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Showing posts from 2015

Cell phone safety and your teens

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One of my favorite parts of being a Parent Advocate is being asked to share great articles, tips and resources to help parents today.  When I was asked to share this one, I felt it would not only help parents of teenagers, but younger kids too.  11 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe on their Cell Phones Each new generation of parents face obstacles and menaces with which the previous generation never had to contend. The changing times have brought with them a new, more complicated world in which our children must learn to live, to thrive and, most importantly of all, to survive. Contemporary problems arrive without guidelines on the best way to teach our children to stay safe and protect themselves or precedents to guide us in teaching them. It is our job as parents to define the method and provide clear guidelines our children can follow and live with. But when you are in uncharted waters whose depths and dangers frighten you, how are you supposed to steer your children towards safety when …

Cyberbullying Prevention and Awareness Round-Up

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We have constantly said that although October is Bullying Prevention Month, we also consider it Cyberbullying Prevention Month, we have to continuously discuss awareness and educate our communities on curbing this type of cruelty - both offline and online 365 days a year.

The fact is bullying is no longer limited to our playgrounds, school hallways, bathrooms or even the cafeterias - these bullies follow your kids home electronically through their devices.

This is why it is imperative to continue to learn as much as you can about online abuse as well as offline.

This past October we had some great experts, advocates and educators that contributed to helping parents, students and others learn more.

I want to share some of my favorites here, as well as some that I have written for this month... there are many others, be sure to continue to share them on Twitter with me at @SueScheff or on Facebook.

How Empathy, Kindness and Compassion Can Build Belongingness and Reduce Bullying - Cyberbu…

Troubled Teens: Is It Time for a Therapeutic Boarding School?

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As I share with parents, deciding on sending your child to a therapeutic boarding school is a major decision not to be taken lightly.  It’s not about teaching your child a lesson, it’s not about punishing your teen or scaring them straight — residential therapy is a huge financial and emotional decision that is made after you have exhausted all your local resources. Residential therapy is a choice made out of love to give your child a second chance at a bright future. Usually a parent has reached their wit’s end; they have been to local therapy, some have even tried having their teen stay with a relative.  Some have been through extensive out-patient programs but it isn’t until you remove (residential therapy) the teen from their environment that they will be able to heal and gain an objective view on what is the root of the issues. In the majority of families that contact us, these are not bad kids, these are kids that come from good families – raised with morals and taught right fro…

Teen Drug Use: From Marijuana to Pills to Heroin

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Parents can be naive when it comes to their teen using marijuana today.  The fact is, it's not the marijuana from generations earlier.  Yes, it is legalized today and there are valid reasons for this, however there are still studies and reasons that the drug use for minors can potentially cause them harm.

More importantly, it can lead to different types of drug experimentation which are more risky and even potentially deadly.

 It's no different with pills.

Share this video with your friends and family.

How is marijuana likely to affect you?Learning: Marijuana’s effects on attention and memory make it difficult to learn something new or do complex tasks that require focus and concentration.  Sports: Marijuana affects timing, movement, and coordination, which can harm athletic performance. 
Judgment: Marijuana, like most abused substances, can alter judgment. This can lead to risky behaviors that can expose the user to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. 
Source: National Inst…

Teens and Dating: What They Need To Know

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It's a right of passage, going on their first date.  Are they ready? Are you?

One day, your little one is skipping down the sidewalk with her hair in pigtails and a firm grip on a teddy bear. The next, it seems like, she’s bouncing down the stairs on her way to greet her first date. Watching kids grow and mature, especially during the teenage years, can be a bittersweet experience. It can also be the harbinger of the most difficult period of your parenting career. Preparing your child for the world of adult interactions, romantic entanglements and independence isn’t always easy, especially when you’d much rather they stayed small forever. Just as you can’t keep a child from growing into an adult, neither can you stem the tide of romantic attraction and the desire to date. All you can do is hope that you’ve instilled the values that you set out to, and that you’ve adequately prepared your teenager for the complicated and sometimes painful world of dating.
The Friendship Code There a…

Teens and Drug Use: 10 Tips for Prevention and Awareness

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As we are in the summer months it can lead to more time for experimentation of substances.  Maybe your teen wants to fit in with a different peer group or maybe they have been using drugs and want to try new ones.

It is important for parents not to be in denial.  The best of kids can make bad decisions.  Think of your own childhood - we all learn from mistakes.  Sadly today drugs are much more dangerous and deadly than they were generations earlier.

10 Tips for Prevention and Awareness of Drug Use:

1.Communication is the key to prevention. Whenever an opportunity to talk about the risks of drinking and driving or the dangers of using drugs presents itself, take it and start a conversation. 2.Have a conversation not a confrontation. If you suspect your teen is using drugs, talk to her. Don't judge her; instead, talk to her about facts behind the dangers of substance abuse. If your teen isn't opening up to you, be sure you find an adolescent therapist who can help.  3. Addict in t…

Internet Safety and CyberParenting

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June is Internet Safety Month and cyber-parenting is another aspect of parenting that we have to consider when raising teens today.

As if parenting wasn't challenging enough, now we have the added fun of technology and the digital world.

The Web offers a plethora of fun and educational things for kids to do, plus all the social networking that is huge for tweens and teens. But along with that comes plenty of places for danger. Just as parents need to talk to their kids about safety in the everyday real world, they also must discuss safety precautions related to the Internet, and make sure their kids get it. What can parents do? How do they start the conversation? It is important to cover the dangers – all of them – in age-appropriate language to help kids understand the dangers of giving away information online. Talk, Talk, Talk The most important thing parents can do is talk to their kids, tweens, and teens. Make sure they know the dangers that are prevalent online, whether sexual…

Summer Jobs for Teenagers

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Is your teen ready for a summer job?

Let's face it, not every family can afford the luxury of summer camps.  Some teens, no matter what financial background they come from, want to earn their own money.  This is fantastic!

There are many great summer opportunities for teen's today.  Here are a few to consider:

1.  Babysitter
2.  Server
3.  Busser or Dishwasher
4.  Camp Counselor
5.  Tutor
6.  Movie Attendant
7.  Lifeguard (must get certified - contact your local Red Cross)
8.  Pet Sitter (dog walker)
9.  Retail Work
10. Internships (specifically in a field your teen is interested in)


Summer Programs For Struggling Teens

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It is the time of year when many parents will contact us and ask about summer programs. Depending on your teenager, sometimes a good summer program can be the answer you are looking for, but let’s talk about some things to consider. If your teen has been making these bad choices for a while, chances are good it will take longer than 6-9 weeks to undo this negative behavior.  Remember, first the program need to fit the root of them issues – then work through them and help your teen start to make the better choices. Many youths when they reach this point are usually failing or on the edge of failing in school.  Most summer programs, especially Wilderness, don’t offer a grade recovery program.  Finding a sound residential therapy or summer grade recovery program with emotional growth might be a better option.  There are exceptions if you are dealing with a teen that is an addict, has an eating disorder or a mental disorder that is more serious. Summer programs can be excellent if they ar…

Teens and Distracted Driving

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Proms, Memorial Day, Summer-Break.....

All of these mean more teen drivers on the roads.

Sure, our teens know they shouldn’t text and drive – and we have preached forever about drinking and driving – but are they listening? Most teenagers still believe accidents won’t happen to them – they are immune to bad things happening – they actually believe that looking at that that text for a second or worse, responding to one, won’t make a difference. It’s imperative that parents get the message across to them that not only is buzzed driving considered drunk driving, but only seconds of distraction is dangerous not only for them, but for others with them and those on the road. TALK TO YOUR TEENS FREQUENTLY about distracted driving. The conversation is not one time discussion.  It is an ongoing chat – a daily reminder of the importance of being aware and alert of others on the road as well as respecting your passengers safety and yourself. One of the most important things you can do for your te…

Good Teens Making Bad Choices: It's Not My Teen Syndrome

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Parent's Universal Resource Experts, Inc launched their new website today.  It still has several glitches - links not active, but overall it is up and running.  We hope you like it.  It has been years since it had a face-lift.

In addition to being mobile ready, we have added a 3-minute video.  Take time to learn more about us and how we have helped many families since 2001.  If you need help with an at-risk teen, please feel free to contact us at www.helpyourteens.com.


Teens, Fitness and Summer Camps

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As summer is approaching many parents are searching for places for their children to actively spend their time - especially if they are overweight.  The last thing you want is for them to be digitally connected all summer.

There are options.

Most families believe summer is a time when their kids will be outside and more active, participating in sports and other healthy activities. From speaking with tens of thousands of parents of overweight children, adolescents and young adults, Wellspring admissions counselors know that most families with overweight kids believe that summer is a time when their kids are likely to be more active and to lose weight.
Wouldn’t  it be helpful to study this? That’s what Dr. Paul von Hippel and colleagues from Ohio State University and Indiana University thought. So they put together a study of 5,380 children from 310 schools to determine which version of summer is more prevalent: Weight Loss: more daylight and warmer weather => more active; happier; le…

Is Your Teen A Cyberbully?

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Bullying has changed from the days of taking someone’s lunch money or giving them a swirly in the bathroom. Now, children are much more likely to engage in cyberbullying, or the use of electronic communication to bully a person. In fact, 20-30% of today’s children will be cyberbullied, and 10-20% of students will be cyberbullies.

However, it can be tricky for a parent to figure out if their child is experiencing cyberbullying; more than half of the children who experience cyberbullying do not tell their parents about it. And while around 55% of teens report having observed bullying behavior online, 95% report ignoring the behavior when it was observed.

There are a few tell-tale signs that can give clues that your child might be engaged in cyberbullying. For example long periods and odd hours of internet use, or changes in a child’s patterns of internet use, can signify cyberbullying. A child engaging in cyberbullying behavior might also become upset if their internet usage is confron…

Offline Parenting Can Help Your Teen Make Better Online Choices

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Did you know that spending 15 minutes a day listening and talking with your child can help build the foundation for a strong relationship? It can also provide support for your child to come to you with a problem, such as bullying or cyberbullying.
It's true - we live in a fast paced society.  Most families either have both parents that are working or have a single parent household, so it can be difficult to even find 15 minutes of quiet time (time without interruption of digital devices) to have face-to-face conversations.
This is why we often hear experts talk about side-by-side conversations - referring to chatting in the car.  Turn-off all gadgets, including the radio.  Chat on your way to their activities.  Talk to your child about their digital lives as frequently as you would ask how their day at school was.  
Read more from my Family Online Safety Institute article.

Teens Mind Your Keystrokes

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As PEW Research study said that 92% of teens are online daily in their recent report, it also said 24% of teens admitting they are on constantly.
It also gave us insight to their cell phone usage.  88% of teens now have or have access to smartphones or cell phones.  90% of them text on a regular basis with an average of 30 texts per day.
With all this digital life, offline parenting is keep to helping teens make better online choices.  
Recently Signe Whitson wrote an excellent piece in Huffington Post about how to help kids and teens use their smartphones safely and prevent cyberbullying.
She offered ten strategies from having rules to netiquette.  Which is about your child's digital citizenship.
In reality, we live in a society where a digital footprint can literally determine your future. Keystrokes and the way you use them matter.
Read the entire article here.


Drug Treatment Works: New Stats Prove It

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Have you been struggling to make a decision for treatment with your teenager?  It can be one of the most difficult ones a parent makes.  Especially since it doesn't seem natural to send a child to residential therapy - we give birth to a bubbly happy baby - only to find ourselves facing these stressful decisions.

Now, a new study is released on drug treatment programs.
If you are considering residential therapy for your teenager, visit www.helpyourteens.com.