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.

References
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Pediatrics
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 www.helpyourteens.com for more information.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

TEEN PEER PRESSURE - SOS


I was just recommended this dynamic book by Dr. Lisa Medoff and can’t wait to read it! As a Parent Advocate, this can be one of the most trying times for parents as school is opening. Today with issues surrounding social networking, compounded with peer pressure - “Stressed Out Students” are at risk of making not so good choices.

Here is the recent Press Release about “SOS” - which can be purchased on Amazon today!

SOS: STRESSED OUT STUDENT’S

GUIDE TO HANDLING PEER PRESSURE



Lisa Medoff, PhD



In a society overloaded with media that glamorizes sex, drinking, and drugs, and where any outrageous, dangerous, humiliating thing a person does can be caught on a cell phone and posted on the internet for all to see, teens are feeling forced to succumb to peer pressure like never before. As peers become the pseudo “paparazzi,” teens need somewhere to turn for answers that give them the strength to reject the constant pressure to “fit in.”



Now Kaplan - widely respected for helping millions of students prepare for every aspect of academic life - steps outside the classroom to guide teens, parents, and educators on the ever-increasing pressure-cooker of adolescence. Its SOS: Stressed Out Student’s Guide series offers realistic advice written by students, for students, on the topics of most concern to today’s teens. Every book in the motivational series also features advice from Education.com columnist, educator, and psychologist Lisa Medoff, PhD, who works with troubled teens and teachers in high-risk school districts.



SOS: STRESSED OUT STUDENT’S GUIDE TO HANDLING PEER PRESSURE (Kaplan Publishing; September, 2008) hones in on and tackles the scourge of peer pressure and its effects on teenagers. As Dr. Medoff assures readers, “This book will help teens sort out the different influences that peer pressure is having on them. It will show them how peer pressure can manipulate them into making some very bad, life altering decisions about drugs, sex, cheating, stealing, and being cruel to others. They’ll learn to trust themselves and be proud of who they are.”



Featuring frank, realistic language plus an engaging, highly illustrated layout, SOS: STRESSED OUT STUDENT’S GUIDE TO HANDLING PEER PRESSURE is designed to appeal to the modern teenager’s eye, attention span, and need for quick gratification. It is also an imperative handbook for adults who want to understand and open the lines of communication with the adolescents in their lives.



Without preaching, each of the ten easy to read chapters in SOS: STRESSED OUT STUDENT’S GUIDE TO HANDLING PEER PRESSURE is packed with explanations, scenarios, stats, and fascinating facts such as:



· 1 in 4 sexually active teens becomes infected with an STD each year.

· Nationally, 6 out of 10 girls who had sex before the age of 15 report that it was involuntary.

· Teens and juveniles make up 25% of all shoplifters, though not all steal because they want something. Many teens shoplift compulsively because of stress, anxiety, psychological problems, or abuse.

· Teens with a history of habitually ditching school are also found to be at greater risk for involvement with gangs, drugs, alcohol, or violence.



Along with SOS: Stressed Out Student’s Guide to Saying No to Cheating and SOS: Stressed Out Student’s Guide to Dealing With Tests, SOS: STRESS OUT STUDENT’S GUIDE TO HANDLING PEER PRESSURE is one of the exciting books in Kaplan’s new series SOS: Stressed Out Student’s Guides.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Lisa Medoff, PhD holds a B.A. in psychology, a Masters degree in school counseling and a PhD in child and adolescent development. She has taught courses at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University and DeAnza College. She has worked with all types of children including students with special needs, ADHD, learning disabilities, depression, and anxiety. Lisa Medoff, understands the needs and mind-set of modern teenagers, and has mastered the difficult task of appropriately reaching out to them at their tumultuous life stage.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Better Child.org and Peer Pressure


Standing up to peer pressure is one of the greatest challenges that children face. Many are unable to stand up to the challenge and are led into participating in risky or even illegal activities. Help your child deal with peer pressures by doing the following:


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Teen Peer Pressure - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff


Peer Pressure leads to “Good Teens Making Bad Choices” which is very common today.


Teen Peer Pressure can be extremely damaging to a pre-teen or teen that is desperately trying to fit in somewhere – anywhere in their school. They are not sure what group they belong in, and those that are suffering with low self esteem can end up fitting more comfortably with the less than desirable peers. This can be the beginning of a downward spiral. When a child doesn’t have confidence of who they are or where they belong, it can lead to the place that is easiest to fit in – usually the not the best crowd.


Keeping your child involved in activities such as sports, music and school clubs can help give them a place where they belong. We always encourage parents to find the one thing that truly interests their child, whether it is a musical instrument, swimming, golf, diving, dance, chess club, drama, etc. It is important to find out what their interests are and help them build on it. Encourage them 100%. They don’t need to be the next Tiger Woods, but they need to enjoy what they are doing and keep busy doing it. Staying busy in a constructive way is always beneficial.


It is very common with many parents that contact us that their child has fallen into the wrong crowd and has become a follower rather than a leader. They are making bad choices, choices they know better however the fear of not fitting in with their friends sways them to make the wrong decisions. Low self esteem can attribute to this behavior, and if it has escalated to a point of dangerous situations such as legal issues, substance use, gang related activity, etc. it may be time to seek outside help. Remember, don’t be ashamed of this, it is very common today and you are not alone. So many parents believe others will think it is a reflection of their parenting skills, however with today’s society; the teen peer pressure is stronger than it ever has been. The Internet explosion combined with many teens Entitlement Issues has made today’s generation a difficult one to understand.


It is so important to find the right fit for your child if you are seeking residential treatment. We always encourage *local adolescent counseling prior to any Residential Treatment Programs or Boarding schools, however this is not always necessary. Many parents have an instinct when their child is heading the wrong direction. It is an intuition only a parent can detect. If something doesn’t seem right, it usually isn’t. If your gut is talking to you, you may want to listen or investigate what your child is doing. Parents need to understand that teen peer pressure can influence adolescents in negative ways. Do you know who your child’s friends are?


Visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/ for more information.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Parents, learn more about Inhalant Abuse


Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of common products found in homes and communities with the purpose of "getting high." Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. Inhalant Abuse is a lesser recognized form of substance abuse, but it is no less dangerous. Inhalants are addictive and are considered to be "gateway" drugs because children often progress from inhalants to illegal drug and alcohol abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.

Inhalation is referred to as huffing, sniffing, dusting or bagging and generally occurs through the nose or mouth. Huffing is when a chemically soaked rag is held to the face or stuffed in the mouth and the substance is inhaled. Sniffing can be done directly from containers, plastic bags, clothing or rags saturated with a substance or from the product directly. With Bagging, substances are sprayed or deposited into a plastic or paper bag and the vapors are inhaled. This method can result in suffocation because a bag is placed over the individual's head, cutting off the supply of oxygen.

Other methods used include placing inhalants on sleeves, collars, or other items of clothing that are sniffed over a period of time. Fumes are discharged into soda cans and inhaled from the can or balloons are filled with nitrous oxide and the vapors are inhaled. Heating volatile substances and inhaling the vapors emitted is another form of inhalation. All of these methods are potentially harmful or deadly. Experts estimate that there are several hundred deaths each year from Inhalant Abuse, although under-reporting is still a problem.

What Products Can be Abused?

There are more than a 1,400 products which are potentially dangerous when inhaled, such as typewriter correction fluid, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, propane, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, and glue. Most are common products that can be found in the home, garage, office, school or as close as the local convenience store. The best advice for consumers is to read the labels before using a product to ensure the proper method is observed. It is also recommended that parents discuss the product labels with their children at age-appropriate times. The following list represents categories of products that are commonly abused.
Visit www.inhalant.org for more information.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Teen Cults and Gangs by Sue Scheff

Teen cults claim many victims each year

Every year thousands of teens across the country become ensnared in the dangerous and misunderstood world of cults. These hazardous entities prey on the uncertainty and alienation that many teens feel and use those feelings to attract unsuspecting teens into their cult traps. As a figurehead in the world of parent teen relations, Sue Scheff™ knows the danger of cults and teenagers’ susceptibility to their temptations. Sue Scheff™ believes that like many other teen\ ailments, the best defense against the world of cults is through education.

No teen actually joins a cult, they join a religious movement or a political organization that reaches out to the feelings of angst or isolation that many troubled teen’s experience. Over time, this group gradually reveals its true cultish nature, and before teens know it, they are trapped in a web they can’t untangle.

With the strong rise in teen internet usage, cults have many ways to contact children and brainwash them. Sue Scheff™ knows the dark side of the internet from her experience with teenage internet addiction, and she understands it is also an avenue for cults to infiltrate teenage brains.

Cults have long been represented in the mass media. The supporters of Reverend Jim Jones People’s Temple may be some of the most famous cult members, making global headlines when they died in the hundreds after drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. Almost 300 of the dead Jones supporters were teens and young children. Heavens Gate is another well known cult, which believed ritual suicide would ensure their journey behind the Hale-Bopp comet with Jesus. Heavens Gate lived in a strict communal environment, funding their cult endeavors through web site development. Some male members of the cult even castrated themselves before all 36 committed suicide, wearing matching sweat suits and Nike tennis shoes.
It is clear that despite the ridiculous and bizarre nature of many cults, parents can’t ignore the power and resourcefulness of these groups. Cult ideas may seem to loony to take seriously, but they can have real power when used against troubled teenagers, the exact type of teens that Sue Scheff™ and other parent advocates have been working to keep safe.

Cult influence should not be taken lightly, especially when living with a troubled teen. Parents may not think of cults as a problem because they don’t hear about them a lot, but that’s the key to cult success. The livelihood of teen cults relies on staying out of the public eye and in the shadows. The Heaven’s Gate and People’s Temple cults didn’t truly gain public notice until after their suicides, and by then it was too late to save their followers.

The danger of teen cults is real, but parents can help ensure their teenagers’ safety by staying informed and communicating with their children. Sue Scheff™ presents a site with important information about different types of cults that target teens, warning signs of cult attendance, and ways to help prevent your teen from becoming involved in a cult. Knowledge and communication is always the first line of defense when helping a troubled teen.

Visit www.helpyourteens.com for more help and information.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Teen Gangs - Learn More

Gang activity in the United States is not always the way that the media portrays it. Gang violence is not restricted to inner city settings, nor is it simply the activity of minority groups. There are gangs in cities, suburbs, and even small town America and the violence that many of these gangs encourage and participate in is costing far too many lives.

Most gangs are a loosely organized group of individuals who control a territory. A significant portion of gang violence stems from fighting over territory, which may be used to distribute drugs. Additionally, gangs tend to denote members through a sign or color. Two of the most well known gangs in the United States are the Bloods and the Crips which use the colors red and blue respectively.

Gangs often prey on the teenagers who wish to fit in. Being part of a gang can provide teenagers sought after friends and popularity. By joining a gang, teens have a social network already established for them with friends who are literally ready to die for them. This infrastructure can fill a void in a young person's life quickly and easily; however, it is in a negative way. The teenage years are a formative and difficult time for many people and joining a gang is a simple way to feel liked and popular. This is especially appealing for individuals with low self confidence or who feel as if they do not fit in. In dangerous neighborhoods, joining a gang can actually provide protection from other gangs, which is attractive for many people.

Since the 1970's, gang activity has spiraled out of control. Prior to the 70's, fewer than half of the states were plagued by gang activity, but now there is not a single state that does not have to deal with youth gang activity. Violence and gang activity peaked in 1996, but has decreased overall since then. However, activity continues to increase in less urban settings and violence is continuing to become more lethal. Many people believe this is due to gangs' involvement in the increasingly lucrative drug trafficking market. This is not the case. The increase in violence seems to be stem from the availability and easy access of lethal weapons. Additionally, cars have become a more common accessory in attacks on rival gangs.

I am Sue Scheff™, and my organization Parents Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.™) seeks to protect America's teens. Keeping your troubled teen safe and on the right path in life can be an incredibly difficult task, but you are not the only one facing these problems, nor are you without resources. We as parents must work together to support one another and provide assistance and advice to educate and support one another through the difficult times. At P.U.R.E.™ you will find resources, including other parents who have faced the same trouble as you, which will alleviate the difficulties of raising a teenager.

If you are worried that your son or daughter has already or is likely to become involved with a gang, do not wait to seek help. We have compiled an abundance of useful resources on youth gang activity.

If the safety and well being of your teenager is at risk, do not hesitate to seek our support or professional help. Visit our website, Help Your Teens. The consultation service is free and any parent seeking help will be accommodated. You are not alone!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Virtual Relationships

Source: www.onteenstoday.com

This is a post by one of our teen writers: Nate is a 16 year-old living in Los Angeles, CA and he writes his own awesome blog at Naterocks.com.

There is a new trend rising up from the scary underworld of technology. What has long been reserved for the supreme losers of the nerd world and is now gaining more and more acceptance in the “real” world. What is this scary trend? It is something called a Virtual Relationship. A virtual relationship can be just like one in real life; the two people call each other their girlfriend or boyfriend, they can talk to each other and see each other, however there is one major catch, they have never met in person. A virtual relationship is taking the saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” to the extreme.

This trend exists in the “grownup” too, but in the teen world it has become an acceptable form of dating. What is often misunderstood about virtual relationships is that the emotions evolved with one can be very similar or even completely identical to ones that take place in the “real” world. While there are many articles written about how it is not a normal relationship, many psychologists who have done research in the area claim that the relationships and friendships are indeed real.

Another reason that virtual relationships are ridiculed by many adults is that the people in the relationship could be lying to each other and one of them could be a predator. However with the introduction of social networking sites like Facebook, doing so has become harder. Additionally, a virtual relationship may be safer than one in the “real” world because the parties involved do not often plan on meeting and there is no chance of getting mono or an STD in a virtual relationship

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

STOP BULLYING NOW!


So you're being bullied, huh? That can feel pretty awful. But, no matter how bad it makes you feel sometimes, you should know you're not alone. That's right ... there are plenty of kids all over the world who go through the same things you do every day. And, even though you may feel helpless sometimes, there are a lot of things you and others can do to help stop the bullying. Give these tips a try.

Always tell an adult. It's hard to talk about serious things with adults sometimes, but they can help put a stop to bullying. Tell an adult that you trust and can talk to—your parents, your teacher, your school counselor, your coach, your neighbor. If you've told a grown-up before and they haven't done anything about it, tell someone else. And if you're afraid to tell an adult that you have been bullied, get another person—like a friend or a sister or brother—to go with you. Having someone else there to support you can make it a lot less scary. Tell the adults exactly what has happened—who did the bullying, where and when it happened, how long it's been happening to you, and how it's making you feel. If you talk with an adult at your school, ask them what they will do to help stop the bullying. It is their job to help keep you safe. Most adults really care about bullying and will do everything they can to help you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Defining Gateway Drugs


Kids today have much more societal pressure put upon them than their parents generation did, and the widespread availability of drugs like methamphetamines and the "huffing" trend (which uses common household chemicals as drugs) can turn recreational use of a relatively harmless gateway drug into a severe or fatal addiction without warning.

The danger of gateway drugs increases in combination with many prescription medications taken by teens today. These dangerous side effects may not be addressed by your child's pediatrician if your child is legally too young to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. Drugs like Ritalin, Prozac, Adderrall, Strattera, Zoloft and Concerta can be very dangerous when mixed with recreational drugs and alcohol. Combining some prescription medications with other drugs can often negate the prescription drug's effectiveness, or severely increase the side effects of the drug being abused. For example, a 2004 study by Stanford University found that the active chemical in marijuana, THC, frequently acted as a mental depressant as well as a physical depressant. If your child is currently on an anti-depressant medication like Prozac or Zoloft, marijuana use can counterbalance their antidepressant effects.

Other prescription anti depressants and anti psychotics can also become severely dangerous when mixed with alcohol. This is why is imperative that you as a parent must familiarize yourself with any prescription medications your child is taking and educate your child of the dangers of mixing their prescription drugs with other harmful drugs- even if you don't believe your child abuses drugs or alcohol.

Marijuana - Why It is More Dangerous Than You Think
Parents who smoked marijuana as teenagers may see their child's drug use as a harmless rite of passage, but with so many new and dangerous designer drugs making their way into communities across the country, the potential for marijuana to become a gateway to more dangerous drugs for your child should not be taken lightly.

Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug by both teens and adults. The drug is more commonly smoked, but can also be added to baked goods like cookies or brownies. Marijuana which is ingested orally can be far more potent than marijuana that is smoked, but like smoking tobacco, smoking marijuana can cause lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and other chronic conditions of the lungs. Just because it is "all natural" does not make it any safer for your lungs.

Marijuana is also a depressant. This means the drug slows down the body's functions and the messages the body sends to the brain. This is why many people who are under the influence of marijuana (or "stoned") they are often sluggish or unmotivated.

Marijuana can also have psychological side effects, both temporary and permanent. Some common psychological side effects of marijuana are paranoia, confusion, restlessness, hallucinations, panic, anxiety, detachment from reality, and nausea. While these symptoms alone do not sound all that harmful, put in the wrong situation, a teen experiencing any of these feelings may act irrationally or dangerously and can potentially harm themselves or others. In more severe cases, patients who abuse marijuana can develop severe long-term mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

Tobacco - Just Because It Is Legal Doesn't Mean It Is Safe
While cigarettes and tobacco are considered "legal", they are not legal for teens to posses or smoke until they are 18. Still, no matter the age of your child, smoking is a habit you should encourage them to avoid, whether they can smoke legally or not.

One of the main problems with cigarettes is their addictive properties. Chemicals like nicotine are added to tobacco to keep the smoker's body craving more, thus insuring customer loyalty. This is extremely dangerous to the smoker, however, as smoking has repeatedly proven to cause a host of ailments, including lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or bronchial infection, asthma and mouth cancer- just to name a few.

In addition to nicotine, cigarettes contain over 4000 other chemicals, including formaldehyde (a poisonous compound used in some nail polishes and to preserve corpses), acetone (used in nail polish remover to dissolve paint) carbon monoxide (responsible for between 5000 to 6000 deaths annually in its "pure" form), arsenic (found in rat poison), tar (found on paved highways and roads), and hydrogen cyanide (used to kill prisoners sentenced to death in "gas chambers").

Cigarettes can also prematurely age you, causing wrinkles and dull skin, and can severely decay and stain teeth.

A new trend in cigarette smoke among young people are "bidi's", Indian cigarettes that are flavored to taste like chocolate, strawberry, mango and other sweets. Bidi's are extremely popular with teens as young as 12 and 13. Their sweet flavors and packaging may lead parents to believe that they aren't "real" cigarettes or as dangerous as brand-name cigarettes, but in many cases bidi's can be worse than brand name cigarettes, because teens become so enamored with the flavor they ingest more smoke than they might with a name brand cigarette.

Another tobacco trend is "hookah's" or hookah bars. A hookah is an ornate silver or glass water pipe with a fabric hoses or hoses used to ingest smoke. Hookahs are popular because many smokers can share one hookah at the same time. However, despite this indirect method of ingesting tobacco smoke through a hose, hookah smoking is just as dangerous as cigarette smoke.

The Sobering Effects of Alcohol on Your Teen
Alcohol is another substance many parents don't think they need to worry about. Many believe that because they don't have alcohol at home or kept their alcohol locked up, their teens have no access to it, and stores or bars will not sell to minors. Unfortunately, this is not true. A recent study showed that approximately two-thirds of all teens who admitted to drinking alcohol said they were able to purchase alcohol themselves. Teens can also get alcohol from friends with parents who do not keep alcohol locked up or who may even provide alcohol to their children.

Alcohol is a substance that many parents also may feel conflicted about. Because purchasing and consuming alcohol is legal for most parents, some parents may not deem it harmful. Some parents believe that allowing their teen to drink while supervised by an adult is a safer alternative than "forcing" their teen to obtain alcohol illegally and drinking it unsupervised. In theory, this does sound logical, but even under adult supervision alcohol consumption is extremely dangerous for growing teens. Dr. John Nelson of the American Medical Association recently testified that even light alcohol consumption in late childhood and adolescence can cause permanent brain damage in teens. Alcohol use in teens is also linked with increased depression, ADD, reduced memory and poor academic performance.

In combination with some common anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, the effects of just one 4 oz glass of wine can be akin to that of multiple glasses, causing the user to become intoxicated much faster than someone not on anti depressants. Furthermore, because of the depressant nature of alcohol, alcohol consumption by patients treated with anti-depressants can actually counteract the anti-depressant effect and cause the patient sudden overwhelming depression while the alcohol is in their bloodstream. This low can continue to plague the patient long after the alcohol has left their system.

Because there are so many different types of alcoholic beverage with varying alcohol concentration, it is often difficult for even of-age drinkers to gauge how much is "too much". For an inexperienced teen, the consequences can be deadly. Binge drinking has made headlines recently due to cases of alcohol poisoning leading to the death of several college students across the nation. But binge drinking isn't restricted to college students. Recent studies have shown teens as young as 13 have begun binge drinking, which can cause both irreparable brain and liver damage.

It is a fact that most teenage deaths are associated with alcohol, and approximately 6000 teens die each year in alcohol related automobile accidents. Indirectly, alcohol consumption can severely alter teens' judgment, leaving them vulnerable to try riskier behaviors like reckless stunts, drugs, or violent behavior. Alcohol and other drugs also slow response time, leaving teenage girls especially in danger of sexual assault. The temporary feeling of being uninhibited can also have damaging future consequences. With the popularity of internet sites like MySpace and Facebook, teens around the country are finding embarrassing and indecent photos of themselves surfacing online. Many of these pictures were taken while the subjects were just joking around, but some were taken while the subjects were drunk or under the influence of drugs. These photos are often incredibly difficult to remove, and can have life altering consequences. Many employers and colleges are now checking networking sites for any reference to potential employees and students, and using them as a basis to accept or decline applicants!
www.helpyourteens.com

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Teens - National Crime Prevention Council


Growing up in the 21st century provides young people with amazing opportunities. We have access to incredible technology that allows us to communicate instantaneously through email and cell phones. We are the healthiest, best-educated generation in history. We volunteer at an even higher rate than adults do. The level of crime that we face is lower than it has been in 30 years. However, crime rates are still too high. The good news is that there are real things we can do about the problems that plague our communities.


Community Works offers us a way to do something about crime and violence. When we participate in the Community Works curriculum, we can work with our friends, other young people, and adult leaders to learn the facts about crime and violence, how we can help prevent crimes, and how we can become involved in service-learning projects that benefit our community.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts: Learn More About Social Workers


Every social worker is uniquely qualified to help people right in their own environment, by looking at all the different aspects of their life and culture. We work to ensure your personal well-being, prevent crises and to counsel individuals, families, and communities. We make sure people get the help they need, from the best resources available. And for more than 100 years, we’ve been doing just that.


Visit: http://www.helpstartshere.org/about_social_workers.html


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parents Preventing Drug Abuse


A Parent's Guide to Gateway Drugs


A gateway drug is a drug that opens the metaphorical gateway to more potent, dangerous drugs. Substances like alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana are considered gateway drugs. While many parents are tempted to say "it's only beer" or "its just pot", the danger in gateway drugs is their ability to convince the user that they can handle larger quantities or in many cases, stronger, more potent substances.
Click here for more information.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sue Scheff: Tough Talks with your Teen


By Shoulder to Shoulder

It’s not easy talking about sex, drugs, gangs and violence with our teens. But it’s a “must do.” Here are a few pointers and tips for talking with teens about the very real issues they face.

Timing is Everything

Know that teens will catch us off guard when they decide to ask questions about sex or other “tough” topics. Resist the urge to flee. Try saying, “I’m glad you came to me with that question.” This gives us time to think of a response, and will let teens know they can come to parents for advice. It’s important to answer the question right away, rather than put off a teen by saying something like - “you’re too young to know that!” Chances are, the subject has already come up at school and they’re already getting “advice” from their friends. When teens ask questions, look at it as an opportunity to help them learn by sharing our thoughts.

Practice Makes Perfect

As parents, anticipation is our best friend. Anticipate what teens’ questions may be about sex, drugs or alcohol, then think about your responses ahead of time. What to say? It’s different for each family, but become familiar with typical questions and behaviors that occur during the teen years. Do a little digging around popular teen Web sites to find out what’s hot in a teen’s world.

Is It Hot In Here?

If you’re feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable about a question your teen asks, say so. Acknowledging your own discomfort allows your kids to acknowledge theirs - and may make everyone feel a little less awkward all around. It’s also okay for parents to set limits. For example, you do not have to give specific answers about your own teen behaviors.

Read entire article here: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Tough_Talks_your/

Monday, June 9, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Are you struggling with your teen?

Are you considering any of the following programs for your child? Take a moment to read my experiences - www.aparentstruestory.com as well as my book where you can hear my daughter's experiences for the first time - order today at www.witsendbook.com .

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework!

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS
Horizon Academy, NV
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Royal Gorge Academy, CO
Sky View Academy, NV
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sue Scheff: The Alliance for Consumer Education


The Alliance for Consumer Education is eight years old today! Founded in 2000, ACE has achieved many goals and provided information on inhalant abuse to countless parents and educators. Have you checked out inhalant.org, or our Message Board? You can read the questions that others have or post one yourself.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sue Scheff: What is your teen doing this summer?


By Aurelia - www.parentingmyteen.com


School’s Out for Summer: Do You Know Where Your Teen Will Be?


These are questions most parents face during the summertime. Perhaps both you and your husband work full time, or work at home. Whatever the case may be, your teen has a great deal of free time, which can either be utilized to increase their emotional and educational growth, or to engage in activities which may be the catalyst for potential trouble.





Let’s face it, for some teens the first day of summer is looked upon as a license to run wild with no cares in the world except their own. While every teen needs a few weeks to unwind, if there has been no advanced planning on what your teen can be doing during summertime, the door is open for them to waste time watching TV or playing video games or hooking up with friends and just hanging out at the beach. This is a great concern for parents who want their teens to increase their physical activity and mental prowess during the summer months in a safe environment.


What can parents do to ensure they are not only aware of where their teen will be, but what they will be doing?


If you are concerned about your teen this summer, it’s time to have a serious conversation wherein you set up a series of rules. Here are some tips which may help in this regard:


• Establish a curfew for your teen, both day and night.


• If you are a working parent, ask your teen what he or she will be doing during the day. Inform your teen that permission is required before they venture out.


• Remain in constant touch with your teen via a cell phone.


• Invited your teen’s friends over for a Saturday barbeque. This will allow you to get to know who your teen hangs out with.


• Set up a routine of chores your teen can help with at home, and for which he or she can earn extra money.


• Plan family outings to museums or places of interest on the weekends.


• Take your teen to the library and choose a number of books to read over the summer. Since this is a requirement of most public schools, encouraging your teen to expand his or knowledge will help them advance in school as well.


• Limit the amount of TV and computer time. Use parental controls, which are part of all Internet service providers.


• If you are a working parent, plan a week’s vacation for the entire family. You can either choose a destination that has a great deal of history, or a place in which the family can spend quality time together and reestablish the family unit.


Summertime for teens can either be a safe, fun-filled experience, or it can be a time where worry is your constant enemy. Open communication with your teen is not only important, but is paramount in continuing parental control over your teen in every facet of their growth. While your teen may not like it now, they will thank you later.


Visit parenting my teen to plan For the Perfect Teen Summer and gain more ideas on keeping your teen out of trouble, motivated and learning during the summer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sue Scheff: Preventing Addiction by John C. Fleming MD


Drug and Alcohol Prevention Research


A generation ago, with the idea to prevent drug addition for future generations, former first lady Nancy Reagan launched her famous anti-drug campaign with the slogan, "just say no to drugs." Sadly, addiction and drugs still plague our children despite the best efforts of educators and parents. The benefits of drug prevention are real but our approach to prevention has not been successful.


Now, drug and alcohol prevention research is available from Dr. John Fleming in the book Preventing Addiction. In this first-of-its-kind book, Dr. Fleming introduces real ideas to prevent drug use and alcohol consumption in our children based on medical science and on Dr. Fleming's personal experience as a parent of four grown children. He helps to fully explain the phenomenon of addiction and shows parents the best new ways to raise and train children to avoid drug and alcohol addiction.

Read more about preventing addiction and order this book at http://www.johncflemingmd.com/

http://www.helpyourteens.com/
http://www.witsendbook.com/
http://www.suescheff.com/

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sue Scheff: Kids Health Educational Partner


KidsHealth offers a comprehensive website of articles, helpful tips for parenting, sound advice for teens and kids. Visit http://www.kidshealth.org/ to learn more.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sue Scheff: Inhalant Abuse- Warning Signs


Inhalant Abuse is a lesser-known form of substance abuse, but is no less dangerous than other forms.The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service has reported that more than 2.1 million children in America experiment with some form of an inhalant each year and the Centers for Disease Control lists inhalants as second only to marijuana for illicit drug use among youth.

However, parents aren't talking to their children about this deadly issue. According to the Alliance for Consumer Education's research study, Inhalant Abuse falls behind alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use by nearly 50% in terms of parental knowledge and concern. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that 18 percent of all eighth graders have used inhalants, but nine out of 10 parents are unaware or deny that their children have abused inhalants. Many parents are not aware that inhalant users can die the first time they try Inhalants.

Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome is caused in one of two ways. First, Inhalants force the heart to beat rapidly and erratically until the user goes into cardiac arrest. Second, the fumes from an Inhalant enter a user's lungs and central nervous system. By lowering oxygen levels enough, the user is unable to breathe and suffocates. Regular abuse of these substances can result in serious harm to vital organs including the brain, heart, kidneys and liver.

Even if the user doesn't die, Inhalants can still affect the body. Most Inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication with initial excitement, then drowsiness, disinhibition, lightheadedness and agitation. Short-term effects include headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, severe mood swings and violent behavior, slurred speech, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, nausea, hearing loss, limb spasms, fatigue, and lack of coordination. Long- term effects include central nervous system or brain damage. Serious effects include damage to the liver, heart, kidneys, blood oxygen level depletion, unconsciousness and death.

Studies show that strong parental involvement in a child's life makes the child less likely to use Inhalants. Know the warning signs or behavior patterns to watch for and take the time to educate yourself about the issue so that you can talk to your children about inhalants.

Click here for entire article and warning signs http://www.inhalant.org/inhalant/warnings.php

Friday, May 23, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Understanding Teen Decision Making




What was he thinking? How could she? If you find yourself wondering what your teen was thinking, the answer may be not much. Kids often make snap judgments based on impulse, especially when situations come up quickly, leaving teens with little time to sort through the pros and cons.


Some of those hasty decisions may involve cheating in school; skipping class; using alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs; going somewhere or being with someone that you do not approve of; or driving too fast. But the consequences can include losing your trust, letting down friends, getting into trouble, hurting education and job prospects, causing illness or injury, or leading to other reckless behavior.




Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) How to Talk to your kids about sex, drugs and alcohol


By ParentingMyTeen.com




These are subjects you’ll want to talk about with your children before there is a problem. As a family, you can establish boundaries and consequences and come to a common understanding of what is acceptable.Sex: According to Advocates for Youth, statistics indicate that children who talk to their parents about sex are less likely to engage in high-risk behavior, such as having sex without condoms.

70.6% of teens who reported they didn’t feel comfortable talking to their parents had sex by age 17-19. That compares to 57.9% of teens who reported a close relationship.

It’s true. Not talking to your children about sex isn’t that likely to keep them from doing it. But the opposite is also true. Talking to them about it, isn’t more likely to have them engaging in sexual activity. If it means having sexually active children behaving maturely, talking things out can only help keep our kids safer.

If you think your child is already having sex, chat with them about it. Don’t get angry, but approach it in a calm and reasonable manner. Talk to them about your experiences and be honest. If your child has a boyfriend/girlfriend and things seem to be getting serious, start the conversation if you haven’t already. Above all, make sure they are being safe.

Drugs & Alcohol: Many professionals agree that when parents talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol, those discussions are very likely to shape the child’s attitude about those subjects.

Before you talk to your kids - educate yourself. Check with your local school, library or even look online for the straight facts about drugs and alcohol. Simply telling your kids, “Drugs and alcohol are dangerous,” isn’t going to be as efficient as truly illustrating the very real dangers of substance abuse. Try not to lecture, listen to what your kids have to say and really talk about the issues.

As always, keep it casual. If you spend time with your teenagers and keep the lines of communication open, bringing up the subject is much easier.

Signs of Drug & Alcohol Use: Look out for these tell-tale signs that your child might be using drugs or alcohol:

• Loss of interest in family and other usual activities.
• Not living up to responsibilities.
• Verbally or physical abusiveness.
• Coming home late.
• Increased dishonesty.
• Declining grades.
• Severe mood swings.
• Big change in sleeping patterns..

Understand that a lot of the above signs, especially near the top of the list, could mean a multitude things. Teenagers who are depressed can act in similar ways. When approaching your child, don’t be accusatory. Try to connect with them and see what’s really happening in their lives.

Additional Resources:

Teen Addiction

This anthology presents an examination of the causes of teen addiction and various proposals to reduce or solve the problem, as well as the personal narratives of teens struggling to overcome their addictions.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sue Scheff: Deliberate Misuse of Inhaler found in 1/4 of Teens


We've had a few questions on the inhalant.org message board in the past months about teens potentially using their asthma medication to get high. One poster's friend had a daughter whose inhaler recently needed to be refilled every week when it normally was only refilled every two or three months. Another's stepson was misusing his asthma medication and "has been eating this pills as if they are M&Ms!"


The University of Michigan News Service featured an article about a new study looking at the prevalence of inhaler abuse in teenagers. The study in question was performed by researchers at the U of M using 723 adolescents in thirty-two treatment facilities. The study reports that "nearly one out of four teens who use an asthma inhaler say their intent is to get high".The lead author of the study, Brian Perron, declared that their findings "indicate that inhaler misuse for the purposes of becoming intoxicated is both widespread and may justifiably be regarded as a form of substance abuse in many cases."


The study also found that teens that abuse inhalers are more likely to abuse other drugs as well as have higher levels of distress. They were also more "prone to suicidal thoughts and attempts than youths who did not misuse their inhalers to get high."From a survey of the study participants, "about 27 percent of youths who had been prescribed an inhaler used it excessively. In addition, one-third of all youths in the sample had used an asthma inhaler without a prescription."


So why would teens abuse their inhalers? What are the effects? The inhaler abusers said that they experienced positive feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and an increase in confidence.The negative effects were "feeling more dizzy, headaches, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, and confusion."The most common misusers of their asthma inhalers were females and Caucasians.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff- Troubled Teens


Are you struggling with your teen?


Visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/ P.U.R.E. - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Parents helping parents.


P.U.R.E. is based on reality - especially with today's teen society of technology including MySpace and other Internet concerns for children. Today we are educating children at much younger ages about substance abuse, sex, and more.


The latest wave of music and lyrics, television, and movies help to contribute to generate a new spin on this age group.


This leads to new areas of concern for parents. We recognize that each family is different with a variety of needs. P.U.R.E. believes in creating Parent Awareness to help you become an educated parent in the teen help industry.


We will give you a feeling of comfort in a situation that can be confusing, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes desperate.Desperate? Confused? Stressed? Anxious? Helplessness? Frustrated? Scared? Exhausted? Fearful? Alone? Drained? Hopelessness? Out of Control? At Wit's End?...

http://www.helpyourteens.com/
http://www.witsendbook.com/
http://www.suescheff.com/

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teen Drug, Salvia


“They feel very out of control; it’s very scary. They will literally have blackouts, and what we are seeing is a lot of people having accidents because they lose their coordination. They aren’t able to think clearly, so we are seeing people fall, stumble, hurt themselves, and have driving accidents.”

– Heather Hayes, LPC, drug counselor

Today, more teenagers are smoking a powerful hallucinogenic herb that is native to Mexico. It is a potent drug, the effects are almost instantaneous, and because it is legal in most states, it has caught the attention of lawmakers around the country.

Henri and Thomas say they have a friend who’s tried it. It’s called Salvia.

“He smoked it, and then went to scratch his head … and can’t remember anything after that,” says Henri Hollis, 18.

Add Thomas Steed, 18, “His friend said he was just going like this [flailing his arms] for like 20 minutes straight.”

In most states, salvia is legal. However, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has salvia on its list of “Drugs and Chemicals of Concern.” On the streets and in head shops, salvia is also referred to as “magic mint,” “sally-d” and “diviner’s sage.”

“My friend just brought some over one day, and I was like, ‘Alright!’ says Nick Nehf, 18. “I mean, I’d never heard of it before, but he said he had bought it down the street at the head shop and I was like, ‘Alright, whatever.’”

“Salvia divinorum is a perennial herb that grows wild in Mexico. It’s a hallucinogenic. It’s what back in the 60s we used to call a psychedelic,” says Heather Hayes, licensed professional counselor (LPC) and drug counselor.

Experts say that salvia affects the brain nearly 10 times faster than cocaine, and targets the parts of the brain responsible for motor function.

“They feel very out of control; it’s very scary. They will literally have blackouts, and what we are seeing is a lot of people having accidents because they lose their coordination. They aren’t able to think clearly, so we are seeing people fall, stumble, hurt themselves, and have driving accidents,” says Hayes.

Many states are now considering legislation to ban salvia.

In the meantime, experts say, explain to your kids that just because something is temporarily legal doesn’t mean it is safe.

“Initially, when the drug Ecstasy was developed it was not illegal, but shortly after it was,” says Hayes. “And now we know that Ecstasy is extremely damaging to the brain -- we have people who die after one use. So that would be the analogy I’d give.”

“Anybody who I’ve talked to who has done it says they are never going to try it again because it was too much for them,” says Steed.

Tips for Parents

Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the Media Awareness Program offer these tips to help keep kids from using drugs:

It sounds simple, but one of the best ways to keep your kids drug-free is to show them you care. Simple gestures like an unexpected hug or saying ‘I love you" everyday can help kids gain the confidence to say no to drugs.

Look for teachable moments. Talk about a recent drug or alcohol-related incident in your family or community.

Explain the principles of "why" and not just "what" to do or not do.

Teach real-world coping skills: drug prevention can start by building a teen's confidence for a job interview or teaching a child how to rebuff a schoolmate who wants to copy homework.

Parents remain one of the strongest moral influences on kids, and they need to send a clear anti-drug message. Studies show that parental ambivalence increases a child's risk for drug use.

Focus on one drug at a time: there's strong evidence that media attention to harmful effects of specific drugs has made a difference.

For instance, a 1995 ad campaign about abuse of inhalants, such as paint thinners and glues, precipitated a drastic drop in use.

In 1986, cocaine use fell after extensive news reports on the death of Len Bias, a college-basketball star who died after using cocaine.

(Currently, Heath Ledger’s death has prompted drug rehabilitation for other celebrities as well as the general population.)

These examples illustrate the life cycle of a drug. Word of a drug's “benefits” spreads rapidly, but there is a lag time before kids learn about the dangers. Once the risks become apparent, occasional users drop the drug and potential new users don't try it. Parents and educators can make a difference if they pay attention to the life cycle of a newly popular drug and work to quickly spread the word about harmful effects.

Don't lecture: the use of lecturing is often cited as the single biggest flaw in the best-known and most popular anti-drug programs. Get kids more involved in the lesson, such as asking them to discuss how they'd react at a party where kids were drinking.

Repeat the message: the most successful anti-drug classes are those that are presented over the course of a child's school career.

References
Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Media Awareness Program

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Teen Runaways


A Growing Problem for Today's FamiliesOne of any parent's greatest fears is a missing child.


Each year, one million troubled teens from every social class, race and religion run away from home. Unfortunately, for American families, that number continues to rise.


Confused, pressured and highly impressionable teens follow their peers into bad choices. In most cases, runaway teenagers want to escape the rules and regulations of their family and household. Disagreements with parents leave them unhappy and frustrated to the point of rebellion. Naiveté leads them to believe they could survive outside the nest; and dreams of a life without parental guidance, rules and punishment seem ideal.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts - Sue Scheff - Alliance for Consumer Education - Inhalant Abuse Prevention



Welcome to the Alliance for Consumer Education's (ACE) inhalant abuse prevention site! ACE is a foundation dedicated to advancing community health and well-being.


Did you know 1 in 5 children will abuse inhalants by the 8th grade? Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of fumes, vapors or gases from common household products for the purpose of "getting high".


This site is designed to assist you in learning more about inhalant abuse prevention and giving you tools to help raise the awareness of others. While here be sure to check out our free printable resources, post any comments or questions on ACE’s community message board, and visit our new blog by visiting http://www.inhalant.org/.



Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - P.U.R.E. - At Risk Teens



P.U.R.E. is based on reality - especially with today's teen society of technology including MySpace and other Internet concerns for children. Today we are educating children at much younger ages about substance abuse, sex, and more. The latest wave of music and lyrics, television, and movies help to contribute to generate a new spin on this age group. This leads to new areas of concern for parents.


We recognize that each family is different with a variety of needs. P.U.R.E. believes in creating Parent Awareness to help you become an educated parent in the teen help industry. We will give you a feeling of comfort in a situation that can be confusing, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes desperate.


Desperate? Confused? Stressed? Anxious? Helplessness? Frustrated? Scared? Exhausted? Fearful? Alone? Drained? Hopelessness? Out of Control? At Wit's End?...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sue Scheff: Bystanders Learning How to Stand Up to Bullying





Research says almost one-third of today’s teens are either bullies or victims of bullying. Bullies typically attack kids who are different in some way, kids who may be overweight …or smart …or poor … or talented…or don’t wear the ‘right’ clothes. But those who witness bullying are afraid too – 88 percent of teens say or do nothing – afraid they will become victims if they try to stop it.


How can we modify the behavior of this silent majority – those who witness bullying in school hallways, the lunchroom, locker rooms, playgrounds, school buses and neighborhoods? In Silent Witness, experts say that together these silent witnesses have the power to be the “tipping point” and can change the climate of bullying in American schools. They may be the most powerful weapon of all.


Watch Silent Witness to help start a conversation about how to stand up -- for yourself, your children, your students and others. Appropriate for the classroom and at home.


Learn about the power bystanders have to stop bullying, the difference between tattling and reporting, and how “telling” not only protects victims, but also could protect a witness from becoming a victim.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sue Scheff: Does Your Child Steal?




If you discover that your teen is stealing, it is important to confront them before taking any further action. If you *suspect* your teen is stealing (e.g., you have no witnesses or tangible proof), it is important that you approach the situation calmly and rationally- and do not accuse your teen of anything. Allow your teen to explain their side of things before you react. If they confess to stealing, it is important that you are clear in the position that you will not tolerate this type of behavior. Experts suggest a great way to dissuade your teen from stealing again is to escort your teen back to the store with the stolen merchandise and have them apologize and explain themselves to store security or management.

If your teen has already been caught in the act by store personnel, his or her options may not be that great. Each store determines its own rules about how to handle shoplifters. Some teens may be let off with a warning, while others may be banned from the store, and some may even be formally charged and prosecuted in compliance with local laws. If your teen is arrested and prosecuted, the value of the merchandise they have stolen will greatly determine the amount of trouble your teen may find themselves in. If the merchandise or money your teen has stolen is worth less than $400, this is considered petty theft. Petty theft is punishable by fine and up to six months in prison. If the value is over $400, your teen can be sentenced to up to a year in prison, and can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The danger in your teen being charged with a felony is that this will stay on your teens permanent record, unless your teen is deemed by the court to be a minor and his or her record is sealed when your teen turns 18.

A felony on your teen’s permanent record can haunt your teen for the rest of his or her life. It can prevent your teen from college acceptance, future jobs, scholarships, apartments and can even play a role in future custody battles or adoption cases.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sue Scheff - Teen Gangs and Cults


Teen Gang and Gang Violence has taken on a new light in today's age.

Gangs prey on the weak child that yearns to fit in with a false illusion they are accepted into the “cool crowd”. With most Gangs as with Teen Cults, they can convince your child that joining "their Gang or Cult" will make them a "well-liked and popular" teen as well as one that others may fear. This gives the teen a false sense of superiority. Remember, many of today’s teens that are acting out negatively are suffering with extremely low self confidence. This feeling of power that they believe a gang or cult has can boost their esteem; however they are blinded to the fact that is dangerous. This is how desperate some teens are to fit in.

In reality, it is a downward spiral that can result in damage both emotionally and psychically. We have found Teen Gangs and Teen Cults are sometimes hard to detect. They disguise themselves to impress the most intelligent of parents. We have witnessed Gang members who will present themselves as the "good kid from the good family" and you would not suspect their true colors.

If you suspect your child is involved in any Gang Activities or any Cults, please seek local therapy* and encourage your child to communicate. This is when the lines of communication need to be wide open. Sometimes this is so hard, and that is when an objective person is always beneficial. Teen Gangs and Teen Cults are to be taken very seriously. A child that is involved in a gang can affect the entire family and their safety. Take this very seriously if you suspect your child is participating in gang activity or cult association.

www.helpyourteens.com

www.witsendbooks.com

More information on Teen Gangs

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Home Drug Tests for Teens


Parents are the #1 Reason Kids Don’t Do Drugs….


Test with HairConfirm Drug Test for a 90 Day Drug History Report!



Click on the link above if you are a parent that suspects your child is using drugs. Knowing early could prevent drug addiction.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sue Scheff: Preventing Teen Drug Addiction


Why do they start? What Should I Look For?


A major factor in drug use is peer pressure. Even teens who think they're above the influence of peer pressure can often find it hard to refuse trying drugs when they believe their popularity is at stake. Teens may feel that taking drugs or alcohol to fit in is safer than becoming a perceived social exile, and may not realize that their friends will not abandon them simply for refusing a joint or bottle of beer. A popular adage that is thrown around regarding peer pressure says if your friends would abandon you for not accepting an illegal substance, they're not "real" friends- but try telling this to a teenager. A more effective method is to acknowledge the pressure to fit in and work with your teen to find solutions to these problems before they arise. Suggest that your teen offer to be the designated driver at parties, and work with them to develop a strategy for other situations.

Even agreeing to back your teen up on a carefully crafted story can help enforce your bond with them- giving them the okay to tell their friends to blame you or that you give them random drug tests will go a long way. Knowing they have your support in such a sensitive subject can alleviate many of their fears, and knowing they can trust you helps instill the idea they can come to you with other problems. This is also an excellent time to remind them to never allow friends to drive under the influence and to never get into a car with someone under the influence. Reassure your teenager that if they should give in to peer pressure and become intoxicated or high, or if they have no sober ride home though they are sober themselves that it is always okay to call you for a ride home. Some parents may want to consider getting teens a cell phone for emergency use, or giving them an emergency credit card for cab fare.

Depression is another major factor in drug use. For more in depth information on teenage depression, please visit Sue Scheff™'s Teen Depression Resource. Despite the fact that many substances actually make depression worse, teenagers may be lured in by the initial high, which in theory is only replenished by more drugs. Thus begins the vicious cycle that becomes nearly impossible to break without costly rehabilitation. If you notice your teen is acting differently, it may be time to have a talk with them to address these changes. Remember- do not accuse your teen or criticize them. Drug use is a serious cry for help, and making them feel ashamed or embarrassed can make the problem worse. Some common behavior changes you may notice if your teen is abusing drugs and alcohol are:

Violent outbursts, 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
Reckless behavior

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sue Scheff - Struggling Teens, Troubled Teens, At Risk Teens



Parent's Universal Resource Experts has found that children that have ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) are very confrontational and need to have life their own way. A child does not have to be diagnosed ODD to be defiant. It is a trait that some teens experience through their puberty years.


Defiant teens, disrespectful teens, angry teens and rebellious teens can affect the entire family.An effective way to work with defiant teens is through anger and stress management classes. If you have a local therapist*, ask them if they offer these classes. Most will have them along with support groups and other beneficial classes.


In today's teens we are seeing that defiant teens have taken it to a new level. Especially if your child is also ADD/ADHD, the ODD combination can literally pull a family apart.You will find yourself wondering what you ever did to deserve the way your child is treating you. It is very sad, yet very real.
Please know that many families are experiencing this feeling of destruction within their home. Many wonder "why" and unfortunately each child is different with a variety of issues they are dealing with. Once a child is placed into proper treatment, the healing process can begin.


If you feel your teen is in need of further Boarding School, Military School or Program Options, please complete our Information Request Form.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Acting White




“If you dress too proper, with your shirt tucked in and stuff, they’ll probably say you act too white.”

– student Diijon Dacosta, 20

For many American teenagers, one of the ways to be unpopular in high school is to be an “A” student. In fact, in some schools, doing your homework every day, studying hard and getting good grades has a controversial label. Some call it, “acting white.”
Lindsay, 15, knows the pressure to be cool. “If you’re really smart, they might think of you as a nerd or something,” she says.
Will they say you’re a nerd, a dork, a bookworm …or acting white?
“If you dress too proper, with your shirt tucked in and stuff, they’ll probably say you act too white,” says 20-year-old Diijon Dacosta.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University surveyed 166 middle and high school students from both the inner city and the suburbs. The students said that “acting white” often meant “getting good grades, joining clubs, being a leader.”

Students also talked about “acting black.”

“That would include … not studying, not doing homework, not joining various honor societies or other school projects. I think it is all part of that identity,” says Don Rice, Ph.D., psychologist.

He says that one problem is the culture doesn’t celebrate African Americans who are well educated or well spoken.

“Very seldom does one think of a black kid as being smart or geeky in that sense, and they’re not getting the messages through television, they’re not getting the messages through movies,” says Rice.

Rice adds that the media help set expectations in a child’s mind, and low expectations can lead to low performance.

"They don't really see the opportunities, they don't see how sitting down and learning algebra can lead to something that would be a better life,” explains Rice.

"It's easier to just say forget about it and forget your school work than it is to actually go through with the whole process and do good in school,” says Omyrie, 16.

Still, experts say that inside all children, there is a desire to learn and achieve.

"It’s a matter of finding what it is these kids want out of life and to show them how to get it,” says Rice.

Tips for Parents

“Children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets, and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is ‘acting white.’" (Sen. Barack Obama)
“Education starts at home. Teach your children the benefits of a good education -- have them visit college campuses, talk to professionals in your neighborhood, and get involved in clubs and activities at school.” (Don Rice, Ph.D., professor of psychology)
“It’s not measures of popularity or social success that predict achievement in college or the business world, but academic achievement itself that is the best predictor.” (Marla Shapiro, licensed psychologist)

“Part of the achievement gap, particularly for gifted black students, is due to the poor image these students have of themselves as learners,” says Donna Ford, professor of special education and Betts Chair of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, and author of the study on “acting white and acting black.” “Our research shows that prevention and intervention programs that focus on improving students’ achievement ethic and self-image are essential to closing the achievement gap.”

References
Fryer and Torelli, National Bureau of Economic Research: An Empirical Analysis of “Acting White’”
The Century Foundation: Equality and Education
Vanderbilt University’s News Network