Monday, April 27, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen Cliques

Source: TeensHealth

Your 10-year-old daughter comes home crying because the girls she's been friends with are suddenly leaving her out and spreading rumors about her. She's confused because it seemed to happen out of the blue. She doesn't know what she did wrong and is nervous about returning to school, unsure if she has any friends.

Given how prevalent cliques are throughout middle and high school, at some point your child is likely to face the prospect of being in one or being excluded from them. There's little you can do to shield kids from cliques, but plenty you can do to help them maintain confidence and self-respect while negotiating cliques and understanding what true friendship is all about.

What's a Clique?

Friendship is an important part of kids' development. Having friends helps them be independent beyond the family and prepares them for the mutual, trusting relationships we hope they'll establish as adults.

Groups of friends are different from cliques in some important ways. Friendships grow out of shared interests, sports, activities, classes, neighborhoods, or even family connections. In groups of friends, members are free to socialize and hang out with others outside the group without worrying about being cast out. They may not do everything together — and that's OK.

Cliques sometimes form around common interests, but the social dynamics are very different. Cliques are usually tightly controlled by leaders who decide who is "in" and who is "out." The kids in the clique do most things together. Someone who has a friend outside the clique may face rejection or ridicule.

Members of the clique usually follow the leader's rules, whether it's wearing particular clothes or doing certain activities. Cliques usually involve lots of rules — implied and clearly stated — and intense pressure to follow them. Kids in cliques often worry about whether they'll continue to be popular or whether they'll be dropped for doing or saying the wrong thing or for not dressing in a certain way. This can create a lot of pressure, particularly for girls, who might be driven to extreme dieting and eating disorders or even to ask for plastic surgery. Others may be pressured to take risks like steal, pull pranks, or bully other kids in order to stay in the clique.

Read more:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teens and Weapons in School

Source: TeensHealth

Why do kids bring guns, knives, or other weapons to school? Some are just showing off, others feel that they need a weapon to protect themselves, and some are actively looking to threaten or harm others. Whatever the reason, though, no one should be bringing a weapon to school.

If you suspect that someone has a weapon or is threatening someone else's life, the best thing to do is to speak up. But how can you do that? If you find out that someone at school has a weapon, here are some tips for handling the situation.

Seek safety. If you see someone with a weapon, walk the other way. Remove yourself from the situation as quickly and quietly as possible.

Report the situation. Notify an adult you trust immediately. Find someone you can talk to, such as a school counselor, principal, teacher, coach, or parent. These people should know how to handle the situation appropriately, and they can keep your name confidential. Tell them exactly what you saw, what type of weapon it was (a knife, a gun, etc.), where the incident happened, and who was involved. Tell them about the situation — such as whether the weapon was being shown off or used to threaten another student.

If you don't trust an adult or can't find someone you believe will protect your identity, make an anonymous phone call to your school office and report the incident. You can also call 911 and ask them to keep your identity confidential.

Write it down. Keep a written record of everything you can remember about the incident, including the people involved, the type of weapon, the date and time it happened, and where it happened. You should also record whether the incident was reported and, if so, to whom. Writing this information down while it's still fresh in your mind will help you remember details if you're asked about it later.

The Warning Signs of Violence
Violence can happen even when a kid doesn't have a weapon. It's important to remember that violence comes in many different forms. It can be physical, like pushing, punching, or fighting with someone. Violence can also be psychological and may include name-calling, harassment, taunting, and other forms of bullying. People who are more likely to become violent may show some of these warning signs:

cruelty to pets and other animals
talking about weapons and violence
fascination with violent video games, television, and movies
threatening or bullying others
isolation from family and friends
Of course, these signs don't necessarily mean that a person will become violent or bring a weapon to school. Still, you should take all signs and threats seriously, and share your concerns with a responsible adult early on. Speaking up about violence and weapons in school not only protects you, but your friends and classmates, too.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Stop Bullying

Kids today, both teens and pre-teens, can be extremely mean and cause emotional issues to their target. What can parents do? Read more about how you can help stop bullying.

What Can Adults Do?

Welcome to the Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop Bullying Now! adult pages. As an adult, one of best ways you can help stop or prevent bullying is to be educated about, and sensitive to, the issue. Bullying is NOT a rite of passage - an undesirable, but sometimes unavoidable, reality of growing up. Rather, bullying is a serious public health issue that affects countless young people everyday. Further, research shows that the effects of bullying can last well into adulthood. Whether you are a concerned parent, an educator or school employee, a health and safety professional, or someone else who works with children, there are many things you can do to help.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sue Scheff: Bullying Webinar - by

Bullying is part of your child’s life – find out how to reduce it in your neighborhood, at school, and online. and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) invite all parents to participate in a powerful and free web seminar that will reveal common myths surrounding bullying, the real facts, and actions parents can take to reduce bullying. The web seminar will be delivered by renowned bullying expert Dr. Shelly Hymel, PhD who will present a highly interactive session with plenty of time devoted to answering participants’ questions. Don’t miss this event – chances are your child is experiencing bullying. This is your chance to find out how you can help.

When: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM PST

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sue Scheff - Teen Help - Teen Intervention

Are you struggling with debating whether you need to look for outside help with your troubled teenager?

Are you ready to make some very difficult decisions? Are you at your wit's end?

Do you believe you need teen intervention from outside resources? Struggling financially and emotionally with this decision?

Are you willing to share your story on TV? This is not about exploiting your family, but helping others that are silently suffering and not realizing they are not alone as well as giving your teen a second opportunity at a bright future. Most remember Brat Camp - this is a bit different. Starting with educating parents about the first steps in getting your teen help - determination and transportation.

If you are interested in participating, read below and contact Bud and Evan directly.

Brentwood Communications International is an award-winning television production company in Los Angeles, California. We have recently begun work on a new television series about the real life work of interventionist / transporter Evan James Malmuth of Universal Intervention Services (“UIS”).

If you would be willing to allow us to film your case / intervention for the television series, Evan Malmuth and Universal Intervention Services will provide intervention / transportation services at no charge to you. In addition, we will negotiate at least one month of treatment services at a qualified treatment center at no charge with the purchase of at least two additional months of treatment at pre-negotiated discount rates. At the current rate of these services, this represents thousands of dollars in savings.

BCII and Evan Malmuth are not interested in making exploitative reality television. We are committed to helping you and your family and improving lives through the media.

If you are interested in participating in the show and using the services of Evan Malmuth and UIS, please contact us right away. Every day counts.


Phone: 818-333-3685

With best regards,

Bud Brutsman, CEO - Brentwood Communication Intl., Inc.

Evan James Malmuth, CEO - Universal Intervention Services

Brentwood Communications International, Inc.
3500 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sue Scheff - Teen Drug Prevention

D.A.R.E. - Drug Abuse Resistance Education has been known for many years and has helped been part of many schools in helping children learn the dangers of drug abuse. As a parent, take some time to review their newly updated information and website. It is important that parents and educators work together to help prevent drug use.

This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.

D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation’s school districts and in more than 43 countries around the world.

D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teen Gangs and Inhalants

As the new year has started, parents need to become more educated and informed about today's teens and the issues they face.

Many parents know about substance abuse, and teach our kids to say no to drugs - but do you know about Inhalants? Ordinary household items that can be lethal to teens looking for a quick and inexpensive high? More importantly, sometimes deadly high.

Parent learn more about Inhalant Abuse.

Here is a great "talking tips" page from The Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) - take the time to learn more today. You could save a child's life.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parenting Struggling Teens

It stems back to “children need to have their self-esteem built up to make good decisions.” Today most families are either single parent or both parents are working full time. This is not the fault of the teen, nor is it the fault of the parents. It is today’s world and we must try to find the middle. Troubled teens, rebellious teens, angry teens, problem teens, difficult teens, peer pressure, depressed teens; unfortunately are part of the society of adolescents today.Communication is always the first to go when people get busy. We have seen this over and over again. We have also experienced it and feel that our children shut us out; this can lead to difficult teens and teens with problems. Although we are tired and exhausted, along with the stress of today’s life, we need to stop and take a moment for our kids.

Talk and LISTEN to them. Ask lots of questions, get to know their friends and their friend’s parents, take part in their interests, be supportive if they are having a hard time, even if you can’t understand it; be there for them.This all sounds so easy and so simple, but take it from parents that have walked this path, it is not easy. When a parent works a full day, has stress from the job along with household chores, not to mention the bills, it is hard to find that moment. We are all guilty of neglect at one time or another after all, we are only human and can only do so much. We feel the exhaustion mounting watching our teens grow more out of control, yet we are too tired to address it.

Out of control teens can completely disrupt a family and cause marriages to break up as well as emotional breakdowns.We know many feel it is just a stage, and with some, it may be. However most times it does escalate to where we are today. Researching for help; Parents’ Universal Resource Experts is here for you, as we have been where you are today.

Do you have a difficult teen, struggling teen, defiant teen, out of control teen, rebellious teen, angry teen, depressed teen? Do you feel hopeless, at your wits end?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teen Truancy

Truancy is a term used to describe any intentional unauthorized absence from compulsory schooling. Children in America today lose over five million days of their education each year through truancy. Often times they do this without the knowledge of their parents or school officials. In common usage the term typically refers to absences caused by students of their own free will, and usually does not refer to legitimate "excused" absences, such as ones related to a medical condition. It may also refer to students who attend school but do not go to classes. Because of this confusion many schools have their own definitions, and as such the exact meaning of the term itself will differ from school to school and district to district. In order to avoid or diminish confusion, many schools explicitly define the term and their particular usage thereof in the school's handbook of policies and procedures.

In many instances truancy is the term referring to an absence associated with the most brazen student irresponsibility and results in the greatest consequences.Many educators view truancy as something much more far reaching than the immediate consequence that missed schooling has on a student's education. Truancy may indicate more deeply embedded problems with the student, the education they are receiving, or both. Because of its traditional association with juvenile delinquency, truancy in some schools may result in an ineligibility to graduate or to receive credit for class attended, until the time lost to truancy is made up through a combination of detention, fines, or summer school. This can be especially troubling for a child, as failing school can lead to social impairment if the child is held back, economic impact if the child drops out or cannot continue his or her education, and emotional impact as the cycle of failure diminishes the adolescent's self-esteem.
Learn more - click here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sue Scheff: Gay Harassment

“People would push me into lockers or trip me in the hallways or throw rocks at me inside the school or throw trash at me.”

– Josh, 15 years old

Fifteen-year-old Josh is gay. He’s so afraid of bullies that he’s asked us not to show his face or reveal his full name.

“People would push me into lockers or trip me in the hallways or throw rocks at me inside the school or throw trash at me,” he recalls.

Josh is not alone. According to a report from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), nine out of 10 gay teenagers are harassed at school.

Josh was and that’s why he decided to tell his parents the truth.

“I’m gay,” he told them. “I’m getting harassed. I’m very scared in school right now—please make it stop.”

Marnie Lynch, Josh’s mom, says, “I don’t know that I can even describe the pain that I felt.”

Josh’s parents felt hurt, angry and scared.

“What my worst fear was, is that yes, he could be brutally beaten or killed because of his sexual orientation,” Lynch says.

But experts say there are ways to prevent violence against gay and lesbian students.

“It’s very important that all youth who are being harassed let the (school) administration know about it somehow, whether it’s through their parents or going directly to the administrator, or telling a teacher about it,” says Steve Epstein, a counselor who works with gay teens.

Epstein says that Josh’s parents did the right thing. They demanded action from the school’s principal and soon afterwards, the bullying ended.

“You should be able to do and be whomever you want to be,” Josh says, “and not have to endure harassment and pain and struggles from other people.”

Tips for Parents

Sexual orientation in adolescents has previously been linked to increased rate of victimization. Previous studies have found that those students who identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual had a disproportionate risk for problem behaviors, including suicide and victimization. A study by Penn State found that risk is even greater when those kids feel rejected at school.

The recent survey showed that homosexual adolescents were nearly twice as likely as straight adolescents to report a history of violent attacks and witnessing violence. In addition, gay and lesbian youth were reported to be 2.5 times more likely to report that they had taken part in violence themselves. Bisexual adolescents reported no increased levels of perpetrating violence, but were more likely than heterosexual adolescents to report witnessing violence or being victimized.

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) cautions parents that “gay and lesbian teens can become depressed, socially isolated, withdrawn from activities and friends, have trouble concentrating, and develop low self-esteem. They may also develop depression.” It is important for parents of gay and lesbian teens to understand their teen’s sexual orientation and provide support. The AACAP encourages parents and family members to seek understanding and support from organizations such as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

The American Psychological Association provides these tips for teens who fear they may be a target of violence:

Above all, be safe. Don’t spend time alone with people who show warning signs of violence, such as those with a history of frequent physical fights, and those who have announced threats or plans for hurting others.
Tell someone you trust and respect about your concerns and ask for help ( a family member, guidance counselor, teacher, school physiologist, coach, clergy, or friend).
Get someone to protect you. Do not resort to violence or use a weapon to protect yourself.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Penn State University

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sue Scheff - Teen Runaways

Teen Runaways are on the increase. Many teens think that the grass is greener on the other side.

They are confused and following the crowd of peers making poor choices. Teens want to escape the “rules of a household” and we as parents, become their number one enemy. They feel that they are fearless and can prove they can survive without their parents and our rules. Rules are put in place for a reason; we love our children and want them to grow up with dignity and respect we try to instill in them. Their flight plan, in some ways, is a cry for attention. Many times runaways are back home shortly, however there are other situations that can be more serious. This is not to say any child that runs away is not serious, but when this becomes a habit and is their way of rebelling, a parent needs to intervene.

So many times we hear how “their friend’s parents” allow a much later curfew or are more lenient, and you are the worst parents in the world. This is very common and the parent feels helpless, hopeless and alone. It is all part of the manipulation the teens put us through. With their unappreciative thoughts of us, they will turn to this destructive behavior, which, at times, results in them leaving the home.

Some teens go to a friend’s house or relative they believe they can trust and make up stories about their home life. This is very common, a parent has to suffer the pain and humiliation that it causes to compound it with the need to get your child help that they need. If you fear your child is at risk of running, the lines of communication have to be open. We understand this can be difficult, however if possible needs to be approached in a positive manner. Teen help starts with communication.

If you feel this has escalated to where you cannot control them, it may be time for placement and possibly having your child escorted. Please know that the escorts (transports) are all licensed and very well trained in removing children from their home into safe programs. These escorts are also trained counselors that will talk to your child all the way, and your child will end his/her trip with a new friend and a better understanding of why their parents had to resort to this measure.

Helpful Hint if you child has runaway and you are using all your local resources – offer a cash reward to their friends privately, of course promising their anonymity and hopefully someone will know your child’s whereabouts.

Having a teen runaway is very frightening and it can bring you to your wits end. Try to remain positive and hopeful and do all you can to help understand why your child is acting out this way. These are times when parents need to seek help for themselves. Don’t be ashamed to reach out to others. We are all about parents helping parents.

Visit my Teen Runaway Website and for more information.