Tuesday, May 29, 2012

River View in Utah - Think Before You Accept

Utah River View in La Verkin


River View


River View Academy

Not exactly sure?  Neither was a parent when she called me after surfing the Internet and coming across a marking arm that attempted to tell her that her son was a perfect fit for this program.

As a parent advocate for over a decade, I have certainly heard and visited many schools and programs in our country and this one really confused me.  Why? Well - La Verkin, Utah is very small and the home of Cross Creek which is part of the organization that harmed my own daughter years ago and defrauded me.

They are also part of many allegations of abuse, fraud and currently involved in yet another lawsuit

Are you looking for residential therapy for your at-risk teen?  I commend you for being proactive - don't give up your search.  There are actually more good programs than there are not so good.  However it is imperative you do your research and dig deep.

Know the questions to ask.  Know the warning signs and red flags.

Being an educated parent helps you to make an educated decision. Isn't your teen worth these extra steps?  This is a major emotional and financial decision!  Take your time and do your research. You won't regret it.




Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teens Smoking Cigarettes

Teens smoking cigarettes is not want parents like, however unfortunately with peer pressure, sometimes our kids feel the need to fit in.

Most know that smoking is bad for you, yet as with kids, they don't worry about the consequences.


Kids can get pretty creative when it comes to hiding their bad habits from parents and most parents assume that their child would never do anything like take drugs, drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. In all cases there are certain signs to watch for that let you know if your child is indulging in any of these risky behaviors, no matter how crafty they may be at trying to hide them.

Here are some signs to watch for if you think your child may be smoking.
  1. More use of breath mints or chewing gum – Has your child suddenly felt it necessary to always chew gum or have breath mints? If so, there is a chance that they might be trying to cover up the bad breath that smoking causes.
  2. The dirty ashtray smell – Chances are if you confront your child about smelling like a dirty ash tray, their first response will be to blame it on the friends they hang around. This may or may not be true. If their clothes and possessions constantly and regularly smell like smoke, then there is a pretty good chance they are smoking.
  3. Yellowing teeth – Smoking causes the teeth to yellow from all of the chemicals they’re exposed to, so if your child’s teeth are beginning to turn a shade of yellow then you may have a problem on your hands.
  4. Shortness of breath – Smoking does affect the lungs and decreases lung capacity, so if your child is beginning to get easily winded it may be time to sit down and have a talk with them.
  5. Bad breath – If your child has really bad breath that reeks of smoke, it’s definitely time for you to have a heart to heart conversation about smoking and all of its negative side effects.
  6. Poor performance in athletics – If you see your once active child suddenly begin to decline in athletic performance this could be a sign that tobacco use is to be blamed.
  7. Yellowed fingers – Nicotine from cigarettes can cause yellowish staining of the fingers that commonly hold the cigarettes. If you’ve already had a suspicion you’ll want to watch for those telltale stains.
  8. Unexplained coughing – Children can cough due to colds and allergies but if your child is coughing and there is not a cause of which you are aware, you may want to ask some questions.
  9. Their space becomes off limits for you – As kids get older they want their privacy and their space becomes sacred to them. This is natural, but only within reason. If their room becomes completely off limits to you, look into the reason why. Does the room smell like smoke? Are they constantly burning incense?
  10. Overuse of perfume or cologne – Attempting to hide the smell of smoke on their clothes by using extra perfume or cologne is another possible sign that your child could be using cigarettes.
While none of these signs alone are necessarily cause for concern two or more together may warrant a closer look. If you find that you do need to talk to your child, do your best to stay calm and keep the lines of communication open.

Now is not the time to lecture or sermonize. Find out what the appeal to smoking is and remind your child about the costs both financially and to their health. Having an open and honest conversation will show your child that you are genuinely concerned about their well-being and hopefully will cause them to rethink developing this unhealthy habit.

Source:  Summer Nanny

Tobacco Free Florida Quitline is a tremendous resource and hotline for both parents and teens to help you and your child kick this habit.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Teen Drug Use: Do You Suspect Your Teen is Using Drugs?



Parenting teens in today's society is not an easy task.  Communication with your teenager is key to their success on many levels, however as a mother that raised two teenager, I know it is easier said than done.  Drug and alcohol use among teens is an issue parents need to be aware of.   There are many good kids making some very bad choices.  

A common misconception parents make is thinking that a teen that is only smoking marijuana is a phase.  Marijuana and the substitutes for it, such as spice, are more risky and dangerous than years/generations prior.  They can be laced with higher levels of PCP than can literally alter the mind of your teen as well as cause brain damage. 

Drug use (substance abuse) is a serious cry for help, and making your teen feel ashamed or embarrassed can make the problem worse. Some common behavior changes you may notice if your teenager is abusing drugs and alcohol are:
  • Violent outbursts, rage, 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, disengaged from the family
  • Reckless behavior
Do you have a teen that you suspect is using drugs?  Is therapy not working?  Have you exhausted all your local resources?  Take the time to learn about residential therapy,  visit www.HelpYourTeens.com.   

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.

Please remember, it is not your marijuana from your college or teens days.  

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teen Help Programs and The Internet Search

You have finally reached your wit's end with your teenager.

You have exhausted all your local resources, your nerves are fried, you have removed all their privileges and nothing is making a difference - you are literally a hostage to your own child!

What now?

It is time for outside help... but you get online and realize first the sticker shock.... (price of programs and schools) then you see all these horror stories - EXACTLY WHO SHOULD YOU BELIEVE?

Your gut!

Years ago I was in your exact spot - and I didn't listen my gut, and the results were not good, however it had a purpose.  The reason was to be a part of helping parents not make the mistakes I did.

When you get online you will see many toll free numbers going to places unknown.  Usually sales reps that will more than happily give you a list of programs that they believe will be perfect for your child - but how do they know?

Point is - you don't want a sales rep - you don't want a marketing arm, you want an owner, a director or someone that will be vested in your child's recovery and healing process.  Someone that will be held accountable - their reputation will be reflected upon your child's success.

I created an organization that helps educate parents to better understand the big business of residential therapy.  There are questions parents need to ask, that many don't think about while they are desperate for help such as when will they be able to speak with their child or visit their child. 

I encourage you to visit www.helpyourteens.com and find out more about residential therapy - especially if you are considering the next step.  Don't wait for a crisis to happen.  Be prepared.


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