviously if you are able to go into a program you can finance there are more options, but in a time in our economy when things are not financially great, not everyone falls into this category.  This doesn't mean you can't find help.

I encourage you to visit my website - www.helpyourteens.com for more information on residential therapy.  Never give up - be proactive.  Now, more than ever, is a reality that parents need to get their troubled teens the help they need.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Youth Foundation Success Academy: Teen Help or Not?

Parents call our organization on a daily basis.  I created my Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc since I was duped and my daughter was abused in a residential therapy program over 10 years ago.

I have become a voice and some have called me a crusader. I honestly don't care what people call me, what I care about is what parents can learn from the mistakes I have made and gain from the knowledge I have acquired over the past decade.

Carolina Springs Academy harmed my daughter - they also lied to me.  Duped me - and today they are closed, however they still have other programs operating.  Years ago - they had a long list of programs, thankfully today that list is only a fraction long.

Today I just heard from a parent that it is believed they just opened another program - or possibly just re-named one of their Utah ones.

Youth Foundation located in LaVerkin, Utah is believed to be owned and operated by the same parent organization that I sent my daughter to years ago.

Learn more about them at my story - www.aparentstruestory.com.

Or you can read my book - www.witsendbook.com - or download it to your Kindle or Nook.

Their sales rep will tell you that I am a disgruntled parent.  Yes, someone hurts your child and dupes you, you do become disgruntled.  I have defeated them in a jury trial.  They will say the jury made a mistake - but what would you expect them to say?  Also check out the recent large lawsuit against them. Click here.

Fact is  - no one condones child abuse.

There are many excellent programs in our country.  Do your due diligence.  Find one that fits your families needs and your child's needs.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Therapy, Mental Health: Getting Help for Your Teen

Finding the right therapist.
In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT - some are screaming for more gun control.  I am certainly not an advocate for gun, however I don't believe that is the big issue here.

Fact is, most drugs are illegal too - yet we see our kids and adults abusing them.  If someone is determined to find a gun and shoot someone - just like if someone is determined to shoot heroin, they will find a way to do it.

We need to address the fact that mental illness is a major concern for people and parents.  I know I have parents call and need help with their teens.  Whether you have health insurance or not, you should be able to get mental health assistance. 

In some cases, local Universities will have departments that offer free counseling and many parents are not aware that their local United Way may also have resources available at low cost or no cost.  There are options, you cannot let a child or teen continue if they are struggling.  Whether it is depression, withdrawing from friends and family, raging, drug use, etc.... getting your child help is a priority.

I also know that in some cases your teen will be defiant to the point where they will refuse to get help.  There is also assistance for this.  As a parent, you know your child needs help.  Each state has different laws to help you get them that help. 

In Florida, if your teen or someone you know is abusing drugs and refuses help, you can look at invoking the Marchman ActSome states also have what is call a PINS Petition.  (Person in Need of Supervision).

At Parents' Universal Resource Experts, we speak with parents on a daily basis.  These families have usually reached their wit's end and understand that residential therapy is going to save their teen's life.  In many cases, removing the teen from their environment is what can help them get back on the right track again.  Removing them from the negative peer group and helping reflect back to more positive times in their life. 

We always advise parents to start with local resources and therapy first, but as I stated above, many time teens will refuse to attend.  This is why residential therapy has been so successful.  Parents need to do their due diligence researching for the best fit for their child

Please contact us if you feel you are in need of further assistance.

Many prayers and thoughts to all the families in Newtown, CT.




Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why Teens Self Injure and What to Do if Your Teen is Cutting

Though many parents don't want to believe their teen would self injure themselves, many more are realizing it is their teenager that is actually cutting.  Why?

  • Peer pressure?
  • Depression?
  • Drug use?
  • Anxiety?
  • Stress?
According to experts, one of the most common reasons teens self injure is because the injury is in some way a “release” from emotional anxiety. The pain of the injury provides a distraction from the emotional pain the teen is feeling, and acts almost as a drug to them. It can also help the injured feel ‘human’ again, by putting them in touch with a common human experience: pain. 

If you discover that your teen is cutting, there are several important keys to remember. First and foremost, approach your teen with a level head. Address your teen calmly and supportively. Do not react angrily or upset your teen in any way.

Experts warn that overreacting or reacting loudly or angrily can often push your teen further away and increase the cutting or self injuring behaviors. Your teen needs to know you are open to hearing what she has to say and getting her the help she needs. You should also tell your teen that you are not upset with her, love her, and know she is in a lot of pain.

Counseling for a teen that cuts is crucial. It can often take many years of therapy before your teen is willing or able to uncover the reasons she/he cuts herself.

If you feel your teen is in need of residential therapy please visit www.helpyourteens.com.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tough Love - Tough Decisions

When it comes to sending your child to residential therapy it is probably one of the hardest decisions a parent can make.  It just doesn't seem normal to send your teenager to a behavioral modification program.  Let's face it - we all know that sending them to college is part of the circle of life, but no one prepares us for the potholes that some families face - residential treatment centers.

As the holidays approach a teenager's behavior can sometimes escalate and this can leave a parent with a decision that they don't want to make.  How can they send their child into a teen help program during this time of the year?

As a Parent Advocate and Parent Consultant, I share with parents that you have many years ahead of you to have many wonderful holidays together - however in some cases, it can mean saving your child's life by removing them from not-so-safe situations - especially if they are involved in drug use or hanging out with unsavory groups of what they consider friends.  With the extra time off from school -it sometimes can add up to more time for trouble.

Are you struggling with your teenager?  Confused about what school or program is best for their needs?  I founded Parent's Universal Resource Experts, Inc over a decade ago for parents that are at their wit's end - after I was duped and my daughter abused at a program that mislead us.  Our experiences are only to help educate parents - there are more good programs than there are not so good one.  It is up to you to do your due diligence.

Remember, family is a priority - your child's welfare comes first.  There will always be more holidays - let's be sure your child's safety and security are first and foremost.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teen Runaways: Holiday Stressers for Parents

Being a parent of a teen is hard enough - when the holidays come along sometimes the stress can be overwhelming.  Are they driving you to your wit's end? 

When a teen threatens to runaway or actually does, it can be a parent's nightmare.  It seems a teenager doesn't seem to realize that holidays are supposed to be a time of joy. 

The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that up to 2.8 million children and teens run away from home each year. Many return home within the first 24 hours, but there are still a staggering number that never make it home.

Here are some tips for parents:

Building the Foundation for a Healthy Teen & Parent Relationship
Building a good foundation increases the potential for a good relationship.
Do’s and Don’ts For Parents With Teenagers
If only it was this simple. Here are some effective tips for dealing with your teenager.
What To Do If Your Child Runs Away From Home
What should I do if my child runs away from home?
More Runaway Prevention Tips For Parents
The more tips the better when it comes to parenting.
Setting Goals & Expectations
Give kids a map and maybe, just maybe they'll find their way.
What To Do When Your Child Returns Home
What should I do when my child comes back?
The Challenges of Raising a Teen
Normal adolescent rebellion or something more serious?
Basic Parenting Tips
Good parenting is a combination of role modeling, teaching and friendship.
Do as I say AND as I do
Nothing erodes the delicate parent/teen relationship faster than for a child to hear one thing and see another.
Tips for Parents: Have Fun!
Learning life's lessons doesn't always have to be serious. Lighten up and have some fun.
Parenting Step-Families
Step-parenting adds another dimension, particularly when your blended family includes biological and step-children.
Parents Matter: Tips for Raising Teenagers
Parents of teenagers may have the toughest job around.
Set Guidelines for Good Behavior
Setting rules and guidelines for the children in your care helps them learn safe, healthy and socially acceptable behavior.
Parent/Teen Talk
Navigating through life isn't easy, but with parents acting as guideposts the trip is a little easier.
Signs My Teen Might Be Thinking About Running Away From Home
Find out what you should be looking for.
Guidelines for Parents with Kids in Cyberspace
Know what your kids are doing on line. Talk, be open, educate yourself, and check it out.

Courtesy of National Runaway Switchboard.



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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Red River Academy: Teen Help Program or Not?

Searching online for help for your troubled teen?

Maybe they are not troubled, they have always been a good kid, but now they are making some really bad choices - hanging with the less than positive influences - smoking some pot (not to mention the cigarettes) - drinking - and starting to fail in school.

We have even watched our teen drift away from the things they used to love such as sports, dance, music, hobbies, etc.

Defiance, lack of respect, underachieving, withdrawing from family activities, and simply a child you no longer recognize - where did your happy toddler go?

This scenario is very common, it happened to me over a decade ago - and is the reason I created my organization - Parents' Universal Resource Experts.

I don't want to rehash my story here, you can read it on www.aparentstruestory.com or in my books Wit's End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teen.

I want to help you a bit as you are searching the Internet for help for your own teenager.

The Internet can be an educational tool and a lethal weapon - as it has been for me.  After my experiences with a horrific program, and I defeated them in a jury trial - the keyboard was a way to attack legally.  Again, all in the past - I have fought hard to continue to be a voice for families and in this big business of teen help.  I won two jury trials - and all the appeals they threw at me.  Fact remains - no one condones child abuse and neglect - and I was awarded damages for what the defamation caused me.

This brings us to why I titled this Red River Academy?  As someone that helps parents when they are doing research - I just want to be sure they are doing their due diligence when they are searching.  Keep in mind.  Where there is smoke - there is fire.

Need help?  Take your time - remember, this is a major financially and emotional decision.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Specialty Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens

First semester of school is coming to an end.  You realize that your teen is failing - and may have even discovered they are experimenting with drugs - smoking pot, drinking - and now you are thinking - "is this a phase?"  "is it their friends?" "typical teen?"

Sure - all is possible - but why risk it?  Getting your teen the help they need is a parent's responsibility.  I am not saying that rushing into a residential treatment center is your first option - on the contrary, it is your last.

You need to exhaust all your local resources first.  Therapy, peer support groups, maybe outpatient, living with a relative, youth counselors.....  If the behavior continues to escalates you can't be a parent in denial.  Once the therapy isn't working - your teen is actually holding you hostage in your home - and taking control of your family - you literally feel like you are walking on eggshells - you have to reach out for help.

The Internet, as much as it is an educational tool, can also be a deceptive device.  Parents have to do their due diligence when researching schools and programs.

Many therapists are excellent in working with your families however are not familiar with residential therapy programs aka specialty program or therapeutic boarding schools.  They know of adolescent wards in hospitals but most of the time that is not what these type of teens need. They are in need of emotional growth.

Now the Internet again can be deceiving.  You may see programs that offer these wonderful attributes but do they?

I was scammed and duped over a decade ago - which is why I created Parents' Universal Resource Experts.  I encourage you to review my site and especially the helpful hints and tips for looking for schools and programs.

There are more good programs than there are not so good programs.  It is just a matter of doing your research.  Don't allow these toll free marketing arms convince you that you need to make a quick and rash decision.

Call us today - we can help you get educated on this big business of teen help.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Abusive Boarding Schools and Programs for Teen Help

Recently it was brought to my attention from a parent that I helped several years ago, she was reading a series of articles on abuse and neglect that happens in residential programs for teens and kids.

We are in 2012 - a time when you would think that transparency of all schools and programs should be a given.  Unfortunately, like I also learned the hard way, when it comes to the big business of "teen help" and parents are at their wit's end - they can fall prey to most anything that sounds like relief.

This is one of the reasons I created my organization, Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc (P.U.R.E.)  I felt there wasn't any place I could turn that could give me reliable information. 

PURE helps educate parents and gives them insights to a very daunting industry.  Though you initially think you are looking for a boot camp type environment (thinking you want to teach your child a lesson) you will soon realize that your teen is crying out for help.  Searching for a program that has an ACE factor (A-academic, C-clinical, E-enrichment) will serve your teen much better.

Another misconception parents have is that Military Schools are for troubled teens.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  The majority of legitimate Military Schools such as Admiral Faragut in Clearwater, Florida, will only accept students with a certain GPA, in many cases a teen has to write an essay of why they want to attend.

Some parents may find some Military Schools that will accept an unwilling child, but what happens next you won't be so happy with.  If he/she get expelled, chanced are very good you will then forfeit your tuition.  Are you ready for that?  The other emotional component of this is - setting your child up for failure will only serve to do him/her more emotional damage and probably cause more defiance and resentment.

Many parents are dealing with good kids making bad choices.  Many parents are dealing with kids experimenting with substances.  We need to take this all very serious today.  Remember it is not the pot of yesterday.  It is being laced with stronger elements and even addictive ones.  Entitlement issues today are a common thread - kids simply have too much and have no boundaries.

It doesn't matter what your issues are, if you have reached the point where you are convinced you need residential therapy, please contact PURE and talk to us.  We have free consultations.  If you have a list of programs that you are considering, we can go down that list with you.  We have visited a large number of programs in our country.  We also receive feedback from parents, students and even employees frequently.

Talk to us.... don't risk sending your child into harms way.  This is a major financial and emotional decision.  It is a parent's responsibility to get their child help - you don't have to fear it - you just have to be smart about it.

Join us on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and if you need to contact us - fill out a quick form.

Read my story here.  My book - Wit's End! Advice and Resources for Saving your Out of Control Teen.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Help for Struggling Teens

After 12 years, my organization has been recognized for helping literally thousands of parents and families with their tweens, teens and young adults.

Recently I was interviewed by Career Thoughts.

Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc was created after I was duped online by trying to get my own daughter help.  I was a parent at my wit's end.  I was vulnerable - I was scammed - and my daughter suffered the consequences.

Many people have asked about her, and she is now a grown woman, successful in her career and has two children of her own.  We have overcome the hurdles - not because of the horrific program she went to, but in spite of it - and because of the fantastic help we found after it to help de-programize her from the damage they did to her.

I always share with parents to learn from my mistake and gain from my knowledge.  That is the biggest gift I can give.

Enjoy this article -click here.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Teen Depression: What Parents Need to Know

Teen depression, sadly, is common today.

Feeling good has a lot to do with the choices your teen makes regarding their health.

The life of a teen is filled with choices, and most teens do not base decisions on their health, future, or long-term risks. Keeping up teens' health ultimately falls on the parents' shoulders, even though most teens are already making many of their own choices.

If you struggle finding a balance when it comes to your teen's health or want to be sure that you're doing as much as you can with the time you do have, here are a few simple ways to make a big impact on the health of your teen:

1. Require consistent exercise. There is no need to be a drill sergeant or make exercise feel like a chore, but there is something to be said for requiring exercise from your children. Whether they take up a sport, enroll in a dance program, or just join the gym with you, teens need to start now with a consistent exercise program for optimum health in the future.
2. Buy daily vitamins in gummy form. Daily vitamins are no fun. And, it's difficult as a parent to, a) remember to dole them out, and, b) make sure your kids actually take them. But, vitamins should no longer be a dreaded routine. The vitamin gummies offered today are delicious and taste like candy. Teens will want to take more than their daily share.
3. Fill plates with more greens and fruits and less grains and protein. The FDA has recently re-vamped the old standard of food charts and opted for something simpler: a plate divided into four sections. Half the plate is filled with vegetables and fruits. The remainder contains a fourth grains and a fourth protein. This is a simple and easy way to see that your teens are getting the proper servings of the food they need.
4. Restrict TV to certain hours. Monitoring TV hours is a challenge, especially when teens have become accustomed to turning them on whenever they want. But, in order to maintain optimum health, the TV has to go once in a while. Teens need time and space to go outside, call friends, read, create, and do other things that help maintain a balanced life. This can be as simple as turning them off during regular chunks of time when you know you'll be around.
5. Make doctors' appointments a part of the norm. Many of us restrict doctor's appointments to emergency visits when we come down with the flu and need a quick prescription. But, it's very important to get your teen started with regular physicals and preventative doctor's visits. This will get them in the habit of seeking out the advice of a physician and setting dates for those much-needed physicals.
6. Talk about sensitive health topics early-on. Instead of waiting until the last minute, it's important to discuss any health topics that your teen needs to know as early as possible. This applies to the menstrual cycle, the birds and the bees, and your preference on the best forms of contraceptives or abstinence. Waiting until your teen finds out about these hugely important issues from friends, television shows, or the school counselor means that you have missed the chance to help form extremely important choices your teens will make and prepare them for life events that will come up soon.
7. Drink more water, and get rid of soda. This is simple, but definitely worth it. The health benefits of drinking enough water cannot be overstated, and the harmful effects of soda have been well-documented. Most soda contains such a huge amount of sugar that the body has difficulty digesting it properly. Once and a while, it's fine, but make sure your teens are reaching for something else on a daily basis.

Contributor: Leslie Johnson is a freelance writer for www.mastersinhealthcare.com.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

10 Risky Teen Behaviors Parents Should Be Aware Of

Many teenagers think they are invincible, and are always looking for the next thrill.  While the stunts that were tried 10 to 20 years ago may have seemed daring and dangerous at the time, teens today are pushing the envelope in even more dangerous new ways.  Parents truly need to be aware of the risky things that some teens are doing.
  1. Planking- Kids have taken what started out being a move done for strengthening the core to a trend that was kind of cute to something downright dangerous.  Planking is where you lay face down on any surface and have your picture taken.  The picture is then uploaded to Facebook or some other social media site.  Teens turned this fun trend into a dangerous stunt when they started planking on things like escalators, moving cars, trains and rooftops.
  2. Car surfing- Instead of surfing in the water standing on a surfboard, teens are standing on moving cars.  Some start by standing on the trunk with the car moving very slowly, and in an effort to continually raise the stakes they have moved to more even more dangerous locations on the car, and now teens have been killed doing this.
  3. Smoking Smarties- According to tutorials online, the candy is crushed to a fine powder and the end of the tube is opened and the powder is puffed and inhaled like smoke.  On the surface the activity is not illegal or all that harmful, but it could lead to infections and chronic coughing.  The bigger concern is that this behavior could lead to more dangerous experimentation with drugs in the future.
  4. Vodka eyeballing- To avoid getting caught with alcohol on their breath, teens have started pouring vodka directly in their eyes.  The alcohol is absorbed through the mucus membrane and goes directly into the blood stream.  This trend has been shown to cause blindness in a worst case scenario, but at a minimum it can burn the cornea and cause scarring.
  5. Chatroulette- Chatroulette.com is a site that connects users through their web cams with people from all over the world for live chat sessions.  They do have filters which allow the user to speak to only English speakers or only females.  While the policy on chatroulette is against nudity and other inappropriate activities, risky behavior still happens.  Sexual predators could use this medium as a way to interact and ultimately harm kids.
  6. Purple drank- Drinking this mix of jolly ranchers, cough syrup with codeine and Sprite can lead to hallucinations and is extremely toxic. Kids love to copy the next celebrity trend, and for some celebrities, this purple drink it is.
  7. Rainbow parties- A group of girls at a party will wear various shades of lipstick and perform oral sex on the same guys.  At the end of the evening the genitals of the guys have many colors of lipstick, thus mimicking a rainbow. 
  8. Choking game- The choking game is where kids choke each other or themselves with various things like belts or scarves, to cut off the flow of blood to their brain in order to get a high.  When the choking stops the blood goes back to the brain quickly and they get a natural high.  Many teens who have tried this have passed out doing it and could, and have, died of asphyxiation. 
  9. Distilling hand sanitizer- By combining salt with liquid hand sanitizer the alcohol can be distilled out of it.  The alcohol is very strong and some teens who have drank it have ended up in the ER with alcohol poisoning. 
  10. Rummy bears- Kids and adults alike are soaking gummy bears in various alcohols, like rum or vodka.  The gummy soaks up the alcohol and kids are said to be eating them at school and getting buzzed. 
Knowledge is power. If adults are aware that these trends are going on in other areas of the country they will be better able to spot them in their own kids or their friends.

Source: Babysitters.net

Need help with your teen?  Visit www.helpyourteens.com.



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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Teen Drinking: Why do teens drink?

And the ONE RULE you need to follow to stop it!

The Pre-Game
Teens often indulge in a “pre-game” drinking binge before parties or sports events. Large quantities are consumed quickly in order to sustain a sense of inebriation over many hours. The point of a pre-game binge is to achieve inebriation before an event where access to alcohol and drugs will be restricted.

Pre-gaming is especially dangerous in that it often occurs in a vehicle. Although drinking can occur during the drive to the event, teens may also drink in the parking lot of the event venue. Alcohol can also be smuggled into venues, disguised in water bottles or hidden inside large purses or jackets.

The Parent Game Plan: Before parties and big events, be involved as your teen prepares. When possible, drive your teen and his friends to the venue. As always, be honest with your teen about the dangers of drinking and your stance on the issue.

Working for the Weekend
Some kids work hard all week on academics and sports, but see the weekend as a time to partake in illicit activities and party behavior. This mindset is especially prevalent at competitive high schools. This attitude toward drugs and alcohol equates recreation as something that is rebellious against responsibility and is seen as a reward for good behavior. After working hard, they feel as though they deserve to play hard. This type of attitude can lead to a dependence on drugs or alcohol as a means to relax.

The Parent Game Plan: Explain to your teen that responsible behavior throughout the week does not warrant complete independence. It is also important to teach your teen positive ways to relax. Positive recreational activities and hobbies not only occupy a teen’s time, but they also offer a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that alcohol and drugs can never provide.
Social Lubricant
Let’s face it. Being a teenager is difficult, and social interaction can be awkward. Many teens drink to feel less inhibited and more secure in social settings. Unfortunately, some teens will drink in response to anxiety about a crush, which heightens the risk of poor sexual decisions. Forming these habits during formative years can have a drastic effect on a teen, potentially making it difficult for her to socialize without alcohol or other substances.

The Parent Game Plan: Teens needs to learn how to face the fears and risks of social interaction in a substance-free environment. Host co-ed movie nights or game nights for your teen’s friends and serve as a chaperone. Sometimes teenagers turn to illicit activities because the peer group doesn’t accept wholesome activities as fun. It is your job to provide your teenager with a healthy example of “adult” fun.
Another option is to introduce your teen to an older mentor. Encouraging your teen to spend time with mentors with similar interests can help him adapt to a more mature standard of behavior. This will also give your teen the opportunity to talk about embarrassing or difficult situations he may not be able to come to you about.

For the Win
During unsupervised parties, many kids participate in drinking games popularized by college students. While these games can seem as harmless as table tennis to teenagers, the truth is those who participate in drinking games are at a higher risk for developing alcoholism. Once teens accept the rules of these games, the height of tolerance levels is tantamount to strength. These teens think they are winning at a game, but they are actually exposing their brains to toxic levels of alcohol.
Essentially drinking games are a way for teenagers to bond while participating in binge drinking behavior. Unlike pre-gaming, there is no time limit in drinking games. This means that many teens will drink until their physical limits are reached. Alcohol poisoning and black-outs are two immediate effects of binge drinking.

The Parent Game Plan: Teenagers who binge drink will be unable to hide the effects from their parents, which means they will most likely “crash” where the party was thrown or they will stay with a friend who has lenient or oblivious parents. Parents can discourage binge drinking by confirming plans with other parents and enforcing curfews. Let your teenager know that you expect him not only to behave responsibly, but to look out for his friends who may be affected by this social behavior.
How to Stop Teen Alcohol Abuse

Be involved.

Parents who are involved in their teenagers lives – offering support, encouraging questions and providing wholesome outlets for socializing – are following the #1 rule to keeping their children safe from alcohol abuse.

Contributor: Lauren Bailey can be reached for comments at Lauren at blauren 99 @gmail.com.

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Do you need help, visit www.helpyourteens.com

Friday, September 21, 2012

Residential Treatment Centers - Therapeutic Boarding Schools

You have finally reached your wit's end.  It has come to a point where you have exhausted all your local resources.  The one on one therapy is no longer working, if it ever did.  The fact is, it is a fight to even get your teen to attend a session.  If you do get them to attend - how many times to they actually manipulate the therapist to actually believe there isn't an issue at all...... in some instances the blame can come right back to the parent!

Yes, manipulation of a teen is priceless.  They are the best at what they do.  However now is the time for the parent to be the best at what they are - a parent.

You decided it is time for residential therapy and you jump on the Internet and you start with Google by typing in key words.  Teen help, struggling teens, defiant teens, teen help programs, military schools, reform schools, troubled teens, rebellious teens, etc.

What you will find is a list of marketing arms that are very quick to "sell you a group of programs" rather than discuss what is best for your individual teenager.  I always caution parents to beware of these toll free numbers and marketing arms that you have no clue where you are calling and who is connected to what.

I once was at my wit's end - my story is what prompted me to created an organization to help educate parents about the big business of "teen help".  Take a few minutes to read - "A Parent's True Story" and you will realize that although you absolutely need to get your son or daughter help, you also need to take the time to do your research.

I have listed some "Do's and Don'ts" when searching -  these are some great helpful hints for parents.  This is such a major emotional and financial decision that I encourage to read through my website and learn as much as you can before making a decision.  I firmly believe in residential programs - I just also believe you need to select the right one for your child's needs.

Visit www.helpyourteens.com for more information.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Teens and Medicine Abuse

Today, roughly one out of three teenagers knows someone who has abused over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine to get high.

Studies show that abuse of prescription and OTC medicines is a problem among today’s teens. Teens might abuse OTC cough medicine because it is affordable and easily available, and teens may believe it is “less dangerous” than illegal drugs. Today, roughly one out of three teenagers knows someone who has abused OTC cough medicine to get high.

While millions of Americans rely on OTC cough medicines containing the cough suppressant ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM) for cough relief, some teens ignore labelling instructions and intentionally take large amounts of DXM – sometimes more than 25 times the recommended dose of these medicines – to get high. This means some teens ingest multiple packages or bottles of OTC cough medicines.
Learn the side effects  and warning signs  to make sure OTC cough medicine abuse does not go unnoticed in your home.


Learn more at StopMedicineAbuse.org and follow them on Twitter and join them on Facebook.



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Thursday, September 6, 2012

School is Open: My Teen is Already Out-of-Control

Yes, it is happening again.

We thought maybe a change of schools - maybe a new school year - maybe a fresh start - maybe a new maybe.....

Let's face it, as parents we hope and pray that our teenager will grow out of that defiant behavior.  This age of entitlement and spoiled rotten brat syndrome is getting worse by the day.

The only refreshing thing is to know you are not alone!  Though it doesn't make it easier.

One thing I can't stress enough is parents can't ignore the warning signs of a teen going down a negative road, especially if they are in their late teens.  Remember once they turn 18 they are no longer in your control - though they may still be living with you, you can't force them to get help.

If your teen is 16 or 17 years old (especially 17+) and they are spiraling out of control,  it is imperative you seek help for them.  So many times, unfortunately, the once a week therapy session rarely is enough to make a difference at this point.  Usually a teen has been through several therapist - and they won't even attend.

 Don't be a parent in denial - don't think it is only marijuana - or it is only because of the friends he/she is hanging with - remember your teen is making the decision to smoke the pot and hang out with those friends.  They are making these bad decisions.

Learn more about getting your teen back on a positive road.  Visit www.helpyourteens.com where we have helped thousands of families since 2001.  There is no shame in admitting your teen is struggling.  We have been there.  Getting help is what responsible parents do.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Teen Depression: Know the Warning Signs

High school can be hard for anyone; it doesn’t matter if your teen is the captain of the cheerleading squad or the chess club.

There are many factors into teens becoming depressed like lack of self-esteem, bullies, hormones or an unfortunate event.

Here are 5 signs that your teen may be depressed:

1.  Chooses to stay home: Teens typically spend their youth hanging out with friends, going to movies and the mall or over to a friend’s house. If your teen has been choosing to stay home and without friends, this could be a sign they aren’t happy. It’s normal for a teen to go through friendship changes but if you think it is something more, talk to your teen.
2.  Change in clothing and hygiene: This could go either way, if your teen stops taking care of their appearances or they drastically become obsessed with their appearance and hygiene these could be signs your teen is depressed. Teens often use clothing and makeup to express themselves and when they start to let themselves go, it’s because they don’t care about themselves. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your teen starts to overdue the makeup, hair and clothing –it’s not just a trend, it’s a sign they are feeling the need to present themselves in a dramatic fashion to gain attention from anyone.
3.  Extreme mood swings: Yes, hormones can be the reason for mood swings but not all of it. If you teen goes from being extremely happy and then straight to sad in a matter of moments, your teen could be depressed. Depressed teens do not how to express themselves and handle pain and when they are experiencing that pain, their reactions reflect so.
4.  Grades slipping: Grade slipping is the first and easiest sign to every teacher and parent that a teen may be having difficulty, such as depression. Depression can consume one’s mind to where studying becomes hard and concentration difficult, resulting in bad grades. This is why it is important to always check your child’s progress reports and to meeting with their teachers.
5.  Loss of friends: Teens will fight with friends but tend to get over their problems fast. Your child with gain and lose friends because it is just how life works, but if you notice that your child’s closest friends are not around, something could be wrong.

It is hard to tell if a teen is depressed or not because of the growing, learning and hormones but when in doubt, talk. Talk to you teen if you see any of these signs and consult a professional for help. Depression runs deep and could take time to heal. Talk and keep an eye on your teen and remember that this too shall pass.

Special contributor: Kelsey is the editor in chief for www.findananny.net/. She loves to write article and ideas that parents & nannies would be interested in hearing. She helps society on giving information about nannies through nanny services. She is a professional writer & loves writing on anything.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Teens Cheating in School

It’s no secret that students cheat. 

On exams, on papers, on projects: no matter the assignment, someone out there has figured out a way to cheat on it. And the statistics are alarming: two out of three college students admit they have cheated on homework, and 19% have cheated on exams, according to a recent study.

Whether it’s because of shifting morals or access to technology, it’s clear that cheating is as prevalent as ever. If you’re a teacher who wants to crack down on cheaters or a student who wants to take the easy way through school (shame on you!), these are the most common ways students around you are cheating.

1. Looking at someone else’s answers during an exam happens, but it’s much more common for students to copy a peer’s homework routinely. Many students don’t even see it as cheating. Not only is it unfair to the student who is actually doing the assignments and being taken advantage of, it hurts the person doing the copying as well. By copying homework, students don’t practice what they’ve learned and perform worse on exams. One study found that copying homework can cause a student to score two letter grades below those who completed their homework on an exam testing the material. Remember, practice makes perfect, and practicing cheating won’t help you in the long run.
2. Some cheaters are learning one thing: you get what you pay for. There is a world out there that honest students can’t even comprehend — the term paper market. Academic papers (and grades) are bought and sold like any other good. There are many different options for finding a term paper to turn in (besides the obvious, do-it-yourself option), some free, some a little pricey. Free term paper sites, like OPPapers.com and BigNerds.com, have a small selection and lower quality. Sites with papers for purchase, like AcademicTermPapers.com and PaperStore.net, sell term papers with a per-page price and actually earn students B’s frequently. And some wealthier students even hire someone to custom-write their essays. If you fall into any of these camps, you better cross your fingers that your professor doesn’t ask you any follow-up questions about what you’ve "written."
3. Smuggling a cheat sheet into a test is so common that you’d think teachers would’ve figured out how to spot it by now, but students keep getting more and more creative. If they would put as much time into studying as they do into imagining ways to cheat, they’d probably do just fine. Students have come up with ways to hide cheat sheets in their pen caps, wallets, ID badges, gum wrappers, Band-Aids, and basically anything you can think of. But if you’re trying this, you better be sly. It’s hard not to look suspicious when continuously checking that piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
4.Cellphones have made it much easier for students to cheat; instead of passing obvious paper notes during an exam, they can discreetly text a friend for answers. More than a third of teens with cellphones in 2009 admitted they had used them to either store information for a test or to text a friend during an exam. In the same 2009 study, researchers found that almost 25% of students didn’t even think that was cheating. Maybe if a teacher sent them a text message defining cheating it would get through to them.
5. The camera technology in cellphones has also presented a challenge to teachers and education officials. Even if a student isn’t using his cellphone to text the answers to a friend, he could easily snap a photo of the test questions and send it to a friend taking the test later or post it on the Internet. Earlier this year, California encountered this problem on a major scale regarding its high school exit exam. Hundreds of photos of the standardized test popped up on social networking sites; some were innocent, like students posing proudly with the exam booklet, while others were clearly taken for the purpose of cheating.
6. Writing papers isn’t everyone’s strong suit, but that’s not a good reason to copy and paste your writing from someone else's work. With the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find brilliant words that fit your assignment, and you can just use the handy copy-paste function to transfer paragraphs in seconds. But the Web also makes it easier for teachers to catch cheaters. A quick Google search of suspicious phrases can quickly locate sources you do not cite, and Turnitin.com has become a favorite for discovering how much of an assignment was plagiarized.
7. Some studies find that sorority and fraternity members cheat more than other American students. This could be a result of the easily accessible test banks many fraternities and sororities maintain. The organizations keep tests from certain classes and professors on file, and current members just add to the collection as they take updated tests, different courses, or new professors. This isn’t necessarily cheating if the professor knows that his test is being distributed and changes it every term, but many courses use the same test questions for years without knowing the answers are stored in a Greek system’s test bank.

Source: Online Degree Programs


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