Saturday, March 29, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) - Parents, learn how to protect your children Online

Daily I received phone calls and emails from parents with concerns about their kids Internet Usage as well as what they are reading on their Social Networking pages such as MySpace.Many of the kids today are not aware of the lasting effect a humorous picture today can cause for the future.

Our children today are the same kids that will be applying for colleges and jobs several years from now. However, to a child/teen, that seems like a lifetime away.As a parent, we can help monitor their activity by always keeping your lines of communication open.

Another option for parents is Reputation Defender MyChild. This service will send you monthly reports on your child's name and what is being said about them. Many parents have signed up for this service, and personally - I think it is a priceless in today's unregulated cyberspace.

Protecting our children comes natural to most parents - now we have to expand our protection to the expanding world of the web.

As a Parent Advocate, I am contining to promote Cyber Safety. I have personally meet with a Florida Senator several times as well as my Congresswoman and several attorneys. We will continue to fight for Internet Safety not only for children, but for everyone. My book, Wit's End will bring more resources for parents.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sue Scheff: Preventing Addiction by Dr. John C. Fleming

By John C. Fleming, M.D.
Kids are Doing a Lot More Than You Think, and at an Earlier AgeRecent studies show that the average child begins to drink and smoke cigarettes at age 13! This means that about half begin younger than that. Parents are rarely aware of this until their kids are several years older. By then the kids have begun other, even more dangerous activities such as drug use and underage sexual activity.

Read more about Dr. Fleming and order this valuable book today.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sue Scheff - Teenage Depression


The face of depression is getting younger. In a recent survey, 23% of young adults reported symptoms of serious depression before the age of 20—up from just 2% a generation ago. The reasons range from increased pressure in school to rising divorce rates among parents, experts say.

“My parents went through an awful divorce my ninth-grade year, and I was devastated,” says 18 year-old Brittany.

Parents often mis-interpret the signs of depression. Some kids may become lethargic and withdrawn, as expected, while others may show agitation, frustration and aggression. For school-aged children a drop in grades could also be an indicator. Unfortunately, it often provokes punishment rather than sympathy.

Psychologist Sunaina Jain says, “Rather than thinking of children’s misbehaviors as discipline problems or misbehaviors as deliberate, it’s important to see them as communication from the child. This is the child’s way of telling you how he or she is feeling”

Experts say that, given the new reality, a quarter of all kids will experience depression. Parents need to make sure they take a constant measure of their child’s emotional pulse.

What Parents Should Know

Emotional anchors are fewer and further between for many kids. In years past kids spent more time with parents, grandparents and neighbors than they do now, says USA Today.

Kids look to parents for emotional support and reassurance. With the amount of time parents and children spending together on a downward trend, many children are feeling alone—isolated.

In the past, when Mom and Dad weren’t around, grandparent or neighbors were likely to be at arms reach, but not anymore, studies say. Grandparents aren’t as accessible and families now move an average of every seven years, compared to every 21 years three decades ago. Adjusting to a new neighborhood every few years makes it more difficult to develop strong and lasting neighborly relations.

With the odds of smooth sailing being less and less for children, parents should be extra cautious of children’s emotional status. They need support. They need reassurance. They need an emotional anchor.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) - The Stress of Moving for Kids

By Connect with Kids

“There’s that sense that [kids feel] ‘I’ve lost my family, my friends, my base, my school, teachers -- everything I knew that made me feel safe and secure is all gone now. I have to start over.’”

– Dr. Tim Jordan, pediatrician

One in five American families will move this year. Research shows that moving is one of the most stress-producing events a family can go through. Experts say it can be especially hard for children. How do you help your child adjust to the changes?

The Ricardos moved from their old house to a new home. Same family, same dog -- but it was hard on 9-year-old Elena.

“I hated my room. I hated the house. I hated everything,” says Elena, 9.

She hated leaving her friends the most.

“I was so emotional. I mean, saying goodbye to all my friends … my very close friend, who was my neighbor, just saying goodbye to them made me so sad,” says Elena.

For some kids, the emotional stress of moving is not much different than the emotions when someone has died.

“There’s that sense that, ‘I’ve lost my family, my friends, my base, my school, teachers -- everything I knew that made me feel safe and secure is all gone now. I have to start over,’” says Dr. Tim Jordan, pediatrician.

Starting over is exactly Dr. Jordan’s advice. Make newfriends, get involved at the new school and in the new neighborhood. He says that’s what Elena’s parents need to encourage her to do.

“One of the things that will be important for her is to find somebody, some people, some groups that she can feel connected to,” says Dr. Jordan.

And that’s what Elena’s sister Hallie is doing.

“Hi. Is Judy there?” asks Hallie, calling a new friend on the phone.

“You can’t just sit around and wait for the phone to ring. You have to take the initiative. You have to say, ‘let’s go out sometime, let’s do something.’ Or, ‘I want to join the chorus. I want to be in the school play.’ You have to take the initiative,” says Hallie, 14.

With an older sister as a role model, parents who are patient and some effort on her part, before long Elena’s new house will feel like home.

Tips for Parents

Moving to a new community may be one of the most stress-producing experiences a family faces. Frequent moves or even a single move can be especially hard on children and adolescents. (American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, AACAP)

To make the move easier on children, parents may take these steps: (AACAP)

Explain clearly to the children why the move is necessary.

Familiarize the children as much as possible with the new area with maps, photographs and/or the daily newspaper.

Describe advantages of the new location that the child might appreciate such as a lake, mountain or an amusement park.

After the move, get the children involved in activities at the local church or synagogue, PTA, scouts, YMCA, etc.

If a son or daughter is a senior in high school, consider the possibility of letting him or her stay with a trusted family until the school year is over.

Let children participate in designing or furnishing their room.

Help children keep in touch with friends from the previous neighborhood through telephone, letters, e-mail, and personal visits.

The more frequently a family moves, the more important is the need for internal stability. With the proper attention from parents, and professional help if necessary, moving can be a positive growth experience for children, leading to increased self-confidence and interpersonal skills. (AACAP)

If the child shows persistent signs of depression or distress, parents can ask their family doctor, their pediatrician or the local medical society to refer them to a child and adolescent psychiatrist. The psychiatrist can evaluate and treat the child's emotional problems that may be associated with stress and also help parents make the transition and new experience easier for the whole family. (AACAP)


American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) - Warning Signs of Teen Depression

Common warning signs/symptoms of teenage depression

Changes in eating and sleeping habits (eating and sleeping too much or too little)
Significant change in weight (loss or gain)
Often misses school and/or shows bad school performance
Reclusive, withdrawing from friends or family members
Quick to show anger/rage
General restlessness or anxiety
Overreacts to criticism, even constructive
Seems very self conscious, guilty
Unusual problems with authority
No longer partakes in or enjoys activities and events they once loved
Indecision, lack of concentration, or forgetfulness
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Frequent health complaints despite being healthy
Lack of motivation and enthusiasm for every day life
Drug/alcohol abuse
Mentions or thoughts of suicide
Find more information on Teen Depression.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sue Scheff: Struggling Teens, Problem Teens, At Risk Teens, Troubled Teens

Do any of these labels sound familiar?

•Truancy (Excessive Absences)
•Multiple Suspension/Detentions
•Academic Failure/Grades Dropping - Underachiever
•Social Withdrawal – Isolating themselves
•Poor Decision Making
•Peer Relationship Problems; Fights; Arguments
•Choosing the Wrong Peer Group
•Defiant/Anger/Violent/Rage/Rebellious – Conduct Disorder
•Confrontational Behavior/Acting Out
•Refusal to accept Accountability for their Actions
•Depression/Bipolar/Oppositional Defiance Disorder
•Involvement in Cult Activities – Gang Activity

Does any of the above sound familiar? If so it may be time to start searching for healthy and safe alternative schools or programs. Whether they are local or out of the area, after conferring with a school guidance counselor or therapist, you may determine that a different academic setting may benefit your child. Absences and Suspension Rates (or Incident reports) are useful indicators of student academic or behavioral problems. Most truancy and incident rates increase with grade levels. Another words, this will most likely escalate rather than go away if not addressed. We always recommend parents to seek local adolescent therapy* prior to residential placement.

Incidents rates are on the rise and school expulsion have increased, nearly doubled in the High Schools within the past three years. The zero tolerance rates may be attributed to this rise in numbers, however it is a clear indication that some teens are truly struggling and need outside help. This is has to do with many factors:

• Population Increase, which leads to overcrowding in the schools
• Lack of ACCEPTANCE of our Cultural Diversity
• Family Conflicts – Marital Issues (Divorce, Separation, etc.)
• Stress and Anger Management Problems
• Lack of Communication and the skills to communicate with Today's Teens.
• Ineffective or Inconsistence Parenting/Discipline Strategies
• Substance Abuse (Drugs and/or Alcohol)
• Undiagnosed Learning Disabilities – ADD/ADHD/LD
• Zero Tolerance Level at Schools

Do you have a struggling teen? At risk teens? Defiant Teen? Teen Depression? Problem Teen? Difficult Teen? Teen Rage? Teen Anger? Teen Drug Use? Teen Gangs? Teen Runaways? Bipolar? ADD/ADHD? Disrespectful Teen? Out of Control Teen? Peer Pressure?

Find about more about Boarding Schools, Military Schools, Christian Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, and Therapeutic Boarding Schools.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sue Scheff: Smoking Pot and Lung Damage

“This latest study shows that you have destruction of lung tissue, reduction of lung vital capacity and a decreased ability to exhale if you smoke marijuana. What’s probably the most disturbing part of this latest article is that it shows that a cigarette is really much less potent than a joint of marijuana.”

– Fadlo Khuri, M.D., oncologist

According to the latest Monitoring the Future report, more than 40 percent of 12-graders have experimented with marijuana. In fact, it is the most commonly-abused illegal drug. While parents, teachers and physicians have been warning kids about pot for years, new information shows it’s even more dangerous than we thought.

Andrew was 14 years old when he first tried pot.

“I didn’t even inhale it all the way, I just took it into my mouth, but I loved the taste. I knew that I liked it,” says Andrew Wolpa, 18.

From there he experimented with alcohol, painkillers, mushrooms and almost every drug -- except one.

“I never smoked cigarettes because those things will kill ya, you know,” says Wolpa.

But according to a study by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, smoking one marijuana joint is equal to smoking five cigarettes at the same time.

“This latest study shows that you have destruction of lung tissue, reduction of lung vital capacity and a decreased ability to exhale if you smoke marijuana. What’s probably the most disturbing part of this latest article is that it shows that a cigarette is really much less potent than a joint of marijuana,” says Fadlo Khuri, M.D., oncologist.

And he says smoking pot can lead to emphysema and lung cancer.

“That’s a real problem because we only cure about 15 to 17 percent of all the people who present with lung cancer nowadays. So this is a disease in which you have a 1-in-6 chance of surviving it for five years or longer,” says Khuri.

Khuri says that talking about painful and serious diseases is one way to persuade kids not to use marijuana.

“Confronting them with the data, showing them what the outcomes are with lung cancer and emphysema, with what some individuals would consider even moderate marijuana or cigarette use,” says Khuri.

Andrew says even though he’s in rehab, he’s not ready to quit.

“I don’t want to be clean yet. I’m not there,” says Wolpa.

Tips for Parents
From the Nemours Foundation:
Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the United States. It is a dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of the plant Cannabis Sativa. A stronger form of marijuana called hashish (hash) looks like brown or black cakes or balls. Street names for marijuana include pot, herb, weed, grass, Jane, reefer, dope, and ganja.
Marijuana is typically smoked in cigarettes (joints or spliffs), hollowed-out cigars (blunts), pipes (bowls), or water pipes (bongs). Some people mix it into food or brew it as a tea.
Marijuana is just as damaging to your lungs as cigarettes – and some reports show that it is even worse. Steady users suffer coughs, wheezing, frequent colds, and respiratory infections, such as bronchitis.
There are more than 400 known chemicals in marijuana. A single joint contains four times as much cancer-causing tar as a filtered cigarette. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Nemours Foundation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sue Scheff: The Power of Hope with our Kids

When surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control, 28 percent of teens say they feel sad or hopeless for weeks in a row. For some, gangs, violence and drugs are a daily reality. Thousands of others drop out of school – tired of the struggle – while untold numbers of children are caught in the middle of their parents’ divorce, feeling lost and alone.

How can we help those kids who have given up on themselves? There’s no easy way to give a child hope, goals and dreams. Yet, without it, we know that kids see no reason not to take dangerous and sometimes deadly risks. Children of Hope tells the inspiring stories of how three teens turned their life around – and shows how the counselors, teachers and community leaders helped them see and experience the opportunities their future could hold.

What can you do to help your kids feel hopeful – and set goals for today, tomorrow and beyond? Watch Children of Hope together to learn about the power of hope. Start a conversation about life’s options and help kids talk about how they see themselves in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sue Scheff: Coping with Teen Bullies

Invisible Weapon - by Connect with Kids

Adults may think children bullies are just a part of growing up, but what if it was your kids saying things like this about bullying at school:

"I had nowhere to go, no one to tell. I thought I was fat and stupid and no one wanted be around me.” - Sarah

“They called me four-eyes, homo…until I started to believe it.” - Alex

“I was scared all the time to go to school.” - Jay

Invisible Weapons is a moving half-hour video that’s ideal for parents and children to watch and learn together. Painful, true stories show how kids are taunted and teased by children bullies, harassed and excluded, and how bullying at school made them victims of nasty rumors and gossip.

It’s More Than Just Bullying at School

Bullies and “mean girls” leave wounds that often go deeper than broken bones and bloody noses. You’ll hear from victims as they tell how bullying at school affected their grades, their self-confidence and their relationships. Listen as children bullies themselves share their stories and regrets. “Maybe I thought making fun of Sarah was cool,” says Ashley, “or that it would make me have more friends.”

There are ways to stop this kind of emotional pain. Hear what experts have to say by ordering Invisible Weapons to learn what you can do about children bullies.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Parents Universal Resource Experts founder Sue Scheff Launches New Website Design for P.U.R.E.

My new website design for P.U.R.E. has recently been launched! It is not 100% completed yet but the new and updated design incorporates my new first book being released in July 2008. Over the past (almost 8 years!) my website has been re-designed only twice - this is the third time.

Change is hard, but necessary - and like today's teens - we need to stay up-to-date with today's times.

I have enhanced questions to ask schools and programs as well as helpful hints. Change is always happening and P.U.R.E. is proactive in keeping up with bringing you current information on schools and programs.

P.U.R.E. continues to help thousands of families yearly. We are very proud of our association with the Better Business Bureau for many years and our excellent relationship with many therapists, schools, guidance counselors, lawyers, and other professionals that refer to P.U.R.E. on a regular basis in an effort to help families.There are going to be more exciting changes coming this year. A second book in progress and meetings with my Florida Senator and Congresswoman to work towards a safer Cyberspace.